The Top 5 Photography Podcasts by The Photo Life

It’s 98 degrees and your couch is calling your name. Since summer is keeping you inside or in your air-conditioned car, we’ve compiled the Best Photography Podcasts to keep you out of the heat wave! So, grab a cold drink and tune into these episodes that are sure to entertain and inspire you!

1. From the White House to Weddings

Go behind-the-scenes with White House Photographers Paul Morse and Ralph Alswang to hear how years documenting the President of the United States paved the way to successful studios specializing in weddings. This incredible interview was part of The Photo Life’s launch and it has become a classic, must-listen lesson for all professional photographers.

2. Building Your Boudoir Photography Business

Get a glimpse into the infectiously energetic world of boudoir photographer Christa Meola. Not only are her portraits of women beautifully provocative, her photographic persona is larger-than-life and will keep you laughing as you learn her …

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Five Facebook Features Every Photographer Should Use! by Wendy Roe

Facebook Timeline rocked our world, now what?!

You’ve had the chance to update your cover and get used to this two column thing, so now we’re going to delve into the less visible ways you can keep your Facebook page rockin’!

First, make sure you’ve read and implemented ‘How Photographers Can Use Facebook Timeline,’ which covers a ton of basics, including how to utilize tabs, highlighting and pinning. Now that you’ve got the basics, here’s five Facebook Features every photographer should be using.

1) Reposition Photo: As photographers, we’re just plain picky when it comes to showcasing our images. Now that Facebook has a two-column layout, the left and right sides of images get chopped on preview. Did you know that you can actually adjust the preview to the left or right and then reposition the photo? It’s quick and easy; roll over the top right area of the post square and click on the ‘pencil’ icon. You’ll be given a few choices – pinning the photo to the top, hiding it from the page, deleting or even changing the date. The one you want to select is ‘reposition photo.’ Then, simply drag the image to the left or right and get the subjects exactly where you want them!

2) Facebook Insights: Insights has WAY improved over previous versions – Yay Facebook! You can now track more intelligently how far your posts are penetrating by reviewing the analytics data that Facebook includes in your admin area. Track each individual post’s reach (the number of unique people who have seen your post), engaged users (the number of people who have clicked anywhere on your post), talking about this (the number of people who have liked, commented or shared your post) and more.

Moreover, under each post, you now see the number of unique people who have viewed your post (either from their news feed, your wall or from a friend’s feed) and the percentage of that compared to your total fans. How does that help?

If you track what types of posts achieve the highest impact, you’ll be able to continue to create and distribute content that your readers enjoy. Plus, you’ll know when to post content to get the most likes! To quote Facebook, “your ultimate goal as a page owner is to publish content that will reach a large audience, and that your audience will engage and share content with friends. Now you can use Page Insights to better understand what your audience wants to hear about.”

3) Organize your Tabs: Since Facebook doesn’t offer welcome pages anymore, your tabs are the next best thing. Use the ‘down arrow’ to the right of your default four tabs to view the rest of the available tabs. If you have custom applications, links, or are using third party apps like Ripe Social, create a tab for each application and ‘swap’ the tabs to the order of your choosing. All of these are available by clicking on the plus or pencil icon on the top right of your tab. Choose the tab you want to swap icons with and choose, ‘swap position with’ and then the application of choice. Be sure to use calls to action in your tab titles and custom icon (optional) to grab attention from your potential clients.

4) Link To Tab: Did you know that you can link directly to a tab with one of your apps in it? One of the first things that clients see is our promo video and we love to send them a link to it via Facebook. We have an app that showcases the video embed from YouTube in a nice, branded format. From the ‘pencil’ option in the top right of the icon (view all your tabs if you are not seeing the pencil icon for your tabs, then roll over that top right area again), choose the option, ‘Link To This Tab.’ This way, they see our page as well as the video!

5) Optimize Your About Text: Just like your website, one of the most important things to prominently display in all your marketing materials is the simplest thing – your contact information. Make sure to take a second look at your ‘About ‘ section text and make sure your website, blog, descriptive text – especially your phone number – are all listed.

BONUS! Facebook Offers: After some public photographer mishaps, a lot of photographers have been wary of offering discount deals with services like Groupon and Living Social. Recently, the folks behind Edwin and Nancy Photography used Facebook Offers to try out a new deal strategy by extending a Pictage deal to their client base. By doing this they: Showed their clients that they’re looking out for them. Created scarcity, which in turn created urgency. Showed potential clients the special treatment they would get with Edwin and Nancy. Took no risk of overbooking or discounting their services. Read more about this story (and join in on the conversation) on the Pictage Forums.

About Wendy Roe

Wendy Roe has spent the last 10 years ingrained in all things web marketing – from design/development to search/social media. In May 2010, she decided to quit the corporate life and join forces with her husband, Byron Roe, to shoot full-time one of life’s ultimate highs – weddings. She now focuses on business development and being a second shooter for Bend, Oregon based wedding photographers, Byron Roe Photography.

She is the co-author of “55 Smart Web Ideas for Photographers” e-book, a 2-time speaker at WPPI Photographer’s Ignite and traveled through west coast PUG groups consulting photographers on web marketing. She’s known as an interpreter, changing technical language into easy information. Above all, she’s an educator at heart and believes: “Web marketing and wedding photography are two passions that drive bringing the best out of beauty and brands.”

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If Everyone is a Photographer, What Makes us so Different? by Spencer Lum

You can’t walk half a block down Times Square without spotting a dozen red stripes on L series glass. A 24-70 here, a 5D there, and the intrepid tourist toting a new D800. And let’s not forget the mirrorless cameras, the point and shoots, and, of course, the ubiquitous iPhones. And it’s not just Times Square. In any corner in any place, where anything is happening at all, you can be rest assured that life will be documented. Exhaustively.

The question in the modern age isn’t who is a photographer. It’s who isn’t a photographer? And what makes us different?

Here’s what’s NOT the answer: Professionals don’t get better bokeh, sharper shots, luminous light, cleaner composition, and exact exposures. If that’s the answer, we are lost! Not because those things aren’t true, but because those things are not the human values of photography. Those are not the traits that elevate and distinguish …

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The Fear Every Photographer Must Conquer by Tyler Wirken

There is one piece of photographic advice that is guaranteed to change your images.

It is rooted in Robert Capa’s famous quote, “If your pictures are not good enough you are not close enough.”

Simply put, conquer your fear of getting closer to your subject.

I first learned this lesson from a college professor who was looking at my photographs and asked why I was so far away from the subjects? I replied that I didn’t have a telephoto lens. Which of course was the wrong answer. He asked if I had feet! Confused, I replied YES. He fired back by pointing at my feet, saying “There’s your telephoto lens. Get off you’re a$& and go make the picture!”

Lesson learned.

Fifteen years later, I still think about that lesson when I’m faced with the challenges of putting myself in the middle of the action at a wedding.

When asked how they work on a wedding …

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The Story Behind Millie Holloman’s “Shoots & Ladders” Sessions by Millie Holloman

It’s happened to all of us.

You log in to Facebook and there is a status update from friends (who were once clients) saying they’ve added to their family with the arrival of a new child. To your surprise and sadness, they are posting photos of their little one taken by a large retail chain. Washed backdrops and cheesy props don’t match the quality of their wedding photos.

What’s a couple to do when the cost of living is significantly increased by the arrival of a new mouth to feed, future plans for college, and don’t forget diapers! Grandma & Grandpa aren’t footing the bill for the rest of their lives; they gave up that luxury at the altar.

Children grow fast, so it would be difficult to pay our usual session fee each few months to capture their constantly-changing expressions and sweet stages of life. To my amazement, I discovered many of …

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Six Steps to Amazing Family Photos on the Wedding Day by Melanie McLellan

McClellan Style

Family formal time is one of my favorite times of the whole wedding day. No, really it is! I love getting a picture of the bride with her Dad or making sure that the groom has a picture with his grandmother to keep forever. That’s why it’s always surprising to me when I hear a photographer say, “I hate family formals!” Today I want to talk about that because all I can think is…“then you must be doing it wrong!” 

Family formals don’t have to be a chore for everyone involved, or boring in the worst possible sense of the word. These photographs are guaranteed to be at the top of the list in importance as the years pass, so you might as well make them memorable and enjoyable

Here’s how you can do just that!

When I think of our own wedding photographs there two that really mean the most to me …

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A Challenge to Photographers Who Love the Craft by Parris Whittingham

This is for the person who sees the world in photos, who loves the craft of photography and gets frustrated when they witness less “crafty” photographers hustling them in marketing, value creation and profits.

If any of this sounds like you, my advice is simple: decide right now if you’re a glorified hobbyist or professional photographer.

Who is the Glorified Hobbyist?

Many of the most talented full-time photographers I know are actually glorified hobbyists. They enjoy the illusion of “busy-ness” but resent the challenge of business. They are dangerously impulsive or utterly indecisive and don’t do well with criticism. Their methods or workflows break under pressure.

Until recently, I was a glorified hobbyist.

Realizing this truth was at once terrifying and liberating. Below are some insights that have worked for me on my journey from Glorified Hobbyist to Professional Photographer:

1. Stop charging for your services by the hour.

“People and businesses who hire you are, in …

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Bigger is Better: Tips for Selling Large Canvases & Albums! by Lara White

When it comes to selling canvases and albums, bigger can be better.

A large canvas – or a collection – makes a great statement piece. When a client wants to fill their home with personal art, there is no better way to go than large canvases hung in predominant locations. Imagine a pair of 20×30′s hung side by side in an entry foyer, for example!

“Planting Sales Seeds” Pre-Shoot

I always plant the seed for this concept prior to the sales session so your client has time to consider a large-scale piece in her home and the investment  involved.

A planning session prior to the shoot is the perfect time to make product suggestions. In addition to discussing the session itself, you can let the client know that you create custom products for every client. For example, if you are creating a large canvas to hang above a client’s couch, then you’ll know to …

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5 Ways to Keep Portraiture Natural on the Wedding Day by Ned Jackson

One of the best compliments I receive from potential clients is that my photographs feel natural and aren’t forced. That’s music to my ears because I consider myself a storyteller first and foremost.

Probably 90% of my wedding photography days are spent covering the action in a photojournalist manner. At the end of the day, however, I gravitate towards portraits. It has always given me great pleasure to have clients who tell me “we’re so unphotogenic,” and then deliver images that truly wow them!  Let’s face it, if you can make someone look good, you’ve just earned another advocate for your work. Seriously, who doesn’t want to look amazing on their wedding day?

How do you keep things natural? How do you make people feel comfortable enough to be themselves in front of the lens? That’s the real art. 

The technical aspects of lighting, composition, posing can all be learned. Making a connection …

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What Wedding Photographers Can Learn from Documentarians – Part 2 by Jessica Del Vecchio

Dorothea Lange and Jack Delano

Do you remember a time when photography was your way of experiencing and explaining the world?

This week’s series was inspired by Annie Leibovitz and the FSA Photographers of the Great Depression. The articled asked some challenging questions.

Is it possible to do the work that we are moved to create while we are doing commissioned work? What if we started looking at lists and schedules and the routine of shooting wedding after wedding as an opportunity rather than a hindrance to creativity? What if the shooting script expanded our creative options rather than limiting them?

The FSA required its photographers “to be more than an artist, more than an adequate mechanic. He must be something of a sociologist, something of an economist; he must be a good deal of wangler, equally at home with a hostess or a farmer’s wife; he must have a healthy nose for news coupled with a thorough skepticism of biased …

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