How a Threat started my photography business

Ever hear people say things like “why me?”, or “why is everything bad happening to me?”


Well today, I have a story for you about how a terrible, aggressive and threatening situation led me to start a super successful photography business.


Sometimes, when you’re so submerged in a stressful situation, it’s difficult to see it from a different point of view. You just have too much emotion involved.


But it could be nudging you to do something different.


About 11 years ago my husband bought me a semi professional DSL camera, so I could take gorgeous photos of my baby daughter! I was pretty pumped!


The only problem was, I didn’t really know how to use my new camera.


I knew a lot about photo editing from my years of working in advertising. But how to get my camera to take awesome photos was something I wanted to learn more about.


So, I enrolled in an evening course at my local community college that taught the fundamentals of how to operate a camera.


It was very technical, but our final project was to use our new skills and photograph 5 creative “wow” images that would be critiqued.


Here’s where the story gets messy….


That weekend, my husband, daughter and I, attended a wedding where my husband stood as a groomsman. From the church pew, daughter in tow, I took photos.


Later that weekend, I posted the photos on my personal Facebook page.


Fast forward 6 months, I get a frantic call from the bride and groom. In horror, they exclaim, that their wedding photographer was threatening to sue them if I didn’t remove the photos taken at their wedding from my Facebook page.


At first I couldn’t understand what was going on. Afterall, several of the guests at the wedding took photos and posted them on social media.


Then, I personally received an email from their wedding photographer.


He exclaimed (in a not so nice manner) that the contract the bride and groom signed for wedding photography coverage strictly indicated that only ONE professional photographer could be hired for their event. 


And because they signed this with him, I must immediately remove my photos online.


(He also had some other choice words for me... and suggested I never pick up a camera again. You get the idea of the tone.)


I wrote him back clarifying that I was not a professional photographer. I was a guest.


(Being a professional photographer actually never even crossed my mind at this point.)


Long story short, he insisted he would sue my friends if I didn’t remove the photos. 


I ended up taking down the photos to spare my friends any further headaches or threats.


But, I add write their photographer back to THANK HIM. I thanked him for letting me know that I have a real talent for photography. And for letting me know that professional photography might be a great fit for my skill set.


Well, needless to say, I never received an email response from him.


The next week, I set up my website and purchased my domain name!


And here we are today - I’m photographing what I love and helping others build multiple 6-figure photography businesses too!


How did you start your photography journey? Was there a life event that made you say ah-ha’ this is what I want to do?

Free Personality Quiz (for new potential hires)

 

Hitting a plateau in your business and figuring out how to grow it usually involves adding something to it. Whether it’s new software, new hardware, or new people.

But, it get, it can be intimidating when you're considering hiring or outsourcing something.

Fear of the unknown, right?

I can say from experience, when you find the right people, your business will change and flourish. Freeing your time up to grow it even more.

A win-win for you and the people you hire!

But before going down this road, (and I can’t stress this enough), you’ll need to find the “right” people for you.

The wrong people can just as easily derail your efforts! Taking your precious time away from growing your business - to micro managing it.

And please don’t get me wrong, these aren’t necessarily “bad” people. They just aren’t the right fit for reasons such as, they have different priorities, they have different values or your personalities just don’t mesh.

None of these things are anyone’s fault.

But what I've learned (and sometimes the hard way) is that you want to make sure you’re aligned in these 3 areas before sealing the deal to work together.

I’ve created a quick Personality Quiz with 16 situational questions to help gauge whether your new potential hire has the same priorities and values as you. Helping to assess your compatibility. 

I'm making it a free download for you - for a limited time!

How does it work?

  1. Do the quiz first yourself. 

  2. Make a note of your answers. 

  3. Then compare your potential hire’s answers to your own.

How do you both measure up?

TIP: you can put these questions into a Google Form and email it to your potential hires. Everyone’s answers will be neatly stored in a Google spreadsheet for you easily review and compare.

Little disclaimer here - familiarize yourself with your state, province or country’s laws on what you may or may not ask potential hires! There are rules.

Click button below to download.

Could you do me a favour? 

I’m looking for a cool name for this personality quiz. Any feedback, ideas or brainstorms are welcome!

Reply in the comment section below!

The download will only be available for 1 week. So be sure to grab it now and let me know what you think!

Hope you have an amazing rest of your week growing your business!

Warmly,

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P.S. Thanks for all of the replies and comments about my new website. I've successfully merged my 3 websites into 2 so far. The first website focuses on my photography services and the second focuses on education and resources for entrepreneurs and photographers. It's still a work in progress, I'm getting there!

What does the future more successful version of you look like?

 
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I know, we've all been asked the question: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

But what if I told you, you could fast forward your 5 year plan?

The best thing about (how I approach) Personal Branding photography is that by answering questions like these before your shoot, your images will actually reflect this future version of yourself.

What do I mean?

To explain, let me share a story about my client Ashley.

Ashley completed Marie Forleo's B-School and was starting her own business. 

She had an initial photo shoot with a photographer who captured her present brand, status and level.

She told me the photos worked for her in the short-term, but she needed something that looked more professional.

She needed images that represented where her business was going... 

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Make an intention when photographing your personal branding so when people see your photos they
just 'get it'.
@delmorecreative

@delmorecreative

(Not where her business was currently or where it was yesterday).

She said her goal in a few years was to work with bigger names she looked up to in her industry.

She figured she'd need to be in the industry for a few years to make a name for herself. And appear established enough for one of these bigger names to even consider working with her.

She was already knowledgable enough in her field, she just needed to look the part.

So, through a series of carefully crafted questions, before her shoot, I asked her about:

  • where she saw her future more successful self

  • what that future more successful self looked like

  • how people would remember her after meeting her or seeing her marketing

  • what words would come to mind when people talked about her

  • what she'd be rolling out in the next year

Her answers to these and other questions, laid the groundwork for her Personal Branding photo shoot.

What happened?

After Ashley's photo shoot, she had...

1. a beautiful robust media library of images she could use for all things branding online and offline.

2. her new branding photos breathed new energy into her website.

BUT the BEST part was…

3. Ashley reported being approached by some of those "bigger names" she thought would take years to be noticed by... let alone establish relationships with.

They saw her brand and knew she was the right fit - so they reached out.

Ashley literally up-levelled and fast-forwarded her goals through her visual branding.

What could have possibly taken years to cultivate, she was able to establish faster with the carefully planned, curated and styled images we captured from her photo shoot.

We all have something to offer in our own special way. The best way to show this is to be your true self. Not a copy of someone else.

Take time to think about how the future more successful version of yourself would do it.

Then make an intention for your photos so when people see them they 'get it'.

Your brand is important and special. Don't leave it up to chance.

Thanks so much for allowing me into your inbox again.

Wishing you an awesome rest of your week!

Warmly,

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WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?

 
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What really happens when you put yourself out there…

I was chatting with a team member last week about 'putting yourself out there' - and specifically what happens when you do...

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I posted an image of myself last week, plus a few sentences asking people to join my newsletter.

Here's the thing though... I felt totally out of my comfort zone! There I was posting a photo of myself AND asking people to sign up for my list? Gasp!

I think a lot of us feel this way.

You think, who am I to post photos of myself and offer insights on _________ topic.

(If this isn't you, feel free to skip to the bottom of this email where I reveal the outcome + measurable results from the IG posting.)

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TWO things you should know

If you're feeling apprehensive posting about yourself remember:

  1. People want see you, so they feel like they know you, when deciding if you're the right person to get them from problem to solution.

  2. Contrary to what you may be thinking, when people see photos of you, they aren't thinking, "Who does she think she is..." Instead they're feeling like they're getting to know you better!

In this digital world, a headshot hidden on your website's about page isn't going to make anyone feel like they know, like and trust you.

But a well thought out visual personal brand will attract the right people and repel the wrong ones. (Good Riddance!!)

So what happened with the social media post of myself + text?

Well, my daily average newsletter sign-up rate increased by approx. 200% every day for 4 days after the post. Pretty good!

If you're nervous about putting yourself out there - listen I'm right there with you.

You can start with less intense professional style photos. For example, you could be looking away from the camera. Or you could be interacting with the product you design or create.

Be courageous - every little bit counts!

You've got this, I have faith in you!

Let me know me know in the comments what you’re going to do to put yourself out there. Scroll down!

P.S. Shhhh.... I'm excited to announce my new website will be launching soon! (It matches my studio and office.)

What’s new

This redesigned website will be stocked with both new + current products and resources including:

  • The much requested "Personal Branding Photo Shoot Planner" now in Photoshop TEMPLATE format, so you can customize it and send it out to your clients!

  • Motivating business audio trainings

  • Downloadable stock photos for your social media

  • Courses

  • Updated Blogs (including the last 3 months of newsletter topics)

As an HD insider, you'll be the first to know about any updates and promos.

Wishing you a fulfilling and productive week!

Warmly,

 
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The Fear Project

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Have you done anything recently that’s way out of your comfort zone?

I have!  I’ll tell you more about that soon… stay tuned…

First…

According to Angela Ceberano, after you do something out of your comfort zone, two things happen in your life:

  1. You experience increased happiness

  2. You experience decreased anxiety

In her Tedx Talk “Be a Warrior not a Worrier”, she suggests we all create a personal “Fear Project”.

So that’s just what I did.

My fear - is being in front of the camera + public speaking.

Most photographers (at least the ones I’ve spoken to) generally prefer to be behind the camera. (Go figure!)

So what did I do?

Aside from taking photos, I love helping others elevate their businesses. Whether it’s helping my personal branding clients or helping other photographers.

About a year ago, I created an online video program to help other photographers easily create a successful wedding photography business.

Because as any photography entrepreneur knows - taking amazing photos and running a business are two separate things. And knowing both is a must for longevity.

The biggest feedback I received from my students was they loved the course and they were able to see big results in their businesses. BUT... they wish they would have seen more of me.

Why didn’t you see me in more of the videos?

For the same reasons I hear my clients tell me… They don’t like having their photo taken or they hate seeing themselves in video. This is something I coach my photography clients through. Coaching that gives them the courage and confidence to get in front of my camera.

So I took my own advice.

I told that little, critical voice in my head, that regardless of what she says, I'm going to do it anyway. And I’m going to do my best - whatever that will look like.

Together, with my awesome assistant Kelly, I got super prepared with everything I could think of - from my message, to the lighting, to camera angles and sound.

What I created is an online free 3-part webinar series for wedding photographers wanting to start a photography business or wanting to level-up their current wedding photography businesses.

Next Week

The free webinar will be released next week.

We're still working out ideas for the title, but as of right now it looks something like this:

Confessions of a Wedding Photographer:  Free Wedding Photography Business Webinar.

This FREE Webinar will reveal:

  1. My Story - How I Started my Dream Business

  2. Best Tip Ever: How to Use Your About Page to Book More Clients

  3. The Business Behind My Photography: Your Top 10 Questions Answered

What do you think of the title? Write your feedback or suggestions in the comments below.

 
Preview screenshot from the free 3-part video training series.

Preview screenshot from the free 3-part video training series.

 

Now to you

Is there something you've been putting off or avoiding because of fear? If you started your own Fear Project, what would it be? Tell me in the comments below.

Thanks for sharing your time with me today!

With love and gratitude,

 
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4 Brilliant Things You Can do Online This Weekend to Attract More Clients

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Have you ever felt like your marketing is lacking? That you could be doing something more, but you're just not sure what? Do you feel like you may be missing some things in your social media, your website, or in your brand?  

I’m going to share with you 4 of my secrets to marketing that you can do THIS WEEKEND!! One weekend of work can transform your website and attract future clients.  

And.... did I mention these 4 things won't cost you a dime? 

You don't need to buy anything!

Let's jump in - here’s how:

  1. About Page

  2. Your Next 90 Days

  3. Get Personal

  4. Testimonials


1. ABOUT PAGE

Did you know that “About pages” are one of the TOP 5 most visited pages on websites? 

That’s huge! But surprisingly, most us overlook this page ... or we just throw up some generic (useless) information. Truth be told, I fell into this grey zone myself.

But once I realized this, I discovered my about page was one of the most transformative pages that pursauded potential clients to contact me or not. Why? Because, it solidified the KNOW, LIKE and TRUST factor.

Action Plan: Rewrite your about page in an interview format. List 5 questions you wish prospective clients knew about you and 5 questions prospective clients usually ask you. Now write the answers to these questions. If you find writing about yourself difficult, this is a fast and easy method to keep the tone conversational and personal.


2. YOUR NEXT 90 DAYS

Have you ever heard it takes 90-100 days to achieve something? This is a common timeframe we worked with - back when I worked in the corporate world.

So what do I want you to do here?

Plan out your next 90 days! Sound daunting? It really doesn’t have to be. Let me show you how easy it is (see chart below). Break it down into chunks like months, weeks and days. Think about what  you want to accomplish each month. For example, my October, November and December plan looked something like this:

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Action Plan: grab a piece of paper and dot out a high level overview of who you would like to attract in the next few months. Come up with a message and share images that compliment your message with the world.


3. Get Personal

People buy from people they like. Even big brands are getting personal. Think Apple and Steve Jobs.

Be sure to sprinkle in some personal images and stories to give your brand some life. Prospective clients want to know if they’ll like you, feel comfortable with you, feel safe with you and if they’ll enjoy working with you.

On the same note, know that not everyone will click with you. But this will help in attracting the right clients and repelling the wrong ones.


4. Update your Testimonials Page

You may be thinking this is an obvious one. But when was the last time you actually updated your testimonials page?

Prospective clients want to know what other people thought and felt about working with you. Hate asking people to write a testimonial for you? (I do) Don’t worry! Look back in your emails. Have previous clients said nice things to you after a shoot? Simply send them a quick email asking if you can use their words on your website, social media and marketing materials.
It’s a win-win!

With love and gratitude and attracting more clients,

 
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P.S. If you know someone who might benefit from this, go ahead and share it with them.


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Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Badly Until You Get it Right

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly until you get it right Heike Delmore


How Comparison helped me grow


If the title of this article resonates with you - know that I’ve felt the same way! Any of these sound familiar?

You’re afraid to start your business.
You’re friends and family are discouraging you.
You don’t think you are good enough yet.
You’re afraid to start charging.
You feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
You feel like you’ll never be as good as others.


I’ve got two pieces of advice for you.

  1. Everyone started out somewhere.

  2. Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to their Chapter 20.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly until you get it right” - Les Brown



I discovered Flickr a month after I got my first semi-pro camera. I fell in love with so many photographers and their beautiful images (Anastasia Volkova and Julia Trotti were huge influences on me). I had no idea how they lit or exposed their photos or even what lenses they might have been using. I'd feverishly set up shots in my livingroom while my baby daughter slept. I tried to recreate the beautiful images I was so inspired by. I’d load the images onto my computer just to feel a huge let down. I mean, the difference was night and day. But I pushed on… I'd bring my favourites of the bunch into photoshop because I was determined to elevate the style and give my photos some allure. The look improved, don’t get me wrong, but still I was nowhere near my photographic idols… in fact I wasn’t in the ballpark or even the stadium in terms of comparison.  

You see… I compared my photos to those of my idols.  We’ve been taught that comparison is bad.  

But...


Comparison made me strive. 
Comparison gave me the desire to learn and educate myself. 
Comparison showed me the difference between good and great.


I understand when people tell you not to compare yourself with others. They say - be happy with your own work and your own style.


Now, I agree with this statement and I do think comparison can be a deadly trap - that can literally paralyze and stop you from moving forward. And it can get your inner negative voice to tell you all sorts of tales, like... 


….you’ll never be that good, 
….it will take forever to learn how to do that why bother, 
….she can do it because she has _____ and you don’t.

But stop!


Realize, you’ve gone too far.


Be sure that when you look at others and compare, that you do so in a way that feeds your soul and motivates you to improve yourself. Interpret it as a soft nudge to go learn something new or develop/polish a new skill. 


But remember that it will take a series of steps to grow and reach certain goals.

Be kind to yourself. After you learn something new, make a list of everything you now know that you didn’t before. I bet you’ll surprise yourself.


Just as we have growth spurts and lulls… have the faith, determination and, most importantly, patience as you grow.


P.S. Just to let you know...when I first started in photography, I tried reverse engineering other people’s photos.  Then I learned about and enrolled in online courses...which has made all the difference.  This important step helped me fast track my progress and success.

With love and gratitude and to YOUR success,

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P.S. If you know someone who might benefit from this, go ahead and share it with them.


Portrait Photography and Business: I highly recommend Sue Bryce Education.
Wedding Photography and Business: My e-course is NOW OPEN: Stand out. Save time. Sell more.


 

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FREE GIVEAWAY

Wedding Photography Business Course Free Giveaway

We'll be opening the doors this week to the wedding photography e-course: Stand out. Save time. Sell more. But before we do, I'm giving away 3 scholarship spots. Winner will be selected Monday, November 20th!

We’re giving away 3 FREE SPOTS to the this awesome 5 week online course!

You can enter 1 of 3 ways - or all 3 ways to triple your chances of winning:

 

1. BLOG

Simply COMMENT below this post describing why you'd like to win.

2. INSTAGRAM

Go to my Instagram page and LIKE the Giveaway post, COMMENT why you’d like to win, and TAG anyone else you think would like to enter.

3. FACEBOOK

Join our free Facebook group. Then LIKE the Giveaway post, COMMENT why you’d like to win, and TAG anyone else you think would like to enter.

 

The winners will be chosen Monday, November 20th, 2017.

What people are saying about the course on Instagram:

And on Facebook:

ecourse facebook comments

Wishing you so much luck. I hope you join us and we'll see you in the course!

If you'd like to get on the e-course waitlist - and be the first to know about early bird specials sign-up here.

*Update the E-course is now open for registration*

With love, gratitude and all the success,

 
 
 

 

P.S. If you know someone who might benefit from this, go ahead and share it with them.

P.S.S. For more information on the course here. I hope you'll join us!

 
I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT SINCE I FINISHED YOUR TRAINING, I JUST KEEP THINKING ABOUT YOU NON-STOP!

YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW REVOLUTIONARY YOUR TRAINING WAS TO OUR BUSINESS. AND THAT IS COMING FROM PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO HAVE SHOTS CONSISTENTLY 25-30 WEDDINGS PER YEAR EVERY YEAR, FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS, PRIOR TO TAKING YOUR COURSE!!!!

THERE WERE SO MANY PIECES THAT I WAS ALREADY APPLYING WITH THE SALES PORTION/CONSULTATION PIECE, AND THE ‘KNOWING YOUR UNIQUENESS PIECE’, BUT YOUR TRAINING HELPED JAQUES AND I LITERALLY RE-BRAND OUR ENTIRE WEBSITE, PRODUCE AMAZING CURATED BLOGS, AND BE ABLE TO WRITE OUR BLOGS VERY FAST WITH THE USE OF THE BLOG ASSISTANT. IT’S HELPED ME A LOT.

EVERY TIME I WRITE UP A BLOG, I THINK OF YOU; AND EVERY TIME I BOOK NEW CLIENT AT OUR NEW PRICING, I THINK OF YOU TOO! I CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH, GIRL.

THANKS TO YOU WE’VE BOOKED 8 NEW CLIENTS WITH OUR NEW HIGHER PRICING IN THE PAST 6 WEEKS, AND I AM SO GRATEFUL.

I’M HOPING TO RUN INTO SOON JUST TO HUG YOU, LOL!

LOVE, RICHELLE
— http://www.jaquesphotography.ca/
 

COURSE CURRICULUM:

STAND OUT. SAVE TIME. SELL MORE.

This is not your traditional wedding photography business e-course. This e-course teaches you how to improve your online presence so you can spend less time on testing-out what works and start getting measurable results every week!

This course is a shortcut to transform (or start building) your wedding photography business into a personally fulfilling, profitable and sustainable business.

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to book more ideal clients? I want to let you in on a secret: it isn’t. Or at least it doesn't have to be…

WHAT YOU GET:

  • 5 weeks of sequential action oriented videos (no I won’t be boring you or wasting your time with tons of theory)

  • The short lessons within each week are laid out in a step-by-step order to build upon one another. (no, you won’t be bombarded with an array of random videos)

  • Downloadable worksheets to get you moving quickly with measurable results

  • Video tutorials, demo's, templates and resource lists

  • Access to private Facebook group community where I will answer your questions personally for the duration of the course

  • Bonus: Blog writing Assistant (Perfect for photographers who find blog writing time-consuming and difficult)


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Savvy Secrets of In-Person Sales for weddings

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A few weeks ago I asked you all to send me your most pressing questions about your photography business and wedding photography.

Thank you everyone for sending me your questions!! You’re awesome!!

One of the most common themes in your questions was in-person sales (IPS) and how to incorporate IPS into your wedding packages.

So, today I’m going to show you two savvy ways that I implement IPS into my wedding packages.

1. Engagements

Similar to many of you, several of my wedding packages include an engagement session.

But the difference is - some of these packages include the digital images, while others do not.

For those packages that do include digital images… the price has been carefully calculated and included in the price of the wedding package.

For those packages that do not include the digital files, the couples come into my studio, view their images and...this is the best part!...Select and purchase their favourites… in-person.  

By now, you may have some questions like….

  • How does this work?  

  • Why do some of the packages include all of the digitally edited files?

  • Doesn't including all of the digital files in some packages defeat the purpose of IPS?

Allow me to explain…

IPS vs. All Digital files

Let me start by saying, that my wedding packages are  accompanied by an a la carte menu.  This a la carte menu lists of the prices for individual images/prints and varies depending on the size(s) they would like to purchase.

Here’s the key!  

Oftentimes,  clients come into the studio and view their engagement photos thinking they just want a handful of photos, but after viewing them, they realize they want all of them. So they ask me “how much for all of them?”

Equally as often, I have clients who know they want all of their engagement images before they even book my services.

It’s important to know the tremendous value of your digital FILES, and this needs to be reflected in your pricing.

Remember! The value is in your art, not in the paper you print it on.

And as such, high resolution digital images, should not priced less than a print.

Further, the price to purchase all the digital images needs to be significant and considerably more than if your client were to purchase a handful of your small/med a la carte images.  

WHAT IF THEY WANT ALL THE DIGITAL IMAGES?

Here’s how to start…

Ask yourself what an amazing IPS would equal? What is the price value? Write that number down. Be sure it is more than purchasing a handful of small/med a la carte images.

And make sure your pricing is logical.

Use this as a starting number and go up from there.

2. Bridal boudoir/ Bridal Sessions

Most of my higher wedding packages include a complimentary bridal boudoir or bridal photoshoot.

I believe this is an awesome addition to my packages.

Now, notice I said photoshoot. When my clients select a wedding package, I tell them about this beautiful photoshoot experience that's included with their package.  

I educate them on the shoot and explain that all of the images and any products are sold separately.

I have a special price list for my bridal boudoir sessions. It includes, a la carte images, and products I know my brides adore and can actually use.

For example, I offer a sleek black book.  This is something my brides love to give their grooms the morning of their wedding. It's an extremely romantic gift that brides love to give.

Use this IPS meeting to help give your clients fun ideas on how they can use their images.

I should also add to the black book example, I do have an add-on price, if the client would also like to purchase all of the digital images, in addition to the book.  

Now it’s your turn

Whether you’re already started implementing, or you're wanting to start implementing IPS in your wedding photography business, I think these two examples will get your creative wheels turning with great ideas on where to start... and how you can expand.

Leave me a comment below on any a-ha moments or how you’ve already successfully incorporated IPS into your wedding photography business.

It's coming...

*Update the E-course is now open for registration*

In this course, I don't hold anything back. I'm completely transparent on how I rapidly grew my profitable wedding photography business. 

what photographers are saying about the e-course...

 
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“I just wanted to let you know that since I finished your training, I just keep thinking about you non-stop!

You don't understand how revolutionary your training was to our business. And that is coming from photographers who have shots consistently 25-30 weddings per year every year, for the past 5 years, prior to taking your course!!!!

There were so many pieces that I was already applying with the sales portion/consultation piece, and the 'knowing your uniqueness piece', but your training helped Jaques and I literally re-brand our entire website, produce amazing curated blogs, and be able to write our blogs very fast with the use of the blog assistant. It's helped me a lot.

Every time I write up a blog, I think of you; and every time I book new client at our new pricing, I think of you too! I can't thank you enough, girl.

Thanks to you we've booked 8 new clients with our new higher pricing in the past 6 weeks, and I am so grateful.

I'm hoping to run into soon just to HUG you, LOL!

Love, Richelle (http://www.jaquesphotography.ca)

 

Interested in getting more information on the e-course program? Click here for more information. Can't wait see you there! I'm so excited for you and your business and what this means for your future.

With love and gratitude and to YOUR success,

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P.S. If you know someone who might benefit from this, go ahead and share it with them.


 

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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU WANT TO QUIT

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Reconsidering (Wedding) Photography as a full-time business?

You started off your wedding/portrait photography business super motivated with dreams of success and plans of living your passion.

You felt elated and unstoppable.
You had several requests for your photography services.
This was going to be amazing.

Then something happened:
The fire, zest and motivation within subsided.

Now you’re feeling some stress:


    •    it could be from trying to keep a steady income of bookings
    •    wondering why you aren’t getting as many inquires as before
    •    noticing people aren’t booking as quickly as before
    •    or you're no longer getting the same response on social media
    •    or you’re just tired of the hustle.

Is it over? Or are you just in a temporary rut?

Most of us can safely say, we’ve all felt like that one time or another. 

Things have changed. And you can’t understand why. Is it the industry or is it me?

EEEk.

Your business, like everything else, naturally changes over time. Think:

  • Blockbuster > Netflix

  • Blackberry > iphone.

Ok probably not that drastic of a change. But how can we stay relevant? How can we keep our services in demand?

In my experience, a check-up in these 5 core areas has kept my business in-tune while adapting to the changing market.

    1.    ATTRACTION (The moving target)

    2.    PERSISTENCY + CONSISTENCY (Let’s get honest)

    3.    STRENGTHS (How to discover them)

    4.    NEED + DESIRE (Listening to your clients)

    5.    DIFFERENCE (Taking inventory)
 

Use this quick exercise to give your business and your brand a quick check-up:

1. ATTRACTION: (The moving target)

Who are you trying to attract? Who do you want your clients to be? Often wedding photographers will answer:

 

"anyone who is getting married next year that lives in my city."

 

Ok, that’s a good start. But let’s get a bit more specific. 

Tell me, are there clients you’ve worked with in the past who you absolutely loved working with? 

Who are they? Where do they hang out online and offline? 

For me, when I started my wedding photography business 8 years ago, almost all of my brides were hanging out on Facebook. Back then, posting images on my FB business page got a huge response in likes and comments. Fast forward to today. For the most part My FB business page is pretty quiet - unless I pay to promote my posts. 

So I said to myself - people are obviously still getting married in my city - where are they hanging out online now? Answer: Instagram and Snapchat. 

Another example is, you are a wedding photographer who is trying to attract brides who desire outdoor weddings. Take a look at your branding and your website: are nature and outdoor wedding images a prevalent theme on your website? If they aren’t - make changes to get it in line with who you want your ideal client to be.

ACTION: Go further in-depth with who you want to work with. Try to figure out everything about them - and then tailor your brand and marketing to attract them.

2. PERSISTENCY + CONSISTENCY

Let’s get real honest for a moment. How persistent and consistent are you being in promoting your business? 

Has the number of inquiries you usually get dropped? Or are the inquiries you are getting not booking?

If so, it’s a good time to do a check-up on your persistency + consistency to ensure they’re aligned.

First, let's look at persistency. Have you been putting your business out there everyday? (And I don’t mean doing something difficult or overly time consuming). 

I mean like posting on social media, putting an update on your website, or going out and talking to people about your business. 

Here are some super simple ideas on how you can do something for your business everyday (from the comfort of your own home):

 

    •    post an image from a client’s wedding
    •    post an image from a shoot you did 3 years ago today
    •    post an image from any shoot you’ve done
    •    post a meaningful quote
    •    post a behind-the-scenes photo or video of you in action
    •    post a selfie (every now and then it’s okay)
    •    post a snapshot of what's going on in your world (vacation?)
    •    post something you are in the process of working on

 

It’s a known fact that people buy from people they like.

Which leads me to my next question:

Does your audience know you? Can they relate to you? Do they like you? Do they remember you?

If you aren’t getting any quality inquiries, go to your social media. When did you last post? And how long before that post did you post?

I recommend posting on Instagram once day or once every 2 days. You can plan out your posts ahead of time so it doesn’t become a chore! I used Adobe bridge or my album software to design my consequence ahead of time.


Now let's look at consistency. 

If you’ve been posting on social media all the time and you’re still not getting any busier, let’s take a closer look at what you’re posting.

As with your brand - the goal of your social media posts is to represent your brand visually and textually.

If you’re on Instagram, make your 9 squares look pretty and have them complement one another. You are in a visual business after all - people will be judging the first impression of your feed. What are you posting? 

Back to our last example, if you want more outdoor weddings, post images related to and showing the outdoors. 

And if you want to book weddings, don’t post photos of babies.

In other words don’t post what you don’t want. Post only what you do want.

 

Action: Post to social media often. Focus on one platform where you are seeing results. It takes time and persistence to get a following. 

For Instagram I recommend 1/day or 1/every other day. 

Keep the posts on topic and make them look beautiful. You can avoid being overwhelmed by planning them out ahead of time using Adobe Bridge or your album design software.

3. STRENGTHS

What are your strengths? Many of us photographers will say, something like:

“I take good photos."

Yes that’s most likely true. But again we are looking for something more specific.

One tip to figure out what your strengths are - or what your clients see as your strengths is to go back into your client email correspondence. Usually right after you post a client’s image online or provide them their photos, they’ll write you an email to say thank-you. 

Open up those emails. What else did they say about your work - or about the experience of working with you? 

Here’s an excerpt from an email I received from a client:

“Thanks so much and for everything you guys did to make sure you could give us the best!! I know you stayed a bit later then expected, you both were great and by the glimpse of the photo you posted we can’t wait to see them, it’s incredible everyone keeps telling us that the photo is an amazing shot!! So truly thank you for working with us!”

What is something my client saw or noted?

I’m patient. I don’t rush them. I care about them. 

Something went a little off schedule on their wedding day and I stayed to capture it even though it was outside our contract and over and above what was expected of me.

When I consult with future brides, I can tell them, “sometimes things on your wedding day may go a little off schedule, but don’t worry I will stay to capture those moments regardless. If things go longer than 30 minutes extra, only then do I charge for additional coverage.”

ACTION: Take a look at what your previous clients have said to you or about you. Then weave those strengths into your marketing text -- and into your consults!

4. NEED + DESIRE

Now let's look at what your prospective clients need or desire. 

Do you know what they need? 

They need, photos, prints and maybe a wedding book right? All true! 

But what else do they ask you for?

For example clients often ask me for, high resolution digital files, canvases, video, video slideshows, bridal shoots, boudoir shoots, engagement shoots, rehearsal dinner coverage, shower coverage.

Now check your current packages and price-list - are you offering what they’re asking for? For example are you still offering a DVD of images, when clients are asking for USBs or digital cloud storage?

Listen to what they are asking for, don’t assume. These are the specific items you should have in your packages. 

Tip: Include a big bundle of them in your top (dream) package. I go into great detail in the E-course on how to create packages that sell.

ACTION: Ask yourself, when your ideal clients see your packages, do they get excited? Are they thinking “wow she read my mind, I want all of this”. Or are they thinking “I don’t want a DVD, I wish she offered cloud storage”...

Take steps to include the specific items your clients ask for in your packages.

5. DIFFERENCE

Are you busy watching your competition and trying to figure out how you can keep up - or do the same? 

Before going any further, remember you’re always going to be second best if you try to copy someone else.

That being said, wedding photographers specifically, are all offering similar products. Digital images, prints, wedding books etc.

So what or how are you doing that differently from everyone else?

For example: 

  • do you consult with your clients regarding wardrobe for their engagement session?

  • do you help create their wedding day schedule?

  • do you offer a complimentary 1 year anniversary photo shoot?

  • does your background as a fashion photographer help with posing your clients so they look beautiful?

  • do you travel worldwide?

 

The goal is to stand out and be memorable for what makes you different and unique.

Action: Take a moment and make a list of what makes you - YOU!

Then work those unique and amazing things into your brand and marketing - textually and visually. These things should be loud and clear! Not something someone needs to dig out to discover in your FAQ section. Or something someone discovers in the last paragraph on your about me page. Be obvious and make it beautiful, i.e. through photos or blog titles! Go through your website and take some inventory - is it obvious to your visitors on what makes you different in your approach, service or products?

FRESH EYES

I hope I’ve given you some fresh eyes to see how your potential clients currently see you - and how you can make simple changes to get more bookings from your ideal customers.

If you’re stuck in a rut, this 5 step quick exercise should shed some new light on what’s going on.

If you’d like to take these concepts deeper, join me in the E-course: Stand out. Save time. Sell more. Registration is now open - more information here.

Or start out with my FREE 3-part training series: Confessions of a Wedding Photographer first.

Remember information without action futile.

I’d love to hear your comments. Did anything spark a change in you, your business or your online identity? Share with us in the comments (way down below)!

Thanks for sharing your time with me today! Leave me a comment below - what was your breakthrough moment?

With love, gratitude and wishing you all the success,

 
 

 

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Want more success? Be a real person

More success secret photography businesses Heike Delmore

I’ve got some honest words, a profitable message and some valuable freebies for you today.

It was your average Friday, I was editing photos and listening to a new audio book, when something I heard stopped me dead in my tracks.

Something put so simply. Something so resonating. Something so important. Something I realized I learned over 20 years ago but could never articulate into words so simply or powerfully.

Before I dive into this further, let me begin with a quick story:

I was 18 years old and I got a part-time job at a trendy clothing store while attending university.

I had no sales experience, but I guess I looked the part. To the interview, I wore my most stylish outfit. I was hoping to be perceived as cool or fashionable enough to work there.

The first day on the job I was told to go sell some clothes.

I would be paid a low hourly wage in addition to a 3% commission on anything I sold. 

I noticed quickly how hungry my fellow salespeople were. 

The deal was, once you put clothing in the change room for a customer - that customer was considered yours. And you would receive commission on anything he/she purchased.

I was instructed to go greet the customers. To go tell them how good they looked the clothes. I was also given some other scripts aimed to pull in some sales.

I felt really nervous. Actually, I was pretty scared.

I didn’t want to approach customers who clearly didn’t want any help. (And this was pretty much everyone who walked into the store). 

Using the sales techniques felt 'yucky' and 'salesy' coming out of my mouth. 

I made no sales.

Then a whole month went by… and still I made no sales. I knew my job security was running thin. I could tell management was getting frustrated and annoyed with my performance. 

I soon felt I wasn’t cut out for sales. I told myself, “I just don’t have the right personality.”

My next shift started, and for all I knew, it was possibly my last. 

It was quiet day at the mall. A girl came into the store and I said “Hi”. Without any thoughts of making a sale, I started organizing some messy sweater piles near where she was browsing. 

We struck up a conversation. It was a natural conversation. It felt legitimate and equal.

As the conversation progressed, the tone remained the same as the topic transitioned. She told me what she was shopping for. I enthusiastically showed her all of the items that matched her needs. And then, I showed her all of the amazing accessories and other items (I personally thought) paired well with the outfit - to take it from good to great.

I loved helping her. It was a magical feeling.

And coincidentally, she too was getting excited about my suggestions.

I poured 120% of my heart and soul into presenting her with the best solutions to her problem. And she looked great.

I’m sure you can guess the outcome. Yes, I made my first sale… and it was a BIG one.

But it was a win-win. We both felt happy and fulfilled. 

Important note: I wasn't thinking, “Oh my goodness, is she going to buy something from me? I hope she buys something…”

Au contraire! I was focused on how I could help this lovely customer and create the best looking outfit to match her needs.

Things turned around that day. And from that day on, I was the top producer for that clothing store. 

So what were the words that stopped me in my tracks last Friday? The book said:

“You want people skills?...Then be a person.”

{Burg, Mann (2015) The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: Gildan Media, LLC}

 

The moment I became a real person and had a real conversation with that customer, was the day I realized that sales aren’t about one-liners or savvy selling techniques. No, it was about me being able to be me. It was about how I could relate, help and give my customer something valuable and specific to her needs and desires. It was about how I could make her happy and exceed her expectations.

So simple.

“It’s worth ten thousand times more than all the closing techniques that ever have been or ever will be invented. It’s called authenticity.”

{Burg, Mann (2015) The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: Gildan Media, LLC}

 

Although, I learned this important lesson over 20 years ago, it was a feeling I never forgot, even though I could never quite articulate what it was in just three little words. 

Be a person. 

Just be a real person.

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling whether it be clothing or wedding photography, the same principle applies. It’s the law of authenticity.

I live my life and run my photography business by this law.

Now, if you’re wondering what this amazing book is called, it’s called “The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea” by Bob Burg , John David Mann.

It’s a quick read with a big impact.

You can read the first 2 chapters for free on google books here.

I’m hoping this inspires you To connect with your clients on a deeper more authentic level to ultimately jumpstart or build-on your current success.

 

Now, I’ve got a lovely surprise

It’s one thing to create deeper more authentic relationships with your clients face-to-face or on the phone. But often times we struggle with creating this same feeling online.

In other words, does your website present the real you to the world?

I know how mechanical writing about yourself can feel. You’re thinking…. “Do I sound too corporate?”, “I don’t want to sound conceded”, “Does that sound unprofessional?”, “Which photo should I include?”.

This month I’ll be hosting a free online training module covering some of the most overlooked things you can do to your website to help you stand out, save time and sell more.
 

The free training video is geared toward wedding photographers and other wedding professionals. The wedding industry is super competitive and highly saturated. 

And, let’s face it, most brides begin their wedding vendor search online. 

A beautiful design with stunning photos coupled with your contact information is not enough to make brides stop their search and say “This is the one!”

This free training will give you some quick action items you can do to make yourself stand out from the busy crowd. 

I hope you’ll join us! 

Tell us where to send the free training module:

 

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I’ll finish with another impactful quote from the book:

“The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself. No matter what you think you’re selling, what you’re really offering is you.”

{Burg, Mann (2015) The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: Gildan Media, LLC}

 
Some earlier photos...

Some earlier photos...

 

Thanks for allowing me into your inbox! Leave me a comment below - what was your breakthrough moment?

With love, gratitude and wishing you all the success,

 
 

 

P.S. I mentioned that I was listening to this book while editing photos. I subscribe to Audible (where you can find this book) and Sue Bryce Education. Both have business material that is motivating, insightful and inspiring! 

How to blog to keep yourself fully booked

easy-how-to-get-fully-booked-heike-delmore

Spring is already here for those who live further south. Last week I had the opportunity to visit Nashville, TN. With the family in tow, and camera in hand, it was a fabulous trip. I think I even got a bit of a tan! See my Instagram feed for pics from the trip.

While on my trip I got to meet an awesome stylist, Krista Roser, who styles many of the young country stars. And I got to hear how others are using their social media accounts to generate income.

All of which got me thinking about how I've used blogging + social media to keep my calendar fully booked. (I outline the super simple steps below).

I've never needed to invest in any advertising or do any shows/expos. Truth be told, I've invested in advertising twice. Approximately $1000 each time. Once was for a listing on a local wedding website. And the other was on a national magazine's website. The latter got me 3 out-of-town jobs. 

Not bad I suppose, I made the money back - but blogging is what has kept me consistently fully booked with shoots. Best of all it's free. And here's how...

I don't search for ideas or try to brainstorm new ideas of what to blog about.

I blog about my clients.

I use the photos I have created and sold to my client for the core of the post. Then I add a little story around those photos.

I call this method C.B.B. - or Client Based Blogging. Sounds simple right? Here's what it does...

Client Based Blogging (C.B.B.)


    1.    It makes my current clients happy
    2.    It attracts new clients


Here's why the "Client Based Blogging" method works...

CURRENT CLIENTS FEEL SPECIAL

It makes your current clients happy. The blog post makes them feel special. Heck, I feel special if my work gets featured anywhere! Your clients feel the same when they are featured on yours. 

Often clients are more excited about their photos being posted online, than they are about receiving their albums or digital files. They're excited because they want to share and show them off.

So having a well curated blog post + a story shows your client in their best light.

ATTRACTING NEW CLIENTS

Now onto the psychology of how blogging about your current client actually attracts new clients. 

  1. Suspicious - according to socialmedia.com "buyers are naturally suspicious". If they see someone they know has purchased from you, they become more trusting of your product and services.

  2. Best choice - other times buyers don't have time to shop around. They assume those before them have already done the research and selected the best choice. According to research conducted by Forbes magazine, "we copy people we know because we’re simply uncertain about the best choice".

  3. Fitting in - according to Psychology Today magazine, sometimes clients purchase from the same company to "imitate others and fit in".

  4. Success Stories - if your work has aided in your client's success - success stories have an immense impact on consumers, according to socialmedia.com.

Now that we know how and why it works - how do we get people to our blogs?

PROCESS: HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO YOUR BLOG

All roads lead back to your blog - and timing is of the essence.

  • When to create the blog post - create your client's blog post before releasing any digital images. Here's the process: you've completed the photography job for your client and he/she has paid you. You are ready to deliver the photos. Before you do, put together their blog post and send them the link. This ensures your client will share the link with their friends and family (not the other products you give them).

  • Announce on Social Media - announce on any and all of your social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.) that you have a new blog post up on your site. Be sure to include the blog post link and post a photo to peak interest.

  • Email your client - email the blog link and social media posts to your client. Encourage them to tag themselves and share the post on social media.

PROCESS - TWO steps HOW TO WRITE a C.B.B. POST

Still not sure how to make a "Client Based Blog" post? Use these two easy steps to help you:

  1. Use photos your client has selected and purchased

  2. Accompany those photos with a story about your client. Try to write a minimum of 3 sentences. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • What... are they using the photos for? (tells both about them and the service you offer)

  • Who... is your client? (promote/plug their business or tell their story)

  • How... did the photos impact their life? (e.g. client got first modelling job)

  • When... did it happen? (is the timing of their photos important or is age?)

  • Where... did it take place? (is significance in the location?)

  • Why...? (why did they need these photographs)

ACTION STEPS


A. Create a blog post about your last client using the Client Based Blogging method (C.B.B.)
B. Use the photos they purchased
C. Write a minimum of 3 sentences about the client
D. Post the link to your blog post and teaser images on your social media accounts
E. Send your client the link to their post
F. When you are done go to my website and leave me a comment

ASIDE - I know you do this already, but I want to remind you to have your clients sign a model release before posting any of their images online.
TIP - I also let my clients know ahead of time that I'll be writing a special post about them on my blog. This gets them excited. Or, if they are super private people, they have to chance to let me know that they are uncomfortable.


With love and gratitude and wishing you all the happiness and success,

 
 

P.S. If you know someone who will find this article helpful go ahead and share it with them!

If you'd like to take these concepts further and dive in deeper on how you can easily build a profitable wedding photography business, check out the E-Course: For those with a creative background not a business background - how to easily create a successful and profitable wedding photography business.


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How to Attract Ideal Clients

How to attract ideal photography clients

Are we unknowingly diluting our brands?

In a world where websites are often the first touch point our clients have to us - are we dressing our sites for the job we want or the job we have?

When we dilute our websites we automatically attract the WRONG clients and repel the RIGHT clients.

Let me elaborate with a story before we get to the action steps. 

SANDRA

Sandra, a fellow photographer, recently told me she couldn’t get any clients... and the few clients she did get purchased very little. She went on to tell me how she went to networking meetings, had a booth at a show and invested in paid advertising. And the result - a negative bank balance.

So what was going wrong?

Now, there could be several things wrong, but I started with her website because this is where our potential client's start. 

The design was nice, but when the homepage photos ran through the auto gallery, I noticed two major problems:

The first was, Sandra is a fine art wedding photographer. Her homepage displayed 2 fine art wedding images, and then, a baby photo set in an outdoor park. (Insert record scratch sound effect). The style clash stood out like a sore thumb. 

I asked Sandra if she does baby photography.

Her answer, “I don’t want to.... but it pays”.

The second problem was, sprinkled throughout were unpolished, amateurish photos. These photos were not consistent with the quality of her best work.

I asked Sandra about the unpolished photos.

Her answers, “I don’t remember what photos are in the homepage gallery”. Then, “Even though those photos aren’t my best work, they show that I have experience…” 

MORAL OF THE STORY

    •    ATTRACT: What you show on your website you will attract. If you put baby photos, you will get requests for baby shoots. If you don’t like shooting XYZ… don’t post XYZ photos.  If you’re shooting a genre and your heart isn’t in it, that will show in your work and in your sales (or lack thereof).

    •    FLOW: Make sure there is a flow to the style of the photos you post. Don’t be all over the board or clients won’t be sure what they’ll get if they book you. If you have different styles, transition to them slowly in your gallery so you don’t throw visitors for a loop.

    •    A+: Only show your best work! Edit your website and remove any photos you dislike or you think are just “ok”. If they don’t score an A+ take them down. If a potential client comes to your website and sees 2 great photos and 1-2 mediocre ones they won’t be confident in your abilities. And they won’t contact/book you. Don’t give them a reason to hesitate.

    •    FOCUS: Potential clients don’t care if you’ve been a photographer for 10 years or 10 minutes. If you can make them look good or fulfill their needs they will contact you.

ACTION STEPS

  1. Remove the photos from your website of work you’d rather not do in the future. Only post photos of what you want to shoot more of.

  2. Post only your A+ images and delete the others. Don’t dilute your best work with your less-than-best work.

Remember, clients come to your website because they want to book you! They are hoping you are a good fit for them. It's okay to repel the wrong clients. But don't repel the right ones!

I’d love to hear from you. Have you found you're diluting your website in other ways? Share with us in the comment section (way down) below.

With love and gratitude. And wishing you all the success in your photography business,

 

P.S. Share this article it you found it helpful.

P.S.S. After writing this, I realized I have one super cute baby photo (that I am so proud of) on my website. I don’t shoot babies but sometimes get requests. Lightblub: I think it’s time to take it down!

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Animoto Video - Yay or Nay?

Animoto Photography business making video marketing Animoto

So I did it! I took the plunge signed up for Animoto and created a video!

Now I’ve heard people in the photography industry singing the praises of Animoto for a while. Namely the super talented Sue Bryce! And I must admit, my initial reaction was how great can it really be? I mean I use a Mac.... and iMovie is simple enough.  

I’ve also tried Photodex Proshow Web. Could this really be any better? - I said to myself.

Well, at the end of this article I’ll tell you the reasons why I think Animoto is a better tool - for my needs - and they probably aren’t for the reasons you think!

I’ll also touch on some different ways you can use video for your wedding, family or glamour photography businesses!

Why

But first let’s start off with why video is even important to your photography business!

These are some interesting and rather compelling statistics in my opinion. The article “The Science of Video Engagement” found that:

  • 60% of web site visitors will watch a video if one is available before reading any text

  • 88% of visitors stay longer on a site where there is a prominent video

  • homepages or landing pages that have a prominent video lead to 800% more conversions

  • website visitors have a higher likelihood of remembering videos compared to other forms of information

  • visitors who watch videos tend to look deeper into your product/brand and later purchase from you.

So video is pretty important. But how can we use it in our photography business?

How to use video

I’ve put together a list of some fun and easy ways I’ve seen and heard of video being used - and ways you can use it too: 

  • show behind the scenes at a wedding or in studio

  • interview

  • show your studio and office

  • client testimonials

  • image galleries

  • surprise client with their images put to music

  • showcase final images mixed with behind the scenes video/images

  • family shoot: interviewing the kids mixed with final images from the shoot

  • business commercial

  • brand story with images and your voice-over

  • showcase products e.g. wedding albums, folio boxes

  • up-sell packages

That’s all great, but where can you use these videos? Uhm… just about everywhere! And the best part is you can easily re-purpose your videos. Think - homepage, blog post, Facebook, Instagram and other social media.

My Animoto experience

I wanted to surprise one of my beautiful portraiture clients with something extra thoughtful. 

My typical portraiture blog posts prior to this, I’m sad to admit, were 1-2 images from a photo shoot that I would post here and there if I found time. 

This time I wanted to say more. This time I wanted to show more. And I wanted to say more without words and without just throwing a bunch of photos up consecutively one after another.

So I logged into my Animoto account and I picked a theme that I thought would be fitting with the style of photos I wanted to showcase. 

Tip: when viewing the themes, try to look past the default placeholder images - your photo genre may give the theme a completely different vibe.

Next I uploaded my photos, added my logo, a few lines of text, picked some music from their suggested royalty free music library and voila - I published my video! (Big Smile)

Animoto, automatically timed my video to the music, transitioned between the different slides and gave me straightforward options to export/publish my video.

Since you can control the time of the video, (if you’d like), you can also make shorter complimentary videos to use on Instagram. 

Tip: Instagram cuts videos off at 15 seconds.

So in addition, I made a shorter 15 second version of the video to match the look & feel of the original video.

Then, with the touch of a button, I exported the videos to my youtube and vimeo accounts and also downloaded them to my computer.

And the very best part... my video looked ultra professional! All shiny and polished!

Why I love Animoto

iMovie and other online video programs can do the same thing right?

Yes for some features, but these are the reasons why I prefer Animoto to other software I have tried:

  • it’s a super simple process

  • it saves me time! I’m a photographer and I don’t have time to fiddle around with video software.

  • it’s drag and drop

  • it’s really fast and slick

  • it’s online

  • you can import photos from smugmug

  • if you dislike the theme you can easily switch it without re-starting your project from scratch

  • it makes exporting easy

  • it exports quickly

  • all of your videos are in one place

  • it connects to your vimeo and youtube accounts

  • it easily embeds video into your website

  • you can upload both videos and still images

  • you can clip your videos in animoto

  • you can upload voice-overs

  • it has a huge library of royalty free music (hola!)

  • it has a blank template that you customize for projects that don’t fit with any of their other themes.

If you’ve been considering using video for any aspect of your photography business, I hope this article has been useful! I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Also, if you want to explore more about how to use animoto to boost your business check out Sue Bryce's super Creative Live course here!

Be sure to leave me a comment below.

P.S. Here is my video

With love and gratitude. And wishing you all the success in photography business,

 
 

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One of the biggest mistakes when designing your logo

Logo design mistakes photographers make Heike Delmore Education

What is one of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make when designing her logo?

Realizing it doesn’t work where she needs it most.

So you’ve designed a logo and it looks great… on your website. You envision it on your business cards, note cards and bags and it will look great there too.

Wonderful!

But now, as you are sitting down ready to blog a recent photo shoot, you contemplate, "should I add my logo as a watermark to my photos?"

You test it out… YIKES!

It looks distracting and actually takes away from the beauty of the image.

You decide to leave your image naked… watermark free.

Your rationale? "Well thieves will remove watermarks from images anyway - so why bother."

Here are few reasons why you should bother

Watermarking your images with your logo is free advertising. And who doesn’t have time for free advertising and marketing? Holla!

(Now before I go any further, I should mention that I too did not consider all of these items initially… it's been a live and learn experience. And one of my logos still suffers from this problem. But more on that and possible workarounds later in this article).

Consider the following:

  • Stealing: not everyone who will use your image(s) is trying to steal it or claim it as their own. For example, a very successful photographer friend of mine found one of her images displayed on a website accompanied by a short paragraph listing the site's favourite photographers. She was one of their favourites. They used an image from her website that was not watermarked. In a mad scramble, my photog friend contacted the site’s owner and sent her a watermarked version of the image. Capitalizing on the free exposure! (*Although people should always ask before using your work, the reality is they don’t always do this).

 
  • Branding: Why do people purchase bags covered with the brand’s logo? - think Louis Vuitton. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Christa Meola and handful of other talented photographers last summer. Christa did us the honour of taking our photos. As she was telling us about when she would get us our photos, one lady asked if she could have hers with the Meola logo on it. Why? Because it means something to her. Just as the LV logo means something to the woman carrying the monogramed Louis Vuitton purse. Make your logo mean something! 
    (See Christa's awesome logo on my Pinterest board below). 

Christa Meola and I in NYC last summer. I had the best time with this amazing talented lady.

Christa Meola and I in NYC last summer. I had the best time with this amazing talented lady.

 
  • Searches by Google Images: these days clients are searching for photographers on google images. Naturally, when shopping for a photographer you want to see their photos right? Make it easy for them! For example, if a client does an image search and a few photos in the results appeal to her -- help her see that those photos are all by the same photographer (you) because they all share the same logo. This will instantly help narrow down her search... to you!

 

  • Pinterest: ahhh gotta love Pinterest. Style boards, wedding, boards, headshot boards, boudoir boards, glamour boards. If one of your images ends up here, you want people to be able to find you. "But Pinterest will link back to my website - right?" Not all the time. For example, if someone pins your image via Google images, it will not link back to your site. And with no logo on your image, there is probably no tracing it back to you. (Unless of course, you are a well known photographer with a very distinctive style, such as, Sue Bryce, Craig Lamere or Annie Liebovitz).

 

  • Painters:  I thought I’d throw this in… traditionally artists have put their signatures on their work. Think paintings and prints.

 

But I already have a logo and it doesn’t look good on my photos

Trust me you are not alone.

I have two brands 1. Delmore Photography and 2. Couture Portrait. I wrestle with this problem with my Delmore Photography brand. The logo has a symbol with text below it. It’s too chunky to put on any image... without ruining it. Don’t get me wrong, I like it on its own… just not on my photos. To make things worse, this is the brand I use mainly for weddings… and the thought of putting that logo on every image in a long wedding blog post makes me cringe.

I did better, with my second and newer logo for Couture Portrait. I’d throw that logo on anything ;-) And will be updating my redesigned website soon. 

 

WORKAROUNDS

These are some workarounds if you already have a logo but it’s too distracting to put on your images. Use these tips alone or in combination. And be creative there is no right and wrong.

  1. URL: add your URL in a visually appealing and non-distracting way on your photos

  2. Creative URL: do something creative with your url - see ribbon example on my Pinterest board below.

  3. Font: Have a specific font in your logo? Use that font and write your URL on your photos.

  4. Distinctive: Is there a distinctive aspect of your logo that you could use, that would instantly identify it as part of your brand?

  5. Photoshop layer opacities: Set Photoshop's layer opacity to "multiply" to help blend the logo into the image.

Need visuals of these workarounds in action?

Here is my Pinterest board with examples of worksarounds  -- and examples of well designed logos that look great on photos:

 
My Pinterest board with examples of well designed logos that look great on photos and real world workaround options.

My Pinterest board with examples of well designed logos that look great on photos and real world workaround options.

 

Final Note:

Although filenames and meta data can help link an image back to you, the general public may not know how to look for these things. Or it may simply be too time consuming.

Also disabling the right click option on your website will not always prevent the Pinterest "Pin it" button from pinning your images.

Keep everything simple, easy and straightforward for a path of least resistance.

Let social media spread the word about your images - so be sure to have your name on them!

Leave a comment below, I'd love to start a conversation on the topic!

With love and gratitude. And wishing you all the success in photography business,

heike delmore photography mentor
 

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Don't say the M~word

2 minute money formula for photographers who hate to talk about money. Set your yearly goals and achieve them. Download  FREE PDF version .

2 minute money formula for photographers who hate to talk about money. Set your yearly goals and achieve them. Download FREE PDF version.

 

Happy New Year!

If you are like me, you are feeling so grateful...but you are completely exhausted from the holiday season.

It was a festivity whirlwind of visiting with friends and family. We chalked up over 820 km on the road in just under 7 days.

During this time, I uploaded something special to help you to start off the year on the right foot!

It’s a 2 minute formula that will help give you a clear plan for 2015!

It's called “Don't say the M-word”.

Specifically, it’s an information download for photographers who hate to talk about money.

As a bonus, I share the awesome results I had when I applied the formula in my business.

And I back it up with why-and-how it works based on a simple Harvard study!

For more information or to get the PDF version now - you can download it for FREE here.

Wishing you all the love, success and happiness in the new year!

P.S.

After you download the "Don’t say the M-Word: 2 minute money formula for photographers who hate to talk about money", leave me a note in the comments section.

I’d love to hear how you have applied this before or how you plan on implementing now. All the best for 2015!

If you know someone who could benefit from this article please share it.

With love and gratitude,

heikedelmore
 
 

Heike,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You just rocked our world in a short 2 minutes or less.

I know that you posted the Free Download for Don’t Say the M-Word 9 months ago, but I couldn’t have been happier to find it today.

My mom and I have a photography business and have been struggling to make our business run SUCCESSFULLY while working our day jobs.

I saw your post in IBWS about creating a market about Sweet 16 and fell in love with the photo. So I started researching your other sites (Facebook, website, pinterest) and came across the download for this PDF.

We have been having such a struggle with pricing and products and believing in our pricing, and believing in our products.... and I know this isn’t the end all be all answer... but it is the most motivation I have felt in quite some time.
I instantly did the formula for myself.. then did again times 2 since my mom and I are partners in the business and then went straight to re evaluating our Pricing PDF, our product list, our collections, everything!

Thank you so so much for this Free Download— It is going to change our business... I am sure of it!”
— Addie and Chelsie Photo { www.addieandchelsiephoto.com }

P.S.S

You may be wondering how I found the time to put this together during such a busy season.

Well, I found this little gem of an app. It’s a free smartphone app called “dragon dictation” and it’s awesome.

You tap and talk. The app translates your voice into text. You then have the option to save or email your notes!

I’ll never forget an idea ever again.

Update: Google Docs and Mac computers have this ability voice dictate also.

 

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