Inspired by an Old Master: The Importance of Lighting

Sometimes you should stop looking at photographs. Look to other artists for inspiration, especially the old masters. Touring the Rembrandt exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art recently reminded me of the importance of three things:

His lighting style stands the test of time. No fad, here. Most people have heard of it. There’s something to be said about a technique that has stood the test of time by a few hundreds years. It’s good to know that wedding photography today won’t be shunned in 50 years. He shared as much as he created in painting schools. Like, he had ‘followers.’ His creative school shaped his vision. This blog shapes mine. I’m a proponent of the philosophy “Create. Share. Sustain.” He created portraits of people flattered in their best light. This benefits both painters and photographers. The human face responds best to specific types of light. Rembrandt’s trademark triangle of light on the cheek …

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Setting up ShootQ Just Got Simpler

Your shiny new toy arrives, you can’t wait to take it out of the box and play with it. Everyone relates to that experience. But what happens when the toy takes a few steps to set up? Uh-oh. It might sit in its box, partly assembled or gathering dust for a few weeks until you’re ready to take time to put it together. That’s the experience some photographers have when they get started with ShootQ. It’s a powerful tool but it requires some setup to get fully dialed into your business. Since it’s worth it, the training team at Pictage decided to create a helpful, step-by-step guide that will get photographers setup faster – it’s as easy as opening a box and clicking a few parts into place!

We sat down with the training team to get the backstory of the new ShootQ Setup Guide. Here’s the scoop for you:

Q. What makes …

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SEO For Photographers: Not All Links Are Created Equal

Unlike the US Declaration of Independence, when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), not all links are created equal. In fact, some are virtually useless in building your PageRank (PR) – Google’s way of ranking websites.

PR is a measurement for a website’s influence or priority. The higher the PR, the more powerful it is. The lower the PR, the less powerful it is … or the less “Google Juice” it has.

The goal is to find relevant inbound links to build your PageRank. There are essentially two types to of relevant links to pay attention to —

topically relevant links rel=”follow” links Topically Relevant Links

Topically relevant links are links that pertain to the same content as your website. Remember that Google’s goal is to display websites that are relevant to a search term.

Therefore, if you’re a photographer, try to get links from photography related websites. It won’t help much if you have links from …

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Content Marketing, Social Media & Blogs: It’s About More than Pretty Pictures

There’s a lot of talk about the impact blogging and social media have on running a successful photography business. While there are many valid opinions, we’ve chosen to focus a large portion of our effort into maintaining an active blog and a strong social media presence for our business. And although I’d love to say that all we have to do is post pretty pictures and watch our readership skyrocket, that’s simply not the case. Heck, even my best friends tell me that they “rarely” look at our recent session posts! So, how do we engage people with our work, but continue engaging them enough to keep coming back? 

By making them take an interest in US.  Now, that might sound self-serving, but hear me out. When we sat down to think about our ideal couples, we realized that our ideal clients were pretty much like us. Knowing that, we decided to incorporate more …

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Love is Gender Neutral: Shooting a Same-Sex Wedding

I recently had the pleasure of shooting my first same-sex wedding. I had shot one other same-sex wedding, but as a second shooter, never for my own clients. I remember meeting with TJ and Marcus at a coffee shop, in which I nervously had crème brûlée and coffee at a quiet corner table while waiting for them to arrive. They came in with so much energy and laughter, some of my favorite types of clients…full of life.

I pulled out my wedding albums, all full of women marrying men. I remember thinking, “There is no way they are going to book me, there are no same-sex weddings in my portfolio.”

This didn’t seem to be an issue at all for TJ and Marcus. They looked right past that; it was just about me and my work. So, I was beyond happy when they called to book me for their wedding! I started prepping a …

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A Good Photography Business is About You: Take Care of Yourself

In life, there are only going to be so many days – so many pictures to snap, so many memories to make, so long a career to have. And most wedding photographers won’t go the distance. Some will last. Some will find greener pastures. But shooting weddings is a job that burns through people like the industry burns through styles. In with the new. Out with the old.

I’ve been told you’ll walk about 14 miles over the course of the day plus or minus a few. You’ll raise and lower your arms and clench your fingers a few thousand times. You’ll feel the drag of a camera and weight of that precious glass some 18,000 minutes a year. And your body will be sure to tell you so. This is a job that permeates every part of your day and even your night. Has anyone not had the dream? That …

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The Merits of Mobile Photography Part 3

An Instagram image is definitely worth more than 140 words. In August, Instagram officially passed Twitter in daily active users on mobile for the first time, according to new comScore data provided to Mashable. Instagram had 7.3 million daily mobile users for the month, while Twitter had 6.9 million. The merits of mobile photography are clear.

The data reveals that the average Instagram user spent 257 minutes accessing the site via mobile devices in August, while the average Twitter user over the same period only spent 170 minutes viewing. That’s a lot of connected, photo-sharing users coming back to the site often! Unlike Twitter which maintains a website, Instagram is mobile-first and mobile-only. This enables easy access to sharing features. That’s exactly why many media savvy companies have used Instagram as part of their online marketing strategy.

Consider this:

When we shoot a picture with our iPhone, we can share it with our followers within minutes. It …

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How to Manage Your Holiday Workflow

With the holiday season comes a great opportunity to increase your sales and reconnect with past clients and vendors.

Get a plan in place for managing the increased work, so you don’t struggle to deliver everything to clients in time for the holidays. With proper planning, you can provide a positive, fun experience for your clients during their hectic holidays!

Managing your holiday workflow is simple and seamless if you keep these three concepts in mind:

1. Do your homework before the holidays hit.

In order to implement a successful holiday season plan, you must identify what products and services you’ll be offering. The products and services you promote during the holidays should meet the following two criteria:

It’s profitable and strategic for you to offer these product and services. It’s something that your client will want to purchase.

If a product or service doesn’t meet these two criteria, reconsider whether or not you want to offer it as a holiday promotion!

When …

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3 Tips for Guiding Your Clients Through the Purchasing Process

Be a Shepherd, Not a Salesperson!

Now that you’ve carefully chosen holiday promotions that provide value to your clients and to your business, the sales process becomes less about convincing clients to purchase and more about guiding them toward products and services that are best for them. Your role is to help them make a decision – a decision that you know they won’t regret!

Here are three tips for guiding your clients through the purchasing process:

1. Keep it simple.

There’s a clear window of opportunity for holiday promotions, and any confusion that your clients feel will delay their decision-making during this short timeframe. Keeping the process simple empowers clients to make quick decisions, so make sure the ordering process is clear and easy. If there are too many steps involved in design decisions, image selection, or scheduling, your sales will be impacted negatively. As you evaluate your purchasing process, remove unnecessary steps …

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Happy Clients Means Happy Holidays- Part 3

Create Your Promotion Plan

Now that we’ve covered how to choose the holiday promotions that fit for your clients, and made sure those promotions make sense for your business, it’s time to create your promotion plan. Once you’ve chosen the products and services that you’re going to offer this holiday season, you should start getting the word out to ideal clients. Since you’ve already done the legwork to understand your clients- who they are, what they want and what makes them happy- you’ll be able to strategically market your holiday promotions.

Choose the correct channels. Just as we explored in the Social Media Dispatch, different communication channels are effective at reaching different audiences. Because you’ve clearly identified your audience, you can focus on channels that are going to connect with them. Don’t spend your time on a Twitter campaign when your audience is best reached through Facebook, email, or even your …

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