Creativity, Dead? No! We’re on the Verge of a Creativity Boom

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I address the question: “Is creativity dead?” No way! After a relatively dark period for creativity – brought on largely by business efforts to hold down costs – we’re on the verge of a resurgence that will benefit photo businesses.

History Is Right In Front of You: Photographing the Ordinary

When he was young, Frenchman Jacques Henri Lartigue was given a camera as a gift. At the age of eight he began to record the life of his family with his new toy. Lartigue produced approximately 120 photo albums, probably one of the most interesting collections of pictures ever made of a family.

Basics Of Photography SEO, Part 2: Where To Use Your Keywords

If you’re in the photography business to make money, then you want your website to be easily found by those looking for your services, which means paying attention to search engine optimization (SEO).

When Your Idea Is Too Close (For Comfort) to Someone Else’s

I have always had a special attachment to this photograph. It was taken on the boardwalk (actually concrete-walk) in Hollywood Beach, Fla., a place I have been photographing for many years. During this time, I have walked past this bike rental shack many times, always peeking through the window to the ocean, hoping something of interest would fill my frame within a frame, and it finally happened.

Start Your 2013 Business Plan With a Set of Personal Goals

Part 2 in a series

Before you can really get started writing a business plan for your photo business, you have to give some thought to your personal goals. This is not Harvard Business School stuff, but especially in a field like photography, your life and business quickly become entangled.

Give Your Photography Business A Holiday Boost

The holidays are a great time of the year for photographers. Not only do people dress up in a variety of colorful outfits, but they’re also looking to capture special moments forever. With that said, I thought it would be fun to share some ideas that photographers can implement for the holidays. Doing so can increase holiday business and, in turn, your overall business.

Basics of Photography SEO, Part 1: Google doesn’t hate you

One of the many things I hear almost every day is, “Google hates me!” More and more professional photographers everywhere are feeling this way, and they especially want the answer to the question, “why is it that clients can’t find my photography website when they search in Google?

On Communications: Talk Vision First, Money Later

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I offer some advice on communication. Do you find talk about budget getting in the way of a free-flowing creative process between you and your photographer? It can be a critical moment in the success or failure of your project. Better to talk first about vision and leave the money talk for later.

Your Photo Business Should Start 2013 With a Plan

I love fall.  Not only because the leaves are changing, and we generally have a super busy wedding season, but because towards the end of fall, as our wedding season winds down, we get to take some time, and think about next year and work out a business plan.

The Next Big Thing in Photography: Individual Licensing

The next major disruption in the photo world will be individual licensing – the ability for any individual to license images directly. There are a few forces pointing in that direction.

First, and most visible, is the sheer volume of photos taken. Among those, probabilities tell us, are images of high licensing value. Currently, they are being shared merrily. Soon enough, their author will be looking to earn some revenue from them.

7 Tips to Turn Shooting at Your Office from Disaster to Money-saver

It’s bound to come up.  You need some photos or a video and someone says, “Why don’t we just shoot it here?”  That someone might even be you, but regardless of who suggests it, the seed is planted.  Shooting at the office is a good idea because it can save money.  In addition, co-workers who are participating will be close at hand and have less of a disruption to their day.

Orphan Works: Now’s the Time to Make Yourself Heard as U.S. Copyright Office Considers Your Rights

While much has changed in the legal and business landscape since the last effort to produce a workable Orphan Works Bill, much remains the same. As a result, the U.S. Copyright Office is submitting a request via the Federal Register for comments on the current state of play for orphan works. Specifically, they want to hear from all parties regarding what has changed in the legal and business environment since their 2006 report.  It is critical that photographers understand that the future of photography as a viable revenue stream depends upon you making your voice heard on this matter.

The Fine Art of Producing Schlock

Cary Grant: “My goodness! Where did you get that mink coat?”
Mae West: “Goodness had nothing to do with it, my dear.”

I love that line! It transcends Hollywood and is applicable to everything our free market system stands for. The truth is that people have been selling themselves for ages and in some cases have made a pretty good living at it. It makes no difference whether you are good or mediocre at something, you can succeed if you peddle your wares to the right market. It is no different in photography.

What’s An Image Worth?

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I discuss the value of photographic images. What’s behind the vast differences between what photographers believe images are worth and what most clients are willing to pay for them?

Checking References: How to Hire a Photographer and Not Get Burned

Hiring creative vendors can be a risky adventure. Even if they have an impressive portfolio and you’ve enjoyed talking with them, you shouldn’t gamble your budget on images and rapport alone.

The Leap from Photographer to Publisher: Not As Long As You Might Think

I never thought I’d be a publisher. But my new online magazine is developing a following, and I think that’s due in large part to the skills and resources I developed as a photographer: an appreciation for quality content, an ability to motivate freelancers, a social media following and a clear understanding of editing. I now look at life and the people in it in terms of the beautiful stories that are out there and ready to be shared — through words as well as images.

For Marketers: What To Expect From A Professional Photographer

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I tell marketers what to expect from a professional photographer. When you’re hiring a photographer, the experience should be professional from end to end.

The Top Three Vintage Leica Cameras

Despite the digital revolution, Leica cameras are still worth their salt. First produced in the 1920s and ’30s, they’re now an investment for many. First valued by street photographers and photojournalists during World War II, these wonders were the first cameras to use standard 35mm film.

Software Hasn’t Hurt Photography; It’s Made It Better

My previous article was a very opinionated piece regarding the state of camera/lens design. Some readers may have seen it as Nikon vs. Leica vs. Canon, but who cares? It really is a very personal matter. I had stated that camera and lens design had not changed much over the years, but I neglected to mention that they really did not have to, because the major advances in the past 10 years have been primarily in software.

Reality Check: Professional Photography Is Going Away

Okay, folks, it’s reality check time. Empty your minds of whatever you think photography has been in the past. It’s time to consider what the future will bring.

Email Marketing? How CRM Helps You Maximize Your Email Lists

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I discuss how you can use CRM to make the most of your email lists and marketing. Are you tailoring your emails based on your recipients’ past actions?

A Photographer Praises Instagram

With a user population nearing 100 million — including our President — Instagram is growing at speeds that have already surpassed that of LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr and even Facebook. (And, of course, Facebook took note of that and purchased the app, so let’s hope it doesn’t change too much).

Are Today’s Cameras Really Better?

Do you earn your living or feed your hobby by spending your time looking through a modern DSLR? You must certainly have noticed that progress in photo technology seems to be increasing at an astonishing pace. Every day, manufacturers are adding new models with ever-increasing features, better sensors and growing automation. It seems to be endless. I have to ask though, is this a good thing?

3 Wedding Day Challenges and How to Overcome Them

It is an unfortunate truth that whenever a large group of people is required to come together for a whole day — some of whom are, as author Terry Pratchett would put it, not talking to each other because of what-they-said-about-our-Nancy — hiccups are bound to follow. Months of preparation and obsessing have culminated in a single day on which the bride has envisioned everything going, if not perfectly, then at least without a single disaster.

Is Social Media a Waste of Time?

One of the biggest questions we get from wedding photographers is, “Is social media a waste of time for my business?” And the way many photographers do it, the answer would be yes.