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Archive for November, 2013

It’s a Black Friday Sale-O-Rama!

29 Nov

Photojojo’s Black Friday Sale gonna make you jump, jump.

No seriously, go to Photojojo.com on a smartphone (or pad or pod) and then JUMP!

Each jump gets you closer to the sky, fun nirvana and also prizes!

If you’re looking for straight up deals, scroll on down to see the 20+ photo goodies we’ve marked down big time.

Nanoblock Camera

A digital toy camera covered in toys!

Was $ 70, Now $ 40!

? Take 50% Off TODAY!

Jelly Camera Phone Filters

Add fun effects to phonecam pix.

Was $ 15, Now $ 8!

? Take 50% Off TODAY!

Time-Lapse Camera

Set it up. Let it do it’s thang. Easy!

Was $ 199, Now $ 150!

? Take $ 50 Off TODAY!

Tilt-Shift Camera

Digi-cam w/ tilted lens for soft focus.

Was $ 149, Now $ 100!

? Take 50% Off TODAY!

Instax Mini 50s

An instant camera with mini prints.

Was $ 125, Now $ 115!

? Save Ten Bucks TODAY!

Cloak Camera Bag

Ready to shoot, in the bag.

Was $ 69, Now $ 40!

? Take $ 30 Off TODAY!

The Snapshot Dot

Stylish li’l photo stands.

Was $ 12, Now $ 8!

? Take 30% Off TODAY!

Snap On Prints

A great reminder and great décor.

Was $ 15, Now $ 10!

? Take 30% Off TODAY!

Fuzzy Wuzzy Camera Case

A snuggly home for your camera.

Was $ 15, Now $ 10!

? Take 30% Off TODAY!

Instabook + Prints

A DIY scrapbook + coupon for prints.

Was $ 25, Now $ 20!

? Take 20% Off TODAY!

The iFlash Drive

Extra memory for your phone.

Was $ 100, Now $ 80!

? Take 20% Off TODAY!

Camera Dial Laptop Decal

Show your camera ? on your lappy.

Was $ 18, Now $ 12!

? Take 30% Off TODAY!

Photoshop Fridge Magnets

Keep your favorite tools at the ready.

Was $ 25, Now $ 20!

? Take 20% Off TODAY!

The Pocket Pod

A portable tension stabilizer.

Was $ 25, Now $ 20!

? Take 20% Off TODAY!

Color Lens & Flash Filters

Add a pop of color to any scene.

Was $ 15, Now $ 10!

? Take 30% Off TODAY!

Magnetic Polaroid Frames

… and a dry-erase pen for captions.

Was $ 15, Now $ 12!

? Take 20% Off TODAY!

The Folding Tripod

Lightweight, portable and still full-sized.

Was $ 40, Now $ 35!

? Save Five Bucks TODAY!

Woodnetic Frames

Natural wood with magnetic backing.

Was $ 20, Now $ 15!

? Take 25% Off TODAY!

The Digital Holga Lens

A plastic Holga Lens for your DSLR.

Was $ 30, Now $ 25!

? Save Five Bucks TODAY!

Camera Table Dolly

For silky smooth panning video.

Was $ 90, Now $ 75!

? Take $ 15 Off TODAY!

 

iPhone Scuba Suit

$ 60

$ 40 ? BUY!

iPhone Lens Dial

$ 249

$ 175 ? BUY!

iPhone SLR Mount

$ 249

$ 175 ? BUY!

iPhone Wrist Strap

$ 35

$ 20 ? BUY!


The iPhone Swivl

$ 179

$ 150 ? BUY!


iPhone Panorama Lens

$ 49

$ 40 ? BUY!

 


© laurel for Photojojo, 2013. |
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The Pencil vs Camera Photo Project That Will Make Your Eyes Pop Out of Their Sockets

29 Nov

I’m going full steam ahead to continue our series of articles about awesome photography projects from all over the world. I hope you enjoyed the Cars Adventures and Oh, My Head photo projects we’ve previously posted! Today, I’m going to share with you the Pencil vs Camera project pictures by Ben Heine. His works are bursting full of surrealistic poetry, Continue Reading

The post The Pencil vs Camera Photo Project That Will Make Your Eyes Pop Out of Their Sockets appeared first on Photodoto.


Photodoto

 
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Posted in Photography

 

Augenschmaus: Pastinakensuppe mit Ingwer

29 Nov

Ein Beitrag von: Maggy Melzer

Die Pastinake ist für mich eine Neuentdeckung seit den ersten selbstgekochten Breiversuchen für meinen kleinen Sohn. Sie ist reich an Vitaminen, Ballaststoffen und sehr bekömmlich.

Sie kann sich aber genauso gut bei den Großen sehen lassen. Durch ihren süßen und aromatischen Geschmack eignet sie sich ideal für die leckere und gesunde Winterküche. Die Pastinake macht die Suppe cremig und sämig und verfeinert mit Ingwer und Gartenkresse schmeckt sie würzig und lecker.

© Maggy Melzer

Portionen: für vier Personen
Zubereitungszeit: ca. 35 Minuten

Zutaten

700 g Pastinaken
20 g Ingwer
etwas Olivenöl
1 Zwiebel
1 Lorbeerblatt
2 Knoblauchzehen
800 ml Gemüsebrühe
100 ml Sahne
1 Schälchen Gartenkresse
Muskatnuss
Salz
frisch gemahlener schwarzer Pfeffer

© Maggy Melzer

Zubereitung

Pastinaken schälen und in feine Scheiben schneiden. Eine Handvoll Scheiben beiseite legen. Zwiebel schälen und würfeln, Knoblauch schälen und fein hacken. Etwas Olivenöl in einem großen Topf erhitzen und darin die Pastinaken-Scheiben mit den Zwiebelwürfeln andünsten. Knoblauch dazugeben, leicht anbraten und mit der Gemüsebrühe ablöschen. Lorbeerblatt dazugeben und ca. 20 Min. die Suppe köcheln lassen.

Wenn die Pastinaken in der Suppe weich sind, das Lorbeerblatt aus der Suppe nehmen. Ingwer schälen, fein hacken und erst jetzt mit der Sahne zur Suppe geben. Die Suppe fein pürieren. Mit Salz, Pfeffer und Muskatnuss abschmecken. Die beiseite gelegten Pastinaken-Scheiben in einer Pfanne mit etwas Olivenöl knusprig braten und damit die Suppe zusammen mit der Gartenkresse garnieren.

© Maggy Melzer

© Maggy Melzer

Fotorezept

Alle Aufnahmen sind mit meinem iPhone entstanden. Schnell und unkompliziert. Damit die erdigen Farbtöne der Zutaten besser zur Geltung kommen, habe ich einen hellen Untergrund gewählt. Da kam ein altes, weiß angestrichenes Holztablett zum Einsatz, das ich auf den Boden an das bodentiefe Fenster gestellt habe.

Mein kleiner Helfer hat die Aufnahmen noch schöner gemacht, indem er die Suppe mit der Gartenkresse und den bereits abgekühlten Pastinaken-Chips garniert hat. Und natürlich durfte er auch als erster probieren. Die einzelnen Schritte habe ich aus der Vogelperspektive festgehalten und mit der VSCO cam App auf dem iPhone direkt bearbeitet.

~

Du hast auch ein leckeres Rezept und die passenden Food-Fotos dazu, die einem das Wasser im Munde zusammenlaufen lassen? Dann werde einfach selbst Teil von „Augenschmaus“!


kwerfeldein – Fotografie Magazin

 
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Posted in Equipment

 

DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1

29 Nov

e-m1-shot2.jpg

A lot of equipment passes through our Seattle and London offices, everything from high-end cameras to inexpensive accessories. A lot of it gets reviewed, but we can’t cover everything. In this series of short articles, DPReview staff will be highlighting their personal standout products of the year. In part 3, Andy Westlake talks about his personal favorite – the Olympus OM-D E-M1.

News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Want a Great Gift for a Photographer This Holiday Season? Get Them a Scottevest

29 Nov

Brother and Sister Bonding Time
Brother and Sister Bonding Time, by April Joy Gutel.

On Wednesday I spent the afternoon shooting the Oakland Museum of California with my sister April Joy Gutel (her photo of me above, thanks April). I always love shooting in museums and find myself inspired by the art even as I create new art in that sort of a space.

A lot of museums don’t allow photography, but the ones that do almost always disallow backpacks. Because I shoot mostly prime lenses, I need a lot of different lenses wherever I go.

On Wednesday I tried shooting in a museum in my new Scottevest for the first time. It worked great. I was able to pack an iPhone 5s, 4 different lenses (my 8-15 fisheye, 14mm, 24mm, 135mm), an extra battery and two CF cards easily into the vest. This was in addition to the Canon Mark 3 and 50mm lens on my camera. While I definitely felt the weight as I shot (those lenses are heavy), it felt much better than wearing a backpack. The lenses were also much more accessible to me as I didn’t have to take a backpack off to get to them. I simply unzipped the pocket and pulled out what I needed.

Even with this much gear, I still had lots of room to pack more stuff into the vest if I needed it.

The vest has sleeves that come on or off, in case you want to wear it as a jacket. It was very light weight and very comfortable to wear. It’s a great thing to have around for those times when you want more than just your camera, but don’t want to (or can’t) take your whole backpack set up with you.

You can check out photos I’ve taken at the Oakland Museum of California here.


Thomas Hawk Digital Connection

 
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Posted in Photography

 

Ergebnisse der Leseraktion: Melancholischer Herbst

29 Nov

Vor drei Wochen haben wir – dem Wetter entsprechend – zur Leseraktion „Melancholischer Herbst“ aufgerufen. Ihr seid wieder fleißig unserem Aufruf gefolgt und habt schön grau-in-graue Arbeiten eingereicht. Und wir haben eine Überraschung für die Fotografen unserer fünf Lieblingsbilder!

Da wir am Sonntag die weihnachtliche Zeit mit unseren Adventskalender einläuten (Genaueres dazu erfahrt Ihr morgen, so viel sei schon einmal verraten), wollen wir Euch schon jetzt beschenken. Als Sponsor für fünf vorweihnachtliche Kleinigkeiten konnten wir Kodak Alaris gewinnen.

Kodak Alaris Fotoprodukte
Kodak alaris

Larissa Veronesi, Francesco, Daniel, Markus und Chris Hieronimus, die Fotografen der melancholischen Herbstbilder, die bei unserer Auswertung in der Redaktion die meisten Liebhaber gewinnen konnten, dürfen sich jeweils über einen Gutschein im Wert von 50 € freuen, den wir ihnen in den nächsten Tagen zukommen lassen werden.

Diesen können sie im Kodak Sofort-Service einlösen. Das heißt: Fotobuch, Kalender oder andere Drucksachen mit der Kodak Create@Home Software gestalten, auf einem Stick mit ins nächste Partnergeschäft nehmen, dort auf Fotopapier ausdrucken und ggf. binden lassen – mitnehmen. Viel Spaß damit!

© Llarissa Veronesi

Larissa Veronesi schrieb:

Das Bild entstand diese Woche bei mir im Dorf um die Ecke. Ich finde, es wirkt dadurch besonders melancholisch, dass hier noch vor wenigen Wochen ein Feld mit Sonnenblume stand, während an den Bäumen der Streuobstwiesen noch die Äpfel hingen. Jetzt dominiert der graue Nebel. Das Foto ist out of cam, nur einen leichten Stich ins Gelbe habe ich entfernt.

 

© Francesco

Francesco schrieb:

Zum Thema passend ein Selbstportrait, aufgenommen mit einer Camera Obscura auf Schwarzweiß-Negativfilm. Das entwickelte Filmmaterial wurde dann mit einem Scanner digitalisiert.

Im Vergleich zum goldenen Herbst bringt der trübe Herbst meist Müdigkeit und miese Laune mit sich. Die Tage sind kürzer und der dichte Nebel verschleiert den Ausblick. Alles wird grau, kalt und nass und der Winter steht vor der Tür. Mein Selbstporträt soll zum Nachdenken anregen und verkörpert meine Haltung gegenüber der Jahreszeit.

 

© Daniel

Daniel schrieb:

Es war einer dieser Herbstage, an denen die eigene Stimmung zum Wetter passt. Grau, kalt, ungemütlich. Ideale Bedingungen also für ein Bild zum Thema und so zog ich mit der Kamera los. Schlosspark, planlos. Nachdem ich eine ganze Weile im Park herumgestiefelt war und mein Ideen-Strohhalm „Parkbänke“ sich als wenig fruchtbar erwiesen hatte, war ich eigentlich schon auf dem Heimweg, als ich irgendwo Vogelgeschrei hörte.

Ich blickte mich um und sah Krähen (oder zumindest das, was ich dafür halte) um einen kahlen Baum kreisen. Traummotiv. Ein kurzer Hauch auf die Frontlinse verstärkt die fast schon mystische Atmosphäre, lässt die einrahmenden Bäume wie im Nebel stehend wirken.

 

© Markus

Markus schrieb:

Das Foto „dead memories“ entstand in einem Wald, in dem ich immer gern spazieren ging. Heute fand ich ihn zum Teil gerodet vor. Die Szenerie erschien mir, als würde die Schneise der Verwüstung nur bis zum Nebel reichen und die Bäume, die von ihm bedeckt wurden, blieben von der Abholzung verschont. Es dauert aber nicht mehr lange, bis der Nebel verschwindet. Der Stumpf ihres abgeschlagenen Bruders mahnt sie des nahenden Endes.

 

© Chris Hieronimus

Chris Hieronimus schrieb:

Der Wald war da, bevor es mich gab und er wird wohl noch da sein, wenn es mich schon lange nicht mehr gibt. Er strahlt eine Beständigkeit aus, die ein Mensch zwar kaum zu fassen vermag, wir aber dennoch allezeit zu erreichen suchen. Im Bestreben, etwas Bleibendes zu schaffen, zu machen, zu wirken, zwischen den Augenblick leben und nach Idealen zu streben. Damit die Welt mit uns nicht so aussieht wie die Welt ohne uns.

Es war ziemlich kalt im Wald, aber eine Freundin von mir hat tapfer durchgehalten, während ich, Kamera auf dem Stativ, Auslöser in der Hand, mehrmals länger belichtete und sie dabei komisch wirkende Bewegungen machen ließ. Zuletzt noch ein kurz belichtetes Bild mit Blitz und es ging zurück ins Warme. Entwickelt in Lightroom, mehrere Fotos in Photoshop übereinander geblendet und aufeinander abgestimmt.

~

Weil uns noch mehr Eurer Arbeiten sehr gut gefallen haben, zeigen wir Euch noch fünf weitere Bilder, die in der Redaktion mehrere Freunde gefunden haben. Sozusagen unsere „lobenden Erwähnungen“:

© Daniel Book

Daniel Book schrieb:

Ich wollte in den Wald gehen, da ich zum Fotosmachen meistens in den Wald gehe, weil es hier viel Wald gibt und ich Wald mag… Gestartet bin ich heute morgen gegen neun in Wuppertal-Beyenburg und habe mich dann vier Stunden lang durch den Wald geschlagen, dabei habe ich ca. 50 Bilder gemacht, was für meine Verhältnisse inzwischen doch eine ganze Menge ist.

Interessanterweise wurden die meisten der Bilder sehr bunt und trotz Mistwetter ziemlich freundlich. Eventuell hat dies mit meiner Laune zu tun, die sich in der Regel immer sehr hebt, sobald ich mal für einen Tag raus kann und Zeit zum Fotografieren habe. Da das Bild ja aber (leider!) am selben Tag hochgeladen werden muss, also dieses in schwarzweiß, zum einen weil ich für die Nachbearbeitung in Farbe mehr Zeit benötigt hätte, zum anderen, weil es meiner Meinung nach doch recht gelungen ist und zum Thema passt.

Zum Entstehungsprozess: Aufgenommen habe ich vier Bilder mit jeweils unterschiedlicher Belichtungszeit. Zu Hause habe ich dann die Bilder in Photoshop CS2 übereinandergelegt, den Kontrast bearbeitet und schließlich noch beschnitten.

 

© fahnfotografie

fahnfotografie schrieb:

Gestern war ich mit einem Freund im Wald unterwegs. Es war recht grau, auch ein wenig verregnet und ich hatte schon Angst, dass die Aufnahmen nichts werden könnten. Aber gerade diese Faktoren brachten diesem Bild eine ganz besondere Stimmung. Passend zum Thema: Melancholischer Herbst.

 

© Robert Mehlan

Robert Mehlan schrieb:

Ein einsames Boot, das am Steg liegt. Die Luft warm, obwohl es 2. November ist. Die Wellen plätschern dahin. Eigentlich fühlt es sich nach Sommer an. Aber es ist Herbst und das jeden Tag mehr und mehr.

 

© Julia Wengenroth

Julia Wengenroth schrieb:

Für dieses Foto hatte ich nicht wirklich ein Konzept. Es musste alles ganz schnell gehen, denn fünf Minuten später standen wir schon mitten in einem heftigen Wolkenbruch. Das Bild habe ich lediglich in schwarzweiß konvertiert, viel nachbearbeiten musste ich nicht.

 

© bene

bene schrieb:

Bin die letzten Tage mal extra früh aus dem Haus gegangen, um Nebelbilder zu machen. Nebel gibt es hier am Rhein tatsächlich öfter. Da ihr ja die Mainzer Theodor-Heuss-Brücke schon von Herrn Weber habt, dachte ich, wähle ich ein anderes Motiv für diese Leseraktion.

Das Vorgehen: Ich bin einfach am Rhein entlang und habe verschiedene Motive getestet (Bilder davon finden sich in meinem Fotostream). Letztlich hat mir das Bild von oben am besten gefallen. Ich habe ein wenig die Sättigung hochgeschraubt und einen bestimmten Ausschnitt gewählt.

~

Wir freuen uns, dass Ihr Euch wieder so zahlreich auf unsere Idee eingelassen und mitgemacht habt. Und natürlich, dass wir Kodak Alaris dafür gewinnen konnten, fünf von Euch die Zeit zwischen melancholischem Herbst und weißer Weihnacht zu versüßen!


kwerfeldein – Fotografie Magazin

 
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Posted in Equipment

 

My Flickr Book Arrived — It’s AWESOME!

29 Nov

My New Flickr Book Has Arrived!

Yesterday my first book that I made with Flickr’s new book publishing service arrived. I was very impressed. My 200 page book was one of the best self publishing books that I’ve seen yet. I was most impressed with the paper that was used in the book. It was super premium high quality photo paper and as you turned each page it felt much weightier than most paper I’ve seen in other self publishing books.

The binding was not as nice as professionally printed books, but it was consistent with the binding that I’ve seen on other self published books from places like blurb.

It took my book exactly 7 days to arrive from the time of order to receipt. Once it was shipped, it was delivered next day.

As it stands right now you can just order books for yourself. You can’t sell them to others through Flickr. I had a few people that I showed the book to inquire about ordering a copy for themselves. As it stands right now this is a one of a kind book and I don’t plan on making additional copies of it.

Although I did not see a way to get text into the book, it seems like it might be possible looking at this example of another Flickr book by Flickr user Snoop Pac Doggy Dog. The book comes with a very nice printed removable slip cover and the book also has the same image on the cover itself.

I would definitely order more books from this service by Flickr. The quality of the product was first rate. It’s also nice that I did not need to upload high res photos to another site. Because Flickr already has my high res photos, it made it easier to just build my book through them.

It’s nice to finally be able to look at my own photo book and especially put it up on the shelf with my other photo books when I’m done — it sits right between photo books by Friedlander and Winogrand. :)

My New Flickr Book Has Arrived!

My New Flickr Book Has Arrived!

My New Flickr Book Has Arrived!


Thomas Hawk Digital Connection

 
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Posted in Photography

 

Ship Shaped: Undergound Maritime Museum in Dry Dock Void

29 Nov

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

ship nautical museum void

Using the existing vessel-shaped space of a six-decades-old dry dock, the Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingor, Denmark takes visitors on a unique subterranean tour of the areas used to build, maintain and repair ships.

ship sea vessel museum

ship museum plans diagrams

Historically, the zone would be drained to bring in or assemble vessels then flooded to send them back out into open waters. Today, thanks to BIG architects (images by Rasmus Hjortshøj and Luca Santiago Mora), people can follow a staircase directly down and enter the area at the lower levels then cross through it via interior sloping skyways.

ship auditorium presentation space

ship lower level spaces

maritime museum bridge entry

Alternatively, a grand entry path begins above via the bridge system that zigs and zags along the length of the museum to a main entry just below ground level. This route offers a gentle slope and stellar views of everything happening below and on all sides. Passers by can also enjoy a good look down when traversing a smaller connecting bridge that simply spans from one side to the other.

ship museum bridge design

ship surrounding area view

ship void site context

The main museum exhibition, auditorium, classroom, office and cafe areas are arrayed around the outdoor void on the levels below. Their borders are in turn defined by an off-axis rectangle the emphasizes their contrast with the curved ship shape of the center space and connect to other nearby attractions, monuments and landmarks.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

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WebUrbanist

 
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Posted in Creativity

 

Five Photography Business Mistakes to Avoid

29 Nov

A guest article by Steve McConnell

Five photography business mistakes that cost me dearly and how you can avoid them

I’ve been toying with an idea of writing an article, in which I share some ideas on how to start a successful photography business. Every time I think about writing it, I realize that I wouldn’t know what to write. I just don’t think that the entrepreneurial journey for an aspiring photographer can be boiled down to a set of step-by-step tips which can fit neatly into a blog post on photography business mistakes

There are just too many variables (business nuances, possible changes of direction, personal problems, market issues, artistic visions, industry influences, technical developments)  which can be put together in an infinite amount of ways into a business strategy that may lead you to reach your goals.

However, I think that there’s a fairly universal set of potholes which are likely to derail your ambitions as a creative entrepreneur unless you steer the business ship neatly around them. It is with the aim of highlighting these potholes that I decided to write this article. I hope it enables you to put your dream together in your own unique way, while raising some red flags around things that may trip you up.

I think that it is much more useful to highlight some of the pitfalls that exist on this path, hopefully leaving you with the freedom to put your dream together in your own unique way, while raising some red flags around things that may trip you up.

Bit on my background

Let me give you some context. I started my family photography business almost two years ago. In the first year of operation I managed to grow it to a point where it became my part-time job. In this, my second year, I’ve grown it to a point where I’m working at it full-time, my fiancé works in it part-time, and I employ a part-time retoucher to help with editing.

We’re busy. However we’re far from being as stable and sure-footed as I’d like. Every dollar counts and every day a dozen priorities have to be juggled in a way that ensures the worker-bee stuff gets done and the bigger picture (no pun intended) ideas are considered, planned and executed.

photography-business-mistakes-1

What mistakes have I made that you will want to avoid?

Looking back at the business decisions I’ve made, there were some which helped us grow (niche marketing, focus on online channels, partnerships).  There were also some decisions I’ve made, which held us back significantly. These are the ones I’m going to share with you in hopes that you will avoid them on your photography journey.

Mistake #1 – listening to established photographers

This may be a contentious point. Let me qualify my words here – when I say “established pros”, I mean photographers who have been in the game for 10+ years, who were around in the film era and who most likely built their business by selling big prints, renting a studio and advertising in the Yellow Pages while promoting themselves through industry partnerships.

I’ve found it immensely difficult to get advice from these folks that is relevant and works in today’s business world. The few times I have taken on their advice and steered my business in the direction they suggested, I regretted it and had to reverse those decisions.

My take on it is that many established pros suffered a business downturn in the last few years. As a result, many turned to teaching. Thing is, their downturn happened mainly because their businesses were built on principles which expired.  Yet, they’re teaching those exact principles and strategies to the new generation of aspiring photographers.

I’m not saying that all established pros are not worth listening to, of course not. I’m saying that I personally should have used more discretion in evaluating their advice and rejected more of it, instead of trusting them based on the number of years they’ve been in the game.

Mistake #2 – taking too long to learn sales

A few months ago I finally admitted to myself  that I suck at face-to-face sales.

My background is in marketing, which has been helpful in creating branding and business strategies to bring customers to the websites and ensure they have a great experience there, hopefully leading to a sale. But this skill has also become a crutch, because I’ve become reliant on people making their purchase online. If a potential customer called with intent to ask questions (or, God forbid, challenged me on price), I’d collapse.

I decided it was time to get comfortable talking about prices and learn how to articulate my value proposition in a way which catches people’s attention. At the end of the article I’ll share some resources that helped me.

Learning sales was important because it helped me get comfortable with customers on the phone. It changed my perspective on who I am when I answer the phone – I went from being the guy who helpfully provides information about our prices to being the guy who engages potential customers in a dialogue which aims to deliver maximum possible value to them.

photography-business-mistakes-2

Mistake #3 – underestimating the importance of customer service

I started off with the mindset of “I’m an artist. I’m here to create photos. People hire me for my photographs, not for my phone manner or for a card I might send them for Christmas.” I believed that if I focused on producing great photography, that alone would ensure my customers were happy. I did hardly any follow-up before and after the shoots, and I did little else for my customers, except shooting.

I was inspired to change my opinion about on this when I bought a new Apple laptop. It was the smallest detail that flicked the switch for me – a little plastic tab which sits under the laptop and makes lifting it out of the box easy. I’m pretty sure if I bought another brand of computer, I’d have to either jam my fingers between the device and the box to pry it out or flip the whole thing upside down and let gravity do the work.

Not so with Apple. There was a distinct sense of being taken on a journey, even before the Mac was switched on. It made me realize that my customer’s photography journey with me, starts long before a shutter is pressed.

photography business mistakes to avoid

MacBook unboxing

I made it one of business priorities to design, and constantly improve our customers’ experience at every touchpoint with the business. I want people to feel like they’re immersed in a branded experience which begins the moment they arrive at the website and continues long after the photos are delivered. I’m paying attention to things such as:

  • Do they know how to get here?
  • Do they know where to park?
  • Do they get a thank you note?
  • How does the packaging of the USB stick (on which their photos are presented) look?
  • Do I surprise them with some unexpected previews, letting them know that their photos are almost ready?

I want them to feel like everything is being taken care for them and no matter what goes wrong, they don’t have to worry about it. 

Mistake #4 – forgetting about the winter slump

Our business had a nice surge of growth towards the end of last summer, and then it stopped. I’m not saying it just stopped growing. It literally all stopped. I forgot that people might not be as keen to be photographed in windy, chilly months as they are during the summer heat.

Being prepared for the winter slump will help you avoid a scenario in which the bottom falls out of your business and you have to hock camera (and maybe unessential body) parts on E-bay.

photography-business-mistakes-3

Mistake #5 – neglecting my friends

I’ve lived a fairly ascetic existence for the past two years. My focus has been quite single-mindedly on business. I’ve eliminated just about everything from my schedule which was not business related. I’ve hardly been out. I haven’t spent much money at all on clothes or fancy food. Working for weeks without a day off has been the norm.

It was a conscious decision and a necessary one, because I wanted to grow the business quickly. I was hungry for it and I knew that I’m the kind of person who isn’t very good at doing a number of things at once, so I couldn’t afford to be distracted. . This meant cutting ties with most of my catch-up friends (you know, the people you ‘know’, but in reality you really don’t) and not seeing some of my best friends for months and years at a time.

I don’t regret doing it, but I do regret not managing it better. For some people in my life that I do care about, I kind of fell off the radar. I was simply afraid of having a heartfelt conversation with them and telling them that I needed to disappear for a while because there’s something important I had to do.

photography-business-mistakes-4

In conclusion

I’m not entirely comfortable being in a position of dispensing advice because I don’t feel like I’ve fully cracked the code yet. In many ways, I’m living a dream I never thought possible. However, in the context of what’s possible as a creative entrepreneur, I’m still very much a beginner.

However, there are people in this world who have repeatedly created modern, lean businesses which are turning a healthy profit by creating amazing customer experiences. Let me conclude by sharing some resources that I’ve found invaluable:

Here are two resources which have helped me get comfortable on the phone with potential clients and increase my sales dramatically: S. Anthony Iannarino’s The Sales Blog and  Blake Discher’s Webinar On Negotiating.

  • Everything Google – Moz
  • Sales – S. Anthony Iannarino The Sales Blog
  • Strategy – Fred Destin Startup Lifecycle
  • Starting Small – Seth Godin’s Bootstrapper’s Bible
  • Business Models, Lessons From Silicon Valley – Dave McClure 
  • Kick Up The Bum: A Brief Guide To World Domination (and why that’s a good thing)

If you’re a photographer and have already set off on your entrepreneurial journey, I’d love to hear about the challenges you’ve run into.

  • Are you running out of time or money?
  • Are you not sure who your market is?
  • Not sure where to even start?

Those are normal issues to run into and are very much part of the journey. Please share the details in the comments below.

Editor’s note: of course the opinions expressed in this article of those of the author, based on his experience. If you have a differing opinion or addition tips to add please do so in the comments section below.


Steven McConnell is a Sydney-based entrepreneur and photographer. Together with his fiancee, he is behind two startups – Steven & Irene Photography and Arielle Careers. When he is not photographing, his focus is on empowering creatives to make a living by doing what they love. You can catch up with him on Google+.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Five Photography Business Mistakes to Avoid

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28. November 2013

29 Nov

Ein Beitrag von: Charlotte Grimm

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kwerfeldein – Fotografie Magazin

 
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