Archive for 2012
Publicist and brand builder Elena Verlee is one of Forbes Magazine’s “20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter,” holds the distinction of an All Facebook “10 Facebook Pages Every PR Professional Should Be Reading” and is a Visa Business Network Syndicate. Whew! When she’s not racking up limelight honors, she manages the high-growth and technology PR agency Cross Border Communications, which services the UK, Canada and the US, and maintains the irresistible PR in Your Pajamas, a blog that focuses on equipping smaller-budget entrepreneurs and businesses with do-it-yourself marketing savvy and know-how. In this guest post, Elena talks about how entrepreneurs (who, like most of us in the photography industry, probably never studied writing) can craft on-target media pitches to maximize exposure for their business. Here are her top 10 most vital tips for DIY marketing magic!
Follow Elena Verlee on Twitter.
Post by Elena Verlee.
I have friends whose big dream is to sequester themselves and write a book. Although I like to write, it’s not something I dream of doing day in and day out. I don’t like sitting in front of a blank page, but I do know that once I get an idea and get started, things usually flow.
Most entrepreneurs I know are not writers. You started your business because your passion and natural gifts are in a particular space.
Most entrepreneurs I know didn’t realize how much marketing they would need to do in order to succeed. And that effective writing- from websites to sales materials, direct mail to blog posts – will be a crucial part of you getting heard above the noise.
If you’re doing your own PR, writing a media pitch can be downright intimidating. I know it’s hard to sit down to a blank piece of paper. So I’m sharing with you some questions I ask our clients, in order to help your creative juices flow and create a compelling media story.
In a fast-paced, every-second-counts environment – such as a wedding – I often prefer using a continuous light source. No light meters, excessive gear, etc. to slow me down when I don’t have the luxury of time.
In the image of this gorgeous groom, which Grace Ormonde ran on its title page, my continuous light source allowed me to capture my subject before he hurried off to his wedding reception at the stunning Viansa Winery.
With that said, portable hot lights, though more mobile then my studio strobes, have not always impressed me – short battery life, external heavy battery packs, and harsh quality of light have often caused major frustration. But the game is changing…
Jerry Ghionis is coming out with his new Ice Light which will definitely become a go-to item in my arsenal. It’s slim profile, lightweight portability, and diffused quality of light are something to be very excited for. Plus, Jerry designed it so – it has to be good. Another bonus? It comes with five gel packs to enhance the cool or warm effect of its illumination.
It’s hard not to want to hate Robby Cavanaugh – fresh out of school, the SoCal boy has already been published in Vogue Italia, won a bunch of awards, and now has another notch in his belt as our first TWiT Photo Guest Quest winner. Yet, Robby’s incredibly down-to-earth and just has a natural artistic talent. Joining us live in the studio, the fine art photographer comes clean about Photoshop in his “phantasmagorical” images and achieving artistic excellence with very, very little gear, and lots and lots of perseverance and perspiration. Judges Zack Arias and Tamara Lackey crack the whip on the portfolios of Guest Quest winners, and give invaluable advice to contest aspirants.
Here are Robby’s top tips and a few images from his inspiring portfolio:
1 If you can think it, it can be done.
My tough-as-nails schedule often keeps me tethered to my studio until the wee hours of the morning. My social life (or lack thereof) has seriously taken a hit due to the demands of being a serious creative and entrepreneur.
WPPI’s convention in Vegas seamlessly blends my joint passion for hard work and hard partying (finally, I can get out!)—I don’t care if it sounds cliché, it’s 100-percent true. The whole affair is teeming with photographers just crazy enough to throw every ounce of their passion into growing their business. WPPI is where like minds can join forces to collaborate, inspire one another and, yes, talk shop over a stiff martini with two olives. In fact, it’s our inalienable right.
Below, scope out all the highlights of my planned itinerary at WPPI 2012, with highlights including my Platform Class on savvy use of social media, two days of judging, a special TWiT Photo Episode, and plenty of free evenings for indulgence in my aforementioned elixir of choice. Business and pleasure, if you’re doing it right, always join forces.
Many of WPPI’s Platform Classes are going to fill up quickly. I encourage you to act fast! Register via Pre-Board here.
San Francisco’s famed Julia Morgan Ballroom – a study in timeless architectural beauty and unassailable elegance – is the backdrop for this image. Last year, I was generously invited to use this opulent ballroom as the site for a photo project, in which I recreated the unique glamor of Old Hollywood.
Here, a model in period wardrobe peers out the window, her vision assisted by the use of Galilean binoculars.
Powerful images engender an enduring effect not just because of their sheer technical mastery or absolute beauty, but more so because the photograph tells a story.
A pretty model might be nice or interesting for a viewer to look at, but unless something about her compels the viewer to ask questions – in this case, “What is she searching for?” or “What does she see?” – the image is ultimately forgettable.
Through the use of this prop, these history- and class-laden Galilean binoculars, the model invites a slew of questions that provoke the viewer to engage the photograph as a story whose conclusion they’re dying to discover.