Francypants online mentoring

December 20, 2010  |  Savvy Notes  |  No Comments

welcome Sarah Petty

December 17, 2010  |  Savvy Notes  |  3 Comments

Welcome Sarah Petty to the Savvy blog! Thank you for being a part of our “Inspiring Women” series!

How long have you been a professional photographer?

I started for fun in 1998 part time and I went full time when opening my first studio in 2001.

Did you start off as a success or spend some time figuring it all out {how to make the money}?

Actually, the education and experience I acquired before I opened my doors allowed me to be profitable from the very beginning. Having my MBA and working for years as marketing director at an advertising agency were instrumental in understanding what it takes to succeed in small business.

When you first started photography, did you have a mentor that was instrumental in your success?

I studied with several great photographers: Tim Kelly, Darton Drake, Rod Evans, The Waldens, The Antisdels. My favorite business mentor was Ann Monteith (also Scott Kurkian and SMS – love them)

I’m amazed at your talent when I visit your site, The Joy of Marketing…will you tell us more about it and how the idea came about?

There is such a need for small business education. When I started speaking, I would be barraged by photographers wanting more. They wanted to use my design templates and marketing ideas but I knew that they needed to understand the strategy behind what I did or it wouldn’t work for them. It was thrilling when I would get a note from a photographer saying what he or she learned from me changed their life. With 3 small children, I didn’t want to continue to travel so much so I created a way that I could teach from home. Thus, The Joy of Marketing was born!

Honestly, how do feel about being in a field that is so saturated in photographers?

I LOVE IT! Really, every field is saturated if you think about it. It excites me to create products and services that thrill my clients. Everyone who wants to stay in business needs to embrace this also. I truly don’t think much about all of the competition because I am a believer that we will succeed or fail based on what we do, not what our competitors do.

How do you think someone can stand out in this business?

It is very simple. To stand out, you must do something remarkable. Maybe it is how you shoot, how you spend a lot of time with your clients, the end product they receive, etc. but it needs to be so unbelievable that people will refer you and talk about you.

We’d love to hear your top 5 list of advice “to inspire” other photographers…

– You can make family a priority and still run a profitable business.

– None of us can sleep the night we raise prices and that is okay.

– When you photograph your own kids, it is normal for you to have an out-of-body experience.

– To get inspiration, look outside the industry at trend setters – Anthropologie, Disney, Apple

– Treat you clients so great that they feel guilty even thinking about going somewhere else (stolen from The Waldens).

We all have our special family traditions for the Holidays, will you share with us a few of yours?

Every year, on Christmas Eve, Santa makes an appearance during about dinner time. He brings one gift for each of the 5 cousins. Then we spend Christmas Day with my husband’s side of the family where there are over 25 cousins. Lots of love and laughter. Both of our fathers have endured open heart surgery this year so Christmas will be extra special.

Please help all of those photographers struggling to keep up in this busy season…how do you maintain a “happy” life during the Holidays?


What’s on your Christmas list?

A ski trip with my family in January!!

And lastly…have you even started on your Christmas Card? :)

Yes, actually, my cards hit this week! Woo hoo

Sarah Petty is hosting a free online event to JOYSTART your year with tons of educational goodies…click here to find out more and to sign up…{and it’s free}.

twelve days giveaway

December 15, 2010  |  Savvy Notes  |  No Comments

The twelve days of Christmas {which means twelve days of giveaways and freebies} is going at Photo Talk Forum…good stuff to win and free downloads to members.

Click here to jump in and hopefully win something big! Keep an eye out for the Savvy Store giveaway! {I’ll let you know when our giveaway will be on the Photo Talk Forum} If you use the discount code: HOHOHO you’ll get $30 off for the year!!

meet Audrey Woulard

December 13, 2010  |  Savvy Notes  |  7 Comments

The next few weeks on the Savvy blog we will feature women who inspire us.

We are thrilled to kick off our “Inspiring Women” series with the talented Audrey Woulard.

Thank you for joining us Audrey!

How long have you been a professional photographer?

I’m in my 7th year

Did you start off as a success or spend some time figuring it all out {how to make the money}?

No… I didn’t start off as a success.  I wasn’t one of those photog’s that instantly had people beating down my door as soon as I hung out my shingle.  It took a few years for me to figure out me as a photographer.  Once I was able to do that…it trickled down to the business part.  I will say once I figured out ME, the business came quite quickly.

When you first started photography, did you have a mentor that was instrumental in your success?

There were two people that really gave me invaluable advise during  just casual conversations. Lori Nordstrom and Catherine Huch.

Honestly, how do feel about being in a field that is so saturated in photographers?

That’s a hard question for me.  On one hand, when I came into the business, it wasn’t as saturated, and I was able to really find my voice in a room that wasn’t so crowded….so I can say I really don’t have any feelings on it.  On the other hand, because I work with so many photographers starting out, I see them struggle with the oversaturation…so it bothers me at time when I see them struggle to find their voice.

How do you think someone can stand out in this business?

Its important to play on your strengths and things that only you can do, or offer.  For the most part, many photographers think that it is a product, prop, or action that will make you stand out in a crowd.  I tend to think one should look inward for that “thing”…because once you do that, you will find something that can’t be duplicated because it is exclusive to you.

We’d love to hear your top 5 list of advice “to inspire” other photographers… Im not sure how inspiring these will be for others, but these are some things I do that tend to inspire me!

1. Watch people.  Watch the way people interact with each other even when you’re not photographing.  If you do it enough it will be a blueprint in your head on how people intertwine with each other.  I find watching siblings interact with each other when I am at the grocery store, resturant, or even Target inspiring.

2. Frame things in your head.  If your driving in the car, look at a stop sign and frame it in your head.  Just look at things and compose it as if you were taking a picture.  It will give you a new perspective on composition…

3. Allow yourself to inspire yourself.  Many times new photographers look at other photographers work and they begin that evil comparison game!  If you compare yourself to yourself…you will see just how much you have grown as a photographer.

4. Look at furniture design magazines.  Not only will it give you a new spin on color coordination, but the composition in a lot of furniture pictures is very inspiring.

5. Take pictures of just things with a regular camera.  Sometimes the technical aspect of photography can suck the life out of you when you’re at a photo session.  If you start to take pictures of just leaves, flowers, shoes, etc with a point and shoot…it will give you a new perspective!

We all have our special family traditions for the Holidays, will you share with us a few of yours?

We have what we call Family Day in December and that is when we exchange gifts.  On Christmas… we tend to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and we don’t exchange gifts on that day.  We do this because of the over commercialization of Christmas.

Please help all of those photographers struggling to keep up in this busy season…how do you maintain a “happy” life during the Holidays?

I found over the years that Holiday cards were the biggest time sucker for me, so when I stopped doing them back in 2006.. I haven’t been happier!!

What’s on your Christmas list? rest!

And lastly…have you even started on your Christmas Card? :) No.. Im weird.. I never send Christmas Cards, or any card!

Thank you so much for joining us!

To see more os Audrey’s work, visit her website or follow her work on facebook.

the winner of the Dear Miss Modern logo

December 13, 2010  |  Savvy Notes  |  2 Comments

Congratulations to the lucky winner of the fabulous giveaway from Dear Miss Modern … comment number 44… Marcie Lynn Photography!
We can’t wait to see which logo you choose!

Hello Darling

December 10, 2010  |  Savvy Notes  |  189 Comments

We are so excited to introduce you to Christine, the talented designer behind Deluxe Modern Design and Dear Miss Modern.

Welcome to the Savvy blog! We love the new site~ will you tell us a little about Deluxe Modern?

Thank you! It’s taken me 2 years to find the time to do it, but it’s finally up, and I’m so flippin’ happy!

Well, Deluxemodern, in a nutshell, is just me. I’m the designer, the bookkeeper, the marketing person and customer service. The last 5 years have been kind of a whirlwind, really. I started Deluxemodern, had a baby, got married (in that order), opened a restaurant, all the while getting busier and busier with design work. I had a gorgeous office space that I shared with some amazing and talented people, but found it much easier to work from home in my pajamas. Saves so much time in the “getting ready” department. I never in a million years thought I would be this busy, and I’m so grateful.

How long have you been designing?

I know it sounds incredibly cliche, but really, as long as I can remember. I fell in love with typography as soon as I could read, and was obsessed with my father’s graphic design and advertising magazines at 12 years old. He didn’t have a mac… he did everything by hand. (He was a designer obviously). Every job I’ve ever had, I’ve managed to add on-staff designer to my title.

Are you professionally trained or self taught?

Totally self-taught. I failed computer class in high school….

Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?

My clients. Part of my design process is a questionnaire that I have each new client fill out. The more I get to know someone – what they like, what they don’t like, rooms they live in etc. the more inspired I become to create something for them. The internet is fabulous, but of course I never meet most of my clients – so I have to be intuitive through the computer. About a year ago, I had a client who kept telling me what she wanted, but we kept getting it all wrong. I finally had her send me photos of her home, work space, family, pets -and instantly I knew what we were doing did not fit with her at all. Even she could see that what she was asking for did not suit her. We moved ahead a whole new plan , and she loves her identity, so I try to do that with most of my clients now.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

I have no choice but to do something creative, or I think I would explode. I love to see change and make things happen. Before I did this, I was an event planner-but on the side and I would have lots of fun jobs decorating wineries, homes, and businesses. I loved it. I’ve also designed the interiors of several restaurants, including the restaurant I own with my husband can see it here:

I bet you have the best Christmas cards of all your friends…have you finished your cards yet?

No way. Last year they got out JUST in time, with a photo of my kids taken on my iphone. This year I’ll be lucky to send an Christmas email! But, I’ll do a quick mock-up of what my holiday card WOULD look like, if I had one.

What’s on your Christmas list?

I have a thing for cocktail rings, design books and fancy bedding. Fun stuff…nothing too serious. I have to pick the serious stuff for myself….my family says I’m hard to buy for…I beg to differ.

I’ve read about your cool looking office chair…we’d love to see it!

It’s an Ikea chair I bought a couple of years ago…it’s white (a must) and modern, but seriously not good to sit in for too long, which I do, and am right now. It’s cutting of my circulation, but it looks good.

Dear Miss Modern {your design shop} has fabulous pre-made logos…the designs are wonderful!

How does it work once a design is purchased?

It’s quick and snappy insta-branding! You fall in love with a logo, purchase it in the shop- Then it’s modified with your company name and colors. A proof is sent to you same day. Once you give the thumbs up, you’ll have your new logo in the blink of an eye.

Your designs are classic and elegant with a touch of modern…we love your talent and thank you for sharing with us!

Thank you so much. I’m thrilled that I can help people expand their businesses, and actually increase clients and sales because of their branding. It will never get old for me. Early next year I will introduce wedding invitation suites and marketing template sets, along with birth announcements, more logos and business cards templates in the shop. I’m quite excited, and hope to share lots more with The Savvy Photographer in the future!

P.S. …. I’m a facebook junkie. Please follow Deluxemodern for all the latest & greatest!

Dear Miss Modern will give away a pre-made logo from the shop to one lucky winner and they are offering Savvy readers 10% off during the contest with the code MISSMISS.

The contest and the discount will end Sunday, December 12th at 5:00pm EST. The winner will be announced Monday morning.

How to enter…

Like Deluxe Modern and The Savvy Photographer on Facebook…then come back here and leave a comment for each like.

Tweet about the great giveaway going on at the Savvy…then leave a comment.

Spread the word on your favorite site or forum…then leave another comment…many ways to win a fabulous pre-made logo!

Have fun spreading the word about Savvy and Deluxe Modern!

good morning to all

December 9, 2010  |  Savvy Notes  |  4 Comments

good morning to all…

It’s evening here on the other side of the world and we are off to bed. Sickness has hit full force here…so I’m taking a sick day. It’s 10pm here and my 12 year old informed me at 9pm that he has homework due tomorrow that he needs help with…make a Brazilian dish for his project. Excuse me…make a dish? No…just we just need to make one thing Brazilian…easy  huh? Thanks to my sweet neighbor who answers her phone at 9pm, we made Brazilian Bark. {chocolate, raisins, Brazilian nuts {that look and taste a lot like almonds :)}

Hope you have a wonderful day. I sure did~ we opened our homes today to the sweetest group of Japanese women for a Holiday House tour. They loved seeing how we decorate for Christmas…and we loved having them! I took pictures but don’t feel up to posting right now…will do soon.

and the winner is

December 9, 2010  |  Savvy Notes  |  2 Comments

Congratulations to our lucky winner of the $100 gift certificate from This n That Designs…comment number 22~ Brittani Bowling.

I hope you have fun choosing your goodies :)