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Shutterbug Life podcast

Shutterbug Life is a weekly podcast that celebrates the creative photographer's lifestyle. Through a series of discussions, expert interviews, and photo challenges, the podcast examines everything you need to be, do, or have to reach your full photographic potential. Episodes are designed to be helpful no matter where you are on your learning path. Shutterbug Life podcast is hosted by Lynford Morton, a second-generation photographer who build one of Washington, DC’s fastest growing photography Meetup communities, Shutterbug Excursions. He has also trained thousands of photographers to take great pictures in Washington, DC and New Orleans from the business he founded, PhotoTour Excursions. Now he recreates the community of enthusiast photographers with Shutterbug Life.
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Now displaying: 2017
Mar 27, 2017

Several months ago, I got a call from a potential client. She worked in the marketing department of a camera manufacturer and wanted help creating a marketing plan for them. We talked about a coaching program that would help her conduct the market research for her plan.

"Have you done this kind of thing before," she asked?

Of course. I gave her some highlights of my resume and pointed her to some links. One of the links was to the work we have done together on Shutterbug Life.

On her next call to me, she was so excited. "I looked at your work, and you seem perfect for this!"

I had another situation with a big camera retailer. They were struggling to create an educational program for their customers. After a reviewing some of my ideas and links, they invited me in to talk about how I could help them. They were excited to get started, they said.

You all know how this one ends. I saw that Canon was looking for someone to lead their workshop and learning program. Canon must already know who they want for this, I thought. I sent them my stuff anyway.

I recount these three experiences for one reason. They could never have happened six years ago. These opportunities were available to me because I created and worked the marketing system I want to explain today. If you use it properly, it will help you show, share, or sell your images more efficiently. If you are are an emerging photography enthusiast, entrepreneur, or freelance photographer, it can help you cut through the clutter and attract the right people to your work. 

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Mar 19, 2017

Sitting on the floor in a room full of pictures, I let out a heavy sigh and began the tedious job of sorting the image packages into envelopes.

My Dad and I had just picked up the prints from a high school prom shoot we completed, and now we had to prepare them for our clients. There was no simple way of doing this. Fill each envelope, cross reference it against the names, and make sure they had paid. Then Dad would deliver the photos to the parents.

I wish we had today's solutions back then. Today, I've completed much more complex jobs without ever touching a print or wading through envelopes.

How? The technical part of selling your photography has never been easier than it is these days. You have a range of solutions to help you promote, sell, and collect for your images. None of them require any technical knowledge or ability.

Mar 14, 2017

I've got some more advice for you that doesn't have anything to do with f-stops or apertures. I'm not weighing in on DSLRs vs mirrorless or Canon vs Nikon. Today we are ignoring all the typical photography topics yet sharing some timeless advice.

Here are three decision points that all photographers face. If we can choose right at each intersection, I think we can improve our work considerably.

Mar 5, 2017

With all due respect, we know that churches and cathedrals are places of worship, but they also are incredible structures to photograph. The architecture, light, and history all provide opportunities for you to photograph. Those same characteristics also create challenges for many photographers. 

If you want to create memorable images in your cathedral or church, follow these tips.

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Feb 23, 2017

Several years ago, I followed up on what I thought was a great lead for my photography business. I crafted a warm introductory email and requested that we schedule a phone conversation.

Then came the response that totally deflated me.

"Just send your prices."

Like many photographers, that was the very last thing I wanted to do. I didn't want to talk about prices before I had an opportunity to have a conversation. I didn't want to quote a price before I had a chance to understand the full scope of their needs. After all, once he knew my prices, he could just leave. 

After going back and forth a few times by email, I sent some prices. As I suspected, he disappeared.

The moral of the story is not what you might expect. Just show your prices on your website.

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Feb 20, 2017

He had a different reason for asking, but we were looking for the same result.  

"How do you keep photographers motivated to keep shooting?" asked a camera industry salesperson. "It seems photographers aren't shooting as much. "How do we address that?"

This got me thinking about a problem we are all encounter. There is so much noise, so much distraction. It's tough for even the most dedicated photographers to find the motivation to keep shooting.

Here are a half dozen ideas, from easy to hard.

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Feb 5, 2017

In the Squarespace Super Bowl ad, John Malkovich is screaming into the phone at his namesake.

John wants to launch a website, but the hard part is not in creating a website. It is in getting his name. You know the message coming will be this...The easy part in creating a website will be creating a website.

If you are a photographer, by now you know you should have a website. The easy part in creating a website is in creating a website. The difficult part is in creating a website - that works.

Jan 28, 2017

It doesn't matter if you have been shooting for two weeks or 20 years, most photographers are constantly mulling the question, 'which lens should I buy next?'

Your frustration only gets worse when you find that there seems to be an endless supply of options. Even within the same brand, you can get lost in a sea of f-stops and millimeters. 

Here is an approach to help you understand and simplify the lens selection process.

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Jan 26, 2017

When do you need a model release? That's the latest question I received from one of our listeners:

"What guidance can you give us regarding releases? Both for people (for instance, if they are potentially identifiable) and locations (for instance, trademarked property, federal property)? I seem to recall this gets complicated. What if it’s a crowd such as demonstrators in DC? Assuming a release is required, as a practical matter do you obtain it during the shoot?"

Jan 20, 2017

If you are learning photography now, I have good news and bad news. The good news is…you have a wealth of information availability to your in just about every form. Here’s the bad news. You have a wealth of information available to you in just about every form. 

How do you sort through it all? When do you seek formal training? And how do you know what workshop to take next? I discuss all these topics with Joe Edelman. 

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Jan 15, 2017

Peering out the window of a coffee shop, I saw a very familiar process unfolding. People were arriving with big signs. I saw what looked like costumes, and over time a small crowd started assembling. In Washington, DC, that usually means a protest is about to start. It also means prime photography opportunities. 

No time to finish my coffee, I grabbed my DSLR and headed out to the park to start my shoot.

Whether you happen upon a protest demonstration or even a parade, you have a perfect opportunity to practice street photography that tells stories.

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Jan 7, 2017

It’s always cool seeing your best images on your blog or social media, but for a real rush, imagine seeing them in the glossy pages of a national travel publication. Even better, imagine getting paid to place them there.

I'll tell you how your can publish your travel photos in this episode.

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