Back to the Drawing Board – The Lost Art of Getting Great Images in Camera

Ready.  Set.  Go!  Our official launch of the book, Back to the Drawing Board – The Lost Art of Getting Great Images in Camera

Baltimore maryland photographer - workshops

Click to Enlarge Table of Contents

Dear Readers:


I see it too.  I understand where you are coming from.  Our photography industry has changed.  I have been a full-time photographer for over 10 years, a part of the industry for 17.  We all know it has changed, and it will never be what it once was.  It’s okay.  It truly is.

There have been times that I have been incredibly frustrated and “ranty.”  I grieved for the loss of what our industry once was, at a time when you could be successful hardly trying at all especially if you had even a shred of talent.  Now it takes work.  It takes work to…..

Be noticed.

I started off as the only newborn photographer visible in the Baltimore area and ended up a few years later, one of thousands.   Bookings were down, individual sales still up surprisingly.  How was I still surviving this over-saturated industry?   I went to the source – my current clients.  I wanted to know why they came to me.  What was it that made them notice me and pay my prices?  I started asking questions during our sessions.  I was met with:

“Your work stands apart”

“I knew you were expensive but well worth it.  I couldn’t get these images from just anyone with a camera” 

“There are so many people that are photographers these days, we knew you were professional as soon as we saw   your work

“There’s just something about your work.”

To hear those words was honestly, humbling.  I understood that even though I had less clients, the clients I had were more valuable.  They appreciated the art.  They valued what I did.  Those are the types of clients we all wish for.

I soon began journaling.  I needed an outlet for my emotions.  Therapeutic writing helped me find myself again.  I took to blogging anonymously for months.  I simply journaled what was happening in my life and business.   Strangely, when I put my words in print, I was able to gain direction.   I also let go of my brick and mortar studio of 10 years.  I moved it back into my residence in a dedicated space.  I began to shoot mostly on location and pretty soon and very unexpectedly, my happiness came back.

After photographing some of my best work in years, being able to open up once again to creativity, it brought me back to why I originally became a photographer – to create beautiful images with light and earn a living doing so.   I realized that here I was, hibernating, not letting the world see my work, and I needed to get back out there, go back to basics, and create work that many others could not create in the same way.

In the process of going back to the drawing board, I sat down and finished this book, this book that I had been working on for two years.  I wanted to share this book with all photographers out there that are stuck, and want to take their images to the next level and frankly, are tired of sitting at the computer editing and trying to fix or enhance images that could be 100% better if they came out of the camera differently.  Sometimes you have to step backwards just a bit, to move forward.

Maybe you are searching for your “next level”? Maybe the technicals are holding you back?  Maybe your fear of lighting equipment is paralyzing you?  Maybe you just need to add some more tools for inspiration?  Maybe you need to go back to the beginning and reconfirm that foundation to perfect your skills?   Regardless, I hope that this book helps take you to where you are  looking to go.  In this saturated industry, you need to be noticed.  If your work stands out above others, you will be noticed!

I strongly believe we are going to see a change of tides where consumers will start seeking true professional imagery after being bombarded every day with mediocrity.  Be ready for this time, as I know it is coming.  I have seen it start already  🙂

I,  heart and soul, believe in every technique in this book, and I’m extremely happy to share it with you.   ~jodie



Stop spending so much time in PhotoShop editing!  You really don’t need to, and I promise you, this is easy!


photography workshop book

Please Note:  This is an introductory rate which will increase shortly once we cover the first batch of books.  Please allow 10 business days to receive your book at the introductory rate.  After that, we will turn the book over to another company for shipping directly.  148 pages, soft cover 10×8……………

$495  $379 includes shipping

Purchase via Paypal



Why is this book so expensive?  Ah yes, the original question of all time 😉  This book is what I taught in workshops AND MORE (you can never have enough time to teach it all), and is a combination of my nearly 20 years working with photography.  This book is also self-published and expensive to do so.  Workshops are great socially for the attendees, but many times during workshops, we get sidetracked and don’t really get all the information out there and all the questions answered that need to be answered.  Also, with workshops, you can easily forget what was taught.  I always felt bad when my attendees leave if they do not have something tangible that they can look back on and reconfirm what they were just taught, something that can be revisited over and over.  So, in other words, think of this book as a Workshop-in-a-Book without the hefty $2,000 pricetag or the travel/lodging fees.  This book contains so much information, that you can take your time.  Start with what you want to accomplish first and revisit the book when you are ready to add your next step.

I’m a beginner, is this book for me?  This book assumes that you have basic knowledge of ISO, shutter, and aperture.  Other than that, it’s all the information on how I photograph my clients – all my secrets and a direct line to my brain in how and why I do the things I do to create the work I do.  I’d hope this was the best purchase you could ever make.  Everything wrapped up in a condensed easy to follow book.

I’m not a beginner, is this book for me?  If you are absolutely 100% happy with your work, please don’t purchase this book 😉   However, if you wish to learn studio lighting, off camera flash, or something that this book covers (click on the Table of Contents above), or are just wanting some information, I don’t see why this book wouldn’t be for you.

Do you still teach workshops?   Yes, I do.  If you are interested in hosting a workshop in your area, we need at least 9 attendees.  You as host receive a free seat and are responsible for securing our location.  Please contact   If anyone near Anaheim, CA is looking to host a workshop, please let me know – I will be in your area around June of this year, and can give you a special discount on seats/attendees.

If you have a question, drop me a note in the comments or, and I will publish it.

About Jodie Otte

Maryland Newborn Photographer and Child Portrait Artist, Jodie Holstein-Otte, specializes in unique photography of newborn babies, kids, and families. She works on location in Harford, Howard, Cecil, Anne Arundel, Baltimore and other areas throughout Maryland. She uses both both natural lighting and soft studio lighting techniques.

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