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Our mission: critique | confidence | community
Get your CHIC on with our Celebrity Photographers who inspire, teach, and critique to help increase confidence and improve your images!


Guest Contributor | Courtney Delaura


courtney-250x300 Today we are featuring another one of the dream team behind the Luxe Workshop, Courtney Delaura!  Courtney is a Californian loving life in Tennessee. She, more than anything wants to help you curate a happy life. One that creates a fine balance between financial security, a passion driven profession & lots of laughter!  Scroll down to find out more info about the Luxe Workshop!

Courtney Delaura | Get Schooled 




Setting Expectations = Higher Sales, happier clients and a peaceful YOU!


Business headaches can be avoided with some very simple yet effective precautions.


Every business has policies and procedures written. The Do’s and Don’ts for themselves as a company as well as for their potential clients/customers.



When you find your self in a situation that causes you grief remember that if you set expectations with your clients then the majority of the time you will be headache free because your have clearly stated your policies and procedures.


The term policies and procedures can be very dry, so create a cute little term that will communicate the same idea but fits your business brand a tad better.


Titles that could work are; Expectations, Studio Guidelines, Studio Protocol, Studio Practices, Studio Operation Policy.



Now that you have your title/name let’s figure out what you need to include. Create your own Business Headache worksheet to decide exactly what you need to include.


Simply grab a piece of paper and just start brainstorming any objections your clients have had or situation’s that have come up that caused an uncomfortable feeling/encounter with your client during the session or order appointment.


Can any of the above items be combined? Are they super important obstacles that you need to alleviate?


Once you have narrowed down the biggest headaches you want to alleviate, get to writing. Keep your policies and procedures short and to the point. I know this can be difficult, I feel your pain with being wordy, it is a gift and a curse. Your policies and procedures should fit onto one standard 8.5×11 page and use a bullet outline style so that it is very easy for clients to read/understand.


Keep it light and non-threatening in order to not scare your clients. On the flip side, policies are totally expected by anyone hiring another for a service. For example you can’t go into any business on the plant and purchase something without accepting some sort of policy or procedure. On the back of most receipts they clearly state the return policies.


You are running an important business and you need to cover your behind. Having clear policies & procedures will save you money and heartache in the long run.



I am in no way a lawyer so if you want to make sure your policies, procedures and contracts are air tight and will stand up to Judge Judy then seeking the advise of a lawyer is your best option.


If you simply want to set solid expectations with clients so that you all are on the same page, then a policy and procedure page inside your welcome kit is a great step. If they ever are confused about timelines, payment expectations or any other business protocol you can easily reference the page you included in their packet. Now the fact they didn’t read it, really isn’t your problem. You provided it and you must adhere to it as an outstanding businessperson.


Now have a ‘non-photography’ friend or family member read your policies & procedures to make sure they are concise and extremely easy to understand. Take their advice and insight to heart and create a re-write if needed.


Place those new little lines of happy expectations onto a branded piece of paper and make sure to include it in all client communications.


CONGRATS, now you are well on your way to creating a professional relationship with your clients that will yield great return on the time you have invested.



Want to meet Courtney and the rest of the Luxe team?   This year, we will be joining together in  Palm Springs, California and hope that you can be there for a fun day in  a gorgeous location with beautiful models and lots of education from five fabulous speakers!!  The Luxe Workshop 2 will be opening for registration soon!!

Sign up for the Chic Critique newsletter (HERE) because  pre-registration for newsletter subscribers will open May 21st!   Registration will be open to the public on May 23rd.  Take advantage of the payment plan option and register early, Luxe in Las Vegas sold out. Don’t miss this fun event!






Chic Critique is thrilled to have Anna Pociask from Anna Pociask Photography as a Celebrity Photographer in June!

She will be offering a 4 WEEK CRITIQUE beginning June 2nd!

Sign up to have your photos critiqued by Anna this June!  10 seats left!


webGlass-Jar-Photography---MARROW-29 ANNAPOCIASK-LOGO-FINAL Her imagery has been featured in Professional Photographers of America Magazine featuring her engagement work. She has also been featured on Style Me Pretty, Southern Weddings, and Brides.com. 
She has achieved some prestigious awards in the past year with first place in an International print competition with Lemonade and Lenses Magazine in the wedding category. And also achieved 3 awards of excellence in Las Vegas WPPI 16×20 print competition. 2014-01-14_0001


WELCOME from Anna:

Wow, is this really happening? It is truly humbling to welcome you to my online class. Whoever I have the privilege to help move forward in theirbusiness will help me move forward as well. Each day we are given an opportunity to grow individually in our businesses and in our every day walk of life. I could not be where I am without others helping me, so I look forward to passing along nuggets of truth to help you too.


What camera do you use and what is your favorite lens?

5d Mark iii


Do you edit mostly in Photoshop or Lightroom?




Why do you think honest critique on your images is important?

It helps you see far more than just the subject in front of you. That may sound strange, but, you may not notice a tree behind them that looks like its growing out of their head for one example. Its easy for us to get wrapped up in the persons face, which is important, but once critiqued by someone on the outside it helps us start looking from a whole new perspective that keeps us fresh with our skill.


What 3 words would you use to describe your style?

moody, poetic, enticing



Where do you pull your inspiration from?

I feel I am most inspired by words, whether through a song or scripture. I like to bring words to life in my imagery.


What is one specific way that you balance work and family?

I came to a point where my kids come first no matter what. I know that does not sound like “balance”, but when working from home, and they are only 5 & 2, I make sure I get a few emails responded to early in the morning, then mainly wait till they are in bed at night to finish whatever needs to be done. I am not much help with teaching balance because I do not have it figured out yet. I just know my family comes first, as I know I use to put my business first and the results were never rewarding.


Stay true to who you are as an artist. you are more than someone that just clicks a camera, believe it, grow in it, and never stop pushing yourself.




Best biz/photo advice?

Learn your craft and stop comparing yourself to others. Be confident in your talent and know your worth. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.


What have you learned the hard way?

I feel I am learning more each season, but, I will have to say looking back when I first began I put my business on a pedestal that blinded me to much more important blessings around me. This business is a blessing, and I should treat it as a blessing to others as well, but I no longer let it control my decisions and calendar. Family comes first. period.


I am known for my secret locations, and I take pride in how I scope out areas for each client. I want to stand out by offering something fresh for each client, that other photographers in the area are not giving to clients. And also, this year I am striving to get into the senior market and can’t wait to put together my editorial shoot for that. 



Where have most of your 2013/2014 clients come from (besides WOM)?

Facebook, Pinterest, and Google search


What has been the best workshop or convention you’ve attended so far?

I will have to say my online workshop with Meg Borders has given me much confidence in my senior model program this year.
digital images




Want Anna Pociask to critique your photos?  

Sign up to have your photos critiqued by Anna this June!  10 seats left!






Guest Contributor | Leslie Vega




LeslieVega_ChicCritiqueForum Inspiring quotes by Leslie Vega for Chic Critique
Leslie Vega is a seasoned brand designer for photographers and wedding professionals. She founded Leslie Vega Design in 2008 and has been creating breathtaking brands for clients across the globe ever since. From logos to stationery and beautiful web presences, her passion exudes in her work and in her client experience. View her work at www.leslievegadesign.com
Leslie Vega
Leslie Vega Design, LLC
Brand Design for Photographers & Wedding Professionals
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