058: Question and Answer with Cinnamon

Answering all of your questions

This episode is all about the question you have submitted for Cinnamon to answer! Questions range from gear and shooting wedding suites, to SEO and travel insurance.

Paul couldn't be on for this episode and although we typically release a guest interview on Thursdays, we wanted to make sure we stayed on track for episodes each week. 

Question & Answer Session with Cinnamon | Focus(ed) Podcast 058

Show Notes

Podcast Questions

We use microphones from AudioTechnica and we chose the condenser mics. They only pick up sound right at the mic and not much further than that. We didn't use them correctly the first time, but now that we know how best to use them, we love them! You can find all of our podcasting tools in the Toolbox.

Most of our guests are not local, so we do them over Skype, and record the audio with eCamm Recorder. We have thought about recording the video for Youtube, but at this time, we aren’t going to do that.

Most ineffective way to use your work time

Going back and forth between tasks can cause you to waste time. It is best to spend your time on one thing and finish that before moving on. Also, having too many notifications can disrupt your time while your working.

What do you do when others in your industry ask you for help?

We are always encouraged to build community over competition, but it can be draining to help every single person who asks questions. It is important to be as helpful as possible but also protecting your time. One helpful way is to blog about your most asked questions so you can send them straight to the blog. Giving them resources helps them figure things out on their own instead of you having to walk them through everything step-by-step. It can also depend on your relationship with the person asking you. Another option is to monetize your advice by creating strategy sessions or webinars and courses.

Which networking events are best

Local events are amazing (especially for photographers) places to build your network. Meeting people in person deepens the relationship from the beginning when you can see them face-to-face. Choosing events that aren’t too big or overwhelming also give you the opportunities to really meet people and not just getting lost in the crowd.

Turning your work mind off to focus on family

This is an area that I think can be based off of season of life for every person. We don’t have small kids or a lot of other things going on right now. I love what I do and am okay with working more throughout the day. I don’t typically turn my work mind off too often. This will probably change after our move back to Seattle, but it just works for us right now. Take a look at your life, schedule and your goals in order to determine what works best for you right now. And then know that it is okay to adjust that as your season changes.

Photographing wedding paper suites

You can use a paper or fabric background on the wedding day to get those great shots. I keep a few pieces of fabric on hand (one cream and one grey) to use with details throughout the day. I know other photographers use props as well to style on the wedding day. Heirloom Bindery has amazing styling boards you can take with you. Another one is Simply Rooted Surfaces which is actually a roll instead of flat board. I don’t typically talk to the bride about styling because I typically use neutrals but I do put on the timeline that I need extra springs from the florist. Give yourself a little extra time for styling, especially if styling doesn’t come natural to you - an hour is a great place to start. Some photographers do it before the wedding, just make sure you get all the pieces beforehand.

Managing folders and catalogues in Lightroom Questions

The catalogue is the file where all of the edits are stored in Lightroom. You can have multiple folders within each catalogue but you can also create a new catalogue for each session if you want. You won’t be able to see photos from different catalogues while you’re working in one, but you will be able to see the photos from the folders in each catalogue. The lower the number of photos per catalogue will allow Lightroom to run faster. It may work best to have one catalogue per wedding, but you may not need separate ones for each family session. If you’re sending your photos to an editor you, how you organize them is important for keeping track of each session.

How I organize my photos

I have all of my photos in folders based on the year then the month and the 'thing' or event. I don’t organize by date within the month because you might have several things on a day. This makes it easier for me to go back and find certain events when I know when the event took place. 

When to delete RAW files

I don’t do this often, but I would say you are safe to delete your files after 2 years. Some photographers do it more often, possibly every 3 months, so it is definitely up to your comfort level. RAW files take up so much room, and although storage is pretty cheap, there is no need to spend money on storage when you can just delete the other 14 out of 15 photos of the same thing.

Sales Tax in NJ

There is no one right answer, but from what I can tell in NJ, if it is only digital - there is no need for sales tax. If you have collections that come with something tangible, then that is where it gets a bit grey. Everyone should check into their own state as this can differ state-by-state.

Oversees insurance

The best thing to do is check with your insurance provider to see what’s covered for you in another country.

Delivering HiRes photos

As long as your pixels per inch are above 100, then it is considered a full size image. A 4000x2670 PPI/DPI can be printed on a 40x26 (divide by 100). It works best to delete pixels versus trying to add them to a photo.

Getting park permits

This should be done by the client especially if it is clearly stated on the website. If it is a free session and you’re wanting to shoot there, then it is up to you to get the permit.

Bags, gear, and routine cleanings

I have two Mark IIIs - 50mm 1.2, 85mm 1.8, and 35 sigma art 1.4. Macro 100mm 2.6 Canon Lens. I do still have my Canon 6D, which Paul typically uses, but I still love it. It shoots a bit darker than my Mark III but it doesn’t have 2 slots for cards. I’ve had so many camera bags over the years. Currently I use the Think Tank bag (more info in the Toolbox) and a ShootSac. I would love to find a strap for my waist instead of my shoulder, but I think every photographer is always looking for one that’s better than what they currently use. Ideally, I would only have my camera in my hands and nothing else.There is a Canon facility close to me in NJ that I love using to clean and maintain my gear. If things are loose or broken they will fix it.

Dealing with SEO, Increases Traffic, and Blogging

Google is constantly updating how they rank sites. There is not a black and white answer to these questions because so much goes into SEO. You do need to make sure that Google Analytics is set up on your site. Backlinks are also really great to get traffic to your site. It increases Google’s trust factor for you. When it comes to your keywords, you do need to make sure you’re using the right ones, but you don’t want to “keyword stuff” every blog. Google sees you and they want to make sure everything on your site is accurate and consistent.

Links we mentioned


Heirloom Bindery

Simply Rooted Surfaces


Cinnamon Wolfe