The Best of the Best of 2016 by Los Angeles Wedding Photographer Brandi Potter
2016 has been my best year yet business wise, and I am so thankful for everyone that has been a part of it. I’m thankful for ALL my clients for trusting me and letting me do my thing. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve been able to lean on through the difficult and good times. And I’m thankful for my business itself, because photography has given me so much over the past couple of years.
This year I’ve been to some amazing places. I had the opportunity to shoot in San Diego, Los Angeles, Oregon, Nashville, Cincinnati, and around Kentucky. I’ve seen things I haven’t before and met so many great photographers I can now count as friends. I really think that I’ve had the best clients this year as well. Everyone has been so amazing and great and I just don’t know how I can top it.
Before we get to my favorite photos from the year I would like to share some valuable lessons I’ve learned throughout the year.
- Don’t validate your business and your art by social media likes. Don’t think that your work is lesser than someone else because they got more likes than you. Social Media means NOTHING in the long run, but it can definitely be a powerful tool to connect you with others and promote yourself.
- Having friends that TRULY understand what running a business is like + every other photography aspect can save your sanity.
- Taking time off and doing nothing but watch netflix and play video games is ok. If you need a break give yourself one. Don’t burn yourself out. There have been several times this year I’ve taken a week or more off because I needed to decompress. I worked on other things besides editing and it helped keep me from a complete burn out.
- Destination Weddings are wonderful and exciting, but traveling is stressful. I’ve learned that buffer days are a must and you can and will eventually get stuck in an airport over night. Be prepared, and don’t think that they’re as glamorous as they look.
- Booking the right clients will make you SO MUCH HAPPIER.
- Don’t be afraid to shoot into the sun or in direct light. The sun is not the enemy (although I still prefer Golden Hour or overcast skies), not knowing the proper settings is.
- I’ve pushed myself this year to be better at ALL light situations. Much like shooting in direct sun light, night time photos or dark receptions can be super challenging. I’ve really learned that there are so many different ways to light your subjects without having a ton of lighting equipment.
- Entering photo competitions, especially when you don’t place, is a great way to push yourself to be better. Healthy competition is never a bad thing. I love looking at the photos that won and trying to push myself to that level.
- Educating your clients is the easiest way to get rid of those pesky questions we all hate to answer. Like if someone can have copyright or raw files. They won’t know why it’s wrong until you tell them, so don’t gripe about it, and have a conversation with them.
- Don’t be afraid to take a newbie under your wing. Helping new photographers is one of the most fulfilling things I have done. I LOVE watching the girls I’ve worked with building their business up and constantly improving.
P.S. If you would like to compare 2015 to 2016 you can look at my best of post from 2015 here.
P.S.S. Apparently I really liked taking photos of peoples feet this year.