It's no secret I'm a big fan of Panasonic's LUMIX line of cameras, and yes, they're an SCU partner, but my loyalty is based on how much I like the product and the simple fact that LUMIX has revitalized my love for never being without a camera.
I wanted to share this short video for two reasons. First, check out the comments from four of the LUMIX Ambassadors, remembering they're not just spokespeople for the product, but using it every day in their business. They're all non-stop hands-on LUMIX shooters and the trust their clients put in them is all based on their ability for consistent outstanding results. Click on their thumbnails below to visit their websites.
The second reason I wanted to share this video is Griffin Hammond. Most of you are still photographers and well versed in the role of being a storyteller. However, video and a short testimonial film like this requires a number of different skill sets and Griffin does an outstanding job of sharing the work and feelings of these four artists. Pay attention to the way he tells the story, because technology has blurred the line between video and still images, and many of you are starting to learn video.
Jennifer Maring makes a comment about LUMIX cameras that I love. It's part of the reason I'm never without a camera! To have cameras that are light, compact but don't sacrifice image quality makes LUMIX ideal for so many different specialties/applications.
"To be able to have a stealth camera body - what more could you ask for?"
Panasonic has stayed true to their tag line of "Changing Photography," but don't take my word for it. Visit a LUMIX dealer and find out for yourself. You won't be disappointed.
Throwback images bring back so many different memories, especially this 4x5 print I found in a file recently. The backstory is a kick!
The year is 1991, and back in my Hasselblad days. I was assisting Denis Reggie, and yes, that's Senator Ted Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy and the father of the bride, as I hustled by to move a couple of chairs out of the way before Denis got a shot of the groomsmen.
Denis has been a good friend for most of my professional photography career. I had the privilege of helping him at two weddings over the years, both Kennedy events. It's incredible to watch him in action, and the friendship we have started with my respect for his complete understanding of the craft.
When the shutter clicked on the shot above, it was 95 degrees and probably 90% humidity on a July day in Philadelphia. Doing outside group shots in the heat would be enough to try anybody's patience, but Denis had an intermittent flash problem adding to the stress. He was shooting with the Hasselblad 503CX and one of those big "potato masher" Metz strobes. As president of Hasselblad at the time, it was frustrating for me, because there was absolutely nothing I could do to help.
And, here's the mark of a true professional. Remember, this is back in the film days - no digital screen to "chimp" for confirmation. Denis switched the strobe to manual and shot the entire wedding without an issue. However, we figured out later that having been in and out of air-conditioning there was condensation in the connection for the Metz SCA390 adapter that was causing the system to intermittently short out when shooting TTL.
But here's another quality Denis has that earned my respect - he stayed cool, calm and collected. A wedding, as our mutual friend Bambi Cantrell has described, "...is a time when logic doesn't reign as king!" No matter what the challenge, be it technical or just the natural stress with family and guests, his Zen gene kicks in. Denis builds a level of trust with his clients and then exceeds all expectations.
While I admit I don't have the patience to be a wedding photographer, I have so much respect for Denis and many of you who capture the stories of the start of new families all year long. It's a special skill set to tell a new couple's story with stunning images at a time that's so often completely out of your control.
And that brings me full circle, back to Throwback Thursday. I can look at this image and remember so many things that happened that day. It's a great flashback and a journey you should make sure you take at least once a week. It's also great content for your blog. This time of year, sharing a few old images, is the perfect way to remind "Mom" it's time to update the family portrait for the holidays!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Image copyright Lindsay Adler. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about some of the most respected artists in professional photography today, but with a small twist. I wanted to introduce you to them via one of their favorite images, rather than just the typical "about piece" or podcast. Looking back on the last year and a half of working on this project, I'm continually amazed at the diversity of the backstories, the passion and the creativity of the photographers involved.
Lindsay Adler joins me on this new episode. She's a well-respected fashion photographer, educator, writer, and friend to so many of us in the industry. She's one of the very people I know who knew as a kid what she wanted to do in life. She formally started her business at fifteen, and her passion for the craft, creativity, and business never waivers.
In this new episode Lindsay shares some outstanding insight into her passion for photography as well as solid advice for young photographers just starting out. To see more of Lindsay's images click on her image above. And, while you're on her website check out her blog and workshop schedule. She's got a number of workshops on the calendar, and several for 2018 are already sold out.
I've written a lot about the real fun of being in the photographic industry - 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. Hernan Rodriguez and I go back a lot of years and while we don't catch up to each other that often when we do, it's always with the enthusiasm of two great friends.
So, when I caught this new episode of Tamron's Unofficial Field Guide, there was a bonus, because I've spent a lot of time over the years with Ken, André and the rest of the Tamron team. There's some excellent content in this video, starting with Hernan talking about how he got started and doing a celebrity shoot. I always learn a little something watching an artist on assignment.
Regarding the banter between Ken and André, while it seems like they're a little on each other's nerves, don't underestimate the strength of their friendship. They've worked together for years, and it's the honesty they have with each other that's just as impressive as their skills as photographers. I especially loved the fight in the ring!
And, if you're looking for some incredible glass to add to your gear, check out all the December rebates on Tamron's lenses. Just click on the banner below to check them out and then wander into your Tamron dealer!
These are a few of Hernan's images from this shoot of Mixed Martial Arts and UFC Hall Of Fame Champion, Urijah Faber, known as the “California Kid.” These were shot for editorial, PR and marketing material. Click on any one of them to visit Hernan's website and galleries to see more of his work.
Tony Corbell is recognized as one of the finest lighting educators in the industry, and this three-minute video is one EVERY photographer calling themselves a professional should watch. I realize that's a pretty lofty statement to make, but understanding light is the foundation for every photograph. What good is working so hard to capture the best images of your life if you don't completely understand the process?
In a three-minute video Tony can only help you appreciate how much you can raise the bar on your images by understanding light. Whether it's natural or manmade, this is an introduction to learning to see it!
Tony has been one of my best buddies for most of my career. That friendship grew out of the respect I have for his passion for the craft, teaching and helping photographers elevate the quality of their work. If Tony's speaking or teaching at any convention or conference you're attending - run don't walk to get a seat! And, at the end of his presentation make it a point to introduce yourself and get Tony in your network.
Tony's no stranger at SCU and last year shared one of his favorite images on "Why?". Click on the image to the right to hear his short sound bite and why it's one of his favorite images.
As you start to think about the new year, pay attention to what's gong on over at Profoto! Manufacturing the finest lighting equipment in the industry, they never slow down in helping expand your skill set and capture the best images of your career.
And, if you haven't checked out Profoto's lighting line click on any of the links below. And, while you're on their website check out their light-shaping tools, air remotes and accessories!
Time to visit one of their dealers or rental houses? You'll never be disappointed, but don't take my word for it, go for a test drive yourself!
Intro by Skip Cohen
As the year comes to a close, most of you are making plans to attend some of the conventions, conferences, and workshops in 2018. One of the most significant benefits of attending professional photographic shows like IUSA, WPPI, ShutterFest and virtually any convention outside the U.S. is networking. I believe in it so strongly that one of my workshops at ShutterFest this year was about the care and feeding of your network!
That old expression of "it takes a village" couldn't be more accurate when it comes to being a business owner. It's so essential for you to build a network based on skills and resources and not just friendships. That means talking to people at every event you attend.
In this archived post by my good buddy Scott Bourne, he hits on a perfect topic for Marketing Monday. He shares some outstanding tips to build a network with diversity and support, so when you need help you've got just the right people to call!
by Scott Bourne
The primary reason I go to photo conferences (unless I am a speaker) is to network. Networking will help propel your photo career in ways you may not suspect or recognize, but it can be a very big part of both the business and creative side of being a photographer.
Steve Jobs said in an interview for "Business Week:"
“Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.”
The "ad hoc meeting" is the key in that quote. It perfectly describes the typical networking encounter. When two or more photographers get together and organically share their struggles, hopes, dreams, desires, problems, solutions, connections, etc., they can learn from each other.
Your experience can benefit those around you and their experience can benefit you. It’s a two-way street.
Here are a few tips to make the most of it.
1. Listen more than you talk. Let the other person(s) you are with share first and most often.
2. Don’t just be a taker. If you get a good tip, be sure you give two in return.
3. Be supportive and be careful not to brag.
4. Ask open-ended questions.
5. Be a resource for others first - then plenty of help will come your way when it’s time.
6. If you are networking know why. Have goals. Be specific. Ask specific questions.
7. Refer jobs to people you meet when networking if those jobs/clients don’t suit you. And when people give you referrals follow-through immediately with the prospect as a sign of respect.
8. Stay in touch with your networking partners after the event to keep the conversation going.
9. Don’t substitute social media for face-to-face networking. As powerful as social media is, there’s no substitute for a real handshake.
10. Network as often as you can. You never know when it will pay off.
I enjoy networking. It’s also happened to be responsible for much of my early business in the photo world. Networking literally brought me some of the biggest photo jobs of my life so don’t take it lightly.
Now go network. And remember Skip and I are rooting for you.
Typically I've got my post done and shared by 9:00 EST on Sunday mornings. I started this at 7:30 a.m. then had to leave, but I'm back! Technically it's still a morning post in at least a few other time zones!
Several years ago I decided one day a week I'd go utterly off-track from photography and started Sunday Morning Reflections. While this blog is usually focused on things to help you build a stronger business and skill set, Sunday's are just as much for me as my readers. It's therapeutic to write about something outside of our industry, but inside of life.
Sunday posts help me clear my head for the new week ahead and in a small way help me recharge my battery.
So, consider this a warning - I'm about to step miles and miles away from photography! LOL
I want to share something Sheila, and I have discovered. We used to love World News with David Muir. We record each show every evening and typically watch it before going to bed. Recording it allows us to speed through what's happening in the world without having to deal with the commercials.
However, we've discovered watching the news only serves to aggravate us. We can deal with the sadness of personal tragedies, storms, fires and local/national disasters. That's part of life, but what we're fed up with, like so many of you, is all the BS from the political world. I'm tired of the battles in Congress, the nonsense between the Democrats and the Republicans, the committees that create a system so that no politician can ever be held responsible for much of anything. Seriously, I've seen kids on a playground play with more maturity than most of Congress.
Relax, I'm not going on a rant all of us can identify with. The bottom line is that Sheila and I found that between the news and many of our favorite shows, we needed something uplifting to wrap up the day.
The cure for the end of day "Blahs" and forgetting the ugliness of the world, is pre-recording Ellen Degeneres and then watching it just before going to bed. It's always our last show of the evening. It's funny, uplifting and consistently filled with something that makes us smile. On virtually every show she's got at least one guest who's an inspiration and giving back to their community.
I'm not suggesting any of us hide from the reality of the challenges in life, America or the world, just suggesting it's important to take a break.
As always, wishing everybody a wonderful Sunday and the close to what I hope has been a Thanksgiving weekend that's been as terrific as ours has been. If you're headed home safe travels. If you're saying goodbye to family and friends, make those eleven-second hugs count! And, as Ellen Degeneres says at the close of each show,
"Be kind to one another!"
I've been sitting at my computer this morning trying to come up with a message that was somehow different from what everybody else might write about on Thanksgiving. After a few minutes of just staring into space, I've decided there's no way to be original.
I want to wish all of you, regardless of whether you're an American or not, a Happy Thanksgiving. The holiday in so many homes is steeped in a tradition of recipes along with family and friends gathered in a day of appreciation, but there is one thing that's changed for me over the years.
As I've gotten older, I've become more appreciative of so many different things in my life. Today is a day when I give thanks for an incredible circle of amazing friends, my health, Sheila coming into my life and family who's weathered a few storms together.
On the business side, I'm also thankful. We're an industry filled with some pretty remarkable vendors. They don't just manufacture products but support the photographers who use them. Then, there are all of you, my readers. It's thanks to your feedback and support I wake up every morning smiling and charged up for the new day ahead.
A few years ago I got a phone call from a completely unknown photographer who started out the conversation with, "You don't know me. I'm just a little guy, but..." Well, the beauty of this industry is all about you "little guys" out there. I'm thankful for your support because you're the heart and soul of the passion that drives imaging.
So to all of my readers and friends in the industry along with the people who help make our life special: I wish you a day of peace, and a day with some of those people most important in your life. Last but not least, I hope you have a moment or two when your list of things to be thankful for is so long you're almost embarrassed to share it!
Image copyright David Michael Kennedy. All rights reserved.
In April of 2016, I launched "Why?" because there were too many photographers who only knew the artists who spoke at the last convention they attended. Well, we're an industry led by some remarkable photographers who every day set the standard for quality, creativity, and passion for the craft. I simply wanted you to meet more of them!
I'm very excited to have David Michael Kennedy in the "Why?" spotlight today. David and I first met back in the late 80's when I was with Hasselblad. At that time his iconic image of Debbie Harry was used in the corporate ad campaign. In 1986 he left NYC and his commercial photography business heading for New Mexico and a goal to fine-tune his work in fine art. Since then David has become recognized as one of the finest Platinum Palladium printers in the world with prints in private and public collections.
He's a phenomenal artist and human being. In fact, it's his sincerity and passion for the craft and his subjects that makes today's "Why?" one of the most poignant backstories we've ever shared.
Click on David's image above to link to his website. And, if you're looking for an incredible one on one workshop, pick up the phone and call David directly. He regularly teaches five-day, one on one workshops, strictly by request.
Intro by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday and here's a good starter list to help you ramp up your business. Plus, many of them are free or with minimal expense and perfect to start now or at the beginning of the new year!
A few years back, my good buddy Scott Bourne shared the wisdom below with a Marketing Monday blog post. The best thing about "Bourne tips" is they rarely have an expiration date! There is NO spoilage - just good solid ideas to help you build a stronger business.
In a "Mind Your Own Business" podcast a few months ago, my co-host Chamira Young and I listened to Bob and Dawn Davis talk about the incredible benefit of sharing images with other vendors at wedding events. This is a brilliant idea and virtually effortless to implement. Listen to the podcast and then add it to Scott's list.
Another favorite bringing the list to twelve is to do a career day at any of the schools in your area. Become the photo expert and help "beautify your community" with better pictures this holiday season. Whether somebody is shooting with a cell phone or a real camera, there are things you do every time you click the shutter worth sharing. From exposure to composition to the way you tell each story, you're a wealth of information, and capable of helping the community capture better images.
The common denominator with all of these tips is the low or non-existent cost, but that doesn't mean they can happen by themselves. You've got to make the effort.
And, if you're stuck and need help you know where to find me!
by Scott Bourne
Today I just have a quick hit list for those of you who have a small budget and need something to jumpstart your photo business.
1. Ask your local municipal government if you can use an old or abandoned building as a make shift art gallery and organize a display of your work and the work of other aspiring pros in the area.
2. Offer to do a free "how-to" make a portrait session for your local Chamber of Commerce or service organization such as Rotary.
3. Barter your products and services to help launch your business and get other local vendors familiar with what you do.
4. Offer to provide free framed prints to local children's clothing stores if you do kid's portraits - offer to provide free framed prints to local pet stores if you do pet photography - you get the idea.
5. Offer a print or portrait session or _____ as a prize for a charity auction.
6. Set up a Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook business page as well as a business Twitter account, etc.
7. Make "how-to" photography videos and post them on YouTube. (YouTube is being treated as much like a search engine as it is a place to see video.)
8. Make yourself indispensable to thought leaders in your segment of the photo industry.
9. Start a podcast.
10. Issue press releases every time you do something significant and hand deliver these to your local media.
If you're new to reading my blog, then be warned. On Sunday mornings I ALWAYS step away from imaging and marketing.
Today is a typical Sunday morning. Sheila's still asleep, I'm up early, typing away with Molly the Wonder Dog refusing to get out of her bed and come over for her morning scratch behind the ears. It's just too early. I woke up trying to decide what to write about, but as I checked my email, it immediately became apparent.
I'm trying to understand what's happening to us as a society, and it's all based on Amazon's email this morning and the push to sell me "Dash Buttons."
Up until ten minutes ago, I didn't know what a dash button was.
I was living what I thought was a perfectly normal life.
I love Amazon Prime, along with shopping online in general. We're having a blast with Echo music throughout the house, even though it took three months of working with Amazon's rocket scientists to get the music to play continuously without cutting out at random. Sheila gets all her books online either hard copy or for her Kindle. And nothing beats the Internet when we're impulse shopping for something we decided was a "must have."
But buying dash buttons" for most of the products we shop for at Costco, Sprouts or the local Publix Supermarket leaves me with one big giant "WTF?"
Have we become so lazy, a trip to the store is too much to handle? The concept behind a dash button is whenever, for example, your supply of paper towels is running low, you'll press the button, and they'll automatically be reordered for you and on your doorstep a day or two later. They have a dash button for hundreds of products, even Goldfish.
I feel like Rip Van Winkle! I've been asleep for the last fifty years and just woke up. When did it become a challenge to make sure your home stays stocked with Goldfish?
But there is a glimmer of hope and improving the quality of life for thousands of families. It's Amazon's suggestion we have a Charmin dash button right by the roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. The dash button revolutionizes one of America's greatest crisis moments - homes across the land running out of toilet paper!
Even better, imagine a trip to a friend's house. They're really GOOD friends, and over the years you've played a few practical jokes on each other. But now it's payback time. All you'd need to do is find their dash buttons. For example, a few dozen hits on the Charmin button and in 48 hours they'll have enough rolls to last for years!
So, I'm sticking with the system Sheila set up. She has a scratch pad on the fridge called the "shopping list." What a concept!
When we're running low on something, we write it down on the list. Once a week or more we make a supermarket run. Sometimes we go together, other times it's a solo trip for one of us. Somehow we manage to keep food in the fridge, the pantry and even our supply of paper towels and toilet paper survives. And, it's a fun social experience, not to mention everything we come back with that wasn't on the list, but things we had a taste for and bought on impulse!
Sorry, but at the risk of sounding like an old Andy Rooney episode, the concept is stupid and I just don't get it. I don't want buttons all over the house I can push to auto-reorder. I like running out of things. I enjoy going to the market. I don't need to turn consumerism over to Amazon. But then, I'm also the guy who doesn't understand people spending $3000 on a refrigerator with a camera hooked up to your phone, so when shopping you can double check to make sure you're not out of butter!
And there you have it; a Sunday Morning Reflections post that shows my age and lack of appreciation for new technology. But here's at least one thing they can't put a dash button on - the love you have for your family and friends.
Make it a great Sunday. Appreciate everything in your life that can't be filled with the press of a button and then go for those "manual" eleven-second therapeutic hugs. Wishing you all a day of peace, time off and moments to enjoy everything that makes you and your life unique.
Note: All images are screen shots from Amazon.com's "Dash Button" page
This first episode of the new season went live several weeks ago, and I totally missed it. But, what's fun about this new podcast is the topic. It has no expiration date! Here's the backstory:
Dustin Meyer has been a buddy for a lot of years. Going back a few months ago we were talking on the phone, and he mentioned shooting a wedding of a previous client who he'd photographed as a senior. Well, that got me thinking more about one of my favorite topics, relationship building.
I talked Dustin into doing a podcast with me, and here we are. He's an accomplished artist, with outstanding insight into communicating with his clients, establishing trust and building a lasting relationship. He not only focuses his camera on his subjects but their hearts!
To see more of Dustin's work just click on one my favorite images from his galleries to the right. You'll also find his social media links in the show notes.
I so appreciate Dustin finding the time to join me on this new episode. As always, a big thanks to Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell for creating Weekend Wisdom. Sprouting Photographer has grown to be one of the most listened to podcasts in professional photography! And, if you haven't checked out Sprout Studio and how they can help you run a stronger and more effective business, they're just a click away!
I enjoy doing what I do and I've been told it shows. But spending time working with my son
and passing the craft of photography to him is priceless!
Here we grabbed a few images while setting things up for our workshop group photo :-)
Posted by Ed Heaton
This really needs a minimal narrative from me. I met Ed years ago through Tamron's Image Master program and over the years he's become a buddy, even though we've never been able to find the time for even a beer at any convention. LOL
When I saw the image a few minutes ago on Facebook it simply made me smile. We're in this business because we value helping people cherish their memories but so often we forget to capture our own.
So, to Ed and Zach - you guys are so lucky! Thanks for sharing. I keep going back to author Jodi Picoult's quote about photographs:
"This is what I like about photographs.
They're proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect."
Interested in seeing more of Ed's images or finding out about his workshops? Just click on the image.
This is what I like about photographs.
They're proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect."
I know I've shared Jodi Picoult's quote above numerous times, but it just fits so well, especially with old photographs and Throwback Thursday. The year is 1993, and the Hasselblad USA salesforce won a trip to Sweden. Bengt Forssbeck was Hasselblad's V.P. of Marketing and a great friend to all of us.
On a trip to the US previous to our trip to Sweden, Bengt demonstrated one of his many talents, hanging a spoon off his nose. As a tribute to Bengt, all of us did the old spoon trick, but Bob Thompson, front row in the red shirt, was apparently the only one who did it in time for the camera!
But here's the point of Throwback Thursday images - they really do take us back to a time when things were perfect. For all of us at Hasselblad back then, this group was one of the most amazing teams in professional photography. They took Hasselblad US sales to record highs, which I'm betting haven't been achieved since! We've lost touch, two of the team have passed away as well as Bengt, but nothing takes away the memories old photographs help to bring back!
We're in the middle of November headed in the final stretch of 2017. For many of you stress is approaching an all-time high. Take the time to find a couple of old photographs just for the fun of it. This is the perfect self-medication to help you step away from the pressure of business for a few minutes.
Then, use some of those old images of clients to make a point to "Mom," reminding her that it's holiday time. A family portrait is a perfect gift for grandma!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Since starting SCU in January of 2013, everything my good buddy Scott Bourne has written and shared continues to be relevant. I'm sharing this post from the archives, not because I needed something to post today, but because it's such an important concept.
Are you listening to your target audience? Are you offering the products and services they want? Are you making yourself habit-forming?
When Scott originally wrote this, Blockbuster was closing. It was a big deal, in fact, there are still empty Blockbuster stores around the country and easily recognized because of the marquee design of their buildings. Each one is a ghost town tribute to changes in technology, consumer trends and to a point, arrogance. In just the last couple of years, we've seen significant retailers scale down or many close entirely. Sports Authority, Radio Shack, Coldstone Creamery, JC Penney, Macy's, Sears and the list goes on and on hitting virtually every category of consumer products.
Scott's closing point hits on clients who wanted digital files and how he handled their demand at the time, but let's take it a step further and hit on what I consider his crucial point:
Many of you are holding on (with clenched fists) to old business models that no longer serve the needs of your customers.
It's holiday time, and you've got so many opportunities for new products and changing your business model to accommodate your target audience better. NOW is the time to be talking to your lab about the new products they offer. Sign up for ProShow Web Premium and create holiday greeting card videos for your clients. Build relationships with your customers, so you're more than just another retailer. Keep your blog content current and consistent and create excitement in your market.
And, if you're stuck trying to figure out how to make some changes, you know where to my find me. Sometimes you're just too close to your own business and need a fresh pair of eyes to give you a little help.
by Scott Bourne
The announcement was expected, but still shook me a bit. Blockbuster, once the largest video store in the world, is closing the remaining 300 Dish Network-owned stores. That leaves 50 small, mom and pop private franchises and I have no doubt, they will be next.
The Blockbuster business model was fungible. The customers found new/better/faster/more affordable ways to enjoy a similar product. Blockbuster tried to change with the times but was simply too slow. Now they are gone.
I remember having a discussion about this three years ago in Las Vegas with one of the Blockbuster managers. I asked him how long he thought the store could hold out. He bragged their location was one of the most profitable in the chain and that nothing could ever take the place of his store. Umm not so much.
What does all this have to do with the photography business?
Many of you are holding on (with clenched fists) to old business models that no longer serve the needs of your customers. If you aren’t considering digital products - if you aren’t considering offering images in an electronic format, etc., you will absolutely face the very real possibility that your customers will find the products they want somewhere else.
The bias against digital products used to be based in controlling Copyright. But frankly more than 15 years ago I started experimenting with offering my clients a perpetual electronic license to use my images in digital form. Now if you’re hearing the phrase “shoot and burn” photographer in your head you are only partially right. The “shoot and burn” concept is usually looked down upon because it is assumed that the payment is very low for these electronic rights. And that is simply not necessarily true. When I started offering digital products 15 years ago, I simply took my average print sale and multiplied times 10. The result was my licensing fee. My customers loved it. I made lots more money, and I was ahead of the curve.
You need to be considering something LIKE this (It doesn’t have to be exactly like this) because sooner or later, you could be standing next to the store manager from Blockbuster - in the unemployment line under a big fat sign that says - “DISINTERMEDIATED!”
P.S. Guy Kawasaki once told me a great story about this. He said that if a photographer’s business model didn’t match his BUYING model he’d go somewhere else. He wants electronic rights. I know for sure he found someone who could offer that to him. Ignore this at your own peril.
As consumers, whether female or male, the concept of accessorizing is nothing new, but as business owners so many artists miss a long list of opportunities.
My first job in the corporate world was with Polaroid when they were a real live manufacturing company with over 20,000 employees. I was with them for close to 18 years. One of the principles behind the launch of the Polaroid Spectra in the 80s was to create the most extensive accessory collection in instant photography. That concept was based on research that consumer opinion was enhanced by the potential for the product to expand into other areas of creativity.
While it might seem a little far-fetched to link research for what at the time was an expensive instant camera to the buying habits of today's consumers, is it that far out there? If a client is hiring you to photograph their kids, family or a wedding would you offer them just one 8x10? Of course not! But sadly, so many of you limit the products and services you offer. There are too many photographers not taking advantage of the variety incredible products out there.
It's Marketing Monday, so let's come up with a starter list of products/services to think about:
I've written a lot about each of these added value pieces over the last few years, but in six weeks you're going to be out of the seasonality for 2017. Most of you will be in the "slow season" with opportunities to attend IUSA, WPPI, ShutterFest and many of the state conventions. At each conference, there will be a chance to check out new products and ideas for services. This is the stuff that helps build your business and your brand.
And for those of you who honestly believe all the Uncle Harry's of the world are your competitors:
In the hierarchy of reasons why consumers hire photographers, it goes brides, babies, and pets - in that order. There's no faster way to shut Uncle Harry down than to put together a complete imaging experience for every client.
If we've learned nothing else from McDonald's, you've got to ask every client, "You want fries with that?"
Every day I look at hundreds of images shared on Facebook, and I'm always amazed at the diversity in the quality, subject matter and skill set of the artists. Well, yesterday morning in Facebook Wedding Photographers, Nikki Harrison shared three images and wrote:
"I'm one of those "new" wedding photographers - been shooting portraits for 10 years. Here I go, I'm pretty pumped though."
I immediately sent her an IM for permission to share her images and here's why. I see so many images that would be better if the artist just took a little more time before clicking the shutter. Nikki's images struck me because they're all about classic portraiture, lighting, and no compromise on quality.
A theatrical fine art look isn't everybody's taste, but it does represent work that goes a step beyond the norm. She's crossed that line where photography becomes art and there's no doubt in my mind her clients loved the images.
As a "new" wedding photographer it's going to be interesting watching her skill set grow as she shares her ability to also be a storyteller. If you're interested in seeing more of Nikki's work, just click on any of these images to visit her website.
It's Sunday morning, and I'm way off track from photography, but not life. Over the last few days, a couple of different posts have brought back this wave of nostalgia. It started a few days ago talking about some old standards in business, then yesterday's Veteran's Day post took me back a little more. Last night I went to sleep thinking about things that have changed and products that disappeared.
This morning I'm going retro on you, but hopefully, you'll have as much fun as I do. And for those younger than 45 - you'll have to ask your parents for validity on things in my list, or click on any of the images below to link to the websites where I found this stuff.
I started writing about this stuff in my sleep last night. I went to bed thinking about things from the past when I was a kid and later a young adult. But here's one more that will be a big shocker to the younger generation:
Sunday was a family day and nothing else. While I've written about this before it's too much fun not to share again. NOTHING was open on Sunday. Gas stations, drug stores, supermarkets were all closed. There were no ATM's, so if you didn't get the cash you needed for the weekend on Friday because banks weren't open on Saturday either, you changed your plans. While some restaurants, theaters, sports events and entertainment type establishments were active, there was nothing else.
Even the television didn't offer much until later in the day. There were only three choices, ABC, NBC and CBS of which one, growing up in Cleveland, didn't broadcast until after 8:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings.
EVERY evening at midnight, the TV stations would shut down. They didn't have enough content to broadcast 24 hours a day. After 12:00 am you'd get the old RCA "Indian Head" test pattern, which had a practical purpose. The test pattern was designed to help you fine-tune the image on your TV.
But here's the best part of Sundays - we spent it as a family. My Dad never worked on Sunday, except for "tinkering" around the house, working on his Honey-do-list. We'd watch a little TV, listen to music, not even stereo yet. Most often we'd finish the day at my grandparents for dinner, and all watch the Ed Sullivan show. It ran for twenty-three years from 1948 - 1971!
I remember a night in 1964 when we saw the Beatles for the first time - but it wasn't just in our house - it was in EVERYBODY'S house! And, while I don't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday morning, I remember that night like it just happened. My grandparents were appalled. My parents were somewhat acceptable, but hated the haircuts, and I was hooked!
I honestly could go on a lot longer, but here's the point - Use today as a time to cherish family values. Let's take the day off, spend it together and appreciate everything we have, especially the love and support of family and friends. This has nothing to do with your religious beliefs, but your priorities. You deserve a day off, and your family deserves time with you. (Obviously, if you're shooting a wedding today, it puts a little kink in the game plan, but I'm betting you've already figured out how to prioritize family time during the week.)
So make today a day of fun and relaxation. Make it a day where you share a few of those stories and reflect back to the good old days. There's nothing wrong with looking in the rearview mirror now and then, as long as you don't go off the road!
PS Feel free to join me in a trip down Memory Lane - leave me some of your favorite memories as a kid in the comment section and if we get enough I'll run them as another post.
I've been sitting here wrestling with what to write this morning - not because I don't want to thank so many of you who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, but it's a challenge trying to come up with a different way to express my appreciation.
To start, I want to thank all the friends we have who have served our country with pride, dignity, and respect. My Dad, our son, "Uncle Randy," so many friends from high school over the years and the sons and daughters of friends serving today.
I always wanted a house with a flagpole. We had a flag we'd put out on key holidays, but never a permanent position. In December 2016 we bought a house with a flagpole, and the previous owners left their flag.
Last year we received an extraordinary gift from our son and daughter-in-law. A new flag with the attached certificate. We saved the flag for the new house and waited until our son was here to be part of the change.
On a day last spring, we took down the old flag and folded it for return to Fort Bragg to be properly retired. We proudly pulled the new flag up to its permanent home. While it might seem a sappy display of patriotism to some, it was important to us.
I want to thank all of you who have served, those who are serving now and especially the families of those who serve. That old question from the 60's, 70's and 80's of "Do you know where your children are?" is even more difficult when your kids have chosen to serve their country and you honestly don't know.
So, this Veteran's Day 2017, thank you for your service. Because of you, so many of us have the opportunity to proudly hang a flag in front of our homes today.
Image copyright Karen Kuehn. All rights reserved.
We look at hundreds of photographs every day but rarely do we hear the backstories. I started "Why?" to introduce you to some of the most respected artists in photography by way of one of their favorite images. I never anticipated the diversity, insight, and depth of each story.
Karen Kuehn joins me today with one of her most favorite images. Over the years it's also been one of the most popular with her fans as well. I love a quote from Sally Mann about Karen, her work and her book, Maverick Camera:
"She is funny, weirder than water and so damn good with a camera. She can drum a snake into a lawnmower, casting a spell over our hum-drum, quotidian lives...From within that fantasy spell emerge her trademark evocative, vital and honest images."
To see more of Karen's work just click on the image above. And, while you're there check out Maverick Camera. She only printed a thousand books, and in less than a year she's down to ninety or so left. So, this is truly "last call." Each book is signed and numbered. If you're looking for an incredible, inspirational gift this holiday season, this is the book that belongs in every photographer's collection.
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.