Learn 5 Ways To Deal With Projects For Friends And Family

How often do you get hit with requests to help friends and family with projects? Do you have a lot of people asking you for your help? Do they ask you to be their engagement & wedding photographer for free? It’s good to have a great social web to be a part of, because it’s companionship that often makes life worth living. Spending time around other people is not only healthy, but rewarding, enriching, and usually just fun. It’s also good to have such a safety net around you should you ever find yourself in a time of need. However, the constant barrage of requests for helping those around you with their projects can wear you down, especially if you say ‘yes’ to everything.

It’s even worse if you just feel like you’re less than worthy if you don’t help others, which means you might find yourself volunteering needlessly in order to look and feel better. Helping others is always a good thing, but you also need to balance or at least juggle your priorities and responsibilities while keeping enough time for yourself to unwind and relax. Keep reading to learn 5 ways you can deal with project requests for family and friends:

1) Prioritize The Relationships: Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you have a weekend where a friend asks you to help him work on his car, but you also know you need to be putting together furniture for your kid’s bedroom, then your kids should always come first. A real friend will understand that family comes first, especially if you’re a parent.

2) Know What’s In Your Wheelhouse: Is someone reaching out to you for help because they genuinely need another pair of hands? Or is it because they actually don’t know what they’re doing? It’s fine to help others with skills you might have that they don’t, but make sure you’re not getting dumped on. Also, if you’re really that good at something, maybe you should be charging money for it as a side income. If you’re really good at anything, it’s not financially smart to do it for free.

3) Find Other Ways To Support Someone: You can often still help someone without saying a direct ‘yes’ to what they’re specifically asking. Has a friend asked you to come to help them pack up their house and move? Maybe you can have lunch delivered to them while they work. Maybe that friend wanting help on his car can come over and help you with the kid’s furniture before you go work on his car.

4) Block Out Time For You: How much time you need for you is something you need to discover for yourself, but once you figure it out, stick with it as consistently as you can. You can’t help anyone if you’ve got nothing left to give.

5) Say No: Sometimes, you just need to say no. The further out you get in your social circle, the more likely it is that you should probably decline a request from someone for help with whatever project that they have in mind. Also, consider each project. Some are honestly more important than others.

Now that you’ve gone through reading all of this, you’ve learned 5 ways you can deal with projects for friends and family. It’s always good to support those you love (or just like), because a healthy relationship is often a two-way street that works wonder for both participants. Having said that, you might not expect much quick return from something like raising kids. In any event, should ever feel overwhelmed by all that you’re asked or expected to do for others, uses these 5 ways of managing it all.

6 Tips to Speed Up Slow Clients

As you work with clients, it’s easy to become frustrated by delays. Whether it’s wanting to change one small detail at a time, refusing to provide the information that you need in order to proceed, or micromanaging you until you want to scream, some clients are full of delays.

Let’s examine some tips for speeding up slow clients:

Show Your Enthusiasm for the Project

As you interact with your client, be sure to show your enthusiasm for their project. For each client, their specific project is their “baby”, and it means the world to them. This means that it’s incredibly important to them that you be enthusiastic about the work. If you let your enthusiasm shine through, it’ll go quite far towards helping them to speed up the turnaround on their parts of the project.

Opt for Over Communication

Whenever possible, opt for over communicating with slow clients, so that they can feel confident through each step of the project. If anxiety is slowing down their end of the project, this will help them to feel more confident about what is going on, so that they can relax and provide you with the information that you need in order to continue in a timely manner.

Learn more about over communication from this employee engagement platform.

Define Expectations

Take the time to set up expectations at the beginning of a project for who will be doing what, who will provide what, and what you need from the client in order to produce deliverables by specific milestones. Be sure that they understand that if they do not provide you with the information or files that you need by the dates listed in the contract, it may delay the entire project. You may choose to remind them as you approach important dates, as well, depending on the relationship that you have with the client. However, keep in mind that it’s not your job to babysit problem clients, and if this continues to be an issue you may want to consider passing on future work.

Show Your Excitement

As you proceed with the client’s project, be sure to demonstrate your excitement to them. Show them what their web page will look like, how their product can be used, or what the colorways may look like. This will help ensure that they can see how pleased you are to be working with them, and encourage them to provide you with the information that you need in a timely manner.

Clarify Any Issues Immediately

If there’s any confusion with the project, or if the client seems to be delaying, it’s wise to take the time to talk to them and try to figure out what the problem is. This may help stop the delays so that you can get back on schedule. If you need input or feedback from the client and it isn’t being provided, schedule a meeting to clarify the way that these issues are impacting the delivery date, as well as to discuss any confusion.

Avoid Too Many Options

As you provide the client with information about the project, avoid giving them too many options to choose from. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by font, color, and word choices and get bogged down in detail. Instead, provide a few options to choose from, then trust that the client has chosen you to create a project that they want. Micromanaging won’t help either one of you to achieve this goal.

Use these easy business tips to help speed up slow clients, so that everyone gets what they want and the project is completed on schedule. After all, it’s no fun to spend your entire day frustrated by client hold ups and delays.

7 Tips For Taking The Perfect Self-Portrait

A self-portrait is the perfect creative medium that lets you be yourself and show the world what you’re really like. Of course, as you’ll have to photograph yourself, getting it just right is a bit of a hassle. Fortunately, thousands of seasoned photographers do this every year, and even many novice photographers are able to achieve great results with just a bit of ingenuity. Here are seven tips you can try to achieve the desired results:

1. Just Relax

No one want to see a self-portrait where the subject was fidgety and much too self-conscious. Your portrait should represent you as you are right now. That means you need to feel relaxed and certain that the way you’re posing represents the best part of you. The easiest way to do this is to imagine you’re taking this photo for a loved one or your close friend. This often helps soften your expression and makes you look more approachable.

2. Do Use A Timer And A Tripod

There’s nothing worse than putting a lot of effort into your self-portrait only to discover that the shots are out of focus or blurry. Use a tripod if possible as it will ensure a steady shot when the time comes. It also helps to set your camera to a timer and burst mode as it will take a variety of shots that you can choose from when you’re finished.

3. Play With Your Lighting

Lighting plays an integral part in creating a photo that’s not only well focused but highlights the subject matter in a pleasing manner. Play around with your lighting and see which one flatters your body the most. Some people take a fun approach to self-portraits and use a flashlight to highlight their facial features in the dark.

4. Know Your Expressions

It’s hard to shoot yourself while you’re trying to focus on creating the perfect facial expression. Fortunately, there’s a very simple way that you can address this problem. Just place a mirror behind your camera and take a look at your pose and your expressions. You can use this to also tweak your pose.

5. Do Something Natural

There’s nothing stranger than a self-portrait with someone looking straight ahead without any signs of enjoyment. Shoot yourself doing something you love such as gardening, playing an instrument or reading a book.

6. Get Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

It is more than possible to shoot a self-portrait that isn’t just representative of you as a person, but is also entertaining and interesting. Some people find themselves rather camera shy, in which case wearing a costume, letting the landscape do the talking or photographing your shadow is a great way to get the creativity out. However, everyone agrees that distracting yourself is the best way to get the shot that really shows the inner you.

7. Stay Away From Perfection

In the age of social media, we all fear judgment. In fact, any personal photo we take is often overdone as we think about what others would say if they saw it. When taking your self-portrait, ignore what you think is the norm and shun perfection. Your portrait should be reasonably balanced, but your expressions, outfits and poses should have your trademark personality.

A creative self-portrait is easier said than done. Many people don’t relax and feel like they’re being judged even when they’re alone in a room. In the age of social media, you have to release built up tension and focus on your inner self. By choosing to shoot yourself doing something you love and wearing an outfit you’re comfortable in, you’ll finally have an honest representation of yourself.

7 Common Portraiture Mistakes To Avoid

Photographers often find that creating portraits is the hardest task for a number of reasons. Whether you’re planning your own self-portrait or you’re a budding photographer, avoiding the common mistakes of the novice photographer is as simple as following the guidelines below.

1. Poor Composition Within The Background

The most common mistake any photographer makes is a poor photo composition. Oftentimes, there’s a lot of blank space above the subject’s head. This is not only distracting, but highly unprofessional. It’s easy enough to remedy this problem by cropping out the space above the subject’s head.

2. A Background That’s Too Distracting

When a person is doing something in your photo, having too much of the background in focus takes the focal point away from the photographed subject. An easy way to fix this problem is by simply paying attention to the way the person is positioned. A longer lens may also help you avoid this problem as it eliminates the amount of background visible in the final image.

3. Not Enough Focus In The Background

It may have been just stated that having too much of a background is often seen as a distraction, but having too much of the background blurred out may pose a similar problem. Don’t open your aperture to its widest setting! Maintain enough focus so your subject is still clearly visible and your background isn’t too distracting. Don’t forget that oftentimes, a blurry background may also mean a blurry subject in the foreground!

4. Avoid Eyes That Are Out Of Focus

Portraiture really requires you as a photographer to capture the essence of your subject. The person in the photo should have the right facial expressions when captured on camera, but eyes are perhaps the hardest to really photograph. Make sure to always focus on the eyes of your subject.

What happens if only one eye is visible or not facing your camera directly? Make sure to focus on the one eye that faces your camera closest.

5. Shutter Speed Not Fast Enough

If your shutter speed is much too slow, sudden movement even in the slightest can cause a seriously blurry image. Usually, it is recommended to use 1/250th of a second to remedy the potential for any movement. Any slower than the mentioned speed will results in serious problems attempting the portraiture.

6. Not Enough Lighting

Not enough lighting can make your subject vulnerable to poor exposure on camera. Though most modern cameras are equipped with the ability to take decent photos in the dark, it’s not something you should use for a portrait photograph. You want the right mood lighting to highlight the person in your photos.High contrast or hard lighting is something you should avoid at all costs in this type of photography as you want soft romantic lines so-to speak. Of course, opting for light that’s much too soft will also result in a less-than-dramatic portrait.

7. Not Taking Plenty Of Photos

When it comes to editing the images that you’ve captured, you’ll feel frustrated when you don’t have enough photos too choose from. Make sure you capture plenty of material on camera and have a wide range of expressions that you can select. It’s best to create a wide variety of different images as you never know what will work the best. Plus, if you’re getting paid to photograph a portrait, it will please your client to have options.

There are plenty of novice mistakes to make with portrait photography. One may think that capturing a person sitting reasonably still is all it takes, but portraiture goes beyond that. You need the right skills to capture the poetry behind the lens!