Friday, February 26, 2010

Freebie Friday ~ Seniors!

Ok, spread it around to all your High School Senior Friends...It's Freebie Friday! The first Senior to comment on my blog wins a Senior Portrait Session from Marcia The Art of Photography.

Here's the fine print:

Class of 2010 and 2011 only!!!
Senior Session location is Scottsdale, AZ only.
Senior Session must be completed by March 12, 2010

What you get:
Pre-Session Consultation
Senior Session
Viewing Session to select your images
Personal Website for one month
3 Artist Choice watermarked images to use on Social Media to share with your family and friends.
1 5x7 of your choice.

Winner, you have 5 days to connect with me, after that your prize is null and void. Make sure you leave your full name email address and daytime phone number in your comment. I promise I won't publish your contact info on the blog. If you don't leave your contact info you cannot win so make sure I can reach you!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wedding 101: Are You Making The Best Choices With Your Wedding Bucks?

Every once in a while an article for wedding vendors comes along that is just as valuable for brides as professionals. Rick Brewer is an amazing writer for the Wedding Industry. His blog, Marketing to Brides, is a must read for me, and I hope you will benefit from this, too.

Brides, as you read what goes into being a "Genuine" Professional, think about the people you have interviewed with so far. Do they really have the qualifications to keep you happy, safe and protected?

Where are the Brides going?

In each city around the country that I speak, there is a certain amount of business that can go to any given wedding category. For example in a bigger city, there may be 20,000 weddings that are in the service area, and perhaps 50-60% of them will spend money with a florist (you can insert your service here). When I ask how many real genuine wedding florists there are in that given city, what I generally see happen is that there are more than enough weddings for every genuine vendor out there.

Naturally I ask the following question; “Where are the Brides going?”

Most times, the Brides are either going to a less than genuine vendor (I will define what a “genuine” wedding vendor is in just a moment) or they are going without in that category.

Think about it; Brides are going without or they are choosing the vendors who are less than what they deserve. Why is that? I will answer that question in hopes that you will be able to use this as a way to bring more brides to your business

What qualifies as a “genuine” wedding vendor? They have the following three attributes:

1.       They are trained professionals. This as opposed to the person who just bought some equipment or bought an online course and now says they are a “professional”. The Genuine professional may have started that way, but it was by lugging someone else’s equipment, by working for some other professional that they learned so when they set forward on their own, they were prepared and ready. When I first started DJ’ing back in 1992, the guy that trained me made me go with him, carry his equipment and watch him DJ for 10 gigs. I didn’t get paid for those 10 gigs. The next 10 gigs, I still carried all the equipment, but I got to DJ with his supervision. I made ½ the regular pay (which wasn’t much) during those 10 gigs. For the next 20 gigs, I got the “apprentice level pay as long as I did not have any incidents or complaints, I would rise up to the next level. This was my training. Further, he gave me homework where I had to memorize song lists and the proper announcements. If you did not start with this kind of training but you now are experienced and have learned the ropes, that’s ok. (if you decide to do another type of wedding business, you can go through this training next time J )

2.       They are real businesses. They have the licensing, the insurance and all the proper regulated and government imposed approvals. In other words, they are not making cakes out of their garages without the proper health codes/certificates, they are not bringing their equipment into a venue without carrying the proper insurance (if something were to fall onto a guest and hurt them, they would go after the venue, who most times  already have that covered in their contracts that the liability goes back onto the Bride, so who does the guest sue-you guessed it).

3.       They are associated. The genuine Wedding vendor is not an island. They rely on friends, associations and other wedding businesses to help them go forward. This “rising tide” philosophy is crucial to their success as well as their ability to do their job better. I often say Associations make better Wedding Vendors. This could not be more true. Last week I spent out at Las Vegas at the Mobile Beat Mobile Disc Jockey Convention. Besides seeing a lot of friends in the business,  those in attendance were “paying their dues” to be successful. In other words, because they paid both time and money to be there, they would naturally pay more attention, seek to learn more and in general strive to get a return on their investment.  Believe it or not, though, out of 200,000 estimated mobile DJ’s in the U.S., less than 1000 were in attendance. I met people from Canada, England and Australia, yet there were many local DJ’s right there in Las Vegas who did not attend. Think about it- if there is a chance for education and bettering your vocation and yourself does a genuine business take advantage of it or do they blow it off.

I challenge you to educate your next Bride that walks in and compares you the genuine Wedding vendor with some new person who is not near genuine as you to bring up these three points. Special reward to anyone who reports back their success stories

Sunday, February 21, 2010

5 Things On A Sunday - Interesting Things Around The 'Net

Hiatus helps...sometimes it just gives us some time to think of more stuff ;-D

5 Things On A Sunday has been on hiatus, but lately I've been missing sharing some of my favorite wanderings with you.

Contact Talk Radio:There is so much to listen to on this internet radio station. From current events to wellness, environment to fringe science, there is always something interesting to listen to. Such good stuff.

Going Retro, This always makes me smile:

Play Solitaire? I love the games at Spider, I'm really addicted to Spider, sigh.

Play CafeWorld on Facebook? Ok, I admit it, I's a guide to playing, the tips and the tricks, Cafe World Guide.

Urban Dictionary is a hoot! Try just putting in your first name...this is good surfing...very good surfing.

Do you have some favorite sites you'd like to share? Let me know and I'll post them here. We all could use a good laugh and that's one of the best things in the world to share ;-D

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Photographers...Are You Prepared?

It's that time of year and our home is stocked for cold season (we've used up supplies already), how about you? And while we're on the subject, have you checked and stocked your camera bag? Here in Arizona we're gearing up for our Spring Season and it's time to assess the condition of your gear. How are your batteries, do you need new rechargeables? Been maintaining your gear? Got a little noise in that lens? Now is the time for a check-up at your local repair shop. What about that energy bar in the back pocket from last season, the aspirin stored under the flap forever and sunscreen...oh, ewww, expired. Time for a Spring Cleaning before season gets underway.

Just like making sure you have cold medicine in the cabinet before you need it, make sure your camera bag is job ready. It's the little things that we do that make the difference between calling ourselves Professionals and being one.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Little Something For You

Is February not Chocolate Month? MMMMMM! And they were good, too. This month's desktop image is my Valentine gift to you. Please feel free to download and enjoy.

Keep checking back for new images. Sometimes bridal, sometimes something different, but something always for you.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Soon-To-Be-Marrieds, Your Valentine from Me

Hey Brides and Grooms! My Valentine to you is a little book of love. IrisBooks makes a little sweetie that is light enough to go in your tote or travel bag, cute enough to keep in your desk and powerful enough to awe your friends. 30 of your most beautiful images clothed in linen and printed on the silkiest paper alive. Six stunning colors are available and you can even have a photo up front, too!

Book your wedding during February and receive our elfin Iris Book as the perfect addition to your wedding package.Dates are limited so be sure to call to reserve your date today. 480.366.4476

Elfin IrisBook $500 value