Teaching Tip – bring on the bad!

Getting to the issue when teaching

Whenever I am teaching I always ask students to bring me their bad images.  If I am critiquing work to help improve someones photography I ask to see the unedited images.  WHY?  Because anyone can luck out and get a great image, or spend enough time in Photoshop to fix an image.  But seeing the bad or unedited images will show what a person does most of the time.  This is true in other areas as well.  I don’t care what you are like when everything is going perfect, but what are you like when things are going bad?  You may be a great wedding photographer when the temperature is 20C and there is no wind or bugs, but what are you like in -10C and a 100k wind, or with a bride that is in a miserable mood?

Read moreTeaching Tip – bring on the bad!

Time for a change…….

Change

Is it time for a change in your life and business or are you on track? Once again I wake up and check out the sites that I usually frequent and read about everything in life that I am doing wrong; from what I eat, to what I say and do, to what my desires are to how I operate my business. BUT the strange thing is that those that are writing the posts to put me and others down are usually the ones that have the issues that they are slamming in others.

One person was saying that to operate a successful business that we need to give 200% of ourselves to make that business a success BUT they have had several bankruptcies. Another person says that to be a great photographer we need to push our limits but they admit that they have seen zero growth in their business as they are still trying to do the same thing today as 10 years ago.

Something I try to do daily, weekly, monthly and yearly is to look at what is working in my personal life and business and keep going with it and to see what is not working and to change it.  It is not easy but I believe it must be done if we are to keep moving ahead. I keep in the back of my mind the saying “Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results”. With the end of 2017 we need to take this to heart and look at what needs to be changed and then do it!!!

As I was typing the name for this post this song came to mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bKwRW0l-Qk

Mike Paterson Professional Master Photographer

Several weeks ago I had a discussion with a photographer about getting a designation with a national photography organization, then two weeks ago another photographer came in asking almost the same thing and again last week another photographer asked how to get a designation like Professional or Master Photographer.  I thought this was funny then today while reading a news feed I see a photographer using the designation of Master Photographer so I did some research on what does all this mean – names like Professional or Master when it comes to photography.

Read moreMike Paterson Professional Master Photographer

Better business / better life

From Pastors to counselors, from business professionals to industry leaders. I have listened to dozens if not hundreds talk about not only having a better business but about having a better life overall.  One of those that I loved to listen to was Zig Zigglar. A strange southern person but a person with a lot of very relevant things to say.  One thing that I heard many years ago, and something that at the time went in one ear and out the other was. “You can have everything in life that you want if you help enough others get what they want”.  It was something that at the time I brushed off as being just another one of those sayings that Zig used. But since then it has come to be so much more.

Read moreBetter business / better life

You wonder why your sales are down???

So your sales are down? I hear a lot of companies complain about having to deal with the big box stores or mail order companies, and I agree 100% that both of these are impacting the sales of local small and medium size businesses. A number of photographers are complaining that they just cannot survive as they are trying to compete with other photographers.

BUT there is something that is doing more to effect a decrease in sales than any of the above factors.  What is this mysterious thing that is effecting our sales?  It is plain and simply the customer service / integrity that we are offering to our customers.  In the past couple of months I have been forced to order on-line, or purchase from a box store, on a number of occasions as the service that I have gotten from local small businesses is SO BAD! I will not point out names but if you were one of the businesses that I had bad service from you will know it as I made sure to bring it up in a polite way to the manager or owner.

Read moreYou wonder why your sales are down???

Marketing your Photo Business Part 3

It has been a while since I wrote anything on Marketing your photo business as things have been so busy but over the past several weeks I have been seeing a trend that I have to address.

As you probably know if you are starting a photo business you are competing with dozens if not hundreds of other photographers. Many may have more experience and possibly many have more business knowledge.  One trap that I see so many fall into is that when trying to set themselves apart they do it using negatives, statements like “cheap photos”, “new photographer looking for subjects”, “low prices” and many more statements that do nothing to impress the client.  Yes these statements are setting you apart but in what way?  Do people look at you as a cheap newbie looking for victims to photograph and unless they are related to you will never call?  Are they looking at your pictures on Facebook or Kijiji and saying “these look like a cheap newbies work, why would I want them to photograph me or my family”.

So how do you market yourself?  Look for the positives that you have to offer, statements like “creative black & white photographer”, “artistically oriented photographer” or “photo journalistic wedding photographer” say a lot more positives about you than the negatives. BUT, and this is a big but, NEVER EXAGGERATE YOUR SKILLS or try selling something that is not true!!! Saying “have done dozens of weddings” when you have never done a wedding will come back to hurt you.  Saying “family oriented photographer” when you only shoot cars is going to cause issues. Lethbridge is a small area and people will find out, sometimes quicker than you could imagine!  Also be very careful listing statements like “award winning photographer”. we all know that you can get awards from may places, some less than honest (send $25 and an image and we will award you with one of our exclusive photo awards) is not a honest way to get an award.  Or it is not truthful to say “award winning wedding photographer” when the award that you have is for a picture of a tree and the award says “awarded 117th place in trees of America”.  It has nothing to do with weddings or does it mean anything in the grand scheme of things in relation to a photographers wedding skills.

Before you post any ads think VERY carefully about how you word your ads, before posting photos look over your images and be very critical before posting.  If you are not portraying a very positive truthful image then STOP, you are doing more harm than good.

 https://www.firstchoicephoto.ca/

Who are we……….

Paterson Photography offers a variety of courses, workshops and adventures around Canada.  From our classes at our Lethbridge studio, (our one on one classes and  group classes), adventures, workshops and expeditions and more you will love learning your camera. Visit our web site, E-mail or call for more information.

Paterson Photography is the only custom photo printer in Lethbridge and area.  We offer prints from wallets to 44″x100″ on a variety of media.  No cheap, poor color poster prints – all our printing is done on archival media at the highest resolutions. We print for individuals, companies and groups that want quality prints.

Paterson Photography has operated in Lethbridge Alberta since 1985.  We are proud to offer wedding, graduations, personal portraits, commercial and industrial photography and more.