New book

Photo Nuts and Post is the third installation in the Photo Nuts series and it just launched!
Written by professional photographer, Neil Creek, it gives you the tools you need to make processing work for you. Even if you have experience in editing, you can always learn new tricks.
To celebrate, they are offering 33% off if you buy today -Click here to read more!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pet Art for the pet lover in your life

In addition to being a photographer, I also do pet art. My pet art site is named,

This time of year is a great time to start thinking about the pet lovers in your life and what to get them for Christmas. Everyone has one in the family-mine is my sister. Her child is her doggy, Shelby.

Around this time of year, I like to run a great special for the holidays. This year, I'm running this special:

Pet Art Special:
16x20 canvas art print wrapped and ready to hang.
(plus shipping)

Valid until Dec 14th.

This is a perfect size art canvas for any home and fits nicely under the tree!

If you would like to order one for someone in your life, or even yourself, visit here.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dropping the cheapskates

Last week, I received an email from a person from my photography site that stated, "I love your work, but you are more expensive then 90% of photographers in our area..."

Then, I got an email from a bride telling me that she was looking for a great photographer at a reasonable price...

I laughed at both of these emails and remembered when I was desperate enough to take the cheapskate client. You know we've all been there. If you are just starting out, you know you are taking them right now.

It's okay.

We all have to go through this stage. We start out at cheap prices-of course this is going to draw them in. Even if someone isn't a cheapskate, who is going to turn down a good deal?

But, there is a time that you must say buh-bye to these people. UNLESS, you want to take in twice or more work to make what you need to make. I don't know about you, but I get pretty grumpy when I'm always working.

It took me awhile to make that jump-and it is scary-but, I did. I actually plan on going even higher by next year. I know there's much advice out there to take on how and when you should take this flying leap. I really think it's all up to each individual and I think you just get to a point when you just know.

For me, it happened one day when I was sitting with a couple discussing their wedding plans. The bride was looking at my books and made the comment that my work was just as wonderful as the $5000 photographer they met with the week before, but I was so much cheaper. She even added that my albums were so much more "neat" then his.

It's not that I hadn't heard that my work compared to more expensive photographers before, but for some reason, it clicked for me that time. I think it was that same week that I redid my website and changed my prices. Then, I sat and waited. Did my phone ring? Not for the first couple of weeks, but I finally received an email from an interested client. Woo-hoo! I was so excited when they booked me without a blink of an eye at the price!

I don't feel any hard feelings towards my old cheapskate clients. Cheapskate clients are just a stepping stone in your career. We need the cheapskate client to build our portfolio and find out what we want to charge. But, when you raise your prices, you welcome the RIGHT kind of clients that help KEEP you in business.

Let your cheapskate clients go and don't look back. Unfortunately, they will just find the next photographer just starting out-until they realize their worth too!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting ready for the holidays

This is the time of year when portrait photographers should start getting ready to cash in for the holidays. Most families are thinking about their holiday cards, family portraits used for Christmas presents, or even fun Halloween photos. Now is the time to run a promotion if you can.

But, what's the best promotion to do?

There really isn't a BEST promotion to do, but there are many promotions out there.

Offer a unique product

I always scan the internet for ideas around the holidays and then run a promotion that works for me. There are so many products out there these days that cater to photographers and that clients think are awesome. Incorporating a unique product in your promotion may get the business you want.

Mini sessions

Alot of photographers run mini sessions around the holidays. These are a fast way to get a bunch of sessions done in one day. I have never done one before, but I'm really wanting to do one! You can make it a themed session geared around the holiday, like a Halloween theme, for instance.

Portrait Party

Portrait parties are like mini sessions, except there is a hostess and they usually get their portraits for free in exchange for getting you clients.

Offer a free product

Offering something for free (that doesn't cut into your profit too much) is always a winner. If they want to get holiday cards, why not give half the cards for free?

There may be more ways to beat the competition out there for holiday clients. Feel free to let us know in the comment section!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The bride from hell

I just had to stop between my editing of wedding photos to write this post. My last wedding of the year is in November and thank goodness it is. I had this couple book me earlier this year and they seemed like a nice couple. I did their engagement photos and they stressed how much of a laid back they were and how they felt funny doing any serious photos because they were a silly couple, etc., etc. I assumed that this would be a fun wedding to shoot and an easy couple to deal with.

Well, you know what they say about "assuming"...

It was time to meet with the couple to discuss plans, make final payment, etc. She emailed me and told me that she lived too far away to do that and that she would mail me the payment and we could email the plans. I said that would be fine and I sent her an email with my usual questions and letting her know what time I need them to be ready by to do photos.

I got back an angry email back stating that she will do things on her schedule and she won't be rushed.


Then, she said she would be sending an email with my photo list. OMG... I hate lists. When I got this "list", it wasn't just poses, it stated the time that I would be taking them.

Now, mind you, I'm used to running the photography part and the couple going by what I need time wise to get all the photos I need to get. I explain this in the first initial meeting and if they don't like it, they don't have to go with me. I'm sorry if that makes me sound like a b-i-t-c-h, but I know what I have to do to get the end result of what they hire me for. To me, this bride is telling me that she doesn't trust me.

This ain't my first rodeo, honey.

You don't know how much I wanted to tell her that I've done more weddings then she's thrown one and I just might know what I'm doing. I also wanted to tell her that if she has me just take the photos that she's asking for, her album will be a disaster. I'm just sick over the thought of doing this wedding. I wish there was a loophole I could jump through to get out of doing this wedding. Money or no money, I don't do weddings where the bride is like this. You either think I can do the job or not. Don't hire me if you don't!

I have a wedding tomorrow and I'm trying to just focus on that and not let this bride get to me. I guess every wedding has a chance to be a learning lesson. I will have to be more adamant about the couple letting me be able to do my creative part in making their photos special and artistic. If they don't agree, then we aren't a fit.

I got into photography for the love of it, and I won't let a bitchy controlling bride change that for me!