Choosing Your Ideal Client: Part I

Blue Illustrated Leave the Office Early Day Social Media Graphic

 

 

In business, we all want to work with the “perfect” client. Whether it’s for selling a product or specifically, a service, we want to be and deal with the best of the best.

As you know, I’ve been a photographer in business for awhile now, and in this time I have researched many different ways to reach potential clients and provide excellent service to them. In this time of research, I’ve found that I wanted a better relationship with the people that I service and want to be able to choose my ideal client.

What do you mean by choosing an ideal client? To sum it up, choosing the individual or business that you want to provide products or services to that are perfectly matched to your mission, goals and value offered in your business.

Why do I want to choose my ideal client as opposed to working with anyone? The purpose of choosing your ideal client is to help to increase the value, profitability, creativity and fulfillment in your chosen area of expertise. You essentially want to be able to work with your ideal client to have a better connection and long lasting relationship and to help produce productivity, referrals and confidence in what you provide.

In thinking about choosing your ideal client, you want to create a checklist, but before you do, you’ll need to list the characteristics that you DON’T WANT in a client and the characteristics that you DO WANT.

When creating your lists, make sure to think of the characteristics and behaviors that you don’t want your ideal client to possess and start from there. Are they close minded? Are they non-communicative? Are they demanding? Are they negative? You get where I’m going with this line of questioning right?

Now what about the clients you do want? Are they outgoing? Are they value centered as opposed to price centered? Are they confident? Are they reliable? Are they positive? In creating these lists, we can prune our clients lists or start to create an ideal client list, which will move us further into marketing to our ideal client.

Have you thought about having the perfect client or customer?

Why or why not?

 

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How To Take The Best Self Portrait|Self Portraits Tips for Bloggers

How To Take the

Best Self Portrait

Self-portraits are the one way you can express yourself that you have complete control over. Whether you’re showing off an outfit of the day, or wanting to add photos to your website, these tips on how to take the best self-portrait will help you along the way.

What type of camera should I use for my Self Portrait?

I use aNikon D5200a Nikon D3100 DSLR (previous camera) for my portraits. I have an 18-55mm kit lens, a 50mm 1.8 lens, and a 55-200mm lens. The best lens for portraits would be the 50 mm 1.8, because it gives the best bokeh (depth of field-blurred background), but the kit lens would be fine to use as well. As far as DSLRs go, I would recommend the Nikon D3100 DSLR or the Canon Rebel T3i DSLR. They are both reasonably priced and are the equivalent of each other in rank.

Point & Shoot Cameras are great as well and there are a lot of good ones to choose from. I would highly recommend any point and shoot that is above 12 MP, because of the high print quality and computer screen quality.  The Canon Power Shot SX170 IS Digital Camera or the Nikon COOLPIX L820 Digital Camera.

What type of lighting should I use for my Self Portrait?

The best way to shoot a Self Portrait is to have great lighting. I would definitely recommend shooting outdoors because the more natural the better and the light is more appealing. The best times would be during the day, preferably the golden hour (6-9 am 3-5 pm). If you can’t shoot during those times, you can shoot in the shade to avoid the direct sunlight that can wash out your picture. The image will look a lot better after you edit them if you choose to.

If you shoot indoors, that’s great! Natural light, once again, is the best option for lighting. An open window or open door can provide you with the best light. If you lack the natural light you need to take indoor portraits, you can use photography lighting. The best way is to use the 3 point lighting system. This will help you achieve beautiful lighting.

How can I shoot my Self Portrait?

You can take your Self Portrait on your own by using a tripod and setting the self-timer or use a wireless remote trigger. Make sure to shoot from different angles with different expressions. Having lots of options to choose from will help you to select the best photos from your photo shoot.

Where should I shoot my Self Portrait?

Choosing an interesting location will help make your Self Portrait  stand out. Also, make sure that the background isn’t cluttered or full of people, cars or other distracting elements. You want your self-portrait to be more about you, not the background. There are a few options to shoot your self-portrait such as parks, school campuses, and urban/city landscape. EXTRA TIP: Try not to shoot in public areas alone for safety reasons, but if you have to, shoot in well-lit, populated areas during the day.  If you can, shoot a Self Portrait on your own turf—home or apartment, do it! I’ve gotten some of my best photos in my backyard.

Lastly, show your best styled outfit for your Self Portrait and show a style you’re comfortable with. If you ever choose a style that isn’t part of your brand or preference, it will convey in your photos. Choose wisely and have fun with it! Don’t take your shoot seriously! Relax, have fun and be yourself! Your personality will shine through!

 I hope these tips helped you on how to take the best self portrait. I will go more in depth on the cameras settings that would be best used for self portraits in a future post.

Blog Post-9 

Tell Me…

Have you ever taken a self portrait? What were some of the problems you experienced, if any?

Photo Editing Course|The Essential Guide to Photoshop

Photo Editing Tips|The Essential Guide to Photoshop

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(*This post will contain affiliate links)

I’m a photographer, but I still have a lot to learn about the post-processing phase of editing my own photos. I choose to edit my own photos, as opposed to outsourcing editing services, because I have more creative control on the direction and look of the final product. Outsourcing isn’t a bad thing, but if you are looking to save money in the long run and want to learn to edit your own photos for creative control, online web courses are an excellent start to learning how to create your own beautiful photos.

I personally use, Photoshop CC 2015 and I’ve had a little under 4 year’s experience using it, but I still have a lot to learn about the usage of the different tools, effects, and actions in the editing phase. However, I have learned a lot thus far, but only because I continued my photography knowledge by utilizing my sources, which are books, videos and online courses.

If you’ve ever struggled with learning a new editing program, the editing process and curating of your photos, this online course from Craftsy will extend your knowledge on editing with Photoshop. Craftsy is an online service that offers online classes for creatives like you and me.

They are currently offering, The Essential Guide to Photoshop Course. Craftsy is offering this course to my readers for 50% off the Original Price $49,99 to $24.99.  This offer will be good from 3/20 to 3/28/16 @11:59pm MT

About the Course:

The Instructor of the course is Skott Chandler, an award-winning photographer and teacher. He has exhibited throughout the United States, France, Hong Kong and Switzerland.  He has taught Art Institute of Colorado and the Denver School of Photography.

The price is great and there is a lot to learn from taking The Essential Guide to Photoshop Course. Here’s what you’ll need: A computer, Adobe Photoshop® and Adobe Bridge®. The skill level for the course is beginner.

The Essential Guide to Photoshop Course Benefits:

“Watch classes on your own schedule: wherever, whenever you want.

Your access never expires.

100% money back guarantee.

The Essential Guide to Photoshop The Course Offers:

“14 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access

Class materials, including helpful keyboard shortcuts

Hours of close-up instruction and Answers from Skott in our virtual classroom”

 

I will be taking the course this week as well to refresh my editing skills. Share your experience and comment below on how you benefited from taking The Essential Guide to Photoshop.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I receive a percentage if you purchase through my link.  If you do, thank you for your support. Although this post contains affiliate links, all of my opinions are my own and were not persuaded by the company in anyway.

Will you be taking the course? What are you using Photoshop for?

Blogging ? Photography? Hobby?

The Essential Guide to Photoshop Course. Craftsy is offering this course to my readers for 50% off the Original Price $49,99 to $24.99.

This offer will be good from 3/20 to 3/28/16 @11:59pm

Book Review | How To Blog For Profit (Without Selling Your Soul)

Book-Review-How-To-Blog-For-Money-Without-Selling-Your-Soul

I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been approached by one of my favorite bloggers, Ruth Soukup, of Living Well Spending Less, about her first published book, How To Blog For Profit (Without Selling Your Soul). I have been following her blog for a long time and she is truly a great woman. I started following her on her sister site, Saving Well Spending Less, when I was learning all about extreme couponing. Ruth does it all as a wife, mother and business woman and I knew that her book would be worth reading.

Full Book Review

How To Blog For Profit (Without Selling Your Soul)

Online Book Description:

“Whether you’ve been blogging for years or just weeks, How to Blog For Profit offers solid guidance for writing great content, creating compelling images, capturing viral growth, and maximizing revenue. It is an invaluable tool for experienced and novice bloggers alike, explaining not only what it takes to create an authentic, successful, and profitable blog, but how to get there.”

My Thoughts

  • Ruth’s book encourages you to stay true to yourself and your passion for blogging as opposed to being money driven. You will be able to gain a lot more positive effects from this.
  • Ruth’s book also helps you to get a clear purpose for your blog and the area you can really gain profit from.
  • Ruth not only teaches you about blogging,  but also informs you about SEO optimization, organizing your website and creatives ways to build your blog and brand.
  • Overall, How To Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul) is a great read. It’s a concise, informative, and educational narrative about your future in blogging.
  • My Amazon Review of the Book

I recommend this book to anyone who is ready to expand their blog and make a profit from it

Follow the links to pay a visit to Ruth Soukup’s blog  and tell her “The Lovely Photog” sent you

 Share and Purchase Your Copy Today!

PlutoCase Product Review and Giveaway Contest

I absolute love taking photos and I love different ways I can showcase my photographs. One of the ways that I thought I would be able to showcase them was by customizing a phone case. Luckily, I know of a really cool company called PlutoCase.

I couldn’t wait to choose which pictures I would actually upload, but I wanted them to represent my photography style, as well as the things I love.

Here are the photos I chose:

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ABOUT PlutoCase

EXPERIENCE:

I have been using my PlutoCase phone cases for the past month and I have enjoyed each and every one of them. I chose to use a different case everyday to check the durability, strength, and effectiveness of these cases. The website was also very easy to navigate. Initially, the site would not allow me to enter any data in the ordering fields, but once I notified the company, they were able to fix the issue immediately.

 There was fast delivery for these my customized phone cases. They came in the mail about a week from ordering and that was only because I ordered it on a Thursday. If you place your order on a Monday, they would probably reach you by Friday, if not before. They were individually wrapped, protected. and in one piece, which I was thankful for.

I have been wearing each customized phone case on my Samsung Galax S5 and have enjoyed these cases thoroughly. I was so impressed by the PlutoCase company and how well my customized phone cases came out. They are the best I’ve seen for such a low cost.  I’ve had a few people ask  about my customized PlutoCase phone cases and I would definitely recommend them. I absolutely love how they turned out!

Here are shots of my phone cases:

PlutoCase-14PlutoCase-5PlutoCase-10

COST: $33 Retail Value

PRODUCT OPTIONS:

iPhone 4/5c/5s/5/6 cases  & Samsung Galaxy S3/S4/S5 cases

PROS:

The phone case is sturdy and durable. I have dropped my phone since using these cases a few time and have not had any cracks or breaks.

The photos that were used to customize my case, were virtually and almost perfectly the same color and quality.

The phone case was easy to place on my phone.

The phone case is slim and sleek.

Very high quality and durable.

CONS:

The phone case gloss option is a bit slippery.

If you use your phone like I do, (which is a lot), the phone will slip out of your hand quite a bit.

Although the pictures I chose to upload turned out great, you have to be careful with the sizing and coloring of the pictures you choose. There is a wrap option for “wrapping” the picture around the phone case.

The matte phone cases tend to have a darker constrast or tint to them, so choose your photo wisely.

WORTH THE PURCHASE?

Definitely worth the purchase. These phone cases are high quality at a low cost. You can’t beat that!

They are offering my readers and viewers Promo Codes

for a Free Customized PlutoCase!

Enter the Giveaway Here

There will be two winners and they will be announced on December 17th!

You will have until December 31st to use your Free Promo Code to receive your

customized phone case from PlutoCase

 *FYI-Payment information is requested at check out, but no actual purchase or payment is necessary when using a Promo Code.

Shipping is Free on Regular Purchases!

PlutoCase on Facebook

PlutoCase on Twitter

PlutoCase on Instagram

PlutoCase on Google +

PlutoCase on Pinterest

https://plutocase.com/

https://plutocase.com/about

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using PlutoCase.

Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Photography 101 Series| Part II: Understanding Your Camera Mode Settings

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Welcome to the second installment of my new

Photography 101 Series: Understanding Your Camera Mode Settings!

This is basic beginner photography knowledge and tips that can help you on your photography journey—whether you are a blogger, photographer or hobbyist.

This series will be broken down in  3 parts and the first post can be found here of the breakdown of each subject in the series.

(Just In Case You Missed It: Part I: Understanding Exposure)

So lets begin…

 

Part II: Understanding Camera Mode Settings

  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro/Close-Up
  • Sport/Action
  • Night Scene
  • Movie Mode

 

Portrait Mode- This camera mode setting is best used when you want to focus on a single subject for a close up and personal portrait. A DSLR camera will generally choose a larger aperture (small f stop number), so that the focus will be more on the foreground or subject, than the background.

Landscape Mode-This camera mode setting is best used to capture wide open spaces for photographing nature, landscape and buildings. The camera will use a smaller aperture (large f stop number) to include as much of the foreground and background possible. This will also give you a large depth of field to help capture a wide scene of your landscape.

Macro/Close Up-This camera mode setting is best used when you want to photograph something (small or large)  up close. It’s generally used to shoot flowers, insects, and other objects. The camera will give you a very narrow or small depth of field, and you may need to use your tripod in order to keep your focus on the object. The flash or a lot of natural light is beneficial when shooting in this mode, as it will help to increase the focus on your object.

Sport/Action-This camera mode setting is best used when photographing moving subjects. Best to use when photographing a game or children, this setting helps to freeze the action by increasing the  shutter speed.

Night Mode- This camera mode setting is best used for night or low light situations. The camera will use a slower shutter speed to capture more of the background settings and will also use a flash to get the foreground details. Using a tripod will also help in decreasing blur when in this mode. Blur can be used to your advantage if used in party settings, because the blurring of party lights or dance floors in the background, add a cool effect.

Movie Mode-This camera mode setting allows you to record video (picture and sound) and offers a variety of settings to do it in. 144240, 360, 640, 720, 1080 resolution settings are the most common settings depending on the type of camera you have.

Cameras come with a variety of camera mode settings. The other camera mode settings might include, Museum, Party/Indoor, Beach, Snow, Cloudy Etc . The key is to use the correct settings in the correct moment.

Tell Me…

What camera mode setting do you use the most?

Photography 101 Series| Part I: Understanding Exposure

photography-101-mastering-your-camera-settings-black

Welcome to the first week of my new

Photography 101 Series: Mastering Your Camera Settings!

This is basic beginner photography knowledge and tips that can help you on your photography journey—whether you are a blogger, photographer or hobbyist.

This series will be broken down in  3 parts and the first post can be found here of the breakdown of each subject in the series.

So lets begin…

Part I: Understanding Exposure

  • ISO
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed

 The three elements (exposure triangle), ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed help to make up the main components of exposure in your camera. Exposure meaning the amount of light measured in units that allows it to reach the electronic sensor in a digital camera.

What is ISO?

ISO measures how sensitive the camera is to light. In most cameras, ISO speeds are 100, 200, 400 and 800. These speeds can increase with the level of camera that you purchase (point and shoot vs dslr).

*Quick Tip- Lower ISO= Less Grain/Noise Higher ISO=More Grain/Noise

What is Aperture?

Aperture controls how much light enters the camera through the lens. Aperture allows you to be able to adjust the depth of field in a photo. Aperture is my favorite mode on my camera, because I love taking macro (up close) shots.  Depth of field determines how much of the subject is in focus and how much the background will be blurred.

*Quick Tip- Shallow Depth of Field= f1.4-f5.6 ( More Light+ Blurred Background) Deep Depth of Field=f8-32 ( Less Light+ Background in Focus)

What is Shutter Speed?

Shutter Speed (exposure time) is how long the light entering through the lens (aperture) exposes the sensor. The shutter speed is very important, especially when shooting moving subjects. The shutter speed completely determines the motion blur or sharpness of the subject in your picture. Shutter speeds range from 1/30-1/4000 fractures of a second.

*Quick TipSlower Shutter Speed=Slows Motion (1/30 or slower) Faster Shutter Speed=Freezes Action (1/250 or more)

So that was a quick review of understanding exposure. I hope this gives you a better understanding of learning to use the light to your advantage in photography.

I’ve also found a great infographic with all of the important information for understanding exposure.

Exposure-Guide2 Filmmaker IQSource: Filmmaker IQ

Tell Me…

What type of camera do you use?

Will you try and adjust your settings on your own now that you understand exposure?

More information on Camera Exposure here

Photography 101 Series| Mastering Your Camera Settings

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In the upcoming weeks, I will be posting my new series, Photography 101: Mastering Your Camera Settings

This series will be for new or beginner photographers who are interested in getting to know their point and shoot and dslr cameras

a little better.

I’m excited and hope that this Photography 101 series will shed some light on using your camera as a blogger, hobbyist or professional photographer.

Here are the parts to the series.

They will be linked as they are posted so that you can come back and refer to this page as an index.

Part I: Understanding Exposure

  • ISO
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed

Part II: Understanding Camera Mode Settings

  • Landscape
  • Portrait
  • Macro/Close-Up
  • Sport/Action
  • Night Scene
  • Movie Mode

Part III : Manual Mode Settings

  • Manual
  • Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Aperture Priority

 

This is just the beginning, hopefully I can have more projects and tasks to share with you guys!