Jodi of MCP is a legend in the photography world.
She came into the photography sphere in 2006
and she started making waves.
She empowered many to learn photoshop and stop fearing it.
Jodi wants the absolute best for herself and for others.
She strives to make that attainable.
Multiple Choices Photography is an incredible company
because the customer is her first priority.
Jodi wants each person that uses her actions
or attends her workshop to walk away
with greater knowledge of photoshop.
You do so many things Jodi,
is it hard for you to keep up with blogging?
I try to post Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
I have guest posts often so that my blog stays constantly up to date.
I used to try to post Monday-Friday but it got to be too much.
Keeping up with a blog is a lot of work.
I organize my calendar so I know what I am posting each day.
What keeps you motivated to keep on shooting?
Do you ever get burnt out?
I started a Project 52 this year so I would stay motivated to shoot.
Currently there are 3,794 participants.
Sadly, most of them are doing better than me at participating weekly...
I am missing a few weeks.
My intentions are good though.
People can still join if they want to.
It is so fun to look through the entries each week.
What do you shoot with?
I have a Canon 5D which I love.
The noise is almost non existent.
I also have a Canon G11.
For a point and shoot, this is the best.
I love L series prime lenses.
Here is a list of all of the things in my camera bag currently.
One thing I have noticed in the mommy blogger world
is that so many people are anti flash.
I know you use flash and reflectors at times.
Can you tell us your stance on flash photography?
I really enjoy natural light photography,
but there is definitely a place for flash!
I use the 580ex and 580ex II as well as a few flash modifiers.
For a studio setting I have 3 Alien Bees lights,
a Lastolite hi-lite backdrop,
a Westcott softbox,
and a few umbrellas.
I own 2 Sunbounce Reflectors that are amazing.
I use these in studio and on the go.
Tell us your photography story.
How did you become MCP?
What brought you to this place?
Well, I started out selling my twin daughters baby clothing on ebay.
Right away I noticed that people with better photography
got more attention and usually better prices.
I started using Microsoft Digital Pro. Have you heard of that?
I bought an SLR and I bought some studio lights.
I had a very tiny space to work in. 11x13.
I bought a white backdrop.
I had the girls model the clothes I was selling.
It was fun.
I was contacted to shoot the girls
in tutus and other adorable clothing.
Some people told me I couldn't be a product photographer with the small space I had to work with.
A lot of people didn't think I could make it.
I believed in myself though.
I knew I was good at taking pictures and making them pop.
My business picked up.
A large $ store chain hired me to do their product shooting.
Let me tell you, all the relatives loved coming to our house for Thanksgiving and Christmas because I had boxes and boxes of treasures to give away. That was one of the benefits of shooting for the $ store- I got to keep what I shot.
In the beginning it was exciting...but after a while,
I got sick of the knick knacks and junk.
Your story is fascinating.
I love that people doubted you but you believed in yourself!
I did. I still do. I have big dreams.
My Dad was an entrepreneur and it has always been in my blood I guess.
What do you love best about being the Chief Owner and Operator of MCP?
I love helping people.
It makes me happy when I can help someone understand actions and photoshop better.
I love the work because it is intense and rewarding.
I spend over 70 hours a week doing something I love.
I am very happy.
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I love that MCP is a resource for many.
I love that we can constantly be learning from one another.
Just the other day I had an idea of something we could learn
from the Paparazzi.
There is always something to be learned
and new ways for us to grow.
Where do you go to unwind?
To be honest, it can be hard to disconnect.
I thrive on doing business.
This year we went on a cruise for vacation. It was fun.
Our all time favorite vacations usually find is in Northern Michigan which is about 4.5 hours from our home.
We live in a very beautiful state.
I love that we get to vividly see all 4 seasons here in Michigan.
How did you jump from ebay and product photography
to making actions?
In 2006 when I started making actions,
there were not a whole lot of them out there.
I realized these shortcuts were fantastic at making pictures pop.
I saw a market and I jumped in.
I love making actions.
It is so fun to see how a click can change an image.
I was burnt out from taking product pictures and I knew I wanted to go somewhere different with photography.
It has been 5 whirlwind years with MCP.
I love it.
Where do you go when you need photoshop help?
I am a member of NAPP
(National Association of Photoshop Professionals)
I love the forums there.
I have stumped Scott Kelby a time or two.
I am able to ask questions and learn a lot.
I also learn a lot by asking questions on my facebook page.
Or even on twitter.
I am always happy to learn new things.
(this is a point and shoot picture)
Do your girls like being models for you?
It depends. Some days they want nothing to do with the camera, and then other times, they ask me at the oddest times to come and shoot them. The other night at about 8:30 Jenna asked for a shoot.
I told her it was almost bedtime but we could do it the next day.
You are so great at marketing, Jodi.
Was that your college major?
No, I actually majored in Child Psychology.
Too bad I can't use that psychology to get the girls to enjoy shoots more often, right?
I never took a marketing class,
but I think being around my Dad I picked up a lot.
I grew up in the Atlanta area.
He worked very hard for a steel company.
My Dad taught me the importance of providing a good product.
He also taught me the value of providing good support.
To this day, that is one of my favorite components of MCP.
I want people to buy my actions and I want them to learn how to use them so they can get the most out of them.
I love helping people do that.
If I had to give my marketing a name, I would call it
These five years have been a whirlwind of activity.
I have learned to find a good balance between creating and marketing.
I actually find I love the business side a little more than the creative side.
I see many photographers fail because the do not ever grow on the business side of their business.
I think that is vital.
If you could give photographers 3 pieces of advice,
what would you tell them?
1. Read Understanding Exposure by Bryan Patterson.
This book is excellent.
It is absolutely necessary to understand exposure before you begin a business.
2. Understand light. Learn how to shoot in bright sun. Learn how to shoot at sunset. Learn how to shoot light. If you can shoot light in any situation, you can be an excellent photographer.
3. Learn how to nail your focus. If you are shooting a portrait, focus on the eyes. If you are shooting candidly, find a good focus point. Nail that and you will go far.
How do you feel about all of the actions
that are on the market now?
Well, obviously I think MCP are the best!
I have many happy customers.
We are always working on ways to make our actions better.
We are working on great classes that help photographers.
Staying educated and learning will help you go farther with photography.
MCP Actions Blog has new posts almost daily.
It is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about photography.
It is very easy to navigate.
If you would like to try before you buy,
Jodi has a slew of FREE Photoshop Actions
you can download and test!
Thank you so much Jodi for taking the time to answer these questions. You have been extremely helpful.
If you don't already read the MCP Blog every day,
you are going to want to start ASAP.
Tons of relevant content.
Here are some interviews Jodi has posted at MCP:
(point and shoot again! Wow, right?)