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3 Ways to Tap into Supportive Creative Communities

There are days when being creative is awesome – your juices are flowing, you’ve got great ideas, awesome clients, and loads of energy. You know what that’s like – the Holy Grail of pursuing a creative profession. But none of us are lucky enough to achieve that everyday – and sometimes, it seems like it’s been weeks or months since that Holy Grail feeling has visited. And often, whether we’re writers (like me), or photographers, or designers, or any other sort of creative type, we spend much of our work time alone (even in an office environment). I sometimes end up stuck in a miasma of a downward cycle, where I lack energy so I don’t work hard enough to come up with new ideas,

The Danger of Abandoning Your Website for Facebook

Your website is a customer service and sales expert and a valuable asset for your business. It empowers you to build long-lasting relationships with potential clients and serve current clients. But in the past year, we’ve seen businesses big and small abandon websites and turn to Facebook as a replacement. The problem with treating your Facebook business page as your new website is that by doing so, you give up control. Sure, you’re can change your timeline cover photo, customize your about text and even create Static FBML versions of your page, BUT turning your website over to Facebook still hinders your ability to perform four extremely important content marketing practices. Four Reasons NOT to Replace Your Website with Facebook #1 Unable to Focus on

Why Successful Entrepreneurs Have a Cloud Ecosystem

Working from anywhere Working from any device Piece of mind + data safety Ease of use Cheaper IT Appear more like a “big” business, even when you’re small! Successful entrepreneurs are always on the move. They’re constantly moving their business forward, no matter where they are (case in point, I’m at a concert waiting for the opening act as I write this). I had a few minutes of down time, so I took advantage of it. Running my own business requires that I work a lot and I don’t like being tied down to one location. After all, I didn’t choose to run my own business so I’d be locked to a desk! Creating my own “Cloud Ecosystem” enables me to be anywhere and still

The Pro Photographer’s Retreat and Planning Guide

**Great news! We’re hard at work updating this guide and will be re-releasing it shortly. In the meantime, check out The Photo Life Social Media Guide!** Happy Holidays TPL friends! Can you believe 2012 is quickly coming to a close? How’d your business fare? Whether it’s been a fantastic year of growth or a frustrating year of decline, now is the time to reflect on 2012 and look ahead to identify ways that you can make 2013 your best year yet. Consider running away from it all? Actually, that’s one of the smartest things you can do to improve your business: schedule a retreat. Make plans to get away (even if you don’t go far) and take time for focused and productive business planning. Use this Field

Backup Strategies: Cover Your Ass!

A few weeks back, Amazon’s web services had a major outage in their Virginia data center that took down some of the web’s heavyweights like Netflix and Instagram. People took to social media with pitchforks in hand immediately denouncing The Cloud and its ability to keep your data safe. One such pitchfork welding photographer stated how he has never trusted the cloud and he only backs up his data on site, but that was not the kicker. The kicker was one particular comment where someone stated that handing off your critical data to a cloud service for safe keeping was a kin to asking a complete stranger to watch your home and family for the weekend. I actually screamed at the computer when I read

5 Tips to Get Clarity: Specialize To Save Your Sanity

A year ago, I battled a monster of my own making: burnout. I had just completed my eighth consecutive wedding weekend with five more ahead in the season. On my schedule for the week were two high school senior sessions, one newborn session, and a family session. This wasn’t an unusually busy week. It was part of my new normal; behind on work, overwhelmed and constantly exhausted. On paper this looked like the success I aimed to achieve. I was working hard, making great money, my schedule booked to the max. I loved my clients and I was making them really happy. But my happiness was missing from the equation. Somewhere between “I love photography so much that I want to make a living doing

How to Balance Your Left and Right Brain…and Get it Together!

The 80/20 rule will change your business and your life. You don’t have to be an economist to be a believer. In the early 1900s, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80 percent of income in Italy was received by 20 percent of the Italian population. The rule simply states that, for many events, 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. The 80/20 rule applies to many things; for example, 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your clients and 20 percent of the population has 80 percent of the wealth. The rule also applies to professional photographers. Only 20 percent of our business involves shooting photographs; the other 80 percent is spent running our business. Email,

Win the Day

Now is the time of year that most wedding photographers will tell you their to-do lists turn into multiple pages and the hours in the day never seem to be enough. We’re smack dab in the middle of busy season. With so much going on, it’s easy to start thinking you could give Gumby a run for his money – you’ve tied yourself up in so many knots! Deep breaths now. It’s going to be ok. I think the hardest thing to figure out when things start getting overwhelming, is where to start. There’s SO much that needs to get done and the list is piling up. And you lose precious time spinning yourself in circles trying to figure out what you should do first,

Mileage May Vary, a European Photographer’s Perspective on Weddings

It’s a small world, unless you’re Swiss. As an international wedding photographer based in Switzerland I am often asked by my American friends, “how is your market in Europe and how is it different from the market in the States?” It’s difficult for me to give a conclusive answer because Europe is big and not homogenous at all. The countries vary in size, politics and economy, but especially in culture and history. And even if you look at a small country like Switzerland, you’ll notice that every wedding photographer experiences the market a bit differently. Depending on your target client, your marketing, where your business is located and how you shape your price list. Some wedding photographers hardly ever sell an album, others do so

Best Business Practices – Part 5

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 partner with advisors and trainers who help them stay organized! This week’s featured ACE is Will Jacks, a guy who grew up wanting  to play centerfield for the St. Louis Cardinals, but wound up preserving wonderful moments as a photographer. As he says, “I deal in happiness, and I couldn’t be more grateful.” Q. What’s your primary area of photography and when did you start shooting full-time? Will: I began my career as a photographer in 1997. I didn’t know what

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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!