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One Photographer’s Journey from Part-Time to Full-Time

When I started my part-time professional photography career, in the days of film photography (2001), I didn’t have higher aspirations to become a full-time photographer. I already had a full-time job in the corporate world, so I was perfectly content photographing on the side, especially since photography income was not paying my bills. There’s a very different mindset for someone who does something on the side (and makes extra income) versus someone who does photography full-time. It’s not just the obvious things, like more expenses, etc. I think it’s also the way you think about photography – not just as a hobby, but as a business. As a full-time photographer, all the decisions you make affect what you do as a photographer. The thing is,

How to Collaborate with Clients to Create Inspiring Images

I am living my dream. It’s the truth. I wake up every day and create art. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. Beyond the blessings I feel that I have being a photographer, even more important to me is that I am shooting work that inspires me and others. I ask myself all the time, “What am I shooting that not only inspires me, but others as well?” If you are familiar with my work, you have seen an image of a bride facing a giraffe. It’s my favorite image right now and, admittedly, I’ve put it everywhere! The home page of my website, and on most of my marketing materials. I am asked often how I created this image. How was

How to See the World Like a Child

I once had a professor who told me to always think like a child. Out of all the things I learned during my university days, I took these simple words of wisdom and carried them through my years as a professional photographer. Children get excited about the smallest things; they see life innocently and they don’t have filters. As they grow and mature, they adapt their thinking and perspectives based on parental principles and societal pressures. They learn to judge, to hate, to see a cloud as a cloud – not as a big, roaring lion or a unicorn floating in a sky. Things become “normal” and nothing is as exciting as it once was. I think my professor was onto something when he compared

How to Create Blog Posts that Appeal to your Ideal Client

A few years ago, photography sites were often built in Flash and were complicated to update. Now, thanks to technology (and WordPress), you can create an awesome website without being a ‘techy’ person. That also means you can update your blog by yourself, without having to pay a designer and wait for them to do the job. But creating content means understanding how to create blog posts that appeal to your ideal client. Why blog, anyway? Your blog keeps you in continual conversation with past clients, future clients and professional partners. It showcases your latest work and your unique style. Blog visitors want to see the latest, newest, freshest thing. If they get hooked, they may check past blog posts to find a specific location

The Fantasy vs. Reality of Becoming a Professional Photographer

When we fall in love with photography, we go on an amazing journey of self-discovery and creative expression. Some of us begin to imagine a career as a professional photographer, filled with days of capturing glorious sunsets in remote locations across the globe, or attending glamorous parties and living the high life, all the while getting paid to do what we love. What a dream! And it can be, absolutely. But for most of us, it takes many years of hard work, long hours, little pay and lots of business and marketing savvy in order to truly realize the dream. One of the main reasons I started Photomint and decided to write Photography Business Secrets: The Savvy Photographer’s Guide to Sales, Marketing, and More is

The Power of Realism in a World that’s Addicted to Perfection

We live in a world where people expect perfection. We are fed perfection through the media, through magazines and advertisements. Pressure to be perfect, look perfect and act perfect are everywhere. So, what’s the power of realism in a world that’s addicted to perfection? I didn’t realize the expectancy of our role as photographers until I photographed a client with a roll of film. She seemed less confident, unsure of herself and didn’t like the idea of not having Photoshop to ‘touch up’ her images afterwards. I assured her; I told her she was beautiful and not to worry about changing a thing. Afterward, when the film was developed, she looked at them in awe and was excited to see that she loved how she looked with

How to Create a Home-Based Photography Studio: Part 2

In Part One of this series, I talked about the merits of having a home-based business and shared reasons why you might want to have a studio space for your home-based business. Now, let’s get down to details: how can you create a home-based photography studio? The short answer is: SPACE. You have to have some kind of space that you can create or convert. In the beginning, I converted a spare bedroom into a studio; it was tiny, but it was better than nothing! Now, after three years of planning and construction, I have over 450 square feet dedicated to my photography business. Throughout these two processes, I spent months analyzing my business and trying to identify ways to address my needs and my clients’

How to Create a Home-Based Photography Studio: Part One

When I started my photography business, I dreamed of the day that I would be able to move my business out of my home and into a bright and shiny studio space. In my mind having a storefront was the true distinction of a “real” photographer. Oh, how silly I was! Thank goodness, in the years that followed, I did some serious research about the business of being a photographer before I pursued a retail space for my business. I learned that there are lots (and LOTS) of incredibly successful photographers who not only operate a home-based photography business, they prefer it that way. Even more compelling, the Benchmark Surveys done by the Professional Photographers of America reveal that overall the most financially successful photography

Meeting Expectations You Didn’t Know Existed: Part 4

How to Satisfy the “Crazy” Clients. How do you react to clients who have expectations that you are not aware of or expectations that you think are unreasonable? In the previous posts in this series, we talked about how clients get their expectations from four different sources: – The Market Norm – The first exposure to the type of product or service you offer  – Confusion caused by your business’ complicated structures – Poor communication between you and the client Once you understand these four sources, you can better understand how to satisfy more of your clients. If you ever visit an online photography forum or hang out with a group of photographers, you’ll hear multiple stories of “crazy clients.” We all like to tell

Operation Route 66 – serving those who served us.

A year and a half ago my son and I started down a path that changed our lives. As a country we had just learned there was going to be an end to Combat Operations in Iraq, but there was a lesser-reported story emerging: veterans were starting to die by their own hands at home, at a higher rate than on the battlefield. We decided then that we were going to meet the men and women who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, document our experience and talk about how we – Americans – can serve those who served us. When we first began, we realized there was a disconnect. We didn’t know a single veteran and initially we had trouble connecting with

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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!