Friday, February 16, 2007

Advances in Digital Printing

InkJet is becoming one of the most reliable forms of printing in this age of labless digital developing. Some of the advances include Epson's Ultra Chrome K3 ink, which when used with the right paper combination, is said to have an archival life of 200 years. But, if you can't shell out $600 each time you need to refill all 8 pigments, than there's another option for you. Kodak has invented a 100 year archival ink to battle the 15 year inks of most consumer inkjets. To make the deal even sweeter, Kodak sells their inks for HALF the price. ($14.99 vs. $29.99.)

"In fact, all of your 4x6-inch prints will be a lot cheaper with the new inks averaging 10 cents per print. Meanwhile, letter-size black and whites will run about 3 cents per print. The inks themselves will be priced at $9.99 for a cartridge of black ink and $14.99 for a five-color cartridge. Kodak claims this is 50% cheaper than what you'd spend on say an HP, Epson, or Canon ink refill. So we checked out their prices and in all instances, the Kodak ink saves you a pretty decent amount of cash. Whether the quality is as good—that we'll have to see for ourselves, but analysts have said good things so far.

Oh, these printers are fast as hell, too. They'll shoot out your photos at the rate of 22 pages per minute." –Brian Lam of Gizmodo


In an article published today on New Scientist Tech, Belle Dumé explores a new kind of photographic printing technology that is completely inkless, tonerless, waxless, etc - with no more cartridges to buy!

"Zink paper is made from a white plastic sheet covered with micro-thin layers containing three types of colour-forming dye crystals – yellow on top, magenta in the middle and cyan on the bottom. The paper is initially colourless, looks and feels like ordinary white photograph paper and is not light sensitive."

In the past, this technology has only been used for monochromatic printing such as receipts printed onto heat sensitive pape, but this new photographic paper can produce millions of colors. This definitely sounds like an intruiging development, but the ultimate question is, what is the archival longevity of a photo which is created through a process that involves heat?

CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Free Online Resources for Photographers

Here are some great free online resources for photographers (wedding photographers in particular), please add your own favorites as well!!!


  • WedPix - the WPJA's monthly online magazine
  • WPPIOnline - WPPI's monthly newsletter for wedding & portrait photographers
  • PPAMag - Professional Photographer magazine online
  • Rangefinder - Rangefinder magazine online
  • PopPhoto - American Photo and Popular Photography magazines online
  • PictageTV - Interviews, Tutorials, & User submitted videos (use the tabs to access more videos)



  • Strobist - lighting tools & tips
  • Blue PIxel - A blog Team of Photographers, Writers, and Cinematographers collaborate on offering free tips and tricks
  • PhotoShop TV - digital photography tips and tricks from NAPP gurus
  • Lightroom Killer Tips - all kinds of yummy goodness on the breakthrough program from Adobe, PS Lightroom
  • After Capture - multimedia resources and post production tutorials
  • Adobe Online Seminars - free e-seminars on various Adobe tools and products
  • Apple Online Seminars - free e-seminars on various Apple tools and products



  • OpenSourcePhoto - a photography forum for niiiiiiice people
  • - free and very public online forum for all types of photographers
  • Digital Wedding Forum - offers both a "start" forum free for beginners and a "pro" forum membership
  • DigitalPhotographers - Gary Fong's message board
  • DPReview - tool-talk for photographers
  • OneLight Workshop - lighting tips and techniques
  • Flickr Groups - don't discount this public site as amateurs only, there are some amazing people doing amazing things and sharing it all on individual group message boards. Find a group you're interested in and check out the discussion area- you may find some amazing things!
  • ProPhotoResource - featured photographers are interviewed regularly and asked to participate in the forum

(P.N-2/14/07, OSP-2/15/07)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Photoshop Actions for Photographers

There are a lot different Photoshop Actions you can purchase or download for free out there, so here's a one-stop-shop for photographers. If there are actions you think everyone should know about - post a comment and share your favorites!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tim Sanders: The Love Lecture

Tim Sanders, author of The Likeability Factor and Love is the Killer App, is also a motivational business speaker who draws upon his experiences with some of the top executives and businesses in the country. (Think of him as the modern Dale Carnegie.) Tim maintains a great blog, called Sanders Says which is well worth subscribing to if you're looking for great ideas and ways to improve your networking skills. If you're not the reading type, he also has a few DVDs available of his motivational speeches. The clip below is where Tim explains three strategies for multiply your value through sharing knowledge, changing your attitude toward adopting an abundance mentality, and improving your likability factor. Below is a GREAT video clip with lots of valuable advice worth watching all the way to the end!!

>>>>>CLICK HERE<<<<<<
to watch part of Tim's Love Lecture on how to multiply the value of your business.

LaCour on Wedding Photojournalism

Atlanta based wedding photojournalists, LaCour share some of their insights on how they view the capture of a wedding day...

Andrew talks about the Nouns & Verbs of photojournalism...

Rachel & Mark talk about anticipating moments in photojournalism...

CLICK HERE to see LaCour's resource blog for photographers.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Logo vs. Brand

Having a logo does not mean you have a brand.
Having a brand does not mean you need a logo.
Let's explore the difference....

What is a Logo?
A visual symbol to represent your company. An effective logo does not require a person to read, is distinctive and instantly recognizable, and conveys something about the brand experience of your product or service.

What is a Brand?
A brand is the impression that your product or service leaves on a customer. It's how people feel about and what people think of their experience with your product or service. A logo can be used to help customers recognize a brand, but is not required for a brand to be effective.

In order for a logo to be effective, a customer has to come into contact with the brand in its intended context before the logo can mean anything to the customer. For example (I'm only using DJ because I know he can take it), DJ's logo of the silhouette with shadow means a lot to photographers and clients who are aware of DJ and his work and have experienced him in one way or another. However, if DJ's logo were placed on a t-shirt and he was wearing it in a mall - people who have never seen DJ's website or slideshow would just think it's an interesting design and would have no idea that it stood for the guy wearing the shirt, or any of the things attached to the DavidJay brand. Also consider how differently his brand is perceived by wedding clients vs. photographers - a brand means different things to different markets based on the context in which people have encountered a name or logo.

When I say "Gary Fong," what do you think of? Here's a guy who doesn't really have a logo, but has a very strong brand. There are a lot of feelings and thoughts attached to his name and whether you like him personally or not, you recognize his name every time you hear or see it. The name Gary Fong can also be perceived differently based on the experiences you've had with his products or service - OR based on what OTHER people have said about his products or service (regardless of whether or not they've tried them!) Anytime you encounter a brand via personal experience or by word-of-mouth, you add more impressions of what a particular brand means to you.

Let's try some more...

BluDomain and Pictage have a strong brand and an identifyable logo (once again- to those that have seen the logos in their original contexts). If you have never experienced the products and/or service of either companies for yourself, your impressions of these brands are based solely on what other people have said about their experiences. If you have only read or paid attention to the complaints about both services and products, you probably have quite a negative impression of the brand and wonder why anyone would use either. Since most people tend to be more vocal when things are going wrong (squeaky wheel gets the grease) and people are skeptical by nature, negative comments appear to happen more often and have more impact than positive comments. There could be thousands of people who are happy with both services but because they are perfectly content, they have no need to go out of their way to say anything. And if someone does make an unsolicited comment about how much they love a service, it appears as a solicitation because we are skeptical of the intent behind the self-promotion of a particular product or service.

Now apply this to your business. Here are some essential questions to ask yourself, and to answer. Rather than simply reading them, I suggest taking the time to copy them and write out the answers for yourself. You may be surprised by what you discover when you take time to read and reflect on your answers over time:
• Right now, are you more focused on building your logo or your brand? Which is most important in the long-run?
• Do you need a logo? If you don't need one, why do you have one? If you do have one, what does it communicate when it's seen out of context - and is that helping or hurting your brand?
• What impressions are you deliberately sending to your clients and potential clients? What impressions are you accidentally sending to clients and potential clients?
• What impressions are you deliberately and accidentally sending to non-clients?
• How does putting your logo or name on different products affect your brand? When do you want to avoid using your name or logo?
• How/When/Where do your clients and potential clients experience your brand? How/When/Where is your brand experienced by people who are not clients or potential clients? (Vendors you deal with, people you meet or talk with outside of your business, other photographers, etc.)
• How do the experiences of both clients and non-clients affect your overall brand?

I don't claim to be an expert, and this is by no means a definitive guide to logos or branding, but I do hope that it gives you something to chew on and to apply to your business. (Posted on OSP, 2/8/07)

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Why Blog? Making the most of your blog

In the interest of making all blogs a little more addicting... (as if I don't spend enough time reading them and writing them!!), I thought I would share some blogging ideas, linked with real life examples from photographer blogs, in the hope that others will feel free to add to this list and to share their thoughts as well!

Why blog?
- To improve your search engine ratings (also known as SEO; applies if your blog contains searchable text)
- To keep your customers (and competition) updated on your latest news and work
- To give your customers a way to personally connect to you and/or your business
- To convey your brand/philosophy/personality/style
- To announce new products or specials
- To make your clients/friends/family feel famous and to show your appreciation to them (aka being a lovecat)

What to blog?
- Favorite images from your latest event or shoot complete with location info and any additional vendor info. Key phrases like "chicago, il" "engagement photos" "four seasons hotel" will attract search engine rankings - outbound website links will also help search engines treat you as an authority.
- Stories about the couple or the wedding (everyone likes to feel famous, right?!)
- Your latest awards and recognition (be your own biggest fan!)
- Create a weekly or monthly feature, such as random favorite things, theme image or technique, favorite quotes, fun stuff online, personal news, favorite recipes. It doesn't have to be photography related, in fact it may be even better if it isn't directly related to photography since it will give your clients another way to connect to you that may more closely relate to their lives, but do make sure it is in-line with the brand image you want to convey (for example, I often blog about ways to live a "greener" lifestyle because it fits with the message I want to send to my clients about what I value.)
- New products, or products that you're sampling/considering
- Questions or contests for your readers to particpate in
- Sales and promotion information, deadlines for holiday ordering, holiday gift reminders and ideas
- Personal news, happenings, and travels
- Random thoughts
- Ideas of things you'd like to try with future clients (plant the seed early! Trash the dress, rolling in sand and water on the beach, sky diving, etc.)

Think about the blogs you're addicted to and why you're addicted to them. Often times addicting blogs have a few things in common...
- It's not always about business
- They blog frequently and you feel like you've missed out if you haven't checked the blog in a few days, or they have a special feature that you look forward to weekly
- They make you feel good or inspire you
- They have a definite sense of personality and feel very "real" with single voice that comes through to personally connect with you instead of a stale company voice (this is the difference between a real blog and just a site for your company's latest news)
- They keep the content fresh and change things up from time to time

Here are a few blogs which I find very addicting!!
BluDomain may be a company blog, but they do an awesome job of connecting to their readers and keeping them interested weekly! I think they actually do all of the blog ideas mentioned on the "what to blog" list above... favorite things, contests, new products, latest news, etc... they've got it all.
Photojojo has tons of crazy ideas and different things to do with your photos or your camera!
What the Duck is the perfect daily comic relief just for photographers ;)
Gary Fong has been blogging almost as long as blogs have been invented and he does it well. I'm addicted because of the funny videos he posts of his friends, but I value it for his insights about business, investing, and marketing.
Awesome Photographs is a place where you can submit your awesome images with a link to your website to improve your search engine rankings. While there isn't a critical selection process (that I know of), it's always cool to say you've been featured in a blog about Awesome Photographs!
PhotoshopTV is like free video-a-week Photoshop tutorial. You never know what you might learn next!
Foundation Workshop Member blog is a blog that allows multiple photographers (forum members) to post their latest work to the same blog and link back to their personal blogs. A great resource for inspiring images, as well as a way for photographers to promote their work as a team.

What are some of your favorite blogs? What keeps you addicted? How can you apply that to your business or blog?

(Disclaimer: I don't think my blog is as great as it could be, but knowing what I need to improve is half the battle. ;-)