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Quick Writing Tips for Your Photography Blog

Brooke Bohinc

 

I love words. There are few things in this world that can stir up emotions and create change quite like words can. Photography is one of those other things that can knock someone off their feet and make them shed tears in the same moment. Both tools for engaging with people and their stories are impactful and have the capability to remain long after their creator.

 

I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by lots of creative people, many of whom are photographers. As we talk about our work and passions, my friends often share that they feel stuck when it comes to creating unique and interesting content for their professional blogs that house all the creative and engaging pictures they take.

 

As a professional writer and editor, I wanted to give them and you some tips to make the writing part of your work easier.

 

 

 

Focus on the details.

 

As a photographer, you are built to notice the little things–the way the light creates the perfect shadow, the hidden smile in someone’s eyes. That’s what you need to do within your writing.

 

What do you notice about the families you take pictures of? How do the parents engage with their kids? What clothes or accessories did the parents bring for their newborn’s photoshoot? Is there a reason for the color, pattern, accessory, etc.? How does the family interact together?

 

These are the things to note, literally. If you don’t have time to write down the details you notice in the moment, have a notebook in your car or use the Notes app on your phone to jot down a few things as soon as you leave your sessions. You may think you’ll remember all the details, but we both know how busy you are! Let’s be realistic here. Save yourself the hassle by taking time immediately following your shoot to remember what made it feel so special. This will pay off in big ways later on when you sit down to write on your blog.

 

Ask more questions.

 

If you are going to spend an hour plus with people, you may as well get to know them a little. I’ve been on the receiving end of this during shoots, and I am always thrilled when the photographer asks me questions about my life. I’m not a natural in front of the camera, so the questions put me at ease and give me something else to focus on. This can be a win-win for you and your client.

 

What do the parents love about the ages their kids are at? Is there a story behind the name they chose for their baby? What does the name mean? Is there a reason the family wanted the photos taken in their family room, backyard, etc.?

 

Don’t be afraid to delegate.

 

We all feel special when people take a genuine interest in our life and family. When you initially talk with your client, ask them questions proactively. This is a great way to have some help with your future blog content with little to no work for you. Write out three to five questions that you send to each new client before or after their shoot. Some of the above questions I’ve already included would be great options.

 

Know your limits.

 

If writing isn’t your forte, lower the bar. Don’t make the standard for your blog a 500-word spread. You may grow to that, but you shouldn’t stress yourself out trying to get there. By writing less, you can make sure that what you are writing is sincere and thoughtful. No one wants to read fluffy content that’s only there for the sake of filling up space. It’s okay to set a different standard. So long as your content is good, it won’t matter that it’s one or two paragraphs instead of five or six.

 

The pictures you take are hands down your selling point, but you need to make sure the way you talk about your business and your clients is equally as compelling. Try out these tips and see how you can become more confident in your writing, whether you feel like it comes easily to you or not.

 

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Author Bio:

Words matter. Brooke’s love for words is what prompted her to start her writing and editing business, Brooke Ellen, Inc. The site also houses her personal blog where she tackles everything from baking with a toddler on her hip to living intentionally in the hustle and bustle. 

Photo credit for images: www.haileylaurenphotography.com 


JUN
8

Studio Tour with Meagan Ready

by Kala Rath
Hi, I’m Meagan! I am a newborn and baby photographer based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. When I am not found working with families I am mom to three of the cutest little ones and wife to the most amazing husband. My journey began in my home like most budding newborn photographers and after 3 fast years I took the leap to jump into a studio outside of my home. Newborn sessions make my heart happy. Every fresh and perfect detail is carefully captured and documented. I have been so blessed to have captured over 500 newborns in the past 5 years and that number is rapidly growing as one of Tulsa’s most sought after photographers.   This unique craft has also given me the opportunity to travel to teach and it makes for the most exciting adventures. MRP is happy to work with several national and local brands such as Pottery Barn Kids, Babies R Us, Stork Vision and Pure Barre. MRP was also recently recognized as Tulsa's favorite newborn and maternity photographer in the Tulsa's Family Favorites awards. Click on my social media links and let's connection! I would love to hear from you. xo 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Connect with Meagan Ready

Facebook | Instagram | Website

 

MAY
30

Featured Workshop: Be Unraveled

by Keri Meyers

Featured Workshop: Be Unraveled 

 

 

Tell us a little about yourself/your business (how long have you been in business, where are you located, any special awards or features?)

Unraveled is an online workshop and unique photography school that was built to be different than any other photography learning experience. We embody a holistic approach to creative teaching that incorporates the mind, body and soul of each artist. We believe that community is one of the most beautiful and essential parts of creative living. We know that wherever one is on their creative journey, they can find a home with us.

The Unraveled Workshop starts June 26 and is an intensive 3 week course, after which students have the option of continuing their education for $10/month to be included in our Unraveled School, where we will host an amazing guest instructor each month, along with other learning opportunities.

 

What are you most known for?

We are known for embracing the perfectly imperfect parts of creative living. We believe that each artist has their own unique story to tell, and we want to help them tell it.

 

How long have you been mentoring?

Sarah Driscoll has been mentoring for 2 years and Coleen Hodges for 1 year. In addition to online mentoring, Coleen also teaches an in-person workshop.

 

What is your learning objective for your students?

We want our students to be uniquely themselves and to push past whatever fears are holding them back from creative freedom

 

Do you offer in person or online mentoring or both?

This workshop/school is all online.

 

Unraveled: A unique creative workshop + school for the whole photographer. from Coleen Hodges on Vimeo.

Website | Facebook | Instagram 

 

How to use branding to attract your ideal client

 

 

Picture your ideal client…the one who doesn’t question your pricing, pays your deposit no questions asked, and sings the praises of your work. We could all use more clients like that, right? But sometimes booking these clients feels like booking a unicorn. The good news is that they DO exist, you just need to find a way to reach them.

 

Say your ideal client stumbles across your website or Facebook page. Do they see a business they connect with? Beyond just your portfolio, is the design of your website, your logo, and the colors you’re using speaking to your ideal client? A compelling brand identity is crucial to getting more business from those unicorns.

 

Today, I’m sharing three steps to up your branding game and attract your ideal client!

 

First off, let’s define what “brand identity” means. A brand identity encompasses all of the visuals associated with your business: your logo, website, colors, fonts, patterns, and imagery. You can attract your ideal client by making sure your brand identity is as on point as you are. Here’s how...

 

Step 1: Determine your target market

As a newborn photographer, you are most likely targeting moms. But the more specific you can be about what type of mom, the more you will connect with your ideal client. In the United States, moms are generally 25-35 years old. Now, determine her style, what income bracket she’s in, and where she lives. Knowing exactly who you’re trying to reach will help focus your efforts on attracting the right type of client. It can even help to write a bio for her so you can actually picture her as you’re developing your brand identity. Ask yourself regularly whether she would be attracted to the design decisions you’re making.

 

Step 2: Develop a brand style guide

Developing a brand style guide is so helpful for creating consistency throughout all your marketing platforms from your website to your social media pages to your printed materials. A brand style guide is a document that defines your brand and sets rules for design application. By setting design rules, you are limiting your brand to one specific style. While that may sound like a negative thing, defining your design aesthetic and sticking to it will create consistency in your brand. That aesthetic should be well thought through, taking into account your vision for your business and your target market. For this reason, I highly suggest hiring a professional graphic designer who specializes in branding to create your style guide for you. If you create a set of design rules that don’t align with your vision and don’t reach your target market, a style guide might actually hurt you more than it would help.

 

A brand style guide should include the following:

  • Vision statement and target audience

  • Logo use and guidelines

  • Color palette

  • Typography

  • Photography style

For a more in-depth style guide, you can include things like communication standards (tone of voice, capitalization and grammar standards, etc.), social media standards (what profile image you use across all of your platforms, how often you post, what are things you do or don’t post about, etc.). Defining all of these elements will make sure you are always connecting with your target market.

 

Step 3: Implement your brand identity across all of your marketing channels

Consistency is key for building a recognizable brand. If your business cards look different than your website, you might confuse and deter a potential client. So once you’ve established your brand identity, it’s a matter of implementing it across all your marketing platforms. I suggesting blocking out a week in your schedule to devote to implementing your brand identity once it’s established. You can even promote your “brand reveal” to excite your tribe and launch your new, fresh look all at once.

 

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level and create a brand that represents you as a professional and connects with your ideal client, then developing a brand identity is your next step. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me (danica@humbledesign.studio). Go get those unicorns!

 

 

Danica’s Bio:

I'M DANICA FINNEGAN, THE OWNER AND GRAPHIC DESIGNER BEHIND HUMBLE DESIGN STUDIO.

 

I love helping small businesses and non-profit organizations reach their goals through professional graphic design services including branding, print and website design. With an MBA in graphic design and five years of experience, I combine advanced design strategy with a passion for making our clients feel understood and valued.


We are fresh out of tax season yet barely a quarter into the current tax year. This is a great time to take a look at your business and make sure you understand your tax situation and all the pieces that create it. I often compare taxes to painting a room. No one really likes doing it, but they love the end result! The success is truly in the prep work and planning. I have compiled a list of items that I find many of my new freelance clients have struggled with  to share with you.

 

Here are 5 Things every freelancer should understand:


1.     Your Entity

Whether you are moonlighting, part timing, freelancing or going all in with a  full time gig. If you provide goods or services in exchange for currency you are in fact, operating a business. There is a handful of ways to structure your business. They each have different requirements, rules and tax implications. It is important to know your business entity and what it means. A vast majority of freelancers are sole proprietors or Limited Liability Companies (LLC’s) Many do not realize that they are both taxed the same way. This means that your net profit (Income - Expenses = Net Profit) carries to your 1040 tax form and you are responsible to pay self-employment taxes on it regardless of how much money you actually took out of your business. If you are a partnership you need to make a sure you have a proper partnership agreement in place. If you are considering forming an S-Corp for the tax benefits we should setup a call. There are points when converting to an S-Corporation makes more sense for your business. For the sake of the majority the rest of this is written for those operating as Sole Proprietor, LLC or Partnerships.


2.    Self Employment Tax

You are required to pay self-employment tax on your net profit. Self employment tax is made up of the Social Security and Medicare however since you are self employed you now get to pay both Employee and Employer portion. The self-employment tax rate is 15.3%. (12.4% social security & 2.9% for Medicare. For those who make over a certain threshold there is another tax call Additional Medicare Tax which is .9%. You need to be aware of how much you are projected to owe so that you can make the proper estimated tax payments


3.    Estimated Taxes

If your net income is over $1000.00 for the year you are required to pay quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid penalties.  This means calculating your net income each quarter and then calculated the self employment taxes above. You may also need to make state estimated tax payments. If these payments are not made you will owe the full amount at tax time with penalties for not paying timely each quarter.



4.    What To Track

Income

The revenue piece is easy you need to track ALL the money you receive in exchange for your services.  


Expenses

Expenses are a little trickier but really anything that you purchase in order to do business is an expenses here is a list of most of the basic freelance expenses you should be tracking:

  • Expenses

  • Advertising & Marketing

  • Charitable Donations

  • Education (Seminars, Webinars, & Classes)

  • Equipment

  • Event Fees (conferences, Expos, Wedding shows etc.. )

  • Home Office Deduction (your mortgage interest, rent, utilities check it HERE)

  • Insurance

  • Interest (on loans or business credit cards)

  • Internet Service

  • Legal & Professional Services(Accountant, Attorney, etc…)

  • Mileage (to and from client meetings, jobs, buying supplies, checking your post office box, making bank deposit)

  • Office Supplies

  • Post Office Box

  • Props

  • Software (all of it photo editing, QuickBooks you name it)

  • Studio Rent

  • Sub Contracted help (Second Shooter, assistant)

  • Subscriptions and dues (Bridal magazines, photography etc)

  • Taxes

  • Telephone

  • Travel Expenses (if you travel overnight for a shoot or show)

  • Website


5. How to track it

You know you need to track ALL income and ALL expenses. The easiest way to do this is to log it as you go.  A spreadsheet would suffice but I recommend QuickBooks Online to all freelancers. QuickBooks will download transaction directly from you bank  you just categorize into the right accounts and Viola! You can even take pictures of receipts with your phone enter the expenses that easily. When tax time comes you just print up the profit and loss and you are good to go. (your Accountant will love you) But even better than this is the fact that you can use QuickBooks yourself as a tool to build your business. If setup properly you can see what type of sessions are bringing in the most revenue and where you spending your money. You can invoice and accept payments electronically right in QuickBooks and with the phone app you can take deposits at expos or on site. Everything is stored in the cloud so you never have to worry about backing up and you can access from anywhere at anytime from any device. You can dive in and really see what QuickBooks does HERE


BONUS: Know when to wave the white flag

Now that I have shown you the important pieces that compile your tax situation. It is crucial that you also know when to call in a professional. Many freelancers tend to start out wearing all of the hats. You need to realize your time value of money. You should spend your time where it makes sense in your business. If you are spending hours trying to learn QuickBooks or understand taxes that is time you could be working on gaining new clients and increasing your revenue. As you grow it important to have a pro in your corner to handle all of these details and help guide you while you focus on what servicing your clients. I urge you to setup a FREE 20 minute assessment call HERE if you are ready to break up with your bookkeeping and focus on your business.


Sources:


IRS Estimated Taxes

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p505.pdf


Self Employment Taxes

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/self-employment-tax-social-security-and-medicare-taxes


Publication and Forms for the Self-Employed

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/publications-and-forms-for-the-self-employed

Sales Tax


Written by Tiffany Bastain

www.bastianaccounting.com 

https://www.facebook.com/BastianAccounting