ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

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Kat Dalager

Prospecting Like a Pro

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Shotgun marketing has become less effective in a population that would prefer to opt in rather than opt out. That means up front research is more important than ever if you want to make the most of your time and money. Where to Begin You could always buy an email or mailing list from a list service (there are several great ones out there), but if you can’t afford that investment, I have several stand-by…

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Predictions for 2016 and Beyond

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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 added level of interaction with the viewer and blurs the line between print and video. The word “photographer” will change. Maybe it will…

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As Ye Social, Social Ye Reap

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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 fundamental driver to promotion. Social media is just one more touch point. So don’t forget the other methods of promotion! Instagram and Pinterest are…

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50 Shades of Grey

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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 that doesn’t mean the shooter is great with composition, lighting or other technical skills, but to many buyers of photography, that may not…

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What the Market Will Bear

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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 you are responsible for or do not clearly outline the usage terms, then it’s up to you to outline those terms in your…

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Less is More

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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: “Lifestyle Photography / Portfolio Review Requested.” If you are calling by phone, ask if your contact has a moment and then keep your…

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Not Too Many Cooks

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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 is responsible for making sure that the shoot is being managed to meet the requirements of the photographer. Your producer may help you…

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What Your Client Needs to Hear

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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 spend your time trying to persuade. Your task as a photographer is to offer them a product or service that will fulfill their…

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Love It or Leave It

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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 or print. Books/tablets are still needed for in-person showings but they tend to be less frequent. Never stop building your body of work….

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Casting Counts

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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 fine when the shoot requires candid, in-situation shots, but count on professional models for the critical shots. Good talent is probably NOT your…

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