by Skip Cohen
I wanted to share this relatively recent video because quite simply, at a time when we're on overload with hard-selling tactics, noise and chaos in the world, I found it soothing. I loved the way Tamron told the story of their three new primes for Sony mirrorless cameras while walking aside Ken Hubbard in Norway. We're all part of a profession where a "picture's worth a thousand words," and watching this video was a great way for me to start my day.
Whether you shoot with Sony gear or not, pay attention to the simplicity of the story. It redefines soft-sell and combines it with technology, music, and minimal text - without one line of speaking.
Think about how you might tell your story. Success is in the way you present the beauty of what you do, your ability to be the best, exceed client expectations, and make yourself habit-forming. You could do it all in a 2-3 minute video showing stunning images, interacting with your subjects, and demonstrating a dedication to quality.
Technology never slows down, and Tamron's ability to manufacture some of the finest glass in the world keeps growing.
Tamron just launched their "Spring Into Focus" savings promotion yesterday. There are nine lenses featured with great savings on all of them. Just click on the banner below and then visit your Tamron dealer.
by Skip Cohen
As I started to write this post today, I was going to stage it as a "Marketing Monday." The truth is, while "Marketing Monday" has a nice ring - every day of the week should involve some level of marketing, whether it's short or long term!
I've written a lot about partnerships over the years, especially shared costs in mailings and cross-promotion. The first quarter of the year is quickly coming to a close, and you'll soon be into spring seasonality. That makes the time RIGHT NOW, perfect to build some new relationships.
Whether it's sharing the cost of a mailing or cross-promoting each other's products or merely developing referrals - partnerships help you reduce your costs and expand your reach.
This isn't meant to be a long post - I'm just hoping to plant a few seeds of ideas. I've written about all of this many times in the past, but there's no such thing as reminding you too often to stop thinking you have to do everything alone!
Looking for partners?
The list isn't meant to be all-inclusive, but it should hopefully give you some ideas for building relationships to help make 2020 your best year yet!
Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress,
and working together is success!
by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday and a topic that's on my mind every time somebody forgets how to behave in a public forum. While I hate to use a word like "behave," which we usually use as a reference for how our kids and puppies act, it seems to fit a lot of adults lately.
The topic is all about trolls, but the challenge isn't always their behavior, but how we interpret it. As an administrator on Facebook Wedding Photographers, we regularly get reports from members who report a particular comment. However, when I've gone to read some of them, outside of being obnoxious, there's nothing troll-like in what's been posted. Disagreeing with someone doesn't make the author a troll or deserve they be thrown out of the "family."
The written word is the toughest to interpret, especially when English isn't everybody's primary language in a forum of over 36,000 people. Plus, you don't have the benefit of hearing the tone in somebody's voice, seeing their facial expression, and making eye-contact. That leaves whatever's been written to interpretation. Often the author is labeled a troll when the issue is about poor communication.
But then there are the real trolls, people who hide behind the anonymity of their computer screens and take shots at everything they can find. If you take them on in a public forum, not only will you lose, but getting a rise out of you is precisely what they're after. You let them win simply by reacting.
Here a few things to remember the next time you decide to take on an actual troll:
Some of you might be asking how in the world did I segue to trolls when it's Marketing Monday. Well, time is your most valuable commodity, and there's never enough of it. In the same way, you've learned the benefits of getting good images right out of the can, and to avoid wasting valuable time in post-processing, fighting battles with trolls is the same.
Don't waste time you should be using to build your brand. For most of you, YOU are your brand. Don't let a troll occupy your time fighting issues that don't matter. And when a troll criticizes your photographs in a public forum, remember that line from my old buddy Dean Collins. I've used it dozens of times here in the blog...
Beauty is in the eyes of the checkbook holder!
by Skip Cohen
Everyone knows what a rip tide is, but just in case you're so far from the ocean you missed the experience, here's Google's definition:
A strong current caused by tidal flow in confined areas such as inlets and presenting a hazard to swimmers and boaters.
That's in the ocean, but if you're a wedding or portrait photographer, I'm betting at some point you've been caught in one with your blog and clients. Here's the scenario - you couldn't think of a topic for a post and started sharing images from engagement sessions or portrait sittings. One photograph led to another, and before you knew it, you had a full-blown popularity contest going. Now you can't break the cycle because clients might be hurt if their images aren't good enough to make the cut and be featured on your blog or website.
In an effort to build content, you've done nothing more than extend your galleries to another location. Let's talk about breaking the cycle and getting out of the rip tide.
But rip tide marketing doesn't just happen in your galleries - it happens too often with many promotions. Sure, a great promotion drives traffic the first couple of times, but doing the same thing over and again creates a concept that sooner or later collapses. You've got to mix up what you're promoting.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
November 13, 2019
It's not always easy to break the cycle, but there are some great resources to help you:
I know it can seem risky making changes in your business, but this is why I'm always reminding you to go to every convention, conference, and workshop you can attend. It's at events like this, you can share your ideas and frustrations with other attendees. When a good conference is over you're headed home full of new ideas and friends to add to your network.
Speaking of conventions- sorry this is a mini-infomercial for an event I so believe in - there are three days left to take advantage of the 50% promotion form for ClickCon in Chicago. I shared a post a couple of days ago about it, and it's going to be amazing! Click on the banner below for more information.
by Skip Cohen
One of the biggest challenges these days is figuring out where to spend your time and money to get the most out of education. There are a lot of great programs to choose from, but there's nothing like ClickCon. Last year was their first show in Chicago, and it was an overwhelming success as 1300+ people joined in a quest to raise the bar on their skillset.
Here's the backstory on today's post.
I'm helping the ClickCon team with some of their programming, and I'm not sure I could be more excited about the show. However, in the last few weeks, I've been incredibly busy and just missed this exclusive offer. So, first thing today, I called Sherry Hagerman and requested an extension until midnight on Friday of this week, giving me a chance to help get the word out to my readers.
Here are just a couple of things that make ClickCon such a great show:
I can't deny for a second I get especially excited about any conference when I'm a speaker, but I'm doing three unique programs this year, starting with the first-day kick-off. I'm going to be doing a full brain dump on everything you need to do over the event to get the most out of the conference, maximize use of your time, build your business and get plenty of bang for your buck!
And it all starts with taking advantage of the 1/2 off promotion going on until midnight Friday, February 21! You snooze you lose - hope you can join us.
What a kick! See you in Chicago.
With just eleven days left in the year, this is one of those Fast Food Friday posts to remind you of things you might have missed along the way in building your business and wrapping up the year. Most of you are right-brain creative types with a focus on your images and clients, rather than running your business.
That's the reason I started this series in the first place - to remind you of little things you could do to establish a stronger presence. Most of the entrees in the SCU Diner have all been quick, easy ideas to raise the bar on how you're perceived in the community, along with tips to make your business more successful.
This morning is simply the equivalent of a buffet or a big salad bar!
The year may be quickly coming to a close, but you still have time for a positive impact on your business in the home stretch!
Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell!
Over the last few years, I've written this at least a dozen times - Your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what's in your heart. It's the fundamental difference between these two pieces of "real estate," and done right, your website and blog should work together.
The stories you tell start with your about page and talking about why you love being a photographer. For most of you, "Mom" is your target audience, and she doesn't care about what gear you work with, what awards you've won, or how you got started. She wants to know if she can trust you to capture the kinds of images she wants. She wants to see if you love being an artist or you're just in it for the business.
Next up is the importance of the products/services you sell. Your blog can position the importance of capturing memories, while your website can share ideas on how to preserve and present them. For example, a wedding album isn't a book of pictures - it's the first family heirloom of a new family. As my buddy, Denis Reggie, used to say, and I'm paraphrasing a little, "The flowers will die, the food's been eaten, the gown will never be worn again, but the album is priceless and will last forever."
Talk about the importance of prints. Share ideas on displaying images. Consider an idea like Justin and Mary Marantz do when they "Shoot for the silver frame." It's that one spectacular image that becomes the signature memory maker of the wedding. While every artist does their best to capture nothing but great photos, there's always one that's a show-stopper.
And, if you're having trouble getting clients to understand the importance of printed images, Michele Celentano has made it easy for you. She's permitted you to plagiarize her "I Believe" statement. Here's the link to the first time I shared it on the SCU blog.
Ironically, photographers are the world's greatest storytellers, yet when it comes to selling their services, so many do an underwhelming job of telling their own story!
by Skip Cohen
Regardless of what holiday you celebrate in December, there are some great gift ideas this year for the photographer in your life...or just for yourself.
I won't deny for a second the products/services below are all from SCU partners, but they're here because they believe in education, and helping you build a stronger business. So, as somebody who believes in truth in advertising, these companies live up to their reputation for quality and support for the industry. And I've worked with many of them for a considerable part of my career.
So, whether you're stuck for gift ideas or not, here are some of my favorite show-stoppers for this holiday season:
Platypod - The Perfect Gift
While Platypod is relatively new to SCU, it's a product line and company that's grown near and dear to me. They're more than just an SCU partner, I'm personally active in the company helping them with their marketing, but I also love their product line. I'm having fun with it myself. Nothing is going to break the bank when it comes to the cost, and best of all is the new perspective Platypod will add to your creativity.
From an instant macro/closeup setup like we've shared in posts from Shiv Verma, Don Komarechka, and Larry Becker to simply using the Litra Torch 2.0 lights behind my laptop for better lighting on video podcasts and chats, there's been no shortage of creativity. I love the diversity. And, for travel and hiking, the Ultra with the Benro ball head is perfect.
Wander over to the Platypod website and check out the full product line and while supplies last, this year's holiday specials.
PhotoTexting - Helping to Grow Your Business
Senior photography isn't for every artist, but diversity is! Everyone is looking for ways to grow their business, and PhotoTexting recently launched its new Senior Rep Program. They've made it easy to get started and then build brand awareness based on your best marketing tool - relationship building with seniors and their parents.
As a gift idea, it's a classic and another no-brainer. PhotoTexting is standing behind their products with a great promotional getting started offer - the price of a cup of coffee! Plus, there are dozens of videos to take you through each step of the process.
If you're a portrait artist, growing your senior business can be an incredible experience, not to mention pushing your creativity to the max. Gone are the days of boring headshots! A senior session today is about capturing the personality of the subject and establishing the first step in a new relationship. Done right, that senior will be coming back for other events. Seniors become brides and grooms; brides and grooms start families, and the opportunities go on and on.
Marathon Press - From Marketing to Bella Art Prints
As the industry's leader in support for photographers printed needs, Marathon's grown to be the "new sheriff in town" when it comes to stunning print quality and albums with their Bella line. Going back to when I first came into the professional side of the industry, they were best known for all their support in printed business material - from business cards to brochures to direct mail pieces.
TODAY - it's everything from marketing support with the benefits of MAP, to bulk order holiday cards for your clients; family marketing campaigns, stationery, beautiful prints and albums, and the list goes on and on. They're an amazing company. They never slow down helping photographers with the tools they need to grow their business, and at the same time, create products with incredible consumer appeal. Their BOGO program is going on right now on holiday cards for your own use, or as a finished product for your clients.
Click the banner below and start doing a little shopping to help grow your business.
LUMIX - "Changing Photography"
Four years ago, I started shooting mirrorless with Panasonic's LUMIX line. Yes, they're an SCU partner, but remember my background - twelve years as president of Hasselblad USA. While I don't make a living a professional photographer, I know more than I let on. And it takes a lot to impress me. LUMIX totally recharged my love for having a camera in my hands.
But it's not just how easy Panasonic has made expanding my creativity and helping me grow - it's the durability and features built into every camera. It's the low-light ability it gives me to capture tack sharp images and control the variables in every scene.
Don't take my word for it - wander into your LUMIX retailer and check out the line for yourself. Look at everything - I currently shoot with the G9 with the 14-140mm lens and love it. And if you're looking for full-frame, check out the new S series!
Tamron - Expanding the Creative Tools in Your Camera Bag
Over the years, Tamron has grown to become one of the most respected manufacturers in the world in optics and great glass! Over and again, their lenses have won awards, but of greater significance are the outstanding artists who we've featured in SCU blog posts and podcasts. Again and again, we've shared stunning images captured thanks to Tamron products.
Tamron has an outstanding savings program going on right now, and it's a click away to check out. Then, wander into your Tamron retailer for your own test drive! You'll never be disappointed in the quality Tamron's brought to the industry or the diversity of the lens selection you have to choose from.
ClickCon - Expanding Every Artist's Skill Set
Last year ClickCon launched it's first show in Chicago. It was an overwhelming success with one innovative educational idea after another. With a busy trade show and jam-packed educational platform, close to 1500 photographers took part in establishing this incredible boutique conference as a venue to help artists grow their skill set in capture, post-processing, business and marketing.
There's a special early bird registration going on right now. It's a unique gift for the photographer in your life, or again, just a present you need to give yourself. Plus, it's in August and gives you a chance to recharge your battery before the seasonality of the year kicks in.
by Skip Cohen
A few years back, Bryan Caporicci sent me a copy of Scott Stratten's book, Unmarketing with its subtitle,
"Stop marketing and start engaging!"
It's one of my favorite business books, and deserves a place on every business owner's bookshelf. Nothing beats your most powerful tool to build your brand, and succeed in business than relationship building!
If you've had an interest in growing your business into senior photography or your already a veteran in senior portraits and you want to build a stronger presence, it's time to check out PhotoTexting. Prime season to reach seniors is RIGHT now. And, there's little that beats a strong senior rep program because it's about relationship building with both the students and their parents — making it easier than ever is PhotoTexting, with dozens of short videos to take you through each step of the way. Combined with their programs, and customer support, for the price of a cup of coffee you can get started. It's a no-brainer.
Technology keeps changing. How we communicate changes every day. Consumer trends are a nonstop moving target. From cyberspace to mobile technology, your reach as a business owner matches the power that only magazines and newspapers had just a few years ago. But the one consistent component for success in business that's never changed, and is stronger than ever today, is the importance of relationship building.
In the same way, I've talked in past posts about artists today having the most creative tools in the history of photography - you've also got the most marketing tools! It's worth two minutes of your time to watch the video below and then visit PhotoTexting.com and check out all the benefits of their Senior Rep Program.
Think about the new year that's fast approaching. Here's an opportunity to expand and grow with a solid goal to make 2020 your best year in business yet!
by Skip Cohen
For the price of a cup of coffee, PhotoTexting is giving professional photographers the opportunity to get their senior rep program started and take full advantage of mobile technology to keep it going.
Now's the time to be building your program for the class of 2021. November and December are critical months to create a senior rep program. That means you've still got time to launch a successful expansion of your business.
So, If you've been thinking about getting started working with seniors, let's get you out of "analysis paralysis." It's so easy to take that first step, and then continue with the building blocks for success PhotoTexting is providing.
Here's the best part of PhotoTexting's new program - they're there for you EVERY step of the way, starting with a timeline to help you stay on track.
And, PhotoTexting has some of the very best customer support in the industry. But don't take my word for it. click on the banner below and check out the new program for yourself!
by Skip Cohen
For over a year and a half, I've shared a Fast Food Friday tip, almost every week. In fact, there are seventy-five different articles; each one focused on a specific aspect of your business. Most of them are short, but they hit on topics ranging from marketing to expanding your skillset and even a few on how to keep your sanity as a small-business owner. Well, it's time to raise the bar a little, and here's a great place to start, diversity, and growing your business.
I'm in contact with dozens of photographers every day. While many of them are new to the business, lately, there's a trend of more seasoned artists trying to figure out how to mix up their game and go in a different direction. It's the Darwin theory of survival of the fittest.
You can use the survival of the fittest to refer to a situation in which only the strongest people or things continue to live or be successful, while the others die or fail. (From Google and Wikipedia)
Here's the first new installment in this Fast Food Friday series - growing your business outside your core specialty.
Stepping Into the Senior Market
Over the last decade, the senior market has become one of the fastest and most diverse specialties in professional photography. Done right; each session is based on relationship building, being fun to work with, and fine-tuning your listening skills. Remember, these are young adults, and as an artist, you'll often be the first professional photographer they've ever worked with. Your relationship should become an investment in future business with them as well as their parents.
But the challenge becomes where to start. Remember, this is the first in a multi-part series, and we're going to start at the very beginning of the marketing process.
Before you roll your eyes about my endorsement of an SCU partner, if you've followed me for even the shortest amount of time, then you know I don't endorse any company who doesn't have something to offer you when it comes to growing your business.
Chamira Young and I have worked with the PhotoTexting.com team since last February. I love what they're doing to help photographers raise the bar on how they communicate, react, and respond to their audience.
With the senior market, we're talking about an audience with demographics that scream "early adopters." Seniors are mobile and text-focused all day long. Knowing the usage rate for teens is high, I had some fun on Google searching to see what the stats suggest:
More than half of teens (54%) say they spend too much time on their cellphones, and 41% say they overdo it on social media. According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day online...
Now, take that information and think about your younger clients - teens, as well as their parents. There's a lot of useful data for a starting point on growing your business and taking full advantage of mobile solutions.
Don't be thrown by the video below being called a "webinar." It's under four minutes and perfect to watch while enjoying that morning cup of coffee.
This is the first installment in a new series about growing your business. And while we're starting next week and be more focused on marketing to Seniors, the video above applies to so many different aspects of your business! Communication technology is not going to slow down, and mobile technology especially is here to stay - embrace it the right way, and you're going to have the tools not only grow your business but close sales faster, expand your reach and increase revenue!
In keeping with the Fast Food Friday theme, we're going to take it one step at a time. Next Friday, we'll hit getting started in marketing to Seniors, and we'll keep building from there!
by Skip Cohen
As a photographer and an artist, there are two different types of holiday cards.
First, there are holiday cards you produce for your clients. They're both a product and a service. You've got the files from previous events and family sessions with your clients, and the ability to create something special. The idea of a holiday card moves to a service because you can help them put together a custom card - unique just for them. And, you've got the skillset to suggest which images will look best.
Second, are the holiday cards you send out to clients and influencers in the community, featuring one of your images. No professional photographer should ever send out a store-bought holiday card! Use your own photography for holiday cards, thank-you notes, and your stationery.
It's one of the easiest marketing tools at your fingertips, and all it takes is a little time to bring it all together. A great image on the front, a message wishing people a healthy holiday season and on the back your logo, email address, and phone number. Just like a Hallmark card, but instead, it's your name on the back.
Marathon Press has everything you need to create cards for both your needs and your clients. With choices of size, paper, colors, and style they've created an almost unlimited combination of components to make your card or your client's unique.
I've written this a lot over the years - a holiday card is one of your very best marketing tools! Don't let the 2019 holiday season pass you by. There's not much time left and the team at Marathon is there to give you the help you need!
Click on any of the banners in today's post to link to Marathon's Holiday Card products!
My apologies for the quality of the image above, but it's Throwback Thursday. The photo is from the 90s, and was a 62KB file. I've tried to clean it up as best I can. It will never win an award for quality, but the booth certainly will!
Bambi Cantrell and I wrote three books together about wedding photography. The image above was her booth at bridal fairs at the time, which she talked about in one of the books. When so many photographers did the minimum with the usual skirted table and a bunch of albums, Bambi was always making a statement.
What's remarkable is how little effort the whole booth took to create. The panels in the back are just painted hollow wood doors with a little added molding and spotters. The floor they set up in advance on plywood sheets, and the rest is just accessories to be inviting.
Bambi was also one of the first photographers to use image boxes for shows like this. While she had albums to show as well, using the image box allowed more than one person to look at her work and not "hog" an album. Plus, it made a point to the audience about other ways to share images from the wedding. She had those big framed prints on display, albums and the image box - all giving the bride more ideas on things to do with the photographs from the wedding.
But here's the point - if you're going to exhibit at ANY show for ANYTHING - make your booth a statement. Go the extra step. I still see companies doing the same thing at trade shows today, and it's always the same. A static display with a staff member or two who are "underwhelming."
Are you looking to make your work stand out and make a great first impression? Don't settle for doing what everyone else is doing!
"It's never crowded along the extra mile!
by Skip Cohen
It's not only Marketing Monday, but as Walmart, Amazon, and even Canon launched their holiday specials last week, gift-shopping and holiday urgency has started earlier than usual. Why? Because retailers figured out there are six less actual shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. *Poof* The world has gone mad with a rush to get great deals!
Well, the good news is - with the rush to start shopping early, that means more time for you to have an impact on your target audience. And, being Marketing Monday, here's a list of things to think about to help make your presence more recognized and be a leader in service through the seasonality of the fourth quarter crunch.
There's a saying I heard years ago that's been modified numerous times by writers over the years. I still like this one:
If you do what you've always done, you'll never get more than you ever got!
Skip's Holiday Resource Center
I didn't want to turn the post above into an infomercial, but SCU has some outstanding partners and friends.
All of them focused on helping you through the holiday season!
Their links are below:
It's Marketing Monday and the perfect time to talk about seniors. Having been in the industry my entire adult life, or at least the time I was supposed to act like an adult, I've seen so many changes in photography. One of the biggest is with high school seniors.
Today's senior sittings, if they're done right, should be part of a full experience. It's not just about a good headshot for the yearbook, family, and friends, but getting to know the subject. It's about listening more than talking and then capturing their personality and interests in a series of photographs and even short video clips.
Being a senior photographer is about establishing great relationships. Right at the top of the list of building blocks is how you communicate. Seniors live in a texting world. They're on their phones constantly.
While this is going to look like an infomercial, it's not without a huge benefit. PhotoTexting.com has built an entire platform to help you communicate faster, and expand your reach into the senior market more effectively. And, their Senior Rep Program is just one solution to helping you grow your business.
Besides building a business in the senior market, there's a reason that's significantly more long term - a strong relationship has the potential for future business. Remember, for most seniors; this is the first relationship they've had with a professional photographer. It's a time for you to build trust with both the senior and their family. Seniors have siblings; seniors grow up and become brides and grooms, and seniors start their own families. You want to be part of that cycle.
One other aspect of this program I appreciate - it gives you a better way to connect with Mom and Dad! Watch the short video below and then click on the banner to visit PhotoTexting.com and check out the 20+ solutions to help you thrive!
by Skip Cohen
Well, it finally happened. I ran out of things to write about and missed the last few Fridays. However, I'm back. Thanks to many of you, I'm loaded with more ideas to help you create a stronger business model and thrive, not just survive!
Remember, I started this series in much the same way a farmer plants his crops...they're seeds of ideas to help you be more effective. It's your choice to nurture the ideas and let them grow into something bigger. So many of you are right-brain creative types, and you're often so involved in the process of capturing and creating the ultimate image, you miss the operational side of the business.
As I've written before, what good is creating the greatest images of your life if nobody knows who you are?
With the seasonality of the fourth quarter about to go into full swing, I was thinking about your websites and blogs. So many of you have them because you were told they were what you needed, but there's no personality showing in either venue.
Too much Internet real estate is just plain flat. I've been on too many websites that are like a can of soda left open overnight. It's got color, flavor but no bubbles - no fizz!
Is Your Website an Experience or Could it Put a Rock to Sleep?
Remember the old ban deodorant commercial? The tagline was, "You never get a second chance to make a first expression. Never let them see you sweat!"
I've been doing a lot of website reviews lately, and so many of you are missing an opportunity to make a great first expression. A visit to your website needs to be a great experience. Just like shopping at Macy's vs. Nordstroms - you've got a choice to make in the experience you give visitors to your website!
Here are some ideas, most of them easy fixes and things you can do NOW before business hits the holiday peak!
While somebody will challenge me on this, you can't be in business today without a website. I also feel a blog is essential. Why? Because your site is about what you sell, and your blog is about what's in your heart. Both work together, much like advertising and publicity. Together a great website and blog can open doors, build trust, and help establish your reputation as a professional photographer.
But just like discussions on Facebook forums about what photographers wear when shooting a wedding, you've got to dress the part. You've got to dress for success! These days, your website is the equivalent of a bricks and mortar store - make a visit, starting with your audience walking through the front door, that's memorable and a fun place to "shop."
Photo Credits: © bnenin , © dima_sidelnikov
by Skip Cohen
Every time I write about this tour, I hear Willie Nelson singing "On the Road Again" in the background. It's day twenty-eight for the Bubble Trailer Light Tour. I've lost count how many photographers Suzette and Jonny have met over the last four weeks. If my calculations are right, they're also coming up on six-thousand miles and just about the halfway mark.
One of the most fun aspects of the tour has been the images Suzette's been posting and sharing all along the way. They're not only teaching workshops but using a lot of great gear at various stops on the journey. Her shot of the NYC skyline above is spectacular. It was captured with a LUMIX S1R and 24-105 mm lens - f16 @ 15 seconds, ISO 400. Make sure you click on the image to see it enlarged in the lightbox.
Nanlites are on the trip with Suzette and Jonny. If you don't know about the product line, they're just a click away. It's time to find out what all the buzz is about.
Suzette described the shoot, which was in the salt flats earlier on their trip:
"...We used the Forza 300 for the main light and then the Forza 60's for accent lights and for shooting later when we needed less power...and we can shoot with them on location where there is no power! Even the Forza 300 and 500 can be powered with a V Mount Battery,
One of the biggest advantages I see with the Nanlites is how they have one point of light instead of a panel of pin-lights. Often, the panel lights show as a freckled light in catchlights and even have a different light falloff than a strobe in a softbox. With the Nanlites, we can use the softboxes and get a perfect portrait quality of light, and that professional edge we have worked years to perfect. It's our leverage as a visible means of setting ourselves apart from the competition!"
The image below shows the set up for the shoot. What a kick using great gear that goes virtually anywhere!
Everywhere Suzette, Jonny and Ms. BT go they're meeting more photographers. Here are a couple of the stops they made this past week.
It takes great support from the industry to put together a tour like this. Obviously it starts with Suzette and Jonny's love for photography, people, and wanting to drive across the country and back! We all live in an Internet world - what a kick to spend time face to face with so many artists.
But, part of that love for imaging and people is fueled by some of the best companies in professional photography:
Where are they now?
The Bubble Trailer Light Tour needs to be on your radar. Here's the schedule for next week, occasionally dates and locations are subject to change. The complete itinerary is available with a click on the button below!
Make every interaction count, even the small ones.
They are all relevant!
by Skip Cohen
This past weekend we received the new copy of the area's Yellowbook, and it went from the driveway to a quick photograph and into the recycle bin. The only people who I think might use it would be the most senior citizens who aren't computer proficient. And, for them, most of the fonts used are too small to read! When was the last time you looked something up in a book like the Yellow Pages?
That got me thinking about all the ways photographers can stay relevant, and some of the challenges everyone faces.
"If I can see the world through my client's eyes, then I can sell my client, what my client buys."
Staying relevant is about seeing the world through your client's eyes.
No one blog post could hit on everything you should be doing to stay relevant in your community, but you've got to start somewhere. Show your very best images, build relationships with each client and never compromise on the quality of your work or customer service.
Photo credit above: © BillionPhotos.com
Who cares? Your target audience. Too many of you are sharing about pages (your bio) loaded with content nobody is interested in. It's time to throw out things like how you got started; who gave you that first camera; what gear you shoot with, or what awards you've won! That information would be great if you were talking to a room of photographers, but you're not - most of you are talking to "Mom."
I've written a lot about this over the years, but it's been a frequent topic lately. I'm still amazed at how many of you just don't get it! In the portrait/social categories, women make 98% of the purchase decisions to hire a professional photographer. That means you're dealing most often with "Mom" or a future bride.
Here a few suggestions:
I'm convinced you can't be in business today without a website, but how well that website works for you is up to you. There may be plenty of technology shortcuts in building the infrastructure of the site itself, but there are no shortcuts in convincing potential clients you're the one they need to hire!
Your most important marketing tool is all about building relationships with your target audience. That first building block comes with opening your heart and sharing why you can be trusted to tell their story.
"It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter!
by Skip Cohen
Yesterday was one of those days that simply flew by so fast I felt like I blinked and we were trying to figure out what we were doing for dinner. In the middle of the night like Homer Simpson, letting out a big "DOH!" I realized I missed my weekly post on the tour of the year - Ms. Bubble Trailer with Suzette Allen and Jonny Yoshinaga. Ms. BT is already getting top billing! LOL
When Suzette and Jonny told me about the concept, I loved it from the very beginning. Why? First, because nobody does anything like this anymore. And, I'm not sure a tour has ever been done like this - 13,000 miles around the US with a trailer that has personality! Second, because it's about education from two artists who live to help photographers raise the bar on their skill sets. Third, because it's supported by some of the most respected companies in photography, and we've all got the same goals - helping you thrive in 2019 and not just survive! Last of all because it's fun!
Suzette and Jonny are teaching throughout the country for another seven weeks. Keep tabs on their whereabouts so you don't miss their program when it comes to a location near you! This is one of those crazy ideas that's creating its own little piece of photo-industry history. It's jam-packed with great content and all along the way a lot of surprises!
Great memory-making programs like this don't happen without support from the industry! The Bubble Trailer Light Tour is supported by some of the most reputable and fun companies in professional photography! "Fun" becomes an appropriate word in business when the companies involved are helping to make you a better artist and business owner!
Put Ms BT on your radar and follow the tour. All the info is just a click away on the button below!
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.