I have long struggled to understand why I need to market my website. I'm contacted by various people every week that promise to increase traffic to my site, up my Google ranking. I could of course spend many many £££ on this which as a small independent business I am reluctant to do so. Mainly because I'm not a professional in how the Internet works and you hear of people spending thousands....for what?
The results made by spending on SEO or marketing campaigns are very difficult to quantify / measure. My only measure is how many bookings has that money generated...period!
So I try to list my website on Facebook as it's free unless you want to boost various posts of course. I also make sure this blog is linked to my Google page as Google like changes and uniqueness to a website. There are also a number of free sites that list your business in the hope that you upgrade your listing to a premium one which of course you pay for!
My latest contact has been from a site called Photographerlistings.org and like all of these sites they do offer premium packages. However, I will start with the basic free listing and see how I get on.
All I have to do is to embed a bit of code for the free listing.....not an easy thing to do if your not website savvy! But here goes and I'll update the blog with any results or not!
Much has been made about the Super Moon on 14th November 2016 and so I took up the challenge of getting a good shot of it. After reading many many articles about how to photograph the moon with many of them suggesting using a tripod! I couldn't quite get my head around that as the moon is really brightly lit and so by using Spot Metering, the camera is only measuring the light reflected from the moon. As a consequence, both these images have been taken by hand-holding the camera.
These are my settings and my images. Judge for yourselves if the settings are right or wrong.
Canon 70D 100-400mm @400mm ISO100, 1/800sec, Spot Metering and hand-held.....
Cropped in version......
Anyone spot the Clangers or the Soup Dragon?....LOL
I am often faced with the dilemma as to whether to Photoshop a picture or not. I'm actually very much against "photoshopping" an image as I think it's important for the final photograph to reflect as much detail of the original image as possible. For example if I had an image of a person with a wart on their nose, would I "shop" it out....no I wouldn't! There was once a professional wedding photographer who "shopped" his images and the bride and groom sued him because he had changed the images.
So do I change my images? Sort of, I will always edit them or crop them to improve on the original image but that only involves exposure, shadow and colour saturation settings within the image. I think this is what the client is after, as good a image as possible without changing the image......does that make sense? Of course it does, it's all about enhancement rather than change.
Whilst I always give the bride and groom the edited, enhanced images, I also love to play around in Photoshop with my images....a sort of hobby after the event. If I do this, I always send a copy to the bride and groom to get their thoughts on it and with their permission, I may publish it, like the one below which I have added a bit of poster art!
And how about adding a frame around the image and maybe a drop shadow to give it a 3D look? This is recent image of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side...a much prettier side IMHO!
Photoshop or not........over to you.
Today has been a real challenge for me as I completed a photoshoot of a mobile log cabin! The company builds luxury log cabins here in Darlington and sells them across the UK. Biggest challenge was the lack of light due to all the images being taken indoors. So with the 5D on a tripod, I racked the up aperture to f22 to ensure everything was in focus to ensure a longer shutter speed due to the lower light levels.
Quite pleased with the results and the client had a quick preview of the images and they seemed happy as well......winner!
So very pleased to be recognised by The Wedding Industry Awards 2017 by making it through to the Regional Finals on Monday 7th November 2016 at Rockcliffe Hall in the category of North East Wedding Photographer of the Year. I'm up against some amazing other photographers and it'll be great to get through to the next round and to be able to head to London in Jan.
So I'll have to dust off my suit and grab a tie and take a seat to watch many many smaller wedding industry business get the recognition and awards that they deserve.
The winners of the Regional Finals then go through to the National Finals in London in January 2017.
Fingers crossed all the way......