• Abigail Saalfrank

Instagram Q&A

Updated: Dec 8, 2019

So the last few weeks I have been posting question boxes in my Instagram story and encouraging my followers to send me questions. I received over 50 different questions, but that felt so overwhelming to answer, and I didn't want to write the longest blog post ever, so I narrowed it down to 20. Now most of these 20 were asked more than once, or I felt were more important than what's your favorite color. Sorry to whoever asked that since I did not include it. It is blush by the way. So without a further delay, enjoy these photography and personal questions and answers!

1. What camera did you use when you started your business?

This is such a great question, and I actually get asked all the time for starter camera recommendations. I started my business on a Canon Rebel T3i, and I always recommend this camera to beginners as well. This camera served me and my business so well and I truly believe that it doesn't matter what camera you shoot on, but rather your skill level in utilizing the camera, and the photographer behind the camera. I used my rebel for a year before upgrading, but seriously some days I miss the simplicity of it, as funny as that sounds.

2. How did you juggle college and a photography business?

I honestly wish I had some magic answer to this but I don't. I grew my business throughout college, meaning my earlier years of college when I was shooting 5-6 weddings a year were definitely way easier. My last year of college classes I took 18 credit hours both semesters, had to do 60 hours in schools, and then took 12 credit hours in the summer, all while shooting 20 weddings and a million other sessions. Was I overwhelmed at times? OH YEAH. Especially the fall. I remember crying and wanting to be done with school because I was so stressed. However I am really good under pressure and being under that much pressure, while I did crack, I thrived mostly. My biggest tip is to dedicate one whole day to homework, for me it was Sunday. No work on Sunday only homework, and to stay on top of your work! Do not slack off or you will get so behind and be overwhelmed.

3. When did you start your photography business?

I honestly do not remember the exact date I started my business because I kind of stumbled into photography. All I know is I started in September of 2014, so usually the whole month of September I celebrate my business. I am about to celebrate five years and I am so dang excited!

4. How old are you? How old were you when you started your business?

I am 23 years old, and I started my business when I was 18.

5. What do you do outside of photography?

I always joke that my hobbies include my job because I am such a workaholic and love to work. I literally will work 10 hours a day if I can. But I know working all the time is not the move, so I do try to limit my work. So outside of work I like to hang out with my best friends, or spend time with my family. I also love being at our lake house, and traveling.

6. Do you still shoot families and kids?

I do! I know a lot of my website and focus is weddings, but I definitely still shoot families and kids. Fall is usually my busy time for those sessions so that is why you have not been seeing a ton on social media.

7. How did you chose your second shooters?

All of my second shooters are actually close friends of mine. Both of them showed interest in coming to shoot for me, and so I brought them in. Pretty plain and simple honestly. Both of my second shooters only work for me, meaning outside of shooting with me they do not own a photography business or work for anyone else which I love because they just full pour themselves into my business and promoting it and I so appreciate and love them both so much.

8. Do you work as a photographer full time?

I do! I really feel like I should say more about this, but I don't know what, so all I am going to say is I do.

9. Are wedding albums really that wonderful?

UM YES. I personally love wedding albums for a lot of reasons, and actually order albums for my personal photos, that is how much I love them. I am in the process of making an album filled with photos of my niece for my sister, and I constantly make albums of my photos for myself as well as family members. They are so worth every penny and seriously the quality is amazing. Also I have never once had a client say they regret buying one.

10. What is your favorite venue you have ever shot at?

This is such a hard question. I literally can not pick just one that is the problem. I have shot nearly 75 weddings, and there have been so many incredible venues in all of it, and so many more to come, so I can't say I have an absolutely favorite.

11. What do you use to get those perfect spiral curls?

First off I want to say thank you for saying perfect, but if you saw my hair in person you would know that not every inch of my hair is perfectly curly. The struggle of having curly hair. I personally solidly swear on Aveda's Curl shampoo and conditioner as well as the power of water. That is literally all I use in my hair. My hair curls enough on its own that I actually do not have to use any product in my hair.

12. Everyone thinks photography is all fun and games. Is it actually?

Whenever someone says oh your job is so easy and fun I kinda want to punch them. While yes shooting weddings is fun, the actual shooting part of a photography business is really only like 15-20% of it. The rest is all background work. Long nights of editing, lots of advertising and promoting, managing social media, book keeping, emails, calls, literally there is a million things I do outside of taking photos that no one ever sees. My job is amazing, and parts of it are fun, but parts of it are not fun and hard, and stressful. I think that is truly why most photography businesses don't make it past the 3 year mark because people think it is easy and fun and you just make so much money all the time. They don't realize the blood, sweat, and tears you pour into your business and how painful tax season is.

13. What is your favorite photography conference to attend?

Showit United HANDS DOWN. This conference is sooo life changing and I highly encourage all my photographer friends to go. I have made some of my closest friends at this conference and I have learned so much. It is truly the best conference you can attend.

14. Is shooting weddings and being single hard?

I debated a lot on if I wanted to answer this question mainly because this is a close to home question, but I decided to as I am pretty transparent about my life. Being a wedding photographer means that weddings are constantly in your face and on your mind, which I love. However it definitely can be hard at times as it can be a reminder of how single I am. However I am way too excited for my couples and their day to really let it effect me, and definitely know my time will come when it is suppose to. So my answer is no for me personally.

15. Can I come second shoot for you? Or even third?

I actually received this question from three different people and I want to say that I am totally flattered you want to come work with me. However I have two very consistent second shooters that I use, and a back up for them just in case, meaning I am not really looking for another other second shooters at the moment. I also feel that having a third shooter would just be too much on a wedding day as my second shooters and I have a system down to be consistent and efficient while capturing the wedding day. So at this time I am not looking to add anyone to my business but I will let everyone know if I am!

16. What is the most amazing location you have shot at?

I am about to shoot a wedding at Castle Farms and I think that is definitely going to be at the top of the list. But I have shot at some pretty amazing locations including Wisconsin State Capitol, The Field Museum in Chicago, just about anywhere in Detroit is my favorite, some gorgeous private properties, literally the list could go on and on.

17. How do you keep track of all your shoots?

So this question could be taken in a few ways so I am going to answer all of the ways I could take it. If we are talking keeping track of my schedule I use my Happy Planner. I can not use my calendar on my iPhone I need something right in front of me. If we are talking about keeping track of wedding workflow I keep a spreadsheet, I keep a weekly to do list, and I use Honeybook.

18. Favorite place to travel?

Honestly, our lake house in Northern Michigan. I have deemed it a no work zone, so when I head up there I try to keep myself from working so going up there is so relaxing and enjoyable. Outside of that my favorite place I have ever been is Ireland. Literally been planning to go back since I left.

19. What is your favorite wedding palette?

My favorite wedding palette changes weekly to be honest. I am constantly seeing new palettes I love and think are wonderful so I change what is my favorite every second it feels like. I do still have a huge love for any palette with blush in it, but literally I love so many. When I get married I think that will be my hardest choice.

20. What's a super random and weird fact about you?

I actually have written two blog posts that include 10 random facts about me, so you should head over to Abbey's Corner on the blog and read those if you want to know a few random things about me.

There is 20 questions and answers, hoping to do another blog post soon to answer a few more of the 50 questions I got asked, but until then this should hopefully hold you over.


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