Survive the WPPI Madness

Studio 54 Party at WPPI

Oh the stories from our very first trip to WPPI… No, Jeff and I didn’t get crazy, stay up all night, and party until the wee hours of the morning doing Saki bombs and shouting “this is sooooooo staying in Vegas! Woo hoo!” Nope. We pretty much woke up, wandered the trade show floor by our two little selves, sipped some coffee, and tried to make eye contact with anybody that would talk to us. Awesome.

I can say with confidence that eventually it got a lot better than that.

Even though we felt completely overwhelmed at our first WPPI, this conference has proven to be a dynamic and integral experience for our business. Even though we felt totally isolated going into it that first time, we made quite a few friends that first year that made the entire trip more than worth it. And I say that with fervor because those …

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Becoming a Certified Photographer- The “How” and “Why”

Making a living as a professional photographer is tough.

Especially these past few years.  With the relatively low-cost of entry into our profession, thousands are picking up cheap DSLRs, turning them to P-mode, and calling themselves professional photographers.

The low-end and middle-markets have been hit hard for the past few years, with the new photographers pumping out action-covered sub-par work and undercutting the long-time professional photographers on price, and giving it all away for nothing.  The high-end market has not escaped this either.  Even the five-star hotels are giving deals on weddings now, if that tells you anything!

So what sets you apart from the influx of new and “faux” photographers?  How does a client know you are legitimate?

Obviously client testimonials, longevity in business, and a solid body of work are all good ways to show your skill, talent, artistry, and professionalism.  But if you want to take it a step further, …

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PartnerCon NOLA 2010 Schedule Announced

If you can’t tell, we’re very excited to announce this year’s PartnerCon schedule. We’ve lined up some of the industry’s best to teach you about topics from business & marketing, organization & workflow, to selling more & working less, including 30 speaking sessions and 23 shooting workshops.

PartnerCon NOLA is not only about taking a closer look at “Where Y’at?”… the underlying value of this gathering is our community. With 500 seats available (that we’re sure will fill up fast) there is no doubt you’ll walk away not only inspired by our instructors, but by the new friends you’ve made.

Check out this film, created by Ron Dawson of Dare Dreamer Media ( http://daredreamer.net/ )

We hope to see you there!

To see the full schedule, click here. To reserve your spot, click here.

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Call For Bloggers

In January, excited for a new year, we decided to take the Pictage Blog in a new direction. Our goal for the blog since then has been to make it a place where you, as professional photographers, can go to learn and share about your photography business through instructional and interactive posts. We want to provide content that is relevant and useful for you and your professional development. So far, we have had a great response from the community and are excited to continue this direction.

We have been fortunate enough to have frequent blog contributors that contribute enriching educational content. However, on average we post 16 times a month, 12 months a year, and with wedding season soon approaching (if not already upon us) we are going to need help from this community to keep this content coming.

Are you interested?

Let me clarify.

We are looking for more bloggers that feel …

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Friday News Round Up

Here is your Friday News Round Up, a group of useful blog posts that we have read and enjoyed throughout this week. We think they might be worth the read for you on this Friday afternoon or throughout the weekend. So take a second, get comfortable, get a cup of coffee, grab your favorite Apple product, and enjoy these articles from out in the photography community and beyond. Enjoy!

Going Pro 2010- “Balancing Your Market: What’s the Best Mix?”

Chris Brogan- “Your Blog is Not Your Job”

Mashable- “Google Testing New Ad Format for Boosting Twitter Followers”

ProBlogger- “The Win-Win Scenario: Holding Successful Blog Contests”

Seth Godin- “16 Questions for Free Agents”

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How to Be Fascinating

The primary goal of your social media activities—whether for your personal brand or your organization’s brand—is to establish yourself as a fascinating subject-matter expert. The only exception to this is if you are a household name celebrity like Lance Armstrong, Oprah or Barack Obama. If you are this level of celebrity, then tweeting or updating, “I’m at Starbucks on the way to fly VirginAmerica to Vegas” is cool.

For the rest of us, the challenge is to achieve a consistent level of fascinating information about your area of expertise. The answer is simple. First, it helps if you actually know what you’re talking about. If you don’t, it may be better to let people wonder if you’re clueless rather than participating in social media and removing all doubt. But let’s say you’ve crossed the Rubicon.

Then it’s all about finding good stories, videos and blog posts about your subject and providing links to these …

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Friday News Round Up

Here is your Friday News Round Up, a group of useful blog posts that we have read throughout this week that might be worth the read for you on this Friday afternoon or throughout the weekend. So take a second, get comfortable, get a cup of coffee, grab your favorite Apple product, and enjoy these articles from out in the photography community and beyond. Also included at the bottom of this post are links to the posts that we have had on the Pictage Blog this week, just in case you missed them. Enjoy!

From the Community

Camera Dojo- “Photoshop CS5’s Lesser Known Enhancements”

Photoshelter- “Your Photography Blog Ain’t No Online Journal”

A Photo Editor- “iPad- Magazine Savior, Portfolio Replacement or a Complete Waste of Time?”

Mashable- “Apple Didn’t Kill Flash, HTML5 Did”

Jim Collins- “Thoughts for New Photographers”

Liana Lehman- “Why my husband calls me “Debt Dominatrix”  (My Debt Story) On the Pictage Blog

Amber Holritz- …

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Getting the Industry to Recognize Your Talent

For wedding photographers, one of the most frustrating things can be getting exposure for your work and your studio. You work on your craft, work on your site and work on your business in general all the time, but how do you get the industry to recognize your talent?  Whether it is vendors in your own state, photographers you look up to around the country or magazines that you want to be published in, the industry is an important part of the success of your business!

Here are five ways that I believe you can connect with the broader industry to enable your success and get the recognition your work deserves.

1) Join forums and contribute to the conversation that is going on there. As you contribute and build relationships, those in the community will help to promote you and your work to the larger community. A few forums to check out: …

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Photography business chat with Mike Adrian

We’re so happy with and thankful for the video content that we got while at WPPI this past week and can’t wait to share them all with you! This first interview is with Mike Adrian, Hawaii based Wedding Photographer and Hawaii PUG Leader. In this interview he talks about how he has grown his business so fast and shares tips for new and developing photographers.

Please note: Some of our WPPI videos were recorded live and run from about 10-20 minutes, but have some great tips and tricks to help photographers.  We suggest you take a seat, relax, and enjoy!

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Is Your Pricing a Secret?

From a photographer’s website I came across recently – under their “pricing” link: “You’re wedding is different than any other I’ve ever shot, so it would be impossible for me to simply list a bunch of prices without us talking.  I need to know more about you – and your wedding – before I can create a custom quote that fits your needs specifically.  Please contact me today, so we can talk more about your wedding – and how I might be able to serve you.”

I’ve noticed, more and more, that a lot of photographers – for whatever reason – are requiring clients to contact them before they will give any kind of pricing information.  And based on what I hear photographers say, it seems that they want clients to engage in what is basically a sales conversation, before they will give detailed information about their pricing.

I think there’s a mentality …

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