Chic Critique is beyond thrilled to have Alba Soler of Alba Soler Photography as our Monthly Mentor this month! She will answer any questions you may have regarding her video & business ALL MONTH LONG exclusively in the forum!
Alba has run her own business for 6 years, and writes a popular blog about photography and lifestyle, both in english and spanish.
She specializes in fashion and fine art with touching conceptual stories with clients in China, Germany, Spain and the UK. She also offers a similar approach shoots to her smaller clients which have become very popular.
Alba has a degree in media which has help her create her brand and her communication strategy, however, all she know about photography and business has been self taught.
She knows perfectly how hard it is to learn both, and she is excited to share her knowledge with you all!
Do you edit mostly in Photoshop or Lightroom?
50% and 50% each
Why do you think honest critique on your images is important?
Sometimes, we know something is wrong but is hard to tell by ourselves what is it. I think an honest critique from an experienced professional could save us a lot of frustration.
What camera do you use? Favorite lens?
Canon 5D Mark II
What has been the most helpful critique you ever got on an image?
"I don't know what you are doing, but your work is starting to look unreal"
What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
sensitive, delicate, dreamy
Where do you pull your inspiration from?
I love to see other people's work, but not when searching from inspiration. I hate when everybody's portfolios look the same. I rather write and look for inspiration in my own feelings. After that, comes the search for props, clothes, places, and is during that search when I know whether the idea is going to work or not.
What is one specific way that you balance work and family?
I think for me is to have an specific schedule. Knowing what to have to do in each moment of the day, other way you get distracted about anything. Family should understand, even if you are at home, that you are working, you have deadlines and a responsibility, if not, hang your schedule in some place they can see it and be strict following it anyway, at some point they will respect it.
Best biz/photo advice?
Be yourself. It is hard because you barely know who you are yet, but figuring it out is how you find your style to.
What have you learned the hard way?
I think I've learnt all the things the hard way. I mean, when you don't know something you learn it by doing mistakes.
One of the most important things I've leant so far is to separate your personal work from your business. Business is business and you should earn money by that always. If you want to experiment that's fine, and you should, but try to don't mix things. Don't charge less because it's going to be interesting, because as long as you are not "the client" it won't be really yours. Experiment when only you are in control.
How does your business deal with the rise in photographers. What have you done to standout and compete?
My business started at the same time as the rise, so I didn't experience a before and after. I try to no compare my work with others in terms of price, services offered, but in terms of quality in order to work only on being the best in quality.
Where have most of your 2014 clients come from (besides WOM)?
I know this for sure. They have came from my online marketing strategies. I don't advertise by any other way, and don't even have a visible shop in the street.
What has been the best workshop or convention you've attended so far?
Off Barcelona, the most similar to travel around the world creatively speaking.
I had the opportunity to see the best creatives from every discipline in a short period of time. Not just photography. And that is for me an other point in favor. We use to look for the answers on people alike to us, that do the same, but we forget about the wealth that can be hold on unexpected places.
This kind of experiences are fundamental to keep your mind fresh and active. Doing the same every day and being always in contact with the same people, makes your mind get stuck and at some point it isn’t able to see further. For that reason it is important to look for ways that remember you that there is a lot outside your comfort zone.
What is your most popular product?
Go meet Alba and ask her any question you have HERE in the forum all month long!
Guest Contributor | Leslie Vega
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