Love Your Photos And Do Them Justice

July 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured Articles

Love Your Photos And Do Them Justice

You pamper the things you cherish and your photos and memories should be no exception.  Creatively framing your photos and art shows that you have respect for your subject.   Let’s play “pretend” for a moment.  You have just purchased the car of your dreams.  “She” is fast, sleek and everything you have been dreaming up in your mind as being the “perfect car.”  You have worked long and hard; now, after years of driving experience and financial improvement, you have afforded yourself this luxury.

You drive her home extra carefully while en route; even checking your mirrors for cyclists and pedestrians.  Once home, you gently slow to a complete stop and turn off the ignition.  Leaving the windows down, you park your car on the side of the street, a bit too close to the cars on each side and leave your car unlocked.  Without a glance back, you walk calmly inside your home.

You may have just heard a record scratch to silence in the background and if so, you are right on point that the end action in the above scenario does not do your car justice.  That car deserves a garage, security and shelter; every bit as much as your photographs and artwork deserve a secure and perfectly-suited frame.  For instance, if your photo is of nature, you may want to bring out certain colors by selecting a frame that will enhance those specific hues.  Or, perhaps you have a print of a Renaissance painting that would look regal in an intricate gold frame.

In addition to taking the contents into consideration when creating your frame, include the intimate aspects involved, as well: the customer involved, or if it is representing your business, your values, mission statement or personality.  Framing is a creative process; enjoy it and your efforts will be rewarded by being a pleasure to view on walls for years to come.

How has creating the right frame enhanced your photograph or artistic piece?

Your Photography Thumbprint

July 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured Articles

What is your photography thumbprint?

Giles Duley is a photographer and triple amputee; having lost both legs and his left arm in Afghanistan on a photo shoot.  As he lay semi-conscious after the blast of the bomb, he assessed his situation.  He saw his clothes, his smoldering and detached left arm and could not feel his legs.  The first thought he had was, “Right hand?  Eyes?’ ” — he realized that all of these were intact — ‘I can work,’” (Chivers, 2011).  Talk about a dedicated spirit and strength of character!

Photography, as with any passion or pastime, is as much an art as it is a science.  As such, your work should showcase the heart of your subject or client in a respective manner.  What should also not be overlooked is the importance of your photographic “thumbprint.”  Your thumbprint is unique to you; it is what is within the core of every photograph you create.  It is how your perspective on a given subject is displayed within the photo.  It is essential to your ongoing success as a photographer to remind yourself why you are or would like to pursue this passion.  Be your own coach!  We are often quick to advise and encourage others; why not place perfecting your own passion on the “to-do list”?

With jobs, family and other obligations, it is easy to talk yourself out of pursuing your passions.  Just keep Giles Duley in mind.  Not even a life-changing bomb could keep him from doing what he loves!  Now that you have committed yourself to being a photographer, don’t give up!  By doing this, you will find that your heartfelt intentions come through in your work and your clients will appreciate the thumbprint you have caressed their photographs with.

Cited:

Chivers, C.J. (2011, July 8). Bomb took 3 limbs, but not photographer’s can-do spirit. The New York Times, A4.

Marketing Your Photography Business in the Age of Social Media

Marketing Your Photography Business in the Age of Social Media
By Jenna Kageyama | flutter glass PHOTOGRAPHY

If you need a real estate agent, or a mechanic, or a good restaurant to try out, where would you look? By looking up any of these online, you will find the amount of search results to be nothing short of overwhelming, and photography businesses are no exception to this. Wouldn’t a personal recommendation from your neighbor or your best friend from college carry more weight? In the ‘age of too much information’ the personal referral means more than ever!

The vast world of social media can be a powerful tool to market your photography business, and best of all – it’s FREE. Well, not exactly free… you will need to roll up your sleeves and invest a good chunk of your day to growing your network. Here are some tips on how to get started:

The Website & Blog
Your website is your home base and the most important part of your business (even more than that really expensive lens you’ve had your eye on!). One important thing to remember about your web presence is, first and foremost, it must exist. Often, photographers can be visual perfectionists, and we want to make sure our website is exactly how we want it before launching. But, I have some bad news – it will probably never be exactly how you want it. So, instead of driving yourself or your web designer crazy, just close your eyes, make the site live and be happy that your business now has a pulse!

I’ll just say this as plainly as I can – if you don’t have a blog, you are doing it wrong . Yes – having an easy to navigate and attractive website portfolio is fantastic, but if you forgo the blogging, you are missing out on HUGE benefits:
• Blogs are free! You can always build a fancy custom blog at a later time.
• SEO – your posts will contain all kinds of key words for search engines to find and lead people directly to your site (don’t forget to link out as much as possible)!
• Keep everyone updated! Show clients work that is current and blog the photos that you are excited about.
• Give your business some personality. Talk about what inspires you about a particular photo shoot or event.
Your blog is the most important tool you have not to just get clients, but also to get the kind of clients that you want.

Get Reviews
If your client is not a referral, they will want to find out what other people are saying about you and your business. If you shoot weddings, I recommend WeddingWire or other similar sites – registration on these sites is free, so no photographer should not be listed! These reviews will give your clients valuable information about your performance on the job. One client of mine wrote some very nice things about how much she loved her photos, but she also included in the review, “Jenna was a ‘ninja photographer’ and I never even saw her other than the traditional family portrait time.” This tells prospective clients something that I could never really show them through my website – that I’m not going to be in their face all day and turn their entire wedding into a photo shoot directed by me, yet I will still be able to capture images that will last them a lifetime!

Facebook & Twitter
In addition to reviews, social media sites are key to developing your web presence. Facebook allows you to link up past, present and future clients. Instead of handing out a stack of cards to all the guests at a wedding, I upload a few previews of the event on my Facebook page and share them with the bride and groom. If they are active on Facebook, they will probably link others to the photos. Rather than wasting all that paper, in a few easy steps, I am sharing with everyone at that wedding who I am and the kind of photos that I take. Facebook & Twitter are also a great way to network with other professionals. I always try to link to other businesses I’ve enjoyed working with, and it’s also a good resource for my clients to see my endorsements.

Get Published
There are a TON of blogs out there hungry for great photos and great stories. Identify the top blogs that you think would be a good fit for your business. Resizing your photos and submitting will definitely cost you time and energy, but if they like your work you will get free advertising with a targeted audience. Also, many of these blogs have affordable advertising options that you may want to consider as well!

Create Synergy
All of these elements are useful alone, but making them work together will exponentially increase their value. All of my business emails contain this signature:

Jenna Kageyama 
flutter glass PHOTOGRAPHY

 web: flutterglass.com
 email: jenna@flutterglass.com 
facebook: facebook.com/flutterglass twitter: http://twitter.com/flutterglass phone: 619.952.6780

My blog also leads people directly to my Facebook & Twitter accounts with large icons and real time updates for each! Of course, these social sites also lead back to my blog and website as well.

There are many ways to do things of course, but whether you are just starting out in the photography business or you are a seasoned professional, I highly recommend taking advantage of these free marketing options.

Generating More Referrals for Your Photography Business

February 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured Articles, How to Profit

Picture This: Watch Your Profits Grow with Custom Frames

It’s no secret that custom framing photographs add to the overall appeal of an art piece, but custom framing can also increase purchase rates and make you money. Your artwork deserves a tasteful frame, and since you are the photographer with the keen eye, you know best. Leaving your photographs frameless is a missed opportunity to ensure your work looks its best.  A photo in a drawer can’t be generating any conversion or referrals about your work.

Snapping an amazing photograph is no easy task. Photographers know that all the elements have to come together to form the perfect shot; elements inside and outside of your control. You’ve spent countless hours perfecting your technique, and the culmination of all your hard work is finding the perfect frame to showcase your masterpiece. Developing a photograph is not the last step in the artistic process; the final touch is picking out a frame that will enhance your photograph. “With a frame you have control over your print and you should because it’s your name and your reputation,” says GNP CEO Robin Gross.

“People won’t distinguish your work from the frame; your frame is part of the process.”

Custom framing helps increase profit through visibility as well. Your photographs are your advertisements, and the sooner those ads are up, the quicker you will see a return on investment. If a client buys an unframed photograph from your collection, who knows how long it will take to be displayed. When you hand your client a print, you don’t want it to go into a drawer,” says Gross. “If you hand a customer a photograph in a frame, you know it’s going straight to the wall.”

If you’re apprehensive about upfront costs, as a reseller, don’t worry! GNP Frame prices their frames very aggressively so you can maximize your profit. Another benefit to offering custom framing is that you will be providing your customers with a full service. Custom framing helps photographers make more money, sell a finished product, and helps their clients decide what to do with their pictures.

So give your clients something to brag about, showcase your art work, and provide your customers with a 100% finished product. It’s a win, win.