Three Essential Skills for Today’s Wedding Photographer by Katie Humphreys

Times….they are a changin’.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard some of the doom and gloom that’s been rumbling in our industry. And although the photo industry is different than it used to be, this isn’t necessarily bad news. The photographers who are able to successfully navigate the changing industry landscape are still running successful businesses and have adapted to ensure that their business will still be around in the years to come. Whether you’re just jumping in and are new to the industry or you’re a seasoned pro, here are three essential skills that will help you succeed.

1. Choose your Words Wisely.

As you’ve built your photography business, at some point you probably were told about the exercise of choosing a few words to describe and characterize your brand so that you promote a consistent message. This is a great exercise and useful in helping you define …

Read more →

The Photo Life Podcast: An Interview with Kirstie Tweed

A Better Place to Be

In this week’s episode we speak with photographer Kirstie Tweed, owner of Orange Girl Photographs, about how a small town can surprise you with a turn of events you couldn’t have imagined. Kirstie shares the decisions that brought her to a small town in rural Canada and how following her heart and intuition has yielded far greater results than all the planning and logic in the world could have.

About Kirstie Tweed

I was given the name Orange Girl in high school for driving a 1973 orange superbeetle, dying my hair orange and wearing orange everyday, the name and my love of orange has stuck with me. I attended art school in Canada before moving to San Francisco to work in an art galley and exhibit my fine art work. I moved to New York for a brief year to work for a fashion photographer and photograph musicians before …

Read more →

Are You a Specialist or a Generalist? by Mike Larson

Photo by Wedding Photographer Mike Larson

Are you a Specialist or Generalist? Today we’ll talk about what this means, why it matters & how to figure out which category you belong in. Specialization and generalization are two totally different approaches to doing business. Business owners tend to adopt a bit of both practices, but doing so actually ends up hurting their business.  I’ll admit that over the years I’ve done my share of this as well. That’s why I want to start this dialogue and share some of what I’ve learned about making intentional choices and clearly developing a purpose for a photography business.

Are you a Generalist? A generalist is a person (or business) whose skills, interests, and/or habits are evenly distributed and unspecialized.

A generalist has NOT chosen a single category or niche to operate their business within, but instead does a bit of everything. There are a lot of these businesses in the photography industry.

Wedding Photography is No Longer a Specialty Years ago a wedding photography business was automatically operating within a niche market by focusing on wedding photography. This was because most photographer’s business cards said something like, “Specializing in weddings, portraits, landscapes, babies and maternity.” (That was exactly what my 1st business card said.)  Since then, the quantity of “wedding specialists” has grown to a number in the tens of thousands. Now, a wedding photography business does not naturally belong to a specialty or niche; it is just as general as my first business card.

A lot of photographers starts out without a specialty because they need the work and experience, because they don’t quite know what they want to specialize in, and maybe even because they love the variety! As Jeff Jochum always says, “The Customer will always try to homogenize you.” He’s right. If you do everything the consumer asks you to do, you will end up doing everything. Doing everything in a photography business means offering multiple product or service lines and multiple styles of work represented on a website. A photography business using a generalized model typically has a primary product or service that generates 60-80% of their business, as well as multiple other product & service options.

Some generalists get lucky and will succeed for a period of time. But I believe that these photography success stories are the exception rather than the rule. I considered myself to be one of these accidentally successful generalist early on. Those like me who succeeded by luck, got in with a few brides who happened to have 20 friends who were about to get married, we were in a market that was not yet saturated. Others that have found success in this way may have known the right person or may have just been in the right place at the right time. This success is not bad, but luck is temporary and easily replaced. As the group of brides you photographed passes their mid 30′s and no longer has a basket of referrals, your “shoe in” client base shrinks.

The Pros Businesses that are less specialized have a larger market pool, which potentially means more client volume. Photographing more people can help you gain experience. However, if you’re building a referral based business you want your current clients to be your ideal client. If you have a large volume of clients that aren’t ideal, you can get stuck in that market and have trouble working up to a higher clientele or a specialized position.

The Cons When you are one photographer in a large market, it’s easy for potential clients to compare you to others. Clients that want a general service usually want cheap & convenient. You have a lot more competitors. You have to be all things to all people so that you can get every bit of business you can. There are always updates and new product lines to add to your offering in order to keep up with the competition.

Are you a Specialist? A specialist a person (or business) who devotes their career to the pursuit of a single specific area. They are a connoisseur, an expert and a master at their craft. There are fewer of these people.

Pick a Hill of Specificity My friend Kevin Swan always encourages photographers to pick a hill, a hill thats easier to defend, a hill of specificity. The more narrow the ground, the less competition will want to join you. Most entrepreneurs are fearful of committing to a specific market and position. A company that has made the commitment to a unique position in our industry is Kiss Wedding Books. They are committed to making simple wedding books, and because of that they are the only simple wedding book company. (It takes about 90 seconds to order a book.) They founded their business on simple: no frills, no metal covers, no embossing, very few options.

Most businesses fear saying no to work. A specialist turns down work that is not consistent with their unique position, with their brand, and that broadcasts anything that is inconsistent with their messaging. Jose Villa is a great example of a photographer who is excellent at consistently broadcasting images that reflect a unique position.

The first step to specializing your business is finding a niche or specific category of the photography market and defining a unique position. For example, within the resort wedding photography market there are unique specialties such as focusing on weddings that take place at 5 Star resorts. The category that I have chosen to pursue is geographical and venue specific. Other specialties include: type of clientele, type of bride, location, region, etc.

I challenge you to Google the term you want to specialize in. Destination wedding photography is no longer a specialty, but instead is a market that has the opportunity multiple different specialties. The same goes for international wedding & portrait photography.

The Pros You get the opportunity to own your unique category. A refined vision helps guide your day to day activities; whatever you do every day must get you closer to success within this category and your goal, otherwise you don’t do it. Your business can be simple. I love simplicity. You get to charge a premium for what you specialize in because people will pay a premium for specialists.  You will have fewer workflows, and have a narrow scope of tasks – you don’t have to be all things to all people.  You get to focus your business time on just those who support your business. And personally, you can spend more time on life and with the people you choose.

The Cons You have to say no to everything else. While I love the beach and surfing, there is a very low potential for business in my area for beach weddings. I have had to choose to keep some of my personal passions for my personal life and highlight the passions that work professionally.  Estate & Vineyard weddings are a different passion of mine that happen to make sense for my business.

Its important to know whether you are a generalist or a specialist. Currently in our market, I believe specialists have a bull run and generalists are in a bear market. But what do you believe? Where does your business fit? Where does it have the best opportunities to succeed?

Join me in the next few weeks as we continue this conversation about strategies for being a specialist or generalist, unique positioning, and more.

Let me know what you think by commenting on this blog post!

I also suggest that you check out the book, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” by Jack Trout & Al Ries.

Written by Mike Larson

Mike is hosting a Wedding Photography Inspiration {StyleShop} in NYC on June 9-10th.  A special guest from a top NYC wedding blog will be sharing insight on getting published.  Stop guessing at how to get your business growing.  Mike will be speaking at the New York PUG on Wednesday June 8th. There you can test drive a fraction of what Mike will sharing over the following 2 days at the StyleShop!

Mike Larson is an international photographer who began his career traveling the globe in search of photographing exotic locations, amazing surf, and beautiful cultures. Since then, he discovered his passion for photographing people who are in love and enjoying life. Residing in Southern California when not traveling, Mike is honored to be sought after to photograph spectacular weddings around the world.

Read more →

How to Design Folded Press Printed Cards

Introducing the latest addition to Pictage’s line of greeting cards – the Folded Press Printed Card

They’re easy to design, order and sell and are perfect holiday cards, save-the-date reminders, thank you notes, and announcements.

See them in action; watch this video!

NEXT STEPS:

Pro members: Get $30 off your first order. Premium members: Get $15 off! See details. If you’re a Pictage member, these cards have been added to your catalog. Adjust your retail price here. See wholesale pricing here. Not a member? Request a price list from our Sales team here, or email the team at newaccounts@pictage.com. Learn more about Pictage products and services and take a free test drive! …

Read more →

The Story Behind My I Heart New York Engagement Sessions by Jason Groupp

themed engagement session photo by Jason Groupp

I heart NY.

I’ve been putting off writing this blog post for quite a while now. Don’t get me wrong; I’m honored to be asked by The Photo Life to write about ANYTHING I do, I just don’t like to write. I mean I have the world’s most neglected blog on the planet.  That said, somehow I have been able to amass over 6,000 tweets.

So, when I sat down to write tonight, I wondered what I could say to tell the story of my I Heart New York sessions in a new and different way. Recently, I’ve been taking a new approach to things. I’ve been making the conscious decision to tell the honest truth – no sugar coating – just raw thoughts and feelings.

So, here’s the honest truth about I Heart New York (IHNY).

About 8 years ago made the decision to walk away from my commercial photo business and pursue wedding photography on my own full-time. Ironically, I had been shooting weddings for about 13 years prior with a large studio, and I HATED it. But, I saw some exciting changes in the way weddings were being photographed, and I felt the commercial photography industry was going in the toilet.  And – despite how I felt – I was good at shooting weddings.

That said, I wanted my wedding photography to be different than what I had been doing for the “wedding photo factory” I worked for.  I needed inspiration, something to make me fall in love with what I do again. Shit, I was desperate!

So, I decided to take a trip to California for an informal photography conference.

To fully take advantage of my time on the west coast, I decided to meet some friends of mine in Los Angeles and set up a few “day after” shoots.  We shot at all the cliché LA places: Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood, and of course lots of sunny beaches, all way up to San Luis Obispo where the conference was.  I hadn’t done shoots like this since I was working on my fashion portfolio, and suddenly I found my “production” skills really coming into play.  I had a blast, got some awesome shots, and most importantly, came home totally amped about photography again.  I thought, “Why not do this in NYC?”  So I did.

After about six of these shoots in New York, my wife said to me, “Jason, I’m really excited to see your enthusiasm, but will these shoots lead to some money?”  :) I didn’t have an answer for her, but knew it was time to think of a way to tie this into my business.

Then one evening while driving on the NJ Turnpike through the swamps of Secaucus, it hit me! What about offering stylized engagement shoots for my clients, featuring iconic NYC as their backdrop?  Great hair and makeup, clothing, and a unique concept for each shoot!

When I first came up with this idea I wondered if my clients (busy entrepreneurs, Wall Street, and financial types) would really spend 4-8 hours with me shooting?  If they would pay for hair and makeup, go for a unique concept, and trust me through an experience like this.  The only way to find out though was to get on the phone and ask.  Not everyone was as excited as I was, but I found a few that were (mainly because I was offering these sessions at no additional charge).  I practically threw away thousands of dollars worth of my time and crew costs, but I did so knowing that I was onto something for my business.

My next hurdle was to find a way to stop throwing away money and start making it! How could I monetize these sessions?

The clients that had trusted me in the beginning sessions were blown away with their experience and they told their friends. These referrals gave me the creative outlet I needed, plus a great edge in NYC.  But the question remained, could I make money on these sessions?  THAT was gonna be tough!  Most photographers are giving away their engagement sessions, how am I going to charge $500, $1000, $1500, $2500 or even more?

After playing around with a bunch of ideas, and fumbling with it for a while here’s what I’ve found to be the best model for sessions that sell:

Sell the Experience. It HAS to be about the experience. It’s not an engagement shoot; it’s a really expensive date that you happen to have photographers along for.

Have Great Hair and Makeup. This is part of the experience. I have an awesome team I work with, that ironically, winds up getting hired by my clients for their wedding day.  That’s a win win.

Deliver the Experience. I provide a “concept” for each shoot that I lay out for them before hand. It includes clothing suggestions and story boards.

Shoot for a LONG Time. You must get clients to commit to 6-8 hours of shooting with you, even if you don’t end up needing it. This was a big hurdle initially. Most guys don’t want to take pictures for that long. But, early on I found that while we could “get through” everything during a one-hour session, psychologically they needed more time to really get “into it.” A guy who knows he’s stuck shoe shopping all day with his fiancé will find a way to make it fun right?  This is the same concept.

Get them Drinking. Everything is more fun when you add alcohol right?  When clients come in for hair and makeup, I serve champagne and strawberries.  Later, we stop for a bite to eat, but I specifically choose places that have great signature cocktails – fun stuff that you wouldn’t normally drink.

Provide a Guest Book. From each session, my clients get a 20-page guest book.  This helps offset some of the cost in their decision-making process, and there is no better marketing than putting your work in front of every guest at the wedding.

Honestly, all of this took some tweaking over time, but the time spent doing so has enabled me to create a nice add-on revenue stream doing something I LOVE.  It’s a great way to try out new lighting techniques, and train my assistants in a no pressure environment.  Most importantly, I’m able to share an “experience” with my clients that’s always memorable.  We have a great time, and come the wedding day, we are best friends.  In the words of Charlie Sheen, I’m winning and loving it!

Written by Jason Groupp

My name is Jason Groupp.  I’m from NYC, but I live in NJ.  Exit 135.

I studied fashion photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology, in NYC.  It was hard.

I have been shooting weddings for 23 years.  I think I’m pretty good at it.  It’s still hard.

Doing what I love, and following my dreams has been the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

You can visit my website – jasongroupp.com

Follow my self-deprecating tweets here – http://twitter.com/jasongroupp

Read more →

How I Built a Boudoir Portfolio for Less than $100 by Emily E.

Manhattan Beach Los Angeles Boudoir Photographer

Like most wedding photographers I’m always looking for new ways to keep a steady income during the off-season. I’ve been especially inspired lately by the boudoir photographers in our community and realized it’s a genre that I really want to pursue.

Unfortunately, building a boudoir portfolio is a daunting task. After delaying the process for a while, a few weeks ago I finally put my foot down and decided I was going to build my boudoir portfolio in one day for under $100.

I did. Here’s what I learned in the process.

Getting the Team – I found a group of three local photographers that were also interested in expanding or building their boudoir portfolio. Having a group of other photographers not only helped with finding resources, models, and props, but as a group we were also able to learn from each other and get ideas for posing.  I suggest 3-4 photographers total and to split up so that two of photographers shooting at a time.

Getting the Right “Models” – I started looking for models on Craigslist and Model Mayhem, but it was tricky to find models to commit without a portfolio to gain their trust. I soon realized that I interact with amazing women every day – my existing clients. I emailed a few that I thought would be interested and they were not only grateful but were beyond flattered.  Using real clients ended up being a great choice. They knew me so they were much more comfortable, and we all learned a lot more than when using models because they are real women (and so are our future clients!).

Getting the Room – At first this was a bit intimidating…”Hi can I please get a room for an hour or two?  I’m a photographer and am doing a shoot with a bunch of girls in lingerie.”  Yeah, it just doesn’t sound right. Luckily more and more hotels are becoming familiar with the term boudoir so I called a few places and ask about their day rate for a boudoir shoot.  If you don’t feel comfortable with the word boudoir or don’t even want to explain, don’t.  Most hotels (especially high-end ones) have day rates for shoots of all kinds.  My client also found a thread on the Knot forums that had a list of hotels that offered inexpensive day rates in the area.  We were lucky to find an amazing boutique hotel in Manhattan Beach for $75 for half a day!

In three hours (and for less than $100) we were all able to get several portfolio shots of each model. We also got a great view into our future shoots – how to prepare, how to make a client feel comfortable, what to say and what not to say. Most of all, we had a blast.

Do you have suggestions for those trying to build their boudoir portfolio?

Written by Emily E.

Emily E. is the Community Development Manager at Pictage and runs a Los Angeles area Wedding and Portrait Photography business, Emily Photo.

Read more →

The Photo Life Podcast: An Interview with Eileen Gittins (part 2)

King Harvest Will Surely Come

In this week’s episode, we continue our discussion with Founder and CEO of Blurb, Eileen Gittins about keeping a company forward-facing and embracing the future. We also examine why the printed page is far from obsolete and how the things that we move from the virtual to the tangible world matter more to us as a culture. About Eileen Gittins Eileen Gittins is the founder and CEO of Blurb, the creative publishing and marketing platform that enables anyone to design, publish, market and sell bookstore-quality books. She has been at the intersection of the Internet, consumer and enterprise software, imaging systems, search, and digital photography throughout her career.

Eileen wanted to create a beautifully designed and produced photo essay book – something that looked like a book you’d buy at the bookstore – but she only needed 40 copies. This turned out to be remarkably painful, expensive, and time-consuming– and she thought …

Read more →

Trovare la Voce – Finding Your Voice by Paige Elizabeth

Finding Your Creative Voice as a Photographer

Finding your voice. It sounds easy doesn’t it?

The reality is that it’s one of the most complicated tasks we face as photographers. To learn our equipment, we read the manuals, mostly. To learn composition, we study art. But your voice? You must know it to differentiate yourself in an increasingly crowded market. Your unique voice is the secret to joy and growth in your business.

So how do you find it?

Trovare la Voce

The good news is it’s already there. And we all have a path to it.

For me, it came into sharp relief in the Tuscan hills outside Florence. I was hired to shoot a wedding by a couple who I had yet to meet and was able to have one of my dearest friends (and an incredible photographer) there to work with me. I ended up in a fantastic situation where I had no preconceived notions and was completed supported. And my heart sang! I did the best work of my life, made friends for life, and it changed my life.

I was bouncing about in Italian. I had found my voice. Trovare la voce!

After years of doing what felt like fully competent work, I was able to get out of my own way and see clearly. As I was shooting, I could feel the clarity in every setting, every composition. It was more than just technical ease. It was like I found a connection to my heart that had always been there waiting for me to show up.

And I thought, how do I share this?! I’ve talked to so many photographers facing the same struggles and looking for the answers.

Now we can’t all go to Italy to shoot with a best friend to find our voice. But there are steps we can take in our shoots every week to help get clear on that voice. It’s the voice we’ve had since we were first drawn to photography. All we need is a way back to it.

I was trained as an anthropologist and I look and listen and study and think a lot. I’m constantly trying to balance a left brain need for data, detail, and organization with a right brain need for wild and wooly artistic freedom.

Analyzing my own journey and those of other photographers, I realized there was not only a common pattern, but also real world exercises that would help us get clear on our own voice… that seemingly intangible part of us that we know we need to get a handle on if we’re going to differentiate ourselves and build our dream careers.

Our Path

For most of us, among the self-taught many, our journey as photographers looks something like this…

Spark – We start making photographs and having a great time, then someone says, ‘That’s a great shot! You should be a photographer.” At this point we love what we’re doing and think our photos are beautiful, although we tend to shoot a lot to get to the ones we love.

Free-fall -And then we start to learn. And the more we learn, the more our perception of our own work starts to fade. We’re exposed to incredibly talented photographers and work that is mind blowing. We hit the bottom of the trough and may wonder how we will ever get to the top. Many never start their business and fade out at this point.

Pits – Way at the bottom, self-doubt kicks in. If you’ve got gumption you keep going. Even more likely, there is a fire in your belly that keeps you going. There was something back there at the beginning that was so thrilling that it kept you up at night with wild imaginings of what you could be. So you redouble your effort and start the process of developing your competency.

Competency – On your way back up the curve, you learn to get the shot. Soon you’re comfortable with the clients who used to scare you. You can handle almost any lighting situation that’s thrown at you. You start to get creative and may try painting with light, Photoshop effects, and unusual compositions…

You know you can do what’s asked of you as a professional, but it’s likely that somewhere the joy got left in a box while you did what was expected of you. Or you were following along with other work you love. Creating what you saw others creating.

Decision – Now you face a decision… many businesses do. You can choose to barrel forward doing what you think you should be doing, run a successful business meeting the market. Or… you can throw it all to the wind and follow your artist’s heart. At least that’s what conventional wisdom would have you believe.

Your Voice – This juncture is where our careers really get good. It’s when you understand that following your artist’s heart is actually what will make your business. Think about the photographers and artists who you really admire. You know their work on the spot and could probably pick it out of a line up. They found their voice and owned it. It differentiates them in the market and makes their clients’ decisions to hire them easy… and at their established price point.

The Exercises

So how do you recognize your voice and let it sing? The good news is that there are quantitative and qualitative steps that you can take to find your way back to what inspires you and is authentically only you. Two exercises to put you on the path to owning your voice…

Like/Hate/JOY!

After you finish every shoot… before you drive home or download files or anything else… take two minutes to jot down a few pieces of information:

- What did you like?

- What did you hate?

- What absolutely made your heart sing with joy?

Ideally jot these notes somewhere that they are easy to keep collected. In a pinch write on any scrap of paper and stuff them in the glove box. Write them down stream of consciousness, no editing. Make these notes after at least ten shoots. You want to give yourself a reasonable data set. Your notes may include everything from locations to lighting situations to subjects to conversations.

After you’ve compiled your set, spend some time thinking out of the box with them. If you’re the spreadsheet type, map it out. If you need visuals, get the information on post it notes all over the wall. Give yourself time with this exercise and look for the patterns.

Now give yourself permission to move away from what you hate and run hollering toward what you love!

Portfolio Pulls

When was the last time you went through your portfolio? Updated your website? Chances are that it’s been a while. Well, this is your chance, before the summer wedding and portrait seasons start to take over. Before you start the update process… look over as much as you can of what you have shot… and pull your three favorite images.

Not the ones you would submit to editors or to photographic competitions. The ones you love. They may or may not be technically sound, but something about them should leave you wanting to do exactly that again and again. They may be photos you made at the very beginning of your career when the spark was so exciting that it kept you up at night. They may be photos you made last week at a shoot that pushed all of your buttons.

Now take those three photos… and print them. Get them out of their digital cage and make them BIG.

Hang them on your wall. Place them over your desk. Stick them on the fridge with your kids’ best drawings. Be proud of who you are and what your heart creates. Live with them. Love them. Spend time with these images and engage conversations with yourself and others about why you love them. Talk out loud. Own ‘em.

Your voice is in these images and the more you make them part of your daily experience, the more that voice will be welcome into everything you do… and how and what you shoot.

Your Voice

Finding and recognizing your voice doesn’t come from someone else. Your voice is about what comes from inside of you when you give yourself the attention you deserve.

In the midst of busy days, it’s vital to make your voice a priority. Take time with these exercises and absorb the results. In there, in you, are the exact answers for setting yourself apart form the crowd. No one else can be you. And now you have the steps you can take to let the world hear the voice behind your photos.

Want to learn more? Paige is leading Happy Manifesto workshops in fall 2011 in the US and spring 2012 in Europe. Find your voice, your real voice, in the company of a select group of like-minded creatives. Follow a path together and come away with a plan.

Written by Paige Elizabeth

Before she fell in love with photography, Paige trained as an anthropologist and instructor and received her masters degree from the Kroc Institute at Notre Dame. And now she’s  living a life she could never have dreamed of. She splits her time between Denver and London photographing love stories and weddings and teaching photographers to identify and embrace their creative voice. She has been known to Snoopy dance around the flat with joy while the perpetually bemused love of her life sips champagne and giggles. It’s a proper celebration.

Read more →

Sculpting with Light by Justine Ungaro

Sculpting with Light

When I first started photographing weddings (and for many years after that) I was always looking for ways to add more light to whatever I was shooting. More light, more light, there never seemed to be enough light. But, as the years pass and I’ve learned to have more control over my gear and my creative vision, I’ve found that it’s not always about adding more light, sometimes it’s actually better to remove some light. The trick is knowing the difference and when to do what. I found a prime example of this just last weekend as I was photographing a bride getting ready at her parents’ house. We hung her dress in the window of the dining room, backlit and flanked by the curtains her mother had sewn herself. I photographed this photo of the dress.

(SOOC, ISO 500 2.8 at 1/100 sec)

I took a glimpse on the back of the camera (yes, I chimp) and it was okay, just missing that wow factor. There was just too much fill light hitting the dress from the front. It also had that warm tungsten-y look to it. Kinda flat, kinda boring.

So I looked up and noticed that the dining room light was on. I reached over and turned it off, shot another photo of the same dress.

(SOOC, ISO 500 2.5 1/100 sec)

Suddenly the same dress from the same angle is full of shadows and highlights and texture and detail, as are the curtains. Suddenly the entire image is much more interesting. And all it took was the flick of a light switch.

You just have to remember that whether you’re turning lights on or turning them off or moving them around….what are you trying to accomplish? You are sculpting the light around you. It’s up to you to notice those little nuances and correct as you go along. I don’t always think of these things off the bat. Usually I need to shoot a frame, see what’s wrong with it, what I can improve upon and then shoot another frame.

Written by Justine Ungaro

Justine Ungaro has been photographing weddings in her own clean, classic style since 2003. A second generation photographer, Justine grew up in the Washington DC area and moved to Los Angeles in 2006 where she expanded her business to include children’s and music industry portraiture and soon after began giving workshops and speaking at photography conventions. She currently maintains studios in Los Angeles and DC.

Read more →

What Donald Draper Tells Us About Happiness by Elizabeth Villa Ippolito

Photo by The Youngrens

Photo by The Youngrens

“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.”

Donald Draper (Mad Men, 2007)

Even the old school ad guys got this one right.

My good friend Don (yes, the fictional character Donald Draper) knew that he was never just selling products, he was selling happiness.

In order to do this he had to figure out how what he was selling resonated with his ideal client’s unique idea of happiness.

Your products and services aren’t just products and services. They represent memories, legacy and happiness. And, they hold extreme value for your clients whether that’s a couple, a family or a business.

How are you painting a picture of happiness for prospective …

Read more →
Page 1 of 212