A quick reminder, our next Google+ Hangout for photographers is today! It's Mind Your Own Business cohosted by Skip Cohen of Skip Cohen University. You can sign up here for free. Today we're joined by photographer (and founder of Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep founder) Sandy Puc. We'll explore Milestones to Building a Successful Business and Increasing Revenue. The event is today Monday, May 19, 2014. Its absolutely free to attend thanks to LensRentals.com. It starts at 2PM Eastern/11AM Pacific. You can register for free here … [Read more...] about Don’t Miss Today’s Mind Your Own Business Webinar
Twitter just got a lot more photographer friendly. You can now enhance your profile to really feature you or your work. The new changes make the profile much more visual. Add a larger profile photo. This can be your portrait or business icon. It's now much easier to read. Custom headers. Put a large banner image that showcases one of your best photos or a behind the scenes shot. Pin a Tweet. Keep a recent tweet near the top of your timeline. Easily Share Photos. Your shared photos are much easier to see with a dedicated tab. Speaking … [Read more...] about Time to Enhance Your Twitter Profile
****You can view the updated version of this article here: https://photofocus.com/2015/09/29/creating-a-signature-watermark-with-adobe-photoshop-cc/ **** People often ask me how I made my signature into my own copyright logo on my photos. Here is a step by step guide on making your own signature or drawing into your own logo or signature file. 1. Practice. Grab a few sharpie of different sizes and practice your signature over and over with different sizes and widths. I found that the thinner sharpies were better in regards to more detail in … [Read more...] about Creating Your Own Signature Watermark
Being a photographer, whether as a hobbyist or a professional, requires us to have gear. Much of that gear is expensive, be it cameras, lenses, tripods, and even some accessories. Due to the nature of our work, we will oftentimes be out-and-about with our camera equipment, which involves the risk of losing our gear, having it stolen, or even damaged by the elements. These things can innocently happen to the best of us, and if/when they do happen it's much better to be prepared than to be without a camera, or your savings ... or to ask complete … [Read more...] about Photographers: Be Smart, Be Safe, Be Insured
There are many things that you need to consider when starting a photography business, such as what you want to photograph, a name for your business, etc. In some ways, those are the easy parts, since we have full control over building our portfolio and our website, or even getting a logo perfectly designed to suit our tastes. However, what about the people that want to work with? Where do you go to look for clients? How do you create a solid brand with repeat customers? These are the tough parts of business that you need in order to be … [Read more...] about Five Tips to Grow Your Photography Business
A common clause that pops up more and more with photo (and especially video) jobs is work for hire. It's important that you realize what this term means and how it changes the relationship you have with the photos or footage that you shoot. How things change Normally, as a photographer, you are automatically recognized as the copyright holder for the images you make (at least in the US and many other countries). Of course there are additional benefits to registering your work which provides the opportunity to collect more damages if your … [Read more...] about Know Your Rights. What is Work for Hire?
We're always on the lookout for high-quality educational opportunities for our readers. The folks over at the American Society of Media Photographers have an upcoming webinar that looks interesting. The event is free if you attend it live. The New Photojournalism: Revolutionaries Speak Out Tuesday, December 10, 2013 1:00 - 2:00 pm Eastern … [Read more...] about Check Out this Free Webinar on Photojournalism
Through the years, Ive learned a lot of lessons the hard way. While every project is unique, it often seems that the problems remain the same. If you are doing a personal project, think of yourself as the client. Here are a few questions I always encourage asking at the start of any video project: Who is our ultimate customer? Projects often have many parties involved. Be sure that you know who youre responsible to keep happy. Who is the target audience? Who should we design the video for so it appeals to their tastes and interests. There is … [Read more...] about Essential Questions to Ask at the Beginning of a Video Project
The growth of broadband video has had an impact on the viewing habits of its users. Want to increase your business opportunities, start making and posting videos for your clients. Befiore you say its too hard... consider these facts. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, in 2013: 31% of American adult internet users upload or post videos online. 18% of American adult internet users post videos they have created or recorded themselvesmany of whom hope their creations go viral. 78% of American adult internet users watch … [Read more...] about Need More Money for Your Photo Business? Check Out The Growth of Video
Trey Ratcliff has made a tremendous impact with HDR photography. In this talk he addresses how technology has changed the way we create awareness, connect ideas, and portray the world. Have a listen as this is a great talk that will expand how you think about photography and the role of the photographer in society. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBFY1wCT0K4 -A] Be sure to check out Trey's excellent site Stuck in Customs. ______ … [Read more...] about Trey Ratcliff Explains His History with HDR
Coming from a broadcast journalism background, Ive had the privilege of interviewing some of the most unique talents from various respective fields. My life right out of college was spent chasing down the stories and thoughts of professional athletes, politicians, professors, CEOs, humanitarians, musicians and what later came, photographers. But let's be honest. Grabbing a microphone and a cameraman for a sound bite to fill the 10 o'clock news was always just a temporary excuse to fulfill my eager necessity to learn something. Every human … [Read more...] about Six Principles to Help You Progress
Whether you're a new professional or thirty years into your business, there's always the chance of landing a deadbeat client who doesn't pay their bill. But there are several reasons you might not be paid by a client (and most have little to do with a dissatisfied client, aggressive behavior, or conspiracy). Here are a few practical strategies I employ at my business: Use s systems of deposits. We will bill incrementally for work. An initial deposit, another if substantial pre-production is required. A bill upon initiation of shooting. … [Read more...] about How to Avoid Getting Stiffed on Your Next Photo Job
Several years back when I was just starting out as a photographer I was focused on increasing my technical skills, getting my images clean and sharp and, at a very basic level, I was just trying to make beautiful photographs. Eventually I learned that photographers should have or adopt a certain "style" to their images. So then I started wondering ... did I have a style? If I did, I couldn't see it, and eventually my friend Scott Bourne let me in on what he could see: I did have a distinct style! That was music to my ears. Knowing that piece … [Read more...] about Don’t Force Your Style
This is a guest post by Skip Cohen. Be sure to check out Skip Cohen University August 11-14 in Chicago. A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so. Mahatma Gandhi A year ago I joined Trip Advisor. The reason was a request from one of our favorite … [Read more...] about Consumer Strength: The Power of Social Media
This is a guest post by Skip Cohen. Be sure to check out Skip Cohen University August 11-14 in Chicago. I know everybody would love to just close the book on 2012, but even though we're half way through this new year, think about last year for a minute. As you analyze last year, think about what you really need to do better, instead of blaming things on what you think is a boring name, logo or site design, the "frosting". So often we all do the same thing - we blame the challenges on the "low hanging fruit", the easiest things we might … [Read more...] about Are You Tired of Your Image?
NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE: The Photofocus Podcast Feed HAS CHANGED! Here is the new feed: feed://feeds.feedburner.com/photofocuspodcast Get the show here or get it on iTunes PLEASE BE PATIENT - OUR SERVERS SEE LARGE LOADS ON PUBLISHING DAYS. THE DOWNLOADS MAY GO SLOWLY BUT THEY WILL FINISH. Join RIch and Scott as they take a quick look at 3 new cameras. Scott offers his insights o n the Fujifilm X100S. Rich then talks about first impressions of testing the Pentax WG-3 GPS rugged camera for shooting sports and underwater. Last is a look … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast with Special Guest Skip Cohen
I know it's a cheesy image for the title, but it's an image with a story so bear with me. I made this picture a few months ago and it happened to be at a pivotal time for my family. We were visiting Oregon from Utah and were suddenly considering moving to Oregon, and life was feeling a lot like this image: we had a clear road in front of us, but we couldn't see where it ended. Moving my family and my photography business to a new state where we had no contacts has been the scariest venture I've ever undertaken because I don't have anything … [Read more...] about Walk the Road To Freedom – Taking Risks With Your Photography Business
Creative professionals are facing a wealth of problems when it comes to pricing. I have found that many are running a race to the bottom. Gear keeps getting cheaper, which is a good thing in many ways. The problem lies in the cost barrier. Being a professional used to have a certain barrier to entry with gear, computers, and software creating a certain threshold of investment. These days most of those restrictions are gone. Add to this sudden influx hundreds of schools pumping out graduates and you have a cluttered workplace. I do not say … [Read more...] about Playing Fair In Business
There are many ways and many things you should consider when launching your photography business. This post is just a little idea starter. I'm not including every single thing I can think of here on purpose. It's easy to get overwhelmed. Instead, I am concentrating on some things that are generally easy to do and that have worked for me. Give them a try. 1. Build a blog. I think that a blog is more important than just about anything when you're starting a new company. Build a blog. You can get a free one at Blogger.com or at Wordpress.com. … [Read more...] about Seven Steps To Building Your Photography Business
I admit that one of the reasons I don't work with many human models is that I've had mostly bad experiences. When I go to photograph eagles, bears, wolves, race cars, mountains, streams, etc., they are always there - when and where they are supposed to be. But working with models; especially very young or inexperienced models, can be a very trying experience. I've been burned too many times to count. This post is designed to make you aware of the pitfalls of working with models, how to avoid the flakes and lastly, to let you know this could be … [Read more...] about Photographers: Working With Models & Dealing With The Flakes
Pricing photography is the second hardest thing you will ever do as a professional photographer. (Finding the right clients is the first hardest.) It's very easy to make mistakes when pricing and once they're made, it's hard to recover from them. So start out right. Here is a run down of some very basic advice based completely on what has and has not worked for me in the past. Use it at your own risk. One more disclaimer: Not every pricing method works for every photographer. Much depends on the current state of the market and the genre (i.e., … [Read more...] about Pricing Photography
I'm proud to once again be on the teaching faculty at Skip's Summer School for 2012. I've taught at each of these events and hands-down, they have been some of my favorite in the industry. Skip's Summer School had turned into the most amazing boutique photo conference in the business and this year, Skip's managed to make it better. It's one of the best programs and faculty ever assembled and there are some new components that people have asked for in survey after survey. Before I talk about the up-coming program, here's a three minute look … [Read more...] about Photographers: It’s Time To Register For Summer School
Since Apple has more cash on hand than most countries, I figure they might not be a bad company to use as a model. While this is very simplified, it shows you the path that you might want to consider if you want the kind of success Mr. Jobs enjoyed at Apple. I've distilled the following ideas from a series of articles I read about Mr. Jobs and then converted them to something that should be relevant to most professional photographers. 1. Try to look at your business as a way to solve other people's problems not just a place that sells 8x10" … [Read more...] about Run Your Photo Business (or take pictures) Like Steve Jobs Ran Apple
I used to shoot weddings. I actually enjoyed doing it. I made a great deal of money doing it and met some nice people. But it's very hard work and requires serious dedication. Many photographers avoid doing weddings for these reasons. For those of you who want to break into the wedding market I'll share three things with you that I wish I would have known before I took the leap. 1. Being a wedding photographer has MUCH more to do with being able to establish, and maintain good relationships than it does photography. You can be the best … [Read more...] about Three Tips For New Wedding Photographers
Sometimes I just want to run to the printer and have them make 10,000 bumper stickers that say "It's not the economy stupid - it's that you suck!" I've been using serious photo gear in a serious manner since the early 1970s. It didn't used to be this bad - I don't think. But it seems like the notion of customer service is completely foreign to many camera companies and their related brothers and sisters. So here's a partial list (just five stupid things in no particular order) that photo-related companies do. I don't expect these companies … [Read more...] about Five Stupid Things That Photo-Related Companies Do
What's the difference between a cozy house and one that's too small? What's the difference between international and world class? Are you a portrait photographer or a portraitist? Are you a an image maker or a picture taker? Do you take pictures or make photographic art? I think you get the point. If you're trying to make a living as a photographer, you should be able to describe what you do in 10 compelling words (or less.) A simple description such as - "lifestyle wedding photographer," might be better than a long, drawn out description … [Read more...] about How Do You Tell People You’re A Photographer?
Everyone - and I mean everyone has a camera. So what can you do to stand out from the crowd? Here are five tips. 1. Develop your own style Ever seen an Ansel Adams photograph and known it was by Ansel before you saw his signature? That's because he had a certain style to his work that was immediately recognizable. If you develop a personal style, chances are it will set you apart as long as you're consistent with it. 2. Photograph a niche I photograph lots of things but primarily, I photograph birds. Before that I spent years primarily … [Read more...] about Five Ways To Make Sure Your Photography Stands Out
Recently, I half jokingly posted this Tweet on Twitter. "I'm consulting with a wedding #photog studio selling against a studio doing $500 weddings. Our new ad - "We fix $500 wedding photography." I repeat, I was half-joking. I knew it might be a bit controversial given the fact that people who inhabit social media tend to be reactionary and don't always stop and think before they react. (Me included) But I guess I wasn't prepared for death threats - again. More on that later. The point I was really trying to make was that people who call … [Read more...] about And You Call Yourself a Professional?
If you are a pro or going pro, you have probably realized that the business side of photography is just like any other business. It's hard work. I've been at it a while and I've compiled this list to help you grow RIGHT NOW. 1. Own Your Own Zip Code Don't spend another second worrying about becoming a nationally-known photo rock star. Don't worry about breaking out onto the national photo speaking circuit. Don't worry about trying to get on Oprah. Just worry about owning your own zip code. It doesn't matter where you live, YOU should be the … [Read more...] about Five Things You Can Do Right Now To Grow Your Photography Business