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, January 31, 2012

Rock Star

I spent this weekend watching Creativelive's 3 day event with Zach and Jody Gray.

It was awesome! At the same time, it was overwhelming. I got lots of info, like great ideas for customer service and some lighting ideas.
I love the energy that Zach and Jody bring to the table. If you haven't listened to them, you should. They really get you pumped up. I even found myself saying "You're a rock star!" all weekend (Zach was calling everyone a rock star. lol.)

What I took from that weekend of soaking in all the info they gave was that customer service is the key to success for any business. You need to stand out in the sea of photographers. Clients won't know the difference between who's the best photographer and someone who takes great photos. They won't have any idea what's the best camera. When they hunt through all the hundreds of photographer's websites, they won't remember who took what.

Maybe once photographers understand this, we will have to start competing with who gives the best service opposed to quality of our work. Let's hope not!

I got some great ideas that I will start using with my clients ( and some I already do!). I hope to make a big jump by next year, so I need to work on standing out with that great customer service reputation this year. I'm excited!

I just hope that photographers in my area haven't tapped into these awesome ideas.

Shhh! Don't tell!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Photo Nuts and Post-launching today!

We all love it when we capture that perfect shot.

Even though your photo looks perfect, you may still want to edit it a bit. Add some color. Take some away. I love to edit as much as I love to capture. How about you? No?

For those who might need a bit help for where to begin when you are to this step, dPS has a new ebook!

Photo Nuts and Post is the third installation in the Photo Nuts series and it just launched today!

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!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Photography Concentrate-Giveaway!


I love it when I come across such friendly businesses. I started this site so we (photographers) could help each other with anything photography-also because I love anything to do with photography!

I often ask businesses if they would like to share their products/knowledge with my readers. I do get the occassional snub, but most are kind. When I heard back from Laura and Rob Lim of Photography Concentrate, I could actually feel the love through their email. ;)

They have been very generous in letting me test out all three of their products-AND they want one lucky winner to win their choice of the following...

Now, I want to let you know about each of these fabulous photography tools, but I would like to start out and let you know a little bit about the fabulous photographers behind it all.

I stumbled upon an article about WHY they teach other photographers. I wanted to share with you a couple of paragraphs in their words as to why they teach.

"What we found, after years of self-teaching, was that the number of high quality and affordable resources out there for photographers was a lot smaller than we would have imagined. Sure, there are countless forums, blogs, and articles that you can find for free. But many of them offer differing opinions and ideas (though all too often they don’t see them as opinions, but rather as fact! That makes it even more difficult for a new photographer to understand what to do!). They also take a lot of time to go through, compile information, and try to process it in a way that works for the individual. It’s not easy or fun, and often it’s just downright overwhelming! I fear that a lot of people likely give up, simply because the task of finding and digesting high quality information is just too difficult.

Furthermore, many resources are currently being offered for very high price tags. Often upwards of hundreds of dollars (thousands if we’re talking about workshops). While there’s no way for us to decide whether those are worth it, we do know that they are far outside the reach of many photographers. Photographers on average aren’t rich people. They often have budgets just like anyone else, and many are left unable to purchase the tutorial they’d like, or going into credit card debt to attend the workshop they think will solve their problems. We were deeply unhappy with that approach. We strongly believe that teaching should be to help others, not yourself. With that in mind, we made a commitment to offer our education at prices that anyone could afford, including students."

I was happy to find out that they have the same mind set as I do when it comes to what "educators" charge. I don't agree that books and workshops should be so expensive. Your average new photographer doesn't have 1000's to spend. Thanks, guys!!

Now, with that, I want to get on to their products. The first product I want to let you know about is one I'm excited about!

Extremely Essential Camera Skills


Learning about your camera and how it works-in just 3 hours!

I'm not sure about you, but when I first got my camera, I skimmed through the manual briefly, just to find out how to turn it on. lol. I really wished I had this tutorial when I was first starting out. Even if you've had your camera for awhile, you might want to take the time and actually learn about your camera and how to take better photos.

I'm not one to just sit down and read a how-to book. I love how Rob and Lauren split up your learning experience with videos and exercises to keep things interesting. This is a great idea for those who like hands on.

Super Photo Editing Skills

photo editing tutorial

For anyone wanting to learn how to edit faster in Lightroom 3, this is a great product to get. This has tons of awesome stuff included:
Quickstart Videos- 3 hrs!
Advanced Videos
Bonus Videos
Photo Editing Field Guide
Editing Style Field Guide
Super Color Presets-23
Super B& W Presets-27
Essential Lightroom Shortcuts Cheatsheet
Example Files

Awesome Album Design Skills

album design tutorial

If you want to learn how to design a great album in Adobe InDesign CS5, these video tutorials are for you!

Do you wish any/all of the following?

More profits from an easy-to-create custom product?
More free time to spend away from the computer and with real people?
Clients that fall in love with your albums, and absolutely, positively have to have one?
The skills to create your own album templates for any size you’d like?
Mega fun designing, and confidence in your skills?

Don't we all??

I love designing albums, but I would still love to be able to get done faster. I welcome any help-I can't afford to hire someone, nor do I want to cut into profits. I would love to be able to design my own templates to create beautiful pages. If you offer albums, then you need to check this out!

Okay, so now that you heard about how terrific the creators of these products are and just how awesome these products are, you know you want to try to win one!

Win it.

Just leave a comment stating which product you want.

If you love this community (and for extra entry):

Follow me and leave another comment.

Tweet about it and leave another comment.

Post about it, leave link and another 2 comments.

Giveaway ends 2/6/12

If you don't want to wait, you can order through this link (and help keep this site running!).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Out of commission

I woke up yesterday to a gurgling tummy. Not the hungry gurgle. The I-feel-like-puking-gurgle. By mid morning, I could barely move. Every inch of my body ached. My stomach felt like it was being punched from the inside out and I was freezing even though I had on two pairs of sweats , a sweatshirt, mittens and two blankets.

I hate it when I get the flu.

Luckily, I was alone during the day to be miserable. Well, me and the animals. I laid on one of our couches and Sam, our cat, laid on the other. He usually has to lay on my lap, but I think he didn't know what was going on.

Bella, our dog, laid faithfully on the floor next to the couch I was on. Dogs are like that. I think I would trust Bella to have my back over the cat.

It killed me not to be able to do much needed work on the computer. I wanted to email some vendors about networking and return client's emails. All I could do was suck on peppermints and sip water. Oh, and think about how I hadn't got around to making out my will-feeling like your dying makes you think about things like that.

When the hubby got home, he brought in the mail and I noticed a package with all the letters. I remembered that I had ordered some press printed cards from WHCC (I love them!) the day before. I just can't get used to how fast their shipping time is! I got the idea from Sarah Petty of Joy of Marketing and it made sense. Clients will take you more serious if your price list looks more professional. I was just printing out my contract which included prices.

I wanted to jump off the couch and see how they turned out, but I couldn't. They would have to wait.

After awhile (and two Advils), I finally felt well enough to get up. Of course, the first thing I did was open my package. When I saw the cards, I squealed-LOOOOVE IT!

Obviously, these are for my wedding clients. My next ones will be the senior cards. These are 5x5 folded cards. I was worried that they would be too small, but I like the size. I got the 5x7 envelopes-learning my lesson that the postage is too expensive to use the 5x5 envelopes.

I'm back to work today- after putting the house back together. I can't believe how fast a house can get messy when there isn't a mom keeping things together!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Slow time

This time of the year can be slow for photographers for shooting, but don't think that your business is! Now is the time to market to clients, polish your skills, and get your plan together for 2012.

One item you should not neglect right now is your blog. It's easy to do, I know! Maybe you don't do it on purpose. Maybe you just don't know what to blog about when you don't have a new session to show off.

Here are some ideas for you to use for those slow time of the year blog posts:

Recap the year before

Go through your photos from the year and pick out your favorites. Pick your favorite genre if you want like newborns, seniors, or weddings.

Talk about your favorite vendor

Do reviews of your favorite place to shoot weddings, your favorite prop supplier, even your favorite place to eat-search engines will pick up keywords and a potential client searching for that restaurant might come across your site. Some great free advertising!

Show off your products

If you are adding new products this year (or even the products you already have), take some photos and brag about them.

Hold a contest

Two birds with one stone. Hold a contest during slow season and bring in new clients to your blog. Get creative and figure out how to use the contest require that they visit daily for a week or two, like making it an online scavenger hunt.

I hope these ideas get your creative juices rolling!

Monday, January 16, 2012

You are so more reasonably priced than other photographers!

I wanted to leap over the table and scratch her eyes out. I had heard that phrase more times than I could stomach. Even though I hated my client for saying that to me, I knew it wasn't her fault.

It was mine.

I made my prices too low. I was afraid. I wanted clients, so I figured the only way to get them was to be the best priced. The only problem was, I didn't know that I was attracting the WRONG clients-and it showed. I knew I wanted to make a living at this. I also knew I didn't want to work myself to death too.

But, how does a photographer go about deciding what they need to make to go full time-or, even part time?

Pricing guides.

I love the fact that photographers are willing to teach other photographers. Some free. Some you have to pay. Pricing guides are one of the valuable treasures that experienced photographers offer! I stand behind a great guide that gives you a vast amount of information that's easy to follow and offered by a real down to earth guy.

Creative Pricing and Packaging for Creative Professionals

Buy Now

I only represent products that I would/do use myself. So, I love to spread the word when I find something I feel is something that you can benefit from. This ebook teaches you about the client's psychology of choice when you are putting together photography packages.

What I like about this pricing guide is that it works for all stages of photographers. So, if you are just starting and don't have a solid price sheet, or even if you want to be competitively priced.

Buy Now

I was at the stage of my business when I didn't want to be undervalued, but didn't want to scare away clients. I also didn't know if I wanted packages or a la carte. Since understanding how to get clients to value your work and not to dwell on pricing, I've increased my averages by at least three to four hundred dollars per sale!

If you are considering purchasing this guide (you won't be sorry!), check out the other cool products Tofurious offers as well. He has blog templates, album templates, and a mix of other photography related items.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Virtual photographer bullies

The business world is very competitive, no matter what kind of business you run. The business world of photography has grown over the years.

When I began my journey as a photographer, I was not aware of what was to become of photography. I'm not even sure if the craze had even hit. my father became a photographer after he retired and when he saw that I was struggling to find how to bring my creativity into a career, he suggested I try photography.

I ended up teaching myself, by reading and reading more, then practising and practising-then, practising even more. I worked hard to get to where I am today and I'm still learning. I think just as any craft learned, you always need to educate yourself.

I have been involved in the blogging world for many years as well. More years than I have been a photographer. I've witness the cattiness with mom bloggers. The mean girls. The popular girls (are these the same?) I tried to stay away from getting caught up in the high school trash and was very selective of who I was friends with.

I also didn't need anyone's approval of whether I was worthy of being a big time blogger. After all, who were these bloggers to tell me? They didn't have any "blogger" degree. They didn't OWN the mom blogging world. Everyone is equal in the blogging world. We all stand the chance to be a big time blogger if we worked hard and built our brand, then we could be just as big as the next blogger.

I see this same pattern happening with photographers. There are definitely the everyone-wants-to-be-like-us crowd. There is virtual fighting. The thing I don't get is, who don ed them professionals? They didn't get a degree in teaching, they are not an art critic, and there was never a course called, 'If I don't think you should be a photographer because you don't have the right camera, lens, talent, etc, then you aren't worthy', is there? Are they calling the kettle black as well?

When I came across "Missy's" videos making fun of newbies, I was sad. (I won't give her traffic by posting her link. You can just type it in Google to find it if you want.)I don't feel that this person should make fun of newbies. Don't quote me, but I heard the rumor that she's the wife of a photographer and that maybe is scorned from loss business.

I know there are way too many people trying to be a photographer. I get it. I fear that pretty soon, the demand won't even be there because there will be a photographer in everyone's family.

I think that seasoned photographers forget sometimes that they were once there, pissing off other seasoned photographers by charging way less because they are just starting out. Nobody starts out charging 1000's. Maybe at the time, it wasn't so noticeable because there weren't as many photographers starting out, I don't know.

I have been hit by an under priced photographer in our area that is actually very good, but has the mind set that she is so successful because she's booked a year in advance. That's great, but I always wonder why she wants to work SO hard to get a decent income. Maybe she makes her money selling prints. I doubt it though, because she gives the CD at a very low price.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to be editing day and night for pennies. Do I get mad at her? Why yes, I do. But, I mainly feel sorry for her because she obviously doesn't get it. If we all didn't under sell ourselves, we ALL could make a decent living.

This year, I still plan on raising my prices, as I do every year. Will I bully anyone in the process? No. I don't believe in it. I just hope that this fad passes eventually for the next big work at home idea.