New Business Plan Workbook for Photographers

PHOTOGRAPHERS. If you want to take a more focused, methodical approach to upgrading your photography business in 2014, download a free new workbook from PhotoShelter, a leading provider of photography portfolio websites and marketing tools for photographers. The 2014 Photo Business Plan Workbook is a hands-on resource designed to help photographers strategically grow their businesses in 2014.  

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The 2014 Photo Business Plan Workbook coaches you to critically think through key areas of your business and check off action items as you go. There are tips and concrete examples on how to:

  • Define products and services
  • Determine an audience and addressable market
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Fix finances
  • Tune-up a website
  • Build Search Engine Optimization
  • Optimize social media
  • Create an advisory group
  • Follow up with old clients to generate new business

“If you want to be smart about your photo business and reach more clients in 2014, you need a plan,” said PhotoShelter CEO Andrew Fingerman. “This workbook will help photographers define tactics to elevate their presence online, fine tune their marketing efforts, and approach photography from a focused business perspective.”

The 2014 Photo Business Plan Workbook is the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s library includes 30+ educational guides including topics such as creating a successful photography portfolio, email marketing, and starting a photography business.

About PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter helps people and organizations who are passionate about their photos do more with them. From creating beautiful websites and securely backing up their best images to building an audience and selling photos online, PhotoShelter is trusted by over 80,000 enthusiasts, freelancers, and established pros worldwide.

LINKS

The 2014 Photo Business Plan Workbook

PhotoShelter Library of Photography Business Guides

PhotoShelter

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Hybrid Photographer Will Crockett to Show Photo Pros How to Produce eCards for Clients

PHOTOGRAPHERS. Do you know how to produce an eCard to promote your photography services? Are you prepared to begin offering eProducts to your customers?

During the pre-show DIMA conference before the 2014 PMA@CES event, Hybrid Commercial Photographer Will Crockett of PHOTOchannel.pro will show professional portrait photographers how to create non-printed e-products that combine images with motion and sound.

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Crockett will explain why the popular “eCardPRO” provides an exciting replacement to the printed business card, You will also see that  the eCard is just one type of eProduct that can generate new revenues for your professional photography business.

Crockett will demonstrate how photographers can capture photo, video, and audio files that can wirelessly move from a remote location to a post-production workflow in seconds. After the files are edited into a short video clip by a hybrid-capable pro lab the lab will install the clip on a specialized delivery platform that gives the professional photographer complete control over how the files are delivered to clients for use on their smartphones and tablets.

In Will’s own eCard, he defines a hybrid commercial photographer as one who uses videos, graphics, images, audio, and new media to sculpt the perfect message for a company’s products or services.

The seminar will be held live from 3:00 to 4:15 on Sunday, January 4 and streamed out to the world through a Google+ hangout. It will be recorded for playback just in case you need a second look.

LINKS

eCard for Will Crockett

Pre-show conferences at PMA@CES

About PMA@CES

PMA@CES is the overall presence of PMA at the 2014 International CES produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

As part of PMA@CES presence, DIMA (Digital Imaging Marketing Association) PSPA (Professional School Photographers Association) and SPAA (Sports Photographers Association of America) are hosting their annual pre-show conferences at Bally’s Las Vegas January 5-6, 2014. Additional conference programming is offered by the AIE (Association of Imaging Executives) Future Imaging Summit.

The 2014 International CES®, runs Tuesday, January 7  through Friday, January 10, 2014. It will include PMA@CES conference sessions, the PMA@CES Exhibits plus other events at The LVH (formerly Las Vegas Hilton) next door to the Las Vegas Convention Center and just a short monorail ride away from Bally’s Las Vegas.

The International CES is described as the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years, and has become the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.

Because it is produced by the Consumer Electronics Association, the technology trade association representing the $203 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a forum where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed.

Survey Reveals How Photo Buyers Find and Hire Photographers

PhotoShelter has published results from their 2013 Survey of  What Buyers Want From Photographers. The free report provides insights about how buyers like to be pitched, where they find photographers to hire, and the most important elements of the a photographer’s website.

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The survey results are based on 340 responses from photo buyers and creatives at advertising agencies, design firms, nonprofits, editorial publications, book publishers, and corporations who are part of the Agency Access global database. Agency Access is is a full-service marketing resource that helps freelance artists find work.

The most common titles of the respondents were art director, creative director, art producer, editorial photo editor, copywriter, graphic designer, and senior designer. Some of the companies they worked for include Olgivy & Mather, Saatchi & Saatchi, Conde Nast, Harper Collins, McGraw-Hill Education, Texas Creative, IPC Media, and Modern Luxury.

In the 2013 “What Buyers Want” survey report, the responses are grouped into four categories:

  • Hiring photographers
  • Marketing to photo buyers
  • Websites and file delivery
  • Working with photographers

The results answer common questions such as:

  • Do video skills get you a gig?
  • Where do buyers find photographers and photography?
  • Do buyers hire new photographers?
  • Do buyers search for new talent?
  • Is a photographer’s location key to getting hired?
  • Do buyers take in-person meetings?
  • How important are personal projects?
  • Is a photographer’s company knowledge important?
  • How many images should go in your portfolio?
  • How do buyers like images delivered?

Here are some key findings from PhotoShelter’s 2013 survey of photo buyers:

  • 75.6 percent say that compared to 2012, their budgets are increasing or staying the same.
  • 35.4 percent have discovered a new photographer through social media
  • 71.7 percent say they look at unsolicited marketing pitches that are relevant to their needs
  • 33.6 percent cite “easy navigation” as the most important element of a photographer’s website

PhotoShelter has supplemented the statistical data with interviews with major photo buyers and tips on email and direct-mail promotions.

“A direct-mail piece doesn’t depend as much on the quality or size as it does on the image and typography,” said the photo editor at an editorial publication.”I don’t need fancy envelopes or multi-page glossy hardbound books If the image is memorable, I will put it up on my wall or in my box of promos to keep.”

On the importance of personalizing a pitch, one ad agency creative director offered this advice: “Make sure your email comes across as genuine. This means don’t act like a car salesman with gimmicky phrases and subject lines. Make the email personal. We can smell a form letter in seconds.”

Factors that influence hiring decisions include the photographer’s personality, level of interest in the project, location, pricing, and schedule conflicts.

One marketing agency representative said, “Personality and a photographer’s lack of interest can be major obstacles. We have found artists based on their work, but once we call to get to know him or her better, their personality can sway our decision.”

Learn from Previous Surveys

For an even more thorough understanding of what photo buyers look for, download the survey results from 2011 and 2012. The 2011 and 2012 “What Photo Buyers Want” surveys are part of PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers. PhotoShelter’s library includes 30+ educational guides on topics such as creating a successful photography portfolio, email marketing, and starting a photography business.

About PhotoShelter and Agency Access

PhotoShelter offers professional, reliable and innovative online tools to build and grow a successful photography business. Its latest release, Beam, offers a suite of portfolio website templates built with the latest technology to showcase images at their best. Over 80,000 photographers use PhotoShelter’s websites, social and SEO tools, online image archives, and image delivery and e-commerce tools.

Two PhotoShelter executives, Allen Murabayashi and Andrew Fingerman, will present a seminar on “Building the Right Audience Online” at PDN PhotoPlus Expo in New York. The seminar is scheduled from 1:30 to 3:30 pm on Thursday, October 24.

Agency Access provides direct marketing for commercial photographers, illustrators, artist reps and stock agencies. They offer educational services, consulting and design services, integrated marketing tools, phone marketing support, and access to a global database of 90,000-plus commercial art buyers at ad agencies, magazines, book publishers, in-house advertising departments, graphic design firms and architectural firms.

LINKS

PhotoShelter

2013 Survey: What Buyers Want from Photographers

PhotoShelter Library of Business Guides for Photographers

Agency Access

 

Free Guides Offer Expert Tips on Building a Portrait Photography Business

PhotoShelter, a leading provider of portfolio websites and online sales tools for professional photographers, has published two free educational guides for anyone who wants to build a business around portrait photography.

Growing Your Portrait Photography Business: Part 1” offers tips for photographers who want to shoot portraits  of families, kids, and high-school seniors. Part 2 is for photographers who want to shoot commercial or editorial portraits for ad agencies, publications, and corporate clients.

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Both of the “Growing Your Portrait Photography” guides are available free from the PhotoShelter library of business guides.

Part 1: Families, Kids, and Senior Portrait Photography

The introduction to this guide points out that, “Photographers in this market have to enjoy working with groups, understand family dynamics, and should be great with children, teens or babies.

This guide explains how to build a portrait photography business from the ground up. Read how to price work, create a personable brand, and influence word-of-mouth referrals.

The guide discusses how to:

  • Grow a presence online
  • Capture a subject’s personality
  • Read body language
  • Find the right location
  • Manage the styling
  • Be an expert storyteller
  • Demonstrate a unique style when shooting kids and seniors.

Successful family and senior portrait photographers explain how they target their ideal clients, determine pricing packages and fees, build real connections with clients, and develop a brand. 

Laura Novak, founder of Little Nest Photos, explains that, “There isn’t one way of developing your brand, but you must have a heightened awareness of every interaction with your customers and think about things from their perspective.”

Part 2: Editorial and Commercial Portrait Photography

Shooting portraits for editorial and commercial use is substantially different from shooting photos for families and kids — mostly because you have the develop relationships with both the subject and the client. Clients for editorial and commercial portraits are creatives for publications, corporations, and marketing agencies.

Editorial portraits (of celebrities, writers, etc.) are created specifically for publications. Commercial portraits are used for personal promotions or advertising campaigns.

In this guide, you’ll find expert advice on how to:

  • Impress photo editors with an exceptional online portfolio
  • Prepare for a shoot by asking certain questions before you arrive
  • Provide the type of customer service that strengthens relationships with clients
  • Price your services and negotiate contracts and licenses

Seasoned editorial and commercial photographers such as  Brian Smith, Jim Jordan and Jason Myers share tips on shooting killer portrait photography, including secrets to great portrait lighting and techniques for capturing big personalities.

The guide points out that photographers who specialize in editorial or commercial portraits must juggle client’s expectations and visions while building a rapport with the subject(s): “You need to be a good people person, build great relationships, make sure your subjects feel comfortable — and network, network, network to get the word out.”

Photographer Nicolle Clemetson says it’s OK to relax and be yourself. Instead of trying to shoot and act like I thought others in the industry wanted to see, she says, “I found that I was happiest and producing my best work when I stopped caring about what others thought… Now, I’m shooting the projects I want to shoot with people who have the same attitude and energy that I do.”  

About PhotoShelter

“Growing Your Portrait Photography Business, Parts 1 and 2” are the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s library includes 30+ educational guides including topics such as creating a successful photography portfolio, email marketing, and starting a photography business.

PhotoShelter offers professional, reliable and innovative online tools to build and grow a successful photography business. Its latest release, Beam, offers a suite of portfolio website templates built with the latest technology to showcase images at their best. More than 80,000 photographers use PhotoShelter’s websites, social and SEO tools, online image archives, and image delivery and e- commerce tools. You can try PhotoShelter free for 14 days

LINKS

Growing Your Portrait Photography Business Part 1: Families, Kids, and Senior Portrait Photography

Growing Your Portrait Photography Business Part 2: Editorial and Commercial Portrait Photography

PhotoShelter Library of Free Business Guides

About PhotoShelter

 

Guide Explains How to Grow Your Sports Photography Business

GrowingSportsPhotogBizPHOTOGRAPHERS. If you are serious about making a full-time living from photography, it’s essential to have a realistic understanding of the market as it exists today.

One great source of information about all facets of the current photography business is PhotoShelter, which specializes in portfolio websites and online selling tools for professional photographers. They have researched and written an excellent series of educational guides in which they interview both successful sellers and current buyers of different types of photography.

“Growing Your Sports Photography Business” is the focus of the newest educational guide from PhotoShelter. Providing an in-depth look at the sports photography industry today, it includes tips for sports-focused storytelling and advice on how to corner a market, build relationships, and get hired.

“Sports photographers face unique challenges in the marketplace,” said PhotoShelter CEO, Andrew Fingerman. “In this guide, we wanted to give aspiring and seasoned sports photographers alike insights about how they can shoot the sports they love and make a living doing it,”

The guide notes that a lot has changed in the sports photography market over the past decade. While the technology has made easier for everyone to capture action shots, many sports clubs and associations already have exclusive contracts with large photography agencies.

To succeed in sports photography, you may need to diversity and excel in multiple niches. In addition to being skilled in capturing action shots, you may need to perfect your techniques for shooting environment portraits or arena architecture.

Growing Your Sports Photography Business includes business and marketing insights from seasoned sports photographers and buyers such as Rich Clarkson, Brad Mangin, and the Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated, Brad Smith.

In this guide, you can learn how to:

  • Build a sports photography brand
  • Find potential clients
  • Attract attention from those looking to hire
  • Get smart about licensing and image rights
  • Master a workflow from the field to a client’s inbox

PhotoShelter’s e-book library includes 25+ educational guides including topics such as social media, email marketing, Google Analytics, SEO for photographers, and starting a photography business. Other titles related to growing a photography include:

Growing Your Event Photography Business

How to Grow a Wedding Photography Business

Selling Nature Photography

Selling Fine Art Photography

PhotoShelter offers professional, reliable and innovative online tools that can help you  build and grow a successful photography business. Its latest release, Beam, offers a suite of portfolio website templates built with the latest technology to showcase images at their best.

LINKS

Growing Your Sports Photography Business

PhotoShelter Educational Guides

Introducing Beam: A New Platform for Cutting Edge Portfolio Websites

About PhotoShelter

 

Guide Explains How to Exhibit Your Photography

ExhibitingPhotographyMore photographers now have opportunities to exhibit their work, thanks to the rapid increase in the number and range of photography exhibitions and venues. Today, photography is not only exhibited in museums and galleries, but also in community centers, open studios, cafes, bars, restaurants, libraries, temporary event spaces, theater lobbies, schools, photo competitions, and street displays.

For tips on how to exhibit your photographs in a way that will maximize the benefits of the exposure, check out the book “Exhibiting Photography: A Practical Guide to Displaying Your Work, 2nd Edition.”

In the book, author Shirley Read leads you through all of the details associated with exhibiting your photography. Using real-life case studies and anecdotes, she discusses everything from finding a space and designing the exhibition to constructing a show and publicizing yourself, 

Chapters cover topics such as preparation, storage and archiving, approaching a gallery, the curator’s role, publicity materials, mailing lists and audiences, printing for exhibition, and hanging the exhibition. In this newly expanded second edition, Shirley Read further illuminates the world of social networking and exhibiting and selling photography online.

The guide includes photos of internationally successful exhibitions, checklists, and good questions to ask before accepting an opportunity to exhibit your work. Shirley Read emphasizes that before exhibiting your work, you must be sure that your work will be presented well in any context, that appropriate information will be available, and that your work will be treated with respect.

“No one can predict what an exhibition will bring the exhibitor or who will see it,” writes Read. She points out that even if the exhibition doesn’t generate big sales or glowing reviews, the exposure can lead to other opportunities such as teaching offers, commissioned work, magazine spreads, or other exhibitions.

Shirley Read is an independent curator based in London. She teaches exhibition workshops and writes for photography publications. This book was published in June, 2013 by Focal Press.

LINKS

Exhibiting Photography: A Practical Guide to Displaying Your Work

Guide Describes 11 Secrets of a Great Photography Website

PHOTOGRAPHERS. A free guide from PhotoShelter provides a quick, easy-to-read overview of “11 Secrets to a Great Photo Website.” They point that your website must quickly convince visitors that they have found exactly what they are looking for: If your website helps them do that, and clients are impressed with with your professionalism, “there’s a solid chance they will do business with you, come back again, and tell their friends to do the same.”  Paying attention to a few commonly overlooked details could result in more jobs.

The experts at PhotoShelter recommend evaluating your website once a year, especially as your business grows and evolves. Does it continue to provide the tools, features, and flexibility you need to help grow your presence online and beyond?

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The 20-page guide discusses 11 ways your website can be adjusted to attract more clients and photo buyers, encourage word-of-mouth referrals, and grow your business. It also previews PhotoShelter’s newest portfolio offerings, which can help your photos look their best, whether they are being viewed on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

“These days, people are viewing your website on all kinds of devices, and technology is allowing for sites to automatically scale to the appropriate size without the need for an app,” the guide explains. With responsive website design, images will literally resize to fit the screen they are viewed on. Responsive website designs offer SEO and social media advantages and eliminate the need to update content in multiple locations.

The guide includes 10 questions to ask when choosing a photo website provider and advice for photographers who fear image theft if they display large, full-bleed images on their sites.
The guide “11 Secrets to a Great Photo Website” is the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s e-book library includes 25+ educational guides including topics such as social media, email marketing, and starting a photography business.

LINKS

11 Secrets to a Great Photo Website

About PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter’s Free Business Guides for Photographers