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  • Writer's pictureTina Witherspoon

Lifestyle Photoshoot: Holiday Cocktails

Happy New Year! Let's have a cocktail.

In early December I left my job of 5+ years as Director of Public Relations at Board & Vellum to strike out on my own as a freelance photographer and fashion designer. It was a carefully planned transition, as I had been working at photography for a few years and just starting to take on paid clients on the side. I gave 2 months’ notice — even found and trained my replacement, and ended my career in the A&E industry on the day of our company holiday party, and really went out with a bang! In fact, everything went so smoothly, I spent the first week of independence waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Perhaps the hardest part so far is waking up with nowhere to be and no one to whom I must report. I mean unless I have a planned photoshoot or lunch date, I pretty much make my own schedule. The very thing I used as an excuse for the last 10 years is now no longer an obstacle. If I’m in charge of my schedule, I should be able to exercise daily, plan healthy home cooked meals and keep up with closet organization, right? It's all part of my 2020 plan, but I gave myself the remainder of December to relax and shift gears — both mentally and physically (although closet organization will never be at the top of my priority list).

My main focus is to bolster and maintain my photography portfolio, and what better way to do this than to give myself assignments each month? Sure, it would be great to get paid for these personal projects, but hopefully that’s where it will lead. You can’t get hired for a lifestyle cocktail photoshoot if you don’t have any images in your portfolio. Show the work you want to do more of, and push yourself to keep working harder. The theme of most of the photography lessons on CreativeLive are all about just that. I have absorbed hours of tutorials on camera settings and lighting setups, but the thing that sticks with me is to get out there and do the work.

For my first personal project I decided to focus on cocktails trying both holiday and general lifestyle set ups, since I have a ton of staging items at my disposal (I'm a bit of a thrift store junkie). I also wanted to try using both dark and light backgrounds while utilizing the huge window in my living room as my big light source. I can’t believe how much fun I had with full creative control, experimenting with light — even scrapping one set up because it wasn’t working. Luckily I planned ahead by creating a Pinterest board for inspiration and gathered potential props the night before, otherwise I think it would have taken all day. I ended up shooting for just 4 hours and created 6 different set ups that I think really worked, and enough content for a month of Instagram posts.

If you are looking to up your instagram game this year, consider how helpful it would be to have a month's worth of content you can schedule out for publishing daily. Get in touch and let's plan a shoot to promote you or your business.

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