Free Guide: Social Media for Grownups

The Professional Photographer's Guide to Social Media

Social media must be some sort of marketing magic.

I mean, all you have to do is show up and start talking to gain followers and rake in cash, right?

Wrong! Social media isn’t magic. It’s just another tool in your online marketing arsenal that – when used correctly – helps you reach business goals.

How do you do it correctly? Start by developing a social media plan.

In this free guide, Social Media for Grownups, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a strategic social media roadmap.

We’ll cover:

Identifying SMART goals Understanding your target audience Developing an action plan Avoiding common social media pitfalls

So what are you waiting for? Take the first step to becoming a social media guru.

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A Simple Wedding Workflow Checklist

A Simple Wedding Workflow Checklist for Professional Photographers

You’ve just finished shooting an amazing ten hour wedding. Two cameras, perhaps even a second shooter. Total clicks are in the range of 3k-5k. Even though you’re on such a high, in the back of your mind you’re thinking, “ugh this is going to be such a long edit!”

Monday morning comes around and you start culling, but then your inbox starts filling up, Facebook is calling your name, and the dog is barking at you. What do you do?

As professional photographers, we’ve all been in this situation before. You need help. That’s exactly why I created this wedding workflow checklist. Feel free to use any or all of it to help you stay streamlined.

1. Download cards – 1 hour I personally don’t cull as I download, although I know a few photographers who do. Once downloaded, I point Aperture to the images on my computer, as this leads to the fastest workflow.

2. First-Round …

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How to Increase Brand Awareness Using Blogging

How to Increase Brand Awareness for Your Photography Business Using Blogging

If you haven’t heard, blogging is one of your greatest advertisements. (Actually, we think it’s even better than traditional advertising. Seriously.)

But while there’s huge potential for your blog to be your greatest tool to increase brand awareness, there are also A LOT of blogs out there. So how do you effectively use your blog to help more people get to know your brand?

1. Create offers. An offer is the most effective path for lead generation and your blog is a great place to share these offers and build buzz around them. Offers are premium pieces of content that your reader can get for free in exchange for his or her contact information. Offers are designed to guide your reader through your sales funnel and are the most effective way to turn a lead into a paying customer. Offers shouldn’t be product-centric (meaning focused only on the benefit of your product or service) but …

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What are Professional Photographers Really Selling?

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Let’s clear our minds for a minute.

Think about the things that influence us. Maybe it’s the lustrous elements from our daily routines that are full of inspiration and creativity? So many things sway our thoughts, right? Commercials convince us to call NOW and “GET ONE FREE!” The guy that dances on the corner with a $5 pizza sign beckons us to “come get the freshest, hottest pie in town!”

We see so many things in “lights” trying to sell us something – trying to get us to buy into something – but how many of those bright, sparkly things truly help us understand the products, services and benefits?

As photographers, we want clients to “buy in” to what we offer; everything from our brand’s luster to our products. When we offer photography services, people are excited about the photos. They view our blog, tag themselves, and share on social media. They right-click …

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How to Create a Pre-Shoot Guide for Portrait Shoots

How to Create a Pre-Shoot Guide for Photography Clients

The reality is, no matter what information we send to clients to prepare for their shoot, we can’t make them read every word. As much as we want our photography clients to thoroughly understand (and care about) our creative process, some of them are willing to wing-it. Even if we send them great guidance in advance, they tend to skim it for topics they’re curious about. This is why, in the last eight years, my “Pre-Shoot Guide” has evolved from a clever, colorful 4-page PDF into to a brief, persuasive email with a link to a short-and-sweet six paragraph, bullet-pointed Pre-Shoot Guide page on my website.

Before I book, much of my process is conveyed to clients through my website, during the initial phone consultation and emails. But my Pre-Shoot Guide is reading material intended to set expectations for the actual family portrait photography session.

My Pre-Shoot Guide …

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One Photographer’s Journey from Part-Time to Full-Time

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When I started my part-time professional photography career, in the days of film photography (2001), I didn’t have higher aspirations to become a full-time photographer. I already had a full-time job in the corporate world, so I was perfectly content photographing on the side, especially since photography income was not paying my bills.

There’s a very different mindset for someone who does something on the side (and makes extra income) versus someone who does photography full-time. It’s not just the obvious things, like more expenses, etc. I think it’s also the way you think about photography – not just as a hobby, but as a business. As a full-time photographer, all the decisions you make affect what you do as a photographer.

The thing is, as a part-time photographer, I wasn’t seeking work. It just came to me. I was working for another studio, assisting with wedding and commercial jobs as well …

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Tips for Making the Most of Rainy Day Weddings

How Wedding Photographers Can Take Advantage of Rainy Days

While we all dream of gorgeous warm summer evenings and couples wrapped in golden hour light, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans.  As a wedding photographer working throughout Maine and New England, I’ve seen my share of challenging weather conditions, including shooting three beautiful hurricane weddings.

Some of my favorite images have come out of the dreariest and stormiest wedding days. I truly believe the limitations of rain push the edges of personal creativity. Rain can be challenging, but it can also take your photography to greater heights and bring incomparable emotional depth to your image making.

When rain starts to fall, something magical happens: the typical wedding day stress melts like an exhaling of expectations. Everyone moves into a more relaxed state and into the present moment. This can translate directly into your images. It’s no longer about being perfect or ideal.

The conversation shifts and sounds like this…”let’s make …

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Six Simple Tips for Creating Dynamic Ring Shots

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One of my favorite parts of shooting weddings is capturing details. Couples customize their wedding to reflect their personalities, so it’s important to capture these intricacies that say so much about them. Combining those personal details with the couples’ wedding rings is crucial to creating dynamic ring shots.

What you’ll need: a macro lens, rings, something from the wedding, off camera flash (with a modifier and light stand) or a video light. The number one mistake photographers make with ring shots is NOT using a macro lens. If you don’t have one, rent it!

Here are six simple tips for creating dynamic ring shots:

1.  Wait until all the “major stuff” is over – the first dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc. It might take time to get the shot you’re looking for, and you don’t want to sprint across the venue to get back to something important (cake cutting, for example), only to …

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A Rebranding Story (Part 1)

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There always seems to be plenty of information and advice available to those adventuresome entrepreneurs starting a small business: the steps to take, pitfalls to avoid and best practices to start off on the right foot.  What about an instance when you’ve already started your business and want to rebrand?  You hear about this process far less and yet there are many reasons why you may want to refresh your current brand, identity and logo.  As society grows, changes and evolves so do its people and their businesses.  Rebranding an operating business can seem like a daunting effort; however, the process can be a tremendous marketing opportunity that will strengthen your position among photography peers, professional partners and clients.

I started my first photography business, aptly titled Don Mamone Photography, in 2007.  Much like many photographers, I stared off slowly, worked diligently and was fortunate to witness my business …

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How to Get the Most out of Getting Ready pictures

Tips for Great Getting Ready Wedding Photography Images

When I started photographing weddings, I wondered how those famous photographers got gorgeous pictures of their clients getting ready on their wedding day. The shots seemed so “in the moment,” but also beautifully lit. When I walked into a hotel room, church basement or (gasp!) grandma’s living room, I wasn’t achieving the same results. Was it the location? Or the subjects? Sometimes.

However, there were often a few little steps I could take to get similar results.

Here’s How to Get the Most out of Getting Ready pictures:

1. Show up early. Standard start time for us is about one hour before the bride is in her dress/groom is in his suit. “Start time” is when we tell clients we’ll arrive. We actually show up 30 minutes prior to start time to park and do a bit of scouting before we walk into the room. Then with any extra minutes, we get …

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