5 Ways Wedding Photographers and Filmmakers Can Work Well Together

Ego checks go both ways.

Every photographer has a story about videographers with multiple tripods, camping out in the aisles taking all the best angles, let alone getting too close to the couples. Likewise, every videographer has a story about a flash-happy, rapid-fire shutter photographer. But are tripods, flashes and cameras really the problem?

Since most of us serve the wedding industry, it’s no mystery that over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Statistically, the most common reason listed for divorce is communication breakdowns! As professionals, we can make our lives much easier, and make our clients happier by not going down that same path. Let’s put our egos aside, and learn to simply respect the other artists we work with on wedding days. We are in fact, kind of “married” to each other on a wedding day, as photographers and videographers are stuck with each other that day whether we like …

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5 Simple Steps to Prepare for Professional Photography Workshops

Which professional photography workshop should you attend? It’s hard enough to sift through the overwhelming number of workshops available. When you actually choose one, you need to prepare so you’ll get the most out of your investment.

Step 1: What type of education do you need? Hoping to learn to shoot in manual mode, build a successful brand, market your studio, master off-camera lighting, explore workflow systems, practice posing techniques…the list goes on and on. The critical step is identifying which specific topic you need to learn in order to improve your photography and your business. Make a list and review it a few times with a colleague or mentor. Ask them which topic seems to be your weakness. Constructive criticism will also prepare you for a good workshop experience.

Step 2: Decide what environment is most conducive to your learning style. Classes online, seminar environment, or my personal favorite, workshops! Workshops are …

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5 Popular Posts You Might Have Missed!

Today we’re taking a look back at some of the most popular posts published on The Photo Life to date. Check them out to make sure you didn’t miss any the first time they were published. From boudoir to better lighting, these posts are full of helpful tips and tricks for professional photographers.

If you saw them the first time around, they’re worth a second look! You might even find a new nugget of information.

Enjoy!

1. If Everyone’s a Photographer, What Makes us so Different? by Spencer Lum “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 …

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How Pinterest Can Help You Maximize Your Brand

We spend our days helping photographers build stronger, sustainable brands. Part of our process is helping companies maintain consistency across all online platforms. These include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, websites, blogs and, yes, even Pinterest! As a business owner, everything you put on the web affects the perception people have of you.

Here’s how Pinterest can help you maximize your brand:   

Build Brand Consistency A common missed opportunity for brands across social media platforms is the ability to deliver a clear, consistent message. Pinterest is no exception. Consider it an extension of your brand. Your boards should:

Reflect your style as a photographer. Appeal to your ideal client. Reflect things you and your ideal client care about. Be clearly titled (in other words, don’t be cryptic or clever unless that’s your schtick). Include a description that reinforces the value behind the board’s content. Have a compelling board cover. (If you want to get a gold star, all of your …

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Employees or Contractors? Hiring for your Photography Business

For photography business owners (and any small business owner), having people on your team is a natural part of growing your business. Whether you have other photographers shooting with you, people editing your images, or someone handling administrative work, it’s likely that at some point you’ll pay someone else to do work for you.

The biggest question, then, is whether these people are employees or contractors. There are two primary considerations you should be aware of before deciding.

Tax implications based on your decision. How this decision affects your working relationship with team members.

Hiring an employee means withholding state and federal income tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare taxes. In most situations, you also pay unemployment taxes too (there are some exceptions).

Hiring an employee means paperwork! You’ll need a W-2 and an I-9 completed for each employee, records of their wages and hours, documentation that you’re complying with federal labor regulations, and the …

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5 Lessons Professional Photographers Can Learn From USPS

I hate the post office. I hate the hours, I hate the response time, I hate the entire thing. And if there’s one thing worse than the post office, there’s the post office in New York. It’s amazing how much of a difference one small letter can make.

“Your package is shipping by UPS.” OK. That’s fine. I can live with it. I’ve had the random incident here and there, but for the most part, they get the job done.

“Your package is shipping by USPS.” What a difference an “S” makes. I suppress the fear welling up in the pit of my stomach. I tell myself it will be alright. But the sweat beads and my skin grows cold. It’s a $1,000 order. That matters. Especially when it’s an order I’m looking forward to! I curse under my breath, and I brace myself.

This is what I expect to happen:

The item will …

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Women Who Changed the Face of Professional Photography

Women photographers made their mark long before there were camera bags designed for them, vintage camera T-shirts sold to them or magazines marketed to them. These women weren’t looking for accessories to make them appear feminine on shoots; they were looking through cameras to change the world.

Other than their vision, all they brought to battle – or to the top of skyscrapers – was resolve. Their determination and courage paved the way for women in photography, regardless of the genre. They weren’t women with cameras. They were photographers who happened to be women. We can all learn from them. So, let’s start with three who changed the face of photography forever.

Margaret Bourke-White She scaled the tallest building in America with her camera. Perched a thousand feet over Manhattan, Margaret Bourke-White crawled out on a gargoyle atop the Chrysler Building and made iconic images of New York City that became symbols of architectural elegance and national …

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Mileage May Vary, a European Photographer’s Perspective on Weddings

It’s a small world, unless you’re Swiss.

As an international wedding photographer based in Switzerland I am often asked by my American friends, “how is your market in Europe and how is it different from the market in the States?”

It’s difficult for me to give a conclusive answer because Europe is big and not homogenous at all. The countries vary in size, politics and economy, but especially in culture and history.

And even if you look at a small country like Switzerland, you’ll notice that every wedding photographer experiences the market a bit differently. Depending on your target client, your marketing, where your business is located and how you shape your price list. Some wedding photographers hardly ever sell an album, others do so with every client! Some photographers book mostly half-day assignments, others always cover the complete wedding day.

When I think about the photo business in Switzerland, the thing that always …

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The Perks and Pitfalls of Getting Published

**Great news! We’re hard at work updating this guide and will be re-releasing it shortly. In the meantime, check out The Photo Life Social Media Guide!**

Photographers everywhere are talking about getting published. How to do it, what magazines to submit to, and “secrets” to getting an “in” with editors are all popular discussions.

BEFORE YOU JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON…

And start spending valuable time trying to get published, it’s important to understand why!

WHAT’S INSIDE

Reasons to get published Shooting and workflow tips for getting published Keys to leveraging relationships with publications What editors want Tips for streamlining the submission process

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What to do When Your Photography Clients Want to Negotiate

We’re living in the “day of the deal.” Many photography clients are eager to negotiate.

Even high-end brides are looking for a “good deal.” Everyone wants to save a buck. It’s human nature; we feel good knowing we’re smart with our money.

As small business owners, we shy away from negotiations because we assume it means someone doesn’t value what we do, or that we could lose out on a lot of profit. Sometimes, that’s not the case. It may simply be a client who wants to make sure they get the best bang for their buck, or they just like to negotiate in general.

If you do your homework, you won’t lose out financially.

First, decide whether or not you’re willing to negotiate.

There are reasons why you might not want to negotiate. If you are fully booked, or have more work than you can handle or want, then it’s a great time to say, “I’m sorry, these rates are …

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