My Oct. 2012 Events: 4 sets of portfolio reviews and 2 photo marketing talks

October is my  “All photography.. All the time!” month. Last week I was in Minneapolis on the panel of Kat Dalager’s Photo Marketing Rehab: Estimating and Invoicing program. She and the art buyers provided some great information to the crowd of about 100 photographers.

This week I’m in NYC for PhotoPlusExpo, the annual photo trade show and conference held from Oct. 25-Oct 27, 2012 at the Javits Center in Manhattan.

As I do every year while attending PhotoPlus, I’m doing free portfolio reviews for ASMP members. You can find me at their booth #1259 on Thurs. Oct. 26th from 3:15-4:45pm. Currently, all of my sessions are booked up. But if you want to get a free review from me, there’s still a chance. Someone who booked could forget–especially if they’re sucked into the magnetic pull of a “bright and shiny object” i.e. a camera demo session elsewhere on the show floor. Instructions on how to snag one of those cancellation openings are posted on my Facebook page

I’m also doing portfolio reviews for the grand daddy of reviews in NYC at PhotoPlus: the Palm Springs Photo Festival/PDN review sessions on Sat. Oct 27 from 9:00-11:30 am. They’re offering 1300 reviews from various photo industry influencers. I’ve done it in the past and have always seen some great work. All my sessions are currently booked out but I may be able to add more sessions–as will other reviewers– as our PhotoPlus schedules come into focus. Check updated reviewer schedule status on their Sessions Available page

Then it’s off to Santa Fe, NM to present my newly revised and updated photography marketing talk: “Rebooting Your Business Brain 2.0.” to the ASMP NM chapter . The Santa Fe University of Art and Design has graciously provided the venue on the evening of Oct. 30th and The Workbook has generously contributed to defray travel costs. I’ll be available for private consultations while in Santa Fe (email me for more info and schedule).

Then it’s back to Minneapolis to present “Rebooting 2.0…” to the ASMP MN chapter on Nov. 14th at Orbit Studios. Kind support for this event comes from Livebooks. While I’m in Minneapolis Nov. 13-15th will be the 4th opportunity in 4 weeks for a private, one-on-one, face-to-face (how sadly rare these days!) portfolio consultation.

There is also an opportunity for a group of 3 emerging photographers to book a group session. More info is on the event web site. Email or call me if you want to book any of the sessions.

 

Is your photography vulnerable to being replaced by CGI?

First it was the auto manufacturers that took away some of the car shooters business by using CGI (computer generated imagery).

Then it was furniture makers (IKEA reports by next year 25% of its photo content will be replaced by CGI).

Now, some fashion accounts are starting to use CGI. (Those poor super models…..)

What next?

This recent article in Smart Money discuss 5 areas of photography that are vulnerable. Are you in one?

What niche of advertising photography do you think is totally immune from being replaced by CGI?

APA Midwest assembles art buyers and others for their annual Digital Portfolio Review event

Today, June 12, 2012 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm several art buyers from top Chicago ad agencies, along with yours truly, will be editing photographers portfolios at APA Midwest’s Digital Portfolio Review .

I’m looking forward to meeting some new Chicago-area commercial photographers and seeing some great images. It’s always a treat to be blown away by someone’s work who I’ve never met or heard of. Happens every time. Wonder who it will be tonight?

It’s being held at Digital Bootcamp/Portfolio Annex, 25 W. Hubbard, Chicago IL 60654.

More info about tonight’s event is on the APA Midwest’s website.

Photography career planning: the long and winding road

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. ~Lewis Carroll

Yes, it’s good to have a focused and well-thought-out career plan. It’s far better than not knowing where you want to go. However, a career plan to “become rich and famous” isn’t quite specific enough 😉

But even if you know exactly what you want (e.g. become a commercial and editorial food photographer), it’s a mistake to think that knowing where you want to go is the only road to success. Thinking that success is completely under your control (“I just have to do x, y, & z and success will happen”) can lead to major disappointment when things don’t go as planned. The map is not the territory.

It’s also an illusion that none of it is under your control (i.e.”It’s just luck; you have to be in the right place at the right time. I’ll just go with the flow.”).

In fact, it’s both…and it’s always been both.

Ask any top photographer who’s both self-reflective and honest,and you’ll hear that his or her success was made of both luck and hard work.

Good luck happens when preparedness meets opportunity. ~Author unknown

Continuing education.For the preparedness piece, no matter what point you are in your career (just entering the market; mid-career professional; or seasoned pro who just hit a fork in the road), engaging in continuing education is essential–both to improve your imaging skills and to keep current with industry changes. Apprenticing will expose you to different–and possibly better–work flow systems. Learning sales and marketing skills will definitely help support your career success.

Two big marketing trends that are getting almost incessant online buzz, are video and mobile. Both require continuing education– especially when it comes to understanding how the integration of video into a mobile can support your sales and marketing strategy.

[I could write reams on both of those subjects; in the future will point you to some educational resources I think are worth your time. Here’s one resource for those who’ve built their careers in print but see a fork in the career planning road and are now contemplating adding video to their image services mix.http://bit.ly/photogvideoguide ]

Bigger picture planning: Until the day comes when your preparation meets up with a great opportunity, there’s another important element of successful career planning to consider. Life planning.

I’ve noticed that those who’ve enjoyed long and successful careers, place a lot of importance on work/life balance. A photographer often learns too late that by going full-tilt in only one direction (i.e., focusing only on career) they are at risk of ending up burned-out and alone.

To find a balance that works for you, consider planning your photography career by working backwards. Pretend for a moment that on your last day alive, you have both the time plus the mental and emotional clarity, to reflect back on your entire life.

What events in your photo career made you feel the most proud and most fulfilled? Was it fame? Fortune? The respect of your peers? Self-respect? The income to support a family? Did you have a career path that supported your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being and allowed you time to connect with friends, family, and community?
If the latter is part of your vision, then, as Steven Covey says in his perennial best-seller “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” you need to make sure that “you put the big rocks in first.”  That means that in every daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly calendar–in addition to scheduling activities that directly relate to your work–you also put into your schedule those non-work activities that support your whole life.

Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. ~John Lennon