Introduction To The Marketing Lyfe Podcast Ep. 11
Taylor: What’s up guys? It’s Taylor Timothy with the marketing life podcast and today on the show we have Spencer Ryan, now Spencer Ryan, the photography is a photographer of course, and this guy, I kid you not, I follow him on instagram and this kid shoots more than anybody I know, so I know for a fact that he’s an expert when it comes to photography and getting those shops that you guys need for your business. So the reason why I wanted a photographer on this shows because your campaigns, you know, obviously on facebook you need an instagram, you need images, you need pictures. And so I really want our marketers and business owners to understand how much time and effort goes into photography and the process of hiring a photographer, what to look for in a photographer. So lead hear from Spencer, Ryan photography. Let’s dive in.
Introduction to Spencer Ryan
Spencer: All right, well my name is Spencer routes and I, um, I’m a photographer here in Utah County. I am 24 years old. I started in photography back in high school. I was really interested in your book being a part of that. It actually helped me get, um, be more social as well because I got to meet a lot of people and be at all the events, which was really helpful to make friends and that kind of thing. Um, but I wasn’t good at it in high school like at all and uh, and I, I was even told that by my teacher who’s now actually my coworkers, which is kind of funny, but um, and I love just going outside with different people, friends and just taking pictures with it. I didn’t even have a good crack cameron before then and I just had my iphone, which was not great. But um, that’s Kinda how I got into it. And then when I got back from my mission I was like, you know, I want to get into this even more. So I bought a camera and then I upgraded and then I just upgraded again and just been going hard ever since.
Taylor: That’s awesome dude. So what, what camera is shooting on now?
Spencer: So right now I’ve got the Sony a seven. Three.
Taylor: Okay. Why did you pick Sony over all the other markets out there? Like, why, why’d you pick Sony?
Spencer: So it was kind of an impulse buy a hat, a little Nikon, d 3,300 to be to start out with. And then um, I saw a student who I worked at a high school and I saw a student there and he showed me, hey, like best buy guy has this deal going on. Um, the Sony a 6,000, check this out. And what caught my eye was that you could see exactly what the picture was gonna look like before you took it. So instead of messing with the settings, taking a picture, then looking at it again and then taking it again, you could see exactly what you’re looking like before you even press the shutter. So that’s kind of what caught my eye. Just being able to troubleshoot on the spot instead of that extra step. So just a little quicker. And I’ve just loved ever since. Yeah. Who knows? You might miss the shot.
Spencer Ryan: “Practice makes perfect… practice makes you better.”
Taylor: Right, exactly. That’s pretty cool. So you know, you got into photography, you know, you’re doing this and so like why, why did you, why are you an expert? And being a photographer, well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m an expert, it’s what everyone tells me. I don’t even classify myself as an expert, but like, seriously man, you are an expert. You’re doing this. Like why? Why are you an expert?
Spencer: Um, honestly, I feel like that I’ve just been working at it so hard. I try and shoot constantly almost every day and I actually had some really good training when I, when I got back from a mission, I started working at this company called camera shy and we did a lot of studio photography, families, babies. I’m senior pictures, portraits, that kind of stuff. And um, I learned about lighting and I learned how to use a cannon, which I still, uh, I still, I still prefer Sony over Canon, but that’s a huge debate online. Big debate debate.
Taylor: Yeah, it really is.
Spencer: Um, but the reason why I feel like I, I’ve gotten so much better because of the turnaround time. We were forced to take pictures for an hour and then give them back their pictures within an hour. So we had to edit 40 to 60 images within an hour. Give them right back with different presets on them and all that kind of stuff. So our turn around time was so quick, we had to be really quick and so because of that, my turnaround time for any kind of session that I do is really quick so people are impressed with that and I feel like people over edit sometimes and it doesn’t need to be so crazy. Find something that works for you, your style and it’ll just stick with it and like try new things. But consistency is key. Just keeping at it, I feel like. And I feel like that’s why I’ve had so much success is because I’ve kept at it and I’ve kept myself busy. I’m constantly reaching out to people and collaborating and all that kind of stuff. So, um, I think just practice makes perfect. Not that I’m perfect, but practice makes you get so much better.
Taylor: That’s awesome. Keep at it. Keep going and have a high turnaround. I like that. So how many collaborations are you doing a week?
Spencer: About a week or a month in a month? Um, there was one month, I believe it was back in May where I did upwards of 20 some odd collaborations. I was, there wasn’t a day that I wasn’t shooting except for Sundays, but um, yeah, so now it’s not as much as collaborations, more paid work. So now I’m doing like two a week, maybe two or three, so it’s gone down probably by half, but I’m, I’m getting paid by from the other shoots, so I’m not complaining.
Taylor: That’s awesome dude. So when you start off, you worked for free a lot then and then you started getting paid gigs a lot. That’s, that’s cool. That’s good advice. You know, for photographers, upcoming photographers, you got to work for free first before you’re going to start making the money.
Spencer: Yeah. You got to show people that you’re, you’re a go getter and that you actually are, are down to create and do new things, but also that you’re always busy. It’s kind of funny about when people try and book with me now is that they’re like, oh, you’re so busy. Like when are, when are you available? Like when can you fit us in? And that is kind of like, I’m very, I’m very grateful for that because I feel like I’m still like this kind of insignificant person, but like they’re like when can you fit us in? And so it’s, it’s, it’s humbling, but also just shows up all my hard work is paying off.
Communication With Your Clients Their Expectations
Taylor: That’s awesome dude. So let’s dive into some more of these questions. So tell us about, you know, a photographer shoot that just went completely south. A lot of people don’t like to admit these things, but I think we can learn from them.
Spencer: Um, I worked with this, this company, um, I can’t remember the name of it, but it was a Thai company and they reached out to me, said, hey, we really like your stuff, can we send you some ties in, you find models to model for you and take pictures. And I saw it down to do it. But um, I was getting, I was doing all these collaborations at the time and so it kind of hit the back burner for a second. And so that was my fault. But, um, afterwards I got the models together. The communication, I swear that this guy didn’t speak very good English just because of the way that he was emailing back and forth a, they emailed me at like two in the morning every time, so it was kinda hard to communicate back and forth.
Um, they sent me all the products and I just wasn’t. First of all, I wasn’t that impressed with the product. And so I took the picture and I thought they were great pictures. I got my friend, um, Kayden and Maddie, they’re married to model for me. She even put on her wedding dress and it was kind of a big deal, but when I sent the pictures back to them after editing, they just didn’t like them at all. And I was very surprised as kind of like, well, I feel like it’s good work. So like, what’s wrong? They’re like, well, it just doesn’t match with your feet. It doesn’t match with this doesn’t matter at that. And I tried to explain to them that it’s different when you shoot for products and that kind of thing, but they just weren’t very understanding. And so I got significantly less money than what I was promised because of that problem. And so that one not too happy about. But uh, that was probably the worst one at least of the worst kind of communication and also experience I’ve had with another company.
Taylor: Gotcha. Yeah, that sucks man, you know, create stuff. Sending back. So like overall, like, you know, you had to learn something from this. So moving forward, like now, today, what are you going to do to ensure that that doesn’t happen again? Like what are some things that you’ve learned from and apply it into your own business.
Spencer: So since then I’ve definitely been more upfront upfront about what the client wants, specifically what kinds of poses they’re looking for and um, how many pictures and also kind of the coloring that they want depending on what kind of product it is. And they do appreciate that. Uh, it’s not that I need a lot of direction from them, it’s that I want to make sure that I give them what they want and I feel like they’re a lot happier with what I give them because I asked those questions and I’m prepared to even go back and reedit if needed. And I’m very flexible since then, but. And so I won’t take on new projects unless I know that I have time for them.
Wedding Photoshoot Success
Taylor: That’s awesome man. Yeah, make sure your clients understand exactly what you want. Having good communication. Definitely like even in online marketing, like I’ve interviewed a few marketers and it’s the same advice, like communication I would say is key for any small business for anybody out there to have success. So that’s awesome dude. So diving into this next question, you know, what was that first little success story of photography that you had where you were like, okay, I like photography and I can make this work?
Spencer: Um, I think there’s a lot of like little successes that have brought me to where I am right now, but I feel like one of them was the first wedding that I was booked to shoot and um, I had just kind of sticked with portraits and that kind of deal. And then a friend from high school, she messaged me and was like, hey, how much do you charge for a wedding? And I said, I charge, I charge you this. And I had no idea what I was doing. Like I kind of asked them my friends, like, hey, how much should I charge? Like I have no idea anyway, um, but they’re really good friends and they had a really nice story and so I kind of connected with them right off the bat, not only just because they were friends but because of just their whole love story.
And um, their bridles, it was up in Little Cottonwood Canyon at Albion Basin and they, it was snowing when we went up there and we didn’t expect that at all. But they’re just like beautiful. And I just, I saw those pictures afterwards. I was like, I could do this, I could do this, and like the wedding day of course was super stressful, but after you get a few weddings under your, under your feet and you’re kind of, you’re kind of coast in, which is really nice. But it, uh, it kind of gave me that confidence and it, it, they believed in me. I told them right off the bat, Hey, this is my first wedding, just so you know, like I’m going to do my best, you know, but also I’m very nervous and they were so understanding. They were very helpful and honestly it was a team effort on that day and I’m still so grateful for what they did for me.
“Be prepared for all weather conditions during the photoshoot.”
Taylor: That’s awesome man. Just like, so basically what gave you the spark was just the location, the shots. That’s cool man. So that’s really cool. Is there anything that you learned from that shoot besides that?
Spencer: Um, probably just to be prepared for all weather conditions. Always bring it into the pride as a Co. Exactly. Or bringing a blankEt for them to, in between shots, that kind of thing. Um, but that honestly, it’s, you got to find those, those good clients. It’s, it’s hard, but um, they uh, as long as they believe in you, then you’re going to be okay,
Small Connections Can Create Future Success
Taylor: dude. That’s awesome. So what was, you know, your big grand slam, a grand slam for success with photography grand slam.
Spencer: I feel like it’s kind of been connecting, but I, uh, so I did a shoot with this girl. Her name is monica, more smith. She’s kind of a, she’s a big actress here in Utah county as well, and has done some small films, but I shot with her and then what happened is that someone followed me who followed her and that was madeline page and madeline page was on the voice. She’s a really famous singer here in Utah county and since then she reached out to me and said, hey, do you want to do a shoe? And I said yes, of course. And she wanted to pay me. I’m like, no, this is going to benefit me more than it’s going to benefit you. I had like 2000 followers at the time. She had 24,000 followers and I was like, okay, this is out of my league, but let’s go for it.
Anyways. So she, she trusted me. We, uh, we went out to the saltaire, which is about probably about 45 minute hour drive and um, which was very surprising because she didn’t know me at all. We got to know each other really well. We talked about music, we talked about like our lives and everything. We become best friends ever since and since then because of that I’ve shot her concerts. I got to shoot for her album cover with desert book, which was huge for me. Also to see my work printed on an album cover, which is crazy. I’m also got to work with david archuleta because he recorded on her album, which was big as well. And um, since then it’s just kinda been been rolling, which has been great. That’s awesome. I’m working with some big sounds like try and kill him. It.
Connecting With People Offline and Online
Taylor: So what would you like, how did this all come about? You know, how did you, like, what would you say has helped you get to where you’re at today?
Spencer: Um, honestly I think just, I want to say customer interaction, but the same time, it’s not even customer interaction, it’s just interaction with other people. Um, so what are you doing to interact with those people? So I am, I’m on instagram a lot.
Taylor: And how much are you on instagram?
Spencer: I just checked my screen time because that’s a thing now I’m just check my screen time on my phone this last week I was on instagram for 15 hours, so it’s almost like it’s another job and honestly is. And um, what I’m constantly doing is I’m reaching out to people, seeing when they can show what they want to do, if they’re working with brands, um, how I can bet better catered to their needs, but also lifting up other people.
There’s kind of a tight knit of kind of group of photographers here in Utah where we all work with kind of the same models. We have different ideas, but we all support each other. We all lift each other up. We all comment on each other’s posts or like message each other and say, hey, I really liked this hairy like that, can you teach me how to do that? And I’m so I feel like collaboration is probably the biggest thing that’s helped me so far and it’s kind of nice to see when people recognize. I mean no one wants to be talked bad about and I feel like I’ve, I’ve done a good job about that. Like I try be the nicest I can be and not be fake either. Like if I tell you, if I tell you like if I feel like I don’t want to work with you, I’m going to tell you that because of such and such reasons, but I’m still going to be nice about it and upfront and just be the best person that I can be so that in the future, like I’m well talked about and so I feel like I’ve done a good job.
I don’t know, but I’m just being kind and uplifting and trying to build each other up. I feel like that’s what’s gotten me with the farthest. That’s awesome. So overall what I got out of it was, you know, networking and collaborating with people and then treating those people with respect and really trying to up level people. Exactly.
Speed Round with Spencer Ryan
Taylor: That’s awesOme man. I really liked that too. Um, so diving into the speed round, you know, this is the fun part, you know, taking away photography essentially, you know, what do you do for fun when you’re not shooting?
Spencer: When I’m not shooting? besides editing?
Taylor: Yeah. Besides editing and shooting, like what are you doing for fun?
Spencer: Um, I recently got into climbing, climbing like momentum jim or I do like go to the gym, working out. I’m also video games. Okay. What games? I’m like new call of duty. Okay man, I can say I play that to x, xbox. Um, I also just got a switch. Had been playing some zelda. Um, but I’ve, I’ve been playing, I’ve been playing video games since I was a little kid.
Updates in the Photography Industry
Taylor: That’s cool dude. I think we all play them. It’s like a new fad. I think it’s cool to play video games now. It honestly. So any updates in the industry of photography?
Spencer: Um, as far as gear goes, there’s always updates, there’s always new product products being sent out. Um, I know that nikon and canon or both are coming out or have come out with mirrorless cameras were sony did it a long time ago, just saying I’m a man, I’m a sony fan too. And um, but as far as my gear, everything goes. I’m kind of going to stick with what I’ve got for awhile. Um, where do you got in your bag until the audience?
We, right now I’ve got my sony a seven three and I’ve got a sigma 35, one point four and that’s what I’ve been doing all my portraits, all my stuff with when I do weddings or events, I do rent a 24 to 70, just got to get that zoom. So yeah, definitely a nice camera, a nice lens to have and their shoe for sure. Uh, so favorite, favorite book overall here at book ender’s game.
Taylor: Why ender’s game by orson scott card?
Spencer: That’s a, it’s just I read it when I was probably into the sixth grade and um, I don’t know why I was reading that far ahead of my intellectual age, but uh, it just impacted me that someone so small, someone so insignificant could do so much. And Um, it was, I just, it’s just epic to me and I just really like it. That’s why I liked that. Um, the reason why I liked that as recently I’ve had like this epiphany, I guess you could say that a lot of times you really, you think people are like super high up and there is so much different than you, but the reality of it is they’re not. And so like you saying that, I’m just like, if you think you’re the smallest thing in the world, you really are the biggest thing and can be the biggest thing you want to be. So I really like that.
Taylor: Thanks for sharing that. Yeah. Um, so favor, favorite podcast, man, favorite podcasts.
Spencer: I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts, but um, I got really into the serial podcasts. I don’t know if you’ve heard of those. I have not kind of a, a murder mystery type deal. There’s a reporter who goes around figuring out a case from so long ago and it actually went back on trial because of the evidence that they had found and I haven’t really kept up on it, but a serial podcast. I like listening to ted talks to just kind of a wide variety was good stuff.
Taylor: Yeah. Cool dude. so I’m favorite photography tool.
Spencer: Um, well, besides my editing software light room, um, my favorite tool shoot. Um, favorite focal length, how about that? We’ll go with that focal length. Um, I think it would have to be favorite aperture, aperture for. I never shoot at anything less than that. Like honestly, I’m always trying to get focusing on the eyes focusing on the face because that’s what the rest of the picture can be. Amazing. But if you don’t have the face and focus like I don’t know what you’re doing, but um, I really try and capture movement and I’ve been trying to do that a lot more lately just because not everyone can do that and it, uh, it’s eye catching and that’s why I like it.
Advice to Past And Aspiring Photographers
Taylor: That’s awesome dude. So what advice would you give to like an upcoming photographer? You know, like telling yourself when you were in high school, what advice would you give yourself?
Spencer: Um, just, just keep, just keep getting out there. Um, you’re gonna, you’re gonna do a lot of free shoots. You’re going to be doing a lot of stupid stuff, but as long as you keep at, as long as you keep shooting and keep getting better and reach out to more people, networking is super important. You’re gonna, you’re gonna kill it. Just keep at it. Just don’t give up. And I feel like honestly, my passion has become my addiction and so that’s why I love doing it. I actually, after this I have to leave for a shoe as well. And so it’s just a, just find what makes you happy. And if this is what makes you happy, then why are you, why are you not doing it?
Advice When Hiring a Photographer
Taylor: That’s awesome. Your passion is your addiction. If you love it, then freaking do it. Yeah, exactly. Amen to that. So one of the last questions I always like to ask everyone is like, what advice would you give to a business that’s looking? Hire a photographer.
Spencer: I’m definitely look at first of all, their instagram account. Um, and sometimes I feel like you could look at their stories as well because you can kind of see what kind of person they are by what they’re doing in their free time when they’re not shooting, that kind of thing. But um, make sure they have a website and make sure they know what they’re doing in all situations. Because if you hire a photographer and they’re not familiar with your location or the kind of lighting you’ve got, then they’re going to feel dumb and you’re going to feel dumb. You’re not going to pictures, that kind of thing. So just do your homework and kind of check up on them and see what they’re doing and make sure that they’re the right fit for you. That’s awesome man. Last question off the, off of this topic here.
Taylor: How many hours would you say you spend editing a shoot?
Spencer: I’m one shoe, let’s say just like in regular portrait session I shoot for about an hour. Um, he, it’s upwards of maybe 300, 400 pictures and then I’ll take probably at least another hour, hour and a half editing those just because, like I said before, I worked at a studio that archer on time with super quick with this, you know, I’ve just gotten quick at it and um, but weddings, weddings take a long time. Wedding stake upwards of four or five hours just because you want to make everything perfect. So he just kind of depends on the shoot. Gotcha. Well cool man. Thanks for being on the show today. Tell the audience where they can find you at. Uh, my instagram is at spencer ryan photo and my website, spencer ryan photo.com. Okay. If you guys need a photographer, you know where to find him. Spencer ryan here, so thanks for being on the show, dude. Yeah, thanks taylor. See it.
Thanks guys for watching and that is spencer for some big takeaways with photography. Make sure that you guys are hiring your right photographers, people that are going to put time into your shots and really get that quality that you are looking for. Might want to spend a little bit more money to hire better photographer. That’s just my opinion, but if you guys need this guy, go find them online and thanks for listening and don’t forget to subscribe piece.