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What the latest Facebook Changes Mean for your Business

The sky is falling! Actually, it’s not that bad. Facebook is just making changes to the News Feed functionality and design. Although Facebook makes lots of updates, this time you should probably pay attention. Learn what the latest Facebook changes mean for your business. Otherwise, your brand may fall out of your clients’ news feed. And that means you’ll be out of sight AND out of mind. The two biggest changes Facebook unveiled are: Rich Stories – will display photos and videos more prominently, placing more emphasis on visual content. Choice of Feeds – will give users more control over stories they see. So, what do the latest Facebook changes mean for your business? Your audience can choose to tune out content from your business. Even if a client ‘Likes’ your page, they can still

Components of a Successful Instagram Strategy

Eighty million users can’t be wrong. And smart marketers can’t ignore a platform that brings millions of eyes to brands, products and services. Instagram is a mobile marketplace that uses images to build relationships and catalyze conversations that can impact consumer loyalty. Since launching in October 2010, over 4 billion photos have been shared, making Instagram the most popular photo sharing app ever created. Some imaging experts compare Instagram’s impact to Kodak’s iconic Brownie. Although most users are consumers snapping and sharing images of their families, pets, food and travels, some smart marketers are helping brands build a presence on the best visual social network on the planet. Before jumping on the Instagramming bandwagon, consider these three components of a successful strategy: 1. Consistency and Continuity Your audience

Three Business Publications Every Photographer Should Read

It’s time to put down our cameras. Step away from photography forums. Press pause on software tutorials. We need to exercise another part of our minds – our business acumen. In order to build successful and sustainable businesses, we must venture beyond f-stops, shutter speeds and gadget gossip. Of course, those are important pieces of the photographic puzzle. They’re just not enough to carry our studios through lulls in bookings, losses of key staff or unexpected economic hardships. To ride out those storms, you need to fill your mental fuel tank with wisdom from proven business resources. To kickstart strategic thinking, here are are three business publications every photographer should read. 1. Fast Company – it’s not just an airport newsstand standard. Although they have a printed

Women Who Changed the Face of Professional Photography

Women photographers made their mark long before there were camera bags designed for them, vintage camera T-shirts sold to them or magazines marketed to them. These women weren’t looking for accessories to make them appear feminine on shoots; they were looking through cameras to change the world. Other than their vision, all they brought to battle – or to the top of skyscrapers – was resolve. Their determination and courage paved the way for women in photography, regardless of the genre. They weren’t women with cameras. They were photographers who happened to be women. We can all learn from them. So, let’s start with three who changed the face of photography forever. Margaret Bourke-White She scaled the tallest building in America with her camera. Perched a thousand feet over

5 Traits Professional Photographers Can Learn from FastCompany’s 100 Most Creative People

Creative types are all alike. That may be a sweeping generalization, but there are undoubtedly some specific traits that distinguish creatives from the general population. In Fast Company’s annual celebration of business innovators who dare to think differently, they name 2012’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. The individuals they dubbed “most creative” represent a cross-section of industries and professions. The two common characteristics of these creative peope is “taking risks and discovering surprising new solutions to old problems.” Despite their diverse backgrounds, there are 5 key traits that professional photographers can learn from FastCompany’s “100 Most Creative People.” 1. Harness Unbridled Optimism Creatives are the ones who chime in during contentious corporate meetings with exclamations like, “We can solve this!” In fact, their Quixotic attitude is why

The Power of Personal Projects – Part III

The question deserves to be asked again: Are you balancing work that fills your bank account with work that fills your soul? In the first two posts in this series, we heard firsthand from Dan Milnor and Dave Wittig about the power of personal projects.  In Dan’s case, a desire to pursue personal projects changed the trajectory of his career. Dave, on the other hand, discovered how personal portrait projects infuse his commissioned wedding work with passion and insight. If you’re facing burnout, boredom or just a nagging feeling of “stuckness,” then maybe you need to embark on a personal project? So how do you start? First, you’ll need an idea. What interests you? What challenges you? What inspires you? What enrages you? Seek stories or

On The Edge

Sometimes you should ignore the bride and groom. I don’t mean ignore them completely, but remember to turn your camera’s gaze toward others attending the wedding. Many of my favorite photographs from weddings are of guests! My first commitment is to my client, but their loved ones are equally important parts of their wedding celebration. One of my journalism mentors used to say, “always look around the edges of your frame.” What he meant was, keep your viewfinder poised to capture images on the periphery. Often these are quiet moments between ‘The Moments.’ They’re not the iconic first dance, or the obligatory cake cutting. They are poetic, unexpected, or funny glimpses into the personalities of your clients’ family and friends. This photograph was actually made

Learning Visual Vocabulary

It’s elementary: every sentence in a story needs a noun and a verb. The swimmer is swimming. The runner is running. The singer is singing. Those basic elements of sentence structure tell readers all the information they need to know. Yet readers yearn for more. They don’t just want to know the facts, they want to feel something. Consider these sentences: The swimmer swam, shivering in the shallow, inky water that glistened in bright moonlight. The runner ran, quivering through the last laps of the steamy summer marathon. The singer sang, crooning with the fierce fervor of a song bird. Suddenly, readers sense what the characters feel, see and experience. These sentences aren’t simply composed of nouns and verbs, they are peppered with adjectives. Words

People Without People

The tiniest things tell us the most about people. A locket on a bride’s bouquet contains a black-and-white photograph of her grandparents, a hand-stitched handkerchief is embroidered with a groom’s monogram, ornate hats are testaments to traditional British wedding culture. Seasoned photojournalist Alan Berner calls these details “people without people.” He explains, “For me it is the sense of people without them being there. It’s the part representing the whole. It’s the significant detail giving instant insight into the person, organization, the culture.” Sounds strange, but it’s a powerful concept. Details reveal key traits about people without actually showing them. These photographs are often tight, close-up shots that give our eyes a chance to linger longer on objects. As photographers, we have a responsibility to

Rules Were Made to be Broken

Playing chords doesn’t make you a jazz composer. Playing it safe around tight corners doesn’t make you a champion grand prix driver. Playing to your strengths doesn’t make you perform under pressure. Here’s the thing: you have to improvise. You must invent new ways of seeing. But first you have to know the rules. Master exposure calculations, understand depth of field, learn how to drag your shutter, perfect your follow focus technique, rock your off-camera flash, make your gear an extension of your body, own ambient light. Then, throw all of it out and invent visual riffs. Careen around tight corners so you feel frightened. Play to your weaknesses. Play, above all, play! The more you play, the more you learn. The more you learn,

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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!