5 Things I've Learned from Hosting Shoot Outs (and other events!)

August 18, 2016

To celebrate our FIFTH birthday, I am taking a look back.  One of the things I have loved most about running a senior inspirational and educational blog is the ability to host events that help other senior photographers learn and grow in this industry.  One of my favorite events to host is a Shoot Out!

A Shoot Out is a fun way of learning and gaining images for your portfolio.  It is a chance to shoot without the pressure of a paying client which allows attendees to step outside of their comfort zone and try new things.  At a Seniorologie Shoot Out, everything is done for you…you just show up and shoot.  The beauty of that is that you don’t have to find the models, style the clothes, determine a location, hire hair and makeup and more…you just get to show up with your camera and make magic.

A Shoot Out is also a chance to learn.  Being around others, talking to photographers and learning from the hosts is a great way to not only network but learn more about your craft.  Sometimes just watching someone else do something gives you a new perspective and allows you to grow as a photographer.  I have been lucky to team up with some of this industry’s greatest for the past five years ever since Seniorologie’s very first Shoot Out in Vegas in 2012!

So what have I learned along the way…here are my Top Five!!

  1.  Shooting always makes me grow!  The more I shoot the more I grow!  Hosting Shoot Outs allow me to shoot more and shoot with a different creativity than I do with clients.  I feel like shooting just for myself helps me be a better photographer.  I feel that every single time I use my camera is a chance to learn and grow.  So even if you have a million photos in your portfolio, you can always have more!  And more equals better because the more you shoot the better you become.  Shoot Outs have given both myself and the attendees a chance to capture incredible images.
  2. Reigniting My Passion Makes Me Better!  I find that sometimes doing the same thing can be boring.  It becomes more of a job and I forget about the creative aspect to being a photographer.  So by planning and hosting a shoot out, coming up with a concept that allows me to be creative and getting to know other photographers I can break out of the rut and get excited to shoot again!
  3. Friendships are Golden!  At every single Shoot Out I meet new friends!  Some of my best friends in this industry attended my very first senior shoot out in Vegas five years ago!  And I still talk to them today! 🙂  In this business where we mostly work by ourselves, it is so important to have relationships.  Having friends that you can talk to and that get your fears, struggles, triumphs and more is so important to growing your business.  Knowing someone has been through something similar or knowing someone has your back is so helpful in running your own business.  By attending events such as shoot outs, you meet people, connect with them and bond immediately over your shared passion for senior photography.
  4. Exploration is the Key to Creativity!  Traveling is in my soul.  I love exploring new areas of this great country and being able to shoot in these amazing locations really allows me to be creative.  When planning shoot outs, I always look to the location as inspiration.  The location sets the tone of the shoot and helps me plan the perfect concept for that location.  Seeing the world and capturing it through my camera allows me to come back home and use that creativity in my client’s shoots.  I may not be able to offer a desert to my clients because I live in South Carolina but showing them what I can do always gets their attention!  And exploring new locations gives me new ideas to bring home to my clients to create their dream sessions.
  5. Collaboration Inspires Me!  At each Shoot Out, I have always collaborated with other industry greats.  Not because I couldn’t do it on my own, but because it is always better to work together with someone to create something amazing.  I feed off of collaboration.  I love it!  I think working together makes individuals even stronger than they are alone.  A Shoot Out is a great way to team up with someone and work together to give photographers a fun experience.  I have been lucky enough to team up with my friends in this industry and I have loved every minute of working together with some of the greatest!

Check out some of my images from past Shoot Outs as well as the most recent Shoot Out in California!  And be sure to follow Seniorologie for updates on our next Shoot Out which is coming to Marfa, Texas in 2017!  If you would like Seniorologie to come to your neck of the woods, comment below!  I am always looking for new places to host Shoot Outs!!!

xoxo,

Leslie

VEGAS 2012

BKP2Atlanta 2013

Pink Fly Photography-5

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Vegas 2013

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leskerriganluxe16Indianapolis 2014

LHK_8459Atlanta 2016

20100522_8287San Francisco 2016

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