We have a new logo that I am proud to share. Thanks to my new friend Ruby, who does graphic design (including logos), here in Austin, Texas. I gave her specific design ideas, including photographs that I took and asked her to develop a custom logo and she did a fantastic job. In fact, she went above and beyond by creating several designs for me to choose from. The one below was my favorite, which included one of my wedding photos and some customized color designs by her.
Truth be known, I waited too long to create a logo. Of course there wasn’t a deadline that I had to meet or anything, but I had put creating the logo off for the longest time because of a number of reasons. One of the reasons was that even though there is a ton of free software online that does all sorts of things, free-ware for logos is hard to come by. I downloaded a number of programs that claimed to create logos but was disappointed every time. And in most cases the only way around the “trial version” of the software was to purchase the software outright. But what guarantee do you have after purchasing it that it will give you the log that you want? None.
I realize that the purpose of this is so that software creators can get paid too. But it almost seems like trickery, the way that the software is dangled in front of you as “Free”, and then after downloading it you realize that you can monkey around with it and do everything you want but save a customized logo file (which is what I needed). Don’t get me wrong, I want software developers to reap the benefits of their labor, just like I like to reap the benefits of my photography business – but I don’t offer my photos for free online either.
Some people might say, “well, you are in business to make money and you have to spend money to make money!” And to that I would say, “that business model doesn’t work for me.” One of the reasons I’ve decided to teach a wedding photography class that focuses on the business of photography is for this very reason. I think many beginning entrepreneurs like myself begin their business with the idea that you must spend lots of money up front, on such things as advertisement, fancy gimmicks, print material, unnecessary equipment and the like. I’ve done all those things; I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on customized brochures, I’ve paid multiple companies for online advertising (one of which scammed me!), I’ve advertised in newspapers, I’ve purchased lots of extra equipment which was unnecessary (like software).
I don’t want to completely rail against software. I absolutely love my Adobe Lightroom software! But sometimes we get sidetracked and think we need to purchase that shiny, new gadget that we saw advertised in PC Magazine when we really don’t need it at all. Sometimes all we need to do is make contact with friends, family or neighbors who already have the skills to do what we need, who charge much less than expensive software costs/corporate vendors charge and who are willing to listen and find out what it is that you want.
Now, back to my original tack. I waited too long because I got discouraged about how I would be able to ascertain a professional looking logo. I realized that in order to maintain my low key, sole-propietor business model I would be limited in how much I could spend on a logo. But it’s funny how the universe works; when you need something or you put a thought out there (into the universe) it can find it’s way to the right place. And that’s how I found Ruby, the friend of my wife who created my wonderful logo.
Have you projected your thoughts or feelings to the universe today? You should. It is harmless and doesn’t cost anything. And the benefits can be great!
Need local Austin Graphic Designer Ruby to help you with logo or other designs for your business? Contact her by email:firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m anxious to share some really exciting news with you, my friends and fellow photographers. Since early last year, I’ve been contemplating and dreaming about teaching others about wedding photography. Over the years I’ve been keeping little scraps of paper, printouts, articles, images and more, somehow knowing in the deepest part of my subconscious mind, that I’d be sharing the knowledge and experience I’ve gained about wedding photojournalism over the years with others. And the 1st day of my wedding photographer class draws nearer each day! I can’t wait!
Ok, so I know you aren’t as excited as I am. And perhaps there are some people out there who are naysayers and who wonder what I have to offer. And to tell you the truth, I won’t be offering anything if no one shows up for my first class. But it will be their loss if that happens. Let me tell you why.
I’ve been photographing for 10 years now. No, that in and of itself does not make me a great photographer. I have good rapport with people, I have knowledge of photo technique and I have vision. Those attributes are valuable, but many photographers have them and they don’t necessarily make me a great teacher. What I have that you are going to want to learn is what I didn’t have 10 years ago: extensive experience photographing weddings. In the past 5 years alone I’ve photographed over 100 weddings and an estimated 350 total events. The 2nd thing that I have to offer my students is that I’ve been managing a successful business the entire time and managed to stay in business by making clients happy (since most business that fail do so in the first 5 years, perhaps I should be teaching a business class!). Third, my business has one multiple awards for excellent business practices, recognized by such organizations as Wedding Wire, Merchant Circle and Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI).
But who wants to hear about credentials – I mean, it’s all just talk, right?! The proof is in the pudding! What will the curriculum of the class look like?
When I asked myself the question of how I wanted to engineer the scope of the class, I realized a couple of things:
1. Good photographers don’t always succeed in creating a good business; and,
2. Good business people don’t always succeed in creating good photography.
I realize that what I said is very simplistic. But this is the beauty of what I want to teach; simplicity, planning and determination to take that next big step when the little voice inside your head may be telling you all the reasons why you can’t.
I plan to talk about all the things that a wedding photographer needs to do to make his/her wedding business successful. You don’t have to be the best wedding photographer in Texas or the United States to run a successful wedding business. What you need is a good plan and the willingness and determination to see it through. I’ve already walked the path and developed a plan for how to be a successful wedding photographer. Are you ready to learn how you can succeed as a successful wedding photographer?
Some frequent questions that photographers often ask when wondering how to go about starting their business, which I plan to address in my wedding photography class:
What kind of photo editing software should I use?
What kind of equipment do I need for weddings?
How much do I charge my clients for weddings?
How do I bring in new clients? (everyone wants to know this one)
What kind of business do I create? Sole proprietorship, corporation, LLC or LLP?
What kind of wedding contract do I use?
What do my clients want/expect from me? (other than good photos)
And many more questions…
Plus, I’ll be sharing documents and templates that took me years of research and fine tuning to develop in my business, like package information for new clients, checklists, forms, efficient workflow, and so much more. These little nuggets alone will be worth their weight in gold and will be something to take home and start working with immediately.
Suggestions for what you might want to learn about in the class? Although we will be discussing tons of great material, we will be limited by the time we have for the class (likely 2 meetings). Therefore, I’d like to maximize the amount of useful information I provide. I’ll be developing the final class curriculum for the 2011 Wedding Photographer 101 Class over the next few months and would love to have input/suggestions. In particular, what do you want to learn about? Email me at AustinAmericana@Gmail.com or just post a comment below this article.
I can’t wait to interact with my fellow photographers! See you soon!