FInding Success in Photography. It’s Up to You.

Photographers get no shortage of advice. Some of it is good. Some of it is great. Some of it is – well – not so good at all.

There is no question that these are challenging times. It’s funny that we all seem to think that’s new. It’s not. The decision to enter small business is the decision to accept the challenge of going it alone. Like that ad on TV where the guy says he’s the ‘Chief Everything Officer.’ If you decide you want to be in the business of photography then that’s what you are, a Chief Everything Officer. (Now, go and have new cards printed up that say that!).

Much of the discussion today centers around the challenges of the photography industry. To be sure, too much supply and not enough demand is a big challenge. A photographer who wishes to succeed – and for purposes of my posts …

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Are You Choosing Success?

Who else is tired of the doom and gloom?

A few days ago Pictage set a record. We actually sold more in a single day then we ever have in the history of the company (outside of the Holidays). I got tweets and emails and Facebook and forum messages from people who were celebrating their unexpected emails telling them they’d closed a sale. I got one email that stood out.

“Hey Jim, I’m not sure you’re aware of how meaningful this is. I had a long day. I got home and opened my twitter stream to nothing but doom and gloom and clients don’t want to buy this or that or whatever. You tweeted in the middle of the day that it was a good day for Pictage photographers so I went and fired up my studio email. Sure enough, in addition to a couple of fun inquiries, there was an email …

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How to Prep Your Clients to Use Pictage

One of the real benefits of my job is that I get to meet with successful photographers all the time.  One of the challenges is that I also get calls from folks who are struggling.  Some folks I can help.  When it comes to ideas for marketing your business, dealing with sticky situations or just the need for a quick pep talk, I’m your man.   (Just don’t ask me to help you take better pictures.  There are lots of people who can do that better than me).   With this said, there is one question I get asked all the time.  How can I sell more products?  My answer is simple … (and therefore probably counter-intuitive).  Use Pictage more.

Here’s what I mean.  When I ask photographers if they talk with their clients up front about Pictage many (most?) say no.  That’s a mistake, and I mean that in the empirical, this …

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Summer Night Lights

I have amazing friends.  I really do.  I’m not sure why – probably has something to do with my amazing wife – but I am surrounded by people who do fascinating things.  One of my amazing friends is Jeff Carr. Jeff has worked for years developing programs targeted at inner city youth and families. He has this gift for seeing all people as people and for understanding that what may look different on the outside for any number of reasons is a lot more the same on the inside.

Photo by Leo Flores.

A couple of years ago Jeff was asked by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to come and work for the city, running a department focused on Gang Reduction and Youth Development.  Jeff’s experience and perspective made him the right guy in the right place at the right time.  From experience, Jeff knew that one of the key …

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Shoot, laugh, cry, stretch, learn, try, play, cuss, whine, yell, fly …

I spent this afternoon wandering cobblestones laid in the 1700’s.  I had an incredible dinner at a restaurant that was someone’s house in the 1800’s.  I walked the streets and heard the sounds of live jazz and revelry before falling into a chair in a bar with friends to talk about whatever comes to mind and watch the night deepen.  Where am I?  Where you should be too during the first week in November, in New Orleans.

We’re here to scout the locations and venues for PartnerCon.  We became familiar with the primary venue site, walked the locations for the shooting workshops, and did some on-the-ground planning for the ‘Katrina Families’ charity shoot.

New Orleans is a backdrop.  I can’t wait to see you all here.  You will want to shoot everywhere. There is no view that isn’t interesting through the viewfinder.  There is no bad light.

PartnerCon is about the sessions and all you …

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The Value of Community

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We would like to welcome Pictage CEO Jim Collins to the Pictage Blog today as he shares about “The Value of Community.”  Jim, along with other executives and members of the Pictage Team, will now be regular contributors to the Pictage Blog… other guests will include CMO Simon Anderson, CFO Kevin Rubin, Senior Director of Customer Experience Michael Caro, and more!

From Jim:

I was talking to Mike Colon not all that long ago and he mentioned that he thought the primary benefit of working with Pictage for any photographer was the community. I’ve had some time to think about it and I think he’s right. Here’s why.

You’ve chosen to be a professional photographer. That’s your living, your path. We all know that a lot of the time it’s great fun. Your interaction with your clients, their faces when they see their pictures or albums …

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