Combine Two Photography Niches to Be Unique

Combine Two Photography Niches to Be Unique

Struggling to make the transition from an amateur photographer to a pro can be a tough job as it is. Creating a compelling portfolio, acquiring a client pool and managing it properly, creating a name for yourself, struggling to get new gigs and the credibility that comes with them… it’s already hard, right? But besides … Read more

Who Is A Better Photographer, A Man Or A Woman?

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal the other day, and it said: Men tend to start businesses to be the “boss,” and their aim is for their businesses to grow as big as possible. Women start businesses to be personally challenged and to integrate work and family, and they want to stay … Read more

What Does It Mean When Sears/Wal-Mart Portrait Studios Shut Down?

What Does It Mean When Sears/Wal-Mart Portrait Studios Shut Down?

So what does it mean to the photography industry when more than 2000 studio locations across the US shut down? That was the announcement last week when financially struggling CPI Corp, with locations in Sears and Wal-Mart stores, decided to shut down its outlets. You can look at it in two ways. 1. The photography … Read more

Why Are You So Negative About Your Photography Business?

Why Are You So Negative About Your Photography Business?

I literally read it every day. “All you give is pie in the sky advice. Everything’s great. How can you say that when it’s anything but?” “People are awful. You can’t trust anyone. I want to provide quality work but I have to deal with all of this ‘stuff’ within the industry. Why can’t I … Read more

5 Keys To Finding Clients In The Future

5 Keys To Finding Clients In The Future

I recently wrote a post 13 Ways To Make Sure 2013 Doesn’t Suck For Your Photography Business. I’ve been doing a lot internal planning with my own business for 2013, and I used that post as a trigger for all of you to start thinking about what you want the New Year to bring into your own lives. In order to stick with that theme, I’ve decided to run a “13 Days Of Photography” feature throughout December to help provide you with a ton of ideas and tips on things you can do for your own business starting on January 1st. Here is 5…

Future gold key

Doesn’t the marketplace seem a little overwhelming right now? Everywhere you look, there is an ad for something. You get hundreds of emails a day. Your newsfeeds rotate constantly with new content. Retailers are doing anything they can to bring in a buck or two – several stores in our area are open 24 hours a day right through Christmas Eve.

At some point it all becomes a bit too much … and you simply shut down.

But that doesn’t mean customers still aren’t out there. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people that want and need what you do.

They may have shut down as well. They may be so overwhelmed by all that is happening around them, they simply need another way to notice you.

And that’s where we have to be innovators. It’s not business as usual. To market the way you always have will get you nowhere in the coming years. The only way to survive – to thrive – will be to take a new approach.

Key #1: It’s Time To Be The Un-Photographer

At one point in time, cola was all the rage. People loved the bubbly drink, dark in color, sweet in taste. Then something new came along – the un-cola. It brought you a bubbly drink with a twist. The color changed. The taste changed. And it was refreshing in its own right. It took something old and put a new twist to it. You can’t photograph like photographers did twenty years ago. The marketplace wants something new – something different. And yet very few are offering the twist. The one’s that create the twist – the un-photographers – will move ahead in this new industry.

Key #2: Think Of The Internet As A Horizontal Marketplace

How many marketing tools do you need to survive? One? Five? Fifty? There is no right answer. Yet for most of us, it is well beyond one – very few could operate with just a business card. Different people “see” things in different ways. Which is why you need to be in different places, off line and on. A simple website won’t reach out to the new customers of tomorrow. Likewise, just a Facebook page will do little to reach customers that are rarely on Facebook. It requires a variety of tools – a horizontal reach through many different tools. Your blog, a Facebook account, reviews on Yelp, a YouTube channel – all reach out in different ways. And provide you with a wide plane of potential.

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6 Tribal Laws That Affect Your Photography Business

6 Tribal Laws That Affect Your Photography Business

I recently wrote a post 13 Ways To Make Sure 2013 Doesn’t Suck For Your Photography Business. I’ve been doing a lot internal planning with my own business for 2013, and I used that post as a trigger for all of you to start thinking about what you want the New Year to bring into your own lives. In order to stick with that theme, I’ve decided to run a “13 Days Of Photography” feature throughout December to help provide you with a ton of ideas and tips on things you can do for your own business starting on January 1st. Here is 6…

“I’m really wondering what to do next year. My business has never recovered from what it was a few years ago. I try and try, but I just can’t find the clients who are willing to spend what they used to. I’m struggling to stay in business and I just don’t know if it’s worth it anymore. People want different things today. They just want digital files to share on Facebook, they don’t care about wedding albums or large portraits above their fireplace. Maybe I should shut my doors and do something else.”

I hear this story again and again from photographers all over the world.

And in many ways he is correct.

What is happening in today’s marketplace isn’t the same as what happened a few short years ago. We don’t shoot film, we shoot digital. We don’t need photo albums, we have our iPads. We don’t need to print a 4×5 to send to relatives half way around the world; we share it on Facebook and they see it instantly.

Times have changed. Which means we must change too or get lost in the shuffle.

Its like selling buggy whips in the era of horseless carriages. If the marketplace is changing and you don’t change with it, you will be put out of business.

Finding Your Tribe

One of my favorite books by Seth Godin is Tribes. A tribe links a small group of people to an idea. It creates a movement. And it is lead by the one person that foresees the change and decides to do something about it.

Will photography go away? Nope. Never. In fact its bigger now than it has ever been in the past.

Yet today’s technology has made “old time” photographers obsolete.

Which means as an industry, we have to find new ways to structure the business and move into a new direction. Seth Godin explains it best; it’s worth the watch. Then use these six steps to help you create your own movement.

Find a group that’s disconnected

This is the easy part. Photography doesn’t exist like it used to. You’ve figured that one out, right? Now its time to look at it in a whole new way. What can you do differently? What can you do to reach out to people that still love photography, yet want something in an entirely new way?

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Will Photography Be One Of The 2 Billion Jobs Disappearing By 2030?

Will Photography Be One Of The 2 Billion Jobs Disappearing By 2030?

What if someone told you the job you were in today, or the job you were truly interested in training for right now, would disappear in your lifetime? Would that stop you from pursuing it?

That was the question that jumped out at me when I read a recent title, 2 Billion Jobs to Disappear by 2030.

Think about that for a moment. 2 billion jobs to disappear in 20 years. Considering there are 7 billion people on the planet, and many of them do not hold a “job”, what that is basically saying is 50 percent of all the jobs held today will disappear in less than 20 years. And I don’t doubt it one bit.

 

 

At a recent seminar I attended to help my daughter decide on direction at college, the speaker asked parents how many people held jobs today that weren’t in existence at the time they attended college. I held up my hand, along with around 10 percent of the audience.

Will that be even more of a trend in the future? Only time will tell. But with the rapid way our technology is changing, its easy to see how that can be the case.

As I read through the article, one thing became apparent.

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You Mean I Can’t Use An Image From Google Images?

You Mean I Can’t Use An Image From Google Images?

A friend called in a panic last week.

“I just received a notice from a lawyer stating I used an image of their clients on my website. It was copyrighted, therefore I owe $750 and must take the image of my site. If I don’t pay, they will continue pressing charges. Is this for real? I found it on Google Images, can’t I use those images?”

Yep, the world of photography is in chaos at the moment.

So we explained copyright laws and how the only images you can use online are images created by you, or images falling under creative commons or royalty free images.

Still the conversation persisted.

“So there’s a difference? If I look through Google Images, how do I know if I can use it or not?”

“You can’t use Google Images. Google indexes all images placed on every site in existence. Some are copyrighted, some aren’t. But you can’t use them. You can purchase images from a royalty free site like iStockPhoto.com. Or you can create the images yourself.”

Yep, for good or bad, the Internet and Google have changed everything. With a goal of indexing virtually everything in existence – from photographs to books and public domain information – Google now has become the average person’s best friend.

If you have a question, Google it.

If you have a problem, Google it.

If you need an image, Google it.

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