This is a guest post by Veronica Gillis from Veronica Gillas Photography.
As professional photographers, we are asked a whole lot of questions. Honestly, almost everyone peppers me with them when they find out what I do. Usually, they ask about my camera and lens, or the props that I use. However, on one very magical Wednesday last week, a total stranger asked me a question that I guess no one had thought to ask before. And, well, I thought it was a good enough question that I should share it, and my answer, with you here.
Now, I consider myself to be pretty quick on my feet. I was totally expecting this young lady to ask me how to pose a newborn or what lens she should buy next. So imagine if you will, yours truly grasping for a coherent sentence when she asked me what three pieces of advice I would have given myself when I was just starting out.
Fantastic question! After six years of dabbling with photography, there are so many things that I wish I could tell amateur Veronica that professional Veronica knows now. I’ve picked out the five (I added two for good measure) that I think are most important for amateurs and hobbyists looking to go pro. If you let me, I would talk forever about all of the things I know now that I didn’t know then, but I guess that’s kind of the story of everyone’s life, isn’t it?
So without further ado, here are the answers that I gave her, and then some!
Well, this is a little different than normal because there are no babies or children or pregnant women in this session! But we thought it would be a cool idea to post these images sent to us by Aimee Pool Photography of her new studio. In a way, she is giving us a virtual studio tour entirely through static images. It looks absolutely gorgeous and very well done! If you have any questions for her, drop her a note in the comments below.
This is a guest blog post by Erin Potter, owner of Captures by Erin located in Fort Worth, Texas. Thank you, Erin, for an exclusive look inside your immaculate studio!
When creating an inviting space for your littlest clients, you should thoughtfully consider several factors. Is it comfortable for mom and dad, soothing to the baby, and practical for you as a photographer? Size does not matter! Utilizing those factors while making the most of the square footage you have is key!
Please join us in welcoming back Zach Prez, author of 7 ebooks and the tremendous resource, Photography Web Marketing Guide. Be sure to check out his website and like his Facebook page to stay current on some of the best advice for your photography business. In addition to his ebooks, Zach offers a range of services from free advice to personal coaching to help you improve (or begin) your marketing efforts and reach new clients.
Turn Web Visitors Into Clients
Would you rather have a hundred people visit your website without making a purchase or one person visit your site and hire you? The only visitors I track are the ones who hire me and all my marketing activities try to increase that number. A traffic generating website cannot stand alone, it needs to turn the visitor into an action taker. This post outlines three Ps potential clients seek before making a purchase decision. Make sure these are extremely visible in order to drive clients to pick up the phone and contact you.
Professional Photos (no surprise)
People visiting your website need to see wonderful photos before they’ll book a session. You already know that. You may not know how difficult you’re making it to get potential clients to the right photos.
I’ll demonstrate with an example. Pretend you’re renting space at an event and will hand out a flier promoting your photography. You can show a handful of photos on that flier, say three to seven. I suspect you’ll pick out a variety of your best work and show all of them on the front of the flier so everyone can see your stuff and make a purchase decision in less than ten seconds.
Now, I want you to go to your website and time how long it takes to see those very same photos you would have put on the flier.
How many clicks does it take the user to get to the handful of images you really want them to see?
Most photographers use two or three photos on a splash page, forcing users into a Flash gallery and wait through minutes of slideshow to see everything (and exclude iPhone users in the process). Most photographers show their most recent project first on their blog, instead of showing your most important post up front. Remember to show a variety of styles across many sessions, giving you more chances that one of them will resonate.
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.