How To Effectively Pitch to Photography Clients

There is a certain art form to a successful pitch.  But it can be broken down into three basic steps.

Disclaimer: Before you read this article be warned that I am going to give you some powerful tips that could be turned to the dark side.  If you think that you might be tempted to dabble in the Dark Arts, remember:

“With great power comes great responsibility”.
Stan Lee via Uncle Ben

Responsible SpidermanImage Credit: Ztephenx on Deviantart – Creative Commons

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Internet Marketing For Photographers – Your Virtual Personality

It’s pretty obvious that internet marketing is critically important to a photography business.

When I started my business, the argument was: Do you need a website?  At the time, I don’t think anyone could have predicted that a website would become only a small part of an overall photography business internet marketing strategy.

But, when was the last time that you checked your virtual personality?

In this article, I am going to review what I find when I search my own name and my business name – with at least one curveball thrown in.Live Nude Girls by JP Danko blurMEDIA Toronto Commercial Photographer

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DIY Builds That Go Sideways – Wile E. Coyote Style

Before photography became my hobby of choice and eventually a career, I spent a lot of time building remote control boats, planes and cars.  It turns out that the skills you learn as a kid to build a nitro powered model boat out of beer cans and styrofoam are very transferable to building homemade photography gear.

Disclaimer: the following article doesn’t have much to do with photography.  If that is a problem for you, please don’t read it and then leave a disgruntled comment about how you wasted your time reading it.

Underwater Fashion Portrait Underwater Photographer JP Danko

This photo was shot using some pretty cool DIY photography gear – but that’s another story.

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Natural Light Underwater Photography Tips

With the increasing popularity and availability of waterproof point and shoot cameras, waterproof action cameras (like GoPro) and even waterproof camera phones (like the Sony Xperia), we’re seeing more and more underwater photography.

Concurrently, the style of underwater photography that we’re seeing is evolving from the more traditional scuba diving sea-life photos, to more everyday fun-in-the-water lifestyle shots.

But, taking really good underwater photos is a little trickier than it may seem – so I thought I’d share some of my top underwater photography tips.

Woman swimming freestyle underwater

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Inspiration from Successful Creatives

Making money as a creative can be is a tough grind.

As an established photographer once told me when I was just starting out: “My job is everyone’s hobby.”

Essentially, what he was saying was that everyone wants to be a famous photographer, musician or actor, but so few have that special combination of talent, personality and luck to actually make it happen.

The reality is that ridiculously talented creatives are a dime a dozen (literally in many cases…), but those who are able to translate talent into commercial success are a very rare breed. 

With that in mind, I am going to look at an example from the musical side of artistic talent that I personally find inspiring because of the way these creatives have leveraged their considerable artistic talent into the kind of commercial success that we all aspire to.

Walking Dead Business Man

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Athletic Portrait Lighting Breakdown + Getting Models

Last week I shot an athletic portrait session for emerging fitness model Kristin Cavarzan. 

In this article, I want to touch on the studio lighting setup that I like to use for athletic portraits, the benefit of using modeling lights, post production photo editing, the importance of unique photographs and where to find and hire models.

Fitness model athletic portrait

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Pros Vs. Joes – The Difference Between Amateur and Professional Photographers

There has been a lot of talk recently about what the difference is between amateur and professional photographers.

Comments by industry big shots, such as Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer who proclaim that there “is no such thing really as professional photographers” (well maybe not pro cat/flower/sunset photographers posting to Flickr anyway).

Or, when venerable institutions such as the Chicago Sun Times decide to lay off their entire photography staff – you do start to wonder – what exactly is the difference between amateur and professional photographers?

Professional Wedding Photographer

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It’s The Light, Stupid

Some of you may be old enough to remember the 1992 US presidential election between Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr.

Bill Clinton - Official Portrait

One of the key mantras for the Clinton campaign was the phrase “The Economy, Stupid”, which was meant to remind the campaign team that the economy was the crux of the whole election.

So, what does the election of Bill Clinton twenty one years ago to be the President of the United States have to do with photography?

Nothing – it’s just an interesting back story.

But, now that you’re paying attention, I’m going to apply some political spin, and the famous “It’s The Economy, Stupid” phrase to photography:

It’s The Light, Stupid.

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