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To Sell More, Think More Like Your Customer

Q. How do you educate your clients about Pictage and the process for ordering after their event? After our initial meeting with potential wedding clients, we send them a link to a recently released wedding.  Ideally, the wedding will have some commonality with the wedding they are planning whether it be venue, color scheme, or the couple’s personality. This gives our potential clients an idea of our process and specifically shows the detailed categories we employ for each event. It also clearly shows our pricing structure for reprints, enlargements, specialty products, etc. Q. Do you release the Pictage event directly to clients or to both clients and guests? We release to both clients and guests unless the client specifically requested it to remain private. While we

The Power of Personal Projects – Part II

Are you balancing work that fills your bank account with work that fills your soul? We’ve all made excuses.  “I’m too busy trying to finish projects for my clients.” “I’m too exhausted to wake up a the crack of dawn to chase perfect light.” “I’ve got to focus on work that pays the bills!” Sure, there are plenty of good excuses. But the truth is: you can’t afford to avoid personal projects. Consider the risks. Without work that fuels your creativity and feeds your spirit, you’re sprinting down a path to boredom and burnout. To explore the power of personal projects, The Photo Life is publishing a series of posts from photographers who have embraced risk and pursued long-term personal projects. The second post in

When Fear is a Good Thing

No one told me about ‘The Fear’ when one is the primary photographer. The Fear that an essential piece of gear will be forgotten or break during the shoot. The Fear that you’ll be late. The Fear that you’ll miss The Kiss. The Fear of managing all the group photos in too little time. These fears that give you nightmares, because you only have one chance to get it right. Some fears can be lessened through systems and planning. You know the drill: charge your batteries, clear your cards, pack your bags, figure out directions, arrive early, scope the scene. Other fears can be relieved by pre-visualizing the day. Read the schedule, close your eyes, and mentally walk through every part of the day. My greatest

Best Business Practices – Part 4

Spring is here, so we’re sharing a series of Best Business Practice posts featuring the team of ACEs. Get to know them and learn tips and tricks that will streamline your studio this season! As any ACE will tell you, you can’t do it all. Successful photographers understand this, which is why they are masters of time management. When building your business systems, use these time management tips: 1) Automate: Don’t waste time on monotonous tasks! Automation is as simple as creating template email responses to FAQs, automating invoice reminders, or setting up a standard workflow that you follow for each shoot. If you’re wondering how to start automating your studio, ShootQ is a great tool to help! It automates client correspondence, aspects of your workflow, and your other administrative processes. 2) Create a

The Power of Personal Projects – Part I

When did photography become just a job? Have you ever asked yourself this question during the dark hours of morning when you’re lingering in a drowsy dream state? You’re not alone. Many creative people who turn their passion into a profession have asked themselves this same soul-searching question.  Ji Lee, former creative director at Google Creative Lab, summed up this frustration: “I really wanted to not only think about ideas but also make something happen!” Instead of staying stuck in the politics of commissioned work, Ji Lee harnessed the power of personal projects to fuel his professional development. He quickly changed his career trajectory with 30,000 stickers and a guerrilla art approach. To explore the power of personal projects, The Photo Life is publishing a series of posts

How to Balance Professional Growth and Personal Development

In 2010, I began documenting the most inspiring in women my life. Many of these women are mothers and teachers. The first photographs I created were of my own mother, aunt and grandmother – all teachers and mothers. This image was made in Brooklyn on Mother’s Day. “The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire, and persistence. Talent without these things vanishes and even modest talent with those characteristics grows.” – Milton Glaser I believe creating a balance of professional growth and personal development is the key to success. Few creative professionals embody these values like Milton Glaser. Watch this to find out why: As I described in my last article, art is work and there are

What Every Professional Photographer Should Know about Business

A few weeks ago, I was in a strategy meeting for a project I’m working on, and the question was asked, “which of these two buildings are we building?” The difference is pretty clear. On the left – the leaning tower of Pisa. It’s famous for one reason: it’s falling over! Sure, structural engineers are slowing down the inevitable, but because of its poor foundation, the tower is falling after just a few hundred years. On the right – the Pyramid of Giza. For most of modern history, this was the tallest man-made structure on earth. It has lasted thousands of years and has withstood earthquakes. We don’t know know exactly who built it but it stands firm. Its foundation is solid, even as it

Winning Word of Mouth Referrals – it’s a Marathon not a Sprint!

I’m the poster boy of how NOT to utilize social networks to help grow your business.I don’t have thousands of Facebook fans or Twitter followers. I don’t update my blog often enough, and my blog gets moderate (but very welcome) traffic. However, I’ve been fortunate enough to grow and expand my business year after year, despite downturns in the economy. And 2012, my ninth wedding season, will be my best year ever. I’m also somewhat lucky because my clients generally seek me out based on past referrals. It’s not uncommon for me to see one or two former clients at any given wedding I shoot. The referrals I get from past clients mean everything to me and have been the building blocks of my business.

Best Business Practices: Part 2

Since Spring is here, we’re sharing a series of Best Business Practice posts featuring the team of ACEs. Get to know them and learn how their tips and tricks will streamline your studio this season! As any ACE will tell you, the reality is you can’t do it all. Successful photographers understand this, which is why they begin with a clear vision for their business. Start by asking “Why?” The most valuable question you’ll ask throughout the lifetime of your business is “Why?” When you’ve established a clear purpose and goals for your business, frequently asking yourself why you do what you do will hold you accountable to your overall vision and keep your business on track for success! So, why do you do what you do? First identify

On Finding Your Voice

Making  your mark begins by finding your voice. Every other guy who picks up a camera secretly has a dream of being a fashion photographer. There’s the girls, the money, the esteem, and the idea of living the glamorous life we were all entitled to before the world got in the way with all its prickly thorns. But there’s a simple reason that most guys will never be a fashion photographer. And it’s not the skill, the competition, or the personality. It’s much more basic than that. It’s that most men could care less about fashion. Because, when it comes down to it, you need to have something to say if you want to make your mark, and this isn’t a parable for fashion alone. It is true

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The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!