Business Cards and Your Presence Offline

Over the past couple of months we’ve discussed putting together a website to host your photography (see Where to Host Your Photography Website and Choosing the Right Web Host for Your Photography Website). While it’s especially important to have an online presence in today’s world of digital photography, you’ll always want to supplement your online web presence with some offline marketing materials. From business cards and greeting cards to address labels and car magnets, there are a plethora of printed marketing materials you could use to promote your photography business. Just check out the 100’s of options available at various printing sites.

I’m sure you’re well aware of Why Business Cards are Important, but what about all that other stuff? Do you really need a car magnet or coffee mugs with your logo on it to get more business? Probably not…

But it probably can’t hurt, either. The more you can supplement your online presence with marketing offline, the easier it will be for people to associate your photography with your brand. If you’re a fantastic photographer, but no one remembers who you are or how to get a hold of you, you won’t make it as a professional photographer. Of course, the reverse is true as well (if you’re a bad photographer, it doesn’t matter how much marketing you do, you still won’t get much business).

Assuming you’re a decently good photographer, if you want more business, you have to get your name out there. In my opinion, in the technology-centered, social media obsessed world we live in, a website is a must, closely followed by a clear, easy-to-read, well-designed business card. If you don’t have either of those, start there. Once you have a website up and running, and you’re handing out business cards to potential clients, go ahead and try some other offline marketing ideas. Try a car magnet. Hand out some flyers or postcards. Stick a sign on your front lawn. Give your friends a personalized mug with your logo and a photo on it. Worst case scenario: you’ve spent a little money and probably increased your offline presence, which only goes to further enhance your online presence. From there, you’ll hopefully pull in more clients, get more sales, and become a more successful professional photographer.

Sure you can do a lot of that online, but as much as I love computers, technology and the Internet, there’s just something a little bit special about interacting with people face-to-face. Your website can be the best thing since PhotographyCorner but part of being a photographer is interacting with people. Help yourself interact with others better by having some great printed marketing materials with you at all times… because just like photos, a great business card is worth 1,000 words.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Sat, 2011–02–26 18:25
Categories: Sponsored

Choosing the Right Web Host for Your Photography Website

A couple of months ago, we discussed where to host your photography website, why you might need or want one, and what to look for in a huge sea of web hosting providers. But how do you find the best website hosting out there in this huge sea of web hosts? You could simply Google something like “best web hosts for photographers” and you might get lucky.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Tue, 2011–01–11 23:40
Categories: Sponsored

Where to Host Your Photography Website

Whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiast, especially in the digital age of photography, it’s a no-brainer to have some sort of website to display your images to the public. It doesn’t really matter if you make money from your photography or not, part of what motivates us to take beautiful photographs is the satisfaction we get when showing others the moments in time we’ve captured with our cameras. For some, something as simple as the PhotographyCorner Photo Galleries work, while others like image hosting services like Flickr. SmugMug is a popular image host with an integrated shopping cart. But if you want to build the website yourself, or have your own domain name, you’ll need to find the best web hosting available, as not all web hosts are alike.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Wed, 2010–11–10 15:47
Categories: Sponsored
Tags: sponsoredweb hostingwebsite

Free 10-Pack of Business Cards from MOO.com

10 FREE MOO.com business cardsMOO.com (a weird name for a printing company, I’ll admit) has been a supporter and sponsor of a variety of contests on PhotographyCorner.com over the years. From the July 2009 Photograph of the Month contest, and even the most recent Contest Corner Challenge: CCC#77: Fast Food, to newsletter sponsorships, banners, and even product give-aways, Moo.com has become a preferred printer for many users that call the Corner home. I didn’t really understand why, however, until recently.

In case you missed it, MOO is currently offering PhotographyCorner members a totally free ‘trial pack’ of 10 Business Cards (MOO will even pay for delivery), and I figured I would see what all the fuss was about and gave it a try. I don’t usually bother with such things (as I receive all sorts of free printing offers/supplies/products from a variety of companies wanting exposure on the Corner), but after reading raving reviews, I figure the 3-5 minutes it would take to place my free order, it would at least be worth the time. I went through the clean and easy ordering process (gotta love when the total comes to $0.00 including shipping), and shortly thereafter received an email from “Little Moo” (their email bot) telling me that they had received my order, and that shortly “Big Moo” (their print machine) would be printing my order. A few days later, I receive another email letting me know my order had printed and had been shipped, and later that week, I had the cards in my hands.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Wed, 2010–09–08 01:01
Categories: SponsoredPrinters

The Best Beginner dSLR?

The Best Beginner dSLR?It’s probably one of the most commen questions asked in the photography forums - “I’m just becoming interested in photography, and my point-and-shoot camera/camera phone/other camera just isn’t cutting it anymore… So what’s the best beginner dSLR?” It’s the gateway question into the wonderful world of photography. The answer the budding photographer receives could shape their photographic purchases for years, even decades, to come. For those of us that participate regularly in photography forums like the Corner, it’s a question we come across frequently, and one we (hopefully, at least) answer with some thought.

For many, it usually comes down to choosing the (usually) newest and cheapest dSLR that’s made by _____ or _____ (fill in whatever company names you want - but it’s almost always Nikon and Canon these days). Several times a year, the answer will change - the Canon Digital Rebel, the Nikon D50, the Canon 550D, the Nikon D40, the Nikon D5000, and the list goes on. I asked on Twitter and our Facebook Fan Page, and almost every response I received was different - literally dozens of different answers with no real clear winner.

What it really comes down to is personal preference. If you’re in the market for a good, beginner dSLR, there are several to choose from, but before you make up your mind, head down to your local camera shop and hold them in your hand. Some cameras simply “feel right” in your hands, and that may be enough of a tie-breaker to pick one. Sure ‘camera X’ has slightly different features than ‘camera Y’, and ‘camera Z’ has more megapixels than ‘camera X’, but a smaller LCD screen - they all are a little different. But when it comes down to it, a good learner camera for me could be different from a good learner camera for you - we may have different photographic tastes and expectations, different sized hands, different subjects, different feature requirements. So the answer to the question “What is the best beginner dSLR?” is “whatever one seems to fit your photographic needs.”

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Tue, 2010–08–24 02:39
Categories: Digital CamerasSponsored
Tags: digital cameradSLRsponsoredcamera

Forum Spotlight: Photography Equipment

The PhotographyCorner forums are filled with dozens of different forums; from the Conversation Corner and Member Introductions forums, to the Photo Sharing Corner and Critiques & Feedback Corner, to the Premiere Corner, Photography Contests and The Marketplace, and all the other forums in between. One group of forums that is often overlooked however, is the Photography Equipment forums. Almost all of us have a camera (it’s not a necessity around the Corner, though you’ll find that almost everyone that participates around the Corner has at least 1 camera), and the Photography Equipment forums are all about our cameras and accessories. We can talk about our new sigma lenses, the new Olympus dSLR, which filter set you prefer, point-and-shoot cameras, lighting, computers, software, etc.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Tue, 2010–02–16 04:16
Categories: PhotographyCornerSponsored

Meet the Sponsors of the 2009 Photograph of the Year Contest - AKVIS

One of the new sponsors for the 2009 Photograph of the Year contest is software company AKVIS. AKVIS is offering several thousand dollars in prizes for the contest - check out our quick interview with them below:
Posted by Tim L. Walker on Sun, 2010–01–17 23:56

Meet the Sponsors of the 2009 Photograph of the Year Contest - Think Tank Photo

Another returning sponsor from the 2008 Photograph of the Year contest, Think Tank Photo has offered up several fantastic camera bags as prizes for the 2009 Photograph of the Year contest. As a special offer to members of PhotographyCorner, with any purchase of $50 or more from Think Tank Photo, you will receive a free camera bag! Just click here and start shopping to activate the promotion. For more on Think Tank Photo and their sponsorship of the 2009 Photograph of the Year contest, check out the interview below.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Sun, 2010–01–17 02:45

Meet the Sponsors of the 2009 Photograph of the Year Contest - Mpix

Over the next week or so, during the voting of the 2009 Photograph of the Year contest, we're going to have the chance to get to know some of the sponsor companies a little better. We'll kick it with one of our returning sponsors from last year: Mpix.com.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Fri, 2010–01–15 21:00
Tags: photograph of the yearcontestpotysponsors2009mpix

Enter Competico's Winter Holiday Contest 2009

Competico 2009 Holiday Winter Photo ContestIt's not free to enter (like the PhotographyCorner 2009 Photograph of the Year contest), but up for grabs is thousands of dollars in cash prizes in the Competico's Winter Holiday Contest 2009. The winners will be chosen in part by judges and in part by voting (on a side note, yours truely is one of the judges *wink, wink*). Competico has been a sponsor of contests here on PhotographyCorner - now it's our turn to cash in on one of their contests.

Submit your photo entries to the Winter Holiday Photo Contest 2009 by January 12th 2010, 9:00pm EST. Then, encourage your friends to place their vote for your photo as the one they like most.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Mon, 2009–12–21 15:34
Categories: Sponsored
Tags: contestcompetico

ColorRight Review - Get White Balance Right In-Camera

ColorRightOf all of the prizes from the 2008 Photograph of the Year contest, I’ve received the most positive feedback on the ColorRight prizes. If you’re the type of photographer that shoots in raw and fixes white balance in post production, picking up a ColorRight of your own may be a good idea. With light changing all the time, it’s hard to get the right color balance in camera, and with evolution of digital photography, we can tweak the temperature of our photographs more than even before.

But why spend all that time playing around in post processing when you can get it right “in-camera”? ColorRight is a lens filter-like tool that can help you do just that. Basically, you place it over the end of your dSLR and take a sample photo. This gives your camera an accurate reading of the temperature of the light. Once your camera knows what the lighting conditions are, you’ll have an accurate white balance for the rest of your photographs (or at least until the lighting changes, when all you have to do is switch to manual focus, change your camera settings to “custom white balance,” and take another sample photo).

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Tue, 2009–06–16 17:06

New Stock Photo Site: StockPhotoDirect.com

I know there are a bunch of stock photography sites out there; and there have been numerous debates on stock photo sites versus microstock sites, and whether or not it’s a viable way for photographers to make some money from their photographs. Some photographers simply refuse to sell their photographs via microstock sites, and some even refuse to do stock photography at all. That may be because there are not a lot of good opportunities for amateur photographers to make any decent money with stock photography. A new kid on the block, StockPhotoDirect.com, aims to change that.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Mon, 2009–05–25 20:57
Categories: Sponsored

New York Institute of Photography: A Closer Look

Obviously I’m a big fan of the “learn through social interaction” method of learning photography - the fact that PhotographyCorner exists is testament to that. I am not, however, against formal education by any means. The Corner has had several partnerships with some photography school-type sites (like the School of Photography.com), for instance. But when you think of photography schools, the first one that usually comes to mind is the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP for short).

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Wed, 2009–05–13 20:44
Categories: Sponsored

PsPrint.com - Tools for the Professional Photographer

PsPrintIn a couple of days we’ll be announcing the 2008 Photograph of the Year contest. We’ve got a bunch of new sponsors and thousands of dollars in prizes to be won. But before I introduce that contest, I wanted to take a quick look at one of my favorite sponsors from the 2007 Photograph of the Year - PsPrint.com.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Mon, 2008–12–08 01:27
Categories: SponsoredProduct Reviews

Arctic Polar Satin Photographic Paper on Sale

Just came across an email from one of the sponsors of PhotographyCorner, Red River Paper, to let me know that they’re having an AWESOME sale on their Arctic Polar Satin photographic paper. It’s one of my favorite papers of theirs, so I thought I’d let you all know before they sell out. Instead of almost $45 for 100 8.5×11 sheets (which is a good deal by itself), they’re offering (for a limited time, obviously) it for $30!! Click here for more details. PLUS, if you order before June 1st, you can get free shipping if you use the coupon code PCORNER. Can’t get much better than that, eh?

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Sat, 2008–05–03 02:06
Categories: Sponsored

RocketLife.com – A Review

RocketLifeA little while back, I was asked if I was interested in doing a review of a new company RocketLife.com. They offered me a couple of free products to give their site/service a try. Who am I to pass up some free stuff?

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Tue, 2008–04–22 16:28
Categories: SponsoredProduct Reviews
Tags: sponsoredreviewrocketlife

New Product Review - Snaptotes Custom Photo Bags

Snaptotes: DaxIn a couple of hours, we’re going to announce the results of Contest Corner Challenge #45 that was sponsored by our friends @ www.Snaptotes.com. I promised myself that I’d get this review done before the contest was over, and, well, it’s done. As part of our advertising agreement, I got to create a couple of photo bags to review (good deal, eh?). You can check out the 2 bags I created and the entire review here: SnapTotes Custom Photo Bags (and yes, that is one of my bags to the right there - the photo is of my new puppy, Dax).

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Mon, 2008–02–11 17:24

Brooks Institute & Collins College: A Quick Look

For some of us, photography and graphic design skills come naturally, but for others of us, we need some sort of formal training before we can fully realize our fullest potential as artists. There are hundreds of options for us, ranging from formal school classes at colleges and universities, to self-directed, home study classes. It would be a little ambitious to try to review all of them (especially since I have not studied at many of them), but this post will look at two of the more popular and prestigious photography and graphic design schools in the United States: the Brooks Institute Photography School and, briefly, the Collins Graphic Design School.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Sat, 2008–01–26 02:47
Categories: Sponsored

SPONSOR POST: Douglas Grey Cards

The Douglas grey card is an essential tool for the serious photographer. It's many uses include exposure measurement, colour balancing and the setting of white balance.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Tue, 2007–12–11 16:30
Categories: Sponsored
Tags: sponsoredgrey cards

Corner Special for Inkjet Paper - $4.99!

Red River Paper PhotographyCorner SpecialIf you haven’t dropped by the Corner Photo Gallery recently (what’s up with that?), you may have missed one of the sweet specials going on right now from Red River Paper. For a limited time, they’re offering a Sample Kit especially for PhotographyCorner Members for $4.99.

The package comes with the following:
  • Try 10 different PHOTO INKJET PAPERS
  • And 5 different INKJET GREETING CARDS
  • 2 sheets of each (total 30 sheets of paper in your kit)
  • Free Ground shipping in the USA (kits ship in 3-5 days)

All that for $4.99. There’s a limit of 1 per customer (I’ve already ordered mine…). Red River Paper has some great stuff - I’ve used them in the past myself. Quick shipping, too. For more information, and to place your order, visit: http://www.redrivercatalog.com/landing/photographycorner/.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Wed, 2007–11–21 16:44
Categories: Photo PrintingSponsored
Tags: sponsoredprinterred river paperinkjetspecialpromo
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