Jordan Brittley’s Film Bag

Kansas City Wedding by Jordan Brittley

Before I make a business decision I think through the smallest of details, evaluate profitability and try to make the most strategic decision that I can. This is what I did with film. I read Film is Not Dead, projected yearly expenses for film and decided that film was the best thing that I could give my clients and the best thing I could give myself.

The color is what drew me to film and what leaves my heart skipping a beat when I get to see my images. I have been able to really connect with my clients by shooting film because I am not worried about anything except for the person in front of me. There are still certain situations where I prefer digital (click HERE to see my digital bag), but I see the world in film.

There are SO many great reasons to shoot film, but I won’t get into all of those reasons right now. Read on to see what I keep in my film bag!

St Louis Wedding by Jordan Brittley
St Louis Wedding by Jordan Brittley
Springfield Wedding by Jordan Brittley

Medium Format: Contax 645 (with eyepiece, back & insert)
*Images above were all shot with the Contax
35mm: Canon 1V
*Images below were all shot with the Canon 1V

+Hoya Filters for the Contax
Batteries (2CR5)

Canon 50 L
Canon 85 L
Canon 100 L
Canon 70-200 L

Fuji 400H
Portra 800
Ilford Delta 3200

Receipts – I hold onto every business expense while I am on the road and file it once I am home!
Wallet – When I am traveling, I like to keep my wallet in my camera bag and leave the purse at home! Plus, I have my business credit card handy while on shoots and out of state.

Business Cards
Client Information – Names, Phone Numbers, Shoot Locaiton, etc,.
Timeline of Events

Tenba Carry-On
Kelly Moore Libby (Caramel)
Kelly Moore Classic (Black)

St Louis Engagement by Jordan Brittley
St Louis Engagement by Jordan Brittley

If you found this post helpful, I would love to hear your thoughts below!

5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet

5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet

I absolutely love photographing the bouquet on a wedding day! Who doesn’t love photographing something that is beautiful AND smells wonderful?! I have learned that my brides spend a lot of time thinking about the design of their bouquet and therefore love photos of the bouquet. I always set aside a few minutes each wedding day to photograph the bouquet in a way that the bride will enjoy! I will be talking more about setting yourself up for success with a great wedding timeline soon.

Photographs of details should never replace photographs of the couple or special moments throughout the day, so be sure to allow time to photograph what really matters!

(1) BY ITSELF - You just can’t go wrong with a classic bouquet shot. This shot looks great in an album, on the wall, in a box of prints or in a published online gallery!

5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet
5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet

(2) AROUND/OVER THE SHOULDER - In my opinion, the best bouquet shots are the ones that include the couple! So I always have the bride throw her arm around the groom so that the bouquet creates a beautiful foreground.

5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet
5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet
5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet
5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet

(3) TRADITIONAL - An editor always loves a traditional shot of the bouquet and it looks great in a blog post! This is also a great way for the bride to show off the detail of her bouquet in an album, social media or even as an enlarged print!

5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet
5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet

(4) BETWEEN THE COUPLE - This shot is absolutely my favorite. I love the emotion that seems to expressed in these photographs and adding the bouquet to the foreground makes this photograph a dream. The light. The emotion. The beautiful Blooms.

5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet
5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet
5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet

(5) DOWN THE SIDE - This is such a simple bouquet shot, but brides LOVE it! Who wouldn’t?! Photographs of the couple that show off meaningful details from the wedding day are so timeless!

5 Ways to Photograph the Bouquet

5 Things to Know One Month Into Business

Savannah Georgia Photos by Jordan Brittley

I was recently asked what I wish I would have known one month into business. While the list below is not exhaustive, I do think that it will provide some insight for aspiring entrepreneurs. I understood the basics of some of these concepts, but some things take time to truly develop into wonderful systems so give yourself some grace!

(1) GOOD FINANCES – Talk to an accounting professional about setting up your business. Create a budget. Open a business account (for expenses) and a business savings account (for taxes/unforseen expenses). Keep track of everything you are spending and earning. Save all business receipts. Be thorough.

I think that you should never go into debt for your business. By avoiding debt at all costs, it has given us the freedom to pursue goals and take opportunities as they have come our way! There are so many uncertain factors that come into play in business and I never want to risk going into debt to make something happen. If my business can’t take care of itself (and my family) then my business doesn’t need to continue. Don’t destroy your finances for a dream or at the end you will have no money and a crushed dream.

If you are already in debt for your business, don’t panic. Just set up a plan to pay it off so it isn’t looming and you can be free. I really can’t stress how important it is to run a business with healthy finances. I will be diving into how I run my business finances in a post soon, so stay tuned!

(2) CREATE A STRONG ONLINE PRESENCE – Start a website. Start a blog. Get on every single social media outlet (facebook, instagram, pinterest, twitter, tumblr, google+ to name a few). Interact with potential clients, vendors and loyal customers. Be available in the online world and it will pay off in getting your name out there!

(3) IT’S NOT GOING TO BE PERFECT – Despite the fact that you are doing something that you LOVE, you are not always going to love doing it. There are going to be days when you don’t want to work and when you might think it would be easier to just work for someone else. Those days are normal. There are going to be days when you wonder if all that hard work is ever going to pay off. Those days are normal.

Never let these thoughts or feelings affect the way that you serve your clients or the product that you give to them. Keep doing everything with excellence.

I can’t promise you that your business is going to make it, but I can tell you with certainty that doing something you love is hard. So just know you are not alone.

(4) SUCCESS DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT – It can be really easy to think that everything will fall into place perfectly if you can just check off a list. Because why shouldn’t something work if you are doing everything correctly? Well, I am here to tell you that business takes time and while there are some businesses that may appear to take off overnight, there was a LOT that went into that business behind the scenes. Be diligent, work hard and do things with integrity and your business just might take off!

(5) BE YOU – Relax and be you. Steve Jobs wasn’t effective because he was doing everything the way everyone else would do it. One of the reasons he was effective was because he recognized that he saw a different potential in the world around him and he chose to see what no one else would see. Dr Seuss once wrote “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Go be yourself. Go see the world differently. And then go show others how you see the world and let that inspire them to be different too.

(6) BONUS: SUBMIT IT ALL TO GOD – This has changed my business. I would not be where I am today without God showing me what to do, giving me wisdom in making business decisions and giving me a greater purpose for this life. I don’t work at this business for man. I work at this business for God. And my clients and vendors can tell a difference. He is good and His ways are good.

Savannah Georgia Photos by Jordan Brittley

July 29, 2014 - 7:03 pm

Linda Baca - awesome advice and I especially agree with no. 6 and continued success!!!

Sri and Chris Wedding Video

Hand in hand they walked into the gardens together. They were quiet together, each one already knowing what the other was thinking. He kissed her behind the lace parasol that Sri had made for their wedding day. He led her by the flowers and beside the fountains in the St Louis gardens and they danced the night away under the stars.

Keeping a Great Calendar

Savannah Georgia Anniversary by Jordan Brittley

Yesterday I shared part two on Running a Business in College and in one of my points, I explained the necessity of keeping a calendar. Since my college days, the way that I stay organized with my calendar has changed and I have noticed a huge change in efficiency and drive for the task at hand. I currently use the Simplified Planner from Emily Ley in addition to iCal on my phone and computer to keep track of to-do lists, events, dinner plans and more.

Using Stephen Covey’s Four Quadrant model, I characterize each of my tasks as important-urgent, important-not urgent, not important-urgent and not important-not urgent. The important-urgent and not important-not urgent tasks are pretty easy to identify. If I schedule a meeting, book a wedding or commit to something, it goes in my Simplified Planner and in the iCal app (with an alert to remind me) because it is important. If I think of something I need or want to do, it goes in the iCal app so I can characterize it later. The first thing to get written down in my Simplified Planner is always a task that could be defined as important-urgent.

(1) WRITE YOUR VERY LONG LIST – If you are a business owner, student, employee or person alive today, you probably have a lot of things going on in your mind. If you are an Entrepreneur, then you are constantly thinking of even more things to do. Whatever the case, start by writing everything down. I keep my long list in iCal so I can just transfer from day to day. If you think of a blog post idea, something to add to the grocery list or a new dessert your want to make, write it down.

I have noticed a huge change in my productivity when I am not stressed and I think that writing things down is becoming a key factor in minimizing daily stress. This list should encompass your entire to-do list as well as anything else you are brainstorming.

(2) ORDER THAT LIST BY IMPORTANCE – Once you have your very long list of everything going on in your mind, you can order the list by importance. If it’s important-urgent, give it an A. Important-not urgent gets a B. Not Important-urgent gets a C and I cross off anything that is Not Important-Not Urgent if it somehow found its way onto the list.

(3) IDENTIFY AND DELEGATE THE UNIMPORTANT AND URGENT – One of my biggest challenges is identifying the unimportant-urgent task. You may feel like everything is pressing and important, but a good test of importance is by asking yourself if someone else could do the task in your place. It’s not about whether you would feel comfortable giving up control of that task, but if it possible for someone else to do the task. You can probably categorize more things as unimportant-urgent than you initially thought.

(4) DO NOT DO THE UNIMPORTANT AND NOT URGENT – This is a simple one. Don’t do things that aren’t important and aren’t urgent.

(5) SCHEDULE THE IMPORTANT (URGENT AND NOT URGENT) TASKS FIRST – Once you have your list sorted by importance, start scheduling your tasks in your calendar. I do this in my Simplified Planner because it’s easy for me to glance at throughout the day and it’s one less thing that I have to do on my phone. Say goodbye to unimportant tasks (because you are going to let someone else do them) and hello to important things that you didn’t think you had time to do.

Goodbye post office runs. Goodbye burning DVDs. Hello to seeing my sisters play softball during the summer, reading books and serving others.

(6) SCHEDULE 2 PERSONAL BREAKS – There is a reason that employers give a work-break every 4 hours. Do this for yourself every 3-4 hours and you will be able to work much more diligently, resulting in a more productive work day.

(7) DO NOT OVER SCHEDULE YOURSELF – Be ambitious, but not overly ambitious. Putting too many tasks on your list for the day isn’t going to make sure that they get done. I used to work 60+ hours a week (easily) and while I still love my job, time with my husband is way more important than getting a list of things done. I understand when you have deadlines and you have to get things done or when you want to take an extra day off so you put in extra hours. Just make sure that you are doing what you are doing on purpose for a purpose. Work hard and do what matters.

(8) USE SOCIAL MEDIA IN CHUNKS (AND FOR BUSINESS) – I try to interact with people on social media, but I try to do it in chunks: once in the morning, once in the afternoon (unless it’s a busy day) and once at the end of the work day. I try to set a time limit of 10 minutes for myself so that I don’t get caught wasting my time. I don’t think that social media is bad, but I think that I can easily give so much more time to it than I really want to give. These boundaries that I have set up for myself make me excited to interact with people on social media and I know that I am still getting work done!

(9) IF YOU ROUTINELY WORK WITH CLIENTS, BLOT OUT AN EXTRA HOUR OF TIME FOR THEM – If you have been working with clients for any length of time, you know that they have questions and need guidance. As a wedding photographer, my clients typically need more attention leading up to the engagement session and wedding day than any other time. Leave yourself some time in your calendar for the unexpected to happen. Because then you can devote your attention to your client and serve them better!

(10) STICK TO YOUR CALENDAR – This is a simple one. If you are good at characterizing tasks, scheduling tasks and breaks then all you have to do is stick to your calendar!!

(11) BONUS: SCHEDULE A LUNCH BREAK – I don’t know if other people are like this, but I can get so wrapped up in work that I forget to eat (or drink water!!). Schedule time for yourself to eat something, fill up your glass of water and breathe.

Flowers by Jordan Brittley