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Season 1 Wrap Up - Listener Q&A's About the Season - S01 Ep12
Erica and Connor spend the entirety of todays episode answering listener's additional questions that have come up throughout this season as well as tying up other loose ends from the season.
Season 1 Listener Q&A's
Phil Roccuzzo 1) In the order of operations when setting up your business... do you need to create your business checking account first or do you create the business (llc)first?
2) Regarding insurance... is it best to form your LLC (if that’s your intention) first and then get the insurance under the company name ... OR can you get the insurance prior to forming the llc and update the name after?
3) In your experience from a marketing point of view .. does adding LLc to the name have any impact in clients hiring you ? (ie more confidence in your business... it is ‘legitimate’.. etc)
Wendy Miller Thank you Erica and Connor for a wonderful Season 1. It has been chock full of information. My question is about blogs. I would like to start one on my webpage. Do I start with current photos/events, or go back to the beginning of the year
Boden Eanes 1. As someone just starting, what’s your advice on contracts. As starting we don’t often have the client base to cover costs of lawyers fees to write one or should that just be a personal investment into ur business. General contract advice 🙂
2. When setting up a styled shoot to build/add to your portfolio, what’s the expected cost for a beginner? Personally I am willing to invest some money to get my business off the ground, which is required in some areas, but should this be something we try at the beginning or should this be something once business is up and can support the costs?
3. At what point should I set up a website? I don’t have a client base yet so I don’t know if I should try to get my portfolio built more and after I have clients set it up, or set it up right from the start, or somewhere in between?
4. If you do in person sales and not a shoot/burn style - do you still deliver digitals or are you a shoot/burn photographer who also does in person sales to deliver more product? I understand this could vary a little bit depending on wedding vs portrait photography.
Steven Morrow When starting to transition from just taking photos as a hobby, to starting the business; should I have paying clients first, a web presence, or business license? When tackling task by task what order would you rank the 3?
Nelson Tapias Advice for starting/running a “side hustle” business while you still keep your full-time job.
|Aug 14, 2018|
Managing Life as You Transition to Your Job as a Photographer - S01 Ep11
In todays episode Erica and Connor give you tips for managing life as you transition into your job as a portrait photographer.
Then, on sticking points, Connor sits down with Frank Gallagher to discuss techniques for bringing out a person’s authentic personality in their portrait.
|Aug 07, 2018|
Additional Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business - S01 Ep 10
In todays episode we talk about additional marketing strategies to help you grow your business.
Then, on sticking points, Connor sits down with Pete Lagregor to discuss ways he can convert traffic coming to his website into actual bookings.
Step 9 Developing additional marketing strategies
|Jul 31, 2018|
SEO and Building an Organic Web Presence for Your Business - S01 Ep09
In todays episode we talk about building an organic web presence to allow people to find your business on the web without you having to pay for advertising. This can be done through the channels of social media, google business/pages, and strengthened through your blogging capabilities on your website.
Then, on sticking points, Connor sits down with Ken Breivik to discuss building the confidence to fearlessly price your business where it needs to be priced for sustainable longevity.
|Jul 23, 2018|
Branding and Displaying Your Work - S01 Ep08
Branding and Displaying Your Work - S01 Ep08
In todays episode Erica and Connor talk about displaying your portfolio and tips for building the visual elements of your brand.
Then, on sticking points, Connor sits down with Michael Pugh to give him some thoughts on intentional improvement as he learns more about photography as well as giving some advice as to where his money would be best spent to help him hone his skills.
“I want people to know that my business is _______” or “I want people to know that my business doesn’t do __________.”
Client experience is also a part of your brand. Consider making videos that demonstrate what that experience looks like. Promo videos are a really cool and unique branding tool.
|Jul 17, 2018|
Tailoring Your Ideal Client Experience - S01 Ep 07
In this episode Erica and Connor discuss different considerations to make as you think through the way you would like your ideal client to move through their interactions with your business. This can range from being a high end full service photographer, or a speedy and efficient shoot and burn photographer. One way or the other, it is incredibly valuable to think of how you would like your client to interact in your business and start putting systems in to place to allow for a consistent delivery of that client experience.
On Sticking Points Connor sits down with Diarmuid O’Donovan to discuss his current issue of feeling a lack of passion going in to his fourth year as a full time wedding photographer and is looking for a way to get past his feelings of redundancy and burn out.
|Jul 10, 2018|
Setting Prices For Your Business - S01 Ep 06
In this Episode, Erica and Connor discuss the considerations to make when setting your prices for your business to allow for it to be sustainable over the long term. This is a very important consideration to make as you establish your business to ensure you don't have to go through the pain points of starting a business.
Sticking Points with Renos Erotocritou
|Jul 03, 2018|
Portfolio Building and Culling the Right Way - S01 Ep05
In this episode, Erica and Connor discuss the best practices for putting together and curating a strong and effective portfolio that will help you put your best foot forward.
|Jun 26, 2018|
Banking, Bookkeeping, and Accounting for your Photo Business - S01 Ep 04
Erica and Connor discuss the things to consider in getting your business set up with a bank account and give our recommendations for things like bookkeeping software, business lines of credit, credit cards, and accounting. Then, on Sticking Points, Connor sits down with Evan Criscuolo to discuss the finer details of being in business as a fine art photographer and why that is a path he might want to consider.
Open a bank account for the business
Not all banks are created equal
You’ll need your Federal Tax ID number to do this
Get an accountant
Studio management software like 17 Hats
Receipt maintenance: Neat
|Jun 19, 2018|
Going Legit - Establishing Your Business as a Legal Entity - S01 Ep 03
Erica and Connor Discuss how to go about getting your business established as a legal entity with the state and federal government. Then on Sticking Points, Connor sits down with Nick Skog to talk about how he can bring order to the tasks he has to take care of with his photo business and discuss ways of feeling confidence in the value of your work.
Some Helpful notes and resources
|Jun 12, 2018|
Deciding What Kind of Portrait Business You Want - S 01 Ep 02
Erica and Connor discuss the factors that go into deciding what kind of portrait business you want to start and explain the importance of bringing focus to your business.
|Jun 05, 2018|
The Steps You Should Take to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business
In this Episode, Erica and Connor Discuss The changes coming to the podcast's format before having a conversation concerning the overall steps a person interested in taking their portrait photography hobby and turning it in to a business.
General steps for turning your hobby into a business:
During sticking points, Connor sits down with Kaden from 365th Street Photography to discuss his struggle with writing blog and social media posts that speak with a voice that feels genuine without being overly repetitive along with some general tips for finding effective keywords for blogging and hash tagging.
|May 28, 2018|
Takeaways From the Create Photography Retreat (LIVE) - EP 108
In this episode, Erica and Connor discuss various takeaways they have from their time teaching at the Create Photography Retreat.
|Mar 26, 2018|
5 Ways to Improve Your Portraits in 30 Days - EP 107
Erica & Connor share their best suggestions to help you improve your portraits in the next 30 days.
|Feb 26, 2018|
GOALS! - EP 106
Erica and Connor reflect on their 2017 goals and share their goals for 2018.
Erica 2017 Reflections
Connor 2017 Reflections
Connor 2018 Goals
Erica 2018 Goals
Mark Morris First my goal from 2017 was to book more weddings... totally shot past my goal of 3, booked 8, with a lot of guidance from my mentor, Erica Coffman!! 2018... two goals: 1) offer some great workshops for photographers, and 2) expand my commercial client base. (I booked my second major corporate gig this year.).
Stephen Smith To finish my NYIP correspondence course. It's something I decided to do for fun, and it's been very educational. I'll be proud to finish.
Sarah Elizabeth I have one wholesale client right now and would love to get a couple more next year!
Aaron Taylor Pretty sure my 2017 goals were lofty. Might’ve met less than half. I’m going to give myself one goal for 2018: spend more money on education than gear.
Danette Zak To get a paying customer!!
Lori Hutchinson To just do it and quit lurking in the wings.
Josh Peterson To make enough off photography to buy the Tamron 24-70 g2. To second shoot a wedding. To shoot enough to fill my portfolio full enough to make a website.
Steven Morrow To learn the business side (contracts, llc, deductions, etc) at least half as much as I'm learning about photography itself.
1. To replace over half my salary with photography income.
2. Organize at least 3 styled shoots.
3. Make 2 photo specific trips.
4. Attend at least 5 state championship events (A lot of my income comes sports photography).
Tony Hicks To finish college, have my website complete(it will never be finished as far as I’m concerned) and a solid work flow in place among a few other things I want to be running at least a part time business in portraiture by the end of the year. Starting the year off by going to imaging in January it’s the conference put on by PPA I got accepted as one of the student volunteers this year and plan on taking as many of the marketing classes I can while I’m there among a few others as well. I’m sure I’m missing something but that’s all for now
|Dec 27, 2017|
Listener Q&A - EP 105
Erica & Connor answer questions from the Improve Photography Podcast Facebook group.
Andrea De Anda Hi Erica, I'm moving from the Central Coast to the Bay area, What tips or advice would you give a wedding photographer like me to start/transfer my business to another city ???
Justin Zaffarese How much can a professional photographer expect to earn ? I know that is a bit like asking how long a piece of string is ,but, it’s just seldom discussed. I don't ever hear pro's mentioning how much they make. Starting with you Erica haha
Sheila Salinas I see some photographers who specializes on photographing families, kids, and babies use props. What is your take on using props? Do you recommend or advise clients in outfits such as colors and patterns. If so, what are they?
Frank Gallagher Seems like every year there's a different trend in portrait styles. One year everything is shot on a stark white background. Another year, everything is high key. What do you do--change your style with every trend? Try to do a classic set-up that will last and outlive trends? Some combination of the two?
Anand Acharya Do you deliver the digitals with print release as part of the session? It is highly debated topic though. I would like to get your view on this.
Aaron Taylor How have you both changed since you first began hosting Portrait Session? How has your photography evolved? How have your businesses changed? What would you say are the one or two important things you’ve learned that you wish you knew at the beginning?
|Nov 28, 2017|
Real Talk - Strobe & Speedlight Modifiers - EP 104
Erica and Connor talk about their preferred light modifiers in a variety of photographic situations.
|Oct 24, 2017|
Pre-Production Tips for Styled Shoots - EP 103
Erica & Connor talk about their recent experiences producing styled shoots and major campaigns, and share their tips for successful shoots.
|Sep 26, 2017|
Using Video as a Form of Marketing - EP 102
Erica and Connor talk with Michael Sasser about the value of adding video as a marketing tool.
Michael Sasser is owner of Boudoir by Sasser, a popular boudoir photography company based in Los Angeles. He has been a professional photographer for 10 years and a professional videographer for 6 years. He uses the same cinematography in his portrait business as he did for weddings around the world. He currently teaches The Boudoir Video Course, a course with both PDF and over 2 hours of video content to show you how to leverage video to book more, sell more, and improve your brand.
|Aug 28, 2017|
Advice to Our Younger Photography Selves - EP 101
Connor and Erica share their advice for new portrait photographers.
|Jul 24, 2017|
Tips and Tricks for Posing Women - EP 100
Erica and Connor share their tips and tricks for posing women.
For more in depth advice for posing women, be sure to check out Erica’s training video on Improve Photography Plus!
|Jun 26, 2017|
The Biggest Mistakes Photographers Make - EP 98
Nick and Connor discuss common mistakes we see photographers make in their photography and post processing of portrait sessions.
Common mistakes we commonly see include things such as placing their light way to far from their subjects, placing their lighting to low compared to the subject, fumbling with gear and post processing blunders
|May 10, 2017|
Things to take care of before your busy season hits - EP 97
In this Episode Nick and Connor Discuss the tasks that a person should be taking care of in their slow season so they don't end up causing problems for you in the middle of your busy season.
|Apr 18, 2017|
Proper white balance and calibration - EP 96
Connor and Sandy discuss proper techniques and reasoning behind proper white balance and calibration.
|Apr 11, 2017|
PS Facebook Group Q&A - EP 95
Episode 95: Portrait Session Q&A
Erica and Connor discuss some of the questions that have been asked in the Portrait Session Facebook group recently.
Rifat Bin Sharif Hello everyone! Guys how would you manage to pose your female model on a outdoor session? I am having a lot of trouble. And as tomorrow will be my 2nd outdoor portrait session I want some tips from you guys! Help me out please.
|Mar 30, 2017|
Advertising on Facebook - EP 94
Erica talks with Sarah Evans, the woman behind the course, Social Leads, to discuss the value of Facebook advertising and some best practices associated with it.
Peter Foote Slideshows vs std ad vs actual dorky video of me? Best way to target wedding couples?
Brian Pex Does paying for the BOOST feature that they offer really work? I did it once for a test and got many likes on an image but whether that would lead to sales is still a question. Thanks
Margo Rader Best type of call to action and wording for that call
Tom Fairchild I've lived abroad for over a decade and for the last year or so have been completely on the road. In the next few months I do plan on settling down in a good sized city in the US and was wondering if Facebook Ads are a legitimate way to find new clients in a new area? My portfolio is strong (I hope!) but what would you suggest is the best way to go about finding people interested in my services as a portrait/travel/event photographer?
Use code ERICA for $50 off full course + 30 minute strategy session (education.sarahevansweddings.com)
|Mar 23, 2017|
Live at the Improve Photography Retreat - EP 93
Erica, Connor, Nick, and Jeff answer questions from Portrait Sessions at the Improve Photography Retreat. They discuss the importance of a good accountant, best practices for taxes, and much more.
|Mar 17, 2017|
Shooting headshots like a pro - EP 92
Morayo Sayles Hi Erica, I would love to discuss your take on Natural light headshots vs. flash headshots. I know Connor works in studio, but do either of you take your headshots outside? And when you do, how do you decide when you want natural lighting vs artificial lighting?
Adrian Mitchell I use seamless rolls for backgrounds (Black, Thunder Gray, and White). Sometimes I get bored with these generic backgrounds and use gels to switch things up a bit, or apply textures to the background in post. Besides gels, are there any other special tricks you use to bring life to a bland or dismal background?
Margo Rader Do you use any portable back drops for headshots? If so, which ones? Fancier Studio Pop up backdrop
Zelda Zaragoza Johns I have a potential opportunity to do a high volume shoot. Wondering how to speed through a lot of people and still get good quality.
Scott Hallock For actor headshots, should the lens be at eye level, slightly above eye level, or slightly below eye level?
Agatha Knelsen How much is too much editing? We are providing pics that directors and talent agents expect to be a fair representation of the actor. Between posing and Photoshop, where is the line between true likeness and glamour?
|Feb 24, 2017|
Defining your style - EP 91
What is a photography style?
How do I identify my own style?
How do I develop my own style?
Where can I source inspiration for my style?
What styles am I drawn to?
|Feb 03, 2017|
Connor tackles listener questions - EP 90
What is banding and how do I deal with it?
What are best practices for lifestyle photos in low light situations?
What educational resources do you recommend for advanced photographers?
What are some other uses for your portrait lenses?
What factors do you consider when choosing which lens to shoot with?
|Jan 26, 2017|
Lessons learned from 2016 - EP 88
Episode 88: Erica, Nick, and Connor talk about their most valuable lessons learned 0f 2016 and their goals for 2017. Be sure to join us in the Portrait Session Facebook group to share your goals and lessons learned!
Creative goal: I want to shoot at least 1 ad Campaign for a major company
Business Goal: To get my business to a level that allows for a sustainable long term growth/ To sell out all of the workshops Sandy and I are putting together.
Creative goal: Create epic multiple exposures on a regular basis.
Business goal: Book at least 5 more weddings at my highest collection.
Creative goal: Find my own style, and try to have my work stand apart from everyone else.
Business goal: Get streamlined, simplified, and organized. Made great steps in that direction in 2016, now it’s time to tie up loose ends.
|Dec 28, 2016|
Growing your business - EP 86
We all love small portrait sessions: Families, seniors, headshots
Benefits to this kind of session:
Drawbacks to this kind of session:
Another option that can be used to bring in larger amounts of income with comparatively little time investment: Step and repeat Portrait Booths at events
How it is done:
How to get clients of this sort:
|Dec 07, 2016|
10 things to do to improve your portraits - EP 84
|Nov 15, 2016|
Q&A with Connor & Nick - EP 83
-All about off camera flash portraits: what modifiers to use, how to balance flash and ambient light, how to backlight, etc.?
-How do I build my portfolio to portray high end opportunities?
-Which website builder should I use for my new website?
-How do you prepare for a photo shoot?
|Nov 07, 2016|
Listener Q&A with Erica & Connor - EP 82
Jesse Park What is your favorite Lens setup for shooting outdoor portraits?
Andrew Block Two questions, I do a lot of volunteer photography in my kids classrooms. I use a magspheer and point it to the ceiling generally (or bounce on a wall). But, these are class rooms with ugly lighting so there are kids with nice white, and then background with a lovely yellowish tint. How do you handle? CTO? Second flash in a corner (seems kind of impossible)? Second question, do you guys ever do family sessions with little kids (10 and under) and use flash photography other than on camera fill light?
Aaron Taylor I struggle charging an additional fee for my clients to buy the full gallery. I may promise 20 images, but I'll always have 50 or so that are worth giving. I just can't bring myself to say, "For $75 more, you can have them all." I think about myself as a client. I'd want all of the good photos. And I think about my clients' photos. What am I going to do with the extra 30 photos if they don't buy the whole gallery? They're just going to sit on a hard drive. That's nothing to me but could be more great memories for the clients. Plus it just feels like a gotcha. It makes me uneasy, too much like a car salesman ("Sure the base model will get you places, but an extra $500 will get you two more cup holders!") and less like a human. Thoughts on this dilemma?
Adrian Mitchell I shoot a ton of Senior Portraits, and I'm trying to find a consistent and fair number of images to supply to my clients. My contract says at least 20, but I I usually deliver between 20-30. For my higher paying clients (more time involved), I end up around 40-50, but I find myself eating up a lot of time processing my images. Furthermore, do any of you time yourselves when editing, so you’re not spending so much time. I often perform some extensive retouching to eyes, skin, and hair. I'm OCD and want my image to look perfect for my clients. Maybe I should charge more for this, but the client doesn't know what goes on behind closed doors, to warrant the extra charge; they just know that they look good. Sorry, my question turned into like 3 questions.
Janice Bryan Excluding your nifty fifty, what is your favorite prime lens?
Debra Gomez Do either of use a 50 mm 1.8 lens for portraits ?
Nick Page Has anyone figured out Facebook's new algorithms? I've noticed a huge drop in the number of likes and comments on my photos this past month. Does Facebook suck or do I? LOL
|Oct 25, 2016|
Nick and Connor live in Maui - EP 81
-What gear do we travel with?
-What bags do we use?
-How do we book sessions in other locations?
-How to use island weather to your advantage when photographing.
|Oct 18, 2016|