August 2009 Archives

Google AdWords works!

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Everyone has used a search engine like Google and see the advertisements that come up at the top of the page, and along the sides. On Google, this is part of a service they offer called "AdWords".

When you sign up with Google to use AdWords, you enter criteria for your ad, such as target market area (e.g., your city), and your budget for each month. You are only charge when someone clicks on your ad.

When you get more advanced at using AdWords, you can target the ads at specific things, like Christmas or Weddings.

I signed up for Google AdWords back in February, and for many months wondered if it was working for me. I had a few inquiries the first few months, but not a lot of jobs coming from Adwords.

That has all started to turn around the last few weeks. Recently, I have had 3 wedding inquiries and 2 portrait inquires through AdWords. Business is definitely picking up! Based on the recent success, I will probably increase my limited budget on AdWords up a bit. This will help the ads to run more often during the month.

I will post an update later in the year to let you know how the ad campagn is doing!

May Wedding

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Back in May of this year, Saguaro Shadows Photography traveled to Huntsville, Alabama to shoot a wedding.

Traveling such a distance for a wedding required a lot of preplanning and thought. What equipment to bring? What to leave behind? Based on the restrictions of air travel, both my wife and I carried a camera bag as carry-on baggage. We were able to get a ThinkTank Airport Antidote, and a ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60 on-board. Between these two bags, we were able to get all the camera bodies, lenses, speedlights, MacBook Pro, and other goodies we needed. Although Airport Security kind of freaked out when they scanned the SD-9 battery pack for the SB-900!

Here's the basics of what I took on this trip:

  • Nikon D3 Body
  • Nikon D200 Body
  • 24-70 f/2.8
  • 70-200 f/2.8
  • 105 f/28 Micro
  • 18-35 f/3.5-4.5
  • Three SB-800's, one SB-900, and SU-800 Commander.
  • Monopod and shoot-thru umbrella as a "voice activated lightstand"
  • Lots of CF Memory cards, and a portable hard drive to back everything up

For this wedding, the bride wanted complete coverage of all the events on Friday, and the wedding Saturday. Between my wife and myself, we covered it all.

One of the challenges of this wedding was a non traditional location. Rather than a church, this wedding was held in a hotel ballroom. This had one advantage in that most of the events took place all in the hotel, where we were staying also. The challenge of this hotel was finding good shooting locations. Although the hotel was very nice, and it's garden area had been set up for weddings, the orientation of the hotel meant the garden was in full-sun from early morning until very late afternoon. And it was a full sun, blue sky day!

But we did work around this and found locations to shoot in, and still keep the bride comfortable before the wedding. After the wedding, we waited until nearly dusk to shoot more images outside. By this time, the hotel building was providing some shade.

On the wedding night, after all the events, I backed every CF card up onto my MacBook Pro, and a portable hard drive. Thus I had 3 separate copies of every image. I separated all 3 copies and carried them in separate bags with me on the way back to Tucson. Upon return to Tucson, I copied all the images onto my primary computer, which has dual hard drives that are mirror images of each other.

Following this wedding, we had weeks of post-processing and down-selecting the best images for the bride and groom. We just recently finished creating an 80-page AsukaBook for the couple, and are waiting on their final approval to order the book.

Next time: Family Vacation and another destination wedding!

I'm back

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Well folks, I'm back from a long hiatus, and I apologize. Life got very hectic back in the Spring, including some family tragedy.

My company, Saguaro Shadows Photography, LLC , has been doing very well. Since I last posted in my blog, I have covered several weddings, and several family shoots. In the coming weeks, I'll be posting more information on those events, how they went, and the lessons I learned. As it stands right now, August is going be my best money ever in terms of revenue.

Meanwhile, I have several jobs coming up soon. Just this week I had 3 inquiries about covering weddings in October and November.

So please check back in the coming weeks!

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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