The American Society of Media Photographers provides this forum to encourage the development of critical skills and to foster new ideas. Our goal is an informed and savvy professional photography community.

The New Right in Front of You

[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 give in.

I just loved working with them and eventually shared the pictures on my blog. Oddly enough, a few days later I was contacted by a pharmaceutical firm that wanted to license these images of my dogs for use in a small web campaign. It was pretty surprising, and that stock purchase quickly turned into an assignment for the same company that added cats and horses to the mix. As my excitement for working with animals grew, so did the job and stock opportunities that were becoming available. Before you knew it, without planning or ambition to start to fill that niche, a significant portion of my business now comes from animal photography.

I’ve also been able to branch out into something else which I haven’t been able to do for sometime, which is using my photography for good. I now work with a local animal shelter near my studio to provide adoption images for their animals to aid in the process of finding them new homes. Inadvertently, the press and community support for this program has grown in even more working opportunities.

Sometimes, opportunity comes knocking on your door and a lot of the time we don’t even recognize it. Sometimes we spend so much time focusing on the minutia of our plans and strategies that we are blind when something amazing happens right in front of our eyes. Make sure there is room in your life for the unexpected and be ready to follow that where it might lead you, because the new horizons it leads you too can change everything.

Luke Copping is a commercial and editorial photographer from Buffalo, NY – He loves organizations like the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter and notabully.org which help to find wonderful but overlooked dog breeds new homes.

By Luke Copping | Posted: September 26th, 2014 | 1 comment

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

[by Pascal Depuhl]

LinkedIn

Pascal’s been on LinkedIn since 2004!

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. People expect you to focus on work. Gary Vaynerchuck predicts in “Jab, jab, jab, right hook,” that LinkedIn “will be our Library, where we get our deals done.”

Nothing comes from nothing

Of course LinkedIn will not magically have photography and video assignments flooding your inbox, just because you’ve signed up; although almost all the photographers I’ve asked who use LinkedIn, expected to get hired straight from their profile.

You must be SIGNIFICANTLY more remarkable than your competitors.Well unfortunately that’s not how LinkedIn (or any social media for that matter) works. You must offer something valuable for people to want to interact with you. Many of us remember self promotion used to be us sending out mailers, buying ads and making cold calls (aka outbound marketing). Today it’s much more about clients finding you, seeing you as the expert and building trust (that’s called inbound marketing).

Enter LinkedIn Groups. People join groups, because they want to connect with others, learn more about the groups focus or comment on content that is interesting. It’s a golden opportunity to share content you already create (or should be creating) with a very focused group of people. Check out the graph below that tracks my LinkedIn profile views–can you guess when I started interacting with my LinkedIn groups?

Analytics

Sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks.  Go and update your LinkedIn profile today and while you’re at it, post some amazing and relevant content to LinkedIn groups.

Tell us “What LinkedIn is worth to you” – we’ve got a discussion going in ASMP’s LinkedIn group.

Pascal Depuhl uses social media, SEO and blogging to help clients find him online for  almost 10 years now. LinkedIn plays a big role in his social media strategy and gives Photography by Depuhl credibility when B2B customers learn about his business through reviews, shared content and connections.

By Pascal Depuhl | Posted: September 25th, 2014 | No comments
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Don’t Wait…Too Late

[by Kevin Lock]

I read recently that the iPhone 6 is setting records, and it only just came out. Lines formed at Apple Stores around the country long before the big release on September 19. Sadly, I wasn’t there.

I have never been one who had to have the latest. In fact, I am usually late in having what everyone else couldn’t wait to get. I didn’t wait in line for the original iPhone or any of its successors. To be honest, I didn’t have a smart phone until the iPhone 4 was released and at that point I bought the iPhone 3. Why did I wait that many years? What a mistake.

Perhaps this precedent was set while I was in college. Back then, even though I invested all of the ‘extra’ money I earned in better camera gear, I was always a step behind, buying yesterday’s gems from the top photojournalists in my community. When there was a new release by Nikon, say the Nikon F4, I got the F3. With the release of the F5, I upgraded to an F4. And then digital hit. As you might have guessed, the D1 was out for a couple of years before I picked one up.

Most of the time I told myself that I just could not afford the latest. Looking back, one could argue that I was not disciplined enough to make the wiser investment in the new technology and subsequently my future.

Somehow, this year, that has begun to change for me. First, a fellow photographer convinced me to invest in new lighting gear. Then, an editor suggested I replace my “antiquated” camera. I found myself listening to others, trying out and buying new equipment and taking it to another level. Ultimately I realized that I could not afford to not be disciplined enough to make the investment.

For the first time in my life I own the newest and best camera Nikon has to offer. The D4s. It was a huge investment for me, the purchase price being more than 95% of the cars I have ever owned. I also picked up a few Profoto B1’s. I had them before they hit the shelves and as fast as Profoto could ship them to me. With both of these investments the a-ha moments began to roll in. And of course, I felt the guilt. Just as I did when I fist started reading my email on the iPhone 3 (like everyone else had been doing for years). How could I wait this long?

I now realize this habit of waiting is not the best way to go about acquiring the technology required to stay relevant in my profession today. Perhaps I might need to line up at the Apple Store after all.

Kevin Lock is a current director for the ASMP. While he claims not to be a spokesman for Nikon, Apple or Profoto, it is indeed factual that he has been a nikon man since just a boy, has never owned a PC and has now seen “the light” when it comes to owning the best gear available.

By Kevin Lock | Posted: September 24th, 2014 | No comments

Rejuvenation In Stealth Mode

[by Colleen Wainwright]

After a few years of doing the same-old, same-old, I had reached an impasse. My work, giving talks on and consulting with small creative businesses about marketing, had grown stale. Worse, my ability to write had all but dried up, and I’d lost my mojo for the few collaborative projects I’d begun. (When it rains, it pours down from the heavens like Kansas skies on Dorothy Gale.)

Part of me wanted to trash my entire website and start over: I loved the accountability of a public presence, but felt self-conscious about changing things up on the old blog so abruptly. Another part of me thought that going public was the problem: that I needed to write privately. I was mulling things when it hit me: what if I could reboot my creative life in a way that would hold me accountable, but not too publicly?

Thus was born a fresh, new, semi-personal project: a semi-secret 100-day experiment in writing and creating, shared with only a minute sliver of my audience. Not on Facebook. Definitely not on my blog. Instead, I chose a new venue I’ve been itching to audition for a while now, but couldn’t find a reason to.

What’s fascinating is what’s already shifted in the few weeks that I committed to doing this side project. I’ve landed a couple of “expertise-adjacent” side gigs that will expose me to new ways of doing business and teach me new skills. I’ve had a few remarkable people show up in my life who are both challenging me to grow and showing me how much I already knew, but didn’t realize.

Best of all, I’m writing again. Not for the ages, maybe, but for me, and with satisfying (so far) engagement. I’m excited about what comes next, even though I have no idea what it will be.

Because, of course, it’s a secret.

Colleen Wainwright is happily writing in semi-secrecy, for now, although she will continue to share ridiculous, topical items on the site we all love to hate.

By Colleen Wainwright | Posted: September 23rd, 2014 | No comments

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