what's in my bag: katrina


1. Deodorant, because you never know. 2. Rode SmartLav+, so I can get good audio on the go. 3. I LOVE notebooks. This one is from Thailand and about 15 years old. 4. Two (?) sets of earbuds so I can listen to depressing hipster music without bothering Kari. 5. Necessary! My hands get SO cold. Not pictured: my water bottle, phone and the pile of receipts/paper scraps/gum wrappers that are usually swimming around in the bottom of my bag.

Besides my power cord, I can’t live without a quality pen nearby at all times. I like UniBall and InkJoy. And a good lipstick. Honestly, I’m surprised there’s only one in there. It makes me feel put together, even when my life totally isn’t.

I’m notorious for not using a purse/bag at all. I’ll stuff my phone in my pocket and then juggle a billion things in my hands. It drives Kari nuts. But I need to get better at it, because I’m often working from a coffee shop or library, and my bag is my office.

Often, my bag is as eclectic as my life. Sometimes there’ll be a diaper in there, or a library book, or just this morning, a fresh banana muffin. I rarely have snacks in there though, which is something that needs to change!

3 Tips to Making Your Clients Feel Comfortable in Front of the Camera

We've all been there, the location has been picked, the camera battery is charged, the lighting is superb, the stars have all aligned for the perfect shoot and then, the client gets in front of the camera and freezes up. Their smiles are unnatural. All their limbs protrude in awkward and uncomfortable ways. And now the hardest part of your job is upon you, to make them relax and get comfortable so you can get the money shot.

There are a lot of reasons why people get uncomfortable in front of the camera. They range from things like feeling self conscious about their weight or that blemish on their forehead to never having been part of a professional shoot and not knowing how to pose. While not every client will feel 100% comfortable by the end of your shoot, there are a few things you can do to put them more at ease thus making it possible to get those perfect shots.

1. Keep them engaged in conversation.

Before the shoot get to know them a little bit. Ask them questions about themselves and find out more of who they are and what they like to do. Tell them more about who you are and what makes you tick. Find places of commonality and bond over them. Talk about everything except the shoot. This will help shake off the nerves they undoubtedly came with. Continue the conversation throughout the shoot. If they are thinking about their favorite Super Bowl commercial they won't be so focused on feeling uncomfortable. 

2. Make sure to keep them moving.

Giving your clients something to do will take their focus off the camera and may even help them forget you are there for a moment, which gives you the opportunity to capture natural smiles and interactions. Playing on the swings, straightening a suit jacket, or giving dad a high five will all help bring natural movement into your photos and can relax your client.  It's also a good idea to keep the shoot moving by not spending too long in one location. This doesn't mean you have to drive all the way across town, simply walking to a new area of the park or around the side of the building changes things up. 

3. Give them a quick posing "tutorial" before you get started and then continue to guide them throughout the session.

People become really self conscious when it comes to things like what to do with their hands or their feet. Taking a couple minutes before you get started to show them the basics of posing can be really helpful. While you're practicing, take a couple shots to show them how great they look. As you get started, continue to guide them by telling them where to place their hands, how to position their feet, and where to look. It can also be helpful to actually demonstrate the pose for them if they are having difficulty with it. 


Little things like the three listed above go a long way in helping you to capture that perfect shot. 

House Rules

Every start-up has to navigate how they are going to approach their work. Who will take the lead on certain projects? What hours do they work? Is wearing pajamas okay?

Over the last year, we’ve had to ask ourselves these same questions. Here’s a couple of our own “house rules”:

  1. Weekend Cut-Off - We do our very best to finish up our work by Friday so that weekends are “our” time. We’re sign off our email and social media, so that when we come back on Monday, we’re refreshed and ready to tackle our work with renewed vigor.

  2. Happy Hour can’t start til 3 pm on Friday. (For real though, sometimes it’s a struggle.)

  3. We were friends first and business partners second. So, if we’re hanging out as friends, we don’t talk shop. Sure, we might need to discuss our work schedule for a minute or two, but intentionally focusing on our friendship helps us maintain a balanced relationship.

  4. Always stop for lunch. We like to take a break everyday to step away from the computers, reset the day, touch base with each other, and if we’re being totally honest, watch an episode or two of New Girl.

  5. We understand that we always want the best for and from each other. Whatever the current project may be, we’ll routinely give positive feedback. It’s not about criticism, but rather about asking further questions and pushing each other create our best work.

What should we add to our list?

And for the record, we’ve nixed pajamas as appropriate work attire.