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What Does Your Portfolio Say About You?

I recently got the opportunity to sit down with the folks from TogTools and discuss something that I'm passionate about: building a great portfolio. Like the rest of our industry, what makes a great portfolio is always evolving.  In this podcast, I discuss how to reinvent your brand, how to build a "trust funnel" using your portfolio, and give some important tips on presenting your work as a complete package.

Ride a Wave of Positivity

It seems like everyone is in different steps in their creative practice. Some people are taking a victory lap sharing their new series of images that just published. Some people are passive aggressively mumbling that the sky is falling and citing different shortcomings of their industry. With these extreme attitudes that others feel (and possibly how you feel), it's hard to emote positivity under the constant stress of what we do as freelance creatives. In this post I reflect on some things to be aware of, how to be the best possible self you can be, and draw connections to point out how everything will be ok.

Congratulations - You (Almost) Have the Job

The client has seen your work. The creative team recommends you. You’re on a first-name basis with the art buyer. Isn’t that enough to get the job? Absolutely…sometimes. But other times it won’t be so simple.

In case you haven’t been down this road before, I’ve devised an exam of sorts to test your mental preparedness. Let’s see how you do:

What To Include In Your Portfolio

Your photography portfolio is one of the best tools that you have at your disposal to market yourself as a photographer. In an instant, it shows your prospective clients how skilled you are at shooting, how creative you are, and how unified your body of work is. In short, your photography portfolio can make or break you. That’s why deciding what to put in your portfolio is such an important consideration. Based on best practices in the industry, here’s what you should include in yours.

AXS Hangouts: No Fear SEO

The words Search Engine Optimization can strike fear into the hearts of even the steeliest small business owners.  Search engine algorithms are complex and constantly evolving, so it can seem an insurmountable task to make it to the first page of results on Google.  The top result, then, probably seems like a mythical spot reserved only for those companies with 10-digit bank account balances.  Well, our latest AXS Hangout argues that even YOU can (and should!) optimize your site to show up on the first page of results when a Buyer is looking for an artist.

Promoting North of the Border, Post CASL

On Canada Day, July 1st, a new law went into effect that is making it more difficult for freelancers to promote to potential Canadian clients. The new law is called Canadian Anti Spam Legislation or CASL for short. The intent of this law is ostensibly to keep fraudulent foreign princes from trying to launder money with you, or to protect Canadians from false advertising of how much products are actually marked down. So essentially before that July 1st deadline, you were to ask permission from prospects to continue sending emails to them promoting your creative services. It's unclear how they would find and fine anyone (up to one million dollars!) for sending an email campaign to Canadian art directors or art buyers, but it's a side of the law I'd like to avoid. Email promotion to potential Canadian clients has worked very well for me, but I'd like to go over a few alternatives to help you to continue to promote to the Canadian Market. 

Using Photo Projects to Stay Sharp

Photographers can sometimes go long periods of time without tackling projects for which they’re getting paid. When that assignment work has slowed to a trickle at different points in the year, it’s important to still stay at the top of your game. After all, you don’t want to be a photographer who’s rusty when you finally land more high-paying assignment work!

The answer to this dilemma is photo projects. Here’s a quick walkthrough of various photo projects you can use to make sure your skills stay sharp in between assignment work.

My Path to Photography

Eckhart Tolle once said, "In seeing who we are not, the reality of who we are will emerge by itself." My decision to become a photographer and commercial artist wasn't a lightbulb kind of moment, but more of an illuminated path I followed towards finding myself.

Making Large Format Prints in the Digital Age

The Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties office in Calabasas, CA recently had a major redesign, and the financial firm called upon California photographer Daniel Stein for prints to give the space warmth and local character. They wanted large prints, in the 40 x 30 range, and Stein also provided a 72 x 17 panoramic. Stein specializes in fine art photography for collectors and designers, and he also happens to live nearby the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services offices in Calabasas.

5 Ways to Avoid the Summer Lull

I love, love, love the summer. Day trips to the beach, dining al fresco, quaffing rosé. What’s not to love?

Work is typically a little quieter for me at this time of year, so it’s tempting to play hooky (would anyone really know if I snuck off to a matinee?) and spend less time working on my business. Sound familiar?

The good news is, with a little planning, entrepreneurs and freelancers can enjoy the flexibility that our business affords us AND return to a full pipeline post-Labor Day.

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