Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Blog

Ok, so you are ready to start a blog! How awesome is that! I am so dang happy for you, but I do want to give you a few things that you need to know before actually starting the blog. Things that I wish I knew before I started mine :)

There are many things that absolutely no one talks about. Everyone likes to keep things all peachy and like ‘oh its a dream’, ‘i make all this money’, ‘im living my best life’ , ‘its so easy’, ‘i only work when i want to’…. blah blah blah

I am just going to say all those are true to an extent. People like to take things to an extreme. They want everything to look so good. You know, the grass is always greener on the other side, but sometimes things can suck. Sometimes as a Creative or as an Entrepreneur you can get frustrated, you can be jealous , you can be discouraged, you can get let down, but don’t worry. That happens to EVERYONE! Even the ones that want to claim overnight success….

Don’t get me wrong, running your own business is freaking awesome. Having a blog and helping others is awesome too! There are a ton of awesome things as a blogger, I just wish people would be more upfront about the bad things. You see, I am a bad things kinda girl. I want to know all the negatives to something. This way, I can decide if I want to attempt it or not :) I can make an informed decision rather than get let down because my expectations were so dang high.

So with all that said, everyone can start a blog. Everyone has the potential to make it an amazing business. Everyone has the potential to make money, but here is what people do not warn you about:

Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Blog

Things you need to know before starting a blog by Bessie Young Photography - Tips for Entrepreneur.jpg

1.You are not going to get rich quick:

I have subscribed to alot of newsletters about being a photographer, a creative, and entrepreneur. I get so many emails saying things like ‘I made $200k in one month off of one blog’

Ugh! Those emails frustrate me. I am not going to lie. There is a message behind those emails saying that you can get rich quick. That you should be able to create 1 blog post and BOOM success.

Well, my friend, that is just not the case. I am sorry. I wish it was, but honestly, if it was, I would probably have a big house and not be sitting in a crap apartment.

You are not going to earn $10k your first month of blogging. Hell, you probably won’t even earn that in your first year of blogging.

2. The learning struggle is REAL!

There is a huge freaking learning curve when it comes to being a small business. There is that same learning curve with just blogging. You cannot accomplish anything if you are not willing to learn. You need to dig dig dig and learn all you can. As soon as you feel like you know it, you probably need to learn more.

It will be overwhelming and you will want to quit. You won’t see any success and it is incredibly discouraging, but do not give up.

Explore and try new things. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself and your business.

3. Nothing Ever Happens Overnight

This relates to my get rich quick scheme.

You most likely won’t get 100,000 subscribers by offering a cheat sheet. You probably won’t get 100,000 subscribers in your first year. Building a brand, building a business, and building a blog is going to take alot of your time.

4. It takes alot of your time and effort:

I have heard many people say that they schedule their blogs out for the entire year in 1 or 2 weeks. This makes it sound like they only work 2 weeks out of the year… hmm…. wouldn’t that be sweet? Well, I am just going to say that this entire process is going to take alot of work. Most of my blogs take me hours to create. I’m serious. They take me hours. This blog in itself has taken me 2 hours already and I'm not even finished! CARAZY.

Now some people can write quicker that others. I am not the fastest writer there ever was, but I am not slow either. I like to create good content. Plus adding images to your blog takes quite a bit of time as well.

Bonus Tip! You will need to know how to use Photoshop Elements, or some sort of tool to add words to your images.

5. There are a lot of ups and downs…. a lot of downs…

Once you start making money your income is going to fluctuate. You are going to make money one month and none the next. You need to prepare for that. It is ok. Don’t worry, but just know that it will happen.

6. You will compare yourself to other people and you will feel really bad about where you are in your journey

We are the worst when it comes to comparing ourselves to others. Especially now with social media. We are constantly scrolling looking at everyone else’s awesomeness, everyone else’s success… guess what…

What you see are peoples highlight reels. You never see their behind the scenes. You never see them on the floor crying, you never see them with their mascara smeared and them sitting with a big ole tub of ice cream on the couch, you never see them getting ready to throw in the towel. You only see their highlights, their successes, and what they are proud of.

This is going to be hard and this is probably one of the hardest things, but try your damdest to put your blinders on and focus on where you are going. Try to not compare yourselves to others because it will just make you feel bad and it will make you want to quit.

Now with all that being said, blogging is pretty darn awesome. It gives you huge flexibility with your lifestyle. It can be a full time job, a side hustle, and really whatever you want to make it!

How to Start a Blog and Make Money for Beginners by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

I just wanted to give you some truth so you know what you are getting yourself into.

If you are interested in blogging make sure to check out my ‘ How to Start a Blog and Make Money ‘ post. It will help you get everything in line to make sure you are successful.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog! If you did, leave me a comment below, or even better, share it with your friends!

Wishing you the absolute best!

Bessie

Do You Need a UV Filter for Your Lens

This question has been asked over and over again so I figured it would be a perfect post! Do you need, or should you use, a UV filter on your lens?

This is a very controversial question and one that is mainly based on an opinion. Many photographers will leave the filter on at all times where others do not. Is one right? Well, I think you should decide for yourself.

Before we get into it lets get some basics:

Are you learning Photography? Check out the freebie page to get you started! I have created a bunch of awesome freebies to help you out :)

What is a UV filter?

A UV filter is a glass filter, just like most others, that will attach to your lens. It is meant to block ultra violet light rays. It also removes the blue cast from images taken during a very bright day, or bright sunny conditions.

Do You Need a UV Filter for Your Lens?

Lets bring up the most common arguments, pros vs. cons

Pros for using UV filters all the time:

  • The UV filter provides protection for the lens from damage

    Oh my gosh there is only 1 thing worse than dropping your camera…. picking it up and seeing your lens shattered. I haven’t had this happen to me, thank the lord, however, I have heard horror stories. I have also heard amazing stories as to how the UV filter saved the lens. Now, in my opinion, that is a pretty good investment. I would rather lose a $100 UV filter than lose a $2k lens.

    To play the devils advocate though, if you drop your lens to where your UV filter shatters, wouldn’t that also ruin your lens internally due to the impact?

  • The UV filter keeps my lens clean. No dust, dirt, scratches, finger smudges, and so forth

    This is true too. The UV filter is an extra layer of glass; therefore, it will keep all the dust and grime off of your lens glass. It is also a flat piece of glass which is much easier to clean when needed.

    If the filter does get scratched then it is much nicer to have to buy a $100 filter rather than a $2k lens.

Cons for using UV filters all the time:

  • The filter causes a loss of image quality

    This is true in theory. Yes adding glass to glass can reduce the image quality. But the loss is going to be so small in practice that you need to really ask the question of ‘is the loss of image quality significant and going to effect me?’

  • Loss of light

    I have never seen this. Adding a piece of goo quality glass to your lens, that is clear, should not effect the amount of light that enters your sensor.

  • Loss of resolution

    As long as you are using a good quality UV filter you will not see any significance in the quality on a normal lens. A good quality filter will have optically flat surfaces and should not disturb the direction of the light that will pass through the filter.


Do You Need a UV Filter for Your Lens Photography Tips and Tricks by Bessie Young Photography youtube.jpg

In Conclusion

Ultimately, I do keep a UV filter on my lens, but the choice is really up to you. Again, you need to choose if the ‘loss of image quality is significant’ to you.

I do need to warn you though… if you put a cheap filter on your lens and in front of your expensive glass you are ultimately creating a lens with the image quality of that cheap filter. Do not buy a cheap filter. Basically all I have to say is :

Cheap low quality filters are NOT acceptable.

Filters are not the funnest thing to buy, lets just be honest; however, they are important, keep you creative, and can be incredibly helpful. Make sure to get yourself a good quality UV filter. Expect to spend in the $100 range when purchasing a good quality UV filter.

I got my filter from Horn Photo and love it. I have not seen any negative effects to my image quality with it. If you can go to Horn, then make sure to do so. They are an amazing company and local small business. If you cannot go there, then I would check out the Zeiss, the Heliopan , or the Hoya .

Do you use a UV filter? Comment below and let me know. This blog is meant to be a community helping each other out, growing our businesses, growing our knowledge, and so much more. We are seriously so much stronger together!

Bessie


How to Photograph the Super Blood Wolf Moon January 2019 | How to see it in California

It’s tonight! The Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse is happening and the sky is going to be putting on a pretty darn awesome show. I am sure even just hearing the name you are interested, but what is it and how do you see it? Here is everything you will need to know about this phenomenon :

Super Blood Wolf Moon January 2019 | How to see it in California

When is the Super Blood Wolf Moon?

Sunday January 20th into Monday January 21st, 2019 (depending on where you are located in the USA)

The Lunar Eclipse will begin around 11:30 ET which means about 8L30 Pacific time.

You will want to start watching the sky around 7:30pm. if you are in California. As the Earths shadow begins passing in from the lower left. Totality will be around 8:40 and the moon will return to its normal appearance around 9:40pm.

What is the Super Blood Wolf Moon?

This term is being used because there are several events happening all at once. It sure is a mouthful but lets break it down a little.

Super Moon: A super moon occurs when the full moon is at its closest point to the earth.

Wolf Moon: Every month has special names to describe the full moon. For January it is Wolf Moon. It originates from the Native American folklore.

Blood Moon: This is going to be the coolest part of the show. This is the lunar eclipse where the moon will turn a blood red color as it passes the Earths shadow.

How to see it:

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You will need to be outside, during the right hours, with clear open skies. If it is cloudy, which is what the California weather is calling for, you unfortunately will not be able to see it.

Most of the US will have the ability to see the Super Blood Wolf Moon this January. You will not need any special equipment to see it. Just your own two eyes.

How to photograph it:

You will need a variety of things…

Super blood wolf moon January 2019 | How to see it in california by Bessie Young Photography
  1. Plan out your location - scout it out to find the best composition

    • Decide if you want a large landscape shot, or just the moon shot. This will determine your lens.

  2. Make sure it is clear skies

  3. Be at your location well before the occurrence

  4. Tripod

  5. Camera

  6. 100-400+ mm lens

    • This will be more for just a moon image. If you want more of a landscape you will use a 70-200mm lens

  7. Head lamp

  8. Camera remoted

  9. Warm clothes to make sure you are comfy and warm. This way you are having fun rather than miserable and only thinking about how cold your toes are :)

  10. Snacks and drinks to make sure you are comfortable and enjoying the show

That’s it! Now get out there and freaking get some amazing moon images! Are you going out to see the show? Comment below and let me know where you will be viewing it from, what kind of gear you plan on using, and all the deets!

I can’t wait to see your photos!!

Bessie

Things You Need to Do During Your Off Season

Alright fellow photographers, creatives, and entrepreneurs… there is one thing that you are going to have to accept…. Entrepreneurship is seasonal. Once you accept that the better you will be. Business will get slow, and then it will speed up. It will really really speed up to where you feel like you are spinning, and then it will slow down to a snails pace leaving you questioning if everything is ok.

Everything is ok. This business of ours is just seasonal. Try to be ok with that and you will feel a lot better. Plus, once you are ok with that you will be able to really take advantage of your down time.

Let me give you a little story of where I am coming from. At the beginning of last year, I was so slow that I began to worry. Ok, worry is an understatement but you get where I am going. I sat there sad, kinda depressed, and ultimately worthless.  During the summer, especially the late summer, things got crazy. I was staying up late, getting up early, and I even started to drink an energy drink here and there which I don’t ever do.

I honestly wondered if I could keep up with it. I was also super worried because I didn’t have the time to blog. My blog fell completely off the radar. I mean it was so far gone it wasn’t even funny. Months went by without me blogging and that little voice inside my head wouldn’t leave me alone. It was telling me I wasn’t good enough, I needed to do more, blah blah blah.

If I would have just been ok with the idea that this business is seasonal then I could have accomplished sooooo much during my off season to where I felt amazing during my busy season. So here are some things that you just need to do during your down times in order to not get overwhelmed, frustrated, depressed, and just plain overworked during your busy times:

Things You Need to Do During Your Off Season by Bessie Young Photography

Things You Need to Do During Your Off Season

Update your portfolio

I mean this one in 2 different ways. The first way being, now is the perfect time to schedule some styled shoots! You have a bunch of free time so why not make the most of it. Do something for you. Create a shoot that you have been dreaming of. Let your creativity flow. This isn’t only good for your mind, and your soul, it is good for your portfolio. Show people what you are capable of.

Secondly, update your portfolio on your website. Show your favorite images. Your best images. Not all the images. You want to attract your people, your tribe. Update your portfolio to resemble who you want to attract.

Network!

There really is no better time to get together with other creatives, other entrepreneurs, and other like minded people. I don’t mean this to mean reach out to people to make money. I mean actually network with people. I mean talk to them. Be friends with them. Help them. Give them your gifts. This is huuugggeee in growing your business in the long run.

Learn

As small businesses we tend to not invest in ourselves. This is terrible because honestly that is really the best place to put your money. I think learning from others is such an important thing. This is how we grow as individuals. You have to spend money to make money friends. This is the perfect time to sign up for a workshop, schedule a mentorship,

Start a personal project and learn by being creative and playing.

It takes a lot of effort to get your business moving forward and to keep it moving forward. We have to stay current, up to date on all the things, and just “in the know” (no I’m not cool enough to say that, but I said it anyways).

Devise a Plan and Schedule

This is where I went wrong last year during my down time. I freaked out and just didn’t do anything, but I could have been planning all the things. So my thoughts here are start planning your posts. I mean all the posts… Pinterest, social media, blog posts.  

This is really where you are going to help yourself during your busy season. You can schedule posts. This way when you are busy, you don’t have to worry about blogging, or pinning, because guess what? It is already completed for you. You did it during your down time! How awesome is that really though?

So, devise a plan for your blogs. Create the blogs, and then schedule them out throughout the year. Now you have content for half the year, or maybe even the entire year, or at least until your next down time.

Enhance Your Brand

During the slow season you can really take a fine look at your business. You can see it from every perspective.

Have a real honest conversation with yourself and how your brand looks. Is it cohesive throughout all the things ie social media, websites, emails, newsletters, etc?

Can you simplify anything for your customers to make things smoother?

Does your brand attract your tribe? Does it attract your target market?

Work on your website

This goes along with the above ‘enhance your brand’.

We always put off working on our website. It is one of the last things we creatives want to even think about, but it is freaking important friends! Does your website resemble your brand? Does it attract your target market? Is it easy to navigate? And be honest, how old are the photos on your website?

I hope this blog was helpful and just got you thinking about how you can really take advantage of the down time. Also, hopefully it will help you not fret when those slow times do come around, because believe me they will come whether you try to avoid them or not.

Honestly though, the slow times are one of the best times for your business. They are the times where you can really nurture your business back to health. These are the times that you can make everything shiney again. Embrace the slow times, appreciate them, love them, and be ok with working on all the other things that we didn’t realize came with running a business J

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

P.s. Love this post? Check out these similar ones:

How To Print Photos From Your Phone - Print on Location

How To Print Photos From Your Phone - Print on Location

How To Print Photos From Your Phone - Print on Location by Bessie Young Photography

I am a HUUUGGEEEE believer of printing your images. Yes, I think it’s crazy important. In todays world, everyone thinks that me most important thing to have is digital images. Well I do believe those are important printing your images is just as important. You need to hold your images in your hands, hang them on your walls, put them in photo albums, share them with friends, and just do all the things with them.

As you guys know I do both Landscape photography and Portrait photography. I love love love to spoil my customers, I love to be able to hand an image to someone and see their expression, and I just love printing pictures lol. (how many times can I say that?! So, I have been on the search to print images on location.

I figured it would be the coolest thing to be at a portrait session or a wedding and be able to hand a printed image to my people. We are so used to getting things right now, and I want to be able to provide that kind of service.

I also wanted to be able to be at a family party and hand a print over to my sisters after a silly selfie :O

So, the search began and I found the coolest little printer you ever did see!!! It is called the

Polaroid Zip

How to print photos from your phone instantly - print on location by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

There are so many things I love about this little printer.

  1. It is small which is perfect for packing around while you are on a shoot, or just putting in your purse while you are at a party

  2. It is easy to use! All you need to do is download the app and boom!

  3. The battery lasts a long time

  4. The printer prints quickly

  5. The picture size is awesome. Perfect for wallets!

Now, with the pro’s always comes the cons. So here are the things I don’t like:

  1. Only holds 10 sheets of paper

  2. The color is off

  3. The quality isn’t that great

Now, the con’s really aren’t that bad because I only print in black and white. If I am going to print a photo for my clients I do not want to print it in color because then they might get the idea that their images will look like what is printed. If you print black and white, they get the picture, the immediate satisfaction, and great customer service. They walk away smiling and super excited to see the rest. Not to mention it places a small little thought in their head that prints are awesome!

There is also a bunch of other super cool printers that are incredibly similar. So check out these tiny little printers:

Are you learning Photography? Check out the freebie page to get you started! I have created a bunch of awesome freebies to help you out :)

I hope you guys enjoyed this little post :)

If you want to see more gear make sure to head on over to my gear lists!

Wishing you the very best and super pretty pictures!

Bessie