Five Steps To a Great Business Year!

In the business world, January is often looked upon with dread.  It’s after the busy fall season, after the Holiday rush and many find the slowness to be stressful. 

I say January is a great time to sit down and make plans for the upcoming year! Take advantage of the slowness to get yourself organized and ready.

 Here are five things I do every January to set the tone for the entire year!

  1. Set a goal.  I’m a HUGE believer in the power of setting goals.  The bigger, the better.  Decide what you want.  Make it big.  And then work toward that goal all year long.  Setting a big goal for yourself can help move your business in amazing directions!
  2. Reflect.  Look back over last year.  Make yourself a list.  What went well?  What are you proud of? What would you like to continue with in the new year?  What would you like to tweak? Take the time to take pride in your accomplishments and add your list of “tweaks” to your goals for the year!  Continue doing what works, and change what needs improvement. It’s a good practice in business and in life!
  3. Look at your numbers!  This one can feel scary but it’s SO important!  Go through your old contracts.  What are your clients buying?  What products are the most profitable.  Is there anything that is not selling?  Is there anything your clients LOVE that you could sell more of?  Now is the time to identify those things in your business.  Let go of the things that are not profitable and boost your offerings of the things your clients love.  know your C.O.Gs (cost of goods) and start your year off with your most profitable foot forward. 
  4. Purge.  This is a big one for me.  By the end of the busy season, my office looks like it’s been hit by a hurricane.  Take advantage of the slowness of January to clean and purge.  It feels so good to start the year off organized!  
  5. Educate.  Look back at your goal for the New Year?  What is it?  Do you want more clients?  Do you want to earn six figures?  Do you want to master social media?  Whatever it is, find a workshop or a class or a book that is going to help you get there.  Education should always be a part of your business plan! 

If strengthening you business is part of your New’s Years goal, be sure to check out  Lady Boss Workshops!  This awesome online workshop will be launching in the Spring but we’ll be sending out solid, actionable business advice all year long to our newsletter list.  So sign up today!

Happy New Year!  Lets make 2017 great!

Sandra Coan, Five Steps to a Great Business Year

Collodion Wet Plate Photography by Andrew Welsh

Wet plate photography has long fascinated me, so when I saw Andrew talking about his foray into the field of wet plate photography on Facebook, I wanted him to share it with you.  Thanks, Andrew, for sharing your journey and your gorgeous photos!

In 2011, the renewed excitement of developing my first roll of film since the 90’s, along with being accustomed to instant results, led me to try instant peel apart film (FP100c and FP3000b). Amazed by the quality, yet unsatisfied with the cropping that most medium-format film cameras foist upon those glorious prints, I soon moved to large format photography (4x5), partly because 4x5 shooting was different, exciting and new to me, and partly because I could fill the frame on those instant prints. The fact that practically no wedding and high school senior portrait photographers were shooting 4x5 was also appealing.

Simultaneously, I began to see modern tintype wet plate portraiture in various large format photography forums, and was very intrigued. It was the intersection of “instant” photography (since wet plates must be poured, shot, and developed within 15 minutes), large format photography, and photographic history that captured my imagination. I had vowed to learn wet plate photography “when I grow up.” 

To date, all of my photography except for the basics in high school photo class, was self-taught. And while I was absolutely confident I could learn collodion wet plate photography on my own, I knew I’d also end up wasting a lot of time and money working through all the mistakes. It is a process loaded with opportunity for things to go wrong, and without guidance, I’d fumble through most of it. I soon concluded that taking a workshop instead would be most efficient. The opportunity for me came this year (2016) when I had a peculiar wedding schedule with only one wedding in June. 

I learned that within the collodion wet plate community, two workshops worldwide were considered the absolute best- John Coffer and Scully & Osterman. And how fortuitous that both of these workshops were right here in Rochester NY. I chose John Coffer’s June 2016 “all-inclusive” workshop, as it represented the best value for what I wanted to learn (the complete process through to print, and shooting in the field versus a studio). I later learned that Scully and Osterman themselves learned the craft from John Coffer. After a weekend of intensive training, I was on the path to attaining my goal of creating collodion wet plate images almost anywhere, and incorporate it into my primary photography business.

Determined to meet this goal, I quickly gathered all the needed components and built a crude dark box. I practiced making plates on my dogs, my children, friends and family. I practiced carrying my portable darkroom around, setting it up, shooting, then tearing it down. I learned how long it would take (about 15 minutes setup and 10 to take down) and to simulate what it would be like in a compressed time frame like a wedding or portrait session. All this practice was leading up to bringing this “live” to client sessions.

By late September, I had the ideal senior portrait client—a family I’d worked with twice before for senior portraits, whose favorite family photo on their wall was of them dressed in old west clothing in a sepia-toned print. I arrived to the session early and set up my portable darkroom, minimizing the time impact on the client, and kicking off the portrait session with a tintype:

Later that week, I had an opportunity to try one at a wedding as 2nd shooter. The primary photographer approved of the plan and while she did the family portraits, I set up my darkroom and only imposed on the bride and groom for the 1-2 minutes to setup and take the photo, with the expectation that this was an experiment. While I did not have any major flaws in the wet plate process itself, I had done poorly at an important part—posing them in an interesting way. The novelty of the process did intrigue them, but they were not my clients. This was about the safest wedding for me to fall short.

Two weeks later, the stars aligned to try a wet plate with my own clients. I kept bringing my kit along “just in case” the opportunity arose. I had a wedding with 2 hours to shoot portraits, and a groom who had fallen out of a deer hunting tree stand a few weeks prior, and was wearing a back brace, and not overly mobile to do a lot of portraits. What better way to have a subject who wanted to and practically had to sit still! 

The very next week, my next bride & groom had 3 hours for portraits! I knew from our engagement session they had a willingness and patience to try new things, so while they relaxed on the party bus, I set up my kit once more, this time at a park, and pulled off my best wet plate to date:

The excitement from them as I fixed the plate made it worth all the effort. And these clients now have a unique piece of archival artwork that will outlast their lives, is rarely performed at a wedding, and a fun experience in creating it and witnessing it coming to fruition. This was only possible with the determination to attain this goal, and the willingness to repeatedly practice all the steps on the path to mastering the technique. If you gain anything from this article, may you go and try that new thing you’ve always wanted to, and know that sticking to it through the challenges, will you attain your goal.

See more of Andrew's work here:

website | facebook 

New Year, New Beginnings

There is something so magical about January 1st.  In theory, it’s just another date on the calendar.  But to me, it’s signifies a new beginning.  A fresh start.

I like to treat each calendar year as an opportunity to try something new. Challenging myself to try something new helps me push myself and my business.  

Sometime it’s small things… like raising my prices a little or deciding to take a workshop on something I’ve been trying to learn. And sometimes it’s big things… like deciding to teach my own workshop or pursuing publications and speaking engagements.  

Whatever it is, I set my intention and the start working toward my goal on January 1st.

Last year my goal was to speak at a professional conference.  

In October, I was given to opportunity to speak at Click Away, but that intention was set in January and I started working on what I wanted to say long before I was even asked to speak.

That is the power of setting your intention.  That is the magic of the New Year.

So my question to you is this...  What are your goals for the New Year?  

What new project will you begin?

Will you learn something new?

Raise your prices?

Or maybe start the business you’ve been dreaming about for years?

Whatever it is.  Set your intention.  Take the risk.  And let the New Year be your new beginning.

Sandra Coan, Studio Film Photography

P.S.  If starting or building your business is in your New Years plans, be sure to check out my exciting new project!  Visit for more information.

Top 5 Film 365

How are we here already at the end of another tumultuous yet fantastic year that brought heartache, surprises and many other emotions our way?  We had the craziest election in history, we lost David Bowie, Prince, Gene Wilder, George Michael, and most recently Carrie Fischer who was my hero as Princess Leá in the 70s, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.  I'm personally ready for 2016 to be over and am looking forward to a fresh new year of possibilities!  

So who completed the entire 365?  I got close but didn't quite make it.  Looking through the #lbfilm365 hashtag, I've enjoyed seeing so many images that brought me daily inspiration from many artists.  Thank you for sharing your work!  

Who is planning to continue their 365 into 2017?  Who is starting a new personal project?  I'm a firm believer in them and although I can tell you with assurance I will not be attempting a 365 next year, I'm brainstorming on some new personal project ideas.  I'd love to follow yours, too.  So I'll think of a new hashtag where you can share one or all of your personal project photos so we can find them and feature them here on Little Bellows.  Sound good?

Little Bellows thanks you for your continued support and inspiration, and we hope you have a Happy New Year with loved ones!  Stick around for more inspiration in 2017!

laurennygard  on Portra 400

laurennygard on Portra 400

mikeylivingston   Portra 400


Portra 400

kimhilde  on Portra 400

kimhilde on Portra 400

Studio Lighting For Film Photographers

Almost every single photo I take these days was captured on film, using strobes.  

When I started using studio lighting several years ago, it was really just a way to make it through the dark days of winter.  Now I use them all the time.  

Studio lighting has allowed me to shoot film all year long.  It has given consistency to my work, helped me define my style and build my brand.  I couldn't do what I do without it!

I'm often asked how I set up my strobes during newborn shoots.  So at my newborn session this morning, I decided to step back and snap a quick photo of my set up.

This is my typical set up for photographing newborns and toddlers on my white bed.

I have my strobe (an Alien Bee 1600) and light modifier (a 5 foot Photoflex Octodome) set at 45 degrees to my subject.  This is a digital capture, but I did photograph the baby on film and my settings were ISO 400 (I shoot Fuji 400h film) at f2.8 1/60

Sandra Coan, Studio Lighting for Film Photographers

Please let me know if you have any questions about shooting film with studio lighting.


have a wonderful day!

Freelensing with Film by Kaitlyn Zigrang

When I first saw Kaitlyn's FB post featuring her freelensed black and white horse images, I was floored by their beauty, their mystery, and how simple, unique and raw they were.  I've experimented with freelensing a bit with film but have never produced anything like this.  I wanted to know more, and Kaitlyn agreed to tell us more about freelensing with film.  Thank you, Kaitlyn!

I recently fell in love with film photography. I had been drawn to it for months, gasping every time I saw a film image on Instagram. Something about it grabbed me, pulled me in. It felt more ‘real’. So after months of gawking, I took the plunge and bought my Contax 645, and signed up for Sandra Coan’s Getting Started with Film class at Click Photo School to learn how to use it. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out, because I am not a very patient or precise person. But someone how me and film just fit, and from the first scans I got back I was in love. After I had a few weeks of scans under my belt, I felt confident enough to try one of my favorite techniques from digital photography— freelensing. I love the dreamy artistic feel that freelensing gives, how it can transform an image, so I was super excited when I got to marry it with my love of film. I’m sure many of you are familiar, but for those who aren’t, freelensing refers to shooting with your lens detached from the camera, and tilted slightly in any direction to create a shift in the field of focus. The focal plane tilts along with your lens, and you end up with things very close and far in focus along a diagonal focal plane, and the rest very blurred. There are many tutorials out there on this technique and I am no expert, but I do loooooove it, and decided to take the risk to try it with film. So when I was asked to share a little with you all about free-lensing with film, and the basics of how to try it yourself, I jumped on the chance. 

1.  Start by metering. Pull out that light meter, and find your settings. Keep in mind that your aperture will need to be close to wide open to achieve the desired effect. I usually have mine between 2.0 and 4.0 when freelensing. I meter normally when I free-lens, though there is a possibility of light leaks. I know that film can handle a little overexposure, so I meter as I was taught by incident metering for the shadows with color film, and I normally meter for the mid tones or highlights with black and white film. That being said, I try not to overexpose when free-lensing since you do tend to let in a little extra light, so I am mindful of that and if it is a very bright day or I am shooting more directly into the sun, I may speed up my shutter speed a stop. Basically get your settings right for how you normally shoot, and then go from there. You may have to feel it out a little based on what kind of light you are working with.

2.  Choose a lens, and set your lens’ focus ring to infinity. I normally use my 80mm on my Contax (comparable to a 50mm on a 35mm body), I find that I can catch focus better with that one, but I have also used my 45. There is no autofocus with freelensing, but you will also not be moving that ring. You change the focal plane by how much (or how little) you tilt your lens. 

3.  Detach your lens. You will be holding your lens in your left hand and camera in the right at this point, so be mindful that it is a bit of a juggling act, and takes a bit of getting used to. Don’t move your lens far away from your camera body, you want to keep it pretty close, with the end of the lens not far from the mirror even though it is detached. You can move it in and out a bit while looking through the viewfinder to see the effect and find the spot you are comfortable with. I normally try to have it where I can see the focus like I would if the lens was still attached.

4.  Tilt your lens. Start out tilting it very slightly, and watch the focal plane change. Then tilt it more, and see what that does. If you lose focus completely and can’t get it back, just reattach your lens and start over by disconnecting it again. when I do that I normally check the settings and make sure the focus is still at infinity, because you can hit it with your hand and change it by accident sometimes. With film you will want to play around with this a bit until you are comfortable finding focus before you take any shots. In fact, if you have a digital camera and can practice with that first, it may be helpful and save you from wasting film, unless you are like me and ok with the more crazy shots. But beware that most digital cameras do not have lenses with aperture rings, so you will have to find one that does or jimmy rig your lens to get the aperture to stay open. 

5.  Not every camera is the same with free-lensing. I have tried free-lensing on both of my film cameras, my Nikon fm-10 35mm, and my Contax 645 medium format. By far the Contax is easier to freelens with. I believe the larger diameter and surface area of the lens plays in, as well as the clarity of the viewfinder. I have a much harder time getting anything in focus with my fm-10, and if I do it is at the extreme edge of the frame. Like I said, you will need to experiment a little and see what you can get in focus through the viewfinder, before ever taking a shot.

6.  Have fun! Freelensing can be frustrating at first, but when you do get the hang of it, it is addicting! So be ok with the process, and at some point being willing to take the risk and take some shots and see what happens. Sometimes, if you are like me, the shots that some would call mistakes and trash, may become your favorites. Freelensing reminds me of memories, and sometimes that is what it looks like to me, maybe not perfect but captures the moment perfectly. 

I hope this helps, and that you have some fun experimenting and seeing what freelensing can do for your images. It really can add a wow factor to an image, take it from good to great, and add a dreamy, otherworldly feel that mimics what our memories often actually look like. It can make you feel things, that maybe a perfect photo wouldn’t. It makes you look at things you may be used to seeing with new eyes, and shows how much a change in perspective affects things. I would recommend checking out Erin Hensley’s tutorial on free-lensing at if you have some questions and want to learn more, as she is a master of the subject and it is pretty comprehensive and helped me take my first leaps into free- lensing. 

See more of Kaitlyn's work here:

website | instagram

Top 5 Film 365

My sincere apologies for not posting for a while!  Fall definitely got away from me.  Do you feel the same?  When I checked out the #lbfilm365 feed this morning I wasted a good hour soaking in all the amazing images I hadn't seen.  You are a truly talented bunch!!  It was a tough choice, but here are my Top 5.  If you're still doing your 365 keep tagging your images and I'll find you.  The next Top 5 will be next week so keep 'em coming.

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving with those you love.

tracamiller   Portra 160


Portra 160

angelicachang_   Ilford Hp5


Ilford Hp5

laurennygard  Portra 400

laurennygard Portra 400

Mini Session Marketing Tips to Help You Sell

Can we take a minute to talk about mini sessions?!! 

I know a lot of photographers hate them.  I hear it all the time.  But, you know what?  I LOVE them!  I really do! They are fun AND super profitable!  And every year they get better.

So, today I want to tell you a bit about why I love them so much.  I want to sell you on the mini session!  And I’m going to share three marketing techniques that will help you knock your mini session sales out of the park.

Ok… here we go.. why I love mini sessions.

Short answer:

They help me meet the needs of all of my people.

Long answer:

The number one worry I hear from photographers when talking about mini sessions is that they fear that if they offer a short, less expensive version of their services, clients won’t book the longer, more expensive packages. 

In my experience, that’s just not true. I find that the price isn’t what motivates my mini session clients.  It’s the ease of it. Mini session clients want something quick and fun. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a mom sigh at the end of a mini and say “Whew!  I knew he/she could only handle 15 minutes!  That was great”.   Or, I hear a version of“Thank you so much!  The fall is so busy, and this is all I had time for this year!”

Listen, families are busy!
People are worried that their kids will melt down!
Sometimes, they just want one or two photos for a Holiday card.  

And thats okay!  

Those are your mini session people.

Some families, on the other hand,  love (and need) a long session. They want to spend the time, making sure everything is perfect.  They don’t want to feel rushed. They are coming into your studio to create heirlooms, not just to get a few photos.  

Those are your regular session people.

By having regular sessions, and well planned mini sessions, you can meet the needs of ALL of your people… and who doesn’t want to do that?!

(Oh, and don’t be surprised when you get families who’ve booked your full session in the summer coming back for your mini session in the Fall!) 

Sandra Coan, Seattle Film Photographer, Marketing tips for successful mini sessions

Okay, now, if the number one fear around mini sessions is getting price shoppers, the number two fear, is not booking.
It happens.  A photographer will plan a mini session weekend, and then no one books.  


To help with that, I want to share three things I do to build buzz around my minis.

  • I make them special.

Mini sessions are an event.  I only do them in the Fall.  I make them fun and fast, fifteen minutes, tops!  And, I have goodies for the kids when we are all done.  

My people know that mini sessions happen in the Fall, and I start getting email from people wanting to book in July and August.  But I only take bookings once the dates have been announced, and once those dates are announced, they go like hotcakes!

  • I’m smart about my schedule.

My Holiday dead-line is the first weekend in November.  So when do I run my mini sessions?  Yep, the second weekend in November.  


I want to create an incentive for all of those families who’ve been putting it off, or have been too busy, to come in.  This is the last possible time to get photos before the Holidays, and my people know it. 

  • I price to sell.

While price isn’t the main motivation for my clients to book a mini session, it does play a part.  I make sure my sittings are priced to sell.  I also offer a few of my best selling items as add-ons and I talk to my clients about these add-ons at the end of their shoot.  Every. Single. Person. Adds something to their package. 

My clients get a great value and get their Holiday shopping done, and I meet my sales goals.  A total win/win. 

Sandra Coan, Seattle Film Photographer, Marketing tips for successful mini sessions

Okay my friends… I hope I’ve motivated you.  Have you done mini sessions this year?  If not, try it!!  It’s not too late!  Then report back… I want to hear how it goes!

Happy shooting!

Sandra Coan, Seattle Film Photographer, Marketing tips for successful mini sessions

Feel the Fear, and do it Anyway

I just got home from the Click Away conference where (for the first time ever) I got up on a stage and spoke to a ballroom full of people.  

My speech was about the Three Things You Need to Know to Build a Six Figure Business - know what you do, know who your people are, and know how to communicate what you do to your people.  All really good stuff that I believe in with all my heart! 

I’m happy to say that the talk was well received.  And I’ve since heard from people that were moved and inspired by it.  

But in the days following the conference I realized that I left something out, something I didn’t even know I was leaving out until I got home.  

And that is what I want to share it with you now.

For some reason my husband and I own two copies of a book called “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”.  The funny thing is, neither one of us have ever actually read it.  Despite that fact, “feel the fear and do it anyway” has become sort of a mantra in our house.  When things are hard.  When a choice feels risky.  When we are at a crossroads, we look at each other and say those words.

When I started my business -way back in 2000- I remember being terrified.  Could I really do it?  What if I failed?  What if people hated my photos?  And the worst… who the hell do I think I am?

The fear and the self doubt were overwhelming sometimes.  But you know what?  I felt the fear and did it anyway!  

I’ve since learned that the fear that comes with doing something new is a good thing.  It keeps us on our toes.  Makes us work harder, push ourselves a little bit more.

I think being in business is a lot like being in therapy… for it to work, you need to be vulnerable.  You need to take risks.  You need to be willing to put yourself out there.  You need to allow yourself to be scared.

Those are all things I’ve felt in my journey as a photographer.  But if I’m being honest, I haven’t felt them for a very long time.  Until last Saturday that is.  Getting up on that stage at Click Away brought them all back.

There I was again….

Can I really do this?

What if I fail?

Who the hell do I think I am?

But you know what?  I did it.  It scared me, but I did it.  I felt the fear and did it anyway.  And it was amazing!

So that is what I want to share… 

If you are going to build a business that you love.  One that is both emotionally and financially fulfilling, yes, you need to know what you do, you need to know who your people are, and you need to know how to communicate what you do to your people. All of those things are important.


But you also need to let yourself be scared.  It’s okay.  Feel the fear, and then push past it.  Feel the fear, and do it anyway.  It will be worth it in the end.  I promise. 

Sandra Coan, film photography, Little Bellows

Fall is in the air with Jackie Tobman Photography

The paint!  The fall colors!  The orange blanket!  I just love all the pops of color mixed in with the natural setting.  Using headlights as backlight is fantastic!  It's the perfect capture to close the scene.  Thank you for sharing, Jackie!

In Jacqueline's words:

"We wanted to capture the girls doing what they loved (painting!) which also meant something to the grown ups, as he is a tattoo artist and she is a photographer.  We went to a field near their home and the girls just had fun.  For the last shot, we were running out of light and they drove their truck down into the field and we used their headlights for some fun backlighting!"

All images on film, with Canon EOS3 or Pentax 645N.  Stock was a mix of Portra400 and HP5, and all scanned and developed by the Find Lab. 

See more of Jackie's work here:

website | facebook | instagram



An Eggspedition with Po Chi Fung Photography

That misty morning forest, the kids' curiosity, and those farm fresh eggs look so good on Acros!  I feel like I'm transported there with them.  And those black and white tones are so rich and beautiful!

In Po Chi's words:

"We got married four years ago at the Confluence Resort in West Virginia and were ecstatic to come back for vacation four years later with friends and our two crazy kids in tow, so this place is so so special to me. One morning, we took the two girls to gather eggs from the chicken coop. It was such a treat to capture their excitement and this experience because they asked about the hens and their eggs every time we walked by. I love this series because it is a slice of childhood and life that I hope they'll treasure forever - simple joys, thankfulness for the eggs that the hens are sharing with us, and being with our beloved friends."

Camera: Pentax645N
Lens: 45mm FA
Film stock: Acros 100
Location: Confluence Resort, West Virginia
Lab: the FIND Lab

See more of Po Chi's work here:


A Riverside Maternity Session with Leanne Haskins Photography

The beautiful backdrop, formal feel, and the green accents really come together in this maternity session!  What a beautiful couple, and what a gorgeous dress.  Thank you for sharing, Leanne!

In Leanne's words:

"I LOVE LOVE LOVE maternity sessions.  I especially love them when the husband wants to be involved.  I was excited just to hear the excitement in their voices as they talked to me about their plans for the nursery, their anticipation of finding out the gender at birth, and the names they had chosen for a boy or a girl.  I love the way he would look at her, not timid to touch her beautiful belly, and so incredibly encouraging and complimentary.  Generally at 32-36, pregnant women aren't feeling as beautiful as we know they really are.  To help boost my clients confidence I gift them a professional blowout and makeup from a local salon in Wilmington.  It is amazing what professional hair and makeup will do to a woman's confidence.  I know it puts a strut in my walk for sure!  Pampered, feeling beautiful, and donning this gorgeous shimmering white dress from PinkBlush maternity, this expecting mother was all smiles.  I hope you enjoy this downtown, riverside session as much as I do!"

This maternity session was photographed on the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina in May 2016.  I used my Canon Elan 7E SLR, Kodak Portra800 35mm film, and my Canon 85mm f/1.2L lens.  Richard Photo Lab is the incredible lab I always trust with my film.

See more of Leanne's work here:

website | facebook | instagram

A Country Session with Posy Quarterman Photography

This entire session makes me want to hop in the car and get out to the big sky country of Montana.  I yearn for some open fields and dirt roads, which make a beautiful backdrop that pairs well with Posy's beautiful friends.  

In Posy's words:

"I normally shoot digital but every now and then I do one on film for fun. I shot this with a Mamiya 7 and Nikon f100.

What's special about these is the people. My dear friends moved to Montana last year and we made a road trip to them as our family vacation this summer. It was wonderful to see them in their new home and spend some time capturing their little family in their new environment. So I love the way these came out, probably because I'm partial to the people, and, film..."


Mamiya 7 and Nikon f100

Portra 400 and 800; Tri-x

Richard Photo Lab

See more of Posy's work here:

website | facebook | instagram

A Baby Session on the Beach with Erin Scabuzzo of Hello Pinecone

I just LOVE Erin's work!  The expressions she is able to capture with Georgiana and her mom and dad are priceless.  I'm a sucker for beach sessions in beautiful light as well, and this session ticks all the boxes.

In Erin's words:

"Since its been so warm in LA, I decided that the beach at sunset would be the perfect location to photograph this sweet family of 3. Little Georgiana (also known as Georgie) is a little ball of sunshine - that pretty much smiled and played through the entire sesh. My goal was to document the softness and loving nature of this family and I feel like film mixed with the cotton candy colors of dusk were the perfect combination!"

Topanga Canyon Beach, California

Fuji 400h // HP5 // The Find Lab

You can see more of Erin's work here:

website | facebook | instagram

A Gorgeous Fall Session : Tyler Rippel

I can smell fall in the air when I look at these photos!  I love the gorgeous orange tones, paired with the beautiful late afternoon light.  Their expressions and outfits make these images sing.

In Tyler's words:

"It was one of those totally unexpected, perfect late fall days in Ohio. Most of the leaves were down elsewhere, but Price Park was gorgeous, and the Rumer family was ready to go! This was one of the first sessions with my Hasselblad H1 and I was so happy with the camera and the FIND lab!"

Gear: Hasselblad H1 and 100mm 2.2 lens

Film: Portra 400

Lab:  The FIND Lab

You can see more of Tyler's work here:

website | facebook | instagram

Little Bellows is currently accepting fall submissions!  Please share your favorite sessions here.

The One Question That Changed My Life

What causes certain people to succeed where other people fail? This has been a question that has fueled my photography business over the last five years. How can so many people go into the business only to drop out just a few months or years later and what is the main factor that creates longevity. I have decided that the main factor is our relationship to fear. How do we handle certain situations and decisions when we act from fear rather that acting from faith? How do we handle risk? How do we deal with being completely uncertain?

Just like with everything in life, there are no guarantees. A woman who has been at her job for over 30 years could lose it tomorrow without warning. Just like you could start a business and fail. But with this one question, I was able to take the biggest risk of my life up until that point and it made all the difference.