Blog

Archive for November 2016

5 Ways For Professional Photographers to Expand During the Slow Season

5 Ways For Professional Photographers to Expand During the Slow Season

Photography is sometimes a fair-weather business — outdoor portrait photographers often see few clients in the snow, brides tend to keep wedding photographers busiest during the summer, and families often schedule their pictures in time to print Christmas cards. Often, the slow season is a welcome time to take a minute to breathe after the heyday of weeks packed with sessions. But, once you’ve caught your breath, the slow season can also be a time to put the camera down and start thinking business strategy. Here are five ways for photographers to expand during the slow season.

Reconsider your pricing.

Just how busy was your busy season? If you are booking every available slot in your industry’s busiest season, you may want to consider a price increase. Many busy photographers stay busy — or at least earn the same amount of money in less time — even as they increase their prices to reflect their growing skills. Busy season not so busy? It may be time to reconsider your prices or consider broadening the scope of what your business offers.

Launch an early booking special.

Encourage clients to meet with you during your slowest weeks by offering a booking special in your least busiest months. Wedding photographers, for example, could throw in free prints or a discount for brides that book during the slow winter months. Besides helping to avoid scheduling meets with future clients between shots in the busy season, those early deposits may be helpful financially during the slow months too.

Update your portfolio.

Now that you’re through the flurry of sessions, take some time to update your portfolio with your very best shots. Photography is a continuous learning process, so naturally, you should continue to update your portfolio with your best work as your skills expand.

Write and schedule blog posts in advance.

The busy season often leaves little time for things like blogging or planning marketing projects. Get some breathing room by doing these projects in the slowest months — and then scheduling them for later. Most blogging and social media platforms allow users to schedule posts well in advance. While of course you can’t share photos from recent shoots until after the actual shoot, generating some how-to’s and helpful tips for clients that aren’t time sensitive can help strengthen your online presence without the stress of tackling the same tasks in the busiest months.

Re-design your marketing materials — or add helpful client guides.

Just like clothing trends, graphic design tends to go in and out of style. How dated does your website look? What about your business cards? If you’re happy with the way your current brand publications look, consider expanding those documents in a way that’s helpful to clients. Wedding photographers can design their own checklist for brides. Portrait photographers can craft a “what to wear” or “what to expect” packet to ward off potential snafus before they happen. Adding an FAQ section to an existing website can often save photographers time by not repeating the most common client questions.

Photographers often deserve a chance to put their feet up and take a break after the stress of their busiest season. But, the slow season can also be a great time for photographers to look for new ways to improve by digging into business strategy and looking for new ways to expand.

5 tips for selecting the perfect wedding photographer

5 tips for selecting the perfect wedding photographer

After the wedding, the cake will be gone, the decorations tucked away and the dress in storage — but the photos from that day will likely grace the walls of your home for decades. Choosing a wedding photographer is an important step to ensuring that those memories are just as vivid as you remember them. So how do you choose a wedding photographer that will create the best memories of your big day? Here are five tips on choosing a wedding photographer.

Identify your favorite photography style.

The industry is filled with good wedding photographers — but as an art, wedding photography is also filled with lots of personal preferences. The key is to find a wedding photographer with a style that complements your own tastes. For example, do you prefer the traditional posed images looking at the camera, candid shots, dramatic images or a mix? When looking for a wedding photographer, choose one with a consistent style across their portfolio that speaks to your own individual tastes. Try searching for lifestyle wedding photographers if you prefer candids, or add that “traditional” in the search term if you’re looking for a photographer with a more formal approach.

View entire wedding albums — not just the portfolio.

A photographer’s portfolio is made up of all their best shots from across dozens of different weddings — their best getting ready photos, their best posed photos and their best reception photos. A good way to determine if the photographer’s skill set matches what you are looking for is to view an album (or two) all from the same wedding, so you’re not looking at the best of the best but what they are capable of shooting in a single day. If the images from start to finish get you excited, you’ve likely found a good photographer.

Meet potential photographers in person.

The photographer is often the vendor that couples are with the longest — from getting ready to the reception, the photographer is there through most moments. While choosing a photographer with good work is important, don’t overlook personality either. Find a photographer you’ll feel comfortable sharing the better part of your wedding day with. Along with helping you to avoid stiff expressions in your photos, it will also make your day even more enjoyable.

Do a trial run with an engagement shoot.

Thinking of getting engagements done? It’s a good idea to hire the same photographer. Not only does this serve as a trial run to help you determine if the photographer is the right fit, but it also helps the photographer. By heading to the wedding day after already working with you during the engagement shoot, the photographer knows what style images you like best and what poses work best for the two of you well before the big day.

Discuss the fine print and photo rights.

Wedding photography contracts can be long and confusing. Discuss all the details so you know exactly what you are getting. A few good questions to ask are:

  • Can I share the images online?
  • Do we receive digital copies or prints?
  • If we receive digital copies, does that include the reprint rights?
  • How long does it take to receive the finished photos?

The photographs from your wedding day are one of the few things that last beyond the big day — which makes choosing a wedding photographer an important part of the planning process. Find the photographer that fits your style by identifying a style, previewing albums, meeting in person, scheduling engagements, and discussing the contract details.

5 Things to Consider Before Offering Customers Free Wi-Fi

5 Things to Consider Before Offering Customers Free Wi-Fi

From emails to the weather, more everyday tasks are beginning to rely on internet connectivity — but does offering free wi-fi to customers help or hurt businesses? Is free internet a customer perk or a financial drain? While many businesses offer free wi-fi for customers, following the crowd isn’t right for every type of business out there — so what do small business owners need to consider before jumping on the free wi-fi bandwagon?

Long waits become less of a problem.

Free wi-fi is becoming standard in businesses where a wait time is expected — and for good reason. Customers are less likely to complain about wait times when they have something to occupy that free time. Offering free wi-fi allows customers to stream music and videos that might otherwise eat up too much of their data plan without a connection. By giving customers something to occupy their time as they wait for their food, their photo order or for their medical exam, the wait feels like less of an issue.

Free customer wi-fi can pose security risks for your business’ data.

The technically savvy can use free wi-fi to hack into the rest of your business’ computers — if they are not protected anyways. Free wi-fi hotspots open up some security vulnerabilities, so a DIY set-up isn’t recommended unless you know your way around firewalls. Your company’s data can still be protected by using a separate router and setting up extra cyber security measures, but businesses need to consider those costs.

The cost of wi-fi has considerable variation.

Some businesses say free wi-fi is a cheap way to attract more customers, while others say there’s significant cost to adding that perk. For that added security, businesses will need an extra router — but that’s often a low $50 one-time expense. Expanding the business’ bandwidth may also be necessary. If that free wi-fi is slow and won’t load the latest Netflix binge, customers may actually complain more about their wait than without the promise of wi-fi enabled entertainment. Be sure to also factor in potential technical help costs when the wi-fi isn’t working right — or choose a provider that offers free technical support for business customers.

Wi-fi hotspots can connect with customers.

Free wi-fi doesn’t necessarily mean the business doesn’t get anything out of it. Some internet companies will help small businesses set up a log-in process that allows them to gain insight into their customers. Requiring a few quick questions can offer valuable insight into what customers are looking for. Setting up a free user log-in on the hotspot can also help businesses track repeat customers’ habits. Some internet companies will also help set up a program that gives wi-fi users a coupon to encourage repeat visits.

Free wi-fi attracts different customers.

While many businesses add wi-fi and continue to bring in the same type of customers, some may notice a difference in their clientele. Most smartphone users have a data network that will easily let them check their email or social media feeds without a wi-fi connection. Free wi-fi is more of a perk for the coffee-shop freelancers looking for a place to get a few hours of work done, as well as more data-hungry users looking to download or stream larger files. For some businesses, free wi-fi brings in more customers, while others say the free connectivity just encourages customers to take up a table for several hours after only ordering an inexpensive drink — a reason some businesses place a time limit on their free wi-fi.

For most businesses, free wi-fi helps bring in more customers and reduces complaints from current customers. But, free wi-fi isn’t without added risks, including increased costs and potential security risks.

Could a Trump Presidency Influence Australia’s Economy? Experts Weigh In

Could a Trump Presidency Influence Australia’s Economy? Experts Weigh In

American presidential candidate Donald Trump’s odd bluffs, offending Tweets and extreme ideas may be better suited for reality TV, but the Republican presidential candidate is actually showing quite a bit of support in polls. While the candidate has many cringing at his ideas like forcing Mexico to pay for a wall, many favor the celebrity’s willingness to speak his mind, no matter who he offends. But what would a Trump presidency mean for Australia and Australian businesses? Recently, experts weighed in on what Trump’s policies could mean for Australia.

While the latest polls show Democratic candidate and former first lady Hillary Clinton with a 45.6 percent lead to Trump’s 41.7, many never thought the celebrity and businessman would make it this far. If a Trump presidency does indeed turn into reality — and the often-shifting politician doesn’t change his stance — some experts say that his comments towards China could have a negative impact on Australia’s economy.

University of Sydney United States Study Center lecturer David Smith told news.com.au that a Trump presidency could have a negative impact on Australia’s economy by creating a trade war. Trump’s talk of a 45 percent tax on Chinese imports could put Australia in the awkward position of choosing sides between two of their biggest trade partners.

Dr. Adam Lockyer, a Macquarie University security expert, agreed. “As soon as we’re forced to make a choice [between the US and China], we loose,” he told the news outlet. “The guiding principle of Australian foreign policy is ‘Don’t choose between the US and China.’ Doing so will either affect our security or our economy — or both.”

While the talked-of China tax could have a significant impact on Australia’s economy, his anti-immigration comments could also encourage similar movements from existing groups opposed to immigration in Australia. “What Australia and the world urgently need is compassionate but decisive leadership that is able to manage the mass humanitarian problem with financial and cultural sensitivity,” writes Deakin University’s Benjamin Isakhan and Zim Nwokora.

Other experts don’t think a Trump presidency would be quite so drastic on life on the opposite side of the globe. Tanya Plibersek pointed out that Trump’s comments may be no different than Prime Minister John Howard’s comments prior to President Barack Obama’s election. “I think our relationship has withstood many years and would withstand a Trump presidency as well,” she told news.com.au.

Others are taking comfort in the fact that Trump is rather inconsistent — even if he is elected, his previous statements suggest he could change his stance on several issues, including the ones that would have a direct impact on Australia.  Until the election actually happens on Nov. 8, the discussion over how the candidate could affect Australia’s economy, security and policies is just theory.

What do you think — how would a Trump presidency affect Australia? Let us know in the comments!