Monthly Archives: January 2012
We are so excited to be sponsoring the Genesis Workshop March 20-22, 2012 in Las Vegas this year! The instructors are phenomenal as well as the location! A private residence with a private chef! Check out the interview I had with Spencer Boerup about Genesis and all the workshop has to offer!
1). What is Genesis? What makes it different from all the other workshops out there?
Genesis is a workshop that focuses on creating well-rounded photographers. We pulled together instructors to teach in the areas that are their specific specialties, rather than having one or two photographers try to teach it all. By allowing each instructor to focus on teaching their strengths, it ensures that the students are getting the most out of each topic covered. Whether in creative areas or technical ones, we also bring a hands-on approach that not only affords the students one-on-one time with each instructor, but does so in a way that encourages a personal understanding of the subject, as opposed to rotating through pre-setup scenarios and giving them everything on a silver platter. We’re not a portfolio building workshop. That’s not to say you won’t walk away with amazing images from the time you spend with our models. Just that the goal of the three days is to give you a true education and not a handful of website images to show off. We are passionate about helping you become better photographer!
2). What will the attendees learn from you?
The hope is that attendees will learn how to challenge themselves to think more broadly, to work more efficiently and to build better relationships with the clients that find themselves in front of the lens. From the creative process, to the editing, all the way to delivering with integrity, we want to help the Genesis students have the confidence and know-how they need in order to do it all with excellence. But, specifically for me, I will be focusing my attention on lighting and portrait sales. I cover a little more in depth about my philosophies and approach to these subjects on my blog.
Lighting is the one thing that can make or break a good portrait. It’s the music of a movie–it can make a really bad movie seem better than it is (Pirates of the Caribbean), or make a potentially great movie seem dull and unexciting. While most photographers understand the basics of operating off-camera lighting, far too many don’t understand the principles of good lighting. I will teach you the fundamentals, the principles behind good lighting, and set you on a course that will allow you to understand how to light any situation or any subject.
Next, I’ll be teaching (as much as time will allow) how to effectively sell your artwork. I know a lot of photographers who don’t really like shooting portraits simply because they don’t make as much money as they can with a wedding. I think it’s simply because they haven’t found a way to best present their price lists, present the photographs, present your products, and how to effectively help their customers purchase the artwork that they hired you to create. I average around $1900 for a senior portrait session (out of 70), and around $2800 for family portraits (out of 20) in 2011. I think anyone can do it to, but most people haven’t the slightest clue on how its possible, and what they need to change to see an increase in their sales. This is what I’m most excited to teach!
What is exciting about Genesis this year is we will be all staying in a ridiculously massive mansion. This means that we’ll have more time to hang out at night and talk about whatever else is on the minds of students. In years past, this meant lots of lost sleep and making TONS of new friends, and also the extra hours of insight and discussion from everyone attending.
3). Who else will the attendees be learning from?
To put it bluntly, students will be learning from others that are much cooler than me: Tony Hoffer , Sam Hassas and Jeff & Melanie Mansfield . They are all incredibly successful, amazingly talented, and are some of the nicest, most gracious, and genuine people that I know. They are great friends, and have a passion for teaching and helping others. They also happen to be really good at photography and know how to teach it to others. Each of them also wrote on their blogs about what they’ll be teaching at the event, but some of the areas of instruction include: branding, pricing, creativity, client interviews, group posing, and much more. We’ll have individual portfolio critiques, branding critiques, and a few shoot-outs with models and all that fun stuff. We pour our heart and soul into this workshop because we love seeing the light bulbs go off. We think you will, too.
4). Do attendees need years of experience to attend Genesis?
In years past, we’ve had those who hadn’t even started their business, all the way to high-end photographers in their own right, who are just looking to shore up the loose ends that have kept them from being where they want to be. Most importantly, students need a desire to learn and improve their photography. Because we group students based on their level of knowledge (so as to foster a comfortable environment that allows them to feel comfortable asking questions without feeling as though it’s too simple, or even to advanced, for those sitting around them), the only requirement is that they be moderately comfortable shooting in manual mode and have a basic understanding of their flash.
5.) What equipment do attendees need to bring with them?
Their camera, a couple of lenses, a flash, and open mind and a willingness to forgo sleep.
6.) When is the workshop?
Genesis will be held March 20-22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will be the 3rd and final Genesis chapter and we are going out with a bang, Vegas style! This year we have included all room & board in 3 luxurious mansions, and all meals prepared by our private chefs as well. We are super excited to be all staying under one roof this year!
For more information on the workshop, head over to the Genesis website!
Listen to the mustnʼts, child. Listen to the donʼts. Listen to the shouldnʼts, the impossibles, the wonʼts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein penned these words that give us a glimpse of how powerful our thoughts and minds can be. In this day, it is even more important to use all of the tools available to us to bring us the success that we desire.
We are all aware that there has been tremendous change in the photography industry in the last 40 years. We have gone from brick and mortar studios to primarily location photographers working from our homes. From film to digital capture. As the cameras have gotten better, the barrier to entry in the photography industry has dropped, and now nearly anyone with a desire to photograph can achieve a certain level of success. In this new year, I challenge you to examine how you are doing business. You need to ask, “What is important to me”?
One of the best ways to gather your thoughts is to create a business plan. I know that this is a scary thought, but I know that you can do this. It doesnʼt have to be anything more than how you want to operate your business, and what you want your business to provide you. There are five important tips that you need to consider before you start.
The first thing your business plan should do is tell a compelling story: who, what, when, where, how and why? Sounds just like all the stories you wrote in school, but you are the protagonist of this one. Who are you, what do you want to do, when do you want to do it, where are you going to do it, how do you want to operate, and why are you doing this?
Secondly, it should be focused and clear. For example, I know a photographer who only works on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He has 2 sessions a day available. You can have studio sessions or be photographed in a park near his studio for the same price. If you want him to come to you, the session fee goes up $100.00. He only photographs children and families–no seniors, no weddings, no sports. He works alone, and has priced himself at the upper end of his market, because he wants to minimize his overhead and provide a full-time income for his family. He defines everything about his business, so that anyone else reading his business plan would know exactly how he operates and what to expect when working with him.
It should define specific business objectives and goals. What do you want to realize from your business this year, in three years, five or ten? What are your goals?
A business plan should force logic and discipline into a business. If you have others working with you, they should know from your business plan exactly what the answers would be for any question that they might be asked.
Finally, it is a living document and should be updated regularly. Donʼt do it once and put it away. Keep it handy to measure if you are operating the way you want to, and to evaluate what needs to be done to reach your goals.
The best way to know where you are going is to have a road map. Your business plan is that road map. For more information on how to write your business plan go to: web.sba.gov/busplantemplate/BizPlanStart.cfm
What is your plan for your business?
We are super excited to announce the winner of the $1000 BRI shopping spree we announced on January 6th!
There were 443 entries for the $1000 BRI shopping spree and 430 entries for the $250 BRI shopping spree! Awesome turn out!
Anyone who had their badge scanned at our booth during ImagingUSA was automatically given a number corresponding with the order in which their badge was scanned. Those of you who entered via a picture, tweet or comment on the blog, were added to the list in no particular order.
We used the True Random Number Generator powered by Random.org to generate the numbers of the winners!
Drum roll please!!
And the WINNER of the $1000 BRI Shopping Spree is…….Fred Powell of Fredtography!
On to the $250 BRI Shopping Spree! Drum roll please!
And the winner of the $250 BRI Shopping Spree is….Allison Shamrell of Allison Shamrell Photography!
Didn’t attend ImagingUSA? Forgot to enter? Check back next month for another shopping spree! We are doing it all over again for WPPI!
ImagingUSA 2012. What can I say? It was awesome! It was fun! It was amazing!
But more than that, ImagingUSA was a first for all of us at Black River Imaging. And what a first it was! For Jason (head of our customer service department) and his wife, Aurelia Stratton, it was their first trip to NOLA. Rowena Raborar, BRI’s Creative Director, had her first authentic Gin Fizz at The Roosevelt Hotel. For me, I had bread pudding with a whiskey sauce for the first time!
But what made this trip to NOLA even more special was the opportunity to meet online friends in person for the first time, see the direction the industry is heading, and the opportunity to share ideas one on one with all of you.
Was ImagingUSA your first Imaging? Was eating begient’s at midnight in the French Quarter a first for you? What experience did you have at ImagingUSA for the first time? How did attending ImagingUSA change your business?
We are beyond excited to be co-sponsoring a Meet Up in NOLA on Monday night with Clickin Moms! Stop by our booth, #307 or look for the River, in the trade show to request your invitation to a private showing at the A Gallery for Fine Photography!
See you there!
ImagingUSA is just a few days away! We are so excited to bring to you a phenomenal speaker line up to our booth, #307! Stop by, say Hi, and learn from the industry’s best photographers!
Sunday, January 15th
12:30 pm Whitney & David Scott- Like Taking Money from a Baby: Using Psychology to Win Clients & Creating Your Perfect Baby Plan
1:45 pm Gene Ho- The Art of the Fisheye Lens
3:00 pm Dawn Shields- Expose Yourself
Monday, January 16th
11:15 am Natalie Licini- The Art of Storytelling
12:30 pm Vanessa Joy & Rob Adams- Making the Shift to Shooting Video
1:45 pm Prem Mukherjee- Business Tips
3:00 pm Martha J Dameron- Reboot Your Studio; Reboot Your Life: How to Create a Business Plan
Tuesday, January 17th
10:00 am Dixie Dixon- Lights, Camera, Fashion!
11:15 am Amanda Reed- What No One Told Me About Photography
12:30 pm Elise Ellis- Social Media for Today’s Photographer
You don’t want to miss these AWESOME talks! See you at booth #307!
We are super excited our Metal Ornaments have been given the Hot One 2012 award by Professional Photographer Magazine!
Be sure to stop by our booth, #307 at Imaging USA, to check out our Ornaments and other awesome products!
See you in NOLA!
All of us at BRI are excited beyond belief to be heading to NOLA next week for Imaging USA 2012!
We can’t wait to give hugs, high fives, hip bumps, answer questions, and scan your badges to enter you in our $1000 shopping spree giveaway!
Not attending but still want a chance at winning a $1000 shopping spree?
This contest is open to EVERYONE!
Dig out your December issue of the Professional Photographer magazine (or another issue if you don’t have December’s) and find our Holiday Ornaments advertisement. Have a friend take your picture holding the magazine open to our ad. Email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information so we know who you are!
It can look something like this:
Head over to our Facebook page. Once the entries start rolling in, we will be uploading all of your photos there! Feel free to be creative!
Want to increase your chances even more?
Head on over to twitter with your photo! First, follow us @bripro, then tweet out the photo of you holding the December issue of Professional Photographer magazine open to our Holiday Ornament ad using the hashtag #bripro1000.
Help us find your tweet by commenting on this blog post with the link to your tweet and you will get a second entry to win the $1000 shopping spree!
Attending Imaging USA 2012?
Simply ask us to scan your badge at the BRI booth #307 to be entered automatically. PLUS…you will be entered to win a bonus giveaway as well! Yes…we are giving away a second prize of a $250 BRI shopping spree to a lucky someone attending the show!
Snap Happy! See you in NOLA!