053: Fer Juaristi – Success and Happiness as a Wedding Photographer

Fer Juaristi is unique in his approach to photography and that's just the way he likes it. It's the reason for his success and happiness as a wedding photographer and someone committed to the art he is creating more than the money he is charging.

When starting out, he was a self confessed “copy cat” who followed the photographers that went before him. It took a couple of years to realise that wasn't the way to a successful photography business, a happy life or a fulfilling one.

The first image in his portfolio features a headless bride and a headless dog. Why? Fer is looking to attract a certain clientele and his portfolio is there to attract the right clients for him and push away those that may not be a good fit for his style.

Fer is so passionate about his style and working with the right couples, he recently dropped his prices because he was starting to see the wrong type of couples booking his services. This is someone committed to his art and not simply making more money.

Here's some more of what we cover:

  • Starting out your photography career as a copycat is totally normal, almost every photographer does
  • The secret to wedding photography success appears when you start shooting the way you want to shoot
  • Drawing a line in the sand and taking the leap or risk your photography business becoming a 9-5 job with no passion
  • Learn why Fer lowered his prices while being booked constantly at a higher price
  • Once you realise your photographer super heroes are normal hard working people, you can get down and concentrate on your own photography style and forget about their ability and creativity
  • Risk aversion and why sometimes you need to take the jobs you don't want early in the season
  • Living within your means is a beautiful thing and will help you be the photographer you want to be
  • Shooting a wedding with two prime lenses only
  • The importance of showing credibility to prospective clients as your prices go up and Fer does it
  • How does Fer get those great expressions in his wedding photography… by shooting in the nude!

Following this interview, I'll be surprised if there is a single listener who isn't re-evaluating the way they shoot, do business and live life. Be sure to check out Fer's work, not to copy his style but to see the work of a photographer that is shooting for their vision and their love of art. Do you have the guts to follow your passion?

Fer Juaristi interview PhotoBizX

The first image that brides see in Fer's portfolio. The perfect way to scare off couples that aren't a good fit for his style.

What's on Offer for Premium Members

Outsourcing is something you may have heard a lot about but are unsure where to start and what, if anything, you should outsource. I've outsourced a number of jobs and the results can be varied in regard to quality and price. Today I'm a lot more confident in getting great outcomes every time.

This week premium members will learn where to start outsourcing, which websites to use and how to do it. You'll learn the best way to get great results and find outsourcers that you'd like to work with for your projects that supply the quality of work you'd expect.

Following the audio, you'll be confident to take on new and more projects, spend more time doing the things in your business that you either enjoy or generate more income. If you're busy enough, there really is no need to do the things you don't like to do in your business – I'll show you how.

Fer Juaristi interview PhotoBizX

What is your big takeaway?

Following this interview with Fer, I'd love to know what your biggest takeaway is – what is the one thing that you'd like to implement or learnt from what he had to share? Let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below.

If you have any questions for Fer that I missed, a specific question you'd like to ask or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them below.

If you'd like an easy way to show Fer your thanks and support for the show at the same time, click the link to create a tweet and automatically let Fer know your listening: https://photobizx.com/Fer.

iTunes ratings, reviews and Shout-Outs

Each week before recording the podcast I check iTunes for any reviews and each week I'm excited to see what you've had to say about the podcast and am usually blown away by the comments and reviews. This week was no exception with two reviews from either side of the world. One from Joe Martin, New Hampshire portrait and wedding photographer another from Mr Roly of Impressions Studios in Miami.

iTunes review Photo Biz Xposed

Sincerely guys, thanks so much for your rating and review, I appreciate the time you've taken and it's a big help for the show and I'm sorry Mr Roly, you were just pipped for the 100th review 🙂

It's these iTunes reviews that make a big difference to the podcast being ranked well and found in the iTunes store. If you have the time and are happy to leave an honest rating and review, head over to iTunes. Don't feel your comments have to be long, involved or gushy, an honest opinion is all I ask.

Don't be shy about leaving your business name in the review either – that way I can add a link in the show-notes and show my appreciation with a proper thanks and a Google loving back-link to your website.

Get in Touch or Leave a Voicemail Message

If you'd like to get in touch, ask a question or make a suggestion for the show, you can email me andrew@photobizx.com, find me on Twitter https://twitter.com/andrewhellmich or on Facebook at https://photobizx.com/facebook – I'd love to hear from you!

Fer Juaristi interview PhotoBizX

Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:

Fer's Website and Blog

Fer Juaristi on Facebook

Fer on Twitter

The Wedding Fer was shooting the day after we recorded the interview

ISPWP Wedding Photography Directory

Chrisman Studios

Fearless Photographers

Click to tweet and show Fer your appreciation

Joe Martin's Facebook Photography Group

Fer Juaristi interview PhotoBizX

That's it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business!

If you've been enjoying the podcast, I'd love for you to tell another photographer about it – it could be in a Facebook Group you're a part of, a photography forum,  with a photographer friend or on twitter.

If you do have a twitter account, simply click here: https://photobizx.com/tweet or use the share buttons below.

Thanks and speak soon

Andrew

By | 2016-10-24T01:46:47+00:00 February 17th, 2014|Podcast|71 Comments
  • Wow, thanks Andrew and thank you Fer for totally giving me a new perspective on wedding photography. I’m primarily a portrait photographer and shoot the occasional wedding. You brought up some very valid points about not just taking on the client because they can afford you but rather choosing your clients so you keep the images fresh and inspiring and you also enjoy the experience yourself. I like that you chose your preferred clientele and accommodate for them.
    Thanks Guys.

    • Hi Kylie – so good to read your comments. I came away from this interview with Fer feeling exactly the same. I feel more inspired than ever to find my “real style” and stick to it no matter the current trends and if that means losing the odd booking or client, so be it 🙂

  • Once again…well done Andrew….keep it up…we are listening out here !!!

    • Thanks Roger – good to know!

      Love your business name. Hope things are well in WA.

  • Andrew Szopory

    Love it as usual. Listening to this gave me the idea to possibly offer a 1 hour re-shoot of formal photos with the bride and groom should the weather be disastrous on the wedding day. As a “guarantee” (which I’m sure will almost never happen but it’s peace of mind) that they will always get great wedding shots no matter what. Whats an hour of our time especially if the bride starts raving to her friends about how you went above and beyond to keep them happy. Am I missing something, what are the cons ?

    Andrew

    • Hey Andrew – a wet weather guarantee for a re-shoot is a great idea. Like you say, may not ever get used but I’m sure couples would be rapt to see that option.

      No cons, unless you were planning to do the re-shoot the following day and already had plans. The only other thing that comes to mind is that you may rely too much on the re-shoot instead of doing your best to get the shots on the day.

  • Fer is one of my favorites. Humble as can be and a super chill guy. Also the work is incredible. I can totally relate to the risk factors he talks about, being a family man myself. Putting food on the table is always top priority, but the art is also a must or else it’s time to get out. Great interview Andrew.

    • Thanks for your comments Joseph – it’s a tough balance between are and risk especially if you want to be shooting one way and are “trapped” shooting another. The risk then becomes change and being true to yourself. Fer is proof that happiness lays with shooting the way you want.

      When Fer talked about making the change to shoot the way he wanted and it worked – everything was good for him. In your opinion, do you think he would have gone back to the “copy cat” style to keep the money coming in or find another way to make a living? It’d be a tough choice.

  • I’m a huge Fan of Fer Juaristi’s work, such an inspiration. Thank You for the interview, will definatly tune in for Nordica photography next week.

    • No problem Matthew, glad you enjoyed the episode with Fer. The Nordica interview with Jacob and Cole will be in a fortnight but I can promise you one of the best interviews to date next week – don’t miss that one.

  • Loved his honest talk .. Fer Juaristi has a unique and a fresh style ..

    • No dispute here Navdeep. Great to have you listening and thanks for adding your comments.

  • Another amazing episode Andrew. Thank you so much for sharing. Finding your Podcast a few months ago and listening to it each week has been one of the greatest resources for me as a wedding photographer. I’ve been sharing your show with all my fellow Canadian photographers in Newmarket (30 minutes north of Toronto). Keep up the amazing work.

    • Hey thanks Ahmad! I love the idea that the podcast is helping you in your wedding photography business.

      Thanks too for sharing with your photographer buddies, that’s a huge help to me in growing the show.

      Hope you’ve enjoyed your winter and things are starting to thaw. I’d love to get up and visit Canada someday, looks like an amazing place and I hear the Canadians share a very similar outlook and lifestyle to the Aussies.

  • Hi, i’m a long time curtain twitcher & first time poster Thanks very much for giving us such great content. It really makes difference.

    • Hey Martin – I had to Google “Curtain Twitcher” and had a real laugh when I saw the meaning 🙂
      We have a couple of them living in my street!

      Great to know you’re out there and keeping an eye on things. Thanks for adding your comments – don’t be a stranger.

  • I really enjoyed this interview! I love Fer’s work and haven’t heard of your podcasts, so when he put a link up on his page I popped on over to check it out! Fantastic! Fear is your friend!

    • Hi Bec and welcome! So glad you found the show via Fer and hope you stick around for a few more episodes.

      Great quote from Fer too 🙂

  • Wow, ever since Fer Juaristi was first mentioned in the podcast in the first few episodes, I have been following his amazing work(I might have slight photography envy/crush) He is one of the couple photographer’s work that I make an effort to check out along with Von Wong.
    I’m really looking forward to listening to this podcast!

    • I know what you mean about the crush Min – Fer is an amazing photographer!

      I just checked Benjamin Vin Wong – holy crap, another incredible photographer! Thanks for sharing.

      Glad you found the podcast and great to have you listening.

  • Rob

    Great interview (as always)

    I loved his approach and a key point to me is be happy doing what you are doing otherwise money rules you.

    • Awesome takeaway Rob! One to live by as much as possible.

  • I love that Fer has the courage to do what he wants and the fact that he even has turned away clients really shows he’s totally ok with being himself. I was a little unsure how I felt at the beginning of the interview, but as Fer spoke I actually started to enjoy hearing his POV. It was “refreshing” to say it in one word.
    Thanks Andrew!
    y gracias Fer, me encantó la entrevista! Tus obras son muy únicas. Bien hecho, hombre!
    Joey Joiner
    Fort Worth, Texas
    USA

    • Although there was less business and marketing focus in this interview, I think what you picked up Joey is just as important and relevant as any client generating tips.

      Love your Spanish comments 🙂

  • I started following Fer when I just started. And his photography is super creative and inspiring.
    A quick question, Where do you get a lot of your inspiration? And in the beginning how did you practice and perfect your craft? Was it just through shooting a ton of sessions or did you intentionally go out and practice that style?Also, How long did it take to get your editing style down?

    • Hey Devin – totally agree with you about Fer, I love his style and creativity.

      My inspiration? That’s a tough one. I guess a lot of it comes from the shoot when I’m actually there and working. I see something in the light, background, subject etc – something clicks and I have a crack at making it work. I flick through magazines and browse the web a little – more now since starting the podcast and if I see something I like, it somehow sticks and comes back when I “see” something similar when on a shoot. Not sure if this makes sense.

      An example – I’ve been seeing Craig LaMere’s work lately and I loved a couple of side on profile images I saw. I rarely shoot them. Last Saturday I was shooting, I turned the model side on and absolutely love the photos.

      In the beginning I shot as much as I could – and anything I could. I also discovered the Model Mayhem website and have used that a bit to practice, play and try new things – one of the best things I did.

      And yes, I’ll practice or intentionally go for a certain look/style if I want to learn it – off camera flash is a good example. I saw it and loved it so went out and practiced. As soon as I had and idea I started using it on paid shoots.

      My editing style is always changing a little but as I progressed, I became more opinionated about what I like and don’t like and I think that’s how a style develops. It still changes but and I’m not worried about deviating but I think I always come back to what I like and that has become “my style”.

      Wow. Long winded answer… Sorry about that 🙂 If you’re still unsure or have questions, reply here or we can chat via Skype.

  • Another great episode, and it was fun to listen to someone like Fer talk about shooting naked, only needing a handful of weddings, and his pricing strategies.

    Fer, where are most of your international clients from? Canada / USA, or other parts of the world?

    • Thanks Chris, glad you enjoyed this one – I’ve been waiting a while to chat to Fer and appreciate his style even more now.

      I’ll see if I can have Fer answer your question but from what I understand. Most of his couples are from the USA getting married in Mexico.

      • Ok perfect that was my guess as well. Seems like all my friends are getting married down there lately too!

        • If you’re considering chasing weddings in different locations Chris, make sure you have a listen to the interview with Michael Steingard – that’s exactly what he does for half the year.

          There is also some amazing advice on booking destinations wedding in the Premium area by Daniel Griffiths who is booked solid with European weddings over the Australian winter.

  • WOW, who cares if this guy ‘thinks’ he doesn’t know business because his philosophies on life and being an individual and taking risks are way more important!!!. Well done Fer, I was nodding at everything you said.

    …and Anonymous. I can’t believe the responses you got from your little espionage experiment. Surely those studios can’t be big players?? Did you try more well known/bigger studios? My tip is not to rest on your laurels based on these results of your competitors but keep upping the standard of your own customer service.

    • Hey Warren, great to hear you enjoyed this interview. I’m glad I persisted with Fer to have him on – for someone that says he doesn’t know a lot about business, he taught a few great lessons!

  • Hey Andrew,

    This was a nice little interview. Was driving around London listening to it. Made a change! Anyway, Fer seems like such a nice guy and has his head in the right place. Good attitude towards materialism and stuff. His approach to his price structure in order to attract the right clients is a good idea and it’s cool it’s worked out for him. Also, I liked the shout out to Joe Martin.

    Thanks again. Looking forward to next week’s podcast.

    • Thanks Rahim! Not so much business advice as life lessons – I agree, a nice change.
      Joe, has been doing a lot of work in his FB group, definitely worth checking out – you’re already in there aren’t you?

  • Yeah, I joined it the other day. I “met” him in another group though. Can’t remember which one though :-{

  • Hi Andrew. I started at a crazy time in the morning here. Maybe 4am. That little bub of ours that was maybe 3 months old when we last chatted is now almost one and a half. Anyway he figured it was time I got up extra early and got through a bit of post production.

    I kicked through these pre dawn pixel bending hours with Fer and your kind self. Was really stoked to put a voice to the work! There were many points that I related to, and one of the most poignant in my mind is Fer’s (business and no doubt photographic) strategy of responding (“like a wild animal” in his words).

    This notion is not something that works for all of us but for many of us it is a good thing to consider. Trying to manifest things using our heads and our drive often takes us away from our innate or true path. This is the path that’s not the one that feels like everything is simply falling into place organically. Easily. Once again the latter of the two paths is often found through a simple instinctual (animal) response to an external stimulus. You can read stimulus as you like but for example it may be the client that’s approached you (in Fer’s case they may or may not be “cool enough”). Photographically that stimulus may come down to a simply composition, a flash of light, an emotional expression.

    Without reading too much into Fer’s comment, and trying not to sound too esoteric, my point is simply that sometimes we can over analyse in business and photography, creating an outcome that may ‘tick some boxes’ but doesn’t bring holistic contentness on a deeper level.

    In a nutshell; respond, simplistically, less is often more, and the more we understand ourselves the clearer our creative and photographic path will be.

    OK stop the clock. Too early obviously. Everything is going great down here. And I’m stoked all looks good on the central coast for you guys too.

    Warm Regards – Dean

    • Hi Dean – so good to hear from you and to know that you’re tuning into the podcast occasionally.

      You’ve gone DEEP with your comments. I’m pretty sure I know where you’re coming from because I am one of those photographers that often over-analyses a situation, a shot or a decision. I’m trying harder to let the “animal” out but I think it has become so ingrained to think before acting that it’s difficult.

      I also believe it’s a big case of being afraid to fail that we/I over analyse and think through different scenarios before acting. I’m going to make a conscious decision to try and reduce the thinking, especially while shooting.

      Hope you’re well and slowly thinking about your winter break that isn’t too far over the horizon.

      Speak soon

      • Andew. You got it in one. Our fears start driving our heady strategies that take us away from our greatest potential as both artists and business people. Photographically the cliche ‘shoot from the heart’ say’s a lot! Likewise our heart or our gut or basically any genuine feeling that’s not initiated from the backseat driver above our shoulders (yep your head), has been the sole source of honest and resounding pursuit for all those whose ‘work’ is considered genuine and inspiring. Will stop there 🙂 Make sure you stop by next time you’re heading south!

        • Will definitely call ahead next time I’m coming past Dean!

  • Fer Juaristi it was so great to hear your thoughts. Been watching your site for a while. You and Andrew keep up the great work!

    • Thanks Rollin, glad you enjoyed this one and thanks for your email and suggestion for a future guest – I’m onto it.

  • I love Fer, he seems like an awesome guy and his photos look amazing!* I’m actually in the opposite situation where I’m reaching the wrong clients by charging too little and Fer’s helped me to try fix that.

    *(And speaking of amazing photos, if there’s any way to add photos to podcasts that would be amazing for us iTuners so we can see them on our iPods as you reference them etc, Andrew! Just a little suggestion, but the show is still fantastic regardless!)

    • Loved reading your comments about Fer. I agree too, he does amazing work!

      In regard to the photos during the podcast (these are called enhanced podcasts) – I’ve done a little looking into it and unfortunately, there are more downsides than pluses. I would need to create two separate feed (basically 2 separate podcasts) per episode as some pod catchers don’t take enhanced podcasts.

      It also means a lot more work which I can’t take on at the moment. What I can suggest though is if you click on the link to the show notes from the episode you are listening to, you’ll be taken to the show notes for that episode where I always include photos from the guest plus links to anything and everything mentioned in the episode.

      • I figured it would be a hassle, but I guess it gives me more reason to check in here more often 😀

  • Fer, I just want to thank you. I listened to this podcast and I really think you emulate what it is not to try to be someone else and to work toward what you are passionate about. It was a really inspiring podcast. And as always, thank you Andrew for always asking such great and relevant questions!

    • Thanks Dalibor for adding your comments – awesome to hear you found the episode inspiring!

      I think you’ll find the following episode with Nikki has an almost identical message with a totally different style – I hope you enjoy that interview too.

  • What a legend! Very inspiring! Thanks Fer & Andrew

  • Andrew,
    I’m just getting to this show – the link back you mention in the opening, is it the web address box at the upper right in the comments or more?

    To get your nifty photo instead of the graphic next to comments here – is that Google+ authorship?

    Thanks,

    Rollin

    • Hey Rollin, the “Do Follow” links I was referring to is when you leave a comment – just like you’ve done here. You should have received a notification after your first comment indicating it was your first on the PhotoBizX website.

      From your 2nd post onwards, you’ll have the choice to link to your website or blog posts with any future comments. These links are “do follow” which have more “weight” as far as the search engines are concerned and because the PhotoBizX website ranks well for a lot of search terms, the back links to your site will have even stronger weight.

      The graphic comes from registering a free account with Gravatar http://en.gravatar.com – once you have an account set up, your chosen photo will show up on any sites that you comment on.

      If you haven’t already set up a Google Plus account, that is something you should do. Once you have your account, you can link your Google Plus profile to your website/blog and Google will recognise that you’re the author for any posts or guest-posts you put “out there”.

  • Wow! I think people on the train where thinking I was weird when I was nodding my head and smiling broadly while listening to you and Fer on my way to work. I am in a full time 9-5 photography job right now and looking for a way out of it to photograph more weddings. This podcast (and other ones) has poured more energy in my pursuit!

    • I love seeing people totally absorbed to what they’re listening to on the bus or train Adi – I’m sure you were good “entertainment” for the other commuters 🙂

      What’s the 9-5 photography job you have?

      Great to hear you’re enjoying the podcast and thanks for adding your comments.

      • Hey Andrew,
        Thanks for reply. I am in a still life studio photography job. After few years it’s still fun but I want to be able to do what I love and to do it when I want to. After listening to some of your podcasts I again am believing it is possible. Hard, but possible 🙂

  • Thanks for the answer Andrew.
    I have been on G+ for awhile and have the authorship thing going well now – not sure if it was one of your podcasts that tipped me off about it or not, but I’ll give you the credit 😉 and man did my Google search ranking jump a ton when I finished setting it up correctly for my website & G+ account and shared a G+ post.

    I really respect all the time you are putting into the podcasts, comments, etc. Once this biz gets going plan to give some back.

    Rollin

    • No problem Rollin – and thanks, I will take that credit 😉
      Good to hear about your site rankings too, that’s awesome – makes it very hard to argue with the importance of G+.

  • GREAT show.. Really enjoyed it! New here.. but really enjoy it.. will for sure share it with other photographers! 🙂

    • Hey Sandra, welcome! And thanks too!

      Great to know you’re out there and be sure to let me know if you’d like to hear a particular guest or topic covered on the show.

  • Andrew – I came across your Podcast yesterday and I am very impressed. I love how you ask the NEXT question with every interview, you dig deeper. I was inspired by Fer to have more confidence as an artist…I can only be a worse version of someone else…but I can be a great version of me.

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Hi Max and welcome to the podcast – great to see you commenting already as well!

      Fer really hit the nail on the head with a few of his comments – I also loved the way it’s more about the photography and art than the money, so much so that he was willing to drop his wedding photography prices.

  • Hi Andrew
    Firstly, a HUGE thankyou to you for all your help you’ve given me…it’s so greatly appreciated.
    Secondly, a belated congratulations on your 50th podcast….a great effort and I look forward to many more.
    Finally, I’m working my way through the podcasts via the ‘download’ option and listening to them when I can, usually during the day.
    While listening to this podcast with Fer, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with him, when he was talking about how it takes time for people to find you and start wanting your services….you and I have been having this conversation lately and I’m starting to appreciate that I have to be patient, keep working on my marketing, keep talking to people to get the word out about what I can offer.
    In the meantime, I’ll continue shooting and experimenting to develop a style that’s ‘me’, even though, like Fer said, we probably all started off copying other people’s work!
    Thanks again Andrew.

    regards
    Russell…

    • Hi Russell – it’s been a pleasure and great to hear things are working out for you!

      Yep, I found Fer’s approach very refreshing, I’m yet to meet another photographer that reduced their prices even though they were being solidly booked.

      Good to hear you enjoyed the episode and great to have you listening – here’s to another 50 hey!

  • I’m slowly catching up on a few of these interviews…. another great one Andrew. I cant believe he put his prices down but you have to admire the logic behind it.

    • Thanks Darryn – Fer’s pricing was a big shock to me too. Very cool to hear why he dropped them. Total respect.

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  • What a lovely guy (and talented photographer) Fer is. This was a very relaxed and charming interview.

    Andrew – the more of these podcasts I listen to, the more I think that the most successful photographers have, in this order, 1. a great personality 2. confidence 3. photographic ability.

    • Thanks Nicholas, glad to hear you enjoyed the interview.

      I agree with your observations and believe the confidence aspect is probably the biggest factor – confidence in your ability, your vision and your art. With these, I reckon any photographer would be a success.

  • It seems like everyone wants to go after the “High End Wedding Market” but it’s cool to see Fer’s point of view, and it makes me see you can go after a different type of couple if you want and still be successful.

    • Wasn’t Fer a breath of fresh air Amanda! It’s so good to hear a photographer that could be charging more has made a decision not to.

  • When I signed up this was one of the episodes I most wanted to listen to and managed to do that last night. There was so much in here that goes along with my philosophy about customers and putting off customers who make you unhappy. Fer is clearly a happy photographer and happy photographers are clearly better photographers.
    This was one of my favourite interviews I have heard so far. I was listening in the car and found myself laughing out loud, grinning and clapping . . . and getting some strange looks in the traffic.
    Thanks so much for setting this up and being a host who allows the guest to talk, you bring the best out of everyone and makes this so worthwhile!

    • Thanks Owen – loved reading your comments! And I would have loved to have been sitting alongside you in the car as you listened… to see the clapping, grinning and laughing first hand. 🙂

      I reckon you’ll love the more recent interviews with Gabe McClintock and Jonas Peterson. Some of what Fer talked about is echoed in what these guys have to say and share. Fer though, is definitely one of a kind!