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Rim Lighting

Photography TipsHave you ever tried to use rim lighting? It's a great thing to know if you haven't learned yet, and here's a short refresher if you already know. When there's a light on the far side of someone, the light leaks through right around their head illuminating their hair or hat. Sometimes the line can be so crisp that it looks as though they're being cut out. Rim light is beautiful, and it adds a ton of visual interest to a photo. The real win here is taking an extra second to try and look around your environment for some kind of rim lighting. Don't settle for the light you're given, find better light. And also plan to show up during golden hour, instead of trying to do photoshop later and add in something fake. More about rim lighting from New York Institute Of Photography: https://www.nyip.edu/photo-articles/cameras-and-gear/what-is-rim-lighting

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QPT 014 – Watermarks Are The Worst

[powerpress] Watermarks. Nuff Said. I. Hate. Watermarks. Just because you can create an amazing image doesn’t mean you’re a graphic designer. Why would you risk messing up your art by putting inferior design on top of your art? The watermark pulls your eye away from the emotion of the image. It gets you starting to think about other things. If people really want to steal your image, they’re going to steal your image. Unless you write PROOF in gigantic letters across the entire image, which completely destroys your art. We want people to share our name and share our photography. PEOPLE TALK. People will share your brand if you do an amazing job. People will especially share your brand if you’re bad. Oh my goodness. If someone rips off your image, will you actually hire a lawyer and sue someone? If that is your answer, then okay keep watermarking. But if they’re going to steal it anyway, wouldn’t you rather that everyone else sees your art clean and clear? We bet on the upside. We bet that it’s better to not add that watermark and let our art come through clearly, than always trying to be defending against people who want to steal from us. If you really still want to add a watermark, put it UNDERNEATH the image, on an extra line you add. Or perhaps even get your watermark professionally designed. Keep it SIMPLE. So it doesn’t take away from your art. Love y’all. Thanks so much for listening. Please review the Quick Photo Tips Podcast on iTunes!

QPT 007 – Pricing: What Are You Worth??

[powerpress] Today! We’re talking about what you are worth and how to price yourself: You can look around and see what other people are charging You’ll find that there is a huge range, from free to mega-$$$ There will always be clients willing to pay what you charge, and people that aren’t willing You have to choose what arena you want to play in: discount photography or premium photography For us, we’re aiming for the premium market. We can deliver a better service at that level! Our first wedding was $1000 and we’ve gone up incrementally since then. You have to start somewhere. Price yourself right to keep getting jobs Stack the deck in your direction: for the free or cheap work you do, follow your own artistic direction so that you’re taking images that are creatively your vision. Then when people hire you, they’ll hire you for the images you’ve shown, which means you can just be yourself. Raise your prices every session, or every three sessions, or every three months. Find a rhythm that works for you. If everyone that contacts you can hire you, you’re not charging enough. On one side, you’re so cheap everyone hires you, but you’re so packed you can’t give great customer service. On the other side, you’re so expensive no one can hire you. Find the balance. If you’re aiming for a higher-priced market, it’s not just a monetary transaction like purchasing a product at the grocery store. The price is secondary. Don’t make it first. The type of people that you want to book are the people that highly prize art, and highly prize YOUR vision and YOUR customer service. No one else can copy your personality and the way you love on your customers. If you’re charging $x for a […]

QPT 005 – Marketing Your Website? Forget Yourself.

[powerpress] In this podcast about marketing, we focus in on why it’s important to look at your website as if you knew nothing about yourself to serve your client the best. What is the point of your website? Don’t just have a website because you think you need to have one. Look at your website as if you know nothing. Act dumb, and look at your website. Can you easily tell what you do, and who you are? Is there a clear idea of what the visitor should be doing? Before you buy more ads, before you write better content, etc. think through what action you want people to take when they get to your website Don’t hide your contact form if you want people to contact you!! This seems obvious but you’d be surprised what you assume and what you are missing because of that. Check out inspectlet.com to see how other people use your site and where they get tripped up. Do you ask your visitors to do something next? Your website should lead your visitors to take a specific action. Make it easy for them. Optimize your contact form! (http://unbounce.com/conversion-rate-optimization/how-to-optimize-contact-forms/) I used what I talk about in this podcast on THIS website. I try every day to see where people get stuck, bored, or confused about and will keep trying to clarify the grainhappy website! A/B Testing is huge. Split test different things so you can see what is more attractive to people: button colors, text on a button, page design, etc. Check out optimizely.com if you want to get into A/B Testing.

QPT 001 – How To Get More Work

[powerpress] In this podcast, we talk: How can you find new customers? I’ve dealt with this issue growing our wedding photography business, so here’s my take. Competition doesn’t really matter, if you can differentiate yourself enough. Do you shoot a bunch of different types of photography? Can you find a clearer focus? The problem, if you shoot everything, you don’t stand out as an awesome option for anybody What energizes you? Pay attention to that when you’re choosing your specific niche It’s easier to attract when you know who you’re attracting Be the perfect flower that attracts the perfect bee Become the specialist. You shine brighter in your client’s eyes. Create the right type of content to attract that right customer Who are you trying to reach, and where do they hang out? Create an “avatar” (basically the idea of a fake person who has all the characteristics of your perfect customer) Use that avatar to help you make decisions on buying advertising and creating content!

The 3 Essentials To Growing Your Business

(Thanks to Toby Denning of Toby Denning Photography for inspiring this post!)   I hear this all the time: how do I go about getting work? What do I need to do to grow my business? That’s a huge question to answer. There are a few essentials that I believe are terribly important to having a successful business and attracting clients: Branding, Trust, and Quality.   Branding When we moved to Nashville, I learned a lesson pretty quickly about branding. The thing was, we knew how to take pretty good photos. Nothing shatteringly world-famous, but good photos that were technically well done, well composed, well edited, well cropped, etc. And nobody was calling us for photos. At all. Part of it was that no one knew of us here. We were new in town and didn’t have many connections so how on earth were people going to call us if they hadn’t heard of us? Then it hit me like lightning: It doesn’t matter if we can take great photos if nobody knows we exist. Boom. Just like that, I switched my focus from trying to become a better photographer to trying to become a better businessman. Instead of reading tutorials about the art of photography, I started watching videos on the art of business, and the creativity in branding and marketing. Branding is the look and feel and essence of your business. It’s the small touches, the pops of color, the font, the font placement, the cheesiness or non-cheesiness of your brand. It’s the way your website functions and clarity in spelling and grammar. It’s so so so important. This is why: there are a million and one other people in this world that can take a technically correct photo. So why would anyone choose you? People will choose you if they connect […]

Interview w/Photography Roundtable

I was asked by David Johnston of Photography Roundtable (www.photographyroundtable.com) a few questions about the industry / business / advice on shooting and I had a great time answering these questions.  Hopefully they are helpful to you! 1. What is the most important thing to remember when you are shooting portraits/weddings? One thing my wife and I re-realized about shooting weddings is that this is likely the best day of our client’s lives. It’s easy to get caught up in one wedding after another, that this is just a job, but honestly it’s Honestly, sometimes our best images are when I just say “okay, you’re free, just spend time with each other”. so much more than that. Our clients are letting us into their lives at a super important time, and that’s a huge huge blessing. Since we’re all about natural smiles and natural emotion, we always try to remember to take the extra time to let a moment be, and allow the bride and groom to have time with each other. Honestly, sometimes our best images are when I just say “okay, you’re free, just spend time with each other”. Remember to let your clients be free and just interact.   2. How can photographers deal with clients best or make them feel the most comfortable? Explaining what you’re doing and why you’re doing it can definitely help people feel more comfortable. I tend to over-explain, but at the same time I really want people to get our vision and understand that I’m not just punching a time-clock. When I’m comfortable, the clients are most generally comfortable. If I can be relaxed, the client can be relaxed. If I’m having a good time, the client is most generally having a good time. As a general rule, the world is […]