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!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Labels: Featured Vendor
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Have you ever considered being a birth photographer? I have. But, then I considered all the responsibilities that are connected with being a birth photographer, and decided against it. The biggest for me is needing to be 'on call' for the birth. I just couldn't do that. So, kudos to all those wonderful birth photographers!
I had the pleasure meeting Scarlett Bowling, who includes birth photography in her services. I wanted to find out about her thoughts about why she does birth photography.
In Scarlett's words:
Tips for shooting births...
Emily was starting to get a bit cold by these poses-I wish warm weather would come!
A promise of hot chocolate brought out one more smile.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Labels: Featured Vendor
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Here is a sample of a promotional video. Not one of my favorites, I like Scarlett and Jasmine's videos better, but you get the idea.
Now, I know what you are thinking. These photographers ARE sought after and well-known. It would be silly for little 'ole you to do one of these. I disagree with a capital D-I-S. You are just as important and cool as Jasmine-even if you weren't asked to photograph the royal couple's wedding. So, let's get onto the key factors of planning your own video and how fun it can be to put together.
Simple & Short.
People are distracted easily by shiny objects. Their attention span is short, so your video only needs to be 2-3 mins long. Don't worry, you can get a lot across in a short amount of time.
Music is a Must.
What music you choose will make or break your video. Pick the type of music that you want to show what personality you have. Soft music will imply a laid back photographer, etc. Try Triple Scoop Music for free music!
Shooting a promotional video is not as elaborate as shooting a commercial, so the cost is not as bad. If you don't have anyone to shoot your video, call around to different videographers to find out prices. Otherwise, here are some tutorials on video editing.
Live or Slide Show?
If you can't afford a videographer, or you are just too shy to shoot a video, you can still put together a promotional montage just using photos of you during a shoot, or photos of you at your favorite spot. You can set it to music and adding words or sentences describing your personality. Or, add your voice to it, talking about your likes and dislikes in a fun way.You can even use Windows Movie Maker on your computer to put it all together.
Do I have you excited yet?
Friday, March 25, 2011
My first find is from Resources for Photographers.
They offer free downloadable PDF tutorials for Photoshop users!
Here are some of the great tutorials:
My next free find is from MCP Actions. I'm sure you've seen Jodi Freeman's work all around photography land. I love her actions and she has actions for Photoshop and Elements.
She offers free actions!
You can find them here.
This next find I just found out about yesterday from my Featured Photographer interview. Have you ever wondered if you are charging what you should charge, or putting your price list together?
Now, you can get some help-for FREE!
Stacey Reeves offers help with a free Pricing Guide for Photographers. How neat is that?!
When I saw that Life Art Design Shoppe, was offering a Complimentary Design Guide, I knew I had to add it to my Friday Finds. Check out her site for templates and other cool products.
That's it for this Friday-enjoy!
Labels: Friday Photog Finds
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I'm Laura McPhail, of Chikadeez Photography, I’m a wife, a mom, and a go getter! Chikadeez Photography is located the Greater Metro Atlanta Area, and specializes in natural light photography of children and families.
Tell us what made you become a photographer?
It all started in 2007. I had a 6-month-old little boy that I was completely enamored with, and I was taking thousands of pictures of him. From this grew a great love for all things photography. I nurtured and cultivated that passion, and it eventually became, Chikadeez Photography.
Are you a self taught photographer or did you have a mentor that showed you the ropes?
Its a mixture really. The first year that I had my first DSLR, I never took it off automatic. Then one day, I decided that was it, it was time to get over my fears of learning the camera functions! I asked another local photographer to come out and give me personal lessons. After that, I started researching blogs, websites and publications so I could learn as much as I could. My work started improving as time went on, but it wasn't until after I took some classes at a local photography school that my work/mentality crossed over to professional. Those classes pushed my creativity and the way that I see the world around me. You can teach yourself the technical aspects of photography easily, but the hard part is the creativity. The classes helped a lot with that. The assignments forced you to think outside of your comfort zone. I highly recommend taking any classes you can (at school or online) to give you that little extra something in your work and thought process.
What do you think is the most important factor in making a good picture?
Emotion. Like I said before, anyone can learn the technical side of photography. The hard part is connecting with your subjects on a level that captures who they are. It all stems from a love of what you do. Don't get into photography because you want to make a buck, you must have passion for it. Also, shoot what you love and what you relate to most cause that love will show. I love children, I love the way they play, talk, and the fact that they have no preconceived notions about anything. What you see with kids is who they are, PERFECTION.
How do you decide on locations & poses?
Before a session, I ask the family if they have any ideas in mind, and if not, I can make suggestions based on what they would like. These images will be accents in their homes, so I try to be sure that it will match their personal taste. Most of the parents look to me to tell them what to wear and where to go. I make those decisions based on who they are. I get to know them to find out what they like to do as a family and then go from there. I used to look at other images for inspiration, and would go to a session with all of these ideas. But sometimes what you have pictured in your head just doesn't happen, so you have to be ready to just go with it too. One that that has helped a lot is keeping a journal. I keep a journal near me at all times because session ideas and pose ideas will randomly pop into my head. I quickly jot the ideas in my notebook so that I can reference them later.
What’s your best marketing advice that you have found to work?
Having a PR and marketing background, I would love to say a brilliant ad campaign. However, after spending money on advertising and having little to no return, I have conceded to the fact that word of mouth really is the best thing for this business. I do have quite a few clients that come from Google searches, so when you invest in a website, you need to invest in someone that can help you with your search engine optimization (SEO). Having a blog is a GREAT way to build your SEO.
What is your favorite lens and why?
Hmm . . . I love my 50mm 1.4 because of the sharpness. But . . . I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my 70-200mm 2.8, that lens is just sublime and the bokeh is so pretty.
How do you balance it all?
Honestly, I'm still trying to figure that out. I work from home and have two toddlers, so it can get pretty rough. Most of my work occurs after everyone in the house has gone to bed. Lot's of late nights for mommy. :)
What advice would you give a new photographer who is just starting their own photography business?
Take your time, there is a lot of work that goes into starting any business. I you want to truly be successful, you must be firm in your pricing and structure. There are some really great tools out there for people that are starting their first business. A lot of them are free, so do a lot of research and take advantage of the tools that are available. Stacy Reeves' Photographer's Pricing Guide is a spreadsheet that's an asset to any startup business. It will help you figure out how much it will cost to run your business and how much you need to be charging. Wait, it gets better . . . it's completely FREE!!! My dad is a CPA, so I had him look it over to make sure that the calculations were legit. After looking it over, he said that it was GREAT and every business starting out should use something like this!!!
Link to Stacy Reeves' Photographer's Pricing Guide: http://www.stacyreeves.com/photographers-pricing-guide/
Thanks, Laura-we hope to have you back soon!
Headshot Photo Credit: Paul Johnson http://www.pauljohnsonphoto.com/
Monday, March 21, 2011
With the photography industry flooded with photographers these days (a LOT of women are jumping into the photography business) you really need to think out of the box when it comes to standing out.
I do my share of web surfing on the topic "photographers". There are so many wonderful photographers out there right now. I started my photography business when it wasn't so saturated and it was easier to get clients. I am mainly a wedding photographer and in my area, there's a fair share of wedding photographers, but I still get lots of business. Why? Because I like to try to be different from the other photographers. One key point that makes me stand out is my price and what I offer.
My prices are very reasonable compared to my fellow photographers. Clients are drawn by my work and are thrilled to see what I charge. I also make things easy for me and the client by offering one package. Other photographers offer different packages at different prices, which is fine, but I hate to make a bride feel bad because she can't afford the bigger, more elaborate package. This is kind of my attitude towards the whole wedding event. I charge what I want to make, so I'm happy and the client is happy too.
So, am I saying that you should charge less to stand out? Not necessarily. What works in my part of the country may not work for where you live. Call around in your area and see what the most successful photographers are doing and try to do a bit different, or add something more. For example, if Joe's Photography is offering 12 free wallets with his senior session, offer the same, but ADD a free wallet tin.
People like to get their money's worth and they love free stuff. Think of something that other photographers in your area aren't offering and offer it to your potential clients. Just make sure you don't end up in the hole in the process. Look for products sold in bulk, like personalized flash drives, photo boxes, and wallet tins.
Personality can be what makes you stand out as well. You need to make them feel comfortable with you and they'll remember you for all future business. If they are wondering about family photos, talk to their kids too. If they are looking to hire you for a wedding, ask them where they met. Get them talking about themselves. They'll feel a connection with you and not know why!
Of course, you need to display your best work and style on your blog or site-you DO have at least one of those, right?? A potential client will be drawn to your style of photos over another photographer. So, that would be something that may set you apart from others.
Play around with ideas and try different things out. Hold a contest on Facebook. Visit daycare centers and offer a deal to take preschool spring photos at an affordable rate. The sky's the limit!
Come back tomorrow for an awesome vendor interview!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Alisha Klein. My Business is Sugar and Spice Crochet
I make Handmade crocheted and some knitted hats and photography props ( hanging stork pouches, hammocks, and fringe blankets) for those super sweet newborn photo shoots. I am starting branch out making One of a kind ready to ship items with hand dyed hand spun yarn. I really love that stuff!
My Grandma taught me when I was about 8 how to crochet. I started with blankets for family members and friends. I really enjoyed making baby blankets and baby shower gifts for a few friends. Last Dec I had a friend mention to me that I should open a etsy shop. I noticed that there was a pretty big market for baby hats which photographers loved so my business kinds grew into photography hat and props!
I wish I was a photographer I just love pictures! I do take a lot of pictures for scrapbooking. Gotta document everything I do lol!
HMMM good question! Right now I really enjoy Itsy bitsy Newborn photography she takes amazing newbie pics. I also LOVE Making Memories Portraits INC. She has used a few of my hats in the most amazing themes! One hat was a dino hat and she actually and the baby wearing it in a large egg with ferns all around, Another theme she did with one of my hats was with a One of a kind white elf hat she did the whole vintage marshmallow set SUPER cute!
What do you do like to do when you aren't running your business?
When I am not busy making hats I am usually vegging out watching TV or sleeping lately LOL. If I do have time I like to scrapbook or just spend time with my hubby and dogs which just had puppies! I could spend all day everyday playing with them!
Any advice to someone wanting to start a business?
Just do what you love. If you don't have a passion or enjoy what you produce you wont be successful. Also always come up with new ideas or product just to keep things fresh!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Designing a studio in your home doesn't have to be hard, nor does it have to be expensive.
I bought two backdrop stand poles off of Amazon for $20 each. Then, I bought a couple of pairs of curtain holders from Walmart to hold up the poles. Simple! Oh, and make sure you put some long screws to keep the poles from sliding off.
You can decorate by framing some of your work and hanging it on the walls. I suggest using photos of your own children at first so you can enjoy your own family photos and advertise as well!
If you offer framing or canvas prints, invest in them as well.
With a few investments in equipment and decorations, you will be on your way to a beautiful home studio that holds up to those fancy studios in no time!
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
My next find is from The Newborn Nest.
These are bean bags designed for newborn photography. They are made of vinyl for easy cleanup. Right now, I have a cloth bean bag chair that I got from Target. I have to put diapers on top of it in case we have an accident. Right now, they are on back order, so keep checking back if you want to order one. ($89)
If you are like me, you spend a fortune on props. I'm really bad about newborn props. When I found LooptyLooDesigns on Etsy, I felt that this would be the way to go to purchase newborn hats and other props.
Labels: Friday Photog Finds