5 Essential Photo Apps for Social Media

Wow social media….. where do I even begin. Holy moly this world has become obsessed with social media and I definitely have a love hate relationship with it. I have done so much installing and uninstalling of apps to be able to find good ones! So obviously I wanted to share this information with you! These apps have made my life so much easier.

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What's In My Camera Bag - Sony Kit for Landscape Photography

What's In My Camera Bag - Sony Kit for Landscape Photography

Photography Gear

This blog has been a long time coming. I wanted to do this blog back when I started my photography business, but I was in the middle of major decision making when it came to gear. I was deciding on whether to switch from Canon to Sony or to just stick with Canon.

Then, after I decided to switch to Sony, I just didn’t feel comfortable doing a ‘Whats in my camera bag’ video. I am not sure why, but probably that whole imposter syndrome thing….

Then three years went by and still no video. I still felt weird doing one of these so I just didn’t.

Recently I was able to get a brand new camera bag from my friends down at Horn Photo and I figured it was the best time to actually do a video since I was going to be switching all my gear over to my new bag.

So, here it is…. All the things that I carry in my camera bag.

Now please keep in mind that I do not carry all of these things all of the time. Since I am an adventure photographer, a landscape photographer, and a wedding photographer, I have to pick and choose what to take with me for the occasion.

You do not need to always carry everything with you! Please remember that!

So, lets get into it

What’s in my camera bag - Sony Kit

Cameras:

Sony A7riii (my main camera)

Sony A7rii (my backup camera)

Sony 6500 (my camera for video)


Lenses:

Sony 24-70mm G Master F 2.8 lens (my go to lens for EVERYTHING)

Sony 100-400mm G Master F 4-5.6 lens (specifically for wildlife or close up landscapes)

Sony 16-35mm F4 lens (I never use this lens anymore. I only use the Batis for my wide angles)

Batis 18mm F2.8 lens (my go to landscape and wide angle lens)

Sigma Art 50mm F1.4 lens (specifically for portraits)

Other:

Pro-Master Backpack

DJI Ronin S Gimble (for smooth video)

Laptop - Dell XPS 15

Zebra headlamp

Peak Design Clip for backpacking

Lens cleaning kit

Hand warmers

Flash for weddings

SD Cards

Pro-Master Lens Caps

Sigma MC11 Adapter for Canon to Sony.






Hopefully that helps if you are on the fence about new gear!

What kind of shooter are you? Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus, other? Leave a comment down below and let me know :)

Bessie































Batis 85mm Lens vs Sony 85mm G Master Lens - Lens Comparison

Batis 85mm Lens vs Sony 85mm G Master Lens - Lens Comparison

Photography Gear

Ever since I started using the Batis 18mm lens I have been extremely interested in Batis lenses.

Batis 85mm vs Sony 85mm G master lens comparison Which Lens Should You Buy For Portrait Photography by Bessie Young Photography

Before we start this lens comparison, if you are looking for more information on the Batis 18mm or the lens comparison video for the Batis 18mm vs. the Sony 16-35mm make sure to check out the lens comparison blog here: Batis 18mm Lens vs Sony 16-35mm Lens

Now, I want to start off by saying that I do not own either of these lenses. I have been debating on grabbing an 85mm lens of some sort, but really didn’t know where to put my money. Do I buy the big boy, the Sony 85mm G Master? Do I spend all the money on the top of the line native lens, or do I save some money and not by a non native lens? Now, I figured if I had that question and that debate, others did too!

So, off I went to compare two lenses that I had my eye on. The Batis 85mm F1.8 vs. the Sony 85mm G Master F1.4 G Master. I was able to borrow these two awesome lenses from my friends down at Horn Photo. On a side note, if you are debating on equipment, or wishing you were able to check out equipment before you made that major purchase, make sure to check out your local camera shop like Horn Photo. You can actually rent gear for the day or the week! This could save you major money in the long run. I absolutely love this option, and have rented gear multiple times throughout the years. Whether I want to do a lens comparison, see if I like a certain item, or if I need something for an upcoming wedding but don’t want to purchase the item. Just rent it!!!

Ok, moving on :)

To start off there are a few huge differences for the Batis 85mm vs Sony 85mm G Master:

  • Price

    • Batis 85mm: $930

    • Sony 85mm G Master: $1800

  • Weight

    • Batis 85mm: 1 lb 3 ounce

    • Sony 85mm G Master: 2 lbs 7 ounces

  • Aperature Ring

    • Batis 85mm: No

    • Sony 85mm G Master: Yes

      • The aperature ring is super cool for video!

  • Aperature capability

    • Batis 85mm: F1.8 - F22

    • Sony 85mm G Master: F1.4 - F16

Batis 85mm vs Sony 85mm G master lens comparison by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

Filter ThreadFront: 67mm

Aperature: F1.8-F22

Length: 3.6 in.

Weight: 1lb 1 ounce

Price: $930

 

 

Filter Thread Front: 77mm

Aperature: F1.4-F16

Length: 4.2 in.

Weight: 1.8 lb

Price: $1800



Batis 85mm vs Sony 85mm G Master lens comparision by Bessie young THUMBNAIL.jpg

Now lets talk about actual field experience and photo comparison…

An 85mm lens is typically used for portraits. I am debating on using the 85 as my second lens for backpacking. Right now I use the Batis 18mm and the Sony 24-70mm G Master. What I am thinking about doing is changing out the Sony 24 - 70 G Master with an 85mm. Now, with all that being said, I wanted to do a lens comparison for what these lenses are typically used for, Portraits!

Luckily I have the cutest model in the world that just loves to have her picture taken… my Boston Terrier Yota :) In order to do an accurate lens comparison, I kept my aperature at 1.8 for all the photos. This way I didn’t compare an F1.4 to an F1.8.

In the field and during post processing I noticed a few main things:

  • Bokeh differences

  • Vignetting

  • Chromatic aberration

  • Automatic Focusing

  • Lens Noisiness/ Loudness

Bokeh:

There isn’t a huge difference with the Bokeh at F1.8. The thing I noticed most here was that the Sony had a creamier bokeh and the Batis had more of a swirl that was counter clockwise. If you look at the Batis image, it looks more like you are spinning. Really focus on the images below. Notice the swirl on the Batis? Do you see how the Sony is much more creamy?

Batis 85mm vs Sony 85mm G master lens comparison by Bessie Young Photography Bokeh Comparison.jpg

Vignetting and Chromatic Aberration

So there are two things here and each lens has its fault. The Sony has a bit of chromatic aberration compared to the Batis. The Batis didn’t seem to have any chromatic aberration during my little session with Yota. Now, this was only tested during this session, so this doesn’t go to say that the Batis doesn’t have chromatic aberration in certain scenarios. See the images below.

Now with that the Batis has a bit more vignetting than the Sony. See images below.

Batis 85mm vs Sony 85mm G master lens comparison by Bessie Young Photography Vignetting Comparison.jpg

Automatic Focus Speed and Sound:

Wow, now this is really where there is a major difference. Honestly, this was where my decision was made and where the Batis really took the cake.

The Batis was able to automatically focus quickly, capture movement, and didn’t make hardly a sound. The Sony on the other hand didn’t focus quickly at all. Actually, I wasn’t able to capture a single motion image in focus. Plus, during the focusing, it made the loudest noise ever, and just really annoyed me lol. I am not sure why it was bothering me so much, but it was at the point where I didn’t even want to use it any more. The focusing sound it made was really not awesome. Imaging being at a wedding, where everyone is silent, and your lens is making a focusing/ kind of grinding noise? I think that would ultimately suck. People would start listening to your camera rather than the vows!

Batis:

Sony:


Conclusion:

So, with all that being said, I will definitely be getting the Batis 85mm. There is just absolutely no reason not to! It is cheaper, lighter, focuses quicker, quieter, and the photos are almost the exact same as the Sony 85mm G Master. The aperature goes to F22 which is awesome for Landscape Photography and there is less chromatic aberration. The down side to the Batis is the fact that there is a bit of vignetting and the aperature doesn’t go as wide as the Sony; however, these are definitely things that I can work with.

What lens is your favorite? Leave a comment below.

Would you like to see a certain lens comparison video? Comment below and I can add it to my list :)

Wishing you a beautiful day!

Bessie




What To Buy A Photographer For Mother's Day | Photography gift ideas

Alright friends, Mother’s day is just around the corner! Now that mama in your life is also a badass photographer. What in the literal heck do you buy her? Well, that is where I come in. I have so many awesome ideas for you! This way it makes your life a little less stressful, you don’t have to worry about getting out and shopping, and you can be uber confident that you are getting her an amazing gift! Win Win Win.

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Carrizo Plains National Monument - I am a Finalist in the Viewbug Photo Contest!!!

I cannot even believe this! 2 photos within weeks of each other made it to the Finalist in different photo contests!!! How freaking awesome is this life!?!

Gosh, you guys! Thank you so freaking much for all your love and support. It means the world to me!

Photo Contest Winner - Carrizo Plains National Monument Superbloom 2019 by Bessie Young Photography
Photo Contest Winner - Carrizo Plains National Monument Superbloom 2019 by Bessie Young Photography
Yellow Wildflower Photo- Carrizo Plains National Monument Superbloom 2019 by Bessie Young Photography

Carrizo Plains National Monument -

This adventure was a super spontaneous trip that I took in 2017. I was looking over some of my photography forums and watching the National Parks websites for super bloom information. This lasted for a couple of weeks. I would check in daily to see where the blooms were, how they were doing, and ultimately decide if it was worth taking the long trip.

Well, one day I saw that Corrizo was in full bloom! I just couldn’t help myself. I had to go! So, the next morning I hopped in the car and took the 4 hour trip to the Corrizo Plains National Monument. Man was it worth it!

There were beautiful purple and yellow blooms EVERYWHERE. There was one main trail that you could walk among the wildflowers. It went up a small hill and you could see over the amazing landscape. The view was to die for!

I ultimately wanted a sunset image, so I sat down on the trail and just waited. As I was sitting there, I had my camera on a tripod and I figured, well… why the heck not try a self portrait. I was surrounded by wildflowers and it was amazing!

The day was perfect. It was an incredibly long day trip, but man was it worth it!

The Photo Contest:

A photo contest came open called ‘Sitting in Nature’ and I literally jumped with happiness! I just had to submit my Corrizo Plains National Monument Superbloom photo called “Among the Flowers” . I have been on a mission to submit photos to contests. It is one of my goals this year and I am so freaking stoked that I made it one.

So, here is the image that made it to be a finalist:

I am a Finalist in the Sitting in Nature Viewbug Photo Contest!!!


How cool is that?!!!! I mean seriously though! I am beyond humbled and incredibly excited to be among some of these amazing photos.

If you want, here is a link to purchase images from this adventure check it out here:

If you want to see the grand prize winner and all the finalists check out the contest winners.

Have you entered into any photo contests? If so, which ones? Comment below and let me know :) I would love to check them out.

Wishing you the very best,

Bessie


Make sure to check out some of my Landscape Photography Adventures, Tips, Tricks, and How To’s here:

130+ Blog Post Ideas for Photographers

Coming up with ideas on what to blog about can be crazy hard. I get it. Been there. It is super discouraging when you can’t think of anything. Ultimately, you just want to give up, or you end up creating blogs that don’t really get any traffic, or do any good. Which then makes you even more discouraged. It’s a bad cycle to get into.

So, as you know, this year I have been putting all the effort into blogging. My goal is to blog once a week! Once I accomplish that goal, I will move to blogging twice a week.

Now, that is a crap ton of content. How in the literal heck do you come up with all those ideas? So, I have been on a mission to come up with blog post ideas.

I figured, if I am having a hard time coming up with ideas, then you might be too. So, I wanted to help. Ultimately blogging is so important for photographers, I just don’t want you to give up and get discouraged.

Here are a few thoughts, plus at the bottom of my thoughts you will find the ultimate guide to blogging and 130+ blog post ideas! If you have any additional ideas make sure to comment below. Let’s create a community and help eachother out!

130 Blog Post Ideas for Photographers by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

Why Blogging is Important For Photographers

So, I pretty much created an entire post on this topic. It is called ‘Do Photographers Need To Blog’. If you haven’t done so already make sure to head on over and read that post. It has a ton of information in there for you.

In short, blogging is crazy important for photographers. Here are a few reasons on why it is so dang important:

  1. It will help with SEO which will help your clients find you

  2. It will deem you as the expert in your field

  3. It will bring you clients

  4. It will help with marketing

  5. It allows your clients to get to know you

  6. It allows your clients to see your artistic style

Mistakes to avoid when you blog

  1. Your writing is too stiff.

    • You need to be personable. Be yourself and be authentic.

  2. Your topic is too broad.

    • You really need to pick one topic to write about and stick to that per blog post.

  3. You think you are done once the writing is done.

    • This is sooooooo wrong. You have to share your content and then share it again!

  4. You don’t blog consistently

    • The killer of all blogs. You seriously need to blog consistently. I am learning this to be fact this year. I started blogging consistently and man has my everything increased. My website is getting more views, I am getting more comments and shares, and my business is bringing in more money!

  5. Not writing long form

    • We always hear that each blog needs to be 300 words. Well guess what, that is just a minimum. It has been proven that blogs with over 1000 words do so much better. It is best to strive for blogs reaching 3000 words! I know, it is like a small essay, but believe me it is worth it.

Things to keep in mind when you start blogging

  1. Figure out your style

  2. Decide why you are blogging in the first place

  3. Determine how often you want to blog

  4. Make sure to have a strategy/organization/schedule

  5. Know your target audience

  6. Realize that it will take a long time to get the hang of it, so don’t be so hard on yourself.

The Ultimate Guide to Blog Post Ideas for Photographers and Creative Entrepreneurs by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

Think about what your clients might want to know

This is one of the most important things. You need to serve your people and really think about what it is that they want and need. If you aren’t writing blog posts that are going to help people, ultimately your blog will not do very well in terms of subscribers.

You need to decide who your target audience is and how you can help them. Figure out their age, their gender, their style, their likes, where they would shop, do they love coffee? Once you nail down who your target audience is, then you will be able to create blog posts around it.

Blog Post Ideas For Photographers:

For All Photographers

  1. Blog every session / adventure

  2. Share you’re go-to hairstyle for a photo shoot

  3. How you do your makeup for a photo shoot

  4. What do you wear for a photo shoot?

  5. Share your must have items when you have little time to get ready

  6. Why did you start your photography business?

  7. Who has inspired you throughout your life?

  8. Share your plans (short term and long term)

  9. What you are looking forward to this year

  10. Share how you take/edit photos for your blog or social media

  11. Share any photography tips that you have

  12. What’s your favorite social media and why?

  13. Talk about something you’re afraid of and how you overcome it

  14. Share a “Do’s and Don’t s…” post about something you’ve got experienced

  15. Create something free to give away to your readers, like printable worksheets

  16. Share products that you swear by

  17. Share what apps you are currently obsessed with?

  18. How do you stay motivated?

  19. Tips to stay productive

  20. Write a “Top 20” or “Top 10” post

  21. Share your to do list for the day/week/weekend/month

  22. Do guest posts with another photographer or blogger

  23. A review of a product/service

  24. How do you plan your content?

  25. How do you pack for a trip or photoshoot?

  26. Your favorite photography quotes

  27. Your favorite books

  28. Favorite Youtubers you watch everyday

  29. Photographers that inspire you

  30. How do you manage your time

  31. Your desk or office space essentials

  32. How you ended up deciding to be a photographer

  33. Favorite photoshoot day snacks to keep you moving

  34. Equipment comparison

  35. Why you want to do _____ on your bucket list

  36. Facts about yourself

  37. A letter to your younger self

  38. A letter to your older self

  39. Mantras for success

  40. Mantras for stress

  41. Monthly Favorites

  42. Biggest purchase regrets

  43. Monthly goals

  44. Favorite Instagram accounts

  45. My favorite calendar, journal, etc.

  46. The one thing I can’t live without

  47. How I stay organized

  48. All about one of your pets

  49. A picture for every hour in the day

  50. List of things to be happy about

  51. A brand review

  52. Your 5 year plan

  53. 3 books you don’t like and why

  54. Take part in someone else’s 30 day challenge…document

  55. Host your own 30 day challenge

  56. Travel bucket list

  57. Have someone do a guest post for you!

  58. Share your creative process

  59. A behind-the-scenes look at your work studio

  60. Your photography advice

  61. Photography tips and tricks

  62. What are the difficulties you’ve overcome in your business?

  63. What’s in your camera bag?

  64. What is in your wedding photography bag?

  65. What’s in your office bag?

  66. What’s in your travel bag?

  67. Interview famous people in your niche

  68. Share a recent project that fire you up (styled shoots, workshops, etc.)

  69. What are your goals that you’d like to achieve for the season

  70. Your most favorite blog posts

  71. Share your strategy on how you make money from your blog

  72. Share your favorite affiliate partner/sponsor

  73. Share your not-so favorite affiliate partner and why you regret working with them

  74. Share your best marketing tips

  75. Create a massive list of blog post ideas!

  76. 10 Things you didn’t know about me

  77. Why you became a photographer? – Tell your personal story!

  78. What is your expertise and your best work to prove it!

  79. What inspires you to photograph

  80. Equipment & Gear you use for Post-Production

  81. Your favorite lens and why you love it so much?

  82. Why you chose the camera you shoot with?

  83. A year in review

  84. Next years goals

  85. How you stay healthy while running a photography business

  86. Your daily routine

  87. Your editing routine

  88. Your goals, dreams and ambitions as a Photographer

  89. How to blog posts

  90. List blog posts

  91. Review posts

  92. My top 5 posts

    Specifically, Blogs For Clients:

  93. Blog each photo session

  94. Provide tips on how to get ready for a photo session

  95. What to wear guides

  96. PDF freebies

  97. Sample Timelines

  98. What to expect

  99. FAQ’s

  100. Have an on-going series

  101. Give your clients advice

  102. Local Vendors, you recommend and work with?

  103. How best your clients can prepare for the shoot

    • Before the shoot

    • During the shoot

    • After the shoot

  104. How you help your clients choose the best images

  105. A Behind The Scenes look at one of your shoots! (BTS) – This will give them an idea of what it’s like to work with you as a Photographer and also what can they expect!

  106. Who your ideal client is  – This will help them know whether they are a good fit to work with you!

  107. Great shoot locations, themes and ideas

  108. Showcase all the end products you can avail as a client

  109. How you edit your photos. Your before and after images – How you transform your images to a whole new level during your post-production & editing workflow.

  110. Best practices you use before, during and after the photo shoot

  111. How you make your clients comfortable during the shoot.

  112. What type of photographer you are and why you chose that direction (weddings, families, fashion, etc)

  113. How you plan a Photo Session

  114. All the various services you offer

  115. How to shoot selfies & self-portraits

  116. Talk about your photography style / how you developed it

  117. What’s your advice for brides & grooms to be?

  118. How you stay inspired and remain creative

  119. How you try to maintain a work-life balance?

  120. Do a Vlog! – A Video Blog. Get personal!

  121. Create an SAQ (Should Ask Questions) listicle!

  122. Blog about your offers, discounts, special events, etc.

  123. How you deliver images – How many images do you provide?

  124. List of Questions to ask your vendor

  125. Best places to take engagement photos in your city

  126. Best alternatives to a guest book that your guests will love!

  127. A blog series on “how he asked”

  128. Best places to buy engagement rings in your city

  129. How to hire a photographer for a proposal without your fiance knowing what is going on.

  130. The best wedding inspiration websites you’ve never heard of. (Good opportunity to get backlinks, find the smaller sites who appreciate the attention).

  131. How to share your photos with all of your guests, friends, and family.

  132. Top ways to encourage guests to put down their phones on your wedding day.

  133. After you’ve done a large number of weddings or photo sessions, do roundup posts of some of the best moments you’ve captured.

  134. Link to your Press and Media Coverage

  135. A ‘Tutorial On’ Blog Post

  136. Create “How To” Blog Posts

  137. Create a “Pros & Cons” Post

  138. Create a “Bust A Myth” Post

 

Holy Crap! Ok, that is alot of information. Have you tried any of these? Leave a link in the comments below so I can read your blogs!

Also, if you have any additional ideas comment below with your ideas and I will add them to the list :)

Wishing you the best,

Bessie

P.S. Did you love this post? Check these out:

How To Take Flower Photos - Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers

Images For Sale in the BYP Shop-

Click the image to purchase or click the buy me button below.

About 2 weeks ago I came down with a cold and it was something fierce. It sucked. It lasted an entire week! I woke up on Wednesday and I felt like I had been hit by a truck! I thought that it was going to be just a day thing, but man did it last longer.

The ultimate bummer part is that I had plans to go to Death Valley that weekend! I was super hopeful that I was going to get better; however, it just didn’t happen. So… my Death Valley trip got cancelled. It sucked!

Then, after about a week of this not feeling good and having a temperature over 100, I started to feel slightly better, but really not 100%. So another weekend went by of me just being lazy, laying on my couch, and trying to get better.

Finally, after 2 weeks, I was feeling quite a bit better. I started to get the itch. All I could think about was Death Valley and the wildflowers. After deciding I was going to make a trip no matter what, I started to do my research for Death Valley (checking weather and road conditions). To my surprise it was supposed to be in the upper 90’s! Yep, I really wasn’t ready for camping with a low of 65 and a high of 98.

With all that being said, I thought I was going to miss out. I figured it just wasn’t in my cards this year, but then I remembered Joshua tree! I have never been to Joshua Tree and I knew it was supposed to have quite a bit of wildflowers. I checked the weather… High of 75…. Yep Joshua Tree it is!

How To Take Flower Photos Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers by Bessie Young Photography

The Adventure

Joshua Tree National Park is about 5.5 hours from my place. I left around 11am thinking that this would give me enough time to get to the park, roam around for a minute, and then get a sunset shot… Boy was I wrong lol.

I headed down the freeway and everything was going smoothly until I hit the dreaded LA traffic. I got to San Bernidino and the traffic was terrible. It basically cost me 1.5 hours. So my 5.5 hour trip turned into more of a 7 hour trip which put me in a bit of a time crunch.

Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers

There are two entrances to Joshua Tree, the North and South. I chose to stay in Indio along Hwy 10 in order to start at the South entrance. Then, my plan was to stay in Yucca Valley for the second night which is near the North side entrance.

When I finally reached Indio, I checked into my hotel, and then I was off to the South side entrance of Joshua Tree National Park.

When I arrived, I had about a half hour until sunset so, I ended up barely making it into the park, pulled over at the first trail I could and walked around.

It was awesome! There were so many flowers blooming and the trail was just what I needed to stretch my legs and get some neat shots of the flowers.

While I was there, I figured it would be the perfect time to talk about how to take flower photos. So, I created the video above for my Youtube Channel, and wanted to put these tips into writing. So, lets get to it!

How To Take Flower Photos by Bessie Young - Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers Landscape Photography Fine Art.jpg

Tips on How to Take Flower Photos

Ultimately I have 2 types of photos that you may want to get, and the tips to get those photos. I wanted to get you started with taking flower photos because Spring is here!!!

1. How to get that creamy background

  • You need to get at their level. Yep, you have to move your bootay and get down to the ground. Don’t try to stay standing up. This is where most people go wrong.

  • Use a low F stop/ wide aperature. Basically, the lower the number the better in my opinion. Now most lenses will go to F4. This is ok, but ultimately you want to be around F2.8 or lower. If you are just starting out, just make sure that you are at the widest aperature possible for your lense. As I was saying F2.8 or lower is so much better. This is where you are really going to see that creamy background, also known as bokeh. This means that yes, you are going to have to spend a bit of money to get that type of lens; however, it is totally worth it!

See the images below for example. All of these images were taken from ground level at F2.8.

All Images For Sale in the BYP Shop-

Click the image to purchase

2. How to get that amazing landscape shot with the flowers in the foreground

Ok, so do you ever see those images, of the amazing flowers in the foreground, yet some how there is still that awesome landscape in the background? These are some of my favorite images! So how do you get them?

  • You need to again, get down to their level. Get up close and personal with those beauties. This is going to allow you to have the flower in the foreground and then the gorgeous landscape in the background.

  • Use a moderate F value. What do I mean? Basically you will want a good ‘landscape’ F value. I prefer F8 - F11.

  • Focus on the mountains in the background. Whalah! You get your beautiful landscape wildflower image!

3. Other Tips

  • Type of Lens to use: Really, anything that will allow you to focus manually and to shoot at a wide aperature. For me, I use my Sony 24-70mm G master F2.8

  • Type of camera to use: You really need a camera that will allow you to shoot manual mode. If you don’t have this, then you are going to be hard pressed to try to use these tips. I use the Sony A7riii and the Sony A7rii

  • Time of year to take flower photos: Pretty much any time of year that there are flowers! Now, if you want wildflowers you will need to shoot in the spring time.

    • For desert wildflowers you will want March and April, but these little flowers die quickly so you really need to keep an eye out on how the flowers are doing. There are awesome websites that you can check. The National Park Service website even has cool wildflower ratings :)

    • For foothill wildflowers you will want to go out during March and April.

    • For high mountain wildflowers you will want sometime in late July and early August.

    • Note: This all depends on the weather and the rain accumulation. You will need to check. These months are all a rough estimate.

  • Time of day to take flower photos: Sunrise or sunset. These are the ultimate best because you are going to get that soft gorgeous light. If you happen to be shooting during the middle of the day, you can always block the flower with your shadow to help mellow out the light.

How to Photograph Flowers - Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers 2019 By Bessie Young Photography.jpgHow To Take Flower Photos Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers by Bessie Young Photography

Do you have any tips on how to take flower photos? If so, comment below. I would love to add them to the list :)

This blog is all about community over competition. Let’s help each other, be friends with each other, learn together, and grown together.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

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

White Sands National Monument - I am a Finalist in the Viewbug Photo Contest!!!

You guys!!!! I am so dang excited.

One of my goals this year was to win a photo contest or be featured in a magazine! Well, this month I made it to be a finalist in the Creative Landscapes Photo Contest vol3 !!! This contest is hosted on View Bug and is just such an amazing place and an amazing honor.

I submitted one of my images taken while I was in White Sands National Monument at sunset. Here is the photograph that actually made it to be a finalist:

White Sands National Monument -

I am a Finalist in the Viewbug Photo Contest!!!

White Sands New Mexico Fine Art Print - Travellers by Bessie Young Photography.jpg


I can’t even begin to say how incredibly excited I am about this. There were hundreds of thousands of photos submitted and to be a finalist in the contest and see my image among these amazing great photos is incredibly humbling.

If you want, here is a link to purchase the photograph:

If you want to see the grand prize winner and all the finalists check out the contest winners.

Have you entered into any photo contests? If so, which ones? Comment below and let me know :) I would love to check them out.

Wishing you the very best,

Bessie

Make sure to check out some of my Landscape Photography Adventures, Tips, Tricks, and How To’s here:

Must Read Girl Boss Books For This Spring

Must Read Girl Boss Books For This Spring by Bessie Young Photography

t seriously is so important to read. When I was little I would ready like a book a week. Now it is hard to read a book a year. I honestly have a really hard time finding the time in a day to read. For some reason life just gets way too busy, but this year, I have decided that I am going to make it happen. With a little help from Audio books I have been accomplishing this goal. Yay!

So, today I wanted to share with you some of my recent faves.

Must Read Girl Boss Books For This Spring

Ok, lets just get right into it:

1. Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini

I have struggled with said ‘mean girl’ ever since I can remember. This book hit home so hard it wasn’t even funny. Melissa talks about how to master your inner mean girl and it is so dang helpful! If you struggle with that nasty mean little voice inside your head, you need to read this book like now.

2. 100 days to brave by Anne Downs

So I just started this one. It was actually recommended to me by a friend in my workout group!! Yep, isn’t that just awesome :) So the verdict is still out, but I am loving it. It also has super high recommendations from everyone around me so I know it wont disappoint :)

3. Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Ok this one is #1 of pretty much all books, so I think enough said there…

Now you also first have to read:

4. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Now this one is on the top 10 charts of all books, so I think enough said there…

5. You are a Badass

Gosh I love this lady. I can’t express enough how much I love this lady. Her book is awesome! I seriously love her honesty in everything that she writes. Now, if you aren’t a fan of cursing, then this book is not for you.

6. Live Fearless by Sadie Robertson

I was hesitant with this book. I have my reasons, but I will just leave it at that. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not. It turns out I liked it. I probably would choose this one last out of all the books on this list, but it is a definite must read.

7. #GirlBoss

I just love the story behind this book. It really does show the struggle of a creative entrepreneur. I love that I can relate so much to it.

8. Dreaming with God by Sarah Beth Marr

I may have saved the best for last. This book spoke to me so much I even wrote a letter to the author. Umm… Ya, I never ever ever ever in my wildest dreams thought I would do something like that. Also, I ended up buying it for my mom. Seriously, you have to read this like right freaking now.

Have you had a chance to read any of these? If so, leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. Which ones were your faves? What did you like, or didn’t you like about them?

Also, do you have any suggestions on awesome girl boss books? Please leave your recommendation below. I would love to have a list going so I can read more awesome books!

Happy Reading Friends!

Bessie


Do Photographers Need a Blog | 6 Reasons Photographers Need to Blog

You need to blog at least once a week

Ok so we have all heard it. Blogging is important.

Is it really though? Do you really need to blog as a photographer? Why? What is so awesome about it? Is this just one of those things that everyone says because… well… everyone else is saying it?

Today, I really want to talk about this subject. It has been something on my mind ever since I started by photography business. I started off my business with a blogging bang! I blogged once a week. It got me no where (or so I thought). So I stopped blogging. Then I started. Then I stopped. Then I just decided to do it whenever I wanted to do it.

Do Photographers really need a blog in 2019 by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

This year, I have decided that I am going to blog at least once a week consistently all freaking year long. Yep, that is what I am doing. Now, why I am sure you are asking. Why would I do that with my blogging history? Well, that is why we are here to chat.

I have learned a freaking lot since starting my business 4 years ago. The struggle has been real and I really really really want to save you all that time. I want to just help you, and get you the answers you need, so you can start off with a huge BANG!

Alright, so here it is…

Do Photographers Really Need a Blog?

The answer is short and sweet. So if you don’t want to read all my reasons my short answer is:

YES!

Now that the cat is out of the bag, lets chat about why it is important, why it isn’t a waste of time, and why you need to be consistent with your blogging.

Why do Photographers need a blog?

Ok, hear me out here. Please just read and really soak this in. DO NOT JUST READ THE HEADLINES (I am guilty of this, like all the time when reading a blog. I only read the highlights. You really need to see the reason behind why this is important).

1 First and foremost, it will help with SEO

This is one of the BIGGEST things eva! What you need to ask yourself is “how are my clients going to find me?” If the answer is the internet then there you go.

So, basically SEO is this big scary thing that you never knew was going to be part of owning a photography business. I mean you’re a photographer, not a SEO expert, but unfortunately you are going to need to become at least versed in SEO.

For blogging purposes and to be relevant in a google search google wants to see that your website is providing new ideas/things on a regular basis. So the rule of thumb is 1 blog post a week. This way google knows that you are still ‘alive’ if you will.

The Ultimate Guide to Blog Post Ideas for Photographers and Creative Entrepreneurs by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

2. It will deem you as an expert in your field

There is this article I was reading on the Huffington Post about the 1% rule. Only 1% of people are actually adding content to the internet on a regular basis. This means that if you just post a blog post on a regular basis you will be in that top 1%. How crazy is that? And yet, here we are being scared that the market is over saturated, that blogging is dead… pssschhhhttttt. Ya right!

Along with that, you will establish yourself as an expert in your field by posting what you know. It will show people that you actually practice what you preach. That you actually do what you say you do. Let’s face it, Instagram can be tricky. There are so many people… well.. how do I say this….. there are so many people freaking faking it. Photos aren’t always real. When you start blogging about what you know, BOOM you have become an expert in your field. This will validate the photos that you share.

3. It will bring you clients

Now this is the biggie! We started this business to stay in business right? So, we obviously need clients. If you blog, you become more relevant. You start showing up in google searches, on Pinterest, and pretty much all over the place. Then when your ideal client searches for a photographer, they find you rather than the people not putting out the time and effort to blog. Then your client checks your website. They see that you are active and posting all the time compared to other photographers in your area. They see your gallery, your work, they freaking love it, they contact you, and the rest is history.

4. It will help with marketing

So there are two things here, Google and Pinterest.

Blogging can be a form of marketing depending on how you use it. Blogging will also allow you to have ample content for Pinterest. Friends, if you aren’t on Pinterest what are you even doing? Do not walk, RUN! Go sign up right freaking now and get your bootay moving!

P.s. if you want to follow me on pinterest you can find me here.

5. It allows your clients to get to know you

For me, this is one of the most important. I want people to see who I am and decide if they like what I am all about. I do not want people contacting me just to find out that we aren’t compatible. Basically, this helps weed people out. Now, something that I have had to really freaking get to understand is that you can’t please everyone and that is ok. Seriously THAT IS OK. You want to attract your people, your tribe, your ideal clients. You also want to push away the people that you will not get along with. Maybe this sounds harsh, but you don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t value you, and they shouldn’t want to work with you either. They should want to work with someone who they can relate to. It will make the entire experience so much better!

6. It allows your clients to see your artistic style

This last one really relates to the one above. Your blogs will show who you are, your style, and pretty much everything about you as long as you are authentic. You want your clients to view your blogs prior to making any decisions. The last thing you want is to book a client only to find out later that they didn’t like your editing style, your teaching style, or just your style in general. This again will weed out the people that aren’t for you and will attract the people that are for you! It’s a good thing and it will make your life so much easier and funner :)

WOW THAT WAS ALOT OF INFORMATION!!!

Now with all that being said, how do you know if you are doing it right? How do you know how often to blog?

Answer: The rule of thumb is to blog once a week. You need to be consistent with your blogging. This is what will keep you relevant and help with your SEO. Now, that isn’t the only amount to blog. Do not be afraid to blog more often if you can. The key is to just blog, and blog consistently.

Ok, ok I can already hear people… “but I don’t have enough content to blog”. Dude, I freaking get it! I really do. I was in the same boat, and totally felt the same way, hence my super ugly blogging history. Now, the key is to stay consistent. If you don’t have enough to blog about, then just make sure you blog consistently. Blog once a month if that is all you can do, but be consistent about it. Now, I am going to be real and brutally honest, because that is just who I am and what I do.

You are making excuses. You are standing in your own way. You are letting fear run your business, and your life. STOP IT!

You have enough to blog about, you are just having a block. Maybe you are scared that people won’t read your blog. Maybe you are letting fear run your decisions. Maybe you are shy or self conscious. Maybe… maybe… maybe…

Whatever the reason is, I am here to be your honest friend. You are making an excuse. You do have enough content, you just need to take the time to write it down. Get yourself a little book to carry with you always. When you come up with an idea, jot it down in your book. Then when the time comes to blog, you have a plethora of ideas to choose from. Also, once you start blogging, once you start getting into the groove of things, it actually does become easier. Seriously though, it really does. I’m not just saying that.

Make sure to check out my blog on Tips + Tricks to Make Blogging Easier and Faster.

Have you started your blog yet? If not, check out my post:

How to start a blog and make money in 2019

Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Blog

If you need some blogging inspiration make sure to head on over to my “For Entrepreneurs” page. I provide a ton of information on how to blog, what to blog, how to make money blogging, and so forth :)

So Stop Waiting! Start Your Blog Today. Tag me in your social or comment below so I can see your new blog!

Seriously though, blogging is pretty darn awesome and has so much dang potential. It really depends on how much effort you put into it!

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

Photography Apps I Use

There are so many dang Apps out there how do you even begin to choose what Apps to use?

I have tried alot of apps. Like a lot a lot and to be honest most of them kinda sucked. It took alot of installing, time wasted, and uninstalling to find good apps.

Now, there are many different apps I use for photography. Some for landscape scouting, some for backpacking, some for editing on my phone, and some for social media. Yes… like I said… I use alot of apps. So lets get into it.

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 :)

Photography Apps I Use

Essential photo apps for by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

Photography Apps For Landscape Photography:

I created a post on this one. I use two main apps for my landscape photography. Head on over that way to check that out. In short I use Back Country Navigator and Photo Pills. You can read the entire post all about why I chose these two apps here:

2 Essential Apps for Landscape Photography

Photography Apps For Social Media:

  • Unfold

    This little app is pretty awesome for instagram stories. It allows you to create absolutely beautiful picture stories for different occasions. I use it for when I create a new blog post, a new Youtube video, or add new products to my BYP Shop.

  • Snapseed:

This is one of the best photo editing apps I have found out there. If I take a photo with my phone, I can edit in in snapseed and not worry about how it is going to look on my instagram feed. It is beautiful! So now you can take some pretty awesome images on your phone and share away. Yay!!

Other:

  • Keep Notes

    I keep all my notes on this. It is seriously the best and helps me stay organized. I use it for my business and for personal use. You can create different notes with different lists.

  • Playmemories

    This is the app I use to hook up to my phone. The app makes it to where my phone becomes a remote. It also allows me to share the photos from my camera straight to my phone!

  • GPS Test

    This little handy dandy app does quite a bit. The thing I use it for the most is to help my GPS lock onto the satellites when it is having a difficult time. It also shows the compass, how quickly you are moving, the date and time, sunset date and time, and where all the satellites are in the sky,

  • My Tracks

    This tracks me everywhere. It is actually what I use for backpacking, hiking, walking, or running. It shows my speed, my distance, elevation gain and more! It allows me to add way points such as different cool landscape features, lakes, and so forth. I love this one specifically for the distance, speed, and elevation gain.

  • Blog

    This is a Squarespace app. It is freaking awesome! When I come up with a blog idea I can just open this app and start a new blog post. To me this is just amazing. This way I don’t have to carry a notebook and I won’t have to let an idea slip away. Once I get back to my computer I can just open up my website, and BOOM! there it is! The new post that I started :)

Do you use any of these apps? If not, what apps do you use? Leave a comment below. This is a community for photographers to help other photographers. Lets create a list of awesome apps so we don’t have to keep wasting our time with the install / uninstall game. Leave a comment below with the app you use and why.

Wishing you the absolute best!

Bessie



 

Yosemite National Park Firefall 2019 - Horsetail Fall - Landscape Photography

All Images For Sale in the BYP Shop-

Click the image to purchase or click the buy me button below.

Oh man was I hesitant to go to Yosemite for a second time to capture the firefalls. I kept thinking

you aren’t going to see it…

whats the point…

why do you continue to do this to your self? (put yourself through stress etc)…

Is it worth it?…

You aren’t a real photographer anyways (imposter syndrome at its finest)…

Let’s just say this battle went on for quite a bit but holy moly am I excited that my better side one :)

The Adventure

So my first attempt to see the firefalls was a bust. If you want to see more of that adventure head on over to Yosemite National Park Firefalls 2019 First attempt 1. Now in this attempt I learned alot of things. Things that made my second attempt go much smoother. One thing was the fact that Hwy 140 is a much easier drive when there is snow because they actually freaking plow that road. Hwy 41 was an absolute mess and took me over double the amount of time to get to the valley than it should have taken.

Yosemite National Park Photography by Bessie Young Woman Outdoor Photographer - Horstail Falls Yosemite Firefall

This attempt was so so so much smoother. I checked the Yosemite webcams and was able to see that the weather was looking amazing. I gathered all my gear and off I went.

The drive was beautiful! I always plan for breaks and hiccups along the way, so I left with ample time to get to my spot. As I was driving along hwy 140 there were signs for road construction…. ugh….

Slowly I turn each corner until I finally see the man with a big ole red stop sign. There I sat for almost an hour. Yep, didn’t plan for a one hour delay. Naturally, I am getting a tiny bit worried, but I did schedule for quite a bit of a buffer to be able to find my perfect spot, set up my gear, and not feel rushed.

Finally, the man let me though and I was off!

Yosemite National Park Firefall 2019

On the Yosemite National Park website there is a spot specifically discussing the Firefall. It had explained that there was absolutely no parking along the south side or north side drive of the Yosemite valley loop. The place you could park was in the Yosemite village parking lot. The park had closed down one lane for pedestrian traffic with the expectation that there were going to be hundreds upon hundreds of people trying to see this natural phenomena. The walk to the perfect spot, or at least the spot I planned to shoot from, is about 2 miles the parking spot.

So, I parked, gathered my gear, and began my trek. It was icy, super slippery, and incredibly cold. I believe it was supposed to get below twenty degrees that night. As I was walking I was keeping a close eye on El Capitan. Sunset was scheduled to begin about 5:20 or so, and I was right on time no thanks to the awesome construction I had to wait through.

All of the sudden, it started to look like it was going to happen. I was still about 1 mile away from my spot. Now, even with running, this would have taken me 8 minutes to get there. I didn’t have 8 minutes, but I started running anyway. Frantically looking from side to side to see if there was a good spot to set up. I was worried, I started to freak out, “i am right here and not going to be able to get a good picture of it” …. Let me tell you, alot of negative self talk was happening at this moment.

Finally I found a crowd of people and the absolute perfect spot. I waded through the crowd and found an opening with an amazing angle looking right up at the falls!!!! Thank you LORD!

I set up my gear and not moments later did I begin shooting…

All Images For Sale in the BYP Shop-

Click the image to purchase

The face of El Capitan started to go from an normal granite blue color to a golden yellow. It then changed from a golden yellow to an orange and then it all of the sudden went dark. Like completely dark! Everyone sighed and some people even started to leave thinking that the show was over.

Slowly from the bottom the color started to come back, slowly the golden yellow started to glow, then the orange, and then the entire fall looked like it was on fire! This lasted for so long I was amazed. The colors then faded into a pink, to a purple, and then back to a blue as the sun started to set and the night began to fall upon us.

IT. WAS. AMAZING!

Long Lens Vs. Wide Angle:

The very very first time I was able to capture the firefalls I had done all the research. Everything said that you need to shoot with a long lens, or a telephoto lens. So naturally I used my 100 - 400mm lens. Now at the time I didn’t know any better and at the time I wasn’t lucky enough to have multiple camera set ups.

When I was taking the shot, it wasn’t exactly the shot I wanted. I ultimately wanted a wider shot. A bigger landscape shot, cause… duh…. that is what I love!

So this time I wanted to share with you some examples of a long lens vs. a wide angle lens. This way you can decide what image you actually want to get and be prepared to capture the image that you are dreaming of.

Set up 1:

Sony A7riii

Sony 24-70mm G master F2.8

Set up 2:

Sony A7rii

Sony 100-400 G master F2.8

I set up my cameras right next to each other. This way you can get the best comparison available. So here it is … Long Lens vs. Wide Angel: 35mm vs. 250mm

How to capture the Firefalls?

Make sure to head on over to my blog on “How to shoot the Yosemite National Park Firefalls” . This blog gives you all the details: What gear to bring, how to see it, where to go, what it is, so on and so forth.

So where was I for this shot?

I parked at the lodge and walked West along the North Side drive for about 1.5 miles. Here is a little aerial of where I was. I wasn’t quite at the El Capitan picnic area.

Patience, Persistence, Love, and Grace

I have to put this in here, because this was a huge part of my adventure and a huge part of my trip. I had tried to capture this image the previous day. I was feeling defeated after not seeing it, and after how stressful that day really was.

Ultimately, I didn’t want to try again. I was feeling super discouraged. I was having all sorts of negative self talk, and it just sucked. I wanted to give up. Wasn’t really being able to pin point why I was doing this in the first place. Once I thought about this long and hard, it helped me to get my lazy booty off the couch and go have an amazing adventure.

Yosemite National Park Firefall 2019 - Horsetail Fall - Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography 1.jpg

While I was in the park, running to my location because the firefalls were going to start without me, I began that negative self talk again…

So what is my point here. My point is to not give up and to freaking give yourself grace. It doesn’t always work out as planned. It doesn’t always go smooth. It doesn’t always even work, but you know what…. it is always worth it. You are always worth it. Doing what you love and what sets your soul on fire is always worth it; however, when you are struggling, just try to be nicer to yourself along the way. You can’t control everything. Remember that. For this trip… I coudn’t control that I was stuck in construction, yet I wanted to give all the reasons as to why it was my fault that I was running behind. IT ISN’T ALWAYS YOUR FAULT. YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING.

If you can remember this while things are going a little sideways it is going to make your life, your outlook, and pretty much just everything that much better.

The other little part of this is patience and persistence. You are never going to get the shot that you want the first time. You will walk away from multiple adventures without the shot. This is landscape photography. You have to realize that you are working with Mother Nature and let me tell you, she doesn’t care what you want, she doesn’t care about your plans, and she won’t listen to your ideas. You have to be patient. You have to be persistent. You have to KEEP TRYING.

Ok…. enough said….

Have you ever seen the Firefall? Did you even know about it before you saw this post? Comment below and let me know.

Do you have any questions on how to shoot the falls? Ask your question in the comments below and I will get back to you.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

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

Stay Inspired with Photography - Things to try in 2019

Being a creative can sometimes be difficult. We are incredibly hard on ourselves, we get frustrated when we cannot create, we doubt ourselves quite often, and we get in these weird creative slumps from time to time.

I have done all this more than I would like to admit, and that is just counting last year :? I wanted to create this post to help you to stay inspired. To give you some ideas of different things to try this year to stay going forward in your photography journey, to keep you inspired, to keep you creating and doing what you love.

These are just a few ideas that I had off the top of my head. If you have other ideas please share them in the comments below. I want this to be an amazing community where we help each other grown, learn, and stay inspired. Becoming the best creatives, the best photographers, and the best humans that we can absolutely be.

Check out these fun photography mugs that I design for Photographers, Creative Entrepreneurs, and coffee lovers:

Stay Inspired with Photography - Things to try in 2019

  1. Refresh your skills with a class

 I seriously cannot stress this enough. Taking a class is probably the last thing on your mind, but it is probably the most valuable thing that you can do. It will not only help you learn new skills, it will also keep your creative juices flowing! This is huuugggeeee!

Plus, you are investing in yourself, your knowledge, and your well being. As creatives we tend to think that the last place we should spend money on is ourselves. Well I Yell Blasphamy! Serious, you are where you should invest your money in. Take care of yourself, treat yourself, expand your knowledge, become better.

Did you know that many careers have a continuing education piece? This is where they have to go back to school a certain amount of hours each year in order to stay on top. We should be treating ourselves and our business just like this.

2. Spice up your lens collection

 Ahhh, there is nothing like getting a new piece of equipment to really help you stay creative. This is a double investment in my opinion. This will help you with getting better photographs, it is an investment into your business, and it will keep you creatively motivated. How freaking awesome is that? Here are some of my favorite lenses.

3. Explore new heights and angles

 I mean this as far as composition is concerned. Think outside of the box.

Do you always take photos standing straight up? Well, then try squatting down! Here are a few other things to try:

  • Try shooting from above (aerial view) - You can stand on a log, a rock, or a mountain! Just try taking images from the top down.

  • Photograph from below - Lay on your back and shoot up into the sky.

  • Photograph from laying on your belly - Get at ground level. Who cares if you get dirty!

Stay Inspired with Photography - Things to try in 2019 by Bessie Young Photography

4. Start a self portrait project

 This can be one of the funnest and scariest ideas out there. I have tried this a few times, and man, each time I get nervous. Lol. I mean how can I get nervous in front of myself?

Starting a self portrait project can also help you think outside of the box, it can help you become more creative with lighting, angles, posing and so forth. But it can also help you with self confidence. Seriously, there is nothing like seeing a pretty picture of yourself to make you feel better.

5. Save time on editing

Editing can seriously be such a drag. We started photography because we liked to take photos! Not because we like to sit behind a desk all day, staring at a computer, editing our life away. There are some amazing tricks to help you save time on editing whether that is editing photos or videos. Make sure to check out my photography tips and tricks to get some awesome editing tricks. You can also check out my Youtube channel that has some easy tips and tricks for editing faster!

6. Try editing on the go

 So I just started this this year and OMGEEEEE!! It is amazing. Talk about always staying creative. I bought a super sweet laptop for photo editing, downloaded my Lightroom, and BOOM! Now I can edit on the go. This is going to be amazing for when I head out of town on a road trip.

This is also going to help you stay on time with your galleries, not feel too overloaded, and will help you stay creative.

7. Experiment with double exposure

 I looovvveee double exposures. Have you tried them yet? Comment below if you have.

There are certain cameras that will let you take a double exposure in camera! Now if that isn’t just the coolest then I do not know what is. The Sony A7rii is one of those cameras.

If you don’t have one of those cameras you can also do a double exposure in post. Check out these images below that I created in post:

 8. Sell your presets

Yep, this is a big one. There is nothing like being inspired with photography then by helping others. It is so awesome to see others use my presets for their photos. They tag me in the photos and OMG I am obsessed.

Plus, it is pretty awesome to get paid to do what you love!

If neither of these inspire you then I just don’t know what will.

Did you know that I sell some presets? Well, if not make sure to check them out.

9. Sell your landscape prints

 There are so many pros to selling your landscape prints I don’t even know where to begin. If you have been on the fence about this let me just give you a HARD push. What do you have to lose? Seriously though can you answer me that? What do you have to lose by trying?

Selling your prints is amazing. First of all you get to see your images printed on a huge canvas, metal, or lustre paper. Ok, if that hasn’t sold you yet let me just keep going.

Second, you get to sign your photograph!

Third, you get to decorate someone elses home with your creation! Imagine, someone is putting your print on their walls and admiring that image ever day! AHHHHH! This just makes me so excited.

10. Print more often and on the go!  

I created an entire blog post around this subject. You need to go check it out for yourself so see why it is so freaking cool to print your photos, and print them more often. Here is the post:

How to print photos from your phone

Printing your photos is just the best. Seeing your creations in person, holding them in your hands….. man there is just not much better than that. It kind of solidifies the entire process. It makes everything whole. Whether you are a professional photographer, a mom, or someone in high school, there is nothing like getting your photos printed out. You need to do this.

Create photo albums, hang the photos on your walls or your fridge, put them in your wallet. Do all the things! Believe me, you will thank me after that.

The Polaroid Zip:

Now, to make printing on the go super freaking easy check out this little guy. You can print anywhere right from your phone!

It is called the polaroid zip. Now there are a ton of different options out there, but this is the one I use. I use if for my brides, I use if for my families, I use it for my engagement sessions, and I use if for my family get togethers. It is my favorite. Again, check out the post that I created, linked above.

 

I hope this gets your creative juices going and thinking about new things that you can try this year to stay inspired with photography. Make sure to comment below if you have other ideas on how to stay inspired. My goal with this blog is to not only share photography tips and tricks, but to create an awesome community that helps each other become the absolute best we can be.

Wishing you nothing but the most beautiful 2019!

Bessie


P.s. did you enjoy this blog? Make sure to check out these similar ones here:


Yosemite Firefall 2019 - Horsetail Fall - Attempt 1 - Landscape Photography

The Adventure

Horsetail Falls Yosemite Firefall is a sight to see. I have only ever seen it one time, but I have tried multiple times. This year I tried again.

The adventure started like every other one. Plan the trip, pack up the gear, and go. It should have been easy peasy right? WRONG! It typically takes me 2 hours to get to Yosemite Valley. I left around 1pm which meant that I would have over 2.5 hours to find my spot, set up, and enjoy the view.

The drive started out nice. You know, a nice clear sunny day, but as I started to get into the mountains the roads started to get a little snowy. Now I had planned for this. I drove my truck, brought my chains just in case, but I wasn’t prepared for the roads to be completely snowed over.

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There were cars everywhere. Most were pulled over putting on chains, some were stopped while their kids went sledding, and others seemed…. well…. stuck.

This slowed me down quite alot. I was only able to drive about 15-20 miles per hour due to the cars in front of me with chains on. As I approached the entrance of the park it was already 3:30. That is 2 hours already. I should have been on the valley floor by this time, but I was still an hour away if things went smooth. The firefall should start at 5:20 - 5:40.

Since I was already so far behind, I almost turned around, but I figured I had made it this far I might as well keep going. Unfortunately the roads were the exact same condition almost the entire way to the valley floor.

As I approached Cathedral Beach Picnic area it was already 4:50pm! It took me almost 4 hours to get to the valley floor. That ate away all my cushion time to adventure around and find the perfect spot. I only had 20 minutes to get to my location and set up. By the way, my spot was about a quarter mile hike to the river in the snow.

As I tried to hurry, I slipped quite a bit on the ice and in the snow, but I made with over 10 minutes to spare! YAAAASSSSSS!

I set up my gear and got ready for the show. The sun was setting and the light was looking just right. There was even a super neat little cloud right over the face of El Capitan.

It was 5:20. As the sun lowered, the falls started to turn yellow. It was happening!

Then, all of the sudden, out of now where, the light went away. Everything went dark except that tiny little cloud over El Capitan. It stopped. The firefall stopped! I sat there and waited…

Nothing.

5:30 came around and Horsetail falls was still dark.

Still Nothing.

5:40 came around and everything began to get blue… blue hour was upon me and it was obvious that it didn’t happen that night.

So, I took advantage of where I was and got a few pictures with the remaining light that was in the sky.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it, but this was only Attempt 1. I am determined to see it, so stay tuned for Attempt 2…

To Be Continued.

Luckily I was able to see it in 2016 so I wanted to share that series of images with you:

Yosemite Firefall Series - Yosemite National Park Landscape Photographer Bessie Young

How to Photograph Horsetail Falls Yosemite Firefall

Let’s talk about what the Yosemite Firefalls actually is, how to see it, and how to photograph it…

1. What is the Yosemite Firefalls?

This is an amazing natural phenomena that occurs in Yosemite. Basically, it is where the waterfall that runs off of El Capitan, called Horsetail Falls, lights up and looks as though it is on fire as the sun sets. It turns a bright yellow, then orange, then pink color.

Yosemite National Park Photography by Bessie Young Woman Outdoor Photographer - Horstail Falls Yosemite Firefall.jpg

2. How to see the Firefall

In order to to see the Firefall off of Horsetail falls you have to have all the right conditions. It is a little tricky:

  1. The Horsetail fall waterfall that runs off of El Capitan must be flowing.

  2. The western sky must be clear. Basically, you don’t want any clouds to cover the sun as it sets or else you won’t see the falls change colors.

  3. You have to be there at sunset (this year it was around 5:20)

  4. You have to be at the right angle. You need to be on the east side of the waterfall looking up at it.

  5. The angle of the sun has to be just right in order to hit the waterfall and create the gorgeous colors. This only occurs in late February. Basically the 2nd and 3rd week of February are the optimal times to see it.

3. How to Photograph the Natural Phenomena

Alright friends this is where it gets fun! So obviously you have to be there at the right time of year, have the right conditions, and be at the right angle. Now how do you make sure to get the shot you want?

You need to explore Yosemite and decide where you want to take the picture from. Try to envision the photo that you want to take. Do you want a tight cropped photo? Do you want a wide landscape photo? Once you figure out the composition that you want, this will help you choose your spot.

4. Other Gear You Need (Not Photography Related)

SO MUCH GEAR! lol, no not really, but kind of. Ok so you need your photo equipment obviously, but you also need to bring other things.

  1. Water

  2. Snacks

  3. A chair to sit and be comfy in (not necessary but nice)

  4. A head lamp to walk back to your car

  5. WARM CLOTHES - This happens in February in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains. Think COLD. This year it was getting down into the teens people. I bring:

    • Yoga pants under my hiking pants

    • Thick wool socks

    • Hiking boots

    • Beanie

    • Base layer long sleeve shirt

    • Down Jacket

    • Gloves

  6. Hand warmers. This things are amazing if you get cold easy.

  7. Backpack to carry all your things

5. Other things to consider

According to the Yosemite National Park website they are going to be implementing a permitting process. It was supposed to start this year, 2019; however, due to the snow they decided to push out the permit requirement to start next year 2020. I am uncertain as to how that his going to look, but make sure you are prepared so you don’t go to all the planning just to get to the entrance of the park and have to turn around.

Have you ever seen the Firefall? Did you even know about it before you saw this post? Comment below and let me know.

Do you have any questions on how to shoot the falls? Ask your question in the comments below and I will get back to you.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

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

How to Deal with Failure - Car Chats with Bessie

Today I failed. I didn’t just fail a little, a failed alot.

While I was driving yesterday early morning I saw the moon. It was huge, and gorgeous, and beautiful, and I just wanted to get a picture of it. Since I couldn't I decided that I would get up early the next day to get a picture of it.

So, this morning I got up early, grabbed all my stuff, and headed out to the perfect spot to see the moon. I had done all the things let me tell you. I had planned it, I had done all my research, I had looked at Angles and locations, and I was set to get an amazing moon-set picture. The weather wasn't supposed to roll in until 11 in the afternoon which meant clear morning skies and absolutely amazingness.

As I packed all my stuff into the car  I looked up and saw  all sorts of clouds .  Now it wasn't supposed to be cloudy until the afternoon but it was definitely cloudy at 6 this morning . I decided to try for it anyway . I was thinking that possibly the clouds might break just a little bit for me to get a picture of the moon, or if I wasn't able to do that then I was definitely going to be able to get a picture of the sunrise . Honestly, I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to get one picture whether it be the sunrise or the moon set.  There was no reason to even think twice about this . Either way it was a win win. Moon rise or sunrise over the gorgeous blooming orchards. So off I went to my spot .  

I got to my spot and of course lots of clouds .  I wasn't super worried because like I said I was going to get a sunrise photo . I love sunrises they're super gorgeous and pastel colors are just amazing . It was going to be the perfect spot to get that Sunrise so no worries here..   

As the time was passing it was becoming more and more obvious that there was not going to be a sunrise.  I was keeping my hopes up , but in the back of my mind I knew that it was going to happen . The clouds came into the East way too quickly  and right before sunrise .  The morning started to get brighter, the clouds started to light up, and then everything faded… To my disappointment I didn't get a moon-set photo or a sunrise photo . I packed up my things and I headed back to the truck. 

Me being me, I started beating myself up .  I am my own worst critic , and I'm really mean to myself  oh, this is something that I'm working on but I know that other people do the same thing especially other creatives and small business owners .  Now this is where I want to talk to you a little bit about  failure .  

If you are trying something failure is inevitable at some point . You are going to fail at something  and at some moment in your life . If you are creative and a small business owner you're going to fail all the time .  In today's world we are so used to seeing  everybody's highlight reel .  We only see their good things, we never see their failures .

In my opinion,  since we aren't sharing our failures we are doing a huge Injustice to other people . We are creating this false expectation that no one ever fails .

So I wanted to share with you one of my failures . I have made a bajillion YouTube videos  and never posted them because those trips were failures . Something in the trip along the way didn't go right and I didn't get the shot that I wanted. So what happens? Well let me tell you, I don't get to share those videos, I don't get to share those moments, and I didn't get the photo that I wanted.

This happens all the time especially in landscape photography. We cannot control the weather. You can plan all you want but ultimately is up to Mother Nature to be nice and allow you to get that shot.

Did I get a shot today? Yes.

Do I love it? No.

Is it a good shot? Well that depends on who you ask.

Let me know in the comments below what your thoughts are. Here is the image from today;s adventure:

Failure in Landscape Photography - Car Chats with Bessie by Bessie Young Photography - How to deal with failure

Now with all that being said this is why I'm sharing this failure with you .  We are so used to comparing our behind-the-scenes crap to everyone else's highlight reel . We don't see other people's crap  so we begin to think that were ultimate failures . We begin to believe that we cannot succeed, we believe that it's all our fault, we ask ourselves what's wrong with me? We blame ourselves, we begin to think we aren't good enough, we get feeling down, and we struggle quite a bit with the idea that we should just give up .  

This is me telling you that you're not alone, this is me telling you that it's okay to fail . It is okay to fail you just have to try again, you can't give up on yourself, you can't compare yourself to other people's highlight reels, and you will succeed at some point .  Don't stop trying . If you fail just get up and try again, maybe go grab yourself some coffee , take a nice hot shower , get up the next morning and try it again . The only time that you're actually going to fail is if you stop trying .  

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement
— C.S. Lewis

Failing sucks… it just does. There is no way to say it other than to be blunt…. failing sucks. So, here are 10 ways on how to deal with failure:

10 Ways to Deal with Failure by Bessie Young Photography YOU ARENT FAILING .jpg

How to Deal with Failure in Landscape Photography

  1. Accept how you feel

  2. Don’t make it personal

  3. Stop dwelling on it

  4. Remember that you aren’t a failure just because you had a setback

  5. Acknowledge irrational beliefs about failure

  6. Ask yourself what you can learn

  7. Accept only the appropriate amount of responsibility

  8. Don’t get stuck in mulling the situation over for too long

  9. Remind yourself - anyone who wants to do things of value in life will fail.

  10. Don’t give up!

I hope this blog was helpful and just got you thinking about how you aren’t a failure. I hope that this blog can help even just one person to recognize that they are too hard on themselves, that comparing someone else’s highlight reel to your behind the scenes doesn’t make you a failure, that it is ok to not get the shot everytime, that it is ok to not accomplish what you set out to accomplish on that specific day just get up and try again. This doesn’t make you a failure.

You are amazing. The only time that you ultimately fail is when you give up and quit. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Share your successes, share your failures, be real, be honest, be kind to yourself, and keep trying.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

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

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

Uninspired? Find Your Motivation | Inspiration for Creative Entrepreneurs | Car Chats With Bessie

Recently I was watching a Peter Mckinnon video. I mean ya, everyone probably saw it because he has a bajillion followers. It was all about feeling uninspired.

pin it button by Bessie Young .jpg

He called it photographers block . I thought that was just perfect !  The entire video is really good and it was all about things that you could do  to become inspired again , or to get over this so-called photographers block .  

Uninspired - Find Your Motivation - Inspiration for Creative Entrepreneurs - By Bessie Young Photography

As I started reading through the comments I noticed a reoccurring comment, or a reoccurring theme. There were so many people talking about comparison. They were saying how they can't seem to overcome the hole comparison game, how comparison is the death of motivation, and how social media is really feeding people to compare themselves to others.

Naturally I started commenting trying to help him to stay motivated. Explaining how they shouldn't be comparing themselves to others, blah blah blah. Then I started realizing that I should just create a video in a blog post about this. There are so many people struggling with this .  So here it is my blog post all about  comparing yourself and what I do to make sure that I don't compare myself to others .  

Now it's kind of inevitable right? We have social media in our face, we have the world at our fingertips because we carry our smartphone everywhere we go. So we are getting inundated with so much information .  We see all these people being so successful, and we begin to doubt our self. We begin to think what's wrong with me?  

Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People

I'm here to tell you my friend that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you . You see the problem with social media is we see everybody's highlight reel . Do we even really know  that this is real? That their successes real? That those photos are real? Yet we want to compare yourself to something that we don't really even know  the truth behind it .  The other thing is is we don't see the struggles that these successful people have been through. We don't see how long it's taking them to get to where they are today .  We might have been in business for only a couple years yet we're comparing yourself to someone that's been grinding it out for 10 or 15 years . We have to remember this  or the other idea is to just stop comparing yourself  two other people on the internet . Now hear me out . . .  

I say that we start comparing ourself to ourself .  I'm sure you're kind of wondering what I mean but just listen for a second and you'll totally understand where I'm going .  If we start comparing ourselves to our self we will start realizing how far we've come in our craft . Take a moment and look back at when you first started . Look at your photos, or your Creations, a few years ago . Now compare them to something that you just did recently .  Don't you notice how far you have come ?. 

Now if that is not motivation I really don’t know what it is

You can see your success . You can see your growth. You can see how awesome you're becoming.  You can see that you are getting better . You can see all the changes that you've made throughout the years to be where you are today . Now if you would have stopped pushing forward you wouldn't be the badass that you are today. If you would have stopped because you kept comparing yourself and thinking that you're not good enough then you wouldn't be as good as you are today. So my friend stop comparing yourself to other people and just compare yourself to yourself. Whenever you start realizing that you are comparing yourself to others, and you realize that you're starting to feel down, you're starting to doubt yourself, and so forth pull up your old stuff. Pull up your old images from years ago and start comparing those to the ones that you just took. Believe me it's going to make you happy, it's going to motivate you, and it's going to make you realize that you are getting better, and that you will continue to get better as time goes on as long as you continue to pursue what you love.

Lets compare some of my photos:

Uninspired - Find Your Motivation - Inspiration for Creative Entrepreneurs - Car Chats With Bessie.jpg

So there you have it. My progression from 2007. Whenever I choose to compare myself to myself I begin to feel so much dang better. I see how far I have come, I realize how much I have grown as an individual and a creative. Then, I become inspired to do more, get better, try harder.

So lets stop comparing ourselves to other people. Lets just compare ourselves to ourselves.

Can you relate? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear how you avoid the Photographers block, how to avoid getting uninspired, how you find your motivation to continue to do what you love.

Wishing you nothing but the most positive 2019!

Bessie