Article for Petapixel: Pricing Work by Understanding Value

Article for Petapixel: Pricing Work by Understanding Value

“The fact that you own a lot of gear that cost a lot of money, have purchased a vehicle to transport that gear, and spent long hours mastering its use is a given. Of course you have. Otherwise you would not be a professional photographer. Period.

I do not care how much it costs to make a movie, I just want it to be good, entertain me for a while, and hopefully not have Alec Baldwin in it. The budget is of no interest. The movie is either good or it isn’t.

Big budget movies have totally bombed, while some made on a shoestring budget have been amazingly popular.

So it is with photographers. You either can produce an image that satisfies the needs and desires of your client, or you cannot. Whether you shoot a Canon or a Nikon is of surprisingly little interest to them.”

I hope you take a few minutes to read it. Pricing creative work is one of the more difficult challenges we face. Here are a few ideas to think about.


Site Redesign: Pro Digital Image

Site Redesign: Pro Digital Image

PRO-DIGITAL-IMAGEMy bud Steve Burger is the driving force of Pro Digital Image. He is a Photoshop genius who loves to make photographs, awesome prints, and teach. He has been THE guy to go to for Photoshop in Phoenix and Arizona for more than a decade.

I have built all of his websites, and the newest one does a bit of rebranding for him as well. Steve has been teaching classes of 10 – 12 weekly for 15 years. He has recently seen the numbers for those classes go down, while the calls for him to do one-on-one have risen exponentially.

We addressed that with this website. I waited till the last scheduled group class had been started, then went after the rebrand with all that I needed.


Steve had sent the images we were going to use for backgrounds, and I had created a wireframe for how the site would fit together. I then re-wrote some of the copy he had on the previous site and added some new words for his changed business model.

Having all the content ahead of time sure made it easier to build the site. Having the site plan/wireframe ready also helped me build quickly.

To give the site a modern look and change it dramatically from the previous site, I chose a Parallax style one page approach. There are behind the scenes pages (payment/ordering and such) but for the most part it is a single page utilizing a long scroll, point navigation, and large, colorful background imagery.

It is always fun to work with friends to keep their marketing moving forward, and this work for Steve was no exception. I have been working on a new logo, and should have that in place by the first of the year.

In the meantime – if you are in Phoenix or Arizona and want to see dramatic improvement in your Photoshop skills, give Steve a call. He also works with visitors to the valley as well.



A very powerful EMail Campaign by Photographer John McAllister

A very powerful EMail Campaign by Photographer John McAllister

John McAllister is a photographer in High Wycombe, UK. I worked with him on this email campaign for restaurants. John designed it himself and I collaborated on the copy. In this campaign we focus on the benefits to the customer, not the assets of the photographer. It is an important distinction.

The piece will be carefully controlled in its dissemination, and John will make sure that the restaurants all receive a follow up call to confirm receipt.

John’s strategy is to create a few different niche emails, all based on this clean design, and then get them out the door with a consistent plan.


To discuss how I can help you with your marketing, please contact me.

Initial Collateral Design for Professional Speaker

Initial Collateral Design for Professional Speaker

My partner Robin and I have just completed a gig for Health Care Specialist Kelli Shepard.

Robin is a Branding Expert ( and she put together a brilliant brand strategy for Kelli.

I am doing the photography and graphic design. Web design may be being produced by a previous vendor, but we will see how that plays out.

Not shown is the sitemap and wireframes we designed as well as the header photography. Kelli will have a different header for each page of her website as well as several filler images.

More to come on this project.

Are “Brands” the Next Big Trend in Photography?

Are “Brands” the Next Big Trend in Photography?

They are indeed, according to Paul Melchor.

The influence of social media and brand identification are quite a powerful force. And where once editorial ruled the sensibilities of the advertisers, it is now “brand” photography that is engaging the ad world. Images developed around and for the brands are leading the advertisers approaches.

This photography is still driven by an editorial ethic, but it also lays claim to the amateur aesthetic as well. Instagram, Hipstomatic, Flickr, Vine and others are capturing viewers, and that is the exact thing that advertisers wish to do.

In a very interesting piece, Melcher lays out a scenario where amateurs, brand aficionados and pro photographers feed from the same pipe of fan response / fan engagement.

This means that photography is beginning to be recognized for the power it has again. This will be a very exciting time for brands who can pick up on this new shift and push it to the fore.

“It will not be surprising, it is happening already, to see editorial photography influenced by brand photography. In an effort to keep pace with current trends, online and print publications are more and more looking into what works for brands and applying it to their spreads. After all, if that type of photography can sell products, it can also attract large amount of viewers. In fact, publications are  behaving more and more like brands themselves, and, as such, are seeking the same results from photos. From photojournalism to fashion spread, the keywords are becoming engagements and shares. Publications are using photography to extend their readership outside of their owned url’s, an exercise very familiar to brands. They are also very closely tracking numbers.

For now, we still live in a world slightly dominated by editorial photography, only because of cultural habits. But deeper, the evolution has already happened and is progressing with patient obstination. As generations shift, the millenniums, who consume ( and produce) more social media pictures than editorial ones, will expect no less than brands using the same visual language they do. And brands will turn to pros and non- pros photographers to execute. And because they will never run out of money, brands will get to define what photography is, how it is consumed and who gets to make a living from it. In fact, they are already.”

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