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CONTENTS PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER | APRIL 2008Features86 DESIGNING DUO Allison & Jeff Rodgers bring ad agency service to studio clients by Jeff Kent94 BRILLIANT A glittering gallery by the Diamond Photographers of the Year by Jeff Kent66 PORTRAITS: JOY RIDE Michael Gan & Leslie Artis-Gan: It’s a pleasure to be creative for a living by Stephanie Boozer72 PORTRAITS: BOLD BLACK AND WHITE Portraitist Kerry Brett brands her distinctive style by Lorna Gentry82 PORTRAITS: CLASSIC BEAUTY Portraitist Tim Kelly shares the secrets of his success by Lorna Gentry IMAGE BY ALLISON RODGERS PHOTOGRAPHY
P ROF E S S I ONA LEDITORIAL director of publications CAMERON BISHOPP firstname.lastname@example.org senior editor art director/production manager JOAN SHERWOOD DEBBIE TODD email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Investigative reporting features editor LESLIE HUNT manager, publications and sales/strategic alliances KARISA GILMER THE VALUE OF A GOOD Q&A SESSION email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org editor-at-large sales and marketing assistant What a client wants and what a client says she wants can be two JEFF KENT CHERYL PEARSON different things. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org technical editors In journalism, there are fundamental questions every story is ANDREW RODNEY, ELLIS VENER supposed to answer: who, what, when, where, why and how. If the director of sales and strategic alliances reporter can elicit the answers to these six questions, he’s armed SCOTT HERSH, 610-966-2466, email@example.com with the facts he needs to write the full story. western region ad manager BART ENGELS, 847-854-8182, firstname.lastname@example.org The idea of a thorough question-and-answer session applies to eastern region ad manager portrait photographers as well, at least those interested in SHELLIE JOHNSON, 404-522-8600, x279, email@example.com circulation consultant maximizing every sale. MOLLIE O’SHEA, firstname.lastname@example.org Most clients aren’t familiar with the dramatic strides in por- editorial offices Professional Photographer trait-making in the last few years, and the plethora of new media 229 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 2200, Atlanta, GA 30303-1608 U.S.A. and photo products now available. They need the photographer’s 404-522-8600; FAX: 404-614-6406 Professional Photographer (ISSN 1528-5286) is published monthly expertise to walk them through the selections. To provide true subscriptions counsel, you have to know not only what the client wants, Professional Photographer P.O. Box 2035, Skokie, IL 60076; 800-742-7468; but what he really needs. You have to put on your reporter’s cap FAX 404-614-6406; email: email@example.com; Web site: www.ppmag.com and find out. member services PPA - Professional Photographer “When clients come in, I ask a thousand questions about who 800-786-6277; FAX 301-953-2838; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ppa.com they are and what they’re looking for,” says Allison Rodgers, who, Send all advertising materials to: Debbie Todd, Professional Photographer, 5431 E. Garnet, Mesa, AZ 85206; 480-807-4391; FAX: 480-807-4509 along with her husband, Jeff, runs a successful studio in Olive, Miss. Subscription rates/information: U.S.: $27, one year; $45, two years; “I want to see the color palette of their house, the layout, the style. $66, three years. Canada: $43, one year; $73, two years; $108, three years. International: $39.95, one year digital subscription. We look into all of these elements so that we can provide a solution Back issues/Single copies $7 U.S.; $10 Canada; $15 International. that fits them.” PPA membership includes $13.50 annual subscription. Subscription orders/changes: Send to Professional Photographer, Attn: Circulation The Rodgers, profiled on p. 86, are both former art directors, Dept., P.O. Box 2035, Skokie, IL 60076; 800-742-7468; and accustomed to demanding corporate clients. Their experience FAX 404-614-6406; email: email@example.com; Web site: www.ppmag.com. Periodicals postage paid in Atlanta, Ga., and additional mailing offices. in the rough-and-tumble advertising world taught them how to Postmaster: Send address changes to Professional Photographer magazine, anticipate their clients’ requirements. P.O. Box 2035, Skokie, IL 60076 Copyright 2008, PPA Publications & Events, Inc. Printed in U.S.A. In the end, says Allison, “It’s about helping people understand Article reprints: Contact Professional Photographer reprint coordinator at what they need.” And isn’t that the most effective sales strategy Wrights’s Reprints; 1-877-652-5295. Microfilm copies: University Microfilms International, there is? � 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 Professional Photographer (ISSN 1528-5286) is published monthly for $27 per year by PPA Publications and Events, Inc., 229 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 2200, International Tower, Atlanta, Cameron Bishopp GA 30303-1608. Periodicals postage paid at Atlanta, Ga., and additional mailing offices. firstname.lastname@example.org Acceptance of advertising does not carry with it endorsement by the publisher. Opinions expressed by Professional Photographer or any of its authors do not necessarily reflect positions of Director of Publications Professional Photographers of America, Inc. Professional Photographer, official journal of the Professional Photographers of America, Inc., is the oldest exclusively professional photographic publication in the Western Hemisphere (founded 1907 by Charles Abel, Hon.M.Photog.), incorporating Abel’s Photographic Weekly, St. Louis & Canadian Photographer, The Commercial Photographer, The National Photographer, Professional Photographer, and Professional Photographer Storytellers. Circulation audited and verified by BPA Worldwide 10 • www.ppmag.com
chairman of the board DOUG BOX DANA GROVES *JACK REZNICKI M.Photog.Cr., API Director of Marketing & Cr.Photog., Hon.M.Photog., API email@example.com Communications firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com DON MACGREGORProfessional Photographers directors M.Photog.Cr., API SCOTT HERSHof America DON DICKSON firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Sales &229 Peachtree St., NE, Suite 2200 M.Photog.Cr., CPP Strategic AlliancesAtlanta, GA 30303-1608 email@example.com industry advisor firstname.lastname@example.org; 800-786-6277 KEVIN CASEYFAX: 404-614-6400 SANDY (SAM) PUC’ email@example.com J. ALEXANDER HOPPERwww.ppa.com Director of Membership, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright and Government legal counsel Affairs2008-2009 PPA board Howe and Hutton, email@example.com RALPH ROMAGUERA, SR. Chicago*DENNIS CRAFT M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, F-ASP WILDA OKENM.Photog.Cr., CPP, firstname.lastname@example.org Director of AdministrationAPI, F-ASP PPA staff email@example.com@ppa.com CAROL ANDREWS DAVID TRUST M.Photog.Cr., ABI Chief Executive Officer LENORE TAFFELvice president firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Director of Events/Education*RON NICHOLS firstname.lastname@example.orgM.Photog.Cr., API SUSAN MICHAL SCOTT KURKIANrnichols@ppa.com M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI Chief Financial Officer SANDRA LANG email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Assistanttreasurer email@example.com*LOUIS TONSMEIRE TIMOTHY WALDEN CAMERON BISHOPPCr.Photog., API M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP Director of Publications *Executive Committeeltonsmeire@ppa.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com of the Board “Melancoly” by Joseph and Louise Simone12 • www.ppmag.com
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For the better part of two decades, Jim Reed orologically it’s a battleground for atmos-has lived on the edge of a tempest. That’s pheric conflict.”not a metaphor. Reed is a world-renowned From a photographic perspective, Reedstorm chaser and award-winning weather relishes the opportunity to interact withphotographer who has witnessed the fury of nature and produce jaw-droppingcountless floods, blizzards, tornadoes, and “atmospheric portraits.” From a social andhurricanes. His work has appeared in environmental perspective, he enjoysNational Geographic, Nikon World, The knowing his work can affect our perceptionNew York Times, Reader’s Digest, and Time, of nature. “I am convinced that we’reand the Web sites of the National Oceanic moving into a period of increased frequencyand Atmospheric Administration and the of harsh weather challenges. I’ve learnedWorld Meteorological Organization. Reed that if you are not prepared, not engagedis also the author of “Storm Chaser: A Pho- with nature, there will be traumatic results.tographer’s Journey,” winner of widespread Photography plays a critical role in helpingcritical acclaim. people realize what’s going on around them, Reed’s career began in Los Angeles as a and motivating them to learn to adapt.”filmmaker and writer, working on a varietyof commercial projects. But his childhood To see more of Jim Reed’s weatherfascination with weather began to reassert photography, and for information on his book, “Storm Chaser,” visitits pull, as televised coverage of severe www.jimreedphoto.com.weather became more immediate, and hebegan shadowing weather researchers. Well before the movie Twister thrilledaudiences with the tumultuous life ofstorm chasing, Reed had secured a nichedocumenting extreme weather. In the early’90s, with a spate of severe weather lashingacross the country, Reed turned his focus tothe skies full time. While everyone elsewas running for shelter, he stepped intothe maelstrom. Reed moved from Los Angeles toWichita, Kan., in 1992 and set up a weatherphotography operation. He chases storms,journeys to major weather events, and sellshis images to the media and stock and fineart houses. “Kansas is amazing because ofhow energized people are in terms of talkingabout these life-changing storms,” saysReed. “And Kansas is at the geographiccenter of the United States, and as thecrossroads of weather patterns, mete-
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Have you always dreamed of seeing your work on the cover of a national magazine?Here’s your chance! Beginning March 1, 2008, submit your photographs for an opportunity to be featured on the cover of Professional Photographer.Contest Rules & Judging: Images will be submitted must be original and previously un- How to enter: Go to www.ppmag.com tojudged on technical and artistic merit. Helping published, and you must have written releases enter. Only digital ﬁles will be accepted. PrintProfessional Photographer magazine editors on ﬁle from any subjects pictured in the image. images and e-mailed images will NOT bechoose the best entries will be guest judge accepted. Upload your electronic images toHelen K. Yancy, M.Photog.M.Artist.MEI.Cr.Hon. Prizes: In addition to landing the cover of a www.ppmag.com.M.Photog., CPP, F-ASP, Hon. F-ASP, the chair- 2008 edition of Professional Photographer, theman of PPA’s Print Exhibition Committee. winner will be awarded a selection of prizes Format/Speciﬁcations: Submit low-resolution from among our cover photo contest sponsors, images only, in standard digital formats (.jpg,You may submit as many images as you wish, Bogen, Canon, Kodak, Microsoft and Miller’s .pdf, etc.). Images should be 525x700 pixels;provided they are representative of the work Professional Imaging. Prizes will also be ﬁle size can’t be more than 250k. A high-reso-you sell to your clients. What we’re seeking awarded to 2nd-, 3rd-, 4th- and 5th-place win- lution, print-quality version (300ppi at 9x12are real-world examples of portrait, wedding, ners, and as many as 25 entrants will receive inches) must be available for each image.commercial and event photography. All work prizes for honorable mention. GO TO PPMAG.COM TO ENTER Submission deadline: Saturday, May 31, 2008
Professional Photographer P R E S E N T S Business, Marketing and Sales StrategiesWhat I thinkAllison Rodgers raises afamily of loyal clientsWhat do you wish you knew when you were first start-ing out? I wish I had invested in studio managementsoftware to manage the mass of information I gathered.Once you develop a client base, one of the mostimportant things you can do is nurture that list.You can’t do it with sticky notes.What’s the biggest business risk you’ve ever taken?In November 2005 we moved into a 3,000-square-foot building with triple the rent of our previoustwo-location setup. I wanted to get all of us intoone place so we could work as a unit with room togrow. And guess what—we grew! We addedframing and three more employees. It was a bigrisk, but it’s been so worth it.What’s your deal breaker? When parents try to runmy child portrait sessions.What’s the secret to running a successful photog-raphy business? We always say that things changeevery six months. We are constantly re-evaluatingand putting new things in place to make theexperience of Allison Rodgers Photography better.You have to figure out what your clients’ needs areand meet them. Go above and beyond. Create anenvironment for your clients where they feel likethey’re the most important client you have. And,most important, be generous with your time andyour talent. Being generous will help you create afamily of clients that will be forever loyal.IMAGE BY ALLISON RODGERSPHOTOGRAPHYWWW.ALLISONRODGERS.COM April 2008 • Professional Photographer • 33
PROFIT CENTER Having a Web site is no longer an option in E-MAIL MARKETING business. Besides showing off your beautiful BEST PRACTICES images, you can make your site pay off big time. E-mail marketing these days isn’t as BY KAMMY THURMAN simple as putting together a list and sending e-mails. Internet service providers Tap the power and spam filters use sophisticated techniques to protect users from spam. If you don’t follow the rules or know what to include in your text—like an opt-out option and your contact information— YOUR WEB SITE CAN BE AN AUTOMATED MARKETING MACHINE your mail might never find the inbox, or worse, you could be blacklisted as a spammer. Asking your readers to add With some 77 percent of American adults on beautiful images; now it’s time to fully tap the your e-mail address or domain to their the Internet, it’s more than important to have power of the Web as a marketing machine. address book or allowed-sender list will an effective Web site. It’s necessary. “If you’re Statistics show that fewer than 1 percent also help you avoid their spam filter. You not on the ’Net, it’s as if you don’t exist,” of Web surfers ever return to a site unless want e-mail recipients to see you as a says marketing expert Ilise Benun. “It’s not they have a special reason. How can you give welcome visitor to their inbox, not a just the tech-savvy who expect you to have them a reason to return? nuisance. Reputable automatic responder a Web site, these days it’s almost everyone.” Here are five pointers on boosting the services can guide you in adhering to Professional photographers have risen marketing power of your site by as much Internet requirements for responsible e- to the challenge with sophisticated sites and as 72 percent: mail practices. If you prefer to try it on your own, enter “e-mail marketing best practices” in your preferred search engine and do your homework first. —Joan Sherwood, Senior Editor • Use your site to begin a relationship. On average, a mere 2 percent of the prospects who visit a studio’s site will decide to book a session right then and there. Most visitors are researching, trying to get a feel for the photographer behind the site and looking for a good reason to call you—or not. Once they leave, you have no way to continue the relationship with 98 percent of your visitors, who could be perfectly wonderful clients. Since most people need to hear from a marketer seven to 10 times before buying, you need to find a way to keep in touch. On every page of your site, put an e-mail capture form “above the fold” where people are sure to see it. • Give potential clients a good reason to 40 • www.ppmag.com
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PROFIT CENTER sign up for your newsletter, invite her to seven to 10 messages over a 30-day period request a specific article, report, photography after the first visit, followed by regular and posing tips or a free premium, and say contact at least once a month. you’ll give her your monthly newsletter, too. You can use these messages—also called That’s two valuable items in exchange for auto-responders—to talk about how the cus- her name and address. tomer will benefit from your services, to deliver You’ll want to have an e-mail management a short e-course or your e-newsletter, and program on your Web site, where visitors can seasonal promotions. Just don’t make them leave their contact info and ask questions. Don’t all sales messages—remember the content have her just send you an e-mail to request needs to be high-value (80 percent high- the premium, or you’ll waste gargantuan value to 20 percent selling is a healthy mix). amounts of time sending out premiums to • Put your message-writing self on one person at a time. I suggest subscribing to autopilot. Schedule the time to sit down and an e-mail capture system like Constant write your messages once a month, or even Offer something of value to the prospect in Contact (www.constantcontact.com) or AWeber once a year, choose how often you want exchange for their contact information. It’s a good idea to do this for each product line, as (www.aweber.com). I find AWeber easy to use, them sent, then forget about them and you’ll have a different target market for each. and it has effective safeguards against spam. concentrate on your photography. You can create a form for your site to cap- return to your site. I’ve seen many top-notch ture prospects’ contact info, which is then sites with absolutely gorgeous images that show housed on the capture provider’s server. the photographer’s best work. But what about (AWeber has tutorials that show you how to the potential client? create the forms.) A few minutes after your visi- Put yourself in her shoes. She’s been tor fills out the e-mail form, she receives your checking out the sites of studios in her area premium and a thank-you note automatically. to see which best fits her needs. After looking • Stay in touch with prospects and cus- at a dozen or two other sites, what will tomers. It’s one of the most important aspects When someone gives their e-mail address, you receive a notice with all the info you ask for in the motivate her to call you instead of another of marketing, and also one of the hardest. A e-mail capture form. This is the info we capture on studio with a beautiful site? You have to program like AWeber can simplify the task. our contact page. You now also have their snail mail info so you can send direct mail promos, too. offer something that will elevate your value You can write multiple messages and store over the others. As non-artistic as it sounds, them in the program until you want them the something needs to be information, sent. A good timeline seems to be sending Statistics show that continued contact enough useful information to make the viewer with site visitors brings them back again comfortable with deciding to call you. and again, increasing sales by as much as 72 Our studio Web site routinely lands new percent. At that rate, isn’t it worth taking clients who tell us they chose us because of all another look at the marketing opportunities the information we provided. They feel they lurking within your Web site? � know us by the time they call, and that gives us the opportunity to differentiate ourselves Kammy Thurman is a direct-marketing copywriter and consultant, and co-owner of from our competitors in a number of ways. Anchor Photography in Laurel, Mont. For • Give high-value information in exchange We send premiums (free gifts) of interest to the more marketing strategies, read her free for the potential client’s contact information; specific target market for each of our product “Photography Marketing Report: 15 Ways to lines. These should all be created before offering Boost Your Marketing Return—Without this is a marketing technique called reciprocity. them online, or you’ll spend a lot of time trying Increasing Your Marketing Budget,” at Instead of asking your potential client to merely to catch up when people start requesting them. www.anchorcreative.com 42 • www.ppmag.com
NEW WEBINARS (online seminars) PPA and SMS are bringing education to you, and Plus, you can watch the archived all you need is a computer and the Internet. Keep versions at your convenience. Just visit watching your inboxes for information on live the Events section of PPA.com and click business webinars about: on Webinars to reach: ß Marketing ß Income Tax Strategies ß Financial Planning ß Pricing for Profit ß Managerial Accounting ß The Art of Pricelists ß Top Performing Studios ß QuickBooks: Getting Started ß Starting a Photography Business ß And more… ß Business Basics ß Sales ß And more… 3�DAY BUSINESS PLAN WORKSHOP NEW BOOKKEEPING SERVICES With Carol Andrews, Ann Monteith and Sarah Petty Behind on your bookkeeping? Our Now’s your chance to increase profitability and Bookkeeping Program can help! With receive instruction on essential elements for competitive pricing and programs tailored to business success (in both group settings and meet your studio’s individual needs, SMS can one-on-one consultations). help ease your headaches and get your studio ß June 9-11 off to a great start. ß Call Eric Hathaway 800.339.5451, ext. 240 for more information. Classes fill up fast…Register today.Professional Photographers of America www.ppa.com | 800.786.6277
Professional Photographer P R E S E N T S Products, Technology and Services What I like Julia Gerace connects with digital technology What makes your workflow flow? Adobe Light- room. I wasn’t sure shooting raw was worth the hassle until I tried Lightroom. Now I love it. What’s the best equipment investment you’ve ever made? Photoshop. Until I went digital, I outsourced tasks as simple as retouching a few pimples. Now I feel like I can create, explore new concepts, and learn to my heart’s content. Little thing, big difference … My ExpoDisc. It’s been great for getting accurate white balance in some very odd lighting. Has a piece of equipment ever changed the way you approach photography? My Canon EOS 5D camera. The files are huge, and I’m not as concerned about cropping into an image and losing information. Is there a non-photographic item that you’ve adapted to your work? Makeup. I knew becoming a certified makeup artist would be a great service for my clients. A useful item for your studio is a basic skin mattifier—a clear gel you apply if a client’s face is too shiny. What’s the one piece of gear they’d have to pry from your cold, dead fingers? A reflector. There is not one lighting situation where I don’t use a reflector. IMAGE BY JULIA GERACE WWW.JULIAGERACE.COM April 2008 • Professional Photographer • 49
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photo magenta, magenta, black, matte papers. And the iPF6100 uses ink sparingly. But calibration is not the same as havingblack, photo gray, gray, red, green and blue. Print speed remains fast: a 16x24-inch, a built-in profiling system, such as theWith the exception of the blacks and two high-resolution, 16-pass, 12-bit per channel X-Rite i1 Color Spectrophotometer systemgrays, the eight-color formulation remains print takes less than 10 minutes. in HP Z3100 printers. If you decide to useunchanged. The gray, photo gray, black and One of the biggest headaches of printing papers other than Canon-brands, you’llmatte black inks were reformulated to in-house is color management. The iPF 100 need to make your own profiles.reduce bronzing type metamerism, lessen series incorporates a color calibration system The Kyuanos color management systemthe appearance of “grain” in the deep designed to keep them working to factory spec- introduced in the 100 series is compatible solelyshadows and blacks (I never saw it in ifications. Normally, the calibration needs to with the Microsoft Vista operating system. IiPF5000 prints), and make the prints more be done only once, at setup, but if you move don’t use Vista, so I can’t comment on it.resistant to scuffing and scratching. the printer or change heads, it’s a good idea Ease-of-use is a critical factor in color man- As in the first iPFs, there’s an active system to recalibrate the printer back to factory agement. As it now stands, the best way inthat automatically detects clogged and non- specs. There’s an added benefit for studios Photoshop to print is to make a dupe of thefiring nozzles. If it detects a problem mid- with multiple printers, even in different master image, convert the dupe to the destina-print, it remaps the ink flow to another sizes: with all of the printers working at tion profile, sharpen for output size and media,nozzle and clears the offender when the factory tolerance, they can share profiles for then go through the Photoshop print dialog,print is complete, minimizing waste in time the same media and the prints will match. where you have to instruct both the Photoshopand materials. With both matte and photo Canon rebuilt its generic profiles for Canon- printer dialog and the print driver not to applygrays and blacks onboard, there’s no brand papers, which now include some fine additional color management steps. The processdowntime or expensive ink waste when you Hahnemuhle papers. Compared to my own is a distracting, time consuming, and somewhatswitch between matte and gloss/semi-gloss custom profiles, these new profiles are first rate. arcane art until you’ve mastered it.