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Professional photographer 2008 05


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Professional photographer 2008 05

  1. 1. MAY 2008 | WWW.PPMAG.COM | $4.95 ©Michael Spengler
  2. 2. CONTENTS PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER | MAY 2008 Features 86 THE MOMENT OF COOL Michael Spengler infuses senior portraits with fashion flair by Stephanie Boozer 72 SENIORS: FEELING THE WOW Janice Crabtree’s camera work helps boost teens’ self-esteem by Jeff Kent SENIORS: TRENDSETTERS 78 Morgans’ Fine Art Photography finds the sweet spot in the ever-changing senior market by Lorna Gentry IMAGE BY MORGANS’ FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY
  3. 3. 14 FOLIOCONTENTS PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER | MAY 2008 | WWW.PPMAG.COM 94 101 122 CALENDAR PPA TODAY GOOD WORKS©Michael Spengler Departments C O N TA C T S H E E T 20 Shooting ghosts: Phillip Makanna 26 Appealing to your clients’ senses by Michael Barton 28 Studio B’s cradle of light by Stephanie Boozer 30 Blog yourself by Sean Cayton PROFIT CENTER 33 What I think: Sal Cincotta 34 Selling out or selling up? by Stephanie Boozer 40 The joy of marketing: Fever pitch by Sarah Petty 46 Wish come true by Lori Craft 48 Selling senior albums by Tim Babin 86 ON THE COVER: Roy Perkins of Del Mar, Calif., who was born without hands or feet, was encouraged by his THE GOODS 51 What I like: Garrett Nudd 52 Printing: Safe to go back in the water by David Saffir 58 Pro review: Spyder3Studio parents to try any sport he was interested in. He learned to swim at age 12 for safety reasons, and soon found he by Stan Sholik had a competitive drive in the water. In his athletic career, he has set more than 20 American swimming records, three Pan American records, and continues to hold the world record in the 50 and 100 meter butterfly race. He and 62 Pro gear: Travel light his parents have raised more than $130,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation based in San Diego. by Joe Farace Perkins turns 18 in May and is one of 38 athletes to earn a berth on the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Team 66 Software: Nik Software Viveza that will compete in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. by Mark Levesque Michael Spengler took the cover image of Perkins at Marine Beach in La Jolla, Calif., with a Canon EOS-1D 70 Solutions: PSD vs. TIFF Mark II N and EF 24-70 f/2.8L lens for 1/40 second at f/6.3, ISO 50. He used an AlienBees B1600 flash unit by Andrew Rodney with Paul C. Buff Octabox to light his subject, with a Vagabond 150 system supplying power and a Manfrotto 3011 tripod with a ball head to keep the camera steady. 6 •
  4. 4. show the worldhow you see it. MEET COLORMUNKI PHOTO YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND FOR MATCHING PRINTS TO DISPLAY WITH COLOR PERFECTION. ColorMunki is an all-in-one color control, creation and communication solution that lets you calibrate your monitor, projector, and printer so they all match. With this new solution, you can also send your images with DigitalPouch™ and create unlimited color palettes! So whether you work on a PC or Mac, ColorMunki is the innovative new way to bring your photos from screen to print accurately, simply and affordably. Swing by to meet your new best friend! X-Rite, the X-Rite logo, ColorMunki, and the ColorMunki logo, are trademarks or registered trademarks of the X-Rite incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners X-Rite Incorporated 2008. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Mind. Body.
  6. 6. Photography.A Picture-Perfect Relationship
  7. 7. P ROF E S S I ONA LEDITORIAL director of publications CAMERON BISHOPP senior editor art director/production manager JOAN SHERWOOD DEBBIE TODD The great debate features editor LESLIE HUNT manager, publications and sales/strategic alliances KARISA GILMER STILL WONDERING WHETHER TO OFFER DIGITAL FILES? editor-at-large sales and marketing assistant Does offering digital image files to clients mean you’re selling out, or JEFF KENT CHERYL PEARSON is it selling up? technical editors Thanks to digital technology’s incorporation into practically all ANDREW RODNEY, ELLIS VENER studio workflows, a number of complicated issues have bubbled to director of sales and strategic alliances the surface that we as an industry need to address. “Selling out or SCOTT HERSH, 610-966-2466, selling up?” explores one quandary: How should photographers western region ad manager BART ENGELS, 847-854-8182, respond to clients’ demand for digital files? eastern region ad manager Should you release files to your customers? (It depends.) Are SHELLIE JOHNSON, 404-522-8600, x279, circulation consultant other studios delivering digital files in some format? (80 percent of MOLLIE O’SHEA, the photographers PPA surveyed said yes.) If you are handing over editorial offices Professional Photographer disks of images, are you doing it in a way that’s both financially and 229 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 2200, Atlanta, GA 30303-1608 U.S.A. legally savvy? (Turn to p. 34 to find out more!) 404-522-8600; FAX: 404-614-6406 Professional Photographer (ISSN 1528-5286) is published monthly “Selling out or selling up?” represents a joint effort between the subscriptions Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Membership and Professional Photographer P.O. Box 2035, Skokie, IL 60076; 800-742-7468; Publications departments. The story was conceived last fall during a FAX 404-614-6406; email:; Web site: meeting of the PPA Board of Directors. (Professional Photographer member services PPA - Professional Photographer is the official magazine of PPA.) 800-786-6277; FAX 301-953-2838; e-mail:; Sometimes it takes a fresh, clear voice to remind us just how Send all advertising materials to: Debbie Todd, Professional Photographer, 5431 E. Garnet, Mesa, AZ 85206; 480-807-4391; FAX: 480-807-4509 challenging it is to be a small business owner in professional Subscription rates/information: U.S.: $27, one year; $45, two years; photography. In that meeting, new board member Susan Michal, $66, three years. Canada: $43, one year; $73, two years; $108, three years. International: $39.95, one year digital subscription. M.Photog.Cr., CPP, whose portrait and wedding studio is based in Back issues/Single copies $7 U.S.; $10 Canada; $15 International. Jacksonville, Fla., was that voice. Her comments on the digital PPA membership includes $13.50 annual subscription. Subscription orders/changes: Send to Professional Photographer, Attn: Circulation debate sparked a productive discussion that eventually inspired Dept., P.O. Box 2035, Skokie, IL 60076; 800-742-7468; both a member-wide survey and this article. Each member of PPA’s FAX 404-614-6406; email:; Web site: Periodicals postage paid in Atlanta, Ga., and additional mailing offices. Board of Directors is an experienced professional photographer Postmaster: Send address changes to Professional Photographer magazine, who’s been in the same position you’re in right now: running a P.O. Box 2035, Skokie, IL 60076 Copyright 2008, PPA Publications & Events, Inc. Printed in U.S.A. business. Each has faced the challenges and felt the strain of trying Article reprints: Contact Professional Photographer reprint coordinator at to make the right decisions for their studios. Wrights’s Reprints; 1-877-652-5295. Microfilm copies: University Microfilms International, Many of you are probably don’t have time to read up on the 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 issues covered at every board meeting (see aforementioned strain of 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, running a business), but I wanted you to know how this especially GA 30303-1608. Periodicals postage paid at Atlanta, Ga., and additional mailing offices. important session launched an inquiry that aims to answer many of 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 your crucial questions. I Professional Photographers of America, Inc. Professional Photographer, official journal of the Cameron Bishopp 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 Director of Publications 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 •
  8. 8. Manfrotto. 100% Carbon Fiber.Enough said. Up to $50 Rebate on Manfrotto! For details, go to To locate a Manfrotto dealer with products on display and in stock Go2 100% carbon fiber tubes Manfrotto US subsidiary: Bogen Imaging Inc. 201 818 9500 Magnesium die castings Quick central column system
  9. 9. chairman of the board DOUG BOX DANA GROVES *JACK REZNICKI M.Photog.Cr., API Director of Marketing & Cr.Photog., Hon.M.Photog., API Communications DON MACGREGORProfessional Photographers directors M.Photog.Cr., API SCOTT HERSHof America DON DICKSON Director of Sales &229 Peachtree St., NE, Suite 2200 M.Photog.Cr., CPP Strategic AlliancesAtlanta, GA 30303-1608 industry advisor shersh@ppa.com404-522-8600; 800-786-6277 KEVIN CASEYFAX: 404-614-6400 SANDY (SAM) PUC’ J. ALEXANDER Director of Membership, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI Copyright and Government legal counsel Affairs2008-2009 PPA board Howe and Hutton, ahopper@ppa.compresident RALPH ROMAGUERA, SR. Chicago*DENNIS CRAFT M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, F-ASP WILDA OKENM.Photog.Cr., CPP, Director of AdministrationAPI, F-ASP PPA staff CAROL ANDREWS DAVID TRUST M.Photog.Cr., ABI Chief Executive Officer LENORE TAFFELvice president Director of Events/Education*RON NICHOLS ltaffel@ppa.comM.Photog.Cr., API SUSAN MICHAL SCOTT M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI Chief Financial Officer SANDRA LANG Executive Assistanttreasurer*LOUIS TONSMEIRE TIMOTHY WALDEN CAMERON BISHOPPCr.Photog., API M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP Director of Publications *Executive of the Board12 •
  10. 10. folio| Comprising images selected from the files of the PPA Loan Collection, Folio is a monthly sample of award-winning photography by PPA members. The Loan Collection is a select group of some 500 photographs chosen annually by the PPA print judges from more than 5,000 entries.©Gregg Wurtzler GREGG WURTZLER After a busy year at the studio, Gregg Wurtzler, M.Photog.Cr., of Wurtzler Photography in Middletown, Ohio, says this image, “Drained,” sums up how he felt. Wurtzler shot this commercial image with a Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro digital SLR and 28-105mm Nikkor f/3.5-4.5 D AF Zoom lens, exposing the image for 1/60 second at f/16, ISO 100. For the main light, Wurtzler used a 600WS Photogenic PowerLight 1500 and 30x40-inch Photogenic soft box, with a second 600WS PowerLight 1500 bouncing in fill. He also used mirrors and homemade foam board reflectors to bounce light. On the background, he used a third 600WS PowerLight 1500 and Photogenic reflector spot grid. He performed minor retouching in Adobe Photoshop CS2. 14 •
  11. 11. Introducing New Square Albums and Books to the Miller’s Line With Innovative LayFlat Functionality and 18 Different Colorful Cover Options 800.835.0603
  12. 12. ©Leon Larsen LEON LARSEN Each subject in this family portrait was photographed individually, except those being held. Leon Larsen, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, of Hart Photography in Idaho Falls, Idaho, shot each family member with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II digital SLR and 24-105mm Canon f/4 L IS USM EF lens, exposing the frames for 1/100 second at f/8, ISO 100. A 31WS Photogenic PowerLight 2500DR behind a 4x6-foot Larson Soff Box served as the main light, and a 125WS PowerLight 2500DR bounced off a white wall to add fill. Larsen used a 62WS Photogenic PowerLight 1250DR and a Larson 9x24- inch Soff Box for hair light, and behind the subject, two 31WS Photogenic PowerLight 1250DR kicker lights at 45 degrees and 16-inch parabolic reflectors with barn doors and frosted, translucent covers. Larsen used Adobe Photoshop to combine the portraits into “The Heatons.” ©Scott Dupras SCOTT DUPRAS Photographing the scene for its dramatic lighting, Scott Dupras, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, of Scott Dupras Fine Art Photography in Marquette, Mich., was pleasantly surprised when the park ranger strolled into view. Shooting with his Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II digital SLR and 16-35mm Canon f/2.8 L USM EF lens, Dupras exposed “Guardians of the Past” for 1/125 second at f/11. He added the sepia tone in Adobe Photoshop. “I love it when I can get images like this that capture the moment as it was,” says Dupras. 16 •
  13. 13. PHOTO BOOKS Tell your story with a Photo Book from Mpix. Our new Custom Hard Covers give you complete freedom to add vibrant, colorful images to the front and back of your book. Now your story starts before you even reach page 1. TX.Image courtesy of Sallee Photogaphy, Dallas, Visit to see our full line of photographic and press products.
  14. 14. “WhoTookYour Senior Portraits?” ” That’s the question that you want your clients to be asked. With, you can offer your seniors hot products that will create a buzz around your studio.Press Printed Books: Perfect for proofbooks, designed albums, and senior mini books.©2008 Inc. All rights reserved. Photos ©2008 April Rocha Photography, Carrie Workman Photography, Kelly Cathey Photography, PW Photography, Studio G, and TriCoast Photography
  15. 15. 30% OFFSTUDIOSAMPLES Albums: Ideal for guest books at graduation parties, senior portrait albums for family members, and mini albums for seniors. FREE matching portrait site with every product purchase! High-End Cards: Great for Professional Prints: Perfect for large Online Posting: The best way to share graduation announcements, party scale prints for family members, metallic images online. Full screen webshow, picture invitations, and thank you notes. wallets for friends, and artistic proofs. chat, shared favorites folders and more.For a limited time only, receive 15% off your next press printed book or high-end cardpurchase using senior images. At checkout, simply enter the promotional code: 19737TS.Order today – Benefit: Also for a limited time, receive a free event site with every product order. Once the seniors start sharing theirsite, watch your referrals grow with their friends! Simply call Customer Service after you place your order for your free site.Earn Rewards! Customers who spend $350 per month on products are now eligible for the Rewards Program.Contact Customer Service for more details or visit Customer Service at (877) 638-7468 or | Press Printed Books | Professional Printing | High-End Cards | Online PostingCheck out’s comprehensive product line at
  16. 16. CONTACT SHEET What’s New, Events, Hot Products, Great Ideas, Etc. Shooting ghosts For 30 years Phillip Makanna has photographed— and occasionally crashed in—historic airplanes BY LORNA GENTRYAll images ©Phillip Makanna
  17. 17. “I’m making a romantic record of aviation history that needs to be saved.” — PHILLIP MAKANNA For a moment, veteran aviation photographer airplanes I photograph are one of a kind, the Phillip Makanna ponders a question about last one flying,” he reflects. “The rest, just six retiring. He has just returned home to San of these or 10 of those left in existence.” Francisco from New Zealand, where he photo- From the back of a 1930s T-6 Texan or graphed vintage aircraft in the biennial World War II-era B-25 bomber, Makanna Warbirds Over Wanaka International Air shoots Nikon D3 and D2Xs SLR cameras with Show. Chuckling softly he says, “Well, it’s a 70-300mm Nikon AF-S VR or 24-120mm getting harder and harder to get into those AF-S VR lens. “What I do happens under airplanes. Last week I got stuck getting violent circumstances,” he says. “We’re moving out of one.” at 100 to 180 mph. If the camera gets in the Yet retirement is out of the question. For wind, everything is blurred. Even though one thing, Makanna wants to do another I’m shooting in a bouncy airplane, I can’t shoot book. He has published five so far, including fast. If I go over 1/250 second, I can’t get a the gorgeous coffee table books “Ghosts of blur in the propeller. And if the propeller is the Great War,” his most recent about aviation frozen, it looks like there’s something wrong.” in World War I, and “Ghosts of the Skies,” about In a T-6 he can roll back the top canvas and World War II airplanes, both published by shoot in open air, but the tail and wing encum- MBI Publishing. “Next I’ll do a book about ber his view. There’s no obstruction shooting the romance of aviation, the way I’ve seen it.” from the tail of a B-25, but they’re expensive to What Makanna has seen through the fly. Helicopters won’t do because of how differ- lenses of his Nikons over the last 30 years is ently they fly, and the downdraft they create extraordinary. “Probably 25 percent of the would jar the airplane he’s photographing.
  18. 18. CONTACT SHEETAll images ©Phillip Makanna “I go up at dawn or sunset when the air is smooth,” he says. “I try to control things, but I can’t. If I’m lucky, I come back with something.” Makanna’s romance with aviation began when he took pictures of World War II planes at a Nevada air show. Those photos were collected in the first “Ghosts” book, and were his introduction to a global enclave of aviation enthusiasts. “People are passionate about these airplanes because we all have the dream to fly,” he said. “I started making the “Ghost” calendars 29 years ago and keep it going because people continue to dream.” While he readily admits to getting airsick (taking a bit of organic ginger helps, he says), Makanna has no fear of flying, even after three crashes. “The fun of it supercedes the fear. And so far, I’ve been able to photograph my crashes.” To see more of Phillip Makanna’s work, visit Lorna Gentry is a freelance writer in Atlanta. 22 •
  19. 19. Smart Transceiver NEW PocketWizard PLUS II Triggers your flash, camera or both wirelessly from up to 1,600 feet away. Auto-Sensing Transceiver Technology Automatically Transmits or Receives for faster, easier, carefree wireless triggering. Auto-Relay mode Wirelessly triggers a remote camera and a remote flash at the same time. Fast Triggering Speed Triggers cameras and/or flash units up to 12 frames per second. Digital Wireless Radio Technology Four 16-bit digitally coded channels provide the world’s best triggering performance.The Plus II joins Profoto, Dyna-Lite, Profoto, Norman, PocketWizard Sekonic Norman Packs and and Photogenic Plus II L-758DRthe growing system Battery Packs Monoblocs MultiMax L-358of photographic A built-in radio A built-in radio Trigger your flash, Choose whichproducts with built-in receiver provides receiver provides cameras or both flash unit to trigger wireless triggering wireless triggering without wires from the and measurePocketWizard simultaneously and from a PocketWizard from a PocketWizard palm of your hand.Wireless Freedom. Transmitter and Transmitter and even fire your camera.Ask for these brands. wireless metering. wireless metering. Wireless Radio Triggering 9 1 4 - 3 4 7 - 3 3 0 0
  20. 20. CONTACT SHEET©Kathie Wurtzler “Every second of our lives, we make subconscious decisions based on the perceptions of our senses.” Good sense Appealing to your clients’ senses BY MICHAEL BARTON, CR.PHOTOG., CPP Every second of our lives, we make subconscious this isn’t a haircut, it’s an experience, a sensory can I get you to drink?” Put out candy in a decisions based on the perceptions of our treat that’s worth paying that much for. pretty dish and a salty snack or two. senses. There is no better way to make a The experience hits all five senses, and Appeal to the sense of touch. A warm positive impression on clients than by elicits a sense of something you can’t quite handshake is a good thing. Touching is a appealing to all five. put your finger on. Whatever it is, it makes strong way of communicating, but play it by A cluttered studio, prints hung randomly on you feel good. Photographers can give ear, take your cues from the individual’s body white walls, the lovely hum of fluorescent light- clients an experience in sense-around, too. language. Before you get personal enough for a ing, the faint ordor of yesterday’s lunch—per- Appeal to the sense of sight with well chosen hug, appeal to the tactile sense with the fabrics haps none of these factors is a deal breaker, but colors, high-impact frames that complement on your furniture, the texture of the counter- they sure make a bad impression, and on a deep, your images, lighting that highlights your tops, everything a visitor is likely to touch. subliminal level that no sweet words can rewrite. work and defines spaces with a pleasing Appeal to the sense of hearing with music. Walking into a high-end hair salon is like ambience, and with orderliness throughout. Music is a subjective pleasure, so have a variety entering a sensory haven. The staff dress fash- Appeal to the sense of smell. Do it gently of royalty-free music on hand to suit various ionably, their hair is perfect, and they are well with regard for sensitive noses. Candles and tastes and create moods conducive to a pleas- groomed to the fingertips. The salon walls, incense can work if used sparingly, fresh coffee ant experience. Having a large collection to seldom white, are decorated with beautiful smells good to most everyone, peppermint pull from means that you can make your framed art. Mood music is playing, pleasant and cinnamon liven up the mood, fresh studio their studio at the push of a button. aromas waft by your nose, and the lighting is popcorn smells tantalizing. How about fresh When all of the senses come together, flattering yet functional. The receptionist flowers in the changing room? clients will feel a sense of comfort that will offers you a beverage, and you’re soon Appeal to the sense of taste. Got a fridge? make them linger and call them back. relaxing into a neck rub, then enjoying the Stock it with soft drinks and chilled water, Michael Barton’s studio, Indigo warm water bathing your scalp. You had to flavored or sparkling or just plain refreshing. Photographic, is in Batavia Ill. wait two weeks to get an appointment, but Nothing says customer service like, “What ( 26 •
  21. 21. CONTACT SHEET Cradle of light bringing the height of the table to 8 feet. Babies are placed on the table, which has a barrier on all sides to prevent tumbles. Space at the front of the box allows parents access to the child. The photographer shoots from above the table. “I’m surprised how much the babies like it,” says Timothy. “We haven’t had one babyAll images ©Walden’s Photography be afraid of it yet. They’re intrigued by it— they put their hands down and stare at how Studio B, a Walden’s their fingers are lit.” Photography offshoot, Studio B’s luminous look is available for and its luminous approach babies from 3 months to 1 year, and works best to photographing babies with babies age 6 to 9 months, who can sit up BY STEPHANIE BOOZER on their own but aren’t yet crawling or walking. “The most exciting thing about these There’s nothing like a baby’s skin. It’s pure and portraits is the new look they bring into our supple, and wonderful to photograph. Timothy marketplace, allowing us to expand our and Beverly Walden, both M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP, client base and get younger mothers,” says of Walden’s Photography in Lexington, Ky., Beverly. “It also gives me an opportunity to have developed a way to capture it beauti- play with new things, such as Wild Sorbet fully at their three-year-old second business, frames and colorfully designed presenta- Studio B. This studio fulfills what the Waldens tions, that would not fit the Walden brand, saw as a need in the market for a contemporary and that keeps me on my toes creatively.” yet classic update in baby photography. Judging by client response and the increase The idea was born when Beverly found an in bookings, Studio B is proving a success. image of a baby lit from all sides, apparently “Even though it’s a more contemporary The Waldens promote Studio B, an offshoot floating in midair. After some study, Timothy approach, it’s still timeless,” explains Timothy. of Walden’s Photography, with a Web site designed a baby-friendly light table to produce “That’s really key—avoiding novelty while designed to complement the bright modern look of the studio’s baby photography. a similar effect. The 4-foot wide light box on staying contemporary.” wheels features a 4x10-foot length of Plexiglas that sweeps up from the table in a gentle curve, Visit 28 •
  22. 22. $9,999 COMPLE TE SYST EMMamiya 645ZD Mamiya Performance. Now Digital. 22 megapixel System • Mamiya 645AFD II Medium Format Camera with 80mm f/2.8 AF lens • Mamiya ZD 22 Megapixel Digital Back • Large 48mm x 36mm Dalsa CCD Sensor produces medium format results • FREE Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom™ software included T: 9 1 4 . 3 4 7 . 3 3 0 0 • M A M I YA . C O M
  23. 23. All images ©Cayton PhotographyCONTACT SHEET Blog yourself Could a simple online diary become a linchpin in your studio’s marketing efforts? BY SEAN CAYTON Since December, I’ve seen at least three professional wedding photographers in my area shut their doors. All were competent14 IDEAS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BLOG 1. Stay on message. Visitors should know exactly what your blog’s about inthe first 10 seconds of viewing it. 2. Show your personality. Blogs are meant to be personal. Share a bit aboutwho you are and how you feel about your photography. Be personable. 3. Respond to comments quickly. Two-way conversation is exactly what you want. 4. Use multimedia. People really dig it. 5. Track visitors. Use Google Analytics or another program to track howvisitors were referred to the site and monitor the traffic flow. You’ll find outwhat content is popular and what isn’t. 6. Advertise your blog offline, too. 7. Keep it simple. Use an easy-to-read, clean and consistent design. 8. Niche it. Limit the subject of your blog to one or two related specialties.Create separate blogs for your other specialties. 9. Update, update, update. Regular updates keep readers coming back andyour search engine rankings high. 10. Keywords are crucial. Think of your blog copy as a massive list ofkeywords that define its niche and content. Make it easy for search engines tofind the site and rank it high in relevance. 11. Tags are important. Tag all your posts by subject. Google, for instance, willindex all of the relevant posts in your blog by topic in potential clients’ searches. 12. Syndication. RSS is a way to syndicate your blog’s content throughout the Web. 13. Position your best above the fold. 14. Write and rewrite. Before you post, relax and let the message flow in yourown inimitable style. Read it over and fix the spelling and the typos. Ask someoneelse to read and evaluate it for these criteria: technical correctness, fluency, directness,topicality, personable tone, and for heaven’s sake, whether it’s enjoyable to read. 30 •
  24. 24. photographers who serviced their clients tothe best of their ability, and had once Our studio’s blog is paying off. Wecommanded a good share of the weddingbusiness here. Due to lack of bookings, read blogs by other photographersthey’ve closed down, at least temporarily. I count myself lucky that in this in our niche and—I’m noteconomy, I’m not only surviving, but ashamed to say it—copied them.growing. I’ve wondered about how otherphotographers are promoting theirbusinesses, right or wrong. Perhaps the After we committed ourselves to the other wedding services vendors. We printstrategies that are working for my studio blog, the next step was really hard: Filling it the URL on our business cards, promotionalwill work for others. with good content. We had to demonstrate brochures and any forms customers see. We Our studio’s blog is paying off. We read that we do a lot of business, that we make also use Really Simple Syndication (RSS)blogs by other photographers in our niche fabulous photographs, and that there’s an technology on our site, which automaticallyand—I’m not ashamed to say it—copied appealing personality behind it all. Blogging alerts the online community to our updates.them. We choreographed the online publica- actually helped me find a voice, and it forcedtion of our clients’ wedding portfolios with me to focus keenly on what we do. The result Sean and Cathy Cayton’s wedding studio is inour blog. We’ve eliminated virtually all other has been booking better jobs for more money. Colorado Springs, Colo. ( They blog aboutmarketing and poured our energy into We knew clients wouldn’t magically their business at The best part is that Internet stumble onto our Web site, so we had to let blog. Sean muses on the business of photog-promotion is like free advertising, and it works. it be known in our niche market, including raphy at World’s first full-frame ultrawide angle medium format lens for film and digital backs 28mm AF Digital lens Aspherical lens element and low dispersion glass produce unsurpassed sharpness and color accuracy on today’s high resolution digital backs. • Rectilinear design produces ultrawide images with virtually no distortion. • All Mamiya Sekor Digital lenses are designed with large image circles and can be used with film and digital backs. • Ideal for architecture, landscapes, interiors, group shots, etc. Mamiya Sekor AF 28mm f4.5 D Aspherical T: 914.347.3300 WWW.MAMIYA.COM for Mamiya 645AFD/AFD II
  25. 25. 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 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, 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
  26. 26. Professional Photographer P R E S E N T S Business, Marketing and Sales StrategiesWhat I thinkSal Cincotta says the art oflistening is the key to salesWhat advice would you give a new photographer?Do it right or don’t do it at all. Your name andreputation are everything in this business.What’s the biggest business risk you’ve ever taken?When I made the decision to go professional, Iwithdrew my savings and purchased $15,000worth of equipment. It was the scariest thingI’d ever done, but it has paid dividends manytimes over.What was your big break—the turning point?Getting on the preferred vendor list for one of thetop catering facilities in town. That relation-ship has made all the difference. It was instantcredibility with our brides.What’s your deal breaker? Rude or argumen-tative people. When people are overly difficultduring the consultation, it’s a sign of what’s tocome. I recommend finding a way to graciouslywalk away from those clients.What is the biggest business mistake you seepro photographers making? They underesti-mate how important personality is to the salescycle, and rely solely on their artistic ability.What is the single most important businesselement photographers should master? The artof listening. What do you think sells better,what your customers say they want or whatyou tell them they want?IMAGE BY SALVATORE CINCOTTAWWW.SALCINCOTTA.COM May 2008 • Professional Photographer • 33
  27. 27. PROFIT CENTER It’s increasingly difficult to avoid the question “Can I get my pictures on CD?” a potential wedding client asks. of whether to release digital files. But for the If you hand over the files, is the goodwill high number of studios who do, it can be a gesture worth jeopardizing additional print profitable practice when wisely executed. sales? Will you lose a customer if you don’t? Many customers now expect to receive their BY STEPHANIE BOOZER image files as part of a package, or as an Selling out or add-on purchase, or even as a free service. With the growing demand for this service, it’s imperative to develop a strategy for fulfillment that works for your studio. selling up? • Should you release your files at all? • How will you manage the file delivery so it benefits your studio? • Is your legal house in order? WHEN IT COMES TO RELEASING FILES, STUDIOS ARE MAPPING SHOULD YOU RELEASE AN INTERESTING—AND PROFITABLE—MIDDLE GROUND DIGITAL FILES? Wedding photographer Doug Gordon, of Lindenhurst, N.Y., doesn’t release digital images at all. “Files are cropped and custom sized—something very difficult for retail photofinishers to handle—and high-quality labs handle our printing,” he says. “We tell our brides how closely we work with only high-quality printers, and we care- fully use printer profiles to ensure that our customers end up with high-quality prints,” says Gordon. “We also give our customers a lifetime guarantee on all of their work and we make sure that the customer understands that we’ll guard the files of their images.” For Sam Gray of Sam Gray Portraits, in Raleigh, N.C., parting with digital files for portrait clients is akin to a mechanic giving away his tools. “I try not to go in that direction if I can help it,” unless it’s for commercial clients, he says. “I feel like we’re shooting ourselves in the foot if we release our digital files.” Because Gray’s portraiture has become more painterly than strictly photographic,©Getty Images he invests a great deal of time and energy in 34 •
  28. 28. each image. Clients can’t take what he creates priced packages and product sales. Forto any photo printer and get stunning wall example, a wall portrait could come with a HOW DO PHOTOGRAPHERS HANDLE REQUESTS FORprints. “As the industry changes, and people CD of other images from the session, along DIGITAL FILES?have their own digital cameras, we have to with a limited usage license. It’s an effective PPA surveyed its membership and receivedstay ahead,” says Gray. “That’s why I went in way to up-sell customers as well as satisfy more than 2,700 responses in five days.the direction of painting. About 75 percent their requests for digital images.of my work involves painting, though I still A high-end wedding photographer in Do you sell, give away or deliver digital filesdo standard photos. We do the best quality we Philadelphia, Faith West, of Faith West to clients?can do with our prints, and it’s all in-house.” Photography in Manayunk, Pa., noted that Gray acknowledges that it can be difficult her average reprint sale was about $150to compete with photographers who charge when she didn’t release files. “I decided toas little as $300 for wedding coverage and include a limited usage license and raise my Do you feel you havesimply give away the files immediately after prices by $150. That way, clients can make lost clients becausethe event. “This is devastating to the photo their own prints, and though I don’t get you don’t release files?industry, this new breed of digital income from reprint orders, I make the samephotographers,” he says. amount money without the extra effort.” Gray’s clients typically purchase large West admits it was a scary transition, butprints, so he sees no real need for them to says it’s paying off. “I make sure to tell my To what kind ofown their files right away. The question of clients that I would like them to order their clients do you deliver digital files?ownership rarely comes up with his portrait prints online, and I recommend certain labswork. He does, however, regularly release that I trust,” she says. West has been sellinglicensed files to his commercial clients. The licenses for her files for the past three years,client’s need in these cases is usage rights and so far, has seen no negative repercus-rather than making prints. sions. “I’m finding an interesting upshot— Do you provide either a license or “We tell portrait clients we keep I’ve booked more weddings as a result of copyright transfer?everything in-house for a year, then move it this policy. People love it, love it, love it. Nowto our permanent archive,” says Gray. I feel like I’m getting away with something,“Before we do, we call the client and ask if because the client is doing the work for me.”they want to come back and look over their West’s clients wind up posting their How do you deliverfiles before they’re archived. We get a lot of images online, a service she doesn’t provide, the files?good orders from that, and there’s really no as well as doing their own printing. “In aextra work involved.” way, I feel like I’m probably a pariah in some peoples’ minds, but it’s a win-win forSPECIAL DELIVERY me,” she says. “Before I had this system, IIn a recent survey PPA conducted of its own saw clients go to someone less talented just In what format aremembership, 80 percent of the respondents because of owning the negatives, and it was files delivered?reported they are delivering digital images frustrating.”(either low or high resolution). For these West still includes an album and parents’studios, the challenge is to execute the albums in her packages, and occasionallytransaction in a way that increases, or at has clients who don’t want to bother withleast protects, the studio’s existing profits. managing their digital files. But she also To read the survey in its entirety, including the A number of photographers include files notes that the ubiquity of online print services, comments of the participating photographers, go to the download area of the Member’s Onlywith certain usage rights in their higher combined with her clients’ average age, 25, section at May 2008 • Professional Photographer • 35
  29. 29. PROFIT CENTER ©Faith West clients, and I do have nice re-sales from the weddings, even from the brides and grooms, who have the files,” she says. Many of Stripling’s clients express interest in the files not necessarily for printing, but for archival purposes, and she respects that. “When I deliver wedding files to my client, they are in metal DVD tins with my logo on the front,” she says. “I include a postcard with details about the files, how to archive and store the DVD, how to transfer the files to new media as it becomes available Faith West packages clients CDs attractively in a leatherette case or tin. The imprinting on the CD itself is customized for each client. and DVDs become passé, how long we store the images for them at the studio, where we recommend having them printed if they choose to print themselves, and so forth. I results in clients who understand intuitively high, and I generally try to sell them holiday include a handwritten note thanking them how to handle digital media. “They are cards from me. I license just a handful of for the honor of working with them on their happy to do it,” she says. “They feel like they files every year, and I don’t mind that wedding and wishing them the best, package have more control. My clients rarely order because of my price point. My portrait it all up in a nice envelope, and off it goes.” anything over 8x10, because they consider it session fee is fairly low and I make my Most important, Stripling stresses, she ostentatious or gauche to order larger money on after sales. I’d have to charge an retains the copyrights to her images and pictures of themselves, so I’m not losing any astronomical session fee to include the files, merely licenses them for client use. Clients large wall portrait orders anyway.” or else license the files for an enormous can make as many prints of the images as Because presentation is essential in amount to make a profit on the work.” they want, but they cannot sell or license photography, West uses attractive Stripling’s approach is a little different them. “Basically, they cannot make a profit packaging for her client’s DVDs. with weddings. She includes the files right on the images without my consent,” she says. Depending on the order, the disks are away, and they’re usually delivered six to delivered in a leatherette DVD holder or in nine weeks after the wedding. “I understand Copyrights for charity a classic tin. West imprints each disk with the argument for not including them or Mel Morganstein, CPP, Photography by Mel, a detail image from the wedding. “They even delivering them, ‘Oh, I’ll lose out on Charlotte, N.C., has yet another approach to look beautiful,” she says. “We’ve made a reprint sales!’ or ‘Oh, my clients will print parting with digital files. He appeals to his successful transition, and have been able to them at the mini-mart and put my name on clients’ charitable side. The idea began a few maintain our presentation.” those horrible prints,’” she says. “First of all, years ago when Morganstein found out about I don’t give the files. I raised my rates the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, and Different policies for different clients accordingly, so I’m selling them the license. decided to help with their annual fundrais- For Susan Stripling, of Tallahassee, Fla., If I’m going to risk losing reprint sales, I ing. He started e-mailing clients to solicit parting with digital files depends on the want to be compensated.” donations, then came up with the idea of project. “For portraits, I don’t give away or The images on the DVDs are not final- tying in a charitable donation with the sell all of the files,” she says. Over the winter print ready. They are color-corrected, white- purchase of digital files or negatives. holidays, she will license a single file for a balanced and “lovely,” she says, but not fully “It just hit me one day that I have all these client to use in a holiday card. “Most people retouched or edited as are the prints purchased negatives, and what on earth am I going to do don’t go for that option because I price it through the studio. “I do explain that to my with them?” says Morganstein, whose archive 36 •
  30. 30. PROFIT CENTER reached back to the 1970s. “I wrote my clients, that if he cut or drastically reduced the post- present a customized usage license just for explained that I’ve been keeping an insurance production time and spent the time with other them. If the client wants to send copies of policy on these albums all these years, and I paying clients, he could reduce his wedding the digital images to a number of friends can no longer maintain the storage space.” prices and actually end up with higher profits. and family members, it might serve both of Morganstein offered full sets of negatives While making your workflow more you to do the task for them, sending low-res or digital files for $300, or $100 if they sent efficient sounds attractive, if you don’t use versions or a URL where the images are along a matching $100 check written out to the time saved to cultivate additional clients posted for review to the e-mail addresses the foundation. and generate more income, you could end your client provides. You can include an “It’s a neat way to raise money for charity, up with fewer expenses, yes, but also with order form or direct the recipients to an and I clear out my backlog of negatives,” he no additional clients, and then your lower online ordering system. says. “I tackle about three years’ worth each prices would actually yield lower profits. Senior portrait photographers are pro- year, and I’m up to the late 1990s. It’s $100 viding clients low-res images for use on their I didn’t have, and it’s $100 that the Pediatric LICENSE, DON’T TRANSFER FaceBook and MySpace pages when they’ve Brain Tumor Foundation didn’t have either.” In the vast majority of cases, when you met a minimum order amount. Some clients Morganstein tells current clients about the deliver digital files to your clients, it’s wise to simply want to create a computer screensaver annual fundraiser, and that they’ll have the avoid transferring copyrights. or make prints when they can better afford opportunity to purchase their files and make Images have value. Your customers know them. Low-res files might satisfy your clients, a donation later in the year. “The theory is that. Instead of selling your images outright, as well as provide the perfect opportunity that my clients know their files are safe and consider licensing them for your customers’ for you to explain the danger of their losing they’ll be able to purchase them later on, so limited use. Presenting a printed license the images at home in a hard drive crash, or there’s no pressure,” says Morganstein. “It’s a only adds to the perceived value of your with the inevitable failure of CDs or obso- good cause that I believe in, and it turns the work. The license should clearly list the lescence of other storage media holding the sale into something better for the clients as well. images in question, state your copyright images. You could offer a credit toward future It also gives me a little breathing room to sell ownership of them, specify the exact uses purchases if they leave it to you to safeguard as many prints as possible in the meantime.” the agreement covers, including the length the files and fulfill their print orders. Six years into the plan, Morganstein is of time the customer may use them, how Opening this dialogue with clients also averaging $1,000 in donations annually. “I and where they are to be viewed, and gives you the opportunity to explain how agonized over how to handle this problem,” whether the customer is permitted to you use only a high quality professional lab he says about clearing out the old negatives reproduce them, and in what form. (For or calibrated professional inkjet printers and and selling digital files. “But I’ve found a sample licenses, visit PPA’s Member’s Only adhere to proper color management practices way to raise money for a good cause, and I download area at —something they may not get from the local feel good about it too.” If you just hand over the images, the photofinisher down the street or a photo- customer may think she can make reprints, printing kiosk in a retail store. Clients may Living by digital alone resell or use them in an ad or even a appreciate a warning about how technology Can a studio make a profit from licensing billboard. (We spoke with one photographer changes so rapidly they may have difficulty digital image files alone—no prints or albums? who suggests that clients put the CD of their just finding a piece of equipment to read the Commercial photographers have been doing images in their safe deposit box along with CD years from now. I it for years. It’s all in how you price and the license.) deliver your work. One photographer told us Asking clients how they want to use the he typically spends 20 hours on pre-wedding images is always advisable. For one thing, it Maria Matthews, coordinator for PPA’s and wedding photography and 20 to 25 hours helps you understand their needs so you can Copyright and Government Affairs department, contributed to this article. For on post-production image processing, album fulfill them. If they desire usage or services questions regarding the article, e-mail her at design and order fulfillment. He speculates that you truly cannot provide, you might 38 •
  31. 31. TM THE JOY OF MARKETING S A R A H P E T T Y, C P P Social networking is the new viral marketing. teenagers will instantly spread the word— for free. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty at When inspired, high school seniors can is spread the word like an unchecked virus. a perfect example. You can watch this powerful Fever pitch social comment in a minute, effortlessly e-mail it to a friend, join discussion groups about it, and exponentially multiply the buzz in the spirit of encouraging girls’ healthy self-esteem SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT YOUR STUDIO in a media-blitzed universe. This little film isn’t an advertisement for Dove soap, it’s an ingen- In business today, viral marketing—spread by cell phone, text messaging and all other ious bit of brand building through emotion. social networking, not a social disease—leads manner of wired and wireless communication. Scott Crosby, CPP, owner of Picture This to robust, healthy profits. Not only is the grape Especially if your target market is high school Photography in Avon, Ind., has a brilliant vine alive and well, it’s rapidly proliferating seniors, viral marketing is your magic bullet. ploy of his own for seniors. He wraps a across the airwaves via MySpace, FaceBook, Come up with an impressive message and Hummer with huge images of his currentAll images ©Scott Crosby 40 •
  32. 32. NEW WEBINARS (online seminars)PPA and SMS are bringing education to you, and Plus, you can watch the archivedall you need is a computer and the Internet. Keep versions at your convenience. Just visitwatching your inboxes for information on live the Events section of and clickbusiness 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 WORKSHOP NEW BOOKKEEPING SERVICESwith Carol Andrews, Ann Monteith and Sarah Petty Behind on your bookkeeping? OurNow’s your chance to increase profitability and Bookkeeping Program can help! Withreceive instruction on essential elements for competitive pricing and programs tailored tobusiness success (in both group settings and meet your studio’s individual needs, SMS canone-on-one consultations). help ease your headaches and get your studio ß June 9-11 off to a great start.SMS BASIC TRAINING:THE BUSINESS OF PHOTOGRAPHY ß July 19-20Classes fill up fast…Contact Beth Moore to register today...800.339.5451 x244 Professional Photographers of America |
  33. 33. TM THE JOY OF MARKETINGsenior clients. (He outputs the wraps on anEpson Stylus Pro 9600 onto Lexjet ExtremeAqua Vinyl paper; see photos, right, and nextpage.) To activate the virus, Crosby uses hisstudio blog to announce the featured seniors,and sends each one an e-mail. On the street, theHummer generates mega-buzz, not only whenit shows up at high school football games, butwhenever a senior discovers his or her face couldbe displayed on the coolest vehicle in town. Crosby also invests the time and money tokeep his mall display fresh and current. He’sbeen known to contact the mother of a featuredgirl to suggest she take her daughter shoppingand accidentally come across the studio’s dis-play. It’s like giving a surprise party, he says.And with the normal tensions between ado-lescents and their parents, the moment is a Skyport The future of radio slave technology is here. • Small and lightweight • Highest encryption in the industry to ensure interference free operation • Optional PC and Mac computer control • Complete kits to flash a single light starting at under $220 To locate an Elinchrom dealer with products on display and in stock Go2 Elinchrom distributed by: Bogen Imaging Inc. 201 818 9500 May 2008 • Professional Photographer • 43
  34. 34. TMTHE JOY OF MARKETING gift to both of them. Two minutes later, mother and daughter both are yakking on a cell phone. To make it easy for seniors to share their images online, Crosby uses Photoshop to create Flash animated .gif files for each client. Each file includes a slideshow studio ad and the words, “Ask me about senior pictures.” He asks the recipients to e-mail the file to everyone in their address book, along with this message: “Ask me how to get a special gift.” This way the ad is all about the senior, and she cannot resist passing it along. Crosby’s viral marketing strategy for seniors is truly inspired. We’d love to hear the innovative ways you’re building buzz to fever pitch in your studio’s marketing! I Sarah Petty Photography is in Springfield, Ill. ( 44 •
  35. 35. PROFIT CENTER L O R I C R A F T, C R . P H O T O G . parents had fallen on bad times, there would Every high school student looks forward to the be no senior portrait at all. milestone photograph that says he has arrived. The Craft Photographic Gallery couldn’t Crafts are helping deserving students achieve that goal. fulfill the needs of all those students, but we Wish come true could certainly make a wish come true for three of them. I came up with the Senior Portrait Scholarship Program to accomplish Many rising seniors do not have the oppor- senior portrait marketing campaign for the it. We solicited applicants to write essays tunity to choose the photographer who will Class of 2008, I was struck by just how about themselves or another student whom create their momentous senior portraits. many students in our area wouldn’t get to they nominated for the scholarship. Our Last year, as I started to work on my studio’s choose. For some of these students, whose choice of three recipients would be based on those essays. Each would be awarded a custom©Dennis Craft senior portrait session, a portrait package Each scholarship winner with a wall portrait, and all the extras. received a Deluxe Portrait I sent promotional packets to the area Session and a Senior newspapers, school guidance counselors and Portrait Package (11x14 junior class advisers, and made the info and portrait, smaller gift application available for download on our portraits and wallet-size Web site, prints), a $650 value. I didn’t foresee how hard it would be to choose the recipients. The essays told stories of parents who had lost jobs, single parents struggling to take care of a houseful of children, even a girl on the eve of gastric bypass surgery, who anticipated feeling beautiful for the first time in her life. The essays were written by parents, students, and even a senior nominating her best friend. She couldn’t afford Craft senior portraits herself, but she was more concerned that her friend wouldn’t have a portrait at all. With our staff, we managed to select the three students. We awarded the remaining applicants a complimentary senior session and a portrait package discount. It was a privilege to honor all these students at such an important time in their life. I As a reference for starting your own senior portrait program, see Lori Craft’s press This is the second year that releases announcing her Senior Portrait Craft Photographic Gallery Scholarship Program at has offered the scholarship. Last year, Nichole Armour Look for the “View Scholarship Information” was one of three recipients. link in the Seniors section. Craft Photographic Gallery is in Marshall, Mich. 46 •