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When you start a photography business, there is this assumption that running a photography brand is you getting to shoot a ton of cool images and get paid to do it.

 

Unfortunately, that is not the WHOLE picture of what it really means to have a photography business. Jody and I have had the privilege of working with over 1,100 businesses and one theme has permeated them all. The management of their brand is the hardest part of what they do.

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(iPhone Only image from David Molnar)

If there is one area of shooting that can seem to be intimidating, it is off-camera lighting. There are 50,000,000 options with gear, modifiers, power-supplies and the list goes on, then we have to figure out where to put the light, how to balance it with the ambient, and at this point many of us just give up. But all of us know that sometimes we just need off-camera lights to get the shot and sometimes we want them to create a certain cool look.

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When a photographer decides that they are tired of having to over-edit their images to get the “look” they want and are REALLY tired of how much time they spend in editing, that is when they are open to finding a new way to do things. Do you ever feel that way? Maybe you love editing the few shots that are your favorites, but then when you look at the daunting task of editing your entire shoot, you feel a bit overwhelmed. All the while your kids are asking you to play with them (or, you wait until they go to bed and then get to work), and then you start wondering if this is really worth the effort.

What you really want is the below. Images you are proud of, that are finished and ready to send off to your client, and you want it to be easier! Well, it can happen and the real key is finding the natural light and using it really well. When we do that, the images almost edit themselves and your business starts to get a lot more fun! Here is a re-cap of some of the images I shot while teaching our Natural Light Workshop last weekend!

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The fall season is upon us and there is one thing that stinks about this time of year – business can get slow for LOTS of photographers out there! But, business being slow can be a blessing in disguise, and we are going to show what you should think about doing in the off-season and start planning it NOW!

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Why an intro video COULD book you more clients, and better clients come Christmas.

We all know that right around and right after Christmas lots of couple’s get engaged, lots of people want family photos done and people are willing to start planning out the new year in style. This is your opportunity to showcase your brand and excite your clients about the experience that you can offer them. One of the BEST ways to do that is with an Intro Video on your website, and here are the 5 keys that you need to for a successful intro video!

1. Showcase Their Emotion

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Just like you would tell an engaging story at the booking meeting with a client, you want to draw out the emotional side of what you do. You want to show in this video that you are real people who care deeply about your clients and the story you get to tell for them. Showcase your clients laughing, some tears, some sort of great, genuine emotion with a focus on your couples (or families or whoever you shoot).

2. Showcase YOU

View More: http://amyandjordan.pass.us/zach-jody-and-jax   As important as it is to show potential clients what it is like to have their images taken, people will begin to trust you when they get to know YOU. (TWEET THIS OUT!)

Show them some of you, some of the things you like, something personal, and be genuine. People trust people, so don’t make it about being too cool (unless that is your brand), or too distant.

3. Showcase your Position

If you don’t have a position yet, then think about creating one (read more about that HERE). But if you have a niche, a specific type of weddings or seniors or families that you shoot, then showcase that to draw in your potential client. Think “Estate and Vineyard Photographer” or “tattooed Brides” or “Girls Only Senior Sessions” and if you have a unique position for your market, then talk about it and showcase it in the video!

4. Hire a Pro

When getting a video done, trust us, you can do it cheaply! We used to have a 30 second promo video that we shot on a Flip Cam (remember those things?) and guess what? It worked at the tiem! But, we still recommend having a pro shoot the video for you because if there is one place to invest $$$$ into your business, it is the brand. Perception is not reality, it is the ONLY reality (as Jack Trout says) and we want to give a good representation of what our brand is all about by keeping it pro.

5. Short & Sweet

The average website only gets 42 seconds of air time, so the key is to QUICKLY draw in the client with something different (the video), keep it SHORT (about 30-45 seconds) and have it done well so it is engaging to the viewer to give them a reason to look at more of your site.

Check out this example intro trailer from the amazing Amy & Jordan Demos who are taking Arizona over by storm with their powerful brand! The video is simple, professional, engaging, emotional and short. Everything you need for a great video that helps get you booked!

 

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Homework:

- Think about what makes you and the experience you offer your clients unique

- Research and hire video team (or barter!) that can create your intro video (or spruce up your old one) and make one (or make a new one if your old one needs an update) during the coming slow season.

- Get one of your old clients that love you (or do a casting call!) and go out on a shoot with the video team and your clients. Write a short script of what you want in the video, shoot it and get the edit done! Then, add an auto video player to the intro of your site so that the FIRST thing people see is this video and YOU.

 

PS. Are you excited to get an intro video made and have a better chance of booking more of the right kind of clients next year? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

If you have ever wanted to have a super light flash set-up that is able to create studio quality lighting while shooting on-location, then you are not alone. We have used speedlites for years, but always felt like we were compromising light quality when doing so. Now, with these new modifiers we have, today we are going to show you how to create some really cool photos using speedlites and a steel wall!