Show #39–Rachel & Crystal–Pure Actions for Photographers

Host Mike Howard, Tim Kemperle and Kathleen Bowie are joined by the wonderful & talented ladies from Pure Actions for Photographers, Rachel & Crystal.   Rachel & Crystal discuss how they got into photography, how they work as a team and give us the details on the wildly popular Photoshop Actions.

Rachel & Crystal

How we started in photography.

  • Rachel- First SLR in 2008.  Had pictures from JC Penny and such and had issues with taking pictures.  Took matters into own hands
  • Crystal – 1st camera when she got married…to take pictures of family and kids.  Reality…ex-wife was a photographer and competition took over.  Ultimately took photos at a wedding and it was a disaster…I was sued due to the photos.  The card had no photos on it at all…the card was corrupt.  Ended up taking off from photography and learned how to take photographs.  Ended up meeting Rachel and our complimentary styles worked well together.
  • July will be three years together
  • Camera equipment – Canon…ability to shoot with writing to data to both cards within the camera.


Weddings are stressful enough…do you have issues working together.

  • Not at all…we compliment each other with each of us having each of our own responsibilities.
    • Gear – we each buy our own equipment
    • Website – split the cost to the business
    • Split the wedding duties with each doing their own editing


How did you make the jump to actions?

  • It was accidental…
  • Took a lot of newborn photos and the questions came back and ask how we did it.
  • Decided to do a webinar to show people how we do it and ended up developing the Action Sets for the Webinar.  People said they couldn’t afford he Webinar but wanted to buy the Action Sets…and therefore we started to sell
  • Started a Facebook page and now have 53,000 fans
  • No advertising…all word of mouth


Do you have a favorite action?  Pure Actions

  • Set one
  • Just a Pinch
  • Pure Haze


Working on building designer actions…working with 4-5 photographers

  • These photographers have a distinct look at we are looking to get their “style” into a action set


Do you help photographers build actions?

  • Not really…it is easier to build en mass.
  • We do have upcoming workshops.

We have a giveaway…picking a number from 1-97…the winner is Linda Mendez

Questions from Chat

Do you plan to adapt your actions for CS6?

  • The will work…we have been working with the beta…except the crop tool


What photographers do you follow?  Can you name the photographers you work with.

  • Working with Cayden Lane Photography


How long do you take on a family session?

  • One to two hours…depending on the ages
  • Engagement shoots are around two hours…need to spend time to learn the bride and groom because this is the last we will see them before the wedding


What do you suggest to someone getting started on the pro-side?

  • Get insurance…Hill & Usher
  • Pay your taxes
    • Ensure you know your state / county laws in regards to taxes
  • Have a business license


Bucket List – Crystal

  • Puerto Rico
  • Jasmine Star
  • Hawaii

Bucket List – Rachel…still thinking

Best advice for shooting families…

  • Shoot in the same plane
  • Watch the aperture
  • Stand further away
  • Take a Pez dispenser and attach to the flash mount…the kids will focus

What is your go to lens?

  • 135 f2.0 (Crystal)
  • 50 f1.2 (Rachel)

What should I charge as a new photographer?

  • Be careful of becoming the bargain photographer…you probably don’t want them as clients anyway
  • Start off free to build a base…practice a gain knowledge
  • When you charge…determine local industry…what is the norm.
  • Raise prices when you are overbooked
  • Other photographers / clients say you are too cheap

Do you put your prices on your website

  • No…we send out prices via PDF.  We are not shy about posting our prices.


Future show calendar for jpeg2RAW



Rachel & Crystal



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About geephotant

geephotant (Geek-Photographer-Accountant) (aka. Mike Howard) is the creator of Nov Studios and the jpeg2RAW podcast. Mike is an accountant by day as the Controller for a large US based corporation. By night, he is a geek and has appeared on the Home Server Show Podcast & the BYOB podcast ( both found at He has also appeared on the Home Tech Show podcast ( and is now a regular guest on that show. Mike's true passion is photography and shoots when ever he can find time. As an amateur photographer, he is always looking to learn more about the craft.

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