Ep 109 Imposter syndrome, how to attract clients and lighting for big groups.

We’ve heard some of your biggest challenges in the world of photography and outline clear strategies you can take to overcome them. From getting over imposter syndrome, to determining practical strategies to attract clients, Gina and Valerie cover it all in this episode. Gina also reveals an ingenious hack on how to get even lighting for large groups. It’s a cracker!

It’s also the first episode for the year so Gina and Valerie recorded it with a bottle of champagne. EACH. The results? Well, you can hear for yourselves.

Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio.

Show notes

Useful Links

Selecting the Best and Worst Camera Gear of 2016… While Getting Drunk

Listener questions

How to get even lighting with groups of people.

Phil asks: Getting even lighting on groups. I don’t mean flat lighting I mean how do you light multiple people in the one image?? Mine tend to be obvious which one is closer to the light source. Should I start shooting them individually and moving the light each time??

  • If you want shape and highlights shoot each person individually
  • If you want even lighting move your lights away from your models

Inverse square law
In physics, an inverse-square law is any physical law stating that a specified physical quantity or intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity.

Basically put light travelling from its origin ( torch, flash, light saber) starts to dim at an exact mathematical formula based on

Distance travelled from source x distance travelled from source ( or squared)

Above: Basically put light travelling from its origin ( torch, flash, light saber) starts to dim at an exact mathematical formula based on
Distance travelled from source x distance travelled from source ( or squared)


Above: So in this image above of light coming from a torch, let’s say that each of the lines represents a space of 2 meters

We assume the drop off is evenly spaced, but it isn’t!

  • The brightness of the light drops off by 75% in the first 2 meters
  • 89% in the first 3 meters
  • 96% after 5 meters
  • At a distance of 5-10 meters from the light the fall off is only 4%

So what does this have to do with portrait photography? A lot!

You don’t need to remember the formulas. Just remember the following:

  • The closer your subject is to the light source the faster the light drops away
  • If you want to create a high contrast portrait such as split lighting move the light closer
  • If you want a portrait with flatter more ever lighting move the light away from your model

To evenly light groups, set your lights back slightly.

  • The closer the light is to your model, the softer the light
  • Softness has nothing to do with falloff
  • It’s confusing, the best way to understand this is to see it in action.
  • Buy a cheap torch and bust out your lego and try the experiment for yourself
Above: Aerial view of group shot shows the person closest to the light is brightly lit, but then the power of the light falls off rapidly leaving the rest of the boys in the dark.


Above: Rapid fall off when light too close to the group


Above: Backing the lights up so the boys are positioned in the part of the light where there is less contrast or fall off. Final image below.


Above: An evenly lit group shot.

How to overcome imposter syndrome

Elise asks: Feeling authentic/legitimate as a photographer. Would love to know how to stop feeling like a fraud, or an imposter
Ky asks: Getting the courage to ask people to model for me in this portfolio building stage where I don’t really have much of my work to show. How to go about it, how to talk to myself (imposter syndrome here too), how to convince people

Listen to the answer this in the episode.

Attracting more clients

Natalie asks: My plan for 2017 is to more actively seek out projects rather than wait for it to come to find me. So along the lines of Kristi Louise Herd sentiments, some guidance on how to market ourselves better using social media and any other suggestions would be awesome

Kristi asks: I would like to know how to gain more exposure for my work/ attract more clients. I use social media, I have a good website but I just don’t seem to gain any headway at all. My goal in 2017 is to go from semi-pro to full time pro photographer. Thanks ladies

Listen to the answer in this episode. It covers:

  • Grassroots campaign
  • Offer your services for free rather than cheap in exchange for rights to images
  • Partner with local businesses
  • Photograph influential people in your local community as a way to get known
  • Start small
  • Charity
  • Personal projects
  • Join local community groups
  • Lead by talking about what you can do for your client
  • Focus on the service you offer not price.

Charging what you’re worth

Matt asks: I need to not be afraid to charge what I need and what I believe my work is worth. I am trying to build my portfolio and at the same time get paid for what I am doing. I am too nice when it comes to the bill.

Listen to the answer in this episode.

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Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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