All posts by PSCo

PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT | ARIELLA NOELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

ariella-noelle-feature

ariella-headshotBusiness Name: Ariella Noelle Photography

Website: ariellanoelle.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ariellanoellephotography

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ariellanoelle/

Where are you based out of? Seattle area

Are you currently a part-time or full-time photographer? Full-time

What is your predominant photographic specialization?
I specialize in high school seniors and headshot portraiture!

What camera(s) do you currently shoot with?
I currently shoot with the 5D MK4! Love it!

How would you define your style?
My style is bold, joyful, colorful with a touch of a romantic side!

What motivated you to become a photographer?
Through high school, I studied art in some form or another – drawing, painting, music, theater etc. The arts always drew me, and I seemed to have a natural eye for composition and color, but painting and drawing would frustrate me because they take so long to create the final product! Junior year of high school I took a photography class and something just “clicked” haha. I remember checking out basically every book on photography in the entire library system that summer… I forced myself to read even the ones that were way over my head at the time! I loved the instant gratification of seeing my work immediately and I also began to realize realistically how much more impact I could have on so many more people with a camera than with a paintbrush! The idea of people treasuring something I created for years and hanging it on their wall captivated me!

What is it that you try to convey with your work?
JOY! I love giving my clients a joy-filled experience from beginning to end and I hope that my images convey that JOY! I think every portrait photographer tries to capture a genuine slice of their client’s personalities and that is always my goal as well!

How do you accomplish that?
It’s easy to do when your work is your passion! I love every single shoot that I do and my excitement and love for what I do invades every session!

What do you do during a session or wedding day to help make your clients feel comfortable?
Be myself! I’m an introvert with extroverted tendencies and my inner extrovert definitely takes over on photoshoots! We laugh, we pose together, we chat and have a good time!

Have you had a photographer inspire your work, and if so, who and why?
I remember when I first discovered Michelle Moore’s senior work! I stalked her like crazy haha! I loved the way her seniors looked so natural – they even had professional hair and makeup, but they still looked like teenagers!;) I love her ability to get relaxed expressions and create such natural looking images! I also loved her editing style – colorful and fresh, but not overly retouched!

What is your most memorable accomplishment so far in your photography career?
I think that would have to be meeting Michelle Moore and taking her headshots last year! It was such an accomplishment to be photographing the photographer who’s work inspired me so much when I first started out!

What is one important lesson you have learned during your career?
Just because a certain style is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for you! I remember looking at all of these dark and moody or light and airy images and loving them, but something didn’t feel “me”. I love just color too much!

Which Photographer Supply Company products do you currently use?
I just started using the custom USB’s and the Mahogany Slim 4×6 boxes! They are beautiful!

How have Photographer Supply Company products helped your business?
They are well made, fairly priced and exactly what I was looking for! Thank you for a great product!

How has packaging elevated your brand?
I love that the USB has my logo on it and the boxes are well made and perfect to display my images!

PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT | CHRISTINE GOSCH

christine-gosch-feature-image

ChristineHeadshots-300wideBusiness Name: Christine Gosch

Website: www.christinegosch.com

Instagram: @christinegosch

Twitter: @christinegosch

Where are you based out of? Houston, Texas

Are you currently a part-time or full-time photographer? full-time

What is your predominant photographic specialization? weddings + brands

What camera(s) do you currently shoot with? Pentax 645n + Canon-AE1

How would you define your style?
simple, intimate, or romantic, depending on what I’m shooting

 

What motivated you to become a photographer?
I’ve always loved photography. I was always the kid with a camera and my love for photography grew in high school when I was able to develop and print my own photos in a school photojournalism class.

What is it that you try to convey with your work?
I try to convey that there’s beauty in every detail, whether it be on a wedding day or at a brand session for a fellow creative small business owner or artist.

How do you accomplish that?
We all know the famous quote by Robert Papa: “If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough”. I apply that to my mindset a lot whilst shooting. I shoot fairly intimately to tell the story of whatever I’m photographing. Stories include lots of delicate, beautiful details, so why wouldn’t I incorporate that into photographic stories, as well?

What do you do during a session or wedding day to help make your clients feel comfortable?
The three things I think I do best to make clients comfortable during a shoot is to have a calm demeanor, talk constantly to naturally direct the shoot and ensure them that they’re doing a great job, and perform the pose myself so the client knows exactly what I’m asking them to do.

Have you had a photographer inspire your work, and if so, who and why?
There are so many talented photographers out there, but I have always been drawn to the minimalistic yet romantic vibe I get from Elizabeth Messina’s work. I even wrote a paper on her in college.

What is your most memorable accomplishment so far in your photography career?
Switching from digital photography to film photography. It was absolutely the right move for me, and I can’t imagine my business now without the fabulous medium.

What is one important lesson you have learned during your career?
Your photography is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s ok. It’s just as important to repel the wrong client as it is to attract the right ones who will invest in you + your business.

Which Photographer Supply Company products do you currently use?
mahogany USB drives

How have Photographer Supply Company products helped your business?
The sleek and simple USB design ties in perfectly with my neutral and organic client packaging.

How has packaging elevated your brand?
It elevates the client experience tenfold, especially as a creative small business owner offering primarily a service and not a product.

The 7 Things That Stop Your Business From Running Efficiently

efficient-business-featured

Websites such as Petapixel and Professional Photographers Association (PPA) estimate that photographers spend close to 30% of their time behind the computer and less than 15% clicking the shutter. There’s a really good chance that wasn’t part of your vision when you set out to be photographer, so let’s discuss some ways to streamline your time behind that computer!

The General Time Suck.

There’s a good chance you are aware there is a problem, but you just don’t know where to begin to solve it. When it comes to making your day to day more efficient, the first thing that you need to know is where your time is going. Spend a week jotting down some simple items: what activity you are doing and how long you spend doing that activity – go ahead and either use an excel spreadsheet if your handwriting is illegible or your Hello Kitty notepad if it’s nearby.

Now that you have everything written down highlight the most obvious items that are taking up your precious time and start with those. Go ahead and read on, I have a feeling a few of these will be on your list:

people-3370833_1280

Repetitive Tasks

If you find yourself doing the same thing over and over, it’s time to create a template. Templates can mean a variety of things depending on the task you are trying to make more efficient. For example, if you are sending the same email multiple times a day or even multiple times a week, it’s time to create a single copy that you can easily get out in under a minute. Common items that photographers send over and over include: responding to a price inquiry, onboarding a new client, sending a client timeline or confirmation, thanking a vendor/client, or sharing images. Use your email program to set up a draft copy of these types of emails or set up a signature template. Either way, you can easily access these pre-created copies, make a custom tweak here and there, and send it off within minutes.

Contracts can also be easily templated by highlighting items that need to be updated from client to client. Save them on your computer with a detailed filename to differentiate between them – you can create separate copies for each photography package and/or each different type of photo session so all you only need to do is add the client’s information and click send. No need to fiddle with updating the contents of each contract and pricing. This is especially great if you don’t math too well and/or forget when to apply sales tax.

Expenses, expenses, expenses

When it comes to dealing with receipts, mileage, and even taxes (bleh!), it can all get overwhelming very quickly. Look into apps that scan your receipt and save it in either pdf or jpg form. Some favorite apps include Evernote and or Google Drive. Google Drive allows you to “Use Camera” to add an image of your receipt directly into your Drive account. You can even track your mileage with MileIQ or TripLog, both of which are paid apps, or you keep a notepad and pen in your car to quickly jot you trips down. Either way, you will have the information at hand when it’s time to do your taxes and enter it into your accounting software.

Wait? Are you not using accounting software? Let’s remedy that right now. Spreadsheets can be magical, but you can also set up a free account with Mint.com, saving you time from hand-entering expenses and (possibly) making errors in your mathematical computations. Online accounts such as Mint, can import and categorize your expenses from your bank account and even your credit cards. The best part of these tools is that they are constantly evolving and learning from your spending habits – once you classify an expense, it remembers it the next time it is entered and you can easily create custom classification buckets to make taxes super-duper easy. If you are looking for something a bit more robust, Intuit’s Quickbooks solution offers a variety of plans that include reporting, invoicing, bill management, payroll and even mileage tracking. It’s a comprehensive option if you have several accounting-related items on your list.

concept-1868728_1280

Paper, Paper everywhere!

If you are still writing checks to pay your vendors, consider using online payment options through your bank or sites such as Paypal or Venmo. Any of these can be set up to deduct directly from your bank account. Venmo has the added bonus of allowing you to add a note (or silly emoji) so you can keep a proper record for later in case you forget.

If you are still receiving checks, offer your clients the flexibility of accepting credit cards without the risk – either Square and Paypal are great options here. Both services allow your clients the easy and secure ability to pay their invoices without you having to touch their private credit card information. Square even allows you to schedule recurring or future invoices and to send reminders when items are past due.

Don’t forget you can spend less time at the bank, too – download your banking institution’s mobile app, which should allow you to make all of your deposits from the comfort of your studio. Since you are using their mobile app, go ahead and put some of your most frequent payments on autopilot so you have one (or two! or three!) fewer things to worry about each month.

If you are still emailing and scanning contracts, try a simplifying with a digital signing service such as Hellosign or Adobe Document Cloud. This allows you to set up those aforementioned contract templates and send off for a quick and easy signature within minutes!

stamps-1712530_1280

The Post Office

I used to spend so much time at the post office, mostly standing in line and waiting. Purchasing a simple mail scale and Dymo label/postage printer from Amazon really gave me a chunk of time back every week. Dymo printers come with free software that allows you to print USPS approved postage up until a certain weight. You can also pay a monthly fee if you are sending larger packages, but if you are like me and mostly send thank you notes or USBs, the free service has you covered – you just pay for postage as you go, all from your studio or home office.

Most post offices locations also offer 24/7 self-service stations, so take a moment to peruse the USPS website to find the closest one to you.

business-3190209_1280

Scheduling

The back and forth with clients to find mutual availability can be easily handled by using services such as Acuity Scheduling. Acuity allows clients to pick their own date and timeslot, saving you from multiple back and forth emails. The software will also set up pre-defined emails and/or text messages reminding them of their appointment and allowing them to reschedule or cancel, if necessary. As a bonus, you can hook up your credit card processing company to the scheduler, allowing clients to pay directly upon booking or shortly thereafter, depending on what you prefer. Integrate this with your online calendar, and you are all set to give your customer a really easy experience they can self-manage, and huge time savings for you.

Speaking of calendars, do you have a digital one that keeps you informed? With so many different types of technology integrating with iCal and Google calendar, you can set up reminders so you always know what and where you should be!

As a bonus, the driving app Waze can now access your digital calendar to inform you of when you need to leave to arrive on time (or fashionably early) and already has the address ready to go so you can get in your car and just … go.

USB-Pouches-16

File & Image Sharing

Over the years, a photographer’s final product delivery has really evolved: some have run the full gambit of sharing physical proofs all the way through sending a handful of .jpgs via email. Is it easy for you to deliver files to your clients and vendors or are you still spending hours burning files on a DVD and creating custom covers? If you are ready to switch to an easy USB delivery or even just sending a zip file to your clients, this is a great time to do so!

There is file sharing options such as DropBox, Google Drive, Box in addition to professional photography file sharing services such as Smugmug. Each service has different limitations and pricing structure.

Since we are talking about uploading large amounts of data to the great land of the internet, it may be a good time to take a look at your internet plan. For photographers who are sharing large amounts of images, upload speed is much more important than download speed. In the Dallas area, upload speeds usually max out at 3Mbps for DSL, 5Mbps for cable, and up to 1000MBps for fiber. Your experience and results will vary on a variety of factors, but these are just some general guidelines as a starting point. If you are spending hours waiting for an upload, this can be a great way to get your clients their images faster!

Backups

Almost everything can be backed up automatically, so why not set it and forget about it?

Every single thing on your computer becomes priceless and important the moment you encounter a complete and utter system crash. Avoid the agony by taking some easy steps to back it all up. As a bonus, you can set it up now and forget about it. And I hope you will never have to access it, but it’s there if you need it. You will need a location where to back things up too – that location can be in the cloud, an additional hard drive in your computer that is dedicated to back up, or external hard drive storage.

Windows & Mac computers natively have backup options as part of their operating system. Mac calls it “Time Machine” and in Windows, it can be found in the Control Panel under “File History” as well as in “Backup and Restore”.  Since I’m more familiar with Windows, it’s recommended to use both. If you want something a bit more comprehensive, Carbonite & Backblaze are cloud solutions have a small monthly price tag and allow additional scheduling options as well as unlimited amounts of cloud storage. Wanting something a bit more … free? There’s that nifty Google Drive option again, utilizing their Backup and Sync option.  However, there is a charge if you start to exceed 15gb and are not a GSuite subscriber.

Next, let’s tackle your blog. UpdraftPlus is just one of many free WordPress plugins that allow you to schedule hourly, daily, weekly or monthly backups all the way down to the specific time. You are also given a variety of remote backup storage options which include, but are not limited to Google Drive, Dropbox, and Amazon web services.

Final note: I am not sponsored by nor have I been paid by any of the companies above. I’m just a photographer who likes to maximize my efficiency and save as much time as possible so I can photograph more and spend less time behind the computer. I hope that you find a few ways to minimize your day to day life in front of the computer and instead enjoy doing the parts of the job that you love the most!

lynn-bio

 

Lynn Michelle is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) based out of Dallas, Texas. She specializes in wedding and boudoir photography, and has been in business over 15 years. Lynn graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Computer Science in and has been a Project Management practitioner since 2006 – she loves efficiency, vintage video games and her dog, Milo. www.lynnmichelle.com

PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT | KISHELLE LINENKO PHOTOGRAPHY

linenko-feature-image

Business Name: Kishelle Linenko Photography

Website: http://kishellelinenko.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kishellelinenkophotography/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kishellelinenko/?hl=en

Where are you based out of? Tacoma, WA

Are you currently a part-time or full-time photographer? Full-time

What is your predominant photographic specialization? Family, children, small weddings

What camera(s) do you currently shoot with? Canon 5D Mk IV

How would you define your style?
Simple and real. I’ve heard my work described as “breezy, organic and light.”

What motivated you to become a photographer?
My children. I was a second shooter for about 2 years before I had kids and there was no passion in it. I knew I loved the art of photography but something was missing. Then my kids came. From then on, I knew it was my job to document their lives as a constant reminder to them that real love does exist.

What is it that you try to convey with your work?
That love exists.

I’m newer to the wedding world but I use my knowledge of photographing parents with their children when photographing couples and surprising it works really well. Love is love. You can’t fake it. So my goal every time I pick up my camera, I do so with an intention to capture what real love is. These moments are fleeting – all of them, so why not bottle them up, right?!

How do you accomplish that?
If you are real with your subject, they’ll be real with you. The way I photograph my children is the same way I approach my subjects during any session. I don’t force you to act a certain way.

What do you do during a session or wedding day to help make your clients feel comfortable?
I’m a goofball and I tell the worst jokes. I wish I was lying but my jokes are so bad. I really try to put myself in my subjects shoes. So by doing that, you can really see if they are uncomfortable or not and if they are then you can prompt a joke or interaction to break that awkwardness.

Have you had a photographer inspire your work, and if so, who and why?
I have a few photographers that inspire the “philosophy” behind my work.

Coleen Hodges – She has taught me to be yourself. No one will take you seriously if you can’t take your self seriously. My work, art, talent, and heart are worth sharing.

Nicki Sebastian – How she highlights motherhood in the most graceful manner is truly inspiring.

What is your most memorable accomplishment so far in your photography career?
I am a photographer with a Non-profit called Spectrum Inspired. We raise awareness of Autism through photographs by documenting children and their families on the spectrum. Every chance I get to help or give back to one of these families makes it all worth it and that’s an accomplishment in itself.

What is one important lesson you have learned during your career?
I heard this at a workshop I attended and I will NEVER forget it. “If you want to be a better photographer, be a better person.”

Which Photographer Supply Company products do you currently use?
The custom engraved USB’s. The photo boxes.

How have Photographer Supply Company products helped your business?
The USB’s are something personal and tangible that my clients love.

How has packaging elevated your brand?
There is a piece of me that is left with my client’s memories. Not only did I take their photos but I help them make memories for a lifetime.

HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH CLIENTS

HEALTHY-RELATIONSHIP-Featured-Images

Creating and maintaining strong relationships with clients is one of the main bases of profitability and has become an essential factor for the success of any business. Nowadays, maintaining a relationship not only means caring for the interpersonal relationship but over time has involved various aspects that contribute to the design and maintenance of a strategy focused on generating loyalty, increasing interaction and maintaining the business relationship over an extended period.

A healthy relationship with your clients not only implies that they will keep doing long-term business with you, but it will also drastically increase your chances of being included as part of your new projects or recommended in your professional circles. Next, I’ll highlight the five habits that I find indispensable to develop and maintain healthy relationships with your clients:

Staying in touch through social media/mailing lists

In the digital age, it is much easier to establish direct contact with your clients, no matter if they’re in another part of the world. We’re faced with a proliferation of contact channels and devices through which it is possible to communicate with your client, from the use of social networks to the implementation of mobile applications. As a professional photographer, try to keep in touch with them at least twice a month to learn about the news and comment on upcoming events. For instance, if you shot at a client’s wedding and maintain a good relationship, they can contact you for their maternity photos, newborn photos, 1-year photo anniversary, family photos, senior photos, etc.

office-620822_1280

Having specials for special events

It’s also a great idea to give your clients special prices for the special moment in their lives; anniversaries, birthdays,  milestones. Make them part of your business where they can enjoy this benefit; it can also be an excellent way to build loyalty. You can even make the occasion something much more special by giving them a card or certificate and making this initiative much more meaningful.

Rewarding them for referrals

As a photographer, the strategies of loyalty and generation of referrals are aspects in which you must work to ensure that the sales cycle is not closed once your client patronizes you, but to make it repeat itself and to extend it as much as possible. The idea with this is to be able to build loyalty to each client that comes to your business during the duration of the relationship, to maximize your profitability.

Always meeting criteria/deadlines

In maintaining a healthy relationship with your client, it is imperative always to meet your client’s criteria/deadlines. For a long-term relationship with your clients, meeting the deadlines can be as important as the quality of your product or service. Always fulfill your commitments and remember that delivering as required will always be better than under promising. Being open and knowing how to communicate the difficulties that arise, as well as recognizing your mistakes, problems, and failures that may occur will directly contribute to the trust of the relationship.

Send them a little something extra as a thank you

Keeping your clients happy can be the most effective way to attract new ones, which is known as a positive effect of the ‘promoter’ economy, since they feel valued and cared for and will not hesitate to recommend your brand. Thus, adding something extra with the products and experiences they receive can be reflected in the growth of your business. Photographer Supply Co exists to help your business make a lasting impression on your clients. 

2018-06-01_0084

IN CONCLUSION

An authentic and lasting relationship will always have to do with the way you deliver your services. The sum of quality, delivered value, appropriate processes with the good maintenance of the relationship will be what translates into profitability and longevity.