Despite the general trend and preference of shooting real, unposed imagery, having a few posing ideas up your sleeve and offering movement guidance for your clients is a useful and necessary thing. Not everybody is a model. Not everybody knows how to behave while being photographed. Most people actually feel awkward and turn into a C-3PO or Pinocchio when a camera is pointing at them. It’s your duty as a photographer to help them relax, act natural, feel comfortable, so their photos turn out organic and authentic.
We found the perfect tool to help you master just about any client session. It’s a free app that you can easily install to your phone, and it includes a huge library of posing ideas, camera setting guides for various types of light, resources and cheat sheets to improve almost all aspects of your business and craft, and so much more. The app is called Unscripted, and it’s a must have for any photographer!
Go ahead and download Unscripted to your phone right now, try all its free features or subscribe to the premium version with code “FLOTHEMES” and get a $20 discount. We also did a quick interview with the creator of the app – Cheryl Kitchener of the Cedar & Salt Photography brand.
SURPRISE NOTE: Head over to this post to enter our 24 hours giveaway and win lifetime access to the premium version of the Unscripted app + a Flothemes or Squaremuse website design of your choice.
Cheryl, you’re a mother, a full time photographer and the creative lead of the Unscripted Posing app – have you unlocked a secret skill that allows you to do all these full time jobs at once?
Gosh no, the whole work/life balance thing still seems like an unachievable goal. I love being a Mom, and I’ve learned that motherhood always has to come first no matter what. My husband is very supportive, especially in the early days of starting my photography business he would take the kids on weekends while I did free or very cheap shoots and encouraged me to grow and learn. Without that support I wouldn’t be where I am now.
How did the idea of creating Unscripted come to life? What’s the purpose of the app?
The idea for Unscripted came from my own personal struggle with learning the art of candid posing and directing my clients to capture raw and authentic emotion. I was doing an engagement session with a couple who were reeeaally introverted. You know, the type of people who would rather get a root canal than let loose in front of the camera. After what felt like 62 years (but was probably 6 minutes) I ran out of ideas. I scrolled through endless saved screenshots on my phone and fumbled around with my prompt cards, all while my clients were staring at me like “Omg babe get your shit together!” After that awkward session, I decided, “Screw this, I’ll make my own posing resource”. It had to be quick, easy, and super visual, and it needed to deliver a tonne of fresh posing & prompt inspo that I could access in a pinch. And so the Unscripted Posing App was born!
What was the journey like from having an idea to actually building the app, gathering amazing content for it, marketing everything and building an online community?
This app has grown from a simple idea into so much more than I ever imagined. The initial purpose of the app was to be a simple resource for myself and my photog friends, to use and add to over time. I never expected it to be picked up by thousands of photographers and shared so heavily across social media.. Photographers quickly started messaging me telling me how much they loved the app and wanted to submit their photos to be featured. The online community and user generated content happened by accident, as photographers were so keen to see the app grow, and be apart of it. The app wouldn’t be anything today without the amazing support of photographers from all around the world.
What was the most challenging part of this whole process?
App development is a whole heck of a lot harder than I expected. I spend many late nights communicating to our overseas app development team, and googling complex developer terminology that I pretend to understand. It’s incredibly expensive and time consuming to make an app work well, on all sorts of different devices. Tech is volatile as you guys would totally understand. Things are changing daily, you’ll have one thing figured out then Apple releases a new phone, Instagram changes its algorithm and Google decides to shake up everything you’ve spent the past year trying to understand. We love our community, every feature we build is because our users have requested it. Our users have so many amazing ideas that we never would have come up with on our own. We can’t wait to dive into some exciting new features our users have requested this year, such as a Mac app, more workflow automations and a free web directory for our app users to promote their businesses.
Unscripted is not just about posing ideas, right? What else do users get access to when they subscribe?
Unscripted has grown into so much more than just posing and prompts! We now offer full client management features including digital questionnaires, contracts and invoices. Photographers can use the app to plan and manage their photoshoots from beginning to end. We also have some epic tools such as the sun tracker feature which populates the golden hour and blue hour times anywhere in the world, at any date in the future. We’re always adding new features and have some big things planned for the year.
Where do you see the Unscripted Posing app in 5 years from now?
We’d love to continue to grow our features to become a one stop shop for photographers and continue to listen to our audience and build the features that they ask for.
What would you recommend to those who have an exciting idea in mind but aren’t sure how to pursue it? What should they know before they start?
Don’t be afraid to fail. No successful business owner got to where they are now without failing and making mistakes. Test a concept first with a small investment. So many people think they need the business cards and the t-shirts before they can launch their business idea. A small investment can go a long way to test an idea before committing to following that idea through. Once you have established that your idea has legs, launch a minimal viable product first, and see how your customers respond to it. Chances are, their feedback will completely re-shape the direction you were going in.
* * *
How amazing is this advice? Don’t let the complexity or magnitude of an idea scare you and stop you from giving it a try. Create a minimal viable version of that product/concept and test it out. Then listen to what your audience says and adapt, or Pivot! as Ross Geller loves to say.
P.S. Inside your Unscripted app, in the Education –>Business & Marketing tab you will also discover a comprehensive guide on website creation. Everything you need to know from A to Z to build a successful website for your photography business. You can also find it on the Unscripted blog here.