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Top Tips, Tricks & Tools – Featuring Courtney DeLaura

Luxe Workshop Speakers Feature

Over the next several weeks, every Wednesday I’ll be featureing the top 3 tips, tricks and tools of The Luxe Shootout Speakers.

Today we are kicking things off with Courtney DeLaura of Get Schooled Photo. Is there significance to starting this series you may ask??? Hmmm…the only way to find out is to make sure you’re on THIS LIST  (scroll to the bottom of the page).  

top tricks

3.  Location scout at the time you will actually be shooting. No matter how beautiful the location, if the light is harsh, dark or flat than the image just won’t be worth the location.

2.  Go to the source and ask what they want. Don’t look to other photographers to tell you what your target market wants, ask your area teens. Set up a teen panel and ask them to show you images from magazines they love, clothes they love and music that makes them feel young and happy.

1.  To get the serious look without a teen looking mean or too sexy, tell them a little fib. Pose them and then let them know to just relax and look into your lens, tell your client you are metering the light and that these few shots are light tests. Typically your client will look super relaxed and soft without even trying. They don’t need to know that you actually had the light perfectly dialed in before those few frames.


top tips
3. Every area of the country is different and every town is different. Do not get hard on yourself if you do not reach the same level of success over the same course of time that another photographer across the country reaches. Work your business and stop comparing yourself to others. Comparisons are a huge drain on your creativity and in turn will stunt your success.

2. Rent before you buy. Before investing over 1500 on a new lens or even more for a camera body. Rent that particular piece of equipment for at least 3 sessions. If after 3 sessions you see a huge difference in your work that will result in higher sales then go for it! I am a huge fan of Great customer service.

1. I have heard time and time again in my online course Senior Blueprint that taking online sales out of the clients offerings has easily tripled sales, but the fear of having to invest in tons of technology scares photographers away. You don’t need anything fancy! You can even simply use printed proofs in a cupcake shop and I promise you will yield higher results then an online gallery or shop. Go old school with the printed proofs and a paper order form. Then save your pennies for an iPad or laptop.


top tools
3.   85mm 1.2 is the most stunning lens I’ve every used and I can tell you that I rent it often. I head my own advice and rent plenty of times before I make the big purchase. is one of my favorite tools to creating amazing images that yield big profits.

2. My iPad. Instant in-person sales anywhere!

1.  My old 5D without the word Mark after it. This camera body is the original Digital 5D and I still shoot happily with it. Remember that it isn’t the equipment it is the operator.


Courtney, Kelli France, Brittney Kluse, Leslie Kerrigan and I have a big surprise announcement coming up…you may want to be on THIS LIST to find out what it is! (Hint: You really do want to be on that list!) 




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