How to Prepare for Your First Intern

As I’m getting ready for my next internship opening announcement, I thought I’d share some tips about finding an intern and making the most of having them learn while working in your business. This is the first of two posts. (The following image is from an intern.)

How to Prepare for Your Intern:

Review the United States Department of Labor Guidelines on Internships to make sure that you are creating an experience that qualifies. Identify three of your closest photography schools and/or high schools that offer photography classes. Contact the teachers or intern coordinators to learn about their student internship requirements and expectations. Decide exactly what the intern will be learning during their internship and what tasks will help them learn while they work with you. Outline the basic qualifications they need in order to work at a level that doesn’t require extensive remediation. Create an office procedure manual of any tasks that you prefer to have done a …

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What is a Photogrepreneur?

Just about every photographer I know has their own business. Most get into it for the art and the love of photography, but there’s no denying that an entrepreneurial spirit is required as well. For the business to succeed, these two personas – the photographer and the entrepreneur – must come together into what I like to call a ”photogrepreneur.”

Why is This Important?

As a small business owner, your success depends on your ability to do more than capture and deliver beautiful images.  There are a wide range of things that have to get done for any business to survive, and the smaller the business, the more the business owner must take on themselves.

Photographers love their art – it is why they do what they do.  And while it may be hard to truly love a cash flow analysis or marketing plans, these are just as important to the future of your …

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How To Crowdfund A Personal Project

Photographer Amy Toensing is a frequent contributor to National Geographic, but even reaching that pinnacle of professional recognition doesn’t mean she’s able to do whatever projects she wants.

“I consider myself an artist and I have work that I need to do to stay sane. I need to make sure that I’m doing my work,” she says. As we all know so well, even working for major publications doesn’t mean money to fund personal projects. So Amy is taking her first steps to crowdfunding her next personal project.

She’ll photograph the lives of urban refugee children in Africa, some of the most vulnerable people in an already disturbingly disadvantaged population of Africans driven from their homes by war, persecution, famine, or disease. It’s an attempt to draw attention back to the plight of refugees.

Amy has shared what she’s learned about using Kickstarter, encouraging other photographers to step up and declare their work …

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Why Images Still Captivate Us

We ache for the genuine. To know there is the pulse of warm blood running through a body, full-throated and clear. To know that there are others out there, behind the veiled walls of data, pixels, and screens. To reconnect with a collective conscious that transcends the divisive chasm that is America today and find a yesterday that binds us.

In the here and now, there is no time for the still. Beats are measured in billionths, moments fray at the edges of distinction, and we speak in streams of 140. But the mythology lives.

God made a farmer.

We hear the words.

God made a farmer.

We hear it, and we respond.

That Dodge Ram commercial during this 47th Super Bowl was a sledgehammer, shattering time and space. There was the controversy, there was the commercialism. It was a deft, sly sell to be sure. But before …

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Do’s and Don’ts of Copyright

David Esquire laughs when I call him a copyright evangelist. It’s a knowing, admitting laugh. “I am a big fan of not only protecting my work, but encouraging photographers and other artists to respect each other’s work and not steal it,” says the intense, passionate California-based wedding and portrait photographer.

He knows there’s plenty of copyright violators outside the photo community. There are plenty of companies and clients that overstep licenses, assuming images posted online are free. But he’s looking inward, too, at what we photographers do. In fact, we weaken the moral high ground more than we should. Rather than running roughshod over fellow creatives’ copyright, we need to take a stand to protect copyright.

Are we doing what’s right for copyright?

Esquire’s Copyright Do’s and Don’ts:

DO stick up for your rights, by carefully reviewing proposed contracts to ensure you’re not giving away ownership of the copyright. License whatever you wish (as …

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Five Ways to Engage Your Audience Using Marketing Emails


Some consider email an “old school” marketing tool, but it’s actually one of the most effective content marketing tools available because it delivers content easily.

But once your emails are delivered, how do you get your audience to engage with your message further, viewing it and clicking on links? After all, inboxes are inundated. How do you make your emails stand out?

Here are five ways to engage with your audience through marketing emails:

1. Start by letting your audience opt-in.

An email list of hundreds of willing subscribers is more valuable than a list of thousands of unwilling recipients. Willing subscribers are more likely to take action than unwilling recipients who will probably report you for spam!

To ensure that your email list consists of willing subscribers, use the confirmed opt-in method. When you let subscribers opt-in, you can be a hero because you’re giving them exactly what they asked for.

If it’s …

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How to Shoot and Publish Longterm Photography Projects

Will Jacks has a standing date whenever he’s home on Thursday nights: he heads to Po’Monkey’s Lounge in northwest Mississippi. He’s been visiting the historic blues club regularly for about three years. During this time, he’s learned a lot about how to shoot and publish longterm photography projects.

The project on Po’Monkey’s started with a photo shoot for a magazine, which Jacks struggled with emotionally. “It didn’t feel real for me because I didn’t know enough about the story,” he recalls. And when it was over, he didn’t like the feeling of moving on to the next piece, and the next. “I felt like I was taking a lot.” The Mississippi native wanted a deeper relationship with the people and their place, he says. A deeper one.

Longterm photography projects often start with a simple question, “What can I learn?,’” says Jacks. That instinct led Jacks to find an opportunity that was …

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Write a Great Subject Line to Increase Your Open Rate

The goal of subject lines is to encourage readers to open your email and take action. Don’t let the pressure of writing the perfect subject line get to you. Finding the right words isn’t as difficult as it seems.

Open rates depend on multiple factors like collection practices, list age and the industry. Average rate ranges from 10% to 25% (at the high end of the spectrum). The team at Mad Mimi analyzed thousands of subject lines to find those with the highest open rates and the most impact. Here’s what we learned:

1. Be Specific

The subject line should tell readers what they’re going to find inside.

Here’s an example that garnered an open rate of 37%:

Only Three Days Left for this Great Offer for [Company Name] Readers!

It’s totally clear what it’s about and the reader knows, when they open the email, they’ll get details about the special offer. Also, note the “call …

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What ONE THING would you change in 2013?

Now that 2012 has come to a close, hopefully you had some much needed  reflection and R&R and are ready to dive headfirst into 2013. When you think about your successes and mistakes over the past year, are there things you wish you’d done differently? Probably. But that’s the beauty of a new year – it’s a fresh start!

To get you started, we asked YOU to share ONE THING you’ll do differently in 2013. Every week, we’ll be spotlighting one photographer and the ONE THING that they’re doing differently this coming year.

What will you change? Here’s what photographer  Kristi Odom said:


About Kristi Odom Kristi Odom has a background in travel and nature photography that she brings into destination wedding photography. She has photographed weddings around the world including Ethiopia, Australia, Ireland, Thailand, amongst other locations. Her adventurous side tends to come out in her shoots; may it be shooting a wedding …

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Shooting for Story: How to Make Your Portrait Sessions Tell a Complete Story

©Kate Botel

I love shooting for, designing and selling albums to my family portrait clients (and then visiting their homes and seeing them proudly displayed on their coffee tables.)  In my third year in business, over half of my clients opted for an album and many ordered “bundles” – multiple copies to gift relatives and/or leave at the office – and I anticipate those numbers growing.

I’ve been told that what made my albums such a hit is that they tell a story. As a former television writer, my scripts had a clear structure, bookended by “Fade In” and “Fade Out.” When I transitioned into portrait photography and found myself producing album after album, I realized that I needed to shoot like I wrote, and approach each session like a day on a television set to ensure that a clear, beautiful and loving story would be told.

I constantly hear from clients how much their …

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