Archive for March, 2011

SongFreedom.com Review

March 30th, 2011

I recently ran across SongFreedom.com – a Popular Music Library For Photographers And Videographers, and was pretty intrigued by the concept. The idea was that photographers could legally use mainstream music from artists like Train, Sister Hazel, and Jason Mraz on their slideshows and promotional videos. We’ve had customers asking for this stuff for a while now, so I was excited to give SongFreedom.com a try.

The difference mainstream music makes I’ve tried all kinds of royalty free music websites, and I’ve narrowed down to Triple Scoop Music and Animoto as the best of the best. I’ve made slideshows using music from both sites, and have been very h[...]

Power Of Passion Tour Review

March 29th, 2011

Last night, Larissa and I went to the Sandy Puc and Jerry Ghionis Power of Passion Tour right across the river in St Louis. We had a blast! Who says date nights have to be about dinner and a movie? For me and Larissa, our normal “date night” is Saturday night photographing a wedding, so this was a nice change of pace. Plus Larissa and I had to get our cuddle on and kiss in front of a couple hundred people, so that was exciting. On to the review.

Marketing material We’d never seen Sandy present before, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We found that Sandy is definitely on top of her marketing game. While none of the big concepts were new for us, she g[...]

GoDaddy Hosted Exchange Email With StudioCloud

March 23rd, 2011

So, it’s getting closer to the time where we’re going to make the jump from PhotoOne to StudioCloud (see why we left PhotoOne). I was thinking that we might be able to get up and running with just the customers and appointments moved over from PhotoOne, but there have been some other critical pieces to the system that we can’t do without (even temporarily). I was talking to Larissa the other day about making the switch to StudioCloud, and she asked if I had set up the automated emails in StudioCloud yet. OF COURSE I set up the automated emails – ok, no, I completely forgot. I took a quick look at the email template editor in StudioCloud (by the way, it looks li[...]

Effective Marketing With Direct Mail

March 14th, 2011

First, I want to start off by saying I’m not an expert at direct mail. If you want good insight on how to correctly market with direct mail as a photographer, you need to expose yourself to the direct mail marketing genius of Bev Walden. The goal of this post is just to do a mini-case study of what kind of direct mail pieces work and don’t work (on me).

Outdated mailing lists – FAIL What a waste of marketing dollars. From what I’ve seen, direct mail marketing isn’t cheap. For a national company with a huge distribution, it’s especially costly. So my question is why I’m getting mail for baby formula when my youngest kid is 2 and a half years o[...]

Suave Album From Design By Jenn Review

March 8th, 2011

Larissa here, writing on TJ’s blog. I am so excited about this new product I found. Since it involves Photoshop, it makes sense for me to be the one writing about it.

Today I’m going to talk to you about using Photoshop templates. Templates are a great solution for photographers who don’t have a lot of time to design their own stuff and for those not particularly adept at designing in Photoshop. There are several great sites out there with fantastic designs, and I’ve used many of them, but one in particular recently caught my attention… Design by Jenn. Her template designs are adorable, but that’s not what caught my attention the most. What really got me excited was her m[...]

Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II With Original 5D

March 7th, 2011

This wedding season, we’ve determined that we’re going to do things differently. We’ve got plans to be one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world. Ambitious? Sure, but that’s what makes the journey fun for us. We’ve added a wedding assistant. That was a stroke of genius. We move quicker and have been getting better images with her help.

One of the other things we’re doing is experimenting with new equipment. We recently bought a 5D and Rebel T2i from KEH (see my post on the KEH experience), and I rented a 70-200 2.8 IS II from a local camera store. I actually wanted the non-IS version, but for some reason none of our local camer[...]

KEH.com Review

March 2nd, 2011

Recently, Larissa and I decided to upgrade some of our gear to let us do more video and to give both me and Larissa full-frame cameras. We considered buying another 5D Mark II, but ended up going with a Rebel T2i and an original 5D. Basically, we got the T2i for video and the original 5D for the full-frame body. I ended up buying both cameras from KEH.com, and I wanted to let you know how the experience was.

Selection I had looked on Craigslist and a couple other websites for a used 5D, and also for the Rebel T2i, but I wasn’t having much luck with most of the websites I checked. Based on a previous recommendation from another photographer, I checked out KEH.com to see if they h[...]