The Art of Photography and Film

Creator or Maintainer? Why Entrepreneurs Leave the Businesses They Start

Posted by on Aug 9, 2018 in Photography | 0 comments

Creator or Maintainer? Why Entrepreneurs Leave the Businesses They Start

Entrepreneurs are puzzle solvers: they see a whole where others see pieces…they see opportunities where others see obstacles…they see gold where everyone else is just looking at hole in the ground. It’s not just having a vision, although that’s certainly part of it. It’s more an innate need to create. coupled with the ability to pull various pieces together in a way that others often don’t understand, even after the fact. That’s painting the picture with a fairly broad stroke, of course, but...

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How Your Broken Flash Is Killing the Environment

Posted by on Jul 9, 2018 in Photography | Comments Off

How Your Broken Flash Is Killing the Environment

How much gear do you have? Admittedly, being a pro photographer doesn’t require as much equipment as it used to, and unless you’re developing silver gelatin prints, what we do use has a much smaller footprint. On the other hand, what we use now can also be pretty awful for the environment. More specifically, what we throw away: as we have moved to an increasingly digital process, we are generating more and more electronic waste. In 2016 alone, according to one study, close to 45 million metric tons of e-waste were created....

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Pro Photography Business: The Sad Harsh Truth

Posted by on May 25, 2018 in Photography | Comments Off

Pro Photography Business: The Sad Harsh Truth

One question I often get from would-be pro photographers is “How do I get started?” There are multiple ways to interpret that question, but mostly I can look in the eyes of the asker and have a pretty good idea of what the person wants to know. And generally speaking, it’s not the question he or she should be asking. Too often, what they mean something more like “How can I set up a business so that I can quit my crummy day job and be free?” In which case I start talking about carts going before horses. If your...

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4 Marketing Mistakes Photographers Should Avoid

Posted by on May 18, 2018 in Photography | Comments Off

4 Marketing Mistakes Photographers Should Avoid

Do you want more customers for your photography business? Before you answer, let me throw this stat out: according to the National Retail Federation, customer returns accounted for more than $260.5 billion in lost sales for U.S. retailers in 2015 alone. Obviously, the services we sell aren’t exactly retail merchandise, but it’s still worth paying attention to the numbers. So let me clarify: you DON’T simply want more customers. You want more GOOD customers. How do you find them? Well, the easiest way is to have a lot of...

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A Lovers’ Quarrel with Wedding Season

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018 in Photography | Comments Off

A Lovers’ Quarrel with Wedding Season

I’m getting revved up here for wedding season. After all my years in this business, I have to admit I approach May and June with mixed feelings. On the one hand, there is that unmistakable feeling of “Didn’t I just do this?” It’s a cliché, I know, but time seems to pass more quickly as you get older, and as the years flow into each other you really start noticing the repetition. After a while, doing wedding photography gives me that same feeling I get when listening to hardcore bluegrass music: no matter how good...

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Five Things to Remember Before You Open Your Own Studio

Posted by on Feb 19, 2018 in Photography | Comments Off

Five Things to Remember Before You Open Your Own Studio

I’ve touched on this sort of thing before, but it certainly bears repeating: being a photographer and running a photography studio are not the same thing. They’re not mutually exclusive–many people do both–but being good at the one doesn’t inherently make you good at the other.   Don’t believe? Try switching it around. Think of someone you know who is a whiz at accounting or business management … someone who is good at business. To your knowledge, the person has never touched a camera that...

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3 Great Ways to NOT Get Paid for Work

Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Photography | Comments Off

3 Great Ways to NOT Get Paid for Work

I have a small blurb that gets printed on the bottom of every invoice I send. It simply says, “I’d love to give my friends a discount … but my enemies don’t use my services.” That’s my philosophy, and I try to stick to it: my rates are extremely reasonable, so except in rare cases, I don’t give discounts and I don’t do free work. But everywhere I look, I see freelancers practically (and in many cases, literally) giving work away. Especially with newbies, it can easily become a trap that sets the...

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My Wedding Client Wants a Refund: Now What?

Posted by on Dec 8, 2017 in Photography | Comments Off

My Wedding Client Wants a Refund: Now What?

One of the biggest draws to photography as a profession also happens to be one of those things that can get you into trouble: creative vision, artistic license … call it what you will, we’re always looking for that perfect shot, the one that transcends the mundane and puts the “extra” in extraordinary. If you’re doing portfolio pieces, this is fine. But in certain commercial scenarios–weddings are a prime example–sometimes the client wants ordinary. Some people simply can’t see beyond clichés … and if...

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Going It Alone: 4 Great Resources for Starting Your Photography Business

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Photography | Comments Off

Going It Alone: 4 Great Resources for Starting Your Photography Business

Here’s a joke: What’s the difference between an amateur photographer and a professional? Answer: An amateur photographer also has a full-time job. A professional photographer is MARRIED to someone who has a full-time job. (cue laugh track) That’s not always the case, obviously, but it certainly has a ring of truth: for most of us, photography is an avocation, not a vocation. But haven’t you at least dreamed of having a business card that reads Your Name Studios and included the title “Photographer”? Because...

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How Can Photographers Adapt to Mobile Commerce?

Posted by on Oct 25, 2017 in Photography | Comments Off

How Can Photographers Adapt to Mobile Commerce?

As commercial photographers, we are increasingly being asked to optimize our images for digital implementation. First it was for websites, then for tablets; now, customers are demanding images that feature hi-res clarity (ideal for sales) at ridiculously low file sizes (for faster load times. From the retailers’ perspective, this makes perfect sense: on average, mobile now accounts for more than half of all online traffic around the globe. More and more, people are browsing and shopping online stores through mobile devices, even on the...

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