Archives for Favorites

The Shocking Truth About Sales

The Art Of The Sale Selling our work seems to be one of the toughest jobs a photographer has to do.  It is can be stressful, difficult and ultimately lead to the demise of your business if you don’t know what you are doing. When I speak at photography conventions, the topic always comes up – in one form or another.  It seems to really baffle people.  The truth is that is is actually pretty simple- if you break it down.  Just remember the Four P’s. The Product Would you rather try and sell water to hikers or sell ice to Eskimos?  If you have a product that people really want, it is a LOT easier to sell it.  That is why improving your photography will actually help your sales.  If you are creating images that people fall in love with, then the selling will generally take care of itself.  Sure, people will always be limited by what they can afford – but if they want something bad enough, they can generally figure out a way to make it happen. Also the images need to be different (in a good way) from what others are offering.  Otherwise, you will be
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Never Quit

As we all struggle through life’s challenges, we are faced with the ever-present option to just quit.  We can just admit defeat and walk away.  If you ever need motivation to keep pushing along, you should look to Julie Moss. Julie Moss Moss was a college student working on an exercise physiology thesis.  As part of her research, she competed in the 1982 Ironman Triathalon in Hawaii.  The race consisted of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, then a 26.2 mile marathon – raced in that order and without a break. As someone who struggles to run 3 miles, I cannot even comprehend a human being capable of doing all that.  The thought of a 26 mile car ride seems exhausting to me.  To do any one of those three tasks would be a huge accomplishment. According to Moss, she did very little to prepare for the race and no special training ahead of time.  However, she became a surprise hit by taking the lead of the race.  As amazing as that was, it paled in comparison to what happened a few hundred yards from the finish line. What resulted was probably the most impressive second place finish
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Are You Buff Enough?

This week, I finally finished up the book I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks.  It is a how-to guide on setting up a solid social media strategy.  For photographers trying to grow their business, it might be just what the doctor ordered!  If you just can’t wait to read it, click here (shameless plug). My New Secret Weapon One of the big things I talk about is using Buffer to schedule your updates.  Now I have to be completely honest, when I first heard about Buffer, I couldn’t understand why anyone would need to schedule out their tweets or Facebook updates.  Seemed like just another way to waste time online.  Turns out, I was wrong. Are You A Newsfeed Flooder? If you are anything like me, you probably do your online activity in waves.  For example, I will usually scan news stories in the morning while eating breakfast, then check in on Facebook and Twitter before I start my day.  It is easier for me to get it out of the way so I can concentrate on working through the morning.  During this time, I will generally come across several things that I would like to
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Death of the Point & Shoot

Remember when the top of the line DSLRs were 6MP?  Now most cell phone cameras have more than that.  As cell phone cameras get better and better, why will people even need a separate point and shoot camera? The DSLR Nothing compares with the power and versatility of the DSLR.  Sure, you could drop $15,000 on a digital back for your Hasselblad- if you really think you need to be taking 50MP images.  Aside from that, the good ol DSLR is the king of the hill.  If you don’t mind lugging around the extra lenses and accessories, you just can’t beat the image quality. The Allure of the Point & Shoot The beauty of the point and shoot is that it is easier to carry around.  You drop it in your coat pocket or your purse and it is always with you.  Even if the image quality isn’t the same as your pro camera, at least you always have it with you.  The problem, of course, is the lens.  Most point & shoots have such a small lens that the image quality is always going to suffer.  However, if it is just a shot of you and your friends in
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How To Find Artistic Inspiration

Of all the things you do as a photographer, coming up with creative ideas is probably one of the most important.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the toughest. You can always buy the latest and greatest camera gear or download the newest Photoshop filters.  You can learn the “rules” of photography, like composition and posing.  You can even check out my humble YouTube channel if you want.  There are TONS of things you can learn about photography.  What you can’t learn is originality.  That is why developing your creativity and artistry is so important.  Artistic talent will out-perform high-end equipment any day of the week. Finding Inspiration Inspiration is all around us.  When you become better at recognizing it, you will tap into a huge resource of great ideas.  It just takes practice. A couple of months ago, a couple came to the studio for portraits of their baby daughter.  During the planning stages, we had discussed that the baby’s grandmother was an artist and had actually painted a scene from the couple’s wedding.  They brought the painting with them and we decided to incorporate it into a few of the portraits.   The question was – how do you
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Want To Be A Better Photographer?

Are you trying to get your photography skills to the next level?  If not, you should be!  The advances in photographic technology have been incredible over the past decade, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be improving your skills along with them.  A combination of working Photoshop skills and a willingness to stretch your creativity are required components if you want to compete in today’s photography field.  The good news is – there is help out there! Last year, I put together a YouTube channel that focuses on photography education- the aptly-titled, Lourcey Photography Channel . It has proven to be quite an adventure.  Up until that point, I had not done a whole lot of video – so the learning curve was rough.  However, the feedback I got from fellow photographers was overwhelming and I pressed on.  Over the past year, I’ve touched on everything from creativity to new Photoshop plugins . If you haven’t checked it out yet, I hope you will.  It really is a labor of love. Got something you have always wanted to know about photography?  Let me know and I just might use it for a future episode.  I’m always on the lookout for
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Changing Your Perspective

Sometimes photography is all about perspective.  A slight change in your camera angle can change an ordinary image into something memorable.  It is these fine-tuning adjustments that help us to grow artistically. Last month, my wife and I spent a week in Hawaii and I planned to create a ton of new images.  Now landscape photography is not really my thing.  I’m just too impatient to sit and wait for the sun to be just right and take 50 shots of the exact same scene.  I’m much  more interested in portraits or illustrative-type images.  That’s just how I’m wired.  Since we had rented a convertible for the week, I thought it would be fun to try and incorporate it into an image. I came up with the concept of creating a shot of us driving along the coastline.  The tricky part was the setup. I strapped my tripod into the back seat, raised it up high and put a fisheye lens on the camera.  Then I set the camera to take 10 bursts of 3 shots – spread out 10 seconds apart. We would pull into a rest stop, start the camera  shooting and just drive to the next rest
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The Fatal Flaw Of Photography Websites

Is your website helping your business or hurting you?  Could it be bringing in even more clients than it is now? One of the things I like most about speaking at photography conventions is getting to meet photographers all across the U.S.   The crowd usually has everything from seasoned veterans to brand-new beginners.  By the end of the convention, I’ve usually gathered up a big stack of business cards from people and end up browsing their websites.  What amazes me is how people will put up a website with images that are not their best.  Your website is often your first impression with potential clients – and you know what they say about first impressions. OLD TIMERS Long-time photographers are not exempt from this- in fact, they can be some of the worst offenders.  They will have an image that won an award for them 25 years ago – so they keep using it as a representation of their style.  Unfortunately, it gives their work a very dated look.  Sometimes painfully dated.  The problem we have as artists is that we grow attached to our work and sometimes can’t be objective.  The right images can make the difference between you
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Broaden Your Photography Horizons

As artists, we are always looking to grow.  It is a constant struggle to find new sources of inspiration and flashed of creative genius.  I’m a big believer that you have to feed your creativity by soaking up as much art as you can – everything from photographs and paintings to a a great movie or interesting book.  By training your brain to recognize art, it somehow gets better at creating it. Don’t ask me why – but it works! Unfortunately, we all have limited time in the day.  We can’t always drive down to the museum and spend the afternoon browsing Impressionist paintings.  Luckily, there are plenty of online alternatives.  Need some suggestions? EARTH SHOTS I stumbled across Earth Shots recently and was blown away.  The photography is amazing.   People from across the world submit images of our great planet and the site posts one a day.  As a photographer, it is a great way of getting your name out there – if you’ve got the skills to make the cut.  The work is pretty top-notch, so getting an image accepted isn’t easy. I bookmarked this site and make a point to stop by once a week and browse
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