FREE Webinar: 6 Secrets to a Profitable Wedding and Portrait Business

Join Steve Saporito, Bryan Caporicci and Jeff Jochum as they share with you their 6 Secrets to a profitable Wedding and Portrait Business in this absolutely FREE Webinar on Tuesday 25th @ 9PM (if you’re UK based).

These three guys have an absolute wealth of knowledge between them when it comes to this industry which can often feel like a minefield. So, let them help you navigate it! In this Webinar they promise to teach you:

  1. 6 Strategies to implement that will transform your photography business
  2. The biggest mistakes you are making when dealing with your clients
  3. Why clients are saying you’re “Expensive”

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2015 will see me transition from the day job into full time photography and some of the most sage advice I’ve been given came from Steve Saporito himself. Steve taught me perhaps the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt as a photographer so far. It sounds like a simple one, but I’ll tell you for free that it’s the most powerful tool I have when it comes to booking clients. Steve told me: “You just have to care”. I instantly adopted this approach even more, taking on board the other things that Steve said and really listened to my clients. I asked them questions about them, how they felt about one another, how they met and really showed a genuine interest in their answers. I started to connect with my clients on a new level and through that I was able to start booking more clients AND at higher averages than before. It’s not a jedi mind trick, it’s not neuro linguistic programming: as Steve says – You just have to care! If, in that one nugget of information Steve has helped me to book more clients and increase my average from £650 per client to over £1,000, then that tells me that this is a Webinar that I must tune into. And so should you!

You may remember our very own interview with Steve from Episode 17 of the Ready Steady Pro Podcast – which has proven to be the most popular download to date with well over 1,000 downloads more than the second most popular episode. If you liked what you heard in that interview, then you’re going to love what Steve has to say in this Webinar. (Did I mention it’s free?)

So, sign up to the webinar now – places are limited so be sure to book your place.

Photography Q&A with Davie Hudson

As part of the Ready Steady Pro Q&A Series we ask photographers from all backgrounds, niches and skill levels to answer 5 questions for the blog. This week, we hear from Davie Hudson of DavieHudsonPhotography.biz

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About Davie:

I’m a 43 year old landscape/outdoors lifestyle photographer from Dundee in Scotland. My weekdays are taken up being a Machine Shop supervisor though i hope to be fully pro in 2015.Having asked so many other guests these 5 questions, here are my own responses:

Question 1: What’s the one single thing that has had the largest positive impact on your photography so far?

A few years ago now i had a rare day off work and a new camera…. A fuji superzoom. As I had a full tank of petrol I decided to drive up the A9 towards Inverness to see what i could shoot. It was heading towards mid morning so a coffee was most definitely in order so i pulled into a layby, which on that road are all numbered, this being 76…. I turned my head to the left and the sight I saw changed my life forever and cemented my resolve to be a landscape photographer.

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Question 2: If you could start over again from scratch, what would be the one thing you would do differently?

At the moment I think everything is going well so no major mistakes have been made yet …. I would possibly have changed to digital sooner as film developing wasn’t my strongpoint.

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Question 3: Who is the most influential photographer to you, and why? (Or, Which photographer do you admire the most, and why?)

I have 2 really Ansel Adams and Peter Lik… Mr Adams because literally he is the boss, there is still to be anyone better at tonal contrast in B&W, coupled with the fact he had a true passion for his environment and that shows in his photographs. Peter Lik is a different kettle of fish all together… he is a bit hit and miss in that when he’s good he is amazing but he also has the ability to be average. What i most admire about him is his marketing acumen, he is a master of getting the most benefit from what he has.

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Question 4: If you able to give just one piece of advice to someone just starting out in their photographic career, what would it be?

Be you own quality control, never let anyone tell you what to like … If you like the picture and it means something to you then thats all you need. Also only ever show your best … we all have a pile of rubbish but no one EVER sees them.

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Question 5: Paint a picture: What is the one thing / place / person you would love to photograph and why? It can be a person or a moment from history. As part of this answer also tell us about what gear you’d use, what lighting, what looks, wardrobes, poses and expressions you’d make use.

I would love to photograph American National parks in Winter to capture the magnificence of Yosemite in the footsteps of Mr Adams. As for gear, you could give me a smart phone in that situation and I’d be happy.

If you want to know more about me, see my work, or get in touch I’m on pretty much everything on the web:

Website: www.daviehudsonphotography.biz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dundeedavie

Don’t forget you can also post in the comments section below, or join the fun over in the Ready Steady Pro Facebook Community

Would you like to take part in photography Q&A? Send us an email with your answers to the 5 questions and it could appear on this blog too! More details can be found on the Q&A Page

Photographers: Are you Investing or just Spending

Originally featured over on Michael Rammell’s blog. You can check out the original post right here: http://www.michaelrammell.com/blog/spending-or-investing


Part of the journey of becoming a photographer nearly always includes buying way too much gear, spending too much money and then realising you need a whole different set of equipment and then buying it all again. It just seems to be one of those check boxes people tick first when they’re on their way.

However, this process of replacing all our gear all too often becomes a cycle: We upgrade from our mid-range DSLR to a top of the range DSLR. Then from there we add more new lenses. Then a new model of our camera is released and so we ‘upgrade’ yet again. This goes on and on. This of course isn’t just something that happens in the world of photography though, I’m sure chef’s, cyclists, car lovers and so many other markets have the same cycle too. It’s all a result of great marketing by those companies: to drive desire for their products and to create a perception of need. This is especially the case in the world of photography though. We all want to be better photographers and make photographs that our clients AND our fellow photographers will admire and one of the ways these companies convince us we can do that is by spending more money on their products.

Whilst this is all good and we are all welcome to spend our own money on whatever we want, what I see missing in some people is the business-mindset: are you running your photography as a business? Or are you just spending money on stuff and telling others and yourself it’s all for the business

Those constant upgrades may make you happy, but are they good for business? Do they bring in more profit? It’s time to curb the gear lust and think about whether that new mark 2 body or macro lens is really good for business.

Are you spending money or investing money?

It’s completely up to us as photographers what we spend our money on. It’s not my place to tell you that the third camera body is not an investment and it’s certainly not up to me to stop you from spending money. The idea of this post today is urge you think more like a business (if you are in the business of photography) and to consider whether that thing you’re about to buy is worth it.

So, why is it that photographers spend so much on gear? Why is it that we believe that spending that extra £1,000 on something will make us immeasurably or even noticeably different? More importantly though the questions any working photographer should be asking themselves when buying new gear are:

  1. “Will it earn me more money?”
  2. “Will the client notice the difference between now and with the new thingy”
  3. (“Will the client pay more when I use the new thingy?”)
  4. “Will it make my job faster, thus saving me money?”
  5. “Will it add a unique selling point to me, my business or my work that no other photographer has?”

When it comes to lenses and camera bodies, the answer in most cases to all of the above questions is simple: No.

That upgrade for the 70-200 is not likely to actually make you more money next year vs the amount you could make with your existing 70-200. Furthermore, I doubt the client will notice the difference between the two lenses either on the day when you’re using them, or, in the resulting photographs.

Now, there is of course another question and that is “Will this purchase make me happy?” and the answer to that question is almost always ‘Yes’, at least to begin with. Then that piece of gear becomes a part of the bag and then settles into it’s place as ‘Just another piece of gear’. Often this is where we fall down, we have those 5 logical questions I mention above, but we disregard them all and place the purchase of that new shiny thing under the ‘It will make me happy’ category.

If you want to make more money as a photographer you need to increase your prices, be more profitable or shoot for more clients (all of those can work in combination too of course) so if that is the ultimate goal; if we are looking to build a sustainable livelihood and pay our bills, we need to be serious and responsible with our spending and think with our business heads, not our gear-lusting hearts. Sure, on occasion it will get the better of us and we’ll buy something we don’t necessarily need but have wanted, but that’s the nature of being in the world of photography: we’re attracted to tech, gadgets, glass and all that other stuff.

Diminishing Returns

Now, all of this said there will be purchases and upgrades that solve our problems and enable us to better realise our creativity, and that’s fine also, but the best way I’ve ever heard this put was by David DuChemin, who talks about upgrades as ‘Diminishing Returns’ – the idea that the huge outlay you’re about to make for an upgrade, will get you a very small and disproportionate improvement. David and I spoke about this for Ready Steady Pro Episode 16 and David also spoke about this extensively in what was one of his favourite blog posts, titled ‘Towards Mastery, Again’.

David Says:

But isn’t it possible we’ve passed the point of diminishing returns and our hunger for gear is outpacing our hunger for beauty, compelling stories, great light, and amazing moments?

So, whilst I don’t want to offer any strict ‘advice’ with this post, or guidelines or suggestions for that matter, all I want to do is get you to think about whether that new camera, lens, tripod etc is actually solving a problem for you. Will it help you to produce noticeably better photographs to those who pay you? Are you investing money in your photography business for the benefit of your product? (your photographs) or are you just lusting over gear and using being a professional photographer as a cover to justify the purchase?

Either way is fine, but please give it some thought.

As always, comments, criticism, thoughts and feedback welcome. You know what to do: just leave a comment below

How To Create A Black & White Smart Collection In Adobe Lightroom

Have you been nominated for the Black and White challenge? You know the one: someone posts a Black & White photograph to a Social Media site and then they nominate you to then post one black and white photograph each day for 5 days? You have? Excellent! Then this may help you out with that challenge.

Did you know you can actually setup a Smart Collection in Lightroom so you can view all of your Black and White photographs in one, neat collection? This will make finding all your best Black and White’s far easier and participating in this great little challenge so much more fun.

If you’re at home or in a place where you can watch a video, then check this out. If not just continue past the video for the instructions laid out with screen grabs:

(Be sure to share links to your 5 Black & White Photographs below!)

So there you go –  a Smart Collection showing just the mono photos in your library! Have a go.

Why not share a link to some of your very own Black and White photographs below in the comments.

RSP London Photowalk – Saturday 26th October

Meeting Location: Leadenhall Market
Date: Sunday 26th October 2014
Meeting Time: 12:00 noon onwards
Price: Free
Facebook Event: http://on.fb.me/1D7m3Wk

LONDON Photowalk

Details

You know the drill by now. I’m returning to my favourite city (and I’ve been to a fair few!) to photograph the sites, sounds and oddities of one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities. The melting pots of culture that is London!

You, the camera and the big city and of course the company of some incredibly talented other photographers. What could be better?

Also, I’m not sure if you noticed, but you’ll be charged a grand total of £0 for this event. Come on! Come and meet fellow photographers and have some fun.

The Route

  1. Meeting at Leadenhall Market at 12:00 we’ll start with the usual meet and greet.
    1. The nearest tube Stops are probably Monument, Bank, Tower Hill or Aldgate depending on your direction of travel
  2. We’ll stay at Leadenhall for a short while, even though the area will be relatively quiet on a Sunday.
  3. A few minutes from Leadenhall are some fantastic building such as ‘The Gherkin’ and other impressive architecture.
  4. From the Market Area we’ll head East towards the Tower of London, where they currently have the installation of thousands of ceramic poppies on display (more information here)
  5. After a short while we’ll then head back West, walking adjacent to the River towards London Bridge, where we’ll cross over to the South of the River.
  6. This will leave us in view of The Shard and just a stones throw from Borough Market, where depending on the time may well be our first stop for refreshments at Brew Wharf (very close to Borough Market. If the pace has been fast and the group want to continue, we may carry on and stop elsewhere for drinks a short while further into the route
  7. After a short break we’ll head towards Shakespeare’s Globe and the Millennium Bridge, where we will cross over to once again find ourselves North of the River
  8. At the North end of the Millennium Bridge we’ll be able to get some post card shots of St Paul’s Cathedral.
  9. If by the time we are at St. Paul’s and we haven’t stopped we can head towards the Blackfriar – a very well known pub just north of Blackfriars Bridge. From here we can head south over the bridge.
  10. From here we’ll be able to walk past / through the OXO tower building along the river.
  11. We’re now heading towards South Bank, and a little further on from that will the London Eye.
  12. The walk will most likely end here, but if we find we’ve marched and people want to continue I have an extended route I can take you, including Big Ben Downing Street, Horse Guards, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, China Town, Covent Garden, and much more. But this extended route is possibly not for the feint of heart :)

What Can you Learn?

Everything or Nothing. It’s up to you. Come along for fun or come along to learn – this is a free event for all skill levels. If you would like to learn the art of approaching strangers for street portraits there will be an opportunity to learn from me the way I am successfully able to make portraits time and time again.

Alternatively, if Candid street photography is your thing I can help you look for moments, stories, faces and of course – the light!

Whatever your reason for coming along, there will be something for everyone. Fun guaranteed!

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday 26th October 2014

Confirm your attendance

Come and join the Ready Steady Pro Facebook Community and use the Facebook Event to stay up to date with the details of the event.

Looking forward to meeting you and making some great photographs!

Thanks / Michael

Manchester PhotoWalk – RSP Heads North

You’re invited to join your fellow Ready Steady Pro community members for another walk. This time we’re going to be taking in the sights and sounds of the city of Manchester (UK).

Come and join us on Saturday 22nd November 2014 for a day of photography, fun and banter. The walk starts at 10:15. Of course, as always – it’s free!

This particular walk is being organised and hosted by RSP members Kati Fichtelmann & James Hepworth who both know the area very well indeed.

James Says:

Save the date! Saturday 22 November 2014.
Me and Kati are just putting finishing touches to the route around the old and new in Manchester.

Starting around 10:15am and finishing at 5pm, we’ve come up with a route that takes in some great locations around the city. There are scheduled ‘waypoints’ throughout the day that people can meet up at, but the idea is that everyone can go off and do their own thing (it also avoids us going round as one big conspicuous huddle of photographers!). So join us for the full day, or half way round, the choice is yours.

The pair of talented photographers have put together an excellent route for the day. Take a look:

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Click here to see the RSP Manchester Photowalk Route in Google Maps

To confirm your attendance and for all of the latest details about this event simply join the Ready Steady Pro Facebook Group (if you haven’t already) and join the event.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Moo.com Sale – 35% off all printed products

Moo.com are having another one of their amazing 25% off sales!  But hurry – It ends on 30th September!

Wait! There’s more! 25% off is already great, but how about 35% off? Just use this link to qualify for 10% off and if you buy before September 30th you’ll get the sale discount added on top! Bargain.

Moo.com Summer Sale - 25% off
Moo.com Summer Sale – 25% off

Check out my review of Moo.com’s Luxe Business cards – incredibly thick and wonderfully premium. A business card that will truly stand out from all the others:

You can also check out some quality hi-res photographs of the cards here too:

Already own business cards from Moo.com? Would love to know your thoughts and views. Drop a comment below!