tips and tricks

Differences between Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Branding


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



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


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:


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.

photo 2

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!

photo 1

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…)


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!

Tuesday Tip :: Testing


There is always a moment of being overwhelmed with your current clients and the active life that is going on. It can seem to be impossible to carve out time, effort and energy to create art for yourself.

The truth of the matter is, you can’t afford not to. If you aren’t careful, you will lose that creativity and ability to create.

Keep your eyes open and try to do one thing a month that is all about you. Maybe you are wanting to learn how to use lighting in a different way. You wouldn’t want to take brand new styles onto a paying session and be afraid of messing it up. Instead, use your team and get a test model (hired or a friend) and practice. Test things out and learn something. You may not be able to use it right this moment, but you are on the way. Soon, it’ll be something you can’t remember never knowing how to do!

What are you going to try testing? I am going to try a new sort of OCF and am so excited!

Tuesday Tip :: Networking Not Awkwardly


Networking Not Awkwardly :: The Photog's Helper

Networking is one of those naughty words you hear when being a business owner. Everyone tells you that you have to network and the options available tend to be stuffy groups where everyone is part of the same industry and just want to collect business cards or it’s an event where the opportunities to force yourself to be someone you aren’t in the random hope that you may happen to meet someone that can contribute to your business.

I have a secret for you guys though!

Networking is talking to people and being able to mention what you do.

That’s it!

Hanging out at the coffee shop in the area that your target market attends and having a meet cute with someone there. Unlike a romantic comedy, you aren’t going to be romantic partners, but there is a definite partnership available here. Best of all, you are NOT looking for clients (but if you meet some, great!). Networking is all about finding businesses that have a similar client base and similar mindset. Get to know the people behind the businesses and you may be able to grow something amazing.

One of my favorite moments happened when I chose to do a free Photo Booth at a new kids music festival. It wasn’t anything special, but it was a ton of fun and I got to meet lots of fun kids and families. More importantly, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with business owners, one of who ended up hiring me for their chiropractic office.

We then got to meet and photograph their office, employee and some amazing clients of theirs.

Chiropractic Office Photograph :: A Life Condensed Photography

It all started with just talking to people!

Who have you talked to recently?

Linky Love :: Building an Engaged Audience



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?

Tuesday Tip :: Your Peeps


Tuesday Tip :: Your Peeps :: The Photog's Helper
On Location, my daughter/assistant took this photo (she was 4)

I have been blessed in my business to have some amazing girls that I work with. These two beautiful ladies are my hair and makeup artists for my clients and we also work together each quarter to do a fun session idea for their salon.

Tuesday Tip :: Your Peeps :: The Photog's Helper


The magic that we work is something that is unparalleled. We met when Kat and I were at Apple and have grown to be besties. Every Tuesday, we meet at our local coffee shop and just talk. Sometimes, we are planning out the next campaign. Most of the time, we’ll just sit and talk about nothing. Life is constantly changing and over the holidays, we went almost 6 weeks without really seeing each other. It took a definite toll on our days!

Things are back on track again, even with sickness and a new baby. The other day, we had lunch together and spent 3 hours at the restaurant.

The best part? These two are not photographers but they work with me. They don’t get behind the camera often, but they are creative, artistic and are amazingly supportive. You need a support system in your life. It can be photographers or not. Artists or not. Family, spouse or friends, you need people that help you be creative, inspire you to grow as an artist and most importantly, will hug you and hold your hand on any of life’s valleys and cheer with you at the mountain tops of life.

Who is part of your support system? Share with the rest of us in the comments and help inspire anyone that doesn’t have a support system to find one!

Tuesday Tip :: Thinking Inside the Album


I don’t know about you, but one thing I’ve had issues with over the last couple years of my business is not with my pricing, but in presenting it. I do in-person sales and believe that to sell you have to show. It didn’t make sense to have my price list on a piece of paper from my printer. Just felt like it cheapened the whole experience.

But then, my album company Priscilla Foster, came out with a new kind of album. The Dehlia album she offers is hand made with beautiful silk material options, just like the other albums I offer. I ordered a sample of this album with the slip-in pages.

Priscilla Foster Dehlia Album :: The Photog's Helper

I then printed out my price list onto glossy 5×7 printer pages and slipped them into the album.

Priscilla Foster Dehlia Album :: The Photog's Helper

Priscilla Foster Dehlia Album :: The Photog's Helper

Priscilla Foster Dehlia Album :: The Photog's Helper

I now love handing my pricing book to my clients. Being able to present something that has the prices as well as exists as a sample of an album fits my perfect mind set. I especially love being able to swap out a page if I need to. Instead of spending money on printing magazines, this has been a life saver! I am so very happy.

Thank you, Priscilla Foster, for your incredible products and the idea for my pricing book. I could not have done it without you!

How do you do your sales? In person or via an online gallery? Share with me in the comments!

Linky Love :: 24 Ways to De-stress


You and I both know that this time of year is busiest for Portrait photographers. Everyone seems to remember about family pictures right around Christmas time. While this is good for the bank accounts (especially right before the slow season in January and February) sometimes it’s difficult to accept and truly acknowledge it.

So here is a post I found on how to relieve some of your stress!

Fit Sugar Destress

Number Eight was my favorite: Turn up the tunes: Research has shown that lying down and listening to music is as effective as massage.

Now excuse me, while I go rock out to a little classic 90’s rock!

And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest to get even more tips and tricks on how to survive the Holiday Season!

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