Tag Archives: ideas

Summer Snappy Hour!

28 Jun

We’re very excited to announce that our next Snappy Hour is going to be Monday, July 30th at El Vez from 6:30-8:30 pm! It’s been a good, long while, we’ve received a lot of emails in anticipation, AND we’ve missed everyone and want to catch up and connect with newbies… so come grab a drink, some chips and salsa and catch up with the Betties!

El Vez is located in “Midtown Village”, at 121 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. There’s on-street parking, a lot around the corner on Sansom, and if you’re not driving it’s a few blocks from Market Street East and Broad Street/Market Street SEPTA stations.

Mobile Websites: Where it’s at

24 Jan

Even if you’re not tech-savvy, you’ve probably heard the buzz about Flash versus “Standards” based websites. If you own an iPad or iPhone, you know that Flash-based websites (or flash enabled components, like slideshows) don’t load since Apple doesn’t support Flash, which can be a real pain, both for the website owner and the user.

So how does this impact photographers specifically?

Well, to start off, statistics from early last year showed that nearly one-third of American adults owned a smartphone of some kind and preferred using it as their primary Internet connection. As these numbers are growing.

This instant access to the web lets them be quick and spontaneous – and in most cases is immediately gratifying. So if a potential client visits your site from their iPhone and can’t load your beautiful portfolio of images, they’ll move on to a site that does work. It’s possible that they’ll return to visit from a desktop computer, but is it worth the gamble?

The big question is: How important is having a website that works on a mobile device?

The nice folks over at Internet Marketing Grind recently released an infographic which has some pretty interesting data:

"Why You Should Have A Mobile Website" courtesy of http://www.imgrind.com

Not only do the numbers make a convincing point, but having a mobile friendly site says something about your brand, that you’re a skilled professional who’s up-to-date with technology and the web.

What options are out there?

Baby Steps

If you’re looking to make your current site more mobile friendly and don’t want an overhaul, there are small things you can do, some with the help of a Web Developer. Here’s 5 steps to get you on the right path.

Refresh

If you’ve been considering making a small-scale change and updating your site but don’t have the know-how, connections or money to spend, there are a few companies out there who specialize in customizable templates.

One place that’s ahead of the curve is iFolios, whose affordable, WordPress-driven, customizable sites are clean, smart and stylish, and work without flash. They also look as stunning on your desktop computer as they do on an iPhone screen. Check out the samples on their site.

Want to know how do they do it? Check out their handy dandy video:

What Is iFolios? from Site Admin on Vimeo.

Another cool company is Cliqbooq – which offers lower pricing through monthly installments rather than larger up-front payments. With a slew of benefits including SEO, unlimited design changes and a 14-day trial – it’s a worthwhile option.

Redesign

If you’re looking for more customization and can spend a bit more, companies like Livebooks offer mobile-friendly sites as well, and have the benefit of a larger pool of designers and years of experience in the wedding and portrait photography industry to lend. They offer a free trial too.

If you’re a comfortable with customizing a site yourself, you might like Squarespace, who boasts “Templates That Aren’t Templated” and hand over structured creative control, customization and data access. Worried you can’t handle it? They assure visitors that there’s “No experience necessary… You don’t need to be a professional to create a powerful website with Squarespace. We handle all the technical details, so you can focus on what matters most to you. With our easy-to-use controls, your site will be up and running in minutes.”

So, there’s the rundown of why we think mobile-friendly sites are beneficial and some useful ways to make yours mobile-compatible. What do you think? Are you hip to the movement or still have passion for sexy flash slideshows and effects? Don’t think it really makes a difference? Let us know!

Shoot the Shot Workshop

5 Dec

One of our fabulous Photo Betties, Isabel March, is hosting a workshop on January 26th at her studio in Perkasie, PA. She’ll be covering tons of great topics including business, getting started, client meetings, branding, marketing, social media, creating a signature style and more! Space is limited so act fast! Here’s the 411:

Marketing Mojo with Two Bright Lights

4 Nov

Images courtesy of Jessica Claire Photography

A few months ago a good friend and fellow Betty Susannah Gill, told me about Two Bright Lights, an online service which offers image sharing, networking and analytics to help wedding business’ improve their marketing. They offer a free 30-day trial, so I thought I’d give it a try – and I have to say, I was very happy with the results!

In just three weeks of submitting to a half dozen blogs, four were approved! You can submit weddings, engagement sessions, portraits and styled shoots – when you login you check out what their Editorial Partners are looking for and submit in a few quick and simple steps. There are blogs you’ll know well, others that are pleasant surprises; certainly something for everyone. Here’s a sampling:

FREE Bootcamp

For those of you in the Philadelphia area next Wednesday night, Two Bright Lights is offering a FREE Bootcamp hosted by one of their recent Philly transplants, Shalyn Hockey. Some details from their email invite:

What: A fantastic chance to learn about Two Bright Lights as well as mix and mingle with your fellow industry colleagues from the area.

When: November 9, 2011 | 7-9 pm

Where: Locust on the Park at 201 S. 25th St, Philadelphia, PA (In Center City a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square)

RSVP: The event is FREE, but space is limited so you must RSVP to attend.

Questions? Call Shalyn Hockey at 805-975-2932 or email shalyn@twobrightlights.com

Snap to It: October Deadline Extended

20 Oct

It’s been a busy month for Betties near and far, so we’re extending the submission deadline for the October “Snap to It” until Halloween!

This Month’s Theme: Fall

Back to school, changing leaves, hustle and bustle, family gatherings… We want to see what this crisp, lovely season means to you! There are no requirements to participate; everyone’s welcome to submit.

Please send your autumnal-inspired photo (from your iPhone, iPad, Droid, point-and-shoot, dSLR, old school SLR, pinhole camera – your choice!) to snaptoit@phillyphotobetties.com by Monday, October 31, 2011. Please size images to 600 pixels on the long edge. Don’t forget to include a URL for your blog OR website.

C’mon Betties… Snap To It!

Snap to It!

4 Oct

Hi Betties! Abbey here. I’d like to introduce to you a new monthly post we’re starting here at Photo Betties that we loving call “Snap to It!”

We each perceive the world differently through our lenses – and I personally love to see how others interpret the world around them. The idea behind “Snap to It!” is to showcase our work for pure enjoyment and inspiration, and to celebrate our different interpretations and creativity! There are no requirements to participate; everyone is welcome to submit.

How Does “Snap to It” Work?

Each month we’ll post a theme and open call for submissions to all you photographers out there. You can send one photo that you think best represents your interpretation of the theme. You can use images from past or present, but they need to be your photos which you personally shot and own rights to (and have permission to display publicly). There will be a two week deadline for submissions, and at the end of the month we’ll display the images on the Photo Betties website.

This Month’s Theme: Fall

Since the weather is turning cool I thought the perfect theme for our first Snap to It! would be “fall”. Let’s see what this crisp, lovely season means to each of us. To kick things off, here’s my interpretation of this month’s theme…what’s YOURS?

Send your submissions to snaptoit@phillyphotobetties.com by Friday, October 21st, 2012. Please size images to 600 pixels on the long edge. Don’t forget to include a URL for your blog OR website.

C’mon Betties… Snap To It!

Conferences, Tradeshows, Conventions, Oh My!

3 Oct

Unless you’re shooting in some deliciously warm and perpetually sunny locale, chances are the late autumn and winter months are when you rest, recharge and revamp. It’s also a perfect time to invest in a conference to get inspired, learn some new tricks and techniques, see what kinds of cool products and gadgets are out there, and meet other wonderful photogs like yourself! Here’s our abbreviated list of conferences coming up; some are geared towards wedding and portrait photographers, but we also threw in a few others for those who want to explore outside their comfort zone.

2011

PDN & WPPI PhotoPlus

October 27-29, 2011 | NY, NY
“Get ready for the hottest industry event for photographers and image-makers, PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, brought to you by PDN. It’s the only place where you have infinite access to emerging technology, trends and talent while test driving new imaging tools, discovering creative solutions and expanding your network. And this year PDN and WPPI are joining forces in New York City to roll out WPPI NYC, an entire expo dedicated to wedding and portrait photography, making PhotoPlus Expo even better. Choose from over 115 educational seminars and hands-on labs to expand your expertise. Come be informed and entertained, leave inspired.” (c/o website)

Her Photography Conference

November 1-3, 2011 | Grand Rapids, MI

“Be a part of the ONLY boutique women’s photography conference! With a limited number of attendees, HER PHOTOGRAPHY CONFERENCE provides a boutique atmosphere that facilitates empowering relationships for female photographers as well as the opportunity to spend time with the photography industry’s elite professionals. If you are a woman, a photographer, and you have a strong desire to grow your business and build empowering relationships with other female business owners then this is the conference for you! Our hope is that you walk away from this conference inspired, motivated and ready to take your business to the next level!” (c/o website)

The Foundation Conference

November 7-8, 2011 | New Orleans, LA
“Foundation Conference 2009 was an incredible opportunity to connect with old friends, make new friends, and hear from some of the world’s best documentary style photographers in one place! Egos were left aside, as teaching and learning flowed from speaker to audience and back to the speaker. It was a wonderful environment to push the boundaries of creativity, to critique and be mentored, and to be introduced to new ways of seeing. It is safe to say that there is no other photography conference like FC, and I can’t wait to go to the next one!” – Kate (c/o website)

2012

Digital Wedding Forum

January 15-18, 2012 | New Orleans, LA

“It’s Friday afternoon and I’m still sitting at the hotel bar reminiscing about the weeks events. I had the best week at DWF to date! Not only were the speakers fabulous… but everyone really opened up and shared a bit about themselves and their passions…. usually at the bar at 2:30am. Looking forward to seeing you all in New Orleans! – buttermedia” (c/o website)

Imaging USA

January 15-17, 2012 | New Orleans, LA
“At Imaging USA, you’ll find just what you need to breathe life into your photographic dreams—no matter where you are in your business! Art and business education, inspiration and great trade show deals await both established professionals and newcomers to the professional photo industry. It’s the convention and expo that was created with your needs in mind, so what are you waiting for? Register Today.” (c/o website)

Senior Photographers International

January 24-27, 2012 | Buena Vista, FL
“Senior Photographers International Inc., is an organization of professional photographers specializing in High School Senior Portraits. We are dedicated to bringing the best in photography and business practices to our members. The organization was founded on the principle of photographers sharing information with one another. We remain committed to that philosophy. All newsletter articles and convention programs pertain specifically to the subject of senior photography.” (c/o website)

PhotoPro Network

February 2-5, 2012 | Covington, KY
“4 Full Days! 10 World Class Speakers! 1 Fantastic Opportunity! PhotoPro Expo 2012 is shaping up to be one of the top 2012 photography conventions nationwide! The anticipated speaker line up will blow you away!” (c/o website)

WPPI

February 16-23, 2012 | Las Vegas, NV

“Last year, WPPI attracted over 16,000 attendees. This year, we are expecting WPPI to be the biggest and best event in our history. With an all-star speaker lineup and a diverse and unparalleled menu of special events, WPPI 2012 is primed for another banner year. Winning programs like WPPI Plus, Photographers Ignite and the Awards Night extravaganza, as well as helpful features like Pre-Board, will make WPPI 2012 our best show ever. And don’t forget about the amazing WPPI Trade Show, where you’ll find the best deals anywhere. We’ll see you in February!” (c/o website)

Society for Photographic Education

March 22-25, 2012 | San Francisco, CA
Intimacy and Voyeurism: The Public / Private Divide in Photography
“Photography’s relationship with intimacy and voyeurism is as old as the medium itself. From its inception photographs have been used to sustain, affirm, or remember loved ones, expressing intimate and profound connections between people. At the same time photography has offered voyeuristic pleasure, allowing the viewer to see without being seen, to take visual pleasure without risk to oneself. Rarely can photographs themselves be clearly divided into one or the other of these categories. Images become voyeuristic or intimate based on context, societal expectations and interpretations.” (c/o website)

Photoshop World

March 24-26, 2012 | Washington DC

“Most photography conferences consist mainly of one huge photography Expo with some peripheral classes on the side that require pre-registration. Photoshop World is almost the opposite. Here’s you’ll find an enormous line-up of Photoshop and photography classes on subjects ranging from portrait to outdoor photography and more that require no pre-registration (you can come and go in between classes as you please) in addition to a huge expo floor with even more bonus classes. If there’s one thing Photoshop World can guarantee, it’s that you will come away reeling with knowledge and inspiration after three short days.” (c/o website)

Travel Writers & Photographers Conference

August 9-12, 2012 | Corte Madera, CA
“The Premier Conference in the World for Travel Writers and Photographers!

The Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference has an extraordinary, international reputation among publishers, editors, and writers. This four-day Conference offers an array of writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. There are optional, working field trips to explore the resources of the Bay Area. The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, restauranteurs, guidebook writers, and more. There are hours of informal interaction between faculty and students during lunch and in discussions that often last late into the evening.” (c/o website)

Portraits and Making Your Subjects at Ease

15 Sep

Anyone who’s every shot a portrait – professional or novice – knows that a comfortable subject makes for much more natural photos. Putting people at ease takes practice and good people skills (a sense of humor doesn’t hurt either!). Add on top of that getting inspired, capturing the style or type of shots they have in mind, working with the light and environment around you… there’s a lot to juggle. Here are a few starters to help get them – and you – relaxed and ready to capture some magical moments:

1. Set it Up

Talk to your clients before the session. Get to know them. Make decisions together about locations they like and even the style of images that gets them excited. Offer ideas about what to wear. Emphasize choosing clothes and accessories that show off their individual personality – and make them feel like a million bucks.

2. Be Prepared

It’s a no brainer, but still the most important part of the session. Know your gear well, think about the session in advance, have a plan for poses and settings that will make for great shots. A good photographer is constantly learning and growing. Never let your skills get stale!

3. Sweat the Details

Get your gear in order. Lenses cleaned, batteries charged, cards formatted, reflectors and props packed (and whatever else you’ve got in mind for the shoot). You’ll be like a well-oiled machine with nothing incidental to distract you.

4. Relax and Have Fun

When you’re feeling good and exuding confidence, your clients will sense it and know they can trust you, your skills and your creativity. If you’re feeling a bit nervous in advance (which is totally normal!) set the mood on your way there with a song that gets you positive and pumped!

5. Start the conversation

Get to know them. Ask questions and learn about what makes them tick. Take any great trips lately? What’s your favorite restaurant? How about them Phillies? Most importantly, be yourself. Get to know them like you would at a party – not like it’s an interview. Great conversation can help their mind wander, get them to relax and even lead to some fun expressions!

6. Give them a Sneak Peek

Being in front of the lens when you’re camera shy can make you feel vulnerable. When I start a portrait session and notice any anxiety, hesitation or awkwardness, I’ll often show the couple (or kids or family) a frame or two on the back of my camera to get them excited and show them how great they look.

7. Master your Poker Face

If you’re not in love with a shot – the composition, lighting, expression, anything – don’t give it away. Keep smiling. Set the tone. Adjust, move, give direction; do whatever you need to in order improve the shot – but don’t let it stress you out. Stay fluid and keep shooting. That amazing shot could be your next one!

8. Be intuitive

- Don’t get so wrapped up in the aperture, light, composition or lens choice that you aren’t in tune to your subject and their expression, body language or comfort level.

- If they’re shy or hands-off, don’t get in their personal space. Instead provide clear direction and helpful tips. Show them with your own body, what you have in mind. If there’s a stray hair out of place, or a strap or tag showing, be polite and ask permission to adjust it, or ask them to fix it themselves.

- Gauge their comfort level and choose poses accordingly. Personally I like to start with something natural and move around my subjects, giving them little tips if needed, and only occasionally. Eventually they start to ignore me, relax and not think so much about what they’re doing, how they are smiling, etc.

9. Share your Enthusiasm

Every photographer I have ever met is absolutely head over heels in love with what they do. You are too, am I right? So while you’re shooting, share your enthusiasm and love for photography! Let your subjects know what amazing light you’re seeing or the fact that you love the bright green wall across the street. It’s contagious and they’ll get excited too!

Do you have great tips or advice on portraits and getting your subjects comfortable? Add a comment and share!

Thursday Morning Pancake Sessions

7 Sep

Source: Pancake Sessions: Video Light and Getting Ready Details Post

Tomorrow after you roll out of bed and grab a warm beverage, head over to Justin & Mary’s website to check out their next Pancake Session post. There’s a fresh one every Thursday, which promises to be interesting and informative, plus they break everything down into bite-size, easy to understand pieces. Best of all, they’re up there on the interweb for posterity, so you can visit right now and learn about everything from Black and White Post Production Tips, Branding, Off Camera Lighting, Destination Wedding Tips and much, much more.

Thank you fellow Photo Betty Susannah Gill for sharing another helpful tip with us!

FREE Online Business Workshop

6 Sep

This Friday and Saturday, September 9-10, Tamara Lackey will be holding an in-depth workshop that you can register for right here, at no cost! It’s a follow-up to her last course, The Business Whiteboard, and will cover a lot of ground. Here’s the schedule:

Day 1 – September 9th

Where We Left Off: The White Board
Why Doing it ALL Will Take You Down
Creating An Online Presence
Who Are You: Brand Culture
Marketing (That Works)
Strategy to Action: Doing the Work

Day 2 – September 10th

REAL Client Service
Money!!! Finance, Cash Flow and Profit
Get Legit: Legal Considerations
Small Shifts, Big Changes … Examine Your Attitude
Sales, Sales, Sales
Go Forth & Conquer!

Learn how to determine how potential clients currently view your business, how to subtly change these perceptions online and through word-of-mouth, marketing strategies that can help you go after the right goals, sage financial management tips – and so much more – in an easily digestible, step-by-step process. As Tamara puts it: “Turn ideas into plans, take action, and see results. This workshop is more than an overview about business. It’s how you can practically apply these principals to build a more effective and profitable company for yourself.”

Thank you fellow Photo Betty Susannah Gill for informing this post!

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