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Photography Mentoring

I would do photography mentoring, only, and feel totally happy about that choice. I lovelovelove taking photos, but I am elated when people have that light-bulb moment and finally see what they have been trying to achieve with their work. Whether you just got your camera last week, whether you already shoot in manual and want to learn more, or if you’re starting your business – I would love to help you on your journey.

There are a few ways that I mentor:

1. Intro to DSLR classes (online and in-person)This is for people who have a DSLR and (ideally) a prime lens (like a 50mm 1.8 or similar. I can explain that further if you contact me). You get to learn how to shoot in manual mode (no more auto!! no more flash!!). I just recently started doing ONLINE classes. These classes run from Wednesday through Friday. Starting on Tuesday night, I will add you to a private facebook page with 2-3 other people. Starting Wednesday morning, I am there to answer questions – so you will post pictures, we’ll go over settings, we will break down how the exposure triangle works. Thursday, we will talk about composition and setting up interesting shots. A group setting is very useful – since you will learn from their questions as well. THIS IS FOR ANYONE. YOU MAY BE OUT OF TOWN.

If you happen to live in-town and want to do a class outdoors, in person, I do these once every few months.  These are in small groups of 3-4, outdoors, and an open forum of sorts. This class is about 2-3 hours and you will walk away feeling much more confident in your abilities to use your new camera.

Both of these classes are $175 each.

2. One-time sessions. If you have something specific you want to learn or watch me do, this is for you. You can collect all of the questions you’ve been wanting to ask and we can go out and shoot, chat, whatever you choose. If you just want to ask a few business “wwyd” questions or maybe go to a field with a model and practice backlighting – it’s up to you. One hour is $250.

3. Skype sessions. These are for my out of town lovelies. Q&A, ask away, anything you want. You’ll make a list of questions, beforehand, and then we can just go through everything you want to talk about or ask. One hour is $150. Two hours is $200.

4. Portfolio reviews. These are for those who are in business and just want to move to that next level – or are wondering why they feel stuck. You will send a gallery of 35 different images from various sessions. I will go through and critique each one and we will skype about it, after. 1-2 months later, you can send me a new gallery of 20 images that I can CC, after you have put into practice the new things we talked about over skype. This really is for people who aren’t afraid to break open that shell and hear what an outsider has to say. Portfolio reviews are $650.

5. Long term mentoring. This is technically the “best buy”, overall. Long term is 3 or 6 months and for people in or out of town. Basically if you want all of the above – this is it. I am an open book – Q&A, critiques, wwyd – all of it. I will set up a secret facebook group for the two of us. You are welcome to post all day: questions you have, photos you want me to look at, things that pop into your head that you’ve always wanted to know – and I will be there to answer. Business questions are always welcome. The answers, of course, will be simply how I do things or how I know others to do them. At the end of our time, I want you to feel confident and feel as if you can take everything you learned and grow as you move on to the next step of your photography journey. I also hope you feel as if you have a new friend and confidant in this crazy industry. 3 month sessions are $1250 and 6 month sessions are $2200.

 

A few disclaimers – I do not claim to know everything about editing. I do not know the ins and outs of photoshop or lightroom to where I feel as if I can teach that to you over the internet, so if that is what you’re looking for, none of these options are for focusing on HOW to use editing tools. I will obviously help with what needs to be edited, but not tool explanation, etc. Also, I simply teach what I know in regards to business. I will tell you what works for me, what has worked for past mentees, what works for friends – none of what I say is law. And lastly, I want to have fun. Be ready with an open heart and mind to learn new things by simply talking it out with me and by remembering that I am there to answer any question you have.

 

What others have said: 

I have learned more from Amanda in a few focused days than in several years of dabbling on my own. She not only gave me the push I needed to jump into shooting manual but the tools to do it. Her feedback is timely, direct, and spot on. Her advice has helped me to think about capturing moments differently and as a result my ratio of “keepers” has gone up dramatically. If you want better photos and to increase your knowledge, then she is for you.” – Jennifer M., ONLINE Intro to DSLR

“I loved the online format of this class — it was really easy to work into my family’s busy schedule. My favorite part was that I could take pictures throughout the day and post them online for Amanda’s helpful feedback. Amanda also put together some awesome worksheets — I’ve printed them and keep them in my camera bag for on-the-go advice!” – Kendle, ONLINE Intro to DSLR

A few weeks ago, I switched over to manual for the first time ever. After reading up on some things-I still couldn’t get a clear photo with anything “jiving” correctly. The info Amanda gave us the first day made everything “click” and then having mine and others pictures critiqued over the next few days made me confident I can definitely shoot in M in any situation and have better quality photos than I ever could have in auto. Thanks again! So glad I did it!” – Jessica, ONLINE Intro to DSLR

“What a great last few days this has been. I look forward to the practice and progress I have ahead of me. Thank you, you are Uh-mazing!!!!” – Jennifer H., ONLINE Intro to DSLR

 

“In April of 2012, I was cautiously considering starting a photography business.  I had been a hobbyist for a while….reading, practicing, and learning everything I could about photography.  My husband was very supportive and encouraged me to take the leap and officially start a business, but I wasn’t quite sure I was ready.  I needed some type of support and guidance from someone who had already done this.  Someone to mentor me on all things photography and business.

I had been following Gingersnaps Photographs for a while.  I loved Amanda’s style and thought it was very similar to mine (or the style I was trying to achieve) and somehow I got the courage up to ask if she would be interested in mentoring me.  I had no idea if we would be a good fit as far as a mentor/mentee relationship would go.  It was very clear after our first meeting that I had nothing to worry about!  She was so down to earth and fun that I felt like we had been friends for years.  We actually talked for a couple of hours (while she cuddled her 2 month old <3) and I knew we would work fabulously together.
After seeing some of my work, Amanda gave me the push I needed to get my business started.  Over the next year, she offered me advice and encouragement that was instrumental in getting my business off the ground.  We discussed everything… shooting techniques, how to make a session flow, editing styles, how to handle clients, scheduling, the legal side of business and taxes, pricing, websites, blogging, and more.  She gave me honest critiques of my photos that allowed me to become better with each session.  I was also able to go to some of her sessions and just watch her work, which was extremely helpful.  She was so easy going and playful with her clients, which showed me how to relax and have fun at sessions while also getting the most from my clients so that I’m able to give them images they love!
Now, more than two years later, I’m so proud of the business I have created and the images I am able to produce for my clients.  I have had 100% booked fall seasons since 2012, as well.  I will always be grateful for the invaluable guidance Amanda has given me in regards to my photography and business, but I feel so blessed I also gained a great friend!  Thanks so much Amanda!! <3″ – Brittney Davis Photography, Wylie, TX, Long Term Mentee

 

When I contacted Amanda, I had been following her (Gingersnap Photographs) for quite some time. I was drawn to her work overall, but I fell in love with her lifestyle photography sessions. Lifestyle photography is my personal favorite, and I was (and still am) absolutely inspired by her photography. I was so nervous to email her because I was certain she wouldn’t have time to mentor a new photographer. I was so very wrong. From the beginning, she has been nothing but welcoming and open about any questions I had and has made time for me. Within the first month or so, she let me tag along to a session, and I was able to ask any questions I had during the session. If you didn’t already know, she’s awesome at what she does! I just watched her do her thing; she was so down to earth and easy going and made it look so easy and effortless – I learned so much just by watching!

Signing up for mentoring was an investment in my photography, my business, and myself, and it wasn’t a decision I took lightly. I am so happy I was able to be a mentee with Amanda. I mean, I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I have learned so much and the business advice has been invaluable. She gives truly constructive feedback – to help you become BETTER and improve. She gives helpful advice for what to do differently for specific images or for next time, or whatever you need. And – when I send her something that is good, she is sure to tell me, and why. I’ve also asked my fair share of business related what-would-you-do questions and the advice, as I said before – truly helpful. I have had the privilege to get to know her a little through this mentoring, and not only is she an amazing photographer and teacher, she is just a remarkable person. Kind. Generous. Giving. Honest. Real. If you are considering a mentor – you will not be disappointed, and I am confident you will learn more than you ever thought possible with Amanda.
” – Jessica Hanson Photography, Plano, TX, Long Term Mentee

 

Amanda’s laid back approach to teaching made it easy to ask questions, and not feel intimidated… I’ve taken a lot online tutorials and have taught a lot to myself but she gave me the confidence to know when to use certain features on my DSLR and when it’s okay NOT to just because that is “what the pros say.” She is a great teacher, knows her stuff and is easy to learn from!” – Amy, IN PERSON Intro to DSLR

I took the class so I could figure out how to use my camera in manual – just for some cute pictures of my family. It worked! I’ve managed to get some nice pictures of my children alone and with hubby and have received compliments on them. And… Amanda is fun to learn with!” – Joanne, IN PERSON Intro to DSLR

I bought a DSLR hoping I could just apply what I remembered from high school photography class and my pictures would be magically awesome. I was so wrong! Through her intro class, Amanda was able to give practical advice on how to use settings and position subjects relative to the light source. I am still no pro (through my own lack of making myself practice) but I get more confident with my camera every time I use it!” – Kelli,  IN-PERSON Intro to DSLR

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McKinney, Allen, Plano, Frisco, and Prosper TX Lifestyle Family and Newborn Photographer