This series is all about paying attention to your business. Most of you see yourself as artists, right-brained creative types with a minimal interest in the operational side of the business. So, we set out with a goal of giving you a new topic each week to help you fine-tune your business and in turn help secure better results for 2018.
Along the way, thoughts have come up that step outside components like your website, blog, social media, etc. Today's "blue plate" special is just one of those topics.
Recently my co-host on the Photofocus "Mind Your Own Business" podcast, Chamria Young and I had a lengthy conversation with David Scruggs and Jill Smith, two passionate wedding photographers based in Atlanta. They recently had a wedding to photograph where later in the evening, long after the rehearsal dinner, the mother of the groom was killed in a random shooting. The last photograph of the groom with his mother, father and siblings was taken at the rehearsal dinner. (Note: the podcast airs on September 14, 2018.)
The topic of this podcast focused on the importance of never compromising on the quality of an image, but afterward, I started thinking about how deep that really has to go. It's such an important part of calling yourself a professional that I wanted to share a series of ingredients so that as an artist, you NEVER compromise on the quality of an image. It goes well beyond technique and understanding the craft!
What Makes a Professional Photographer
This podcast brought to mind several things that define a photographer as a professional, so that you not only rarely miss those important moments in a subject's life, but never compromise on the quality of an image:
Missed any of the past Fast Food Friday lunch specials? There are now 25 in the complete series and they're all just a click away. Just like your favorite lunch spot, each one is still being "served" in the SCU diner. Each lunch special hits on another aspect of building a stronger business and helping to make 2018 your best year yet. And, if there's ever something you wish we'd add to the menu, just let us know!
It's time for you to thrive, not just survive!
Several times a week I wander through the Tamron USA website along with their YouTube channel, and I'm always amazed at how I manage to find something new. I'm not sure how I missed this a few months ago, but it's packed full of outstanding content!
It's the Tamron Magazine, and the spring lead article was all about macro photography. And, while it might have been an article kicking off Spring, if you're into macro, it doesn't matter what time of year you're out with your camera. There's always something amazing in tiny world, so many of us never notice.
There were fourteen excellent tips to help you fine-tune your macro skills in this article, but that was only one of the featured stories. The magazine is packed full of outstanding content, all staying true to Tamron's goal to keep helping photographers raise the bar on their skill set.
So many of you are called on to demonstrate your skills in macro every day, yet you've never really considered beefing up your skill set. From commercial applications to a traditional ring shot on the wedding day, understanding how to get the best macro images needs to be in your bag of tricks!
Check out the Spring issue with a click on either image above and then visit to your Tamron dealer. There's a lot of buzz going around about Tamron. Isn't it time you found out why?
The Tamron tech team is on the road with some terrific programs coming up in September.
You'll find them in Fort Worth, TX, Cincinnati, OH, Waltham, MA, Greenville, NC, Fairfield, NJ and Mobile, AL in the months ahead. Just click on the van to see the schedule and then don't miss the opportunity to meet some of the most talented educators and artists in photography!
One of the things I love about all the content shared on Profoto's blog, and YouTube channel is that the information is timeless. There is no expiration date on technique, passion for the craft or an understanding of lighting.
As the leader in lighting technology, they're dedicated to making sure their support to the photographic community is just as remarkable as their product line. They never slow down sharing great content featuring some of the most respected and talented photographers in the world.
In this short video featuring fashion photographer Pauline Darley, she puts Profoto's B2 Off-Camera Flash System to work. She shares a lot of great insight in this video, and you can learn so much watching another photographer at work.
This quote from the video says it all, and sums up why so many photographers love working with their Profoto gear...consistent performance.
In a professional's work, consistency is everything!
This video was part of a terrific blog post originally. Click on any of Pauline Darley's images to read the complete story.
If you haven't visited a Profoto dealer, isn't it time to find out what all the buzz is about. Just click on the banner below for information about the complete Profoto line, and while you're visiting their website, stop by "Inspiration" for some of the most dynamic content in imaging.
Image copyright Robert Vanelli. All rights reserved.
Over two years ago I started this series to introduce you to the movers and shakers in professional photography. The idea was to keep it simple - share an image from each artist and include a short podcast talking about why the picture was one of their most favorite. Well, I completely underestimated the information each photographer would share and their ability to not only help us understand their mind's eye visions but how they define their passion for the craft.
Robert Vanelli, AKA "V" and for many of us "Vanelli" is one of those artists, writers, and educators who never stops giving back. He joins me with a great backstory about one of his favorite images.
His career started in Karate as a three-time Triple Crown champion in the mid-80's, but lucky for all of us he had a love for photography and today is a contributing editor for Photofocus.com, a speaker, and educator for Skylum and a great photographer. I heard somebody say, "You don't just meet Vanelli, you experience him!"
It's a kick to have him join me on this episode of "Why?" and if you see him at any upcoming conference, go over and introduce yourself. You couldn't ask for a better new buddy and somebody who needs to be on your radar.
Click on any image in this post to link to Vanelli's posts on Photofocus.com - He's always sharing great content!
When Sheila and I moved to Sarasota almost seven years ago, we drove both cars down. During the drive, my car was filled literally to the top. It wasn’t what I planned, but at the last minute, I discovered a bunch of framed prints that hadn’t been packed. The only way to take them was to load them on top of everything in the back seat. I was left without a rear view mirror and had to rely on my side view mirrors for the entire drive from Ohio.
Trust me there’s a point here!
Because I was relying entirely on my side mirrors, I found myself using them differently. You usually use your side mirrors when changing lanes, relying on your rearview mirror most of the time. Instead, I found myself using the side views to see who or what was coming up behind me or who/what was on either side of me throughout the trip.
Here’s the link to what got me thinking about business. There are times when we focus too much on what’s immediately behind us. We don’t look to the side to see what’s coming up next but spend our time more in a “wish-I-hadn’t-done-that” mode. We look back too often wishing we could change something, but we’d be so much stronger focusing on what’s in front of us while keeping an eye on what’s coming up behind us next.
Here’s an example: We're coming up on the fourth quarter and it doesn’t matter what you didn’t get done in the last few months. Using your "side view mirror", you can see your competitors, other programs coming up. Looking forward you know what’s coming up for business in the last quarter. You know which conventions and workshops you need to attend next year. You know what equipment** you need and what you need to do to strengthen your skill set.
You can’t do anything to change the path you chose in the past, but you can make a difference in where you go next and in what direction.
I’m a huge fan of diversity in your skill set. So let’s assume the path you need to take is to develop at least one more skill set to help your business be stronger in 2019. That’s the view of where you need to go. Your side view mirrors will help you see what your competitors might be doing and what’s going on in your market.
The bottom line goes right back to the control you have for your future. Stop worrying about things you can’t change and focus on the incredible potential in whatever path you choose going forward.
One of my favorite quotes is from Zig Ziglar and it's entirely based on moving forward - not looking back.
“If you wait until all the lights are "green" before you leave home,
you'll never get started on your trip to the top.”
**Note: If you're looking to buy new gear, don't forget Photokina is at the end of September. That means there are going to be announcements from many of the manufacturers about new products, which, depending on what you need, might make this fall a great time to buy.
While the title "Marketing Monday" has a nice ring to it, it means nothing if you don't start off EVERY day taking a few minutes to put together a game plan. It doesn't have to be cast in concrete, just a few thoughts regarding what you want to accomplish short and long term. For me, it works with a piece of scratch paper or my whiteboard. It's that simple, but let's go a little deeper.
Marketing Monday is nothing more than a catchy name, and virtually everybody who writes about business uses the term - but what about all the other days of the week?
Here's my point: August is rapidly coming to a close and the seasonality of the fourth quarter seems to start earlier and earlier each year. If you live in the US, then Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer, but more importantly the start of the real busy season. The schools are all back in session. Events like homecoming, Friday night games and fund-raisers in your community are all ramping up. Over and again there are opportunities for you to remind your target audience you're there to help them capture every memory.
So, what are you doing to make yourself stand out? How are you going to build brand awareness in a way that's different from your competitors?
Product Selection: A few weeks ago I wrote about Performance EXT Metal Prints from Bay Photo. The whole concept is based on showing great images in a way that's stunning and different - outside! But it's only one way to make your work standout and be different.
Over the weekend I got an email from my good buddy, Glen Clark at Bay Photo. They've set up a program for my readers - open a new account and get 25% off your first order. Then as a member of the Bay Photo family, you'll have access to exclusive offers and a new 24-hour special each week.
I know this sounds like a mini-infomercial, but I get no compensation. I'm sharing the information because you need to find new products to excite your clients this holiday season. Most of you also need to strengthen your margins and increase revenue. Well, how are you going to do that if you keep offering the same old products?
Community Involvement: September is the gateway to new opportunities for you to give back to your community. Remember, people like buying products/services from companies they perceive as giving back. You're looking for the community to be good to you, so you need to be good to them!
Look for opportunities to volunteer and be a part of fundraisers around you. From working in the refreshment booth at Friday night football games to helping photographers on the yearbook, to United Way, walkathons and various nonprofits there's so much going on in the fall and into the November/December holidays. But you've got to step up and be there!
Marketing Material: It's no secret that I'm working with a new and exciting company and product, Excire. While it's remarkable technology as a search tool for your images, regardless of how diligent you've been in keywording, I see one of it's greatest values as helping you find your very best images for a marketing slideshow.
I've written a lot about this over the years, and a few years ago we even did a contest with Photodex looking for the best self-promotional slide show. Well, if you're on Lightroom Classic (not on the cloud) Excire gives you the ability to initialize your images and then search for the best in any category, by keyword, similarities or facial recognition.
And Photodex gives you the ability to take your best images and put them together with good music and create a 2-3 minute slideshow demonstrating your skill set and love for the craft. You need to find better ways to remind your clients what you do for a living and plant those seeds for a new family portrait, holiday cards and unique photographic gifts this holiday season.
I love the idea of Marketing Monday, but the words themselves are only a clever way to theme a blog post. For all of us there are six other days of the week and they all need to start with MARKETING!
"There are some people in life who make you laugh a little louder,
smile a little bigger and live just a little bit better.
It's Sunday morning, and I'm not as off-track as usual for Sunday Morning Reflections. Let's set the stage. Sheila is down in Naples for a "girl's weekend" with a good friend, and I'm hanging out with "Vanelli," who drove over on Friday from Melbourne, FL. We've easily covered a few hundred stories about our parents, life, families, friends, and practical jokes, just to name a few of the topics. Well, after this weekend I feel like I'm one of the only guys in the industry who didn't know Vanelli's background.
While he goes by Vanelli, he's Robert Vanelli also known over the years as "V." His first career was in Karate, and he's best known for being a three-time Triple Crown Karate champion in '84 - '86. Luckily for all of us, he stepped out of the ring and became one incredibly talented artist, writer, and educator.
While I know I've hit it so many times before, the best part of this industry is about the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Well, Vanelli and I have known each other for a long time, but never got in any quality time. This weekend has been terrific, and I managed to even weasel a couple of favorite shots of Molly and me. Sorry everybody, after just being featured in a Throwback Thursday post this past week, she's back again.
But here's my real point this morning. I've heard people talk about how if you're a tennis player and play with somebody better than you, your game gets better. I've experienced that myself scuba-diving with friends who were more accomplished than me.
Well, the same applies to photography and in part to life. Vanelli is a wealth of information, great stories, practical jokes and while understanding the craft is an incredible asset, it's the way he sees his subjects, puts them at ease and then turns his mind's eye visions into reality. As an author for Photofocus.com and having depth in so many different aspects of life, my "game" just got better on so many levels.
Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote in Ulysses, "I am a part of all that I have met." Well, when Vanelli comes into your life, he isn't just passing through but is committed to the friendship. In the same way, all the people who have come through Vanelli's life have made him who he is today, he in turn has become a part of so many of our lives.
This weekend has been a kick, and a new, guaranteed to be crazy; funny friendship has just kicked off!
As I do every Sunday, wishing all of you a perfect day and time with family and friends - those people most important in your life. Go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with at least one person who's special in your life.
Happy Sunday everybody...or Monday if you're on the other side of the world. Regardless, thanks for being part of the SCU family.
PS Check out more of what Vanelli is up to with a click on either image.
Every time I think we've run out of creative ideas for Fast Food Friday blue plate specials in the SCU diner I find one more series of ingredients to whip something up! LOL Remember, this is a very special diner serving up things for you to think about to help make this one of your best years in business.
Well, today's is a very special combination of ingredients and I'm betting EVERYBODY is going to find something they can relate to and enjoy. Here's a phenomenon that seems to be more unique to the photographic industry than most other career fields - people tend to help each other. Over and again I'm amazed at people who ask for help on a photographic or business challenge and find themselves buried in answers.
We're coming up to what traditionally is the busiest time of the year. It's guaranteed that some time over the next four months you're going to hit the wall with a challenge you need help with. There are so many resources for you to get help - you're not alone!
Don't be afraid to ask for help!
“The strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it.
Whether he has an abscess on his knee or in his soul."
Missed any past Fast Food Friday specials? There are 24 in the series and the SCU diner is still serving! Each special hits on a different aspect of your business. As the clock clicks down what's left in 2018, you've still got time to fine-tune your business and make the fourth quarter your best ever!
We want you to thrive, not just survive!
It's Throwback Thursday, and since Labor Day is Molly's 13th birthday, I might as well make her the star of today's post. I've shared other photographs over the years, but these are some of my favorites, and it's about the interaction with my knucklehead buddy here.
But, I want to use this post to remind you of the potential for pet photography. The hierarchy for the top three reasons why people hire a professional photographer goes brides, babies, and pets. Dogs and cats are at the top of the food chain, but I'm not sure enough of you realize the potential market.
It's estimated that 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 35% have a cat. (Source: American Pet Products Association 2015-2016 (APPA))
Now think about your community and the number of people you know who own a dog or cat. I'm betting for most of you it's an almost untapped market. Plus go one step further and consider how much people spend on their pets.
The APPA found that in 2016 U.S. pet owners are expected to spend $62.75 billion on their furry (or scaly) friends. That brings me right back to brides, babies, and pets....brides start families and families most often add a pet.
Just a fun sidebar - I lived in California for seven years. There was a dog park very near our house and one day I got beat up by a neighbor because I referred to myself as a dog owner. "You can't own your dog - they're free spirits to be appreciated." Only in California would somebody criticize you for "owning" your dog. My response, including a couple of my favorite expletives was simple - "Until Molly can earn a living, drive to the pet store for her food, pay for it and serve herself, I OWN her!"
And, if you need help in pet photography and are looking for a terrific resource for information and how to build a stronger pet photography business, check out Nicole Begley's blog, you'll find a lot of great information at Hair of the Dog and she's also a guest contributor on the Marathon Press blog. I met Nicole for the first time last year when she was teaching a workshop here in Sarasota together with Terran Bayer.
These images are all thanks to Bambi Cantrell in 2007. Typical of Bambi, she can photograph anywhere. Behind the Rangefinder office in Santa Monica, there was a condemned building with sheets of cheap plywood over the doors and windows. When you've got Bambi's skill set, it doesn't matter what the backdrop is; she's going to make it all work.
And, with roots in black and white for so many of us, while I loved all the images from that day, the black and whites are my favorites. They're richer and clearly hide the ugly background. I had some fun with the shot below and chose to keep it in color, modifying Three Dog Night. I'll admit it's cheesy, but it looks great on a barbecue apron!
Throwback Thursday is an outstanding marketing tool especially when you're struggling to find blog content! Take the time to put together a few posts of your own images going back a few years and then remind "Mom" how fast the kids are growing and the family is changing.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
All images by Cantrell Portrait Design
Here's the newest "One Location, One Lesson, One Lens" episode from Tamron USA and it's a kick. I love the quality of the images shared in the video, along with great content.
Charley Voorhis is no stranger to SCU and we've shared several videos featuring not only him, but the Wenatchee Valley in Washington State. In this new video, he shares some great insight into what he's trying to do, including why he's using Tamron's 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD (B023) lens.
He makes a comment early in this short video about bringing in the valley along with the climbers in the images. Well the images are stunning and he did just that. Remember, I'm sharing screen shots from the video and they're tack sharp - imagine what the originals must be like!
Check out the 10-24mm lens with a click on the banner below. While you're there, if you haven't visited a Tamron dealer recently, it's time to find out what all the buzz is about. You'll find their complete dealer listing with a click at the top of the page featuring the 10-24mm lens.
And, find out more about Charley's work with a click on any of his images in this post!
Here's what started today's rant, which was later fueled by a couple of stupid statements in one of the photography forums. I get a great magazine called The Week. It's a weekly summary of the news around the world. As I was looking through a back issue, I saw a story in their regular feature, "Only in America."
"Netflix is reportedly asking employees not to look at one another for more than five consecutive seconds. The gaze limit is part of new sexual harassment guidelines, issued in response to #MeToo, that also bars employees from flirting, "lingering hugs," and asking each other for their personal phone numbers."
I look back over the last ten years, and I keep asking the same question when did society run amuck? When did we become so serious? When did we all wind up under the microscope?
Here are some examples within photography:
I spend a good part of my day reading comments on Facebook in the various forums and so often, sometime around the sixth comment on a specific topic, somebody gets a little too sensitive. The next thing you read is a battle of semantics as people start to fight through the sensitivities of how somebody has expressed their opinion. Then the floodgates open and I've seen suggestions on how to improve a truly bad image suddenly go down the accusation path of every prejudice you can imagine.
Maybe just learning to laugh more is part of the solution. When did we forget to laugh or in this business forget that beauty is in the eyes of the checkbook holder? It doesn't matter what everybody else thinks.
I already imagine the trolls out there rolling their eyes and getting ready to shred me. The problem is bigger than the challenges with digital workflow; Uncle Harry stealing your business; photographers not knowing enough about photography; print competition not judging your prints fairly, and people copying other artist's photographs.
Okay gang, let's pick a week during the year where for seven days in a row we laugh at just about everything! We'll laugh at images that are out of focus. We'll laugh at all the challenges in our business. We'll laugh at people who disappoint us. We'll laugh at growing older.
By the time we get to the second week, it'll be catching, and we'll laugh with our family and friends. We'll laugh with our clients. We'll laugh with our vendors, and the world might start to loosen up. Then, once it's loose enough, maybe we can really accomplish something - talk more to each other, share ideas, grow our businesses and live healthier more productive lives.
I thought I had a unique thought with all of this - all mine until I went looking for a quote with Google that would wrap up this rant. With a big smile on my face, I'm proud to announce the topic of this blog is hardly original and has been bouncing around the world for centuries, but I'm in good company!
"It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there's nothing you can do about them,
and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized."
Dr. Wayne Dyer
"The human race has only one effective weapon and that is laughter!"
"God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh!"
"Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life!"
And to quote my good buddy Terry Clark,
"Smile big, laugh hard, and make people happy!"
There's so much incredible content in the Profoto archives on YouTube. Hundreds of videos, each with an ability to help you fine-tune your technique and elevate your skill set. I may have missed sharing this video from Pye Jirsa last year, but that doesn't change it's relevance to the images so many of you are working to capture today.
In eight minutes he's not only packed in ten different ways to shoot the same scene but with each one he's given you all the specs on his setup. Again and again, he shares the "recipe" for the image, and while most of you won't be shooting at the top of a mountain range, it doesn't change how much you can learn from watching a great educator at work.
Check out more of Pye's educational support for photographers with a visit to his teaching website. As one of the co-founders of SLRLounge.com, Pye always walks the talk when it comes to education and working to help photographers better support each other. He never compromises on his gear, the quality of his images or his passion for education and the industry.
Profoto never slows down in their product development or their efforts to help photographers raise the bar on their skill set.
Check out the Profoto B2 and find out what all the buzz is about.
It's the off-camera flash system that literally goes just about anywhere! Click on the B2 banner to the right for more information and to find a dealer near you.
It's a quote from "Life's Little Instruction Book Volume II, and it's one of my favorites. Weeds, like dandelions, are pretty to photograph, but ever notice how they take over a beautiful lawn when not controlled?
Well, it's Marketing Monday, and I found this post in the archives from many years ago. It's perfect to kick off the week as a reminder to so many of who are dealing with "weeds" in your life. Maybe it's time to get them under control.
Weed 1: Stop worrying about how much you still have to learn and pat yourself on the back for how much you know already. Photography is an art form, and nobody ever picked it up overnight. All your heroes started the same place you did, at the beginning.
Weed 2: It's time to shut off the negative people in your life. Not everybody is going to understand your dreams, but that doesn't give them the right to keep taking one second away from the joy of yours.
Weed 3: Stop worrying about having the right gear. Do the best you can with what you've got. If there really is something you desperately need to help raise the bar on your images, but you can't afford it, then find a good rental house.
Weed 4: Stop thinking you're alone in your frustrations as a photographer and small business owner. Here's where getting involved in a local guild or PPA chapter is going to help. You need to be involved in the local network, not just know about it. Join whatever/whoever is in your community and start getting to know other photographers, as well as them getting to know you.
Weed 5: Take some time to think through your definition of success. Most of you are halfway there, but since you've only defined success in monetary terms, you have no idea how much you've accomplished just by being happy.
Weed 6: Get out from behind your computer...often! Your business is going to be built on relationships, and you won't get to know the people who can help you the most if you're at the computer all day. Scott Bourne and I have talked a lot over the years about "owning your zip code." That means getting out, knocking on doors and introducing yourself to all the business owners in your community.
Weed 7: Stop talking and listen. There's that old saying about having two ears and only one mouth, so you've got to listen twice as much as you talk.
You've got so much to be proud of, but you've got to take it one day at a time, keep procrastination to a minimum and keep working to build a stronger skill set. And, I guess this is the right place to remind you to stop thinking the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence! (Sorry, just couldn't help it.)
Make it a great day everybody. Get control of those weeds!
Intro by Skip Cohen
It's another Mirrorless Monday, and good buddy Mark Toal was recently in Alaska. So many of us have been on business trips to incredible locations, but rarely had the time to truly appreciate the area we're in. Well, Mark just had half a day to explore. He had a LUMIX G9 with him, and the image of an eagle is an excellent example of the focus accuracy that abounds in the Panasonic family of cameras.
Follow Mark and the LUMIX Ambassador team and put their Facebook page on your radar. And, if you're interested in finding out more about the G9 and the Leica 200mm lens Mark used, click on either thumbnail below.
Mark never slows down in sharing his passion for imaging, and he's never without a LUMIX camera. Check out his site and blogs with a click on the eagle above.
by Mark Toal
I recently traveled to Anchorage, Alaska for work, and only had a half a day free to explore outside of Anchorage. I’m not much of a nature or wildlife photographer and there isn’t much other than nature and wildlife in Alaska, so I took the advice of a co-worker and went to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, not too far south of Anchorage.
It was warm and sunny by the time I arrived so most of the animals were not moving much or in the shade. I found this angry looking Eagle that was recovering in a cage with a fairly tight mesh fence. I set the focus on my Lumix G9 to a very small single point and tried to focus through the fence. It took a few tries, but when it locked on the Eagle with the Leica 200mm lens the cage disappeared and I got my one wildlife photo from Alaska.
Every new friend is a new adventure...the start of new memories.
It's a short post this morning but what you don't know is that it's the second one I've written. So often I'll write a post, get too personal, read it to Sheila and before she even shakes her head, I know I've crossed the line in blogging etiquette. And that's my first point today - as a blogger it's great to go off track, but stay out of topics too painful to share, let alone write about. It was only a minute after hitting "delete" I knew exactly what I wanted to share.
It'll be two years in December since Sheila and I moved to Osprey. We love the area and have gotten to know some nice neighbors, but never spent quality time with anybody. Earlier in the week, there was a knock on the door from a couple we'd casually met who spotted the military service flag in the window of my office. The flag is authorized for parents who have a family member serving overseas. They spotted the flag and wanted to know who in our family was military, and that started a great conversation, leading to, "Why don't you guys come over on Friday night?"
Well, we had a blast with them. We kept it light and easy - we made some good things to eat, they brought great food too, and a new friendship was forged. Lots of laughs, stories about both our lives and a reminder so many of us have things in common, but don't take the time to find out what they are.
This is a short post with an easy to implement point. Take the time to get to know the people around you better. We all live such busy lives, and so often miss the opportunity to socialize and share bits and pieces of our lives.
Wishing everybody a perfect Sunday, or Monday if you're on the other side of the world. Go for those eleven-second hugs and if you're tuning into this blog late...I read an article a couple of years ago that talked about the importance of hugs being therapeutic. The recommendation was to go for eleven seconds. Just try it right now with somebody you care about, and you'll see what I mean. And, take the time to reinforce a new friendship today. It's our friends who help us stay focused and create an appreciation for life.
If you're new to this series, Fast Food Friday has become a never-ending laundry list of things most of you need to work on. I started the series under the "fast food" umbrella because we're all used to the concept. Time is our most valuable commodity and grabbing a quick lunch is an all too common theme.
So, even though I think we need to take as long a break at lunch as we need, I'm sticking with the concept. This is a series of relatively short posts to help you fine tune your business and make 2018 a stronger year.
None of this is rocket science, but it does take a commitment, starting with never saying, "That's good enough!" NEVER compromise on the quality of anything in your business, or for that matter your life!
I thought it would be fun and useful to hit on the topic of social media a little bit. Even though past "blue plate specials" have included blogging and communication, so many of you could be more effective in the way you're using social media.
"Social Media" - two words that just a few years ago had absolutely no meaning to any of us. Today most of us have a love/hate relationship with it but done right the only "hate" you should feel is that you didn't get involved sooner! But, don't kid yourself, you've got to have a foundation for communication or at least a desire to maintain contact with people.
Twelve Tips to Help You Thrive in Social Media
There's isn't enough room in a post like this to talk about everything you should be doing, but let's hit on some great basics. Remember, I'm sharing ideas on tips for using social media for your business, not personal use.
Missed any of the past Fast Food Friday specials? There are 23 in the complete series and the SCU diner is still serving! Each special hits on a different aspect of your business. As the clock clicks down what's left in 2018, you've still got time to fine-tune your business and make the fourth quarter your best ever!
We want you to thrive, not just survive!
There's so much outstanding content being shared all year long on Profoto's website. Well, now and then I miss something that deserves to be shared. While it might have been released last fall, this blog post and video featuring Vanessa Joy are loaded with great information that, like Vanessa, is always relevant.
Vanessa shares a lot of "how-to" information in this short video. It's a solid reminder that your success as an artist is dependent on your ability to control the light rather than waiting as the light controls you!
"The world is my studio because with the A1 I can
bring that natural light look wherever I go!"
Enjoy the video and click on any of Vanessa's images in this post to read the entire story on Profoto's "Inspiration."
Check out Vanessa's video and then check out her website and make sure she's on your radar. She's always doing something cutting edge and linking to her website is just a click away.
Chamira Young and I have had a lot of fun interviewing some of the most respected artists in professional photography, all thanks to the support of PhotoShelter. Each artist has had a different story to share along with a lot of insight into ideas to help you build stronger brand awareness for your own business.
Jamey Price joins us on podcast number eight. He's the first motorsports photographer we've had on as a guest, and as you'll hear in the podcast, so much of his success goes well beyond his skill set. He's a storyteller with his coverage of a race, but at the same time, he's a relationship builder. He's also an incredibly patient and fun artist to talk to. You'll pick up on his style in the interview, but I've had several conversations with Jamey following this podcast, and he couldn't be more sincere in his love for the craft.
Just a couple of weeks ago, one of Jamey's favorite images was featured on "Why?" It's just a click away if you'd like to hear the backstory on one of his most remarkable images.
A BIG thanks to Jamey for taking the time out of his crazy schedule and joining us on "Beyond Technique," and PhotoShelter for the services and products they offer each client. Jamey's a big fan of the PhotoShelter team and has visited their offices. The PhotoShelter team makes it so easy to show your images the way they deserve to be seen!
Images copyright Jamey Price. All rights reserved.
It's not easy picking a few favorites from Jamey's galleries. He's made it a point to be diverse in his ability to capture the images that best tell whatever story he's working on. Check out two interesting categories on his website, "Published Work" and "Outside." Click on any of his images above and you'll see what I mean!
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I've written a lot about friendships over the years. In fact, I've repeatedly said, "The best thing about this industry has nothing to do with photography, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft."
Going back almost ten years ago, Sheila got me into reading Melody Beattie. While her book, The Language of Letting Go is daily meditations on codependency, I've found so many of her thoughts inspirational. I find whenever I hit a low spot in creativity or problem solving, it's time to take a break and step away from the business. I'll often pick up one of her books, turn to that day's date and see what she's written.
Yesterday I hit a dry stretch and couldn't seem to focus on what I needed to do. So, I grabbed Melody's book and took a short break. It was just what I needed, but I went one step further and took her advice. I picked up the phone and called an old friend. While it wasn't necessarily for the purpose she suggested, it gave me the lift I needed.
We're all so wrapped up in the challenges of business combined with the many hats we wear. Learn to recognize when you need a little lift. Many of you are coffee drinkers, and you love that feeling when the first cup of coffee kicks in each morning. Your spirit is no different, and getting in the habit of reading something inspirational from time to time is going to feed your brain...and heart too.
by Melody Beattie
Friends - August 13
"Don't overlook the value of friendship. Don't neglect friends. Friends are a joy. Adult friendships can be a good place for us to learn to have fun and to appreciate how much fun we can have with a friend.
Friends can be a comfort. Who knows us better, or is more able to give us support, than a good friend? A friendship is a comfortable place to be ourselves. Often, our choice of friends will reflect the issues we're working on. Giving and receiving support will help both people grow.
Some friendship wax and wane, going through cycles throughout the years. Some trail off when one person out-grows the other. Certainly, we will have trials and tests in friendships and, at times, be called on to practice our recovery behaviors.
But some friendships will last a lifetime. There are special love relationships, and there are friendships. Sometimes, our friendships - especially recovery friendships - can be special love relationships too.
Today, I will reach out to a friend. I will let myself enjoy the comfort, joys and enduring quality of my friendships."
If you think back to the best books you've read, your favorite movies, TV series or streaming programs there's always a hero. There's that one character we love who's taking on a challenge and inspiring us. Recently Chamira Young and I had Jen Rozenbaum join us on "Mind Your Own Business."
Well, Jen is that warrior starring in whatever show we're watching, only in this case it's real life and business. And, while there are a lot of women and men who are warriors battling some serious health challenges, it's Jen's outlook on her entire life that's so inspirational. Plus, it's her approach to business, a new podcast series, a new book, getting back on the road teaching, and all with an unbelievably positive attitude and an unbeatable zest for life.
And speaking of Jen hitting the road:
And, whether you attend any of her programs or not, take the time to listen to this podcast. Jen shares a lot of incredible insight into her priorities about life, all as a result of what she's learned over the years in business, fighting cancer and all while staying focused on being "Shamelessly Feminine," (her new podcast and book!)
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.