Who Is Your Ideal Client? Questions to Ask Yourself

Listed below are 15 questions to ask (discover) about yourself as a photographer. After answering the questions ask yourself this:

Is my website attracting the clients that I wish to work with? Is my blog a true reflection of the work I wish to create?

1. Who is my audience (i.e. brides, artists…etc)?

2. Who do I want my audience to be?

3. How big do I want to grow my audience?

4. Can I manage my audience’s needs?

5. What kind of photographer are you (i.e. creative portraiture, journalistic)?

6. What subjects do you relate to?

7. What are you trying to accomplish through your photography?

8. What and who are your artistic influences?

9. What effect do you want your photography to have on your audience?

10. What do you want to photograph?

11. How do you want to develop your practice (i.e. photograph more, attend workshops)?

12. In what future direction do want to go?

13. What kind of environment …

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Is It Your Policy, or Is It Your Ego?

Is it Your Policy, Or is it Your Ego?

If your business is anything like mine, you’ve probably had a few clients that tested your patience – if not your will to live! You know the type, the father of the bride that wants to rewrite your contract, or the bride who asks for a 12 page shot list. Maybe you’ve had a client suggest that they’d like to pay their balance once they’ve received their photos, instead of before the wedding.

Every time it happens, I find myself wanting to dig my feet in and stand on “principle.” I find a frustration and indignation inside, that someone would question the way I’ve set up my business, and that they aren’t willing to play by the “rules.”

Inevitably, though, I find myself asking whether anyone REALLY benefits as a result of some of these rules. I find myself evaluating …

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How to Use Boudoir Studio Lighting

The biggest concern I hear from people who have never worked with studio lights, even if they own them, is that they are intimidated to use them. Although natural light can work beautifully in studio, knowing how to use studio lights will set you apart from other photographers, especially with the increasing boudoir market.

With boudoir photography becoming as popular as it is, whether you are shooting at your house, your client’s home or in a hotel room this is now technically your studio for the day. We cannot always depend on natural light to be consistent as sometimes our clients are only available for evening appointments and as we all know the weather cannot be controlled.

The two recipes shown above are very simple studio set-ups using 1 to 2 lights. The first set up is one that I use in studio often to get a great black …

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Pick up the Phone: How to Do Phone Consultations

I’m not a phone person and to be honest, I don’t think that I ever will be. I’m a quiet and shy individual, and making conversation with new acquaintances isn’t my strongest quality, so talking to a complete stranger over a phone connection scares the bijeezes out of me. I’m talking cold sweats, anxious jitters, and serious bouts of nervous laughter whenever I have to pick up the phone and start sounding official and/or competent to a new person – you know, like I actually know what I’m talking about…

So in our first few years of business, I would hide behind email as much as I possibly could (of course, I wouldn’t have admitted that I was “hiding.” I was simply “playing on my strengths of writing”). Because Jeff and I had impeccable booking rates when we met with couples face to face, our goal was to schedule in-person meetings …

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SEO Quick Tip- Link Building

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is an insanely popular topic these days. There is a lot of great information out there for small business owners looking for a way to increase their exposure to web savvy clients. Unfortunately, many people are turned off by the thought of one more technical skill they will have to master in order to stay competitive in their market. This isn’t the case at all. One of the most impactful things you can do to increase your ranking in search engine results actually requires no knowledge of code, no access to your site’s server and no experience whatsoever as a web developer. This simple yet powerful SEO tool is Link Building.

Link Building is quite simply the act of increasing the number of inbound links pointing to your website. For instance, if two sites were exactly equal in all other factors (age of domain, on site …

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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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How to Incorporate Holiday Cards Into Your Business This Year

Holiday Cards are good for any client and any photographer! Even you male photographers out there that might think they’re a tad too girly for you. Your lady clients will love them. And they mean free advertisement for you!

*Wedding, portrait, and even some commercial clients (think realtors) are great clients to offer them to.

First start by either designing or purchasing Holiday card templates that you like. We offer them on our Art-Is website here: http://www.art-isdesign.com/

Second begin contacting your 2010 past clients and share that you’re offering Holiday cards this year. Even if a brides wedding was in February, this is a great way for her to share her awesome wedding photos with friends and family! And of course begin offering the cards to your current and future clients as well.

Third have your clients get in touch with you directly to place their card order. Something we’ve done in the past …

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Pre-Visualization

Hey everyone,

I am gearing up for Pictage Partner Conference in New Orleans. This year will be even better than last year. I am even teaching a shooting workshop this year. It is not your typical shooting workshop. I am calling it “Shooting with Socrates.” Well in thinking about all of my lectures and workshops at the Partner Conference, my usual Lightroom how-to post turned out to be a bit more about photography and less about Lightroom, but I think it is a worthwhile thought to make.

In addition to speaking at Partner Conference and teaching a shooting workshop there, my Lightroom Workflow Workshop at the Pictage Partner Conference in New Orleans on November 8th is FREE for all Partner Conference attendees. So sign up for Partner Conference and come learn how to speed up your post-production workflow.

My Lightroom Workflow Workshop will be in a city …

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Seeing the Light

I’ve always been fascinated by light, you could say I’m a seeker of light. Without light we cannot practice our craft. Lets take a moment before we take the picture and see the light. Is the available light going to fulfill my creative vision? Often times I don’t have the luxury to shoot when the light is at it’s best. That’s when I ask myself can I use the light that is available and compliment it in some fashion to complete the image in my minds eye.

Recently I did and engagement shoot and came upon a cool location, tall prairie grass with the urban skyline of Chicago for a backdrop, awesome juxtaposition. The only challenge was the hot, direct sunlight. It was harsh! I made a few frames and knew I could do better. I thought to myself “I can light …

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Tips for Offering Holiday Specials

Besides the obvious profit incentive, offering holiday specials and promotions is just another excuse to be creative and to offer existing and potential clients a great experience. Here are some specific tips and tricks to doing this.

–Start early. Be ready early and give your clients a reason to book early such as a print credit.

–Re-release previous events on Pictage and opt-in to Holiday promotions and specials. This is an easy way for you to make money without providing an additional service. For an overview of Pictage’s holiday promotions, order-by dates, and additional tips, click here.

–Holiday shoots and mini-portrait sessions marketed specifically toward the end product of Holiday cards.

-Offer Holiday portrait packages including the shoot and Holiday specific products such as Holiday cards.

-Find a cute Holiday card templates. You can customize them as you wish, but this is a great start for you to offer a great creative product for your …

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