MorePhotos Blog

Having a Website: What is Myth and what is Fact?

Having a Website: What is Myth and what is Fact?

You can’t really be serious about photography without a proper web presence. Well you can, but then you probably want to be left alone with your camera and your photos and you have no desire of sharing your work or talent with anyone. That’s probably not you so let’s move on.

Perhaps the ultimate tool when it comes to having the right kind of web presence is your personal photography website. It should be your online home, no matter if you’re an enthusiast or a hard working pro. Now there are several myths about having a website and I wanted to confront them with real life. And that’s what I did. Here is what’s real and what’s not.

Responsive Design, Template Websites, Myth: You can’t go into business without a website.

Fact: It depends what kind of photography business you want to run, but for 90% of cases…you guessed it, you need a website. Most people rarely have the time to meet up and have a look at your wonderfully printed photos. They would much rather sit on their couches with their iPads and do their viewing which means it’s pretty important to be present online. Even if most of your work comes from other types of advertising and promoting, like word of mouth and recommendations, you still need to have a place where people can view your work online.

Myth: Having a website will bring you more clients.

Fact: In real life, a website might bring you work. If you’re starting to get confused, hear me out. You probably know by now that you need a solid portfolio to get noticed by potential clients and professionals from creative fields and the art world. You also know that if you’re going to have a website, you might as well get a good one. The ugly truth is that it’s only part of the story. The most amazing photos and the most eye-catching webpage won’t even get you a phone call if people don’t know about it. Simply having it will change very little in your professional activity. On the other hand, if you spread the news about your webpage, make it as public as possible and use every opportunity to attract visits, then you might start noticing some changes.

Myth:  It’s the photos that matter the most, not the design.

Fact: Back in the early 2000s, this would have been true. Part of it actually still is, but let’s take it from the top. A strong portfolio is a must, no matter what kind of photography you’re into. However showing that work in an ugly, prehistoric, tasteless platform will turn it into something almost worthless. A photographer shouldn’t just be someone who takes nice pictures. He should be a professional of all things visual and that means balance between quality of work and quality of webpage. It needs to be tailored to the photos. On the other hand, if you have an impeccable theme on your website, one that is a real eye candy, but your photos look like they’re were taken by a 9 year old using a point and shoot…well, that’s a different kind of drama.

Myth: Once I have a website, people will find me easier

Fact: No, they won’t. Sure, if they Google your name it might be the first link to pop-up, right on top of your Facebook page, but you want more than that. Running a website involves some writing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). For example, if your name is Bob Smith and you’re a wedding photographer in Philadelphia, the link to your page should pop-up as soon as someone Googles “Philadelphia wedding photographer”. Invest some time in learning these techniques because they could be the difference between an average business and a good one.

Myth: I can substitute a website with other accounts like Flickr and 500px.

Fact: 500px is an amazing place to find incredible photographers and show your premium work. Flickr has also gotten better and better lately, and it is no longer a modern form of torture when used. But neither these, nor other photography communities that offer the possibility of creating your profile page and gallery are good enough for replacing your own .com. If you’re looking for serious clients, with serious money, you need to consider that they’re looking for a serious photographer with a professional web presence.


Googles new search algorithms launched April 21st 1

GGogole, Responsive Design,Smart phones, mobile friendly website, Google responsive website templateoggle is stepping up for better searches with new search algorithms to support you when you are using your smart phone. Google is trying to give us what we all want when searching for something… better site viewing on smart phones. The new algorithms were launched on April 21st.

When viewing sites with older web design on your phone, they just are not easy to view. You get scrollbars, the text is too small, you just see small areas on the site, which makes you miss things. Overall it is not a great experience. And if your site is flash based, it can’t be viewed on apple smart devices unless you have created a second html version of the site.

One of the newer ways to make sure your site is easy and friendly to all devices is the buzz word “Responsive Design”. This makes your site fit any monitor or smart device. One of the things that the new Google algorithm does is check to see if your site looks good on a cell phone. The great thing that responsive design does is stack the information when you are viewing sites on your cell phone so you just scroll down and it all fits. The question is, will your site still be found on Google if it is not mobile friendly… sure it will. Though it will be penalized and you will lose some standing, in other words they will show the mobile friendly sites first.

MorePhotos new Snap system is built in html 5 “Responsive Design”. And since the new search algorithm from Google began April 21st… there has never been a better time to join MorePhotos and get your mobile friendly site up and running.

You can use this tool to check to see if your site is mobile friendly – https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/


MorePhotos back from trade show season

MorePhotos Responsive Design Website Templates

MorePhotos is back from the recent trade show season and we wanted to give an update on how it went! Even though there are shows held all year long, the ones we will touch on today are the major shows held at the beginning of the year

The first major show of the year was PPA Imaging held in Nashville February 1st-3rd. Nashville was a great place to hold the show, and the main reason I’m saying this is because the attendance was great! It turned out to be one of the best shows we have had for at least three years.

With the great turnout and amazing energy in the air, the photographers were eager to learn and seemed very excited about the coming year. The Photography business needed this show and many more like it to keep this industry alive! The negative I felt was the PPA staff seemed not helpful and unavailable. I hope they will clean up the staff situation and keep the momentum going into next year, when Imaging will be held in Atlanta January 10th-12th 2016. If you could only do one show this would be at the top of the list, with WPPI a very close second.

With all said, if you do not belong to your local PPA, DO IT NOW! No reason not to and hundreds of reasons to join!

WPPI was the second big show of the year in Las Vegas March 2nd- 4th. This was one of the best organized shows we have been to in a long time, plus they made everyone feel welcome! (Watch out PPA) The turnout was a little less than last year, though over all it was also a great show. Having a trade show in Las Vegas is always a good time, with lots of things to do and see, plus you can write it off! There were a lot of good speakers just like PPA, though WPPI puts the fun factor in. Why not take advantage of this, learn the latest techniques and get away for a few days! With the upbeat and welcoming atmosphere at this show it will only get bigger and better. We are most definitely looking forward to WPPI next year.

MorePhotos attended close to 20 regional shows from coast to coast since the first of the year. And I have to give a shout out to the Ohio PPA chapter, they are one of the most organized state groups in the country and they are growing! I will never understand why every photographer does not join their state group – This is a very BAD trend, and if it does not start to move the other way – there will be no Pro in Professional Photography. Yes these organizations can do better and be more appealing to photographers, so I challenge you to join yours and help make the changes. And because this is so important, I want to say once again, if photographers do not support their profession it will become obsolete! Look into your local PPA chapter soon and give them a try.


Why you should join Photography Organizations

Photography Organizations: Why should you join them… In my last article about the trade shows, I mentioned that I’m a big believer in joining your state photography organizations. So I thought I would explain my reasoning behind my statement.

First off, you are expected to adhere to a Code of ethics. This helps you be a better business person and keeps you up to date with changes in everything from tax code to insurance changes. These are things that if you do not keep up with it now, it could bite you later.

It makes you more social with your peers, which you can learn from, network with and share your everyday work with, from problems to successes. This is so important in so many ways and will make you a better business person and networker.

The cost of joining these organizations is so inexpensive it is almost a non-factor. One of the last state shows I attended the cost to join the organization was under $200.00. The value of what you receive automatically would cost you more than $200.00 and that is before you even walk away from the sign-up table.

It gives you and your client a peace of mind. You will have great photographers that, if something happens, can cover you on events that you cannot make for some reason. And your client will know you have great back up for their event. You can even use it to your advantage when trying to book the clients business. If you do not know these other photographers very well you might pick the wrong one to cover for you. And not to mention you want someone that is the best in that area of photography.

Hey it is a write off on your taxes so it makes it more fun. When going to national conventions to say PPA, PMA or WPPI, these shows are in the winter, and taking a trip Las Vegas to get some sunshine, have some fun and be able to bring your spouse and even staying a couple of days extra… did I mention you can write all this off on your taxes! This is a no brainer right?

And being able to walk a trade show floor to find out all about the new technology and services out there, is second to none for staying on top for your industry. So many times when I’m at my booth talking to photographers I hear that they say to me, “I did not know that existed and that would make me save so much time and money.” You never know what you will learn at trade shows, but you will learn and you will be better at what you do.

Bottom line I only see positive reasons why to join these groups, and with what they offer right off the bat you come out way ahead of the game – go join one today! MorePhotos is headed to the PPA Imaging USA Expo that begins on Sunday, February 1st, stop by and say hi!

Imaging USA photography organizations MorePhotos

 

Click to visit the Imaging USA website


Let’s Talk Photography Trade Shows

Hello everyone, Michael Connors here, CEO of MorePhotos. It is time for Photography Trade Shows to kick off a new season and that means time to get together with your peers, learn new ideas/technology and meet new people! This is the time to get energized, so let’s talk about how all of this can help you in so many ways.

First, I am a big believer in joining state photography organizations; to me it is a must for so many reasons.

There is so much information and opportunity at national and local trade shows. Starting with technology, you read about it, you may think it is cool, and that is the end of that. Then you go to a photography trade show and a speaker or peer starts to talk about how they are using this technology and in your mind you think, I saw that but had no idea I could use it that way. You also get to talk face to face with the designer who created the technology and he suggests other ways to use it. This is what makes you better at what you do and is opening your mind to endless possibilities.

Connecting with your peers can open more doors to business ideas. For example, when you are dealing with hard customers and have a colleague to call that is in the same boat as you can work wonders. Hopefully, this support group of new peers across the country can keep you motivated by sharing thoughts, new ideas, and victories.  Bottom line – be open, start conversations, ask questions and be personable. These connections are priceless.

The speakers can open a lot of possibilities to new ideas and get you motivated. Pick wisely and try to go to a few marketing seminars. Remember this is your time to shine and soak it all in, so do not overlook the opportunity, and always take lots of notes.

As vendors we support the national and/or especially local trade shows. Vendors should be treated as a wealth of knowledge, giving future growth to your company.  Vendors invest a lot of time and money to attend a photography trade show; the average for big shows is around $15,000, for the smallest space. Vendors have so much to offer so keep your mind open, and more important, trust their knowledge of the industry. When I am at these shows I try to listen to everyone, even if the product they are selling is something I think I do not need or want. By opening my mind and listening to what they say, I always benefit, even if I do not buy their product.

One important piece of advice I always give is, never ask the cost of something until you find out how much it will earn for you. If you want to cut to the chase ask the vendor, “What is the profit margin?” Then and only then will you know if it will work for you. I have been working and attending trade shows for 30 years and if the first question you ask is, “How much does it cost?” the first thing that goes through my mind is, you will never be financially successful because you are looking at price instead of opportunity. If it costs $10,000 but it makes you $30,000 it might be worth figuring out how to come up with the $10,000.

So do not be shy. Remember the wealth of information that is on the trade show floor, and don’t pass it by. This coupled with the speakers; makes photography trade shows a win-win situation.

Happy New Trade Show Season!

 

MorePhotos photography trade shows websites e-commerce photo shopping cart

MorePhotos New Trade Show Display Wall

 


Top Twelve New Years Resolutions for Professional Photographers for 2015

Professional Photographers 2015 New Years Resolution E-Commerce

2015 is Fast Approaching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Twelve New Years Resolutions for Professional Photographers for 2015

MorePhotos wants to wish everybody a happy and safe Holiday with a little motivation for the New Year. The new year is always a great time to look at last year’s goals. As the great artist that you are, it is sometimes hard to focus on business, what to do, and how to find the time accomplish our goals! So we thought we would just write a few basic business ideas down that might help photographers create a list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2015.

  1. I will not send anything out to any of my customers without a thank you and an action! (Thank you for your business, by the way we are a full portrait, senior and wedding photographers here is a coupon for a family portrait shoot, etc)
  2. I will answer my phone and if I can’t I will not procrastinate what so ever, to get them a call back.  (80% of people book the first person they talk to even if they call five companies)
  3. I will always look professional when out in public even if I’m having a bad day!
  4. I will send a Happy New Year’s card to all the top professionals in my Business (Sports send to school boards members – Wedding send to caterers, flower shops etc)
  5. I will always have my business cards on me!
  6. I will take pictures for the fun of it! (not just for work)
  7. I will frame some new images for my office!
  8. I will redo my sample Albums!
  9. I will get out more to parties and social events!
  10. I will keep a calendar for to do lists – keep me better organized
  11. I will spend more money on marketing than new equipment (company dislike spending money on marketing, though when everything goes belly up they advertise to sell their equipment)
  12. I will do more updates to my website/blog more often (the more you change it, the more the search engines will index your site and give you higher priority)

DVD, Flash Drive, Download: Delivering client image files

After you photograph the session, edit the photos, and make the sale, delivering the images is next on the to-do list. For our discussion today we will look at three options for delivering image files to your clients: DVD, flash drive, and download.

For a long while DVDs were they go to for most photographers when it came to image file delivery. DVDs are very portable and most professional labs have the ability to customize DVDs and cases with images and studio branding. Depending on the speed of your computer, DVDs will burn fairly quick, and the media will last for many years if cared for properly. Unfortunately, there are a couple of downfalls with DVDs. First, some new computers on the market no longer have DVD drives and second, there are times when the client will get a DVD home, insert it into the computer and find that the images are not accessible. At this point the photographer has to re-burn the DVD, which takes time out of the photographer’s busy day and money out of their pocket.

dvd, flash drive, downloads

The attractive metal tin with DVD above is available at www.mckennapro.com.

When it comes to image download, most online proofing/shopping cart companies, MorePhotos included, www.morephotos.com, have the ability for photographers to make available image downloads to their clients. While this option is great for smaller events such as portrait sessions, the time required to download several hundred images from a wedding or a large event, could add up for your customer.

The last few years personalized flash drives or jump drives, have become more readily available, more affordable, and can now be purchased in smaller quantities. A couple of great resources are http://photoflashdrive.com and www.pexagontech.com, they both have many different styles available, with some creative packaging. Also professional labs have jumped on the bandwagon and made these items available to photographers as well. Another great reason flash drives are so attractive, is so many devices today come with USB ports: Televisions, tablets, and even if a laptop does not have the DVD drive it will always have a USB Port .

Another thing to consider is the total size of the image files to be delivered. Single sided DVD’s are normally 4.7 GB in size, while this may hold most portrait sessions or small weddings, it can be limiting for longer weddings or large events. Flash drives on the other hand can be purchased in many different sizes. If you previously used DVD’s and are now switching to flash drives and the size of DVD’s has worked in the past, then you could be able to purchase 4 GB flash drives with no worry. The nice thing is, if you need more space, simply purchase a larger flash drive.

Once you have the image files ready to deliver to your customer, it is important to consider how you are going to present your beautiful product to them. If you are a high end studio the matching flash drives and presentation boxes might be a good option, especially if you follow through and continue your studio branding within the product delivery. If you have a smaller studio or if you’re just starting out, you could find another source for packaging. This could be done with small jewelry boxes that you could accessorize with your studio colors via tissue, ribbons and stickers with your studio logo. If you are a DYI’r this is a more affordable option while still delivering professional looking products to your client, and strengthening your brand.

dvd, flash drives, downloads   flash drives, dvds, downloadsflash drives, dvds, downloadsflash drives, dvds, downloads

The custom boxes in the first image above were created for Two Fish Weddings by www.ricestudiosupply.com, be sure to check out their great assortment of packaging options for photographers. The folding case with the flash drive is from White House Custom Color www.whcc.com. The metal tin with flash drive is from McKenna Pro Lab www.mckennapro.com. The last image is a beautiful example of putting together your own packaging.

The bottom line is, if you deliver image files to your clients, search out the options available and have fun trying to find out what will best fit your studio. And if you can try to strengthen your brand presence in the process it’s a win-win for you and your business.


Free Photoshop Template Tuesday

If it’s Tuesday, it must be time for Free Photoshop Templates by MorePhotos.

And if it’s fall it must be time for HS Seniors to hand out wallets. Your seniors will love these great wallet treatments and they are super easy to use. Simply add your image on top of the image layer in the file. To download simply click on the images at the bottom of this post to retrieve the layered PSD file. And if you want to easily change the colors of the design layer you can use the hue/saturation tool within Photoshop. If you don’t know how to use the hue/saturation tool, watching this great 15 minute tutorial we came across is a great investment of your time:

Don’t forget the new MorePhotos system will launch soon and it will include a section with free downloads for all of our MorePhotos customers to take advantage of!

Senior Border 1

Senior Border 2

Senior Border 3


Branding and Color

Branding and Color: What’s all the fuss?

You have probably heard more than once that it is important to find your “Brand.” Like it or not it’s true. Each one of us is unique and an important factor in any website and logo is taking what we like and conveying it to our viewers. By choosing a color palette for your business, you can incorporate your style into your website, logo and packaging, to create a brand for yourself.

An example of the importance of branding occurred when I was invited to a birthday party by one of my clients. When I had my portrait studio the color palette I used was apple green, chocolate brown and snow white. I delivered prints to my clients in white paper bags, that had green and brown tissue paper dancing merrily out the top of the bag. The day of the party I arrived with a print from one of the client’s sessions as a gift. I placed my gift, wrapped in my white bag with the green and brown tissue, with the gifts on the table. About 5 minutes later I heard, “Oh! I recognize that bag, Kellie must be here. I hope it is a print from one of our sessions.” My client knew I was there before she even saw me. This instance showed me how important my brand was and how I should strive to continue to expand it.

Whether you are a large company or a small studio, your image is vitally important. You may not have the ability to design your own logo or to come up with a color palette. Luckily, you can find others who specialize in these areas. One big component to creating a successful business is to recognize your weak areas and surround yourself with professionals to assist you. There may be a cost involved, but the image of your business is well worth the investment.

A great site to view color palettes and even work at creating your own is www.colrd.com

Also, here is an informative article on creating a professional looking logo http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/02/how-to-create-a-professional-logo/

Color palette examples:

Color Palette 1 copy

Color Palette 2

Color Palette 3


MorePhotos New System Feature Coming Soon

With the new system design we have made it so you can change your websites look with the seasons, to automatically turn on and off with the dates you choose…  What do you think of this cool new feature? Would you use it?