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Inspired by an Old Master: The Importance of Lighting

Sometimes you should stop looking at photographs. Look to other artists for inspiration, especially the old masters. Touring the Rembrandt exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art recently reminded me of the importance of three things: His lighting style stands the test of time. No fad, here. Most people have heard of it. There’s something to be said about a technique that has stood the test of time by a few hundreds years. It’s good to know that wedding photography today won’t be shunned in 50 years. He shared as much as he created in painting schools. Like, he had ‘followers.’ His creative school shaped his vision. This blog shapes mine. I’m a proponent of the philosophy “Create. Share. Sustain.” He created portraits of people flattered

Setting up ShootQ Just Got Simpler

Your shiny new toy arrives, you can’t wait to take it out of the box and play with it. Everyone relates to that experience. But what happens when the toy takes a few steps to set up? Uh-oh. It might sit in its box, partly assembled or gathering dust for a few weeks until you’re ready to take time to put it together. That’s the experience some photographers have when they get started with ShootQ. It’s a powerful tool but it requires some setup to get fully dialed into your business. Since it’s worth it, the training team at Pictage decided to create a helpful, step-by-step guide that will get photographers setup faster – it’s as easy as opening a box and clicking a few parts

Content Marketing, Social Media & Blogs: It’s About More than Pretty Pictures

There’s a lot of talk about the impact blogging and social media have on running a successful photography business. While there are many valid opinions, we’ve chosen to focus a large portion of our effort into maintaining an active blog and a strong social media presence for our business. And although I’d love to say that all we have to do is post pretty pictures and watch our readership skyrocket, that’s simply not the case. Heck, even my best friends tell me that they “rarely” look at our recent session posts! So, how do we engage people with our work, but continue engaging them enough to keep coming back?  By making them take an interest in US.  Now, that might sound self-serving, but hear me out. When we

Love is Gender Neutral: Shooting a Same-Sex Wedding

I recently had the pleasure of shooting my first same-sex wedding. I had shot one other same-sex wedding, but as a second shooter, never for my own clients. I remember meeting with TJ and Marcus at a coffee shop, in which I nervously had crème brûlée and coffee at a quiet corner table while waiting for them to arrive. They came in with so much energy and laughter, some of my favorite types of clients…full of life. I pulled out my wedding albums, all full of women marrying men. I remember thinking, “There is no way they are going to book me, there are no same-sex weddings in my portfolio.” This didn’t seem to be an issue at all for TJ and Marcus. They looked right past

How to Manage Your Holiday Workflow

With the holiday season comes a great opportunity to increase your sales and reconnect with past clients and vendors. Get a plan in place for managing the increased work, so you don’t struggle to deliver everything to clients in time for the holidays. With proper planning, you can provide a positive, fun experience for your clients during their hectic holidays! Managing your holiday workflow is simple and seamless if you keep these three concepts in mind: 1. Do your homework before the holidays hit. In order to implement a successful holiday season plan, you must identify what products and services you’ll be offering. The products and services you promote during the holidays should meet the following two criteria: It’s profitable and strategic for you to offer these product and services.

Happy Clients Mean Happy Holidays – Part 1

Sales is More than the Act of Selling! December 1: cue consumer chaos. Dare to venture into a mall anytime after Thanksgiving and you’ll be bombarded by brash, blingy sales messages. They’re everywhere screaming, “More, More, More” and “Buy, Buy, Buy!” It’s downright maddening. Savvy small business owners know that sales is more than the act of selling. It’s an art that starts with selecting the right products and services to offer your clients. In fact, the act of selling is the last step in the sales process. Knowing your clients and carefully curating products and services you offer will guide your clients to that last step – buying! The Holidays are already chaotic enough, this year offer holiday promotions that add value to your

Get a Grip! Financial Organization Simplified

I’ve got good news and bad news. I’ll start with the bad news. 95 percent of small businesses fail within their first five years. Not only does this apply to photography businesses, it’s true for all small businesses. What does this mean for photographers? 9,120 of the 9,600 new photographers who attended WPPI in 2011 will not be in business in 2016. Why do so many small businesses fail so fast? They fail to manage their expenses. If you don’t manage your expenses, your business doesn’t make a profit. You have to make a profit in order for your business to be sustainable. So what’s the good news? YOU don’t have to be a business that fails within the first five years. You have the power

How to Tailor Your Business to Newborn Photography

Who doesn’t love sweet, cuddly newborn babies? It seems more and more popular to specialize in newborn photography, but how do you truly tailor your business to the newborn client? Read on for tips and tricks to do just that! Show What You Love : My first tip is to show what you love. If you’re currently working with multiple markets but deep down want to specialize on one, begin by showing only work relevant to your specific target market (i.e. newborns). From your website to your business card and blog, your clients will hire you based on the content you show. If weddings and older kids just aren’t your thing, take them down and focus on your true passion instead. Building a strong brand in

How to Stand Out In A Crowd of Child Photographers

For a child photographer, it’s all about finding your way, finding your unique passion and running with it! You can’t be everything to everyone. I chose to stand out in a number of ways, starting with offering a higher-end experience and a full-service studio in a beautifully historic, affluent part of town. At the studio, we pride ourselves on awesome customer service, catering to each client and their needs. From the first phone call, we are set up to ask prospective clients what they want from their session, and to identify their real needs. It’s high-touch throughout the entire process, from the initial inquiry to the moment when we deliver and install their finished pieces. We also offer the best product line, and we do

My Own Photo Life: Finding a Balance

This is my first column and I’m honored to be asked to write for The Photo Life. Here’s a brief introduction of my own photo life. Think of it as a job description of sorts. I’m a father of three small children, a husband and the owner of a photo studio in Colorado Springs, a decent-size city. My photo life comes in three parts and each part enhances the other. First, I’m a parent. With my wife’s help, we keep our kids, ages 7, 4, and 2, in a regular routine. We make sure they are prepared for the day ahead. When we can, we try to mold them into responsible, conscientious and intelligent human beings. It isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. It’s also

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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!