114,000 Monthly Viewers on Pinterest

Normally, I use Pinterest for posting work, creating private mood boards with clients, and helping me remember where to buy the gear I need. A funny thing happened the other day though that made my mouth drop. I looked at my page and I receive 114,000 monthly viewers of my work that I post. Wow, thank you Pinterest fans! In hindsight, it makes sense. Pinterest is the place to go and store mood boards for interior design and décor inspiration. So, of course many eyeballs will be seeking out the type of photography I specialize in. It’s very enlightening and I’m dedicating part of my marketing efforts to foster it and help it grow more.

QR Codes = Awesome

I don’t remember my exact train of thought on QR Codes, but I’ve been seeing them everywhere lately. I didn’t quite know what they were, so I googled it to find out. Basically, they’re bar codes of any type of text. They can be URLs, phone numbers, and even just plain text. You scan them and it spits out whatever you want. I  ran across this QR Generator site and these are my results.

Link to my website:

All my contact info:

Just scan with your camera phone and viola! All the info you need. Here’s a great free iPhone App for QR Scanning.

This is a great tool for business cards, promos, whatever! Technology RULES!

UPDATE: I found another QR Generator site that does vCards like this:

How to Become My Assistant (or Not)

I get a fair amount of emails from assistants moving to Portland looking for work. I totally get it. Portland is a cool place to live and being a photographer is fun. With NYC, LA, and San Francisco very expensive and hard to break into, Portland seems like an obvious place to start your career. Hey, it’s why I moved here.

There is definitely a fair amount of work here. But, there are a lot of assistants and probably more assistants than there is work. So you got to do something special to get my attention (and every other working photographer here).

Here’s an example of what not to do:

First of all, the email isn’t even to me. I’m BCC’d on it. Strike One! Mike mentions they are a graduate of a Canadian art school, but doesn’t tell me if he still lives there or in Portland. Strike Two! He also attaches a resume which really is pointless unnecessary as far hiring an assistant goes. I would have like to seen referrals. Strike Three! I don’t respond to Mike’s inquiry.

On the other had, here’s a great example of what you should do to get my attention:

First, a great subject line and I immediately opened the email. Dan then pretty quickly sums up who he is and why he’s contacting me. What sells me is that he specifically points out something I shot and that he shoots interiors, but wants to see how I do it. I would hire an assistant who likes to shoot interiors 10 to 1 over an assistant who is more interested in something else. I’ve hired Dan five times since he first emailed me and he’s been great. I highly recommend him.

The lesson here is to be straightforward and show genuine interest. It’s a huge mistake to feign interest in what I do, just to get assisting work. Always try to work for photographers that shoot what you like to shoot. You’ll enjoy the job more, learn things that you want to know, and connect with the person you’re working for. It’s a win win.

Marketing 101 for Commercial Photographers

I think one of the most challenging aspects to being a commercial photographer is the marketing. It’s ironic because we are in a commercial marketing environment, yet reaching the people we want to hire us can seem voodoo and difficult. In my experience, no matter how good you are or how “cool” you are, if no one knows about you, then you’re never going to get work. I’ve tried all kinds of photo business marketing and read many opinions about what you should or shouldn’t do. I thought I’d share what has worked for me. Continue reading “Marketing 101 for Commercial Photographers” »