Q & A - How to Connect w Brands, Staying Away from SHADY Deals, Proper Photo Storage ...


Questions taken from Instagram @karen.rosalie & Q&A Session 2


@ArtandAnthem: Have you ever pitched to brands you want to work with that you connected via insta or social? I've never really done that and so I'm like spazzing on the wording of the email. Or just cold emailed people? All the clients I've had thus far are from incoming inquiries but I totally want to reach out to people I have an eye on, I'm just not sure what the proper etiquette is. 

It's never easy to reach out to someone you've never met or talked to, but congrats on wanting to make the first move! My recommendation is to be concise

1. Start with a short intro & a link to your work.

2. Do your research and figure out what you can offer them before reaching out. It saves both parties a lot of time when you already come to the table with an idea or a service, rather than asking them if they have any ideas. It's always good to have ideas prepared so you can work off of that. So instead of "I take pictures, do you want any pictures" try "I specialize in food photography and I would to help elevate the quality of your content with food GIFs and flatlays." Which sounds stronger and more legit? 

3. Be polite and friendly! Don't be afraid to use exclamation marks. If you're excited, there's no way that person on the other end will know unless you use the correct punctuation. Just don't do this!!!!!!! Always end the email with a thank you! 

Reaching out to people/"cold calling" is just like having a conversation with a stranger. Imagine if someone came up to you randomly for something. How would you want them to talk to you? Short, sweet & valuable so they don't waste your time, right? 


@junelove6597: Any advice on staying away from shady deals? I want to become a photographer, artist and possibly model but I don't want to get tricked into a scam. Any advice? 

I love this question because although we don't really talk about it, a huge part of photography when you first start out can be super shady. When I first started out as a photographer after college, I was in so many situations where I was like, "Is this shady?" to "OMG this is so definitely shady." I don't know if there is a way for you to completely avoid shady deals (just a warning, you'd probably have at least ONE bad experience), but here are some tips to avoid the worst: 

As a model (for test shoots): 

If a photographer asks you to shoot, ask him to send you any ideas or mood boards that he has. Ask about his experience and what the photos are for. Esp as a girl you should be careful working with male photographers (no offense to any guy photogs!) because there are so many male photographers portfolios that are just them exercising their fetishes. Make sure you can also use those photos for your book and it's on branding with your portfolio too. Don't just say yes because you're flattered someone asked you to shoot!

As a photographer: 

Always ask what the deliverables are. If someone is going to book you without letting you know the scope of work, that project can easily turn into a 200 photo deliverable ... which means you spend the next month behind a computer editing. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into! And you can kind of tell how legit they are by the information (or lack of) that they present to you. As cliche as it sounds, go with your gut. I once started a job where my boss made me write out my own contract on word doc right next to him and I was so uncomfortable but I stuck it out .. and finally quit after a terrorizing 3 months. 

What often ends up happening, especially when you're first starting out, you're afraid to ask questions. But don't be! If you walk into a situation without all the answers, that's how you end up in "shady situations." Make sure you find out everything you need to know so none of your boundaries are crossed! And don't be afraid to walk out if necessary! 


Laura Lindsay: Could you share a little about your photo storage and backup system. I'm running out of space on my Macbook! 

Since I shoot in RAW, every shoot ends up being 12gbs or more. I only work off of external hard drives, and I get a new one every 6 months. I never save photos onto my desktop! I'm currently using the 2tb Seagate external hard drive with an hard case from Amazon. All my photos are organized by year, date, month and day. Folders on folders with everything dated and properly named. Organization is key!  

@missblizzers: Please share some editorial food photography and editing tips! 

I'm not a food photographer nor do I specialize in food photography so it would be hard for me to recommend any tips for editorial food photography. The best tip would be to study food photographers like Steve Anderson or Carla Choy to see how they set up their lighting and achieve their photos. But one thing to remember is with food, your main job is to make it look delicious and clear. So keep your photos bright and clear so the food looks delicious! 

@maffewl: You shoot with a 6D right? Have you ever found the shutter speed max 1/4000 an issue while shooting in direct sunlight or no? 

Not at all, but that's because I shoot at a high F-stop! (My main lens is the 24-105mm.)

But actually I have found that when I shoot wide open with my Helio lens which lets in a ton of light, 1/4000 is not enough for me to expose for it. You should try renting it from Samys and testing it before committing to buying it!


@smellofjasmine_stories: You can import your photos into Lightroom and have them only on an external disc ? Because this way I lost everything I've done after the disc was removed ... 

My workflow is as follows: 

Transfer photos from SD card to external drive > 2017 > 04april > 0428-karen-cherry-trees 

So as you can see my files are nested in a very organized "tree" folder structure. (Imagine branches of a tree, that's how my files are organized.) 

Then I drag that folder "0428-karen-cherry-trees" into Lightroom and import folders from my drive. If you disconnect the external you won't be able to access the folders, but that's fine, that's why I always bring my drive with me everywhere.  And be sure to keep it safe in a hard case so it minimizes impact on it! I've had a drive just in my bag once without a case and I ended up losing all my photos from NYFW. (I was able to recover it thankfully.) It's also better to work on a flat surface rather than on your lap with the external hanging off! 


Thank you so much for all your questions!  I would love to answer more of your questions so please feel free to leave me a comment or DM or comment on Insta!

And if you missed the last Q&A post, you can find it here.