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Golden Rules: Lessons from Bettina Bogar

There’s nothing better than sharing a new earring design through photos that have a deeper story to tell. This story is all about people and the result of a rare breed of humans joining forces with the single goal of creating something beautiful together.

The metallic art direction for this series was beautiful on its own (thanks to the daring and creative mind of Kat Mudrick), but the end result shimmers the way it does specifically because of the team that put it together. Eight people with highly varied skills had identical positive attitudes and a mutual respect for each other, and that's what made all the difference. I hope you browse the full team credit list below, and take some time to reach out to, befriend, and learn from each of these people if you ever get the chance. 

I’ll help you get to know one of them right now. Her name is Bettina Bogar, and she is the fearless lead photographer of this shoot. Originally from Budapest, Bettina bravely moved to Toronto to pursue a career in photography 6 years ago. She is sharp, quick-witted and has a deeply kind, giving spirit. As a photographer, she has a unique knack for helping models relax and feel at ease in front of the camera. She is encouraging and bubbly, strong and honest all at the same time and her work is as varied as her skills are. It is for these and so many other reasons that she is so highly sought after. 

Bettina sat down with me to talk about this shoot, her purpose, and the impact of the people you surround yourself with.  

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BETTINA BOGAR ON PURPOSE 

“I’ve been working in photography for over a decade, and it's taken me almost that long to realize what my purpose is. I actually discovered it through an exercise at a business course that I took recently. My purpose is to reflect beauty back to people. Whether it’s a product that you created with your hands, a story, or your personality, this is the idea that my mind always goes back to.

 When your purpose clicks the way it finally did for me, you start to apply it as a filter to every opportunity in front of you. Take some time to figure out, confront, refine and commit to what your purpose is. It’s a very worthwhile exercise”

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 ON WORKING WITH OTHERS

“Photographers suffer from some negative misconceptions that I hope to change through my working style. Above all else, it’s critical to build a relationship with your client, and to clearly manage expectations together. Photographers should hold themselves accountable to clarify what is expected of them and what they themselves need to succeed on set. Be honest early - it can be uncomfortable, especially with new clients, but ask specifically how photos will be used, what output is needed and which formats work best. Try to dig for the ultimate purpose of the shoot as well...you’ll see a noticeable difference in the final result that you deliver” 

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ON PASSION PROJECTS

“As an artist pursuing work, you don’t always get the opportunity to shoot what you want to creatively. Running a business is important, but I like to flex other creative muscles as well. This is true for anyone, and was the case for everyone involved in this shoot. For instance, some of these makeup artists and hair stylists mainly work weddings but, as you can see from these photos, they have so much more to give. It’s important to carve out time for passion projects - I’ve learned that it makes you more effective and impactful in business when you’re creative in your free time. If a wonderful business opportunity comes from a shoot like this, that’s great, but it was never our initial goal”

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ON OVERCOMING CHALLENGES 

“My biggest challenge at the start of my career was taking myself and my skills as an artist seriously. People in general, but women especially, suffer from a tendency to doubt their value and discredit themselves. I continually need to remind myself that I have the talent, that I have what it takes, and that I must honour my work because it's only as valuable as I decide it can be. That’s my biggest piece of advice: bet on yourself and honour your talent"

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ON THE COMPANY YOU KEEP

“This shoot was 7 hours long and it was late at night, but it didn’t feel that way and that’s all because of the people involved. If you’re struggling with the people you work with, think about teamwork differently. Be specific with your crew and hold yourself accountable to being a positive member of your own team. Talent is one thing, but the energy that someone brings to the table is another equally important component of what I need on set.

Remove yourself from one-way relationships. In a photoshoot, in your career, in life - rip the bandaid off. It will only sting for a second"

The gold series of our TEJIDO tassel earrings are available now in four metallic tones on spokenthread.com

Team Credits:
models: @truthalexis / @rainbowbrit
photography: @bettinabogar
art direction: @kthrnhope
makeup: @karenkimbeauty
hair: @puzzlecreations
retouching: @cheetahbooty
photographer’s assistant: @samuelengelking
jewelry: @psitsemily for spoken thread