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From The Archives: 21 Questions To Accurately Estimate a Photo Job

Question: We have a client that demands copyright. I understand this is bad business practice to comply with their demands, but what is a fair charge to ask for so we can begin negotiations and still land the job?

Estimating is one of the most important steps in winning new jobs. When estimating a job there are quite a few things you need to remember.

The more details and variables your estimate includes, the easier it will be for your client to understand. Showing that you have anticipated all the details for production also helps build trust with your client.

If I Were You and I Wanted To Meet Me

5 pretty darn good suggestions to get your face in front of a Creative Director

Great book. Check. Recent work. Check. Actively sending out newsletters, updating your website, engaging in social media, and blogging about interesting and relevant side projects. Check it all. Impressive. Sometimes though, that’s not enough. I’m not saying that it’s never enough. But, if you think you have your sh*t together and still feel like you’re not getting any traction (or enough of the revenue-generating, holy-womp-let-me-tell-you-about-my-last-gig kind of traction) then I think it’s safe to say something is missing. Let’s evaluate.




Own Your Past, Live in the Present, Plan for the Future

Q: As freelancers, the product we pitch doesn’t exist yet, but is based on work that was previously created. How do we sell based on the past?

One of the biggest obstacles facing fledgling artists who are just starting out in the industry is that their portfolios lack fullness and depth. Photos taken for your junior year Intro to Lighting course in college simply won’t cut it in the “real world.” It often takes years of experimentation, trial and error, and small-scale projects to fine tune your style and your brand. Once you have this critical asset established, however, you’ll be able to point to your body of work as proof that you know what you’re doing – and that you’re the right person for the job.




The Social Landscape in 2014

Social Media provides business professionals more than just a way of interacting with friends and their personal network -- websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram allow people to showcase their work and their personalities too.

As the internet changes and evolves (rather rapidly, I might add), more and more social media websites are emerging into the cyber world, most of them having different features and functions. It seems that almost everyone these days is using social media in some form, and freelancers should pay attention to the social habits of creatives and buyers in the magazine, news, and advertising industries. You might say to yourself that you are far too busy focusing on your art to promote yourself socially, but carving out a little bit of time for social media can pay dividends.

So what social media sites are buzzing in 2014, and how can you use them as leverage for self-promotion? Keep on reading…

Trimming The Fat: Tips For Staying on Budget

For producers, one of our biggest responsibilities is to manage the budget on shoots. This takes resourcing, planning, flexibility, creativity — and the ability to anticipate and adjust in moments notice.

Where to Start

In general, I start with a budget as if we had the ideal amount of money to accommodate the shoot. This doesn’t mean you should beef up the numbers — but that you should figure out what you need so that all bases are covered. Leave a little wiggle room in case of any problems. From there, you can start going through the costs line by line to see

Productivity Boosting Tips For Every Photographer

Photographers are busy people – always thinking up new ways to get sharper shots, pitching their services to prospects and already juggling their current base of clients. When you’re this busy, mastering productivity isn’t an option; it’s a must. Mastering productivity will lead to getting bigger and better projects, more money and less stress. So what’s not to like about being more productive?

Let’s look at what you can do to become the most productive photographer you can be.

 

Keeping Your Resolutions

The year is flying by so quickly, but we can still see January 1st in the rearview mirror. It's that time of the year where people begin to lose sight of their goals and resolutions that they set for themselves and their businesses. Bad habits are easy to fall back into if we overshoot our goals or lose motivation in the first place. Like much of life, we can revise what we set out to do a bit so we can reach our goals through a steady run and not a short sprint. Below are 6 tips on how to set yourself up to keep your goals in mind and reach them.




Tell Me a Story

Most photographers understand the need to be able to tell stories through their images. This article is about telling stories with words to make a sales point. You may already tell stories well when making pictures, now I encourage you to use stories in a different way. A story makes your sales points easier to remember. Your prospect may want to pass your story on to others who may also find it interesting.

In this world of instant communication, prospects are bombarded by photographers trying to get their attention. After a while, one telephone call or mailer seems to blend into the next. Compounding the confusion, a lot of photographers and reps fail to connect with their prospects because they're spending more time reciting data or telling the prospect how great they are rather than trying to establish a useful dialog. Worse yet, their use of vague buzzwords and industry double talk, increases the risk that misunderstandings will occur.

6 Unspoken Rules of Successful Blogging

I’ve been an avid blogger since the very young age of just 13. I’ve used all the sites – LiveJournal, Xanga, Blogger, WordPress, and, of course, Tumblr. As a journalism major at Hofstra University, I had to learn all aspects of communications – print, broadcast, and, most importantly, digital (this includes social media and blogging). We were told that blogging was essential to establishing ourselves and our brands as freelance journalists and writers, and the same goes for freelance photographers and artists.

So, yes, I’d definitely say maintaining a blog is important. It’s helpful in not only establishing your brand and promoting your photography, but it also allows creatives (and fans!) to get to know you as a person and as an artist. While they can see your beautiful portfolios on your website, your blog will give them a glimpse of what you’re like to work with, and what you’ve been up to.

There’s a lot of ‘unspoken rules’ in the world of blogging, and I’d love to share them with you.

5 Reasons To Outsource Your Marketing

If you’re like many creative people, marketing is the last thing you want to spend time on. Paid gigs, shooting or designing personal work, editing images, doing taxes, and other business tasks usually seem a lot more urgent.

The trouble is if you don’t do marketing — especially when you’re busy — you’ll eventually have far too much time for marketing. That’s because you won’t have any work.

Luckily, you don’t have to do it all yourself. There are many great reasons to outsource marketing tasks to someone who lives and breathes in that world. Here are five of the biggest:

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