Learning Photography Online Has Become Easier

learning photography online
I am so excited to share a new website for photographers to learn photography online. The website is called fotoclasses and there are already a variety of amazing courses for you to learn from.

For some time now we have been offering online courses through Udemy, but we now have it on the roadmap to change education platforms and move our courses over to fotoclasses.

Here is a trailer for a recent course available at fotoclasses from my friend Rob Knight.

I am also working on updating my long exposure photography course for teaching at fotoclasses.  Until that is done, some other educators you can learn from at fotoclasses include David Nightingale, Neil Creek, Kenneth Schultz, Joe Lange, Dan Bailey, Andrew Gibson and Angela Heidt.

Learning Photography Online

Classes range from $100 – $200 and do not end with the video content.  The instructors offer projects, quizzes and more.  The educators care deeply about your learning process and want to make sure that they can help you in any way.

So with that, I encourage you to head over to fotoclasses and check out the currently available classes.

fotoclasses-share-the-love
fotoclass is currently offering a buy one get one free special on their online photography classes. The special is called “share the love” and is valid through February 15, 2014 for Valentines Day.

Of course, If you want to become an educator and have a video course ready or in the process then get in touch with the team over at fotoclasses and tell them all about your course.  It can be a great way for for you to add additional revenue for your photography business.

Now that I’ve shared all of that info.  I’m curious about what type of courses Photocrati customers and readers would want to learn about?  I can promise you that the fotoclasses team will be reading this article and checking comments.  So if you have a class you would like to learn about then comment so they know.

Thanks you, and now go continue learning photography online in a fantastic new environment.

Scott

Keep Your Website Stupid Simple

Today I want to talk about the KISS Principle, which is an abbreviate for Keep It Simple, Stupid.

The Kiss Principle was termed by the Navy back in the 60′s and it has since evolved into Keep It Stupid Simple in addition to Keep It Simple, Stupid. Although the term is now stated different, the principle is the same.

The idea of KISS is to find ways to simplify whatever you are trying to get across.

This works for your business marketing and advertising, the content your write for pages and blog articles, and even the design of your website.

Although you want your website to have that personal flare that illustrates you, the photographer, you also want to make sure it’s Stupid Simple so that your customers have as little confusion as possible.

You want them to know what you do, how to find you and how to navigate your website. The last thing you want is for a potential customers to visit your website, not know what type of photography you offer and not find your portfolio.

So please keep KISS in mind with everything you do for your photography business and website.

Before I wrap up this post I want to share one tip related to the KISS principle. I’m referring to the 2 second memory test. Check out this video to learn more about how to perform this test on your website.

Thanks for reading,
Scott

$5000 Photocrati Fund Grant Competition Now Open for 2014

Quick announcement from Scott

…and now for the details.

It’s our favorite time of year again.

Our team is pleased to announce that the fifth annual Photocrati Fund competition is now open. The Photocrati Fund provides a $5,000 grant to one photographer each year to help support an environmental or humanitarian photography project. At the completion of the project, the grant winner’s images will be displayed as a photo essay on Photocrati.

Past recipients of the award have covered overfishing in Chile, the conflicts surrounding conservation of endangered habitat for Stone sheep, global energy poverty, and the ongoing legacy of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak.

We believe that great imagery can still make a tremendous difference in the world, and we understand the challenges facing photographers who wish to undertake these kinds of projects. Our hope is that our upfront grant can help these important humanitarian and environmental stories get told.

The winner and top finishers are selected by a prestigious panel of some of the world’s top environmental and cultural photographers – past judges of the grant have included Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve McCurry, Art Wolfe and Jim Brandenburg. We are so honored to have the chance to work with our esteemed panel of judges, and we especially appreciate the chance to see so many incredible projects from photographers around the globe. The 2014 judges are still being confirmed, but please stay tuned, we’ll finalize our panel soon.

Applications for the 2014 Photocrati Fund competition will be accepted from Thursday, January 30, 2013 through Friday, April 18, 2014 (11:59 p.m. Mountain Time). The grant winner will be announced at the end of June 2014.

Grant applicants should submit a one-page project statement (including a rough budget) and bio, along with a link to an online portfolio of 20-30 themed images to: fund@photocrati.com. Please put “2014 Photocrati Fund” in the subject of the email. For complete Photocrati Fund rules and guidelines please see visit the Photocrati Fund page.

To learn about Alex Masi’s winning 2013 project, Bhopal Legacy, please check out the 2013 Photocrati Fund Winner and Top Finishers blog post.

Tune In To The Dream Bigger Conference – February 2014

February 3-5 marks an amazing point in time for photography and creative industries thanks to the Dream Bigger Conference. Angela Pointon has organized this amazing teleconference where you can listen in from anywhere. Call in, stream in or download the recordings after.

At the Dream Bigger Conference you will learn from extremely creative and unique individuals including our very own Scott Wyden Kivowitz talking about your online presence. You will also hear from Tara Gentile, Don Giannatti, Pascal Depuhl. Sarah Kathleen Peck, Kaye Putnam and so many more.

Tickets are on sale now for a discounted price, but that changes soon.  Sign up for the Dream Bigger Conference for only $79 today.

Scott hopes to see you there!

dream bigger conference

We’re Sponsoring a “Free Marketing” Workshop in Pennsylvania on Jan 26 2014

We are happy to share that we are sponsoring a very cool and educational workshop called Free Marketing: How to get Cred, Get Clients and Go Viral.

The workshop costs $299 and is in North Wales, Pennsylvania. It’s an amazing opportunity for photographers or any creatives really from the PA, NY, NJ and DE area to learn and improve their businesses.

BrandsmashTV has assembled a team of the sharpest marketers in the industry, with some of the most-shared articles on weddings and photography (and wedding photography, of course). Together their articles have been shared more than 120,000 times on facebook and racked up over 1 million page views. And they want to help your business do the same. Learn foolproof tips for solid SEO, how to get published on the top photography websites and magazines, and the secret to going viral.

You will learn from me, Mike Allebach who runs Brandsmash and the studio where the workshop is held. You will also learn from Anne Almasy and Kara Wahlgren.

brandsmash

Instead of going on and on about the workshop please visit the official Brandsmash workshop page and read up on all the details.

Oh, and be sure to use the coupon code “photocrati” to save $100 off the price of the workshop.

I hope to see you there!

 

The Business Of An Open Heart

I wrote my mission statement late one night when Andrew was three months old.   Like most mothers with newborns, I was hugely sleep deprived and emotional– probably the best time for me to uncover the raw truth of what is at my core.  In this outpouring stream of consciousness…. there it was, right in black and white, under the bold heading of: “I will strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life”

Welcoming new people and situations with and open heart

When I looked again in the bright light of morning I thought  “Whoa! Where did that come from? And where was my heart closed?”

Wharton professor and social psychologist Adam Grant proposes in his new book, Give and Take, that there are three types of people you will interact with professionally. Givers are people who give freely without asking for anything in return.  Matchers are defined as people who tend to give when they anticipate they will get something in return.  And you know those friends and professional acquaintances that call us only when they need or want something?  They’re the Takers.

While we all tend to be combination, most of us lean towards one of these three orientations when it comes to business.  For a long time, my natural inclination was towards being a giver. I love to teach, to surprise someone with kindness, and help others achieve a goal they didn’t know or think was possible.  Yet, over time, this resounding feeling of being “taken advantage of” began to gnaw on that giving. There was the teaching partner who photocopied my educational material and sold workshop seats with it, claiming the materials as their own.  Or the author who asked me to fill out a lengthy survey for assistance with content and when then book was published, my name was left out as a reference.  Suddenly the giving felt more like naivety and I pulled back within my industry to become much more private.

open-heart

photo by Alonis

Yet, Grant may argue that if I were truly a giver, this wouldn’t matter because someone out there benefitted from that content – even if I wasn’t provided credit for it.  And that should be enough for me to move on and continue to give, with the happiness to know that it most likely helped someone.  So why wasn’t that my first reaction?  Did I really need to pull back to the degree that I did?  Was I really a Matcher after all?  We all want to see ourselves in our best light, but only when we see the shadow can our wholeness come to bear.  Maybe I did have a little Matcher in me after all and the question I had for myself is what I was going to do with that fact.

After hearing Adam speak during his book tour I was able to tie this all together and realize how much I needed his message.  Yes, I might have a little Matcher in me, but I am far more comfortable (and happier) being a Giver.  With Adam in my head, I know I need to continue to have an open heart in each professional interaction.  When I look back on my life, I will be proud of caring for the people I was able to have a positive influence on, instead of worrying about the few that screwed me.

By now you may be saying to yourself “Thanks for the Kumbaya, Laura.  I have no doubt that being a giver makes unicorns and rainbows fly out of your arse…  but what does this have to do with business?” That is the beauty of Adam’s research – Givers do very well in business in the long-term.  Reputational capital if you will, pays huge dividends.

While Takers and Matchers tend to win shorter-term rewards, Givers tend to win out over the long haul because of their reputation as a trusted resource or ally within their fields.   Although Takers tend to find success in their 20s and 30s since they elbow everyone else out, Givers are more successful in their 40s and 50s because they have a huge network of people just dying to help them out and give back.  Of course, giving because you think it will eventually pay off is not the point, but its interesting research nonetheless.

Adam is just one man’s opinion, but it is the voice I been listening to lately and it has worked and is working for me.  So whenever I get a request, I think about truly if I can accommodate it – and if I cannot for some reason I really try to take the time to point the person in the right direction.  Maybe it will come back some day and maybe it won’t, but for me it fulfills my desire to approach every new situation with an open heart.

Laura-NovakI’m in no way saying I’m perfect about having an open heart, the little Matcher in the shadows takes care of that.  What I am saying is that the practice of being present to each interaction has proven enormously valuable to me.  In my creative business (and I suspect most creative businesses), relationship is everything.  Mindfulness is key.  If I can catch myself, I try to remember that I’d like to look back and be grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact, to value the opportunity in front of me instead of what it will bring me in the future.  Yes, a few jerks and Takers slip through every now and then.  So be it.  Giving is its own reward.

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Laura Novak has over 10 years of wedding photography experience, and her work has been featured on numerous national and international publications. Visit Laura’s site, www.lauranovak.com, to download a sample album that she used to generate over 1.2 million dollars in wedding business. Laura in Wilmington, Delaware with her husband, John, and baby, Andrew.

Client Proofing on Your iPad With YouProof

Selling prints is never an easy task.

Tools like Preveal and the Photocrati eCommerce system make it easier.

But selling doesn’t end there.

Today I am happy to share YouProof, a new iPad app designed to allow your clients to select and order prints while you’re sitting next to them.

Take a look…

As you can see the YouProof app is simple and get’s the task done. Quickly browse and click to select your favorites and then email the order to yourself for final production.

Neat, right? Check out YouProof today or download it from the iTunes app store.

Photocrati Holiday Support Schedule

holiday-schedule

Because the holidays are around the corner, we wanted to make you aware of the possibility for delays in our support replies.

At Photocrati we are working super hard to provide the best products and service to our customers.

We also believe in needed and deserved breaks so we can re-charge and continue providing our best support.

So with that said, our holiday support schedule is listed below:

  • December 23, 2013 – Limited support
  • December 24, 2013 – Limited support
  • December 25, 2013 – Closed for Christmas
  • December 31, 2013 – Limited support
  • January 1, 2014 – Closed for New Years

During this period you will still have full access to the Photocrati Members Area and the ability to purchase the Photocrati Theme. However, replies will not be as fast as they usually are.

As mentioned, after spending time with our families and resting during the holiday break, we will be back in full force and ready to help.

Thank you for your understanding and have an amazing holiday.

Scott

Christmas Tree photo by Daryl Meek w/ Google Plus Auto Awesome.

Social Media Photo Sharing Sites (Infographic)

Our friend, Don Giannatti is a fantastic photographer and educator, and when he sent an email to his Lighting Essentials newsletter talking about social media photo sharing sites it sparked an idea.

You see, Don is a very honest and straight to the point educator.  No fluff, no mess.  Don’s goal when educating photographers is to state the truth without any gimmicks.  How can you not appreciate that?

Don also a fun sense of humor, and so after reading the email, the infographic design began.

The goal of the infographic is not to discourage you, but actually state one very important point.  The point being one you will find at the end.

Social Media Photo Sharing Sites Infographic

Social Media Photo Sharing Sites

Hopefully at this point you understand that with so many social media photo sharing sites out there, the ones to spend the most amount of time on are the ones where your customers are.

So whether your customers are on Pinterest or Google Plus, go there and engage in conversations.

Each section of the infographic started with a quote which was taken from Don’s email. We then added our own commentary with the captions and silly names.

We hope that you enjoyed the infographic and get the point we are making.

Please share this infographic with your social community and go find where your customers are spending their time.

Feel free to embed this infographic on your website using the code below.

Thank you,

Scott

Embed This:

Articles of note:

Ice Society Overview – Learn With Jerry Ghionis

ice-society

I was recently introduced to an amazing online education resource created by Jerry Ghionis.

If you do not know who Jerry Ghionis is please first read up on him. To sum him up, he is an incredible portrait and wedding photographer who masters the art of posing and lighting. Jerry teaches all over the place so I was not surprised to see him create the Ice Society.

The Ice Society Promo Video

The Ice Society Overview

The Ice Society is an online community where you can go and challenge yourself, get critiqued, view classes, watch live chats and so much more.

I spent some time in the Ice Society to see what it’s about and share it with the Photocrati community. Take a look at the video below to see what it’s all about.

Use the coupon code icephotocrati at The Ice Society for $100 discount off the $299 annual subscription fee.  Yup, that makes it only $199 for a year of education.

ice-society-Staircase

Not interested in paying just yet?  Sign up for free and take advantage of some of the free education.

Clarification and additional notes:

  • The Ice Society is an annual subscription website with the opportunity to sample one chapter for Free.
  • The Ice Society only offers an annual membership with the option to pay monthly or in one amount up front. If you opt for the monthly payment you are committing to a year’s membership. You can not cancel within the 12 month period.
  • The icephotocrati discount code is only applicable to the pay in full membership and not the monthly payment option.

I know I’ll be spending more time in The Ice Society and I hope to see you there.

- Scott