Images copyright Kenna Klosterman. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Kenna Klosterman joins us this month in the Tamron Kitchen. She's our first "chef" with a specialty cuisine of travel photography. We're going to drill down more on the comparison to fine dining expanding to the art of storytelling.
So many people think travel photography is about beautiful postcard images that enhance the memory of your last vacation or a possible future destination. But with Kenna's background in cultural anthropology, she's all about capturing the culture in her travels. She's the ultimate storyteller. Her images are through the eyes of a street photographer and artist. Her photographs tell the story of a culture in a day-in-the-life of the people she's surrounded by, going beyond just great images.
Shooting with the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens, I wanted to share more than just one or two images in this episode. Kenna was in Cuba for the top and bottom photos and Bali for the middle. But the common denominator in all three is the slice of life, the culture, and the people she captured.
Kenna's a travel and documentary photographer, global and retreat leader, podcaster, educator, and international MC. She's also co-founder of Peace in Travel. But there's one other important hat she wears - she's a mindfulness guide, which is a key ingredient to the success of everything she does, including each retreat into exploring different cultures.
Kenna needs to be on your radar. She's one of the most diverse artists in our industry. Click on any of Kenna's three images in this post to visit her website. You should also follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And check out her CreativeLive podcast" We Are Photographers as 120+ artists and members of our industry share the scene from behind the lens and their lives.
In the short podcast, Kenna mentioned taking the Tamron 28-75 G2 lens for a test drive, sponsored by Tamron Japan. I can't think of a better way to get to know a fine chef from the Tamron Kitchen, than to watch her "cook." I love these videos because they pack so much information into just a couple of minutes!
Along with making sure Kenna is on your radar - don't forget Tamron. They're manufacturing some of the finest optics in imaging, and their new Spring Sale just launched. Plus, they never slow down on helping artists raise the bar on the quality of their work. Education is a major focus at Tamron - check out all the programs they have scheduled, throughout North America.
A business without a path to profit isn't a business - it's a hobby!
by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday and the end of January. Your ideas for building your brand and marketing in your community should already be in full swing, but there's one topic nobody ever talks about enough - PRICING!
But for today's episode of Brain Dump - I want to hit on your costs. Most photographers only know if they made money for the year once they do their taxes! And while it's sad to be in that position, I get it; you're right-brain artists, not left-brain accountants. However, the point of left-brain and right-brain analysis is to recognize that you need support from both to build your business.
Where so many artists miss the correct numbers is not looking at ALL their costs. Today's short podcast hits on the list of most things you need to consider to accurately get to price points for your products and services that get you beyond eating macaroni and cheese every night!
by Skip Cohen
We're ramping up to the peak in seasonality for the 2022 holiday season. So getting your name out in the community should be at the very top of your "to-do" list. It's an ongoing process, but even more critical this time of year.
You want top-of-mind awareness: whenever somebody thinks about photography, you want them to think of you. Now, combine that awareness with the increased importance of family that's a spinoff of the pandemic. I'm not sure there's ever been a time when family portraiture was more in demand or needed than today!
What good is working to create the finest images of your life if nobody knows who you are?
by Skip Cohen
We're coming up to the true seasonality of the year, and with all the challenges in the world, from the pandemic to natural disasters like last week's hurricane and then the politics we all deal with; NOW is the time to make sure your network is solid,
You need to pay attention to its care and feeding – just like a house plant that needs to be watered and fed now and then. Well, your network is no different.
Building relationships is your greatest marketing tool! And as Scott Stratten said years ago, in his book "UnMarketing," stop marketing and start engaging!
"Sound Advice" is about helping you build a more substantial business this holiday season. I've got one goal - let's make this one of your best years ever!
by Skip Cohen
Eight to nine years ago, Photofocus and Skip Cohen University launched the "Mind Your Own Business" podcast. That's over one hundred episodes with some of photography's most respected artists and educators.
In this last episode, my good friend and co-host, Chamira Young, and I wandered down Memory Lane and talked about some of our guests and the lessons we learned. Unfortunately, we couldn't cover everyone, but that doesn't change the appreciation for each guest who joined us on the podcast.
A BIG thanks to all our listeners and followers, Chamira for so often making me sound better than I deserved, and the team at Photofocus who made the podcast a reality. As for what I'm going to jump on next? No idea, but that's the fun of still not knowing what I want to be when I grow up.
What an incredible ride it's been!
People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care!
by Skip Cohen
Your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what's in your heart. And part of what should be in your heart is reminding people what you do for a living. This is your opportunity to be helpful while at the same time build your reputation as an imaging artist.
I wanted to do a brain dump of ideas for blog content, and here it is today. So whether you're doing a formal blog regularly or using your Facebook page with posts relevant to your readership, here are a few dozen ideas for content, including Community Profiles. Profile stories are one of my favorites and a great way to get your community involved in your blog.
The whole idea behind "Sound Advice" is to help you focus on making 2022's seasonality the best ever! There are so many opportunities this year to increase revenue - but it all starts with you getting the message out to the community and your readers.
Remember, you snooze you lose. Stop procrastinating and take advantage of all the opportunities available to get your target audience thinking about your skill set this holiday season!
by Skip Cohen
I started this series to remind you about all the different building blocks you need to help make 2022's seasonality the best ever! I'm keeping these short podcasts under ten minutes and as jam-packed with ideas as I can make them.
So, it's Marketing Monday and the perfect time to talk about your blog. Things might be changing in social media a lot, but a good blog is still an essential part of the foundation you want to have to keep building your brand and business.
Your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what's in your heart. It's your opportunity to show how much you love the craft, be helpful and right now, give Mom ideas for this holiday season.
See you next episode!
by Skip Cohen
I started these short podcasts to help you with the building blocks you need to make this year's seasonality the best ever! And while I know that's a pretty tall order - it's possible for everybody, but you've got to be in the right frame of mind and be confident in your skills and marketing.
Today's topic is a little different for a Marketing Monday post, but so relevant these days. Let's get rid of all the negative people in your life. Let's keep those "Negators" on the sideline where they belong and simply shut them off. They're not allowed to interrupt your thoughts or your passion for the craft.
And if you're stuck and need a little support, or even a quick review of your website, I'm a great sounding board - you know where to find me and I'm happy to help.
by Skip Cohen
The whole idea behind Sound Advice is to give you ideas to build a more substantial business - so let's talk about fine-tuning your website with some easy-to-do fixes. In another couple of months, Internet traffic will explode as more people start doing their holiday shopping. In the same way, you have favorite stores you like to shop in; you want your website real estate to represent you with the best possible experience.
No single blog post could cover it all, but today's post will give a few ideas to at least keep people looking rather than moving on to another photographer.
by Skip Cohen
Sound Advice is an experiment using short sound bites with tips to help increase your brand's strength. I've got one goal – to help you make 2022 one of your best years ever!
It's Marketing Monday and a great time to hit a topic all of you worry about – getting your name out there. There are so many things you can be doing to make sure you have top-of-mind awareness with your target audience. It's an old concept, but "top-of-mind" is all about making sure that whenever somebody thinks about photography, your name is right up front.
What good is working hard to create the best images of your life if nobody knows who you are?
Click on any image above to link to this podcast!
by Skip Cohen
Lori Nordstrom joined Chamira and me on this new episode to talk about how business has changed and how to be proactive, taking full advantage of your clients' continued need for your help in capturing their memories. But besides great insight, there's another aspect to this podcast I appreciate.
Lori was one of the first guests when we started the podcast in 2014. Rich Harrington had a great idea, and I felt honored to be his sidekick when we launched this series, and still do. The fun of having Lori on, besides her being one of my favorite people in the industry, is there's no expiration date on Lori's passion for marketing.
Based in Iowa, when she's got a camera in her hands, it's focused on families, kids, babies, and seniors. She's a photographer, educator, and author. Her trademark is being accessible to anyone who needs a little help. She's a friend to so many of us in the industry.
As the pandemic shifted paradigms and business declined for so many artists, Lori's ability to stay relevant brought with it new ways to grow her business. In the podcast, she talks about her diverse target audience, now working with other companies in the community. She points out in the conversation - marketing is marketing, no matter what business you're in.
Lori should be on your radar. Check out her website, and you'll get to know her incredible skill set. Then follow her on her branding site. She's one of the best in helping photographers grow their business and brand awareness.
Sound Advice - Legacy Programs
by Skip Cohen
With the renewed sense of family in the world this holiday season, family portraiture needs to be in your mix of offerings, but let's take it one step further...establishing a Legacy Program. All of you have the ability to do video and help clients tell stories about their life for future generations. Nobody's getting any younger! In the same way, you help clients capture incredible memories in portraiture; this is simply an extension of that talent. It's perfect to add to your mix for this year's seasonality.
I've packed a lot into under three minutes in today's "Sound Advice," but you're the one who can make it work and help enhance everything you're offering this holiday season. I've got one goal - to help you with ideas to make 2022 one of your best years ever!
“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together."
Old African Proverb
by Skip Cohen
Everyone is working hard to jumpstart their business after the impact of the pandemic. As things get back on track, stop thinking you have to do everything alone. Partnerships are a fantastic way to reduce your costs and increase your reach. No matter what your specialty, there are other vendors in your community to work with.
NOW is the time to start planning great promotions for the seasonality of the fourth quarter. It's essential to stand out from your competitors and offer products and services that are unique and exciting for your target audience. I'm hitting a lot of different ideas in today's podcast, all in minimal time.
Just remember, this is really about teamwork...
“Teamwork: Simply stated, it is less me and more we.”
Sound Advice - Your "About" Page
by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday and today's "Sound Advice" is about cleaning up your "About" page. For those of you wondering if your "About" page could be a little stronger - it's a 3 1/2 minute investment of your time to listen to today's short podcast.
Remember - There's that old line about how you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make visiting your website an experience, just like walking into your favorite bricks and mortar business. It's your storefront and you want each visitor to not only stay for awhile, but tell their friends about you and your work.
I continue to believe your galleries should be your fist tab, followed by your about page. Hook your clients on the quality of your images, and then let them know why you love being a photographer!
by Skip Cohen
It's Throwback Thursday, and the only person in the shot above I recognize is my grandfather, the second one on the left. He was born in 1899, so this photo would be around 1920 - just over a hundred years ago. But there's a more significant point to make with this morning's Throwback.
First, it's a postcard, printed on heavier stock but printed with a mailing template on the back. It's old school, but in a completely digital world, I love the concept. Second, my grandfather passed away almost forty years ago - there's nobody alive anymore to tell me who these guys were or why they were together. But, it's obvious there was a friendship. It's also an excellent argument for establishing a Legacy program for your clients.
Earlier this week, I started a new series, "Sound Advice." The concept is based on what I hope is the benefit of giving you audio marketing snippets to help you build a more substantial business. I've got one goal - to help make 2022 your best year yet! Today's topic is about using Throwback Thursday as a marketing tool.
by Skip Cohen
Welcome to the first episode of Sound Advice!
Going back a few years ago, I included an introductory sound bite with each blog post. These days we're all flat out, so this is an experiment to get you solid information in a five-minute podcast. Let me know if it helps you.
Remember, your Internet presence today is the equivalent of a bricks-and-mortar business just a few years back. In the US alone, there are 120 million Internet active households. That makes your website your storefront. You've got to make each visit an experience. Like those stores you like to shop at most, your target audience also has choices.
Let's start by cleaning up those dusty corners of your galleries, which you've probably ignored for far too long. You should be sharing only your very best work. So, if any image in your gallery looks like something anybody's Uncle Harry got, it's time to take it down.
There are more suggestions in today's sound bite! My goal is to give you ideas to help make 2022 one of your best years ever!
Happy Marketing Monday!
by Skip Cohen
Together with Rich Harrington from Photofocus, we launched "Mind Your Own Business" in 2014. Now, dozens of monthly podcasts later and co-hosting with Chamira Young, I'm blown away by the range of topics discussed. It's not just the diversity but how open each guest has been in sharing their "trade secrets."
Terry Clark is no stranger to SCU. He's written guest posts and shared one of his favorite images on "Why?" He's also been a non-stop supporter going back at least twelve years when we first met. He's a journalist, portrait artist, writer, and simply an all-around great guy. However, this podcast is a little different in that Terry's been in the process of renewing his love for film!
I'm not sure there's anything Terry can't photograph. What I often appreciate the most in his work comes from his photo-journalist background - his ability to tell a story, often with just one image!
Terry needs to be on your radar. Click on any image below to visit his website. I picked a few of my favorites, and it wasn't easy! The tagline he often uses says it all...
Smile big, laugh hard and make people happy!
Click on any image above to link to the podcast.
by Skip Cohen
While most of the "Mind Your Own Business" podcasts have been with photographers I've known through most of my career, this new one with Kris Andres is unique, because I haven't known him very long. But he's one of those people that just after a few hours, you feel like you've known him most of your life.
In early April, Kris and Lizzy Gadd joined us in helping to launch Platypod's new eXtreme. Coming in from Canada two days before, what better way to get to know new friends than at your home? So, Kris and Lizzy spent a couple of days out of their usual routine of mountains, cold weather, and serenity to hang out with Sheila, me, and two pups.
We're an industry of artists who often only know each other from busy conferences, conventions, and workshops. That's fine, but there's never enough quality time to talk...about anything. I got that time with Kris, where the friendship started.
I already knew he was a talented artist. But from the perspective of a guy who lives in Florida and hates it when the temperature is in the bone-chilling 60s, I can't connect with his love for the cold and thin air! Funny though, our weather was gorgeous, and he loved it.
He's an artist through and through, as he immediately set up his camera to do a time-lapse of caterpillars devouring milkweed in the backyard. He's also a talented hands-on educator, and his sense of customer service in his "day job" is the kind the best business authors write about. He's also a chef and has expanded his skillset into food photography - the complete opposite of landscapes.
I hope you enjoy this new podcast as much as we did recording it. Nothing beats a great conversation with a good friend. And if you haven't visited his new print shop, what are you waiting for? Just click on any of the images below. I pulled a few of my favorites.
Wandering through his website, I stumbled on a video I wanted to share. I love the simplicity of the images, the perspective of skaters on the ice, and the serenity - almost enough to wish I lived up north and skated better! I wanted to share it to give you a better example of the environment Kris loves most to be in.
As I've written so many times before, the best thing about this industry isn't really about photography but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. So meet a new buddy, Kris Andres. You can check out his complete portfolio on his website and his upcoming educational programs here. You can also find him on Facebook and Instagram.
A BIG thanks to Kris for working us into his insane schedule and joining us and, as always, to Photofocus.com and their support of an industry we all love so dearly. There's a never-ending flow of great content on their website covering virtually every topic in imaging!
Click on any image above to listen to this NEW podcast.
by Skip Cohen
In March of 2017, Chamira Young, and I did our first podcast together. Now, close to 150 podcasts later, the podcasts, topics and our guests just seem to be getting better and better.
Steve Brazill, aka the Razz on KCAL FM in California, joined us for this new conversation. He's not just a well-respected radio personality but an outstanding event photographer, artist, educator, and host to one of the best podcasts in imaging, Behind the Shot TV.
As I've written so many times before, the best thing about this industry isn't really about photography but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. I first met Steve at IUSA several years ago when he interviewed Platypod's founder, Dr. Larry Tiefenbrunn. That's where the friendship kicked off and continued. Unfortunately, with the impact of the pandemic on conventions over the last couple of years, we haven't caught up LIVE in a long time, but that hasn't changed the respect or appreciation I have for his skillset or our friendship.
Steve is a storyteller…
"My goal with every show is to try to combine my love of music & photography to tell a viewer the story of a show. To help them remember it, or wish they had been there. I try to show them moments that bring the show to life, those defining moments that happen on-stage or behind-the-scenes."
Like all of the "Mind Your Own Business" podcasts, we went into the conversation without any actual script, except for our opening and closing questions - How did you get started, and what advice would you give a new photographer just starting out? True to form of never disappointing, Steve was the perfect guest to talk about the challenges today, fine-tuning his skills through the pandemic and the excitement in the industry he's observed as things slowly come back to a new normal.
Wandering through his website, I picked a few of my favorites shown below, from various events, but he also shares some great work in his personal portfolio too. Just click on any image below to visit his website.
You'll also find a lot of great content on his YouTube channel. For example, he recently interviewed Larry T. in a great conversation about black and white photography. Just click on the thumbnail to the right to watch/listen to the show.
A BIG thanks to Steve for joining us and, as always, to Photofocus.com and their support of an industry we all love so dearly. There's a never-ending flow of great content on their website covering virtually every topic in imaging!
Images copyright Steve Brazill. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
To people outside the photography, it seems like a huge industry - after all, everybody knows a photographer or two. But inside the industry, it's a relatively small "family." We've all been to the same rubber chicken dinners together, been stuck in airports hanging out because of bad weather, waited in long lines at hotel check-in when the computers were down, and most important of all - we share so many mutual friends.
Well, it's time for you to get to know Scott Detweiler a little better. Scott started as an artist and painter and brought his style and skills into photography just a few years ago. Based in Milwaukee, he's now focused primarily on commercial and fashion work, being a noted educator and friend to so many other photographers in the industry.
And there's my favorite point - friendships. Scott and I talked before the podcast and discovered a bunch of mutual friends in the industry, as well as both of us teaching at Shutterfest over the years - but we'd never had the time to really talk. And extending the friendship theme even further, he joined Chamira and me for this new podcast on a suggestion from friends at Zenfolio.
Think about your website. The number of people on the Internet grows more and more every day, with over 90% of Americans having Internet access and over 313 million users nationwide. As a result, your website has the same impact as a bricks-and-mortar storefront twenty years ago. That's where Zenfolio came into the conversation as Scott shared his insight into his cyberspace "real estate."
You'll find more of Scott's work with a click on any of the images below. He's one of the most diverse artists in the industry. From his seniors, to fine art portraiture to his whimsical doll project and everything in between, he always exceeds expectations.
And check out Zenfolio for ideas on how to raise the bar on your website and give your "bricks and mortar" online presence the impact it deserves. Your blog is about what's in your heart, but your website is about what you sell. You've got to give your clients the same experience they enjoy when shopping at their favorite store. Zenfolio's just a click away on the banner below.
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.