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Professional photography is an investment. And like any financial decision with your business, it takes serious consideration before making the leap.

So how do you know if your business would benefit from professional photography? High-quality images can make or break your social media presence, increase your business’ reputability and even garner more sales. If photography isn’t your strong suit, it may be time to turn to someone who has all the tools to create beautiful images that reflect your brand and style.

Ask yourself these five questions to evaluate whether a professional photographer is a smart and worthwhile decision for your business.

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1. Do you want to gain a stronger following on social media?

No matter what caption you use and what words you say, your images are what take the cake on social media. A professional photographer can help you to create a cohesive look and style. A professional photographer doesn’t just snap photos — he or she will also edit them and make sure they reflect your brand. Do you want light and airy images or bold and colorful? Once your images are in place and you’re consistently sharing great content on social media, your following will grow and your likes and engagement will increase as well.

Rings available from @BettyBelts

2. Do clients ask questions about what your products look like?

When selling a physical product, a potential buyer is going to want a clear look at the item they’re purchasing. If clients are asking you questions about the items you sell despite having images, it could be a sign that your photos aren’t up to par.

A professional photographer will make sure the lighting is perfect and can photograph products in a way that accentuates certain colors, angles or features.

@MStreetBakingCompany located in Howell, Michigan

3. Do you have the proper equipment to take your own photographs?

An iPhone might do just fine for your personal social media. However, to get professional-quality images you really need professional gear. A DSLR is the first step in the right direction. Most importantly, professional photographers have multiple lenses, flashes, reflectors and backdrops to make your photo dreams a reality.

Having the right gear is only part of the equation, but you also need to know how to use it properly. If you’re not 100 percent confident in your skills, it may be time to turn to a professional.

Jewelry available from @NaturesTwist

4. Is taking photos consuming too much of your time?

Your job is running your business — not being a photographer. If photography is stressing you out, it’s time to delegate. Don’t let your time be consumed by a chore you’re not passionate about. It’s clear in this situation, your business will benefit from a professional photographer. A professional can take the weight off your shoulders. If you’re working with the right photographer, you’ll be able to share your vision and watch it come to life through their lens.

Glass Drinking Straws available from @GlassDrinkingStraws

5. Do you feel like your images aren’t an accurate representation of your business and aesthetic?

If you’re struggling to portray your business through imagery, a professional photographer can help. Having a strong brand means that all elements of your business are cohesive. Photographs are a major piece of that branding puzzle. That can also include portraits of you and your employees, behind-the-scenes images of how your business works and more. Don’t let bad photography be the downfall of your business!

So, does your business need a professional photographer? I hope these five questions help as you consider whether or not your brand and business could benefit from professional photography. If you’re on the fence or ready to take the leap, I’d love to help guide you and answer any questions you may have! Reach out and let’s chat, I can’t wait to hear from you!

May 1, 2019

Does Your Business Need a Professional Photographer

You want to look your best for a portrait session whether you’re looking to portray a creative spirit or a data-driven professional, the way you’re styled and photographed can really drive your brand home. Professional portraits speak volumes about your brand and business.

And while some people love being in the spotlight and in front of the camera, others shy away from the attention. It doesn’t matter which group you fall into, you can shine in a professional portrait when you’re prepared and working with the right photographer.

So here are 6 ways to look your best for a portrait session.

1. Choose the Right Outfit

ways to look your best for a portrait session by jessica griffin photography southern california product photographer
Nature’s Twist

Just as much as your portrait is capturing you, it also captures your style and personality, much of which can be conveyed by your outfit. Choose clothing that reflects your brand and flatters your body. If you’re a designer who loves neutrals, a vibrant and colorful outfit won’t fit with the rest of your business. If you’re a suit-wearing business professional, a boho outfit might not work on your website and professional materials.

Along with choosing the right clothing to match your brand, you should also steer away from tiny prints because they generally don’t photograph as well as solids or larger prints.

2. Accessorize!

Chunky necklaces, a blazer or sweater, bold earrings, and a fun lip color can make your portrait pop. They’re also great ways to have variety in a single shoot: swap out a necklace, take off your cardigan or pull your hair back for a completely different look in your photos. Pick some of your favorite pieces and make sure that, whatever you pick, you feel confident in it.

3. Invest in Professional Hair & Makeup

ways to look your best for a professional portrait session with Jessica griffin photography product photographer in orange county
Senior Portrait Session

Your day-to-day hair and makeup look might not cut it for a photoshoot. Invest in an appointment with a professional hair stylist and makeup artist to make sure you’re looking your very best. Working with a professional doesn’t mean that you have to change your look — it means your look will be elevated! A professional can give you a natural look or a glam makeover, making sure that it’s suited for some time in front of the camera.

Pay attention to the little details such as your nails (treat yourself to a manicure!) and eyebrows (do they need to be waxed?) as well. The small things make a big impact in a photograph.

4. Focus on Posture

A great photographer will make sure that you’re posed perfectly, but there are few things to keep in mind to make it easy. Pull your shoulders back and stand up straight and tall. Help define your jawline by pushing your chin out slightly — even if it feels silly while you’re doing it, it can translate beautifully into the image. And no matter what, trust your photographer! He or she will really help you look your best.

5. Be Yourself!

You should be in your ultimate comfort zone while having your photograph taken. If you’re generally a serious person, don’t force fake laughter to get a candid laughing image. Does your personality radiate joy? Let that shine through in the images! When you’re stiff and uncomfortable, that will shine through more than your true personality. So let loose, be the star and enjoy your photo session!

6. Find the Right Photographer

My husband and second shooter, Alex.

Shop around to find a photographer who you mesh with. You want to work with someone who will bring out the best in you. The goal is being comfortable, making you look (and feel) your best for a portrait session. It’s essential that you’re 100 percent comfortable with your photographer. You need to feel like you can truly be yourself around this person.

Look at different photographers’ styles to find one that matches your own. Photographers are artists in the way they shoot and process their images. Think of choosing your photographers like choosing an artist who is painting a picture of you and your brand.

Following these six tips, you’re sure to rock your photoshoot. Check out my portrait page to get a taste of my style. Feel free to reach out for more information! I’d love to answer any questions you have about the process to make your experience enjoyable and fulfilling.

April 16, 2019

6 Ways to Look Your Best for a Portrait Session

I picked up this delicious Guava Tea Bud from Spice and Tea Merchants in Temecula, California. It was perfect for last weeks Tea for Two theme! I’ve brewed a tea bud once before and I had no idea what I was doing. I learned a lot after that first experience. Here’s hoping you’ll learn from my mistakes!

Most companies put the brewing instructions on their packaging. (If they don’t, you can google it.) Allowing green tea to brew for too long will result in a bitter taste. So follow the instructions!

This is what the tea bud looks like before it’s brewed.

Watching this bud blossom in the Blooming Tea Pot was pretty awesome! So awesome that I recorded it. I allowed the bud to brew for five minutes, as instructed on the package. Don’t worry, I sped up the video so you can see it bloom in less than one minute.

The tea bud is doing it’s thing, and check out that color. The tea looks great! But the smell… it’s divine!

Guava Tea Bud from Spice and Tea Merchants in Temecula, California

Alright! The part we’ve all been waiting for- the Guava Tea Bud has bloomed! What do you think? Does it look like you expected? It smelled really good. Not at all like I had expected. I really like fruity and herbal teas, so this one was a win for me. I actually picked up two more Guava Tea Buds after trying this one! On the package it says it’ll make ten more cups, but, there are five of us in the house and we all really liked it. This is one we’ll be going back for, for sure.

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to see videos before I share them via my blog and social media.

Check out my other posts if you’d like to learn more about the Tea for Two project.

January 27, 2019

Brew a Guava Tea Bud at home

What is Tea For Two about?

I am so excited that you’re interested in my project; tea for two. Over the next few months I’ll be posting a variety of tea themed photos, from product shots to lifestyle images, close ups, gifs and maybe some talking videos. The idea is reconnecting; with yourself, spouse, family, etc. For me, I’ll be reconnecting with myself and my family. 

Where did this idea come from?

My family and I spent the last five years traveling the United States. When we were on the road we connected with so many people. Often over hot chocolate, coffee or tea while hanging out at the campfire. I’ve made some of my best friends doing laundry and drinking tea! We’ve been “parked” for a year now and we’ve not been connecting. We’ve fallen into this mundane routine and I’m ready for a change. Thus “tea for two.”

What do you have planned?

As a product photographer, I’ll be setting the scene and photographing products, in a lifestyle setting, to share on social media. Currently on my calendar is Guava, Flannel, Self Care, Valentine’s Day, Book, Camping, Pi Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, 1st Day of Spring, Seaside/Beach, Cactus, Earth Day.

I am open to other ideas, most of these are inline with “national” days, like National Flannel Day on February 10th. 🙂 These are just a starting point to keep things organized and to create a cohesive look, like the photos featured in this post.

You can learn more about me here.

What items are you looking for?

Items I am looking for include but aren’t limited to; tea, tea cups or mugs/pots, tea accessories, tea towels, serving trays. I can incorporate jewelry, such as rings and long necklaces. Textile pieces like gloves, scarves, hats, placemats, and table runners. I can also use art prints, journals, notebooks, writing utensils, candles, etc.  

What do I get?

All products will be photographed alone and in a lifestyle setting. A minimum of 5 high resolution images, per product, will be yours to use as you’d like. I would love to receive credit for the photo when and where possible but it’s not necessary. 

I’d like to participate, how much does it cost?

The cost for one product is $130.

  • The cost includes five product photos per item.
  • A blog post with links to your product on your website.
  • A post on Instagram and FaceBook tagging your business.

I will not be accepting more than five artisans each week to allow space for each brand to be properly represented. 

If you’d like to chat more, I encourage you to contact me!

 

January 16, 2019

Project: Tea for two

I attended three Lights Fest events in 2017. Each event kicked off the same, with the National Anthem. Sometimes I forget how powerful the National Anthem can be. When you’re surrounded by 1,000’s of people with the palm of their hand resting over their heart and the only thing you can hear is the words flowing from the lips of one individual. It was pretty powerful.

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

#whatlightsyou

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

While waiting for the sun to set, there are a variety of food trucks offering a variety of items. Anything from pizza, sno cones, ice cream, tacos, beer, the works.

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

The live entertainment is always on point, and very kid friendly. Jarred Roberts of Wood & Stone Music gets the audience up and moving with his original song, Faithful.

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

What I love most is the atmosphere. Everyone is so kind. I can’t even explain it. Maybe if you’ve attended an event, you can. When you get checked in, find a spot to call ‘home’ for the night, and get set up… this calm just washes over you. Similar to that of sitting at a camp fire. It’s just relaxing. The music is great, the kids are safe. You’re just free to be in the moment. With complete strangers.

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

I loved seeing families at The Lights Fest. Everyone enjoying their time together, the great outdoors.

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

When the sun begins to sink below the horizon they come around to light the tiki torches.

The Lights Fest #whatlightsyou Jessica Griffin Photography

I couldn’t resist a selfie with the lanterns!

It’s such a beautiful experience. I’d love to know if you attend an event, and how you like it.

I found this video on YouTube. It was by far one of the *best* videos about The Lights Fest. It truly captures the feeling and emotions of the experience, so much better than I could possibly put into words.

December 20, 2018

The Lights Fest; December 2nd, 2018

It was 2011 when I was introduced to Sandast, a Los Angeles based leather company. At the time I was living in Fort Worth, Texas. I loved taking the kids into Fort Worth to visit the Stockyards. The kids loved watching the cattle ‘run’ down Stockyard Exchange. We could easily spend an entire day in the Stockyards wandering in and out of the cute shops. There’s just something about the quaint street that just made me feel at home.

My husband and I often went to H3 Ranch for lunch. One of my favorites is the H3 Ranch Club Sandwich* it is absolutely amazing, exactly how they cook their bacon is a complete mystery to me. Yet I could eat just the bacon for the rest of my life and be completely happy! Don’t even get me started on the tacos! Great, now my mouth is watering!

Okay, back on track… across from H3 Ranch is Maverick Fine Western Wear. Just how well do you know me? The work that goes into their handmade items blows me away, every time. Though, I do not have a Western bone in my body I can appreciate!

When I was shopping the variety of bags at Maverick I came across a leather bag by Sandast of Los Angeles. Fast forward to 2018 where I now live in Los Angeles. I connected with Chris, the owner, and he invited my husband and me to his first Wine and Whiskey Wednesday.

It was great chatting with Chris and learning more about his business and the story behind each bag. Each bag actually has a story and is named after the person who inspired Chris.

Wine & Whiskey Wednesday

Outside the Sandast Los Angeles, California.Outside the Sandast store 1205 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Christoper of Broad Street Oyster at Sandast Los AngelesLeft: Christoper of Broad Street Oyster Company. Right: Francis Briefcase.

Chris Pak of Sandast Los Angeles Leather Company coasters glass of wineLeft: Chris chatting with locals. Right: Leather coasters & a glass of wine.

Johnnie Walker Leather Briefcase made by Sandast Los AngelesLeft: Johnnie Walker glass sitting on a Sandast coaster. Right: Francis Briefcase.

 

*If you’re planning a trip to H3 and want to try the club sandwich please know it’s on their lunch menu only.

June 5, 2018

Sandast of Los Angeles; Wine and Whiskey Wednesday