Sandra Coan’s Friday Favorites: Christmas!!

Christmas!!!  My favorite time of year!  I love the music!  I love the cookies!  I love the lights!  I love it all!!

Because I love it so much, I (along with the rest of the Little Bellows team) will be taking next week off to spend the holiday with our families.  We will be back on Dec. 29th!  We’ll see you then!

Have a wonderful week and a very merry Christmas!

-Sandra

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Corrie Owens Photography

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Les Cadeaux Photography

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Kate T. Parker Photography

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Charlene Hardy

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Allison Gipson Photography

Harvey Dexter Xmas 2013

Sandra Coan Photography
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Rebecca Yale: New York City Maternity Perfection

Oh good heavens!  I am so in love with these photos I can hardly stand it!  So, so gorgeous!

-Sandra

Jessica is a fellow photographer in New York City so I was really excited when she asked me to take maternity portraits of her and her husband in Brooklyn to capture the beautiful city skyline behind us.  We spent the afternoon walking around DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights as the sun set enjoying the last warm days of Fall.  Shot on Kodak Portra 400 and 800 on a Contax 645 processed by Richard Photo Lab.”

About Rebecca, based in New York: website | facebook | contact

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Christina on Instagram: These Photos Make Me Think This…

Hello and Happy Instagram Wednesday!

Wow, the color this week is off the charts!

So thank you and congratulations to all the featured photographers!

I hope you have a great rest of the week!

Cheerio,

Christina

@stinamallet 

P.S. Please excuse the brevity of this post, I’m writing this at the airport, about to board a plane to Nairobi Kenya.

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jaclynshepard

Little Red Riding Hood contemplated her fashion choice… and the rest was history!

Such a pretty reds and greens in this image.

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chawlady

Yeah! A new take on balloon photographs!

I think this is clever and pretty and A+ for the cool shadows.

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storyboxart

Isn’t this divine?

I love the colors here and the composition, well, it’s only something you’d see in India.

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phyllismeredith2

What a vibrant and pretty still life of a ruler, scissors and pretty origami.

I love the window light and the way the light bounces around.

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pollyjanephotography

“Come to think of it, he was always messing around with the chimney”, said his Mom, Mrs. Claus.

Cool composition and I hope no one was injured in the making of this cheerful image.

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jasonwattsphotography

This image is so Board Walk Empire to me.

We don’t know what he’s thinking about but by the seriousness of his face, I’m going to guess it’s something big.

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Three Things You Need to Know About Marketing Your Business

Several years ago I had an epiphany… I realized that even though my business was photography, my real job was marketing.

This was really scary at first.  I have no business background and I really didn’t know what I was doing but I was determined to figure it out!  So I studied.  And over time I began to really enjoy the business side of my business!  Now I’m at a place where I can honestly say that I LOVE marketing!!  Really!  And honestly, I love it almost as much as I love photography.  For reals!

So today I’m going to share three things that turned my business from something I was bumbling my way through to something that I absolutely love AND make a great living doing!

Here we go!

To be good at marketing there a three things you must know:

1. Know what you do. This seems pretty straight forward but the reality is many of us are not clear on what we do or why we do it.  Instead of figuring out our style and our voice we look around and try to do what others are doing, or what is popular, or what we think our clients want.  But here’s the thing.  You can’t sell what you don’t believe in.  You just can’t.

At the beginning of my career I shot “photo journalistic” style weddings.  Why?  Because that style was popular at the time and I thought shooting weddings in that style was the only way I would make money.  But guess what?  I hated shooting weddings.  And, I’m not a fan of “photo journalism”.  I love shooting simple no-frills portraits of babies and families in studio.  Was that style super popular?  No.  Was that what every one else was doing? No.  Is that even what potential clients wanted?  I had no idea.  But guess what? As soon as I quit weddings (pulled them all off of my website) and focused on shooting what I love my business started to really grow… and I was MUCH happier!

2. Know who your people are.  I start every single mentoring session I do by asking “who are your people?”  I usually get answers like “women” or “people with babies” or even (my favorite answer to date) “anyone who will give me money”.   All a little vague.  I think when you run a small business it feels scary to try to narrow down “your people”.  Don’t you want everyone?  The answer is no you don’t!  There are a lot of people with babies… but is every person with a baby your perfect client?  Of course not!  When you spend the time and do the work to really get to know who your people are everything else will fall into place.  When you know who your people are you know what images to share, what your website should look like, where your pricing should be, what social media platforms you should be active on… all of it.  Because you know what your people want to see, what they can afford and where they “hang out” online.

3. Know how to communicate what you do to your people.  This sounds simple, but many photographers have a hard time showing their work, or interacting with their followers on Facebook or with a newsletter.  I hear over and over again “but Sandra, I don’t want to feel like I’m spamming my clients!”  Many people are uncomfortable marketing themselves.  They think it’s too pushy.

But now think of what you do when you find an amazing restaurant or see a really inspiring movie or find the perfect, most comfortable boots in all the world.  When you find something you love you tell your friends about it!  You don’t just sit around hoping that other people discover it too!  You don’t agonize about if you should share the info with them.  You say “Hey!  I found these amazing boots and they are rocking my feet off! You should totally get some too!!”  And your friends appreciate it.

That is all marketing is.  Taking something you are excited about (what you do) and telling your friends (your people) about it!  That’s it.

Now… we could spend days talking about the ins and outs of how to communicate with your people!  But for now, sit down with a cup of coffee and a plate a Christmas cookies and spend some time writing about what you do and who your people are.  It’s the best place to start!

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photo by Sandra Coan

Hasselblad, Acros, Strobes

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As always, I would love to hear from you.  If you have a question or a comment for me feel free to ask it in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

Thanks!

Sandra

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Using current Nikon or Canon speed light with film cameras

I received several questions on my Instagram and Facebook Page about how I use my Nikon SB800 with my older or antique film cameras.

I get it. It’s winter time. Who wants to go out door for natural light when you can stay in and get all toasty in front of the fireplace. Since film loves light, here is a super simple solution to your winter film photography woes:

The result?  This is using my Nikon SB800 at 1/4 power f2.8, ss 1/60 with umbrellas as the light modifier:

©Joyce C. Kang-Pentax645n and Nikon SB800

Blog Contributor and Writer:  Joyce Kang

Joyce Kang selfie black and white on mamiya c330Joyce Kang is a children & family photographer in Austin Texas.  She is also a mentor and an instructor for Embrace The Grain, an intro to film photography workshop.  She is married to her best friend and enjoys outdoors with her family.  She loves to curl up with a good book and has a terrible addiction to any thing that tops with a heaping scoop of ice cream drizzled with chocolate fudge!

Follow Joyce and see more of her work at: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google+

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