If you are preparing to shoot your first wedding (or have been shooting weddings but lack a standard process) then this post is for you. I encounter many photographers who are just breaking into wedding photography or are simply shooting an upcoming wedding as a favor to a friend, and have no idea what they are getting themselves into. Considering the many steps involved with the task of successfully documenting a couple's special day, it's easy to get overwhelmed. I was certainly in their shoes years ago, and have learned that planning is key … [Read more...] about Shooting Your First Wedding? These Steps Are Crucial
Are you new to IFTTT? Then check out this article For my two photography businesses, I have about 9 billion different social media services, profiles, portfolio sites, and websites. Well, maybe 9 billion is a slight exaggeration. But, just keeping up with your online presence can turn into a full-time job. I would rather be spending time with my family and going out to take a photo or two, than basking in the glow of my computer screen. Whether you are new to IFTTT.com (IF This, Then That), or have been using it for a while, these applets … [Read more...] about IFTTT for Photographers – Part 3: Managing Your Social Media
Are you new to IFTTT? Then check out this article first! For many of us in photography, keeping up with the business side is probably not at the top of our list of fun things to do. Realistically, most of us would rather be crafting that perfect photo than itemizing our receipts. Using an automation tool like IFTTT.com can ease the burden of the business side. Think of it as your internet friend who doesn’t mind doing the stuff you don't want to do! How to use IFTTT Here are some ways I use IFTTT (IF This, Then That) to stay on top of my … [Read more...] about IFTTT for Photographers – Part 2: Stay on Top of Your Photography Business
If you want a job, you need a portfolio. Sure a good-looking résumé with excellent credentials and references will seal the deal, but employers and clients want proof. How do I know? Well, I’ve been on both sides of the table. I have interviewed for plenty of jobs over the years (some staff others freelance). I’ve also been in charge of hiring for an agency and now my own company. No one is going to hire a creative professional solely on word of mouth or good grades in school (but both of those things help). If you are applying for job … [Read more...] about Building a Photography Portfolio to Get Work
You may have heard there’s a little photography convention in Vegas every year. Over ten thousand photographers (mostly of the wedding and portrait variety) gather along with every possible associated vendor for the annual WPPI convention. Just the scale alone of the event is impressive. If you want some new inspiration or to further your understanding of the industry and it’s latest trends, WPPI is where you want to be. This was my second year attending the conference and I thought I’d share my personal take on the event. Previously held in … [Read more...] about My WPPI 2017 Experience
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-mind-your-own-business-podcast-photofocus-podcast-february-1-2017 Get the show here or get it on iTunes — Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. In this renewed, reinvigorated episode of The Mind Your Own Business Podcast, Scott Bourne and Skip Cohen discuss outsourcing, taxes, insurance, book keeping, and helping your business run better. Specific topics of discussion include the following: The photographers that take care of taxes, insurance, and book keeping are the ones that are … [Read more...] about The Mind Your Own Business Podcast | Photofocus Podcast February 1, 2017
NOTE: I am not a licensed insurance agent but have interviewed three for this post. Please note this disclaimer. These comments are advisory in nature and not a guarantee in coverage - please refer to your policy for specific coverage's and exclusions. ————————————————————————————— It will eventually happen to many of us. Our gear will be lost, stolen or damaged and insurance is often the only protection we can find against that tragic event. When you do lose your gear, you’ll certainly have that sick feeling in your stomach, followed … [Read more...] about Is Your Camera Gear Insured?
Weddings. Engagements. Pregnancies. Graduations. Professional portrait photographers are often invited into people’s lives at very special moments. Memorable moments. Moments of transition and transformation. As a headshot photographer, often my clients are involved in career transitions. Some are getting new headshots to mark a promotion. Others are launching a solo practice. It’s an honor to be part of these major turning points in a client’s life and career. Most of these occasions are happy. Sure, they can also be a bit stressful — … [Read more...] about A Portrait Photographer’s Highest Responsibility
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-mind-your-own-business-podcast-photofocus-podcast-january-1-2017 Get the show here or get it on iTunes — Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. In this renewed, reinvigorated episode of The Mind Your Own Business Podcast, Scott Bourne and Skip Cohen discuss some powerful New Year's resolutions to set up to put your photography business on the path of success for 2017. Want to add to this list of resolutions? Send Scott an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell him yours. For the first dozen … [Read more...] about The Mind Your Own Business Podcast | Photofocus Podcast January 1, 2017
Recently, I was asked to give a wedding photography referral. While I certainly found some great photographers, what amazed me was the lack of professionalism in terms of developing a website that showcased the photographer’s work in a way that clients could easily follow. Don’t get me wrong — some web portfolios were spot on. But about 75% of what I saw had major problems. Some were too slow to load. Some had a landing page where it wasn’t clear that you needed to click to see the full website. Some I couldn’t even find a wedding … [Read more...] about Five Steps to a Successful Portfolio Website
As I write this second piece to the story of relocating my business, I’ve been in Michigan for about three months now. Part one covered some of the very basics of moving a photography business—some actions I began before packing the first box. Now, firmly on the ground in Michigan, I thought I’d share some notes about my latest activities. Networking Networking Networking Perhaps you’ve heard that the professional photographer spends at best 20% of his time actually clicking the shutter. The remaining 80% is spent running the business. It’s … [Read more...] about How to Relocate Your Photography Business: Part 2
One of the things I'm often asked is how to find clients — who typically want experience — without having much experience of your own. It can be tough finding your first clients when you’re trying to move past the “hobby stage” and make a run at earning extra income, but with a little creativity, you can find a few clients who will work, which can, and will, lead you to finding more clients down the road. Put Yourself Out There It's important to put yourself out there, especially in your community. I volunteered to photograph for a local food … [Read more...] about No Experience? No Problem! Finding Your First Photography Client
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-mind-your-own-business-podcast-photofocus-podcast-december-1-2016 Get the show here or get it on iTunes — Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. In this renewed, reinvigorated episode of The Mind Your Own Business Podcast, Scott Bourne and guest co-host Chamira Young discuss the most common myths about running a photography business. Specific topics of discussion include the following MYTHS: When you decide to go pro, all you'll be doing is taking photos. You have to be cheaper than … [Read more...] about The Mind Your Own Business Podcast | Photofocus Podcast December 1, 2016
For a very long time I have been obsessed with the BUSINESS side of the camera business. I don’t know why, but I have always enjoyed plotting and graphing the various camera company’s successes and failures. I used to invest in these companies but I stopped that in 2009 because I saw the writing on the wall. Back then I got copies of the annual reports of most of the bigger companies. Now I rely on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) data for the most part to judge how the camera companies are doing. If you look at the graph … [Read more...] about ILC Camera Sales Are In Free Fall – Here Are Five Ideas To Fix That
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-mind-your-own-business-podcast-photofocus-podcast-november-1-2016 Get the show here or get it on iTunes — Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. In this renewed, reinvigorated episode of The Mind Your Own Business Podcast, Scott Bourne and Skip Cohen discuss effectively showing your work -- both online and in print -- which is one of the basic ways you can get paid as a professional photographer. Specific topics of discussion include the following: Your gallery is one of your most valuable … [Read more...] about The Mind Your Own Business Podcast | Photofocus Podcast November 1, 2016
Adobe Portfolio, free with a Creative Cloud subscription, is a real gem. Even if you’re perfectly happy with your website, I recommend taking a look at it. For me, it’s a been a perfect tool to publish a broader selection of work while maintaining the narrow focus of my primary website—headshots. I’m of the opinion that you must be known for a specialization within photography. The website on your business card or in your Facebook Ads must make it very clear what you do. But marketing your speciality doesn’t mean you can’t publish other work … [Read more...] about Adobe Portfolio: Initial Impressions
There are literally thousands of photographers who run their business and display their photographic portfolio using the Wordpress platform. Not only is it an economical platform to use, but it is a relatively easy content management system to learn. And it is a system that works for the smallest of blogs to the most highly trafficked websites on the internet. In fact, Wordpress is the publishing platform we use to run the entire Photofocus site. And while WordPress performance is fairly fast with a new installation, as you add … [Read more...] about 4 Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Photography Site
For the past couple of years, I've been running a boutique headshot photography business in the suburbs of Chicago. It's a business I started from scratch when I was brand new to the area. I've learned a lot in the past couple of years — everything from good old fashioned networking to contracts to SEO. Oh yeah, I took some pictures too! Building that business was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. It’s also hard work and takes a lot of time. And now, I get to do it all over again. Yep, we've moved again. This time, we landed in … [Read more...] about How to Relocate Your Photography Business: Part 1
This is a guest post by wedding cinematographer Ray Roman, but it applies to all photographers. If you could make the same income, or more than youre making now, working two events a month, would you? I don't know any photographers or cinematographers who would say no to that offer. Yet across the industry, our colleagues are selling themselves short every time they fail to book high-end, big-budget events. By shifting your focus to high-end branding, you can land more exclusive clients and raise both your revenue and your … [Read more...] about Your Brand: How Do You Attract the High-End Client?
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-mind-your-own-business-podcast-photofocus-podcast-october-1-2016 Get the show here or get it on iTunes — Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. In this renewed, reinvigorated episode of The Mind Your Own Business Podcast, Scott Bourne and Skip Cohen discuss actionable ways to improve your photography business. Specific topics of discussion include the following: Make sure you have a professional headshot of yourself up on your website, and in your marketing material. Proofread your … [Read more...] about The Mind Your Own Business Podcast | Photofocus Podcast October 1, 2016
I had over 55,000 emails in my inbox. It didn't bother me until I started losing track and a few clients called, asking if I received their time-sensitives emails. Desperate, I turned to Facebook and posted a plea for help. My Facebook friend, Florida photographer Tim Forrest, came to the rescue. Along with being a photographer, Tim is a consumer product brand and distribution expert with over 30 years of experience transforming businesses through marketing and sales innovation. He gave me several great tips and I asked him if he’d share them … [Read more...] about Photo Business Tip: Take Control of Your Email!
Now available on YouTube, Photofocus publisher, Rich Harrington hosts Mark Fuccio, VP of Product Development at Drobo and me, photographer and Photofocus author, Kevin Ames in a lively discussion about the business of safe storage and the challenges photographers and videographers face in managing terabytes of images. Discussion points They begin with an explanation of "Safe Storage" using a working drive and multiple copies as backups. Backup strategies and software are talked about as well as how a Drobo differs from Just A Bunch of Disks … [Read more...] about Drobo Webinar Why Safe Storage is Good Business for Photographers
There's a lot of misunderstanding about stock photography. This article is less for photographers and more for designers and out clients. With that said, I've heard many people use the wrong terms when describing stock usage rights. Royalty-free Does Not Equal Free Let's tackle the biggest misunderstanding. Don't confuse royalty-free and free. A royalty-free image must still be purchased. This is how the photographer and distributor make money. Royalty-free images can be a big savings because you can eliminate model releases, talent … [Read more...] about Sources for Stock Photos
Contributing article by Armando J. Pérez-Carreño In today's crowded online world, a good social presence can make or break you. Here are five tips every photographer should consider to run an effective Facebook campaign. So, you decided to become a photographer right? That's great! What's your focus (pun intended)? But really, the very first thing you have to do is find a niche or target market to focus your efforts on. 1. Own your niche You can't imagine the number of entrepreneurs that come to me and say their service "is for … [Read more...] about 5 Things Every Photographer Should Know About Facebook
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-mind-your-own-business-podcast-photofocus-podcast-september-1-2016 Get the show here or get it on iTunes — Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. In this renewed, reinvigorated episode of The Mind Your Own Business Podcast, Scott Bourne and guest host Chamira Young discuss actionable ways to improve your photography business. Specific topics of discussion include the following: Don't base your pricing solely on what other photographers are charging. Be confident in your price and say it with … [Read more...] about The Mind Your Own Business Podcast | Photofocus Podcast September 1, 2016
Whether you do business under your own personal name or under a business name, personalizing your product and/or service is a great form of marketing. Everyone loves a good story, so telling customers YOUR story is a great way to grab their attention. This is why branding your company with a “face” can make the customer feel more familiar with you and your product. A good strategy is to show pictures of yourself and your employees hard at work when you send emails, share pictures or post videos. Lifting the curtain and giving customers a … [Read more...] about Don’t Be Afraid To Personalize
In the fast paced world we live in, it’s easy to get caught up in time saving, cookie cutter, ready-to-use content for your SEO strategies. While this type of content can be used as filler, don’t underestimate the value of producing your own original content. By producing your own content, you demonstrate that YOU are the expert in your field! Customers will be more likely to turn to you when they need something if they see you as the expert in the field or at least the most knowledgable person they have access too. So share your knowledge … [Read more...] about Share Your Knowledge Through Original Content!
One of the simplest ways to market your business is through an email campaign. While social networking sites are great for meeting new people and getting new leads for your business, it’s good ol’Email that continues to be one of the most effective ways to reach and influence your customers. Just put all of your existing customers on one list and all of your prospects on another list and upload those lists to a bulk email service. There are many companies and services to choose from, just do a Google search and choose the one running the best … [Read more...] about Email Marketing For The Win!
When I get asked, “What marketing can I do to increase my photography business”, I usually respond with a question of my own asking what their marketing strategy is currently for their business. I’m always amazed when I get a blank stare in return! You wouldn’t build a house without first creating a blueprint, so why start your photography business, even if it’s only part-time or “just for fun”, without first creating a content marketing strategy for promoting it. The easiest way to get started is simply by making a list of all the ways … [Read more...] about Start With A Written Marketing Strategy
Using hashtags is another great way to get a conversation going about your business. You simply create a hashtag to be used for your brand or business, share it in a post (FaceBook), pic (Instagram) or tweet (Twitter), search for that hashtag on your platform of choice, and then find and reply to anyone who shares it. While there are many examples of hashtag marketing campaigns online (just do a Google search) here is an example I’ve offered to my photographer marketing clients… Tell your followers to share their favorite picture from your … [Read more...] about #getthewordout