October 2009 Archives

Fall Marketing

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As we move into the Fall season, several photographic marketing doors are opening. First and foremost is Christmas. Between now and the days before Christmas, if you visit your local mall, chances are they have a mall photography studio (e.g., "Picture People"). You'll notice on the weekends they are packed, all reservation slots are filled. Families are trying to get family portraits for Christmas cards, and prints for the grandparents. The trick for us, is to get the word out to these families that we can provide better family portraits, at rates as good or better than the mall photographers.

This year, Saguaro Shadows Photography has some unique marketing, beyond our normal, Google Adwords advertising.

First, we're using word of mouth. We're mentioning to all of our friends and extended contacts that will we be providing specials on family Christmas portraits this year. We spread the word far and wide. We'll be using the web in other ways, including our Facebook presence. More on Facebook in a later blog!

For more directing marketing, we have creating bookmark sized business cards. These high quality business cards have sample pictures on the front, and our information on the back:

This particular card we give out when our daughters attend birthday parties (and they go to a lot!). This card offers a "free" portrait session. We only give these cards out at occasions like this to try and draw in new business. One side benefit, is that at the birthday party, the card itself becomes a topic of conversation between other parents at the party, thus raising awareness of our services.

This year, we have a new bookmark design for Christmas:

The idea with this card is to generate interest in Christmas family photos. And here's our unique twist on marketing this year: We're going to give these cards away on Halloween! Not to every child, but to those families that come to door with small children who appear like possible photography clients.

Later in the year, I'll report back on our unique marketing efforts are working out.

By the way, if you're a reader of my blog, and a Facebook member, please become a fan of Saguaro Shadows!

The Reluctant Bride

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When shooting a wedding, rarely does anything go as planned. But one thing you can usually count on is a cooperative bride, who is anxious to capture beautiful images of her wedding day.

I said "usually". Saguaro Shadows Photography just covered a wedding where this wasn't quite true. The bride was a little nervous about the wedding, and when it came time to shoot pre-wedding bridal shots, she changed her mind and didn't want any pictures before the ceremony!

What to do? Well, I spoke her with friends, and let them know this was OK, and it was her decision to make. I didn't try to pressure her at all. So after about 20 minutes, she changed her mind, and came out for some pictures. And we were able to capture some beautiful images:

In this image, the bride was leaning over a railing on the upper level of a patio, and I was down below on a lower patio. By the time we took the shot, it was nearly sunset and the sun had dropped behind the buildings behind the bride. The bride was illuminated with my Voice Activated Lightstand, which was held by my wife to camera right. Shot was taken at ISO 400, f/5.6 at 1/500th at 62mm with a Nikon 24-70 f/2.8. The SB-800 was in Manual. In post processing, I used Nik Color Efex Pro to add a little warmth to the light.

The location for the wedding was a restored guest ranch in Tucson, that included some wonderful adobe ruins:

This shot was taken with no artificial lighting, at f/8.0 at 1/125th. I don't usually use this kind of a "desaturation trick", but in this case, it was a good opportunity with her bright red rose bouquet. In post processing, a black and white mask was added with Nik Silver Efex Pro in Photoshop, and the flowers where painted out to let the color come through. The black and white layer was then lowered to an opacity of 77%.

For this wedding, I arrived several hours before the wedding, so I could get familiar with the location. This gave me plenty of time to location 3 or 4 good shooting locations on the property.

The lesson learned at this wedding is to be patient and go with the flow. Opportunities will always present themselves!

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

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