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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 06 Feb 2012 (Monday) 20:16
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Review my blog: am i ready to go pro?

 
oceanbeast
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Feb 16, 2012 20:13 |  #16

guys i appreciate all the feedback, i need the harsh truth to grow. i want to progress and i will be making efforts to change lots of the things you have suggested. i definitely see how presenting myself as a more seasoned photographer can translate into more confidence in my prospects.

I like portrait work but i always try to shoot in an editorial style, my favorite photogs shoot rock bands and i know this probably dosent translate well into portraits so maybe i also need to focus on shooting the right context.




  
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SethDuBois
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Feb 17, 2012 02:01 |  #17

There are so many different levels of "pro" photographers. The primary determinant I would think is whether you think you're ready to do what's needed to get business. What makes someone "pro" is their mindset and decision to take action and move forward.

Your work doesn't have to be the technically perfect. It has to be good enough for someone else to want to pay money for it. One of my friends had engagements photos done and the photog slanted the horizon of the grass field by about 45 degrees in maybe 15/50 of the shots. It made me dizzy and I hated it, but they loved it and paid for it even though it looked like they were relatives of spiderman.

You have good work, so just figure out what it is you want to do and focus your blog and portfolio around that. As someone mentioned, definitely work on the about me. I'd be very hesitant to hire someone based on that about me. Throw in specifics - what do you offer, prices, what the client gets, availability, etc.


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HappySnapper90
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Feb 17, 2012 19:41 |  #18

Are you ready to "go pro"? Not with a blog that is only as new as "happy thanksgiving" and that was about 3 months ago.




  
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oceanbeast
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Feb 19, 2012 06:24 |  #19

Happy Snapper - I doubt you read the entire thread but I mentioned why that is so, furthermore other posters have acknowledged some of my shortcomings but have also given me insight as to how I can better myself; this is called constructive criticism.

Your comment served no purpose.


Oh and if you would care to read the thread again, I also mentioned that the titled "going pro" is probably way more ambiguous than what I intended; if you'd like please re-read so you can understand what I meant.




  
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mcluckie
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Feb 19, 2012 07:14 |  #20

Looks like a lot of friends hanging out. Not too professional. Actually the images at the bottom seem more professional (less Facebook) than the ones you open with.

Someone said domains don't make a photographer. 200% true. Facebook is for children. And business cards printed do nothing in no ones hands. You need a marketing plan — what do you want to shoot, figure who pays for it, then go after it it.


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cameraperson
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Feb 19, 2012 14:39 |  #21

As a consumer, not in business, I did not like the website. It's not what I'm accustomed to seing a pro photo website. It looked like a blog to me (yes, I know you said it is a blog). I know WordPress and the like are easy to set up, but I think they need tailoring to look like something more than an average blog.

This has nothing to do with the business, I suppose, but once they get to your website, it makes a difference. When there is so much competition out there to choose from, why risk it (sometimes I know it may not be one's skillset).

This is from a non-business person. What I think when I see it. I'm sure others will be fine.

edit: I also thought it was too hard to figure out what you took pictures of. I saw wine bottles, dances, wedding gown, "posed" females (I don't know what you call that type of posing), and a portrait. It's wasn't organized.


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TheBrick3
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Feb 19, 2012 14:49 as a reply to  @ cameraperson's post |  #22

It's tough to say. I think it would be okay to declare for the draft, but you shouldn't sign with an agent. With a good junior year, I think you could could be a lottery pick.


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cire001
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Feb 22, 2012 06:25 as a reply to  @ TheBrick3's post |  #23

Interesting post, Right now I'm in the process of putting together a portfolio with the hopes of making money. I think the most common theme in this post is marketing. Its easy to say, oh yeah you need to market yourself but the question you should ask is how do you sell yourself. There is a great book that you should take a look at titled "Start with why"The book says that companies go wrong when they try to market WHAT they do rather then WHY they do. Why speaks to your customer, they already know what you do - you take pictures- most of them could care less with HOW you do it. So the difference is why.

There are also creativelive.com webinars that I think are a huge help in growing your business. It is a rare thing for a business owner to pull back the curtains and allow you to see inside. Creative live is great for a couple of reasons, one, the live viewings are free, two, they showcase extremely successful photographers telling you not only how they make their images, but how they created a successful business. Most people starting don't understand successful business' copy! Find some one that is doing what you want to do , and copy how they do it.

Facebook is not just for kids. Anyone that tells you that you shouldn't be marketing yourself where MIllions of eyes are everyday doesn't get it.

One last thing, and this may help with your marketing, decide who your client is, then test your findings.Demographic and psychographics go a long way. I put up different ads on craigslist, the people who respond ask, how did you find me, then, what would make the experience more pleasurable. I want to know why they want what they want, I want to know how far they are willing to travel,what their budget is. I try to figure out what they all have in common. I try to figure out what shots they like the best. Then I tweak the wording, and images I post to support my findings, and test again. The images I put on flickr will tell me which pictures get the most hits, so I use those more often. AND THATS FREE INFORMATION! You want to know how your client thinks, and what they'll ask before they open their mouth ! You want to put their fears at ease. When you know exactly who your client is you won't have to look for them, they will find you . Christa Meola said something to the effect of they don't buy the photo they buy the experience. Im just a student of this game, like you , but I listen to the people that are doing what I want to do, and when they are all saying the same thing independent of each other I have to sit up and take notice.


Austin Commercial and Portrait Google Business view Brand Photographer

  
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oceanbeast
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Feb 23, 2012 20:51 |  #24

cire001, thanks for that post. this is the kind of feedback i was hoping to get.




  
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shiftonephoto
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Feb 24, 2012 01:07 |  #25

I would just add to everyones advice is that your price is extremely low. I'm in the camp of never give away prints; its bonus money.. giving someone 20 prints, they are not going to buy any more. especially if you tell them they can print as much as they want from the CD you give them.

Try for $99 only giving them the session, a disc with digital only files for them to email facebook whatever, and offer prints and additional edited photos as an extra. Just added stuff to upsell people into.

If you market to people worried about the price, you will have alot more headaches, and the ones not worried about price might think your not that good if you charge so little. Ever heard someone bragging about "yeah I just got my car painted and it was 3grand!" they want to brag how much they paid and their friends will think "wow it must be a damn good paint job for 3 grand"

If your going to offer a package like that with so many prints and a cd they print off of, you should be charging $400 not $99. A typical mark-up on a 8x10 is 16-20 dollars. Your basically giving them 80-100 dollars worth of prints, not to mention all the prints they can make from the CD. Depending on the file size you give them, they might be able to print out 24x30's instead of paying you 60-80 bucks for it.

In my mind I am the only person they are getting prints from, I mark my exif DO NOT PRINT, and I watermark the digital photos. If they try to take them to walmart a large majority of the time walmart will not print them and shut them down.

With that said, I agree with the majority thats its all about business, and I think your work is fine. Take everyones advice, as well as try a different website approach. You can keep your blog for blog type things of course.


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HappySnapper90
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Feb 24, 2012 21:34 |  #26

oceanbeast wrote in post #13923481 (external link)
Happy Snapper - I doubt you read the entire thread but I mentioned why that is so, furthermore other posters have acknowledged some of my shortcomings but have also given me insight as to how I can better myself; this is called constructive criticism.

If you are asking to "go pro" with your blog, your blog should be fine tuned and current not months old. Happy shooting and good luck.




  
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JAmadoPhotography
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Feb 25, 2012 20:43 |  #27

Great work. I agree with JacobPhoto. I have to give photography about 25% credit though and the rest is how you market yourself. There are many talented photographers out there and they just don't make a career of it because they don't market themselves properly. You have great work, now you have to focus most of your time and energy into marketing yourself.


Jermaine Amado, Photographer/Owner
J Amado Photography: Denver Portrait (external link) & Wedding Photographer (external link)

  
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Ronny ­ Geenen
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Feb 27, 2012 16:34 |  #28

Being a Realtor for more than 25 years I have learned something about marketing. Start asking yourself, if you need a photographer, how do you start searching the web or google. Read about why you need TEXT! You have to work on your SEO, TAGS, Meta tags and so on. Start writing about in what city you live and what areas you are willing to cover. People do not know you. Work on that.
You mentioned Craighslist, which is the most ugliest website. But when you type in google search just the letter "C" , that site shows up as number 1. It is all about text that people will look for when they are looking for a kind of photographer. A pretty face (your website) means nothing when that head is empty!




  
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