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Profit First: A smart accounting model for your photography business

business photography Apr 06, 2017

Have you ever felt like you had a profitable work month only to look at your bank account and wonder where all the money went?  

I have a friend who owns a business that takes in $12,000 a month, and after she checked her monthly expenses, she said she had only spent $4,000, but still couldn't figure out where the other $8,000 went.

I know I've miscalculated my gains and expenses before, more than once. Many business owners tend to think that Sales - Expenses = Profits, but that's not the case

It's common for most of us to have one checking account where all of our money comes in and out of. But when our income is so closely linked to our expenses it can get confusing to track where your money went at the end of the month. 

Last month I read a book that revolutionized the way I organized my business accounts, and I'm so happy with this model that I'd like to share it with you. The book is called Profit First: Transform Your Business From a Cash-Eating Monster...

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DIY Ring Light

photography Mar 13, 2017

Grab some scissors and a cardboard box, y’all. You're about to save yourself a ton of money in exchange for a little sweat equity.

You see, I'm a very passionate hobbyist when it comes to photography. Unfortunately, passion doesn't cut me a check for my equipment, so DIY hacks are often necessary. Today, I'm going to show you how to make your own ring light for about $30. It won't be fancy, it won't have bells and whistles, but it will add a pretty little ring around your pupils in photos—and that’s the goal. 

To get started, you’ll need the following tools:

-Tin foil (regular or heavy duty)

-20-inch wire wreath frame. Michael’s carries these for $2-$3.

-20-foot LED rope light. You can find these on Amazon for $25-$29.

-Thick cardboard box

-Box cutter or scissors           

Note that Michael’s was out of 20-inch wire wreath frames when I went there, so I had to choose between an 18" or...

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From simple to spectacular: How to turn a boring backdrop into a custom piece of art

compositing photography Mar 08, 2017

One of my favorite things to do with studio shots is customize my backgrounds. When you customize your backdrop you have the benefit of:

  • Saving money and the trouble of having to buy a number of different backgrounds
  • Freeing up storage space since you won’t have to keep tons of backdrops in your home or studio
  • Shooting faster and more fluid sessions because you won’t need to keep pausing to change the backdrop
  • Tailoring each background to your models and what they are wearing

For the image above, the model’s hair was adorned with butterflies, so I knew that I wanted to do something whimsical and sweet with the backdrop. I chose to shoot on a cream-colored paper backdrop because it matched well with the color of my model’s top. Any backdrop color will work, but my favorites for shooting are white, cream, gray, and black.

After the photo shoot was complete, I pulled the image into Adobe camera raw and did my initial adjustments to the raw file. Next, I...

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10 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Photographers

Being a professional photographer means you likely wear many hats in your entrepreneurial role as business owner. From accountant to photo editor, office manager and marketer, keeping up with all of these tasks can get overwhelming. Fortunately, for today’s expense tracking, sun seeking, money-making photographer, there are a number of mobile apps that can make our lives much easier. I’ve put together a list of 10 mobile apps photographers should have to be more productive and elevate their photography business to the next level. 

 

1.  Social Media  

Recommended: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest

This one’s kind of a no brainer. We use social media everyday in our personal lives, and as photographers we can greatly benefit from the use social media in our photography business. From promoting our businesses to connecting with clients and networking with other professionals, social media gives you a platform upon which to speak and reach...

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Exporting Photoshop Images for Web

photoshop Mar 02, 2017

Last week I shared how to properly export photos from Lightroom for the purpose of social media posting and prints. This week I’ll tackle exporting from Photoshop.

In order to ensure that your Photoshop images look crisp and in focus on social media, blog posts, and websites, you’ll have select the appropriate export settings. There are two ways to export photos from Photoshop: Save for Web (Legacy) and Export As.

Save for Web is now a legacy feature on Photoshop, which means it is no longer supported or updated. However, many Photoshop users still favor this method for exporting. Export As is Photoshop’s newer exporting option. Both export methods utilize similar settings, so the provided exporting tips apply to both.  

To quickly access the Save for Web export option, hold down command + option + shift + s. You can also find this feature by clicking on “File” and selecting “Export” from the drop-down menu. You’ll see the...

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Expert Exporting Tips for Lightroom

lightroom Feb 24, 2017

So you finally finished editing your image to perfection using Lightroom and you want to share it with everyone on social media and distribute it to loved ones in print.

There is just one problem.

When you go to post and print your image, it doesn’t look right. Your picture-perfect image appears blurry and compressed online and the print version is poor quality.

Has this ever happened to you?

It can be frustrating when we spend so much time and energy editing every detail of an image only to have it come out looking like a pizza slice that got stuck to the box top when we go to share it.

Learning how to properly export your image from Lightroom can make a world of difference when it comes time to publicizing it.

The following are a few tips on how to export your Lightroom photos so they glow online and on paper like a fresly crowned beauty queen. All settings will be found on Lightroom’s export dialogue box.

From Lightroom to Online

File Settings- For website and...

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Instagram Press Release - Multiple Photos In One Post

Uncategorized Feb 22, 2017

It's finally here. If you're a photographer, you'll be happy to know that Instagram is rolling out the ability to post multiple images in a single post. This will make it much easier to tell a story without having to fill you instagram feed with individual posts.

Instagram Press Release: February 22, 2017


Starting today, you can share multiple photos and videos in one post on Instagram.

With this update, you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember. Now, you can combine up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to see them all.

Share your favorite moments of your best friend’s surprise birthday party, from setting up to when they walk through the door. Or create a step-by-step cake recipe that people can always find on your profile.

When uploading to your feed, you’ll see a new icon to select multiple photos and videos. It’s easy to control exactly how your post will look. You can tap and hold...

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Light Painting with Sparklers for Portrait Sessions w/ Humberto Garcia

photography Feb 21, 2017

Elizabeth and Tim are both active duty Sailors in the United States Navy. We met through their close friends who referred them to me. They decided to have a portrait session done as the sun was setting at the beach near the pier. 

Towards the end of the session, I had suggested that we should hang out for an hour, clean our selves off and get something to eat so that we could come back once the sun went down and light paint a beautiful photo for them. They might have been a bit skeptical initially but were great sports and decided it would be worth it. After a few takes and dozens of sparklers later I finally managed to draw the perfect heart. The pier we were under also had some great down lighting onto the water for the fisherman above and created an amazing aura on the water.

If you plan on doing a sparkler send off for your wedding or you are a photographer wanting to create designs with sparklers, I highly recommend using the largest sparklers you can find so that you get...

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What's in my camera bag?

photography Feb 08, 2017

I get a lot of emails from photographers saying that they want to get started with their photography career but they don't have the funds to buy all of the equipment. I want to share what I have in my camera bag so you can see that it doesn't take a lot of fancy equipment to capture amazing photos.

Cameras: 

-Nikon D750, full frame           

-Nikon D7000, crop frame

First, I'd like to mention that it doesn't matter what brand of camera you have. Some people are diehard Cannon fans, while others swear by Nikon. What does matter is how you use lighting and composition to capture an image and the editing techniques you use in post. 

My Nikon D750 is my main camera and absolutely love it. I use the Nikon D7000 as my backup camera. When I first started out in photography, I shot with a Nikon D3200 and a kit lens for about two years. That just goes to show that you can start small with your equipment and work your way up with time.

Lenses:  

...
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6 Ways Photographers Can Deal With Online Trolls

photography Feb 07, 2017

You wake up in a good mood, sit down with your morning coffee, open your favorite social media account, and then you see it.  

You rub your eyes, put down your coffee and read it again. 

In an instant, all of your good cheer is robbed by the worst of all online viruses: The Internet Troll.

In today's Internet age, it's almost impossible to hide from these prolific goons. Click on almost any link or photo on a social media network and you'll see the work of a hate-spewing Internet troll. These people scour comment sections, forums, chat rooms, and any other open communication platform online for the opportunity to verbally attack other users. Their main purpose is to illicit anger, inflict pain, or incite arguments with their aggressive, negative comments.

How can you deal with online trolls on your photography page?

Well, you have a few choices:

1. Ignore

Like a drunk muscle head at a bar looking for a fight, Internet trolls are out seeking attention. If you deny these...

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