Author Archive

Predictions for 2016 and Beyond

Posted: January 8th, 2016

[by Kat Dalager] Now, more than ever, photographers need to be thinking about content rather than just photography. “Content” includes still and moving images, sound and words. There will be less distinction between channels such as “print” or “digital.” Take Live Portrait for example. Like QR codes and other virtual reality apps, it provides an [...]

As Ye Social, Social Ye Reap

Posted: November 17th, 2015

[by Kat Dalager] Social media is playing an increasingly large role in marketing, especially with the younger generations that are now your client base. The various platforms provide many opportunities to showcase your work. Here’s the interesting part: The idea that every touch point is an opportunity to toot your own horn is still the [...]

50 Shades of Grey

Posted: October 15th, 2015

[by Kat Dalager] The world is definitely a-changin’. For the most part, gone are high usage fees, gone are a lot of restrictions on usage. Right now, it’s a buyer’s market, and that’s due to many factors, including: Everyone is a Photographer. Anyone with a cell phone and Instagram is a photographer. While we know [...]

What the Market Will Bear

Posted: October 2nd, 2015

[by Kat Dalager] It’s essential to agree to all terms prior to clicking the shutter. There’s nothing worse than having to clear up misunderstandings during or after a shoot. Misunderstandings may not only taint an otherwise great shoot relationship-wise, they can also delay payment. If the project specifications you receive do not clearly outline what [...]

Less is More

Posted: August 21st, 2015

[by Kat Dalager] Scheduling a Portfolio Review In-person reviews seem to be fewer and further between. If you can get an in-person review, consider it pure gold. Whether by email, LinkedIn or by phone, be concise in your messaging. If you’re sending an email or LinkedIn request, you should be descriptive in your subject line: [...]

Not Too Many Cooks

Posted: July 14th, 2015

[by Kat Dalager] It’s possible that you may be working with an art producer that works for your client. What does this person do that’s different than what the producer you hire does? Why would you need to hire a producer? Do you really need both? In very simplified and general terms: The photographer’s producer [...]

What Your Client Needs to Hear

Posted: June 5th, 2015

[by Kat Dalager] I don’t believe it’s possible to convince a potential client that they need something unless they’re already one foot down the path. If someone believes that they can get the photos they need with their smudged up cell phone, then you have to ask yourself if this is someone you want to [...]

Love It or Leave It

Posted: May 12th, 2015

[by Kat Dalager] Just when you think you can sit back and enjoy the ride, reality smacks you in the head. You have to decide if you are a participant or a spectator. Make your website your first priority. While I love looking at a physical book, I haven’t called it one in years, tablet [...]

Casting Counts

Posted: March 9th, 2015

[by Kat Dalager] Whether you’re testing or shooting an assignment, the talent and stylists you choose can make or break a shoot. Be Objective Not all people that look good in person actually look good on camera. Study the talent of successful photographers who are known to do it well. “Real people” talent may be [...]

Dead End Negotiations or A Two-Way Street?

Posted: February 27th, 2015

[by Kat Dalager] Just last week I sent out project specifications to three photographers. I outlined the project and included a target budget. Of those three photographers, two came back with estimates and the third flat-out declined to participate due to the limited budget. Was I offended that the third photographer didn’t even send me [...]

Own It and CYI

Posted: November 6th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] When things go wrong – and despite your best efforts, they sometimes will – here are two things you can do to make it right. Own it When something goes wrong, don’t blame your assistant, your producer or your dog. The photographer is ultimately responsible for everything that happens before, during and [...]

Giving Good Blog

Posted: October 24th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] Okay, I’m going to name names: Chris Buck gives great blog. His posts are witty and fun and they make me want to read the whole thing. His stories are interesting and his photos help tell the story. Sure, not everyone will be able to blog about a shoot with comedian Steve [...]

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours

Posted: August 13th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] Note: There are always exceptions, so all statements below are “generally speaking.” If you’re ready to reconsider the “Show Me Yours” method of pricing, here are a few first steps: Determine What the Market Will Bear by Understanding Your Market The larger the client, the more they’re used to paying. Small, local [...]

It’s Not a Blast

Posted: August 8th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] Shotgun approaches to finding potential clients are less effective and more costly than targeting promotions to specific audiences. Step 1: Tune In Identify clients who would be appropriate for the work you do, whether it’s matching style, subject matter, and/or genre. Research what advertisers are doing through the key marketing vehicles they [...]

It’s What You Say AND How You Say It

Posted: July 25th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] It is true that most interpersonal conflicts arise out of a lack of communication and understanding, both of which lead to intolerance. Understanding the other’s point of view is critical to resolving issues, whether they’re with clients or with co-workers. Tip 1: Phrase things from the perspective of what it means to [...]

Not Unlike Parenting

Posted: April 15th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] Managing a team is about practicing a philosophy as much as it is about performing a function. As a manager, ask yourself if you are setting people up to succeed rather than setting them up to fail. The most effective managers provide their teams with the environment, the guidance and the opportunities [...]

Survival of the Fittest

Posted: March 25th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] The best business advice I can give photographers at this point in the industry can be captured in one word: Adapt. Universal shifts that are taking place throughout the industry are making adaptation one of the most essential skills to success – or just to survival. Work has become project-based rather than [...]

Look Before You Leap

Posted: February 4th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] First of all, congratulations on getting an appointment to show your book in person. More often than not, buyers are viewing books online as websites or customized pdfs rather than physical portfolios or iPads. But that’s an entirely different article. Let’s presume you are going to meet with a real, live person. [...]

When You’ve Lost a Bid

Posted: January 28th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] What happens after a photographer is selected can be a mystery to those waiting to hear about a decision. If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t hear a peep after providing an estimate, please read on… No One Wants to be the Bad Guy One of the most difficult things for art [...]

It’s Personal

Posted: January 17th, 2014

Editor’s note: I was a young photographer just starting to break into advertising work when I first met Kat Dalager.  She had recently left the Martin Agency and agreed to spend a day teaching me, my partner and our studio manager how the world of high-end advertising really worked.  From estimates and pricing to producing [...]