Photo Marketing seminar: Jan.17, 2017 in Atlanta

CHANGES: Soon it will be January.

January…The time of new beginnings.

The 45th President will be inaugurated on January 20th. The United States of America will embark on a whole new chapter of its history. I don’t yet know how this big change will play out–or how it will affect my life. To relieve any anxiety about the future, I always focus on the present moment. The present moment is where the things I can control exist–such as my attitude and my marketing efforts. Gratitude and strategic planning are helpful.

MARKETING SEMINAR:  I’m grateful to have been asked by the Atlanta Southeast chapter of the ASMP to present the updated and revised version of my photography marketing seminar, “Rebooting Your Business Brain” in Atlanta, GA on January 17, 2017.

I’ll be sharing strategic marketing tips on how to keep your business moving forward– even when you feel discouraged, upset, or confused.

The venue event is at SCAD which allows SCAD’s photography students to attend.

Visit the ASMP chapter’s web site  to register and to learn more about the event.

PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS: As usual, I’ll be available to meet privately with photographers while I’m in town. To book a consulting session with me to get your personalized photo marketing strategy, content feedback, and editing of your work, just shoot me an email with “Atlanta session” as the email’s Subject line.

There are early-bird discounts available for those who book a session in advance of my arrival.

Start the new year by focusing on your marketing. It’s something you can control. And improve by applying the right strategies. How our lives will be affected by the country’s larger change will be revealed soon enough…

Minneapolis Portfolio Review event on April 29, 2016

On Friday April 29, 2016  I will once again be doing portfolio reviews at the third annual 612 Review-The Portfolio Review event which is being put on by the ASMP Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter.

I’ll be joining a team of Midwest-based art directors, art buyers, reps and others who’ll be reviewing photographers’ portfolios in 20-minute segments from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m at the same venue as last year’s event: the Minneapolis Community and Technical College in downtown Minneapolis.

The list of this year’s reviewers and their biographies can be found here.

Both year’s previous event were super well-attended and many photographers made many new business connections.

Register HERE on the ASMP MSP’s chapter web site.

Hope to see you there!

Carolyn Potts doing a portfolio review

Mindfulness and Virtual Reality: two of my fave trends

Anyone who’s been following me on my Facebook page, knows I’m a big fan of meditation. As filmmaker and long-time Transcendental Meditation advocate, David Lynch says, meditation is a great practice for all artists as it helps you focus and contributes greatly to one dropping down into the source of one’s personal well of creativity. I’m all for that.

I recently heard Terry Gross do a great interview on Fresh Air with author Jo Marchant about her latest book, Cure:A Journey Into The Science of Mind Over Body  It’s fascinating stuff on how our brains work and can be brought under control –something useful for anyone who’s stressed on regular basis.

The recent post-CES media buzz about virtual reality finally going mainstream, is something I’ve been watching for about 10 years. I think there are amazing opportunities for both healing and artistic expression. So watch this space as I’m going to be posting more about VR soon.

Photography Portfolio Review Event on May 1st in Minneapolis

On May 1st, 2015  I will once again be doing portfolio reviews at the 2nd annual 612 Review-The Portfolio Review event put on by the ASMP Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter. I’ll be joining a team of Midwest-based art directors, art buyers, reps and others who’ll be reviewing photographers portfolios in 20-minute segments from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Last year’s event was super well-attended and many photographers made great new business connections.

This year’s event will be held in downtown Minneapolis at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College .

Sign-up information is available on the ASMP Minnesota chapter web site.

The last day to register is April 27th.

I’m presenting my photo marketing talk and all-new workshop in Houston.

Next week I head to Texas. I’ve been invited by the Houston chapter of the ASMP to present a seminar, workshop, and private consulting sessions in Houston, TX  Jan. 29-Jan. 31st, 2015.

I’ll be presenting a newly-revised and updated version of my popular “ReBooting Your Business Brain 2.0.” This photo marketing and photo business talk will be held at TexCam in Houston.

But I’m also presenting an all-new photo marketing/photo business workshop that will be limited to just 10 participants. The workshop registration has been brisk; so I recommend to not delay in registering.

Both the seminar and the workshops will focus on the business of photography and what photographers need to do to attract new clients in the 21st century.  I’ve presented the talk at various other photo trade organizations over the last 6 years and am always updating it to reflect the fast-moving world of photo marketing.  But this will be my first half-day workshop which will go deeper into the materials presented in the evening seminar.

More information and registration links are on the ASMP Houston site. Go here.

NOTE: The remaining early-bird discount pricing for any private consulting sessions while I’m in Houston, will expire Jan 27th. 

You’ve got to know what it cost to run your photo business.

You’ve got to know what it cost to run your photo business if you want to be around more than a year or two. The economic reality of running any small business must be faced. You have to have a pricing structure based on what all of your business costs are– or sooner or later, you will be the one who puts yourself out of business. Not your “cheap clients.”

Photographers often are told their bids for a shoot are too high and they lose a bid to someone “cheaper.” You didn’t lose the bid because of your estimate. Your real failure was a failure of eduction. It’s likely that you failed to educate both yourself–and subsequently your clients– about what it really costs a pro photographer to keep the doors open. Yes, it hurts to be underbid. But that doesn’t have to happen as often. When you have built a relationship with your client and they have some sense of why you’re charging what you’re charging they’re not as likely to automatically go with the lowest bid.  In this case, ignorance is never bliss.

I read a great article today on PetaPixel. It’s one that I recommend to all emerging photographers (and some old pros as well!).  It was penned by photographer, Tom Meyer, who lives in Decatur, GA. It was originally published on his own blog. It’s worth reading.

Here’s an excerpt.

 There are hundreds of students graduating every day as “photographers” who can under bid me for a year… maybe two. But eventually these realities also become unavoidable to them, at which time they become real estate agents or go back to being baristas… or they start billing at that “job killer” rate of $100 per hour.

Tomorrow is the inaugural portfolio review day at Chicago Creative Review

I will be one of the portfolio reviewers participating at the inaugural day of the Chicago Creative Review event.

I will be joining 9 Chicago ad agency art buyers, 12 art directors/creative directors, 2 photo editors, and 9 photo reps at the studio of the late Steve Grubman at 456 N Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60642

All sessions with all reviewers are completely sold out as of today, but there will be another event in the Spring of 2015.

A portion of the proceeds of the event will benefit the Off the Street Club.

I’m looking forward to seeing some great local talent.

The next batch of portfolio reviews I’m doing will be at PhotoPlusExpo in NYC at the end of October for the Palm Springs Photo Fest’s Portfolio Reviews.

Sign up deadline for those sessions with dozens of photography influencers is fast approaching.

Next up: NYC Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2014 for PhotoPlus Expo and to do Portfolio reviews at PSPF

Once again I’m heading to NYC at the end of October to attend PhotoPlus Expo , the huge photography trade show and conference being held, as usual, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. PPE is a great place to connect with friends and colleagues you may only know “virtually.” In an ever-increasing digital world, face-to-face meetings are precious and wonderful. I am looking forward to meeting up with many photographers––both old friends and new–some of whom I know online and on the phone, but who I’ve not yet met in person.

For the fourth year in a row I will be doing portfolio reviews for The Palm Springs Photo Festival , alongside dozens of art buyers, photo editors, gallery directors, book publishers and other photo industry professionals. This is an ideal opportunity for photographers to get a valuable and potentially career-changing advice from industry insiders.

The reviewers’ schedules will be listed here. Slots sell out quickly .

I won’t be doing free reviews at the ASMP booth at PPE this year as I’ve done for the past 8 years. But I will be available for a limited number of free, private review sessions for ASMP members who are on my mailing list and/or who I may have reviewed previously in the ASMP booth. Details will be sent to my mailing list in late Sept./early October.

If you want to know my availability at PPE for a free session and you’re not already on my mailing list, you can join here.

I’m heading to California next week to see two great photo exhibitions in LA and then do portfolio reviews at The Palm Springs Photo Fest

Next week I’m headed to Los Angeles to attend the 2nd annual Paris Photo LA fine art photo exhibition which is being held April 25-27th.  I was amazed last year at its inaugural exhibition at the depth and breadth of the work shown. Can’t wait to go again. Once again, it’s being held at the same great venue:  Paramount Studios on Melrose.

Concurrent with Paris Photo LA there’s another and brand new fine art photo exhibition: Photo Independent. This show will feature photographers not currently represented by galleries; the current exhibitor list is filled primarily with California-based artists. The exhibition is being held nearby at Raleigh Studios.

I’ll be curious to see how the quality of the work compares at the two shows. The number of people inhabiting the professional photography universe has exploded exponentially in every direction– both those seeking commercial and editorial assignments and those seeking to be exhibited. I’m very curious to see what percentage of work will be truly inspirational and move the fine art photography world forward.

After my full weekend of seeing great fine art photography, I head directly to Palm Springs to once again be one of the PSPF faculty doing portfolio reviews at the 9th annual Palm Springs Photo Fest. Both fine art and commercial photographers attend the PSPF as the reviewers are from both worlds of photography.

PSPF always has a great list of seminars, workshops and portfolio reviewers. This year is no exception. It’s not too late to register for the portfolio review program.

How to “impress the judges” at a face-to-face photography portfolio review.

[This article originally appeared as one of my regular contributions to the ASMP’s Strictly Business blog. ]

Carolyn Potts doing a portfolio review

And now…. you are live!”

Ever feel like your in-person portfolio presentation is a bit like being a contestant on American Idol?

Whether you’re “performing” at a one-on-one portfolio presentation or at a portfolio review event (where you’ve signed up for a series of 20-min. with multiple reviewers), to cement that contact and land that dream assignment, here are some ways to improve your odds of getting serious attention and even score that gig.

Prepare. Google is your best friend. Doing your research provides clues about what content the reviewer might need from you. If you’re seeing multiple people in a day, have more than one presentation (or an easy-to-edit one) so you can tailor each presentation with the most relevant work up front.

The portfolio should open with your strongest and most relevant image. Close with the second strongest. Remember, some people start from the back when they flip through a printed portfolio. The middle should flow well and reinforce your main vision.

Connect .Try to see someone beyond their role as the keeper-of-the- assignment-purchase-order. Be interested in them. Make eye contact. Give a good hand shake. Relax. Breathe. If you’re a bit nervous, be honest. It’s ok to be real. Most relate more to honesty than bravado.

Let them drive. How fast they flip through the book is NOT an indicator of interest or disinterest in the work. Remember, the reviewer has probably seen thousands of portfolios. Thousands.

Absorb deeply. If a reviewer makes a suggestion, consider it seriously. If more than one reviewer says the same thing, DO IT!!!

If you’re getting the vibe they like your work, then ask them about their follow-up  preferences as to frequency and format. Some like printed pieces. Some like to save trees and prefer only emails. Some have no preference. Before you leave the event, record their preference in your contacts database and then do what they say.

Reviewers like talented photographers who do their homework, are relevant, connect, and have a sense of the buyer’s needs. If it’s really going well, ask if they’ve a colleague who might also be interested. If they say yes, ask if you can use their name as a reference. Reviewers usually like referring photographers who have all those qualities. They won’t, if you don’t.

Bottom line: The time you spend together, once it’s over, is gone forever and neither of you can ever get those minutes back. Spend your minutes wisely and remember to thank them for their time investment.