As a kid, I still remember my favorite bedtime Dr. Seuss story, "And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street." I didn't realize until looking it up this morning that it was the first children's book Dr. Seuss wrote, but stay with me because there honestly is a connection here to this year's Photoshop World.
Mulberry Street was all about a child's unstoppable imagination and turning his street into the most exciting part of town. Well, I hadn't been to Photoshop World in some years, and like young Marco for Dr. Seuss, I was amazed at the programs and exhibitors who allowed my imagination to run wild with products and applications. It was a particular kind of spirit and energy that only comes out of a group of people being together, who all have the same overactive creative gene.
Here's a perfect example. One of the exhibitors at Photoshop World was Bay Photo Lab. I've been friends with a number of their crew for many years, especially Glen Clark.
Because Photoshop World is more of a boutique conference, you get quality time with each vendor. On the second day of the show, while waiting for Glen to finish a short meeting with Scott Kelby, I was looking through the products they had displayed, and I had an idea.
Bay Photo Lab has a metal print product line designed for durability and capable of being outside. Performance EXT Metal is specially engineered for extended life in the elements! Perfect for use as outdoor art, photography, signage, and display, Performance EXT Metal will last 2-3 years in direct sunlight without noticeable fading.
Being UV, scratch resistant, and waterproof I had an idea to create something almost as unique as Mulberry Street! Having just remodeled our backyard and put in a pool at the beginning of the year, there's one area that's screaming for a print. Yes, I did just suggest we want a print OUTSIDE on the wall of the house.
But, I didn't want just any print. I wanted something of mine, photographed locally and with one of my LUMIX cameras. The result was an order for a 30x60 print of a sunset on Nokomis beach photographed with a LUMIX FZ1000, and printed on Performance EXT Metal. It's scheduled for delivery tomorrow!
The inside of our home is more like a gallery with gifts from a lot of good friends over the years. Well, who says art has to stay inside?
Stay tuned, because this is just the first part of the story. And, put Photoshop World on your calendar. This is a show that needs to be on your radar, no matter what your skill set or specialty.
Images copyright Jamey Price. All rights reserved.
This series is a perfect example of that old expression; time flies when you're having a good time. This is the 105th episode of "Why?" And, in all honesty, I'm amazed how fast two years have gone by! "Why?" is about the favorite images of some of the most respected artists in photography, and while you might not recognize their names, so often you'll recognize their images.
Jamey Price joins me today on "Why?" and he's the first artist whose work I've shared who specializes in motorsports. He shares a lot of insight in this new episode with the backstory about one of his most favorite images. While motorsports is his passion, check out his website. Jamey's made it a point to keep his skill set diverse and stay focused on relationship building with his clients. As a result, some of the most respected names in motorsports trust Jamey to tell their story.
Jamey's images have been published around the world by Top Gear, MAXIM, Car & Driver, CycleWorld, Road & Track, RACER, MotorTrend, Autosport, F1 Racing, Motorsport Magazine, Blackbird Automotive Journal, Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and many more.
I wanted to share a couple of additional images of Jamey's, and he sent me the two below. They're perfect examples of his passion as an artist and the diversity and pure joy he has with a camera in his hands! And, if you think it's all glamour watch the video on his website, Frames, as he shares the challenge of photographing a 24-hour endurance race!
Check out more about Jamey with a click on any of these images. You'll see an amazing body of work on his website. And, stay tuned - Jamey was our guest recently on "Beyond Technique" sponsored by PhotoShelter and well be sharing that new podcast later in August.
Over five years ago I wrote most of this post, and as I prepare to take a couple of days off at the end of this week, I realized how important it is to recognize when you need a break.
When I started my own business nine years ago, I was worried about not having the discipline to stay focused in a home office. Instead, I learned the challenge was taking the time to step away from the business. Even checking email before going to bed became an obsession for another hour of work. I found myself yelling to Sheila, "I'll be right there," and then not realizing how quickly an hour passed.
Well, I'm better at recognizing my need to recharge my battery today than I was years ago, but like so many of you, I'm still work in progress. It's hard to shut off the business, but each time I do I come back with a new level of energy.
Shakespeare gets the credit for the title to today's post, but you have to take credit for walking the talk!
I found a great little article in Psychology Today many years ago that started out: "To thine own self be true" is one of the underlying tenets of recovery. But how do we honor this wise sentiment by Shakespeare? One way is to check in with the "me" that I'm trying to be true to. Checking in can involve slowing down, writing, meditating, and noticing what we are experiencing rather than running on autopilot. Checking in tends to involve tuning in to our body or to our "higher self," rather than tuning in to our "monkey mind" (the running commentary that we are telling ourselves.)"
Whether you realize you're in "recovery" or not, from my perspective we're ALL in recovery. About the challenges of business, technology, the economy and marketing, anybody who says they don't sometimes feel the stress and on occasion has considered running away and joining the circus is lying. (Actually, with the circus shutting down last year, where do we run away to now?)
Running your own business is tough, especially in photography. At the same time, you're trying to fine tune your skills as an artist; you're being forced to learn the operational aspects of running a business. Your left brain is fighting it out with your right brain almost daily. You know you need more help, but as a small business owner who hasn't been at this very long, you've got to keep an eye on your costs because you're still a one-man-band.
Well, we're coming up to the fourth quarter, the strongest seasonality of the year. Now is the time to be reviewing your plans for the Fall, and building a stronger business through the holidays. You want to thrive, not just survive.
There's a great line - instead of, If it ain't broke don't fix it, it should be If it ain't broke you haven't looked hard enough. The reality is we can all use fine-tuning, but we have to first recognize where things aren't working as smoothly as they should. Maybe you're in better shape than you think, but I'm betting you haven't taken a break and stepped away from the business in a long time.
No matter how good or bad business was last year, you can't be creative if you're living in a pressure cooker. You've got to recognize your own weaknesses and take a break, recharge your battery and do something that's away from the direct challenges of each day. Do something you love to do that doesn't push the edge of the envelope on those weakest links in your skill set or running the business.
If you've been feeling frustrated, remember you're not alone. But, if you're looking to stand out and be more competitive, taking a break, might clear your head and create enough space on your mental hard drive for more ideas.
Julieanne Kost, from Adobe, gave me a great line once when I asked her to get involved in a project I was working on. "I'd love to, but I'm just out of bandwidth!" That said it all and we moved the date of the project to a time when she knew she could give it 100%.
If you don't recognize when you're out of bandwidth and the need to step away from the business now and then, what's the good of working this hard? To thine own self be true...recognize when you need a break...shut off the computer and your phone for a little while and enjoy your family and friends - you've earned it!
Intro by Skip Cohen
It's almost August and while technically it's still summer - all of you should be thinking about the Fall and getting ready for the fourth quarter's seasonality. I stumbled across this archived post from my good buddy Scott Bourne, and it's a topic and idea that just has no expiration date!
It takes me back to packaging studies in my Polaroid days. For example, we found that different colors created different impressions. Black and gold or black and silver were interpreted as higher quality and value than other color combinations. Certain combinations of pastels also created feelings of high value and had a stronger appeal to women than men. Today, aspects of that same logic apply to your website, blog, mailing pieces and brochures.
Competition is fierce, and you've got to make yourself stand out. Think about this example - You can buy the same Polo shirt at Macy's or Nordstroms, yet the attitude of the staff at Nordstroms is entirely different, along with the store layout, inventory and many of their policies. Now is the perfect time to take a long look at your business and decide - do you want to be Macy's or Nordstroms?
by Scott Bourne
One of the craziest, but most powerful things you can do to market your photography is take your existing marketing plan and pull it inside out. What do I mean by that? Simple. Take something that you've been doing with mixed results and put a new twist on it. Look at other industries OUTSIDE of photography. How does the car business handle that problem? What would a bakery do to solve that issue? How would a shoe store approach it? What do fast food chains do to make that work?
I love studying other business models. I love taking a little bit of this and a little bit of that from other verticals and throwing it into my photography mix.
Maybe it works - maybe it needs to be refined - maybe it fails. But if you are at least trying something new, you have a shot at improving. If you're always doing the same old thing and failing, well you know where that will take you - NOWHERE.
Try pulling things inside out and looking OUTSIDE the small world of photography. When I bought my first really nice car, I noticed that EVERYONE at the dealership, people who were lot boys and people who were upper management, despite their age and mine, called me sir. "Right away sir." Yes sir Mr. Bourne." "Great to see you at the dealership sir, how can we serve you today?"
Over the top? Nope. Not a bit. I was in my 30s and I started applying the lesson I learned there every time I dealt with a client. And they noticed. It wasn't the last thing I learned by studying high-end retail. I bought my first expensive watch in my 30s. Again, very polite, intelligent people. But this time there was a twist. They delivered the watch in the fanciest box and packaging I'd ever seen. Every time I opened the box the watch came in, I was a kid getting a Christmas gift. You see where I'm going with this right?
Study what other businesses do. Not just what other photo businesses do. Jump verticals. Change things up. Look at all the options and then innovate.
Skip and I are rooting for you.
I've often said the fun of this industry has little to do with photography but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Well, it's time to meet one of the nicest guys in photography, John Cornicello. Although John and I had known of each other and shared a number of good friends for many years, it wasn't until my two-day marketing program on CreativeLive in 2012 we actually had a chance to meet.
Recently I discovered his book on Amazon, Anatomy of a Studio Portrait. Usually a title like that means the basics - exposure, composition and lighting. Well, John never does anything halfway and this book is one of the most thorough I've ever read.
There are thirteen chapters covering all the ingredients to consider when creating a stunning portrait, even the backdrop, aspect ratio and depth of field.
However, the most fun for me when it comes to friends in this industry is digging back to their roots. From 1985 to 1991, ABC, A&E, and The Travel Channel aired a weekly half-hour TV show for photographers called “World of Photography.” I went and did a little digging and found the video of John below from thirty years ago.
Technology has changed a lot over the last three decades, but not John's demeanor, passion for the craft or his dedication to quality and education. Check out the book with a click on any of the images in this post and you'll also find John as a regular on many past episodes of CreativeLive along with his own channel of 39 videos. Just wander over to YouTube.
My Sunday mornings always kick off with me sharing whatever is on my mind, and it's rarely about photography. Often I've had the honor of feedback from many of you who were feeling the same way. So, here I am about to go completely off track from imaging.
The topic is giving up on a dream. Big ones, little ones, it doesn't matter - the point is we all get to a point with our dreams where we start to doubt ourselves, the idea and even the relationships that support our quest. We get frustrated with results that aren't coming fast enough. In short, feel, like we're trapped in PinkFloyd's The Wall, "Is anybody out there?" (And if you're too young to have heard the album - go buy it today. It's one of the greats!)
It's a short post this morning and I need a little help from the outside world:
Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul.
Giving up on your goal because of one setback, is like slashing your other three tires because you got a flat.
Never give up, for that is just the place and time the tide will turn.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.
Here's my point this morning - NEVER give up on your dreams. When you get to the point where you're questioning something you're trying to do, step back and take the time to think it through. More than likely you'll remember what it was that started the dream in the first place. So often people give up on the touchdown, just when they're on the one-yard line! (With help from Vince Lombardi on that one.)
Wishing everybody a beautiful Sunday and a day filled with peace and love, just like a flower child from the 70's. Life is too short to waste energy on sadness or letting go of dreams. Always go for those eleven-second hugs and do something today that's different. Even it's just taking a little time to look in the mirror and appreciate the heart of the face staring back at you.
Happy Sunday everybody - or for those readers who remind me now and then it's Monday on the other side of the world - Happy Monday!
Two weeks ago I shared a post about a very special company, near and dear to me, Excire Inc. Yes, I'm directly involved in the company, but those of you who know me well, also know I never take on anything I don't believe in. So, while some of you will see this post as an infomercial, the truth is, this is a Lightroom plug-in you need to know about.
It starts with being photographers who have all their images in Lightroom Catalogs. You started using Lightroom Classic years ago and now you've got thousands of images with limited ways to find them beyond your memory! Keywords help, but I've heard so many artists describe themselves as lazy and inconsistent in tagging their images.
So, you've got a need to find some specific images and like those lost socks from the dryer, you know they're out there, but you just can't find them! Over and again I'm hearing the comment, "I found shots I forgot about!"
Check out two recent guest posts from photographers, Chamira Young and Terry Clark. Both had similar experiences, frustrated in the past by the challenges of finding those "lost socks."
Excire uses its Artificial Intelligence and its machine learning technology, to automatically populate Lightroom’s keyword fields. That's true for as many photos as are in your Lightroom Catalogs. In turn, that gives you the ability to retrieve and tell your story quickly, easily, and with your very best work.
Don't take my word for it - take Excire Search Pro out for your own test drive. The FREE 15 day trial is just a click away in the Excire Shop - nothing to buy and no commitment - like taking a new car out of the showroom for a short ride.
I started this series as a way to help photographers with one of the unique hats they wear - being a small business owner. As creative artists, so many of you hate the operational things you need to do in business. It's understandable, but that doesn't mean you can ignore marketing, advertising, promotion and social media, just to name a few of the challenges.
So Fast Food Friday is an ongoing way to help you isolate the things you need to fine-tune your business and make 2018 one of your best years yet.
There have been twenty dishes here at the SCU Diner, and today is a more seasonal favorite. Just like finding pumpkin pie on the menu of a New Jersey dinner in October, it's the perfect time to start thinking about the seasonality that starts long before the November/December holidays.
The fourth quarter is just around the corner - so today's "blue plate special" is hopefully going to get you thinking about the home stretch for the year!
Filling Sept. - Dec. With More Than Just Holiday Orders
Here's the key to success during the last few months of the year - you've got to do some promotional planning, and you need to get those ideas out in front of your audience. Nobody can sell your skill set better than you - but it won't happen if you let the pages of the calendar blow away like a special-effect in a Hollywood movie. NOW is the time to be thinking about things you can start doing with the seasonality of kids going back to school.
The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.
Missed any of the past twenty Fast Food Fridays? Take a scroll through through entire series. We started in February with ideas to help you clean up your online galleries. Well here we are at the end of July, twenty-one posts later and there's still plenty to talk about when it comes to fine-tuning your business and marketing.
The year is 2008, and I was still living in California. Sheila was in Ohio but would come out a few times a year, and we'd play tourist.
One of my favorite day trips was taking going to Catalina Island. On this trip, since it was just for the day, Molly the Wonder Dog came along, but they wouldn't allow her on the boat without a muzzle.
We had just enough time to get her one and then make it to the boat for the island. She hated it, and while I understand the law in a confined area like this with so many people, Molly would have been fine. She's never growled at anybody let alone bite anyone. However, being the ham that I am, at one point I decided to join Molly.
I write the same thing with every Throwback Thursday post. Old photographs bring back memories, and I can remember just about every minute of that day. These are just snapshots, but put them together with the rest of the images from the day and they tell a story.
Use your blog and Throwback Thursday as a marketing tool to remind your audience of the importance of pictures. Even better, share some of your older professional captured portraits and remind Mom how quickly the kids are growing up! Every day they change and then one day you wake up and they're out on their own. Yes, it really does seem to go that fast.
Remember, 98% of the decisions to hire a photographer in the portrait/social categories are made by women, usually Mom!
Images copyright Tony Corbell. All rights reserved.
In the 180 year history of photography, artists have never had more creative tools available than today. Many of those tools are thanks to Profoto's technology. Profoto lighting is consistently referred to as a "game changer."
EDU10 is sponsored by ProfotoUSA, who never slows down on their focus to help you raise the bar on the quality of your images. And who better to join me on an episode than the lighting guru himself, Tony Corbell?
He's a photographer, educator, writer and great friend to so many of us in the industry. Teaching workshops all over the world, there's always one point Tony always makes as well as stay true to - he never compromises on the quality of an image, or for that matter his relationships with clients, students, vendors or friends!
In this new episode, Tony shares a recent experience of an on-location shoot and some remarkable results relying on Profoto TTL.
He's shooting with the Profoto's Off-Camera Flash System and the B1X. For more information on the B1X, just click the thumbnail to the left. See more of Tony's work and check out his workshop schedule with a click on any of his images in today's post.
The real fun of social media comes with those moments where the true "social" side comes into play. Meet two new friends, Julie and Todd Nichols from Boise, Idaho. Todd and I have exchanged a couple of Facebook IMs over the years, starting with a couple of WPPI questions shortly after I left the company. Earlier this month we caught up with each other on Facebook, which morphed into my favorite mode of communication, picking up the phone and calling them.
After wandering through their galleries, I loved a lot of their wedding images and put in a request for a guest post, and here we are! Julie pulled something together and it's the perfect topic. At a time when so many artists are struggling with business, Todd and Julie continue to build significant brand awareness and a strong client base. Why? Because they not only deliver but exceed expectations and have made themselves habit-forming!
Their clients feel special, as if they were Todd and Julie's only customers. In the guest post below, Julie's shared the not-so-secret ingredient of their success, but spend two minutes on the phone with either of them, and you'll understand the other elements - passion, pride, attitude and above all an energy in their spirit that's nonstop - they LOVE this stuff!
To see more of their work and get to know them, click on any of the three images with this post. And a BIG thanks to Julie for taking the time to join us on SCU with a guest post.
by Julie Nichols
How the client feels about themselves when they interact with us is as important as the product we deliver.
Photography is not a rational business, it’s an emotional business. It won't come as a surprise then that so much of a successful photography business has nothing to do with the actual technical aspect of taking a picture. I'm not discounting the value of knowing our camera and how to compose and use light to enhance our subject. Yes, those things are important, but it’s just as much about how our clients feel about themselves when they interact with us.
While creating beautiful imagery is what may first attract our potential client to us, it's everything that follows that grows our business. When a client reaches out to us it's a BIG deal, every time. We listen carefully to what they want, are afraid of, or what's causing them anxiety. Then we respond confidently as an expert empathetic problem solver. Our client wants to feel they can trust us to handle their situation, family, event, whatever it is...and they will pay more for "white glove" customer service, peace of mind and how we make them feel.
Here’s an example: We met a bride at a bridal show who followed up with us to set up a consult. She didn't show much enthusiasm or emotion when she visited us at the show. When she, her mother and sister showed up for the consult it was the same vibe - little enthusiasm or emotion. I wasn't feeling very optimistic about this person being our type of client.
As we proceeded to find out more about what was important for her, her mother and sister jumped in and mentioned her Grandmother who had recently passed away. The client then told us, with tears in her eyes, about a special piece of jewelry she wanted to include in her shoot that had been given to her by her Grandmother. When we responded with, "Oh my gosh, yes! Of course, Grandmother's are special - we would love to capture that for you!"
Her whole attitude changed. She felt understood and affirmed. She and her mother ended up booking our top collection and walking out hugging us, wiping tears away. It was about how we made them feel. Sure, they loved our imagery but the close for the sale happened when they saw WE understood how important the memory of their grandmother was in their images.
When we deliver top quality imagery in a manner that lets our clients know we adore them all the way through the process, we have done our job well and have a happy customer. This shows in the word-of-mouth referrals and our repeat clients.
Relationship building and trust are simple ingredients to incorporate into your business. It costs you nothing, but has a fabulous return on investment.
These are screen shots - check out the images full screen when you watch the video.
I keep sharing these short "One Location, One Lesson, One Lens" videos because they pack in so much content, and all in three minutes or less. This new episode features my good buddy, Hernan Rodriguez, who's no stranger to SCU.
He's shooting with Tamron's SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens. You can learn a lot watching another artist shoot, especially when it's Hernan. He's doing an editorial shoot and all with just one lens. Along the way, he explains why he's able to capture everything he wants in his images with a style of Vogue meets the rodeo.
Check out the complete series of educational videos with a visit to Tamron's YouTube channel. You'll find it incredibly diverse and featuring some of the most respected artists in professional photography.
If you haven't visited a Tamron dealer, isn't it time you found out what all the buzz is about? Their Summer Savings program is going on right now, featuring six other members of the "family." Just click on the banner below for more information.
Tamron never slows down in manufacturing quality optics, and some of the finest lenses in photography today. And, they also never slow down in their support for photographers and an industry we all love!
I've shared the idea of partnership marketing many times. In fact, I shared this same print ad over five years ago years ago, but the topic is so relevant now and perfect for a Marketing Monday.
Back in my early Hasselblad days, I read an article written by Donald Libey, a terrific strategic planner on the east coast. He wrote about Consumer Bundling, which is non-competing companies working together to hit a common target. The idea was brilliant, and over my years at Hasselblad, you saw promotions and advertising we did with Kodak, Bogen Photo (Now Manfrotto), Polaroid and even L.L. Bean.
If you're looking for a way to reduce your marketing costs, without cutting back on your exposure, then look for some partners to share the burden of direct mail and cross-promotions. Here's a prime example: Homecoming at every high school in the country is only a couple of months away. Why not do a direct mail campaign with the florist in town and a limo company?
Looking for ways to promote your wedding photography? How about teaming up with a travel agent, a local venue, a tux shop and a florist?
Vicki Taufer, with her first "Dog Days of Summer" promotion, found partners to help promote her pet promotion with a pet food company, a local Dog "Barkery" and the local animal shelter.
In terms of the actual presentation to your target audience, it can be anything from a mailing with a series of independent offers, like a smaller version of the "Val-Pak" envelopes we all receive at our homes, to an actual cross-promotion, e.g. Plan the flowers for your wedding and get a certificate worth $__ off a portrait sitting and vice versa: get a discount on your flowers with your portrait sitting.
I know it might not sound very upscale, described in brief here, but that's where your creativity comes in when designing the offer and the promotion.
Consumer bundling is the perfect way for you to promote your business without having to absorb the full burden of the cost. And here's one more idea on cross-promoting - team up with a few other photographers! How about the combination of a wedding photographer and a children's photographer cross-promoting each other's work?
It's summertime and as the Fall approaches so does the seasonality of the fourth quarter. Here's a way for you to increase your exposure to your target audience, and at the same time reduce marketing costs. It's just like a bunch of friends going to lunch - you just need a few new partners to split the check!
Images copyright Mark Toal. All rights reserved.
Intro by Skip Cohen
It's Mirrorless Mark Monday and our buddy, Mark Toal is back having fun with the LUMIX 8mm lens. If a picture's worth a thousand words, then Mark is sharing one of the longest posts he's ever written!
Click on the fisheye to the right for more information. And, click on any of Mark's images to visit his website and blogs.
Follow Mark and the LUMIX Ambassador team with a visit to the LUMIX Photographers Facebook page. There's so much great content being shared every day, and it's all about the nonstop "buzz" Panasonic's technology keeps creating!
by Mark Toal
The distortion from a fisheye lens makes it hard to use in most situations, but boy when it fits, it makes a captivating image.
For these images I used the Panasonic Lumix 8mm lens. Because it’s such a wide-angle lens almost everything will be in focus at any aperture. You mainly have to watch out that out don’t get your shoes or shadow in the photo since it’s such a wide angle of view. I shot these images in the program mode with Auto ISO using Lumix G series cameras.
"It's just a bad day, not a bad life!"
It's Sunday morning and as always I'm off track from marketing, business and photography. This is the time when I just kick back and let my thoughts go anyplace they choose. As always Molly the Wonder Dog is asleep at my feet and I can't help but wonder how great it would be if we were all the kind of people our dogs think we are!
For some reason that quote above popped into my head this morning as I read three "Chicken Little" posts and emails this morning. A "Chicken Little" issue is from somebody who every day finds something to worry about and does their best to rally everybody around them into believing the "sky is falling."
Over the years In photography we've had some big ones: Photographers in the fifties who felt photography was going to hell because of color! They had children who believed life photography was ending when auto-focus came into play. (Anybody remember when one of the biggest retailers in photography, Calumet, in the late 80's threw Nikon out because they stopped making manual focus lenses?) But it doesn't stop there because the same people upset over autofocus had kids who complained that imaging was over with the invention of the digital camera! And I'm sure we can find a link to today's challenges with social media, digital files, and the list goes on and on.
Okay, so I stepped back into photography for one paragraph, but here's how it applies to life. I'm so tired of having a conversation with somebody that starts out with me asking, "Hey, how have you been?" and then hearing how the sky is falling! And while we all have friends who truly have endured some horrific days - they recognize that it's just that; a bad day and they wouldn't trade their life with anybody.
So here's my point this morning - let's help those people who have mastered the art of pessimism to morph into something else. Instead of asking them how they're doing let's open the conversation with, "Wow, you sound great today - what's going on?" Let's help them to keep life's daily challenges in perspective and get them to stop writing their lives off because there are too many speed bumps along the way.
I spent a lot of time in Japan in the 80's, and when having a lot of differences in a negotiating session, there's an expression which translated means, "there are too many pebbles in the stream." So, one by one you work to remove each pebble, but nobody ever looks at the stream as a dried up creek bed!
Wishing everybody a Sunday, or Monday if you're on the other side of the world, that's filled with optimism and time with the people most special to you. Always go for those eleven-second hugs and think about how much the person in that hug means to you. And definitely, keep each day in perspective. Not every day is the one you're going to base your life story on, but without those days that are off a little how would you ever appreciate the ones that are stellar!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
Fast Food Friday posts started as a way to help you isolate things you need to fine-tune your business and make 2018 one of your best years yet. We've covered a lot of different topics over the last 19 posts, but there are still a few more to go.
Whether you're new to the business or a veteran working to expand your skill set; diversify into a new specialty or experimenting with a new approach - confidence is a key.
Today's "blue-plate special" is the equivalent of the big buffet at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The entree is confidence with twenty-two sides to choose from.
While everyone can look like they're confident, this is an industry where you'll never be successful trying to fake it 'til you make it. The more you know and understand the process, whether it's capturing an image or a customer, the more success you'll have at exceeding client expectations.
This is an all-u-can-eat lunch today, so return to the buffet as many times as you need to!
Twenty-Two Ways to Build Confidence
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience
in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror.
I can take the next thing that comes along."
While this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt might seem a little over the top, the truth is, not having confidence can be a "horror." So the best way to beat it is to know every aspect of your business, and when something comes along that slows you down your network is there to help you through the challenge.
One of the biggest challenges with a lack of confidence comes from fear. The more experience you get, the less there is to be afraid of. Don't let fear get in your way. Get to know your gear, the craft and listen to your clients.
What you're afraid to do is a clear indication of the net thing need to do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Images copyright Jay Watson. All rights reserved.
There are now seven podcasts in this series, all thanks to PhotoShelter and their never-ending focus on education and helping artists build a stronger business. Like so many of you and your experiences over the years, we tend to move towards things we like doing. Well, Chamira Young and I have had a fantastic time talking with respected artists about their experiences in building their brand and recording each of these episodes.
Jay Watson joins us in this new podcast. Jay's an editorial and lifestyle photographer based out of San Francisco, and he shoots advertising, entertainment, auto, apparel, corporate and sports assignments - although I'm not sure there isn't anything Jay couldn't photograph. He shows a lot of great diversity in shooting people and their environment and over and again demonstrates his ability to tell a story, often with just one environmental portrait.
On this new podcast, he shares a lot of great insight into his passion for photography, business and working with people. I wanted to share a few of my favorite images from Jay's galleries for this post, but it was hard to choose. To see more of his work click on any image and you'll link to his website.
A BIG thanks to Jay for joining us on "Beyond Technique," and PhotoShelter for the services and products they offer each client. The PhotoShelter team makes it so easy to show your images the way they deserve to be seen - in an excellent presentation.
On July 1 Tamron USA kicked off its summer rebate program with six different outstanding lenses. While I don't normally do infomercial-type blogs, this is a great program. If you're in the market for some new gear, you need to know about what's out there. Click on any of the six images shot with the various lenses for more information.
Tamron never slows down in their efforts to manufacturer some of the very best optics in photography. Even better is their focus on education and helping photographers raise the bar on the quality of their images. The team is on the road all year long with Tamron Tours. Over the next few weeks and into the Fall, on the schedule are Farr's Jewelry in Ogden, UT, Idaho Camera in Boise, Robi's Camera in Lakewood, WA, and Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ.
At each tour stop you'll have a chance to not only test drive Tamron gear on your own, but meet some of the finest tech reps and educators in photography today. They're on the road to help answer any questions or challenges you're dealing with in imaging. You couldn't ask for a stronger team to be on your radar and in your network!
Starting this past January, working together with PhotoShelter, Chamira Young and I have been hosting a great little podcast series called Beyond Technique. While the response has been terrific with each new episode, the real fun of the project is meeting new artists and introducing you to their work; how they got started, and their insight into imaging and business.
At the same time, I started running a PhotoShelter spotlight series featuring a new artist with each post. I've found a whole series of hidden gems in their New Member Shoutouts. Each Shoutout features a new member of the "family," and it's the perfect reminder of how much they all share the passion for the craft.
One of the things I've enjoyed the most is talking with every photographer I've featured and reading/hearing about their backgrounds. This week I found Ron Wash. Based in Los Angeles his passion in photography is about people and fashion, but there's a twist.
Ron came out of the fashion industry as a designer. He's an apparel designer turned photographer. Photography was his first love, graduating from USC with a BFA in fine art specializing in photography. So, from fashion to photography, spend two minutes on the phone with him, and there's no question about his love for the craft but it doesn't stop there. He's also an educator and designed a course for college students interested in fashion to develop a more real-world approach to the garment industry.
In his "About" section I found one of my most favorite quotes from a contemporary photographer to date:
" You don't need to reinvent the wheel...just create a better one".
To see more of Ron's work, check out his website with a click on any of the images above. And check out PhotoShelter.
PhotoShelter is the leader in helping artists present their work. Every website is clean, functional and always easy to navigate. The PhotoShelter team never slows down building relationships with their members. When you have questions, the PhotoShelter team is just a phone call away at 212-206-0808. There's always a live body to help if you can't find the answers in their extensive Q&A. No robots in this house - just a group of people committed to help answer your questions - LIVE.
Click on the banner below to find out more and best of all, start your free trial and take PhotoShelter out for your own test drive!
The real potential of social media comes when the "social" side kicks in and that's what happened with my introduction to Greg Anzalone, a fine art photographer from Buffalo, NY.
He had a question about Excire Search Pro that came through the Customer Support email. Since his question involved a new role for me, and company I'm working with, I've been following all the correspondence.
Wanting to get to know more about him, I checked out the link to his website. I loved many of his images and sent him an email through his website asking him to call me.
So, I'm not only sharing the work of a passionate photographer but reminding you of a basic lesson in communication. NOTHING tops a phone call except meeting somebody in person. Greg and I probably talked for 20 minutes or so, and in that short time the initial foundation for a friendship kicked off.
We live in an instant fulfillment world. We text, we email, but the phone at times seems to be the very last tool we think about. Yet, it has the potential to build relationships the quickest.
A big thanks to Greg for permission to share a few of his images on the SCU blog. Click on any one of his three photographs to see more.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.