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Archive for the ‘photographers’ Category

Odds on Oscar

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Oscar Matlock of Matlock Gutier Signature Portraits in Dallas, Texas won our  “Swing into Success with Pounds” competition at TPPA this year. Not only does Matlock have a sweet swing, he’s got a sharp eye and a kind heart. In business just two years, Matlock and his partner Daniel Gutier were looking for an opportunity to use their photography talent to give back to the community.

Searching out local charities for their annual calendar project, the duo found Safe Kids Dallas. “It looked like a perfect match since we specialize in children’s portraits,” Matlock said. Little did they know Safe Kids Dallas was part of something big.

Founded in 1987 as the National SAFE KIDS Campaign by Children’s National Medical Center, this is a global network of organizations working to protect children and to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability in children under 14.
When Safe Kids Dallas said they wanted to do something magical and enchanting, Matlock and Gutier came up with a great idea. “We decided to photograph the children dressed up as fairies,” Matlock said. The portraits are captivating and look exactly as if they belong in the pages of a storybook.

Over a period of three months, the studio photographed 190 children, donating the session fees to Safe Kids Dallas. “We raised $4,700, then we opened an online voting contest to select the children to be featured in the calendar,” Matlock said. At a dollar a vote, an additional $1,050 was raised. “The calendar was released on October 25th and was featured at Children’s Hospital’s annual Red Balloon Run and Relay. To date, Matlock Gutier has helped raise $23,750. and still has over 1,400 calendars available for sale through the studio and the hospital gift shop. “We are so grateful to be part of this event and help raise money for a great nonprofit organization. We can’t wait to do it again next year,” Matlock said.

Thanks to their dedication and support the project was a great success,” Jesus Aldrete, Safe Kids Injury Prevention Coordinator, said.

Matlock Gutier have decided to help other photographers give back through charitable marketing by creating a complete program they will release in January and feature at Imaging USA at the Virtual Backgrounds booth.  So how about that golf swing? “Beginners luck,” Matlock said. “I’m not a golfer but it was great to win the prize!”

Cling Happy

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

“This is one of the best new products I’ve seen lately,” Jim Tibbetts owner of Creative Image Studios, said. Tibbetts has been a professional photographer for thirty years, so he knows a good product when he sees one! “New products are what separate the professional photographers from the rest,” he said. When Tibbetts saw Pounds Wall Clings, he immediately ordered two 11×14’s, one contour cut and one full image. “I have them in my travel bag and take them everywhere”. When he’s not traveling, Tibbetts keeps the Wall Clings in his Chickasha, Oklahoma studio and shows them at least 3 or 4 times a day.

Tibbetts shoots a wide variety of subjects but has a special place in his heart for photographing seniors and sports. “I get excited when I get behind the camera, almost like a sugar high. I have the ability to do corrections in my mind as I trip the shutter, and then explain to my customer what I have in mind. They get excited, and become more relaxed. When you praise someone for what they have done, (allowing me to take a good photograph of them), it begins a friendship. I see many of the kids I’ve photographed when I’m out shopping around town and a lot of them remember me. We wave and do high fives. It makes me warm inside. You truly have to have a passion for what you do. Passion is not something you learn, it’s something you have, “ he said.

When Tibbetts saw Wall Clings for the first time, he realized immediately that they would be the next “big thing”. “I can see parents decorating the kid’s rooms or the den with a cling.” Clings would also be great on a garage door or for team party decorations. Tibbetts uses an image of a third grade football player to showcase clings. “The clings are very durable, kind of like wallpaper but repositionable, he said. Pounds clings are also tear-resistant, waterproof and won’t damage underlying surfaces.

“I think another great use of clings is as a way to display the family when they can’t all be together for a portrait,” Tibbetts said. “You know new products separate professional photographers from the crowd. I now have over 50 competitors in my area. I stay a step ahead by always offering the latest products and, with great items like Wall Clings, Pounds helps me stay there!”

Leather Leverage

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Leather never goes out of style. It’s classic, timeless and it just took on a new look. Now you can combine the luxury of leather with your favorite photographs. Pounds introduced an extensive line of Leather Accessory Products this year that ranges from key fobs and compact mirrors to bags and iPad cases. There’s something to captivate every client in every price range.

We think these new products have the potential to be an excellent stimulus for your business. Existing clients will be excited to see fresh innovative items that can solve gift giving dilemm as and the leather line will draw new clients into your business who want to deal with a studio that stays on the cutting edge.

“We saw a consumer interest in photo bags and the imaged leather bags,” Chris Oelker, said. Oelker is the head of product development and marketing at Pounds and knows a thing or two about what consumers will purchase. “There was an opportunity to provide a high end quality product that photographers could offer to a wide rage of clients. We thought leather was a perfect addition.”

New Mexico photographer, Patti Hogue agrees. She saw the Weekend Crossbody and Ring Tote and realized they would be just right for her clients. “ The Ring Tote is perfect for football games,” she said. “It’s easy to carry all the things you need as well as a water bottle.” Hogue ordered samples of both bags and carried them with her to the games she photographed. They certainly got noticed and Hogue is posting photos on her Facebook page. She also had a brilliant idea to give a couple of bags away to community leaders.  When people see them they’ll know to turn to Patti Hogue Photography!

Juan Deleon is a wedding and portrait photographer in Houston, Texas. He also shoots a lot of professional sporting events and is always keeping an eye open for products his clients might enjoy.  “I saw an email about the leather products being offered. I’d never seen them anywhere else so I was excited! I immediately got on the website and placed an order.” Deleon ordered the Framed Card Keeper and French Wallet. He realized how often he changes his own wallet and that everyone needs a nice business card holder. The items were practical and beautiful.

“I can’t say enough about these products,” Deleon said. “Clients like the look and I’ve already had requests for purses. In fact I’m going though my photo archives now so I can order more samples. I was so impressed with the clarity and the detail, I posted it on my Facebook page! I have been very impressed. I think leather is going to be big!

So do we Juan!

Holiday Help

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

It’s time to bust out the Santa Hat, crank up  “Jingle Bell Rock” and jump into the holiday groove because we just heard the elves have started polishing the sleigh!

Remember most clients want their cards mailed by Thanksgiving. That means you’re working on an eight-week timetable between mid September and mid November to order samples, create holiday packages, schedule sittings and  orders placed! The holid ays are generally a highly profitable time of year for the industry. It makes sense to be prepared.

Pounds offers one of the most comprehensive selections of holiday greeting cards you’ll find anywhere. There’ s really something to suit every style and taste. Our design team has just added new options for cards and gift tags that you won’t want to miss.

Enhance your card orders with our holiday products and create memorable packages that will keep your customers talking! Gift Tags are an essential add-on and our Holiday Funpacks are always a big hit. Holiday Wallet Magnets make absolutely terrific stocking stuffersand are a great client give away. One of the most exciting holiday products is our Pewter Ornament. This is a beautiful, memorable, personal item and it’s durable! Remind your clients that it’s a good idea to order several, so when they’re faced with an unexpected holiday guest they’ve always got a gift solution on hand!

Press Books and Metal Prints are extremely popular seasonal gifts. Contour Metal has just been released and is bound to be a runaway hit!  Be sure to look through our entire novelty line. You’ll find creative gift ideas and great stocking stuffers.

Our new leather line will make holiday shopping even easier with a wide range of products to suit everyone from grandma to the babysitter. If you have not seen these terrific leather items yet, order a sample today. You won’t believe how beautiful they are until you see them!

Pounds offers one stop shopping for your clients and everyone on their Christmas list. Why bother with long lines, crowded parking lots or spending hours online looking for the perfect present? Pounds can solve every gift need. Make this your best season yet, and make it easy on yourself with a little holiday help from Pounds!

Don’t forget the great thing about getting organized and on top of the season is that you’re able to take advantage of the Pounds Holiday Promo that runs until September 30th!

We’re Here for You

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

That’s what customer service representative Vickie Viera wants you to know. Viera has been on the Pounds team for 6 years and loves her job!  Meeting expectations, anticipating needs and giving more than expected are just second nature to Viera.

POUNDS: What do you like most about your job?
VIERA: I get personal satisfaction out of helping others.

POUNDS: Tell me an “above and beyond the call of duty” story!
VIERA: I h ad a call from a client with a negative he needed scanned and printed in a few hours. It was for a funeral. We had t he order ready when he called back to say he could not make it to Dallas to pick it up. It broke my heart to imagine the print would not be t here. I asked my sister to drop it off at the funeral home almost 50 miles from here. She lives less than five miles from the client. It was very moving to be there when this family needed us.

POUNDS: What’s it like when you finally get to meet the people you are emailing and talking to on the phone?
VIERA: It’s always like meeting an old friend you haven’t seen in years rather than someone you have never met. It is always a joy to meet them face-to-face.

POUNDS: You were able to attend Imaging USA. How important do you think it is it for you to go to trade shows and get face-to-face feedback?
VIERA: It’s very important. I would s ay this is a critical team-building event for the client and for us. Once we have that interaction they are far less likely to feel like a number.  We become part of a team reaching for a goal.  We can address feelings, ideas and concerns in a way they often will not bring up on the phone. They feel they are calling someone who cares. Once that relationship is established we become a team. Customers are far more likely to share so we can address issues or concerns.

POUNDS: Do you try to get out on the road and see customers face to face at shows on a regular basis throughout the year?
VIERA: I have attended meetings held by our clients. I have met several of the people I speak to frequently and  it’s always a wonderful experience.

POUNDS: Tell us a bit about YOU!
VIERA: I am a fifth generation Texan and I love living here. I moved to another state for a few years but came back as fast as my feet would carry me! I have two grown “boys”. One is in the Air Force, the other is a Marine. I have been on the finishing side of photography my whole life and I greatly enjoy the experience! I’ve meet people who became life long friends, one print at a time.

POUNDS: What’s the one thing you’d like your customers to know about you?
VIERA: I care!

POUNDS: What’s the most important thing customers should know about the customer service at Pounds?
VIERA: We are here for YOU!

Have Camera, Will Travel!

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Michelle Seigerman is a mover and a shaker. While moving comes with the territory of being a military wife, shaking things up is what she does naturally. Seigerman, owner of Ages and Stages Photography, shook up her own life while living in England a few years ago.

“It began as a hobby,” Seigerman said. “After having my son I needed to do something for myself, something creative.” Living the military lifestyle, far away from home, families are constantly trying to keep in touch. Kids are growing up fast, away from relatives, and sending photos to loved ones back home becomes a priority.  Seigerman had an epiphany.

“It’s hard to afford things off base,” Seigerman said. “I’ve always loved photography and I thought it would be great to offer our troops an affordable option for family photos.” Working with military regulations means you have to be resourceful when it comes to marketing. “You can’t advertise on a military installation but you can set up as a vendor when thereare Bazaars on base,” she said. Seigerman went to work. She created business cards, got on the Internet to figure out pricing and set up a package deal for her photographs. “ I set up a cute fall scene with a backdrop and thought maybe I’d get a few people. I ended up swamped the whole weekend!”

Seigerman was off and running. Business was booming and she had a steady clientele. Of course the life of a military wife is always in transition and in 2009, the family moved again.  Seigerman is now shaking things up in San Antonio, Texas!

“There’s a lot more competition,” Seigerman said. However, a whole new world of marketing opportunities opened up because they were no longer living on a military base.  “I initially tried mailing out postcards and putting them at local businesses but did not get an overwhelming response,” she said. Next came an ad in a neighborhood mailer and a small response. Seigerman started thinking.  She’d joined Facebook in England but once back in America realized the value of social media as a great business marketing tool. “I’m a big fan of Groupon,” she said.  “So I did an ad with them and that really got my name out there. People responded right away.  Once you get a client base, word of mouth goes a long way.”

Seigerman also offers deals and discounts and holds contests. “People really respond to contests,” she said.   You always have to be thinking when you move around. It’s all working for Seigerman. “Business is right where I want it to be now,” she said.

Seigerman is always thinking about the next marketing plan but she has found balance in her life. With two children and a full time career that may sound impossible but she has it figured out.  “I shoot when my kids are in school and I don’t work every weekend. We need family time.” Being a parent and a former teacher has actually helped Seigerman with her work. “I’ve got more patience,” she said. “I love children and that shows. I love the art and creativity of photography and capturing a family naturally. I shoot in a photojournalistic style and people respond to that, it’s the way we like to see ourselves.”

So what happens when duty calls the family to another destination ? “Have camera, will travel, “ Seigerman said. “That’s the way it’s got to be!”

Mentoring: Paying It Forward

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Who taught you the trick s of the trade? Who took you under their wing?  We all remember the teachers and the professionals who took the time and patience to give us confidence, to help us deal with frustration and to reinforce our belief in our talent. Successful people in any profession consistently say one of the most important keys to their success was having a mentor.

Learning to be a photographer is so much more than understanding the best way to light a bride. Someone needs to tell you how to handle that bride when she bursts into tears, someone who’s seen it before and knows exactly what to say. Learning to deal with frustration and disappointment yet behave with humility and compassion are things that won’t be revealed in studio lighting classes. They are only learned through working with a mentor.

Apprenticeship is expected in photography. Everyone must do their fair share of schlepping camera equipment and holding scrims, paying their dues. Working as an assistant generally swings one of two ways. You either end up in a subservient position with no intimate knowledge of how to really run a business, or you find a successful, confident mentor who treats you as a protégé teaching, inspiring and nurturing your talent.

Working with a real men tor gives a new pho tographer many opportunities to learn about other parts of the business, including how to work with clients, how to actually run a business and, to a degree, how to treat employees.

Photography is one of those pr ofessions in which mentorship is crucial to the success of the next generation. Someone recognized your talent. Someone admired you and believed in you. Someone showed you the ropes. Are you taking the next generation under your wing? Are you paying it forward?

We’d love to hear your experiences both as a mentor and a protégé. Send us a Tweet or share your experiences on our Facebook page.


Monday, May 10th, 2010

Shooting weddings is a calling. It isn’t easy. You deal with hopes, dreams and raw emotions. Everyone has expectations. Not only does the passion and love have to be captured, so does the energy and spirit of each couple. Portland photographer Eric Holland and his team at Holland Studios have figured out how to capture it all and they do it exceptionally well.

POUNDS: What inspired Eric to become a wedding photographer?
HOLLAND STUDIOS: Eric loves to talk! He really gets to know people and what makes them tick. He has a unique ability to translate that into images that capture each couple and tell their story. In fact that is what we love the most about wedding photography. We’re storytellers.

POUNDS: There is a terrific energy to your images. You seem to be able to bridge the gap of what is “expected” by the parents and what is” desired” by the bride and groom.
HOLLAND STUDIOS: We encourage our clients to allow us to shoot their engagement session.  This allows us to build a relationship with them right from the beginning.  We shoot what we see but we also shoot what we feel. Of course we make sure to get the “expected” shots of faces and smiles and that builds trust for the parents.  Once a couple sees their engagement session photos, they fall in love with the images. That’s when they begin to trust us to capture their wedding day, their love story.

Tell us a little bit about your process.
HOLLAND STUDIOS: We schedule a details meeting with our clients before each wedding. We use two photographers for most of our weddings so we can cover every angle of the whole look and feel of the wedding. Holl and Studios has four photographers and each has a second shooter they like to work with. Listening is vital. We go over the flow of the day and really listen. Then we’re able to hear what is most important and make that the focus of our job.  We understand our clients before the wedding so we exceed their expectations.

We’re able to combine our dream and style with their needs, make it work together and create a perfect, complete story.

How much does the location dictate your shots?
HOLLAND STUDIOS: Looking for light and angles drives us more than the location.  You can always find the “right” spot, even if the venue is not what you would think. We work at so many venues that we can switch from urban architecture to a vineyard in a day.

What is the best advice you can give a bride and groom
about being photographed ?
HOLLAND STUDIOS: Choose a photographer whose work you love and that you’ re comfortable with. If you are not comfortable and you don’t communicate with your photographer, it will show in the images.

POUNDS: Do you have a favorite wedding memory that stands out in your mind?
HOLLAND: Yes, an amazing story. This particular groom and bride were each recovering from marriages that did not last.  They hadn’t met one another yet. Both were in their homes on the same Sunday morning, watching the same program on television.  It was a wedding show that featured Eric as a vendor. They both decided if they were ever to marry again, they would hire Eric.  Well, of course they met, and fell in love. When they began talking about wedding plans they each had a “must have” photographer in mind and that was Eric!

POUNDS: What advice would you give a new wedding photographer, just beginning their career?
HOLLAND: Master your skills. Go to conventions and seminars. Join associations. Walk away from each event with a new idea that you can use to better yourself and your business. Once you’re established, give back to your profession.

Most of all do what you love and love what you do.

POUNDS: What inspires you?
HOLLAND STUDIOS: Our clients, new products, new camera gear, and the spirit of competition! Every day is a new day. Every new day brings the opportunity to see and create.


Monday, March 22nd, 2010

What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. Not when the Pounds team hits town. Our Marketing and Sales Manager Raquel Bowles tells all!

POUNDS: How many years has the Pounds team been attending WPPI?
RAQUEL: This is Pounds’ fifth year attending WPPI.

What made this year great?
RAQUEL: This year was great because we had the chance to spend time with existing customers but to also meet some new,exciting and interesting photographers.

POUNDS: What were the highlights?
RAQUEL: Watching photographers learn from our speakers. We want to educate photographers to grow their businesses so we pick speakers who can do that.  We actually had photographers that were working in other labs’ booths come over to learn from us!  Everyone loved wavy metal. We had so many photographers talking about it.

POUNDS: When you go to trade shows like this what do you learn that helps you do a better job for your clients?
RAQUEL: The feedback is phenomenal.  It is our chance to spend time with existing customers to learn what they like or don’t like.  We also get the opportunity to learn from new photographers what products they are looking for.

POUNDS: What sort of customer input and response did you get ?
RAQUEL: The speakers were a big hit. We also found that our customers are very excited about how the lab is growing. Our existing clients are happy because, as we grow, we are able to offer more products. New clients are not only excited about our products, but our ability to streamline their work flow and present marketing solutions to build their business. We always hear about our great customer service and that is extremely gratifying because customer service—giving our clients more––is the heart of what we do.

See pictures on our Facebook page.

A Drop of Brandi: Q&A with Brandi Nellis

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Brandi Nellis makes you smile. She also might make you jump, swing, dance, run, hang upside down or stand on your head, but you’ll be smiling the whole time.

This Austin based photographer has been shooting pictures since she was a kid and started her first professional studio eleven years ago.

She has a way of looking at the world with a different eye, a definite attitude and a dash of genius!

POUNDS: What inspired you to become a photographer?
BRANDI: Like a lot of photographers, photography has been a hobby and a passion since I was a little girl.  I knew from an early age that I wanted to own my own company and work for myself. Bottom line, what really inspired me to become a photographer was that I wanted to make money doing a j ob that I absolutely love.

POUNDS: What’s the best thing about it?
BRANDI: The best thing about being a photographer is that exact moment when you know you just got “the money shot.” I can call the shot every time.

POUNDS: How has your idea of “being a photographer” changed since you’ve been in business?
BRANDI: To be “a photographer” sounds so easy and fun. “Let’s go take some photos!”  However, I learned quickly that I had to be a marketing director, an accountant, a Photoshop and social media guru, a delivery and pickup driver, a video maker and oh we can’t forget, a comedian during the shoots. Yes, my idea of “being a photographer” has TOTALLY changed since I’ve been in business!

POUNDS: Has being a mom changed your way of shooting ?
BRANDI: Yes, being a mom has helped me to relate to kids so much better and easier.

POUNDS: Tell us about your branding strategy.
BRANDI: I wish I had a great answer or 12 step program for this but I don’t.  I get ideas in the most random places and times… in the middle ofthe night, driv ing in my car, the shower and most recently watching the weatherman! Most of all, I really just want my photography business to be different and offer some fresh ideas.

POUNDS: Do you have a sort of “mission statement” about your photography business that makes you want to leap out of bed each day?
BRANDI: First of all, I NEVER leap out of bed.  I am not a morning mama! I don’t have an official mission statement but if I had to give one off the cuff I’d say I want to give clients happy, colorful & quirky imagery that they can cherish for life.

POUNDS: Where do you hope to be in ten years (yeah, we know, the beach!)
BRANDI: The beach is right! I guess 10 years from now I’d love to own a jazzy little studio with a really fun team of employees.

POUNDS: What’s the best piece of advice you’ ve been given about business?
BRANDI: One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was that you don’t have to go out and spend thousands of dollars on new equipment to be a good photographer.  A good photographer can build a business on average equipment. I know because I have!

POUNDS: What do you tell young people today who come to you and say, “Gee I want to do what you do?”
BRANDI: Follow your dreams.  You can be anything you want to be.