Education for Photographers & Entrepreneurs

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WELCOME!


 

Hi, I’m Brian! I help other photographers hone their camera, lighting and entrepreneurial skills so they can serve their communities through thriving photography businesses!

Explore this page where you’ll find links to free tools and resources, a list of gear that I use and recommend,  and opportunities for online and offline photography education!


Non-newsletter emails that don’t suck!

On occasion I come across some great tips, tools and insights in the course of running my business. And when I do, I enjoy sharing them with other photographers and business owners. If you are open to having some occasional, seemingly random emails land in your inbox that could help you grow your photography or service-based business…be sure to sign up below! And of course, don’t be afraid to use the “Ask a Question” form in the footer below if you need to get in touch!


TOOLS & TIPS


 

Below you will find links to tools, tips, books & resources that I love and use regularly in my own business. I enjoy recommending these products to other business owners and professional photographers, and I hope that they will bring you success as well.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means that I am able to pass on certain discounts and specials that will save you money and make it easier for you to try or get started with the tools on this page. In rare circumstances I might also receive a small benefit as a result of the referrals from this page. Regardless, these tools, resources, and services have made me more efficient in my daily life, help me to run a successful business, and allow me to provide a fantastic experience to my clients.  I encourage you to put them to use in your own business.  If you need advice about physical products and tools, be sure to check out the “gear” tab on this page.

ALBUM DESIGN

FUNDY DESIGNER

Fundy is the ultimate tool for designing print products for clients. But it’s not just for albums. Fundy makes it easy to design and show proofs for all sorts of projects including wall displays, holiday cards, books, albums and more. The software is intuitive to use with a clean user interface. And itallows you to save templates that make it easy to recall previous designs.

An optional add-on also allows you export your creations directly from the design software to a beautiful proofing site for your clients. There, clients can easily view, add comments, and approve albums, card, and wall art designs all in one client-friendly location. Fundy also has a number of tools to help photographers who prefer an in person sales process.

There are a number of album design softwares out there, and I have tried many. I like Fundy because it allows me to design a wall art and cards as well as albums. I also like the seamless connection between the design software and client-proofing modules, which saves me time and provides my clients with an improved decision-making experience. Click here and use the code PASKO for a 25% discount!

 

BACKUPS

BACKBLAZE

As professional photographers it is our responsibility to ensure that our clients images are safe and secure. That means using a camera with a second memory card to make a duplicate copy of each image immediately upon creation. It also means making multiple backups immediately after a portrait session.

The industry standard is to have three backups: 2 physical backups on site and a third backup at a second location or in the cloud.  Back Blaze makes this process simple, as it automatically sends a copy of my files to a cloud backup seconds after they are uploaded or created on my computer. No other system provides this peace of mind. Click here to create a Back Blaze account and get one month free.

CLIENT EXPERIENCE

17 HATS

17 Hats is my go to Client Relationship Management (CRM) System. It handles many of the most important aspects of my business including collecting client information through lead forms on my website, scheduling client meetings and sessions, informational surveys and client questionnaires, email automations, invoicing, bookkeeping, and more.  

It’s not the perfect solution (no CRM is ever perfect). I would love to see more robust bookkeeping and reporting tools, though I have found other tools (like Wave Accounting below) to fill this void. Despite the shortcomings, 17 Hats is still the best CRM tht I’ve found and without it my business would quite simply collapse into chaos. Be sure to use my referall code to give it a try and receive 50% off your first year.

COMMUNICATION TOOLS

SLYDIAL

Sometimes you need to leave an urgent and  personal phone message to a client without being interrupted or knowing that you have limited time for the conversation. Enter Slydial (an app for both Apple iphones and Android) that skips the live phone call and connects you directly to a person’s voicemail.

I use the free version, And I don’t use this tool often, but when used effectively it helps me to deliver important information to my clients in a personal way when an email message just won’t do. Click here to learn more.

EDITING & RETOUCHING

ADOBE PHOTOGRAPHY PLAN

Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom can get a bit of a bad rap for being slower than some of its counterparts. I think those concerns are overstated. And the fact is that the Lightroom and Photoshop combination are the industry standards for raw image processing and retouching for a reason.

Photoshop and Lightroom are incredibly powerful pieces of software and the updates just keep coming. At $10/month for combined Photoshop and Lightroom subscriptions, the Adobe Photography plan is definitely one of the best investments I make in my photography business.

IMAGEN AI

Imagen AI (pronounced Imagine) takes the time, struggle and second-guessing out of color correcting your images. The software works with lightroom catalogs. You upload your images to Imagen’s servers, and Imagen AI returns them to you with complex lightroom adjustments with perfect skin tones, contrast adjustments and more.

If you are looking for a simple way to get started, you can use Imagen AI’s presets (callede Talent AI profiles). These apply the editing styles of other well known photographers to your images. But the most successul approach is to build your own personal profile, which you can do by uploading a large number of previously edited images. In this case, Imagine AI will learn your personal editing style and replicate it with amazing acurracy across all of your future images.

I have used Imagen AI to reliablly color correct thousands of images from on-location jobs to studio headshots. If you are looking for a software that will allow you to spend your time in front of a computer in the most meaningful way (i.e. retouching and finessing your final images rather than spending hours in the color correction phases), give Imagen AI a try! Click here to get started with 1500 free AI edits.

RETOUCH4ME

There is no substitute for learning how to expertly hand retouch your images using industry standard tools like Photoshop. But when it comes to blemish removal, dodging & burning, eye enhancement, glare removal and more, the Retouch4Me software saves me a ton of time and allows me to deliver beauitifully edited images to my clients faster.

We are in an age where aritifcial intelligence (AI) tools are popping up everywhere, but what I like the most about Retouch4Me versus other products is that there is no subscription fee and you don’t have to pay by the image either. Additionally, Retouch4Me integrates seemlessly into my Lightroom and Photoshop workflow. As a result, I can take advantage of the AI aspects of Retouch4Me to quickly polish and image, and the results are brought into a layered photoshop file where I can review and make additional hand-retouched edits to the image when needed.

There are about a dozen separate photoshop plugins to choose from, so you can purchase the ones you need and ignore the ones you don’t. And Photoshop makes it easy to run the Retouch4Me tools as batch actions and to automatically apply the adjustments to many images at a time. Click here to give it a try and enjoy 35% off with my promo code.

SKYLAB TECHNOLOGIES

Any portrait photographer who has been in business for a minute knows the pain of glasses glare. Sure, the best possible outcome is to take the time to move your lights to avoid that glare in the first place.  But anyone that has photographed a child or volume sports knows that there are so many cases where doing so just isn’t possible.

And yes, every photographer should learn how to repair these issues by hand in photoshop when they are unavoidable. But time is money, and Skylab makes glasses glare removal quick and easy when your time is better spent on other priority projects.

GALLERY SOFTWARE

GOTPHOTO

GotPhoto is my go to software for delivering volume sports, dance, and school images to my clients. Whether I am photographing a school or a youth sports league, Got photo dramatically simplifiies the post-processing portions of a picture day.

The software allows you to create QR codes for each subject. After picture day, GotPhoto will automatically match your images to the QR Codes, sort the pictures, and put each player into separate private galleries grouped by team. What once took days to accomplish, GotPhoto now does in minutes.

And it doesn’t stop there. GotPhoto galleries include an online sales platform that parents love. And from the photographer’s side they allow you to create packages and set your own price lists with an incredible amount of customization.

If you photograph sports, dance, or schools you can’t go wrong with GotPhoto. Sign up with my referral link and you’ll receive a $200 GotPhoto credit when you reach $500 in revenue from your first volume photography job!

MILLERS REMOTE SUITE PLUS

Miller’s Remote Suite Plus is a free software that allows you to upload images from a picture day, match them to a client’s order, and efficiently submit those orders directly to MIller’s Professional Lab for printing and delivery.

GotPhoto is my gallery of choice when I am photographing multiple poses of each child and proofing the images after Picture Day. However, I use Miller’s Remote Suite for jobs where parents pre-order packages and I only provide one photograph of each player. (This is a common situation for large youth sports leagues where there is limited time to photograph each child). In these cases. Millers Remote Suite allows me to create an online pre-order form that is sent to parents. And after picture day the software makes it easy to match the individual portraits of each child to the client orders and submit the packages in bulk to the print lab.

Miller’s remote suite can also be used for multi-pose jobs and can host online proofing galleries as well. And, unlike GotPhoto, you can download the software and use it commission-free. For complex jobs I find GotPhoto galleries to be a more efficient option. But for simple pre-order jobs, Millers Remote suite is the more economical tool.

PIC-TIME

Pic-Time is my gallery of choice for providing online proofing galleries to my headshot and portrait clients. It is an extremely powerful gallery system and because of that it can be complex and has a substantial learning curve when you are first getting started. But the benefits certainly make that onboarding time worthwhile.

There’s a lot to love about Pic-Time, but perhaps my two favorite features are the galleries and the sales automations. Pic-TIme galleries can be set up in a way that your images are displayed on the products that you offer for sale inside the gallery. So when the client views a picture of a canvas or a framed print, for example, the clients are seing these products as if they have already been produced with their images on them.

Additionally Pic-Time has a number of built in apps that automate certain gallery processes, from coupons to expirations. But of significance to me is the Simple Sales System Automation, which allows me to seemlessly implement this pricing system into my galleries and to automate the system for my clients. (See more about the Simple Sales System below).  You can try Pic-Time for free and it you think it’s right for you, use this link to receive a free month when you upgrade to a paid account.

LIGHTING TOOLS

SET A LTE 3D

This is an amazing tool by Elixxier Software that I use for testing out lighting ideas, planning portrait sessions, and learning how to control light in a studio setting. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but the software allows you to design a complete studio setup virtually on your desktop. You can set the size of the space, celling height, choose the backgrounds, lighting sources and modifiers, and you can even choose a model’s outfits and pose.  

I use this software to test ane experiment with lighting ideas in advance of a shoot without having to set everything up, move lights around, or waste the talent’s time. Once I’ve dialed in the look I want, I can print a lighting diagram and construct the setup in the real world. And the real life results end up being nearly identical to the outputs predicted by the software. Click here to learn more. Use the discount code BRIAN10 for 10% off your software purchase.

MONEY MATTERS

PROFIT FIRST

Profit First isn’t just a book, it’s a philosophy. And I don’t say this lightly: the Profit First approach changed my life and saved my business. Gone are the days of endlessly reinvesting profits to “grow” your business leaving nothing for you and your family.

Author MIke Michalowicz teaches you how to build a thriving business without simultaneously depriving yourself of the profit you’ve earned. If I could offer only one book recommendation to anyone who has just started a new business (or even someone who is years in), this is the book.  Click here to read my review and learn more.

RELAY

I spent way too many years banking with one of those large banks that was more interested in collecting fees than helping me build my small business. Then I found Relay. Relay is an online bank that works only with small businesses. It offers small businesses up to 20 checking accounts, 2 high interest savings accounts, and 50 debit cards at no cost with no account fees.  And, I was able to set up my first account completely online in a matter of minutes. (I didn’t even have to talk to anyone let along drive to a far away place and wait tto meet with a teller!)

Even more importantly, Relay has parntered with and been endorsed by Profit First Professionals (read more about Profit First above).  By using Relay to easily segregate your business funds into designated accounts for profit, owner’s pay, taxes, and operating expenses, Profit First ensures financial discipline and the long-term sustainability of your business. And Relay bank’s customizable features complement the Profit First system seamlessly, facilitating automated fund allocation and real-time tracking of cash flow. Click here to learn more!

MILEIQ

MIleIQ is an online platform coupled with apps for both Apple and Android. The way it works is that the apps track your drives automatically. At the end of the day you swipe left if it was a personal trip and right if it was a business trip.  You classify your drives with one swipe, and you can add additional detail if necessary.

When it comes time to pay the government, you can produce a tax-compliant report with a single click.  You can view detailed maps, name locations, and add multiple vehicles. If you don’t drive a lot, MileIQ is free for up to 40 drives per month. Otherwise, you can purchase an inexpensive monthly or annual subscription which is certainly less expensive than tallying your mileage manually in a spreadsheet! Click here to learn more!

SIMPLE SALES SYSTEM

The Simple Sales System (SSS) is both a system for pricing photography services as well as an online course (developed by photographer Annemie Tonken in North Carolina). Both are worthy of your time and investment. 

At its core, the SSS is a pricing system that allows the photographer to provide the clients with both digital images and print products in such a way that the client receives immense value while also allowing the photographer to run a profitable business.

Gnerally there have been two historic approaches to pricing photography. In the first approach, often called “all inclusive,” the photographer leaves the client with nothing but a set of digital images. This approach has the potential to devalue the photographer’s time and talent, while also leaving the client feeling empty-handed without any tangible products or heirlooms to show from their experience. The second approach is its opposite, often referred to as “in person sales.” This approach, while it often leads to much higher sales averages, has the potential to feel “salesy” and awkward and requires a tremendous amount of time from both the photographer and the client.

The SSS is a modernized pricing system that strikes the perfect balance between these two historic approaches by offering packages and options to clients that include a combination of digital images and tangible print products. Click here to learn more!

WAVE ACCOUNTING

Wave Accounting is a free bookkeeping platform that is trusted by over 2 million small business owners. It is the new way for small businesses owners to handle their bookeeping. Gone are the days when the overpriced Quickbooks software was the industry standard for financial responsibility.

Wave Accounting offers a user-friendly interface and comprehensive features. It simplifies essential accounting tasks such as invoicing, expense tracking, reporting, and tax preparation.  It’s efficient and easy to use, even for those with limited accounting knowledge. In my opinion, the only thing of value that Wave Accounting lacks that Quickbooks has is mileage tracking (but I’ve found an even better solution for that, check out the information on MileIQ on this age).

Wave Accounting is an ideal choice for pragmatic entrepreneurs looking to streamline their financial processes without breaking the bank. Click here to learn more!

PRINTING LABS

MILLER’S PROFESSIONAL LAB

I cannot say enough about Miller’s Professional Lab. And I have wholeheartedly given them my highest possible recomemmendation to other professional photographers time and time again.  From their heirloom-quality products, fast turn-around times, and amazing customer service, there’s a reason twhy Miller’s is my print lab of choice. 

From my experience, Miller’s attention to detail is unmatched. The quality of every print or product is carefully inspected before it leave’s their doors. And the range of services they offer, from traditional prints to innovative products, caters to the diverse needs of my clients. I use Millers to provide beautiful wall art for my portrait clients AND to deliver the coolest new ways for my my volume sports clients to show off their young soccer star.

But what’s really behind my love of Millers?  It’s the people. They are a small crew that clearly functions as a family. When I go to a trade show or conferences like Imaging USA, the Miller’s team is there. When I have questions, it’s mere minutes before they pick up the phone and I’m talking to a live human being that’s directly connected to the print lab floor.T

The expertise and professionalism of the Miller’s team inspires confidence and trust. In my opinion, choosing Miller’s is not just a choice; it’s an assurance of superior craftsmanship and a delightful customer experience, every time. Click here to learn more.

PRODUCTIVITY

ANY.DO

Any.do is the task management tool that I couldn’t live without. In fact, I actually enjoy using it! Every morning it prompts me to clarify my priorities and it keeps me focussed and productive throughout the day.

In Any.do, users can create tasks, set due dates, and prioritize items with ease. The app’s intuitive interface allows for quick organization and editing of tasks. Any.do offers reminders to keep you on track and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks. You can also create recurring tasks for routine activities. The app syncs across devices, enabling seamless access to tasks from anywhere.

Yes, there’s a free version.  But I liked it so much I upgraded to premium. And now I’ve got a family plan, which allows our family to share grocery list and work collaboratively on household projects.

For me, Any.do has been an invaluable tool for my boosting productivity and staying organized. Check it out here.

APPLE NOTES

I hesitated for a moment before adding this entry because I know it’s not for everyone. For better or worse, I drank the koolaid that is the Apple Ecosystem long ago. And for me, that meant embracing Apple Notes, which has become incredibly feature-rich over the past few years.

But for you that may mean another online note taking app, like Evernote. The important part here is to find a notes app that works for you and more importantly to use it.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my review of the book “Building a Second Brain.” This book will give you whole new insight into how to use these tools to declutter your life and ease decision-making in both your personal life and business.

In my world, I’ve found that Apple Notes makes it easy for me to organize my thoughts, tasks, and ideas and to share them across multiple devices including my desktop. You can create checklists, tables, sketches, and even scan documents. And most importantly Apple Notes’ robust search functionality and folder organization means that your “second brain” is always just a few taps away.

GOOGLE WORKSPACE

While I may be hooked on my Apple devices, I’m not ashamed that I am an even bigger shill for Google. I use Google tools every day, multiple times a day. My life and my business could not operate without them. We are all familiar with the free Google utilities that are availble online, but investing in a paid Google Workspace subscription can bring a priceless level of organization and professionalism to your business.

Let’s begin with something that may not be obvious: the ability to integrate gmail into your website’s domain. This simple solution offers you a “professional” looking email address and online presence, while simultaneously virtually eliminating issues with email delverability and spam. Moreover, your email is now seemlessly integrated with a suite of powerful tools that are designed for productivity and collaboration such as Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Meet and more.

When you need to collaborate with a team of other creatives, Google’s tools allow for simultaneous editing and feedback and to even unlimited video communication, fostering teamwork regardless of location. The robust security features integrated into all of Google’s tools ensure data protection and gives you the ability to finely control the sharing and delivery of images, files, slideshow and more with client and vendors. And because it’s all on the cloud, your desktop date is backed up and available to you from any device, anytime. Click here to grab a free 14 day trial and get started for as little as $6/month.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS & INSURANCE

PROFESSIONAL PHOROGRAPHERS OF AMERICA

I’m the kind of guy that laughed at Fraternities and Sororities in College.  They were never my thing.  But in my adult life, joining the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) was a game-changer for my career. And I would argue that it could be for yours as well. As a member, you gain access to a wealth of benefits that won’t just elevate your photography, it will give your business the tools it needs to thrive.

First and foremost, PPA offers invaluable networking opportunities, allowing you to connect with fellow professionals, share knowledge, and learn from industry experts. You’ll also have access to educational resources, workshops, and seminars to enhance your skills and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques. Every year I look forward to attending Imaging USA, PPA’s flagship conference, and coming home inspired and full of new ideas to push my photography business forward.

One of the standout benefits of PPA membership is the indemnification trust, which covers legal fees and expenses if you ever have issues related to contracts, copyright infringement claims, or protecting your intellectual property rights.  Moreover, PPA offers robust insurance coverage, including equipment and professional liability insurance. With up to $15,000 in equipment coverage and $1 million in professional liability coverage through PPA’s insurance partner, Lockton Affinity, you can safeguard your gear and business against unforeseen circumstances.

While the Indeminity Trust and insurance alone pays for the cost of membership, PPA members also enjoy discounts on products and services, access to client management tools, and marketing resources to help grow their businesses. I’ve barely touched the surface of all that PPA offer’s professional photographers. Click here and enter my name as a referring memnber to receive $35 off your first year of membership with PPA!

WEBSITE AND INTERNET TOOLS

DASHLANE

If you haven’t had your identity stolen or one of your passords compromised yet, just wait. It’s only a matter of time. It happened to me, and it completely changed my mindset about password management. The rules around passwords are simple: make them complex and never use a password more than once. But how in the world can anyone keep track of all that?  Dashlane doesn’t just help you remember your passwords, it makes it very easy to create and retrieve them and also has tools for storing other sensitive data like credit cards and IDs.

Dashlane offers a suite of benefits for secure password management and digital identity protection. It simplifies password management by generating and storing complex passwords, reducing the risk of breaches due to weak passwords. It streamlines logins across devices, enhancing convenience without compromising security. And , its encrypted vault ensures sensitive information like credit card details and personal data remains safeguarded.

Dashlane’s password changer feature even automatically updates passwords for supported accounts. And it provides security alerts for potential breaches, enabling proactive action. Use this link to sign and  get a premium account free for 6 months!

Especially if you have a website that is based on the WordPress platform, SiteGround and WPEngine are the only two options worth considering when it comes to hosting. I’ve been with SiteGround for nearly a decade and I reccommend it without hesitateion.tedly the way to go. Ready to sign up? Use this referal link for a HUGE discount!

SITEGROUND

Especially if you have a website that is based on the WordPress platform, SiteGround and WPEngine are the only two options worth considering when it comes to hosting. I’ve been with SiteGround for nearly a decade and I reccommend it without hesitateion.

Siteground’s track record for uptime, reliability, and speed is unmatched. But what truly sets them apart is their outstanding customer service – prompt, knowledgeable, and always ready to assist. Whether it’s a technical issue or a simple query, their support team goes above and beyond.I have had to contact them a number of times with issues that affected my website’s performance, but that were unrelated to the services that Siteground provides. Every time, they have been more interested in helping me solve my problems than figuring out who was to blame. As a small business owner, that attitude from a vendor is worth its weight in gold.

With SiteGround, I’ve experienced minimal downtime, lightning-fast loading times, and a clear focus on security measures. And the back-end interface is user-friendly, even for someone like me who knows just enough about website management to be dangerous. For a dependable hosting solution backed by stellar support, SiteGround is undoubtedly the way to go. Ready to sign up? Use this referal link for a HUGE discount!

ZAPIER

Zapier is a web-based automation tool that allows you to connect your favorite apps and automate repetitive tasks without any coding or development skills. With Zapier, you can create workflows called “Zaps” that trigger actions in one app based on events that occur in another app. It’s an amazing tool that saves me a ton of time and the monotony of carrying out routine business tasks,

Specifically, I use Zapier to automatically connect my 17 Hats CRM to the newsletter plugin that I use on my WordPress website.  When a potential client fill outs a new lead form on my website, the information automatically flows into 17 Hats along with information about the type of service they are interested in and whether they want to sign up for my email newsletter.  Behind the scenes, Zapier also picks it up and adds the same information to my online newsletter.  All of the information is also captured by Zapier, allowing me to segment my email list and send specific emails to each individual based on their preferences.

There’s a little bit of a learning curve to set this process up, but Zapier’s interface is pretty user-friendly. You can get started with Zapier for free, and there’s also a monthly subscription available if and when you need more. If you are looking to optimize your workflow, increase productivity, and save time on repetitive tasks, I definitely recommend exploring options to incorporate Zapier into your toolset.

BOOKS & PODCASTS!


 

As my family will tell you, I’m not a very patient person. And I can never seem to make the space in my life for reading—whether it’s for business OR pleasure. But I do love a good audio book or podcast, which I can enjoy over a long walks with my dog or while trying to avoid the drudgery of the treadmill at the gym. Below is a short list of books and podcasts that have made a noteworthy difference in my life and in my business.

GEAR I USE


 

Let’s get one thing straight. These days, it’s near impossible to buy a bad camera. It doesn’t matter if you own a Leica, Canon, Nikon or Sony. What matters is what you learn to do with the camera you have. And choosing the right camera, depends almost entirely on what you love to photograph and in what conditions. It’s the same for the lighting gear you choose.

I am a Nikon shooter. Not because I think Nikon is somehow superior to other brands, but because I grew up photographing with Nikon cameras. They are familiar to me. I can find the controls quickly. I love the ergonomics. And my Nikon cameras and Godox Lighting gear excel at the types of professional jobs that I photograph.

Below is a list of gear that I use on a regular basis both on location and in the studio. For each piece of gear, I’ve also included some notes about why I use the equipment and how. I hope you find this information useful in your quest to find the gear that fits your specific needs.

Cameras and Lenses

Studio & Specialty Tools

Lights & Modifiers

Bags & Accessories

MENTORING


 

Whether you are a a hobbyist photographer just learning how to use your camera or a seasoned technician looking to grow your business, I can help you skip the mistakes and get you to where you want to be faster.

I am a certified, award winning professional photographer with more than a decade of experience running a profitable portrait photography business. I am skilled in numerous photography genres including high school senior portraits, volume sports and dance photography, professional headshots, weddings, and more.  And, as a former lawyer and non-profit executive-director, I can also help you build your business acumen and financial confidence, which are critical to running a successful photography studio.

The internet is full of options for online photography learning. Some are great. And others might take your money and lead you in the wrong direction. Sometimes you just need someone you can trust, who’s been in the trenches and who will listen to your specific needs, to help you figure out the next steps. Perhaps I might be your person.

Here are a few of the skills that I can help you master:

  • Photography basics and mastering your camera
  • Use of flash and off-camera lighting
  • Understanding lighting patters and using modifiers to shape light
  • The elements of strong posing and composition
  • Editing, retouching, and creative enhancements using Lightroom, Photoshop and other popular tools
  • Building your portfolio including portfolio reviews
  • Taking your first steps toward establishing your new business
  • Developing and pricing your product lines and services
  • Marketing your photography business and skills
  • Building an organized and efficient workflow
  • Improving your client experience

Are you interested in a training or mentoring opportunity with me? Here’s how to get started:

    1. Reach Out.  Click here to schedule an informal & complimentary 30-minute zoom meeting.  You’ll be asked to answer a few short questions when you fill out the scheduling form. We’ll use this meeting to get to know each other, to give me an opportunity to learn more about your goals, and so that we can determine if I am the right mentor to help guide you to your next level.
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    2. Make it Official!  After our zoom call/meeting, if you feel we are the right fit, I’ll send you a custom quote based on our discussion and your needs.
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    3. Lets Learn! Mentoring sessions can occur either in person or online. The timing and frequency of our sessions will be mutually agreed upon taking into consideration both of our calendars and the specific skills that you want to learn.
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    4. Follow Up! I don’t believe in leaving friends hanging high and dry. After our formal mentoring sessions have cooncluded. I will remain available to answer your questions and help you solidify the new skills that you learn. And of course if you’d like to renew your mentorship and dive into new areas or learn more advanced techniques, that will be an option too!

Mentoring Session Pricing Guide

I'm New!

$150

For the hobbyist photographer who is just getting started with photography and learning how to use your camera.

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  • Skip the overwhelm of photography lingo and trying to make sense of your camera’s manual.
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  • I’ll help you develop a strong foundation in the principles of photography and leave you with a working knowledge of the most important controls on your camera.
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  • You’ll have the knowledge to begin making good exposures of the subjects that you care about the most, and you will have an understanding of the next steps to take to continue builiding your skills.
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  • Includes a free introductory call, Two 2-hour sessions (either on zoom or in person), and assignments for you to complete in between the two sessions.
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  • Group sessions are also available. Please inquire for a custom quote.

I want to Grow!

$350

For both professionals and hobbyists who want to learn new photography skills, start a new business, or take their existing business to the next level.
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  • Introductory call to define the scope of your mentoriship program
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  • Base proce includes two 2-hour sessions (total of four hours)
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  • Mentoring sessions can take place on zoom, in person (depending on your location), or a combination of both.
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  • We’ll discuss and learn anything you want based on the outcome of our introductory call (ex: pricing, guides, client experience, emails, communication, posing, workflow, marketing, website, social media, etc.)
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  • Add additional hours at $50/hour

I just have a question!

$0

Because maybe you don’t actually need a mentoring or training session!
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  • If you’ve got a burning question or two, send me an email and I’ll do my best to give you some guidance. If you feel that I’ve helped you, consider clicking here and buying me a cup of coffee.
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  • If you need a bit more, go ahead and use the button above to schedule a short call with me. I keep a limited number of appointments available on my calendar for photographers that have questions and just need a bit of help.

SUBSCRIBE!


 

Every now and then  I come across some great tips, tools and insights in the course of running my business. And when I do, I enjoy sharing them with other photographers and business owners. If you are open to having some occasional, seemingly random emails land in your inbox that could help you grow your photography or service-based business…be sure to sign up below!


Welcome!

WELCOME!


 

Hi, I’m Brian! I help other photographers hone their camera, lighting and entrepreneurial skills so they can serve their communities through thriving photography businesses!

Explore this page where you’ll find links to free tools and resources, a list of gear that I use and recommend,  and opportunities for online and offline photography education!


Non-newsletter emails that don’t suck!

On occasion I come across some great tips, tools and insights in the course of running my business. And when I do, I enjoy sharing them with other photographers and business owners. If you are open to having some occasional, seemingly random emails land in your inbox that could help you grow your photography or service-based business…be sure to sign up below! And of course, don’t be afraid to use the “Ask a Question” form in the footer below if you need to get in touch!


Tools & Tips

TOOLS & TIPS


 

Below you will find links to tools, tips, books & resources that I love and use regularly in my own business. I enjoy recommending these products to other business owners and professional photographers, and I hope that they will bring you success as well.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means that I am able to pass on certain discounts and specials that will save you money and make it easier for you to try or get started with the tools on this page. In rare circumstances I might also receive a small benefit as a result of the referrals from this page. Regardless, these tools, resources, and services have made me more efficient in my daily life, help me to run a successful business, and allow me to provide a fantastic experience to my clients.  I encourage you to put them to use in your own business.  If you need advice about physical products and tools, be sure to check out the “gear” tab on this page.

ALBUM DESIGN

FUNDY DESIGNER

Fundy is the ultimate tool for designing print products for clients. But it’s not just for albums. Fundy makes it easy to design and show proofs for all sorts of projects including wall displays, holiday cards, books, albums and more. The software is intuitive to use with a clean user interface. And itallows you to save templates that make it easy to recall previous designs.

An optional add-on also allows you export your creations directly from the design software to a beautiful proofing site for your clients. There, clients can easily view, add comments, and approve albums, card, and wall art designs all in one client-friendly location. Fundy also has a number of tools to help photographers who prefer an in person sales process.

There are a number of album design softwares out there, and I have tried many. I like Fundy because it allows me to design a wall art and cards as well as albums. I also like the seamless connection between the design software and client-proofing modules, which saves me time and provides my clients with an improved decision-making experience. Click here and use the code PASKO for a 25% discount!

 

BACKUPS

BACKBLAZE

As professional photographers it is our responsibility to ensure that our clients images are safe and secure. That means using a camera with a second memory card to make a duplicate copy of each image immediately upon creation. It also means making multiple backups immediately after a portrait session.

The industry standard is to have three backups: 2 physical backups on site and a third backup at a second location or in the cloud.  Back Blaze makes this process simple, as it automatically sends a copy of my files to a cloud backup seconds after they are uploaded or created on my computer. No other system provides this peace of mind. Click here to create a Back Blaze account and get one month free.

CLIENT EXPERIENCE

17 HATS

17 Hats is my go to Client Relationship Management (CRM) System. It handles many of the most important aspects of my business including collecting client information through lead forms on my website, scheduling client meetings and sessions, informational surveys and client questionnaires, email automations, invoicing, bookkeeping, and more.  

It’s not the perfect solution (no CRM is ever perfect). I would love to see more robust bookkeeping and reporting tools, though I have found other tools (like Wave Accounting below) to fill this void. Despite the shortcomings, 17 Hats is still the best CRM tht I’ve found and without it my business would quite simply collapse into chaos. Be sure to use my referall code to give it a try and receive 50% off your first year.

COMMUNICATION TOOLS

SLYDIAL

Sometimes you need to leave an urgent and  personal phone message to a client without being interrupted or knowing that you have limited time for the conversation. Enter Slydial (an app for both Apple iphones and Android) that skips the live phone call and connects you directly to a person’s voicemail.

I use the free version, And I don’t use this tool often, but when used effectively it helps me to deliver important information to my clients in a personal way when an email message just won’t do. Click here to learn more.

EDITING & RETOUCHING

ADOBE PHOTOGRAPHY PLAN

Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom can get a bit of a bad rap for being slower than some of its counterparts. I think those concerns are overstated. And the fact is that the Lightroom and Photoshop combination are the industry standards for raw image processing and retouching for a reason.

Photoshop and Lightroom are incredibly powerful pieces of software and the updates just keep coming. At $10/month for combined Photoshop and Lightroom subscriptions, the Adobe Photography plan is definitely one of the best investments I make in my photography business.

IMAGEN AI

Imagen AI (pronounced Imagine) takes the time, struggle and second-guessing out of color correcting your images. The software works with lightroom catalogs. You upload your images to Imagen’s servers, and Imagen AI returns them to you with complex lightroom adjustments with perfect skin tones, contrast adjustments and more.

If you are looking for a simple way to get started, you can use Imagen AI’s presets (callede Talent AI profiles). These apply the editing styles of other well known photographers to your images. But the most successul approach is to build your own personal profile, which you can do by uploading a large number of previously edited images. In this case, Imagine AI will learn your personal editing style and replicate it with amazing acurracy across all of your future images.

I have used Imagen AI to reliablly color correct thousands of images from on-location jobs to studio headshots. If you are looking for a software that will allow you to spend your time in front of a computer in the most meaningful way (i.e. retouching and finessing your final images rather than spending hours in the color correction phases), give Imagen AI a try! Click here to get started with 1500 free AI edits.

RETOUCH4ME

There is no substitute for learning how to expertly hand retouch your images using industry standard tools like Photoshop. But when it comes to blemish removal, dodging & burning, eye enhancement, glare removal and more, the Retouch4Me software saves me a ton of time and allows me to deliver beauitifully edited images to my clients faster.

We are in an age where aritifcial intelligence (AI) tools are popping up everywhere, but what I like the most about Retouch4Me versus other products is that there is no subscription fee and you don’t have to pay by the image either. Additionally, Retouch4Me integrates seemlessly into my Lightroom and Photoshop workflow. As a result, I can take advantage of the AI aspects of Retouch4Me to quickly polish and image, and the results are brought into a layered photoshop file where I can review and make additional hand-retouched edits to the image when needed.

There are about a dozen separate photoshop plugins to choose from, so you can purchase the ones you need and ignore the ones you don’t. And Photoshop makes it easy to run the Retouch4Me tools as batch actions and to automatically apply the adjustments to many images at a time. Click here to give it a try and enjoy 35% off with my promo code.

SKYLAB TECHNOLOGIES

Any portrait photographer who has been in business for a minute knows the pain of glasses glare. Sure, the best possible outcome is to take the time to move your lights to avoid that glare in the first place.  But anyone that has photographed a child or volume sports knows that there are so many cases where doing so just isn’t possible.

And yes, every photographer should learn how to repair these issues by hand in photoshop when they are unavoidable. But time is money, and Skylab makes glasses glare removal quick and easy when your time is better spent on other priority projects.

GALLERY SOFTWARE

GOTPHOTO

GotPhoto is my go to software for delivering volume sports, dance, and school images to my clients. Whether I am photographing a school or a youth sports league, Got photo dramatically simplifiies the post-processing portions of a picture day.

The software allows you to create QR codes for each subject. After picture day, GotPhoto will automatically match your images to the QR Codes, sort the pictures, and put each player into separate private galleries grouped by team. What once took days to accomplish, GotPhoto now does in minutes.

And it doesn’t stop there. GotPhoto galleries include an online sales platform that parents love. And from the photographer’s side they allow you to create packages and set your own price lists with an incredible amount of customization.

If you photograph sports, dance, or schools you can’t go wrong with GotPhoto. Sign up with my referral link and you’ll receive a $200 GotPhoto credit when you reach $500 in revenue from your first volume photography job!

MILLERS REMOTE SUITE PLUS

Miller’s Remote Suite Plus is a free software that allows you to upload images from a picture day, match them to a client’s order, and efficiently submit those orders directly to MIller’s Professional Lab for printing and delivery.

GotPhoto is my gallery of choice when I am photographing multiple poses of each child and proofing the images after Picture Day. However, I use Miller’s Remote Suite for jobs where parents pre-order packages and I only provide one photograph of each player. (This is a common situation for large youth sports leagues where there is limited time to photograph each child). In these cases. Millers Remote Suite allows me to create an online pre-order form that is sent to parents. And after picture day the software makes it easy to match the individual portraits of each child to the client orders and submit the packages in bulk to the print lab.

Miller’s remote suite can also be used for multi-pose jobs and can host online proofing galleries as well. And, unlike GotPhoto, you can download the software and use it commission-free. For complex jobs I find GotPhoto galleries to be a more efficient option. But for simple pre-order jobs, Millers Remote suite is the more economical tool.

PIC-TIME

Pic-Time is my gallery of choice for providing online proofing galleries to my headshot and portrait clients. It is an extremely powerful gallery system and because of that it can be complex and has a substantial learning curve when you are first getting started. But the benefits certainly make that onboarding time worthwhile.

There’s a lot to love about Pic-Time, but perhaps my two favorite features are the galleries and the sales automations. Pic-TIme galleries can be set up in a way that your images are displayed on the products that you offer for sale inside the gallery. So when the client views a picture of a canvas or a framed print, for example, the clients are seing these products as if they have already been produced with their images on them.

Additionally Pic-Time has a number of built in apps that automate certain gallery processes, from coupons to expirations. But of significance to me is the Simple Sales System Automation, which allows me to seemlessly implement this pricing system into my galleries and to automate the system for my clients. (See more about the Simple Sales System below).  You can try Pic-Time for free and it you think it’s right for you, use this link to receive a free month when you upgrade to a paid account.

LIGHTING TOOLS

SET A LTE 3D

This is an amazing tool by Elixxier Software that I use for testing out lighting ideas, planning portrait sessions, and learning how to control light in a studio setting. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but the software allows you to design a complete studio setup virtually on your desktop. You can set the size of the space, celling height, choose the backgrounds, lighting sources and modifiers, and you can even choose a model’s outfits and pose.  

I use this software to test ane experiment with lighting ideas in advance of a shoot without having to set everything up, move lights around, or waste the talent’s time. Once I’ve dialed in the look I want, I can print a lighting diagram and construct the setup in the real world. And the real life results end up being nearly identical to the outputs predicted by the software. Click here to learn more. Use the discount code BRIAN10 for 10% off your software purchase.

MONEY MATTERS

PROFIT FIRST

Profit First isn’t just a book, it’s a philosophy. And I don’t say this lightly: the Profit First approach changed my life and saved my business. Gone are the days of endlessly reinvesting profits to “grow” your business leaving nothing for you and your family.

Author MIke Michalowicz teaches you how to build a thriving business without simultaneously depriving yourself of the profit you’ve earned. If I could offer only one book recommendation to anyone who has just started a new business (or even someone who is years in), this is the book.  Click here to read my review and learn more.

RELAY

I spent way too many years banking with one of those large banks that was more interested in collecting fees than helping me build my small business. Then I found Relay. Relay is an online bank that works only with small businesses. It offers small businesses up to 20 checking accounts, 2 high interest savings accounts, and 50 debit cards at no cost with no account fees.  And, I was able to set up my first account completely online in a matter of minutes. (I didn’t even have to talk to anyone let along drive to a far away place and wait tto meet with a teller!)

Even more importantly, Relay has parntered with and been endorsed by Profit First Professionals (read more about Profit First above).  By using Relay to easily segregate your business funds into designated accounts for profit, owner’s pay, taxes, and operating expenses, Profit First ensures financial discipline and the long-term sustainability of your business. And Relay bank’s customizable features complement the Profit First system seamlessly, facilitating automated fund allocation and real-time tracking of cash flow. Click here to learn more!

MILEIQ

MIleIQ is an online platform coupled with apps for both Apple and Android. The way it works is that the apps track your drives automatically. At the end of the day you swipe left if it was a personal trip and right if it was a business trip.  You classify your drives with one swipe, and you can add additional detail if necessary.

When it comes time to pay the government, you can produce a tax-compliant report with a single click.  You can view detailed maps, name locations, and add multiple vehicles. If you don’t drive a lot, MileIQ is free for up to 40 drives per month. Otherwise, you can purchase an inexpensive monthly or annual subscription which is certainly less expensive than tallying your mileage manually in a spreadsheet! Click here to learn more!

SIMPLE SALES SYSTEM

The Simple Sales System (SSS) is both a system for pricing photography services as well as an online course (developed by photographer Annemie Tonken in North Carolina). Both are worthy of your time and investment. 

At its core, the SSS is a pricing system that allows the photographer to provide the clients with both digital images and print products in such a way that the client receives immense value while also allowing the photographer to run a profitable business.

Gnerally there have been two historic approaches to pricing photography. In the first approach, often called “all inclusive,” the photographer leaves the client with nothing but a set of digital images. This approach has the potential to devalue the photographer’s time and talent, while also leaving the client feeling empty-handed without any tangible products or heirlooms to show from their experience. The second approach is its opposite, often referred to as “in person sales.” This approach, while it often leads to much higher sales averages, has the potential to feel “salesy” and awkward and requires a tremendous amount of time from both the photographer and the client.

The SSS is a modernized pricing system that strikes the perfect balance between these two historic approaches by offering packages and options to clients that include a combination of digital images and tangible print products. Click here to learn more!

WAVE ACCOUNTING

Wave Accounting is a free bookkeeping platform that is trusted by over 2 million small business owners. It is the new way for small businesses owners to handle their bookeeping. Gone are the days when the overpriced Quickbooks software was the industry standard for financial responsibility.

Wave Accounting offers a user-friendly interface and comprehensive features. It simplifies essential accounting tasks such as invoicing, expense tracking, reporting, and tax preparation.  It’s efficient and easy to use, even for those with limited accounting knowledge. In my opinion, the only thing of value that Wave Accounting lacks that Quickbooks has is mileage tracking (but I’ve found an even better solution for that, check out the information on MileIQ on this age).

Wave Accounting is an ideal choice for pragmatic entrepreneurs looking to streamline their financial processes without breaking the bank. Click here to learn more!

PRINTING LABS

MILLER’S PROFESSIONAL LAB

I cannot say enough about Miller’s Professional Lab. And I have wholeheartedly given them my highest possible recomemmendation to other professional photographers time and time again.  From their heirloom-quality products, fast turn-around times, and amazing customer service, there’s a reason twhy Miller’s is my print lab of choice. 

From my experience, Miller’s attention to detail is unmatched. The quality of every print or product is carefully inspected before it leave’s their doors. And the range of services they offer, from traditional prints to innovative products, caters to the diverse needs of my clients. I use Millers to provide beautiful wall art for my portrait clients AND to deliver the coolest new ways for my my volume sports clients to show off their young soccer star.

But what’s really behind my love of Millers?  It’s the people. They are a small crew that clearly functions as a family. When I go to a trade show or conferences like Imaging USA, the Miller’s team is there. When I have questions, it’s mere minutes before they pick up the phone and I’m talking to a live human being that’s directly connected to the print lab floor.T

The expertise and professionalism of the Miller’s team inspires confidence and trust. In my opinion, choosing Miller’s is not just a choice; it’s an assurance of superior craftsmanship and a delightful customer experience, every time. Click here to learn more.

PRODUCTIVITY

ANY.DO

Any.do is the task management tool that I couldn’t live without. In fact, I actually enjoy using it! Every morning it prompts me to clarify my priorities and it keeps me focussed and productive throughout the day.

In Any.do, users can create tasks, set due dates, and prioritize items with ease. The app’s intuitive interface allows for quick organization and editing of tasks. Any.do offers reminders to keep you on track and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks. You can also create recurring tasks for routine activities. The app syncs across devices, enabling seamless access to tasks from anywhere.

Yes, there’s a free version.  But I liked it so much I upgraded to premium. And now I’ve got a family plan, which allows our family to share grocery list and work collaboratively on household projects.

For me, Any.do has been an invaluable tool for my boosting productivity and staying organized. Check it out here.

APPLE NOTES

I hesitated for a moment before adding this entry because I know it’s not for everyone. For better or worse, I drank the koolaid that is the Apple Ecosystem long ago. And for me, that meant embracing Apple Notes, which has become incredibly feature-rich over the past few years.

But for you that may mean another online note taking app, like Evernote. The important part here is to find a notes app that works for you and more importantly to use it.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my review of the book “Building a Second Brain.” This book will give you whole new insight into how to use these tools to declutter your life and ease decision-making in both your personal life and business.

In my world, I’ve found that Apple Notes makes it easy for me to organize my thoughts, tasks, and ideas and to share them across multiple devices including my desktop. You can create checklists, tables, sketches, and even scan documents. And most importantly Apple Notes’ robust search functionality and folder organization means that your “second brain” is always just a few taps away.

GOOGLE WORKSPACE

While I may be hooked on my Apple devices, I’m not ashamed that I am an even bigger shill for Google. I use Google tools every day, multiple times a day. My life and my business could not operate without them. We are all familiar with the free Google utilities that are availble online, but investing in a paid Google Workspace subscription can bring a priceless level of organization and professionalism to your business.

Let’s begin with something that may not be obvious: the ability to integrate gmail into your website’s domain. This simple solution offers you a “professional” looking email address and online presence, while simultaneously virtually eliminating issues with email delverability and spam. Moreover, your email is now seemlessly integrated with a suite of powerful tools that are designed for productivity and collaboration such as Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Meet and more.

When you need to collaborate with a team of other creatives, Google’s tools allow for simultaneous editing and feedback and to even unlimited video communication, fostering teamwork regardless of location. The robust security features integrated into all of Google’s tools ensure data protection and gives you the ability to finely control the sharing and delivery of images, files, slideshow and more with client and vendors. And because it’s all on the cloud, your desktop date is backed up and available to you from any device, anytime. Click here to grab a free 14 day trial and get started for as little as $6/month.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS & INSURANCE

PROFESSIONAL PHOROGRAPHERS OF AMERICA

I’m the kind of guy that laughed at Fraternities and Sororities in College.  They were never my thing.  But in my adult life, joining the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) was a game-changer for my career. And I would argue that it could be for yours as well. As a member, you gain access to a wealth of benefits that won’t just elevate your photography, it will give your business the tools it needs to thrive.

First and foremost, PPA offers invaluable networking opportunities, allowing you to connect with fellow professionals, share knowledge, and learn from industry experts. You’ll also have access to educational resources, workshops, and seminars to enhance your skills and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques. Every year I look forward to attending Imaging USA, PPA’s flagship conference, and coming home inspired and full of new ideas to push my photography business forward.

One of the standout benefits of PPA membership is the indemnification trust, which covers legal fees and expenses if you ever have issues related to contracts, copyright infringement claims, or protecting your intellectual property rights.  Moreover, PPA offers robust insurance coverage, including equipment and professional liability insurance. With up to $15,000 in equipment coverage and $1 million in professional liability coverage through PPA’s insurance partner, Lockton Affinity, you can safeguard your gear and business against unforeseen circumstances.

While the Indeminity Trust and insurance alone pays for the cost of membership, PPA members also enjoy discounts on products and services, access to client management tools, and marketing resources to help grow their businesses. I’ve barely touched the surface of all that PPA offer’s professional photographers. Click here and enter my name as a referring memnber to receive $35 off your first year of membership with PPA!

WEBSITE AND INTERNET TOOLS

DASHLANE

If you haven’t had your identity stolen or one of your passords compromised yet, just wait. It’s only a matter of time. It happened to me, and it completely changed my mindset about password management. The rules around passwords are simple: make them complex and never use a password more than once. But how in the world can anyone keep track of all that?  Dashlane doesn’t just help you remember your passwords, it makes it very easy to create and retrieve them and also has tools for storing other sensitive data like credit cards and IDs.

Dashlane offers a suite of benefits for secure password management and digital identity protection. It simplifies password management by generating and storing complex passwords, reducing the risk of breaches due to weak passwords. It streamlines logins across devices, enhancing convenience without compromising security. And , its encrypted vault ensures sensitive information like credit card details and personal data remains safeguarded.

Dashlane’s password changer feature even automatically updates passwords for supported accounts. And it provides security alerts for potential breaches, enabling proactive action. Use this link to sign and  get a premium account free for 6 months!

Especially if you have a website that is based on the WordPress platform, SiteGround and WPEngine are the only two options worth considering when it comes to hosting. I’ve been with SiteGround for nearly a decade and I reccommend it without hesitateion.tedly the way to go. Ready to sign up? Use this referal link for a HUGE discount!

SITEGROUND

Especially if you have a website that is based on the WordPress platform, SiteGround and WPEngine are the only two options worth considering when it comes to hosting. I’ve been with SiteGround for nearly a decade and I reccommend it without hesitateion.

Siteground’s track record for uptime, reliability, and speed is unmatched. But what truly sets them apart is their outstanding customer service – prompt, knowledgeable, and always ready to assist. Whether it’s a technical issue or a simple query, their support team goes above and beyond.I have had to contact them a number of times with issues that affected my website’s performance, but that were unrelated to the services that Siteground provides. Every time, they have been more interested in helping me solve my problems than figuring out who was to blame. As a small business owner, that attitude from a vendor is worth its weight in gold.

With SiteGround, I’ve experienced minimal downtime, lightning-fast loading times, and a clear focus on security measures. And the back-end interface is user-friendly, even for someone like me who knows just enough about website management to be dangerous. For a dependable hosting solution backed by stellar support, SiteGround is undoubtedly the way to go. Ready to sign up? Use this referal link for a HUGE discount!

ZAPIER

Zapier is a web-based automation tool that allows you to connect your favorite apps and automate repetitive tasks without any coding or development skills. With Zapier, you can create workflows called “Zaps” that trigger actions in one app based on events that occur in another app. It’s an amazing tool that saves me a ton of time and the monotony of carrying out routine business tasks,

Specifically, I use Zapier to automatically connect my 17 Hats CRM to the newsletter plugin that I use on my WordPress website.  When a potential client fill outs a new lead form on my website, the information automatically flows into 17 Hats along with information about the type of service they are interested in and whether they want to sign up for my email newsletter.  Behind the scenes, Zapier also picks it up and adds the same information to my online newsletter.  All of the information is also captured by Zapier, allowing me to segment my email list and send specific emails to each individual based on their preferences.

There’s a little bit of a learning curve to set this process up, but Zapier’s interface is pretty user-friendly. You can get started with Zapier for free, and there’s also a monthly subscription available if and when you need more. If you are looking to optimize your workflow, increase productivity, and save time on repetitive tasks, I definitely recommend exploring options to incorporate Zapier into your toolset.

Books & Podcasts

BOOKS & PODCASTS!


 

As my family will tell you, I’m not a very patient person. And I can never seem to make the space in my life for reading—whether it’s for business OR pleasure. But I do love a good audio book or podcast, which I can enjoy over a long walks with my dog or while trying to avoid the drudgery of the treadmill at the gym. Below is a short list of books and podcasts that have made a noteworthy difference in my life and in my business.

Gear

GEAR I USE


 

Let’s get one thing straight. These days, it’s near impossible to buy a bad camera. It doesn’t matter if you own a Leica, Canon, Nikon or Sony. What matters is what you learn to do with the camera you have. And choosing the right camera, depends almost entirely on what you love to photograph and in what conditions. It’s the same for the lighting gear you choose.

I am a Nikon shooter. Not because I think Nikon is somehow superior to other brands, but because I grew up photographing with Nikon cameras. They are familiar to me. I can find the controls quickly. I love the ergonomics. And my Nikon cameras and Godox Lighting gear excel at the types of professional jobs that I photograph.

Below is a list of gear that I use on a regular basis both on location and in the studio. For each piece of gear, I’ve also included some notes about why I use the equipment and how. I hope you find this information useful in your quest to find the gear that fits your specific needs.

Cameras and Lenses

Studio & Specialty Tools

Lights & Modifiers

Bags & Accessories

Mentoring

MENTORING


 

Whether you are a a hobbyist photographer just learning how to use your camera or a seasoned technician looking to grow your business, I can help you skip the mistakes and get you to where you want to be faster.

I am a certified, award winning professional photographer with more than a decade of experience running a profitable portrait photography business. I am skilled in numerous photography genres including high school senior portraits, volume sports and dance photography, professional headshots, weddings, and more.  And, as a former lawyer and non-profit executive-director, I can also help you build your business acumen and financial confidence, which are critical to running a successful photography studio.

The internet is full of options for online photography learning. Some are great. And others might take your money and lead you in the wrong direction. Sometimes you just need someone you can trust, who’s been in the trenches and who will listen to your specific needs, to help you figure out the next steps. Perhaps I might be your person.

Here are a few of the skills that I can help you master:

  • Photography basics and mastering your camera
  • Use of flash and off-camera lighting
  • Understanding lighting patters and using modifiers to shape light
  • The elements of strong posing and composition
  • Editing, retouching, and creative enhancements using Lightroom, Photoshop and other popular tools
  • Building your portfolio including portfolio reviews
  • Taking your first steps toward establishing your new business
  • Developing and pricing your product lines and services
  • Marketing your photography business and skills
  • Building an organized and efficient workflow
  • Improving your client experience

Are you interested in a training or mentoring opportunity with me? Here’s how to get started:

    1. Reach Out.  Click here to schedule an informal & complimentary 30-minute zoom meeting.  You’ll be asked to answer a few short questions when you fill out the scheduling form. We’ll use this meeting to get to know each other, to give me an opportunity to learn more about your goals, and so that we can determine if I am the right mentor to help guide you to your next level.
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    2. Make it Official!  After our zoom call/meeting, if you feel we are the right fit, I’ll send you a custom quote based on our discussion and your needs.
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    3. Lets Learn! Mentoring sessions can occur either in person or online. The timing and frequency of our sessions will be mutually agreed upon taking into consideration both of our calendars and the specific skills that you want to learn.
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    4. Follow Up! I don’t believe in leaving friends hanging high and dry. After our formal mentoring sessions have cooncluded. I will remain available to answer your questions and help you solidify the new skills that you learn. And of course if you’d like to renew your mentorship and dive into new areas or learn more advanced techniques, that will be an option too!

Mentoring Session Pricing Guide

I'm New!

$150

For the hobbyist photographer who is just getting started with photography and learning how to use your camera.

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  • Skip the overwhelm of photography lingo and trying to make sense of your camera’s manual.
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  • I’ll help you develop a strong foundation in the principles of photography and leave you with a working knowledge of the most important controls on your camera.
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  • You’ll have the knowledge to begin making good exposures of the subjects that you care about the most, and you will have an understanding of the next steps to take to continue builiding your skills.
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  • Includes a free introductory call, Two 2-hour sessions (either on zoom or in person), and assignments for you to complete in between the two sessions.
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  • Group sessions are also available. Please inquire for a custom quote.

I want to Grow!

$350

For both professionals and hobbyists who want to learn new photography skills, start a new business, or take their existing business to the next level.
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  • Introductory call to define the scope of your mentoriship program
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  • Base proce includes two 2-hour sessions (total of four hours)
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  • Mentoring sessions can take place on zoom, in person (depending on your location), or a combination of both.
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  • We’ll discuss and learn anything you want based on the outcome of our introductory call (ex: pricing, guides, client experience, emails, communication, posing, workflow, marketing, website, social media, etc.)
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  • Add additional hours at $50/hour

I just have a question!

$0

Because maybe you don’t actually need a mentoring or training session!
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  • If you’ve got a burning question or two, send me an email and I’ll do my best to give you some guidance. If you feel that I’ve helped you, consider clicking here and buying me a cup of coffee.
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  • If you need a bit more, go ahead and use the button above to schedule a short call with me. I keep a limited number of appointments available on my calendar for photographers that have questions and just need a bit of help.
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Every now and then  I come across some great tips, tools and insights in the course of running my business. And when I do, I enjoy sharing them with other photographers and business owners. If you are open to having some occasional, seemingly random emails land in your inbox that could help you grow your photography or service-based business…be sure to sign up below!