The Pro Photographer’s Guide to WPPI by Jason Aten

Headed to WPPI this week and next? Like 15,000 wedding and portrait photographers, you are headed to one of the biggest gatherings of people from our industry, that you’re ever likely to encounter. Whether you’ve been a dozen times, or are headed out for your first time, the entire experience can be a bit overwhelming (to say the least). Between the platform classes, master classes, impromptu classes, shooting experiences, mentoring, and of course – the parties – there’s a lot happening. Want to come back in one piece?

Here are my WPPI Survival Tips:

1. Don’t try to do everything. You’ll hear this a lot from many people who have been there, but seriously – DON’T try to see everything. You can’t. It’s too big, and you’ll end up robbing yourself of the benefit of what you DO take in. Be picky about where you spend your time. You’ll get the most …

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Making the Move from Second Photographer to Primary Photographer by Kelly Benvenuto

I am an earnest beginner. Just starting out. A weekend warrior. A never-been-to-art-or-journalism-school-photographer. A business owner who never imagined owning a business. As I wade more deeply into the wedding photography world, I am making the switch from second shooting to shooting weddings as a primary photographer. Along the way, I’ve focused on three things: craft, confidence, and clients.

1) Craft

I don’t know about you, but I got into this business because I wanted to make beautiful, meaningful images for couples in love. If I can’t consistently deliver those, then I have no basis for being in business. Given this belief, my first step was to build a technical and artistic foundation for my business honing the craft of photography.

Read. There are so many amazing websites and blogs (like this one) that provide considerable information for free! You can learn about lighting, posing, composition, how to make people feel comfortable in front …

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4 Tips for Building Valuable Vendor Partnerships that Last by Chris Torres

A wedding is successful because of the collaboration of multiple vendors, working together for their client. When each vendor works together the event goes on beautifully. That is why we refer to each company that was a part of a wedding day not as vendors but as partners. A partner is “a friend who shares a common interest or participates in achieving a common goal.”

Face it, we could all use more business. Developing meaningful partnerships, is one way to get more business. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can provide a wonderful experience with wedding partners and build those relationship to help grow your business.

These easy tips will guarantee your business to grow with new referrals from new partners. It’s as simple as these four steps – Greeting, Writing, Giving and Meeting.

Greeting: First Contact

Since we only allow for a limited number of commissioned weddings a year, …

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Creating a Schedule to Maximize Productivity by Anne Ruthmann

When we work for other people, having work hours, weekly meetings, and daily tasks is practically expected.  However, when working for ourselves, it’s very easy to let time slip by if we don’t create a schedule for our productivity.  The great thing about working for ourselves is that we can create a schedule that works with our own peak productivity and distraction times.  If we know that we are most productive with post-production late at night, and we have the freedom to wake up later in the day, than we can create a schedule that allows us to focus in this way.  If we know that we’re most alert to responding to emails first thing in the morning, than we can create a schedule that works with our peak alertness.  By simply planning out when we will deal with our regular tasks for a typical week, we can quickly increase …

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Find Your Client’s Signature Pose…and Name It by Justine Ungaro

When I first started out I dreaded the engagement session. In fact, I dreaded anything that meant I had to actually pose or direct my clients. It just scared me because I had no idea what to do with them. But as the years passed and I got more comfortable with the idea, I have actually grown to love shooting engagement sessions. I’ve learned that working with just the couple can be really fun and the opportunity to explore multiple locations allows for a high level of creativity.

Not only does the engagement session allow you to get to know your clients a little better, but it also gives you the opportunity to see how they photograph and to figure out how to make them look their best. Often when I’m shooting an engagement I will stumble upon a pose with a couple that just really works for them. All …

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Tips for Getting Started in Boudoir Photography by Christa Meola

I receive tons of emails from enthusiastic photographers who are catching boudoir fever and would love to know how to get started!  Here’s a perfect example:

“I am just starting out as a photographer and would love to do Boudoir.  There are so many things I need to do and learn, and I am working to raise the money needed for equipment, sets, and marketing. I’m not sure what to do first or how to really get started!”

Here is my best advice for a helpful approach in getting started, how to prioritize your investments, create a smoking hot portfolio, and get that first boudoir client!

KEEPING A PLAYFUL AND INTELLIGENT APPROACH As a boudoir photographer and as a woman, I live by the following three tenets: Simplify, Experiment, and Focus on Emotion. I believe these principles are conducive to creativity and success in all areas of my life, photography, and business. Keeping these …

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Character Marketing: Why do your clients hire you? by Mike Larson

Why do clients hire you? Think about it for a minute.

Over the past 13 years as a photographer/entrepreneur, I’ve realized that the reason people hired me was not always what I assumed it was, especially in the beginning years of building my business and reputation. I would have liked to think that people hired me because they had to have me as their photographer. Looking back over my first few years though, I realized that many of the people who hired me did so not because of who I was, or what I did, but for some other lesser reason. They might have hired me because I was the most economical, because I sold them on me, because I had a show special, or because I was one of the few available for their date.  Certainly not reasons I would want to brand myself on. As far as positioning myself …

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Back to Basics, Dodging & Burning in Photoshop (Video Tutorial) by Phil Thornton

This is the first video in a series by Phil Thornton that will take a look at the basic concepts of post processing an image of a couple. There are several ways to dodge and burn but the concept is the same. With proper dodging and burning you can move the viewers eye through the photo and add depth to an image. These same techniques can be applied to any application you might use for dodging and burning.

If you would like to download a free Photoshop action that creates the dodge/burn layers automatically (as seen in the video) click here .

Written by Phil Thornton

Phil Thornton and his wife Mindy run one of the most successful wedding photography studios in the Nashville market, Phindy Studios. Before entering the photography industry, Phil was a web developer and internet marketing professional. He contributed to several international web marketing projects for clients ranging from Disney …

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Connecting With People That Matter To Your Business by Jason Aten

It’s a big world out there. Even in your market or area, there are probably more than a hundred wedding industry professionals and vendors. One of the most valuable ways to build your photography business is through the relationships you develop with these key industry professionals. It’s also one of the hardest.

Although photographers seem to be a pretty social group, I often hear from friends and peers that the idea of trying to meet planners, venues, coordinators, designers, etc, can be intimidating. Where do I even start? How do I get people to refer me business? What do I do to meet the important people?

Those are all great questions. Just as in any industry, people want to work with – and refer business to – people they know and like. People want to work with people they’ve already developed relationships with. …

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The Importance of a Pre-Portrait Client Consultation by Justine Ungaro

Whenever I walk into a store and a salesperson asks me “can I help you find anything?”, like most people my first reaction is to say “no, thank you” and shrink away as quickly as possible to go hide in a dark corner somewhere. But the truth is that at least half the time I am actually looking for something and I could use some help from an expert after all. Most people just don’t like feeling as if they are being sold to, right? I know I don’t.

But in order to be a successful professional photographer, you have to learn how to sell your work….otherwise you’re just a hobbyist. So how do we sell to clients without feeling as though we are pushing our work on them?

The answer is by preparing them to purchase from you before there is even any work to purchase. There are many ways to …

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