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Being Honest About Myself, My Business, and What I Can Do To With Help Yours

I would like to get personal here and in support of my fellow photography professionals.

I started out in commercial and so my focus in the past few years has gotten way off track. This is not a job, a job to me is 9-5 and you follow the same commute every single day, doing something that you have to do. What I have is a career, something that I love. Everyday is different, I get to be creative every single day, and meet new people. Now you may LOVE your 9-5 job, and that’s cool if you do! But most people that I talk to don’t.
What I do is specialized, before I used to do families, maternity, newborn, children, and weddings. I found out that this wasn’t working for me, mainly because I would see friends and former clients use other photographers(I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook). Some used people who are hobbyists, nothing wrong with that, but it affected referrals to my business. While I love photographing families and kids (my own child included), I felt like my talents and expertise were more valued in the commercial photography area.

Hobbyists and those that do this part-time don’t get that when they offer their services to others free of charge to a former client of mine or for way less, it’s hurting the photo business as a whole. Hell, I see some professionals doing this and I’m like , why?!!! Stop doing this! You’re shooting yourselves in the foot.

This industry isn’t the easiest, and I get that, and I’ve been around for a really long time. I network in person…a lot. Sometimes it’s hard to get up and say a quick line about myself, I tend to fumble over my words and convey what I am trying to tell people. I’m best at one to one conversations, showing you what I can do and knowing that I can deliver what you want and then some, that’s where my confidence truly shines.  My goals and aspirations have always been high, and because of this, I do out of my way for my clients to give them MY best.

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Here is my interview with my one of my best friends, Lisa, How To Look Better In Pictures. I photographed her in the image above. 

When approached and asked, what do you do?, I say that I’m a commercial portrait photographer.  What this means is that my work is seen in magazines for companies, annual reports, their marketing materials, and sometimes, tv. I go on location to photograph people, or often in their environments, and in the my studio. I personally love  environmental portraits, because this shows my clients doing not only what they are doing, but it tells their story and their environment is an extension of themselves.

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Here are just a few questions that I ask my clients:

What is your next horizon for your company?  Where are you headed? Who needs to see you doing that? Magazines, tv shows, online media? Who is on your team to help present you visually? How are you insuring that your images and presence are the caliber that agencies and publications expect?  Do you have your marketing images packaged?

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Agencies expect a certain caliber of work and professionalism. Because this is what I do. I’m a photojournalist who gets their images for PR.

Let me ask you again, are you headed in the right direction? 

-Deirdre Ryan, Image Maker

Women in Business Helping Other Women

I was fortunate to be with my friends at the NAWBO-NYC Chapter’s 3 Hour Bootleg Camp-Full Morning To Grow Your Business and was invited to photograph the event for the chapter. The event was held at the Microsoft building in Manhattan around the corner from Times Square.

There was networking in the early AM with a continental breakfast and then the keynote speaker, Stephanie Breedlove, who was introduced by Sophia Wade, the President of the chapter. Stephanie, whose business was acquired by Care.com for a reported $54 million, talked about which small steps led to her big gains. She and Sophia are both lovely women.

The program then continued in different rooms and areas throughout 2 floors.

Cynthia Greenawalt had her ‘Breakthrough Networking’ about to maximize your social capital and deepen your sources for referrals.

Joan Pelzer, a social media expert and online engagement strategist, spoke about how to create online relationships that you can take offline.

Dr. Sharon Melnick, author of Success under Stress, talked about seven proven shortcuts to become the go-to expert in your field, and land big clients instead of chasing leads.

My friends, Francine Parham and Dolores DeGiacomo talked about “Perfect your Pitch!” Learn new techniques to tell your unique story, and receive on-the-spot constructive feedback from expert communicators as well as your peers, and spoke about their new book The Ultimate Career Pocket Guide

And Jeri Quinn, author of Customer Loyalty Playbook, shows you how to close more deals when you know the ‘brain science’ behind the sales conversation.

In between all of these sessions and roundtables, there were networking opportunities. I had plenty of cards of course and many women were interested in these images. Everyone that I met that day were fabulous and kind. All were goal oriented like myself and that is to succeed, have a life and be happy. Thank you for letting me be there!

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