Monthly Archives: August 2011


FEATURE Artist of the week: The Wordsmith

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!!! I was truly inspired! So Creativly spoken!  “YOU ARE your art!!!” … Welcome!! This is the heart of creativity, and I’m your tour guide Intuition- the best friend of an … Continue reading

Posing …Do you ever wonder…

“How do you get your clients to look sooo natural in their images?” I get asked this question often …

A: They are natural … I am a Candid Shooter. I conversate, joke and laugh and CLICK, CLICK, CLICK away unexpectedly… BUT HERE IS INSIGHT FROM One of My Favorite Photographers on posing…check her out in the link below… Mikaela Ruth is an amazing photographer and tells beautiful stories with her camera , I hope you enjoy her as much as I do!

Happy World Photography Day

Get out and Shoot something today all of you FABULOUS photographers !!! I will be adding my image in a few hours… Enjoy and celebrate your gift and talent today with the rest of the world! 🙂

“I Wont Photograph UGLY PEOPLE”-Jen Mcken

It’s so refreshing to see someone TAKE A STAND for what is right  with the risk of taking a personal loss. That is what I call passion , and Jen may just very well be one of my new favorite photographers!  I  think that it’s so rare in this world today that I see integrity run clear (not partial or tainted) through every part of who you are!   I ABSOLUTELY love this …please read and follow her blog… I will be adding her to my favs !   This is a message that we can ALL learn from.

Many of you know that I wont shoot Boudoir Sessions unless the session is being done for a married couple. I have turned down many request and the reason is because I don’t ever want to see my images plastered on social networks for any woman who may not know her self-worth or who may struggle with finding her value in comment feedback. I know that married couples can have these struggles as well , and that I can not control what clients do with their images to an extent., but I see to many beautiful , lonely, hurting, confused women posting photos of themselves with little or almost NO clothing on to seek whatever the attention is that they are looking for and I don’t want to capitalize on anyones pain, and that is NOT to say that everyone who does or shoots a Boudoir Session is doing this … THAT IS SIMPLY MY OPINION and MY PERSONAL CONVICTION… so to come across Jen McKens post on NOT PHOTOGRAPHING UGLY PEOPLE … made my heart smile!!!  Thank you Jen for Standing up! I am looking forward to seeing your blessings because of it!

Follow Jen’s bold move below!

Business Schedule vs. Personal Schedule

So here is mistake #502 or so… (remember I am learning in front of you for you…lol)

I went to bed last night at 4am back up this morning at 11am it’s now 1:19pm and my list is just as long as it was yesterday, and getting longer by the minute because I have been NON Productive (thanks to Facebook and my lack of focus). I keep telling myself the only way I am going to continue to LOVE this job is if I get balance and get some QUICKLY.

My Business Schedule and My Personal Schedule look exactly the same ( whatever calls my name at the moment) . This has to stop [ starting tomorrow] 😉 …

I’m sure that many of you will Identify with this… I have 2 children ( 5 and 15 years of age) who actually needs a 3rd schedule in here somewhere, I have a household, laundry , bills, cleaning, cooking , breaking up fights , kissing boo-boos, and negotiating with a teenager, friends that NEVER see me … I have clients new and old , scheduled bookings, work orders , editing, blogging 🙂 , networking, designing and trying to figure out ways to get better at all of it which takes up at least 20 hours of my day … (the list continues but I will stop there because I just got overwhelmed hearing myself say all that as I type.) … and of course I have unexpected occasional emergencies like , the water heater and the dryer going out in the same month so wet carpet and service and repair people to schedule, oh yes I forgot to mention that I home school …

I said all that to say I DO NOT know how I have functioned this long with out 3 schedules, Home , Business, and Personal …in that order, because HOME should always come first!

I used to be a business manager so I know that schedules are NECESSARY, beneficial, productive,rewarding and most of all the key ingredient for being successful.  “Schedules” and “To Do”  lists provide balance ,practicality and discipline. Which in return will give productive efficiency in every area of your life.

I’ve learned in the past that when you have it written down in a place where you can see it and check it off it becomes a great tool in the following ways…

#1. Get it OUT of your head and ON TO paper, that alone eleviates tension and stress.

#2. Lists are not permanent , they are just a tool to help you SEE instead of just     THINK about all that you have to do. Once you put it on paper , its important to then re-arrange your list by priority. Think of it as short-term daily goals to help you get to your long-term goals and dreams. What you don’t check off for that day , circle it and put it on tomorrow’s list at the top (so that it doesn’t keep moving to the bottom of the list) .

#3. Keeping a calendar is imperative! You should first buy a real one that you can throw in your purse, diaper bag, briefcase, camera bag or learn to use the one on your phone ( if you have that option) , Don’t write stuff on small pieces of paper… I know first hand you’ll never find it when you need it or remember what you wrote down. lol (take it from me). Your calendar will need to go hand in hand with your list (commitments ARE priorities) . Side Note: I strongly believe that a person can’t be trusted if they cant keep their word , and many others believe that also … so write it down and put it on your list!

#4. Practice following steps 1-4 to the letter! It’s not going to be the easiest thing to remember to do right away. Doing these 4 steps daily will help you create routine and disciple, you will also realize quickly that it will feel like you have a lot more freedom , flexibility and time in your day. These practices if done habitually will help you get organized, teach you disciple, clear your head space so that your creative talents can flourish without the entanglement of weeds (mental stress) , give you balance in your home , business, personal life  and YOU , your family, friends, and clients will all be so grateful for the new you because you will be ONE happy , creative , non – hindered individual (you know we creative talents feel trapped and imprisoned when we feel hindered).

Open the cage, (its not locked)  and fly… I am leaving this post to write my list! I dont know how I let myself get away from what has been proven to work well in my life. Back to what works!

Hugs to you and best wishes,

Qiana Nicole

Articles That Inspired Me

***My Advice For Aspiring Photographers – Feature Story – JPG Magazine “I get asked all the time, during workshops, in e-mails, in private messages, what words of wisdom I would give to a new and aspiring photographer. Heres my answer. – Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Dont look outwar…

***How To Deal With An Ugly Client- Jay Eads  Q : “um, i don’t mean to be rude, but i’ve asked this on other photographers too – how do you deal with an ugly client? others said to find their good side, but what if there’s NO good side:(    A :

Customer Service 101

Being a photographer should be about more than just taking pictures of/ for people. There are so many great photographers near and far, the only thing that truly separates us is our photographic personal style AND HOW WE TREAT PEOPLE !

One of my favorite quotes in the world truly applies to GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE…

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Looong before Photography I ran several retail stores for Express and Ann Taylor. I can truly say that these two companies esteemed customer service very highly! I made it a point to train my managers and asossciates  the same way, with the emphasis on GREAT customer service. Without customers (paying and non -paying alike), we would have NO ONE to service. Make it a point to show your utmost appreciation!

It never really hit me that I would use EVERYTHING I LEARNED about retail in this buisiness, until recently.

I truly believe that any circumstance , situation, frustration etc, can be saved…YOU hold that power. I believe that your attitude dictates the flow of your interactions. By NO MEANS am I saying be a “pushover” or “give away” your services because clients complain, BUT I am saying go above and beyond to let your client know that they are valued and appreciated! In this economy, we are privileged  to be selected to capture the clients special moments. I dont know about you but I am very careful about where I spend my hard earned money and even if its just FIVE DOLLARS , I want to be treated well because I could have chosen somewhere else to spend that five dollars. On the other side of the coin , I will also spend my money somewhere a bit more expensive in the competition if the service is better. Again   “… people will NEVER forget how you  made them feel. 

There are many ways to handle difficult situations and there is SEVERAL ways NOT to.

A  GENUINE and caring  attitude of service will take you many places that your talent alone simply CANT get you to or keep you there! ( Please , never forget that. )

– Qiana Nicole

Welcome Fellow Photographer!

Welcome to Insight and Inspiration for Photographers. I am super excited to be  launching  this blog today.  A simple blog for every photographer.Something I wish I had before, yet glad I could give it to you! Here you will find links to places that inspire and motivate me as a photographer. I found in this business that its sometimes hard to get your questions answered from other photogs as some can be a bit protective or territorial . I’ve also learned a lot and come across some really GREAT resources and Photographers as well and these people are in the business of sharing knowledge (GREAT knowledge might I add) and I wanted to share with YOU the places and people that have helped me along in my journey. This Blog will contain:

  1. Shared Links to places and Photogs that have inspired and encouraged me.
  2. A resource for photography and editing knowledge
  3. Links to some of my favorite places.
  4. How to tips and tricks
  5. Social Media how  to’s …

I  truly hope this blog will be a GREAT resource for you and help you to be the BEST Photographer you can be!

Best Wishes to you ! Qiana Nicole