Cheetah Stand Review

June 13th, 2011

Larissa and I love shooting fashiony strobed images. We also move around from place to place quite a bit while we’re shooting. A few months back we were getting pretty frustrated with our light stands. It seemed like they couldn’t keep up with our fast-paced shooting style. We were always having to open the legs, tighten, loosen close, repeat… What a pain.

Automatic light stand We heard about a product called the Cheetah Stand where the legs would automatically collapse or expand as you picked it up or put it down. I was pretty skeptical that this would be the solution to our problem, but turns out the product does exactly what it says. There’s a cent[...]

Rod Evans APPI Seminar Review

May 31st, 2011

Let me first start by apologizing for not posting in so long. It’s been my goal to post at least once or twice each week, and until last week I had been keeping up with that goal. Unfortunately, as much as I love blogging, I love keeping our customers happy even more, so no blog post last week (as a quick tip – any blogging you do is less important than keeping customers referring others to your business).

On to Rod Evans and APPI. Amazing and amazing. Seriously, Rod rocked the show in the small town of Germantown IL. As far as I can remember, this was my first time seeing Rod speak in person, but I think I might have caught him on PhotoVision before. Not sure. H[...]

Professional Photographer Camera Settings

May 13th, 2011

One of the search terms I see showing up in Google Analytics for my blog is “professional photographer camera settings”. While I think I’m pretty good at search engine optimization, I didn’t realize I was good enough to show up for terms that I didn’t have content for. Actually, that just makes me look stupid for showing up in search results where I don’t have relevant material. So to reduce the amount of stupid that I look, I thought it would be nice to write about camera settings for professionals. So here we go – how to set up your camera in the perfect way to make yourself look like a professional and start raking in the cash (because prof[...]

SEO For Photographers – Link Exchanges

May 11th, 2011

Link Exchanges – trading links with another website in order to rank higher in the search engines. Sounds great, but does it really work? I’ll let you know that in the past, I tried using link exchanges as a link-building technique, but since then, I’ve stopped using this method for SEO.

Adding value Hopefully your business is built around adding value to the lives of your customers. Your marketing should follow that same rule. The best marketing material will educate, entertain, or inform. If you’re exchanging links with some photographer half way across the world, are you really doing any of those? I came to the conclusion that for our business, getti[...]

KEH.com Return Process Review

May 5th, 2011

Nobody likes to go through the returns process for equipment. Unfortunately, even equipment that has been tested for defects will have intermittent issues that are hard to detect without regularly using the equipment. That was the case with a Sigma 70-200 that I recently picked up from KEH.com. According to Sigma, the lens had a problem with the diaphragm sticking. They suggested returning the lens to KEH. I’d had great success with buying equipment from KEH in the past, but I know the returning merchandise can be a real test of the vendor’s commitment to customer service.

Professionalism about return I talked to Dan at KEH about the issues I was having with my len[...]

SongFreedom.com Interview

May 2nd, 2011

TJ: Matt, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today about SongFreedom.com. It’s such a great service, and I think photographers everywhere appreciate the effort you’re putting into the SongFreedom.com project.

TJ: So for a photographer who’s just now discovering SongFreedom.com, could you give a quick overview of how SongFreedom.com is different than sites offering royalty free music?

Matt: We created Songfreedom so photographers and their customers wouldn’t have to suffer through generic sounding music any longer. We offer high production value music including songs you’ve probably heard on the radio that your clients might a[...]

Silverlake Photo Accessories Interview

April 27th, 2011

TJ: Travis, Thanks for taking the time for the interview. I know you guys are busy there. I was first introduced to Silverlake at a Power of Passion Tour, and I’ll have to say I was very impressed. I also saw that you guys showed up in an article in this month’s Professional Photographer magazine, which is awesome!

Travis: Thanks TJ. We are happy to have been able to meet you on tour. Yes, things have been crazy around here lately and this new line of Colorsmack Backdrops has been keeping us hopping

TJ: Probably the first thing that caught my attention looking at your backdrops was that they’re wrinkle free, but not like the wrinkle free stuff I’ve[...]

Moving PhotoOne Orders & Payments To StudioCloud

April 26th, 2011

So the day has finally come to make the big transition over to StudioCloud from PhotoOne. Since I started the process, we’ve added quite a few customers and appointments, so I decided to start fresh by transferring customers and transferring appointments again. It took about 30 minutes to export, then re-import, and most of that time was in the PhotoOne export. After the most recent data for customers and appointments was transferred over, it was time to transfer the orders and payments.

In PhotoOne, start off by going to Utilities > Export > Export To Excel > Orders

You probably won’t have any spreadsheets defined. Click New.

<[...]

Canon Rebel T2i Video Mode Review

April 19th, 2011

We recently picked up a Canon Rebel T2i so we could shoot some additional video at our weddings – nothing as amazing as our friends at Peace Love Productions consistently put out, but just something extra for our clients who don’t have a videographer. If you’re considering purchasing a T2i, here are a few things I didn’t find other people mentioning online, but I wish I had known before I made my purchase.

Where’s video mode? If you think the T2i is going to be basically the same as a 5D Mark II just with a different crop factor, you’re in for a big surprise. I must have tried to get video mode working on the T2i for 15 minutes. I’m push[...]

How To Promote A Photography Blog

April 15th, 2011

In a recent post on blogging tips for photographers, I covered the basics on determining WHAT you should be blogging so people actually care what you’re writing. Of course, writing great content does you no good if nobody knows your blog exists. Today, we’re going to look at ways to make sure your blog gets the readers it deserves (your blog does deserve to be read, doesn’t it?).

Actively Promoting… It’s time to get to work. It’s highly unlikely that people will randomly stumble onto your blog. You don’t find yourself typing in url’s for random blogs do you? Most likely, the blogs you visit had a blog owner who took the time to [...]