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How to Properly Use a Watermark (Most Aren’t)

Posted by on January 29, 2014 with 16 Comments

How to use a Watermark properly from go4prophotos.com
I remember, years ago deciding that I needed a watermark before I even put any thought into why. I just knew that all the pro’s had one and since I was going4pro…that meant I needed one too!  My original watermark that I created has changed several times over.

These are my personal thoughts from my own experience…they have come through trial and error as well as through observations of trends in the industry. The first thing we need to understand is why a watermark is used.  

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A watermark is placed on an image for 3 reasons:
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1. To protect the image from being stolen, used and credited by someone else.

2. To deter clients from attempting to grab and print images pulled directly from your site.

3. (My favorite) So that if and when clients post your images elsewhere people will know how to find their way back to you!

Let’s recap, a watermark is placed to deter stealing and unauthorized printing and to help new fans find their way to your site. With those ideas in mind, I’ve been seeing a common mistake lately among photographers in that if the watermark is of such it won’t help someone newly exposed to your work find their way to your website.

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Let’s take a look at 3 watermarks and breakdown what’s going on with each one.

1. The Icon.

I’ve been seeing the icon become more and more popular as a watermark. The problem with using just the icon is that if this image showed up on someone’s Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook Feed and it was not properly tagged, a new viewer would have no idea how to identify that the photographer was me. 

1.The Icon Watermark

2. The Distracting Watermark.
 

Another popular trend is to place the full logo directly on each image. This distracts from the photography and instead brings attention to the logo design. Depending on how you look at it this could be good or bad. I remember watermarking an image several years ago and having a friend tell me (with the best intentions) that the image looked even better with the watermark, I agreed whole heartedly but couldn’t decide why that felt so unsettling. Years later I’ve decided that I’d rather my work speak volumes without needing the help of a watermark yelling “pro”.  Notice how your eye involuntarily keeps being lead back to the logo instead of the image. 

2.The Logo Watermark

3. The Simple Watermark.
 

This last watermark is actually my current watermark for Leah Remillet Photography. Its simple and understated and yet gives all the information necessary to bring new followers to my site and blog. By placing the watermark on top of the subject, I make it more difficult for someone to try to crop it out but because of the simplicity and color chosen for this image it’s doesn’t create a large distraction for the viewer. 

How to use a watermark effectively

Using watermarks effectively can help protect your images from misuse and insure that a new excited viewer can become a raving, following fan! 

Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

How to Find Your Niche (and why it makes running your business way easier)

Posted by on January 24, 2014 with 7 Comments

When you start your business – at least for most of us – you just can’t know where you’ll end up. You might think you know but if you’re anything like me, you find out that you were completely wrong.  I thought I was going to be an amazing newborn photographer or maybe a destination wedding photographer – today, I (happily) don’t photograph either. 

Today we’re talking about choosing a niche or a specialty. A lot of photographers believe that by specializing they will limit themselves, but the opposite is actually true. By trying to be everyone’s photographer, you end up being no one’s first choice. <—- CLICK TO TWEET IT OUT! 

Think of the best photographers in the world…Your favorite photographers. I’ll bet they’re not photographing everything that hits their inbox. Instead they have chosen to master specific areas and in that mastery they’ve found so much more.  Finding your niche is a process, it took me about a year and half to discover what kind of photographer I really wanted to be.  Specializing can help you stand out! 

The reality is, when you choose to specialize, everything about you business gets easier! How about if I explain? This is my journey from being everyone’s photographer to a select few’s photographer.  Making the choice to specialize not only gave me more confidence as an artist, but it’s also made me a lot more profitable!



WHAT ABOUT YOU? How did you find your niche and how long did it take or what have you learned about your photography-self so far? 

Filed Under: Videos
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Interview with Newborn Photographer Tara Lindley

Posted by on January 22, 2014 with 2 Comments

The Thriving Photographer Spotlight
I am so excited to introduce you to today’s guest our very own Thriving Photographer Miss Tara Lindley.

The first time Tara ever posted an image in our private Thriver’s only community, I was blown away! Her newborn work is amazing and since the only thing I’m capable of doing with a newborn is keeping them awake…I thought we could all be inspired by Tara! 

Tara specializes in natural light, custom newborn and baby photography in North Carolina. Her use of color palettes that compliment but don’t distract from the pure essence of a newborn make her images so inviting. I love how she showcases those subtle features of newborns that if not captured through photography becomes a fleeting memory.  Without further ado…

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How long have you been a Thriver?

I bought the Thriving Photographer program a little over a year ago. I was feeling stagnant in my business and was ready to make some changes. I was also very tired! I was tired of photographing sooooo many sessions and working tons of hours with nothing to show for it, and missing valuable, precious time with my very young family. I was frustrated with clients who did not value my time, talent, or the service I was providing. I loved photography, but I was feeling burned out. The way I was doing things just wasn’t working for me or for my family. I needed help and The Thriving Photographer was the answer!

Mom and Newborn PoseAmazing Newborn Photography
        

Why did you choose to focus on newborn photography?

I began my photography journey when I was pregnant with my first child.  It wasn’t until after I had my third baby and did his newborn pictures that I realized what I was meant to do. I was captivated by the miracle of new life, and the magic of each moment that is so fleeting and precious. I began to breathe and dream newborn photography.  I remember how I felt when each of my children was born. How I wanted to capture everything about them and bottle it all up because they would change so quickly. I would spend my days just holding them and staring at their perfect little faces, hardly believing that I could be so blessed to have such a perfect angel to take care of. It is those feelings and emotions that I am passionate about capturing for my clients. I love everything about babies. Their little noises, the flaky baby skin, cute tiny features, perfect fingers and toes, how they curl their legs up. I love that I can preserve those memories for my clients.

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What is your best tip for keeping babies asleep?

A warm studio and a full tummy! It also helps to keep them awake prior to their session.

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What’s your current favorite prop?

I have so many favorite things, but the baby is the star. Right now I love my flokati rugs that are so versatile for many different setups. I use them in each and every session. I also love styling my sessions with gorgeous fabrics, lace, wraps and vintage bonnets.

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How would you suggest photographers go about learning to pose newborns?

Read and study as much as you can. There are so many resources available online and in the photography community. Join forums and ask questions. I spent hours and hours just studying newborn images that I loved. Nothing will help more than practice. Do as many newborn sessions as you can to become familiar with babies and get your poses down. If possible, invest in education. Hands-on workshops are the best thing you can do to perfect newborn posing. There is so much more to learn about newborn photography than just posing. Newborn safety should be the utmost priority of every photographer. Keeping baby calm and knowing how to soothe the baby is also key to a successful newborn session.


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What is your lighting setup?

I currently photograph newborns in my natural light studio.

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What’s your favorite lens for photographing newborns?

I love my 50 1.4. Hoping to get the 35 mm soon. :)

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What has been your best client generator?

Word of mouth has been the most successful for me. If my clients love their experience, they tell everyone about it. The birth of a new baby is one of the most exciting times in life, and people are so proud to show off images of their baby. They can’t help themselves.  I have also found that sharing images on Facebook generates a lot of interest.

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Tell us about your experience with The Thriving Photographer, what has it done for you and your business?

The biggest thing that The Thriving Photographer has done for me is given me the confidence to pursue what I am really passionate about, and the belief that I really can and do deserve to be successful. I recently moved (and will be moving again in less than a year), and am starting over in my new location. The Thriving Photographer has given me all the tools I need to get my business off to an amazing start in my new location.  It is brilliant really. I have learned how to create an amazing experience for my clients that they tell all their friends about. I know where to find clients who value my time and my work. I photograph what I am passionate about. I am able to spend more time with my family and those who are the most important to me. The Thriving Photographer is a game changer. A life changer really! I cannot say enough good things about this program and about Leah.

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For more Tara Lindley goodness go to her FACEBOOK PAGE  //  BLOG  // and to learn how Tara got her thrive on go to The Thriving Photographer!


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Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

The Key to Happiness

Posted by on January 20, 2014 with 0 Comments
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      Source: Zero Dean

Filed Under: Inspiration
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Photography Slideshow Example using Animoto Pro (with Coupon Code)

Posted by on January 17, 2014 with 20 Comments
A pictures paints 1,000 words, but have you every thought what a video could do for you?  According to Dr. James McQuivey from Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. 

There are a lot of little things that I incorporate into my portrait sessions to create a ‘wow!’ but if I had to pinpoint the one that makes the most impact it would be the addition of video with the slideshow. I love the fact that in my session not only do I capture still imaginary, I also capture my clients in the pure essence of their life. Daddy’s twirling their little girls around,  siblings bent over in that deep down belly laughter, families emerged in tickle fights, little boys roaming making noise with their arms spread out like wings as they pretend to be an airplane, sisters hand in hand in a ring – singing and giggling.  Can you visualize these images? These are the moments that truly bring our clients stories to life. 

I don’t plan out my videos in the session I let the sessions unfold and capture the real moments of interaction, typically my clients don’t even know I have switch to video mode. So the surprise and wow factor is found at their sales appointment when they sit down to view their slide show that I have created. The music begins, the still images display on the screen and then a picture begins to move and come to life and that is when the magic happens. That is when you know you have done your job by fulfilling a need that your client didn’t even know they had.

There is something magical about video, it takes you back to that very moment and fills you with raw emotion, Animoto helps me do just that by allowing me to quickly create an extraordinary slideshow presentation.  I’ve been with Animoto Pro almost from their beginning and I absolutely love them! It is an amazing online software that allows you to intertwine images sprinkled with 10 sec video clips and text. It breathes life into the sales process and is an incredible tool. Below is my own personal formula for creating my slideshows.

Leah’s Formula for building a Custom Animoto Pro Slideshow:


  1. Upload Final Images from Session (typically 25-30)
  2. 5-7 Favorite Video Clips (between 3 & 10 seconds each) 
  3. Set theme in Animoto (My go-to is Brilliance & Classic White) 
  4. Upload logo slide for the end of the video (include logo, URL, phone number) 
  5. Quotes – Add 2 to 3 text slides with meaningful quotes. ( a few examples: “Family is where life begins and love never ends”, “The love of a family is life’s greatest blessings” & ” Our happily ever after”) 

Bonus Option – Add a call to action that brings viewers back to your website (for when shared) 


Sample Slideshow




Adding video has been a huge part of my wow factor and since most of our cameras have video capability, it’s an easy addition you can start implementing on your very next shoot. There are several slideshow software options, I personally chose and love Animoto Pro because I needed something that was fast and looked professional! I’ve stayed with Animoto all of these years because I can make a gorgeous, custom slideshow in 30 minutes and for their ever improving features and great music selection (including music from Triple Scoop). 


COUPON CODE FOR ANIMOTO PRO

If you haven’t used Animoto Pro, you should absolutely test them out!

And we’ve got a SPECIAL COUPON CODE FOR ANIMOTO PRO ($50 OFF!), just click HERE.

*Canadian Photographers use code: leahca to get your special discount off Animoto Pro


Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

How to Establish a Friends & Family Rate

Posted by on January 15, 2014 with 22 Comments

How to set boundaries in your photography business when everyone wants a deal
They all want a discount…friends, family, the barber, even the lady at the checkout counter who reads that my debit card says, Leah Remillét Photography. They-all-want-a-deal. 

For some this wouldn’t be such a big problem…I’m not ‘some’, it reeks havoc on me. 

I’m one of those people “pleasers”, the one who will say ‘yes’ while in her head can already hear her husband saying, ‘you volunteered us for what?!*&^%$???!’  Yep, I’m one of those types and it can be a problem. 

So first let’s talk about why and what the problem is with doing favors for everyone…the bottom line is that, this is my business. Yes, I love what I do and I consider myself very blessed to say that often it doesn’t even feel like work but it’s still my business and it’s still how I bring in income for my family, it’s my livelihood. This isn’t, ‘hey can I borrow a cup of milk?’ This is ‘hey, will you give me some of your paycheck?’ 

On average I invest 15 hours into each client I work with from first contact to product delivery. Because of where I set my priorities, I only accept one session per week. If I want to maintain any sort of balance (or attempt at it) I can’t take on anymore then that. I learned that lesson many years ago the hard way!

My clients invest a substantial amount per session. If I give that weeks spot to a friend who doesn’t want to pay, then I’m hurting our family’s financial stability. If instead, I try to take on their session and a regular session I loose balance in my home. It’s a very delicate balance that I’m trying to maintain, unfortunately that’s what happens when you’re trying to do more things than the hours in a day want to allow for…wiggle room just isn’t an option.  Add to that the fact, that there are costs involved and you realize that it is not just my time I’m giving away…I do have a bottom line associated with every session that I do, so if I do it for free I’m essentially paying them to let me take their picture. I know you’re seeing the issues!

Now lets move on to the next situation at hand.  I kept trying to squeeze a friend/family session in around my already booked schedule but then I didn’t have the time to finish on the back end so they would have to wait and wait and wait. I’ve even had people joke about their {free} pictures taking too long. Now of course I do know that this was meant as a harmless joke, but it meant that they were aware of the waiting and that shows me that maybe the magnitude of the gesture wasn’t fully appreciated.  Which brings me back to another point. I really enjoy all my sessions, I genuinely have a great time every time I shoot, so does that mean I’m not going to charge anyone?  Of course not, I found something that I love to do, but in no way does that mean I should apologize for accepting a fee.  Last time I checked professional ball players are doing it ‘for the love of the game’ and they’re expecting to be paid millions for it.


6 Rules that have helped me set ‘friends & family’ boundaries: 


Rule #1. I only do one family/friend session a month. If the family/friend wait list is 10 years they may want to find another friend with a camera or decide that I’m worth paying for at regular fees.

Rule #2. It is never 100% free (unless it’s charity and that would be totally different if that also fell under the friends and family “plan”). It’s not free for me, I do not do my own post-processing and if I decide to take on the post processing in order to save the money then I throw my family life out of whack and that is not acceptable to me. So free is not an option unless I 100% plan to gift it to someone, which sometimes I do!

Rule #3. Create a policy that is written ahead of time and when someone Facebook’s, email’s or whatever I can just send my canned response. It’s obviously generic and this is on purpose so that they can understand and appreciate that I get asked to do this a lot but it’s also sincere and from the heart.

Rule #4. Not all friends are created equal (and neither is family). I have friends who have done so much more for me that I feel I could never repay them and for them I would do anything. Now on the other side, there are very extended family members who in the name of “family” feel they somehow deserve my services for free…in that case I can (politely) say no.

Rule #5. You can say yes, but not right now. If it’s summer time and peak season for you and you’re plenty busy with full paying shoots it’s more than okay to explain that you have no availability right now but in a few months (say February when you’re deader than dead) you’ll be happy to do something with them. Then you can spread good will and fill up your blog with some fresh content. Make it work for your schedule, after all you are the one doing a favor and you shouldn’t be put out because of it.

Rule #6. This is really an idea not a rule but I’m hoping it will inspire your own thought process. When I’m doing a “friends/family” session I explain a few things and basically it’s this: I won’t be editing the normal 25-30 images that I would for a client. You will get my very favorites may that be 5, 10 or 15. I also use these sessions as creative sessions where I can try out ideas and concepts that I’ve been playing around with in my head, so I try to make these sessions work for me in my marketing or portfolio in some way whenever possible.


I don’t have this one all figured out. I told you my rules but the truth is, I’ve already broken them. I guess I really just follow my heart. I think about how I’m feeling and I let that make my decisions. There will always be more money to be made but great friends are precious and they’re a lot harder to come by.  I think the most important thing to consider when determining your policy is your family (I’m talking about your spouse and children) their time and their needs should never ever be compromised, no matter what.

What about you? Do you feel like you’re being taken advantage of? Do you have a strict no policy or are you in the process of trying to figure out how you’ll handle it? I’d really love to hear your thoughts and get your feedback. And no that’s not directed to someone else, it’s directed to you. Yes, you. You are reading this right? Well I want to know if you liked it, hated it, agree or disagree.



Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

When you’re just not feeling it…

Posted by on January 13, 2014 with 0 Comments
Filed Under: Inspiration
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).