Author Archive

From Contact Form to Contract

Posted: April 8th, 2016

[by Pascal Depuhl] Before I ever speak to a potential client… … I usually get an email that reads: “A lead has been assigned to you”. It’s my Customer Relationship Management system’s way of letting me know someone just clicked the button on the contact form of my website. By this time, that prospective client has [...]

Getting your foot in the door – Hack the market!

Posted: March 8th, 2016

[by Pascal Depuhl] Getting your foot in the door Sure, you can do what everyone else is doing. Or you could try something else. You can market in those tried and true channels, or you can rock the boat. If you’re looking to stand out in a very crowded field, here’s how you get your foot [...]

Cut It Short: An Editing Primer

Posted: February 18th, 2016

[by Pascal Depuhl] Shakespeare must have been thinking about video editing when he penned the words “Brevity is the soul of wit“. There’s a reason it’s called the “cutting room floor”. When you’re editing, you’re trimming individual clips, cutting out whole scenes, shortening; and although it seems counterintuitive, the shorter the piece, the longer it’s going [...]

Master Your Productivity with 11 Amazing Tools

Posted: January 21st, 2016

[by Pascal Depuhl] With every passing year, it seems clients are expecting more and more from their photographers. Kat Dalager even foresees a change of the very word photographer in her recent Strictly Business blog post, Predictions for 2016: “The word ‘photographer’ will change. Maybe it will be ‘image maker’ or ‘content maker’ or ‘capturer.’  [...]

How to Power Your Gear Where There is No Power

Posted: December 17th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] Tips for the power (hungry) traveler I love traveling into extremely remote areas on assignment. There’s something about filming in the Amazon rain forest, photographing a hidden monastery in a desert wadi or shooting video on a snow-covered airstrip in the Himalayan foothills, that recharges my creativity. On the flip side none of these places have electrical power [...]

I Got My Head in the Clouds (Along With All My Data)

Posted: November 24th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] How much more productive would you be, if you could… …automatically answer every online contact request with a branded, personalized email from your company and get an alert to new inquiries via text, email and SMS from the cloud? …enter each business card you’re handed into your cloud based address book and [...]

5 Mistakes you can’t afford to make on Instagram

Posted: November 19th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] “Photographers have a huge advantage on Instagram.  You already have the most important thing for great Instagram content: awesome photos!” ~Sue B. Zimmerman Last week I got to interview Sue B Zimmerman (@theinstagramexpert) after listening to her on a webinar put on by productivity guru Steve Dotto (@dottotech). Their discussion made me [...]

How to Fix the Biggest Mistake You’re Making on Social Media

Posted: November 10th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] I’ve been on social media platforms for a decade now. Building my LinkedIn profile, updating my Facebook pages, creating photos for Instagram and tweeting a couple tweets a week. We all are. Twitter’s stream is even called a firehose, simply because their are so many tweets streaming through that social media channel, [...]

Embrace a ‘No-Can-Do’ Attitude

Posted: October 27th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] Why a “No-can-do attitude” may be the best thing ever Ahh, the “No-can-do” attitude. It’s your best friend, when it comes to being creative. “Nope, not gonna happen” is music to my ears. “No way! You’re crazy.” I’ll eat up that attitude all day long. “No! That’s a crazy idea.” Love it! [...]

5 Questions to Answer Before Building Your Team

Posted: September 24th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] There are hundreds of posts written on the importance of creating personal work, testing out new techniques and developing new concepts. Stepping out of your comfort zone is probably the most important part of becoming a better photographer, filmmaker or creative person. This week I know that my fellow ASMP photographers will be writing posts, [...]

How to Fire a Marketing Broadside at Your (Narrow) Target Audience!

Posted: September 1st, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] One of the mistakes I’ve made in my career is to rely exclusively on my images to get me booked. That may have worked in the past, but as I get ready to push my business this fall, I know my clients want to see more than just pretty photographs. I’ve quoted [...]

The Philosophy Behind Riveting Story Telling

Posted: August 27th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] Story trumps everything Story is the most important part of any video. Great story trumps great visuals, amazing audio or an intricate edit every time. As a photographer, you’ve been a visual storyteller for as long as you’ve captured still images so I’m not gonna waste your time on how to craft [...]

I’m Sorry the Plans Have Been Canceled…

Posted: July 29th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] Sunday afternoon a little after 2 pm, I get one of my favorite emails: “A new lead has been assigned to you.” Which is how my CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software lets me know that a potential client has inquired about working with me through the online contact form on my website. [...]

To Improve Is To Change; To Be Perfect Is To Change Often.

Posted: June 30th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] I can’t count how many times I’ve changed in my photographic career, from an amateur to becoming an assistant, from assisting to working full-time running an in-house studio at a catalog house, from working for someone else to working for myself as a freelancer. Change is always stressful, whether it entails learning [...]

Listen To This

Posted: June 15th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] Listen to this. So I’m out in the park shooting stills for Mars. A plane flies overhead and the creative director shouts: “CUT! Wait for sound!” But I’m shooting stills, so I don’t care. We had a good laugh about this but I realized – if I ever get into video – [...]

Collaboration is Pointless …

Posted: May 6th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] …unless you get to work with people that are better than –or at least equal to– you. Look for collaborators who improve your work. “Sounds like fortune cookie wisdom,” you say, “if the person you want to team up with is better than you, why on earth would they want to collaborate [...]

25 Marketing Hacks For Creatives

Posted: April 22nd, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] Did you remember to list your photography business in the Yellow Pages this year? How about the last time you sent out a 4-color direct mail piece or FedEx’d your portfolio to a client? Probably around the same time you faxed that art director your estimate. Today’s content driven marketing is about [...]

Best Pricing Strategy for Photographers

Posted: April 1st, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] “What’s your day rate?” “How much do you charge per photo?” or my personal favorite “How much does a photo shoot cost?” The last request is usually the only information a potential client is giving me, making it rather difficult to provide an estimate. Ok, so right off the bat, I’m gonna [...]

10 Year Old Technology Makes Photographers Obsolete

Posted: March 5th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] Photography has had a good run. From the first photograph ever captured in 1826 until today, we’ve all witnessed countless, amazing advances. Unfortunately the demise of the professional photographer is almost complete. Decade old tech kills professional photography Ironically the death knell to the business of photographers turns out to be 10 [...]

How Clients Are Using Social Media to Find Photographers

Posted: February 18th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] It wasn’t that long ago, Social Media–at least as we know it today–didn’t exist. LinkedIn, one of the oldest networks, launched in 2003. I think we can safely ignore friendster and MySpace, which launched that same year, but that’s when this whole thing began. Now I’m an early adopter of Social Media, [...]

Analytics – A Bunch of Useless Data!

Posted: January 22nd, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] Real time online data (No it’s not the NSA, it’s my Google analytics in real time) It’s December 27th, 2014 and I got to admit that it’s a little freaky that I know there is a guy in Campbell, CA, just down the street from Cupertino, who starts watching my documentary “On [...]

Why a Strong Brand Online is Worth More Than Your Skill Set

Posted: December 22nd, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Your clients are looking for a strong brand “We hired you, because your online persona matches our brand.” That’s the reason my brand new client gives me when I meet them at a coffee shop in downtown Miami to finalize our upcoming shoot. It’s not the first time I’m hearing this either. Several clients recently have commented [...]

That Video Thing Is Never Gonna Take Off…

Posted: December 9th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Video is to stills, what digital was to film. When digital was just getting started, I heard many photographers say: “I don’t need to learn another technology and besides, that digital thing is never gonna take off.” A few years later, I found myself saying the same thing about video in 2009. [...]


Posted: November 25th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Thank You. We are so busy in today’s society that we often don’t slow down to say thanks — although it’s the right thing to do. The kind thing to do. Mark Twain said that “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see” and thank you [...]

Caution: Personal Work Could Kill Your Commercial Success!

Posted: November 21st, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Be careful, personal work could kill your career! Over the last few weeks I’ve hosted a couple discussions in various LinkedIn Groups asking “does personal work matter?” Predictably, many of the photographers who chimed in answered a resounding YES! We get to show our capabilities without the constraints of a client brief, art buyers [...]

Don’t Worry! Today’s Gonna be a lot Worse.

Posted: November 7th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Turns out today is a lot worse than yesterday (here’s the backstory, if you’re interested in how bad yesterday really was). Like yesterday we’ve been shoveling the same never ending snow on the ramp since 5 am. Like yesterday there’s the announcement over the radio, you know, the one about the airport [...]

The Blog is Dead! Long Live the Blog!

Posted: October 21st, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Blog. Don’t blog. To blog or not to blog, that is the question. Well not really, but more on that in a little bit. First a brief history: In the late 1990′s people began keeping online journals, called weblogs (those morphed into ‘we blog’ as a joke and blog stuck). Posts would include the date [...]

The Phone Call That Made My Career.

Posted: October 15th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] One of my best friends is a photographer. I’ve known him for almost 25 years, actually he is the first guy I ever assisted, I’ve produced for him, he’s used my house as a location, I’ve borrowed his studio, he’s hired my wife as a model…but I want to share how he helped me [...]

What’s the Worst Thing That Can Happen?

Posted: October 6th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Airplane pilots talk through the worst case scenarios every time they take off. That’s in addition to checking the aircraft before every flight, keeping amazingly detailed maintenance records and following check lists, that get meticulously – well – checked off. A few years ago I had the chance to hear these worst case [...]

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue …

Posted: September 25th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] OK. So it’s not borrowed (and no, I don’t shoot weddings), but I want to write about something new, that I’ve been using for almost a decade now: LinkedIn. Lately I’ve been surprised at the effectiveness of this network, that Rosh Sillars calls “the Facebook for professionals”. LinkedIn is the social network of business. [...]

The Dirty, Little Secret of Building a Network

Posted: August 29th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] A few weeks ago, we talked about finding an audience.  The real challenge is to take those casual relationships and build them into a network that is strong, solid, sound and sympathetic. How do you get from a lukewarm like to a raving endorsement? Wanna know the secret of building such a [...]

Quick Tip: Automate

Posted: August 20th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] I use technology wherever possible to help me be more efficient, accurate and responsive. Case in point – the contact form on my website. Looks like a couple of simple data fields, but under the hood it’s linked directly into my CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. As soon as the submit button [...]

Find Your Audience: It’s Easy and Really Complicated

Posted: August 5th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] “It used to be harder to find your audience” says Rosh Sillars (@RoshSillars) “and used to take longer to build relationships.” Direct mail, workbook ads, a photo rep and appointments to show your portfolio would get you work. “Today the internet makes getting your work out there very easy, but it’s easy [...]

Will Photograph For Food

Posted: July 18th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Everything is important. But one thing is more important than everything. If you want to avoid standing on a street corner with a cardboard sign reading: “Will photograph for food,” there’s really only one thing you need to know. When you’re starting out as a photographer, everything seems important; buying equipment, getting [...]

Have Gear–Will Travel (7 Tips to Keep Gear Working on the Road)

Posted: July 11th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Unless you shoot exclusively in your studio, you’ll find yourself traveling with gear. Now granted, some of us travel into more remote places and photograph in more extreme conditions, but no matter whether you’re a wedding photographer who captures a brides on location, a product shooter that pulls up to a location [...]

3 Steps To Get Your Overhead Under Control!

Posted: June 19th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] There is an old story from ancient Greece about a young man, Damocles, who is invited to switch places with the king. He jumps at the opportunity, but as a condition to ruling, he finds a giant sword suspended by a single strand of hair overhead. Needless to say, he quit being [...]

3 Inexpensive Tips to Stop Wasting Your Time to Make Money

Posted: June 6th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Everyone of us has the exact same amount of time in a day. The difference is how we spend those 24 hours. Since we can’t buy more time, we need to leverage the time we’ve been given. Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. Do it right the first time. The Navy Seals [...]

The Best Things in Life Are Free – Professional Photography Just Ain’t One of Them.

Posted: May 22nd, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] “Our normal payment terms are 45 days.” the producer of a large national brand tells me. (This is an actual conversation that took place not long ago.) I’m thinking, that’s nice, but I work with a deposit of 50% upfront and balance due on delivery. “If you’re really lucky it’s 30 days.” [...]

All I Ever Needed to Know About Photography, I (didn’t) Learn in Photo School.

Posted: May 8th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Assisting is the best way to learn the business of photography. Period. It’ll teach you more about running a professional photography studio, than any photography degree. I should know, I don’t have one. I began my career as a photographer by assisting for 4 years in Chicago, Miami and New York. I [...]

Lighting is Simple – but not Easy

Posted: April 29th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Oh man! We’ve gotten so spoiled! I mean honestly – how many of us even own a light meter, much less use one? (I won’t even ask you about color meters). And why should you use these tools? Today’s digital cameras display a histogram and an image as soon as you’ve pushed [...]

How Do Visual Artists Get Over Writers Block?

Posted: March 19th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] “Artists refresh people’s vision and help them see the world in new ways.” ~ Mark Getlein But how do you refresh your vision, what do you do to see your world in new ways? We’ve all been there. You look through your photos and videos and they are a sea of sameness. [...]

Your Gift is Worth Something, So Give it Away.

Posted: March 14th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Every human being is born with it. An innate intelligence, a God-given gift. An amazing ability. You have it, I have it. They’re different and cover the whole spectrum of what people do, from accounting to zoo keeping. My gift is the ability to create visually inspiring stories. I trust you know [...]

How to master social media: Read a book

Posted: March 4th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Bet you’re thinking: ‘In the ever changing landscape of Social Media, why would anyone want to read a book about it? Don’t those become outdated, before they’re even printed?” Absolutely. However, I for one, will use Gary Vaynerchuck’s “Jab, Jab, Jab, right hook” as my fightclub manual for social media marketing in [...]

True Story

Posted: February 25th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] I’m not gonna trust the suction cup. No way. After all it’s 25º below zero and I’m concerned the camera is going to fall off – that’s the last thing I want to have happen, not that I’m super concerned about the GoPro (after all it only costs $250.-), but the footage [...]

Want a Rock Star Team?

Posted: February 18th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Steve Jobs built teams at Apple based on an interesting business model: the Beatles “My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how [...]

Big idea: Be unrealistic

Posted: January 20th, 2014

[by Pascal Dephul] Here’s my observation: Today everybody and their mother is a photographer. iPhones, GoPros, point and shoot, Instagram, auto focus, auto exposure, auto correction, auto everything. Seriously, how many times have clients told you, that their nephew can do what you do, for a lot less money? – sigh- Let me ask you [...]

Work for free!

Posted: January 3rd, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Picture your dream job, the image you’ve been dying to create, the gig you’d do anything to get. Got it? Great. Did you shoot it this past year? No? How about the year before? Does your work challenge and fulfill you? If it does, congratulations, you don’t need to go on reading [...]

Do you still use post-it notes?

Posted: November 18th, 2013

Editor’s note: While reviewing submissions for ASMP’s Best of 2013, I was struck not only by the quality of Pascal Depuhl’s work but the fact that he produced a feature length documentary, just six months after launching his motion career.  It seems there is nothing Pascal does halfway.  I am delighted he’s agreed to become [...]