Friday, February 28, 2014

Photos of the Month

All images submitted to and chosen from the KEH Camera Flickr Group pool.  To view a photographer's profile or to enjoy a larger version of their photograph, click on the link below the image to be directed to their Flickr page.

Thank you to our Flickr members for the wonderful submissions.  Please join our group, and your photograph might be featured in next month's post!














Thursday, February 27, 2014

Free Shipping on Accessories!

Now until midnight tonight, receive FREE FedEx Ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous United States on orders containing $150.00 or more worth of accessories!


What qualifies?  Here's just a short list of categories, but many other items may apply as well:

  • Bags and Cases
  • Filters
  • Batteries and Chargers
  • Caps
  • Lens Shades
  • Memory Cards
  • Plus many more accessories! 


If the individual accessory is over $150.00, then the qualifying red FREE SHIPPING flag will be visible.  If the individual accessory is below $150.00, then you will need to have a cumulative order total of $150.00 worth of accessories to qualify for free shipping.  Once your total dollar amount of accessories reaches $150.00, the discounted shipping will be reflected in the shopping cart.  Other items may ship with your order, you will just need to make sure you add $150.00 worth of accessories in order to receive free shipping.  Promotion is not applicable to prior purchases or existing orders.

Shop now by clicking HERE to access our online camera store.  Don't forget, this promotion ends tonight at midnight, so be sure to take advantage of the savings!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Balancing Business and Family

It will always be a challenge but I promise you can make it work.

Working smarter, not obnoxiously longer hours:

If you are just in the planning stages of starting your business now is the time to decide when and how long you will work your business.  If you are already up to your elbows in your studio it is never too late to take control.  Here are a few tips for taking back your time:

1. Choose hours that work around your family's needs.
If you are a newborn and baby photographer you may choose to only work in the mornings when your children are in school.  If you photograph families it may be best to schedule sessions right after dinner.  If you tell your clients that you are available anytime they are you will find yourself shooting any and ALL the time. Make your clients aware of your available days and times and stick to them. No one expects to show up to a department store when they are not open and have it opened just for them.  Treat your business like a business and others will too. This applies whether you work from home or have a retail studio location.


2. Don't make promises you can't, or don't want to keep.
Set a reasonable amount of time per session to edit, organize, and prepare your photos for presentation to the client.  Remember that it is always better to deliver early then late.  If you tell the client their portraits will be ready in two weeks and you deliver in one, you look great.  If you promise one week and deliver in two, NOT GOOD.  Make sure you schedule the time you need to edit.  If you have little ones maybe nap time will work for you.  If you work well late at night after the kids go to bed, that's great.  Just make sure you set a time limit and QUIT when time is up.  If you have a retail studio, set your hours and work during those hours.  When the studio is closed, go home. Like any other job, your family will appreciate you leaving work at work.


3. Pay yourself well.
I can't say this enough and it seems to fit into every category we've discussed thus far!  Do not under price yourself.  Your talent and time are worth more than you think.  When pricing your sessions, prints, or digital images you MUST take your time into account.  It is more valuable than any other aspect of your business.  When you work for an employer they pay you for the hours you work (your time).  It is never negotiable.  It is an agreement you make when you start working.  How many hours does it take you to prepare for a session?  What about actual time with the client?  Editing?  Price yourself appropriately so that you can plan ahead and make the income you need to make in the time you have.


4. Involve your family in your business.
Sounds scary right?  Maybe not.  If you have older children they can be helpful in managing the schedule, keeping books, and assisting on shoots.  After all it IS a family business.  Let the family in on the business.  It's a great way to spend time together, and for the kids to make a few bucks and learn some responsibility.  My daughter's (ages 21, 19, 16, 11, & 9) have all participated in different aspects of our business.



My kids are awesome!  They went through a lot with me in the beginning (and the middle...).  They will be the first to tell you that I was gone way too much.  That I worked too hard and was stressed out.  They will also be the first to tell you that they are proud of me.  They know that I made a choice to start my own business so that I could be in control of my time and spend more with them.  We are all looking forward to the day that becomes a reality!  I kid.  It takes some time.  It will be harder in the beginning but if you stick to your guns and stay focused you will get there.

Remember, it is YOUR time and you are the boss of it.  Make it work for you, not the other way around.


find Kim at: 1000 Words Photography

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Knity-Grity Details in the Metadata



Post 12
Series: Introduction to Adobe Lightroom®

A Rose by Any Other Name…

This isn’t just a simple name-your-image-tool. Metadata is an ambiguous term for “data that describes data”. In Lightroom, metadata is the information you choose to attach to your images. This information can describe the image, claim ownership and copyright, and a whole lot more.

Saving Precious Time

You can save yourself a great deal of time by manually entering your metadata information, and saving it as a preset. All your photos have metadata attached to them, whether you specify it or not. Make sure the data attached to your images is the information you want to be there. If you post or share your images online, then having your metadata set will provide the copyright and pathway back to you, the owner of the image. 


Under Apply During Import, click on the arrows to the right of Metadata and select New.




What’s in the Data?

In Basic Info, make sure your name is attached to your images. If you want to use the rating tool, this can help you sort your images within Lightroom at a later point. Other information you can add in Camera Info is Commentary, GPS coordinates, Altitude and Direction. If I were shooting in the Andes Mountains, for example, this might be really fascinating information to record that I was facing west while shooting at ____ altitude at _____ at _________ latitude and longitude. (But I do tend to be a nerd that way. Shout out to my fellow nerds!)
Here is what your New Metadata Preset box looks like: 


IPTC What?

Wikipedia web definition of IPTC is:

“The International Press Telecommunications Council, based in London, United Kingdom, is a consortium of the world's major news agencies and news industry vendors.”

Yahoo’s Definition of IPTC data is:

IPTC data is a method of storing textual information in images defined by the International Press Telecommunications Council.”

I can’t stress enough the importance of what you choose as your IPTC content. This is a kind of marketing tool for your work, and it’s value is beyond explainable. If you want to know more, research The International Press Telecommunications Council.

IPTC Content is a brief written summary of the image, a newscode found at newscode.org, and the name of the person writing the photo description.

MINE. The Copyright

Copyright is your name. Your images belong to you. Specifying this makes it so that permission is required for anyone to use your image. Copyright Status is either “unknown” or “copyrighted”. I recommend specifying that your image is copyrighted. Rights Usage Terms are “All rights reserved”. Copyright Info URL is your website. Once you have entered in all the information, (make sure you check the boxes to the right side of the information you want to include, and then click create). 

If you are prompted to do so, choose Save Current Settings as New Preset.

Want to go back and change your settings? Simply go back and click on Edit Presets.

Choose your Destination for saving copies of your images, and you are ready to move on to actually looking AT your images. But wait! There's more...



(Next Post: Comparisons Comparisons… Lightroom and Compare View)


These posts are part of a series: Introduction to Adobe Lightroom®

Jennifer Apffel is a photographer with over a decade of experience in portrait, event, and product photography. She also does freelance graphic design and fine art. For more check out jenniferapffel.com, albaphotography.net, or look for her on fineartamerica.com.
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Photo Contest Winner!

We are pleased to announce the winner of the Reddit Photography Best of 2013 Competition! Congratulations to Tristan Edsall!  We hope you enjoy your $200 KEH Camera gift certificate!

© Tristan Edsall



Behind the Image:
"This photo was taken in Kolmanskop, a ghost town that was once the centre of diamond mining (or rather scouring - the diamonds sit in the desert sands) in southern Namibia. The door is the side entrance to the old hospital, which like most of the other buildings in the area is slowly being buried by sand dunes moving across the town. I didn't give much thought to this shot when I took it, but rather concentrated on taking thousands of photos of doorways in the residential section, but upon editing this one stood out as my favourite of the day. Camera was a Panasonic GX1 with the pana 14mm 2.5, 3 exposure HDR (handheld!) and put together in HDRefex."

Congratulations, Tristan, and a huge thank you to everyone that participated!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Want to Blow Your Mind? Development Settings Importing in Lightroom

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Post 11
Series: Introduction to Adobe Lightroom®

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Oh the Possibilities!

There are a “ton” of possibilities in the Develop Module of Lightroom. But before you even get there, you have the option of using a few of those development capabilities AS YOU IMPORT. Yes, you can apply a set of selected image changes before you even see your images open. Why would you want to do this?

I often shoot indoor sporting events, and the lighting is terrible. I bring my best camera equipment for the type of images I need, and then I make sure my camera settings are optimal. (If you have any pointers on capturing high speed in low light, let me know!) After all this, I still end up with a group of images that need tweaks. Have a batch that you want to give a vintage look to? Turn all images grayscale? Here is one place to wave a magic wand.

In order for this to work for you, you’ve got to know what the settings will do to your images. You might want to test an image or two out before you import the entire batch, so you know exactly what to choose.

Your Apply During Import Development Settings are found directly underneath File Renaming.



Click on the arrows on the right side of “none”, and you have seven Preset groups to choose from.



Here are your options in B&W Filter (My!):



Here are other B&W options (Oh my!):



Here are B&W Toned choices (My oh my!):



Color Presets (Going cross-eyed yet?):



Effect Presets (Head is spinning):



General Presets (Some of my favorites):


And settings for video (Did you say VIDEO? Sure did.):



Are you having fun yet?!

(Next Post: Knity-Grity Details in the Metadata and your Destination)


These posts are part of a series: Introduction to Adobe Lightroom®

Jennifer Apffel is a photographer with over a decade of experience in portrait, event, and product photography. She also does freelance graphic design and fine art. For more check out jenniferapffel.com, albaphotography.net, or look for her on fineartamerica.com.




Turning Your Passion Into a Business: Part 4

Branding

What is a "brand"?


Well, let's start with a definition:

Branding is the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the mind of the consumer, mainly through advertising with a consistent theme. Branding establishes a significant and unique presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.  (businessdictionary.com)

3 Reasons why you need a Brand:

1. Branding delivers your message clearly.  It's a great way to communicate with your potential clients.  It presents your business to the market and tells the world what it is that you do.  It allows you to convey your niche and style.  All of this without speaking a word!  (Introverts rejoice!)

Using my logo as an example:


The cutesie camera lets customers know that I work with babies and children.  Hopefully when they see it attached to my work, on my business cards, website, and Facebook page,  they will remember me by that cutesie camera. 
 

Sometimes I meet people who don't have babies, but they know someone who does.  If they are convinced by my branding that their friend will like my style, they WILL tell their friend about me. 


 
2. Branding creates a connection between you and your clients.  Think about the brands you love.  You tell your friends, you put stickers on your car, and you wear their logos on your clothes.  That's how you want people to feel about YOUR business.  You want them to come back so make it easy for them to remember you.  I have a photographer friend who photographs high school seniors.  Because of his distinct modern style it is easy to identify his work.  Because the vinyl logo he gives all of his senior clients is very modern and cool, they put it on their cars.  And because his very cool modern logo ends up on all those cars, he is the most popular senior photographer in the region because so many seniors are looking for modern and cool.  Having his logo on a car has become a bit of a status symbol in our area.  It is one of the most successful examples of branding I have ever seen!




3. Branding sets you apart from the competition.  How many photographers are in your local market?  About 400 million?  Okay, maybe that number is a bit high, but that's what it feels like sometimes.  Use your brand to stand out from the crowd.  You can also use your brand to target the clients you really want.  There are a lot of wedding photographers out there, and just as many different styles.  If your talent and passion tends towards the vintage, you are looking for a vintage bride.  Your brand should shout VINTAGE! 

3 Questions to ask before branding your business:

1.  What is your niche?  This goes back to the previous post on determining your passion.  Decide what you want to do and become the best at that thing.  For me it's newborns.  For some it's vintage weddings.  For others it is fine art photography.  Take some time if you need to.  You want your brand to be enduring and consistent so wait until you know what your niche is before diving in to the branding pool.

2. What is your style?  This is not the same as your niche.  Your style makes you unique and sets you apart from others who share your niche.  Some newborn photographers use studio lighting and elaborate sets.  I photograph newborns using natural light and very few props.  My branding is also simple.  I have made sure that potential clients know what their experience will be with me, and I make sure that every client has the same experience.

3. What is your business personality? Innovative, sophisticated, energetic, creative?  I work with brand new little people.  They need extra gentle care.  They need warmth and quiet.  New moms are typically a nervous bunch and need to know that you will treat their baby as carefully as they do.  I spend a lot of session time snuggling baby and talking soothingly to mom.  I want every client's experience to be comforting.  This is my business personality.  My branding reflects comfort and love and warmth through the colors and shapes and photographs that I present in my marketing materials and portfolio.  Make sure your branding fits your personality and that of your business.  



The takeaway:

Don't let the idea of creating a brand overwhelm you.  There is no need to rush into it.  Get some basic business cards and get out there.  Start paying attention to your strengths and build on them.  Ask your clients why they chose you over another photographer.  And remember this:

It takes more than great photographs to get the attention of your potential clients.  It takes a memorable brand.  Your brand is not just a logo or a business card.  It is the experience you give your clients and expresses the value you provide.  Let the world know who you are, what you do, and how amazing you are!

Next week:

Got kids?  Tips for balancing business ownership and family life. 
 (My girls will be contributing as well so it should be fun!)

 
 Find her at 1000 Words Photography