Photo Editing Terms : Knowing What Your Editor is Saying

So, you decided to bite the bullet and finally outsource your editing!  You’ve probably already started thinking about what to do with all of the free time you will have.  Now if only you could make sense of all this jargon your Prime Edits editor is spewing at you so you can make sure that you are getting the results that you want.  Have no fear!   We want the process of outsourcing your editing to be a smooth as possible so we put together a glossary of terms and lingo that our editing team uses here at Prime Edits.

EDITING GLOSSARY:

Dodge and Burn: Dodge = makes areas lighter, Burn = make areas darker. The overall goal of dodge and burn is to draw attention to the subject.

Cull/Culling: Have 1000 photos but need to cut it down to 500? That process is culling. Simply finding the best photos of the bunch. When we do culling for you, we do a first look, which we look for technicality, such as focus, lighting, and composure. Next do we a second look for open eyes and different composures and facials expressions.

Frequency Separation:  Allows your editor to retain texture in the skin of your subject while removing unwanted blemishes and wrinkles. This is great for close up portraits and commercial headshots where detail is important.

Skin Smoothing: Creates a softness to the skin. This is great for senior and bridal portraits.

Liquify: This is an umbrella term that includes editing  a subject for slimmer waistlines, smoothing body lines and appearance, arm slimming, removal of extra chins, etc.

Creative Styling: Make the image pop by adding lens flares, textures and creative coloring.

Basics Panel: The white balance (temperature and tint), exposure, contract, highlights, white, blacks.

Color Correction: This is what makes an image look as true to life as possible, telling it what is white in order to balance the image.

Smart Previews: A smaller file of your photos that provides enough information for editing without taking too long to upload/download. Super important when sending us your photos!

Lightroom Catalog: A database that tracks the location of our photos and information about them.

Noise Reduction: Image noise is a random variation of brightness or color information in images, and is usually an aspect of electronic noise. Image noise is an undesirable by-product of image capture that obscures the designed information. Noise reduction is a plug in we use to decrease the amount of noise that is visible in the image.

Camera Time Sync: Ordering the images from different cameras into chronological order.

Still don’t get it? No worries, it is a lot to figure out all at once.  Feel free to reference this handy dictionary or call/email your personal editor anytime that you have questions or don’t understand something.  We are here to help!

Products We Love for Photographers

As a company started by photographers for photographers, we wanted to share a few of our favorite photography products.  Check out the products we love and why we love them.


1_ Moment Lenses : For those times you want to take photos, but don’t want to haul around all of your camera gear, Moment Lens is a company that provides  photography accessories for your phone.  From lenses to holders to cases, Moment has you covered.

2_ Peak Design Bags :  Peak has nailed it when it comes to bags that are functional yet stylish to carry your gear.  We love their unisex designs and are smitten with the “Everyday Messenger” that comes in 3 colors and 2 sizes.

3_ Peak Design Capture Clip : Sometimes you just need your camera to be available and handy without it swinging around your neck.  The Peak Design Capture Clip offers a simple solution with many practical applications.  Wear it on your backpack or cross-body bag, put it on your belt, the possibilities are endless.

4_ DJI Spark Drone : Believe it or not, the popularity of drones isn’t going away.  This drone allows you to take photos and videos from angles you could never possibly achieve without it.  A drone can really open up a huge door to your creative possibilities and what you can offer clients.

5_Lens ProTto Go (Camera and Lens Rental) : Do you have an ongoing list of all of the photography toys and accessories you have been wanting to buy? Lens Pro To Go allows you to rent products that you may not be ready to purchase or are simply interested in trying our before committing to.  Don’t let the name fool you, they have products ranging from cameras to lighting to audio equipment available to rent.

6_Stripe (Credit Card Processing) :  Still fighting with clients who refuse to pay with a check?  Stripe is an efficient and effective way to process credit card payments without signing a contract or having an attachment for your phone.  You can be set-up and ready to accept payments in as little as 10 minutes.

7_Drink Tanks Growler : Who doesn’t enjoy a nice, cold beer at the end of a long shoot? Fun Fact: It also keeps your water cool on a hot wedding day shoot.  We love these DrinkTank Growlers that hold 64 oz and come in 16 colors so you can pick the one that matches your style.

8_Selling the Invisible : This book is a succinct and often entertaining look at the unique characteristics of services and their prospects, and how any service can turn more prospects into clients and keep them. Selling the Invisible covers service marketing from start to finish, written in a roll-up-your-sleeves, jargon-free, accessible style.

9_Fuji 400H Film : Do you need a break from digital photography? Have you been thinking about getting into film? We highly recommend Fuji 400H Film because it is a really easy film to work with and the tonality makes it very forgiving.  Great for getting your feet wet in film.

10_America From 500 Ft : Much like the drone, a change in perspective can really spark a new way of looking at something.  Also, because aerial photos are cool.

11_Iceland Air :  What photographer wouldn’t be inspired by the volcanoes, the northern lights, and numerous hot springs.  There are often really great deals on pricing during most photographers’ slow season. Go ahead,  treat yo’self.

How to Vacation as a Photographer and Keep the Money Flowing

This one is near and dear to me. I love to travel! When it comes to how to vacation as a photographer and small business owner sometimes the line between vacation and work is a little more blurred than we would like. We worry about missing calls and emails. About booking enough work when we get home and then worry some more. Doesn’t sound too much like vacation to me.

We reach out to hundreds of photographers every week and have compiled some tips based on our personal experiences as well as the good and bad practices we have seen from the photographers we are trying to reach at Prime Edits.

Tip #1 – Out of Office Autoresponders

It may sound simple but we see out of office emails done poorly more often than not. There are two steps to an effective out of office responder. Turn it on and the one most people miss; Turn it off. Your out of office (OOO) responder should tell people the dates you are away from email/Facebook/etc. It should also let them know what to expect while you are gone and when you get back. Remember, we want to hit the ground running when we get back from vacation. (A few too many $15 cocktails. How many sessions do I need to book to cover that?) Here is an example of an effective OOO responder.

Thanks for contacting Dustin T Brown Photography. I am currently out of the office and will return Thursday, February 8th.  I would love to photograph your adorable family when I return. To help me out with that please send over a few dates and times next week that would work for you. I’ll reach out to you to finalize the dates, times, and to answer any of your questions a day or two before I return. Thanks again for your patience. A few days away help me recharge and be my most creative self when I return. Cheers!

This one covers all the big points.

  • When I’m going to be gone and when I will return
  • What the clients can do to help schedule a session when I return
  • When to expect a message back from me
  • Why vacation is important to me and how this slight inconvenience might even get them better photos!

Now set a reminder to turn off your autoresponder. Now. Like really go do it now or you are going to forget. Going on vacation in 6 months. Just set the reminders now. Your future self will thank you. 🙂

In Gmail you can luckily set the responder to automatically turn off. Click Here for the Gmail Instructions

Tip #2 – Communicate Effectively

Being efficient and effective is the key to making vacationing fun while keeping your studio running. About two days before your return home it is time to get out the laptop and hunker down for an hour or so and respond to all the email and voicemails you have missed. Answer as many questions as you can and attempt to schedule sessions for the week you return so you don’t end up having two weeks off instead of the one you intended. People will understand that you are out of town and will be happy that you told them exactly what to expect.

Tip #3 – Mix it Up When it Comes to Photos

It is tempting when you are in a beautiful place with your family to bring along the DSLR and photograph your vacation like a seven day family session. Don’t. You will probably go a little crazy and miss all the fun yourself. I like to mix it up by shooting film on a trip. I bring along a few cameras and sometimes even a fun junk store find just to play with. I’ll use my phone for a few photos as well just in case the junk store camera was literally junk. If you aren’t into film you can also grab some cool lenses for your phone to vary it up. I love the entire line up from Moment.

Tip #4 – Make Life Easy When You Return

This is the easiest tip in the list and is almost as relaxing as the vacation itself. Before you leave take all the work that is in your backlog and send it over to us. We can take care of your photo and video editing, social media, blog posts, and just about anything else your business needs to hum along while you are out. This way you will come back to no backlog and your business will be ready to start bringing in the money right away.

Not using Prime Edits yet? Click the button to create your account and your customer success specialist will reach out to see how we can help your business thrive even while you are soaking up the sun.

Quick and Easy Album Design

Have you taken advantage of our album design services yet? Stop waiting! If you aren’t already offering albums as a product option to your clients, this is a great time to start! Already doing this on your own? Give yourself a break and let us do the work!  Hand your clients something they can treasure forever, without sacrificing any more of your time.

The process is quick and painless.

Simply upload your photos, choose from one of our three designs, and select your delivery method. In just three business days or less, you will have a custom album design waiting for you!

 

 

Modern Design

Great for wedding albums and trendier clients

Similar to our Simple album, but a few more images with a clean design

1-4 images per page


Simple Design

Great for Family or smaller sessions

White space and a simple look, highlighting the session favorites

1-2 images per page


Styled Design

Great for wedding albums and traditional clients

Complementary borders and background colors to encompass a theme

1-4 images per page

 

 

Pro Tip : Not only can you save time by having us design your album, but having us do your edits streamlines the entire process, leaving you with more time to do what you love!

 

Have any questions? Reach out and we will walk you through the process!

Prime Your Business For Success — PRIME EDITS Spring Workshop

As a business owner, it can be a challenge to know which direction to go and what steps to take to see the growth you are looking for.

Join us April 24th-26th in Lawrence, Kansas for our spring workshop. This workshop will provide the foundation for taking your business to the next level.We will be setting you up for success with pricing tips, creative ways to up-sell and market your services, and even how to keep up with social media and branding trends. With our team of photographers, business owners, and social media experts, we’ve got your back!

Sessions: 

Pricing: Establishing Your Worth and Maximizing Profits

Deciding what to charge for your products and services shouldn’t keep you up at night. We will go over best practices on pricing products and services to maximize profit. We will also cover how to package and group your products to ensure that you are able to meet or exceed your minimum order goal every time. We will share pricing templates and pricing guide PDFs so you can get started immediately.

 

Advertising That Works: Fool Proof Hacks to Drive Business Through the Roof  

Learn our favorite marketing methods and the steps you can take to start generating leads, building your client base, and keeping your calendar booked — even in those slow months!

 

Optimizing Your Workflow: Work Smarter, Not Harder

You probably didn’t become a photographer to work 60 hour weeks for minimum wage. We will share the best practices for optimizing your time and show you what products and services are available to help you regain control of your daily schedule all while maximizing your $/hr.

 

Albums: The Art of Up-selling Without Increasing Your Workload

Albums are one of the best ways to increase profits from every session.  We will show you how to predesign albums that will sell. We will also go over the basics of album design and our preferred client approval process and delivery methods. Using these methods you will be able to have albums into your clients hands as quickly as 7 days after their session/wedding! That means happy clients and more money in your pockets.

 

Products To Sell: Keep Your Calendar Booked and Clients Happy

Product selection is much more than what looks pretty or what is hot right now. Choosing products that sell at a high margin and are easy to produce and delivery is key. We will show some of our recommendations to ensure your clients have beautiful and unique works of art that they love all while keeping your time involved at a minimum.

Choosing the Right Tools/Vendors: Photographer Tested; Prime Edits Approved 

It doesn’t matter if you have been in the industry for a month or a decade. Vendors change and new offerings become available. We will tie all our sessions together with a concise list of vendors that will help you get things done and be a joy to work with.  We will provide the blueprint of a modern successful photography studio.

*Optional photo/video portfolio review will be available at the end of the workshop for anyone that can stick around.

Social Media/ Branding: Staying Relevant in a Society Built on “Likes” 

It is almost impossible to find success as a photographer, or any business owner without the use of social media. The biggest problem we hear photographers talk about is their lack of time and knowledge when it comes to managing their social platforms. Learn the tips and tricks to gain brand awareness, ways to grow your business through campaigns and contests, as well as how to make sure your branding is consistent throughout. Our social media marketing team will help you take your marketing to the next level.

 

*Optional photo/video portfolio and social media/branding review will be available at the end of the workshop for anyone that can stick around.

 

 Schedule:

We want to make the most of every hour we have with you, so why not start with the happiest hour of them all — Happy Hour! Join us for drinks, snacks, and fun conversation. Get to know the folks you’ll be spending your time with over the next day and half, network, and enjoy yourself. Don’t forget to get a good nights rest, because we will be ready for you bright and early on Wednesday!

We will be kicking off day one with coffee and breakfast, like responsible adults. As the only full day of the workshop, we will be taking full advantage!

Social Media/ Branding: Staying Relevant in a Society Built on “Likes” 

Quick Break

Pricing: Establishing Your Worth and Maximizing Profits

Lunch (We will be providing lunch)

Choosing the Right Tools/Vendors: Photographer Tested; Prime Edits Approved

Products To Sell: Keep Your Calendar Booked and Clients Happy

Quick Break

Albums: The Art of Up-selling Without Increasing Your Workload

HAPPY HOUR SESSION — Managing Your Workflow: Work Smarter, Not Harder

Our final half day will go by quick but will be a little more hands on and allow you time to ask more questions. To end the day, we will be offering optional reviews of your portfolio and/or social media and branding.

Morning meeting (coffee, of course) + some fun activities

Advertising That Works: Fool Proof Hacks to Drive Business Through the Roof

(Optional) Portfolio Review

(Optional) Social Media/Branding Review

 

Spots are limited, so move fast!

More details will be sent following registration.

*Included with your ticket: 

Happy Hour, Breakfasts, Lunch

*Lodging and Travel not included

Book More Weddings with Free Engagement Sessions

Today we are sharing our favorite way to book more weddings. Now is a great time to begin filling your schedule for the next few months and to book weddings for next year. Free engagement sessions are our favorite way to bring in new clients to your wedding photography business. The best thing about this method is that it doesn’t rely on spending hundreds of dollars on advertising or doing anything outside of what you are already able to do in your business.

How It Works

The strategy here is to offer promotion to win a free engagement session. You are going to capture tons of leads from this process and extend the free session to all qualified leads. Here is how it works.

The Signup Form

Duplicate your current contact form on your website and add a few additional fields to it on a new page. Here are the items we recommend to put on that form.

  • Name
  • Partners Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Wedding Date
  • Wedding Location
  • Wedding Photo Budget
  • Wedding Video Budget (If you offer video)
  • Do you already have a wedding photographer?
  • Do you already have a wedding videographer? (If you offer video)

This data will set you up to choose the best winners for your business. Remember this isn’t charity this is a marketing campaign. Your goal is to find the clients that will meet the goals of your business.

Tell the World

Shout it out from the rooftops if you have to, but it is probably easier to just post it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I would also recommend you boost the post for the duration of your contest. Three to four weeks is usually best. You don’t have to put a lot of money into your boost to make it effective. Your post should have a great engagement image associated with it and a link to your entry form. A bigger budget can help but $20-$30 in a Facebook boost goes a long ways when you target your local market.

You get an engagement session, you get an engagement session, you get an engagement session! (In my best Oprah impression)

When your contest ends it is time to look at your leads. Most contact forms allow you to export the data to a spreadsheet. I find that easiest to work with. Now start to narrow down the list to the best leads. Here are the steps I like to use to narrow down the list.

  1. Remove any duplicates and people who both people entered. (Hint, let the guy win if possible)
  2. Look at wedding dates. If you are already booked on a date take those out. Also be careful choosing too many people getting married on the same date as it limits your potential to book those weddings.
  3. Look at wedding budgets and locations. Don’t put too much into it though. People don’t usually know what their budget is or it is a little flexible. I tend to just make sure that destination clients have realistic expectations of budget going into it.
  4. Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can realistically do. Your goal is to absolutely WOW these winners. You can’t do that if you are overcommitted.

Now that you have them narrowed down this is the fun part. Give them a call and let them know they are a winner! Be prepared for lots of questions. Here are some common FAQs. With our recommended answers.

Q: What is included?
A: This covers the 2 hour engagement session fee. A $XXX value. Prints, albums and digital products are available for purchase after the session.

Q: How much are those additional products?
A: We will send over the full list of pricing in an email but most clients spend about $X,XXX with us. Also, as an added bonus we will include the digital images for free as well if you end up booking your wedding with us.

Q: What’s the catch?
A: There’s no catch! You have no obligation to purchase any of the images after the session.

Q: What is the next step?
A: We will email over 3-5 available dates and times over the next few months and lock in a time for your session. Sessions need to be scheduled by XXXXX.

Wow Them

This is where a lot of photographers drop the ball. Treat these new clients like VIPs. Return their calls and emails quickly and be as accommodating as possible. Be your sunny self at the photo session and get their photos back to them in record time. Once the photos are ready bring them in for your normal sales and viewing session. Hopefully by this point they are sold on how great you are and once they see the photos they will be over the top happy.

Book Them

If you have given it your all up to this point it should be a pretty easy deal to close.  Offer them free digital files from the session if they book with you during the sales consultation. If they aren’t quite ready to book at that time be sure to follow up with them 30, 60 and 90 days out.

I hope that this simple system works for you to help you book more engagement and wedding sessions for less work than ever before. Spend your time taking photos and interacting with clients. Let us handle the rest! Happy booking!

If you aren’t already working with Prime Edits there is no better time than now.

Some Examples

Here are some examples of ad content I have used in the past to book free engagement sessions.

For photo ads you can simply take some of your most eye-catching images and keep the message simple.

3 Things to Do When Starting Your Photography Business

Here at Prime Edits we talk to hundreds of new photographers every month. We find that they rarely approach this new career with a business plan and a full set of business tools. We hear a lot of fun and inspiring stories on how people got where they are today. Let us walk you through some of the best tips when starting your photography business and short-cut some of the hazards others have hit along the way.

1. Get Found & Be Trusted

The #1 mistake I see people make when starting their photography business is using a generic email address for their communication. You want clients to take you seriously as a business and know they can trust you for years in the future. Skip the gmail and hotmail accounts. You want what is called a custom domain and email address. This is also how you will be found online. Think SusansGreatPhotography.com and susan@susansgreatphotography.com. That is much better than susansgreatphotography@hotmail.com and susansgreatphotography.wordpress.com.

Photographers skip this step because they often don’t know how to do it or worry it is expensive. That is where Photo Biz comes in. They can take care of setting up your domain name, custom email addresses as well as do your website hosting, invoices, photo galleries and on and on. These folks are legit and at less than $30/month are well worth their price.

While you are at it go ahead and reserve your name consistently on the various social media platforms. That will ensure everyone knows right where to find you.

2. Get Legal

We aren’t lawyers and we certainly aren’t giving you legal advise. That being said you need to make your business legit.  The rules by state vary but setting yourself up as an LLC or S-Corp can save you big time if things go wrong. These legal classifications help protect you and your assets if someone tries to sue your business.  This is another thing people wait around on because they are worried it is hard or expensive. If you have an accountant they can usually help you get this moving, but the easiest way is to use Legal Zoom. You can have a full blown business setup legally in your state in less than 30 minutes for less than a couple hundred dollars.

3. Join PPA

Every professional photographer (yes that is you) should consider joining the Professional Photographers of America organization. For one, you get to meet some really cool people at their annual conference, but they also have a great monthly magazine.  The best benefits are the ones that are a little less flashy but are must haves.

Let Us Help

Ok, so maybe 4 things. We are here to help you grow your business. Our customer success specialists reach out to you directly and hear about the needs of your business. Be sure to hit us up with any questions. You can email me at dustin@primeedits.com, give us a phone call at 844-577-9577 or submit a ticket through our support system at http://support.primeedits.com.

Fill out our quick registration form and a customer success specialist will give you a call to talk over your business needs.

SIMPLER IS BETTER

Thanks for checking in about our transition from credits into cash!

 

Here at Prime Edits we believe that you shouldn’t have to think or do the math trying to outsource your images. It should be easy. That’s why we’re ditching our long-standing credit system and converting everything into cash.

 

For those of you with a credit balance in your account, that will now be a cash equivalent. Pretty simply, you’ll spend your cash balance just like you did with credits. When your cash balance zeros out, you’ll be paying the exact amount for each job. You won’t ever have left over credits and you won’t have to think about which credit pack to purchase ever again.

 

Let us help you through this transition. Give us a call or shoot your editor an email.

 

(844) 577-9577

Get My Photography Business Found on Google

Whoa, so you googled “photographers in my city” and you didn’t even show up on the first page. No wonder no one is finding you!

Google is the number one place people go to search for photographers and videographers. Showing up near the top will ensure you get a lot of inquiries and clicks to your website.

Here are some quick tips on how you can get bumped up to the first page and get your photography or videography business found on Google.:

  1. Get set up on Google My Business.
    1. Go to Google My Business and follow the steps (it’s easy). This let’s Google know that you’re a legit business.
  2. Be active on Google Plus.
    1. No, you don’t need to make this your go-to social platform. Simply post the same content you’re already posting to Facebook and/or Instagram.
    2. Google gives you a bump for being active on its social platform, so there you go.
    3. You should also be active on Pinterest, Facebook and even Twitter. Google crawls them all, so the more you’re out there the higher you’ll score.
  3. BLOG
    1. Hello? What have you been doing lately?
    2. Google bots crawl your site for recent activity – the more relevant and recent your site is… the higher you’ll pop up on searches!
    3. Tag your posts, link to other vendors or link out to locations. Google loves that stuff.
    4. Use keywords! If you’re blogging a wedding that you photographed in New York City… make sure you write that out.
  4. Create shoot type specific pages
    1. Make sure you have a different page for each shoot type (i.e. myphotobusiness.com/wedding-photography).
    2. Google wants relevant content, so it’s important to keep each genre on its own page (create a Seniors page, a Families page, etc.).
    3. People will search “Senior Photographer city name.” If you have a page set up just for that then you’ll be ahead of the curve.

 

2017 – Getting Your Ducks in a Row – Marketing Series

2017 is here and if you don’t already have a marketing plan in place you’re behind the curve.  Here’s what you need to do:

 

Find out what worked in 2016

 

Did your senior model program pan out? How about that wedding referral plan? Did you run any print advertisements? How about Facebook ads?

The first thing you want to do is measure the effectiveness of your 2016 marketing efforts. Calculate how much money (or time) you spent per lead and per booking for each shoot type.

Here’s an example: You spent $500 on a Facebook Ads campaign for your wedding business, you were contacted 100 times and 5 of those leads booked a package. You spent $5 per lead, and $100 per booking.

 

Create your 2017 goals

 

Maybe you want to book 25 weddings this year. Maybe you want to photograph 100 family sessions. Maybe you want to start photographing newborns. Great! To create a marketing plan you must first have realistic concrete goals, then you can frame your marketing strategy around those.

Example: If you spent $100 per booking in 2016 and if your goal is 25 bookings for 2017, you’ll need to spend approximately $2,500 to reach your goal.

Create a spreadsheet with your goals and advertising spend you’ll need to obtain those goals.

 

Make a Plan

 

Are there certain times of year when advertising to potential wedding clients gets you a better ROI (return on investment)? I bet there is. Depending on your climate and when your busy season is, that will have a big impact on when you can get the most out of an ad spend.

If you’re a Southern Florida photographer you might stay busy in the winter months. If you’re in the Northeast you might have a slow winter. Keep these details in mind when you’re advertising. You might space out advertisements throughout the year and figure out what month is going to get you the best ROI.

Make a plan for each of your shoot types. You should be treating each line of shoots as a whole different goal with its own strategy and objectives.

 

Execute Your Plan

 

You made it! You have your goals and your plan in place. All you have to do now is execute. We recommend setting calendar events with a reminder to execute your plan throughout the year. You don’t want anything to fall through the cracks.

 

Good luck and we hope you have a successful 2017!