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High-end wall art revived a photography business


July 2018 issue Profiles

The combination of Monica Sigmon and Michael Taylor seemed like a match made in photography heaven. Monica Sigmon, M.Photog.Cr., had founded a successful portrait studio in Williamsburg, Virgina, in 2000 and steadily built a reputation as a popular speaker at photography events. Michael Taylor, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., API, F-ASP, was a past PPA president, a recognized titan of the photography industry, and a veteran speaker with more than 400 photography seminars to his credit. So when the... Continue Reading >

Feeling it: Relaxed leather mini albums

July 2018 issue Tech

Thanks to its soft, relaxed leather, the 4x5 Mini Leather Wrap Album from H&H Color Lab begs to be picked up and opened. Select from four design themes—Charmed, Hearts, Diamonds, and Primitive—with a choice of watercolor, art matte, or recycled paper. It’s available with eight to 24 sides.The four styles work for weddings, engagement, boudoir, seniors—practically any kind of session. The albums are handcrafted, with each signature group sewn in.The service time is three days, and... Continue Reading >

7 lessons in rehabbing a photography business


6.25.2018

Monica Sigmon and Michael Taylor share hard-earned insightsProfessional photography is an ever-evolving enterprise. Success requires an ability to adapt to changing markets while staying true to your unique vision. Monica Sigmon, M.Photog.Cr., and Michael Taylor, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., API, F-ASP, of Sigmon Taylor Photography learned this lesson firsthand as they refocused and revitalized their Williamsburg, Virginia, portrait business after a downturn during the financial crisis of the... Continue Reading >

The dirty half-dozen: Photography sales mistakes


6.25.2018 Business

Insights from Bruce and Josh Hudson on common mistakesThe business of professional photography is full of potential hazards, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. But as established and highly profitable studios like Seattle’s Hudson's Portrait Design demonstrate, there is a roadmap for success. You just have to be willing to put in the work.© Hudson's Portrait DesignThe father-son team of Bruce Hudson, M.Photog.Cr, and Josh Hudson is proof that strategic methodologies... Continue Reading >

10 tips for face-to-face selling


June 2018 issue Business

Over the past 14 years, I’ve increased my studio’s annual revenue nearly tenfold, with consistent, predictable gains each year. And in the past four years, according to the PPA Benchmark, my studio has ranked in the top 5 percent of PPA member studios across the country in both gross and net revenue. This isn’t bragging. It’s an illustration of the power of in-person sales (IPS).© Johnny SundbyThere’s a distinct difference between the photographer who conducts live, in-person... Continue Reading >

Alan Ross: A little bit of talent, a little bit of chutzpah, and a little bit of luck


April 2018 issue Profiles

An unpretentious icon shares the greatest lessons of his careerAlan Ross describes his career progression as “a little bit of talent, a little bit of chutzpah, and a little bit of luck.” It’s a humble characterization of a career that has included an impressive array of experiences, from working with Ansel Adams to creating commercial images for some of America’s biggest brands. Yes, Ross has had an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time. However, what he did with... Continue Reading >

A project with legs: Levon Biss’ larger-than-life bug portraits


April 2018 issue Profiles

It was a ground beetle. Levon Biss’ son Sebastian brought the ordinary bug in from the garden on a spring day, and Biss placed it under Sebastian’s microscope. “There was nothing special about this insect,” explained Biss in his 2017 TED Talk. “It’s a common species.” And yet, under the microscope, its glowing green back looked gorgeously speckled as if with stars. “When I first saw it, it reminded me of a galaxy,” Biss says. “And all the time, this had just been outside our... Continue Reading >

An in-person sales road map for photographers


October 2017 issue Business

© Julia Kelleher Photographer Julia KelleherEven from the early days of her business, Julia Kelleher, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, saw the shift to a digital-only model looming. Ten to 15 years ago, clients would order prints online but usually not large ones. Increasingly, they asked for digital files, and there were plenty of upstart photographers willing to oblige. When Kelleher opened her studio a decade ago, it seemed like the shoot-and-burn model was the way to go. After all, it was... Continue Reading >

Case study: In-person sales and print products saved these studios


August 2017 issue Business

Face to faceKate Mitchem, Rachael Boer, and Gaby Chung share a common story: They photographed their own families as talented amateurs, then grew into respected professionals by steadily improving their images through study and hard work. And these fledgling entrepreneurs all languished in the purgatory of low rates and sub-par profitability. Their personal lives suffered as they spent too many hours behind the camera yet there were few profits to show for it.The turning point for all these... Continue Reading >

Extra sharp: WhiteWall ultraHD Photo Print


7.11.2017 Tech

“The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance.” — Ansel AdamsWhether working with film or digital negatives, photography pros in many fields know that their ultimate success hinges on the prints they present to clients. Many photo labs deliver high quality prints, but a lab that delivers a print of outstanding quality plus a unique finish can increase a photographer’s profit potential immensely. I tried out the WhiteWall ultraHD Photo Print... Continue Reading >
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