The State of Photography, iHeart Marketing, Heather Lefort

The State of Photography Series

The State of Photography Series

Do you ever wonder what inspires someone? Where they came from. What invoked their creative footprint from within? In this series you will find out. iHeart Marketing is getting personal with Photographer’s all over the world. From Fashion to food and travel to lifestyle. Locations to studios and everything between that empowers their craft. What makes Photographers tic? Where does their creativity flow from? This series will take you on a journey around the world while walking you through the people that come together to form this niche industry: commercial photography. You will not only know the person behind the images but their geographical struggles or fortunes. How their location plays a part in their day to day business.

Are you a Photographer? Do you want to be featured? Apply here.

 

About Heather Lefort.

Batch & Blast Emails = Old School

Stand Out

 

Buyers are overwhelmed with marketing messages today. Everyone is wondering “How to make themselves stand out?” or “What do I need to do to get their attention?” Truth is, there is no magic answer, subject line, or potion. Hard work pays off. As if marketing wasn’t already hard enough to keep inline for the small business owner, it is getting harder every day. Batch and blast emails are no longer good enough. Marketing needs to be brand based, personal and relevant to your markets or it will not be good enough.

KEY COMPONENTS TO MARKETING MESSAGE:

  • Trustworthy
  • Relevance
  • Conversations NOT Campaigns
  • Coordinated
  • Strategic

Email services that offer large campaigning types of promotions are not that helpful in this market and can be a bit constraining. They lack integration on a personal level and do not allow you to orchestrate an intelligent one-on-one conversation.Most of the time they also relay your message as spam because of their nature. Knowing who you are sending an email to is the first deciding factor that winds you up in the trash or archived for future reference.

MAKING MARKETING EFFICIENT = MORE ENGAGEMENT

  • Distinguish between prospects, clients, and different segments of your messages
  • Formulate a solid marketing database reflective of your specific specialty
  • Create different messages for each of your segments: Prospects and Clients

HOW DO YOU CREATE DIFFERENT MARKETING MESSAGES?

Prospects
Show them why they should be interested in your work. What do you offer them? How is what you do different than any other person selling the same services?

Clients
Tell them what you’ve been doing to keep busy since you last worked together. Your work, creativity, and growth will visually speak to them in any marketing message. Don’t forget to ask about them and what they have been up to in their work ventures.

WHEN AUTOMATION HAPPENS

Tying your marketing messages into your social channels as well as your traditional marketing channels is key. Flow of any marketing plan is well thought out and executed properly. Remember, a steady pace wins the race! Follow through is everything.

MEASURE ANALYTICS

Paying attention to who’s paying attention pays! Knowing who was engaged by your marketing messages is important to your overall marketing effort. If you are not checking in statistically with your efforts you are losing crucial data that can land you in the arms of a new client. Integrate your stats into your follow-up. Making this step ensures your follow-ups are targeted, coordinated, relationship building, and strategically correct.

 

Footer-iHeart Mrktg

Doing Something Different With Your Marketing

 

MARKETING HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY

iHeart July Blog Image

Doing what used to work with your marketing isn’t necessarily getting the same results it used to. Why is that? Social media has not only brought awareness across multiple platforms but it has increased resistance to our marketing efforts. Everyone is marketing something, pitching something, or kick starting their cause. So what’s a business to do? How does your voice filter through a clogged up news feed? How do you increase your durability in your marketing while creating a need? In other words, how do you stand out amongst the crowd. By offering something no one else offers you can stand out. But figuring out how to stand out in a room of numerous competitors isn’t that easy to figure out. The key is in a niche. Not your work directly but you… as a brand. Consider asking yourself these questions:

  • What do you stand for?
  • What does your work stand for?
  • What do clients get repeatedly when you deliver your work to them?
  • Is your consistency a strength? If you answered no to this consider visiting this post

Sometimes doing something different can cause a wave of new business or interest to your brand. The main concept of doing this however is knowing how to fit something new into your brand? For starters:

  • If you are always Reliable Ron than keep on being Ron!
  • If you have new techniques talk about them, get social
  • If you have new work that will increase your client base  show it
  • Have a personal project? Share it socially

Sometimes doing something different with your marketing can be as little as reaching out to a new client base. Targeting them specifically with the niche of work you have that fits what they do. Trimming down a large number of contacts to a small group makes this type of marketing easier. Emails, direct mail, and social media isn’t enough anymore. Put a voice to your brand. Time and time again I cannot tell you the most important and appreciated question I ask buyers when making connections for my clients: “How do you prefer to receive [insert your name here] new work updates?” Sometimes appreciating time and preferences will go a million miles to your recognition. Try it, you may find out it fits you too!

 

iHeart Marketing offers comprehensive marketing plans for small businesses with a focus on commercial artists, musicians, and hospitality. To learn what we can do for your business contact us today! 

How’d You Get That Shot with Jena Cumbo

 

How’d You Get That Shot With Jena Cumbo… 

MarielaTiago_3267blog

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

NAME:

Jena Cumbo
Like Jena on Facebook
Tweet, Tumble, or Link In with Jena

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:

Lifestyle and Fashion

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

Well, I switched my major from ‘bio/chem’ to photography back when I was a sophomore in college

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

Lately, my LED light

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:

I’m sort of know for having my giant SLR with me even when I don’t necessarily need that. I also kick around with an Olympus  XZ-1

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

I’m still not convinced that a phone is a camera, it depends who’s hand it’s in I suppose 😉

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY IN 2013:

Greater ISO sensitivity with less grain/noise

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:

Collaborating with Gina Tron to do interviews with me on this ‘We Met On the Internet’ portrait project has been really fun. I like getting another persons thoughts into the mix. And working with a wordsmith is new to me and adds another layer to the project I definitely couldn’t get on my own.

I love working with other stylists and hair and makeup people on fashion shoots when our ideas mesh well together. I’ve most recently worked with stylist, Ramono Martelli and hair stylist Pia Vivas.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

I chose a picture of Mariela and Tiago. A couple that I shot for my ‘We Met On the Internet’ Project.

I’ve been doing a series of portraits of couples that met on the Internet in various ways.

I actually met them ‘on the internet’ too. Mariela responded to a craigslist posting I had up for the project. I was at their apt for a bout an hour total. I think this is a good example of my ability to photograph someones personality, even in a situation where I have only met them for a little while. We definitely got a long well, I think it’s fair to say they felt comfortable with me and vice versa. The ‘making a mustache’ out of Mariela’s dreads was just something they did goofing around together. I had them just hang out together and do what they do. For me that’s how I make a ‘set up shot’ a little more genuine.

Here is Gina Tron’s synopsis of Mariela and Tiago from her interview with them:

Mariela & Tiago

Mariela, a 21 year old self-taught photographer, moved to New York in December of 2011 from the Dominican Republic. Tiago is a 30 year old who has worked as a finishing carpenter since he was a kid. They found each other in cyberspace thanks to their shared love of tattoos. Their initial contact began on tattoodatingsite.com. “[The name] is that blunt,” stated Mariela while laughing. “When you go there, you think it’s a spam website.”

The site was appealing to Tiago because he was frustrated with the lack of tattoo-clad folk in his neighborhood of Queens. “I wanted to meet people and where I lived there [weren’t] many people with tattoos.”

From his online photograph, Mariela thought that “Tiago was cute.” They started talking to each other on Skype, which lead to meeting in person. On their second date they shared some ink time together. Tiago got a previous piece polished off, while Mariela received a permanent eye onto her forearm. After two weeks of dating, they moved in together. After four months, they got engaged. Now the two share matching tattoos. “We both have [the word] ‘love’ tattooed in our hands.”

Besides getting inked, they also bond over their love of animals. “We have a zoo in our house,” admits Mariela. “We have three dogs, two cats, two ferrets, two fish tanks, and two bird cages, and I think…[she pauses for a minute]  I think that’s it.” Tiago and Mariela, and their collection of animals, live in Jamaica, Queens. They plan to wed in June of this year.

 

Jena Cumbo
To check out ALL of Jena’s work 
please go to her website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

 

Keeping The Creative Child Alive In Your Business

April_iHeartBlog

Most of you went into Photography to be creative. The job comes with great perks: traveling, working for yourself, being involved in visual marketing, to name just a few. But when your Photography business faces the harsh reality that it is a business what happens? Your love of being a wanderlust creative crashes into reality. Balancing acts of marketing and sales, customer service, and all the other daunting tasks of a business. How do you cope as a creative?

Some things you can do to make sure the creative child in you (that survived growing up) stays nurtured are:

  • Start your day with a walk
  • Write in a journal
  • Keep a you book that tracks happenings that affect you
  • Stop to smell the flowers
  • Sing in the shower (even if you’re tone deaf)
  • Volunteer at a pet shelter to walk dogs or pet the cats
  • Schedule a date night with your significant other
  • Plan a throw back family game night (I recommend charades)
  • Take a drive with no destination
  • Let your voicemail do its job… take messages for you
  • Plan a Sunday brunch with your closest BFF’s
  • Conquer a fear
  • Call an old friend just because you can
  • Pay someone a compliment
  • Smile at a stranger
  • Pack a blanket and go stargazing
  • Wear a hat to work
  • Listen to a new cd of an artist that you have no idea about
  • Go to a matinee alone
  • Sit by the ocean

 

Sometimes the best thing you can do to get back to you is remembering why you went into business for yourself to begin with. Business gets clouded with rules and management, schedules and conformity. Think outside the box and focus on your own time management. Never forget to schedule time for the creative child in you!

How’d You Get That Shot with Steve Lesnick

 

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

stephanie.steve lesnick.blog

 

NAME:

Steve Lesnick
Facebook with Steve
Tweet with Steve
Get LinkedIn to Steve

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:

My specialty is capturing the fleeting emotional moments in lifestyle photography.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

I took photography classes in college and fell in love with it. Then I decided to pursue the career by moving to NYC.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

My GX1 with my Rosco Lite Pad.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:

My GX1, because it’s small, has a decent lens, not a lot of noise, a great LCD, and shoots RAW files.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVELATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

I’m amazed by all the cool images I’m seeing everywhere, but I think a lot of them fall short. A great photograph has to have great light, great composition, and an emotional connection all at the same time. If you don’t have all three, then you’re never going to get anything more than just a decent picture.

Also, I hope the current generation of photographers will learn not to just give their work away and that they are creating something of value.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY IN 2013:

I would like to see the industry encourage people to learn more about their cameras and not be so dependent on the computer. I know the computer plays an important role in photography today, but I think it’s important for people to learn the basics so that they won’t have to depend on the computer as much.

I’m old school, I’ve always been a color photographer, so you had to get it when you shot it.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION: 

My clients get photographs that are more dramatic and narrative than the usual images they use. Since we’re so experienced at solving problems we welcome them because it creates spontaneous moments that are unpredictable and irreplaceable.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

This shot of Stefanie makes me very happy inside. She is such a warm, kind, unassuming person, and when she put this giant wig on, her whole persona changed. She even let me try on the blonde wig.

We mixed ambient and tungsten light to give this scene a warm, soft feel. I shot with a long lens to blur out the foreground so that she would stand out.

FREE SHOUT OUT: 

I’m so supportive of all my clients that keep coming back to me and letting me do my thing.

 

steve.lesnick.blog
To check out ALL of Steve’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

 

How’d You Get That Shot with Ramon Purcell

 

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

LOUNGE1_8662

NAME:

Ramon C Purcell
Ramon behind the Scenes
Facebook with RCP Photo
Tweet with Ramon
Be LinkedIn with Ramon

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:

I am a multi-faceted photographer, my specialty is being adaptive to the client’s needs and utilizing a variety of specialties to create advertising imagery.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

Unexpectedly through the Surf industry from a friend of mine who was a professional surfer.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

iPhone!!!  It saves the day with all the apps that support the business.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
I love the iPhone, I don’t have the weight of different gear, and it is great for capturing an intimate moment without interrupting.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

We are at a crossroads of creativity and technology that has never been seen before, it is the most fantastic moment in history and I encourage everyone to photograph with any camera they have at their fingertips.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY  IN 2013:

I am excited to see the development of the touch screen interface cameras.  It is the next evolution in photography and I can’t wait to see the amazing changes it makes in creativity.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:

A variety of hospitality client’s benefit from my cross pollination of photography.  Having several areas of specialization allows me to approach every project with a broad knowledge base to help accomplish the goals for the client.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

Creek side Relaxation at L’Auberge de Sedona.

The concept of the shot is to escape from your everyday and enjoy being pampered, in their tranquil setting.   The image evokes a sense of luxurious serenity.  To create this image, I utilized a variety of equipment, a mixture of natural light, minimal strobes, reflectors and diffusers.  The use of iTechnology was extremely beneficial for the client, photographing Wi-Fi tethered with an iPad.  This allowed the client to see instantly the images being created and find the “Hero” image that would achieve the goals of the campaign.  The shot had a very narrow window of light to achieve the concept, the preparation started six months prior.  The actual time to create the image on the day of the shoot took about 4 hours, with correct placement of the model and props.  Approximately a 100 frames were taken to create the image, utilizing iTechnology allowed the client the ability to select the final image on the spot.

FREE SHOUT OUT:

I am very thankful for my creative team that assists me in exceeding the client’s goals.  I want to thank several clients for having me involved in creative projects, L’Auberge de Sedona for a new branding campaign after their renovation.  Island Hospitality for updating their marketing strategy.  Finally Blaine Warren for the USAF Reserve recruiting campaign.

 

Screen shot 2013-02-20 at 9.54.05 AM
To check out ALL of Ramon’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

How’d You Get That Shot with Michelle Kawka

 

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

 MichelleK_Shot

 

NAME:

Michelle Kawka, photographer
Find Michelle on Facebook
Tweet with Michelle
Get Professional on LinkedIn with her
Add her on Google+
See her videos on YouTube

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY ?

Portraits, Corporate, Events and Weddings. I shoot landscapes for my soul.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

I studied in Italy while in college & started taking pictures.  After college, I worked for awhile in a bunch of office jobs, but I still took pictures.   My friends all got married around the same time and kept telling me that they liked my pictures better than their own photographers’.  Finally, I decided to pursue my passion and I went to photography school.  I never looked back.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

My Gary Fong Lightsphere.  Lightroom 4, and my Canon camera.  

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
My Droid Bionic because I love Instagram.  I don’t really like to carry around a separate camera, I carry enough stuff around with me in my pocketbook !

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

I don’t think that it really impacts my business much.  I feel it’s the same way Turbo Tax impacted the accounting field.  Some people are going to do it themselves, and some people are going to understand what a professional brings to the table.  We do so much more that click a button.  We have to plan the shoot, organize it and direct a crew while under time constraints.  Those aren’t skills that an amateur with an iPhone can necessarily do and get great results.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013 ?

I would love to see the industry come up with creative solutions to the issues that photographers face today instead of complaining how much the industry has changed and how they wish how things used to be.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION: 
I have photographed jobs for Wella Hair Color, the United States Marine Corps and Microsoft as well as for many private individuals.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

The techniques I used to get this shot were fairly simple.  I went to the beach as the sun began to set.  The beach itself faces North so it gets a lovely cool north light at sunset.  I shot all available light, ISO 800 at 125 at f/8 with the 17-40 mm Canon L lens set at 17mm.  I did a color balance and auto tone in Lightroom 4, then used presets to bring in the contrast and color as well as used vignetting to give a spotlight type lighting.  I shot 5 angles of the building , all hand held and decided I liked the one the best.  I also cropped in it Lightroom to make it more of a panoramic shoot.   I stood on the beach for approximately 15 minutes before I decided it was too cold and I was done shooting.
The image I have chosen is called Beauty in Devastation, which is a series of photos that I created in the 2 weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

Growing up in New York City, the beach has always been a place of relaxation and spiritual renewal for me. When Hurricane Sandy came through and wreaked her havoc along the coast on Long Island, it was a heart breaking experience to see so much devastation. However, in the cold November autumn air, in spite of the destruction, there was something eminently beautiful about how our human made structures were bent and reshaped by the force of Nature. This body of work, taken in the Rockaways, Long Beach and Hampton Bays, are a meditation on how very fragile we are.

The photo is of the Beach Hut, which is a lively restaurant on Meschutt Beach on Peconic Bay.  It is a beach I frequent often because of it’s shallow, warm water perfect for swimming or sitting in an inflatable tube with a cheap novel.

FREE SHOUT OUT:
I love taking photos and directing video.  I have a really great team and shoots are pretty chill and a lot of fun.  

MichelleK_Profile
To check out ALL of Michelle’s work 
please go to her website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

 

What Does Content Marketing Mean To You?

Content Marketing, Content Marketing and More Content Marketing….

iHeart_Jan Blog

What Does Content Marketing Mean To You?

Everywhere you turn now marketing is all about “content marketing” Is this a new term or one based on changes in marketing? Let take a look at what content marketing really is and what it means to you.

Content marketing is a marketing technique where you create and distribute relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Now, why is this the latest marketing buzz? Basically, content marketing is the new art of communicating with your target market. It encourages content driven communication rather than selling techniques. We are in the generation of consumers that do not want to be sold to. Consumers want knowledge to base their buying process on. The content you provide which is relevant to them will aide in the success of their trust and loyalty to your brand. When you deliver a consistent message that is valuable to consumers ultimately you are rewarded with their business!

“So how do I apply content marketing to my marketing strategy as a Photographer?” you ask.

One of the best ways to apply content marketing to your strategy is to:

  • Know who you are professionally
  • Know the market you are targeting

Setting up your content strategy comes first!

Ask yourself “What makes my brand interesting and engaging enough that my target market will want to read it and share it with their colleagues?”

After you answer that question you can begin to create and distribute your content. Now don’t just do social media. You will need to come up with something interesting to say to gain an audience and attention. Don’t just show up on social media, it’s not enough for your audience! Arrive with a podium and a loud speaker and boast your relevant content to your audience!

For assistance with your Content Marketing Strategy contact iHeart Marketing today. Offering free marketing advice, inspiration, and direction in all of your marketing efforts!

 

Creating Your SMART Goals

Imagine It, Dream It, Make It A Goal That’s SMART!

 

I love (love, love!) this time of the year. Not for the holidays, cooking, or family but because all business people take their goals serious. It is a time where reflections and reviews are critiqued with the utmost structure. A time for a measure of return on investments made. A time to restart a new plan based on success and failures of last year.

Whatever your return on investment was you should be planning (or have planned already) your roadmap of success for 2013. Setting goals are sometimes hard. Businesses get caught in their own catch 22 of being creatively savvy and not business smart savvy.

Most times knowing where you want to be is the easy step. Creating a roadmap and game plan is often difficult and decreases the likelihood of success. This stage is the “Getting There” stage of your goal setting. It’s easy to say “I want to make a million dollars in 2013″ or ” I want to acquire the market share in my county” but the question of “How to get there?”  is often the difficult part. Everything in life needs direction, roadmaps, or instruction. Goal setting is no different.

To set your goals you should make them SMART:

    • Specific – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions: Who, What, Where, When, Which, and Why

 

    • Measurable – Establish criteria tracking to measure statistical progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.When you measure your progress it makes it more rewarding to: you stay on track, reach target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement. The question “How?” is often used to insure a goal is measurable.

 

    • Attainable – When you identify goals you can figure out ways to make them come true. Developing the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that are farther away become attainable as long term goals. Goals that are easier to attain are short term goals. KNowing the different is crucial.

 

    • Realistic – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective. A goal can be both high and realistic. You are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be.  Some of the hardest goals ever attained were attained simply because they were a labor of love.

 

    • Timely – A goal should have a lifeline of its own. With no lifeline there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to learn how to fly, when do you want to learn by? “Someday” won’t work. If you anchor it within a  time frame, “by June of 2013”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.Your goal can then be broken down into a simple solution:  There are classes, how often, how to pay for them. To learn how to fly you will need to follow the guidelines and incorporate them into your goal lifeline. Then you can incorporate the how’s of doing it… get it? Time makes goals seem easier to reach too!

 

Sometimes setting yourself up to fail is the worse thing you can do. No matter what your business we are ALL human. Our human nature is to be fulfilled. Setting a goal and reaching it is fulfilling! I don’t care who you are. If you had a goal to close a client by February and do it it’s gratifying and builds confidence. Confidence makes us stronger and makes us persevere harder next time… challenge ourselves even! However, if we set ourselves up to fail it could be a domino affect for the entire plan.

So set your SMART goals up and don’t forget your key ingredients: imagine it, dream it, visualize it, and reach it!

If  you would like more information on goal setting and your roadmap of marketing for 2013 you can book your appointment with us today!

Happy Goal Setting!