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One Simple Tip to Get Control of Your Business (and Life!)

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Okay, you know those posts that are all over the place telling you they have One Simple Tip that will make you productive and it’s always something you have to buy from them and it’s got like 25 steps to prep and then will take 2 hours and MAYBE it will work, but probably it won’t because you don’t work exactly like them, or you aren’t in the same business as they are?

One Simple Tip :: ThePhotogsHelper.com

Yeah, this is not that type of a tip.

I’m not selling you anything and you can do this with things you have in your house. You probably have the items within reach of you right now.

Are you ready?

It’s called a Brain Dump and it’s super easy.

Step 1: Grab a writing utensil (pen, pencil, crayon – doesn’t matter. You can use your phone or computer, but the tactile process of hand writing has been shown to work better.)

Step 2: Grab something to write on (fancy planner, notebook, post-it notes….anything)

Step 3: Write. Spill out EVERYTHING that is in your mind. Work things. Home things. Random thoughts about your crush in 2nd Grade. Everything.

Step 4: Organize that list. This can be anything from highlighting in color coded pens to put things on separate lists or simple crossing off things as you get them done. It’s up to you.

Step 5: Be Productive!

Alas, the list will not get done itself. But if you’ve written down everything that is in your head, it doesn’t need to sit in your head anymore and you can actually think about what does need to get done!

I do it every morning while listening to music and burning a candle, while drinking my coffee. It is a great way to recharge after a good nights sleep. It lets me transition from the craziness of making sure everyone gets out the door on time and prepared, and into #bosslady mode.

Have you tried Brain Dumping? Does it work for you? How do you dump?

Share in the comments or on our Facebook page how you manage your list of things to get done!

Transformation Thursday :: Three Little Ones on a Step

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There is something super magic about a good Before and After! Anytime you play with 3 young kids, it’s a miracle to get them all looking at you.

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The first image with the two youngest was a moment of peace and waiting. I snapped this image and was like “wouldn’t it be great if I could make this a photo of all three?”. Of course, as soon as that thought came, the youngest little princess ran off to play with leaves. Because that’s what 2 year olds do.

But I know my way around Photoshop. Before I became a photographer, I was in college for multimedia design. I’ve been using Photoshop since Photoshop 7 and so knew I could work some magic.

So I asked the eldest boy to go sit on the edge of the steps.

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I wasn’t too worried about lining it up perfectly. I didn’t have my tripod with me but that’s okay, I didn’t need it. There were enough markers that weren’t going to move (door and steps) that I knew I could line it up properly. You can see where the youngest is playing on the left side of this image too. Busy busy little girl!

When I got home, I loaded up the images to edit and worked my way through. When I came to the one with the two kids, I placed the one with the single boy on a separate layer. I lowered the opacity until I could tweak and alter them to line up perfectly. Sometimes, I will change the Layer style to Difference, but there were too many differences between the two layers so it would affect the ease of use to line them up.

Then, using a mask, I masked out everything but the older boy and flattened the image. Then began the fun times of patching, cloning and spot healing. Because of the texture on the wall, I knew I wanted to overly a texture on top as well.

I think it turned out pretty awesome. Not only is my client going to be printing it large on her wall, I’m pretty sure I’ll also be printing it on a canvas for a sample.Brewer2015_133

I love creating a piece of art. Above and beyond creating beautiful photographs, creating artwork itself is something that can add additional value to your work.

Don’t have the skills to create something like this yourself? Let us help you! With reasonable rates for something like this or even head swapping, we can help you create breathtaking artwork for your clients!

Transformation

Tuesday Tip :: Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

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Tuesday Tip :: Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

The other day, my daughter started an evening classroom/play time/fun thing at the local church. She wanted to take a nap to make sure she had the energy and good time to have fun. It was so worth it. She woke up, bright and shiny and had a wonderful time.

It made me realize that this is something to take to my work. Every so often, it’s okay to take a nap. To take a break from your day to refresh yourself. Allowing yourself to breathe and settle into things can prep you more than stressing or worrying.

When you wake up and start to work again, you will be bright eyed and bushy tailed and so much happier! Not only will your mood be lifted, your productivity will be better too. Setting yourself up to be productive instead of just being busy.

If only we can take a step back from this mindset that we need to be busy. That if we aren’t “too busy to think”, we aren’t really being successful. You deserve to be so much more happier!

What do you do to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for your day?

Tuesday Tip :: Try Something Different

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Try Something Different :: The Photog's Helper

As photographers, we get into habits. Some may even call them ruts. We try to discover our styles, spending time studying how we edit and how we shoot, comparing ourselves to other photographers and other artists. We work at figuring things out and setting them up and everything to get our business and our brand real.

Sometimes though, you have to try something different. Push your posing up a level. Toss in props or accessories you wouldn’t normally do. Try a strange lighting situation to see what it looks like.

Try Something Different :: The Photog's Helper

Maybe even put a texture or two over, just to try it. There isn’t anything wrong with experimenting.

Try Something Different :: The Photog's Helper

You don’t have to share these images with anyone (unless you are me and like to torture yourself) and you don’t ever have to do anything with them. If anything, pushing yourself to try something different will make everything you do in the future for your business that much better.

So do it. Try something different. And don’t forget to share it with us! Share it on your Facebook page or Instagram or Twitter and tag it with #trysomethingdifferent! I can’t wait to see!

Differences between Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Branding

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Differences between Marketing, PR, Advertising and Branding :: The Photog's Helper

Chances are, when you started your business you were told that you needed to figure out your branding. You needed to work on your marketing and advertising. All of these words get spread around in our industry but rarely does anyone really truly understands what they mean.

I found this info graphic on Pinterest (follow me!) and even though the original company has merged with a new one and I cannot find a true original link, I’m still going to share it. Neutron, LLC created this info graphic which has now joined with Liquid Agency. I normally will only share something if I can find the original creator link but this was too perfect not to share.

Differences Between Marketing, Branding, Advertising and Public Relations :: The Photog's Helper

 

Even though it’s slightly more mature, it really makes sense.

If you are telling people about yourself, you are marketing. Someone else (whether hired or from your network) it is public relations. Advertising is just pounding your message into someone’s mind. Branding encompasses everything you are presenting and provides the information for people to really get your message.

Does this help you understand what you need to do in your business? Does it help you with your marketing or branding plan and goals for the year? What has changed?

Tuesday Tip :: Why Your Spouse’s Opinion Doesn’t Matter

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I’ve seen the following a lot over the years but it’s just recently had another influx over the past week.

“My husband doesn’t like X option.” “My husband thinks I shouldn’t charge as much.” “My spouse thinks I need to get a day job because no one will pay me for what I do.”

When I see this, my soul hurts inside. I understand how much we love and trust our spouses. They tend to be our foundation, our rocks, our main support system.

However, unless they are a marketing manager for their own company, in the industry that you are trying to working in AND have experience with your target market, their opinion should be only that: an opinion.

When choosing how to price yourself and how to brand yourself, you should be getting help and guidance from someone who knows what they are talking about OR is in your target market. Chances are, he is not your Target Market. If he is, fantastic! You have a built in testing location. If not, you need to talk to people that know what you are trying to go for and why choices are made.

So next time your spouse gives you an opinion that makes you second guess what you are doing, gracefully thank him for his thoughts and let him know you’ll be taking his opinions to the industry to make sure that it lines up with your goals. If the industry lines up with his mindset, let him know and thank him. If it does not, also let him know and tell him why you are choosing to utilize the advice from professionals.

Your business is yours and it can be so difficult, especially if your spouse is successful in another industry, to not be tempted to just go with everything they say. However, it is not going to be the best thing for you to do!

Best of luck with any changes you make, but know that the choices should be for you and you alone to decide.

Now, this is in no way meant to degrade your spouse’s heart or thoughts or support. That’s always important for a relationship but this relationship is not for your business. You can love them, but not love everything they suggest!

That Just Happened

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I am still having a hard time realizing what this week was.

Not only did I get to meet and hang out with some AMAZING photographers, but being inspired by some of the top industry leaders in Modern Women’s Portraiture. CreativeLive is always an incredible experience, wherever you watch it but being in the audience is something unreal.

Beingin the audience with 100 other amazing members and experience it all with that large of a group adds something else that is kind of mind blowing.

And then when this happens:

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That’s a screen shot a friend got on her computer of me hanging out with Sue Bryce.  I was one of five women chosen during the posing course to help show how to alter the rules for different body types.

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The five body types were Tall (I’m 5’11.5), Short, Curvy, Double Chin and Maternity. It was incredible. I was so inspired and it was well worth the pain from holding these slightly awkward poses!

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One part of it, she talked about how to stand and shoot when you are a different height from what you are shooting. Also, the very important lesson of working on your core so that you can hold yourself appropriately. I have got to do the Plank Challenge (a month late…)

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Just some of the absolutely incredible people I got to meet and that I took selfies with. It was SO much fun! Top left is the creepy stalker selfie taken by Katie B and I with the amazing Lara Jade behind us. Top right is Lori Patrick who got to help behind the scenes and cut in line when I was waiting to hug Sue on the last day (and a photo bomb too!). It’s a good thing she’s cute! Bottom right is the always incredible cL host Russ. I tried to do another drive by selfie but Russ has magic camera ninja skills! And then the bottom left is someone any Sue Bryce fan will recognize: the gorgeous Mapuana.

Everyone was so nice and wonderful and sweet and inspiring. I cannot wait to put into place the things that I learned, not just in my own photography business but for you guys too!

Did you watch creativeLive? Do you love it? Did you see me?!? I’m so excited to hear what you guys think! If you missed it, the rebroadcast is pretty much constantly playing!

Website Magic Workshop

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I’ve talked about my workshop before, but decided I needed to REALLY talk about it. To you guys directly!

Enjoy this video and let me know if you have any questions! I am SUPER excited about this and cannot wait to teach you how to do your own website!

Linky Love :: Building an Engaged Audience

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Someone amazing that I’ve loved following along is Nubby Twiglet. She’s an amazing writer and person and is always full of incredible information.

It really hit me, especially as I go into this new year not quite where I’ve wanted to be. Now that the holidays are over and the decorations are put away, I’m finally getting back on track. My schedule has settled down and I’m waking up at 7 again like I’ve been meaning to. I haven’t quite managed to do my workouts daily again but I have been getting dressed and not just staying in pajamas.

One step at a time and one of those goals has been to finally get in the right groove for business. I want to talk to you all more often. I have these things constantly rolling around in my head and it’s time to get them out.

I’m hoping that I can manage to get you guys more engaged. I want to talk about what you want to discuss. Put out there topics that may be uncomfortable or that always seem to be hidden behind a veil of secrecy.

So here is to 2014. Joy and honesty and exploration.

What is one of your goals for 2014?

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