5 Things to know about senior photography

March 18th, 2015


It’s that time of year and it’s time for high-school seniors. Ignoring this market can be brutal to your summer months. All around the world, teenagers want to be cool. They want to look at feel like the celebrities, models, and athletes they look up to. Stop convincing yourself that senior photography doesn’t exist in your market. It does! I promise you. Now, whether you can capitalize on it or not, that’s an entirely different story.

Here are some things to consider when working with the class of 2016.

Experience – its all about the experience with the kids. Think about it, they can go anywhere they want to. They are choosing to spend their time and money with you. Give them the experience of a lifetime and they will talk about it to everyone they know! Give them a bad experience and watch your referral network dry up overnight. It’s all about the experience. Thing is, it’s not that difficult to give your clients an amazing experience. Just care, never take them for granted, and always give them something to talk about.

Switch it up – here is a little insight for you. Teenagers don’t want to look like every other teenager that has come through your studio for the last 5 years. Update your posing, lighting, backdrops, jokes, and whatever else you are doing to make images. Kids want something fresh. They want to be unique and create something the screams individuality.

Think about the parents – the parents are the ones with the money. Don’t ever forget that. So, while you are off having a blast and taking all these awesome shots, remember one thing, mom wants a gorgeous portrait for their daughter. They want to see their faces and their eyes. This is the perfect shot for parents to put on their walls, office desk, and wallet. Trust me, this is what sells. Everything else is just diversity.

Dial down the sexy – hey, captain. These are high-school seniors, most of them 16-17 at the time of their photo-shoot. They are not porn stars or modeling for GQ. Dial down the sexy. You know what dads don’t want? To see their daughter looking like she is 25 years old. I get it, you get excited and you have a gorgeous teen in front of your camera and want to do some cool stuff, but common sense has to prevail. Thing about sales. Think about what grandma wants. If you are a guy – this sets off all the bells and alarms down at Creeper HQ. Do you really want to be that guy?  Just find the balance between edgy and sexy and you will be good to go.

Get social – stop resisting it and start realizing that your clients are becoming increasingly tech savvy and tech demanding. We are dealing with the “instant generation”. This is a generation that will text each other while sitting next to each other in a car. Yeah. That’s our client. So, we have to adapt. Kids today are socially engaged. Tool of choice – Snapchat and Instagram. Do you even know what Snapchat is? I am telling you, you have to adapt your strategy. Teens today are your future brides and future parents with kids – what will they expect from you? How will you respond to their needs?

I hope this has helped you think about the senior shooting season that is about to be thrust upon us. Whatever you do, get out there and try something new and different. The teens will not only appreciate it, but they might actually think you are one of the cool kids.

Want to take your senior photography to the next level? Check out our senior course on the School of Photography – hands on, interactive learning.



Shutter Magazine // March 2015

March 2nd, 2015


Welcome to the March Edition of Shutter Magazine. To read any article below, log-in or create a free account. The digital edition is always free. Just log-in and select current issue on the menu bar. Want the printed edition? Learn more about our member benefits and printed edition of the best professional photography magazine on the planet.


Camera Straps

February 21st, 2015

Camera straps for your professional camera are something camera strap aficionados take seriously. Today, there is a new camera strap company in the market. That camera strap company is Salvatore. See some of the straps below.



While camera straps are not new to the world of photography, when asked Why? Owner and designer, Sal Cincotta stated, “I wanted to create a new kind of strap. One, that I would be proud to wear and one that is fashionable.” The new tag line for the company is, “You’re a professional, strap like one.” We are an in your face company and make no apologies for trying to get our brand out there. The quality of the straps are incredible and are something today’s photographer will want to use with their professional cameras.

The requirements of a professional photographer are demanding. Our camera straps were designed to meet those demands all while remaining stylish.

Quality can be seen and felt in the product. No detail was missed. From the custom stitching to the reinforced tips, these are more than just a strap. They are the perfect accessory.

Click here to learn more about our camera straps.

Shutter Magazine // February 2015

February 2nd, 2015


Welcome to the February Edition of Shutter Magazine. To read any article below, log-in or create a free account. The digital edition is always free. Just log-in and select current issue on the menu bar. Want the printed edition? Learn more about our member benefits and printed edition of the best professional photography magazine on the planet.

BCantrell_BlogSmall ShutterFest Educator – Bambi Cantrell

-Tell us a little about yourself and studio?Let’s start with the obvious: Yes, my real name is Bambi.
I’ve been a professional photographer for over 25 years, and own a wedding/portrait studio called Cantrell Portrait Design, Inc., which is located in the historic town of Benicia, California.

-How did you get into photography?
I’ve known since I was five years old that I wanted to be a photographer. When my husband and I got married, our wedding photographs were taken by an amateur with a good camera. That was a very poor decision. Our wedding photographs were terrible, and I was completely devastated. I’m the kind of person who always tries to look for the silver lining, and in this case, there was one. That experience made me realize I wanted to specialize in wedding photography.Log in to read more.



Blair Phillips – Pricing Your Way To Success 

The constant pursuit of success is a common denominator that most of us share. Success can come to us in several different ways. There is no step-by-step handbook. One important way we measure success is by our profit margins. Money is not the only thing that we measure success by, but success seems so much more enjoyable with an influx of profit. Most successful photographers have spent years tweaking their pricing to pave the way for their success.You have to know your place in your market. It is very easy to assume you should charge a certain price for your products and services. I like to generally start with my needed profit margin and work my way backward. If there is no chance to reach the needed profit margin, your answer is right there in front of you. It is important to evaluate your pricing for all the products you sell and buy each year.Log in to read more.




CLamere_BlogSmall Craig Lamere – Constant Fluorescent Lights 

There are a million light sources and a million options out there today for shooters when it comes to studio and location lights. This month, I’m going to talk about one of my favorites: constant fluorescent lights.When I started out, I shot on the cheap, which meant using good old sunlight on location. Here in Idaho, you can’t really shoot outside between December and April, so I knew I would have to figure out a way to light inside. At that time, the only artificial light I was using was a speedlight, which I really didn’t understand other than to put it on my hot shoe and hit a button. I had not used strobes or anything else, so I started to research what I should get. I started reading and studying some of the different light sources: strobes, tungsten and fluorescent. I narrowed down my choice to either strobes or constant fluorescents. It was easy to rule out tungsten “hot lights” after learning how they could melt your modifiers and burn your skin, and because they take hours to cool down after shoots.Log in to read more.



Dustin Lucas – Efficiency With Lightroom Presets 

In my past few articles, I stressed efficiency in workflow. Whether you are outsourcing your editing or painstakingly punching the keyboard all night, you need to take into consideration the time spent between the event and delivery. What’s your turnaround time?Without getting heavy into business practices, I want to focus on the digital side.After loading all your cards, backing up files and culling your favorite images, you are ready to begin the hours of editing, right? This is the time for your artistic abilities to shine as you treat all your images as separate works of art.So your question at this point should be: What’s the solution for editing artistically and efficiently? The answer: Lightroom presets!Log in to read more.




JSwitzer_BlogSmall Joe Switzer – It’s All About The Music 

Music. It’s all about the music. Let’s look at how to pick your soundtrack and how to edit to the rhythm of songs. Many of you have editing frustrations, like finding the song that matches your video. Some of you have trouble agreeing with clients over song choice. You might be the person who just picks a random song and lays it down at the end of the edit. I hear from many of you that you just dread trying to find music. In this article, I’ll show you how our studio goes about choosing that perfect song for every project. Finding the perfect song should be easy, fun and very rewarding.First, avoid letting your client choose the song, which can set you up for failure. Clients will likely choose the longest and hardest-to-edit song, which might be wonderful for listening to but a major challenge to edit with. You need to help your client choose the song. Secondly, licensing your songs from music websites that have limited music selections and genres can be a mistake. You need to be able to use everything from the newest indie music to instrumental, cinematic and popular music. The freedom to choose the best song that matches your project is of most importance. Lastly, waiting until the last minute to pick your song can ruin your edit. Wedding companies have told me they don’t care what song they use. This leads to a final edit that looks less professional because the timing of your edit doesn’t flow with the rhythm of the song.Log in to read more.



Lori Nordstrom – It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you! Networking for business success 

The new year should hold promise, right? Why does it sometimes feel like the promise of ruin? For Eileen and me, during the early months of 2014, the future looked as bleak as those dark February nights when I began to wake up in a cold sweat. We had just come off a year of record profits, photographed two weddings in Europe, won awards, appeared on CreativeLive and were preparing talks for conferences, including ShutterFest. I should have felt on top of the world. Instead, engagement season came and went, and we had only three weddings on the books.Not 23, as expected. Three. Worse yet, we’d just poured our lifesavings into a beautiful house-studio combo, with an extra bedroom intended for a son; we had finally begun our adoption. Suddenly, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to feed the two daughters we already had. On those nights, I would migrate from the clammy sheets and onto my knees beside the bed, looking for direction and grace. For a while, it seemed I just got humility. I think God knew that’s what I needed.Log in to read more.




MCorsentino_BlogSmall Michael Corsentino – Hard Light vs Soft Light Smackdown 

Hard light and soft light are all suited up and ready to rumble! They’re both strong contenders, but at the end of the day, I think you’ll agree they’re both winners. They’re at opposite ends of the spectrum, one edgy and dramatic and the other soft, willowy and open. This month, we’ll explore their differences and how they’re created, and jump into the studio for a few examples of what’s possible with each.As you’ll see, they’re both beautiful in their own right, each with unique qualities, distinct flavors and emotional impact. Let’s start by defining the qualities of each type of light.•    Hard light creates a rapid transition between highlight and shadow. Its hallmarks are dark shadows with crisp edges.
•    Soft light creates a gradual transition between highlight and shadow. Soft light’s signature look is very diffuse, with soft-edged, open shadows.So what’s the real difference between hard light and soft light in practical terms? Shadows—that’s the whole ballgame! The slower the transition from highlight to shadow, the softer the light. Conversely, the faster the transition from highlight to shadow, the harder the light. With hard light, the transition from highlight to shadow is crisp and well-defined, and casts deep, dark shadows. With soft light, the opposite is true, with the transition from highlight to shadow happening very gradually, creating shadows that remain light, soft and open.Log in to read more.



Phillip Blume – Viral Social MarketingThe new year should hold promise, right? Why does it sometimes feel like the promise of ruin? For Eileen and me, during the early months of 2014, the future looked as bleak as those dark February nights when I began to wake up in a cold sweat. We had just come off a year of record profits, photographed two weddings in Europe, won awards, appeared on CreativeLive and were preparing talks for conferences, including ShutterFest. I should have felt on top of the world. Instead, engagement season came and went, and we had only three weddings on the books.Not 23, as expected. Three. Worse yet, we’d just poured our lifesavings into a beautiful house-studio combo, with an extra bedroom intended for a son; we had finally begun our adoption. Suddenly, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to feed the two daughters we already had. On those nights, I would migrate from the clammy sheets and onto my knees beside the bed, looking for direction and grace. For a while, it seemed I just got humility. I think God knew that’s what I needed.Log in to read more. PBlume_BlogSmall



SCincotta_BlogSmall Sal Cincotta – How I Got The Shot 

Last month we debuted “How I Got the Shot.” This month, we continue with the February cover shot featuring my model Heather. All right, let’s dig in.ConceptIt all starts with a concept. I get asked all the time where I find inspiration. It’s everywhere. You have got to be an artist and start thinking like one. Be curious. I love to look at images, movies, advertisements, painting, etc. And from there, figure out how you can put your own spin on it.

Log in to read more.



Skip Cohen – Building Blocks 

This series is called “Building Blocks” because, just like that dream studio you might build someday, each component of your website is another important structural element.Sadly, my frustration with many of your websites takes me right back to The Three Little Pigs. Too many of you have built your house of sticks and straw instead of bricks. You’ve built your site too fast because you knew you needed a website. That would have been fine, but you never came back to fine-tune the components.So, we covered demographics, design and your galleries last month. Let’s start with your next critical tab: your About page.Log in to read more.




SFrazier_BlogSmall Stacie Frazier – Go Big By Going Small 

Whether you are already a busy studio or just getting your feet wet in the world of boudoir photography, mini-sessions can be a great way to help market your business, while generating extra revenue. These sessions (we call ours Haute Shots Petite Sessions) help tell the story of your brand, and also engage with a demographic that may have been previously neglected for a broader range of clientele.Why mini?Mini sessions can help build or boost your portfolio during slower periods. They generate buzz during time-sensitive events (like holidays), or can introduce a new studio set or location. Offering these themed sessions makes them more special. When creating a theme, take into consideration what you would like to portray or offer—for example, a special bed set that reflects a holiday like Valentine’s Day or Christmas, or even a general season like summer or fall. During nonholiday periods, promote a set that isn’t normally in your boudoir routine, like shower shots, artistic/implied nudes or sheet shots. If you are hip to trends, consider something that reflects a hot topic, like a sexy movie that is about to be released, a top television show or even a best-selling book.Log in to read more.



Vanessa Joy – Shake It Up: How to Head Off Marketing Stagnation 

It’s natural this time of year to look at what marketing efforts worked last year and decide what to use again this year. It’s a good practice. The beginning of the year is always a good time to evaluate your marketing efforts and figure out what’s working and what you’re wasting time and money on. When we continually do the same things over and over, we simply get bored with what we’re doing—even if it’s working fine.There’s a fine line in marketing that tell us we need to stick with what works but at the same time keep things new, fresh and interesting. As photographers, we see that two-fold with our marketing efforts as well as in our photography. We need to keep consistent to keep our brand recognizable, but we need to shake things up a little to stay on top of the game and to make sure that our work and business aren’t getting stale. Staleness is death to a photographer.Log in to read more.




KKorpos_BlogSmall Kristin Korpos – Understanding Copyright 

As a photographer, it is important to understand how the copyright to your images is protected. It is equally important to educate your clients so they understand what your copyright means to them.What is copyright?Our copyright protections all started with the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8, which states:The Congress shall have power to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.In plain English, this means that copyright is an exclusive right that is granted to the author or creator of an original work. This includes the right to copy, distribute and adapt that work. When a photographer captures an image, she is authoring a work, and becomes the owner of that image. As the owner of the image, she has the exclusive right to exercise control over that image.Log in to read more.


Think like a street cat

January 14th, 2015


Think like a street cat.

Are you a new photographer (new being relative of course)? To me, if you are in business 5 years or less, you are, in many ways, new or an upstart.

Think like an upstart.

“Whoa, Sal. What the hell is an upstart? I mean, I don’t want my clients to think I am new. They have to have trust and faith in my business.” Blah. Blah. Blah. Yeah, I get it. However, that’s not my point.

All too often, I see businesses struggle for all the wrong reasons. They start off hungry, willing to do anything for success like a hungry street cat and then they turn into fat happy house cats. No motivation. No willingness to take risks. Status Quo is the motto. Don’t rock the boat. Stick with what works.

Think about some companies you know of or have worked for in your life. I will reference my experience in corporate America. I spent 10 years at Microsoft. During my time there I watched a once nimble company turn into a corporate giant playing everything safe. During the early years of Microsoft, it was like the Wild West. Creative meetings, taking risks, trying new things, etc. You were incented and rewarded for those risks – there was no such thing as failure. We celebrated failure because it got you one step closer to success. Today, it’s different, they are motivated by Wall Street. I get it. It makes sense, but it’s not the path I want for myself or my business and neither should you. I will explain why shortly.

Microsoft started getting its ass kicked by upstarts like Google and Facebook. Why? These were companies that were willing to take risks, challenge the status quo, and just think differently. They were nimble upstarts. Facebook and Google, at the time, were disruptive to the status quo, challenging companies like Microsoft to innovate or die. So, here is Microsoft, this one time “innovator” getting its ass handed to it. Stock stopped growing for years because they couldn’t figure it out. Some companies never do.

If you are still reading this, you are wondering, “why does this matter to me?” Well, funny you should ask. There are massive lessons to be learned from this. In fact, it’s a huge part of how I manage my own team and businesses. We can not get comfortable. I don’t want to be the house cat. I want to be the street cat. I challenge my team to this every single day. I laugh, I honestly do, as I look at our competitors in every category we are in because they refuse to innovate. They are so paralyzed by the thought of a misstep or failing that they choose no action or worse yet, they just copy cat everything. That’s safe, right? I mean no one has ever lost their job or business by just doing what everyone else is doing. Right?

So, that brings me to my point. Today, everyone is a photographer. Competition is literally every where. I see studio after studio just opting to hand over the digital images with no sales process, no products, no prints or albums, just the digitals. Why? Because “everyone else is doing it Sal.” No. Not everyone else is doing it. I am not doing it in my market. And our studio is doing damn near 40-50 weddings per year. I work with a ton of studios we are mentoring and they are not doing it and their sales are at all-time highs.

If you are an upstart (remember that 5 year window I was talking about?), STOP THE MADNESS and think like an upstart. You have to want success more than you want anything else. Now is the time. Once you get comfortable, you will resist change every day. You have to take a chance if you want to have success with your business. You have to be that street cat. You have to be ready to battle for your next meal. Take the fight to your competitors. Stop letting them erode market share.

How? Should be your next logical question.

Here is what I want you to think about with your business and for the record, doesn’t matter what your business is. These are principals that can be applied to any business, any category.

Who are your top 3-5 competitors?

What makes them your competitor? Ah, this is tough for most people to answer. They know who they think their competitors are, but rarely do they know why. If you can’t answer this, then make time for yourself to think about this. It’s important you understand why they are your competitors – this will lend to how you attack them. Not everyone who is a photographer is your competitor. It doesn’t work that way.

Here is where things start getting interesting.

What is your x-factor? What’s that thing that makes you better? Please, for the love of everything on this planet, do not say your photography. No one cares! I promise you. If the only difference between you and your competitors is your photography, you are going to kill your business. If you don’t have an x-factor, then you need to figure the hell out how you plan to make your mark in the world of business.

Using your x-factor, how are you going to out-maneuver them? We have to strike fast and hard before they can even respond to your efforts. How do we bring it to the attention of your potential clients that this is why you are better and here is why you should care? It’s that crazy thing called MARKETING. Say it with me… M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G. Marketing is not showing people your pretty pictures. While an important part of the process, we have to have messaging with that marketing. Educate clients. Bring to their attention the difference. Put it in their face why they should work with you. Bring the fight right to the door step of your competitors. Force them to acknowledge you by forcing them to act like a street cat. Think about something for a second and yes, I am sorry to pick on cats in this article, but hey, its relevant.

When you see a street cat do you try and pet it? Do you walk up to it and say “here kitty kitty” – no, no you don’t because you know it will rip your face off. And if it gives you that crazy street cat look – you sheepishly look away, you grab your kids, you hold on to your purse, and you run for cover because you are scared, scared that it might rip your face off.

Do you have a house cat? Can you imagine if you put your beloved fluffy fluff outside for one night after having their bowl put in front of them for the last 5 years every time they cutely say “meow?” No, your house cat would have its faced ripped off in the outside world.

Now, look, I will admit, I think I got a little carried away with my cat example, but I am sitting on a plane to London as I write this, and I have to admit, I have been trying to entertain myself. Ok, back to it.

Let’s bring it real world. Recently, two and a half years ago, we launched Shutter Magazine. Today, we have over 100,000 active subscribers. Yes, you read that right. Just this month, we took our digital fully multimedia magazine to print. In an industry that is pulling away from print, we are going after it full throttle. I am watching our competitors literally scramble to try and respond. They can’t and here is why. They have been doing things the same way for so many years it’s a near act of God to get the executives or management team to approve anything and even when they do, it’s proceed with caution. Shutter Magazine has been going at this hard core by taking chances, providing quality education not fluff, and using innovation to challenge the status quo. We are fully multimedia enabled in both print and digital. Every time they try and move we out maneuver them – we are faster, more nimble and more innovative than our competitors. Most importantly, I am willing to take massive risks to win. I am a street cat.

Are you connecting dots yet? Are you seeing how you have to start seeing the world and get competitive? It’s ok to want to win. It’s ok to be competitive. That’s a good thing. We can be competitive and not hate one another. It’s not personal. It’s business. This is why your competitors won’t give you the time of day. Ever try and have a friendly meeting with another photographer in your area – if so, then you know what I mean. They see you as a threat and this is the only way they know how to compete. This is good news for you – it makes your job easier. Compete on real world principles and you will watch your business flourish and remain relevant for years to come.

Now get to it, unleash that street cat that exists in all of you!


SEO Tips for 2015

January 4th, 2015

SEO Tips for 2015


2015 is here! Seems like it snuck up on all of us, but one thing is for sure, the internet is not going away. In fact, its just becoming more and more ingrained in our every day lives. And as you can imagine, it will become more ingrained in the lives of our clients and how they find a photographer to document their special occasion.

How will you ramp for 2015 to make the changes required for a better search engine rank? Here are some tips to ranking better in 2015.

Page load speeds.

This can not be ignored. Google is making this a priority and will penalize your site if it takes too long to load. How long is too long? Well its all relative – we are talking milliseconds, BUT keep in mind, every new whiz bang plugin you load on to your site will cause it to load slower. Not sizing your images correctly will cause your site to load slower.

For me, I keep plugins to a minimum. I avoid flash when I can. I keep my image sizes to about 900 pixels @ 72dpi. This is very important to keep load speeds down.

A great site to use to test your results is http://gtmetrix.com

Check out my site results below. I just got thumped on my images not being optimized. Looks like I have some work to do. As I would imagine we all do as photographers. Finding that balance between performance and looking good on screen is never easy.

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 6.45.35 PM


Look for Geotargeting to be more prevalent in 2015.

Some interesting stats according to Search Engine Watch,

59 percent of consumers use Google to find a reputable, local business every month.
50 percent of all mobile searches are conducted with the purpose of finding relevant, local results.
61 percent of those searches result in a purchase.
Approximately 27 percent of total U.S. Internet time is spent on social media sites.
48 percent of users who land on a business site that doesn’t work well on mobile take it as an indication that the business just doesn’t care.

So, what can you do? Well, for starters, be sure to have address and contact information on every page. That’s easy enough to do. Next, realize, that people are searching for local vendors. How often is someone looking for a family photographer 3 states away. Unless they are traveling to that state for the holidays, none. And I might add, in that case, they are looking for a local photographer. See where this is going?

Content Marketing will be king

If you don’t know what content marketing is here is a quick definition according to Wikipedia.

Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.

In a nutshell, it means we have to create content. We can’t just post pretty pictures. We have to give people a reason to come to our site, share information, tag it, etc.

If you are a wedding photographer start creating content that will make you the expert on wedding photography. What things to consider when planning a wedding. Create a blog with guest posts. If you are a senior or portrait photographer, what goes into selecting the right photographer? What should I be looking for? Of course, we should still show our pretty pictures, but are you getting the gist here? Content is king!

Must be mobile friendly

Responsive. This is the current buzzword. In a nutshell, it means your site must scale for all platforms. Desktop, laptop, tablets, and mobile devices. Well, my site for one, does not do this. And I know its hurting my ranking right now.

For 2015, this is a major initiative for me and something I know has to happen. Do not wait on this. More and more visitors are coming from mobile devices. If you are not sure, check your Google analytics. On my site, last month, 25% of all visitors were on mobile or tablet devices. That number is only going to continue to increase. We all have to prepare or we will lose the business to frustrated users.

Timely content

That’s right ladies and gents, its not about just posting content one day when you have a wild hair. It’s about consistently posting relevant and timely content.

Relevant is defined by ensuring you have your keywords worked into your posts. Timely, is weekly as far as I am concerned. I have noticed when I am in the middle of wedding season and posting every week – my ranking bolts up to the top of the list. However, when we get into slower months, my ranking will fall a few spots to my competitors who are posting with more frequency.

The good news is, we don’t have to write like idiots any more with our keywords being used every other word. Google has figured this out and is looking for natural language.

Social Media Integration

Not sure this is on anyone’s radar at the moment, but I am making a prediction here. Either this year or very soon thereafter, Google will announce it’s putting weight on social media in some form or fashion. I am not sure how it will all work, but it’s only a matter of time.

Think about it. Isn’t this the most logical thing you have ever heard? Did you read the stat above? 27% of all US traffic is spent on social media sites. This is where people are. It’s how they are making decisions. And to ignore someone’s social equity when returning search results is an incomplete service.

Google and the other big players will figure this out and soon, will return results based on some magical formula.

So, what does that mean for you? Stop ignoring social media. ENGAGE. At a minimum, make 2015 your year to set up your sites and properties on all major platforms and just start using them. You just might be surprised at the results.

Senior Glam Sessions

January 1st, 2015


Everyone has at least a bit of glamour deep down inside. But not everyone has their hair and makeup done and their clothing picked out by a professional stylist, like our counterparts on television. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone give us that type of attention for at least a day?

The Glam Session

Two years ago, I found myself really wanting to shake up my portfolio. The way to get someone’s attention is to do something dramatic. I wanted some new marketing images that included some wild and glamorous hair and makeup. I needed to devise a plan to shoot all these images, but still get paid to do so. I came up with the idea of bringing in local seniors for wild, glamorous hair and makeup. We wanted to create a look that they would normally never know to ask for. This is a way to turn an average person into someone completely different.

Want to read this photography training article? Log in and launch this free photography training magazine // January 2015 issue or create a free account by clicking here.

How to Not Screw Up a Destination Wedding

January 1st, 2015


I can’t count the number of photographers whose websites advertise them as a destination wedding photographer.” It always makes me laugh. The reality is, the majority of photographers who claim this do not specialize in destination weddings, and usually feel qualified after having photographed a friends wedding in an exotic location.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to leverage the images you have from the location to help drive traffic to your website and blog. But what happens when those calls for destination weddings do come in? Are you prepared to actually take that call? I’d be willing to wager that many of you are not. I sure thought I could in the beginning. My first thought was,Yay, vacation!”

Want to read this photography training article? Log in and launch this free photography training magazine // January 2015 issue or create a free account by clicking here.

Top 5 Ways to Generate Revenue in the World of Video

January 1st, 2015


How is your business doing? It’s the holiday season, and many of you are going to hear this question a lot. Hopefully, you feel your business is successful and are optimistic about future financial opportunities. Maybe some of you can’t say that you are 100 percent content and happy with your company’s financial statement and outlook. When I was in NYC teaching a workshop and platform class last month, as always, the majority of the questions from all filmmakers or photographers wanting to become filmmakers were about lenses, cameras and editing. Nobody ever asked about business and making more money. Is this why so many talented creatives fail as professional filmmakers and photographers?

Maybe the first question on everyone’s mind should be related to increasing your company income.

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