The Business of Fine Art Photography
Obviously there are a lot of tears today you've already got me going and which which I don't cry by the way you guys so stop it all right? But I'm just I'm really grateful to be here and I just want to start the day out by saying that because I have so much love for everybody in the studio and it's just been an incredible three days and I am so sad that this is the last day and I just want to come back over and over and over and do this again um so I want to talk about business today and I don't want it to sound boring because business is really, really fun to me because when you think about it, you know you create an image and it's creative you're putting your heart and soul into it it's something that's fun and business doesn't have to be any different, you know, you can treat it as an art form and that's what I tried to dio so we're going talk a little bit about marketing a little bit about branding and then some social media today and and the next segment we're going to get into th...
e nitty gritty of how to create prince and how to get in galleries and things like that so let's just jump right in here I want to talk about what you have tohave to run a business and these are two things that I believe in beyond anything else so I believe they have to have confidence it is the number one thing and I don't want this to sound like some cheesy piece of advice oh yeah you should be confident in yourself you know it's really hopeful no I think it is the number one thing that you need to have the more confident you are in your business the more others will be confident in you and it's just a fact you know if you're going around saying you know I don't I don't really know what I'm doing I don't know what I want my business to be like well nobody else is going to know what you want either they're not going to understand what you're trying to dio so if you have confidence other people will feel that confidence as well and goals is the other thing so if you don't have goals then you're not going to push forward and go anywhere with your business it's one thing to start a business it's a whole other thing to keep it running you know it's easy to say yeah I want to be a photographer so I'm gonna quit my job and I'm going to do this and I'm gonna do that but if you don't actually go forward with it than what's the point so having something to work towards is going to create motivation we all need to be motivated it's the hardest thing in the world to be motivated it's easy to find inspiration it's easy to write down your goals it's easy to have confidence but then if you're just sitting on that and you're not getting up and going and saying, I'm going to go shoot this, I'm going to go create this, I'm going to go start this piece of my business it's never going to get done all right, so three goals this is what I love to do all the time from day one when I started my business, I had three goals every single year when I start my new here I have three goals although typically I have more like fifteen have three main goals every single year that I start the next year of business and I'm very literal about it, so my three goals you know, some of the other fifteen might not be as literal, but the three goals are very, very literal goals I want to be in a gallery literal it's something that I actually need to go fill out papers do this do that make it happen, you know it's not something where I'm saying, you know, I want to be inspired this year that's an awesome golda have but that's not a business goal, so business goals very, very literal so these are my goals. When I started photography, when I started my business, this was three years ago, I said, okay, I know that I want to start a business, I know that I need to make money from this business, and I know that I am worth making money from this business that's a really hard thing to tell yourself is to say, yeah, I'm good enough I can do this and it's not saying that I'm the best photographer or anything it's just saying that I know that my time that I'm putting in is worth it. So I wrote down my goals, these were the things that I wanted to dio now I had people coming to me saying, you know, will you do my headshot simon actor in los angeles? Or will you do my senior portrait's and things like that? And I said, no, no, no, no, because I didn't want to do that, and I was really, really scared because my first year, I didn't have any money, you know, I had some money set aside, but it wasn't like I had jobs coming in and people wanting prints and things like that, I had nothing, but I knew what I wanted, so I said to myself, if I could spend the next year doing anything at all from my business? What would that be? What I want to spend my time doing because our time is so valuable, so don't waste it doing something that you don't want to dio turn what you love to do into something that's going to make money so I said I want to write a book no, I said that would be amazing to me I love writing that's something that I am so passionate about, so I want to write a book I said that I wanted to exhibiting galleries I didn't know if I could I don't know if I was good enough I had no idea how to do it, but I knew that somebody had done it before so I said that's, what I want to do with my time I want to teach workshops too because I'm so so passionate about education, about being in groups of people trying to inspire somebody and being inspired in return so I wanted to teach workshops but I didn't have anybody emailing me saying, hey, will you come teach for me? Will you teach for me? Not at all? I just want to do it so let's get ahead here a little bit and looking into the future now, how was I going to go about doing these things and make it a sustainable business for myself, so writing a book no idea what to do email publishers no responses so I said to heck with it I'm just going to publish my own book so I did I wrote a book I uploaded it to blurb blurb dot com that allows you to self publish your books and I just put the word out on the internet I don't know if it was going to be anything special I didn't know if anyone would buy it but at least I finished my goal and at least I could say you know what this was my goal and I completed it and that's something to be able to say I did it and then you could move forward with your next school so after that there was the galleries I didn't know if I could get into a gallery didn't know how to go about getting into a gallery and I'm gonna talk to you later about all the mistakes that I made in trying to get into galleries because I made a lot of them but I learned from them and I did eventually start getting into galleries they were small galleries they weren't making me any money but I was doing it and I was building my resume at the same time that I wanted to teach workshops and again nobody was asking me tio ijust wanted teo I hope that somebody wanted to know what I had to offer so I started putting the word out online and use my facebook page and use my flicker page and things like that, and I said, you know, I'm going to teach this workshop in putting, putting it out there hope somebody shows up and luckily, a few people did not many though in the beginning it was a slow process, so if you could define your goals for the next year, then you have a whole year to work on those goals. So what I tried to dio was I, you know, had a day job, I started out, moved to los angeles, right out of college, I was a receptionist and did that job for about seven months or so, and then I started working as a legal assistant and I hated that job to say the least, I'm not cut out to be a legal assistant. I mess things up every single day my head wasn't in it, I would go to bed sick at night in my stomach because I just was so nervous to go to work, and I realized after just a few months of being there that it wasn't worth it, you know, that I was sick every single day because of this job and why do that to yourself now? Obviously we need to make money there are so many reasons why we take jobs like that and that's why I did it because I have a family you know it's me and my husband we got to make money, you know? So you do what you have to dio but at some point you have to say I'm going to create a goal for myself to get out of this situation and then figure out how to do that so I had this job for about five months and in that first year of working you know, we didn't have a lot of resources we lived in a little apartment and we saved money as much as we possibly could while paying off student loans and things like that and after that first year of being in the real world, you know, a supposed to my fantasy world that I'm in all the time now in that time I started saving money and we put enough aside to where we said, okay, you can quit your job and you can go ahead and try photography for one year and if you're not making money by the end of that year, then you've got to think about going back to your job so that's exactly what I did I quit my job as a legal assistant on dh ended up being pretty good I learned a lot as a legal assistant and so that helped me a lot in figuring out how to run a business so quit that job moved into photography full time but then I started realizing over the course of that year that I wasn't really thinking far enough ahead I had to think further than that first year because while I had some schemes up my sleeve there I could make money by the end of that year I needed to think beyond that so I could have a sustainable business so looking into the future is going to help make your business more specific if your business is more specific than you're going to waste less of your time. So what I mean by specificity of your business is you know exactly what you want and you figured out how to get it now if I said in that very first year of photography that I want teo show in galleries I want to write a book I wanna have workshops, but I'm also going to shoot weddings and senior portrait and this and that on the side to make money then where would I be with all my other goals? I would be so far behind because I was doing so many other things, so my thought process was you know, if it doesn't work out in one year, then yes, I'll get a job, I'll make some more money and they will try again but I'm never going to stop trying, so I focused on those goals I knew what I wanted, I went forward with it so I want everybody to think about your one year goals I think it's really important to know what you want and I don't mean what you think you should want because there's a lot of that floating around you know? Well, I've heard that there are a lot of successful portrait photographers, so maybe I'll try that don't do what you think you should do or what somebody else is doing what what do you want personally, you know, I wanted to create images on my own terms so I said I'm not going to be a commercial photographer I'm not going to be that person that creates pictures for somebody else and that's not to say that it's not an amazing job because it is it's just not for me it's not the kind of thing that I want to spend my time doing all right? So my one year goals as we talked about publish a book this is this year my one year goals so to publish a book, another book I've done that finally it took a long time that was my goal last year too it didn't work out had to extend the time period a little bit so published a book that's finally coming out really excited and I guarantee you it's only because I put myself out there with the first book self publishing that I was able to actually publish a book in bookstores this time so I looked back you know, at what I've been doing to achieve my very first year goals writing that book all on my own I have that now to show publishers to say yes, I've written a book, you know? They don't have to know that it wasn't published by a professional publisher the fact is that it got written, it looks nice and I can show it to people now teaching to day workshops that was one of my goals for this year I've taught one day workshops before, but I really wanted to extend it a little bit and teach to day workshops because I did the one day workshops I felt confident enough to do the two day workshops and this year I would like to have two more gallery reps, so why are those my goals? Because there's always the y like we've been talking about not just in your pictures but in your business too you have to have a reason for doing something, so publishing a book I wanted to reach a larger audience, you know, I wanted to put myself out there I want to reach us many people as I can because my book is all about inspiration, so I want to be able to extend that message to as many people as possible then we have the two day workshops, so why would I want to do that? To connect more you know I'm teaching these one day workshops there so quick there so fast paced and I want to spend more time with the people that I was teaching I wanna have that connection I want to sit with them and shoot with them and you know, be able to go out to dinner and just have a relaxed time so I thought, why not two day workshops that sounds amazing to me and then to new gallery reps know this one's really obvious I want to sell more prince you know there is the practical side to this and not just the fluffy happy stuff but I have to sell prince I have to make money doing this or else I can't continue to do it you know I'm not made of money I have to be able to sell prints to keep going so if I have more gallery representation then that means that I can sell more prints, right? So your answer should never be because somebody else did it now think about it you know it's so easy to see other photographers see them achieving their goals and then say yeah, I want those to be michael's too well do you really or do you just want the success that they have if that's the case then it's not your ambition you know don't take something from somebody else and make it your own take something that you want to do and make that your own in the second that you do that you're starting a path for yourself that other people are going to want to follow two you're going to be that person that successful where you're putting yourself out there people are going to see that and they're going to think oh my gosh wouldn't amazing successful photographer that's all because you did something that you wanted to dio all right so figure out what you want and then do it and I can't stress this enough and I might sound really harsh when I say it just do it but the fact is that you're the one stopping yourself you know we all have things in our lives where you khun say yeah so this reason that reason I can't do it I can't do it now but there's really no reason for that so write down all the reasons why you haven't done it because they're always road blocks like I've been talking about they're always little things seems so most of them are going to be excuses and probably ninety percent of what you write down is going to be something that you could rearrange in your life put aside make it you're not your top priority anymore and then go after your goals and I find that I do this myself all the time you know um one of my biggest excuses that I forget I forget t do what I want to do it sounds absolutely ridiculous I actually have like a a medically terrible memory but but that's not an excuse I mean it is an excuse but it's not a good excuse to say oh yeah I forgot so you know, this year I've said to myself so many times okay? I know that I want to get into a gallery but I'll just do it later all right to those galleries later I'm really busy right now and then I forget to do it why? I mean, should that not be my top priority? You know, if I'm going to be a fine art photographer why am I not getting into these galleries? Why am I not trying nobody's going to just come up to me and say, hey, we want you we want you and then grabbed my work from me and put it in the gallery themselves it's not gonna work like that so I have to come up with creative ways not to forget and there's a way to do this for every excuse in the book. So I make lists I create a calendar of events then I tell other people namely my husband who's going to help me out and say, did you do this yet? Did you do that yet? And you know if somebody else can hold you accountable for something, you're much more likely to do it all right, so you have to realize that your goals are worth fighting for, and I think that's the hardest part is giving yourself permission to go after those goals. We all have other people in our lives that we want to take care of that we want to put ahead of ourselves. But if you're putting other people ahead of yourself, then you're not taking care of who you are. And that means that you're not giving those people in your life the best you that you, khun, b and that's just a disservice to everybody. So why not put yourself first for just a moment in your business, create those goals and then go after them? So let's talk a little bit about confidence by creating goals, you naturally build confidence. So if you think about it this way, you are writing down your goals, you're sort of crossing them off the list as you go, it can be little goals can be big goals, whatever it is, but as you move forward and as you start to realize that oh, yeah, you know, I wanted to do this thing and I did it. Then that's going to build confidence for you naturally so I try to create little goals every single day whether it's okay, answer twenty emails today or go outside into a photo shoot, whatever it is if you do that and you can actually cross that off your list, you're going to feel so great that you actually did it and it's going to motivate you to do something else, so creating goals that are big and small, I do this every single day I consult my list of things that I have two d'oh I don't even call them my goals, I just call it my to do list and then it makes it feel a lot more necessary to actually complete because it's on the list of things that must get done. So if I write down you no right to two different galleries, well, then I am writing down on my must do list I have to write to these galleries and if it doesn't get done, but I'm not going to give myself a cookie. I'll talk about cookies later I ate cookies all the time, but I like to reward myself in that way, you know, give yourself something to look forward to make sure that it gets done all right, so people are more likely to invest in your business if you believe that it's worth investing in so think about it that way you know if you don't even believe in what you're doing and who else is going to believe in it nobody is going to believe in that business so if you're putting that out there and you're saying yeah this is a business that I'm building from the ground up I love what I'm doing and I hope you love it too that's the best you can do that's having confidence in yourself and in your business and it's not being arrogant it's not being narcissistic it's just saying I love what I do and we should all love what we do and we should put that out there into the world so most people believe that there is somebody better in the world all believed that at one point or another we look out we see other photographers, other artists and we say oh my gosh that person is so much better than I am how can I be like that right? We've all done it I know we have and I do that too and then I find myself sort of kicking myself because I'm saying what what am I talking about better there is no better there is no worse there's just me and that other person and we're doing our own separate things we believe that there's someone smarter out there I believe it all the time and I have to stop myself I'll make a mistake maybe in a picture, maybe a business decision and I'll say, you know what? Someone so never would have made that mistake because they're so much smarter than I am and I have to stop myself because it's not about being smarter, it's just about being you making those mistakes and then moving forward there's always someone more talented and that might even be effect. There might be somebody more talented but who's defining talent. Who is it? Nobody there's, nobody defining what talent is there's just how you create and if you love what you create and then there's always someone more deserving, right? We always think, well, I don't deserve this or I shouldn't go after this because there's probably someone who needs it more or who's going to get it because they're better than I am. What a silly way of thinking, isn't it? I mean, we all deserve good things if you're putting good things into the world, so go after that, but there is going to be someone who is better and smarter and more deserving, but only if you believe that there is. So if you can stop for a second and you can say, you know what there isn't, I'm not going to believe in this, I'm not going to trick myself into thinking that there is somebody better and smarter and more deserving then that means that you're that person and you can take it and you can run with it and you can create an amazing business, so don't compare yourself to anybody else, and now I'm crying already over. Oh, you're doing that. You know what? I did not believe you at all when you said that, you know, like, I really don't uh but but when other people cry, I cry this's, powerful content? Yeah, I think we've all we've all felt this way definitely think we can all relate to that definitely. All right? So we have to stop comparing ourselves to others and I do this all the time. I mean, from the very, very start of my career, I have compared myself to others and I've gone online it's the community of the social network, you know, I go on the internet, I see other artists, I compare myself to them, and I can't stop thinking about well, what if I did that? What if I was this person? What if I had those resource? Is there's always somebody out there that you think has more than you do or has the potential to do more? But the fact is that you don't know their story and they don't know your story, and you're just doing what you d'oh so if you believe in yourself that others are going to follow you and that's, the most empowering thing to me to realize that everybody out there is going to feel about you the way that you feel about yourself, so if you love yourself when you believe that you're worth it, then that means that so many other people are going to believe that, too, and I really feel like in my career just putting that out there and not letting people say, you know what? You're not a good photographer or you're not even a photographer little things like that that I've heard over the years, you know what? Who cares if they say that? I don't believe that? So by putting that out there and saying, I'm proud of what I do, I love what I do hopefully that means that other people are going to believe in that as well, even if they don't like what I do, at least they know that I love what I do and that's the most important thing, so never assume that you're the best or the worst it's a terrible assumption to make because when you assume you're disrespecting the opinion of others, now this is something that I see a lot on the internet, people posting a picture. And then they'll sort of retract that and say, oh, I really really hate this picture I can't believe that I did that well, you don't know who loved that picture don't disrespect the opinion of others same goes for your business for anything that you're doing for yourself so if you're putting something out their own it love it, explain why you love it, you know? And if you come to hate it one day don't spread that out there don't start telling other people that you hate what you do or or you're upset about your business or anything put positive vibes out there because people are going to be attracted to that. So this is a prime example of that what you hate someone else might love so you know, I did this exercise earlier where I showed my best in my worst picture does that mean that it's actually my best and worst images no it's just my opinion and that's not to say that I'm mad at myself for creating this image that I don't like that's just to say that I've grown, I've moved on from that tried it and I'm proud that I tried it you know, it's not like I feel like I I shouldn't have done it I'm glad that it's on the internet I'm glad that people can see that because I want them to see my journey I think that that's a lot more endearing and a lot more special to be able to see the journey that somebody's taken rather than on lee saying they're very, very best work all the time so confidence extends into sales and I want to get a little more practical with this so few of confidence that other people are going to want to buy what you d'oh if you were putting out there that you don't like what you do nobody else is gonna buy it because they're going to think that they're hanging crappy art on their walls or that they're going to get a really, really bad photo session so you have to be able to talk about who you are and what you do with confidence now a great example of this is when I showing galleries if somebody were to come up to me and say, hey, why'd you do this picture why do you why you take photographs and I said, oh, I don't know and I walked away what a terrible answer that would be I would never sell a print if I did that I have to be a little talk about what I do and be excited about what I d'oh but think about it this way if you're creating images that you're not excited by, then why are you hanging them in a gallery? Why are you trying to move forward with that so when somebody says to me, oh, why did you create this print or what? What was the idea behind this? I am so excited to talk about that instantly. I just want to go into this long story about why I did something because I'm proud of it, and I love it, all right? You have to be your own sales person, and I can't stress that enough. So many people say to me, well, you know, where's your manager or who takes care of your emails and things like that that's not a bad thing to have, but at the same time, I want to be the one who's speaking for myself as much as I can. So when I am running my business, you know, if I have to speak to somebody on the phone, if I have to go to a meeting in person, I am going to try to sell myself in the least sales the way possible, and I'm going to do that through having confidence, so if I could go in there and just speak passionately about what I do, when other people are going to have that passion for what I do as well, or at least I can hope that they do so brandon is how your business is defined very, very literally. You know it's what you're putting into your business that other people are going to take away from it so it's how other people see you and largely so if you create a recognizable brand then that's going to set you apart from the crowd and I can't stress that enough because you know I come across so many people who I see doing what other people are doing because that sells but that's only selling for them because they were the first one to do it so if you're constantly doing what somebody else is doing no they're certain things certainly that work in the industry that consistently will allow you to sell your product but in terms of being yourself being original that's the best thing that you could dio you know I went on the internet and I just said, you know what? I'm going to put myself out there in the most authentic way possible and if people will take that and accept that then that's amazing and if not then that's really not my place to be so you should be able to define your brand with key words just like we talked about with inspiration in your style this should also extend into your brand and a lot of those words will overlap a little bit so like we talked about my key words dark, surreal, whimsical things like that that should extend into who I am is a brand so your brand should encompass your photography, your website, your social persona, your business cards, your workspace, your wardrobe everything that's not to say that it has to it's just to say that these air really really awesome categories think about so if you haven't thought about how you're presenting yourself in your wardrobe and how that relates to your photography think about that a little bit so how do you find your brand it's gonna be a little bit tricky definitely because we're sort of all over the place sometimes with our photography it's easy to sort of say okay, well I like weddings I like fine art like this and that I have so many different things that I want to do, but that doesn't mean that you can't have a cohesive style from one category to the next, so if I'm going to shoot a wedding I'm going to edit those pictures in my style that doesn't mean that I'm going to make the bride and groom look super creepy or anything but that is to say that I'm going to edit it in the way that I think looks artistic and more like shine art. So if I am branding myself as a wedding photographer let's say that today I woke up and I was like, oh my gosh, I love shooting that bride and groom so much that I'm gonna be a wedding photographer now that's not gonna happen trust me, but just in case it you know, in case I woke up feeling that way then I would say, you know what? I'm going to put a fine art spin on it, so I'm not just gonna be a wedding photographer I'm going to be a fine art wedding photographer and I'm going to give that bride and groom something that they're gonna wanna hang on their wall is a giant piece of art and that's going to be my brand I'm going to sell that to my clients so how do you define your photography? It goes straight into what your brand is, you know what kind of photography do you love to dio what do you want it to look like? Why do you want it to look like that? And then how can I personify those attributes? So, you know, maybe my style personally is dark and whimsical that's exactly why I'm wearing this outfit today because it's dark and whimsical at the same time, right? I'm trying to be an elf and crystal she pointed out that I'm a princess and I really appreciated that, but still I'm trying to personify my brand and that's what I'm always trying to do now that comes extra extra easy for me because I kind of was already my brand before I started photography, but then again it makes sense because I know what I like I know what I love to create and I'm creating that not just in my photos but also in what I'm wearing and how I behave, so how can I put my brand words into action? We're going to talk about that a little bit as well. So these air, my branding keywords inspirational, passionate fairy tale, dark motivational and art. Now you can correct me if I'm wrong you know of your reading these near like, wow, she's way off base! I am not feeling this from her, I need to change, you know, that means that I need to reconsider what my brand words are and that's why it's, great to get second opinions. Third opinions on this, I do this a lot, I'll ask my friends, you know, what do you think my brand is? If you could just write down like a couple words and they'll write down a couple of words for me and usually they reflect these words and that's why I've put them on this list because I've asked other people have gotten the feed back to make sure that what I think my brand is is on target, so think about your own keywords and this goes back to what is your photography like and what do you, as a person want to be like? So when I started for example, on the internet I realized that I could be whoever I wanted to be online, you know, I was starting fresh putting my work out there typing whichever words I wanted people to see it's not like I was sitting in front of an audience compulsively saying whatever was coming out of my mouth like right now, but I was on the internet I had the ability to, you know, stop think and then write something down and it's not saying that I was somebody being somebody who I wasn't I was just trying to be the best person that I could be who I wanted to work towards being. So when I started sharing my work online, I wanted to be nice simple is that I want to be nice to people and I want people to be nice to me hey, so if somebody goes on my facebook page and writes a mean comment, I'm not going to read a mean comment back to them, I'm going to realize that they're probably just having a bad day and who cares? You know? So I'm not worried about other people like that I'm just thinking about my keywords who do I want to be and how can I project that into the world so a little bit more about branding there two types of key words we have the personality and the visual and so these the two categories that I like to think about a little bit when we're talking about branding because this is how you can literally use those words and put them out there into the world so personality, keywords, inspirational, passionate and motivational. Those are the words that I want to convey with me myself is a person to you, so when I'm speaking, I want to say something that hopefully inspires you. I want my actions to reflect that as well. When I'm shooting, I want to be passionate about what I'm doing, I want you to know how passionate I am and then motivational, you know, I want to motivate you to do something when I'm speaking to you in this way I want it to be because I want you to go out there and take that and do something with it. I don't want you to sit here staring me, walk out the door and then forget what I just said that would be the opposite of motivational, so it manifests in what I write, what I say and what I promote, so if I'm going to write something on the internet, I'm going to have it be inspirational motivation or passionate, so I'm posting a picture on the internet I'm not going to say here's my new picture, period, there you go it's not going to sound passionate and I want people to know how passionate I was when I created that image, so if I feel that excitement, I'm going to let you know that I feel that excitement. So what I say just like this if I'm speaking to a group of people if I'm teaching a workshop, I mean, even if I'm just having coffee with somebody who happens to like photography, I want them to know that I am passionate I want them to feel inspired just by having a conversation that's not to say that they're going to obviously it's not like I I'm able to sit down with everybody and inspire everybody that'd be ridiculous, but but I still hope teo that's still my goal, what I'm working towards and then what I promote that's sort of the most interesting one because we don't always think about that we have a tendency to go on the internet, see an article that we like and then share that article something like that just because, you know, we personally find it entertaining or whatever it might be, but I'm trying at least connected to my business not to do that, so I'm not going to post something on my facebook page if it has nothing to do with these keywords, so if somebody writes an article about photography that's really, really negative I'm not gonna post that even if I happen to agree with it because I don't want to put that negativity out into what I do I want to leave that aside, this is an example of something that I try to do to sort of give back, be inspirational, be motivational and be passionate. So every year at the end of the year, I do something to just engage the community that happens to fall on my work, and I try to give something back because I feel so incredibly inspired every single day when somebody writes something to me on my facebook page or, you know, even hits the like button or something, and so I want to give something back and so you know what? I am so grateful for you, and this is what we can do to be more of a community. This is a great way just to get into social networking a little bit, you know, to bring that community together and to feel connected to one another. So this past year, I I basically asked everybody to finish the sentence. Now I have to go up here and read it photography is important to me because so there's a blank, whatever you want to write, why, whatever reason, photography is important to write it to me, and I'm going to put it into posters so I made posters for everybody, these just high rez posters that everybody could download if they want to print them out, and then it was a sin super super inspirational thing where, you know, I've got this poster sitting on my desk of all these reasons why all these other people in my community love taking pictures, and I find that to be so incredibly motivational to read that every single day and to say, wow, there are so many passionate people out there, and that makes me want to do better. Let me go back just one sec here. So the year before that, I decided to make a video, and I called it two thousand eleven a year in photos, and I asked everybody to send in their absolute favorite picture that they took that year, and so that was my way of gathering everybody and saying what let's, be proud of what we done this year instead of being really discouraging about it. Looking back and saying I did that wrong this wrong? I hated this picture that I posted. I said no, pick out your favorite image from this past year, and then I uploaded it into a video just a simple video of everybody's pictures than everybody got to be featured in that video. All right so visual with branding we have fairy tale dark and art so this is what I'm trying to put out with my visual style both in my photography in my wardrobe so it's in what I create what I wear and what I promote again so I want my style to be reflected in what I am posting on the internet so if I'm going to post a link to another artist it's going to be because it is something that I believe in and not just some random piece of art that I felt like sharing that day obviously we talked about what I'm wearing I try to wear things that will give whoever is meeting me an idea of what my art is like I want to all be connected because if they khun visually see me and think oh yeah that matches her art then they're more likely to remember both both myself and my art these are some really, really silly examples of different instances where I've had different events and I've tried to pick out outfits that did fit my style so it does it seems really funny throwing these pictures up here because it's just need talking to different people being myself or whatever but so there's a sort of definite alison wonderland feeling going through some of my wardrobe and that sort of that whimsical soft fairytale look that I'm going for I'm not buying like gothic clothing or anything and making myself look dead or anything like that you know in person that's not the style that I'm going forward to reflect and myself but I'm trying to find a mix between you know that sort of inspirational happy light whatever I feel because I am we talked about this earlier just the students and I earlier that I am very opposite of what my art is like so you know I'm very happy all the time and I feel really really passionate but my art reflects something a little bit different so I want people to know that I'm not this sad depressed person uh but but instead I am really happy and I'm really passionate and that is why I'm creating art like that so this is the ultimate brand to me is tim burton I cannot think of a better brand to save my life I've tried tim burton everybody knows I'm I doubt that there's anybody in here doesn't know them except patricia do you know you know oh my gosh okay so I had a feeling patricia doesn't know tim burton but that's okay somebody in the chat rooms just said do you know that you have a tim burton by kind of meant some of your work oh I love that good timing that's awesome so tim burton he's eccentric if you see him at a movie premiere his hair is going to be going everywhere he's gonna look crazy and that's him it matches what he does he's a little bit creepy with his style very innocent at the same time so you'll see lots of characters with the big eyes and looking very young and very sad and and all of that he is very different hey sort of deals with people who are outcast in society very deathly at the same time with skeletal bodies that his characters have very distorted their faces, their bodies nothing is quite right with a tim burton movie very surreal, obviously and magical and these are all words that you pretty much can't dispute these words when it comes to tim burton. We know tim burton and we all love tim burton, okay, I'm sure we don't miss your people are going to be typing no, I don't hate timbers, but everybody in this room loves tim burton, am I right? Yeah okay, all right, so marketing is the turn your branding into marketing, so if you're not turning that brand into something tangible, well, then we have a problem because you're not going to make any money. So I want to make sure that I keep in mind what my key words are what my branding words but then I also turned that into something that will make me some money so your key words they have to be associated with your target audience right so marketing is all about knowing who to target now if you don't know who you're trying to go after that's going to be really really hard to apply those keywords in a practical way so for example you know mikey words inspirational motivational obviously I need to get in front of people who need to be motivated right? So that's my goal I'm trying to find people who want to learn something who want to be educated who want to feel inspiration and that's why I teach workshops it to figure out who your client is now thinking about that very literally is a wonderful thing to dio so fine arts that's me on a fine artist it sounds really silly to say fine artist whatever s o I sell prints in other words I create personal work jumpin really quickly so we've had questions over the last couple of days about what your definition of fine art is yes you want to just say that again yeah absolutely I haven't really defined that very clearly so when I'm defining fine art I think of it as being somebody who creates personal work so I am not creating for somebody else so for example I'm not taking commissions I'm not, you know, shooting for a client so I'm going out in creating what I want to create and then selling it as an after fact so that's sort of my definition of what fine art photographer means who knows if it actually means that I'm pretty sure it does, but what if somebody else has a much better definition and shouted out, let me know and I'm sure that that can extend also into how you make your money, but I think it still goes back to do you have clients paying you directly for a service? Or do you have somebody paying you because you've created something that they want as an afterthought? So if I am a fine artist, then that means that my client is going to be galleries, art collectors and photo enthusiasts. So these are all the people who might buy my prince, who might take a workshop from me, things like that. So you have tio basically figure out how you're going to market to them who's going to buy your product so very, very literally, you know, if you were to if I would have a print right here, who could I go up to and say, will you buy this print who's going to take it? So if I walked up to a ten year old girl in the street and said, you want to buy this print for me, it's, one hundred dollars? She's not going to say yes so you've got to find the right target audience same as if I walked up tio a bride and groom and I said you want to buy this print they're thinking about their wedding they're not thinking about buying art right now most likely so I have to know who I'm targeting so who's going to promote your product because you don't necessarily want to be your only source of promotion maybe you want to be in a magazine maybe wanna have a gallery showing your work things like that you have to think about who's going to help promote you so what is your product what do you specialize in and how can you make a profit from that so like I've been saying if you're a wedding photographer that's what you specialize in you specialize in wedding photography but how can you make that turn into a profit? Well, you advertise to people who've just gotten engaged so they're a little ways that you can sort of pick out who your target audiences and then market those people so I specialize in photography my products heir prince and I sell them to galleries and art collectors so I try to write sentences out like this for myself with keywords so then I know what I'm focusing on so I'm not all over the place so if I'm writing down okay specialising photography I sell prince and I'm going to galleries to sell the art collectors, then I know right there I have who I am marketing to, which is the art collectors and who's going to sell my product and promote it for me, which is the gallery, which is what I just said they're so who's gonna promoting product galleries, who's going to buy my product, the art collectors so marketing is all about outreach. You have to know who you're going to reach out to to make things happen for you. And I was just talking to julian our audience about this yesterday, you know, who were you going to get to market for you? And I said to her, you have this amazing magazine ask me to market it for you ask those artists they're putting in their to market it for you, that's how we're going to get the word out about these things because, my gosh, she has the most amazing a magazine and it's it's something that people want to hear about people want to know about, and I want to spread the word about it. So, you know, I want to help you. I want to get that magazine out there, so asking people to help you with your outreach is an amazing thing to dio. So you shouldn't wait for somebody to come to you and ask teo promote your product it's probably not gonna happen too often you have to go to them but you have to know who to go to and how to do it there's obviously a way to do it with tact and so you're not you know, saying do this for me do this for me because if somebody comes to me and says I need you to do this period, then I probably won't be as inclined to do it because they're not respecting my time but if I go to somebody and I say, you know what I've got this these prints and I really need a home for them right now and I go to a restaurant and I'm telling these people that they might want to stroke my prints in the restaurant something like that we have a question, brooke okay, I totally understand what you're saying about thie you know, because I've I've been on facebook and promoting my magazine whenever when is it too much? Because I guess my fear is okay these people don't like okay, I'm said hearing about this magazine and they're going to like block me or whatever when do you know when it's too much or do you just say I don't care if you think it's too much, I'm just going to do it that's that's a really good point, because when you said, you know, I don't care if it's too much, I never think that I am always very hyper aware of putting something out there too much. In fact, it makes me sick to my stomach to have to do it. I mean, when I get on facebook and I have to tell people about an exhibition or a bout of workshop that I'm having, I hate it, I want to post something else as quickly as possible to move it away because I'm like god more self promotion. This this is terrible, but eh? So I know the fear it's it's something that I have to do because I need to make money, I need to let people know what products are available, but there's still a way of doing it where you're letting them know that you're doing it because you're passionate about it and you're not just throwing it in their face. So instead of saying I've got this magazine, please spread the word about it, you know, maybe write a block post and you show some behind the scenes process of how that magazine came together, and then you say, I am so excited about this artist or the way that I got to print this magazine and then you're putting the word out there but you're also being passionate about it so it's not just saying I'm selling this to you right now you're saying I'm letting you into my world I hope you're excited as I am that's how I try to work it okay? So an engagement photographer so you might look on facebook to see who's gotten engaged in your area really, really simple way of getting somebody to you know what they know about your services book you for a shoot. So these are the things that I don't do as a fine art photographer because my target audience is a much, much harder to find because there isn't really a great way to find art collectors on facebook like there is a way to find out about who's gotten engaged, who's getting married who was a senior in high school, things like that. So the other problem is that I'm not just targeting people in my town, I'm targeting people anywhere in the world, so I'm pretty sure that if I did say a facebook ad, I would have to pay thousands of dollars because random people would be clicking but not buying, so that would be very bad for me but great for an engagement photographer so fine art photographer figuring out which galleries show work like I do is great and then you have to get in touch with them about exhibiting so I know my market it's the galleries I need to go to them and I need to see if they have availability to promote my work and that's how I'm going to do my marketing so you have to branch out and reach out to unexpected places this is something that I try to dio every year I try to do some things that make me nervous things that I think that I won't enjoy doing I try to try everything twice at least in that way I know for sure that I don't like doing it or that I do love doing it so reaching out to say magazines for me that was a big thing I had no desire to shoot for magazines but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be great promotion for me so I thought why not go to a magazine see if I could do a shoot for them and then in turn I'll get my name out there a little bit to a different audience and maybe I would love shooting for magazine I had never done it I was just assuming that I wouldn't like it so things like that I try to do a lot I try to think okay, well maybe I'm scared to do this so I've never done it but that doesn't mean I shouldn't do it having a game plan super important, so what will you mark it? Literally the product, who you're going to market, too? And then when will marketing begin, that is the biggest thing, so setting a date saying, ok, when am I going to actually start doing this? And then where will you sell? How worried, how will you approach your game plan? So if you don't have all of these questions answered, then you're probably going to get stuck when you actually start moving forward with your goal. So if you don't know what your marketing, who your marketing, too, when you're going to start how you're going to go about doing this, then it's going to be really intimidating once you get started and you get stuck because you don't know how to move forward, so if you can answer all those questions first, then you're much more likely to follow through, and this is exactly the same as how I approach art. You know, I want to have my game plan first and then move forward with my photo shoot, because I'm much more likely to get a finished product that I like. So what are you going to market? This is what I market prince workshops, books and motivational speaking, thes air, all of the things that I personally market I put these products out there, even if it doesn't seem like a tangible product, like motivational speaking, that is something that I want to do. So I put that out there is a service that I'm giving somebody, all right. So who? My marketing, too, obviously galleries, and not because they're going to pay me for my prince, but because they're going to sell my prince and make me money photo enthusiasts too a marketing too. So you know all of you guys I might say to you hey, I have a workshop coming up. Do you want to join in? That provides income for me? But it also provides a service for you, school's marketing to schools to do motivational speaking things like that colleges high school's things of that nature, and then photography clubs that's a fantastic place, very literally for me to market teo, because I have a lot of things that might interest a photography club. I can go there and I can teach. I can go there and I could do a lecture. I can go there with my prince and have a little exhibition for them to see little things like that that's going to put the word out about you, so when will marketing begin now, period? That's just the fact of it I mean if you're not going to start now then you're probably never going to start let's just face it we're such procrastinators as the human race and so you know if we don't decide right now that we're going to make that change and you're not setting a concrete date that you are bound to then it's probably going to be another year and then another year and then you're still stuck in that job that you don't want to be doing or you're still doing those senior portrait is that you don't want to do anymore and well that provides my income so I really can't do something else but really can't you do something else? I mean do you really not have the extra hour a week to put into starting a new business you probably dio and now I don't know everybody situation so I don't know if you d'oh there are people out there with you a lot of stuff going on I know but if you think about it as just a small small amount of time either at the end of every day or once a week that you're going to set aside for yourself to start building something better and bigger then you're probably going to be able to achieve it faster than if you never started it all so if it doesn't happen now it might never happen yeah, we have a question I knew when that question came up when well marketing because I knew the world was going to be now and I get that john didn't surprise period did good um so right now as you know, my work is all over the place I have a lot of mood scapes I have in my block I have portrait so I've pretty much shot everything and anything so my goal for the end of this year is to build a brand build a cohesive amount of work that I'm proud of you but how could I do that and market at the same time like I can't go out market what I currently have if that's not what I want to be marketing in the future I completely understand so what I would do in your situation is to stop talking about all the stuff that you've already done or that you don't like and as you're going let people know that you're still building it, you know and what people know that you're excited about it the direction that you're moving in. So once you do a shoot that you love put that out there and say this is the direction that I want to be going in then you're letting people know that you're on a journey and they can follow that journey and that's really endearing I mean I am a a thousand times more likely to follow somebody on the internet if they're on a journey and they're trying hard in their passionate than if there's somebody who's just good at what they do, but they don't seem to care about it. So I mean, just you saying that makes me excited to go online and, you know, check in with you once a week and see what you're doing, so I think just putting that out there is gonna be the best thing that you could d'oh, all right? So moving on here, so where am I going to sell going to selling galleries? I'm going to sell online, so I am using facebook and flicker and things like that to say, hey, I sell prince, I teach workshops like I was saying, I hate doing it, but I have to do it because that's, where my audience is, you know, I like to say that I was largely born online artistically because I started putting my pictures on the internet from day one, and it was only because of the encouragement from that community that I decided to pursue it as a full time career. So when I'm putting, you know, the's announcements online, it's, because that's where I've been growing up is a photographer and that's where people have been following my journey, so I need to let those people know what I have to offer and I don't want it to be sales e, and I'm not trying to force anybody to buy anything from me, but those are the people who know my story, they know my work, so they're likely to buy something at some point, if it's going to help them in their careers and then bookstores on doing my book, obviously I want to sell in bookstores because that's a big place where you might want to sell books. Yeah, I was just wondering, as you said, her works all over the place. I should different things as well. How can we figure out how long should we give, like as a time limit to figure out what we actually love to shoot? I don't know what you should do your time limit. I mean, it's what you love, so if you don't have it yet, then work until you get it. I would not say, you know what? Okay, if after a year, I still don't know that I'm just going to stop photography, I would never do that, because then you're just doing yourself a disservice, and that doesn't mean that, you know, maybe you'll have to get another job, maybe you'll have to do something else to support yourself, but never stop the journey of figuring out what you love. Because if you stop that too early and you never find it, then you're just going to end your life thinking what if I had stuck with it and I don't want anybody to ever do that. All right? So how are you going to approach your game plans? This is what I do literally, to try to figure out what I need to be going forward with doing, you know, as my my work throughout the day, so emailing galleries, that's something that I do on a fairly regular basis if I can remember to do it. Like I said, I forget these things, a lot of advertising workshops, that's something that I do to approach my game plan, emailing camera clubs, so I like to keep in touch with different camera clubs, especially if they're close by that's in my short drive for me and it's fund in direct with people like that create video content so that's something that I try to work on and try to create behind the scenes videos and things like that because that's one way of engaging with my audience now, obviously, I can't see my audience because I put it on youtube and hope that people watch it, but I pretend that they're there, and then I talked to people as if they're watching, um and then creating a new website so that's something that I've been working on with my husband who builds my website and so we're working on just sort of creating new content and keeping that updated and things like that three things that every photographer should know about social networking be since here be reliable and be knowledgeable now sincerity is the number one thing that I cannot stress enough it is so obvious, so transparent when somebody is using shows social networking on the internet not being who they really are I mean it's like they stand out from a crowd, so I never want to be that person you know? I want to post things that I am so sincere about so passionate about and if I'm not, then I have to consider why I'm posting it and and that's when I started to get really really upset about posting things like for example, you know, I've got some sponsors, maybe one of them will say, can you write a post about us and that's? When I started to say maybe I'm going to back away from that sponsorship because if I don't have a reason to say something that I don't want to be saying it being reliable, posting consistently things like that and being knowledgeable and if you can sort of let people know what you know then that means that they're going to come to you to get that knowledge so even if you're you know, say, your wedding photographer, your your market is brides, then maybe you want to write a blogger post about flower arrangements or things different elements of weddings that look awesome to photograph, to give them ideas of what they can put in their own wedding. So being knowledgeable in putting out there to your audience is a wonderful way to do some networking. All right? So sincerity stick to your online persona. Now, I hate saying online persona because it makes it sound like I'm being some character that I'm really, um, not in real life, and I mean, hopefully, my new friends will attest to the fact that I just I am who I am, and I do hope that that shines through, but you never know with the internet because you can't meet everybody that you interact with online. So what do you stand for, what's your personality like, and how do you put that across to your followers? Is that the three things that I'm constantly trying to consider when I am social networking? So like I've been saying, you know, my online persona try to be the same as my real life persona. But what I mean by that is I have goals for myself as a person I'm thinking about who I want to be and I put that on the internet so I know that I don't want to be mean, I know that I want to be kind to everybody I know that I want to give everybody the benefit of the doubt I know that I want to inspire people be passionately motivational, so I'm putting that on the internet and that's who I am that's who my online persona is reliability posting regularly, posting consistently so let's say that your portfolio is all over the place you post a wedding picture a month later you post a senior portrait a week later, he posted baby photo um people aren't going to know what you d'oh unless you have a consistent style, but even then the bigger issue is that you're posting at really, really strange intervals. So if you're not posting from one day to the next day or from one week to the next week or very conf insistently than people aren't going to know when to expect something from you. So I tried to post something on my facebook page almost every day sometimes every other day, but because I'm reliable in that sense, that means that people are going to check back in to see if I've posted something new that day or that week and if they're doing that that's driving more traffic, they're much more likely to see something that catches their eye to share that with their followers and then get the word out about my page. So what type of content do you like to post is your content furthering your brand? And how often do you post it isn't consistent, all right, so knowledge become a source of inspiration, knowledge, encouragement and opinions. Now, I love to share my opinions online, you know, I write block post constantly that are like little essays about what I'm thinking that day, and I like sharing that because that means that people with either the same opinions are going to agree or different opinions are going to have a nice, friendly debate or we can hope it's gonna be a nice, friendly debate. It isn't always easy, okay? So which is the most useful site? Uh, me, it's, facebook so I love facebook, it's just a personal thing, but it's the one that houses your audience. So if your audience is not on facebook, well, then why use facebook? You know I will not use linked in because that's not where my audiences I also don't know what lincoln is, but you know, I've heard that it's really not for me. So facebook is how it connect with the most amount of people so if I'm connecting with people well then that means that I am putting myself out there selling my brand to whoever is connecting with me so facebook ads I'm just going to get a little little bit of the technical side of social networking but not much because I don't like it very much so ads that appear on the side bar that is facebook ad it's an awesome thing to do if you have the funds to do it and you have the right audience to market too you pay per click and they're very customizable which is great so if you are a photographer that has tangible clients that you khun target this is a wonderful way to do that but facebook business pages they're awesome because they are free their public they promote your post if you want to so you can pay to promote something and you can engage with others now I have never promoted a poster don't anything like that so I can't attest to facebook ads and promoting your page and things of that nature ok so facebook's statistics I can hardly ever say statistics so bear with me it's how people connect with you so you're looking at how people are interacting where they're coming from the viral ity of your post so how often it's getting shared and demographics as well this is awesome because it's free so you can easily look at that to see where your target audience is or rather than your target audience so much is that it's it's where people are actually coming from toe look atyou so you can sort of get an idea of who your target audience might be so these this is just from my page basically this is a really, really discouraging graff because it's showing you the friends of the fans so basically it saying I had the potential to reach twenty two million people but I didn't and so I look at that I'm like gosh shucks didn't reach twenty two million today but but this is really great because you can see how many people like your page you can see the potential of who you had to reach which is really just a ridiculous number because not every single person who likes her pages going to share every single thing that you d'oh how many people are talking about it so the talking about it is a strange little saying but it just means who's commenting, liking and sharing um and then the weekly reach how many people that week interacted with you s so here we have sort of that broken down into some text instead of the graph so the same thing really how many people were engaged with you how many people are talking about this and then they give you a little vier ality bar which is thebes percentage of how much people were interacting, how many people shared that? So if I move on to the next one, definitely not be able to read that, so that says, um, basically it's, letting me know that the post that I have highlighted, that very, very bottom one there that's telling me that that was my most popular post, I had the highest amount of vire ality, a lot of people interacting with that post, so that means that I'm going to go back to that I'm going to see, ok, what was it that I posted that day, and why were people connected to that? And I could see when I looked at this particular one, that on that particular day, I posted a new picture, posted a blogged, and I posted it behind the scenes video all at once, so people had a lot of content to pull from that one posts, there are more people interacting with it, all right? So other sites that I am not going to go into the extreme detail about, but we have twitter, google plus, I still can't figure out google plus, because I have a log in, but I don't know what it is, and so when I log in, I don't know I'm not gonna go into it, but I'm confused about it, so don't ask me questions about that one, but I know that they're awesome. Photographers who do know how to talk about google alerts flicker I started on flicker that's where my career began, so I do love flicker it's a great way to network five hundred pixels is kind of where it's at right now, as far as presentation goes for your images love five hundred pixels, especially because they specialize in squares I feel very at home. Their instagram also squares, although I don't quite understand it yet I'm getting the hang of it pinterest blue canvasses one that probably not as many people are going to recognize from this list, blue canvas is a fine art magazine, so they published paintings and photography like any sort of mixed media there also a social networking site. So if you go to blue canvas dot com, then you can sign up for a profile just like you would sign up for a flicker account or five hundred pixels account. Same thing you can interact with people, but the neat thing about blue canvas is that if you do sign up, you basically have a profile page where anybody who views your portfolio can click a little button. On your profile page that says nominate for feature, so if they click that button than your profile goes to the editors of the magazine, and then you might get published in the magazine, which is really, really cool because they only publish people who were on there social networking site. So if you're not on there, then you've just lost your chance of being published in this magazine, which is sold around the world. Barnes and noble things like that so awesome sight to check out and then linked in which, again, I can't talk about, but I've listed it anyways, all right, so I just talked about blue canvas, so I'm not going to go into that too much, but I was lucky enough to have a spread in blue canvas and then a subsequent exhibition because of that, so you never know what something is going to turn into. I didn't know when I got published that I was going to have an exhibition, and that just sort of went one thing to the next, and they've been really amazing to me since then book and this is also good because they have contests so you can win things like ipads and printers and stuff like that, all right? So getting involved with your social networking with your community, I try to pose questions I strike try to respond in forums and two comments and things like that you can host or join contest which is a great thing to dio I know that a lot of people knock contests and they kind of make me a little sad sometimes because I hate judging people but at the same time it's not so much about if you win or lose it's about who he's going to see your portfolio once you put it out there on dh who has the potential to see it because you never know you know there might be three judges one of them adores you two of them don't but at least that one person that adores you you know has that bit of edge in the industry you can join groups I love joining groups when I started flicker I would join a bunch of groups and interact on there and make friends on there and that was really awesome and then of course leaving comments so take advantage of community ask questions but only if you really care so great way tio sort of get people to interact is to pose a question and the fact of it is that we like to talk about ourselves you know like if somebody says hey, how is your day you're going to probably respond because you want to let them know how your day wass if you have an opinion on something and somebody asked you about it that's your opinion you want to put that out there, so asking questions in your community is a great way to start a conversation, but I do try to respond in that situation, so if I'm going to go on my facebook page, I'm gonna ask a question then I actually want to hear the answers and I'm going to write back to you if it applies, so I try toe on lee do this if I actually have the time to be engaged in what I'm doing, so share your cellphone openly, but only as much as you can. Um, so I try to share a lot of things online about myself, but there's certain things that I'm not going to talk about, I'm not going to go into detail about my family life and things like that because that's personal to me, you know, that's something that I want to keep for myself, that doesn't mean that I don't get asked about it because I d'oh, but I just don't have to respond of those questions, you know, so share yourself openly, but don't go overboard with it if you're not comfortable with it because people say to me all the time, you know, well, do I have to share this, or do I have to show that the new? Of course not you want to share anything so social networking, the's there some things that I like to share these air, some behind the scenes pictures I love showing behind the scenes pictures because that showing the process, you know, it's showing the process of shooting the crazy things that I do fun, things like that. So I've got images here, um, where I'm like in the middle of wrapping my model in rope and taking a bike ride to a location, trying on a new costume, things like that. So, for example, the bottom corner image over here was shot in berlin, and I had a great story about how we would just walked into somebody's apartment building and sat down start doing a photo shoot, and and it was so much fun, I love telling people about things like that. I tried to share my exhibitions with people, but if I have to that I'm not just going to post some random things saying, hey, I've got an exhibition, I want to show you a print that I did for it or some way to get you involved and feeling like you're part of the process because I really don't want teo just say here's, my exhibition, it sustained time, please come. Because that's very, very business he and I am not business he at all so I don't want to sound like that I want to show you you know that I'm excited about my prince I'm enjoying my time with these gallery shows so ways of getting involved hosting a contest, joining a contest, posing questions, creating interactive content so I like to create downloads for people for free responding to comments, writing original comments that's a big one is being able tio connect with people on line in a very authentic way so if you see a picture that you love, you know don't just hit the like button right a meaningful comment to that person saying why you liked it when somebody does that to me I just my jaw hits the floor and I get so excited because when I do that or when I see that I think, oh my gosh, they actually took the time think about why I did this and what it means to them and, gosh, that means so much to me. So I try to write back to those people and I say thank you and let them know that that meant something and now we've connected and now we have that interaction where we can rely on that later to build a relationship and then, uh joining groups and writing bog posts so texture packs I loved to give away texture packs something that I started doing recently just textures that you can download and things like that because you know, it doesn't take me anything to create a texture it's a really, really quick process so I don't want to do that and then sell it to somebody because I didn't put really enough time and effort into that product to really warrant putting a big price tag on it so you know I could say okay here's my five dollar texture pack but I could also give it away for free and then that's something that's getting the community together again and promoting what I do in a way that's not being sales e about it you can sell actions I don't do that I have in action for re sizing pictures but that's it so I don't really have anything to sell in that category you could sell tutorials screen savers if you wanted you know little things like that just to get involved and do some giveaways okay, so working with clients incentives are awesome for working with clients so an example of that you can give a free print if a client makes your image their profile picture with credit for example just something really, really easy that you khun dio you know you you do a session for somebody to give them their pictures that client makes your picture their profile picture puts a link to your website boom give them a free eight by ten print something like that it'll cost you you know, five bucks or something um and it's something really nice that you could do because they're spreading the word for you all right? Key wording I'm going to try to zoom right through this so using your list of brand words and style words in your key wording is so important, so if I'm writing a block post, I'm tagging that with things like inspirational motivational, dark, surreal, whimsical fairy tale things like that. So I'm doing that because when people go to google and they search that I want them to find me I want them to be associating me with these words I am not only doing that in the tags, but I am also doing that in the title of my block posts as much as I can I'm doing it in the body of my block post things like that so if you were googling, what would you type in if you were trying to find a photographer? What would you actually type? This is so helpful for me because sometimes I don't even think about you know, if I were going to find a photographer, what would I naturally type into google tag your stuff with that so fine art photography I typed that into google conceptual photography, wedding photography dark art, romantic wedding sports photography like anything that you might type in to find a photographer. Think about that. Type it into google, see what your results are, and then use that to tag your own content. All right, so word presses the most customizable blawg at least in my opinion, I like it the best you, khun. I have tons and tons of free templates that you can customize. I don't always understand it because my husband is a techie, so he helps me with that stuff. But it is highly customizable and there a lot of people that you can pay to do it for you. S oh, always insert your key words like we just talked about and then the website. So what is the function of a website? Because we have all these social networking sites so it's, kind of like why would I ever want to have a website that I have to pay for it? But it shows all of your work in one place and it's really easy to navigate. You can give information about the artist which people love to hear, and then it's a one stop for people so they can go to your website to find your other social networking sites and things like that. So this is my website, as it currently stands. I have links up at the top so right there I have gallery prince book workshops sponsors vlog about in contact so those are all the links that I want to be focusing on when people come to my website I want them to know howto find a workshop for me I want them to know where they can order prints and things of that nature I have news right on my front page so if I have something coming up if I'm going on creative live then I want to put that in my news section things like that social media I have up at the top so that way when people land on my page that stays constantly at the top no matter what page you're landing on on my website so people can always access those links and then of course I have my pictures very important I like having my pictures and thumbnail form right there because it's a pop of color when you come to my website very very obvious that you can click those images and then they get brought up bigger with, um with titles and things like that. So social networking being creative now, I wouldn't talk about this picture because I believe this is the sins I think I've never been in that game before, but somebody sent me this picture where they made a gallery in the sins of my photography now I was like, oh my gosh, not only is that the absolute world sweetest thing ever but what a great way of marketing so there is it's not a game but I'm gonna call it a game called second life and in second life you can build things and interact it's a lot like the sins I hear basically you have a little avatar, but people actually advertising they're like big companies create billboards in a virtual reality to advertise why not do that? There are real people who buy riel things in these games those people get married to those people have kids you know what I mean? Why not it's just something free and easy that you khun d'oh so my best advice for social networking is to be sincere if I leave you with anything, it is this the fact that if you're not being sincere in every single thing that you're doing, then there's no point in doing it because we don't want to be fake we want to be passionate we want to be excited about our work so let other people know that all right? So that is the next segment so I'm gonna leave it at that wow, you went over a lot of this is all great information um do you guys have any questions? Of course they do I know we talked about releasing images yesterday but because you're a part of all of these networks, when you release an image online, do you really some images here, some images there? Do you release the same image? All the social networks across the board at the same time? That's a good question, I, um it depends on what I remember to do sometimes, but I see like instagram, I'm trying to get on board, but I keep forgetting to do stuff on there sometimes, but yeah, I do generally release it across the board, for example, put it on flicker and facebook at the same time, pretty much always, but then I'll wait on twitter sometimes to announce it because, you know, it's, a lot of the same people on all the social networking sites, so, you know, maybe somebody caught it on facebook earlier in the day and in the evening I'll post it on twitter and then that way, if you missed it that morning, you khun sort of, you know, see it, see it again later, so I do tend to post generally at the same time, but then I like to go back to those images of a few months later and sort of posted again and say, I remember when this happened, you know, and sort of bring it back a little so, um, suzanne g from vancouver, um says, does brooke ever find participating in social media overwhelming or distracting from her work? How much time does she spend on it per week? Yes, I get very distracted that's, the problem with working at home in your pajamas on the computer, because because they're just it's so easy to open facebook and things like that. Um, but I spend probably about an hour, maybe thirty minutes a day, doing social networking and, uh, probably more, because I'm just goofing around and clicking random things and stuff like that, but actual time spent creating content and posting it to the internet is about thirty minutes a day. It's not too much time, but you know, it's, it is an integral part of my business, so I do dedicate time to that, and a lot of that comes from responding to comments and writing comments to other people and things of that nature. Ah, question from all of brooke who says, are you concerned about someone ever taking your ideas and branding themselves just like you that's? A really good question, because I used to be concerned about that a lot, until I realized that that was so narcissistic of me to think that people would want to just take what I do, and create their own brand out of it and then I thought, well what a silly thing to sit and worry about all the time when it's either gonna happen or it's not gonna happen no matter what ideo either I don't share anything and then I don't make money from what I do and I don't interact with people or I do share it and that's a risk that I run and that's the risk that everybody runs but I think that at the same time if you're doing what's personal to you and something that makes you passionate that's not what the other person is passionate about their just the copier so in that case they're going to be found out they're going to be you know, the one who came second and in a lot of cases that's going to get fixed naturally just by people who follow you work defending you things like that so I don't I don't spend any time worrying about it now and if it pops up I worry about it for the moment fix that if I can or just forget about it and a lot of times I just choose to teo ignore it because it's really not going to turn into a problem so um cata is asking well she's saying that marketing can quickly become a full time job on dh how do you still manage to have enough time for your photos and for you okay, so the answer to that is that I am so stubborn that I will only do what I want to do and then do what I have to do after I'm finished doing what I want to dio so so like if I want to go take a picture than you pretty much have to like, chain me to my desk to make me not go take a picture, but at the same time I remember that if I'm not creating, then I will have nothing to market. So it's it's sort of part of marketing creating ifyou're, not creating fresh content and what the heck are you going to put on the internet? Nothing. So it goes hand in hand and you just kind of have to remember that marketing isn't always about reaching out to somebody it's about creating the content too question from dp you started out doing your self portrait with the idea in mind that galleries would be interested in those shots that's the question or did your target audience develop as you went along? Definitely my target audience developed when I started photography I didn't no about calories and things like that I was not aware of that whole photography world, so when I got into that it was I was just creating what I liked and what I thought was really fun and a cool hobby and it from there, it kind of turned into people saying you could show in a gallery you could, you know, can I buy a print from you? And then I started thinking seriously about it, you know? Oh, there are people out there that I can actually market this, too, instead of just putting it out there for fun and that's when it turned into a career. So by chance is asking a question, I'm going back to what you kind of started out talking about, which was goals he's asking or here she is asking if you ever set a dollar amount as a goal and if that's an ok thing to do? Absolutely, I think so. We need to think practically about our goals. So you know, if my goal is teo, I don't know shooting a twenty five thousand dollars location, obviously I'm going to have to cut that back a little bit or find a really creative way of doing it, so I keep my budget in mind. I set goals based on what my re sources are sometimes if if I need teo, I try not to do that with photoshoots is much because I want to push myself, but yeah, absolutely, especially in terms of how much you want to make. You know, I have said before, you know, I want to do a speaking engagement, but I really need to make x amount to make it worth it, and then I set my goal, okay? If I do another speaking engagement, I need to charge this amount in order to move forward and that's, my golden fashion tv has a great question fashion tv from singapore what are your views on being over positive? Overconfident are highly inspired, etcetera? How do we know if our goals are realistic or too far fetched? And how do you set them? Usually any advice for some of us? Yeah, I have simple advice because my advice is simply that there is nothing that's too big, and I mean, honestly, I just if I thought that way, you know, if I held myself back and I said, well, I want to publish a book, but I don't think anybody is going to do it for me, so I'm never going to try, then I wouldn't have the book coming out that I d'oh and it's little things like that, like, I mean, if you're going to if you're going to say no before you give yourself a chance to succeed, then you're never going to say yes nobody's ever going to say yes to you, so I need to make sure that I am setting my goals wherever I want them to be, whether it's little, whether it's, big that's so unimportant compared to being happy and following your dreams. I don't want to get to the end of my life and look back in, say, you know, I had these goals that I wanted to pursue, but I thought that they were too big. I want to say, at least I tried. Maybe it didn't work out, but at least I went for it and not something to be proud of. I love it. I just want to say I love that answer. Yeah, thank you. So, um, adrian, far in england says if you had to start all over again, what would you do differently the second time around? When it comes to business, the business side of things that's a really good question. And I am so caught off guard by that. And I love it. Um, if I had to start over if I had to do something different, I think that I would it's it's hard to say because I really love my journey. And I like how I learned things. But I suppose that I would maybe try to understand theat lory side of things a little bit more, try to figure out what galleries air looking force then I wouldn't have burned bridges so early on by writing terrible emails to galleries and things like that which I am going to talk about in the next segment's that's a pretty good segue way have a little video to show that I forgot to mention that I have ah show here an exhibition happening in seattle and that the twilight gallery and we did a little interview over there and so we're going to be showing that over the break about a ten minute video just an interview with that gallery you know all about how I got to show in there how the gallery runs things like that hello my name is brooke shade in and I'm a fine art photographer I am at the twilight gallery and boutique in west seattle and I'm going inside to have a chat with christine heidel who owns the gallery and is also one of my close friends hi christine hey brooke uh let's just tell the story of how we met because it was sort of unusual an awesome yeah so we met on flicker remember we were in that challenge group where it was a competition and brooke and I were head to head with the in a photo contest she had her picture I had my picture and she beat me narrowly on dwi spring up a friendship after that and I've just been really good friends ever since yeah, we started talking on flicker. We, uh I don't know. We sent emails back and forth. And then christine finally came teo gallery show of mine when you very first or show. Yeah, so we've been visiting ever since and then she ended up buying a gallery. So what made you buy a gallery? Well, I had been wanting to own a business of my own for a long time, and I've always wanted it to be a happy business. So I thought about owning a coffee shop. I thought about running a flower shop and finally I realized that my passion lies in helping people to see art in person. I think that all too often we just look at art on our computers, on our phones, on dh we don't really experience it face to face. And when I remember the first time I ever saw one of my own pictures printed, I realized how much more detail and depth and emotion was there when you saw it physically. So I wanted to be able to bring that to other people. Definitely. Do you find that owning a gallery is all you thought it would be, or is that a lot different it's different it's definitely a lot different it's not necessarily, is like you know, sunshine and rainbows, and easy as I thought it was going to be a first, people don't buy as much artist. I thought that they would, which I think is a shame. But I think that that's, all the more reason to try to continue to put our into the community and to make it accessible, and hopefully people will realize that it's valuable to bring that into their homes. Exactly. I mean, you have an amazing gallery that showing up and coming artists and that's something that the art world needs is, you know, a platform where artists of all different kinds can have their work shown in person. People can actually see it and get excited about buying art again. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, we really like to try to focus on people who are emerging people who are mid career people who need that opportunity to have their work shown. Because it's it's not necessarily easy to break that barrier from creating art to having your heart out there and available to the public. Definitely. So, do you show a lot of photography with you being a photographer or is it mixed media painting? We show everything. We are interested in all types of work photography, painting, sculpture, uh, up cycled clothing and jewelry. So we're really open minded teo all kinds of art because I think our comes in a lot of different forms definitely eso what made you decide to ask me to come here because I was thrilled about it but I knew that when you open your gallery it was a possibility but I didn't know if we'd actually act on it um well I mean it was easy it was a no brainer decision for me because your work is so amazing and I've admired it for years and you know, to have the opportunity for me to have this amount of your work printed and to be able to enjoy it myself day today is I mean it was just an easy decision thank you so when we're printing the show you had a couple different ideas of what you wanted to hang so what made you decide on this show? Well I really wanted to show your underwater work because I think absolutely stunning I mean the movement of it the stillness of it the storytelling that you can bring into it to me is just I just find it to be really emotional and I think for others to be able t c that is really special underwater photography also think is unusual I don't think you necessarily see it a lot so I really I really wanted to have something toe teo to showcase that in tow and to bring that forward so how do you choose the artist that you hang in your gallery? I know that you yourself are a photographer, but do you choose, just based on what you like personally or what you think is going to sell that's a great question? I mean, I think for me right now, I'm really basing it off of my own emotional connection to the art and to the artist, so I really feel like in order to represent work in my gallery and to represent it to other people, I need to be emotionally connected to it. So it's really important to me that it tells a story to me that I can identify with that story so that I can then share that story with the people who are coming in on dh, looking at the heart so it's all about for me, connections as opposed to what I think will or will not self that's really awesome to hear because I mean, being an artist and you're an artist yourself, you know that you're creating pieces of work that air personally meaningful, and if they are, then you hope that translates to somebody else, and there is the same in the gallery, yes, absolutely and I, you know, one of the things that I hope that artists come to us with is a personal story. About the work or about themselves that we can then kind of relate back and be able to share with others, because I think when people are thinking about bringing a piece of art into their home, it's all about that connection, definitely. So do you tend to hang solo shows your group shows in your gallery? We do a mixture of both solo and group shows, it really just depends on what we're hoping to share for that particular month and the story or the concept that we want to kind of get out there. Yeah, so, do you have themes when you work with group shows? Yes, yeah, we always try to bring the shows together in a cohesive manner, regardless of whether it's, a solo shil show or a group show. So when you have a solo show, I'm assuming that having a really cohesive, singular body of work is really important. It is, it is definitely I think, you know, if you're coming into a gallery with the solo show, the pieces need to relate to each other, they need to tell a story. People need to be able to come in and look at the pieces and say, they understand, you know, what is being communicated, if they're to despair, it it's hard, I think, you know, to get that across, definitely. So when you have an artist come in and you're hanging there work, what kind of medium do you liketo hang? Because I know that with photography you have the option of printing on paper printing on canvas, on wood, on so many different types of elements, but, um, you know what? The painting you typically just have to hang the original painting. So what is your preferred medium to hang? Um, it really depends, I mean, I want it to be whatever the artist feels best tells the story of their work, so, you know, we look for whatever is authentic and true to the body of ofwork that we're going to be hanging in the gallery and, you know, for example, with these pieces because they were all underwater, we thought it made a lot of sense to hang them from the fishing line and have them be floating and to keep them I'm framed because they they float, they sway, it moves and it really I think, mimics the theme of the show um and also, you know, I think people should be open to kind of doing unique and different things when it comes to hanging their work, it doesn't have to be all framed, you know, and and you know what you might see in a museum or, you know, in a downtown new york city art gallery I mean, just be kind of open and flexible and do what feels right for the work. Yeah, you know, the interesting thing about having this show floating as we have it is that, you know, a lot of people who buy my work take the frames off anyways and give it back afterwards. So this is great because we have this way of presenting the work that fits the theme, but it's also really economic gold because, you know, people often wanna frame it to fit their home decor. Is it isthe right? Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, this gives the person kind of the most flexibility in terms of how they see it, and it really did save us a lot when it came down. Teo, you know, the economics of paying the show and that's, I think something for new and emerging artists to really think about is the cost that kind of go into producing a show like this. It's not inexpensive, right? But there are ways to do it that are both true to the work look great and, you know, I can fit the budget. Definitely. So speaking of new and emerging artists, what are you looking for when you're choosing art? And also how would somebody go about contacting you are a gallery to get a shot yeah great questions so you know, the first and foremost thing that we're looking for are people who can come in and with the story they have a compelling story about themselves they have a compelling story about their body of work and a reason why we should show it in art galleries so that means that artists really should take the time to get to know the gallery they should take the time to get to know the type of work that's in the gallery may be asked to speak to the gallery owners to say teo teo just get learned more about the space and what sells here and what kind of work they wantto have represented in their space before you know, submitting that work. Um the worst thing you could do is to walk into a gallery with your portfolio and no appointment and say I want to show you my work you really need to do that kind of homework ahead of time and and show that the respect to the gallery by setting up trying to make an appointment and really showing like you you understand them and you understand why your work has a place in that gallery? Definitely I think those air extremely valid points because you know the number one thing reason why get turned away from galleries is when I haven't done my homework and I don't fit into that gallery so I think that's amazing advice yeah, yeah, and it's, you know, everybody's, time is valuable. The artist time in the galleries, times. So save yourself in the gallery and do that homework a front. So the show that we have running right now that opened at the beginning of may, and how long is it going to be running for? Yes. So we will be running the show through june sixteenth and hope that any of you who are in the seattle area can come down and take a look at brooks work. It's, amazing and person. Everybody sees it online, it's, a really rare to have this opportunity to see it in person and it's stunning. I mean, when I opened the box and those prints came out, I was gasping. So, so definitely make your way on down to west seattle and check it out. Well, thank you so much for having me really appreciate it.