10 Publishing/Printing Solutions For Your Photographs

20 04 2010

How do you present your photographs to your clients? Do you hand them a CD – or do you present their images in an album or photo book? Digital technology has made album and book options available in a variety of formats. Take a look at these 10 publishing and printing solutions, and give your clients more options than ever.

Walter’s Publishing
From yearbooks, to prom books, to sports books and posters, to wedding books, you’ll have a full array of options through Walter’s Publishing to help you reach out to your clients.

Mpix
Mpix gives you a variety of options, from online album and sales, to photo books and greeting cards. Mpix is an online division of Miller’s Professional Imaging, and has the resources to help you with all your printing needs.

Black River Imaging
Black River Imaging offers a variety of album options. Check out their Mosaic albums, with color options to match any ideas you or your clients may have.

Black River Imaging

Renaissance Albums
Take a look at Renaissance’s new SOHO albums. Designed to offer panoramic spreads throughout the entire album, they are perfect choices for your coffee table albums.

Albums Inc
Looking for a complete album company to help you with all of your album needs? Check out Albums Inc – now carrying Zookbinders albums too.

Zookbinders
One of your best choices for albums, Zookbinders offers you a ton of sizes and options for your designs.

Vision Art Book
Looking for a true hardback book with dust cover and all? Check out Vision Art Book.

AsukaBook
AsukaBook gives you many options, including their NeoClassic and Zen book, with lay flat pages.

Neil Enterprises
Neil Enterprises has some great options for giving your clients a CD or DVD. With leather bound cases, multiple images on the cover and/or inside, these are great additions to go along with your album sales.

Bay Photo
Bay Photo has a wide variety of album options in many sizes, shapes and colors. Check out their Bay Boxes to put loose prints in.

Price and package your photography





5 Cool Ways To Make Your Photography Stand Out From The Competition

16 04 2010

fotoflot
Have you ever photographed something full frame, that’s perfect edge to edge? Then you try and frame it and you end up losing some of the nuances of the image? Try floating your image instead. With fotoflot, you don’t have to worry about glass, mats or frames. Your image can be seen side to side, with nothing to get in the way of your true meaning.

fotoflot

Animoto
Business are using video to promote their products and services at record levels – almost 85 percent of all businesses are using video in some manner. If you want to move ahead of your competition, and put something brand new to work for you on your website or Read the rest of this entry »





What All Photographers Are Really Missing

14 01 2010

One of the things that hit me today was his talk on abundance. One of his ending questions was, “What would abundance look like for you today if you were to have everything you want?” and “What makes me wealthy today?”

Wealth isn’t something associated with money, although that may be a part of it. Wealth is how happy you are with every aspect of your life. It’s more than just financial; its also about your relationships, your physical well being, and your overall happiness with life and career. You can have a ton of money, but if you have no relationships and no one to share it with, is it really worth it?

As a photographer, you’re probably passionate about your photography. But even if you love doing what you currently are, what would make you even happier?

If you are currently photographing a variety of things – weddings, portraits, commercial, models, etc – what would make you happy if you could do nothing but that all day long every day?

Surfing around today I found an upcoming photo festival – Maui Photo Festival. Where else can you go to a seminar, use it as a business expense, and learn about what you love in an incredibly beautiful area?

I also began looking at some of the speakers. The creator of Maui Photo Festival, Randy Jay Braun, has an amazing business in Hawaii. He sells his artwork out of his own gallery, and off his website. He runs photo safaris and workshops throughout the year. And he does a select amount of portraits when he has the time. His portraits are anything but unique – instead they are an experience. He works with hula dancers, and provides them with the experience of creating a unique hula lei and skirt, and providing a complete photo session built around the dance. At $1650 per session, it’s not your average portrait.

randy jay braun

Randy Jay Braun has found a way to do what he loves and build a life around that love. I know plenty of photographers that have followed in his footsteps. And I know plenty that have not.

If you are jumping into photography because you love taking pictures, and are letting the idea of a general photographer dictate what you offer, you haven’t found your true happiness. Ask yourself these questions.

  • If I could spend every day photographing, what would it be of?
  • Who would see my photographs?
  • Who would buy my photographs?
  • Where would I live?
  • How would I live?
  • How much money do I need to sustain the type of lifestyle I’m dreaming of?

Once you have answers to your questions, how can you build a business around it? Remember anything is possible. Being able to do what you love and get paid for it too is an amazing thing to have in your life.

Helping your photography business, how to start a photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.





Photographers – Make Your Own Light Reflector

29 09 2009

Are you starting your own photography business? Then you know the value of learning how to make your own light reflector. Not only can it save you money to invest somewhere else, but it can also give you a quick way to instantly improve your photography.
When shooting portraits outside, it’s easy to tuck people next to trees and near buildings to avoid the harsh sunlight. But sometimes you find a scene that would be perfect for your client – yet the direct sunlight is streaming in. That’s when a lift reflector comes in handy.
When people talk about light reflectors, they are usually talking about one of two things.  A light reflector that bounces the light.

A light diffuser that softens the light.

A light reflector generally comes in two colors, silver and gold. Silver provides a bright reflection; gold provides a warmer, softer glow. Both are designed to be used close to the subject, using the light as a directional source to bounce back into the subjects face. Play with the reflector until you get the lighting you are looking for – its easy to see results just by tilting the reflector.
A light diffuser is made of white material, and is designed to absorb the light, soften it, and spread it evenly over the subject. The larger the diffuser, the more area you can block from the sunlight. We always carry at least to 3 foot by 6 foot panels with us to make sure we can have soft lighting no matter where we are.
While many different types of reflectors are available from stores and through various Internet sites, there is an advantage to learning how to make your own light reflector.
1. You can make as many as you choose. Save even more by buying in bulk or by watching for sales.
2. Build a frame and change out materials. Less to carry in your equipment pack.
3. Create the sizes you need most.
Want to learn how to make your own light reflector? We’ve used this blueprint for years in our own studio. I know you’re going to love it.





Photographers – Get Exposure Through Photography Directories

15 09 2009

Imagine a bride heads to Google to start her search for her wedding. She types in wedding planning, and starts sifting through the sites that come up in the results.

Very quickly she’s going to find her favorites, and rely on them throughout the planning process.

That’s where directories can help you.

Everyone knows how to use a search engine – Google, Yahoo, MSN. Yet there are thousands of niche directories that make it easier to find things in select industries.

Let’s look at some directories that may be of benefit to you.

 

Eventective
A directory catering to event planning within the USA and Canada. Makes it easy to find everything from musicians and catering, to photo and video services. Create a text listing for free, or upgrade to city or metro listings from $72 per year.

eventective

PartyPop
A directory for party, event and wedding planning. This directory has been around a long time, and continues to rank high under various key terms. Add your link for free.

partypop

PhotographyPros
A directory for everything photography. You can list your business under a variety of niches, and even has photography related sections for niches such as make up artists and picture framing.

photography pros

VirtualPhotographyStudio
Our very own directory for photographers to list their businesses. We have thousands of photographers listed, and it’s used as a resource every single day. Make sure you’re listed – it’s free.

virtual directory





Fine Art Photography – An Easy Way To Find Your Next Festival

29 05 2009

One of the things I love about the summertime in the Rockies is the arts festivals. I know I’m not alone in loving to hit the great outdoors, and walk through some amazing artwork at the same time.

Andrew and I also have a new interest as our future goal is to start building up ourdowntown denver arts festival own fine art photography business.

So this weekend, we’ll be heading out to Downtown Denver Arts Festival, featuring Colorado artists, and 18 Colorado photographers.

I went to their site just to learn more about the festival, the submission process, and a few other details. And in the process found a great resource to share with you.

The Downtown Denver Arts Festival (and as it turns out hundreds of other arts festivals) use a program called Zapplication.

zapplication

You can head to one source, fill out your application, upload your sample images, and begin applying to the festivals you are interested in attending. Each festival provides more information, including time/location of the event, and deadlines for submitting your application.

They provide a wealth of help sections and resource guides to answer all of your questions on the process, and how to take full advantage of using the system to get into more shows without wasting your time repeating the application process over and over again.  

I’ve now added Zapp to my favorites.

What resources do you have for finding easy ways to get into art shows?

Helping your photography business, how to start a digital wedding photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.





How To Take Better Pictures

14 05 2009

Have you ever wished you could take better pictures?

As a photographer, I know you love taking photographs. You probably bring your camera everywhere, ready to snap the candids every chance you have. But what about posing people for a more professional portrait. Can you easily jump in and set up groups easily? Or does it put a touch of fear into your heart?

Andrew and I have been busy creating a wonderful new program for everyone that nodded their heads when they read that last question.

We both understand that feeling well. When we first started out, posing was hard. When you have a group of people looking to you for guidance, where do you start? And before you ever get started, where do you meet them? Can you really find places right around your studio that will create great backgrounds?

That’s the idea behind 9to5PhotoTips.com Head over and watch our first few videos. We take the complex and break it down into very simple steps. We want you to be able to take one idea, learn a little about it, head out into the field and apply it immediately.

9to5phototips

Head over to 9to5PhotoTips.com and watch the videos. Then leave me a comment or send me an email – I’d love to know what you think.





Photography Business – Increasing Your Awareness In Slow Times

30 04 2009

What are you doing to stay in touch with your customers?

Every business is seeing a changiStock_000003693793XSmalle this year. What you sold last year may not be selling this year. Your sales and profits are probably a bit different too. 

But its not that there isn’t business to be found out there. There are a ton of photography studios making money – good money – even as you read this.

In the words of Jeffrey Gitomer:
“Business is not down, it’s different.”

So what are you doing to “be different” as well?

One of the greatest assets of my business was my quarterly newsletter. I filled it with a ton of information and dozens of photographed. My clients cherished these newsletters – they really were almost like a mini magazine.

Keeping in touch with your customers is vitally important. When they are talking with a friend or acquaintance, and the conversation turns to photography, you want them instantly to think of you. And to refer and recommend you.

But its expensive to create a mailing today. There’s the hours of designing the perfect mailer. The weeks involved in getting it printed and mailed. The cost of the piece itself. Plus the cost of shipping each piece (and postage is going up in May.)

While I still use snail mail for occasional promotions, my full attention has turned to email. Where else can you communicate with clients whenever you wish for such a reasonable price?

My preferred method is with Aweber. For $20 a month, you can email up to 500 people as often as you choose. You can create a monthly newsletter, or ezine (if you get mine every month, you’ve seen the system in action), send out special announcements, and even create follow up autoresponders. I’ve used this system for years, and couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

So why is staying in touch more important now then ever? Because your competition is slowly pulling away from marketing – and is quickly going out of business.

The true winners in today’s economy are the business owners that see opportunity. They know people still have money to spend. It’s a matter of finding those people, and showing them your value. That’s easy to do with newsletters.

  • Show them your latest portrait.
  • Link them to your latest blog post.
  • Showcase your latest wedding.

It will put ideas into your clients’ minds. And make them have a strong desire to choose you.





Equipment Needed For a Wedding Photography Business

26 03 2009

If you are contemplating opening a wedding photography studio, use these guidelines to help you understand what equipment is needed for a photography business.

To start, spend a few minutes thinking about the type of photography you will be offering your clients.  Will you be photographing commercial work? Are you in your studio, photographing portraiture? Are you out on location photographing weddings, and traveling to many different states and countries? Will you be offering your clients a combination of these services?

Once you have a goal in mind for your business, then you can begin gathering the proper equipment.

To give you an idea of what I consider to be the minimum amount of equipment needed, I’ve created the following list.

Equipment needed for photography business

*At least 2 camera bodies. At all times, under any circumstance, you should always have at least 2 camera bodies. Not only is it important to have an extra in case one shuts down or quits working, but it’s also nice to be able to have two cameras ready with different lenses – so you are ready to capture anything at any time.

* Flash cards. Most photographers are now shooting with digital cameras. Having a variety of flash cards handy is a must. I recommend having several available for each of your camera bodies. I don’t recommend buying large cards with capacity to do an entire shoot. If you have an error in your card (low chance, but you never now), you’re better off using a variety of cards for different portions of your shoot.

* Laptop computer. And shoot can be better managed if you can place your flash cards into your laptop at the time of the shoot, download the images, and save them to one or more sources. You can view the images, and begin organizing them immediately.

* Lenses. I feel lenses are a personal choice, depending on the type of photography you will offering. Have a variety to use in many circumstances. Fast shutters are great for low light situations. Telephoto lenses are great for working event photography.

* Flash units. Depending on your photography specialization, you will need to have at least one on-camera flash unit, and at least one stand alone flash unit for a more controlled light source.

* Internet access. This is a must for any business, old or new. With Internet access, you should monitor your own website to market your business, and should have the ability to connect with your lab for quick results.

With these basic pieces, your photography studio will be off and running in no time at all. The better prepared you are at the beginning, the easier it will be to grow along the way.

Helping your photography business, how to start a photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.





5 Ways A Photographer Can Go Green

23 03 2009

The world is a buzzgreen living with talk of “going green”. I was in the bookstore earlier this week, and was amazed they now have an entire section on green living. As a photographer and a business owner, I’ve lived an eco-friendly life for a long time. But once you start focusing on it, it is easy to come up with more things you can do. 

Here are 5 ways you can start living greener as a photographer.

1. A great place to start is to become a member of Greener Photography. It’s a way of connecting with other photographers dedicated to finding environmentally safe ways to run your photography business. [Check out my article on working virtually]

2. Use eco-friendly products. GP Albums just announced a new eco-friendly photo album, The Green Photo Album. It’s made from 100 percent recycled content, and the pages are processed chlorine free, acid free and lignin free. They’re also made with electricity generated from windmills – how cool is that!

3. Choose vendors that have eco-friendly options. ProDPI Lab is an environmentally conscious professional photo lab that does everything from sending all invoices and statements electronically to avoid wood use, energy use, and waste water from paper manufacturing; to having several green photo paper options including a 100 percent PCW recycled photo matte paper.

4. Choose vendors that are close to you, and don’t require a ton of transportation to get the products to you. Your carbon footprint is measured by the amount of carbon dioxide that goes into the atmosphere as you go about your daily life. Shipping products half way around the world would therefore create a larger contribution than finding something in your hometown. Find fun, new ideas by doing a search online, and following some of your favorite blogs. I love Blue Orchid Designs, 100 Layer Cake, and Photojojo to get you started.

5. Create a virtual office. Email contracts, brochures, information kits, and newsletters to prospects instead of snail mailing. Do business through email and phone instead of meeting in person. Work with companies that package and mail final products directly to your customers, instead of requiring double mailings (first to you, and then to your customers).

image source doug88888








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