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Archive for the ‘trade shows’ Category

How Pounds Became a Game Changer for K.O Photo Studio

Thursday, March 28th, 2019


Keith Owens bought a Kodak point-and-shoot camera in high school and was immediately hooked on photography.
“I fell in love with taking pictures,” Owens said. “This was back when the Polaroid camera was out, and it was so much fun to watch the image appear!”

Owens is largely self-taught, taking a few classes in his youth to learn the basics about using a camera and learning darkroom technique. He honed his skills on family members and evolved quite naturally into professional photography. Owens thought things were going pretty well. Then, two years ago, he attended a SYNC event and met Vickie Viera.

POUNDS: What happened at SYNC?

K.O.: I was hearing from other photographers at the event that your lab should be helping you grow your business and become more efficient. My lab was not helping me do either of these things. I saw the Pounds booth at the event, and Vickie asked me to come and sit down with her and have a chat.

POUNDS: Was that chat with Vickie a game changer for you?

K.O.: Yes! It worked out perfectly. She helped me get going. Sure, there was a learning curve, but we got it going! I had no idea what Pounds could do to help me with my workflow. I thought this is awesome! I love the professionalism of Pounds, and the staff is very friendly.

POUNDS: How did Pounds help you grow your business?

K.O.: They not only helped me integrate my workflow and get organized, but they also helped me change the way I approach a photo shoot. Pounds helped me to feel more confident. If a client contacts me with a large project, I know I can handle it now. I’d always wanted to shoot an entire league. I had done plenty of high school sports teams. Some have up to five teams at their school. It was great, but still I wondered if I could handle an entire league. I had never felt confident enough to branch into that. After SYNC, and learning and talking with Vickie, we developed a system to handle large volume photography. An opportunity came up, and now I shoot leagues!

POUNDS: What’s next?

K.O.: I’m expanding! My wife now helps me out full time handling the marketing, business, and organization. We do it all. We work with the kids until they go to college, and we hope they come back when they grow up with their own families so we can begin the process all over again!

POUNDS: How would you sum up what it’s like working with K.O. Photo Studio?

K.O.: Fun! I try to keep it real and have fun with it. You want to keep the kids at ease. Every parent tells us how professional we are and that the kids had a lot of fun.

You can see more of K.O. Photo Studio on their website

Kick Off 2019 at SPAC!

Thursday, November 29th, 2018



The School and Sports Photographers Annual Conference (SPAC) is held every year in late January. It’s the most important event you can attend whether you are a seasoned professional or just beginning your career in this exciting industry. You will experience an unsurpassed depth and breadth of knowledge at this conference and leave energized and full of new ideas.

It’s also a lot of fun! Not only will you have valuable networking opportunities, but you will also find mentors and make some life-long friends. Once you’ve been to SPAC, you’ll understand why professional photographers make attending a priority every year. There is quite simply nothing else like SPAC.

Take it from those in the know!

“SPAC has a little something for everyone. If you are a seasoned vet, you may not get that much out of the classes, BUT you will be doing yourself a disservice by not attending. In my previous life, as an Operations Manager for a high volume sports and school photography studio, I found fantastic value in networking and sitting down over dinner with other large studios. It’s so valuable to be able to pick up a small tip or a trick for an issue you’ve been dealing with that another studio has found a solution for, that you might not have considered.

And if you are just starting your career in volume photography or aren’t that big, SPAC is a must to attend. There’s the old adage about competing against those that are better than you; it applies to photography as well. The SPAC attendees are so willing to share their experiences. Learning from those that have already been there is invaluable.”

Matthew Scoggin
Future State Champion, Nations Photo Lab + Pounds Photo Lab

“SPAC is the only One-Stop-Shop for everything related to volume photography. Where else can you get great classes on the basics, as well as advanced techniques? Where else can you meet all the important vendors? SPAC is also the perfect place to pick the brains of others who have been where you are!”

Marion Hughes
Volume Photography Support, Pounds Photo Lab

“SPAC is the premier volume photography conference in the US, and now also abroad. In addition to the training offered by qualified mentor level industry insiders, it offers the unique ability to network and develop lasting relationships with peers, which contributes to personal and business growth. That is the most valuable asset in attending each year.”

Jim Giunta
Technical Support Supervisor, Pounds Photo Lab

“I think SPAC is the gold standard for a volume business, whether you are concentrating on sports, school or seniors. SPAC is a good place to get answers to questions you didn’t even know you had!”

Vickie Viera
Business Development, Pounds Photo Lab

“SPAC is the show of the year for the volume school, sports, and events photography industry. Whether you are old school or interested in what it is all about and how you can make more money, SPAC has it from A-Z. Meet other photographers just like you, learn about tried and true methods from masters of the trade, get inspired with some new ideas, get tips on how to get the contracts, and meet the vendors you need to be successful from shoot preparation to delivery.”

Chris Oelker
General Manager, Pounds Photo Lab

Start your year off with a plan to attend SPAC January 23rd-26th and let us hear how SPAC has helped you grow your business!


Inside Volume Photography with Vickie Viera

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018


Pounds is the leading resource for volume sports photographers, and a major reason for that is Vickie Viera. We sat down with her recently to gain some insight into how Pounds and Vickie are the best assets a volume photographer can have. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or have just begun your career in this lucrative and fulfilling industry, Pounds is your partner.

Pounds: What products have been added for sports photographers?

Vickie: We’ve added more graphics and more products targeted at increasing customer sales. We have increased what you can offer as add-ons to drive sales. For instance, our keychains are immensely popular. We have more than tripled the number of keychains we carry and added more sublimation products.

Pounds: Why are add-ons so important in volume photography?

Vickie: Add-ons are one of the things I emphasize most to photographers. The point of an add-on is to drive sales to your profit packages. Leagues look for photographers that offer a lot of fun products. So, if you want to sign a league, you have to remember they need items not just for team parents, but also for sponsors. We have increased our line of add-ons to fulfill those needs.

Pounds: Do you have advice for new sports photographers trying to figure out how to build packages?

Vickie: Yes! Come and see me! I have seen a 30% profit in one season. It has to do with how you build those packages and what you offer. For instance, when you create three packages, one is high, one is low, and one is right in the middle. That middle package has the right mix of cost and product. That is where your add-ons can be beneficial. How? By adding interest and value to your order form.

Pounds: How does the Pounds ordering system benefit volume photographers?

Vickie: Records is an industry standard for volume sports. It’s a fast and easy way to get everything ordered with the added advantage of having data that makes your clients’ sales trackable.

Pounds: What can volume sports photographers do to create an edge in today’s market?

Vickie: Well, consult with me of course! But, also attend conferences and trade shows like SPAC and SYNC. I consider SPAC the gold standard of training. They focus specifically towards the business client and offer classes from people that run very successful studios. You’ll learn the marketing piece, how to target, how to sell, and how to make your studio more efficient. And you’ll network! That’s extremely important. We have quite a few people in Texas who began as competitors, became friends, shared information, and became the leaders in entire markets. You will learn how to increase your business and how to turn what you spent going to SPAC into a profit!

Pounds: How does SYNC differ from SPAC?

Vickie: SYNC is about more of what to do once your business is running. It’s a smaller conference, and the focus is solely on sports and the challenges related to sports. For instance, banners are a huge thing in sports. Everyone has to have one. How do you sell that banner? Do you give it away free, how do you wrap that cost into your charges? You’ll learn that at SYNC.

Pounds: What puts Pounds above every other lab out there when it comes to serving the needs of volume photographers?

Vickie: People. Marion, Darren, Tracy, Chris— we all offer personal attention and true partnership with our clients. When you need something, you can call. We will make a difference, and we will increase your business. Partnership is the Pounds difference.

Be sure to visit with Vickie at SYNC 2018! REGISTER TODAY

Gail Nogle Gets Around

Thursday, January 29th, 2015


Fearless, curious, energetic and full of boundless enthusiasm, Gail Nogle has been there, done that and in a big way! Think of a place. Mongolia, Africa, Romania, she’s been there. Name a person. George Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Julia Child, she’s photographed them. Awards? Well of course there’s the highest award in the profession, a Fellowship from the American Society of Photographers. The list of accolades would fill a volume! At 8 she was presented with a Brownie Starlight camera and fell in love with photography. Gail has an extraordinary talent for capturing the ordinary and after over four decades behind the camera, she is still in love with photography and is still moving forward at the speed of light. She paused long enough to answer a few questions for us!

POUNDS: You’ve been in business for some time and photographed just about every sort of subject matter. What is your absolute favorite thing to photograph and why?
GAIL: My first love and forte is to photograph children, especially 3-year-old children because they are still animated and take direction well and they are ready to play!

POUNDS: What is your best asset when it comes to photographing a subject?
GAIL: My best asset is that I can read people, make them feel comfortable in a very short time, and get down to the business of making wonderful, exciting, and exceptional portraits of them!

POUNDS: You have been at the forefront of the industry, one of the first women to be taken seriously and you’ve remained competitive. How do you do it?
GAIL: Lots of effort, hard work and attention to detail. I never settle for just good enough and I’ve been entering competitions most of the 40 years I have been in business. I was always, and still am, in competition with myself to become a better photographer. I am driven!

POUNDS: What is the next challenge you are looking forward to?
GAIL: Writing my first book, lecturing, and traveling using the world as my studio.

POUNDS: What are a couple of great photo memories you love to share?
GAIL: Some memorable moments for me have been photographing Princess Diana’s funeral, riding on the back of a motorcycle while taking photographs in the Harley Davidson 100th anniversary parade, and attending the 2013 Kumbh Mela in India (the largest religious, spiritual gathering in the world which happens every 12 years).

POUNDS: When did you start speaking about photography at trade shows and conventions?
GAIL: I first started speaking at the TPPA Convention in Dallas, TX in 1977 with my associate and mentor, Yvonne Bluberg.

POUNDS: What do you enjoy most about speaking on the business of photography?
GAIL: The art of photography and the connection I have with my subjects, seeing beyond what is happening at the moment and making something happen out of nothing. I like to share what I have learned in my 40-year career to inspire other photographers to realize their dreams.

POUNDS: How has Pounds factored in your business?
GAIL: Wow! That’s a great question. Where do I start? Pounds has always been there for me no matter what I needed. They provide great customer service. If I need something made over, no questions asked! They always produce quality prints and offer quality service that I can depend on, which is one less thing for me to worry about. Alleviating worry about my prints, that’s what they do best, so I can focus my time and energy on what I do best!

Check out Gail’s work at www.gailnoglephoto.com

Imaging USA 2014: A Pounds Perspective

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

As the palm trees waved under the sunny skies of Phoenix in early January, Imaging USA kicked off another great event. This year over 7,600 people attended, there were more than 100 programs offered, Kenny Rogers received an Honorary Master of Photography degree and shared some of his favorite images and of course we were there! If you weren’t able to attend, here’s a little peek from Chris, Vickie and Carl!

Check out this Imaging USA 2014 Infographic link for some surprising information!

What was your overall impression about Imaging this year?

Chris: “Imaging was high energy this year. There was a constant flow of photographers at our booth until the very last minute of the show!”

Carl: “There were a lot more new photographers attending this year!”

Why do you think Imaging is an important trade show for photographers to attend?

Vickie: “Imaging creates an opportunity for novice and experienced photographers to connect, learn and grow through the information, classes and vendor offerings. Attending Imaging allows them access to help and information, from copyright questions to image capture. Networking and education play key roles in the growth of a photographer’s business.”

Chris: “Photographers of all genres meet, learn, exchange ideas, and grow together. The exposure to hundreds of vendors; from equipment dealers, software providers, frame and prop stores to pro labs and packaging resources provides a unique opportunity for photographers to visit and meet one-on-one and put their hands on the products!”

Carl: “Photographers attending Imaging USA trade show learn from other photographers. They’re able to see and touch the new products offered by various vendors and see demonstrations of new cameras and lenses. You just can’t do this online! Virtual Backgrounds introduced and demonstrated their new digital projection backgrounds which was a big success!”

What about a brand new photographer just opening up a studio, how would Imaging be helpful to them?

Vickie: “Networking, exposure to labs, products and professionals who have a profitable business model!”

Chris: “Imaging USA is the gateway to PPA. Joining PPA allows photographers access to valuable resources that include marketing, legal assistance and insurance services.”

What were the products Pounds offers that generated the most interest?

Carl: “The hot items in the Pounds booth this year were the customized USB Flash Drives and cases. We had samples on hand for the convention as Imaging happened prior to production. Photographers were excited to see them and get pricing. Our Press Books always get attention. People comment on the quality at every show.”

Chris:Metal Prints are still a big hit. The Contour Desktop Panels were a draw and as Carl mentioned, the customized USB Flash Drives and cases.”

Vickie: “Marion Hughes! He’s not a product but he was by far the biggest draw. No one knows school photography like Marion! We had a great deal of interest in Wavy Metal and cell phone cases as well.”

It’s never too early to start thinking about Imaging USA 2015 and being a member of PPA! Pencil in February 1-3, 2015 on your calendar right now then start polishing those boots to kick up your heels in Nashville!

Taking it On the Road with Carl Clark

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Carl Clark has been leading the sales team at Pounds for 26 years. While his title may be Sales Executive he should really be called Senior Product Mentor or Guru of Big Reveals! Carl gets to show off our products all over the country and he knows more about them than almost anyone you’ re ever likely to meet. If you attend a guild meeting, trade show workshop or convention, you’ll see him, because he’s the man who takes Pounds on the road!

POUNDS What do you like most about your job?
CARL I really enjoy helping photographers solve problems and grow their business. It’s very rewarding to see them implement marketing ideas that work and help them become more successful. Diversity is very important in today’s economy.

POUNDS How much do you travel?
CARL I spend approximately 25% of my time traveling to guild meetings, convention trade shows, and workshops. Most of my travel is in central and south Texas. I do naturally travel out of state for the Imaging USA and the WPPI convention each year.

POUNDS Do you have favorite shows you really look forward to attending?
CARL The WPPI is probably my favorite trade show because it’s the largest and I get to visit with a more diversified group of photographers.  I look forward to hearing ideas from around the world and then sharing those ideas with photographers here in our marketing territory.

POUNDS Do you return from conventions with ideas for products?
CARL We always try to come away from a convention with new ideas. Sometimes the idea comes from a photographer on the other side of the world and sometimes it’s from a photographer right here in the “good ole” USA.

POUNDS What’s the feedback you’re getting about our products this year?
CARL Professional photographers are always looking for new and exciting products that amateur photographers cannot get. That’s one reason Pounds is constantly developing new products.

POUNDS It seems almost as if you really don’t have to “sell” people on Pounds’ products, is that accurate?
CARL Sometimes you’ ll need to explain to a photographer how they can incorporate a product into their packages to help them se ll it.

POUNDS Is there a phrase or a statement you hear pretty consistently when people come to the Pounds booth at a show?
CARL “You guys have the widest variety of products and the quality of your books is great!”

POUNDS How do you keep presentations “fresh” for new and returning clients?
CARL We always present new products at every show that they’ve never seen before.

POUNDS Is there a hands down favorite product that you find photographers comment on at every show?
CARL Wavy Metal. It’s a product that no other lab can duplicate because one of our own employees built the machine to create this very unusual product. We always hear “ This is so neat,” “ I’ve never seen this before,”  “Nobody else has this,” and of course “ I love Wavy Metal”!

POUNDS There is a lot of competition out there. How do you feel Pounds stands out from the crowd ?
CARL We have the most unusual products like Wavy Metal and Story Metal. Our competitors just don’t have these unique products!

WPPI Wrap Up

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The Pounds team headed to Las Vegas in February for the annual WPPI convention and trade show. Chris Oelker reveals all!

POUNDS: How was the turnout this year?
CHRIS: I haven’t seen final numbers, but the estimate is over 15,000 attendees, 80 platform speakers, and more than 300 exhibitors!

POUNDS: Were there a lot of new face s?
CHRIS: Yes, new photographers seemed to be in the majority. We spoke with a lot of people who were just starting out or had been in business for only one or two years. I think that really contributed to the atmosphere of enthusiasm and excitement this year.

POUNDS: What Pounds products and services stole the show?
CHRIS: Our metal prints, especially the unique wavy metal, were a tremendous hit.  Pounds has been dubbed “the wavy metal lab.” We heard this everywhere, even on the plane ride home!  Of course Pounds is a full service lab with a 35-year history! Other big hits were our press products, especially our Coil Bound Press Booklets and the Accordion Books with metal covers.

POUNDS: What was the feeling about business for 2011 ?
CHRIS: I’d have to say optimism was prevalent. Many photographers are already seeing an increase in their bookings over last year.

POUNDS: Why is WPPI so important for our industry?
CHRIS: WPPI provides photographers a full range of resources to help establish and grow their business.  It exposes photographers to educational opportunities, equipment vendors, workflow and business strategy solutions, and of course product providers like Pounds!

When a photographer chooses a lab, they are entering into an important partnership.  Each is dependent on the other in order to be successful. A lab converts the photographer’s artistic vision and image manipulation into a tangible product such as wall portraits or coffee table books for the end client.  WPPI helps facilitate that introduction to quality resources that are required to be successful.


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.

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Photography has always embraced women and women have always embraced photography. The first professional woman photographer, Antoinette de Correvont, took aim in 1843. Although photography has alway s be en an equal opportunity field, women seem to have made a distinct mark on the industry. Margaret Bourke-White was the first Western photographer allowed into the Soviet Union back in 1930. Diane Arbus rocked the world with her stark, truthful portraits in the ’60’s. The last twenty years have seen portraiture taken to an entirely new level by Annie Leibovitz.

Today, more than ever, professional photography is filled with remarkable women making remarkable images. Kelly Moore Clark is one of those women. From the opening image on her website it’s apparent this is not your average gal. Think Patti Smith with a camera. Her work is beautiful, edgy, artistic, innovative and a little quirky, just like Kelly.

We nabbed Kelly for a little Q&A recently.

POUNDS: What do you think female photographers bring to the photographic party that may be different from male      shooters?

KELLY: I think women have the ability to relate to their subjects, especially their brides. Personally I know how I want to be photographed, so I am constantly mindful of my client’s best angles and all the small details. Everyone has a best side and I feel like I take the time to find it.

POUNDS: What inspired you to become a photographer?

KELLY: I actually didn’t mean to become a photographer, It just happened.  I had a boyfriend that photographed for our college yearbook and I thought, “Hey, I could do that!‚Äù Keep in mind I‚Äôd never  even owned a point and shoot. I talked the yearbook into hiring me. I bought a Rebel (the film kind) took a class that summer on darkroom photography, the rest is history!

POUNDS: Has becoming a mother changed the way you see things through the lens?

KELLY: I think it’s made me more confident in my decision to not photograph children. Give me a bride or a model any day! I want someone who I can control, and kids are tough! I respect child photographers more than ever!!

POUNDS: How do you keep your photographic edge?

KELLY: Keeping balance in my life, and not working too much keeps me excited about when I do photograph. I think the number one reason a person can be uninspired is from being burned out. Also, constantly trying new techniques keeps me excited about what I do.

POUNDS: What do you think attracts women to photography ?

KELLY: I think there are many reasons women are getting into photography.  With the digital age, it’s easily    accessible.  Many women are staying home with their children, so photography is something they can do to earn a living.  I also think both women and men in general think that photography is the “cure for the common cubicle”.  It’s has the appearance of being the dream job. Many people are sorely disappointed to realize that running a photography business takes up more time than their old full time job!

Tell us about the Kelly-Moore bag. What was the Inspiration?

KELLLY: I began sketching and dreaming about coming out with a bag of my own 3-4 years ago.  When I got pregnant with my daughter, Posey, it was put on hold for a while.  About a year ago, it resurfaced, and I began pursuing it pretty passionately. My inspiration was the fact that I couldn’t find a bag to wear while shooting that was both fashionable and functional. I‚Äôm so excited about the future of this brand! I’m hoping to come out with many more styles and colors in the next year.

Be sure to check out Pounds on Facebook or Twitter to find out about our special give-away from Kelly at WPPI!

For more on Kelly: http://www.kellymoorephotography.com/