Pictage Podcast with Kevin Meyers


This week on the Pictage Podcast Sara talks with Kevin Meyers about ways to be smart with your business from the beginning.  Kevin shares some of the mistakes he has made and lessons he has learned throughout his career.  Listen in for some really great advice on how to keep your business profitable and efficient.


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“Admired by Beckstead” Newest Winners (and bonus Honorable Mentions)

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 7th round of “Admired by Beckstead,” our twice-monthly David Beckstead image contest!

We are so excited to announce this round’s winner… FIRST place goes to Don Bryant of Annapolis, MD. Congratulations Don!

David’s Comments on the winning image: The compositional elements work together perfectly in this shot! The clouds mock the angle of the car. The leading lines of the car move your eyes eventually to the subjects. The depth is just great putting the original hard focus on the front of the car then gently going out of focus (but not too much) to the subjects. The colors are just great! The angle the photographer chose was interesting and different.

Reflections, points of interest, story…all there for us to view again and again. Nice!

SECOND PLACE goes to Jason Karlin of Jamie K Photography in New Jersey.

David’s Comments: Framed perfectly into the negative space by tree line and fence line, the subjects dance in their frozen body positions. This shot is just ‘alive’ and wonderful in its compositional execution. I want so badly to be that guy in the air with that silly/cool suit and the tennis shoes.  Perfect action catch by the photographer! Perfect body placement and angle!

This week’s THIRD PLACE winner is William Tangorra from Boston, MA.

David Comments:The photographer wrapped his subjects in a blanket of evening-blue and amber-warmth and balanced the lines and architecture just right to create something I don’t think I have seen yet…not in this exact way with these great elements. Fantastic!

Lastly (since we had so many great submissions) … in no particular order we have the “Almost, but Great” photos.

Photo by Marta Locklear. Photo by Richard Min.Photo by Kate Duval.

*** Next contest round is now open! We’re accepting submissions through Monday, July 27th. We’ll then present the winners Friday, July 31st (editorial note: we may extend this one, as David will be leading a workshop in Slovenia during that week).

This round’s theme: What shots do you want in your portfolio? Send in your best!

And…be sure to leave your feedback and congratulatory notes in the comments here.

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Mingle with Engle – Anna and Spencer


Anna and Spencer, two of our wonderful community members, came up with the sweetest idea for the Mingle with Engle, a video version! They recently painted a wall in their house to use as a video backdrop and wanted to test it out. They interviewed each other and didn’t look at the Mingle questions until they were filming.

The video is just under 30 minutes so my advice is to sit back, grab some good wine, hot tea, or a fun photographer friend and enjoy!!!

p.s. I am always looking for photographers to interview so please email blog@pictage.com if you’re interested.

Make sure to leave a comment or re-tweet this interview!

Lastly, some link love: http://www.annaandspencer.com/ http://www.annaandspencer.com/blog/


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Pictage Podcast- Andrew Niesen

Hello everyone! Don’t miss out on this week’s podcast! In this week’s podcast, Sara talks with Andrew Niesen about taking the leap from Photographer to Serial Entrepreneur. Andrew discusses the good and the bad of starting a new business, and shares some of the lessons he has learned along the way and how to overcome the challenges of being self-employed.

He also provides some outstanding advice for other photographers thinking about starting a side business. Andrew touches on what you need to do and some really important things to watch out for. This podcast is a great education and conversation about all things photography, business, and Pictage.


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Pictage Camera Toss with Mike Larson


Around 2pm yesterday all of the Pictage employees gathered outside in the parking lot for the most dramatic and exciting company picture in Pictage history. Not only was the picture taken by Pictage member Mike Larson, but we’re pretty sure we set a North American record!

Over 115 employees were instructed to circle around Mike as he sent his camera (actually our CEO Jim’s camera) spinning 25 feet in the air. You may recognize this as his very own “camera toss” technique. If you don’t believe it, check it out below and check out Mike’s blog for more of his camera toss photos.

Thank you to Mike for making this a fun and exciting experience that we won’t forget! And thank you to Pro Consultant Scott Miura for climbing on the roof at Pictage to take pictures of the picture being taken!

First, the proof that it happened… Second, the Pictage company picture!

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Mingle with Engle – Jeff & Betsy McCue


Jeff and Besty McCue of La Vida Creations are awesome photographers and members of the Pictage Community, not to mention huge San Diego PUG advocates!  Check out our recent interview…

Describe your photography style or words that describe your brand? We focus on keeping our couples relaxed during their engagement session as well as on their wedding day. We are fun, easygoing people that live life and love life, and we feel that our branding and imagery reflects that. We capture and document emotions as they happen so they are preserved for generations to come.

What is your favorite thing to shoot? Our dog “Mace Windu” He is a lab-chow mix (we call him a Labrachow).

What is a must read or must see? Whenever we need artistic inspiration, we like to look to the cinema. Amelie is one of our favorite movies for this; it has a whimsical storylines and great cinematography! We have watched this movie over and over. We like to pause movies like Amelie at certain scenes to study how actors are positioned and the way lighting is used.

What is your favorite thing about Pictage? The community, hands down! We love our PUG peeps and getting together with like-minded people at the PartnerCon conference each fall.

What lens could you not live without? Nikon 14-24mm, 2.8: it’s sharp as a prime and lets us shoot wide without as much distortion as our fishy-lens.

How do you juggle your business and family/social life? This is something we need to do a better job of in 2009. Right now, we’d leave it at taking afternoon breaks for bocce in our backyard!

What workflow tools do you use? ShowItWeb, Showit Sites, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, RPG Keys, ShootQ. We also love our primary album vendor, KISSbooks. Simple is hot!

Most listened to song on your ipod? We listen to A LOT of Jimmy Buffett. If there was just one song to pick, however, it would most definitely be “Knees of my Heart” from his Riddles in the Sand Album. That was the song we played for our first dance as husband and wife!

What is one thing we don’t know about you? We often travel to Paso Robles vineyards for some R&R. We had entered the annual Bocce Tournament at Eberle Winery for several years in a row, and lost in the first round each time. One year though, we plowed through the competition and won the whole thing! Our prize? A $400 magnum of their finest 1999 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. They way we felt after winning that tourney, the bottle may as well have been an Olympic Gold Medal!

Who inspires you? We’d say “what” instead of “who”… life, travel, movies. We find inspiration in sunsets and big puffy clouds. We enjoy looking at the constellations when the skies are clear. We are inspired by the beauty of naturally occurring events taking place all around us. We are also inspired by Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken.

How do you get most of your bookings? What is your primary way of marketing? Word of mouth and editorial images in San Diego Style Weddings.

What blog do you stalk? There are lots, but Jasmine Star’s blog is a daily addiction! We also like to follow Youngren Photographers, Jessica Claire, and many others. It’s always so much fun to see what other photogs see at weddings and engagement sessions.

Any words of wisdom to share… If you’re not already involved, get out to your PUG meeting. We truly value our network of fellow photographers for the friendships, support, and learning. It’s really influenced our business. Other pearls of wisdom, get out and shoot for fun! We recently took a creative day for photography together out at the Salton Sea. We photographed each other which was a lot of fun! We also created some fine art landscapes for a gallery showing in Laguna Beach from that day.

For more on the McCue’s check out their links: Site – http://www.lavidacreations.com Blog – http://blog.lavidacreations.com Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/lavidacreations Jeff’s Facebook -  http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-McCue/1118206984 Betsy’s Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/people/Betsy-Erickson-McCue/3327830 Mace’s Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/people/Mace-Windu-Mccue/1683758983?ref=mf

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Pictage Cribs featuring Brian Adams by Elizabeth Villa Ippolito

We have decided to give Pictage photographers the opportunity to share their studios with the Pictage community. Every month we will be featuring one of your studios in our Studio Tour Blog. We are interested in viewing and being a part of studios all across the nation as each month our very own photographers take us on a tour.

For our first tour we will be featuring Orlando Pictage User Group leader Brian Adams. Brian Adams Photographics, Inc. is located in Orlando, Florida. He describes his studio as…

“My studio space is a juxtaposition of sorts, which is a lot like my photography.  The building which houses my space is an 85-year-old restored bungalow in the middle of downtown Orlando.  While the outside has a classic, traditional feel, the inside has a very minimalist look.  People have also said that my photography is fresh and new, but is classic enough to …

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Pictage Podcast- Melissa Jill

Hey everyone, don’t miss out on this episode! In this episode Sara talks with Melissa Jill about a variety of great topics — including the power of having a studio manager and the value of outsourcing (with specific examples from both personal and business perspectives). Melissa also discusses adapting to the wedding season among different climates and shares her experiences and insights with Destination Weddings & learning how to grow as a strong business person.

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Pictage + Fashion/Glamour Workflow — Q&A with Mark Wangerin by Scott Anderson


Photos Courtesy of Mark Wangerin

Scott Anderson: You’ve been a Pictage photographer since the very beginning. Tell us a bit about your recent transition from wedding & portraits to fashion and high school senior photography.

Mark Wangerin: When I joined Pictage, I was strictly a wedding and product photographer. As I progressed in skill and artistic sensitivity, I found more satisfaction in the connective process of shooting people for portraits, publications and fashion. Although I don’t consider myself a “fashion” photographer, I do consider myself a more mainstream commercial beauty and glamour photographer.

Of course the more I was involved in beauty and glamour, the less time and emotional energy I had for weddings, which as most wedding photographers agree is more about energy management than being immersed into a conceptual, creative project such as magazine submissions and portraits for publication.

SA: I’m particularly interested in how Pictage fits into your new workflow? Can you explain how you optimize Pictage to work best for you within these markets?

MW: I’m a creature of familiarity and comfort. I only change when I’m forced to. So rather than using Pictage for my wedding events (which I still do on occasion), I now am starting to use Pictage for proofing and ordering my senior portraits and some commercial portraits and very soon for my modeling portfolios. It is a very simple process that allows me to step aside from the negotiating process when it comes to print buying. We all know that everyone wants a “deal” and we photographers work a little too hard to be constantly engaged in a bargain matinee scenario.

By setting my prices reasonably, I have found that I really make more by letting clients order through Pictage in the comfort of their own home than to have to sit down with a client, go through proofs, then sit with them while they agonize over their budget.

Consistently, I find that the customer always wants my opinion. Within their event, I can easily make a folder of my favorites to help them in their selection process. Sometimes, I retouch one or two to give them an idea of the finished product. When my wife creates the event, she sets it up with a subtitle stating “Proofs only – not for purchase – please select favorites.” She also sets the event with a special Price Catalog for Proofs Only, which has only one size available for purchase, that is a 3.5 x 5 for $125 – this is to guarantee they don’t order in accident. (Pictage has always been excellent with quick resolutions when requested – maybe they’ll provide in the near future a way to create a generic “proof” catalog in which no products are available for purchase.) Once they choose their favorites, I retouch them and upload them to a new event from which they can make their final orders of prints, albums, etc.

When I go through a session, I use Adobe Lightroom 2.0 for almost the entire editing process. And now that Pictage and Lightroom are in a collaborative team effort to streamline the full workflow process, I can now complete the entire process in Lightroom and upload straight to my Pictage FTP account without having to break my editing stride. It’s all done in the Adobe Lightroom 2.0 environment.


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Pictage Podcast- David Wittig



Hey everyone! Don’t miss out on an awesome podcast episode featuring David Wittig. In this episode Sara talks with David Wittig about a variety of great topics including how his own recent wedding changed his perspective on his Studio’s products and services.  David also delves into the world of Search Engine Optimization. Don’t miss the one tip that can change the way you blog today and get you better ranked on the search engines.  Also, wondering what David says is the one tool that helped him get through the challenges of running a business?  Tune-in and find out the answer…and much more!




Listen to David’s Podcast here and be sure to leave him some comments!

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