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International Print Competition

August 15, 2014 in Uncategorized by admin

(If you came to the site within the last 24-48 hours and ran into issues, I apologize. The site was being migrated to a new server. The post from yesterday on International Print Competition may have been missing as well, as it was lost in the transition. Below is my re-creation of that post. It’s different, but includes the images and the critique, which were the most important elements.)

Entering International Print Competition is a fantastic way to quickly grow your photography skills and confidence level. This year I entered four images into IPC (International Print Competition). I am so excited to announce that I received a merit for each one, and my prints will be on display at Imaging USA in February. Being relatively new to International Print Competition myself (this is only my second time to enter), I am not surprised that none of my images got into the Loan Collection. But after listening to my image critiques, from PPA, I am hopeful that after another year of practice I may be able to “go loan” next year.

If you have never entered IPC before, or if you  have never purchased the critiques, you are in for a real treat. I have decided to upload one of mine so that you can hear what an IPC critique is like. Keep in mind that the whole purpose behind one of these is to make you better, so not all of the comments are going to be positive. But the information is extremely valuable, and I hope you learn as much as I did from it.



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Ghost Pepper Part One & Part Two

August 8, 2014 in Uncategorized by admin

The International Print Competition for 2014 is over… and what a week it was! I am totally excited to have received 4 for 4 merits for my prints (which I will upload for you next week). Woo Hoo!!! I hope you all entered IPC this year, or at least took at look at the live streaming for PPA members. For those of you who did, the pressure is finally off. There’s no more waiting, you now know how you did. Congratulations to those of you who did well. And… better luck next time if you weren’t happy with your results. You will grow immensely as a photographer, just by entering.

So today I offer a bit of comic relief. Introducing… Matthew and the Ghost Pepper!

OK… so it’s probably not a great idea to teach your kids to do stupid things… but in my defense… it wasn’t my idea either. We were all excited about trying a new restaurant here in Austin called Hopdoddys (it’s not new to Austin… just new to us). We’ve been experimenting with “going Paleo” and Hopdoddys appeared on a local blog for gluten-free and paleo friendly cuisine. When Matthew saw that the Ghost Pepper Burger was the daily special on Hopdoddys menu he simply couldn’t resist the temptation to try the “hottest pepper on earth”. As you have all probably figured out by now… I am a risk taker, so it should be no surprise that I am not what anyone would consider an overly protective parent. Even so… the ghost pepper seemed like it required at least a tiny bit of motherly protective nature. So here is my video test of Matthew’s ghost pepper sauce at Hopdoddys. It’s pretty funny, but the next video… of Matthew trying the ghost pepper… is about 1000 times more hilarious!

By the way… don’t worry… the four year old that you see on the screen is NOT the one who tried the ghost pepper. :-)

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International Print Competition

August 5, 2014 in Print Competition by admin

If you are a member of PPA and haven’t been watching International Print Competition, now is your chance. IPC is streaming LIVE 8:15 AM – 6 PM ET August 4-7, 2014.

It’s easy to watch:

  1. Go to on your *desktop device.
  2. Log in with your PPA account or complete the short registration.

Whether you entered International Print Competition or not, you will learn a TON watching it. There is no faster way to improve your photography than to understand what goes into a merit worthy image, and the live streaming for International Print Competition only happens once a year. You don’t want to miss it!

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Photography Business Tips Blog – Feedback Wanted!

August 1, 2014 in How to start a photography business, photography education, Photography Entrepreneurship by admin

Thank you everyone for being patient with me. I had intended to take one week off from video blogging in order to provide some time for reflection and planning to determine the direction of the blog from here on out. That one week turned into almost two, as a health issue I have recently been dealing with took over most of my time and energy the last two weeks. So… I apologize for being gone so long.

My blog’s new direction is still coming together, as much of my energy is still being directed toward resolving the migraines that have crept into my life the last three months. The problem isn’t that I can’t figure out what to do or how to do it… but that I have so many ideas, I am running into difficulty deciding which ones to do, and what to do first. (The fact that my head is constantly pounding isn’t making the decision-making process any easier). I even tried to create an update video yesterday, but the lights were so bright that I couldn’t concentrate well enough to put two sentences together.

Don’t worry… the blog is not going away. I will be back recording more videos as soon as I am able. And, in the meantime, I will write until I can stand the bright lights without  getting that piercing icepick feeling where I feel like I’m going to pass out.

A couple of decisions have been made. The first is that I will be doing less video blogging. It has come to my attention that daily posts are not the best way to provide value for you. So I will be doing only one or two videos per week instead of 5. This change should make it easier for you to tune in to each one of them, and not have you feeling guilty if you simply don’t have the time to watch 5 videos every week. We are all overloaded with information these days, and I don’t want to be part of the problem… I want to be part of the solution.

Secondly… I am going to continue to do some photography and business tips, but I am going to change things up a bit. Every other week there will be a tip. And on the following week I am considering creating a sort of reality show of my own businesses. What does that mean?… you ask. Well… I have studied many many people in both business and photography for more than 25 years now, in hopes of gleaning the information that could help me to excel in my own life and business. I have learned a ton of information from the books, classes, online courses and interactions I have had with these successful men and women. And… I realized that I don’t really read blogs very much myself… especially photography blogs. They pretty much bore me. Why? Because most of the ones I have seen either post “Rah Rah… look at how great I am” or offer information that is so technical that it would put an engineer to sleep.

So, I spent some time thinking about what I would want to read or watch on a blog about photography and business. I asked some coaching clients, and I talked to some friends. What I decided was that I would want to know what it’s really like for successful photographers to run their businesses. I know what they tell me it is like in their classes, but I would want to know how they really work with real clients and how they really do their marketing on a daily basis. I would want to know what they are thinking about the industry and where it’s heading. Now… maybe the reason I don’t see blogs like this is that it’s not good for business to be so completely transparent. Maybe it’s totally freaking SCARY to bare it all in such a public way. Actually, just thinking about doing this is kind of freaking me out. Maybe it’s just too much to expect that blogs tell us the truth… not just about the successes, but also about the failures. But, that is what I would want to see, and that’s what I am looking to create. I am going to tell you what we struggle with, and I am going to tell you what we are doing right now in our business to overcome challenges. I am going to give you real numbers… real sessions… real sales averages… real actions for today. NOT the photography business tips that served us 15 years ago, the stuff that we are doing TODAY. And I am going to share with you the results of our efforts. I am going to seek out successful photographers to interview to get the “up to date skinny” on what is really working RIGHT NOW!

What I haven’t yet decided is how the format is going to work. Will it be a membership site, like an exclusive tv channel for my coaching clients and followers? Will I charge for it? Maybe I could do the Creative Live type model, where it’s free for a limited period of time and then goes into an archived system for members. I don’t know yet. I haven’t worked out the details. And, I don’t know how much time and effort is going to needed to be put into it to set this whole thing up. So, before I do set this whole crazy thing up… I have a favor to ask. Please tell me what you think of my idea. Would you rather that I just continue to give you isolated tips on photography and business, or would you like more detailed information? What do you think of following me around via video camera in my own business? Is that just ridiculous, or do you LOVE  IT? If you have been in the photography business for any length of time you already know that it takes about 10 times longer to implement something than originally planned, so I don’t want to create a whole new format if it isn’t going to serve you. I want the process to be fulfilling for me, and I want it to be valuable for you. So… Please, Please, Please give me your opinions. Even if you’ve never left a comment before… please do so. Even if you think it’s a terrible idea… heck… especially if you think it’s a terrible idea. Because if I’m going to risk falling flat on my face in front of everyone, then I want it to at least be worth it. :-)

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Free Photography Business Coaching Sessions still available

July 18, 2014 in Business Tips, photography education, Photography Entrepreneurship, Photography Tips by admin

I still have a couple of free photography business coaching sessions left, but they are almost gone, so click on the mini coaching session button the right to register and claim yours today!

We will be taking next week off to implement on some things for the new blog direction. We are very excited about where we are going, and we hope it is going to be hugely transformative for your photography businesses as well.

If you came to see a photography or business tip, we have lots of previous blogs still posted that you can review by just scrolling down. :-)

If you registered to receive a coaching session, but didn’t receive the phone number to book your appointment, feel free to contact me at our studio @ 512-997-7429.

See you in about a week!

by admin

Free Photography Business Coaching Sessions still available

July 17, 2014 in How to start a photography business, Photography Entrepreneurship by admin

We still have a few free photography business coaching sessions available. Just click on the pink button that says Mini Coaching Session to register. They are going fast, so don’t delay. If you missed the Free Action Planner, I am afraid that it is no longer available for free, and we haven’t figured out how that’s going to work just yet, but we will have it offered later for a nominal fee. So hang in there if you missed it.
If you came here today to get your daily photography business tip fix, and are disappointed by the fact that we are using our available energy resources to transform the blog, be assured, there are tons of videos on the site, and you probably haven’t seen them all. Just scroll down to see photography and business tips videos dating back to December 31st, 2013.
And finally… I want to say Thanks to everyone who has registered so far for their free mini coaching session. I am already getting great information that is going to help me improve the blog… which will ultimately improve your businesses as well. THANKS!

by admin

Free Coaching Session

July 16, 2014 in How to start a photography business, Photography Entrepreneurship by admin

In an effort to improve my blog and provide my listeners with the most relevant and up to date photography business tips, I am giving away free coaching sessions to the first 20 folks who click on the Mini Coaching Session button here on the blog page.

To receive your free coaching session, you will be subscribed to my blog list. Don’t worry… you can always unsubscribe very easily later if you decide it’s not valuable for you. This is simply the only way that we can legally email you.

Be prepared to bring to the call your most challenging business problem, so that we can transform it together.

So, if you would like a free coaching session, click on the link. And… feel free to send it along to your friends if you like. There are only 20 spots… so Don’t Delay!

I look forward to speaking with you soon!

by admin

Cha, cha, cha, Changes

July 15, 2014 in Business Tips, How to start a photography business, photography education, Photography Entrepreneurship by admin

Changes are coming to my photography and business tips blog. Exactly what that looks like is still being created, so I can’t tell you what is going to happen, but I can tell you why things will be changing.

Providing value is only possible when the provider understands what the providee wants and needs. With so many different photography business models and specialties, it has been a challenge to provide photography and business tips on a daily basis that will be relevant to everyone. For example… I can give you the tip to set up profitable pricing, but without knowing your level of experience, your comfort level with sales, your market, your financial goals, your Cost of goods, I cannot, in good conscience, offer you a detailed pricing model.

One of the most powerful things about having a coach is that they know you, your business and your goals, and that makes it really easy for the two participants… the photography business owner and the coach… to design a plan of attack that will create the biggest change in the shortest amount of time. Up until now, I have tried to provide pretty general photography and business tips without getting into much detail. My hope was that the tips would be valuable to most photographers who found my blog. But I am finding that sharing the “what to do” is less empowering than sharing the “how to do it”… which is what I provide as a coach. And… to do that I need to understand where each person is coming from.
So how do I do that on a large scale? That is the question that I am struggling to answer, and I would appreciate any feedback that you can give me while I look at how to improve my blog for the benefit of my subscribers. What type of programs appeal most to you? Do you prefer webinars, one on one phone calls, mastermind groups? Would you rather pay an hourly rate to get expert one on one assistance or would you like a small monthly fee to have access to a membership site that includes lots of programs to help with specific topics? What are your biggest struggles right now in your business? And what would it be worth to you on a monthly basis to solve those challenges? I want to know more about you guys and your businesses, so that I can find the best ways to help you succeed.

by admin

Photography Business Tip – Get a support team with outsourcing

July 14, 2014 in Business Tips, How to start a photography business, Photography Tips by admin

Creating a great support team is not only about hiring employees. As a matter of fact, unless you really have the volume for employees, I don’t recommend you hire any at all until you have to. Employees bring with them their own set of business challenges, and there are lots of ways to get some of the less fun and more detail heavy items handled without ever having to hire an employee at all. Nowadays, many of your photography business details can be handled online. Companies like Fiverr  and Retouchup can be great resources for outsourcing things you may not like to do or don’t have time to handle in your photography business. The truth is that, as the business owner, you shouldn’t be handling things like retouching images or copyrighting (that’s writing copy… not image protection)… things that you can outsource online. You should be focusing on creating your photography, growing your photography business, and serving your clients. Outsourcing can be an inexpensive way to get some of your time and life back. Make a list of all of the things that you could turn over to someone else, and then start with the thing you hate doing the most. Maybe that’s getting a virtual bookkeeper. Trust me… it will be well worth setting some of these systems up, and it will make growing your photography business a lot less painful.

If you want to read a great book on this Timothy Ferris’ book The Four Hour Work Week is a great read!

by admin

Photography Lighting Tip – Look for light in the environment

July 11, 2014 in How to start a photography business, photography education, Photography Entrepreneurship, Photography Tips by admin

Todays’ photography tip is to look for the light that is naturally occurring in your environment, and find creative ways to use that light. Leave all your flashes, strobes and reflectors at home, and go find creative ways to use the naturally reflective and subtractive surfaces in your environment to create the lighting you desire. The more you can practice being resourceful as a professional photographer, the better you will perform when you are under pressure in difficult photographic situations. So practice finding the light. It’s good to know that you can always add light if you need it, but you can leave those flashes in the car from time to time, and push yourself to create what you want with what is already there.