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Creative Dudeoir Latest Articles Modeling people

Convincing Men to do Photoshoots

So if you haven’t noticed, male portraiture seems to be the latest trend.  Everywhere you look on social media, there are photographs of men sultry posing with barely any clothing on.

Some have longing expressions in a black and white setting. Some show off their muscles in romantic lighting. And some barely cover their private parts with a carved pumpkin in a humorous Halloween-themed shoot.

Yet all these photographs have a similar theme.  They are tasteful.  Artistic, even. They’re very different, but they all radiate confidence and make an impact on the viewer nonetheless. That’s because – most of the time – they focus on the model’s character and portray his most honest and confident self. This type of photography is called Dudeoir.

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What is Dudeoir?

Dudeoir stems from Boudoir – a type photoshoot for women in lingerie that radiates erotica. Boudoir has been around for a very long time (since the 1940’s) and is still as popular as ever. Seems like every other photography studio in Atlanta offers Boudoir photoshoots for women, which is great!

But it has also branched out into other styles of photography, such as couple’s Boudoir and Dudeoir.

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Types of Dudeoir

Similar to Boudoir, Dudeoir focuses on portraying the male model in a possibly erotic atmosphere. Different techniques and photography skills get applied to bring out the model’s personality and make it shine through in their pictures.

However, Dudeoir can come in many forms.

  • Sexual Dudeoir

Imagine dim lights, minimal amount of clothing, and sensual posing – Dudeoir can scream erotica, but never pornography. Sexual Dudeoir photoshoot is a great surprise for your partner on Valentine’s day, birthday, anniversary, or any other special occasion.

Sexual Dudeoir can just as much be a celebration of your body as it can be an exploration of your sexuality. Seeing yourself in such context can be empowering and give you more confidence.

  • Whimsical Dudeoir

Dudeoir doesn’t necessarily have to mean sexy. It can just as well mean tasteful humor.

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Posing erotically is not your thing? Feeling a little shy as you’re out of shape? Or perhaps these photographs are a gift for someone other than your partner? Then you can always go for funny instead of erotic.

Pick a theme and set your photoshoot to suit it. Organize props, get the most revealing costume, and bring a good mood to your shoot. Stuff’s about to get crazy.

On a more serious note, there are tons of different ideas and settings that can go for. And as long as the photoshoot is done tastefully, whimsical Dudeoir can be just as effective and thought provoking as sexual Dudeoir.

 

Who is Dudeoir for?

Unlike many believe, Dudeoir is definitely not exclusive for professional male models. Anyone can have a photoshoot of this type. After all, the main goal is to appreciate the sexuality of the male body, no matter shape or size. And that’s exactly what makes this type of photography awesome.

Macho Men

If you have been working hard for months (or possibly even years) to achieve your perfect body shape, there is no better way to celebrate this accomplishment than by having a photoshoot. And a Dudeoir type of shoot focuses on enhancing your hard-earned results by showing off your muscles in the most complimentary lighting.

Ever dreamt of looking like Brad Pitt? This is how you make it happen. You bring the muscles, and I will mount the camera.

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Devoted Partner

Dudeoir-style photographs of yourself can be a great gift to your partner on pretty much any occasion. Imagine packing a beautiful box full of pictures that show your partner why they are so damn lucky to have you. It’s great!

Whether it’s sultry and erotic or good-spirited and charming, photographs of this kind are sure to spice things up in the bedroom.

Loving Couple

Another awesome idea for a present to your partner is a photoshoot for you both. Although technically it’s considered couples Boudoir, not Dudeoir, this type of shoot will capture your love and chemistry in a sensual environment._1070700

Will they be safe to frame and place on your mantelpiece? Well, that depends on what kind of photo shoot you are looking for. But, as a general rule, I try to capture at least a few shots that are going to be worthy of a spot on your wall.

Why more men should do photoshoots

No matter your reasons, I’m thrilled that you are considering having a photoshoot. In fact, I strongly believe that everyone should go and have their pictures professionally taken, especially men.

Why?

Because loving yourself should always come first, no matter your gender.

Many men still feel repressed when it comes to appreciating one self’s looks and feelings. Well, it’s 2018 and times have changed. It’s time everyone gets a chance to feel good and confident in themselves. And not the macho king of confidence. It is time to find your emotional side as well.

During the photo shoot, all focus goes on you and your story. It highlights the most positive aspects of your character and captures your honest emotions. It’s the best way to see yourself in the most truthful light, which is what will give you confidence in all other aspects of your life.

What do you think?

Have you ever had a Dudeoir photoshoot? If yes, how did you enjoy it? Was it a great surprise to your partner? Or did you have it to celebrate your personal achievements? Whatever the reason, I hope you had a good time and got awesome photographs.

And if you haven’t had one yet, or you’d like a new one, it’s time to book yourself in. After all, what better way to celebrate your own sexual potential than through tasteful and stylish photos that you get to keep forever?

Want to Give it a Shot?

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Creative Dudeoir Latest Articles

Dudeoir: Explained

What is "Dude"-oir?

Dudeoir

(n.) | (dü-ˌdwär) | dude·oir dud – oir

  1. a tasteful, yet enticing, masculine spin-off of boudoirphotography
  2. subtly provocative portraits of men that capture the essence of the masculine form in various states of undress, without being sexual in nature.

 

As a society, we’re doing a pretty good job at squashing the stereotypes of the past.  For example, we’ve come a pretty long way from thinking that women should be delicate and feminine – or that men should always be portrayed as strong and masculine.  In today’s time, the lines are becoming more and more blurred as androgyny and same-sex relationships become less of a social taboo. It’s strange, but also wonderful to think that the children being born hereafter will never know a world where gay marriage isn’t legal. It is pretty interesting that our next generation of adults will live in a society filled with acceptance, with true freedom to love whoever they want without criticism.

In this new society, we have had to redefine sexuality as we know it. For example, the word sexy mostly resonates with the female body, and only women can freely indulge in their sexuality and beauty without societal repercussions.

The photography style “Boudoir” came out in the 1920’s, in which the female body is celebrated no matter the models’ size or her imperfections. Yet as wonderful as this mindset is, there is something missing.

What? – you ask.

Well, men, of course!

And this is where Dudeoir comes in.


 

Where Does it Come From?

Dudeoir comes from the photography style Boudoir, a predominantly femenine niche  that celebrates the female body in a natural and beautiful way.   Dudeoir became popular in the UK in the early 2000’s, and it is now tearing through American cities like a bull in a china cabinet, proudly paving the way for male body positivity, self-exploration, mental-health awareness, and self-confidence.  The models are usually only partially clothed in order to reveal some skin, or in some cases, fully nude but always in a tasteful manner. Some Dudeoir photographers, like myself, make it a point to leave the most private bits to the viewer’s imagination.  

I know what you’re thinking.  

“PORN?!”

Absolutely not.

It is very different from what one would call pornography, because by nature, these portraits are not intended to be erotic, or to cause arousal to the viewer.  It is essentially whatever the model wants it to be, showing as much or as little skin as he is comfortable with. Sometimes props can be used, but the focus is always on the masculine form. Dudeoir is all about capturing the inner spirit of the dude in front of the camera.  To see through the skin and into the soul –  that is my challenge as the photographer.


Is it Supposed to be Funny?

As soon as Dudeoir gained some popularity, photoshoots of men in funny “sexual” poses started going viral and swamped the internet. Now let me set the record straight.  I have a pretty damn good sense of humor…but I also believe that it’s preposterous to think that male sexuality can only be funny. Not only is that extremely UN-true, it’s also kind of damaging to the image of man.  Here is a prime example: Dudeoir by Cameo.  This UK photographer elegantly captures her subjects in a way that promotes the subject’s masculinity, elegance, and confidence.

 

“…I’m not exactly model material”:..

The actual point of Dudeoir is to celebrate being a mantaking pride in who you are, to beautify the media’s stereotype of the male body, to instead be viewed in a more natural, more marketable way (exactly like Boudoir does with a female body). And no, you don’t need chiseled shoulders – or buns that could chip a tooth  – in order to have a sexy Dudeoir shoot.  Professional dudeoir photographers usually are quite experienced in terms of lights and shadows, and if it comes down to it, we’re usually equally as skilled in photoshop.  I always reassure my models, adn anyone would agree, that self-confidence is 10X more attractive than abs of steel.

⌈Need some “Pin-spiration” for your next Dudeoir session?⌋

I take Dudeoir very seriously. It’s a legitimate niche with a legitimate market that’s vastly undersaturated here in the US. due to how society continues to perceive the masculine form.  At the same time, self-esteem is at an all time low.  Men who don’t spend every day in the gym see themselves as invaluable, like they won’t be “sexy” until they look like the guys on tv.  Again, this is a direct result of the media; we barely see men on tv shirtless nowadays.  If we do, you can bet he is there to show off his washboard stomach, usually accompanied by a head full of rocks.   

Usually.

So… here’s my chance to plead my case. I grew up in a small, conservative town in Mississippi – so why am I taking photos of (partially) nude men? 

Because I like it. I’m good at it. Not to mention it allows me to rub shoulders with the kind of people I’ve always admired. People who are proud to be who they are.  People who are unafraid to rock the boat and push their limits. These people are usually very intelligent and don’t settle for less than they deserve.  These individuals are the embodiment of masculinity. Real men know who they are in this world and they’re not afraid to show it.

 


The Process

Sit back while I walk you through the Redfox process – how I take photos that radiate sensuality and confidence, but still produce photos a mother can be proud of.

First, I will recommend that we spend some time together building trust, usually over coffee or lunch – a day or two prior to shooting.  After all, not many people feel that confident getting half-naked (much less, fully naked) in front of a complete stranger holding a camera. 

Actually, I think I’ve had that nightmare.

So, when we meet prior to the shoot, we chat about your expectations, potential results, whether or not you plan to order prints, or maybe one of our new Look-books or Portfolios.  This is where you can ask me any general questions you may have.

I’ll answer the most popular question of all right here for you!

No dicks allowed…  

As a personal choice, none of my finished, edited photographs will ever show full-frontal nudity. I believe it to be distracting and overbearing. It prevents the viewer from appreciating the story being told by the photograph, and most importantly, it limits where you can exhibit your hard work.  

We will discuss what features and what parts of your body you are more self-conscious of, and which parts you love the most. This is your opportunity to get all the ego out of your system, cuz if you barge up into my studio doing the flex-y “beachball” thing… I’m gonna sit you in a bathtub and stick floaties on you.  


The idea is to capture a different side of you.  A side that vastly differs from the side that the world gets to see. 

This is the kind of information that helps me during the shoot itself.  I organize the poses and adjust lighting accordingly, and by the end of it, we have not only told a story, but we have real portraits, real emotion, focusing on the parts of the body you love while avoiding capturing parts you don’t really like.

The model release forms will be discussed thoroughly before any shots are taken.  It is very important that you make it clear on the form whether or not you allow your photos to be used for promotional use.  

There IS A BOX that makes SURE your photos stay 100% private, otherwise they will be posted to my website and used in future marketing materials.  However, I know from experience that once you see the finished photos, you will want to show the world.

During the photoshoot it is important to make you feel as comfortable as possible.  You can expect a relaxed environment, full of positive energy.  If you are too hot or too cold, let me know. Need some water or a snack? Not a problem.  Heck, if you feel like listening to a certain artist or station will get you in the right frame of mind, GO FOR IT.  I never rush through a shoot and I will always put your needs first.

After the photoshoot, we may take a look at what I believe will be some of the best shots. (This is a courtesy, as an unprocessed raw image sometimes looks very different than the final product) Then, you and I will part ways and I can begin working on the post-production stage of your session, the editing.   This leaves you to leap back into the real world – changed, confident, and sexually charged!

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Blogging Creative How To Posts

Blogging. You’re Doing It Wrong

When asked about what blogging is… many people will compare it to a diary –  a place where you share your knowledge, thoughts, and adventures. A place where you can ramble about your days and imagine you are talking to a huge audience simply waiting to hear more.

Well… That is very incorrect. In fact, it’s just plain wrong.

If you use your blog as described above, the only reader you will have is your mom. And I’m guessing that’s not your ultimate blogging goal.

Others may say that you must be more professional – only stick to stuff other people actually do want to read. And although they may be right, there is a lot more that goes into blogging if you want to eventually turn it into passive income. There are rules that no one likes to talk about because they feel so technical and uncreative.

But if you want your readers to take your blog seriously, you must avoid making the mistakes that nearly every fresh blogger makes. It’s an unavoidable step that you have to take if you aim for success.

So… without further ado, here’s the most common mistakes in blogging.

#1 Having no content guidelines

A professional blog absolutely must have content guidelines. Lets face it, content is the only reason your readers come to visit your site.

#2 Making your blog into a diary

Although you must show your character when you write (there is nothing worse than simple and plain text), you should avoid talking about yourself. As discussed in the beginning of this article, no one is interested in your daily routine or your life story. People come to your blog for one reason, and one reason only – to learn something new. And if you are not providing what your audience wants, soon you will be hearing crickets when you open your website.

#3 Writing for the sake of writing

This is another pretty common mistake that fresh bloggers make. They feel like they absolutely must publish something all the time, even if they don’t really have anything good to say.

Well, quality is a number one ingredient in making or breaking a blog. No one wants to waste their precious time reading crap content that doesn’t actually provide any information. So, just like my mama used to always say, “If you don’t have anything good to say, keep your mouth shut.”

#4 Skipping the planning of your articles

One of the worst feelings for a reader is trying to understand an article that jumps around between random points, and never really says anything in the end. That is what an unplanned article reads like.

Do your research, list out the bullets points of the topics you want to cover, and then organize them in a most logical order. Do this every single time.

#5 Having huge blocks of text

People have very limited attention span online. Keep this in mind at all points when writing for your blog. If your article of 1000 words only has one header and is split into two paragraphs, people will most likely quit and go look at someone else’s work. They don’t want to read something that looks and feels so academical. Big chunks of text in blogs just simply do not work.

Instead, split your text with images and headers. Keep your paragraphs relatively short (up to 5 sentences) and have around 300 words in between all headers. White space is your friend when you are writing a blog. It gives a sense of ease when looked at. It makes it much easier to concentrate, and more pleasant to read.

#6 “Click here”

When trying to interlink between your articles, or link to someone else’s website, avoid writing “Click here”.

“If you want to read the recipe for baking chocolate chip cookies click here”

or

“For the list of the best Christmas presents this year follow this link”

 

Aesthetically it looks awful, it’s unnecessary words, and Google ranking hates it. Instead, imbed the whole sentence or only the keywords. Done.

For example: Have you read our previous blog post about publishing e-books?

#7 Not having any social icons and CTAs

Say one of your readers loved your article. They want to share it with others as they found it very useful, and they think that their friends would as well. How can they do that if you don’t have any social icons strategically placed on you site? Do you think they would take the extra time and effort to copy the link and paste it on their social media? Some would, most won’t.

Have the buttons ready. Give your readers easy access to sharing to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and wherever else you seem fit. And after all of that add a CTA – ask them to subscribe. If they truly enjoyed reading your blog, they will. You in turn you will gain another loyal fan of your work.

#8 Having no blogging structure

For your work to be taken seriously you first have to take it seriously yourself. Simply writing up beautiful and useful content will not be enough to help your blog grow. Here’s what other mistakes you must look out for.

#9 Not editing your articles before posting

This is a huge no – no. Even if you feel like you got your article absolutely perfect and proofread it a few times straight after finishing. I can guarantee you that you missed a spelling mistake or two, or perhaps even wrote a sentence that makes no sense at all.

It is very important to edit and proofread your article before posting it. Best to do it a day or two after writing it so that you can have a fresh view of it. You can also read it out loud – helps to how you can improve the flow of your piece. Only then should you publish it with a calm heart and steady hands.

#10 Having irregular posting schedule

Too many fresh bloggers start their blog with publishing articles every single day until their passion and ideas fizzle out and they abandon their blog for a few months. Not only does this ensure bad quality writing, it breaks the trust and reliability with your readers.

It is best to have a schedule to which you can stick, and this way ensure the liveliness of your blog for the future. Publish one or two articles a week, every week. That is more than enough to build yourself up as a professional blogger.

#11 Not promoting your content

Say you wrote an incredibly useful article that your followers would love. Is it smart to just leave it published and hope that your readers will somehow find their way to reading it? No, it is not. The smart thing to do when blogging is to promote new material.

Share the article on your social media, include it in your newsletter, do what you can to inform your followers of its existence. However, do not spam. Simply share it around, and encourage others to do the same.

#12 Not answering all comments well, or worse… Not at all.

If a person put enough effort into leaving a comment on your blog post, it is your duty to reply with an elaborate and well-thought-out answer. That is how you built respect and trust with your readership.

If you ignore their comments, you will seem distant, arrogant, and aloof. People will stop coming to your website.

But if you answer each and every comment personally, elaborately and informatively, you will seem much more approachable and human. You will build a relationship with your readers and gain a loyal group of followers that love to hear what you have to say.

#13 Not using Google Analytics

If you are not using Google Analytics for your blog, you are not taking your blog seriously – simple as that. Otherwise, why would you not want to know how many people come to your website and what stuff they like to read most?

Google Analytics helps you track pretty much all of the most useful activity of your blog. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Which articles your readers like most, and which they never read to the end.
  • Where are people finding your content (Social media? Organic search? Advertisement?)
  • How high is your bounce rate? (A critical piece of information to building a successful blog.)

All of this information is crucial when blogging You can take it, experiment with it and find what works best.

The hard work is worth it, trust me.

Nothing that is worth having ever comes easy. Same goes for a successful blog that is producing a reasonable amount of passive income.

At first, all of these rules and mistakes to avoid can seem a little intimidating and hard to keep in mind. But with time it will all become like second nature. Just make sure to make a habit out of it!

By the way, if you need to improve your marketing skills I have just the thing.

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Business Creative Latest Articles Printing

Nothing beats a museum-quality canvas wrap

We all know the struggle of finding the perfect gift for your loved one. For each occasion, you want to show them how much you care, and how special they are, yada, yada, yada. But there’s just so many of these types of occasions throughout the year! There’s Christmas, an anniversary, a birthday, Valentine’s day… It can be truly exhausting trying to figure out the “perfect gift” each and every time.

You heard right. Redfox Productions now offers canvas printing!

It’d be nice if someone would come up with one, a single gift that you could give every single year, for every occasion. Unfortunately, nobody has figured that one out yet. But what if you could give a gift that has a timeless effect? One that could bring joy for years and years to come? A gift that creates that warm and fuzzy feeling inside every time we look at it. Well, lucky for you, I know just the thing.

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The Movement of Photo Printing

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How to Direct Inexperienced Models

Experience promotes skill.

Working with professional models is a real blessing. They know what is expected of them when they pose in front of the camera, and they know what to expect from you as their photographer. More importantly, they have had to time experiment and find out how to use their bodies and faces to give the photographs character, and they are comfortable with where they are and what they do.

However, working with young and inexperienced models is a very different story. Most of them feel slightly shy, vulnerable, and wary, which is completely understandable. It is your job as a photographer to guide both of you through this experience in a way that both parties will feel comfortable, professional, and leave the photoshoot happy because they got what they came for.

See, the line between the “friendly photographer” and the “creepy photographer” can seem a little confusing for some – it can be so easy to step over that line and freak your model out to the point that it earns you a bad name in the industry. So to help you understand how to direct inexperienced models and learn the very important boundaries, we will give you some advice. With these points in mind you will soon become the photographer that all of the models want to work with.

First impressions matter.

Your professionalism must begin from the very first sentence you say or write to your model. It does not matter if you begin your conversation online or in real life, you should be friendly yet professional, and most of all – respectful.

The first impression you make will be the image the model will have of you up until the photoshoot, and possibly all the way throughout it as well. If you ask too many personal questions or give too many compliments, you may seem interested in the model for all the wrong reasons. Stay professional and discuss only the things of importance. You can show a more relaxed side of your personality when you meet in person.

Get to know each other before the photoshoot.

Once you meet on the day of the photoshoot, spend some time with your model. The efforts you put in before the photoshoot will determine the outcome of the project. This is the part where you should build a good relationship and learn the boundaries – once those are in place it will be smooth sailing from there!

The best start to any friendship or relationship is to break the ice, and what better way to do it than to ask some questions and get to know each other? Before the photoshoot begins, spend some time with your model and ask her/him some questions about their career and future plans. Be friendly and relaxed, but not too invasive. Show some interest in your model, tell them a little about yourself, but always keep a respectful tone. Too many personal questions can make you seem creepy, and that’s definitely what you want to avoid.

Set the boundaries.

Now that you have created some sort of a relationship between you and your model it is time to set clear boundaries. Ask your model what they are and aren’t comfortable with, and make sure to memorize it well. Different models will have different boundaries and it is your job to make sure that you don’t overstep them, because doing so will only make you seem unprofessional and inconsiderate. And no model wants to work with a photographer like that.

Have fun during the photoshoot.

After an hour or so of getting to know each other and setting the boundaries it time to begin the photoshoot. By now your model should feel much more relaxed and comfortable, which is a necessity for a productive and smooth shoot. Make sure to keep the environment comfortable and relaxed for your model throughout the whole day, whilst staying respectful and professional. Keeping these points in mind will not only help you make some friends in the industry, but will also earn you a good name.

Direct your model.

Your model being inexperienced means that they don’t yet know how to hold their body to portray the needed characteristics. Subtle changes, like avoiding spread legs or straight unbusy arms, can make a huge difference on the overall look. Give directions, tell them to lift and bend their arms above their head. Ensure they seem safe and confident to experiment with their poses and you will end up with some surprisingly creative shots!

Same goes for the model’s face – encourage them to experiment with different emotions and gazes. Always have their eyes visible in the pictures. After all, they are windows to the soul, and that’s what gives life to the photographs.

Be approachable.

As the photoshoot continues, don’t get lost in your camera. You are photographing a person, not an object. Make sure to give feedback and compliments regularly, and every once in awhile go through the photos with your model. This will show them your appreciation and willingness to collaborate. Most importantly, it can help you build a potential friendship. And there’s never too many of those when trying to establish yourself in photography business.

Now that you have a clear idea of how to work with inexperienced models, it is time to put this knowledge to good use. Go find yourself a model and begin building your career! Also, share this article around with your photographer friends – it is crucial that more people understand the difference between friendly and creepy.

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Business Creative Latest Articles Pet Photography Posts

Choosing the Best Pet Photographer

Choosing the best pet photographer

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For most of us, our four legged furry friends are an inseparable part of the family. You could not imagine coming home and not being greeted by an excited woof that tells you how much you have been missed. In their eyes, you have been gone for years. In reality, you were gone for a few hours. Or could you imagine watching your favorite TV series and not feeling the warm cuddles with the soft vibration of a purr. That tender feeling that overwhelms your body – that’s real love.

As much as our pets improve our lives in more ways than it’s possible to mention, they also tend to leave us much sooner than we’d like. That’s the way of nature, and there’s nothing that can be done about that.

What you can do is capture those special moments and those loving eyes in a perfect photograph that will remind you of them for all the years they won’t be there to keep you company anymore. And as good as your phone camera is, it won’t stand a chance against a professional pet photographer’s skillset.

Only the best pet photographer will be able to capture the true essence and character of your pet. And here’s how to find them.

Look through the pet photographer’s portfolio

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Same as you would with a portrait photographer or a wedding photographer, you must always look through the portfolio of a pet photographer. A portfolio is the best possible representation of the photographer’s style, skills and professionalism.

If the pictures grasp your attention as soon as you lay your eyes upon them, that’s a good sign. Do the animals look relaxed and happy? That’s another good sign. After all, you don’t want a photographer that would intimidate or scare your pet. If they are unable to relax or feel comfortable, that is exactly what the photographs will display – not the best way to remember your pet later on, is it?

Looking through the pet photographer’s portfolio will also help you see the style of the photographs they produce. Same as photography in any other kind of field, pet photography varies from a professional to a professional. Pick the one that you related to most. Only you can understand which style will represent you furry friend in the best and most truthful way.

Check the pet photographer’s location

 

Imagine you found a pet photographer that fits all of your requirements – you love their style, their portfolio is full of beautiful and happy animals, and even the price is accessible. But what good is it if you live in Atlanta and they are based in Las Vegas? That’s a trip that would be too long for either one of you!

Make sure you narrow your search to your location. When looking for a pet photographer online always add your city into the search bar too. This way you will be given the choice of pet photographers that are in your area, and therefore are easily accessible.

Even better if the pet photographer also works on-location. This means they are willing to come to your house, or wherever you prefer your pet’s pictures to be taken. This option is ideal for fluffies that are shy around new people, as being in a place they feel comfortable and safe will give them more chances of relaxing.

You get what you pay for

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If it is a Christmas card you want your pet’s picture for, or a silly photoshoot that holds no significance, then going for a cheap pet photographer is not that bad of an idea. However, if you are looking for a tangible artistic memory of your pet to hang on a wall, then you must invest a little bit of money.

Pet photographers that charge very little are usually inexperienced and unprofessional amateurs that are trying to learn the trade by practice. Most likely the final photographs you will receive will not be what you had hoped for at all.

So think about the reason you want to photograph your pet, and decide on your budget according to the importance. Because, just as everywhere else in life, you will get what you pay for.

Have you had your pet’s pictures taken recently by someone? What did you look for in them? Do you have anymore advice we could add to this article? Make sure to leave a comment below if you have any thoughts! We love a good discussion.

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Business Creative Latest Articles Posts The Basics

Managing Time When Running a Business

Managing time when running a business

When creating a business, you will find that the most valuable item is your time. You need time to shoot, time to edit, time to have lunch and time to spend with your family. Unfortunately, the larger your business grows, the less time you will have. Hopefully, soon you will be booked up for months in advance and there will be piles of pictures to sort out, clients to email with, and photographs to edit.

This can sound pretty scary and intimidating. But don’t worry, as all of those jobs can be done up to the highest standard and without sacrificing your sanity. All you need to do is follow the golden rule of time management:

Work smarter, not harder.

Learning how to best manage your time can help you increase your productivity and overall workflow. Imagine yourself spending less time working, yet somehow managing to achieve more than before – sounds pretty good, huh?

And all that extra time that you saved can be spent on extra projects, or utilized for your leisure and relaxation. After all, we work hard so that we can play hard.

Utilize your work time without cutting corners

Working smarter and not harder doesn’t not mean not doing your job properly.

You absolutely must not cut any corners when running your business. This could potentially lower the quality of your services, and in turn, gain your business a bad name. And that is the last thing we want.

Instead you should focus on the time that is wasted when you work. All those minutes of waiting around between meetings, or that time you spend trying to work out which task you should do next, is time not being utilized to its full potential. Calculating all those minutes at the end of the month would probably add up to hours – and that, my friend, is really bad time management.

Learning to manage your time better is a skill that is not simply learned, but instead comes with practice. Making small changes to your day-to-day routine could already help you notice results. Here’s a few easy changes you can make.

Plan ahead

plan ahead

Starting a week with a bucket full of ideas on how to take your business to the next level is great. That is, if you get everything done and don’t let it overwhelm you. It is something even the most experienced people will suffer from – myself included.

Try to plan ahead, and work out days and times when you will do certain tasks. Having each day of the week dedicated to a specific task will allow you to get into the right mindset and work without interruptions.

Have loads of editing to do? Make Friday a dedicated day for photo editing. This way, at the start of next week you can start sending out finished projects that accumulated during the past week!

Planning ahead can not only allow you to do more work in less time, but also take away the stress factor from your work. It’s scientifically proven that stress-free environments are more productive, and this way you won’t get fed up with your job.

Set up some templates for responding to your emails and social media messages

responding to emails

Scheduling with your clients, or responding to social media comments and messages, can soon become a very time consuming part of your day. Instead of tediously spending countless hours replying to the same questions again and again, learn how to set up an appropriate well-worded template as your response!

Do you get a lot of messages with questions about your price plan? Type up your price plan response, then copy and paste it each time you get asked that same question.

With time you will learn just how many different templates you need to create. Before long, the two hours you used to spend replying to all the messages will turn into twenty minutes.

However, it is important that you don’t become cold and insincere with your replies. Make sure you read each message and answer all the questions your potential customers have. Don’t get too lazy with your responses, as this can soon become bad customer service and that will result in you losing clients.

Set up photo libraries in Lightroom

I remember how at the beginning of my photography career I used to keep every photograph that I would shoot – my hard drives were bursting with pictures! And if I needed to find a specific shot, I would end up having to dig through hundreds or thousands of images before I found the right one. Luckily, I have learned from my mistakes, and can help you do that too.

Don’t be afraid to delete shots that are not good enough. Trust your instincts and follow your intuition. Keep only the best images, and you will save yourself a lot of precious time editing or looking through all of those mediocre shots.

In Lightroom you can set up libraries and add keywords to your photographs. This way, when you need to find a specific shot on your hard drive, it will take you only a few seconds while you run the search. This is probably one of the most undervalued tools in Lightroom. Make sure to give it a try!

Utilize every minute you have

If you have a busy schedule, I am sure you spend your time between photoshoots dreaming of that extra hour in the day, where you could tackle all of the tasks that piled up throughout the week. The truth is that you have that extra hour, you simply don’t know about it yet

Five or ten minutes between photoshoots can be utilized to organize your photo libraries or edit a couple pictures. The fifteen minute bus ride or the wait for an appointment can be used to reply to the endless messages that are pouring in on your company’s social media.

When you run your own business, every minute counts. If you start utilizing those minutes, soon you will notice that you don’t need to schedule some of the tasks into your day anymore. And that extra hour a day works out to about twenty extra hours a month. And that is almost a month’s worth of work hours a year that you are possibly missing out on. Doesn’t seem so little anymore, does it?

These are only a few minor changes that can make your time more useful. Imagine how much time you’d save if you looked at every aspect of your workday! But as always, begin small and get better at it as you grow. If you persevere, soon you will become a master of time management, and will be able to play hard whilst working softly.

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How to earn money with stock photography

How to earn money with stock photography

stock photography

Starting your career in photography is no easy task. You have to take pictures, look for clients, advertise, as well as run your photography business. Tons of work for small results, especially at the very start. Sad reality is, it can be a long while before you start earning a decent wage from it. You may want to look at other options that go along with your initial plan.

If you are like most professional photographers, you have probably stockpiled hard drives full of pictures that you have taken either for yourself or for your clients. What if I said that those pictures don’t have to just sit in the storage boxes and “gather dust” – they could make you money instead! You could try to sell them through any one of the stock photography websites.

Although stock photography is no longer a lucrative business, many photographers can still add a substantial amount of income to their monthly wage. Spending a few hours per week editing and uploading your pictures could have you seeing a few hundred dollars extra in your account at the end of the month. Not much, but every little counts!

What kind of pictures are good for stock photography?

earn money with stock photography

Don’t try to sell random pictures online – only use your best shots. Ten images of the same subject would already be considered too much by many who have successfully been selling their work on stock photography websites, yet two may be too little.

When you upload a few different pictures of the same subject, you appeal to a wider audience. But once there are too many similar shots, that is just giving the same audience more choice, and more choice is not always a good thing.

Also, a lot of pictures equal a lot of time. You want to optimize your time well on this, since we are trying to make easy side money. Spend too much time editing and it becomes a full time job.

Average income from stock photography

Going into stock photography with hopes that in a month or two you will be raking in money will only lead you to inevitable disappointment and set you up for failure. With such an insane amount of high quality pictures floating around, it is extremely hard to earn the big buck with stocks. Try to set your expectations lower, and keep in mind that this is not going to be the main source of your income. It is just something to add a little extra to the pot.

If you would averagely upload sixty images each month, by the end of the year you would be looking at about $100-$200 extra. Although at first glance this might not seem like a lot, don’t forget that this would be on top of your main income from other sources. The money made from stock photography could go on that extra lens, or some other upgrade in your kit list.

Best place to sell stock photos

avarage income for stock photography

With so many different websites that offer to sell your pictures it is important to find which ones actually work. There is no reason that you should spend time and effort on website that will end up accumulating $10 in a month. Especially when spending that same time shooting and uploading to a different stock photography website might turn that $10 into a $50.

At the beginning I would suggest you try out five or ten different sites. Within a couple months you will see which ones work for you and which ones don’t. Then quit the low ranking pages and start to spend more energy with the ones website that generated 70% of your stock photography income.

Some good pages to start are:

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Microstock or premium sites?

The biggest difference between microstock websites and macrostock websites (otherwise known as premium websites) is the amount you earn per sale. With microstocks you earn anything between $0.10 to $0.50 cents per sale. Meanwhile with macrostock websites profits can be $10 or higher per photograph. Quite a difference, huh?

Now, at first glance it seems like an obvious choice. Who in their right mind would go for the option that sells your work for a cheaper price? But when you look at them more closely, you realize that sales from microstock are much higher in numbers, and can often profit you more. On top of that, with macrostock you will have to do much more advertising independently to maximize your sales.

I personally suggest a good combination of both. Pick three most profitable microstock websites, and one really good macrostock website. From each set of pictures, upload two of your best shots to the macrostock, and five or six to microstock. Now, you are building up portfolio on both sides of stock photography industry, a smart way of planting your flag on both lands! If all goes well, you should start seeing your sale numbers growing to a substantial amount by the end of the year.

Competition is tough in stock photography

competition

If you thought that competition is high for your normal day to day photography business, you will be blown away when it comes to stock photography. Websites like Alamy now have an app you can use to shoot and upload mobile pictures straight to their database. This has revolutionized the way that we buy and sell stock images. Now, everyone can be a stock photographer. That is why the amount of contributors has grown ridiculously high in the last few years.

There are millions of uploads made each week to the stock photography websites, and buyers have ample of choice. But don’t let this put you off. There is still some money to be made in stock photography. And although I would never suggest this as a career option, I think it is worth spending few hours a week to build up a side income.

 

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The secret to Making your brand a success

Making your brand a success

So you have successfully created a brand for yourself. Now what? Contrary to what many people think, creating a successful business online is not an easy task. It is not like opening a shop on the high street, where once the doors are open, the flashy neon signs will attract the crowds in. Starting a new business website is more like opening a shoe shop in the middle of a secluded forest. No signs, no adverts, and no scores of shoppers.

Once the final tweaks have been made to your website, the hard work begins. It is time to take the brand image that you worked so hard to create and share it with the world. And with everyone spending so much time on social media, it is only obvious that visual business (such as photography) should take advantage of it.

When it comes to the real world, it is important to remember that there are other real life businesses that have already long established themselves. Getting to know them and partnering together might be the single most important decision you will make when trying to build a name for yourself.

In this article we will tell you exactly how to go about doing that. After all, how else would you get those visitors to the middle of that forest?

Taking your brand to the next level

The first thing you need to do before starting any marketing campaign is to make sure that you and your business are ready for it. Go through your portfolio and check that only the best work is there. If you share mediocre work, people will not take you as a serious professional.

Then, study the current trends. This step is crucial for a successful online marketing campaign. There is nothing worse than seeing someone trying to market outdated content that people simply don’t care about anymore. You need to be fresh and popular. Styles change often and fast, so you must be on the lookout at all times.

And no matter what you do, make sure your content doesn’t look like regular spam. If it does, people will start blocking you and your marketing campaign might do you more harm than good. To avoid such things, create not only interesting but also useful content. There is no better deal than getting something for free, even if it’s just some useful information.

Creating Facebook marketing campaigns

Now, the fun part begins – time to create some serious buzz about yourself. You want people to associate your name with everything to do with photography. To do that, they need to constantly be reminded of your existence. Sure, this is harder to do than it sounds, but if you create enough buzz, people will see you as the big professional in town, even if your business is relatively new.

Using Facebook is a great start, and the fact that they have bought Instagram should be an indication that those are best used together. However, we have already discussed the ways and means of getting followers on Instagram and monetizing it, so for the sake of saving everyone’s time we should stick to Facebook in this post.

There’s a few good ways to market your business on Facebook:

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  • Create a Facebook business page

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On facebook, a good start is creating a business page. It’s an excellent place to share news, blog updates, new Instagram pictures and what ever else you think will generate interest with your audience. Share quality content on your page and remember not to spam your audience. Here quality is just as important as quantity.

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  • Create interactive Facebook posts

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Most people think that the more likes you have on your Facebook post, the better. And while it is true to an extent, post interactions are far more important. You want people to engage with you not only by liking your posts but also commenting and sharing them. The more people press the share button, the more people will get to see it. And best of all, it will be absolutely free of charge for you.

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  • Join relevant Facebook groups

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Another great strategy to gain facebook followers is joining and participating in as many groups as you can manage. These groups already have an audience, and if you learn to utilize that audience, you will soon be sending thousands of visitors to your website every day.

Remember that anyone who liked your post can be invited to like your Facebook page.

Marketing your business in the real world

Having a successful social media campaign is great. It can attract a whole lot of people to your website each day, and that traffic can be monetized. But let’s remember why you started your photography business in the first place. It was not to run a blog and be stuck at your computer writing. Your started your business so you could be out with camera in hand taking pictures and making money.

To do that, you need to make good connections not only online but also in the real world. Go outside and meet people. Most importantly, meet other professionals. Go to local events where professionals mingle – gallery openings, conferences about photography, and other places with which your business can relate to. What better way to surround yourself with event organizers than by attending a local conference for event managers?

People are quick to forget that email that you sent them which explains how great it would be for the two of you to work together. They have probably received hundreds of emails like that. However, they have not met those people. And that’s where you some in.

By meeting them in person you ensure to make a more lasting impression. Next time they will think that they might need photography services, your face will automatically pop into their mind. The science here is simple – people like faces better than social media accounts.

Build relationships with other brands

Working with other professionals is not only great for your personal development, but it can do wonders for your business. Just imagine what would happen when you tap into their long established social media networks…

This idea is in no way original, and you can see this method used all the time by Nike, Apple and pretty much every other big and successful brand. These brands didn’t become successful alone, they managed to ride the train of success right through every other company.

When you open a sports magazines and every picture has a Nike logo on it, it sticks in your head. Next time you make a New Year’s resolution to lose the Christmas pouch, you will run to the shop and buy some Nikes, so that you too could work out as a world class athlete.

Big companies use this method because it works. So every time you work with another professional, make sure that they share your work on their social channels with a proper accreditation to you. Soon, you will build up enough momentum that whenever people will think of photography services in Atlanta, they will automatically reach for your number. And that, my friend, is already called success.

Make friends, not enemies

You have probably noticed that the most successful people in any industry are usually friends. And this is no coincidence. These people didn’t start their businesses together, but as their business grew, they reached out to each other and shared ideas. No single brand can grow into greatness alone. Everybody needs friends, and in this case, they need to be successful professionals.

At the start of your new career, everything seems scary and can easily overwhelm you. Doubtful thoughts like “why would someone so successful would ever want to deal with me” might be clouding your mind. But with a simple phone call, a well worded email, (or best of all) a pleasant meeting, a door of opportunity might open for you that you never knew existed.

So don’t be shy, put on your good shoes and go make some new friends. After all, what is the point in creating something great if you have no one to share it with?

Make friends, not enemies

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Top 3 Pro Photography Techniques

Top 3 Pro Photography Techniques

 

PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS
Photography techniques that will help you improve your skills

At first glance, the world of photography is scary and complex. There are so many different terms, techniques and camera settings that your head gets woozy just thinking about it. Don’t worry though, we have all been there. The big secret to becoming a professional photographer is simple – just keep at it. The more pictures you take, the better you become. Period.

When you are not out taking pictures, use your spare time to brush up on some of the basics. Watch a few YouTube videos on some super basic photography stuff, or have it playing in the background while you blog (like I do). After all, there is no point taking a thousand pictures and hoping for a good one, like most of us do. Wouldn’t it be nice to, instead, take a hundred or so photos – and selecting your favorite?

So let’s start brushing up right now! No matter what your skill level is, EVERY photographer should know the following techniques.. These are like the bread and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter of photography. They’re the foundation for basically any other possible technique and skill. So learn them, understand them, and practice them. Practice. Practice, practice.

The Rule of Thirds

One of the most basic concepts of photography is composition. The foundation of which, is based on the ever-so-exciting Rule of Thirds. A lot of people use this rule instinctively without even realizing that such a rule exists. More on that later.

The Rule of Thirds is simple – divide your picture into three equal parts vertically and horizontally so you end up with nine squares. It should look like you are about to play a game of tic-tac-toe.

These lines create points of interest in your viewfinder. The most important part of your picture should be where these lines intersect. That is where our brains naturally expect to see the main details of whatever we’re viewing. For example, when shooting a landscape, try and keep your horizon on either top or bottom line. This way, you have a nice balance between the sky and the land in your picture.

The Rule of Thirds is a great tool to make your picture stand out right from beginning. However, avoid looking at it as some sort of law in photography. Learn it, use it, and then look for something new. Good composition can be achieved when using The Rule of Thirds, but great composition will require more work and knowledge.

Understanding The Depth of Fielddepth of field photography technique

If you have read our article on How To Shoot in Manual Mode you probably have an idea of what The Depth of Field is. This refers to how much of your picture is going to be in focus. In other words, the larger the depth of field is, the more of your image is going to be in focus. Whilst the smaller the depth of field is, the more blur will happen around your focal point.

I used words large and small, but to better understand how this works it is more practical to refer to the size as deeper (larger) and shallower (smaller). This is because the focal plane is not measured from the left to the right of an image, but rather how far away the object is from your sensor.

To gain control of your Depth of Field, you will have to learn how to set the aperture on your camera correctly. Aperture controls how wide the lens opening is. The smaller the number, the bigger the opening, and the shallower Depth of Field you get. The bigger the number, the smaller the opening and the deeper the Depth of Field will be.
Small number  = big opening = loads of light = small depth of field

Big number = small opening = very little light = large depth of field

This technique will be the cornerstone of your photography career. Sharp focus is one of the most important aspects in your pictures. That’s why it is so important to learn how to control the focus, and harness it for your creative needs.

The Golden Hour in Photography

golden hour

The Golden Hour is not so much of a technique, but rather a time of day when it is best to shoot outside. As you probably know by now, photography is all about capturing the light, and the biggest source of light is always the sun. If it helps, try to think of the outdoors as one big studio. The sun is your big spotlight, the clouds are diffusers and everything else is reflectors.

As you have already observed, the quality of light changes throughout the day. When the sun is high in the sky, everything looks bleached out and there are almost no shadows or character to your pictures. Instead, many photographers use this time to explore the area and find the best places to take pictures of later on in the day.

At sunset or sunrise, the sun is near the horizon. Its light has more golden shade, and it casts long and beautiful shadows. Everything comes alive and gains new qualities. This time is called The Golden Hour. This is when you want to go outside and take pictures. In fact, most pictures of the outdoors are taken during these two hours in the day.

Useful tip – when it’s overcast, the sunlight is diffused by the clouds and you can take beautiful portraits outside. Or, if you are under the canopy in a dense forest, the sun will be diffused by the leaf and you can take some stunning shots as well.

A great tool to help you plan out the best time to shoot your picture is Photographer’s Ephemeris.  This website tells you when the sun sets and when the moon rises. And you can download it as an app as well.

Rules are Made to be Broken

When learning new rules and techniques in photography it is important for you to remember that these are not laws. These are merely guidelines to help you learn and begin developing your own unique style.

The Rule of Thirds is great way to introduce yourself to composition, and once you get a hang of it try to play around. Put your subject in the middle, divide your picture in half with the horizon line, and see what happens. Don’t be afraid to experiment, because there is nothing worse than seeing photographers religiously follow a handful of photography techniques blindly. Instead of learning and trying out new things, they do the same technique in each and every picture.

Now think for a moment – have you ever been to a gallery and thought to yourself, “Wow, look at this guy doing the same thing as everyone else. He’s so awesome!”. No, because  you want every picture to be unique and tell a different story, not just be technically correct.

What are your favorite techniques? Maybe you got something to add to one of these rules? Let us know your thoughts in comments, and let us help everyone learn together.

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How to create a brand for your business

How to create a brand for your business

How to create a brand for your business
How to create a brand for your business

Creating  a brand for your business is the first big decision you have to make. This will be the side of your business that people first interact with. In the ever expanding world of internet, the attention span of your audience is getting shorter by the minute. This is why branding has become the most important aspect of any business. A good brand, can help you lift of the ground, but a bad brand can stick you six feet under. To avoid making mistakes from the get-go, you need to plan out every aspect of your business, and implement everything in the correct order.

The three main aspects that you have to consider are:

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  • Niche
  • Message
  • Look

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And these have to be considered in exactly that order.

When creating a business, many people start out with things like the business name, the website layout or some other design feature. No matter how good you make your website’s name sound, it will not matter if it does not reflect your niche or communicate a message to your audience.

Niche

When competition is fierce – and this is true for any kind of business online – the single, most ground breaking step you will take is finding your niche. Endless Facebook feeds and countless hours on the internet has exposed people to the top of the line professionals in every field. Gone are the days when having a strong portfolio alone would land you the job. Now, people look for character and a unique set of eyes above anything else.

When starting a photography business, you need to figure out what is unique about you. Ask yourself, what will set you out in the crowd? Why should people choose your services above someone else’s? If you are struggling with the answer – and most of us are – try and look at your competitors or even at other fields. What makes YouTubers connect with their audience? Why do people follow blogs? If you cannot answer this question, how can you expect your audience to?

You will often hear things online like “content is king” or that “the most important thing on your website is strong content”. But a good niche is a cornerstone of any business, and only when you set yourself apart from the crowd will you be able to produce content that will benefit you, and you alone. Everything needs a good foundation first. After all, there is a reason why we don’t build houses straight onto a soggy ground.

Message

choosing your business niche

Once you figure out what makes your business unique, it is time to consider how you will communicate that to your audience. Your message should be reflected everywhere throughout your business. This will go into your design, your logo, your business card, content, and even on your t-shirt. The moment you know your message, you have to spread it everywhere.

Consider what kind of audience you are going to target. You don’t want to use slang understood only by teenagers if your business is aimed at retirees. Work out your ideal audience and then set a tone that will connect with them on a more personal level.

Most common and most dangerous mistake that people make when deciding on their tone is that they try to be someone they are not. Be honest and represent your true self, not a person you image you should be. After all, the reason you are in this business is because you love it. You need to communicate that love and passion to your audience. If you will create a fictitious persona, eventually you will come to hate it yourself.

Look

becoming an established brand

Designing your image is probably best left to professionals. I know you think it’s a pretty easy job that you can do yourself, but there is a reason people spend years studying design. Instead, make sure that your niche and message is clear – a good designer will need these to reflect your style. Then, make a list of some design features that you would like to see.

Here is a quick reference to questions you might want to have answers to before reaching out to a designer:

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  • Do you have a logo in mind?
  • What is the color scheme going to be? (Trust your designer – shades might have to be changed to reflect and capture your business better)
  • Do you have any examples that you like?

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Becoming an established brand

Now that you have your brand all worked out, here are some bad news – you still have a long way to go before you become an established brand. Your work at making yourself known has only just begun.

You have your key audience worked out, and your website looks nice and shinny. But how do you become an authority in your niche, and make sure that every time someone thinks about it, they have your brand in their mind?

A good start would be to make sure that you are represented only by your best work. Again, this is something that works well not only in professional photography, but in other fields as well. You don’t want people coming to your website only to see poorly shot pictures. In the world that is over saturated with quality photography, this will be one of your hardest fights.

Perseverance is key

There are more ways to build up your brand than we could name in only one article. That’s why we created a whole other post focusing on How To Market Your Brand.

However, information written here is a good starting point. Keep in mind, that you have to spread your name as wide as you can. You should constantly be thinking of new creative ways to market yourself, and most importantly, you will have to persevere. Establishing a brand is not an easy task. It can take months before you start seeing any results. But don’t let it get to you, no company was made successful overnight.

Hope this article will help you put your mindset in the correct thinking space. And if you have any other good suggestions or advice, make sure to leave it in the comments below. Knowledge is power, so share it around!