What Photography Task Are You Doing Every Day?

18 05 2011

So you want to be a full time photographer – what have you done in the past week?

Human nature has us doing the things we love, and avoiding the things we don’t.

If we hate sales, we’ll let the customer control the entire buying process.

If we hate networking, we’ll wait around for the phone to ring.

The trouble is, as a business owner, you can’t wait for things to happen, or you won’t be in business for very long. You have to control the situation, and make sure everything comes to you.

So my question to you is, “what have you done in the past week?”

To find out, take out a notebook and record everything you do this coming week. Don’t leave anything out. Even if it seems trivial, write it down. You may find things like:

  • answering email – 30 minutes
  • shopping for camera equipment – 60 minutes
  • surfing websites – 60 minutes
  • photoshopping sample photographs – 50 minutes
  • talking on phone – 45 minutes
  • buying office supplies – 50 minutes

· and so on

Now that you have your list, what does it say about your business? Are you doing things to grow your business, or just plain busy work?

While you do have to spend time on the above mentioned items, if your entire week looks like that, you’re not accomplishing goals that will grow your business. You should have things like:

  • networking function – 90 minutes
  • mailing postcards – 45 minutes
  • cold calling – 30 minutes
  • blogging and Twittering – 30 minutes per day
  • trade show booth – 1 day

Most of your time should be devoted to revenue earning tasks – or your business will no longer exist in a mere few months.

Now that you’ve seen what you’ve been doing with your week, try and write goals for the following week. Change your tasks to revenue tasks – and stick with it. Your business will thank you.





5 Questions That Will Make You A Successful Photographer In 2011

14 12 2010

Thinking about the New Year? I know I am. I’ve been making plans for weeks now, and already have several great ideas lined up for the first couple of months.

Success doesn’t just happen; it’s created. And the more you plan for it, the more likely success will find you. Whether you have or have not started making plans for 2011, take a look at these 5 questions, and use it to move your business one step closer to success.

What do I want to accomplish in 2011?

If you’ve found yourself asking this question, writing down goals, and planning your first promotion for the New Year, you’re well on your way to success. You’re making plans instead of waiting for things to happen to you. If not, its time to do exactly that. Sit down and make your list of goals today.

How can I make 2011 better than 2010?

No matter how good (or bad) business was in 2010, there are always ways to improve. What would make your 2011 better? Would you move from part time to full time? Would you increase your sales by 20 percent? Would you book an additional 5 weddings? Stretch your mind, and take your goals as far as you can.

How can I improve my photography in 2011?

Planning on going to any conventions in 2011? WPPI will be coming up in a few short weeks – we’ve attended that one for years. Do a quick search online and you’ll find dozens of different training possibilities to help you improve your photography skills. And whether you’ve been photographing for 1 month or 50 years, there is always something new you can learn that will give you a new way to look through the lens of your camera.

How can I improve my business in 2011?

If you have your own studio, it isn’t enough to be great at photography. You also have to be great at business. Don’t just take in what you learn at a photography convention, open up to possibilities beyond photography. Can you take a marketing class from a marketing guru? How about read a book from a social media expert? Business rules don’t hold true within one industry; they can be used across the board in all fields. And it may give you an idea that no one else is using within the photographic community.

What can I do to help someone in a new way in 2011?

It’s the ol’ “givers gain” philosophy. The more you give, the more you get. Ask anyone that is truly successful how they give back and they will provide a host of ways they participate in the givers gain philosophy. They may tithe 10 percent of their income. They may belong to a charity and participate frequently. The important thing is they recognize that to be well rounded, and truly successful in every way, you have to share what you have in some 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.

 





Does Your Studio Need A Newsletter?

18 11 2010

Photography businesses have an advantage over most other businesses: they have amazing images that everyone is interested in and loves to look at.

So why not put those images to good use, and have them bring in business?

In today’s world, small business owners always talk about “cheap” or “free”. I’m a small business owner, and I too love tools I can use for free. But because most small businesses are resorting to using free tools, we’re also seeing a ton of opportunity in more traditional areas. And that includes newsletters.

How much junk mail comes to your home and/or studio these days?

For me, it’s diminished considerably. I love going through junk mail, and have found some great ideas by looking at other marketing campaigns. I even have a basket filled with junk mail – if it’s a great idea, I hang on to it so I can use it myself someday. But over the past 1-2 years, I’ve added very little to my basket.

So this screams of opportunity.

A newsletter isn’t something you mail in bulk to a mailing list. Instead, its something you send out to people that have a true interest.

  • Clients
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Members of your church
  • Vendors you work with
  • Prospects that call or email for more information
  • Lists of people that attend a charity event you participate in

Think about the newsletter you get from your local realtor. (I’m pretty sure you get something from a realtor – I get several myself.) They include a calendar with the local team’s schedule, tips on remodeling your home, and seasonal tips for keeping your home value up to date. You may even see neighborhood homes that recently sold, and what the value is. None of its personal, but it does give you good quality information that you can use.

Online Newsletter Resource

Use that same philosophy. Create a newsletter that People can use. Include fun tips about photography, or about your local area. Make it pertinent to your community. Then add the photographs. If you photograph weddings, load it up with your favorite images. If you shoot real estate, showcase your best work. Maybe even have a contest and show off the winner. Give a small prize to the winner, and you’ll have an even better promotion.

Still like the idea of going green? Give people that option. Put your same newsletter on your website, and email it out as well. Or change it up and put different information out online. Give them a reason for both.

The idea is to promote your business to the people that already love you – your clients and the people that know you best. Just by putting your information in front of them once in a while, you’re sure to get a whole new influx of business.

image source

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.





Want To Improve Your Flash Photography Skills?

4 06 2010

“How do I use flash on outdoor portraits and still have my portraits look natural?”

“How do I light up the dance floor in a dark reception hall?”

“How do I use off camera flash?”

I receive questions like these almost daily. Flash is definitively one area that can make or break a photographer. Knowing how to use flash can improve your photography, and if your clients see the difference, they will be willing to pay for the difference.

There are two ways to learn about lighting.

1. You can buy several types of flash units, and keep trying. Experiment with the lighting in different situations, and see what you get. Keep experimenting until you get the results you are looking for, and can achieve the same results time and again.

2. Learn from a professional. A professional can give you a ton of advice in a short period of time, offering you tips and tricks along the way.

Are you ready to shortcut your learning curve, and improve your flash photography skills today?

I found a great resource this week that I think you’re going to love. Edward Verosky just released a new ebook called Flash Photography: How To Get Amazing light In Any Improve Your Flash Photography SkillsSituation. I’ve had a chance to go through it, and the advice is right on target. He keeps it simple, and shows you exactly what to do in many situations using photographs, diagrams, and step by step advice.

What makes this a great resource is how he presents the material. He shares ideas by actually showing you photographs he’s taken within his own studio. He gives you a diagram to show you exactly how he set up the image (where he set the subject, how the flash units were set up around the subject, where the camera angle was, etc) and shares his camera and flash settings. By seeing both the diagram and the final image, along with the description of how the final result was achieved, its easy to set up your own subject in a similar manner.

Whether you keep this as an ebook on your computer, put it on your iPad for bringing with you, or print it off for a handy field guide, this is one resource you’re going to love having. If flash has ever raised a question in your mind, grab this up. For only $9.95 a copy, you can’t go wrong.

Buy Flash Photography: How To Get Amazing light In Any Situation Now>>





How To Use Facebook To Promote Your Photography Business

5 05 2010

Let me ask you a question. Are you using Facebook for your business?

If you are like most people I speak with, you would answer like this:

“I have a profile and I have around 50 friends, mostly personal friends.”

or

“I’ve set up a page for my business, but I really don’t know what to do with it.”

Facebook only starts to work for your business if you commit to using it for business, and work to grow it. Correctly. Because of Facebook’s strong Terms and Policies, making sure you do things the right with is hugely important. The last thing you want is to build up a big following, and be shut down because you aren’t using it correctly.

facebooklogo

First, learn the difference between Facebook’s three tools: Profiles, Pages and Groups.

Facebook Profiles
When you first sign up with Facebook, you’ll start with a profile. Your profile is all about you; not your business, your product, or your service. Your profile is created by using your real first and last name. Then you fill your profile with your personal information. Add as much or as little as you like. But remember your profile is your window to the world. If someone is deciding on whether to do business with you, this helps break the ice and gives the opportunity to find something in common.

Facebook Page
A Facebook Page, also called a Fan Page, is for businesses, brands, organizations, or celebrity/public figure. Your page is all about business, and is the one place you can actively promote what Read the rest of this entry »





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.





Celebrating Earth Day Through Photographs

22 04 2009

Happy Earth Day! As a way of celebrating Earth Day, I decided to share photograph tips, sites, and strategies that have caught my eye this week. Enjoy! earth

Earth: From A Different Point Of View
Think its hard taking photographs here on earth? Try taking them from space. Not only does this post have amazing images taken from space, you even get a tutorial on how it was done.

Kodak and Earth Day
What is Kodak doing to make planet Earth a better place to live? Find out how Kodak is focusing on environmental issues.

2009 Earth Day Photo Contest For Students
Have a child in grades 5-8? Have them create a photograph showing our changing world. They may win a digital camera.

Earth Day Photo Project
Have a Flickr account? Join the EPA in putting together a photo project showcasing the many aspects of Earth Day.

Earth Mosaic
What are you doing today? Now imagine one large photograph showing what everyone in the world is doing in honor of Earth Day. That’s the premise behind Earth Mosaic.

Photojojo – Recycled seat Belt Camera Straps
I love this place – where do they find those funky ideas? Check out these recycled seat belt camera straps, an interesting idea.

image source sachyn








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