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Making the Pretty, Functional

Posted by on May 7, 2012 with 6 Comments
I’m sure you can relate, but my productivity levels have a night and day difference from when I’ve got it together and when I don’t. Not so shocking, right? And yet, all to often we choose to delay getting our business, our lives and our homes in order. And this delay is stumping growth, stumping success, stumping potential.
Clutter kills creativity and chaos stumps productivity. In short – organization is crucial. And I’ve learned that in a world where we’re constantly trying to be it all, we’ve got to start by being organized.
Confession: It’s really easy for me to think about what pretty things I would like in my office! A flip through the Pottery Barn Magazine, a stroll down the aisles of Target and those ideas are flow’n!  The fresh flowers, the vintage cameras and the beautiful canvases adorning the walls… I can see it all now. Isn’t it lovely? But pretty does not always translate to productive. I need both! So, I began my attempt to figure out this magical land of organization. First I created a Functionality Plan. Instead of planning the color scheme or furniture layout, I scrutinized over what actually makes my workspace, well workable… This is my list of what I needed my office space to have… 1. Computer Station: Clean/clear desk with computer. 2. Reference Station: Archival disks, notebooks, client paperwork, etc. 3. Supply Station: Office supplies such as ink, paper, etc. 4. Packaging Station: Ribbon, boxes, bags, tissue, tags, press printed products, etc. 5. Equipment Station: Camera gear, projector, screen and such. By creating “stations,” I could start to think past pretty and onto function. Planning for stations helped me determine what it is I really needed in order to create functionality. Try it and see what you come up with and then leave a comment below and tell us what your functionality plan consists of! I can’t wait to learn from you!

Double Screens helps me stay organized and my desktop workflow board ( <— it’s a free download) is of course a lifesaver for me! The white Ikea file folders store all of my client files, alphabetized  from a to z.

The chair was a garage-sale find for $10. It started out green and blue – we painted it white and then a friend recovered the cushions for me. The final touch was having my name on the chair. I redesigned that thing so many times and finally settled what you see above. One of my incredibly talented friends (Shellagh)  helped me with the rub-on technique (I don’t think that’s the right name for it).

Each of the images on the wall means something to me. The magazine covers were of course a very big honor for me… There is also an images of a client who passed away, one from my first session where I felt like I was actually getting “it”. One is for my very favorite session ever and another is my hardest. There is even an image repressing my smallest and then my largest sale. The good and the bad have helped me grow and I want to remember both.

   P.S. Thank you Kari (my amazing intern) for photographing, editing and preparing the images for this post! 
Filed Under: Office & Studios
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!

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Your Guide to Working with Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists

Posted by on May 4, 2012 with 9 Comments
Have you considered having a makeup artist and hairstylist on your professional team? 

Doesn’t that just sound impressively chic?  I remember thinking it did when I first got the idea, and feeling very intimidated at the idea of making it happen.

I wanted to do everything I could to make the experience that my clients enjoyed with Leah Remillet Photography stand out and I thought that being able to offer the services of a makeup artists would provide one more way for me to do just that!  Now here is the fabulous news, it’s actually incredibly easy to make it happen and I’m going to share with you the do’s and don’ts that I’ve learned over the years!

DO a Google search for makeup artists in your area and compile a list of 3 to 5 artist/stylists that you’re interested in working with!

DON’T go for Artists/Stylist that are in retail locations and won’t travel. You want small business owners (like you) who are willing to travel to either your studio or your client’s home.

DO plan out some questions you’d like to ask such as what do you charge, how’s your availability usually and do you offer makeup and hair? (My current Artist does both!)

DON’T forget that you’re going to need to pass the cost onto your clients so it shouldn’t be more than your own Portrait Session Fee! (Ideally it should be 25% or less and definitely no more than half your Session Fee)

DO call all of the artists/stylists on your list. Find out who sounds friendly, customer service oriented and willing to offer a special price for your clients. (Remember you’re planning to recommend them to all of your clients, that’s big!)

DON’T work with anyone who treats you inferior in anyway! They will ultimately be a representation of your business (you referred them) and you want to feel confident that your clients will be treated like the V.I.P.’s that they are!

DO ask for a trial run before you start referring your clients to them. Set an appointment for the artist to do your makeup/hair so you can be confident you’ve made a good decision.

DON’T miss this opportunity to jump in front of the camera and update your own self-portrait after the trial run (after all, you’re look’n all done-up & foxy!)

DO think outside the box! Makeup isn’t just for your Seniors and Boudoir Sessions. Lots of Mommy’s need a little extra TLC to give them that confidence boost they need to get in front of your lens. (My mamas who choose to be professionally styled are always super grateful they did it!)

DON’T forget to mention to your clients that you have a Professional Makeup Artist available to them for an additional charge during the scheduling call.

DO offer to give digital files for your stylists/artist to use on their website, with your watermark of course!

DON’T try to charge them for the files. You’re building a relationship and it’s FREE marketing for you!

DO remember that offering the services of a professional makeup artist and hairstylist is just one more way you can demonstrate the level of service, care and professionalism that your business model stands for as a Thriving Photographer!

I hope this has been helpful!!  If you have any tips you’d like to share or burning questions you really need answered, leave a comment below! 

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).

April Giveaway Winner

Posted by on May 3, 2012 with 0 Comments
Congratulations to Tabitha who will be recieveing a wonderful box on her doorstep full of fabulous items from our April giveaway! …And thank you to all who participated! The May giveaway will be debuting soon… It’s just not quite ready for you, and we of course want to make sure it’s perfect for y’all! I’ll send out an email to all of our fabulous photographers when it’s ready so make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter! Just look right over to your right —–> at the top of the side bar. See ya’ in your inbox! :)  
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).

Video Review of The Thriving Photographer

Posted by on May 2, 2012 with 2 Comments
I set out to create a program that had the ability to change lives. Dramatic I know, but that was the goal. I wasn’t basing this idea out of thin air either, I’d seen it happen in my own life! I’d seen myself go from, well – me – to a thriving photographer. From $100 a session to over $2,000. From no confidence at all, to seeing my work on the cover of magazines. From SAHM who questioned there was more to me than laundry, diapers and dinner to a women who knows her worth, sees her potential and has learned to love even better because I’m proud of who and what I am. To have all of that happen to me… Well, it was incredible. But it wasn’t magic! I knew it could be duplicated! I wanted to give my dream come true to others and that’s why I decided to create The Thriving Photographer. I’ve taken everything that I’ve learned, tried, failed and succeeded at as a professional photographer and given you all my secrets in one easy to incorporate program. And guess what. Lives are changing!! Here is Brittany Lauren of New York, NY on what The Thriving Photographer has done for her!!
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).

Are You Sure You’re Not Annoying Your Facebook Fans?

Posted by on April 27, 2012 with 14 Comments
How do you know if you’re becoming annoying to your fans? It’s a super scary thought! You’ve worked so incredibly hard to get them to your wall… The last thing you want to do is drive them away! I have spent a lot of time thinking about this for the Go{4}Pro Facebook Page... Trying to give you the right amount of smiles, inspiration, tips… Sometimes I think I’m doing pretty good. Other times I’m worried that I’m painfully boring, repetitive, annoying (it changes). Finding the right balance takes time and insight. There is no cookie cutter template on what to do and how to do it. Some people blow up their social media 24/7 – they go super personal, it seems like what they’re doing shouldn’t work, and yet for them it does! While others try to fit that same mold and fail miserably. The one thing that I know for sure with Social Media is that anyone who I’ve ever seen have long term success from it – has stayed genuine and true to who and what they are. But for the sake of this posts, I think that these 5 annoyers are pretty universal and staying away from them is just good common practice… Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. Except for #2. Don’t make exceptions to that one, cause it’s annoying always!  Here are 5 Big Annoyers you might want to avoid….   Don’t criticize your competition or your peers. This really really frustrates me when I see photographers bad mouthing other photographers. We are not all going to agree, we are not all going to do things the same way and we are not all going to get it right all the time. Don’t self appoint as the Queen B who’s going to set other’s straight. I’ll admit it, you’ll probably get the short term gain of a lot of attention but ultimately all you’ll do is attract the type of people who love to criticize as well… And don’t be surprised if one day that criticism turns on you. The “Hello” Spammy Tag. If you’ve ever made the mistake of writing something like “Saying Hello” and tagged a bunch of others pages. Chalk it up to a momentary lapse in judgment and vow you’ll never do it again. It’s not professional, it looks a little desperate and it can get you blocked or reported for spam. If you want to introduce yourself you should absolutely do it but be creative and be genuine. Tell them why you like being there and how grateful you are to have been introduced to their page. I can tell you that at least for me personally there is a much higher chance I’d check your page out if you’re creative and considerate than the 0% chance if you’re not. Stop the Replay Button. I’m going to be the first to admit it, I dont’ know what the perfect amount of posts are and I’m not sure how you know when you’re posting too much but if you’re posting the same content every 30 minutes, I can guarantee you’re gonna get annoying. I’ve had days where I’ve felt like I was being insanely annoying. (Sorry if I annoyed you) I think at minimum you should post once a day, at maximum… I don’t know that answer. Pay attention to your feed. Is interaction drying up? Consider trying not to hit their feed more than once in a scan cycle. The conversation that goes the wrong way. Have you ever had a client leave a post on your wall that they want to book a session? Hip, hip hurray for sure BUT don’t let this convo continue where it’s at. Instead you need to hop in the conversation car and drive it on over to a more suitable parking space (like your inbox). Respond to the comment with enthusiasm and let them know you’ll be emailing them asap. Two great things happen by doing this; 1) You educate other clients to keep scheduling where it belongs and 2) You don’t wind up in a huge awkward wall post where they ask if they can get a deal and now you’re stuck needing to respond with the knowledge your entire fan base is “listening”. Overly TMI. Your fan base will come to learn what they should expect from you based on what you put out there. If you put a lot of personal stuff, you’ll attract fans who enjoy and appreciate it. If you never post little personal bits then randomly put one out there, your readers may be confused to see it. Finding your middle ground is the best answer! But the one rule you must obey… Be professional. That doesn’t mean be uptight. It doesn’t mean you lie, but you should always remember that your posts are representing your company. Once you’ve put it out on the web… it’s really tricky to take back! Treat your fans like gold because really, they are. We should be grateful for the opportunity to interact and build a relationship with Facebook followers. I know it’s easy to click ‘like’ but I still consider it a huge honor when someone makes a CHOICE to like my page! One great way to show your gratitude is by interacting when a follower gives you the chance. If you put out a post, make sure you’re monitoring for responses. Ignoring  comments (intentional or not) will leave that follower and many others who are looking in, the impression that you’re not really in this for your clients.    My last tip of advice is to STICK WITH IT! Don’t give up if you’re numbers aren’t climbing walls at the rate of certain Vampires at Twilight. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve committed one of our “Annoyers”… Stick with it… Try different approaches and see what brings you the most interaction. Paying attention to what works for you and what doesn’t will be your best starting point. After that… You just have to experiment and see.What’s your best Facebook advice? Do you have any annoying rules you’d like to add? What has worked best for your own Fan Page and what mistakes have you learned never to make again?

{HubSpot Image Source: mashable.com}

What’s your best Facebook advice? Do you have any annoying rules you’d like to add? What has worked best for your own Fan Page and what mistakes have you learned never to make again?

Remember to please be kind to one another (there is always a REAL person on the other end of your words) but be specific so that we can all THRIVE a little better.

Filed Under: Promotion & Marketing
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).

It is time.

Posted by on April 25, 2012 with 4 Comments

{Source: Etsy Love}

{Source: Just-Smileology}

{Source: Piccsy.com}

 You CAN have this… I have the PLAN for you! Are you ready to believe in your DREAM? 

THRIVE WITH ME!

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).

Canvas & Large Prints Q&A

Posted by on April 23, 2012 with 2 Comments
Today we’re going to do a little Q&A about one of my very favorite things – large photos!! I’ve got canvases and framed prints all over my house…I recommend them to every single client…I am completely elated when I get to hang them…they are big and beautiful and SO MUCH FUN! And I’m sure you’ve heard me say all of that before. Nothing that is talked about this often can go without questions…and you guys had some! So here are my answers. :) Forgive me if you’ve seen them before, since they were on my formspring page first, but I just thought it would be fun for everyone to see. Now go canvas & frame the world! I’m ordering my first gallery wrap canvas. Do you have any tips…do you do 1.5 or 2.5 inch sides? Do you get the gel coating over the top? Is there anything special I should be doing while ordering? I have canvases all over my house and they are hung with tacks because I move them around so much. My clients always think that’s hilarious. I find that I move them so much that it’s easiest for my own canvases to just be wood frame-plain.
For my clients canvases I really don’t do anything special either – so no coating and such. I will have them color correct if necessary but that’s about it. For clients – just to help set your canvases a part, you might want to do paperback with saw tooth hanger but then again you may just leave them as is. All of mine are 1.5 and I make sure I have enough room for the image to wrap around the sides. I’ve done .75 wrap for one client because we were putting 2 16×20′s in the entry and they would be behind the door when it was opened so we wanted to be sure that they would not get hit by the door. So exciting for you! I can’t wait for you to get it… My wall art deliveries always make me the happiest!   How often do you sell framed prints? Not nearly as often as Canvas. I offer it more to show a boutique variety of options and I do have a 30×40 framed print in the studio for people to see as a sample but very rarely is that the choice. Although with the new Organic Bloom options that I will be showing this summer I could see them becoming a more popular option! I’m having a hard time pricing framed prints. When I use the calculator at 40% COGS the price just seems way too much . It’s hard to compete with Hobby Lobby even though my frames would be better quality. First of all, you’re not competing with Hobby Lobby because last time I checked Hobby Lobby didn’t have a gorgeous family portrait to place in the center of any frame that they offer. It’s important to truly realize how special and incredible what YOU OFFER is… Once you’re mindset changes so will you clients! {promise!!} Here’s the thing, you’re not actually selling paper or wood or canvas material. What you REALLY sell is the incredible memory that you’ve documented for them…. And NOW you’re showing them how they can display and preserve AND ENJOY these memories!! Anytime a pricing questions comes up, the good answer is not one that can be given in a one or two or even 100 sentences. To really learn and understand pricing once and for all (in a way that will change your bank account and clients experience forever) check out the thriving photographer. But here is one suggestions for you… Consider marking up the frame but not the print. So it’s like they get the print for free when they frame it and you can explain it to them in such a way that they feel the value they are getting by purchasing a ready to hang item from you. For me, it’s really important that I present my clients with ready to hang items so that I know they won’t sit in a closet for a year waiting to go to the framer!  
If you have questions that you’d like to see answered you can leave a comment below or ask away over on the Formspring page.
 
Filed Under: Photography Technique
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).