Happy 4th July!

 

Family on 4th July

Whether it’s grilling out in the park, on the beach, or catching the fireworks, there’s something for everyone to see and do on 4th July.

If you’re at home, check out your local fireworks displays and if you’ve got a trip planned, don’t forget to find out what happens there too. You might find something you’ve never seen before.

Benjamin  Frankin said: “ Time is Money”.

PortraitPro Studio Max batch processing can save you time on your portrait editing this weekend, leaving you more time to spend with your family.

Enjoy the sunshine and the savings! Download a free trial today.

 

Motivation with Goals, Support, attitude

Motivation for photographers

We’ve talked about the importance of goal setting, and goal setting goes very well with motivation.

Goals tell you where you’re going, and working towards achieving them keeps you motivated.

But what is motivation and how is it important to a photographer and their business?

Motivation is the forces that cause a person to behave in a particular way or move in a particular direction.

Motivation is important to a professional photographer because if you’re in the situation of working for yourself, which many are, then you are your own motivator. If something doesn’t go so well, you have to have the inner drive to keep going despite any setbacks.

If you’re running your own business and employing more staff than just yourself, then you may find it useful in the workplace to consider a variety of motivational theories for instance, Herzberg’s two factor theory, which is an extension of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. These theories help us understand what helps people to stay motivated, or why they do what they do.

Staying motivated is important to people working in creative businesses. If you’re working alone, you have to have a great amount of self-esteem in order to keep promoting yourself. You are your product, your creativity is your unique selling point, and you have to believe in yourself so you can sell your work at a fair market value.  As Pedro Aguilar  told us last year, it’s important to also spend some time working on your own creative work, doing things not just for clients, but for yourself, and you’ll often find that you’ll get a commission based on something of your own work that captures the attention of a new client.

Keeping your ideas fresh when you’re working on your own initiative can be a challenge to anyone working for themselves. In a creative business it’s particularly important.

The Support team at Anthropics is here to help you keep your software up to date, and help you learn new skills with your software.

Want to learn something new with PortraitPro? Check back here!

Check out the blog on Smart Photo Editor for new ideas on getting more out of your photo editing software.

Don’t forget to share ideas with other PortraitPro users on our Facebook page too.

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5 Networking Tips (That Will Improve Your Photography)

Whether you’re running a successful business or simply starting out in photography, good networking skills are crucial in helping you grow and improve.

Here are 5 of our favorite tips for better networking that will also help you become a better photographer.

Take the Initiative

It can be nerve-wracking to put yourself out there but whether it’s deciding to go to your first networking event, striking up a conversation once you’re there, asking a stranger if you can photograph them or capturing the decisive moment, taking the initiative is the first step to success.

Remember, you fail at 100% of the things you never try!

Ask Questions

Instead of worrying about being interesting, be interested. Asking people about themselves, and being interested in their replies, is a great way to put people at ease.

You may also learn that they have a skill or connection that will allow you to work together in a mutually beneficial way.

When photographing clients, asking them about themselves will help them to relax and open up in front of the camera, helping you create more natural portraits. This can be particularly useful when working with children.

Be Generous

Instead of wondering what someone can do for you, think about what you could do for them. It’s better to be remembered as someone who was willing to help, rather than someone who was out for themselves.

Helping someone out might open you up to unexpected opportunities or give you a skill that you were lacking before.

When taking street portraits, you should offer to send your subject the final image. Not only might you gain a new client, but the knowledge that someone will see the images will encourage you to do your best.

Carry Business Cards (and have a great website) 

It’s important that new contacts can find you, and your work, quickly and easily. Have a great, clear business card that drives people to your website.

Your website should showcase only the best of your work, which means learning to critically view your own portfolio. Take a step back and really look at your photographs from a client perspective.

Look for images which don’t deliver and consider how you could improve next time.

Follow Up. 

When you make a new contact, be sure to follow up with an email soon after. This will stop your business card lying forgotten in their desk forever. Let them know that you enjoyed meeting them and suggest opportunities for further discussion.

Similarly, when working on personal projects be sure to review your images soon after a shoot. It’s easy to back up your images and forget about them in the bustle of everyday life but there may be something really great in there that you missed the first time.

Do you have a great networking tip? Share it on our Facebook page.

 

Photographing Street Art

Noticing the details is what street photography is about; capturing the essence of a place, or a person, to really give an insight in to the soul.

One of the often overlooked details in a place is the street art. So often graffiti is unsightly but it’s becoming a more recognized art form, and artist’s works such as Banksy (if they can be removed,) are selling for hundreds of thousands.

Many cities have specially designated places for street art and murals. One place that has a good street art project is the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia.

Street art, South Street Philly

Street art on the corner of 6th and South Streets, Philadelphia.

An image search for Mural Arts Philadelphia will find many, many more images like this.

South Street Philadelphia is particularly famous for its art. It’s off the beaten track, away from the tourist spots and the historical landmarks that Philly is known for; but for those in the know, South Street is a great place to capture the essence of the City of Brotherly Love.

As with any city, do your research before you go. Check out any particular points of interest and make a list of things you want to find, and then you can be more focused in your wanderings.

In San Francisco it’s Clarion Alley, and in London, you want to check out the East End, Shoreditch, Hoxton and Brick Lane, although Camden and Soho are also known for their street art too.

There is street art in every city, but some cities have really embraced providing legal space for the artists. Whatever kind of art you produce, whether it’s photography, paintings, paintings on walls, we’ve all got an opinion to express, and photographing the work can help its message to be transported even further.

Check out our Pinterest Board for more Street Art around the world.

If you’re photographing in a large city, it’s often hard to capture the image without people in the photo. You might want to keep those people in your images; they are all part of the urban landscape.  You can use your portrait editing software to ensure that these people look their natural best.

Smart Photo Editor can give you some great effects to really enhance your images.

Download a free trial of PortraitPro here, and Smart Photo Editor here.

Summer with a camera

50 Ideas for Summer Photo Challenge

If a 365 day photo challenge seems too much, how about a project just for the summer?

Taking on a project can help to stimulate your creativity.  Just as having a business goal can keep you focused on where you want to get to with your business, having a goal for your creativity can keep you focused on being creative; helping you to think outside the box.

Check out our 50 ideas for summer photos:

  1. Ice cream
  2. Fireworks
  3. A full moon
  4. Colorful flowers
  5. A picnic
  6. Childhood friends
  7. Daydreaming
  8. On the beach
  9. At the park
  10. Grilling out
  11. Chilling out
  12. Fun in the sun
  13. Cool drinks
  14. Sunglasses and sun lotion
  15. A June wedding
  16. 4th July
  17. August vacation
  18. Labor Day
  19. Museum visit
  20. A silhouette
  21. Pets enjoying the sun
  22. Summer sports games
  23. Sunrise
  24. Black and white
  25. Something red
  26. After dark
  27. A special occasion
  28. Making waves
  29. Something that flies
  30. My favorite food
  31. Close-up
  32. A new friend
  33. Things that grow
  34. A treasured moment
  35. My favorite place
  36. Something tiny
  37. Laughter
  38. Shadows
  39. All dressed up
  40. Something exotic
  41. Movement
  42. Words
  43. A low angle
  44. Curves
  45. Leading lines
  46. On the street
  47. A kiss
  48. A self-portrait
  49. Reflections
  50. Happiness

Don’t forget to use PortraitPro on your people photos, and why not try out Smart Photo Editor for everything else?

Now why not share the results with us on our Facebook page?

Check out our Pinterest pages for more inspiration.

Download your free trial of PortraitPro here.

 

Goal Setting for Photographers

It’s important to write down your goals, and keep them somewhere you can look back on them regularly to see if you’re going in the right direction.

There is a suggestion that those who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. 

Focus on the positive, focus on the things that you do want, rather than the things you don’t want. There’s also a suggestion that thinking about the things that you don’t want to happen, will send you there anyway.

What do you want to achieve with your business?  Do you want to be the leading high school photographer in the area?  Which area? How do you define your success terms?

Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Time Bound

Setting goals should be SMART.

There are many definitions to this acronym, but a good one to use here would be:

Specific – Make your goals specific; you need to know what it is that you are going to achieve.

Measurable – Have a method by which you will measure your success. It doesn’t have to be sales turnover, but it could be. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal?

Agreed – Agreeing it with your business partner will make sure you’re both on the same page, but if you’re your own boss, then writing it down will keep you focused too.

Realistic – You can’t offer all things to all people, so don’t stretch yourself too thin. It’s better to have smaller goals and achieve them, and set a new one, than to never reach something because it’s too ambitious.

Time Bound– Have a time frame in which to work. It’s also better to have set a goal and almost have got there by the deadline, than to have a deadline that’s so far away that you can put it off forever.

Taking action now is the key to successful goal setting. Knowing where you want to go is important as it gives you an idea of where you might begin to take action to get there.

If you want to increase your sales revenue as a portrait photographer, then one of the ways you might be able to achieve this is to spend less time in Photoshop. PortraitPro can help you spend less time in Photoshop by automatically retouching your portrait photographs. Having more time will mean that you can book more clients in the same working time, and generate more sales revenue from a wider customer base.

Take action now; download a free trial of PortraitPro today!

Tree of Business plan items

Business Plans for Photographers

 

It’s important to occasionally take the time to refocus on your business, remembering why you do what you do. Writing a business plan can be a useful way to keep you on track. Having it written down gives you something to refer back to; to remind yourself where you wanted to be and reassess if necessary.

A business plan is a necessary requirement if you’re ever applying for a business loan. If you want to expand your business, purchase new equipment or new premises, then you may want to apply for a business loan. You should have a clear idea of what the extra expenditure will help you to achieve, and how long it will take to make it profitable. You’ll also need to take into account the cost of the loan, the interest charged on the loan, and this will be an additional business expense for the duration of the loan.

Business plans for your own purposes should contain the following items;

  • Executive summary – A brief description of the items contained in the document, a summary of the overall findings.
  • Business Description – a detailed description of the business, the services offered.
  • Competitive Analysis – a detailed and honest appraisal of the competition, which might be local, but shouldn’t forget the bigger picture and the availability of services online.
  • Operations and Management – the way the business will operate, who will be responsible for what tasks, and who will manage the business. This may all be you, but it’s useful to remind yourself exactly what you will need to do.
  • Products and Services – the products and service that you offer. Be focused about this, you can’t be all things to all people, and you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin. You will also find this useful in defining yourself and your unique place in the market.
  • Sales and Marketing – Where you will make your sales, how much you will charge for your services and products. You should also give some thought to a marketing plan specifically to detail what marketing activities you are going to do to support your business.
  • Financial Factors – where your finance will come from initially, how your revenue from sales will cover your expenses, premises, materials and most importantly, salaries; take in to account how much you need to pay yourself to live, and how much you can afford to pay any employees.
  • Appendix – Should contain relevant resumes, permits, and leases necessary for the business to operate.

If a loan provider requires additional information, they should inform you of what they require.

It’s in your own interests to be as honest as you can with your assessments. If you make an accurate assessment of your competition, then you will have a good idea of what will set you apart from the competition, and see what will give you your edge.

You also need to make an accurate assessment of how much revenue you will need to make in order to cover your business expenses, so you know what salary you can pay yourself, which should hopefully cover your living expenses. Hiring additional employees will increase your expenses, but may help you take on more clients and generate more revenue

One of the ways you can save yourself time and money, is to invest in portrait editing software that will greatly speed up your photo editing time, and leave you time to do all the other activities that you need to do to run your business. PortraitPro can automate the process and give you creative control over the whole editing process.

Get your free trial today and see how much time you can save.

Tourists taking pictures in Washington D.C.

Memorial Day Weekend

It’s the start of summer, so it’s a perfect time to have a cook out.  The great weather, and the extra day off means there’s time for some fun-filled family activities and you definitely want to be able to join in.

Whether it’s the chance to grill out and get some pictures of the kids, shop the sales for a new digital camera or lens; there’s something for every photographer this Memorial Day weekend.

If you’re a professional studio portrait photographer, you know that portrait editing software can greatly speed up your editing time. No more taking hours in Photoshop; you can batch process your images, leaving you plenty of time to grill out, or just chill out this weekend.

If you want to find something to photograph this weekend, why not check out a parade or a wreath-laying in your town, or one nearby?  If you live close to or need somewhere to get away to, why not try a weekend break in Chicago to see the parade, or Washington DC to visit the variety of memorials and the parade, or Philadelphia for the history of American Independence?

The long weekend means you’ve got a bit more time to spend on your photo editing software, but you’ll get some great images for the family scrapbook.  The weather’s finally getting better, and with the longer evenings, there’s a later chance to catch the golden hour.

Capture some great memories this weekend, and have spare time to do some photo editing. Make your people look great with PortraitPro, and then why not try out some photo editing effects with Smart Photo Editor?

Check out our Pinterest boards for some photography ideas this weekend.

Tell us about your weekend on Facebook and Twitter.

Graduation Image Screenshot in PortraitPro

Graduation Class of 2015

It’s finally here. Graduation time is just around the corner, and whether your child is graduating high school or college, you’ll want to capture some memories that will last a lifetime.

For a time that is an important landmark in anyone’s life, you want to have the best images that you can.  You can hire a professional photographer to capture some images, and you can also take some yourself.

ProtraitPro 12 Studio has a batch processing dialog that speeds up the processing of multiple images, meaning that you’re free to take as many photos as you like and the editing won’t keep you busy until Labor Day!

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to use professional-standard photography software, and PortraitPro is affordable too. Your own images can have that professional-quality to them, with relatively small time and effort cost.

You don’t need to be highly skilled in Photoshop, even those with very basic computer skills can use PortraitPro. With its easy –to-use and intuitive interface, even grandparents will be able to take lots of photos and do their own photo editing.

If you’ve got a DSLR camera and you take images in RAW format, you can edit them in PortraitPro Studio.  PortraitPro Studio edition functions as a plugin to Photoshop, Aperture, and Lightroom, so if you use these in your photo editing process, then you can still benefit from the speed and ease of using PortraitPro as a plugin to your other photography software.

Download the PortraitPro Studio free trial today, and put your mind at rest that your images will be ones that will last a lifetime.

Photographer on mountainside

Making an income from selling photography – Microstock

There are far more places to make money than just keeping a travel blog, you can make money from many sources, such as offering images and articles to other websites, perhaps even some news outlets.

Microstock sites can offer a good source of income too. Each image might only make you a small revenue, but if you build up a good portfolio of images, then you may find that your images generate you a useful source of regular income.  One tip on making money from these sites would be to think about a particular type of customer, and what type of image they might like to use on their advertising. Make sure that you are submitting good quality, clear images.  Ensure that you make it clear how much editing has been done to your image.

If you’ve done a lot of work in Photoshop, then the image has cost you more in time and effort than just a quality image, unretouched, straight out of the camera. If you really want to produce great, natural-looking but retouched portrait images, then PortraitPro Studio can save you lots of time and effort.

If however, you’ve uploaded a great, completely unretouched image, then it’s also worth stating it, so the art buyer knows what they’re purchasing.

As a photographer, you probably never go far without your camera, but if you’re trying to sell your images, keep your eyes open and your camera ready, to be able to catch interesting and unusual things as they might happen. You never know when you might find yourself in the right place at the right time. Anything from wildlife to celebrity spotting can find its market and the right microstock site can help you make an income from your images.

There are a lot of different microstock sites around, so do your research and find one that best suits your needs and your style.   They don’t all require exclusivity, so it’s possible to use more than one site to ensure you get the best return for your work.

It’s also much better to make sure you get a model release as this increases the ways you can sell your work through microstock sites. If it’s not model released, you’ll have to market it as “Editorial Only”, and this can mean that you won’t make as much money from the sales as you would from model released materials.

As the world of News has changed towards Breaking News and using social media more and more, it becomes even more important to use social media accounts as a means of being contacted.  For instance if you post images of a news event, and they’re seen by a news outlet, they may contact you to ask permission to use your images.

When trying to make money from your photography, it’s worth keeping an open mind on the methods that might find you paid work.  When you’re travelling away from home, it’s important to earn enough to keep you safe and fed, so having that open minded approach can help.

PortraitPro is affordable and easy to use; it’s an essential part of your photography tools kit, but it won’t break the budget.  Try it for free today.