Your Personality is More Important than Your Camera

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Do you wonder sometimes how other photographers’ clients look happy and beautiful at the same time? Are you sick of deciphering technical photography jargon? In the next five minutes, I’ll teach you how to make your personality your strongest tool. Don’t think you have what it takes? Trust me, you do.

I. Surprise your clients by redefining the process

Many people would argue that having their picture taken sucks. It’s awkward and you have to get all dolled up for no reason. Well, this is a challenge I love taking on every time I pick up my camera. Use the following tips to redefine what it means for your clients to have their pictures taken.

1. Make sure your gear is more compact and less intrusive. 2. Your personality rocks, so use it. 3. Keep things lighthearted and moving quickly. 4. Have an assistant help direct people.

II. Comfortable means profitable

Photographing people is inherently intimate. Whether you’re …

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Pet Photography: A Lively Challenge

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Interested in expanding your photography business to a new niche? You might consider pet photography. With more than 43 million dog-owning households in the United States,* pet photography is a rapidly growing market. But working with animals requires key skills:

• A love of action photography to capture wagging tails at full speed • The ability to adjust a game plan quickly • A high tolerance of both slobber and LOTS of flying fur

Imagine a park, a sunny afternoon, a Frisbee and a gravity-defying boxer mix named Jet alongside his owners. Now add a photographer experienced with action and sports. The result? Artistically brilliant pet photography that tells an energetic story.

The image above represents the understanding of Focal Flame Photography owner, Clint Thayer, of what it takes to get “that shot” during a split second of activity – even when the athlete has four paws instead of two feet.

About their custom pet photography …

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Look for the Moments between the Moments

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Creativity Under Pressure: How to Shoot More (Creative) Wedding Details

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As a wedding photographer, your job is to create amazing images of all the wedding details. However, it seems like there’s a conspiracy again shooting these images – the cake is delivered late, the centerpieces and bouquets haven’t arrived! Delays drastically shrink your time to capture the amazing details. Suddenly, sixty minutes of scheduled shooting time turns into six minutes. How do you overcome this challenge and still deliver creative images?

My unique solution is to have a formula that allows me (and my team) to systematically shoot all the details quickly and efficiently, while still keeping our creativity high. These formulas keep our detail images consistent and creative. I believe creativity is not only about WHAT you’re shooting, it’s also about changing your perspective and composition while you’re shooting. Our goal as creative wedding photographers is to show the unique way that we viewed the event.

Here are my “Foskett Formulas:”

(Above …

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11 Tips to Bridging the Gap between Photographers and Wedding Coordinators

Debra Gulbas Photography

As a wedding photographer, some of the most important relationships you can build are with wedding coordinators. If you are just getting started in the wedding world, these tips are a fantastic way to make a great impression on wedding coordinators. If you have been in the wedding industry for awhile, these tips will help you strengthen your relationship with wedding coordinators. This will also help your shoots go much more smoothly!

I recently sat down with two successful wedding coordinators in Austin, Texas, to discuss the relationships between coordinators and photographers. Thank you to Rosa Gibson, of Austin Wedding Planners by Rosa, and Amy Mader, of Amy’s Platinum Weddings Coordinating and Consulting Firm for their help and advice.

1. Send a Welcome Email

Ask your client if they have a wedding coordinator at the initial consultation. Once the client books with you, email the coordinator to tell them you’re excited to work …

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12 for 10: Pictage Annual Memberships are back!

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Want TWO FREE months of Pictage membership? Of course, you do!

That’s why we’re bringing back the “12-for-10” promo for 2014!

That’s right, you’ll get two free months of your annual Pictage membership fees when you renew in advance. Just pay for ten months in advance and then get two months free!

Here are the details:

• The “12-for-10” promotion is only available through the month of November.

• New membership starts in Dec. 2013 and runs through Nov. 2014.

• It’s open to current and new members.

Simply follow one of the links below to pre-pay for ten months of your Pictage membership.

Pictage gives professional photographers a range of solutions that cover every aspect of your business. We’ll help you save time, book clients, and sell products!

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3 Ways to Keep Track of Contracts & Invoices Without Losing your Mind

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You didn’t get into photography so that you could manage paperwork.

But between all the invoicing and contracts that you manage for your various shoots, it’s easy to feel like you spend a majority of your day managing those tedious details! So how do you keep your desk and brain clear of the clutter from this pile of paperwork? Here are three tips for streamlining your workload, so you can get out from behind your desk, and back behind the camera.

I. Put everything online.

Contracts and invoices can all be done through online systems or services, making it quick and easy for your client to sign and return things to you. Plus, down the road, it’s easy to find all the contracts and invoices under each client’s online folder!

II. Automate as much as possible.

Invoices should be sent out automatically online through your studio management software. If clients pay by credit card, you …

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How Teaching Photography Helps You Go Pro

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Are you one of the thousands of photographers out there who’s talented enough to go pro, but still need a few more clients or pieces of equipment to make the leap? It might sound counterintuitive, but I believe teaching photography ticks both boxes brilliantly.

Here are 7 reasons why teaching photography will boost your business, and help you go pro!

1. Your students can become your brides and grooms. If you’re teaching photography, sharing your knowledge openly, your students might actually become your best clients. For example, what if one of your students is a twenty-something in your city, who gets engaged six months after taking one of your classes or workshops? Who do you think she’ll call when she starts thinking about a wedding photographer? And the same principle applies to parents who might want family portraits or baby photos.

Photography lessons are like a sales session. The student gets to witness firsthand …

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Two Tips for Managing Critical Client Information

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One of the biggest drains on a photographer’s time is the back-and-forth correspondence that happens with clients. There is just so much information that has to be collected and then managed – event details, invoicing, contract, album orders, and beyond.

That’s why it’s important to have strategies in place for efficiently managing this information. You need to be able to easily find what you’re looking for and minimize the amount of back-and-forth with clients.

I. Consolidate as much as possible using forms and questionnaires.

Email is a necessary but time-consuming (and annoying at times!) part of running a business, but if you make it more manageable, you’ll have more time to spend on other profitable activities. With all the information that has to be organized, it could mean a lot of emails. Or you could find a better way. Create a handful of forms or questionnaires that are used to gather most of the …

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Why Workflows Were a Lifesaver for Sara France & Made ShootQ Her First Choice

Photo: Sara France

 

Photo: Sara France

Before finding ShootQ, Sara France was drowning in spreadsheets to track tasks, and wanted workflows that enabled her – and her team – to stay organized without passing bulky files back and forth.

Now that she has ShootQ, she’s able to automate almost everything!

Her studio’s workflows are automated. Everything from invoices, emails, to new lead generation is automated and cloud-based.

According to Sara, “I didn’t want to do that work and needed to focus on growing my business. It’s much more efficient and takes less time. I don’t know how anyone has a studio without this program.”

In this case study, we’ll take a look at Sara France’s business and explore the ways that:

• In order to focus on growing your business, it’s important to have a solid management solution in place • Taking the time upfront saves countless hours over the long haul  • Cloud-based services allow photographers to access key …

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