How Two Photographers Realized their Dream of Studio Ownership – by Sharing!

Two Canadian photographers are following their dream to create Edmonton’s finest photography rental studio. “The Photographer Studio,” owned by Tammy & Lauri, was created in January 2012. The concept was to provide an affordable studio setting for local photographers who don’t have their own space, or don’t have the volume of shoots to sustain their own studio.

Originally, the concept began with a co-op style rental agreement that allowed photographers to share the space equally with the odd hourly rentals when the studio was available. Within the first year, however, the owners realized that this was not enabling profitability. They pivoted quickly and changed to a membership option, with hourly rentals made available to non-members.

So, what goes into a smart shared studio space?

Member photographers get a range of perks such as:


Up to 12 hours of studio time per month for a minimal fee Access to the studio during their pre- booked times Props …

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9 Ways We Survived and Beat Burning Out as Wedding Photographers


I wasn’t sure I wanted to write this. I mean, even if it’s in the past, who wants to admit to burnout? What will our clients think? What does that say about us? I don’t ever want anyone to feel like we gave them any less than our very best and we have a reputation to uphold after all! But ultimately, I decided this was worth writing because I see a lot of burnout out there. It’s all over the place and I feel like we owe it to our clients to work together to push through it and provide them with something awesome, regardless of how we personally feel. If our story can help someone else do that for their clients, that’s all that matters. If our story can encourage someone who is currently burned out – to help them see that there is a light at the end …

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4 Steps to Untether Yourself from Technology

Think about a typical day. How early do you start using your phone or log into Facebook? First thing? What’s the last thing you do at night? Is it the same? Do you fall asleep with your iPad on your chest? Do you ever stop and think it’s all too much? As photographers we spend significant amounts of time “connected.” We have websites and blogs to update and read, pictures to edit, clients and vendors to connect with; and it’s all made easier by being constantly in touch. But there is a price that we’re paying for this connected lifestyle.

We struggle to focus on one task at a time. We check every notification that lights up our phone, even if we’re in the middle of a conversation with a real person. We go out to lunch with a friend or vendor and the phone sits face up on the table…as if …

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Why Photographers Outsource (and what it says about their business)

In talking with photographers about post-production work over the past few years, I’ve found that there are three primary reasons for outsourcing this work. What’s more, the reasons for doing so evolve over time and are often indicative of the photographer’s business maturity.

See if any of these reasons resonate with you.

“I’m so busy I will never get all this work done….what was I thinking?.….my clients will kill me….so will my family & friends, if I have any left. Heck, I’ll be happy if I just live through this…I can’t answer another ‘where are my images?’ question. HELP!”

We tend see more of these cases as the photography season advances. There were good intentions to get acquainted with an editor earlier, but there wasn’t that much work then and the photographer did it all. Now things have backed up and clients are getting frustrated.

This is where outsourcing post-production work can be a …

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Meeting Expectations You Didn’t Know Existed: Part 4

How to Satisfy the “Crazy” Clients.

How do you react to clients who have expectations that you are not aware of or expectations that you think are unreasonable? In the previous posts in this series, we talked about how clients get their expectations from four different sources:

– The Market Norm

– The first exposure to the type of product or service you offer 

– Confusion caused by your business’ complicated structures

– Poor communication between you and the client

Once you understand these four sources, you can better understand how to satisfy more of your clients.

If you ever visit an online photography forum or hang out with a group of photographers, you’ll hear multiple stories of “crazy clients.” We all like to tell stories about the “insane requests” clients have. The forums and community groups are our version of office water coolers.

Recently, our staff made a decision to stop using the term “crazy” for any …

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4 Tips to Finding Your Photography Style

Finding your photography style can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting. It takes time, but once you begin working on finding your style, it actually gets easier. Here are 4 tips for finding your photography style:

1. Study other images. Determine why you truly like a photo. Is it the light, the angle at which the photograph was taken, the subject’s expression, the bokeh, the layering of compositional elements? The list of why you like a photo could be really long or very simple – maybe you just like the way the subject is backlit. Once you start to realize what you like about other photos, you can start to hone your style by emulating those elements.

2. Start studying your photographs. What are your favorite portfolio photographs and why are they your favorites? You can use Pinterest to help organize your style. For example, you can create a Pinterest board …

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Operation Route 66 – serving those who served us.

Alex Velez's situation is more complicated. He wears dark Oakley sunglasses indoors and out to prevent extreme headaches – a feature I've learned to associate with traumatic brain injury, the hallmark wound of our most recent wars. In addition, after being dislocated, his leg never healed properly. He drags the half-dead limb around waiting for our over-burdened VA to get around to an 'optional' amputation. A prosthetic will give him much greater mobility.

A year and a half ago my son and I started down a path that changed our lives. As a country we had just learned there was going to be an end to Combat Operations in Iraq, but there was a lesser-reported story emerging: veterans were starting to die by their own hands at home, at a higher rate than on the battlefield. We decided then that we were going to meet the men and women who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, document our experience and talk about how we – Americans – can serve those who served us.

When we first began, we realized there was a disconnect. We didn’t know a single veteran and initially we had trouble connecting with them. After exhaustive research; tapping out friends, families and social networks we began to find them. At the beginning we would go on 26-32 hour road …

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A Wedding Photographer Reviews the Leica Monochrom

“Be quick, but don’t hurry.” – John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach

I love this quote and I think it fits perfectly with photography.

I started out with Rangefinders in wedding photography. Partly because those are the tools I had but also because I loved the intimacy I could achieve with a Leica due to it’s small size.

I’ll probably get some flack for this from film lovers (hey, I’m one too) but with their new Monochrom  – black and white 18mp digital Rangefinder, Leica has put the “Tri-X” back into digital photography. Perhaps they’ve even put the tried-and-true love of black-and-white back into wedding photography.

I think there’s a different thought process with black-and-white photography versus color photography. With the Monochrom, I don’t have the mindset, “I’ll just convert to black-and-white during post processing,” which can sometimes be lazy. I find myself taking time to think about the image before creating it, just …

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Why Every Pro Photographer Should Have A Valued Business Advisor On Their Team

Professional photographers love having a camera in their hands. They also love the idea that they can make a living doing what they love. But most professional photographers do not have an accounting or law degree. That’s why photographers need a business pro on their team. Being a great photographer is challenging, but being a great photographer who’s running a profitable, healthy business can be daunting! And here’s how a business pro can help photographers:

What’s the Best Business Structure?

There are many items to consider when growing a business. The first to consider is what type of business entity should be set up. Should you be a sole-proprietor? What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)? What are the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating? If you incorporate, should you file as a C-Corporation or an S- Corporation?

The right advisors can answer these questions and help it make sense to you.

A sole-proprietorship is …

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Are You Taking Care of Business?

We know that you’re doing business. The evidence is everywhere. You sign contracts, shoot jobs, process images and deliver products to customers. But are you taking care of business? Are you keeping in touch with customers the way you know you should? Are you getting in touch and spending time with people who can bring business your way? Are you keeping up with your blog and Facebook page?

Are you taking care of business?

Successful photographers may not necessarily be better artists or technicians than their counterparts, but they do know what they are selling and what it means to be taking care of business. What they are selling is a personal relationship with their customer, and that can’t be done sitting in front of your computer, no matter how late you stay up. They understand that taking care of business means getting up out of the chair and out the door.

Yes, your …

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