Why Every Pro Photographer Should be a Pro People Watcher

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I once had a client ask, “How do you get those amazing shots of emotional moments at weddings? How do you know when they’re going to happen? What’s the secret?”

Do you want to know “the secret?” Come closer…a little closer…it’s called observation.

That seems pretty obvious; a photographer translates what they observe through their camera to produce an image. But are you actively observing, or are you just clicking the shutter? The problem for many photographers is that they aren’t actually ‘seeing’ what is going on.

The Art of People Watching

“People Watching” is a time honored tradition where you sit and just watch the people passing by. It can be extremely entertaining, but it’s also informative. The next time you are out ‘people watching’ take time to see how people interact with one another. Watch how couples behave together.

If you do an engagement photo session with your wedding clients, be sure to …

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Facebook Hashtags are Finally Clickable (and Useful)

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Our feeds (and yours too) have been abuzz with news of recent Facebook updates. But of all of those updates, there’s one that we’re especially excited about.

Facebook hashtags are clickable.

Yep, they finally do more than just give me a headache. And all I can say is, “It’s about freaking time!”

You can now: 

• Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar. For example, #wedding. • Click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram. • Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

Why are we so excited about this update? Facebook Hashtags have made it easier to bring strangers together because of a common interest, and not just a common connection.

As a professional photographer who needs to market your business, Facebook Hashtags give you a way to: • Share your content with strangers who will find it relevant • Engage in conversations with strangers who are actually interested • Gather information …

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On Location Lighting with Speedlites, Part 2 – Weddings

© Casey Fatchett - www.fatchett.com

Some photographers have an aversion to using a flash. A photographer who once assisted me on weddings told me that he “never needed to use a flash.” Instead, he preferred to open the aperture as wide as it would go, and crank up the ISO! The problem is that you’ll end up with lots of noise in your photos and your depth of field is so small that if your subject moves slightly, you risk them being out of focus. Your flash is a tool – whether you use it all the time or sparingly, you should know when and how to use it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll shoot with available light as long as it’s ACTUALLY available and produces a great image. Unfortunately, though, that’s not always the case. The simple solution is to bounce the flash off the ceiling or a wall to soften and diffuse it. I …

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On Location Lighting With Speedlites Part 1 – Portraits

© Casey Fatchett Photography - www.fatchett.com

I like to travel light. Maybe it’s because I spent many years working without an assistant. Also, as I grow older, I don’t really like carrying a lot of equipment. You know what I mean, right? Aches and pains aren’t fun. So, instead of hauling hundreds of pounds of studio lighting equipment I decided that I would create a system for using my speedlites whenever I had to go on location – whether it’s for weddings, portraits, headshots, or fashion shoots.

Here’s what I use on my shoots:

• Speedlite (or two, depending on the size of the group or if you want a rim light) • Wireless Trigger (I use a Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 and Flex TT5) • Light Modifier (beauty dish, softbox, umbrella, etc.) • Light Stand (or even just a monopod). I have even held the flash away from the camera with one hand in a pinch. The most important thing …

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We Remember: Daniel Mast

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On May 21st, 2013 the photography community lost a talented colleague, dear friend, and passionate spirit. We share this memorial quote from Rita Wiebner to honor Daniel Mast, whose zeal for life, family and photography leaves a lasting legacy. Daniel leaves behind his wife, Rebecca, and three children. Please consider participating in the memorial auction by clicking the image to the right. All funds raised go directly to Daniel’s family.

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We Remember: Eric Langlois

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June 18, 2013 the photography community lost a talented colleague, loving friend, and avid adventurer. We share this memorial quote from Carla Ten Eyck to honor Eric Langlois, whose zeal for life, family and photography leaves a lasting legacy. Eric leaves behind his wife, Amber, and his children. Please consider supporting Eric’s family by clicking the image to the right. All funds raised go directly to Eric’s family.

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5 Best Practices for Using Social Media to Attract Website Visitors

5 Best Practices for Using Social Media to Attract Website Visitors

Hold on just one second.

Before you skip to tips for attracting visitors to your website, it’s important to understand why attracting visitors to your website is valuable in the first place.

The common misconception among businesses using social media is that being popular equates to making money. It canbe profitable, I guess, but only if your profitabiity is calculated using total number of friends, fans and likes.

Chances are you haven’t figured out how to do that. (Let me know if you do!)

Until then, we’ll have to accept the truth that being successful on social media means much more than simply showing up and being liked. If you’re trying to make money for your business using social media, then your goal should be to attract visitors to your website.

Two primary principles shape our social media philosophy (and our marketing philosophy as a whole). In addition to applying the best practices introduced in this article, you can use these principles …

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How to Show Clients the Value of Professional Photographic Prints

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Are your clients getting their prints from the same place they get shampoo?

Enjoying photographs on your iPad, phone, or computer is nice. However, it’s the final print that matters most. Making an image look great on screen is art. Making the same image look great in print is another kind of art.

As a photographer, I often struggle with how to best showcase my work. After all, 90 percent of art lies in presentation. Fine-art printing, I’ve discovered, is a blend of art and science… not much different than photography itself.

Why work with a Pro Lab?

When it comes to printing, I tell myself: “Do what you do best, and delegate the rest.” I’m a photographer, not a master print technician. There are people who print better than I can, which is why I’m happy to outsource this important part of my business to experts.

The last thing I want is a disappointed …

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4 Tips for Creating Blog Content that Generates Qualified Traffic

4 Tips for Creating Blog Content that Generates Qualified Traffic

If you want to generate qualified leads, you’ve got to start driving qualified traffic to your website. After all, leads don’t just appear out of nowhere! (Although, that’d be nice.)

How do you generate qualified website traffic? You guessed it…by consistently publishing content on your blog!

To truly find success generating qualified traffic through blogging, it’s important to tailor content to your target market. This way, your blog articles are relevant, compelling AND come up in search engines when your target audience is searching.

1. Identify Specific Buyer Personas

The first step to creating content that generates qualified traffic is understanding what qualified means to you. What is the “right” traffic? Create buyer personas to help you identify the traits that the right visitors have that you want to attract.

As a photography business offering services to consumers, you must identify the specific person you want to sell to, as well as the people who are the decision-makers.

For example, …

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How to Track New Client Inquiries with ShootQ

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Managing leads in a studio can be difficult: multiple clients to track, responses to send, and information flying everywhere! Winning a wedding or portrait client’s business is a big deal – so what’s the best way to get them to sign on the (electronic) dotted-line? First you have to get their attention, and keep it!

I’ve heard multiple times from brides that a quick response is greatly appreciated, and the smartest sales tool out there is the art of the follow-up! How can you get both?

ShootQ Lead Workflows help you easily manage your leads, respond quickly with the click of a button, and maintain communication with your promising inquiries.

ShootQ has the capability of managing your leads in a simple lead “bucket” system. I always encourage my ShootQ clients to use the categories that have been set up for them as much as possible. It can be easy to forget who is …

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