Get Out There And Be Awesome

Are you a photographer struggling to attract more clients? If the answer is yes, Look no further. These tips below will help you grow your business.
1. Dont just sit there, Get up and look for the clients.If you are not willing to network and sell your service to people, you will loose potential income. To become a successful photographer you will need to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
You dont have to be a professional sales person. All you need is passion and drive for what you do. Love your work and people will do the same.
When you meet new people, tell them about the experience they would get from working with you. Paint a picture in their minds on how it will make them feel. Talk about what makes your product or service unique. Explain the benefits of your product or service.
In the same way, explain to them the process of working with you.

2. Explore different ways you can promote yourself. Dont be scared to explore different platforms. Make use of both traditional and digital marketing strategies.
Everyday make it a priority to write down different ideas on ways you can promote yourself. Make sure to use this list everyday and cross out ideas that are not actionable.

3. Traffic is keyA beautiful website does not guarantee any traffic. The problem is most photographers put in a lot of effort into creating a beautiful website when they should be trying to drive more traffic to their site. The more visitors you have to your site, the higher the chances of maximizing your sales.
Learn the different SEO techniques or you can hire an SEO expert to help you. The time and money you invest determines the result you will get.
Also, it is important that your website is mobile friendly or else google will down rank it.

4. Work with other business owners in your areaCollaborate and network with different business owners in your area. Dont be greedy when networking, support others in your network and they would be willing to do the same for you.
think of places where you can find potential clients like coffee shops, spas, hairdresser and so on. Meet with the owners and ask if you can promote your product or service.
In the same way, you can design a beautiful postcard or flyer and hand it out to people you meet. You can include discount offers or other promotional techniques you feel is appropriate.

If you dont have a newsletter you should get one. In the meantime, you can collaborate with other business owners that have newsletters. Offer to do a portrait session for them or you send them some beautiful pictures and then have the owner of the business recommend you in their newsletter. In like manner, you can decorate a local shop, restaurant, café with your photographs and then give them your business card so they can distribute to their customers who need your service.
Alternatively, you can organize a get together with other business owners. You can organize events that give you the opportunity to promote your services. For example, if you photograph new born babies, create an event for mothers to come and hear you talk about infant photography. This is a fun way to promote your product or services to people while educating them at the same time.

5. Get a mentor. A good mentoring relationship can give you a competitive advantage. It is important that you have a mentor that can help you succeed, especially at the early stages of your carreer.

 

www.andrewfoordphotography.com

Apple Watch

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I’ve been rocking the Apple Watch for about a week now and i’ve never felt more trendy. This is the must have item in wearable technology, however, i’m giving it up. The Apple Watch can send and receive calls, respond to text messages and even works as an iPod (with bluetooth headphones). The battery life is excellent for my use, but for those who want to wear the watch while they sleep, you’ll need to find an hour or 2 to charge everyday. The Apple Watch is very easy to use and after a few minutes you’ll be customising your watch in no time.

Now to the big question you’re all asking, “Why are you getting rid of it?”

I’m getting rid of it because it does TOO much! If Apple made a watch that in addition to displaying the time and date, simply made and received calls i’d be happy, but Apple added features like text messaging, fitness tracking and siri. And I want MORE!!! I’ve become conditioned to want and need MORE!!! I want the watch to be independent of the iPhone, I want Apple to include a bluetooth headset. I want Safari and Youtube and Facebook, oh my! Wifi and Google and Laser Beams… As you can see I want more.

Apple Watch is awesome! But I want more… It’s the way of the world now a days. Instead of focusing on what it does, i’m constantly thinking of what it doesn’t do. I wish the iWatch simply displayed time and could send and receive calls. But knowing that it can do SO MUCH MORE… I want that… I want it to do more.

http://www.andrewfoordphotography.com

New Year, New Gear

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

With the new year brings new gear… specifically new gear for my 4 year old son, Johnny. I… I mean Santa, went out and found this awesome blue Kidizoom camera by VTech, which can be purchased here. If you read the specs you see that this beast is a WHOPPING 1.3 megapixels that can be reduced to .3 should you desire. It has built in memory, but I opted to insert a 16 gig microSD card, purely for comedic effect!

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new camera!

I took to the streets of NYC with my friend and model Cheyenne Lutek because lets face it, if you walk around with a toy camera anywhere else in the world you will get lots of strange looks, but not in NYC.

Below are a few shots from Johnny’s camera taken on the streets of NYC in broad daylight! All retouching was done in Alienskin Exposure 7 using the Wet Plate Destroyed filter.

The first 2 photos I had Cheyenne stand behind a plastic sheet which we found on the street. The buildings you see are a reflection on the plastic NOT a double exposure.

 

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http://www.andrewfoordphotography.com

New Studio & Camera System!

I must apologize to my followers for not posting soon, but I’ve been busy promoting my new photo studio http://www.thephotocoop.com and also testing my new medium format camera system. Below are a few images from recent shoots in my new studio with my new camera system: Mamiya 645 AFD III , Mamiya Dm22 Digital Back.

 

 

http://www.andrewfoordphotography.com

Breaking Through!

What’s the best thing to do when you get photographer’s block? Shoot something! Recruit friends, family, bring the dog, bribe your neighbors, order a pizza and kidnap the delivery person, whatever it takes. Get out there and start clicking.

This is exactly what I did for this series. First I blackmailed begged a model friend of mine to pose for me, then I put a post on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to throw water on a model and learn something about photography. I didn’t specify the gender of the model–I thought it might help get more responses. I got 3 responses on Facebook, and my team was complete.

The Location and Lighting Set-up

If you’re like me, you have a 2000 sq ft. studio with roof access, an indoor pool, and lots-and-lots of big windows–I WISH! In reality, I usually shoot in my garage even though its tough to set up lights around the garage door opener. Sometimes i’ll shoot on location in a public place. For this shoot, my location couldn’t have been easier, or more budget friendly, I used the street in front of my house.

For lighting I used 2 strobes with reflectors and grids, both were high up on stands to ensure the water wouldn’t reach them. Always err on the side of safety then mixing water and electricity. The strobes were placed on either side of the model, the main aimed slightly in front and the other slightly behind. I set them both to pop at full power.

Next, I metered the light. I use a meter religiously. Proper procedure is to put the light meter underneath the model’s chin and aim it at the light, not the lens. My shutter speed was set to 1/125 with 100 ISO. The meter gave me an aperture of 5.6. I repeated the above steps for the 2nd strobe to confirm the results. Setup time, including running extension cords, setting up the lights, and metering took about 20 minutes.

The Fun Part

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DANG IT!

With my camera settings in place I was ready to shoot. By this time, I’m getting excited. Now I finally get to play photographer. I had two water throwers stand opposite each other next to the light stands. When I counted to three, I had them sling the water at the victim.

My camera settings were spot on, the lighting looked great, but my timing was off. This happens more than I’d like to admit, but it’s something that everyone has done before. Don’t panic. My ‘keepers’ rule of thumb is for every 100 photos I take, I want to get about 10 keepers. Out of the keepers, I’m happy with one shot that makes me say “Wow.”

Retouching

Below are two of my choice photos of the set. Yes!–one of them is out of focus. Was it intentional? Absolutely not, but I am drawn to it, and that’s all that matters. Don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion when it comes to your creativity. You’re the artist, your opinion is the only one that matters on personal projects. When you’re working for a client, their opinion trumps your own.

After I selected my favorite photos–9 out of the 50–the retouching portion was very straight forward. I did some minor sharpening and added a color cast with Exposure. I used the preset Kodachrome – Cyan Shift, one of my favorites. I completed the shots by cropping the photos to 5×7 and square.

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Conclusion

When photographer’s block hits, just like it does to everyone, try something new. Give a new lighting setup a try, you’re welcome to use what I did. Grab a couple of buddies and have your own water splash shoot. Dust your camera off and shoot something, anything! Get friends and family involved, but most importantly have fun.

http://www.andrewfoordphotography.com

Christmas Day photo tips and tricks for new photographers

Here are a few tips to capture great Christmas day photos.

 

The Family Portrait:  Now Christmas morning is an exciting time, but also can be very hectic and stressful. Kids are ready to dive into their presents, hair is out of place and who has time to put on makeup?

So here is my first tip, take the shot the night before! Its very easy to stage and the kids will be very excited about what’s to come!

Now before calling the family in, set your camera on a tripod of stable shelf and take some test shots. Set your cameras timer, if possible set the camera to take multiple shots and frame the shot. Once you’re happy with the results, then call the family in. Having everything set up before hand will make the shoot run smoothly!

 

Christmas Morning: If you’re anything like me, you are going to be wiped out! Last thing you want to is worry about camera settings, so let the camera do it for you. My suggestion is to set your camera to “P” mode (program). Your camera still does most of the thinking, but you have some control over certain things, like ISO. What I would do is set your ISO to a high number (i.e. 1000). I personally like my shutter speed to reach 1/125th of a second. Last thing, set your camera to continuous shooting.

 

Using the built in flash: The built in flash is very harsh, but you can use it if you know how. If you need to add some light to the scene make sure you change the output of the built in flash. Go to the menu and find flash control, once in there, find built-in flash settings. Once you click on that you will see something called Exposure Compensation. Using this setting you can manually control the output of your flash. Dial the exposure way down to 1/8th or 1/16th and take a test shot. I guarantee this will make your photos look a lot better compared to the full output of the flash.

 

Using a hot shoe flash: Using an external flash can add drama and direction to your light and make your Christmas morning photos look awesome! Something that every professional photographer does is bounce the light off of the ceiling! This will create very soft directional light, and you will not blow out your subjects!

 

I hope you enjoy these quick and easy tips. Merry Christmas!!!