Host Mike Howard, Tim Kemperle and Kathleen Bowie are joined for Show #21 by Rachel Brenke of Rachel Brenke Photography.  After a couple of news stories, we have a great discussion with Rachel about what she has been doing since her last appearance and what she has planned for 2012.

 

NEWS:

  • Adobe maintains stance on new pricing structure to limit discounts only to owners of the most recent version.
  • Adobe releases Lightroom 3.6 and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) 6.6

RACHEL: http://www.rachelbrenke.com/

  • Latest Updates
    • New Business model
      • Only in Person ordering
      • Opening a studio outside of home
      • Marketing branding, better materials
      • Contracts
        • Ensure it is solid and has everything you want
        • Is it written or digital (www.formsite.com)
        • Ensure your photographs will not be edited
        • Write down what you want and then check Google for possible contract provisions that contain the wording you want.
      • Reword / redesign website
    • Hired new assistant
      • Found through Facebook / Forums
    • Plenty of Christmas orders
  • You have mentioned many times people should have a business plan, tells us more about that and why it is so important.
    • Ask yourself – What is your business plan?
    • Do you have a BP?
    • Where do you see yourself in 6 months, 1 year etc.
    • Set a timeline to get yourself set
    • Ask yourself – “What am I going to do to be successful?”
  • Facebook growth…300 fans to over 5,000 in one year
    • Reach out and talk about yourself
    • A lot of business and a lot of photography
    • Been blessed
    • Word of mouth
    • Post on social websites “It’s Free”
  • Rachel’s post on Facebook about Lexus not worrying about Kia’s pricing.
    • Quote came out of  blog on pricing
    • Know your pricing based on an analysis of your services
    • Different target audiences require different strategies
  • How do you know what to start charging for your photography services?
    • What are your break even costs
    • What are your direct competitors charging?
    • Are you marketing to “Kia” customers with “Lexus” prices
  • What is the mix of photography to workshops
    • 50 / 50
    • Christmas is higher in the photography while February may be workshops
    • No real preference between the two…like both equally and if I stop shooting I may become stagnant and stop learing myself
  • What are you main subjects?
    • Couples and seniors (adults)
    • Will venture into infant photography
  • On your website you mention you have taken many workshops.  Which one is your favorite and was the most helpful.
  • Did you always know you wanted to have a photography business?  If not, what inspired you to start one?
    • Going to law school drove me to Photography. 
    • Husband bought me a DSLR and charged too much for poor photography
    • Received camera in December 2009 and started business in May 2011
  • Tips
    • Best photography tip for someone just getting start?
    • Get as business plan and get legit (research state for licenses, taxes etc.)
  • Biggest mistake people make
    • Not knowing anything about photography and starting to shoot
  • Likes/Dislikes
    • What do you like the most about running a photography business?
      • The people in the business
    • What do you like the least?
      • How cut throat the business can be…people not helping each other
  • Editing
    • What do you use to edit your images?
      • Photoshop
      • http://www.photographersedit.com/
    • How much time do you spend on a single image editing?
      • Three or four minutes tops per photo
      • Created own actions for workflow that I do most often
      • Typical family session is 45 minutes in editing – 20 images
      • http://rachelbrenke.blogspot.com/2011/11/business-family-rachel-brenke.html
      • I have limited the photos in my gallery as I determined the cost of my time was not being compensated (cost benefit analysis)
      • How many are you shooting?  
        • Don’t spray and pray
        • Multiple photos of same image
        • Take around 100 pictures with 2 to 3 of same pose
    • Which do you enjoy more, editing or shooting?
  • What are your long term goals for your photography business?
    • Any plans to do traveling workshops (ie, in different towns)

Questions from chat:

  • My biggest issue at a session is being a little bossy and giving ideas for poses…how do you get over that?
    • Don’t fret…the clients want direction and usually will need it
    • Clients believe you are knowledgeable about the pose
    • Check out a posing guide
  • Did you design your website or hire someone to do it?
    • Yes but I’m not currently pleased and am looking to change
    • Used HTML from what I previously learned
  • Touching on the subject of pay taxes etc…where do you go to find out for those of us who move from state to state with our military husbands
    • Know you need to know the Federal / State and local jurisdiction.  Look up what is required via Google
  • What hosting service do you use?
  • Do you collect by Credit Card or Check
    • Usually clients pay by Check to a seperate business account or pay via PayPal.  While I can collect via Credit Card no clients have utilized
  • What are your minimums for ordering?
    • Don’t have a minimum.
    • A deposit fee is required to ensure they:
      • Show up
      • Covers my time
      • Deposit is refunded if package is purchased
  • What is your favorite lens?
    • 85/1.4
  • What camera do you use?
    • Nikon D700
    • Backup is a Nikon D90
  • Do you only shoot outdoors?
    • No I do both but that is what is generally requested
  • here do you leave your business cards…do you ask
    • Dressing room
    • Gym
    • Store…I will usually ask. 
    • Leave with my check when I pay

Rachel is donating one of her workshops?  Details are on the website under jpeg2RAW giveaway and on Facebook.  

 

 

 

LINKS:

Rachel

 

jpeg2RAW