Coming up this Saturday is a new Weekend Wisdom podcast with Michele Celentano. The topic is near and dear to all of our hearts, "The Art of Selling Prints". It's such an important topic because so many of you have convinced yourself that printed images are not what your clients want. While it's true we live in an instant fulfillment digital world; the reality is, prints are far from obsolete. However, there's a learning curve for your clients and as an artist you've got to be the one to raise the bar on their educational process.
During the podcast, Michele talked about a great idea she learned from Sue Bryce regarding a way to use an image storage box, but I want to take it a step further with other ideas. I'll let you listen to Michele's podcast this Saturday, September 5, as she talks about the outstanding way Sue is using image box presentations.
For me, the image box concept has always been an ideal addition to the album, but as a marketing tool.
Image boxes come in all shapes and sizes, and you've got the creativity to develop promotional programs that are just as diverse. The key is to be different and make your promotional offers unique from what your competitors are doing.
As my buddy Terry Clark said several years ago,
"Look at what everybody else is going and then do something different!"
It's a lazy Sunday morning, but for some reason today is just a little different. I'm not sure why. As my readers most of you realize I go off track on Sunday mornings, usually talking about whatever is on my mind. What I can't figure out is why things pop into my head in the first place, because today's post is very personal. A lot of the blogging experts would say it doesn't belong here, but my blog is always about what's in my heart, so here goes.
I woke up this morning and for a long time was just lying in bed staring at the ceiling. I was thinking about a group of people who used to make up my family. I say "used to", because like a lot of people they chose to be judgmental when I started the divorce process eight years ago. There are only two people who understand why a marriage dies, but it's ironic how many others think they know what happened and then pass judgement. Well, it's been almost eight years, and I'm overdue to move on.
Like many of you who have experienced "challenges" with family or friends, I've gone through all the steps of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It's time to get on with life. I've quoted Melody Beattie more than once in past posts. If you'd like to find out more about her or order her book, just click on the cover.
Throw Away Old Messages
Who told you that you were bad and wrong? Are you still letting others tell you that---after all these years?
Listen quietly. Whose voice do you hear telling you that? Is someone still putting you down, sabotaging your happiness, preventing you from living and moving in self-acceptance, joy, and love?
Inhale and breathe in love, peace, and joy. Exhale and breathe out negative energy and negative messages. Feel them loosen, disintegrate, release. Feel your soul, mind, and heart become clear. You don't have to let others take your power, rob your joy. Don't become so accustomed to living with the pain of old, negative messages that you don't notice how much they hurt.
Get rid of these old messages. Pull them out of your soul just as you would pull out barbs or knives. Pull them out one by one, then toss them away. You don't have to work around the pain from these messages any more. You don't have to figure out how to incorporate that pain into your life.
Allow yourself to heal. Find new messages that empower you with love, messages that set you free.
So, thanks for allowing me to vent a little. We bought the sign above and it hangs in our kitchen. It's a good reminder the blood isn't always thicker than water and happiness can only be as good as the effort you want to put into maintaining it.
Make it a terrific weekend. Forget about those loved ones you just can't reach and hug those people by your side right now. Make the hugs last at least eleven seconds and thanks for sticking by me, even when I go off track! Wishing everybody a terrific weekend.
I ran across a terrific quote this morning in "Don't Forget to Sing in the Lifeboats".
How do you define success?
If I have enough laughter, if I go to bed contented with myself and my life.
I don't think the world's standards of success are that valid.
It's the perfect topic to have in the back of your mind over the weekend. It doesn't require any real time action, and it's not going to add to the full plate, so many of you already have. It's just something to think about and make sure your goals are truly your own and not instilled by society, family members or friends. Do you wake up every day ready to take on any new challenge? Is your career fulfilling the passion you have for your dreams, business wise as well as personal?
I don't want to sound like I'm preaching, but being older than many of you, it's pretty hard not to. I continue to have a pretty amazing career, but I've never been happier with what I'm doing than over the last six years since heading out on my own. It's been a wild ride with more ups and downs than Space Mountain at Disney, but every decision has been mine to own and good or bad, mine to appreciate.
One of the very first Weekend Wisdom podcasts I did was with Sandy Puc. I've never had a guest be more honest about the challenges in her life when everything seemed to go "south". If you haven't heard it before, take the time and click on the banner below. It's a remarkable interview and filled with honesty as "Sam" shares her moments of glory as well as despair. In the end, she redefined her definition of success and couldn't be more focused and happy with her life today.
I'm not suggested any of you are unhappy, but I am betting your definition of success might need some fine-tuning, simply because, just like me, we're all work in progress.
UPDATE: Travel Vision Journeys is offering a very limited time special offer discount of $1000 per couple on their upcoming Vision and Vine Tour. Contact Lauren Hefferon directly for more information! Call or email Lauren at 617-640-4837 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a big fan of Travel Vision Journeys and Ciclismo Classico, but it goes a lot deeper than their being a partner here at SCU.
First, I love to travel. While most of my life it's been business, I've been fortunate enough to have been all over the world going back mostly to my Polaroid and Hasselblad days. Sadly, the time to sightsee was always limited. Second, you already know my passion for photography and everything under the imaging umbrella. Third, Sheila and I are foodies, and there are few things in life that beat a great meal with a decent bottle of wine.
Finally and fourth, is about the friendships. I've written many times that the best thing about photography has nothing to do with images, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. These are very special trips always kept small with a limited number of people, keeping your experience unique.
Travel Vision Journeys' Vision and Vine Tour has been recognized as one of National Geo's top fifty tours of a lifetime. It's all about my four reasons for being a fan - great travel, amazing photographic opportunities, incredible food, wine and accommodations and last, but certainly not least, friendships that grow from sharing unique adventures. Check out this short video from one of the 2014 trips.
November 5 - 13, 2015: Limited Space Available
There's a new Vision and Vine Tour coming up and it's definitely one of those trips that should be on your bucket list. To find out more, just click the banner at the top. This is one of those trips destined to be an experience of a life time and loaded with diversity, from the landscape of Argentina's countryside to a touch of city life, the people and always great meals and accommodations. And two last ingredients to make every trip amazing, photographer, educator and one of Argentina's most recognized environmentalists, Ossian Lindholm and Travel Vision founder, Lauren Hefferon are on the tour!
Intro by Skip Cohen
I've written a lot about ShutterFest, as well as Shutter Magazine over the last couple years. I couldn't be prouder to be a part of the team. Here's the backstory on today's post, which is the third in the series of artist's favorites.
If you haven't been to ShutterFest, what happens for most photographers is they become part of a community. It's not just a convention or magazine, but a working group of artists who share images, support each other, and while there are obviously differences of opinion, there are no trolls.
A huge part of the event itself is about hands-on shooting. There are mini-workshops going on everywhere and in your spare time you can grab a model for a few hours and just shoot. Numerous times during the event a few photographers would team up and head out onto the streets of St. Louis to photograph together, learn from each other and simply build a stronger support network.
A few months ago I put out the call for images with the request for anyone who wanted to share one of their favorites to send them my way along with the URL for their Facebook page. In this third segment, I'm sharing the most recent group who sent me images, but I'll probably be running at least two more posts with the response I got.
The images in all of these posts represent some amazing diversity in experience from "newbies" to the industry, just getting starting and at ShutterFest to learn as much as they can to one of the industry's most popular instructors. If you haven't been to ShutterFest, the 2016 program will be here before you know it. Just click on the banner at the top for more information.
A big thanks to all the artists who have been sending me images. Nothing beats the passion you have for imaging and the industry. However, as I've written before, the best part of this industry has NOTHING to do with photography, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft.
by Lori Unruh. Follow her on Facebook.
by Rosalie Grower. Follow her on Facebook.
by Niki Collis. Follow her on Facebook.
by Ning Wong. Follow him on Facebook.
by JD Renes. Follow him on Facebook.
by Christine Matrangos. Follow her on Facebook.
Image by Melanie Anderson. Follow her on Facebook.
This is an unusual post to try and write, but since trolls love to hide behind the anonymity of their computer screens, they're harder to reach. I'm also an old fart, still optimistic that even the most miserable people can be turned just a little bit. Most of us have moments where we exhibit a little troll-like behavior, but we don't make it a habit.
What got me started on this topic today were a couple of so called artists who criticized a spotlight post with images by one of the industry's finest photographers. They weren't happy with just a comment about the images, but chose to suggest he look for work elsewhere.
Here's the point...You made the decision to be a troll or act like one. And, while we all have moments where our frustrations get the best of us, not everybody chooses to make it a lifestyle. Maybe it's time to take down that poster of Oscar the Grouch you've had on your wall since you were a kid; he was never meant to be a role model.
Intro by Skip Cohen
Since we started Weekend Wisdom, every guest has shared outstanding insight into some aspect of building your brand as a professional photographer. We always try and stay with just one central topic and then drill it down as far as we can to help you raise the bar on your business.
In this new episode with my guest, Tim Walden, we're focusing on the challenge of selling fine art portraiture. There are so many of you who honestly believe printed images are on their way out. Well, as Tim points out, they're definitely not, but you do have to present a product that's unique. Tim and Beverly Walden aren't selling prints, they're selling fine art.
Tim shares some terrific ideas in this new podcast, all focused on helping you position your work as far more than just photographs. Just click on the banner below to listen to the podcast.
Tim and Beverly Walden are no strangers on the SCU site. In fact, at the end of last month I shared some of their images in a special post, "The Art of Being Passionate, Diligent and Alert."
In this post I quoted Tim when I asked him what he'd say to people who think they're an "overnight success". I loved his response:
"People only see us on the back side - they don't see that it was a long, long time to build our business.. Making decisions can be quick, but the execution takes time. No decision is ever dead on - you have to steer in the water you're in. You have to stay passionate, diligent and alert."
The Waldens are two of the most passionate and finest portrait artists in our industry, but even more impressive than their skill set is their willingness to give back to the photo community. They're remarkable educators and never compromise on the quality of their images or their relationship with their students, friends and associates.
As always, a big thanks to SproutingPhotographer.com and its founders, Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell. They're creating incredible tools to help photographers build a stronger business. I couldn't be more proud to be part of Weekend Wisdom and a small part of their team.
Images copyright Tim Walden. All rights reserved.
In all honesty, I didn't know there was a "World Photography Day" until I got this cartoon from my good buddy, Nick Vedros. I actually googled it and found the following:
"Photography Day is all about celebrating photography. Today is the day to embrace your love of photography, whether you see yourself as an Amateur, Hobbyist or Professional, it’s the day to show off what you can do. Photography has the ability to tell stories and inspire people and with the dawn of digital photography we can share memories across the world in seconds with the use of online galleries. Photography has changed the way we see the world and gives you the ability to share your perception on the world around you, so why not share it!"
We all own real cameras, but this message got me thinking about the shot of mine from Washington D.C. last fall at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I just cracked up over the number of phones and iPads. They were everywhere.
However, the trend is more good news than bad. More people are taking and sharing pictures than at any time in history. The Internet has changed everything in how we communicate and it's helped make the world a smaller place. And, cell phone technology keeps changing, I've seen a lot of great images from some of you, all shot on cell phones. The reality is that it still takes an artist to create and that's where each of you come in with your strength in image capture.
I do have a lot of fun with my phone. I pulled a few of my favorites for today's post. With the two bottom images, my phone was the only "camera" I had with me.
So, regardless of what your opinion is on the cartoon, I'm wishing everybody a belated Happy Photography Day! It was actually August 19. I'm not sure anybody has a "sorry I missed your big day" card designed yet, but my good wishes couldn't be more sincere.
There is no industry I could be more proud to be a part of, regardless of what gear you're shooting with!
"The first and great commandment is: Don't let them scare you."
I tweeted the quote above the other day, but it's Sunday morning. I decided at the time I put the tweet out that it would be a fun topic for today.
It's more prevalent with new photographers than veterans, but at some point EVERYBODY is afraid of something in this business. Most often with those of you who are new photographers it's closing the sale and asking to be paid. You panic over the value of what you're providing. Years later, veteran photographers fear raising their prices or expanding into a new specialty.
Then there are those of all ages and experience who are uncomfortable going up to an industry icon at a convention or workshop and simply introducing yourself. The same goes for industry executives. I remember back in my days at Hasselblad being told by a photographer how intimidated he was coming to talk to me because I always wore a suit. Years later we went to a casual look in the booth, and suddenly he felt comfortable talking to me. LOL
Note: I just read that only old farts still use 'LOL", and it's less than 2% of the social media population. I'm supposed to be using "hahaha". Sorry, I'm sticking with my LOL.
All of us are in this together. "This" is the imaging industry. There's nothing to be afraid of, as long as you keep working on your skill set, deliver what you promise and let your passion for helping people capture images soar. Everybody has moments when they're scared, but the key is to not let it change what you're feeling in your heart. I know it sounds sappy, but if there's one trait every photographer, you consider an icon, shares it's confidence. They believe in themselves.
Make it a great day for family, friends and memory-making moments. If there's anything you're afraid of, spend a few minutes thinking it through. In most cases when you ask yourself, "What's the worse that can happen?" the answer will be far less painful than what your imagination is creating.
Happy Sunday everybody and don't forget those eleven second hugs!
I suppose this is more of a Throwback Thursday post, but after doing the post this morning about the Malibu fire it just wasn't very fulfilling. However, a little digging into old photographs and I found this one of my Dad. There's a whole series of points to make on this one, starting with you asking yourself a question.
"What are people going to be saying about my photography years from now? How will my work be perceived?"
My buddy Scott Bourne said once, "Shoot as if this is the last photograph of yours anybody will ever see!"
Dad's going to be 93 in October. The image on the left was probably done around 75 years ago. It couldn't be more classic. It's hand-colored, and I love the Olan Mills signature. On the back is the ordering number and a stamp, "Olan Mills Portrait Studios, Springfield, Ohio." It's printed on double weight paper, and everything in the image is classic to the 1930's.
The image on the left also couldn't be more classic, even though I've cropped it for this post. It was done by Bambi Cantrell, and Dad was around 85. I love the pose, the lighting - In fact, it's a family favorite for all of us and the way we see Dad, casual yet focused with a whole lot of love in his face. He's still got the same smile, and we've got good hair genes in this family. LOL
So, what's the answer to that question? Are you creating images that years from now your clients will be looking back and smiling, remembering the day you did their portrait?
Unless you've lived in an area of the country where forest fires are a regular event, you can't appreciate the pure fear they instill. This image is from the 2007 Malibu fire, and while it's not the most pleasant story to look back on, it's still perfect for Throwback Thursday. It's taken off my balcony as the fires came very close to the need to evacuate. This next shot was the following morning as the fire continued to move.
Here's the point with these throwback images today. I remember Tony Corbell talking about a fire in their building when he lived in New Jersey. His wife grabbed his daughter, and he grabbed all the family albums. As I sat and watched the smoke rise, I remember thinking about what we should be packing if the fires came over that closest mountain range.
Fortunately, they stopped about 2-3 miles away, and I never had to pack up the car and run, but think about your own family images and albums. Tony's story makes a great statement about the value of our images. Now, think about the important weight they carry with your clients.
As always, take a few minutes today and go off in search of your throwback images. Every image has a story and a trip down memory lane, even ones like this during a fire!
I just got my third email with a request to sign a petition as a result of the killing of Cecil the Lion. Here's how it started out...
"It pains me every time I see Cecil the lion’s face in the news because it reminds me how he was killed – lured out of his protective home in a national park and shot without a fighting chance. Trophy hunting is cruel, and it must end.
I know I am not alone in how I feel because over one million people signed a petition asking for justice for Cecil, and nearly 400,000 signed a petition asking Delta to ban shipments of hunting trophies..."
Okay, so at the risk of getting a few animal rights trolls on my back it's time for a rant!
There's no question that Cecil shouldn't have been killed and it's a tragedy, but how about putting the same outrage into bigger issues like every starving kid in the world, many who won't have as long a life as Cecil? How about outrage for injured returning veterans who are fighting for health coverage and dealing with government delays in benefits? How about fighting for everyone's right to fresh water and a better standard of living? How about doing something for every kid in an orphanage? The list could go on and on.
We're all at fault for becoming so complacent over issues that used to shock us. Every day we read about another tragedy and they're all bigger than fighting to get the various transportation carriers to ban shipments of hunting trophies.
Justice for Cecil? How about justice for every kid and every veteran?
Over the last five years of doing Sunday Morning Reflections, I've written about a lot of topics, almost always off-track from business and photography. Well, it's a typical Sunday morning. I'm up early, and Sheila is still asleep, and I have a thought I want to share.
I write a lot about time being our most valuable commodity, but just like so many of you, too often I don't use my time wisely. One thing Sheila and I don't do enough of is just enjoy each other as a couple. We spend a lot of time together, but there's a big difference between quality time and being together shopping, working, etc.
This year has been incredibly busy with more travel and new projects and a few weeks ago we decided to disappear for the weekend. I had some Marriott points left, and we headed down to Marco Island. Yesterday was what I'd call the perfect day - we spent it bouncing back and forth between the beach and the pool. The hotel was busier than we would have liked, but it gave us plenty of time to people watch.
We had time to talk - no business, no interruptions, emails, texts - just us. In fact, we left our phones up in the room. As we came back from dinner, the sunset was spectacular, and the FZ1000 came out to grab the image above. It was the perfect sunset for the perfect day.
I've only got one point this morning - we're all working hard to build our businesses, skill sets and network. But, sometimes the most important network of all is with your spouse or that special person in your life. Take the time to simply have fun. Take the time to act irresponsible and just walk away from the business now and then. It just might be the most responsible thing you can do.
Wishing everybody a wonderful Sunday. Hug somebody special today - but even better, take the time to plan a few short escapes from the biz. You owe it to each other to find the time to simply appreciate what you have...and as always, keep those hugs to at least eleven seconds!
I found a great thought by Rod Steiger...
Don't anticipate life; meet it. When you try to anticipate,
you're being an idiot, because nobody's got the brain to outwit nature.
I'm talking here about patience, about believing in yourself.
I'm talking here about having courage to wait. You will get what you deserve.
I guess to a point we're all "idiots". We all try to anticipate what's coming, and I'm reminded of what I so often write, but forget...it's about believing in yourself and having the patience to trust the process.
Make it a great weekend everybody!
I recently did a podcast with Roberto Valenzuela on Weekend Wisdom. I've done close to a hundred of them in all shapes and sizes over the last five years on several different blogs. With every guest, there's a common denominator - confidence. Think about every artist you follow in imaging. They're all confident. When they click the shutter you'll rarely see them chimp and if they do it's more about something they're experimenting with, not checking to see if they got the shot.
For many of you "confidence" is the missing piece of the puzzle. You've invested in great gear. You've established yourself as a business entity. You've got a website, a blog and are calling yourself a professional photographer, but you're still a little nervous when it comes to doing a portrait session, wedding or event.
Confidence doesn't come out of nowhere. It's a result of something...
hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication.
So, reading that quote got me thinking about all of you newbies out there, or for that matter veterans who are trying something different. A great example would be the importance of getting into video when your background has exclusively been in still imaging. What can you do to build confidence?
Being a great photographer and an artist is about having a broad range of skills allowing you to take on just about any challenge with confidence. You can't rush the process. Think about how awkward it felt the first time you got behind the wheel learning to drive. Today it's second nature. I know it's an oversimplified comparison, but you have to know your gear and the process of creating stunning images just as easily as you get into your car and head down the highway.
Stay focused on your passion and keep feeding it new challenges and as Roberto states in every workshop, you've got to keep practicing.
This one is a kick! I guess it's from around '95, and it was at the annual PPA national convention, probably when it was still in Las Vegas. That's Wendy Saunders, me and Bambi Cantrell in the front row with Calvin Hayes, Clay Blackmore and "Big Daddy" Blair in the back.
I can't help but laugh over the back-story. Hasselblad's ad agency, Kalmar Ad Marketing, came up with a whole campaign centered around the words "Hot Stuff". It was a great looking logo and even better embroidered. This also launched my secondary career as "Embroidery Boy". I was a legend at Lands End because I put the logo on just about everything.
I had this brilliant idea to sell the baseball hats at the convention, and I drafted five good friends for the "sales" force. Their job was to wander around the convention and sell hats. I even had special bags made for the inventory they were carrying. Calvin's got one in his hand. I don't remember the parameters, but there was even a little trash talk with a contest to see who was going to sell the most.
When the smoke cleared, we gave away more hats than we sold. I'm not sure anybody came back with much cash, even though the money was going to charity. I know Don Blair gave every one of his away and Calvin had to come back for an extra hat for a cute girl he met at the show. It was non-stop laughter, but it was a great looking hat, and I still have a couple I wear from time to time.
I loved putting the Hasselblad name on just about anything, including my final fiasco, a wetsuit for scuba diving. I had gone to the DEMA show and found a manufacturer with good quality who would put our name down the side of the suit and emboss the camera logo in the black rubber on the chest. Well, the first suits came with the name upside down, so it read "dalblessaH" when you were swimming.
We got them to fix the suits, but they never sold and my theory that there were a lot of Hasselblad owners into scuba diving went up in smoke. I hung up my embroidery guns at the point, but not without a few laughs in the process. Also, I never said to our VP, Al Zimmerman, again, "Don't worry, they'll all sell. It'll be a self-liquidator!" I'm betting there's at least one wetsuit still in the Hasselblad warehouse!
So, now it's your turn. Take a few minutes and find your Throwback image for the day and share it. Even better, follow my suggestion on my blog post from earlier in the week and use the image as a post on your blog. It's a great way to educate your client on the value of prints and especially capturing memories.
Several times in the last month there's been a common scenario in a few of the threads on some of the photo-centric forums on Facebook.
It's always the same, a photographer whose business isn't doing well comments on why business has been slow. Typically the blame falls on the influx of part time photographers, Uncle Harry, Debbie Digital and all the Soccer Moms. Then they blame the manufacturers for making it so easy for everybody to own a decent camera. Finally the consumer gets blamed, because "they don't the difference between good photography and bad."
Well, at the risk of sounding like a rant, let's look at what's wrong. For at least half the negative comments posted, I went and looked at the author's websites. In almost all cases, I found mediocre images, difficult to navigate sites and irrelevant information. The websites either looked tired or barely thought through - the equivalent of building a house without a blueprint.
If you fall into this category, I'm not challenging your right to feel frustrated, but let's put the blame where it belongs and even better let's go to work and fix it!
In terms of part-time photographers stealing your business: The industry, especially in the wedding category, for at least the last 30 years has been at least 50% part time. In fact, a few of the best artists in the industry have been part-time, usually because their benefits from their day jobs were so strong they couldn't afford to make the move to full-time. Just because somebody is part-time doesn't mean they're not focused on their skill set and passionate about their clients and their images. It also doesn't mean they're not talented artists!
It's the manufacturer's fault: If it wasn't for the manufacturers who are focused on the newest technology we'd still be shooting with gunpowder for a flash system. Seriously, technology has created the greatest creative tools in the history of photography. Plus, it's always been a challenge. Back in my Hasselblad days a third of our business came from the serious hobbyist, who often had better equipment than many of the pros.
There are some great cameras available today, but just because a consumer owns great gear doesn't mean they're terrific artists. I still love the line about people who own great sports cars - that doesn't mean they're race car drivers! LOL - that's especially true in Florida when you see a new Vette go by at 11 mph with the right turn signal still on!
And, if I stay on topic with photography, the consumer doesn't have access to the same tools a professional does. From new products at your lab, your album company and framer you've got a wealth of ways to present your images. Plus, let's not forget hybrid solutions and your ability to use products like Proshow Web Premium and create incredible mixed media slide shows.
The consumer doesn't know the difference between good and bad images: Okay, part of that is true, but it's your job to teach them. It's your job to establish the value for a print. It's your job to help them understand that memories are precious and deserve more than representation on their Facebook page.
I've shared this video before, but if you missed it check out one way Bryan Caporicci educates his clients. Then read Michele Celentano's "I Believe". Attend any workshop where Beverly and Tim Walden are speaking and sharing ideas about establishing value with fine art portraits and you'll hear another approach to establishing value.
I'm not saying there aren't plenty of challenges in running a photography business today, but so often the blame for weak sales needs to be put where it belongs, on the face looking back in the mirror every morning. You can't fix all the outside challenges, but you can focus on everything within your control, including marketing, brand awareness and your skill set.
It's time all you "Negators" out there started thinking about your skill set and raising the bar on the quality of your images. Then look at your website and especially your galleries. If an image isn't better than what Uncle Harry could capture, then dump it! Only show your best work. Next, what are you doing to market yourself? Are you involved in the community? What are people saying about you? When people think about needing a photographer does your name come up first?
If your business is slow and things just aren't coming together this year, stop looking to pass the blame and let's start working to fix it. You've got so many people and companies in the industry willing to give you hand, starting right here with me!
With every episode of Weekend Wisdom we've done our best to stay on point, focused on one key topic and then giving you as much information as possible to help you raise the bar on your technique, business and sometimes even lifestyle.
In this new episode, my good buddy Roberto Valenzuela shares a lot of great insight into the importance of knowing your gear; understanding technique and constantly practicing to make yourself better. In wedding photography especially, there's no time to stop the action while you check your manual for camera information or a posing guide for lighting ideas!
Roberto needs to be on your radar and the best place to start is his website. He's also got some great workshops coming up with very limited attendance. If you know his reputation then you know he never compromises on anything, especially when he's teaching.
As always, a big thanks to SproutingPhotographer.com and its founders, Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell. They're creating incredible tools to help photographers build a stronger business. I couldn't be more proud to be part of Weekend Wisdom and a small part of their team.
Images copyright Roberto Valenzuela. All rights reserved.
I was looking through old photographs this week and found this short video of Sheila with our granddaughter from 2009. I'm sharing it for two reasons - first it just makes us smile. Second, and this is where all of you come in - it proves that you can go back, at least for a couple of minutes.
It's also the perfect intro to talk about Throwback Thursday as a marketing tool for your business.
Every Thursday I post a "Throwback" image. I have no idea who started Throwback Thursday. It's become a weekly obsession and something I look forward to every Wednesday night when I go off in search of something to post. Here's a way for you to incorporate the concept in the marketing approach for your business.
Most of you have blogs and are often complaining about having nothing to write about. Old images create the perfect opportunity. Use your personal Throwback images and post an old image every Thursday for your readers.
Stay with me - there's a method to my madness because this is more than just entertainment. Posting an old image gives you a chance to talk about the importance of photography. It gives you a chance to remind parents their children change a little more every day. It's an opportunity to remind families that grandparents are special and won't be around forever. It's a time where you can share the importance of capturing memories.
At Marathon's MAP (Marketing Advantage Program) Getaway a few weeks ago, one of the attendees talked about looking through some old boxes and finding a picture of her grandparents wedding from the early 1900's. Sharing that image gave her the opportunity to make a point with her clients and readers about the value of old photographs.
And in terms of the video above and the importance of capturing memories, Belle turned twelve last month. She was five going on six when I shot the video with a little point and shoot. From grab shots to a family portrait by Michele Celentano, every image is important to us and especially to "Grandma Sheila".
I've written before about your website being all about what you sell and your blog about what's in your heart. Use some of those special old photographs to share a little of your heart. Educate your clients on the value of photography and create regular content your readers will want to follow. Don't miss the opportunity to show the importance of memories.
It's time to show you can walk the talk!
I got up this morning and jumped on an idea I started yesterday for a post. I spent an hour working on it and liked the point it made so much I decided to save it for tomorrow, Marketing Monday. That left me with a dilemma - what do I do for a Sunday Morning Reflection post? Hey, it's Sunday, and if you follow my blog, then you already know I always go off track from photography and business.
As I sat here, I started to get a little reflective. I was thinking a lot about the last eight years. When it comes to the emotional roller coaster of life with all the ups and downs, you name it, and I feel like I've experienced it. In spite of a few challenges there have been far more good times than bad. There have been far more events to smile about than cry and memory-making moments, as recently as dinner with good friends last night, keep adding a special quality to our lives.
It's a short post this morning with the perfect quote from Oprah Winfrey:
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
Wishing everybody a wonderful Sunday and as always, time with friends and family; big smiles; deep belly laughs and a day to be thankful for everything you have. Isn't that what Sundays are supposed to be about anyway?
Don't forget those eleven second hugs - they create energy and have some wonderful therapeutic value! Just trust me!
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.