Are budget photographers killing the market?

April 23rd, 2020

In the past 10 years, I’ve watched 5 big box volume studios in my area permanently close. And the latest, Portrait Innovations, shut down ALL of it’s locations across the entire US forever. I am not the least bit surprised by any of this. The digital era ushered in an influx of shoot-n-burn photographers who very quickly shifted the market resulting in the closure of hundreds of studios that had previously thrived for decades. Am I upset by this? Absolutely not! Because that portion of the market was never mine to begin with! There is a portion of the market that cannot afford me and/or does not value photography in the way that I do. AND THAT’S OK!

It is our responsibili[...]

Pricing for YOUR local economy

April 21st, 2020

Become Profitable Now!

In this post, I’m gonna walk you through how to make a 60k annual salary working part time as a photographer. Why 60k and not 150k? In the US, the average annual income of a photographer is 20k-45k. Not only that, but if you make just 65k annually, you’ll be outperforming 90% of other photographers! But, for the sake of simplicity, I’m using 60k as the income goal in this post.

Quick side note: Turns out, money CAN buy you happiness, but only to an extent. Check out the TIME magazine special: https://time.com/4856954/can-money-buy-you-happiness/ Rese[...]

Post-COVID Economy – 3 Things to do now

April 16th, 2020

Worried about your photography business after the economy re-opens? What will the world even be like after the COVID-19 economic shift? People are apprehensive but also just got stimulous checks. Excited to get back to work but also worried about job security. How is that going to effect your business? Here’s are 3 things you can do RIGHT NOW to help prepare your business for the new economy:

1) ADAPT: Prior to this pandemic, people were a little quicker to splurge and could be more easily convinced to purchase. When things re-open, it’s likely people aren’t going to be so quick to part with their money. You need to make your offerings IRRESISTIBLE! Give them WHAT they wa[...]

Smugmug Order Fulfilment Advanced Options

August 31st, 2012

For a while, I’ve been using my lab’s online photo order fulfilment system, but I’ve recently switched completely over to Smugmug’s order processing system. Smugmug had some of the options I was missing with the ordering system I was using previously.

Studio logo on prints Believe it or not, customers want your logo on your prints, or at least most of them do. With our old ordering system, there was no option for having a studio logo on the prints, and customers actually voiced their request that our lab add that as an option. That didn’t end up happening with the old system, but luckily, Smugmug does have an option to include your studio logo on pr[...]

The Ice Society 2.0 Review

February 28th, 2012

For almost a year now, I’ve been soaking up teaching from Jerry Ghionis on the original Ice Society. Jerry is truly a master at both photography as well as teaching. Who knows how many hours I’ve spent watching Ice Society content, and I still pick up new stuff every time I watch. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Jerry rolled out The Ice Society 2.0.

Improved navigation The old navigation system was functional. Find the chapter you’re interested in, expand the chapter, and click on the section title to open content. After so long, I had gotten used to it. With the new layout, it’s easier to browse because each chapter has a thumbna[...]

Teri Quance Photography Workshop Review

February 22nd, 2012

Teri Quance of Quance Design and Photography brought a little Texas up to Illinois a couple days ago, and I was lucky enough to catch her workshop. In fact, her class was held in room A at Studio M, our photography rental studio in Belleville. Bonus! Plus she presented some great ideas.

Where we’re meant to be Right away Teri took off in a soul-searching morning filled with new ideas, group discussion, and worksheets. The bad news is now a room full of photographers know that I wanted to be a firefighter ninja when I was a kid. The good news is that I did also think back to times in my childhood where I experimented as a writer, musician, and videographer. At the end of[...]

HC Weddings – PR For St Louis Wedding Vendors

January 25th, 2012

Scott from The Hospitality Concierge was kind enough to sit down with me today and discuss a new marketing system for wedding vendors. HC is doing so many different things for vendors that I had a hard time wrapping my mind around exactly what it was they were offering. Then I realized it’s basically like HC is doing PR for the wedding vendor. They have 100 different ways of spreading good news about wedding businesses.

The Concept Brides want free stuff, and HC has stuff to give them. In order to win over a bride, The Hospitality Concierge offers a free pampering gift and a free meeting with a wedding planner. Brides can also plan their day and tell their story through [...]

BrideRush Interview

January 17th, 2012

Recently, I ran across the BrideRush website, and James from BrideRush was kind enough to answer a few questions.

TJ: For readers who haven’t heard of BrideRush, could you give me a short and sweet idea of what BrideRush is about?

James: BrideRush is for busy brides with little time for planning and for brides with short engagements. We offer exclusive, date-specific deals, helping wedding vendors fill unfilled dates and helping brides save a bundle. As more and more couples choose to plan their weddings in six months or less and select their venue and vendors closer to their wedding date, BrideRush also is the home for information on how to get it all done easily and quickly[...]

Smugmug Order Fulfillment Review

January 10th, 2012

When Larissa and I first started our photography business, she asked me to geek it out and program an online ordering system to let our customers see their pictures from their session and place their order online. The online ordering system I made has worked out well for us, but it still takes work to place the orders through our lab after the customers have entered their order online. It would be a gross understatement to say that I really don’t enjoy manually ordering prints, so when I heard about Smugmug’s online order fulfillment option, I jumped at the chance to try it out. Let someone else do the work and I just collect a paycheck? Sign me up.

Opportunity Come[...]

Brand Over Benefits

December 27th, 2011

A couple months ago, I was putting my 2 year old daughter down for a nap, and she asked for her Strawberry Shortcake blanket. The blanket was in another room so I didn’t want to go get it (ok, I think it was on the other side of the room, but who cares?). I had another blanket right at the end of the bed, so I started to cover her with that one. She took her binky out – “NO THE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE BLANKEY”. Again, Strawberry was hanging out at the other side of the room, and I had stuff to get done. I told her the blanket I had was softer, warmer, and bigger. None of that mattered to her. It wasn’t about comfort. It was about a cartoon image on the t[...]