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May 2021

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Dear First name / Friend,

I hope this email finds you well. I'm so excited that the trees are finally greening up in Minnesota and I can get back to outdoor photograph and riding. Fritzie and I both need more of the latter for body, mind and soul health. 😌


Spring is a time for renewal, so I'm excited to share some new things happening in my business.


First is the launch of my new Shelley Paulson Education web site: This new site is tied in directly with my online mentorship content and will allow me to offer some on-demand courses later this year. You can also book a 1:1 mentor session, access the free educational content I offer, and buy my eBook “The Quick Start Guide to Equestrian Photography” directly on the site.


Breaking this content out on its own site is part of another big change happening in my business – I am going to be shifting focus to commercial and editorial photography, limiting portrait sessions to former clients (and friends!). I am days away from launching a new web site reflecting these changes. I can't wait!


Quick Tip - Exposing for Full Sun

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While we all love the soft light and warm tones of golden hour, it's not always possibly to schedule all of our photography for that timeframe, especially if you do photography at horse shows or other all-day events.


Exposing for full sun can be a challenge, because you are dealing with a LOT of light, but there are a few ways to make sure you get a great exposure that will give you a full range of color and dynamic range from shadow to highlight to work with. 


The biggest mistake I see photographers make in full sun is they “blow out” their highlights (white areas) so there is no detail left, so the key to a good exposure in full sun is to slightly underexpose your image. 


If you are shooting in manual, this means you set your ISO, Aperture and Shutter so that your camera meters to the left of center. If you are shooting in another mode like aperture or shutter priority, you want to use Exposure Compensation and dial it down a few clicks. 


The quickest way to know if you are preserving highlights with your exposure is to turn your camera's highlight warning on. This is different for every camera body, but it's a setting or mode where, when you review the image on the back of the camera, the overexposed areas blink. 


The caveat is that sometimes you will have blinkies even with a proper exposure, like if you are shooting back lit and the sky is in your photo. So I'm mainly looking for skin, markings, and tack to be blinkie-free.


The bonus for exposing this way is that your image will naturally retain more color and contrast. And if your back is to the sun, you can capture some deliciously blue skies!


What I'm Reading and Listening To…


We don’t need an attitude of world domination and crushing it in our work in order to make a great living or even have a substantial impact. Our work can start and finish small while still being useful—focused on moving toward better instead of more.


Paul Jarvis, A Company of One




In April, I finished a book so good, I highlights about 3x as many passages as usual and I am already applying its wisdom to my life and business. It's called “A Company of One” by Paul Jarvis and it's about how to grow your business without scaling it. 


My business has done well and grown significantly in the past year, but it's also become a bit overwhelming, which puts me at a crossroads. Do I scale up by hiring people to help or do I scale back but become more focused? My answer is a little bit of both. I am working on outsourcing some parts of my business that don't require my personal touch, but I am also scaling back on portrait work to give more time to the commercial/editorial photography and education sides of my business. My goal now is to take exceptional care of a small stable of photography clients and mentoring students instead of constantly trying to get new clients for the sake of “growth.” 


Some Related Articles (Because sometimes a topic just keep smacking you in the face until you pay attention!) 😆




Until next time…






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