February 2012

Photographers Who Inspire | April Nienhuis

by Liz LaBianca
Please welcome Tulsa photographer, April Nienhuis.  In addition to her photography business, April is also a mentor at Clickin Moms, the Assistant Editor of the CMblog, and is available for custom mentoring sessions. April’s generosity and advice in this Photographers Who Inspire interview is great example of the resources available to Clickin Moms members.  If you’re not already a member, be sure to join today.

Who was your original inspiration when you started your business? Who inspires you now?
Andrea Murphy (www.amurphyphoto.com) is and was one of my biggest inspirations.  I second shoot weddings for her and not only is she a wonderful photographer but she’s also a fantastic business woman.  She’s always generous with her knowledge and encourages me in business.  Other photographers I love are Jerry Ghionis, Bobbi + Mike, Elizabeth Messina, pretty much all the photographers in CMpro, and so many others.

What was the hardest part of starting your own business? What do you wish you would have known?
Pricing.  I spent so much time stressing over pricing only to realize a year later that I was charging way too little.  I wish I had asked someone for guidance with my pricing and held off on business for another year or two so that I could better develop my skills.

Tell us about your favorite lens and why it is #1 in your camera bag over your other lenses.
The Canon 100L is my absolute favorite lens.  Not only is it a great macro lens but it’s also beautiful for portraits.  The quality, color, and contrast is superior to many of the other L lenses I’ve used.  It doesn’t get near the praise it deserves.

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Newborn + Lifestyle Session by Sara Jensen Photography

Here’s a lovely session from Sara Jensen Photography that combines a bit of both newborn portrait photography and family lifestyle photography. It’s a great example of how siblings and extended family can be part of the session, while the parents have a wide variety of images from which to choose. Some great advice from Sara of how important it is to listen to the parents and give them options. Share your thoughts below.

newborn and parents photograph

newborn baby and family

newborn baby and brother

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Learn Shoot Inspire Workshop with Sarah Ulrich

Here’s another great learning opportunity from learnshootinspire.com; but, we’re told only a few spots remain…

Newborn Sessions: Start-to-Finish with Sarah Ulrich 
Sarah Ulrich is well known in the photography industry for her unique lighting knowledge and ability to capture almost perfect images straight out of the camera (SOOC) with very little editing required after.  If you’re eager to learn how to let the camera do more of the work than the computer, this is the workshop from you. This is an online workshop running from March 12th – April 8th, 2012. Last time it was offered, this workshop sold out, so if you’re interested,  grab one of the few slots remaining. Keep in mind, this is a comprehensive training program that will address what you need to know before, during and after the newborn session. If you have any questions, contact LSI on their Facebook page!

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BEFORE YOU CLICK: Important Considerations For Your Photography Business

The following is a guest post from Kara Jensen Zitnick of LaunchHER. This first article is part one of four and will set up the foundation of legal issues any photography business owner needs to address. In part two, Kara will discuss contracts; in part three, copyrights; and in part four, trademarks. Kara is a great resource, has affordable rates and is passionate about helping small business owners. Pleave your comments and questions below and check out her website: LaunchHER.com.

BEFORE YOU CLICK :: Important Considerations For Your Photography Business
Part One :: 3 Steps to a Solid Foundation

contract for a photographer

Your business means the world to you. Your heart and soul is in every shot, click and pose. Put your business on solid ground in three simple steps:

1. Make It Legal :: Choose a business entity for your venture. Whether you operate as a Sole Proprietor, Partnership or LLC (Limited Liability Company), creating a legal entity under which to operate your photography business can personally protect you from liability, as well as provide potential tax consequences, depending upon your entity choice.

A Sole Proprietorship is the easiest of the entity choices to form. Generally, you operate as a Sole Proprietor if you have not formed any other entity. Doing Business As (DBA) is a common form of Sole Proprietorship. When operating as a Sole Proprietor, your personal assets can be used to satisfy business debts and liabilities. If a law suit is filed against your photography business, the suit is, essentially, filed against you personally. Profits and losses are reported on the owner’s individual tax return.

Partnerships are formed between two or more people. While partnerships may be formed on a simple handshake and oral agreement, it is smarter to operate under the terms of a written agreement. Partnership Agreements govern how the entity will operate, how profits and losses will be shared, among other things. An attorney can draft a partnership agreement that reflects the role of each partner, as well as how the partners desire the joint venture be operated.

In general, LLCs give its owners (members) limited personal responsibility for business debts and liabilities of the company against creditors. This means your personal assets cannot be used to satisfy business debts. Profits and losses are reported on the owners’ personal tax returns, so no taxes are paid at the business level. LLCs are formed at the state level by filing the state-required documents and paying applicable filing fees.

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Responsive Websites for Photographers

We look at dozens of photography websites each week and take note of some of the best practices and trends. Responsive design is a growing trend that makes sense to us  and one you’ll be hearing more about.

(Need help with your website? Drop us a line below.)

You’re on the go and so are your clients
The web viewing habits of consumers have been changing for years with mobile devices accounting for a growing percentage of web traffic to photography business websites, blogs and Facebook pages. In fact, there will soon come a time when more people access the web via mobile than by PC.

A photographer’s website  needs to be planned to work for mobile, tablets, and desktops.  Almost a quarter of all of our web traffic (24.% of total visits) comes from mobile devices. Of that, almost 90% is iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch).  As we plan an overhaul of our site, one of our top priorities is accommodating the different size screens — responsive design. As we build out the Inspire Me Baby store, for example, we’re already using a responsive theme. If you re-size the browser you can see how the page is re-organized.

Different Views for Different Screens
The beauty of a responsive design is that it  recognizes the size of the screen on which it is being viewed and reorients and resizes for an optimal layout. This is called by some, the Goldilocks approach: a large design for desktop and laptop screens, a medium layout for tablets, and a small layout for mobile phones. Live Example. If you’ve ever tried viewing a non-responsive photography portfolio on an iPhone or Android browser, you know how annoying it is trying to pinch and zoom in and out of the site to alternate between reading the text and viewing the image.  There are plugins that will recreate a WordPress site with a mobile version of the theme, but this can make your site look inconsistent and challenging to navigate. If you’ve ever tried using Amazon.com on a mobile phone, you’ve experienced this first hand.

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