Sunday, January 13, 2013

Modern in Denver | iPhoneography

Modern in Denver magazine blows me away -- consistently -- like no other publication out there. Seriously. Quality of content, graphic design, editorial choices. Love. It.

What a thrill it was when publisher William Logan asked me to contribute a series of iPhone photos to a feature to include iPhoneography of local designers, architects and other Denver creatives.

Deciding on a single theme to contribute was a fulfilling exercise. My iPhone gets FAR more use as a camera than as a phone, so I have no shortage of image collections -- all still growing! Finally I decided on this set, my most consistent muse being uniquely beautiful Colorado light -- in this case in the city. Even in my days as an architect, I was always in fascinated with natural light and how it plays on design elements. Having a phone always on me with which to document fleeting reflections, shadows and other beautiful light-drawn design keeps my senses constantly on alert.

So here's the final collection -- now in print! (the photos below of the magazine captured, of course, via iPhone).  Always exciting to see work in print -- but there's something really special about being able to share these intimate glimpses captured without any final goal in mind other than pure aesthetic whimsy.

As always, even the layout of the feature is beautiful!

Check out the Winter 2013 issue, on stands now (above). Someday I'll have to try that portrait above with a real camera -- captured brilliantly by my son at a local coffee shop. 

Below are of some of the original photos.  iPhoneography has absolutely enhanced my experience of enjoying a spontaneous walk in the city.  And in many cases, these simple captures have even inspired future more official and planned photo shoots. What a fabulous creative tool!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Photography Studio | Top 10 Tips for Success

With a desire to start the year with a positive outlook, Sandy Puc just began a great discussion thread on LinkedIn asking people to think about the Top 10 things they believe contribute to a successful photography studio.  

I love taking the first week of January to revisit goals for my photography business, and so was inspired to take a moment to reflect on my overall strategies for success. In no particular order, here are my Top 10 (ok 12) things I have observed over the years which motivate me every day.  Some I live with confidence.  Others I am still working to make wholly mine. What would YOU add?

1. THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE: Make booking, scheduling, delivering, and of course, shooting the photo session a memorable and fun experience.  Inspire referral business through existing clients.
2. SMILE: Yes, you. Genuinely. Smile!! On the job ... and at the proverbial coffee shop (can’t even count how many clients I’ve earned with this philosophy).
3. INSPIRATION / EDUCATION: keep reading, networking, attending seminars and workshops, and staying abreast of current trends, and try new things based on what inspires you.
4. GOALS / LISTS: keep both business and personal, and self-impose deadlines for non client driven ones. If you keep pushing back a deadline, ask yourself if the item should really be on the list (if so: do it! If not, remove it or put it on a separate back-burner list).
5. MARKETING: Schedule regular activity and think outside the box to market yourself creatively (in print, in person and via social media) Your website should reflect your personality. And especially when you’re starting out, don’t show every photo, show only your BEST photos!
6. COMFORT ZONE: Push it! Often! Shoot new material.  I love to use my phone camera to shoot personal projects even on days when I'm not shooting for clients.
7. PRICING: Review cost of business and package pricing annually and always communicate clearly and confidently with clients (unless you happen to love negotiating -- which I decidedly do NOT -- printed materials with pricing menus help tremendously).
8. MONEY: Fall in love with the business side of what you do. This is still my biggest challenge. I had to finally design myself a beautiful system of spreadsheets b/c the available software systems were all too dry for me. May sound silly, but it works for me. Find what works for you.
9. CONTRACTS: Know and continually update your contracts to stay on top of constantly changing on-line world (especially if you work with digital files and licensing). Educate your clients about copyright laws, and gently educate clients that they are investing in your talent, creativity, instinct and vision, NOT paper and ink.
10. GRATITUDE: Be grateful for the fact that you get to do what you love for a living! Remind yourself of this simple and amazing fact when times are tough.
11. ACCEPT CHANGE! Don’t attach to old ways of doing things and don’t be afraid of learning new tricks. Let go of fear, take chances, dive in...
12. TAKE DANCE BREAKS. Often. Crazy ones. They are immeasurably good for the spirit. Not to mention sore, over-worked eyeballs.