Monday through Friday Money Part 1: The Philosophy

2015 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

So, there you are… A bag full of expensive gear that is worth less every day… Mad skills… Eager to shoot… Ambitious… Looking forward to a lifetime of amazing experiences behind the camera ….annnd you are sitting in front of your computer editing the weekend’s images, posting to social media, writing a blog post, answering emails, drooling over another photographer’s Instagram account, planning your next lens purchase, and doing all of the other behind-the-scenes things that running a successful photography business requires you to do. I was there, too. I was working 80+ hours a week for years – convinced my overworked struggle would pay off with success + less to do later.

© 2015 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

It took me 7 years of working way too hard before I figured out my happy place in the photography market, and another 4 years to find my ‘success with less …

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A Winter Retreat Like No Other

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Let me be very clear: I have never been into winter sports. Skiing, ice hockey or even ice skating were all simply bizarre to me. You see, I grew up in Madras, India, where “winter” is when the temperature hits 75 degrees. There, you’ll see aunties and uncles hustling over the main stretch of the beach in sweaters and scarves. I grew up unaccustomed to the cold weather. In fact, when my fingers start to freeze up, I look for the nearest Starbucks where I can quickly warm up. Don’t ask me what I am doing now in New England!

Jokes aside, when I heard Inspire Photo Retreats takes place in the middle of snow season and offers a ready refuge to photographers, I was hooked. Yet it wasn’t till last year that I spent the entire three days at the conference. Years before, I poked my head in to check …

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How to Create a Photography Brand That’s Uniquely You

copyright Creatrix Photography

“You are unique, just like everyone else.”

This quote always tickles me a little, because it almost seems to lift you up, while slapping you down at the same time. Which is really just the true sense of our industry: highs and lows. Our industry is filled with bright-eyed peeps new to the scene and I always find myself eyeing them with envy. I miss that “I NEED TO WIN THEM ALL” attitude, that insatiable need for success that makes you work 110 hours a week.

Then I remember how hard it is to start a business and I’m grateful for the comfortable zone I’m in, where I only need to work 60 hours a week. I remember how many hours I poured over my idol’s websites and looked at the trends, thinking to myself, “what do I need to do to make this happen?”

My first website was pretty trendy, back when …

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The Power of Personal Projects

© Jane Ammon Photography

Every year since I launched my photography business, I’ve carved out time to pursue a personal project. It’s a part of my art that has helped me flourish as an artist, a person and as a business owner. Ranging from a large project that took over 2 years to complete and culminated with a gallery show to a small project I completed in 15 days with iPhone only pictures, each personal project has existed solely to help me create work that speaks to my heart and show the world the space I was in at the time.

Personal projects are exactly what they say: personal. They exist to give you a channel to explore parts of WHO you are and WHAT interests you with only parameters you set for yourself. With no money or time pressures and no voices of others in your head, they give you permission to make something …

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Slow & Steady Wins the Race: Tips for Marrying Your Client

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When you’re building your business, you may think that the photos you make are the most important aspect to focus on. Don’t get me wrong, your images are your brand and your integrity, but you might be overlooking a vital component that can help you become more successful: Creating and maintaining solid client relationships!

As someone who has worked for the past decade to develop the relationships that have led me to book and work the gigs of my dreams, I’d like to share a few tips I’ve picked up over the years to help you do the same.

1. Be patient. There is nothing worse than waiting to hear back from a potential client. I know it’s awful to stare at your phone for a call that may never come, but I promise that you’re not doing yourself any favors by constantly trying to make contact—and becoming a nuisance in the …

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3 Easy Techniques to Turn Portrait Leads into Bookings

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We’ve all received leads from potential clients that we feel REALLY excited about, right? We start to paint the picture in our head of just how amazing their shoot would be! We’ve also all felt super bummed when they don’t respond or end up booking with us. We make up a scenario in our heads as to why they didn’t book, blame it on price, blame it on the email wording, etc. The fact that everything lies in one email is crazy sauce.

Have you ever felt this way? What if I told you there are more things you can do to get this lead to book aside from that ONE EMAIL?

I own a woman’s portrait studio (we specialize in boudoir) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, called Molly Marie Photography. At my studio, we have three techniques we use in order to get these leads booked.

First, did you know that 80 percent …

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Braintree Checks In As Google Checks Out

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In preparation for Google’s retirement of Google Checkout, ShootQ integrated with an alternative merchant solution, Braintree. Braintree helps your business run more efficiently by allowing you to easily accept credit card payments online.

ShootQ supports merchant accounts like Braintree, among others, that can seamlessly communicate back and forth with ShootQ. With this direct integration, you can receive a confirmation that a payment has processed and mark that invoice as paid as soon as your client posts it online. This saves you from having to monitor your merchant account and manually mark invoices as paid in ShootQ. It also helps your clients feel confident about your business, since they can see the results of their online payments immediately after posting them.

ShootQ currently supports the following merchant accounts:

• Authorize.Net • Beanstream • Braintree • PayJunction • PayPal Payments Pro • P3 – Pictage Payment Processing (for Pictage members) • Skipjack

We understand that changing solutions can be a hassle and …

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Creating Memories with Family Reunion Photos

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If family photography or portrait photography is your primary focus, there is an often-overlooked market that may be a natural fit: family reunions. Traditionally a harbinger of summer (though they can occur any time of year), reunions are the reason millions of Americans travel each year, and photographs are critical. After the corn-on-the-cob has been eaten and the water balloons tossed, photos remain to document growth and change. The fleeting nature of a family reunion gives just one chance to capture these important moments; then they are gone, perhaps forever.

Clint Thayer, photographer and owner of Focal Flame Photography, says of family reunion photography, “Those tender moments last only seconds. Being ready to see those moments and capture them does not come when you buy an expensive camera, it comes from studying your subjects and environment and crafting an effective photo – one that tells a story rather than just being …

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Your Personality is More Important than Your Camera

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Do you wonder sometimes how other photographers’ clients look happy and beautiful at the same time? Are you sick of deciphering technical photography jargon? In the next five minutes, I’ll teach you how to make your personality your strongest tool. Don’t think you have what it takes? Trust me, you do.

I. Surprise your clients by redefining the process

Many people would argue that having their picture taken sucks. It’s awkward and you have to get all dolled up for no reason. Well, this is a challenge I love taking on every time I pick up my camera. Use the following tips to redefine what it means for your clients to have their pictures taken.

1. Make sure your gear is more compact and less intrusive. 2. Your personality rocks, so use it. 3. Keep things lighthearted and moving quickly. 4. Have an assistant help direct people.

II. Comfortable means profitable

Photographing people is inherently intimate. Whether you’re …

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Pet Photography: A Lively Challenge

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Interested in expanding your photography business to a new niche? You might consider pet photography. With more than 43 million dog-owning households in the United States,* pet photography is a rapidly growing market. But working with animals requires key skills:

• A love of action photography to capture wagging tails at full speed • The ability to adjust a game plan quickly • A high tolerance of both slobber and LOTS of flying fur

Imagine a park, a sunny afternoon, a Frisbee and a gravity-defying boxer mix named Jet alongside his owners. Now add a photographer experienced with action and sports. The result? Artistically brilliant pet photography that tells an energetic story.

The image above represents the understanding of Focal Flame Photography owner, Clint Thayer, of what it takes to get “that shot” during a split second of activity – even when the athlete has four paws instead of two feet.

About their custom pet photography …

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