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Since is my last ezine of the year, I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for being loyal followers this year. Whether you've been with us for all of 2009, or joined us somewhere along the way, I'm honored to be able to share my ideas with you, and help you build the business side of photography. Photography has been so successful for us, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to share ideas with you.
As an extra special "Thank You", I have 2 gifts for you this season. (With more coming up in January!)
The first, I need a little participation from you. I want to know your most successful tip for using Facebook or Twitter. Share it by emailing me, using Twitter or Facebook, or simply leave a comment on my blog post. In January I'll be putting a very special ebook together with all of your answers - and a few of my own - and sharing this with you to help get you started in 2010. But you only have until December 24th to share - so let's hear it. Share your tip now>>
And second, I want to give you access to my newest product, one that will help you jumpstart your 2010 business, at an extra special holiday pr1ce. I created "How To Double Your Sales Without Marketing To New Prospects" especially for photographers that hate the idea of selling, yet really want to make their photography business boom. My gift to you is only good through December 31st, so take a look now - and jumpstart your business for 2010! Get your copy now>>
Thanks again for everything you do. I look forward to sharing more with you next year.
10 Reasons Professional Photographers Charge What They Do
10. Professional photographers are in business, and as a business, need to make a profit. Because they make it their career, they dedicate themselves to becoming the best they can be, and share that knowledge with their clientele.
9. Professional photographers have to buy professional equipment. Nope, they don't just pick up a point-and-shoot from Wal-Mart and declare themselves a professional. They spend thousands upon thousands of dollars getting multiple camera bodies, the finest lenses, flash equipment for every situation, tripods, light stands, backdrops, props, carrying and storage cases. And then when you think you have it all - you need to get backups for everything to make sure you never miss an image.
8. Professional photographers continue their education, and learn as much as they can about the business. They join groups like Professional Photographers of America or the National Press Photographers Association. They attend seminars and training by some of the best names in the business. They concentrate on becoming the best they can be.
7. Professional photographers don't just snap a picture, they create a photograph. They understand positioning. They understand lighting. They understand placement. You're not just paying for the ability to place a finger on the trigger and snap a picture. You're paying for the years of experience it took to create the perfect image.
6. Professional photographers can spend hours producing one professional photograph. Time can include:
creating the marketing
answering emails and phone calls
meeting with the client to talk about the event
setting up for the event
drive time to and from the event
time for the actual photographing
running to and from the lab
meeting with the client for previews and decisions
processing the image
retouching the image
mounting the image
framing the image
packaging the image
dropping off final images
follow up work
Add it all up, and you can see why one portrait session may include hours worth of work. It's impossible to stay in business if you only make a few pennies per client.
5. Professional photographers have to be more than photographers. They have to be CEOs and marketers, and bankers, and salespeople, and production workers, and janitors, and buyers, and negotiators, and networkers, and drivers, and organizers. And photographers. That's a lot of skills for one person to master.
4. Professional photographers will do it all. Want to get married at the top of a 14,000 foot high mountain, where the only way up is a 30 minute ski-lift ride? A professional photographer will be there. Want a portrait running through the waves on a Southern California beach? A professional photographer will be there.
3. Professional photographers aren't just order takers, they provide total customer service. Professionals photograph dozens or even hundreds of clients a year. They understand what looks good, how to put together albums, and how to group multiple photographs together. Their goal is to provide you with what you need and what's best for you - not just have you sign on the dotted line.
2. Professional photographers watch for the newest, most innovative, creative products available. They stay up to date on industry news, and find things that perfectly match their clients taste. They don't try and fit you into something you don't like - they find out what you want and search the world over for the perfect things. They are the professional.
1. Professional photographers have the knowledge and the skill to make you look the best you can be. I can buy a hammer for a few dollars at the hardware store. Yet I spent hundreds of dollars for a handyman to repair my deck. I can buy a needle and thread for a few dollars at the fabric store. Yet I spent over $100 on alterations at a local tailor. It's not about the tools; it's about the outcome.
Sure, anyone can buy a camera and take a picture. You can head down to your local discount store, wait several hours and have a minimum wage clerk place you on an X and snap a few pictures. But they can't get what a professional can get. They won't concentrate on expressions. They won't advise you on outfits and locations. They won't provide 110 percent customer service. You won't get a professional portrait.
Are you a professional?
How A Clothing Consultation Can Raise The Revenue Of Your Portraits
Without a little coaching for you, your clients will show up in just about anything for a family portrait. Some may think of trying to match, while others will show up in whatever is comfortable - making for a truly "memorable" portrait experience.
Instead of leaving clothing choices up to your clients, teach them about clothing instead. Even a few minutes over the phone, or a few minutes browsing your website for ideas can make all the difference in the world.
Overall, there are 7 tips you should share with your clients, and have samples ready to show to illustrate the point.
1. Choose one color hue per portrait. People stand out if they are different from the norm of the photograph. If the majority of the people show up in black sweaters, and one shows up in red, the photograph will be dominated by the one in red.
The Secret To Getting Your Photo Business Up To Number One On Google
My Monday mornings are filled with catching up on email from the weekend, and organizing my to-do lists for the week. I also spend some time brainstorming topics for my blog posts for the coming week.
My blog posts undoubtedly come from emails and conversations I had during the previous week. In today's email was an email from David, and after answering something similar several times in the past week, I decided this would be the best way to start out this week. David asks:
"I've been reading this blog for the past couple of months, and am so glad to have it as a resource. I am already using quite a few of your tips. But one thing I'm having trouble with is understanding how to get Google to notice me. I know you've mentioned how quickly you can get Google to rank your posts. Please tell me what your secret weapon is for getting Google to notice you. I really want people to find me easily when they search Google."
Well David, let me tell you the secret. The secret to getting ranked number one on Google is ... understanding there is no secret weapon, easy system, or hidden tricks to getting ranked on Google.
Get ready for 2010 with a little bit of Lynda
As you are finishing up client work for the holidays, how are you planning to prepare for the New Year?
I love December because it means it's time to reflect on what I've done the previous year, and use all of my new knowledge to help plan for a successful coming year.
One of the things I'm planning on doing this coming year is become more skilled at some of the software packages we use every day. I know how to use Photoshop and Illustrator, but in order to accomplish some of my goals, I'm going to have to improve my skills and learn even more.
Luckily it isn't going to take thousands of dollars, flying to a new city for a week intensive training course, or starting out in a college-style course. Instead, I've found a great tool that I really love.
lynda software tutorials
make it easy to learn anything, anytime, at the lowest c0st possible. I love lynda and am learning a lot by watching their helpful videos. If you've never seen lynda, head over and check it out. I know you're going to love it as much as I do.
Get started with lynda software tutorials
About Andrew and Lori
Andrew and Lori Osterberg are co-founders of VirtualPhotographyStudio.com
, a site dedicated to providing tips, resouces and advice for using your camera to build a successful photography business.
Through their coaching, workshops, training and products, Andrew and Lori show you how to break through the desire of wanting photography to be more than a hobby, and provide you with the how-to to actually accomplish it.
To begin experiencing Andrew and Lori's coaching, consider their highly successful Photography For Success, Freedom and 1ncome
If you liked today's issue, you'll love following Andrew and Lori through all of their high-content training products
, newsletter, and online posts. Their goal is to provide you with all you need to help you live the life others only dream of.