Sarah Sakamoto blog »


“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”  ~Andrew Wyeth



I know I’m a little late with this posting but life has been a little more than crazy for more reasons than I can count on one hand… but here’s to a new year.

I hope you can find something beautiful to be thankful for every day.

Social Media Management

One thing that I find hard to do is keeping up with blogging… I’m sure I could mindlessly post things (more “mental downloads”) but it wouldn’t be quite as informational or interesting. It’s quite easy to sound redundant.

Someone told me that the point of blogging is to keep the world up-to-date with what you’re doing… it’s a way (at least for photographers/etc) to have a constantly-updated “portfolio”… say, pieces that you like but you wouldn’t put in your portfolio, or other side work. For example, since I’m aiming to be an event (wedding) and food photographer/cinematographer, I would have that up on my website (SarahSakamoto), but if I decided to delve into, say, fashion or architecture, I could add it to my blog because it would showcase what I’m doing, but it wouldn’t disrupt the “flow” of my portfolio (which is supposed to be basically like one body of work).

However, also being a personal blogger makes me want to share things on a more informational basis as well (I’ve mentioned this before but if you’d like to see a certain topic, feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment). I’m not too huge of a fan of the whole “show and tell” sort of thing. This *is* more of a personal blog anyways, versus when I blog for BlackSwanImagery.

Back to the whole “being redundant” thing though… something my friend Kat sent me today made me think of this blog topic. Have you ever thought of using a word cloud generating program to see what you talked about the most? I’m sure this would be the best way to figure out if you are generating the “right kind” of message. I posted mine (for this blog) below, credit to Wordle.

On another note, it’s very easy to slip into terms like “shooting”… which is apparently a habit I need to break.

Kat - You shoot people for a living :O

Kat - Hahaha jpjp <3

Getting Started: What I’ve Learned

Quick list, like a “mental download” if you will:

– Don’t be afraid to put your name out there, apply for jobs, offer to assist, drive a couple hours out of the way. It’s most likely worth it. If you do a good job, you may have more work in the future.

– On that note, you won’t always get paid the first few times you work with someone. It’s almost expected. Don’t let that get you down.

– While you’re on the job, make friends. However, if you’re working for someone else, unless explicitly asked, do NOT promote yourself. You are working for a company.

– If you’re working for someone else, and something goes wrong, you have the right to step aside and tell whoever is pointing fingers that you’re a hired third party and that they should speak to (boss) to get answers. That’s probably the best solution, instead of saying something… not to say completely avoiding their questions, but you know.

– There’s a difference between telling the photographer/videographer what to do, and suggesting what to do (and maybe even getting them to think that it was their own idea).

– Always be ready if they need help (especially if you’re there to assist) and try to anticipate their moves and wants — which gets easier the longer you work with someone. The easier it is to work with you, the easier you make their job, the more likely you’re going to be thought of when they need someone for the next job.


– When you’re assisting, you may be asked to do things you don’t want to do. Do it anyways.

– There WILL be long hours. Either early mornings or late nights.. or maybe even both. Be prepared.

– Have comfortable shoes. Probably two pairs, just in case.

– Find ways to condense your gear. In other words, be space efficient. Sure it’s fine carrying it for 2 hours, but when it gets to 6 or 8, you’ll regret it.

– If you are getting paid, there’s a point between “reasonable” and “the price they’re asking because you’re a newbie and they think they can rip you off”. Know the difference. Don’t sell yourself short. It hurts other photographers/videographers in the industry, because some people take the job for $200 just because it’s money.

– However, don’t be a snob. Don’t expect $10k per job right when you start out (unless you’re very lucky and have very good connections and are an awesome photography/videographer and person). Everyone has to start somewhere. Just know your worth and your goals and figure out when to stop accepting “jobs for less”.

– Remember, it’s your CAREER, not a hobby! It’s a business, not a lemonade stand. Plan for the future. What do you want to be doing in 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years? Keep plans flexible. Check on your goals every so often, and see how you’re doing. Review and revise as needed.

I never thought I’d really be into weddings.. I don’t really like “shooting” people. Yet here I am, working with ImagiQue weddings and for the past few days, have been here in Carlsbad with StillMotion (a team I never thought I’d be able to meet, much less work with!). It’s pretty awesome, and I’m definitely excited about where life is going right now.

More posts coming later, preferably some with pictures — one post about composition (requested). Or maybe just more “mental downloads”.

Kat - All very true and excellent points!! Nice to be reminded of them.

Glad you like what you’re doing 😀 Do what you love and love what you do ^^ <3333

Wedding Photography, Beverly Hills, CA

This is one of my favorite images that I’ve shot recently. Okay, so it’s a toss up of who shot it — either myself or my boyfriend (and partner in business) — but either way, it’s my favorite shot 🙂

Check out the rest of the images on Black Swan Imagery’s blog — link here.

And on a slightly more random note, happy 21st birthday to me! Let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like to see on this blog as a future update.

Double note, this is one way to apply flash and stop action to weddings.