Image @ gaiamathieu

A few finds from the good ol' internet as we ease our way into the weekend.

1. Halloween Costumes for Designers - the Notorious RGB costume is calling our names!

2. Messy Desk, Don't Care - Turns out messy spaces DO bring out the creative best in us.

3. 10 Perspectives To Get You Moving Creatively - love #8.

4. Perry Smith shares how brokenness made him a better photographer in this Creative Mornings talk. 

5. If you're local: A Mpls Food Truck Finder so you can join us on our quest for the perfect #fallfridayfoodtruck

6. Not too late to join the month-long drawing challenge that is Inktober. (Or to creep on the hashtags like we are: #inktober #inktober2016)

Happy weekending!

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. 

In Our (Virtual) Backpacks

It’s been a long time since we were filling our Lisa Frank backpacks with glitter crayons and construction paper in preparation for going back to school. Things have changed a bit since then, but one thing still remains - we love to learn! We’re doing less long division now, and more reading, and these are just a few of the books we’re dying to read. 

Creative Confidence - David & Tom Kelley

The Kelley brothers combine their vast knowledge in innovation, design, and creativity to help readers tap into their max potential, whether they work in a “creative” field or not. We’ll be taking notes on what they have to say about productivity and creative problem solving.

Creativity, Inc. - Ed Catmull

Ok, we’re really excited to read this one. Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, tackles the topics of originality, communication, creative culture and taking risks within the setting of one of the best animation studios in the world. 

The Art of Non-Conformity - Chris Guillebeau

This book has been out for a while, but is still on our “to-read” pile. Chris writes about embracing a counter-cultural life, whether in work, travel, or goal-setting. Unsatisfied with a status quo life, he sought a change and hopes you’ll follow. 

The Fringe Hours - Jessica Turner

We’re all looking for more hours in the day - for work, for friends, for creative projects. In her book, Jessica shares how she made the most of the “fringe hours” in her own life to pursue the things she was truly passionate about (like writing her book!). 

Personality Not Included - Rohit Bhargava

We love the brands we do because of their unique voice. Not only is this book a good reminder for us to stay true to our own fun and quirky personality, but also a helpful reminder when working with clients who are still trying to capture that voice.

Worth Every Penny - Erin Verbeck

This book gets into the nitty-gritty of pricing your work well, building lasting relationships with clients and continuously putting out top-notch work. A must for any small business!

There’s our summer reading list. How about you? Any great career/creative work book recommendations?

5 Things We're Looking Forward To In 2016

We may be nearing mid-January, but it’s never too late to spend some time thinking about goals and dreams for the year ahead. Here’s our (nonexhaustive) list of things we’re looking forward to in 2016.

  1. We’re transitioning into the next phase of our business here at Tandem. 2015 was the year we finally took our ideas, put them together and started something we’d been dreaming about for years. Moving ahead, we continue digging into our work, and anticipate 2016 as a year of growth and development. We can’t wait to see where we end up!

  2. A goal of ours from the get-go has been to build a creative community with other artists and entrepreneurs. We’ve already met some amazing people and can’t wait to meet even more. This year we’re looking forward to many collaborations (and happy hours) with other designers, musicians, photographers and more. Hit us up if you want to swap ideas!

  3. Tandem would not be in business if we weren’t working with clients. Each project we take on is an opportunity to grow our skills and become better at the work we do. We can’t wait to get the creative juices flowing this year and get innovative with the way we help share the stories of our clients.

  4. A technical project we’re looking forward to this year is expanding our skills in After Effects. We’ve seen amazing motion graphics and effects created from this program, and want to incorporate more of that into our work. Let us know if you have any resources we should check out.

  5. 2016 is the year we’re going to rock cat eyes and red lipstick. Seriously! Adele has inspired us to step up our game and why not make that a company goal?