Always remember, your focus determines your reality.
by Skip Cohen
With all the challenges in our lives these days, it's often tough to stay positive. From the pandemic to politics, there seems to be something new every day, adding to the struggle to stay focused and on track. Even the most confident of us feel the pressure to second guess everything, from maintaining our health to rebuilding business. The result is most often a little damage to our self-confidence.
It's Marketing Monday, and this is going to seem simplistic, but maybe it's time we developed a check-off list of things to do to help stay focused. You know how to focus your camera, but do you know how to hold the focus on the passion for your career?
This is only a partial list, and I know there are a lot more things you can do that I haven't included here. So, feel free to let me know what I've missed. Most important of all, if you're feeling discouraged or frustrated, there are a lot of us willing to help.
Don't get sidetracked by people who are not on track!
by Skip Cohen
This is anything but a regular Sunday morning, but it gives me a chance to share a fun aspect of this industry.
I've been asked to kick off ClickCon Nation's first segment of a nine-month series in less than an hour, which will hopefully lead up to Chicago and ClickCon 2021. The challenge is that I wasn't scheduled to be the opening act. Joe McNally was supposed to be the kick-off keynote speaker today, but the hurricane last week took out power in his area, and they're not likely to have power before Tuesday.
Well, I got a call late yesterday, to ask if my program, "My Business Has Disappeared. Now What?" could be presented today. I obviously agreed, and while I'm a little nervous, I would never miss an opportunity to help this team. And there's the keyword, "TEAM."
I look at our entire industry as a team. We have a history of working together, helping each other, and watching each other's backs. And just as ClickCon Nation has asked for my help this morning, they'd be there for me...and you...if the situation were reversed.
Now, being asked to be Joe McNally's stunt double borders on overwhelming, but Joe's stuck on generator power in Connecticut. Once power is up and running, and life is back to normal, he's asked to do his keynote later in the conference. Tune into ClickCon Nation for more information. We all have our heroes in this industry, and this is a perfect example of why Joe's one of mine. He never walks away from a commitment!
So, I'm on at 9:00 am CST, 10:00 am EST, with my program. And while I'm definitely not Joe McNally, I'm excited to share some old and some brand new ideas to help photographers rebuild their business. Just don't ask me about anything to do with lighting ratios or specific techniques that Joe's become known for over the years!
Wishing everybody a day to simply kick back and appreciate everything you have in your life, especially friends and family who watch your back. The pandemic has been horrible, but after five months of semi-isolation, we all need to appreciate what we still have and stop focusing on what's been missing!
Happy Sunday, everybody!
by Skip Cohen
It's a very different Throwback Thursday post this week, but so appropriate.
Glen Clark and I have been friends since we first met close to thirty years ago through another mutual friend, Terry Deglau, then at Kodak. We've worked together on a long list of projects, and he's one of a small group of buddies who's high on the call list when I need a lift.
He sent me the post below, and I'm ecstatic he's allowed me to share it here. It's Throwback Thursday, and these days none of us have to turn the clock back very far for the fun of old photographs and a walk down Memory Lane.
During the last five months of downtime, one of the most popular activities for every photographer has been cleaning out our closets. As I look at my own collection of photographs over the years, I'm a perfect candidate for a show on hoarding. I have an attic full of prints, many of them framed that will never see the light of day - but we're out of wall space!
Glen's dealing with a challenge we can all identify with - letting go of the footprints from our journey to make room for new ones. And the reason it's so hard? Jodi Picoult's quote, which I've shared numerous times says it all:
"This is what I like about photographs.
They're proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect."
by Glen Clark
I am struggling through a sad reality…
As a photography professional, I've spent the better part of my life believing in and promoting that captured images represent memories, moments and milestones we will cherish during our lives and, in some cases, pass along as family heritage and precious treasures. And as an industry, we've promoted the value of large wall prints and decor items for home, office, and even commercial/business/public spaces. These "works of art" have enhanced our environments.
My wife and I have accumulated more than our fair share of photographic art pieces and wall prints, each representing moments in our lives we cherish. But, we're now at that stage when we are reducing, cutting back, and "lightening the load." Our cherished print collection has become a burden.
Our children and their children don't want the "Family Heritage" things we've collected (including our works of art). The sad reality is we need to let these things go. We've shared the few items wanted by family and friends.
Before our treasures are tossed, we're copying them, so we at least have digital memories. I'm now creating digital copies (another story in itself), followed by destroying the originals and throwing them in the trash. An hour after we grabbed the photograph above, the prints around me were gone. It was heartbreaking…but at the same time, it was a bit "freeing."
What advice would I share with my younger self if I could? Here are a few conclusions:
TRUTH – Having one readily available image when wanted is far more valuable than having multiples that need to be searched for to locate.
The one huge takeaway is this…
Cherish each moment for the beauty, friendship, love, etc. it contains and, if you want, keep a few things to remind you of the good times. However, remember that today is here and now, and therefore more valuable than yesterday and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Live well, enjoy each day, share your love with people, cherish those close to you, and thank God for it all.
Follow Glen on his Facebook page. You'll never be disappointed in what he's sharing!
Intro by Skip Cohen
For years I've written, the best thing about our industry is the friendships that grow out of everyone's mutual love for the craft. Since the start of the pandemic and being quarantined, the importance of those friendships has grown even faster and become more cherished.
Meet Erik Cooper. We've only been friends a few months, but thanks to Facebook and the phone, we've spent a lot of time talking. This morning we caught up on a great phone call, and he told me about a project he launched at the beginning of the pandemic.
Every week I've been sharing at least one post about something professional imaging artists are doing to make the most out of downtime. There are two aspects of Erik's project that I appreciate the most. First, he's bringing a group of people together who share a mutual love and respect for imaging. They've all helped each other raise the bar on their skill sets. Second, Erik chose to stand out from the crowd and implement a way to be a leader in education, but even more critical during these tough times, help everyone stay positive and focused. The Beatles' line of getting by with a little help from my friends couldn't be more accurate.
A big THANKS to Erik for writing something up about the project and especially to all the artists/models involved in the images in this post. The pandemic isn't slowing down, but for this group, neither is their positive attitude!
by Erik Cooper
We make choices everyday that determine just how positive we can remain during adversity. In March and April of 2020 our country moved into quarantine in order to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was indeed a trying time for the US as well as other countries involved around the globe. Being located in Colorado, one of the first states to deal with the virus, our new agency, ECP Talent, decided to stick to a positive outlook in dealing with the shutdown.
Most of our model and talent team were locked up in their houses and looking for a new spin on time with their families or by themselves. As a photographer, I thought it a good idea to teach them lighting principles they could use for their postings.
We had six instructions on side, flare, butterfly, clamshell, low level and GOBO lighting. All of this with the design of staying positive during the lockdown. The response was amazing from the team as well as the public when we would post the resulting collages. The members were then able to apply these principles to future posts and the impact on their pages was notable.
I receive requests often to continue in this effort from the team. Staying positive is so important.
Note: Check out more of Erik's work with a visit to ECP Talent on Facebook, Erik Cooper Photography on Facebook and on Instagram, ECP Models on Instagram
Intro by Chamira Young
One of my favorite activities right now is to check out the work of my fellow photographers from around the world. In a time where it's vital for us to stay inspired as image makers, the internet is a wonderful resource for seeing what creative mischief others are making. And as an added bonus, it tends to have a trickle down effect: the more inspired you are personally, the more creativity you are able to incorporate into your own photo sessions and business!
That brings us to Philip Ruopp, a photographer from Germany who shares his travels with us as he captures beautiful nature and travel scenes using the F2.8-200mm F2.8-5.6. The Tamron team never compromises on the quality of their gear, and this great lens is no exception. As you'll see in this fun video, Philip vividly captures a wide variety of scenes, from up close shots of the vehicle ride, to breathtaking night time vistas.
Check out the video below. Also, be sure to check out a Tamron dealer near you!
Click on the above banners to understand what makes ClickCon and ClickCon Nation so unique!
by Skip Cohen
Last year ClickCon in Chicago kicked off its first conference and became the most successful launch of a new convention in the industry. Many factors were contributing to it being a great show, from the class selections, quality of the speakers, quality and enthusiasm of models and stylists to the involvement of the "Heart of ClickCon," the people involved in the planning.
This year we were all excited for the second show in their history when the pandemic hit. But nothing stops the Heart of ClickCon, and this weekend, ClickCon Nation kicks off a nine-month series of monthly classes and support for imaging artists.
The next ClickCon LIVE Conference is scheduled for August of 2021, but here's the best part - as part of your registration, you've got nine months of online educational programs from which to choose. Click on the thumbnail below to check out this Sunday's programming.
Everyone has different needs these days, but there are several common denominators - the need to share ideas, grow our skill sets and understand how to deal with the new norm. ClickCon Nation has five different levels of involvement - each one designed to help artists get the support they need most.
Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to catching up with many of you in cyberspace and then LIVE in Chicago next August. Registration is just a click away on the banner below!
by Skip Cohen
While there probably isn't anything Todd White can't photograph, his passion for imaging is definitely in still photography and video on the commercial/fashion side. We catch up to each other on Facebook a lot, and when he shared a few of his short commercial videos, I wanted to share at least one of them here.
Food photography (and video) is a challenge for so many photographers. Over the years in workshops, I've had artists continually tell me they don't photograph food, yet as wedding photographers especially, the challenge comes up at almost every event.
Pay attention to the way Todd put together the short video below. No lyrics, just great images, music and all in thirty-five seconds. As I've often suggested - how would you tell a unique aspect of your story in under a minute?
And the video is so well done, and the Cheesy Bread looked so good, I called 600 Degrees on a long-shot to see if they ship or might be found in the frozen foods aisle! *sigh* - they don't...yet.
Todd's a LUMIX Ambassador, and thanks to social media, our friendship has grown. I'm looking forward to the day when we can actually meet face to face. Check out Todd's website, along with the LUMIX Ambassador team. This group is one of the most diverse and creative teams in photo, and all the ambassadors should be on your radar. Check out the LUMIX Photographers Facebook page too - there are always great conversations and images being shared.
Todd's shooting with the full-frame LUMIX S1R and the LUMIS S Pro 24-70mm F2.8 lens. Click on either thumbnail below for more information about both of these outstanding products.
by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday, and here's a perfect way to build a content-rich post for your readers.
Last week, my good pal Suzette Allen wrote a blog post, which she also shared on Facebook about International Friendship Day. In all honesty, I didn't know there was such a day, but being self-quarantined for almost five months, I started thinking about it. Through the pandemic, most of us are missing people the most, especially social time with good friends.
That got me thinking about International Friendship Day - first, it doesn't have to be one day a year, and second, why not share images of clients and friends more regularly? It's what we miss the most, and for those of you who are professional photographers, it's a great way to keep connecting with clients and friends in your community. Even better, it highlights your brand as a photographer.
Maybe best of all, I set out this morning going through my archives, thinking about conventions and trade shows. I miss the contact and time to socialize with so many friends over the years. The hunt for old images became fun. "Fun" is a difficult word to find these days, but it's not lost.
For you, as a professional photographer, the collection of photographs becomes a great way to remind your readers what you do best - capture and share memories!
Suzette shared a stellar piece of advice at the close of her post that applies to all of us these days:
Celebrate your friends this day (which is almost over) this weekend, this week, this month. Make sure you tell your friends how much you love them. Make it weird. LOL !! Seriously, we all need a reminder of how much we are loved!
Hope can neither be affirmed nor denied.
Hope is like a path in the countryside:
Originally there was no path - yet, as people are walking all the time in the same spot, a way appears.
by Skip Cohen
Another Sunday and while I'm not lost for words like I was last week, I'm fighting for a good topic. I have this need to write about the pandemic, again.
Like most of you, I'm tired of the politics and especially the stupidity. But, I found the quote above in a great little book, Don't Forget to Sing in the Lifeboats. The title alone describes the situation we're all in. It makes a point that's pretty solid - the importance of having hope. We need to stay focused on being safe and healthy.
A few minutes ago, I was on an IM with my good buddy, Brian Malloy, in Boston. We were talking about the challenge of figuring out what to do today. We all have too much time on our hands, and it's getting harder and harder to come up with something to do that's fun and different.
Sheila and I have breakfast together every morning, and I always ask the same question, "So, what do you have going on today?" And after five months of being hunkered down, we both still laugh!
So, here's the question of the day...What are you doing that's fun, safe, and different? Feel free to share, because we're all in the same boat!
Meanwhile, wishing all of you a quiet, peaceful, and SAFE day. The pandemic isn't going away, but maybe together we can slow down a few more of the stupid people out there. That path of hope will get stronger if we can get more people on it!
by Skip Cohen
Throwback Thursdays are even more fun when your friends send you old images. I just got an IM from Clay Blackmore who found this image in his files, and it's a pretty special photograph.
He photographed five of us in the Hasselblad booth at what was then called Photo East, now PPE, in 1992. Clay sending it to me is a perfect example of the fun of the friendships we share in this industry, but something else makes the photograph special.
Bengt Förssbaeck, in the middle, was Hasselblad's worldwide VP of Marketing. We lost Bengt to cancer a year or two after I left Hasselblad in 1999. We were both incredibly passionate about marketing and the company. Over the years, the fights we had in Board meetings became legendary, but so did our friendship. We were the very best of friends, and there's rarely a week that goes by that something doesn't come up to remind me how much I miss him.
One more great thing about this photograph - in the middle of the pandemic, it's important to look in your rearview mirror and not forget the goal to get back to the good old days. We're all dealing with a new norm, but being self-quarantined makes those walks down Memory Lane even more valuable.
And, if you're a family photographer, use Throwback Thursday as a way to promote the importance of capturing memories. Share older photographs on your blog as a way to remind Mom the pandemic isn't slowing down the kids growing up, and the importance of a new family portrait.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
If ours is truly an apocalyptic time, it may promise a new beginning rather than an end. We could not go on living with stale ideas. Certainly, we are faced with an extreme psychological test. The way to pass it is to accept the idea that life has rebelled and plunged us into such uncertainty because we have too long humiliated it. A season of change does not collapse civilization.
(Probably written at least 30 years ago.)
by Skip Cohen
Stay with me on this, because it's a short post and might help you think differently about today's challenges in your business.
I live in one of the stupid states, Florida. Like most of you, Sheila and I have been self-quarantined for almost five months. And while we're still taking turns riding the emotional roller coaster of anxiety and frustration, we've adjusted. We miss friends and so many freedoms we took for granted, but at the same time, life has become more precious.
This industry, which I love dearly, has thrown all of us off balance. And while I'm regularly criticized for being the industry cheerleader, the reality is that we all have to deal with a new norm. It will be years before life gets back to what it was a few months ago, but that doesn't mean we can't grow our skills, and become stronger marketers than before the pandemic.
I'm hearing some great stories of artists becoming more diverse in their skill set, communicating with their clients more, and providing new products/services that fall within physical distancing guidelines and safety. Yesterday, Norma Grieve, a friend and photographer from the UK, shared the following comment about building relationships, after creating something new for their clients:
My business partner and daughter designed a page specifically to help eloping couples. It includes profiles of a number of other vendors. She contacted all the vendors to check on them and ask what services they would be offering as some restrictions ease. She had a phenomenal and heartwarming response from everyone with an unanticipated, reciprocally positive reaction to our business.
When I asked Norma for permission to share the idea above she wrote back: Skip. This really has put us into the minds of the vendors and raised our business in their eyes - that was not even considered by my daughter. She simply wanted to reach out and to keep our Let’s Elope page up-to-date-helpful.
Here's my point - if you let today's business challenges grind you down, they will. But, if you look for new ways to keep creating and fulfill the passion for the craft you had before the pandemic, you might be surprised at your ability to start gaining traction on rebuilding your business!
by Skip Cohen
When Chamira Young and I relaunched Beyond Technique last year, we wanted to focus on more than just capturing great images, or running a successful business in photography. Each guest has shared a lot of great insight, but the pandemic created a new challenge - artists have had to ramp up their usual marketing skills and find better ways to reach out to their communities.
Cindy Harter Sims joined us in this episode, and she's all about inspiration and especially relationship building. She's no stranger to the SCU spotlight and has repeatedly shared great content and the ideas she's implemented to secure her business. But with the pandemic, she did something unique - she reached out to her community and asked for help.
Relationship building over the years has been a significant building block to Cindy's business and her role within the industry. In fact, it's how I met her many years ago at a Skip's Summer School conference. Cindy doesn't collect business cards - she directly participates with and supports the people in her growing network.
Please take the time to listen to this podcast. Cindy held nothing back as she discussed her quest to keep her business alive and, at the same time, continue to give back to her community. She's busy, even doing newborn and infant photography, all while staying true to the rules of physical distancing and safety.
And click on any of the favorite images I grabbed from Cindy's website to visit her galleries!
Beyond Technique is brought to you by:
Programs like Beyond Technique can't happen without great industry support. Platypod believes in education and helping artists find new perspectives, not only with their cameras but their overall skill sets in marketing and business too.
If you haven't visited the Platypod website, take a scroll through the blog and Instagram pages. Artists from around the world are sharing their creativity every day.
And if you're stuck with ideas to expand your own creativity, wander into the Platypod store. You'll find some unique kits like the new Ultra Essentials Kit, now on sale.
A big thanks to Photofocus for always sharing great content to help photographers grow their technology, marketing, and business skills. Photofocus also hosts some of the very best podcasts in photography! They're just a click away.
Images copyright Scott Stockton. All rights reserved.
There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work,
than follow your passions in a way that serves the world and you...
Sir Richard Branson
by Skip Cohen
From Hasselblad to WPPI and Rangefinder Magazine, working with wedding photographers has been a big part of my career. So, when Scott Stockton was contacted to join us in the Tamron Kitchen and put on his chef's hat, I couldn't have been happier.
During that first phone call with Scott, it became obvious how much he loves what he does. But until this podcast, Chamira and I had no idea how much he'd be willing to share or how open he'd be about his "secrets." This new podcast is jam-packed with great content.
Every chef in the series has shared something unique about their growth as artists and their journey to date. As you listen to the podcast, you'll immediately pick up on Scott's love for the craft. He simply loves photographing romance. While so many artists like to stay on the sidelines emotionally, Scott makes it clear that he's going to jump right in!
From the very beginning, he makes his passion for storytelling clear:
"Your wedding story will be the start to the biggest journey of your lives and I want to tell it. But the problem is, I'm a greedy storyteller, I want to be there for all of it. I want to be there for the breakfast with the girls, I want to be there for the tears, and I want to be there when he grabs your butt at inappropriate times during the reception. Why settle? You deserve it all!"
But there's something unique he shares later, on his website. He talks about his ability to tell your story is all thanks to his team:
I wouldn't be able to travel the world and do these things without my team, my wife Ashley and my two sweetie pies Ella and Matt. The support and love they constantly give me is what allows me to do what I do.
And to further make the point, his wife Ashley, "the glue that holds the circus together," along with his kids, all become a part of who he is as an artist, Dad, and husband. It's a high impact way to tell his story and further build trust with his clients.
Chef Scott's recipe is a click away if you missed it when it was posted last week. And for more information on Tamron's SP 35mm F/1.4 lens, click on the banner below. And to see more of Scott's work, check out his website.
This is a challenging time to be a photographer. The pandemic isn't slowing down, but that doesn't mean there aren't things you can do, like Scott, to keep in contact with clients and build your skill set. Tamron's support team isn't slowing down either - they've just moved to cyberspace. Check out Tamron's programs for rebates, online education, and even some great contests to share your work.
As we all adjust to the new normal, the change in business makes this an excellent time to expand your skill set. Having to "hunker down" doesn't have to mean your business, skills, or building relationships with your clients. It's essential to stay involved and keep growing!
Click on any image below to view in the SCU Lightbox!
A new interchangeable standard zoom from ultra wide angle to 60mm, lightweight,
dust, splash and freeze proof, with excellent close-up capability!
by Skip Cohen
I don't usually run posts that are exclusively about hardware, but here's what hit me in this thirty-second video from Panasonic's LUMIX team - it's how concise it is. It's all about the new LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 L-mount lens. Besides being an ideal addition to the S1 full-frame camera system, they hit all the key points one after another.
Now, think about how you'd tell your story. I'm not suggesting you can do it in just thirty seconds, but being on point is an art form. Being able to express what's most important to your viewers in any marketing video, whether it's hardware or your services/skill set is an asset to building your brand and business.
Meanwhile, check out the new lens along with the S1 series of cameras. Panasonic's LUMIX tagline from the very beginning has been "Changing Photography," and they've never strayed!
Click on the banner below for information about the LUMIX Full-Frame S Series lineup!
by Skip Cohen
An overloaded corner of a Koi pond is great to watch at feeding time. The Koi are beautiful to look at, but that's as far as it goes. They're decorative carp, bottom feeders who simply fight over food, but the photograph makes a point because that's what so many of you are doing.
The pandemic has created some unique opportunities for artists brave enough to think outside the box. The big question is, how are you going to make yourself and your work different?
Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.
George Washington Carver
So, how about you stop making excuses? Stop blaming the pandemic for the drop in business, even though it's true. It's time to start looking at ways to make yourself stand out in the community.
The bottom line, this Marketing Monday, is straightforward: STOP MAKING EXCUSES! I'm not minimizing how difficult it is to rebuild business now, but doing nothing will get you just that - nothing! However, there's been a giant paradigm shift in so many things that previously built your business's foundation. Along with your target audience's needs, the rules have all changed.
But nothing happens if you don't get yourself out there and stop being content with being a beautiful Koi!
The first rule of holes: When you're in one, stop digging!
by Skip Cohen
If you've followed me for even the shortest amount of time, you know I always go off track on Sunday mornings. It's my time to step away from the business and marketing of photography and write about life. But this morning, I'm off a beat. In fact, this is my third attempt at posting today.
I ran across the quote above as I was trying to follow through on what's become my Sunday routine. I do it because it's therapeutic to share things more personal than the challenges of business. We're all dealing with the pandemic in different ways and with various levels of fear, frustration, and anxiety. That's what I started twice to write about today, and I hated what I wrote!
Still, there's a lesson here, and the quote above couldn't be more appropriate. There are times when creativity doesn't flow. So, I'm following the first rule of holes and giving up digging. I'm spending the day with Sheila and the pups after I shut off my computer. I'm also going to clear my head and just feel blessed that I'm hunkered down with somebody I care so much about.
And there's my point - if you're not feeling whatever it is you'd like to feel, walk away from it for a little while. Take a break and shut off all the noise from the outside. Just stop digging!
A writer, Madeline L'Engle, was asked, "How do you define success?" She replied, "If I have enough laughter, I go to bed contented with myself and my life. I don't think the world's standards of success are that valid."
I wish all of you a fantastic day ahead and one filled with peace, love, and time to simply appreciate everything that's made you who you are. And lots of laughter! We all need more laughter right now. The pandemic has made us all victims, but we don't have to give in!
Happy Sunday, everybody!
Obstacles don't have to stop you.
If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up.
Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
by Skip Cohen
We're all dealing with a giant obstacle right now - the pandemic. I'm not talking about the fear of Covid-19, but the challenges in dealing with everyone's opinion. Suddenly we're buried in medical experts, with so many people in social media recently getting their junior medical degree. I put up two posts on Facebook over the last couple of weeks, only to take them down in less than 24 hours, as they became platforms for people to share their "truth," politics, racism, and even religion. If there was a way to get off track, they did it.
I see the most significant obstacle as being analysis paralysis as too many business owners are looking like a deer in your headlights! None of us know what to believe anymore regarding the virus. However, the one common denominator is every artist questioning the best ways to start getting business back on track.
This isn't meant to be a long, drawn-out "how-to" post this morning, just plant a few seeds to get you to start taking action:
Here's the bottom line - you're the only one who can impact rebuilding your business, but it takes focus. You know how to hold focus with your camera, and now it's time to take an intense look at your business. Everything has changed because of the pandemic, but that doesn't mean business isn't out there!
by Skip Cohen
The fun of Throwback Thursday for me is never knowing what I'm going to find when I start my search for old images and memories.
Today I stumbled on something I'd completely forgotten about - a small box of treasure filled with twenty jump drives. It was a collection of events in my life over the last twenty years. I wasted a couple of hours just wandering through images, articles, material for three different books, Skip's Summer School material and scans of various documents.
In 2008 we started a business forum in Rangefinder Magazine and I was a contributor. I grabbed a screen shot of my article for that month which was also a teaser for an upcoming program at WPPI 2009. Here's the article:
My first paragraph says it all: ..."the economy has turned everybody's business upside down...there are some terrific opportunities and it's all about diversity."
Well, here we are in 2020 and caught in the middle of an incredible storm - the pandemic. Everybody's business is "upside down," with many of you still caught in analysis paralysis trying to figure out how to rebuild and get your revenue stream started again.
The key to survival today is in diversity and your skill set. It's going to take a level of creativity you never thought possible to get things going in a positive direction again. But business is out there for artists willing to step outside their comfort zone. It's the only place growth can happen!
by Skip Cohen
Long before the pandemic, the word rebuild was in our vocabulary. From hurricanes to devastating fires to floods, we've seen communities work to reestablish their presence. In business, we've seen companies rebuild repeatedly, and in our personal lives, we've restored everything from personal relationships to old cars to challenges in dentistry.
The only thing that's never needed to be rebuilt is our resilience as a culture. We're taught early on the biggest failure in life is not getting up after you've fallen! The pandemic has knocked us all down and made it necessary to rebuild. We can't let Covid-19 win. And as trite and hokey as that sounds, it couldn't be more true right now.
I've shared a lot of different ideas to grow your business and start rebuilding over the last couple of months. They're all thanks to some exceptional artists who refuse to lay down and have encouraged us to step outside our comfort zones!
At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, here are some ideas thanks to Marathon Press. Yes, they're an SCU partner, and they're also some of my closest personal friends, but the friendships came out of respect for what they do, and their complete product line. They've never closed through the pandemic and now offer some of the greatest tools to help you rebuild your business and establish a stronger presence.
There's a reason why their booth was so busy the last conventions any of us attended! I pulled a few of my favorites below - just click on the banners for more information. And even if you're not a family portrait or senior photographer, remember you're rebuilding. The pandemic has, as JP Elario said, "...extended the slow season."
You have a choice of when to start working to reverse the slow season, and right now, family values haven't been this strong since the 60s. Families are hunkered down together, creating and capturing new memories are so important - and you have the skill set. Plus, it can all be done within the parameters of physical distancing and safety.
And take a long look at Bella Art Prints and Albums...Marathon never slows down on great products. The combination of colors, cover materials, pages, paper choices and styles has grown the line to become one of the largest collections of presentation products in imaging.
The pandemic has stopped many things, but not the kids from growing or the need for capturing the bond between family members and their need to cherish important memories!
by Skip Cohen
With the challenge of the pandemic and physical distancing, as photographers, we're all searching for comfort zones. For most of us, it always feels good with a camera in our hands. And if you're like me, you're also spending a lot of time in social media looking at images by other artists as well as your own archives.
We follow friends who are out and about with their cameras and capturing images that often define a specific mood...for me, these two images by good buddies and LUMIX Ambassadors Shiv Verma and William Innes gave me a sense of serenity.
It's Comet Neowise at Paine's Creek, thanks to Shiv Verma. He captured it with a LUMIX S1R, LUMIX S Pro 70-200 f/2.8 lens, and the 1.4X Tele-converter. William Innes was hiking Damnation Creek Trail in Northern California near Cresent City. It was also captured with a LUMIX S1R. He was shooting with the LUMIX S Pro 16-35mm F4 zoom lens.
William's comment on the shot pretty much covers what I felt looking at both images - "So tranquil. Such a peaceful hike." Click on either image to view in the SCU Lightbox, and you'll pick up even more serenity.
Shiv and William's Gear Box: Click on any thumbnail for more product info!
Shiv and William need to be on your radar. Follow Shiv on Facebook or visit his website. He's always sharing great content. And William has packed up for two years on the road touring America - trailer, pickup truck and all. I'm living vicariously through his travels. Follow him on his Facebook page.
As LUMIX Ambassadors, they're also part of the LUMIX Ambassador team. This group is one of the most diverse and creative teams in photo, and all the ambassadors are sharing great content. Check out the LUMIX Photographers Facebook page too - there are always great conversations and imaging being shared.
We've postponed the f64 Lunch Bunch for a few weeks. There's so much going on in everybody's lives right now in terms of help and education. However, we're all still here to help and just an email away.
And if you missed the May 6 lunch with Bobbi Lane and Tony Corbell - it's pretty amazing. The video is just a click away.
ClickCon 2020 Circle the Dates!!
The pandemic may have moved the dates for 2020 to August 10-13, 2021, but that's NOT slowing Team ClickCon down. Stay tuned for new programs online with ClickCon Nation! It all starts on August 11th.
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.