Your moments…they could be snapshots. They should be art.

Posts tagged “Laura Adams

Be Fearless by Michigan Equine Photographer Laura Adams

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your #soul on fire. ~Jennifer Lee

 

Don’t be afraid to kick up your heels and make 2016 the most amazing year of your life!

Be Fearless in Your Pursuit by Michigan Equine Photographer Laura Adams.jpg

A beautiful gray horse canters through a forested pasture during a Michigan snow storm, as captured by professional equine photographer, Laura Adams. You can view more of her work by clicking here.

©All rights reserved, http://www.LauraAdamsPhotographicArt.com, 2015.  This image is protected by US copyright laws.  Images on this blog may NOT be duplicated, saved, captured, screen captured, scanned, printed, right-click saved, modified, altered, used, displayed, entered into competitions, shared on the Internet, shared with third parties, used on web sites, used in publications (whether in print or via the Internet), or otherwise obtained or used WITHOUT the express written permission from the artist and creator, Laura Adams.  Licensing of images for many of these purposes are available through Laura Adams with a contract and for a fee.  Any intent to circumvent the artist’s revenue through use, display, and/or print will result in legal ramifications and violates US Copyright Law. Contact Laura@LauraAdamsPhotographicArt.com for purchase, use, and further details.
 
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When Someone is Going Through a Storm by Michigan Equine and Horse Photographer Laura Adams of Laura Adams Photographic Art

When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words. ~Thema Davis

We’ve been fortunate enough this year to have had only one real snow storm here in southern Michigan so far this winter (if you are one of the few who love that kind of weather – sorry – I can’t stand the stuff!), and I made it a point to go out in it and shoot. As much as I hate the cold and snow, I will admit that it IS beautiful while it’s falling, and there is nothing quite so pretty as horses, covered in snow, with snow flakes tangling in manes and tails as they drop from the sky. It can be downright magical. So, I force myself to go out in it, often using the beasts in my own pasture as my models and muses. Every equine in my own barn is sooo over being photographed that my biggest challenge is keeping them out of my face and far enough away that I can actually photograph them appropriately (well, that and getting to get the shots I want, while staying warm, and doing it all in as little time as possible…)

Happy new year to all of you, and may 2016 hold magical moments!

 

Weathering the Storm by Michigan Equine Photographer Laura Adams of Laura Adams Photographic Art.jpg

A pony weathers a winter snow storm in southern Michigan. By Michigan equine and horse photographer Laura Adams of Laura Adams Photographic Art.

 

©All rights reserved, http://www.LauraAdamsPhotographicArt.com, 2015.  This image is protected by US copyright laws.  Images on this blog may NOT be duplicated, saved, captured, screen captured, scanned, printed, right-click saved, modified, altered, used, displayed, entered into competitions, shared on the Internet, shared with third parties, used on web sites, used in publications (whether in print or via the Internet), or otherwise obtained or used WITHOUT the express written permission from the artist and creator, Laura Adams.  Licensing of images for many of these purposes are available through Laura Adams with a contract and for a fee.  Any intent to circumvent the artist’s revenue through use, display, and/or print will result in legal ramifications and violates US Copyright Law. Contact Laura@LauraAdamsPhotographicArt.com for purchase, use, and further details.

Summer Horse Photography by Michigan Professional Equine Photographer Laura Adams

Ahhh, it’s that time again.  Time when we can go outside in just a t-shirt and enjoy warm breezes, blowing manes, and the sweet scent of carrot breath.  It’s also the busiest time of year for me as an equine photographer.  This is when everyone wants sessions of and with their horses – the ponies have (finally!) shed their wooly winter coats in favor of a slick, glossy ones, owners keep them groomed to perfection since it’s also show season, and we can move around without contending with layers of clothing and feet of snow.  It also brings our local, county, and state fairs, which mean opportunities to shoot horses engaged in things I don’t normally get to enjoy.

 

These images were taken during a driving class.  I initially went to take images a friend’s Percherons who were in classes with these Belgians and other draft breeds, and I had a lot of fun admiring the athleticism of these gentle draft giants.  It’s easy for me to feel like a 17 hand saddle horse is big, since I’m around 14-16 hand horses all of the time, but these horses were well into 18 hands and taller – WOW!  That just seems huge, and forget about standing next to one, they definitely made me look tiny.  I don’t mind large horses, but I think I’d have to build a walk-way system in my barn just for general grooming and handling if the draft bug ever bit me!

 

As my calendar fills up during the summer with horse sessions, family photos, and graduation pictures for Class of 2015 high school seniors, I try to remind myself to schedule some time off to just do what I love for the sake of exposing my skills and mind to new environments.  Fairs, horse shows, and clinics are the perfect place to do that, so I’m fitting in as many as possible!

 

Enjoy the rest of our spring, friends…

Driving Drafts by Michigan Professional Equine Photographer Laura Adams

Belgians-at-the-County-Fair-by-Michigan-Professional-Equine-Photographer-Laura-Adams


One for My Fellow Photographers, Four Ways to Get Prospects Returning Your Calls, by Guest Blogger Lana Adams, GCA,CSA

I love to share things with my fellow photographers, and this is a gem!  So many people enter into our business, barely know how to use a camera, and have no business or sales experience.  It’s kind of a disaster.  That is why 80% of photographers are out of business within just a few years (!), and why people are able to find “fauxtographers” out there willing to do a $50 photo shoot that includes a CD (Dear Clients: I do not offer that service.  I have a degree in visual arts, and have invested significant amounts of time, resources, and finances to provide you with amazing photography, art, and products that you will not find anywhere else.  There is a lot of value in that, and I’m priced accordingly.  That doesn’t usually appeal to bargain shoppers, but it does appeal to people who are looking for phenomenal images of their moments and loved ones!)  So, when I first read this article I felt the need to share it with my colleagues – so many people just don’t follow up – and when we fail to do that, someone else gets the job.  Don’t let that happen.  This is brought to you by guest blogger (and my doppleganger womb-mate) Lana Adams, who specializes in motivating people to find and follow their sales leads, create sales opportunities, identify target markets, and increase sales and productivity.  You can find Lana on LinkedIn (http://linkd.in/1h1jv1k) – be sure to check out her other articles on sales tips, techniques, and info, and follow her on Twitter (@LanaA001).

 

 

FOUR WAYS TO GET PROSPECTS RETURNING YOUR CALLS

By Guest Blogger, Lana Adams, GCA,CSA

 

With as many as 50 percent of all sales going to the first salesperson to reach the customer, it’s not only vital that we reply to prospective customers quickly but when we do, we must have a message and strategy in place that compels them to respond. As salespeople, it’s easy for us to blame the customer when they fail to respond to our follow-up attempts or stop returning our calls. “They’re busy”, “They weren’t that interested, anyway”. We’ve all heard the fabricated excuses designed to blame the customer for our failure: as sales professionals, we failed to sound different – be different – think differently – than our competitors’ sales force.

Here are four simple steps to create voicemail and email messages that customers can’t help but respond to:

  1. Think like a customer. What would get you to pick up the phone? Here’s a hint: it’s not the standard and boring “Hi it’s Lana with ABC Company and I’m calling to follow-up with you on your product inquiry. My number is 555-1212.” Yawn. They just got that very same voicemail message from three of your competitors. Your message needs to sound different. It needs to sound energetic and contagiously enthusiastic. “Hi Ms. Johnson. This is Lana with ABC Company and I’d love to learn more about your storage needs and whether our unique and exciting solutions might be the answer you’re looking for. My direct line is 555-1212.” Practice by leaving messages for yourself. Do you sound energetic? Is your enthusiasm for your product contagious? If not, keep practicing until you convince yourself.
  2. Give your prospective customer a reason to speak with you personally. If you tell them everything they need to know (pricing, availability, benefits) in your message, congratulations! You’ve just eliminated their need to speak with you. Instead, dangle a proverbial carrot and pique their curiosity so they’ll want to learn more. Share something of value, something relevant, something interesting — but don’t tell them what they want most, which is likely to be pricing. “Good morning, Ms. Johnson. This is Lana with ABC Company and our storage solutions help homeowners more than triple their storage capacity. I’m excited to tell you how.”
  3. Your message must be brief. Challenge yourself to use no more than three sentences and never, ever, give away your pricing, availability, or other pertinent details in a voicemail or email. If you’re leaving a voicemail message, do so in an environment with few distractions to avoid any hesitations, stammering, or breaks.
  4. Don’t give anything away. Only rookies start offering discounts right away. You don’t know that the customer has a price objection and the customer may not yet know or understand your value proposition. Discounts mean lower profits and lower profits mean less money for everyone. Using a discount to entice a prospect into calling you promises to turn your next conversation into price haggling.

Start building your own library of messages to use with customers based on your pipeline stage and where you’re at in the sales process. Have a minimum of three compelling messages that can be used for each stage and continually build your collection to keep the ones that work best and toss the ones that didn’t seem effective.

Improving the caliber of your messages not only helps you increase the number of customers you’re able to touch but also decreases the chances your prospects will fall off the radar or into your competitors’ hands.

 


“I’m Ready For My Close Up!!!” How to Introduce Light Modifiers to Your Equine Sessions | By Michigan Equine Photographer Laura Adams

Horses have been a major part of my life for longer than some of you have been alive, and I’ve been obsessed with photographing them (and everything else) since I was a child.  So as a photographer combining the two, I have a lot of experience introducing my four-legged friends to things that may otherwise seem scary.  In fact, it’s often more difficult for me to convince horse owners that their horse(s) will probably be pretty curious about some of the things I work with than it is to convince their horses to be curious about them.  One of the tools I use most often are reflectors, and I have them in various sizes from handheld to full equine body size.  They are usually on spring-form frames that pop open, bend, and twist in a variety of ways, and they do move in the wind.  Sure, in the right circumstances they really could be scary to a horse, and while I wouldn’t really want to come across one in the woods on the back of my horse, from the ground, horses seem to be really, REALLY interested in them.  So interested, in fact, that there are some lip marks and horse schmooze on several of them because some ponies just can’t not touch them.

 

Take this Standardbred mare, for instance – she was so interested in this reflector that she kept gravitating towards it and was compelled to touch it.  She walked up to it several times, sniffed it, pushed it, touched it – she couldn’t stay away, and I’m pretty sure if we’d have handed her the handled she just might have carried it around for us.

How to Introduce Light Modifiers to Your Equine Sessions | A tutorial on how to add lighting to your equine horse photography sessions by Michigan professional equine photographer Laura Adams of Laura Adams Photographic Art based out of the Ann Arbor Washtenaw County area.

How to Introduce Light Modifiers to Your Equine Sessions | A tutorial on how to add lighting to your equine horse photography sessions by Michigan professional equine photographer Laura Adams of Laura Adams Photographic Art based out of the Ann Arbor Washtenaw County area.

So, how do you  get a horse to accept such scary lighting aids?

 

It’s actually pretty simple.  I always start with it away from the horse.  If you snap one of these babies open unexpectedly next to a horse, you WILL be chasing it into the next county.  You’ll only make that mistake once (I promise), and good luck getting it close enough to the horse to be useful.  Ever.  So open it far enough away that the horse doesn’t perceive it as an eminent danger.

 

Open it in an area where the horse isn’t confined with it.  If the horse feels confined or threatened, there goes your session.  Everyone, handlers, photographer, lighting assistant(s) need to be calm and approach this scenario as if it’s perfectly normal for people to walk around with reflectors, soft boxes, strobe equipment (whatever).  If the handlers are nervous or apprehensive, the horse will pick up on it.

 

Take your time and make the introduction the one part of your work that isn’t on a time frame.  An extra five or ten minutes right here will make or break your session.  Lighting your images takes them to a completely different level, so this is a really important step for creating amazing images.  Relax and take your time here!

 

If the horse is interested in the equipment, GREAT!  Let the horse look at it.  If the horse wants to step closer, allow it.  If the horse wants to touch it, feel it, sniff it – allow it – so long as the horse isn’t fearful of it and it doesn’t pose a danger, let them investigate.  I’ve had this take less than ten seconds, and as long as five minutes, and to date, I’ve not had a horse that’s minded any of it.  The secret sauce is in the introduction!  If the horse is fearful, go back to the first step and start over.

 

If you’re using any kind of studio lighting equipment, always, always, ALWAYS sandbag everything.  You don’t want to ruin your shoot by a soft box being bumped and turning into a kite with a little bit of wind (and your expensive light attached).  Have a large enough area to comfortably work in and make certain your set has obvious and expansive enter and exit areas.  A horse isn’t likely to try to run over top of you or your equipment, but they will knock over anything in their way if they’re convinced something is going to “get” them.  Do not let that happen.  Ever.

 

Adding light to your sessions will take your photography to an entirely different level.  Practice with your own horses first to find your own way to add these tools into your work comfortably.  Having good, solid horse-handling skills is critical if you’re photographing horses, and a working knowledge of what makes them tick, their anatomy, and how to light them to flatter their beauty are essential to the job.  Good luck!!!

 


Champ | By Michigan Professional Equine Photographer Laura Adams

It was a brisk fall evening and the sun was just getting ready to go down,  We’d planned our shoot to take advantage of the warm sunset light and soft color palette of this marshy area, and I brought my studio lighting along so we could *really* capture the unusual color of this gelding while taking advantage of the beauty of the environment we were in.

 

One of the joys of being an equine photographer and working with horses is that I am lucky enough to have access to a pretty vast clientele that own everything from backyard companions, trail horses, and pleasure horses to competitive equine athletes.  Champ is a nicely gaited trail and pleasure horse, with a color we don’t get to see every day, and combined with the background we were working with, I just fell in love with this image of him.

 

This is but a small example of some of the images I capture during my equine sessions, and is a fantastic example of an image that deserves to be printed L-A-R-G-E on museum-quality canvas and be a predominant piece of art on a highly visible wall or over a fireplace.  There are usually so many shots of this caliber to choose from that it’s often hard to pick which one to invest in – of course, my answer is always ALL of them!

 

Go out and hug your horses today, and may everyone be enjoying the beautiful weather we’re having now that our horribly long winter is over with!

Champ, a gorgeous gaited horse with an unusual color, taken by Michigan professional Equine Photographer Laura Adams of Laura Adams Photographic Art based out of south east Michigan.

Champ, a gorgeous gaited horse with an unusual color, taken by Michigan professional Equine Photographer Laura Adams of Laura Adams Photographic Art based out of south east Michigan.

©All rights reserved.  Laura Adams and Laura Adams Photographic Art, 2014.  Images and text on this site may NOT be duplicated, saved, scanned, screen captured, used, altered, posted, modified, or otherwise captured or used in any manner without express written permission from Laura Adams.


Wi-Fly? by Michigan Equine Photographer Laura Adams

God in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.
~Ogden Nash, “The Fly”


It was an equine sales ad session and our conformation, head, and under saddle shots went perfectly.  All we had left to do were get some images of this cute gelding at liberty.  We took this horse out to an arena to photograph him, and this one lone fly – the nemesis of every horse – showed up on-set to torture him.  As I photographed him, the fly kept dive-bombing my equine model, and after a few moments, you could tell that this poor horse was getting really anxious about the fly.  A necessary tool for every equine photographer during spring, summer, and fall, is fly spray, but despite being armed with it AND using it generously, we simply could not deter this pesky fly from his target.  (We switched locations and lost the fly – talk about persistence, though!)

 

Imagine my surprise when I started processing images from this session to see that I’d captured not just the offender, but the look of complete irritation on this horse’s face as it was buzzing about!  While I’d like to tell you that it was my intention to photograph the exchange, it would be an outright lie – it was a lucky shot that is now filed in my collection of funny equine photographs.

Cute horse being bothered by one lone fly, by Michigan professional equine photographer Laura Adams.

Cute horse being bothered by one lone fly, by Michigan professional equine photographer Laura Adams.

 

©All rights reserved.  Laura Adams and Laura Adams Photographic Art, 2014.  Images and text on this site may NOT be duplicated, saved, scanned, screen captured, used, altered, posted, modified, or otherwise captured or used in any manner without express written permission from Laura Adams.  (You may use the FB share feature OR pin this on Pinterest using the button below!)