5 Online Photography Portfolio Mistakes to Avoid

Curious to know if you’re at fault for one of these common online photography portfolio mistakes? Read on – about loading time, the importance of contact information, the vital presence of passion, and plenty more errors that many otherwise skilled and professional photographers can succumb to. Bear them in mind, when you work on articulating a coherent online presence and business is sure to freely flow in.

Your contact info is not crystal clear

Let’s not beat around the bush about this one – one of the most frequently encountered online photography portfolio mistakes. If your contact information is not literally plastered on each and every single page of your website, portfolio included, then you’re definitely doing something wrong. Think about it: how else are you supposed to attract new business, if your potential clients don’t know how they could reach you? And, no, putting your contact information up on the first page is often not enough since, contrary to what you may think, most visitors to your website don’t start their visit with the main page.

You’re all business and no fun

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We get it: your job is photographing weddings. Or commercial products. Or architecture. But do you actually like what you shoot? Are you passionate about your job, your subjects, and the stories you convey visually? Another one of those dreaded online photography portfolio mistakes that we often run into is that photographers all too often focus on coming across as professional and don’t manage to convince us, their audience, that they’re actually passionate about what they shoot – be it weddings, clothes, or luncheon meats.

You don’t know your audience

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Be honest to yourself: in the day and age of SEO and Google Analytics supremacy, even your grandma would probably be able to take one look at the traffic data your website provides and understand the audience’s profile and needs. Your online photography portfolio needs to speak to actual people. What kind of monitor are they likely to have? What’s their age? Where do they live? What pages do they interact with and how? Are they more likely to browse your site off a PC or a mobile device, like a laptop, tablet, or smartphone? You need to know all these things and make sure your website design responds to them.

You avoid words

Yes, your main occupation is working with images – but you need to remember that one of the biggest online photography portfolio mistakes is to not include any words whatsoever on your page. On the Internet, words are your friend. Not only do they help with SEO, but they also enable you, the artist, to tell a more complete story. If your work ends up featured in a magazine or on a website, chances are your words are going to follow it there. And, most importantly, your potential clients will get a better shot at understanding how you work and what drives you.

The loading time is through the roof

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The one biggest pet peeve, for people who browse photo-heavy websites is a long loading time. A recent buyer survey from Photo Shelter has revealed that absolutely no one likes to be kept waiting around, until the pictures on a website have finished loading. We’re talking load times that need to be far lower than even one second. Otherwise, your visitors are going to perceive a break in the pace at which they’re used to browsing – and simply head elsewhere. There are plenty of website optimization tricks to help speed up loading time, including pre-loading a part of the images, as visitors browse, and so on. Don’t let such a seemingly small issue drag the quality of your whole website down.

5 Tips on Building the Best Photo Portfolio Website

Say what you will, but building the best photo portfolio website is still important, even in 2014 – the day and age of social media, mobile apps and all other great digital trends. Why does a good website still matter? The answer is simple enough and has a lot to do with one of the most basic principles in marketing: a website for your photo brand is the most comprehensive way for a potential client to sample your work and decide whether or not they want to hire you. They’ll be basing their decision on what they see there to a great extent, so it pays off to know how to best represent your brand and showcase your work. That being said, here are five efficient tips on how to build the best photo portfolio website for yourself.

#1 Getting praise for website design? Think again

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There’s nothing inherently wrong with having a website design that gets a lot of compliments… if you’re a website designer. But you’re not; you’re a wedding photographer and that’s what your site should convey. Forget complex Flash animations and other artifices. Keep it simple and clean, let the photos speak for themselves, keep the number of buttons at a bare minimum, and, if possible, even add an option that conceals them when they’re not being used. K-I-S-S, as they say, and you’ll be on your way to building the best photo portfolio website possible.

#2 Reconsider your views on image theft

This point might turn out controversial, but it bears mentioning. As you may or may not have noticed, more and more photographers with a strong online presence choose to put their images up at full-screen size on their website. They’re also keeping the area of the picture that’s taken up by the watermark at a bare minimum (as do major image repositories such as Getty Images). Of course, you want to protect your images from being stolen, but you also want to see them featured, shared, and admired. It’s easy to protect your full-size images from being downloaded with a right-click blocker, for instance; similarly, too big a watermark might deter your visitors from actually looking at the pictures.

#3 It’s a website, not a brain puzzle

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Another sure-fire way to create the best photo portfolio website you can is to make sure it’s efficient, in terms of user-friendliness. Keep your number of featured categories at a bare minimum, too. Don’t get too creative with naming them, or the labels, tags, categories, and menu buttons you’re using. It might seem fun at first, but you also risk alienating visitors. It should be simple to get to see the pictures – and this involves a choice of wording that your viewers will understand and that is also typical of your niche.

#4 Go mobile

This is 2014 – everyone and their grandmother is browsing the web off a smartphone, tablet, or another type of mobile device. These devices have smaller screens and they also react differently to usage patterns. As such, make sure you’re investing into the development of a mobile, responsive design version for your website. The best photo portfolio website you can build is definitely not one that looks the same on a computer screen as it does on an iPhone.

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#5 You are your own worst editor

It may sound harsh and it could even be too much to stomach for some photographers, but the truth is that you’re better off hiring an editor, when trying to build a website. They will do a far better job than you at selecting the pictures in the first place, since they’re not as emotionally attached to them as you are. And, as they say, a photographer’s portfolio is only as good as the worst picture in it.

The Lowdown: What Are the Setup Costs of a Photography Startup?

Are you really a professional photographer, or are you a passionate amateur – but one who’s ultimately pretending to be a pro? Often enough, the one differentiator between pros and amateurs is working up the courage to start a legal photography business. It’s not enough to have a camera, website, Facebook page, and a couple of gigs here and there (either for money, or for ‘exposure’). The one essential ingredient you need is to take your photography business seriously – because, until you do, no one else is going to take it seriously either. Now, of course, before you decide on the matter, it’s only normal to want to figure out the setup costs of a photography startup. That’s where we come in, with today’s blog post: a rundown of all the major costs you are likely to face, in your quest to open a new photo biz.

The gear setup costs of a photography startupsetup-costs-for-a-photography-startup01

·         Cameras

Make no mistake, you’re going to need at least two of them, in order to be prepared to deal with camera malfunctions. The pros’ best recommendation for wedding photographers is the Nikon D610 ($2,000 a piece) – you’re going to need two bodies, sans the lens included in the full kit.

·         Lenses

One of the most important investments, in terms of setup costs of a photography startup, is that into lenses. Here’s the kit that the pros recommend: Nikon 35mm f/2.0 ($350), Nikon 50mm f/1.8 ($299), Nikon 85mm f/1.8 ($499) and the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 ($2,400). About that last lens: yes, it is expensive, but it’s absolutely essential for wedding photogs who often shoot in low light conditions, such as churches.

·         Other gear

A couple of flashes are mandatory and, if you go for the Nikon D610, you might want to opt for two Nikon SB-700 flashes ($329 a pop). Additionally, the rest of the accoutrements: camera bags, memory cards, stands for lights, flash triggers, reflectors, etc. Be prepared to spend at least $500 on them (though $1,000 sounds like a more realistic amount).

Business setup costs

setup-costs-for-a-photography-startup02Let’s get down to the pure business setup costs of a photography startup now. First off, you’re going to have to pay $125 for incorporating your business. Then, you’re going to want to have that business insured, for roughly $600. The services of an accountant will cost you about $300 per year, and a money and client manager to keep track of your finances will add an extra $130, let’s say, to the total tally. A showcase of product samples can cost anywhere between $200 and $1,000.

Then comes the issue of legal fees – you’re going to want your contracts to be completely in order. Ideally, you should seek out a lawyer with previous experience in the field of photography, or one who’s a photographer themselves. Hourly fees are about $400 to $2,000, but you can also purchase ready-made contracts online ($55 to $450) and have your lawyer review them.

Computer & online costs

As far as IT and tech setup costs for photography startups go, you know that there’s no way you can survive without an iMac, and that’s at least $1,299 right there. Then, you will want to invest in a color calibration tool for your screen, a couple of backup hard drives, and licenses to use Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop suites. All in all, these items are going to cost you an extra $450, with the amendment that software licenses need to be renewed each year. And since we’re on the topic of yearly costs, also add yearly hosting and domain name costs for your website (about $70/year), plus a website theme (a good one shouldn’t cost more than $50).

Of course, you might want to invest in some training and business streamlining tools, such as a pricing guide workbook ($150 to $250), a marketing course (about $800), a sales guide ($250). These are optional, but, chances are, they will help you make a lot more money faster, once you invest. So, once you draw the line, expect to put in about $15,000 in your wedding photography business right from the get-go. How does this amount sound for you?

YouTube Video Optimization for Photographers: 5 Tricks

youtube-video-optimization-for-photographersIf you’re a professional photographer, not only do you (hopefully) have an online showcase of your work, as well as a website and a regularly updated blog – but you are also active on social media and know a thing or two about SEO. Now, content optimization for search engines is neither brain surgery, nor rocket science, but it’s the sort of differentiator that can turn your business into a highly profitable one, when used properly. This is why today we bring you five ideas on how YouTube video optimization for photographers and videographers can bring you new business leads and help you grow your profit margin. They can be used both for branding, as well as for marketing purposes and are a great way to increase your visibility. So here’s what you need to do:

#1 Create a video

It goes without saying that the building block of YouTube video optimization for photographers is actually putting that video out there. Some photographers are camera shy, understandably enough: after all, your job is to stand behind the lens, not in front of it. But the thing is you don’t need to be on camera, in order to create your video ‘business card’, as it were. You can use a platform like Animoto to turn your pictures into a video – and you will definitely want to do that, since, in case you didn’t know, YouTube is the world’s largest search engine, second only to the web giant that owns it, Google itself.

#2 Tagging is essential for YouTube video optimization for photographers

All right, so now you’ve got your video ready to hit the intertubes – but before you upload it, there’s one essential step you need to fiddle with and perfect. That’s tagging, i.e. attaching tags to your work. They work like labels and are best employed as keywords that potential clients in your area are already searching for. They can be anything along the lines of “wedding photography in [your area]”, “[your area] wedding photographer”, or anything along those lines. Choose top targeted keywords as tags and make sure to enter them into the Details tab of the video’s properties, in the title, subtitle, target, and comment areas. In order to find the most appropriate keywords to use, you can always get some hints by using the Keyword Planner function in Google’s AdWords platform.

#3 Use a good title for your video

This one might go without saying, but it’s important to mention, since it’s the second step in our crash course on YouTube video optimization for photographers that needs to be performed before the video is uploaded. Use the top ranking keyword among those you’ve culled out to use as tags. Another important tip is to use the keyword in the beginning of the title, since this lends it more ‘weight’ in the eyes of search engine crawlers.

#4 Drive traffic back to you

The main purpose of YouTube video optimization for photographers is to lead potential business back to your main HQ, which is probably your website or online portfolio. For this purpose, you’re going to want to include a link to said domain as early on as possible in the video description. Use a clear call to action and make sure the link is visible, or else risk losing a business lead in the endless pool of distraction that is YouTube.

#5 Use GeoTagging

Chances are that, if you’re a wedding photographer, you’re going to want clients in your area to find you – receiving the admiration of viewers across the globe may be flattering but, at the end of the day, it doesn’t help lift those profit margins. So add Geo Tags to local videos, via the Advanced Settings option of your account on YouTube. Input your address, then get the precise coordinates on the map that pops up and remember to “Save Changes”. Presto – your vid is now optimized for local searches!

7 Useful Tax Deductions for Photography Businesses

tax-deductions-for-photography-businessesLooking forward to filing your taxes on Tax Day? Well, to be earnest, who is? The good news is that, if you own and run a photo biz, there might just be several tax deductions for photography businesses that you are eligible for. Of course, take our advice below as just what it is: friendly advice, dispensed with the best intentions at hear; understand, however, that such advice is not meant to replace professional consultancy from your accountant and/or lawyer. That being said, provided you’ve kept good records of your spending throughout the past fiscal year, here are seven such deductions you should probably look into.

1. Car costs

It’s likely you drive to get to your clients or move around the area, from one shoot to the next. You may be able to pass off your automobile expenses as one of the tax deductions for photography businesses. You can track the mileage on your car, when using it for photography and apply the government’s per-mile rate to each mile driven for photo purposes (the current rate stands at $.565). Alternatively, you can work out the percentage of time that you drive your car for photography business purposes and deduct the costs for that span of time from your overall car maintenance costs.

2. Travel costs

Similarly, you can count all travel expenses that are accounted for and were incurred for your art as tax deductions for photography businesses. Of course, this means you will have to start storing and filing plane tickets, car rental receipts, taxi fare and public transport receipts, restaurant bills, hotel bills, and just about any piece of paper that proves you spent money while away traveling for a shoot.

3. Housing expenses

This one is probably going to come in handy for any photographer that runs a studio or office right out of their own home. You need to calculate how much space inside your home is allotted to your photography business, work out the costs for maintaining that particular amount of space and then file for deductions from your mortgage, home insurance, bills (for electricity, water, and anything else).

4. Office/studio costs

This is one of those tax deductions for photography businesses that’s mutually exclusive with another one – namely, the one listed above. In other words, you can’t get a tax deduction both for a home office/studio and for such a space that you’re renting out elsewhere. However, if you don’t operate your office and/or studio from the comfort of your own home, you will be able to file for a deduction for these separate business expenses.

5. Phone lines

In order to get tax deductions for photography businesses for phone lines, you need to have a separate line that you only use for your photography business. Also, it goes without saying that you need to keep a clear record of the calls you’re making, be they local or long-distance, in order to talk with clients or arrange other aspects that have to do with your business.

6. Internet and site bills

No, you can’t get all your internet bills written off as business expenses, but if you own a site dedicated to your business (and we can only hope that you do, given the fact that this is 2014) a fraction of those costs become deductibles. Figure out how much bandwidth you use for website maintenance, then file for a deduction.

7. Training

Photography is one of those fields in which an ongoing education really goes a long way. That’s why the government sees photography workshops, seminars, and courses as potential tax deduction areas. Keep good track of those expenses and make sure to include them  all, when you file for taxes.

Photographer’s Best Friend: Google Reverse Image Search

It’s all diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks when it comes to image usage and propagation online: while some photographers are happy to have their work featured on Tumblr, Facebook, various blogs, and media outlets, others are less than excited about it. Today’s post is for those who fall in the latter category, rather than the former. It’s here to teach you how to use Google reverse image search, in order to find your pictures all over the web. Perhaps you’re not happy with not being credited, or maybe your image is used in a context you don’t want to be associated with. Whatever your reasons may be, here’s the way to find those pictures and prevent further occurrences from happening.

How to start the Google reverse image search

Image search is a service provided by search engine giant Google, in order to help others find specific photos online; conversely, the Google reverse image search is what you do when you have the image already, but want to know who else has it and has been using it. There are two ways to start your Google reverse image search: one is by uploading your photo into the Google images search bar, and the other is by copying the photo’s original URL (say, off your own blog or website) and pasting into the search bar. As far as the first option goes, you can also simply drag and drop the image into the search bar, if you find this easier.

The Google reverse image search results

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Photo via Photo Shelter

The results that Google reverse image search delivers look much like a collage of visually similar pictures. Note that they may not all be precise and exact matches of your photo. However, chances are you will come across websites that have been using the photo without your explicit authorization. Another great feature that Google delivers at this point is a brief text-based description of your photo and the context in which it’s being used. Perhaps yours is not so much a case of being offended by ‘photo theft’, but maybe the website owner or blogger that’s featuring your work has misspelled your name or attributed the image to someone else by mistake. This feature will allow you to identify such errors and contact the people in question, to ask them to amend the issue. You can also use the advanced image search page to find your work online. Google can help you specify various words your photo might be used in context with. It will let you whittle down the results by image size, aspect ratio, colors, type, usage rights, and many other filters.

More Google reverse image search tips & tricks

–          Search for as many different variants of the same photo, even if the differences between them and the original picture are subtle – especially if you’ve uploaded more than one version of the same photo online. Some might be cropped differently or uploaded in other color schemes.

–          You might find your work online edited by third parties: cropped, rotated, in black and white, etc.. Try searching for differently Photoshopped variants of your own work by creating these variations yourself.

–          Don’t disregard smaller sizes of your image. Perhaps someone has resized an initially large photo and is using it as such. Google has a harder time spotting visually similar images in smaller sizes, because, the smaller the photo, the less data it has to work with. Resize the photos yourself and look for them like this.

In terms of what you decide to do with the results, the choice is entirely up to you. It all has to do with the way you license your work and whether or not the people using the pictures are making money off your back – case in which you might even decide to prosecute for copyright infringement.

6 Must-See Photography Portfolio Websites

You know that Virtual Photography Studio likes to keep you updated on all the latest trends in digital marketing and social media for wedding photographers. Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and newer platforms such as Viddy are all great, of course, and they stand to help you increase your visibility, as well as your revenue. However, they’re not all there is to it. On this great, big Internet, which also includes business pages and blogging, there’s also a special niche for portfolio websites. And if you’re at all serious about wedding photography (or any other form of visual media, in fact) you have got to be aware of them. Of course, no one expects you to keep track of them all, since there are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands out there. That’s why, in today’s post, we’ve rallied up the top 6 must-see photography portfolio websites.

Behance

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By far the largest and best known of all the must-see photography portfolio websites, Behance is a free platform with millions of visitors at global level. You can easily customize your portfolio and there’s also no limit on how many creative projects you can upload to the site – be they photos, videos, or text entries. Another boon is just how seamlessly the site integrates social media tools, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and plenty of others.

Viewbook

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It’s been around since 2009 and was founded in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Its pricing scheme is subscription-based, with plans starting as low as $4 per month. While other sites on our list of must-see photography portfolio websites cater to various types of artists, this one is geared specifically toward graphic designers and photographers. The rendering for mobile devices that this site offers is incredible and it also comes with great social media support for Tumblr, Facebook, and other platforms.

Cargo Collective

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This portfolio website offers pricing schemes in a freemium regime, which essentially means that you can sign-up and use it with limited functionality for free. However, if you want access to all the features, you will have to shell out upward of $9 per month. On the plus side, Cargo Collective has got one of the best integration systems for communities – and its community really is active and vibrant. On the downside, it’s not as easy to customize your portfolio here, as it is on other sites. As such, if you know nothing about code, perhaps you might want to look elsewhere.

Wix

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Like Cargo Collective, on Wix you can sign up for free, but might want to pay for the extra features. A premium subscription will cost you at least $4.08 each month and the site is relatively easy to use. Unlike other must-see photography portfolio platforms on this list, this one is also accessible to artists who don’t have much experience with web development and coding. Also, the kind of website it creates for artists comes with an edge, compared to some of the other platforms: the sites are Google optimized.

Fresh.li

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Easy to use and optimize, as well as loaded with a lot of goodies aimed at optimization, Fresh.li costs EUR5.75 per month. You can alter the fonts, colors, logos, and many other things on Fresh.li and can even use a personalized domain name on this website. Another plus: you don’t have to pay up right from the beginning, as the website offers you a free 30-day trial, albeit with limited functionalities.

Carbonmade

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The “hassle-free online portfolio” experience offered by Carbonmade really requires no knowledge of HTML and the site is massive already. It hosts over 600,000 portfolios, most of which are owned by photographers or graphic designers. It may not be the best choice for videographers, but for a $12 monthly subscription, a wedding photographer could definitely benefit from being on this website.

4 Steps To Turn Prospects Into Clients With Your Website

As a photographer, what is the one thing that motivates your prospects to convert to clients? Your photographs?

Nope.

It’s actually your words.

Don’t believe me?

Head out and Google random photographers’ websites. You’ll quickly find the majority of photographers online today create a site driven by their photography.

Sure they say, “welcome to my site”. And they have a bio – very small that doesn’t really say much. And they may list their services with pricing and inclusions.

But then it’s on to the gallery. And it becomes a “best of” festival, showcasing whatever the photographer deems to be representative of their finest photography. 50, 100, 200 images – they take a few best shots from each clients’ file and upload them to a gallery.

No matter how beautiful the photography, the value of it starts getting lost as people go from one site to another, and they all pretty much look the same.

And its’ not just the photography. Even the website designs begin to look the same. It’s enough to leave any potential customer confused.

Which is where your words become more important than ever. Take a look at these two examples.

Example 1:

In this example, all your prospect sees when visiting your site is an image. They build their opinions strictly from the image you provide.

.

.

Example 2:

Instead of choosing a “best of” image, you put a selection of images from a past shoot and talk about the shoot:

Brent and Amanda’s Engagement

I was so excited when I booked Brent and Amanda’s wedding. I knew right away they were going to be a fun couple to work with. They wanted something different for their engagement setting, so I started asking them what was important to them. Amanda started telling me about the picnic lunch they shared right before Brent popped the question – all down by city park. I knew then where we had to photograph their engagement.

 

I met them there and instant magic started happening. With a little direction, they began having fun, and the photographs turned out exquisite.

They wanted a series of images to display at their reception site, so we didn’t take the standard images – instead we had some fun. Here are a couple of my favorites.

I’m SOOOO looking forward to their wedding in October up at the Ritz!

As a prospect, the first image is nice. But there is nothing that allows you to get “inside” what the clients were feeling; what the photographer’s intentions were.

With the second, the story unfolds. Even if you don’t know “Brent and Amanda”, you feel like you do. You get this happy feeling just by reading what transpired.

So ultimately, its in your words. Which is why I always recommend blogging. With every post you make, you can get into the details of what your last shoot was. It doesn’t take a novel or hundreds of words. Just a simple story like the one I wrote above. It’s 142 words.

If you HATE writing – I have a lot of people tell me that – here is a quick way to get your story out and on to your blog.

Outline

Pick your favorite images from the shoot. Not a ton, just 2 or 3. Why do you want to share them? What makes them special? Write down on a piece of paper three reasons why these mean something to you and how they best represent your client.

Freewrite

Take those three points and write. If you hate writing, speak. Dragon Software has a great product that allows you to talk while it takes notes. Or if you have a Mac with the new operating system, Mountain Lion, it has a dictation program that allows you to do the same. Just let yourself go without editing or concerning yourself with your language.

Read Aloud

Now start at the beginning and read it aloud. Things sound different when you speak them and it will help you discover hidden errors. Correct things as you go along to make it sound better.

Post

When you’re comfortable with your message, post it with your images. Don’t overthink this. Just do it. Your first try won’t be as good as your tenth. And that’s okay. The important thing is to let people see your work and your personality.

Facebook Pages or Website – Which Is Best For Your Photography Business?

You’re starting up a new photography business. You know you need to have something online.

Yet you really don’t have the money to spend on marketing. So you do what a lot of photographers do and you head on to Facebook and design a Page. You don’t need anything else, right?

Yes, designing a Facebook Page seems to be a growing trend. In 2011, US business owners spent more than $3 million designing Facebook brand pages. But are they getting their money’s worth?

According to a new study conducted by Incyte Group and Get Satisfaction, nearly 90 percent of respondents stated a company’s website – not their social network – is the preferred place to research products and services that will ultimately lead to a purchase decision. The study showed there is an extensive gap between the way consumers want to engage with companies via social media and the way companies are choosing to use those tools.

Consumers aren’t looking for a company with vast amounts of Likes, Pins or Tweets. They want relationships they can count on, personal referrals, and engagement from the company itself.

When customers are ready to buy, they want information that will help them lead to an informed decision. And that means they head right to a website.

And if you think about it for a moment and compare it to your own spending habits, you can see why that is true.

How Do You Search?

If I’m out on my social sites, I’m usually there for personal reasons. I have extra time and am looking for ways to communicate with friends and potential clients. Or I’m there sharing things to build up my own reputation. I’m usually not there to do research on whatever I may have plans of buying in the future.

When I’m doing research on what I need to buy – a new car, a new accountant, or a photographer for my daughter’s senior portraits – I don’t do my research on Facebook. Instead I start in Google and do a search to find potential companies that meet my needs. [Read more…]

Nobody Looks For A Photographer That Way Anymore

Have you seen the movie 21 Jump Street? We rented it over the weekend and had to laugh at the generational differences facing the police officers as they went back into the high school environment. Channing Tatum’s character kept shaking his head, wondering what kind of parallel universe he entered where the cool kids completely changed the way they act and think. And Jonah Hill’s character was upset because if he had been born 10 years later, he would have been “cool”.

And while there were many hilarious lines throughout the movie, I loved the one where Jonah Hill called and talked to the main girl he was pursuing, asking her to his party. She stared at the phone ringing, answered it kind of awkwardly, and told him “nobody calls me except old relatives once in awhile – we text”.

Yep, that’s right here in the US. Things have changed fast over the past few years. And they will continue to change just as fast here and around the world in the coming few years.

If you head over to different parts of China, they use smart technology even more than we do.

If you head to other parts of the world, they may be lagging behind. We noticed more smart phones and similar mobile behavior when we were in Spain, yet in Italy, most people were still using standard cell phones for talking only – no smart technology yet.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t coming. We had a lively discussion with our cousins when we were in Lucca, Italy one night. It’s a generational thing. The 70-somethings and the 40-somethings were amazed at the smartphone concept and what we were currently doing here in the US. The teenagers pretty much knew it even though they didn’t have the technology in their hands. They’ve been online and have a friend or two with enough knowledge that they understood it – and had it on their “gift” lists from mom and dad.

So even though certain places and people may not be using technology at lightening speed now, they will. Very quickly.

It’s easy to stay with old technology – an old website – because your clientele is older and isn’t accessing things through mobile technology. It’s easy to tell yourself that. But it simply may not be true. [Read more…]