I was 14. After a year of mowing lawns and shoveling driveways I had finally saved up enough money to buy my first real camera (a Canon S30). At the the time, online stores like Amazon barely existed. Still growing in their late-90s infancy, the global online marketplaces we have become so accustomed to (like eBay) were barely a blip on the retail radar. Instead, I got in the car, and my mom drove me to an amazing place that felt like the center of the photography universe. Housed in an old bank (vault and all) was this incredible, gear-packed mecca called Milford Photo. My visit that day changed my life forever.
Articles written by Markus G
There’s a big trend in the business of weddings. In the old days, when venues had to walk to the bus stop uphill both ways in the snow, they also designed and printed their own wedding brochures. These handouts are given to every couple who comes into the venue. They typically feature some nice photos of the space, sample menu options, and a list of their “preferred vendors.” Lately, venues have started to contract out their brochure design process, and most of them are using the advertising firm Hawthorn Creative. Let's try and figure out if it's worth it for you to advertise in these handouts.
A couple of weeks ago a tax-pro-turned-photographer named Brandon Scott helped us navigate the approaching tax deadline with some helpful tips. Now that most of us have (hopefully) filed our 2016 returns, I thought it would be a good time to chat about 1099 forms. If you're like me, you not only hire independent contractors, but you act as one too. Here is a rundown of all things 1099.
There are a lot of frustrating moments we all experience as photographers. Things we all know like missing that perfect shot by mere seconds, equipment failing just as the sun drops below the horizon, flashes not firing, memory cards corrupting, not booking that big job we quoted… the list goes on and on. I shoot weddings, so when things go wrong they can feel amplified ten-fold. For a long time I was like a sponge for negativity. It soaked into me, and it got under my skin and rattled me. Murphy’s Law used to kick my ass, and I never felt like I could stop it. Then my son was born, and everything changed.
I’m not a trend-setter. I’m 31, pudgy, married, and writing this from my modest ranch hidden among 5000 other modest ranches in a suburb about 90 minutes outside of New York City. I shop at Big Y, buy my clothes at Khol’s, and look forward to Sunday Night Football every Fall. I’m also not really a trend-follower. Ultimately, I spend my time under-the-radar, paying my taxes, and mulching my lawn. Which makes my switch from Nikon to Fuji pretty remarkable.
If you are like me, you don’t necessarily dread your annual trip to visit your accountant. Yes, it brings with it some anxiety, but a big part of running a business is knowing what your tax burden will generally be, and preparing for that throughout the year. Even with all the planning, we all know the feeling of being hit with a larger-than-expected tax bill, or a smaller-than-expected refund. That’s why I reached out to Brandon Scott, a fellow professional photographer who spent years as a working CPA in his home state of California.
Your photography website is your storefront. It’s the way your prospective clients meet you, and it’s your chance to make a lasting and convincing first impression. A website is the first step in meeting good clients, getting hired, and getting paid. I’m a wedding photographer, but the list below applies to everyone. Whether you shoot landscapes, weddings, or commercial work, your website is the key to booking business. Here are the top eight reasons why your website sucks.
Allow me to be the first to ask the question. Are we really worth it? Now, don’t get me wrong. I come from an economics background. I understand price equilibrium. Pour me a large blonde roast with cream, and whisper me sweet nothings about Adam Smith all day. Leave all that behind for a second. I’m talking on a more philosophical level. Are we really worth the money we charge?
Our love story began, like many, amidst the tumultuous, coming-of-age years of high school. Me, a wide eyed, optimistic 16 year old kid with a lanky, awkward build. I stayed out of trouble… choosing books over beers, and enjoying the simplicity of a life-before-adulthood. She was different. The new girl on the scene. A wide-bottomed goddess, pear-shaped to perfection, milky-white and miraculous. The talk of the town, if there ever was one. Her name? iMac G4.
Life is busy… I get it. Between weddings, engagements, meetings, phone calls, and the seemingly never ending hours of toil spent in the Lightroom develop module it can be very easy to let things go. It starts small at first. You forget to send that album to print, or you forget to listen to that voicemail from yesterday morning. Slowly, it seeps further into your workflow, until you suddenly realize you haven’t cleared out your inbox in three days.
It’s time to answer the often-asked question I hear from many wedding photographers. Is it worth the money to advertise with online marketplaces for professional wedding vendors? I track everything in my wedding business. If you can record it, track it, analyze it, and summarize it, I’m aware of it. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as opening up a spreadsheet of raw, unrefined data and pulling out the hidden truths that lie dormant in the numbers.