Will Generation C Love Your Photography?

What if you could find a group of people that loved what you do? And they had the perfect group of friends who were just like them, loved hearing recommendations, and valued their opinions enough to use the same companies they talked about?

Sounds like a perfect group of people to target with your marketing, right?

Welcome to Generation C. Generation C is a group of Americans who are between 18 and 34, consume media, socialize and share experiences through technology devices more than any other age group. Oh, and they are leaning heavily towards being more female.

The C stands for connection. They love new devices and new experiences like no other group before them. And because they are highly connected to their devices, it offers you both a challenge and an opportunity to market to them.

Want a simple way to combine photography with technology? Head over to Google and do a search for iPad wedding albums. I’m already finding many photographers who are combining the two together and delivering their clients a dynamic presentation.

Not only can you put your wedding album onto the iPad, you can customize the iPad too. Try a skin – I love what Nordica Photography has done.

Or look for a iPad album. Here is a great option from Allister Freeman Photography.

If you haven’t thought about putting technology into your business plan, sit down today and do it. There is a lot of potential, especially if you are one of the first to put something into place within your area.

Let me know if you have any more ideas – I’d love to see what you are doing.

The One Big Secret You Can Learn From Kodak

Its official. Kodak filed for bankruptcy today.

The 131 year old company went from being the leader in the industry, to losing sight of a strong, successful path.

They went from employing 63,900 to 17,000 in less than 10 years.

They failed to see future trends (even though they developed digital technology), which ultimately cost them everything.

Yet its not uncommon in today’s world.

We see it everywhere. The big companies of yesteryear are falling every day.

Part of it is the “red tape” that exists behind the industry walls. They do business the way it’s always been done. They can’t change quickly. They can’t react to current trends and what people want the most.

So they are dying off.

What’s needed in the future are quick thinkers, rapid reactors and speedy implementers.

When a new idea is conceived, you need to jump on it as fast as possible. [Read more…]

What Questions Will Define The Photographic Future?

Never before in time has the world traveled so fast. What you learned as a kid, simply no longer applies. Much of what I learned throughout my college career is obsolete. And technology I bought a mere five years ago can bring chuckles from 16 year old daughter.

It’s easy to look back and see what’s changed along the way. But how do we look forward and predict what’s going to happen?

One great place to follow future thinkers, and learn what they think the future will look like is TED. TED brings out new videos every week from the greatest minds in the world. And occasionally they hold TED conferences that bring many people together in different locations. This week, TED is hosting TEDGlobal 2011 in Scotland. And one of the things that caught my eye from their blog was not a video, but instead a question they asked the audience.

What trends should we be watching?

And the answers bring a lot of insight into the direction we may be heading.

“The internet is a huge platform to leverage citizen participation in the world.”

“I see three institutions going away in the next ten years: marriage, schools, and hospitals.”

“There is a growing and dangerous trend of reducing complex ideas to simple ones.”

“Technology has outstripped imagination; let’s bring imagination back to the forefront.”

Is Photography Imagination?

When you work with technology, things tend to be black and white. You do something and get an expected response.

And that tends to be how a lot of photographers operate these days. The term “spray and pray” comes to mind. Instead of knowing what you want to capture, what story you want to tell, you simply jump in and take dozens of pictures, hoping you capture something that’s “workable”. Then you had back to the office and work in Photoshop for hours, until you attain the look you were going for.

In order for photography to be a true art form, you have to think first, and click the shutter second. Take a look at this video by David Griffin, photo director for National Geographic.

In it, David talks about the “flashbulb moment” – the moment that lives in your mind for eternity – what you saw, what it was like, how it smelled, what you felt. Pictures don’t give you a flashbulb moment. But a photograph can, and it can convey that message not only to the photographer, but to every person that views it.

And that ultimately is the difference between an amateur and a professional. An amateur takes one or two flashbulb moment photographs; a professional creates them all the time.

You have to have storytelling power. Instead of showing knowledge of what’s happening, you must showcase empathy. You must go beyond the superficial, and expose the reality of the situation. No matter if you are capturing a child’s first birthday portrait, or showcasing the plight of animals in the wild.

4 Trends That Will Shape The Next 10 Years Of Photography

Imagine a world where …

That’s the way a recent report I read started out. The Intuit 2020 Report: Twenty Trends That Will Shape The Next Decade is a great read, and brings up a wide array of ideas that will impact business in the future. Some are fairly easy to predict:

Customers control the relationship

Some may bring up ideas you’ve never though about:

Work shifts from full time to free agent employment

And some are in between:

Niche markets flourish in the new economy

If you currently run a business, you know times are changing. And in order to remain successful, you have to change along with it. Even if you are successful today, without watching what’s happening in the economy can be the death of your business in just a few short months. Which is why I love to keep a handle on future predictions, to see what leading thinkers in the world predict, and how I can stay on top of those predictions.

Lets take a look at 4 of the predictions within this report, and see how they can affect your photography business in the future.

It’s a She-conomy

Its predicted that 870 million women globally who have not previously participated in the mainstream economy will gain employment or start their own businesses by 2020. 47 million will come from North America, Western Europe and Japan, with the rest coming from nonindustrialized countries.

Women will dominate college graduation rates and professional workforce entry, expanding into all areas of work, management and technology. They will look for flexibility as they remain connected to families and children at home, and the needs of creating an income.

This also means they will be looking for services that cater to them. I featured Christina Morassi about a year ago, and her idea rings even stronger today. As women become more active in business, they need to develop a stronger persona around their ideas and concepts. What better way than to create a personalized photo shoot that builds confidence as it creates dynamic images that will help them attract new clients into their businesses? [Read more…]