Business Promotion Ideas
As a yogi, you put passion and connection in everything you do. The same should ring true for the images that represent you and your practice. As a yogi myself, as well as a photographer here in Portland, Oregon, it’s extremely important to me to be able to connect with my subjects and interpret their spirit, their intentions and their nature into imagery they love and can connect with.
Here are five tips to creating imagery you can connect with:
- Heart Location – Where do you most often practice? Where do you feel the most connection? It could be in your studio or out in nature. Choose a location where you can feel very much at ease and in tune.
- Wear Your Favorites – Wear your favorite outfit. You’ve created a sort of connection and vibration with the outfits you wear most. They fit you the best and are the most comfortable. It’s super fun to bring new, fun outfits, however make sure to bring what you’re used to and what makes you feel confident.
- Posing – Feel free to get fancy with your posing, but don’t forget to include your absolute favorite poses.
- Beyond the Pose – Your session is about more than your practice and your poses alone. It’s about what makes you you. Don’t be shy to incorporate headshots or imagery outside of the norm that express something special about you and what you’re about.
- Awareness – Be deliberate about the photographer you choose. Bring your awareness to their portfolio and style of imagery to be sure you can connect with their style.
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.
– The Bhagavad Gita
I’m absolutely in love with the outcome of this session and wanted to share inspiration with all you yoga instructors and studio owners in creating your own captivating imagery which really speaks of you and your connection to your heart space.
Nikki has been enjoying a beautiful life transition and our shoot in the Columbia River Gorge is symbolic of that.
We went outside of the traditional studio photography to create imagery that goes far beyond a promotional tool. This is imagery that Nikki can deeply connect with. That is extremely important to me when creating imagery at this level.
Nikki is such a gentle beautiful being. Her practice benefits from that. You can find her and join in on one of her classes at The Circuit Gym in Tigard, Oregon.
Welcome! As a photographer, working with professionals across the board, a huge part of what I do deals with branding. Photography is a huge part of branding, and plays a major part in creating a feel for your business and attracting the right sort of client.
Because I work with a lot of startup businesses and solopreneurs, I thought it would be helpful to give some tips to help guide you through the process of establishing better DIY branding.
Establishing solid branding is an integral part of every successful business. Nike would not be what it is today without it’s awesome, powerful ‘Just do it’ branding campaign and killer modern athletic imagery. Through consistency and state-of-the-art branding, Nike sends a clear message, attracting clients who want to experience a certain feel.
Have you ever walked into a Nike store? How did you feel the moment you walked in the solid glass doors? You were probably engulfed by upbeat, motivational music, in awww of the larger-than-life dramatic photographs of gorgeous, muscular athletes in motion, inspired to buy a new pair of sleek runners or a new pair of crazy performance wear that would have the imaginary power to bring out your inner athlete… If you purchased something, you probably enjoyed the feel of being an athletic champion simply by wearing their symbolic ‘swoosh’. Nike makes people feel modern, innovative, powerful, hip… all this is the power of good branding.
Chances are, if you’re just starting a new business, or working as a solopreneur, you don’t have the crazy corporate budget that Nike does for branding. More likely, unless you’ve set funding aside, you’ll settle for DIY branding until you get things off the ground. I highly recommend that you hire a professional branding company as soon as you’re able to… a good branding company will do much more than establish a good look… they’ll understand your target market and create a look that will attract them. Investing in professional branding is truly worthwhile… even essential.
Until you have the budget and a clear vision of exactly where your business is leading, here are some tips to creating your best possible DIY branding…
PART I – Identify Your Target Client
In order to brand effectively, you need to know who you are trying to attract. What is your target market. Even better… who specifically is your target client?
Once you pinpoint your target client, you can begin to observe what they like, which businesses they frequent, and observe what drives them and what they’re attracted to. This is a crucial understanding for every aspect of your business… not only your branding. It helps to steer absolutely everything you do… what you offer… how you offer it… how you innovate.
Grasping the concept of choosing a specific target client was super uncomfortable for me when I started my photography business. I didn’t like the idea of confining myself, or limiting myself to a specific demographic, and potentially losing out on business from the rest of the population. It wasn’t until someone explained the concept behind the saying:
‘If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.’
More specifically, they explained… think of the most successful and popular clothing stores. They all market to a specific demographic. Imagine if Gucci started selling cheap, low-end clothing in order to cater to the population they’re currently missing out on. What would happen? Their high-end brand name would be completely compromised and they would lose their elite status and clientele.
What if Urban Outfitters began carrying conservative mature women’s clothing? Suddenly the popular clothier designed to attract the hip, youthful population would not be so cool anymore when their clients’ moms and grandmothers would begin shopping in the same location. These businesses are the hugely popular, successful establishments they are because they are particular about who they are, what they offer, and who they cater to.
I offer high end, artful photography, with boutique sessions designed for each client I work with. This is very specialized photography. What I offer is extremely different from low-end department store photography in which each session is standardized and clients all end up with similar poses, lighting and backdrops. I cannot cater to the demographic which wants department store photography. My style is entirely different and my costs of doing business are much higher. Furthermore, by offering low end photography, I’d be devaluing the boutique status I’ve established.
So… who is your target client? How do you identify them?
Specialists recommend creating a very specific vision of your target client.
Get out a pen and paper. In order to visualize the very specific client you’re reaching out to, I invite you to first think about clients/customers/followers you’ve had in the past (or imaginary clients you’d like to have in the future) that you LOVED. This is the ideal client you’d love to have lined up at your door. What do they have in common? What’s their personality? What do they believe in? What’s important to them? What’s their gender, age, income, career, values, lifestyle?
Now that you’ve identified your favorite type of client… who you’d LOVE to work with and serve each day… You can use the descriptive information about them to visualize your ideal target client. In great detail, describe everything about him/her. Answer the following:
Married? Single? Divorced? Kids?
Where do they live?
What type of house do they have? Do they own/rent?
How tech-savvy are they?
Now… answer the following questions, considering how they pertain to your business/what you offer…
What are their beliefs/hopes/worries?
What do they dream about for their life?
What’s holding them back from that dream/what are they struggling with?
What makes them the happiest?
Where do they spend their time?
What are their top 5 favorite sites/shops?
As Clare Jeffcock continues her passion for her yoga practice, she’s recently been driven to pursue her instructor certification here in Portland, Oregon. This is particularly inspirational to me, as she’s still a student at Portland State University.
It is amazing to work with such motivated individuals and, as a lover of yoga myself, I’m especially excited to be working with yogis and wellness practitioners to foster them in portraying, promoting and realizing their vision.
Clare’s session was shot in-studio with external lighting. The effect is sweet yet striking. We’ll be shooting a post-training session as well to record her growth as a yogi.
Here are a few tips on how we achieved this look:
- The rustic brick wall backdrop created a cool Portland-esque feel.
- I chose her wardrobe in order to minimize distraction, and enhance the soft feel of the images. Solid colors, no print, with little variation to keep it simple.
- We stuck to simple, mostly open poses in order to maintain a gentle, inviting feel and avoided complicated technical posing in order to avoid any sense of intimidation, as appropriate for ‘beginner’ yoga classes.
- Mixing natural soft light, with more directional external lighting maintained the softer feel while incorporating a striking quality.
Solena Estate Harvest 2015 | Vineyard Photographer Newberg
As a Willamette Valley vineyard and event photographer, I love to get invited out to photograph vineyards in action. This year, Solena Estate in Yamhill, Oregon invited me out for an early morning harvest shoot.
As a Portland resident, I have to get up extra early in order to make it all the way out to Oregon Wine Country, but the early rising is always worth it. Mornings in wine country are the best. The misty rolling hills of green sloping vines against beautiful hues of pink and purple skies are absolutely stunning.
I set out to capture the grape pickers in action for the 2015 wine harvest, as well as a fourth and final set of a vine progression series.
Solena Estate is located in Yamhill, Oregon, just outside of Newberg… central Oregon wine country. They opened a new tasting room this year, which I was honored to photograph back in August and I was happy to head out once again to see the changing seasons.
The workers in these vineyards are so diligent and are always so happy and kind. I love meeting them. They hand pick the grapes, filling big buckets, sorting through and picking out the bad, and loading them into giant crates which are then pulled to the top of the hill by tractor. This is such a labor of love and I love witnessing it. I absolutely love the shots I got at this year’s 2015 vineyard harvest.
Hawk's View Cellars La Baleine Black Tie Event | Event Photographer Sherwood
I was honored to be invited back to Hawk’s View Cellars in Sherwood, Oregon to photograph the La Beleine wine release event for a second year.
I absolutely love this vineyard… it is such a sophisticated establishment, yet warm and inviting. They feel like family. I’m always so excited when I get invited back for any reason.
This vineyard certainly puts on a beautiful event. This year, Hawk’s View outdid themselves with an incredible black tie event, complete with red carpet, catered with a multi-course meal, and sealed with a patio fire and fine cigars.
The black clothed tables were perfectly styled with classic tableware and a simple tulip centerpiece and, as usual, there was a gorgeous ice sculpture of a whale tale (La Baliene is ‘whale’ in french). Pure class and sophistication, mixed with warm laughs and good energy. I love the imagery results. You might sense a timeless, Mad Men-esque feel.
I’ll say no more. I think these images speak for themselves…
A special thank you to AJ and the entire Hawks View family. I had an amazing time at your Portland area vineyard and love any excuse to head out to the Willamette Valley wine country vineyards.
Small Business Imagery
I keep finding my work published and it gets me all giddy!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t credited in the magazine for this photo, but it doesn’t deprive me of the flattery of it all. Two years ago, Jean had me do a mini headshot session to tide her over until our most recent photo makeover (stay tuned for those results in a future blog).
We were in an old mining town outside Auburn, California and found this cool corrugated metal wall. I love the results of these photos… rustic, but clean with the sun back-lighting Jean.
She looks gorgeous, if I do say so myself. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so, because the image showed up as the header in the article ‘A Conversation with Jean Slatter‘ in the March/April 2011 publication of Truly Alive Magazine!
You can see the article & how Jean’s SP Headshot was used here: SP Headshot in Truly Alive Magazine
I have to give a special shout out to my amazing, talented, workaholic, all-can-do, magical Website Marketer/Designer/Maintenance genius… The Nerdman.
Seriously, he does it all and is a down right magic worker!
I must admit, I’ve been known to say from time to time that I never take him for granted. But I do. I owe so much to Nerdman. Sash Photography has boomed within the past year, and our website looks better than ever. Nerdman is always in the shadows fixing problems as they arise, adding cool features like buttons, tables & other plugins, and watching over the overall functionality of the site to make sure it runs smoothly.
It takes an incredible amount more time & work to run and maintain a website than anyone visiting it could possibly imagine. It seems every time I get involved to try to take the reigns of any particular project, I get sucked into the black abyss of the ‘technical side’ and, by George, it’s all consuming! Inevitably WAAAY more time & effort than I ever anticipate. And I’m always that much more thankful that Nerdman pretty much just does it all. Seriously! Just one man… he does it all!
A photographer needs a killer, extremely professional website. One that showcases our work and represents us as artists. I get compliments on SashPhotography.com all the time. How did it get so good? The Nerdman.
Not to mention, he’s now our Facebook expert extraordinaire! That’s right… who knew it would be so complicated to run a ‘simple’ sweepstakes? It involves buying a special program, learning about Facebook’s silly quirks & ever-changing rules & regulations, programming the purchased specialty program so that it actually works… whew! There is so much more than that involved, but I don’t know anything about it because Nerdman took care of it all while I was painting my nails. (Red. In case you wanted to know.)
And now, because of his blood, sweat, and tears, I can offer my FB fans chances to win free photo sessions!
To put it frankly, Sash Photography would not be what it is today without Nerdman. Which is why I feel the need to make a public announcement of sincere & humble gratitude and adoration. I cannot express how grateful I am to this man. I do truly appreciate the professionalism, the incredible range of skill, and the can-do attitude of Nerdman’s Web Marketing.
I think Nerdman is the best thing since pizza!
If you are looking for a Nerdman to make your online life a breeze (he happily let’s you claim ignorance to all the technical web maintenance stuff), I would highly recommend him. He will change your life and your web presence forever.
I could never live without you, Nerdman!
We recently had a promotional photography session with Diedra Petrina, owner/master equine hoof trimmer of Hoofin’ It Up from farming town Ellensburg, Oregon.
Diedra specializes in a natural hoof care called barefoot trimming. This is a trimming style which allows a horse to roam barefoot without shoes. It is a progressive treatment that can transform horse lives… and, let us say, we saw horse lives transformed before our very own eyes!
We took a trip to the vet to view x-rays showing the results of Diedra’s miraculous care on Charlie… a horse facing death row. When Diedra began treatment on him, the horse’s bone was nearly pushing through his skin. Usually, with his disorder, a horse is put down. But comparing ‘before’ x-rays to those taken after 6 months of Diedra’s expert barefoot hoof treatment showed incredible improvement… giving Charlie hope for survival!
Charlie’s not Diedra’s only success story. It was equally amazing hearing raves from some of her clients! One woman we spoke to was thrilled to see her horse, who could barely shuffle his feet due to improper hoof care, running and frolicking in the pasture after Diedra’s treatment!
As animal lovers, Sash Photography is truly grateful to Diedra’s talent and expertise. She is truly amazing. Watching her at work with horses was like watching a real living Robert Redford-esque horse whisperer.
We were honored to have a photo session with her. These photos will be used on her site to show her in action, making miracles happen. Thank you, Diedra, for being an amazing person!
This week I headed up to Washington State for the opportunity for a photo session with wood worker extraordinaire Dennis Bogue.
Dennis was awesome! A natural in front of the camera and, not to mention, a lot of fun. It was equally as fun to see Dennis’ shop and hear his stories of years-long experiences working with other masters of the trade as it was to have a session with him. It’s next to impossible to catch a shot with a serious face on this guy.
Dennis wanted more than a typical headshot. He wanted a portrait in the setting of his wood shop, surrounded by his tools and machines that exuded character and told a story about him and what he does. I think we got it!
We’re moving forward with our exciting plan to support small local businesses by offering headshots and photo makeovers!
Last month I took a trip out to Johnson Creek for a session with a local CSA Rising Stone Farm. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a local farm (usually organic) that offers it’s produce as shares to community members. You usually pay a lump sum for a season and then receive a basket share of assorted produce each week.
CSA’s are AWESOME! It’s so comforting to know where your food is coming from and that it was grown by hands, not machines. Memberships in Portland are on the rise as people realize how much better locally grown organic produce is in flavor and nutrition… Incomparable!
It was my pleasure to volunteer my photographic services last month to support this local CSA. (They needed serious help re-vamping their marketing material). CSA owners/operators Melanie, Jeff and Jessica are full of sweetness. It is clear how much they love working with the earth and how much love they put into their produce. I love being able to volunteer a service that has a true potential to help amazing local sustainable projects like theirs succeed!
Check out their website at RisingStoneFarm.com. I hope to see their new pictures up soon!
Eric is the owner/operator of Slatter Built Construction, located in Newcastle California. We can attest… we have seen real live samples of his work and he is QUALITY. When we’re ready to build our dream house, there’s no question about who we hire. He’s the man.
Eric wanted to show potential clients a few samples of his high-end work. Equally as important, he wanted to make his site more personable and to give clients an initial impression of who he is… someone professional, approachable, friendly and knowledgeable. Someone they can count on. Someone they can trust. I think we captured him!
Visit Eric’s site at SlatterBuilt.com.