Author Archive

Client Onboarding

Posted: April 6th, 2016

[by Luke Copping] You’re in your office working, you have your music on, and you’re just getting into that flow state where you really start to ramp up your productivity. You’re wrapping up post-production, taking care of billing, and it seems like things are just falling into place for you today. And then the phone [...]

Writing Is Like Eating

Posted: February 22nd, 2016

[by Luke Copping] I’m not a fan of Soylent – the light on flavor beige goo that’s all the rage amongst fitness nuts, post humanists, and optimization-obsessed executives. It’s supposedly a nutritionally complete liquid food that can replace all of your meals. It’s easy to digest, cheap, gives you everything you need to get through the [...]

A Letter From the Future

Posted: May 11th, 2015

[by Luke Copping] If I could go back and give advice to 20 year old me – graduating from photo school, full of potential, and prior to a major dose of burnout – this is what I would tell him. (It’s what I would tell any student graduating today, too.) 1. Register your copyrights – [...]

The Qualities of a Team

Posted: May 5th, 2015

[by Luke Copping] What do you want in a team member? Are you looking for a subordinate? A yes-man who will follow you right off a cliff? A collaborator who works in partnership with you? Do you want to build a brigade of interchangeable cogs or a squad of specialists? Here is what I look [...]

The Worth of Words

Posted: April 29th, 2015

First published on April 29, 2013, Luke Copping’s post on the value of honing your writing skills holds as true today as it did 2 years ago. ~JH [By Luke Copping] Few people are better acquainted with the trite but true idiom that “a picture is worth a thousand words” than photographers are. Our native [...]

Fail Hard

Posted: April 13th, 2015

[by Luke Copping] Beginning the search for your unique vision can be both a terrifying and exciting time. Exciting because you are at a point of pure potentiality – there are no expectations or pre-existing forms being imposed on your creativity. You have a rare opportunity to be completely disruptive to your own status quo [...]

Don’t Let the Average Make You Average

Posted: January 20th, 2015

[by Luke Copping] Analytics are a great tool – they can be illustrative of trends and provide needed data that can help you in your decision making process – but some of us can go a little too far with it, taking their stats and metrics as gospel, but ultimately missing the point of what [...]

The New Right in Front of You

Posted: September 26th, 2014

[by Luke Copping] My girlfriend was always bugging me to take pictures of our dogs. Not just in the backyard running around on my iPhone, but well lit, posed, and formal portraits of our mastiff and our two great danes. I don’t really photograph animals, but when your significant other asks you enough you eventually [...]

Your Audience’s Audience

Posted: August 6th, 2014

[by Luke Copping] The quality of your audience is all to often underestimated when compared to the size of your audience. False metrics in social media and marketing tracking have shifted focus away from results and onto mass. On the next project that you need to build a unique audience for try to steer your [...]

Worth a Second Look: How Attractive Can You Be?

Posted: July 30th, 2014

[by Luke Copping] This is a post that I have come back to a lot over the last few years (like many of Colleen’s writings). In a time where so many photographers are needlessly expending energy trying to be all things to all people and putting faith in misleading social media metrics rather than real [...]

Take Off the Training Wheels

Posted: May 28th, 2014

[by Luke Copping] If you love every single photo you take you are either the world’s best photographer or the world’s most boring one. Without error there is no impetus to improve, and if you can’t improve or find a flaw in your own work it may be time to move onto other challenges in [...]

Self-Publishing Doesn’t Mean You Have To Do It Alone

Posted: May 13th, 2014

[by Luke Copping] In the last year I’ve self published two small projects. One: A magazine that served mainly as a promotional giveaway for clients that I ended up producing through MagCloud. The second was a 32 page newspaper that included both images as well as interviews and articles with artisans and entrepreneurs in the [...]

The First Thing to Remember

Posted: May 7th, 2014

[by Luke Copping] I can show you how to set up lights. I can show you how to tether a camera. I can teach you a million things about working with a subject and managing a crew. What I can’t teach you however, is how to not have a shitty attitude when you come on [...]

Want to Get Better at Something? Practice. Want to Get Better at Practicing? Implement a Process.

Posted: May 2nd, 2014

[by Luke Copping] Some people run from lighting, while others run headlong into learning it – trying a bit of everything and experimenting with this technique or that. They might find one approach that works for the majority of their work. Maybe it’s big beautiful soft lights up close, maybe they like the drama of [...]

Everything at my Fingertips

Posted: April 3rd, 2014

[by Luke Copping] I’m slowly starting to merge with my iPad in a weird sort of involuntary Tetsuo: the Iron Man homage – we are become one.  Sometimes, it’s hard to tell where the technology ends and I start. This is mainly because of Evernote. Rather than focus on the fun visual tools that mobile [...]

Looking Down the Road

Posted: February 12th, 2014

[by Luke Copping] Planning for the cyclical nature of this business can be harrowing. There are good months and lean months and careful planning is needed to manage both your personal and professional finances the ensure that your savings and cash-flow remain manageable when business gets slow. For a lot of photographers this type of [...]

Put It All On The Table

Posted: December 9th, 2013

[by Luke Copping] Lets get a few things out of the way first: Never work without a contract Get a deposit up front. Always get it in writing Never let your client’s policies override your own. If it’s too good to be true it probably is. We’ve heard these all before – too many times, [...]

Leave the Metrics at Home

Posted: November 13th, 2013

[by Luke Copping] I’m on vacation right now, and one of the promises I made myself was that I wasn’t going to give one single moment of time over to checking my social media or blog metrics while I was traveling and visiting family. SEO and Social media continue to become bigger and bigger buzzwords [...]

Use Your Words

Posted: August 28th, 2013

[by Luke Copping] Some of the most poorly planned and written e-mails that I have ever received were penned by fellow photographers. There, I said it. From blunt, single sentence messages asking for assisting positions to long-winded industry rants fueled by rage and devoid of punctuation. These messages can be frightful cocktails of bad narrative, [...]

What I Wish I Knew Then…

Posted: August 16th, 2013

[by Luke Copping] When this question came up as a part of this blogging assignment I was really excited. It seemed like a perfect chance to write about many of the topics that I often feature in my articles on Strictly Business: creative action, self exploration, involvement in culture, and crafting your own vision and [...]

It Isn’t Me, It’s You

Posted: June 28th, 2013

[by Luke Copping] It has been said over and over again – the operative word in social media is SOCIAL But people still don’t seem to pick up on this idea, especially when conversations about business, marketing, and social media overlap. It seems that the first impulse is to start searching out tips and tricks, [...]

Great Blogs for Summer and Beyond

Posted: June 6th, 2013

[by Luke Copping] I read a lot of blogs, some might say that I even have a small addiction to my RSS reader – and as that summer heat creeps in I find that I will regularly sneak away to hide out in cooler rooms of my house and really sink into some of my [...]

The Worth of Words

Posted: April 29th, 2013

[By Luke Copping] Few people are better acquainted with the trite but true idiom that “a picture is worth a thousand words” than photographers are. Our native language is visual – we tell stories in slices of moments, we convey meaning and details with light and shadow. Because we embrace such a visual syntax the [...]

Maximizing Your Income

Posted: April 24th, 2013

[By Luke Copping] Your potential for income does not end because an assignment does. Intelligently and aggressively pursuing secondary licensing is an easy “big win” for any photographer, especially those who pursue editorial work as their primary focus. There are numerous methods that you can pursue in order to increase the profit you accrue from [...]

The Password is… Relevance

Posted: March 26th, 2013

[by Luke Copping] The early part of my career was one rooted in duality, I often felt like I was living the lives of two very separate photographers. I had one foot firmly planted in my previous hometown of Toronto, Canada, where I was shooting for small fashion labels and designers, creating portraits for musicians [...]

The Power of Small Thinking

Posted: February 1st, 2013

[by Luke Copping] Grand ideas and ambitious goals are noble things – we should all be striving to reach higher and push ourselves further past our self-imposed limits to constantly better ourselves as creatives and communicators. But sometimes the sheer scope of your ambition can act as a paralytic and when faced by that seemingly [...]

Economy of Time and Motion

Posted: January 18th, 2013

[by Luke Copping] Money isn’t the only asset that you need to manage judiciously. Cash flow, income, sanity, energy, and time are just some of the resources that we have to properly manage. When one of these is neglected and not properly maintained your business can shift away from the ideal and harmonious balance you [...]

Big ≠ New

Posted: January 3rd, 2013

[by Luke Copping] The notion of the “Big Idea” carries with it some misconceptions. One of these misconceptions is that we must always be looking forward to find the next big idea – that big ideas must always be equally as new as they are valuable. In truth, there are countless ideas and inspirations laid [...]