Hunter Leone Photography » Blog

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  • I WOULD LOVE TO SIT HERE IN THIS LITTLE BIO AND WRITE THINGS LIKE "PHOTOGRAPHY HAS BEEN MY PASSION SINCE I WAS 3 1/2 YEARS OLD" LIKE SOME PHOTOGRAPHERS CAN DO. I WOULD LOVE TO SAY THAT I ALWAYS KNEW THAT BEING A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER WAS THE CAREER FOR ME & THAT MY FIRST WORDS AS A CHILD WERE "SHUTTER SPEED". BUT NONE OF THAT WAS THE CASE FOR ME, WHEN I STARTED PHOTOGRAPHY 4 YEARS AGO I ACTUALLY HATED IT. I WAS ASKED BY A FRIEND TO DO A QUICK LITTLE SENIOR PHOTO SHOOT FOR THE YEARBOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR A 10 PIECE MCNUGGET MEAL SO, OBVIOUSLY, I TOOK HER OFFER. THE SHOOT WASNT FUN FOR ME, I COULDNT FIGURE OUT WHY THE SUN LOOKED REALLY PRETTY WHEN I WAS LOOKING WITH MY EYES BUT WHEN I TOOK THE PHOTO IT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS 10 FEET BEHIND HER, OR WHY THE POLICE GOT SO MAD WHEN WE WERE INSIDE THAT ABANDONED BUILDING DOWNTOWN, OR WHY EVERY HOMELESS PERSON WITHIN A 10 MILE RADIUS WAS DRAWN TO ME ASKING FOR MONEY. LITTLE DID THEY KNOW I HAD ABOUT AS MUCH AS THEY DID, THUS MY EXCITEMENT FOR GETTING PAID FOR A PHOTO SHOOT WITH A $5.23 MEAL FROM MCDONALDS. I STARTED DOING SHOOTS BECAUSE I WAS A BROKE 18 YEAR OLD. I HAD JUST BEEN LET GO FROM MY PART TIME JOB FOR NO REASON AT ALL (THEY CAUGHT ME SLEEPING IN A CARDBOARD BOX WHILE ON THE CLOCK) SO I BASICALLY WAS WILLING TO DO ANYTHING FOR MONEY. I CHARGED A WHOPPING $30 FOR PHOTO SHOOTS (DONT FREAK, THEY WERE ALLOWED TO SET UP PAYMENT PLANS) AND I STARTED BUILDING MY PORTFOLIO. I SHOT THINGS LIKE FAMILIES OF 7 IN ALL MATCHING DENIM SHIRTS AND JEANS, I SHOT SENIORS ON TRAIN TRACKS, AND EVEN THE OCCASIONAL NEWBORN IN A BASKET WITH A BOW AROUND THEIR HEAD THE SIZE OF A FIAT. CLEARLY I SHOULD HAVE BEEN "SWOONING" OVER THESE SHOOTS LIKE ALL THE OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS DO ABOUT THEIR SHOOTS BUT I WAS HONESTLY OVER IT. I STARTED HATING PHOTOGRAPHY. THEN I READ MY FIRST VOGUE (FOR REAL, NEVER OPENED ONE BEFORE) AND SAW THAT WITH A CAMERA YOU COULD ACTUALLY PRODUCE ART, LIKE LEGIT ART.. SO I DECIDED THAT FROM THEN ON I WOULD SHOOT WHAT I LIKE, WHO I LIKE, AND WHERE I LIKE. NEEDLESS TO SAY, IM IN LOVE WITH THIS NOW.

    -HUNTER LEONE
    THREENAILSPHOTOGRAPHY

Three Nails Workshop “Woodstock”

One of my favorite workshops ever was my “Woodstock” inspired workshop, when I decided to start doing workshops again so many of you asked if I would ever do one inspired by this theme again. I announced that I would be redoing this theme a couple of months ago and it sold out in a few hours! So Ive decided to open up a second one!  So bust out your Janis Joplin record and your flower crowns because this is going to be a workshop like never before!

This workshop will be different from most of my other workshops because this will be a REAL couple. You are going to get to see exactly how I interact and pose with an actual, real couple and I will walk you through everything Im doing from start to finish and explain why Im posing them the way I am. The other things that this will include is:

  • An engagement shoot
  • A single portrait shoot with just the bride
  • A fully styled wedding
  • Small shooting groups of no more than 5 people, I guarantee you that you WILL get the shot every time. If you didn’t I will make sure you do.
  • Tips and tricks on how to get published
  • Exactly how I style shoots
  • A portfolio review from me (if you want to, this isn’t mandatory)
  • A full photography makeup lesson where you can learn exactly how to do your own shoot makeup yourself
  • An intense editing and retouching lesson
  • My 15 part editing tutorial that you can download and rewatch as many times as you want, this way you don’t have to worry about taking notes during the editing lesson
  • Everything that I do from inquiry to delivery for all of my clients
  • Easy ways on how to gain a stronger following on social media
  • All of my settings on my camera for every shot I take
  • How to market yourself to the global industry and book clients outside of your local area
  • Use all of the photos you take to build your portfolio and social media outlets
  • Tricks on how to style shoots on a small budget
  • A walk through on how I light my sets and Ill even show you how to make your own lights
  • A full walk through on how and why I pose the models
  • Tricks on how to find trends before they actually become trends
  • How to find inspiration for shoots
  • A walk through of my contract
  • How to use my photo sharing software and booking software
  • A walk through on how to submit to a publication
  • Dinner both nights
  • And sooo much more

This workshop will be held in Shreveport, Louisiana on June 15-16. The investment is $1000 BUT Im holding a Spring Sale! So if you sign up within the 1st 24 hours, the investment is 50% off! Making this entire workshop only $500! Half is due at registration, the other half is due 30 days before the workshop. Once its full the workshop will be closed, so think fast! The registration will open on April 12th at 12pmC on the Three Nails Photography Facebook page. Once this link is posted, all you have to do is fill out the form and pay the first half and the seat is all yours! 

***GIVEAWAY*** 

Im doing something I have NEVER done before for this workshop! Im not just giving away one seat, Im giving away THREE! Thats right, one lucky will will not only get a seat for just them but will also get a seat for 2 of their friends!! All you have to do to enter is share this blog post, or the announcement post on Facebook as many times as you like and the winner will be randomly selected and announced at registration! Good luck!!:)

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Reviews:

 

“Being new to the industry can be ridiculously intimidating-so much you want to do and accomplish and growth that you want to see in yourself and your work and you’re not even quite sure how to get there yet…And just when you think you can’t deal with the craziness of it all, life hands you a magical unicorn in the shape of Hunter. 

I’ve got to hang out with Hunter on two occasions- A one on one mentoring session as well as a group workshop, specifically the Great Gatsby one. 

Last summer I went to my one on one session super nervous and confused and just a hot mess tbh and left with a clear head and a vision. Our one on one session gave me the confidence and skills I needed to figure shit out. Hunter gave me some goals to work towards and explained the mistakes he had made himself and how to deal with such situations, without making any of it seem unattainable. Proof of the awesomeness that happened: I ended out my year with my very first publication that wouldn’t have happened without his guidance.

The first time was so amazing I knew I had to come back so when the Gatsby workshop was announced I was on board. This workshop was so fun. I know that isn’t necessarily what people are thinking about when they think of workshops but seriously if your workshop is a boot camp and no one is laughing and enjoying themselves you’ve screwed up somewhere. When you’re around Hunter and his team you can’t help but just feel excited, and renewed. And I say the last bit because his workshops are the perfect thing for when you feel like you are lacking inspiration. You will go into this thing feeling dull and lifeless and leave brains exploding because you don’t even know where to start with all that he’s given you. From marketing skills to styling shoots to just amping up your portfolio you feel amazing and motivated. It’s been less than a week but because of this workshop I have planned my own styled shoot and can’t wait to see what I accomplish because of the tools this workshop gave me!! The greatest thing I learned from him was if you don’t like it don’t shoot it and I can’t wait to push my business more in the direction of what I want to see and book with real clients!! 

Basically- if you are ready to leave the great value aisle and hit Beyonce-ism, find this unicorn because he’s magical and you won’t regret it!”

-Naba Zabih Photography

 

“I’ve known Hunter for a long time and his work never ceases to amaze me. His workshops are always over the top, packed full of useful information, and he shows you all his personal editing techniques. Some mentors hold back on creative information, but Hunter is a open book. If you attend one of his workshops, be prepared to leave inspired.”

-Josh (Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions)

 

“This is my second workshop with Hunter. The first one I did was a one on one workshop. He shares the creative process of a styled shoot from start to finish. He was friendly and kept things fun.
I’ve been to other workshops and I am super impressed by how organized this workshop was even though we had about 19 photographers.
The models were absolutely beautiful and perfectly selected for the theme of this shoot.
He put so much time and effort into the sets and details created for this workshop.
I highly recommend any of his workshops for photographers looking to be inspired by skill and creativity. You will not be disappointed.”

-Shawnessy Ransom 

 

“Like so many others I have followed Hunters work for quite a while.. he is incredibly talented in photography and styling.. it is almost effortless. He has a great support staff-Kailey and Meka.. and was happy to share his input. My group was small so this did allow for info to be shared. I appreciated his willingness to explain his vulnerability on how he is his biggest critic.. I have always struggled with that confidence in my work and it was so comforting for someone to be REAL… but still motivational as well… he didn’t sugar coat the process.. from beginning to end he explained how things can and will go wrong.. but he stayed true to this passion we all flock to him to see.. As advertised he did 3 styles shoots and the models were exceptional.. I did learn a lot and will put it into practice. I don’t live far so I as I progress I hope to attend again. I recommend this workshop.. he will definitely not disappoint.”

-Shannon Fender

 

“Hunter is an amazing and talented photographer. He has a true talent with pulling his visions into reality. I appreciate his creativity on a budget and being so down to earth with his sets. He is an open book when it comes to teaching. He answers any and all questions honestly. It’s clear he isn’t threatened by training competition and that is why this workshop is the best one you’ll ever attend. You’ll leave feeling inspired and like you’ve made a new life long friend. Even though he already has a million”

-Rachel Langlois Photography

 

“This workshop along with another workshop that I went to from Hunter’s was a dream. I love how I feel refreshed creatively after his workshops and being surrounded by like-minded amazing photographers to inspire me! Each time I have gone to one of his workshops I have left with a new technique up my sleeve and an added confidence. He answers all of your questions thoughtfully and is an incredibly nice and patient teacher. I love his scenes and how much work he puts into each set to blow our minds! It’s always one a kind and I’ve never seen anything like it in my photography career.”

-Endless Exposures Photography

 

“This was my second workshop by Hunter, and I was blown away. It was an amazing experience. We got to see how he sets up a styled shoot, how to get published, how to do full photo shoot makeup, and a lot more. He went over everything he does to edit, and answered any questions we had about anything. He was very open and honest about his process. He also was very friendly, talking and joking with us the whole time. It’s so worth the investment because you learn about posing, getting published, lighting, setting up a styled shoot, and more. Hunter is genuine and very talented. Learning how he does things and watching him shoot and set things up was invaluable. My business doubled from the last workshop and I can’t wait to see the benefits from this one. I’ll be coming back as soon as possible. I drove over 2,000 miles in 4 days to attend this workshop, and I’d do it again tomorrow. My passion for photography is reignited and I feel creatively refreshed. I feel confident that I can get where I want to go because of his candid and honest way of teaching. He makes everything so simple and easy to understand, and makes sure everyone understands. He’s also super fun to hang out with. It was 100% worth everything I put into it because the benefits far outweigh the price of going.”

-Jessa Cook

 

“I attended Hunter’s Workshop this past week and left with everything I had hoped for and some! Hunter is a great host/teacher, more than anything, I appreciated his honesty and straight forward way of teaching. I love his point of view & creativity. I am even more inspired now and look forward to continue to grow in photography. I will definitely take another course from him and would recommend others to do so as well.”

-Mayaa Photography

 

“Hunter is the most kind and creative soul I have yet to meet on my photography journey! I’ve gone to two of his workshops and both have been an amazing experience. I feel so inspired after! 100% recommend attending one (or many!) of his workshops!”

-Paige Wilken 

 

 

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Joan of Arc Workshop

A while ago I did a little Joan of Arc inspired photoshoot with one of my good friends. I wanted to do something that wasn’t super feminine but more leaning to the side of a strong, powerful woman. I made the gown out of some curtains and made the armor out of about 20 necklaces and we went to a horse pasture and started shooting. I knew while I was shooting it that this was going to be exactly what I was picturing in my head. When I got home I posted the photos and they went viral! So many people were asking me to do a Joan of Arc inspired workshop and now that Im back to doing workshops again, I think the time has come! Im going to do a FULL workshop inspired by my Joan of Arc photoshoot! I have lots of insane ideas that I can’t tell you yet, but heres a little glimpse of what Im thinking… Imagine a shot of the “Bride” (Joan of Arc) and her “bridesmaids” all on horses, in armor, holding bouquets of flowers in one hand and a sword in the other….;)

 

This is everything this workshop will include:

  • An engagement shoot
  • A single portrait shoot with just the bride
  • A fully styled wedding
  • Small shooting groups of no more than 5 people, I guarantee you that you WILL get the shot every time. If you didn’t I will make sure you do.
  • Tips and tricks on how to get published
  • Exactly how I style shoots
  • A portfolio review from me (if you want to, this isn’t mandatory)
  • A full photography makeup lesson where you can learn exactly how to do your own shoot makeup yourself
  • An intense editing and retouching lesson
  • My 15 part editing tutorial that you can download and rewatch as many times as you want, this way you don’t have to worry about taking notes during the editing lesson
  • Everything that I do from inquiry to delivery for all of my clients
  • Easy ways on how to gain a stronger following on social media
  • All of my settings on my camera for every shot I take
  • How to market yourself to the global industry and book clients outside of your local area
  • Use all of the photos you take to build your portfolio and social media outlets
  • Tricks on how to style shoots on a small budget
  • A walk through on how I light my sets and Ill even show you how to make your own lights
  • A full walk through on how and why I pose the models
  • Tricks on how to find trends before they actually become trends
  • How to find inspiration for shoots
  • A walk through of my contract
  • How to use my photo sharing software and booking software
  • A walk through on how to submit to a publication
  • Dinner both nights
  • And sooo much more

This workshop will be held in Shreveport, Louisiana on August 5-6, 2018. The investment is $1000 BUT if you sign up within the 1st 48 hours, the investment is 50% off! Making this entire workshop only $500! Half is due at registration, the other half is due 30 days before the workshop. Once its full the workshop will be closed, so think fast! The registration will open on March 25th at 12pmC on the Three Nails Photography Facebook page and on this blog. Once this link is posted, all you have to do is fill out the form and pay the first half and the seat is all yours! 

***GIVEAWAY*** 

Im not just giving away one seat, Im giving away THREE! Thats right, one lucky will will not only get a seat for just them but will also get a seat for 2 of their friends!! All you have to do to enter is share this blog post, or the announcement post on Facebook as many times as you like and the winner will be randomly selected and announced at registration! Good luck!!:)

 

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It Gets Better

“It gets better but it has to get much much worse first

On September 14, 2014 I wrote a blog post that got a lot more attention that I had ever expected. It was the day that I came out of the closet. I was driving down the road with friend Meka when we passed a hardware store that had a huge sign over the exit that said “Out”. I immediately pull in and insist on her taking photos of me jumping in the air and doing the splits I was just going to send it to a couple of my friends when she said “if you ever come out, you need to use one of these”. I though that was genius so I took a couple of serious photos too. This led to the conversation of when/if I ever publicly come out.

Have you ever fantasized about winning the lottery? Like when your driving down the road and a Rolls-Royce passes you and then you get lost in thought thinking about what it would be like to have that kind of money, how much happier you would be, how literally every struggle and worry that you have today would just disappear over night? Then you snap back to reality and remember that you don’t even buy lottery tickets? For me, that was how I felt about coming out. Everything would be perfect, but I knew I never would. September 14th felt like the day I found out I won the Powerball.

I could finally be myself and not have to hide anymore. I could show the world who the real Hunter is. I had it all planned out in my head of how my life was going to be from this point on. I was finally ready to just be happy and free. And just like every good lottery winner, I, instead, lost my mind lol. The plot hole in my fantasy was that didn’t even know who the “real” Hunter was. I had built up this whole life around me and over night everything was completely different. I was walking into this whole new world as a “blank” person, but was completely oblivious to it. I didn’t have my own thoughts or views on anything, those were the thoughts of the person who’s “role” I was playing.

Needless to say, it didn’t go great lol. I found myself back to the person I was when I was in high school. All those old insecurities came back up but the most pronounced one was the fear of not being liked. This is an insecurity that I dealt with for a very long time. I thought that I had overcome this fear because it wasn’t really something I dealt with anymore. I had built up this whole perfect life around me where I was liked and I knew I was. I had molded my life to a T to be a life where I would always be accepted. I was a successful, southern baptist man who had a wife and a kid and never made any risky decisions. If I ever felt “not liked” back then, I had the excuse in my head that if someone disliked me, they actually disliked this role that Im playing. I guess it was kind of a coping mechanism. But now it was the real me so it was so much worse and personal.

I slipped into a pretty deep depression because of it. I went from feeling like I had won the lottery to feeling completely alone. I developed a pretty severe case of social anxiety and got to the point where it was hard to even have a conversation around new people without the constant fear of them not liking me. This depression effected me in all areas of my life and even into my photography. I would post a photo and someone would leave a somewhat negative comment and I would delete the whole photo. Even if there was 100 good comments, I would think that I wasnt good enough. I would even teach a workshops and go to my back room where my assistant was and would say “literally they all hate me, I can tell” and she would laugh and act like I was crazy. I got to the point of taking a year off from wedding workshops because of my anxiety and depression. I started doing more solo projects where I could just be by myself.

Fast forward to me standing alone in the Newark airport’s gift shop. For some reason that day was a particularly bad day and I was looking for anything to cheer me up. I walk over to the book section and try to find something funny to read. Then I see the book “You Are A Badass”. I, being the complete opposite of a badass, decide that this is the book for me. I read the entire thing on the plane ride home and then something just clicked. My entire way of thinking shifted to learning how to love myself and no matter how other people felt. I worked for about a year on “finding” myself and learning how to love myself. I would leave post it notes all over my house with cheesy sayings like “Your good enough Hunter!” and “People love your company!” haha. I would wake up every morning and make myself come with with 10 things I like about myself. I even started meditating to youtube videos lol. Finding that one little paperback book was the push I needed to climb out of that hole.

So, Im happier today then Ive ever been in my life. Im ready to get back out there and doing what I love doing with my photography. No matter what your situation is, if you feel depressed or hurt and think there is now way out, that cloud won’t hang over you for forever. I promise you, everything will be ok. It gets better.

I get so many inquires about doing wedding workshops again and Im now honestly so giddy thinking about it. One of my all time favorite workshops has been my Great Gatsby inspired one, the sets were some of my favorites that Ive built and I always wished I could have gotten more shots on them. So, now that Im doing them again, what  better way to reopen workshops than with recreating the entire Gatsby workshop!

 

Where: Shreveport, Louisiana

When:    Feb 9-10, 2018

Investment: $900 (half due to register, half 30 days before workshop)

Past workshop attendees get 50% off of this workshop!

When does registration open: October 7th at 12pmC on the Three Nails Facebook page

How long will registration be open: Registration will be open until the seats fill, there are a very limited number of seats once they fill the workshop will be closed.

What does this workshop include:

  • 3 fully styled photo shoots (an engagement shoot, a bridal shoot, and a full wedding complete with everything you would see at a wedding)
  • A “how to” get published segment
  • A full editing segment on exactly how I edit
  • Everything I do from inquiry to delivery with brides
  • A set of some of my custom foundation actions available only to workshop attendees
  • Small shooting groups so youre not fighting other photographers for your shot
  • A photo shoot makeup lesson
  • Learning the importance of social media for todays market
  • How to change your shooting style to book clients that YOU want
  • Dinner every night
  • I go into detail on why I pose the way I do and how to achieve a story line for your shoots
  • How I light sets
  • Every single set you see here will be recreated:

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I can not wait to shoot this again! Im excited to get back on the horse teach again! Ill see you guys then!:)

-Hunter Leone

 

October 5, 2017 - 9:13 pm

Haley Martin - YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!! Oh hunter I’m so excited for this. Thank you so much for being you and being the badass that you are!!

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