This Is How Much Digital Cameras Have Changed In The Past Decade

3 10 2010

It’s amazing to see how much things can change in a decade. Ten years ago, we invested in our first digital camera, and were amazed with the storage space on our 256 megabyte cards. Now a simple point and shoot consumer grade camera has more bells and whistles than our original DSLR.

Pricing Your Photography

Speed now is everything. A decade ago you could shoot at a maximum burst speed of 8 fps for up to 16 RAW frames. Today it’s at 10 fps for up to 28 RAW frames. And if you really want to show movement, with today’s Mark IV, simply turn to video mode, and capture everything as it happens.

While speed and functionality have changed considerably, the one thing that’s remained constant is cost. For about the same price as you paid a decade ago (not taking into account inflation or any other economic factors of course) you can purchase a workhorse camera perfect for the professional photographer.

Using Your Photographs The Right Way In Your Blog

23 09 2010

Do you blog on a regular basis? One of the things I love about blogging is how easy I canWedding At The Ritz Aspen Colorado share information with readers. But that doesn’t mean I only think about the text. I also think about the structure of the post as well. While my ultimate goal is to write quality content for my readers, there’s nothing wrong with attracting a little Google attention as well.

As a photographer, you should be inserting at least one photograph in every post you do. And when you insert a photograph, you need to make sure you do it in the right way, and use these three steps every time before you hit the publish button. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Reasons Professional Photographers Charge What They Do

7 07 2010
10. Professional photographers are in business, and as a business, need to make a profit. Because they make it their career, they dedicate themselves to becoming the best they can be, and share that knowledge with their clientele.

9. Professional photographers have to buy professional equipment. Nope, they don’t just pick up a point-and-shoot from Wal-Mart and declare themselves a professional. They spend thousands upon thousands of dollars getting multiple camera bodies, the finest lenses, flash equipment for every situation, tripods, light stands, backdrops, props, carrying and storage cases. And then when you think you have it all – you need to get backups for everything to make sure you never miss an image.

8. Professional photographers continue their education, and learn as much as they can about the business. They join groups like Professional Photographers of America or the National Press Photographers Association. They attend seminars and training by some of the best names in the business. They concentrate on becoming the best they can be.

7. Professional photographers don’t just snap a picture, they create a photograph. They understand positioning. They understand lighting. They understand placement. You’re not just paying for the ability to place a finger on the trigger and snap a picture. You’re paying for the years of experience it took to create the perfect image.

6. Professional photographers can spend hours producing one professional photograph. Time can include:

  • creating the marketing
  • answering emails and phone calls
  • meeting with the client to talk about the event
  • setting up for the event
  • drive time to and from the event
  • time for the actual photographing
  • running to and from the lab
  • meeting with the client for previews and decisions
  • processing the image
  • retouching the image
  • mounting the image
  • framing the image
  • packaging the image
  • dropping off final images
  • production work
  • follow up work
  • Add it all up, and you can see why one portrait session may include hours worth of work. It’s impossible to stay in business if you only make a few pennies per client.

    5. Professional photographers have to be more than photographers. They have to be CEOs and marketers, and bankers, and salespeople, and production workers, and janitors, and buyers, and negotiators, and networkers, and drivers, and organizers. And photographers. That’s a lot of skills for one person to master.

    4. Professional photographers will do it all. Want to get married at the top of a 14,000 foot high mountain, where the only way up is a 30 minute ski-lift ride? A professional photographer will be there. Want a portrait running through the waves on a Southern California beach? A professional photographer will be there.

    3. Professional photographers aren’t just order takers, they provide total customer service. Professionals photograph dozens or even hundreds of clients a year. They understand what looks good, how to put together albums, and how to group multiple photographs together. Their goal is to provide you with what you need and what’s best for you – not just have you sign on the dotted line.

    2. Professional photographers watch for the newest, most innovative, creative products available. They stay up to date on industry news, and find things that perfectly match their clients taste. They don’t try and fit you into something you don’t like – they find out what you want and search the world over for the perfect things. They are the professional.

    1. Professional photographers have the knowledge and the skill to make you look the best you can be. I can buy a hammer for a few dollars at the hardware store. Yet I spent hundreds of dollars for a handyman to repair my deck. I can buy a needle and thread for a few dollars at the fabric store. Yet I spent over $100 on alterations at a local tailor. It’s not about the tools; it’s about the outcome.
    Sure, anyone can buy a camera and take a picture. You can head down to your local discount store, wait several hours and have a minimum wage clerk place you on an X and snap a few pictures. But they can’t get what a professional can get. They won’t concentrate on expressions. They won’t advise you on outfits and locations. They won’t provide 110 percent customer service. You won’t get a professional portrait.

    Are you a professional?

    7 Wealth Strategies For Photographers

    1 07 2010

    I talk a lot about starting and growing a photography business because I know that’s where the bulk of people reading this blog are. But what about when you achieve success? What happens when you have your first six figure year? How do you truly achieve wealth as a photographer? Take a look at these 7 steps – and use them as a guideline as you grow your business from wherever you currently are.

    1. Change the structure of your business. Many photography studios are sole proprietors simply out of ease. But when you reach a certain level of business, it may make more sense to change the structure. Corporations and limited liability companies give you added protection and added benefits – check with your accountant and/or lawyer for advice.

    2. Make sure you are covered by insurance policies. Do you have adequate business insurance to cover you in case of a lawsuit? Are you covered from long term liability in case you are injured? The more successful you are, the more you need to make sure you are covered from life’s unexpected moments.

    3. Increasing your structure. As a single photographer, there are only two ways for you to increase your profits: add more staff to help you bring in more clients, or charge more for every client. Only you can decide what’s the best method for growth.

    4. Plan for a rainy day. The one thing that sets more small business owners back is not planning for the future. Instead of spending your profits on new equipment, or taking it in the form of a paycheck, consider saving a portion every month as well. Think of long term growth, and save for big ticket items down the road.

    5. Diversify. When we were earning a healthy six figure income from 25 weddings a year, we didn’t stop there. We began opening up other business ventures. We started a book publishing company and produced a couple of books. We started a marketing firm to help small business owners with their marketing. And we made personal investments along the way. The phrase “don’t put your eggs in one basket” rings true.

    6. Create a family plan
    . Depending on where you are in life, your goals change. A newly married couple has hopes of family, roots and stability. A couple with children in college may decide to spread out and enjoy new options, such as traveling. While it may be hard to look far into the future, plan along the way. If you have a two year old, what would you like them to see before they turn 12? How about the age of 22? Set your goals accordingly.

    7. Grow your list of advisors. Being wealthy isn’t about doing things alone – its about getting the best advice from people you can trust. If you don’t have an accountant, find one. No lawyer? Get one. A marketing expert? A necessity. The more you can rely on to do their job, the better you can be at yours.

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    Photography Studio Layout

    13 05 2010

    Thinking of starting a studio? How do you know what type of studio is best for you?

    Take this simple quiz to determine if you are better suited for a commercial studio, in-home studio, or on location studio.

    Then get studio layout plans suited perfectly for you.


    Part I

    1. I have capital set aside to invest in starting up and growing my business.

    2. I prefer to separate my home life from my work life.

    3. I want a variety of workspaces available for shooting and production.

    4. I like having control over Read the rest of this entry »

    How To Handle Too Many Photographers At The Wedding

    26 04 2010

    I received an email from a frustrated photographer this week. This past weekend she photographed a wedding. As she started setting up for the formals, the “paparazzi” started setting up too, with cameras flying out of purses and bags all over the church. She spent several minutes posing the groups, only to step back and have family members actually step into her path trying to get the best shot. Every image took a ton of time, and by the middle of the formals, the bride and groom were looking frustrated. Every image has someone looking away from her camera, confused on where to look.


    How do you handle too many photographers at the wedding?

    First and foremost, remember you are the professional. It’s your job to take the situation under control, and make sure you get what you need. Your client is the bride and groom (okay, sometimes it’s the brides mom too). Your goal is to make the bride and groom happy, not the great aunt on the mom’s side.

    The problem shouldn’t be solved at the wedding; it should be solved at the time of booking.

    Start with your contract. Place a clause specifically dealing with multiple photographers right into your contract. (check with your lawyer to make sure you are covered) Our included:

    … will be the sole professional still photographer employed for the wedding day.  Simultaneous photographic coverage by another contracted photographer releases us from this agreement and will cause a forfeit of all paid service fees.  A $250 posing fee will be assessed if we are continually interrupted by other photographers during the formal portraiture sitting.  This fee will be collected before album creation and design is completed within our studio.

    Don’t hide the clause hoping they won’t notice; be right up front with it and tell them why. You may even have a sample – we did. Show them a large group photo with people looking in all directions. Having 10 (or 20) photographers is a distraction and will cause them to be late to their own reception. If they want their photographs completed in a timely manner, you need full attention.

    This usually stops the problem before the wedding even occurs. You may still have a mom pull out her camera, but she’s off to the side quietly photographing. And if you do have several pull out their cameras, stepping into your line, the bride and groom will be the first to tell them to put the cameras away. You won’t be the bad guy – they will. They will understand the importance of having you work quickly, and will be ready to give you their full attention.

    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 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.

    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 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