Author Archive

Personal Projects and Getting Work

Posted: April 15th, 2016

Success Story Series  – Part 3 [by Todd Joyce] I’ve done several personal projects and I have to say that the work that I received as a result, and what I’ve learned from them have been worth every minute/hour/day/week and month spent. One of the most rewarding projects was my 30 day portrait project.  [...]

One Good Thing Leads to Another

Posted: April 14th, 2016

Success Story Series  – Part 2 [by Todd Joyce] A year ago, I had a two month recovery after a major surgery. Coming back to work was a slow and draining process. Too big of a job could set back my recovery, so I had to choose what I did wisely. The first job I [...]

Listening and Looking for Solutions

Posted: April 13th, 2016

Success Story Series – Part 1 [by Todd Joyce] A very large law firm contracted me to photograph headshots for their company. It was stressed to me that the lawyers’ time is very valuable, especially if they were a partner at the firm, so we had to be as efficient as possible. The marketing director also [...]

Sh*t Happens! Don’t Let it Happen to You.

Posted: March 2nd, 2016

[by Todd Joyce] Six Thoughts for Better Cash Flow Being in business for yourself can make cash flow difficult. Slow paying clients or a few slow months can throw off everything if you don’t plan well. Here are six important thoughts to healthier finances. Set aside working capital. Working capital is what it takes to run your [...]

Don’t Tell and Do it NOW!

Posted: December 23rd, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] We all make new promises to ourselves each year and most are broken by the end of January.   Promises tend to focus on being better at something (e.g physical shape, better communicator, better at marketing or to be more open to new ideas or styles). Some of the terms we use in [...]

I’m great!  I suck!  I’m so excited! I quit!

Posted: November 30th, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] Yes, we creative types are a bit bipolar in the area of confidence, so staying inspired can be constant a struggle.   Here are three simple concepts to keep your inspiration fires burning: Your value is not less because someone fails to see it.  It’s hard to do, but we can’t let our [...]

Friends in Motion

Posted: September 23rd, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] Tony and Joe are two of my best friends.   They get me and I get them.   We’re also working together in motion to further our abilities and businesses.   We’ve done many paying jobs together and spent hundreds of hours testing and creating pieces to help build our reel. First of all, we [...]

What’s Your Legacy?

Posted: September 9th, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] Years ago, an ASMP chapter (Dallas, I think) coordinated a show of projected member images with the theme “what five images do you want to be remembered for, when all is said and done?”  The show was hosted in a funeral home with a live piano player.  Yes, a bit dark, but [...]

Happy Business New Year!

Posted: August 31st, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] I treat Labor Day more like New Year’s Day than January 1st.  Each Fall, throughout our lives, we’ve been conditioned to start new school years.  At summer’s end, we would enter a new grade with new ideas and information.  We’d meet new people and establish new relationships.   I’ve been out of school [...]

Your Mother is a Liar!

Posted: August 12th, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] She loves you, but she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. And, even if she does have a good eye, she’s not who you ask for an objective review. And that goes for friends and other family members. Don’t ask them to review your work either. And, don’t ask your clients for [...]

“If You Want to Catch a Fish, You Have to Think Like a Fish.” - Dad     

Posted: March 31st, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] What does that prospective client want?  Why?  Who is it that they need to reach?  Why now?  What’s most important?  Is this their project/idea?  Are they passionate about the outcome?  Are they trying to please their boss?  Is there a tight deadline?  How important is this to them and their business?  Etc… [...]

Know What You Want, Stay Engaged, Tilt Your Head and Shut Up.

Posted: March 25th, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] Three tips to make your interviews stronger: Know what you want your subject to say and ask the questions to get them to say it. Sounds simple, but if you’re asking general questions and letting them talk, then your editing time is going to be a nightmare.  Allow for discovery, but know [...]

(Stay) Open and say Aha!

Posted: February 10th, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] Aha moments can slap you up side the head when you least expect it. You can’t plan an aha moment, but you can put yourself in the right place or frame of mind to have one. I tend to get them when I’m challenged, either by a situation or by the people [...]

The Amazing Kreskin and the Who’s Responsible Policy.

Posted: February 5th, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] In a recent shoot, I was photographing in a laboratory testing facility for a pharmaceutical company and the Art Director couldn’t be there in person. We had a direct link via an on line screen share w microphones, speakers, etc. I was so proud of the set up. It was working great [...]

The Good, the Bad and the Cardinal Sin of Photographers

Posted: December 23rd, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] Each year, about this time, I analyze my successes and failures. It’s important to see both, so that you can build on what’s good and change what’s not. These are a few of my observations. Looking back, 2014 was a very good year for me. I can certainly attribute some of the [...]

Iconic Doorstops, the Hook and the Metric Crap Ton.

Posted: December 11th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] Click on a link to watch a video and a commercial pops up.   You can skip the ad in 4, 3, 2, 1, “skip ad.”   If it caught your interest, you may have stayed.  If it was a sell, then you skipped it.  In embedded ads, the hook has to happen within [...]

Getting Paid to Play

Posted: November 18th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] “Do what you love for a living and you’ll never work a day in your life.” vs “Do what you love for a living and you’ll grow to hate it.”   How are you working to be sure that you aren’t going to end up hating what you do? Go play! Exercise your [...]

The Big Picture is the Little Screen.

Posted: November 13th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] You’ll often hear a movie promo or reviewer say, “this was a movie made for the big screen,” yet I bet you’ve never heard “this is a movie made for the little screen.”   But, maybe you should. An overwhelming number of netizens are viewing all web content, exclusively on handheld devices.  Apple [...]

Screwing Up Sucks.

Posted: November 4th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] Despite the best planning, bad things can still happen.   All you can do is learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. We’ve been doing a lot of video recently and with the added equipment and run time, there are more things that can go wrong in a recording [...]

I Know a Lot of People

Posted: October 17th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] Having been involved with ASMP on a national level, I know a lot of photographers all over the country. Great people too. They’re all resources to contact to ask about assistants, talent agencies, scouts, stylists, etc. I get calls from ASMP members coming to my area, too, and I’m glad to help. [...]

On a Leash.

Posted: October 7th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] I shoot tethered a lot.  Sometimes I feel like a dog on a leash, but despite the restrictions of being tied down, shooting tethered saves me a lot of time in my workflow. Whether shooting portraits or an advertising campaign, shooting tethered is a way to improve communication.  It allows the art [...]

How Much Are Your Eggs?

Posted: August 12th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] Eggs are cheaper in the country (location) and by the dozen (quantity), yet two eggs over easy with a side of bacon costs more due to the work, service and extras included.  The two egg omelet with a flaming sauce, prepared by the Waldorf Astoria chef are priced for the ambiance, uniqueness, [...]

Managing Your Business Overhead

Posted: June 17th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] Managing money can be especially difficult when self employed. You’re never sure how much is coming in and when, which can make managing your overhead expenses one of the hardest parts of running your own business. I have a friend who’s a structural engineer.  He uses phrases like “sustained loads” and “stress [...]

Time is Money

Posted: June 3rd, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] One of my clients is a large law firm of about 160 lawyers. Their attorneys bill a minimum of $250 an hour in 6 minute increments. When we started the relationship, they were clear that we needed to be efficient with their time – wasting their attorneys’ time, cost the firm money. [...]

I Fail a Lot

Posted: May 30th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] This isn’t a confession. There isn’t enough time in the day to address all of my issues. Despite all of my failings, I’m proud to say that I put myself in situations where I expect to fail. Yes, in a way, I try to fail. You might say that I’m very successful [...]

Lessons Learned

Posted: May 23rd, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] I’ve been stiffed once. I have an email folder set aside with all the correspondence from the client who stiffed me and it’s labeled “Lessons Learned.” If you get burned, it may not be avoidable, but there are things that you should be doing to prevent it or to allow a cleaner [...]

Nobody Plans to Fail, but Many Fail to Plan

Posted: July 30th, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] If you’re like most artists, everything has to be perfect. So you engross yourself in thought for weeks working on a grand plan that is the most comprehensive ever made. Then, you get distracted and it never makes the light of day and you continue as you have, shooting from the hip. [...]

Low Cost Marketing

Posted: July 16th, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] There is a philosophy that a buyer needs to see your name seven times to remember you.   A good marketing plan takes that into consideration, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend money on seven expensive mailings.  It just means that you need to be seen or associated with something (positively) [...]

The Power of No

Posted: June 12th, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] Yeah right.   I want that job!   Who can say no in this economy?   If that’s your negotiating position, I’m here to tell you – that’s not negotiating.  It’s begging.   Have you every been pulled over for speeding and tried to negotiate your way out of a ticket?   Nope, it’s called begging.   And [...]


Posted: May 22nd, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] Talking about money is difficult for many of us.   I admit, it brings about an uncomfortable feeling for me, too, but getting it out of the way up front is incredibly important.   There are three stages of discussing a budget: upfront, during any changes and the summary. At the first discussion of [...]

It’s Not Always About Price.

Posted: May 7th, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] Here is a short list of why you may have lost that job… Hard to work with Not a problem solver Not fun Style is wrong for the job Not good with clients Reminds the buyer of someone they hated in High School…  (it happens) Quality of work isn’t as good Too [...]

The Gift of Gab

Posted: April 16th, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] Some of us were born with it.   If you aren’t one of the lucky ones, practice – especially before you cold call prospective clients.   Sounding comfortable will help the conversation flow.  Practice by making idle conversation with the server at a restaurant.   Talk to the checkout person at the grocery.   And, when [...]

Never Go into Competition with the Person Who Taught You Everything You Know…

Posted: March 22nd, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] …because they might not have taught you everything they know.” One of the best ways to gain experience and knowledge of the industry is to assist.  I assisted for five years.   Five years?  Ouch.  I suppose some might call me a slow learner…  In that time, I gained a lot of knowledge [...]

Under Promise, Over Deliver

Posted: March 12th, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] When a client asks when I’ll have something done, I often think how long it will take me, then add some time to it.  That way if something happens or I need more time, I can still get it to them when promised.  It’s better to deliver it earlier than they thought, [...]

Delivering Images

Posted: February 21st, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] Hard drives are coming down in price so much so that you can factor a small drive into the cost of a big job for delivery.   It takes less time and hassle than burning several DVDs and clients love it.   Be sure to use a stable drive and package for transport though.  [...]

Collaboration (Respect – the first three steps)

Posted: January 24th, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] Ladies and gentlemen, the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin! “R – E – S – P – E – C – T – find out what it means to me!”  -   Aretha sings that song with more attitude and heart now than she did when she first performed it in 1967.   I [...]

Navigation Frustration

Posted: January 19th, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] One of my pet peeves… websites that aren’t easy to navigate.   Don’t give into the whistles and bells of web design so much so that you lose your viewer out of navigation frustration.   You may not even realize how frustrating your own site is.  Have some outsiders view your site for ease [...]

Rotate Your Stock Forward

Posted: October 6th, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] I keep extra batteries for slaves, etc., in the front of two bags to be sure I have replacements in case I run low.  Batteries can go dead just sitting for too long.  Rotate your batteries so that you are using the backups and rotating new ones in as backups to be [...]

Archiving & Liability

Posted: September 9th, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] What do you promise your clients regarding archiving images?   We all know hard drives and DVDs fail.  Be sure you are archiving by using best practices as recommended by dpBestflow,  but also be sure you are not taking on liabilities (assumed or real) for archiving images for your clients.   Be clear about [...]

Post Production Tips to Save Time

Posted: July 28th, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] Speed in post keeps you from wasting valuable time.   Here are just a few tips to save time. Learn common key strokes, like the bracket keys in Photoshop to shrink (use the left [ bracket) and enlarge (use the right ] bracket) brush size and the “X” key to swap bush colors, [...]

Insurance Tip

Posted: May 31st, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] My father in law used to be my insurance agent.  As he got to understand my business, he would suggest carrying different types of insurance to best suit my needs.   He suggested things like an umbrella, a care and custody clause and Inland Marine, while still working to keep my rates as [...]

Apples to Apples

Posted: May 4th, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] When a client calls or emails for an estimate, I ask as many questions as possible.   When I get a bulk email asking several photographers for their bids along with mine, I use “reply all” when I ask questions.   I’d rather be bidding on the same info, than to have everyone bidding [...]

Business on a Handshake

Posted: April 8th, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] A contract is simple.   It’s an offer and an acceptance.   The issue, is proving the agreement if there is ever a dispute.   Get your clients to sign an estimate/confirmation form.   Make it part of your workflow.   You truly never know when you’ll need it, but when you do, you’ll be glad you [...]

First Impressions

Posted: April 6th, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] Why does Walmart have greeters at the door?   They want the first impression you get to be that you are welcome here.  What is the first impression you give your clients?  “Welcome?”  “Go away?”  “I’m a professional?”  Ask someone you trust to be honest.   You may be surprised. Todd Joyce is a [...]

Plan the Work, Work the Plan

Posted: March 31st, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] David, a very driven and successful director of marketing for a fortune 500 company, smiled sheepishly as he answered my question on where he went to school.   “Harvard, School of Business,” he said.   “Wow, that explains a lot,” I responded.   “Not really,” he said, “I learned some of the most important lessons [...]

Target Drives

Posted: March 2nd, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] You can transfer the files on your Mac to another computer quickly by using your laptop as an external hard drive.  Start the computer while holding down the “T” key.   Link via firewire and it will be recognized as an external hard drive.   Drag the info off to your other computer and [...]

Preventing Misunderstandings

Posted: February 14th, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] Make it a regular practice to rephrase your client’s needs in your own words and repeat it back to them.   It’s amazing how often you’ll get a clarification from them on things that may be misunderstood. Todd Joyce is a recent Past President of ASMP and specializes in conceptual people photography for [...]

You Have to Ask

Posted: January 28th, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] Closing the deal.   Are you good at it?   As artists, we like to show our work and assume the prospective client understands that we want to be hired.   It’s obvious, but you’re not closing the deal.  No good salesman just lets it hang out there like that.   Ask for it.   “Do I [...]

Support Your Local Suppliers

Posted: January 25th, 2011

[by Todd Joyce] If you live in a smaller market, you may have already lost your local supplier…  Local suppliers are worth a lot.   Ask anyone who has already lost theirs.  They give us special attention when we need it and offer opportunities to buy things quickly that they keep in stock.   There is real [...]

Does Anyone Still Use Snail Mail?

Posted: December 13th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] Getting an email thank you is nice, but when I get a hand written thank you via snail mail (SM), it simply means more.   I certainly give it more weight, because fewer people give the added effort, so it stands out as special.  I suggest sending a thank you to clients when [...]

Be Specific

Posted: December 7th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] When you are setting up a shot and you show a client an image, ask them specifically what you need to know to continue?   Composition, lighting, angle, wardrobe, etc.   If you work like I do, I tackle certain things as I go.   Don’t let the client get caught up on something that [...]

See the Ball

Posted: December 2nd, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] “See the ball, hit the ball” is a saying in baseball that over simplifies the concept, but it’s true.  If you aren’t seeing what you want to hit, you’ll never connect.  You’ll swing blindly, just hoping to hit something… anything.   Career planning is seeing the end result so that you can make [...]

Recommendations for Assistants

Posted: November 15th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] Help things go smoothly and look at the big picture.  Oh, and make me look good. As a photographer who hires assistants, I’m looking for someone to help me, not hinder me.  You’re part of the image my client sees as me.   You represent me and I’m looking for someone who sees [...]

Working with a Whiner

Posted: November 10th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] “If you want to hear a photographer complain, just give him a job.”  That was a running joke among Art Directors for quite some time.   In this economy, I hear it less because photographers are a lot more grateful to have work.   Watch what you complain about and how you communicate with [...]

Getting and Using Referrals

Posted: November 3rd, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] “Nice day we’re having”  “How about those cubs”  yeah, it’s hard to start the conversation, but I still make calls to new ADs etc to get to know them.   I like to mention a person who referred me to get things started.   “Hi (AD), (Other person at agency) mentioned I should call [...]

Perception of Nickels and Dimes

Posted: October 26th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] I hate my cell phone bill.  They nickel and dime me to death.   The bill is about $40 more than the plan I purchased.   They add all kinds of things to the bill and I don’t like it.   If I had my way, I would have wanted them to give me a [...]

Domino’s Pizza

Posted: October 20th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] Have you seen the Domino’s TV ad asking for photos of delivered pizzas to show how good they look?   Yeah, I hate losing work to a soccer mom with a point and shoot too. The Domino’s campaign is not about getting free photos.  It’s about a perception.  Even if nobody submits [...]

Think Like Your Customer

Posted: September 22nd, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] There are a lot of resources out there on business that unless it’s about a photography business, we don’t seem to want to pick it up…  I have news for you.  If you’re not treating your business like a business, then you’ll likely be out of business soon.   There’s a great book [...]


Posted: September 15th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] The power of Hmmm.   When I’ve asked a client if they have a budget, when they tell me, I usually just say “hmmmm.”   It’s amazing how many times they’ll then say, “I may be able to get you XX more.”hmmm” has made me more money than any other sound or word. Todd [...]

Target Marketing

Posted: September 1st, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] 2500 printed mailers might cost around $1 per contact, depending on postage, printing and your contact list. What if you took that same amount and spent $500 on your very top five prospects?   I bet you’d get results!  The hard part is figuring out your top five.   Marketing isn’t easy and neither [...]

Find a Photographer

Posted: August 12th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] Membership has it’s privileges and one of the benefits of being and ASMP General Member is being listed in For what I do, I don’t get a lot of calls, but every so often I do get a call that is a result of FAP. Over the years, I’ve gotten about [...]

I Like Facebook

Posted: July 27th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] I like facebook. I admit it. I only have one identity too.Friends are people from college, family and clients. I try to keep it professional, but I don’t mind that my clients see the real me. I post some images just for fun or feedback and I don’t pester my clients with [...]

Glad to Help

Posted: May 26th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] Environmental portraits in nineteen cities in three months was the commitment.   It seemed easy…  Nineteen in twelve weeks.   After about three weeks, it was apparent that the client was dragging their feet and was taking their time in getting the info for me.   As the deadline was approaching, it was obvious that [...]

Real Friends are Priceless

Posted: April 29th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] A photographer friend of mine tells me that his business is doing very well.   Mine has been slow, but seems to be improving.   I don’t mind saying so, but last year was my worst year since being in business.   I admit that I ignored my business too much and my friend [...]