Photography Consultant Demo

So, I’m curious how photography consultation works. I’m always giving my opinion and advice to photographers and I’d like to hear how a professional consultant handles similar situations. I’ll bet some of you would like to hear that too.

I asked Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua who runs a business called “Burns Auto Part” which is actually photo consultation not car repair (whatever, is there a difference?) to join me in a live consultation with a photographer. It’s not actually going to be “live” because that would be like watching one of those photo shoot videos… only while covered in fire ants. I’m going to reprint an edited version of the IM chat we have with the photographer selected to receive the free consultation. This will take place on the 30th.

If you’re interested leave your website in the comments. If there’s a huge group of people I’ll pick a few candidates and we can all vote to see who gets it and then I can see if other consultants will work with me on the runners-up at a later date.

Comments closed. Thanks to all those who volunteered.

There Are 153 Comments On This Article.

  1. Great Idea! Add me to the list.

    I’ve always wanted to contact Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua about her consultation services. She also has some great information on her website for photographers.

    Thanks for your passion for the photography community!

  2. Hey pick me, 4 years into my career, living in a sub-market city being a horrible editor of my work. I think I would be perfect for you guys to work over.

  3. william h. trenton

    perfect timing. i can only assume that this post came from ed’s “Business of Photography” post recently that mentioned selina. ( when I read that, I began to wonder about photo consultants too. there seem to be five or six of these people scattered around the country. the big question for me is, which one of them, (if any), really gets it. the other question for me, since they’ll all been around for a while is, are they out of date? when you look at the covers of the books they publish, it would appears that none of them get it; all pretty bad design, nothing that would ever make the CA design annual, if you know what i mean. having said all this, i *do* think there could be value in talking to a person like this, again, if they get it, in they’re not stuck in 1985, or they’re not teaching you to “hug your inner child” like that ian summers guy.

  4. being a motor nut and auto photographer – makes me an interesting object for Burns Auto Parts ;-) Thank you from Germany!

  5. I recently moved from an urban area teeming with culture and art to a town with 2 stop lights in rural Pennsylvania. What have I done?

  6. How about who isn’t interested? Free portfolio consultation by two respected industry insiders? I’ll take it…

  7. Man, I would love to have some consultation. I’m right now in the middle of a huge edit of a couple hundred photos that I’d ultimately like to put together into a book, and I’ve been living amongst them for way to long to have any kind of objectivity.

  8. Ok, let me join the masses looking for some direction. I have moved from NY to Charlotte NC, but took the last 2 years off of shooting to do some editing. I am, this year, transitioning back into shooting full time. the website is being updated or rebuilt, so this comes at a great time for me, if you were to choose me.

  9. These kinda review events seem to be popping up all over the place, seems quite a market with all the wannabes.

  10. I’m a photo assistant here in a Los Angeles stuck in that wonderful catch-22 world. Hoping this year to make that transition. Will be in New York in Feb to pound the pavement. Been enjoying your blog since you started and really help me shape up my marketing.

    thanks !

  11. What a great idea. I’ve met with consultants in the past but it always seems that I end up doing what I feel is right for me. Smart? Crazy? A bit of both I’m sure.

    Robert Olding

  12. Any advice for a self-taught guy with no contacts who lives in Kansas City? Hell, if you want a challenge I don’t even know where to start really building a business. Of course, I’m not sure if you meant on the artistic or business end, but I’d take either.

    Thanks for offering this, whomever you choose is going to be a very luck person indeed.

  13. I would love the opportunity. I’m transitioning my business from mostly nature and travel stock to that of a commercial and editorial assignment shooter, and would love some help doing so.

    I have a 30 minute consultation booked with Leslie at ASMP Strictly Business 2 next week in LA, and I’m sure she’ll get me started in the right direction, but a longer consultation would be a huge help.

    Thanks to Rob and Leslie. Cheers, Josh

  14. I would’nt be interested if you paid me. I know everything I need to know and two so called “experts” couldn’t do one damn thing for me.


    ps. Pick me.

  15. This blog continues to amaze me. I’d love to be considered. Thanks!

    I’m an emerging photographer from Los Angeles, trying to carve out a niche as outdoor/environmental portrait photographer….but not necessarily be limited by that.

  16. I just quit my Associate Art Director job at American PHOTO Magazine to work on my photography. If that doesn’t say “please help” I’m not sure what does.

  17. I’ll put in not for myself but for our collective of photographers at 180degreeimaging. It’s a set of guys who range from hobbyist to long time commercial shooters. The question being is it better to simply co-op on a studio space and promote individually in our small market, or go for the “agency” thing and work as a group?

    Kim Taylor

  18. Am I the only one who sees this as being pathetic? Is it just me or has APE been just a giant marketing scheme for Rob Haggart to launch his consulting business?The first consultation is free and will be posted on line and then he hangs up his shingle and will start taking on any lost soul. Does any one else have a problem with him praying on hopes of hapless photographers around the country?

    Maybe I am just cynical and Rob please correct me if I am wrong.


    (what would BP do?)

  19. Well, my site is in dire need of an update, as is indeed my entire approach to the earning money part of it all.

    I would truly love some free advice, but I think Platon obviously needs it more than I do so am happy to step aside.


  20. Oh, and to anon just above me – I would be surprised if that were the case.

    Then again – even if it were I would have no problem with it and why should anyone ? Full marks to him in the unlikely case that it is so.

  21. “praying on hopes of hapless photographers around the country?”

    Where there is a market it will be exploited. Its happening all over the world and not just in photography. The reality is very few people make it in the photo world. If you get a call from Peter Galassi to show at MOMA or nominated for the Deutsche Borse prize your on your way. But you would probably be better of doing the lottery.

  22. What geeves, Rob? Are you traffeec stats down lately, and you’ve got to come up wizz zomething to drive zem back up? Slow newz day?

    OK, OK, I’m een too. I need to reinvent myself anyway, cauze we cannot get zee 8×10 polaroid filmz any more.

    Will bring zee topless modelz to zee review. Maybe that helps what you zay to me.

    – Paolo in Paris

  23. @ anon:Yep, your dead wrong. I suppose if I start interviewing photographers and photo directors you will accuse me of trying to launch a magazine to pray on hapless photographers as well. I’m not launching a photography consulting business. I’m a Photography Director.

  24. I’m am interested. I’m looking to start marketing myself (creating a concise strong online portfolio) and making the move in to full-time professional photography…

  25. Thank you so much for your priceless contributions to the history of photography, APE. Please include me and my friend Ansel Adams in the lottery.
    Thank you,

  26. Looks like you’ll need some help! I’d be happy to be another consultant to work with you on the runners-up at a later date.

    (shameless plug)
    Anyone interested in paying (major credit cards accepted, lol) can contact me directly for my rate sheet.

    I also provide portfolio reviews. At an industry conference, my reviewees rated the various aspects of my reviews as 100%/Excellent/Above Average. This is as good as it gets! The organizers told me I tied for the highest number of positive responses. Here are some of their comments:

    …direct …on task…great ideas…”
    “She made me feel important…”
    “Very Helpful.”
    “The BEST reviewer.”
    “Really helped me find a focus…”
    “Full of great ideas.”
    “Extremely helpful and encouraging. My hour spent with Jain was the highlight of my Summit experience.”
    “Suggested new and insightful marketing ideas personally tailored just for me….”

    Here is who I am:

  27. I just got off a show called “The Shot.” They promised me I would be the next greatest fashion photographer!
    How do I turn the camera on again?

    Only Joking!!!

    I will put my name in the hat…..Thanks!

  28. I just quit my good job, built my portfolio site and now I am promoting myself. It’s too late for me to turn back now, I have to succeed. Any help I can get along the way will be much appreciated.

  29. Leslie posts all the time on PDN’s Business Forum and has helped in making it a quality place for honest information and opinions.

    I’d love to participate!


  30. if this consultation will tell me how to turn photographs into cold hard cash, then count me in.

    if i’m deluding myself, then hell, count me in for fun anyway. and if you don’t choose me then my votes are for Noah Kahlina and Kim Taylor.

  31. chris @102 I liked your work, images loaded quick, you have a good eye, good sense of place. Id leave out the family pics and concentrate on the architecture. Plenty of boned up construction companies and architects in the UK to hit up. Get that rising front movement going and put up some more stuff, good to see your not doing the HDR stuff, but make sure you don’t blow out the highlights.


  32. I’d be totally interested in it. The above link is a mockup of a website I’m working on.

    I’m at the very early stages of starting a business. I’ve done a lot of cultural photography in the past. I’m looking at doing work, both commercial and art, that looks at and promotes issues of sustainability. I have no idea how to go about that though, so I’d love some advice and guidance.

  33. You’re going to be busier than when you were at MJ. I saw lots of diversity in styles, along with genuine vision and creativity. An extremely talented pool.

    With only six years of experience and a strong commitment to good business and licensing practices, I feel dead on the vine at times. A professional consultation would be career changing for me.

    I’ll take comments from anyone that wants to reach out with advice, or a job. I got babies to feed.

    What a learning experience for everyone. Thanks for the opportunity!

  34. The list is long, but I’d like to add my name to it. I’ve read a few interviews with Leslie and I’d love to get some personal advice from her.

  35. Who wouldn’t be interested? I am definitely looking to get some honest opinions and recommendations on my work. Thanks.

  36. Dmorton (109), thanks for looking at my site, it’s always great to get some feedback. Any advice about how the hell i can hit up those architects etc. would be gratefully received!


  37. That would certainly be a great, interesting and hopefully insightful oportunity. I e-mailed Mary Virginia Swanson a while back about her consulting serves but was never able to afford a meeting with her…

  38. I’m curious. We all seek feedback…it’s in our nature. I’ve been thinking about going the consultant route for awhile and have, so far, discovered 16. They vary as much as photographers in background, experience and style. I think Leslie has something to offer as can be seen from some of her writings. I hope you do get other consultants to participate…it certainly will benefit everyone.

    An interesting take would be to have a few consultants critique work, offer direction and create marketing plans on the same winner(s) without the consultants knowing the others recommendations until they’re posted. Akin to the way money magazines seek investment plans from several financial advisers of one profile or client.

  39. @ 137. Ken:I think photographers will be able to make a better decision about consultation if they see how it works. I also think it would be helpful if several different styles and markets are represented so we can see how the advice changes. I’m a little wary of pitting consultants against one another just like I’m not going to pick a photographer so we can rip them to shreds in front of everyone. This is more of an educational demonstration than a review of services.

    I’d like to see your list if you’d share it with us.

    I’m probably going to close this comment thread at the end of the day so get your name on it if you want. FYI- I can rip through photographers websites at a surprisingly fast rate so don’t worry about the numbers.

  40. Ha, I love this idea! Why, because there must be something I am missing. I have been bombarding you with promos, e-mails, and phone calls for the last 4 years. I have followed you from Outside to Mens Journal and now to your blog. You even selected two of my promos for your presentation at Auroa photo. But never once did I ever even get a call for any thing close to an assignment. So what is it, what else did I have to do?