Making A Living In Photography

Waiting for the Air Force to decide whether they’re going to launch an Atlas 5 rocket or not is a good opportunity to get to know your fellow photographers. At some point it’s inevitable that the conversation will turn to how hard it is to make money in photography. The usual topics are disappearing markets, lower income, more competition.While those observations are accurate, it’s always been hard to make a living in photography. It could well be argued that the challenges today are no worse than they’ve ever been in the business. More likely what I’m hearing from others who have been in the business for decades is that the way you make money is changing and many old timers are having trouble adapting.Photography Business 2.0It’s true that digital photography has, in many ways, revolutionized the business. Cameras are better, sensors are better, computers inside the cameras are way better. Digital cameras today rival and even surpass film in terms of quality. Film may never completely die, but these days it’s becoming more of a retro novelty.That change is good and bad. The price of cameras has come down, putting pro class hardware in the hands of amateurs. No one has to spend large amounts of money on film. Drive space is cheap and it costs very little to blast away with a digital camera. The photography equivalent of “spray and pray.” Digital cameras are everywhere and there’s an explosion of available photos. Have enough people taking enough pictures and it’s inevitable one or two will be keepers. Even a blind sow gets an acorn once in a while.Stock photography sites are stuffed with low cost competition. Fewer and fewer companies are hiring assignment photographers because there will almost certainly be someone with a camera at any major event. Why hire when you can spend a few dollars buying shots from someone who’s already there?Opportunities AboundAnd yet opportunities abound in photography. So many that many photographers have been able to abandon traditional bread-and-butter specialty markets like wedding photography.There are entire new markets that didn’t exist before in specialty photography. Specialties like high speed photography. You can’t take pictures of industrial speed processes with a point and shoot camera. Not only do specialists in high speed photography make a good living, some of them are booked for months in advance.For the artistic among us, another specialty market is food photography. Never underestimate the demand for pictures of food. It just astounds me. Food photographers are always booked and the best command truly eye-popping rates.Infrared photography is another specialty that’s continually in demand, particularly in applications of energy efficiency. Figuring out where businesses are losing heat, where they can lower their utility bills. Big money there.Industrial photography, specialized equipment that can be threaded inside pipes and machinery to give engineers and technicians pictures and video of what’s going on inside their machines, is another area of strong demand. And, if you have a background in science, it’s endlessly fascinating.So, the key to making a living in photography is just what it’s always been: Finding a niche and establishing yourself. These days you have to think differently about how to make a living, but, lucky you, you have so many more options to think about.

Get Decked Out With A Simple Do It Yourself Home Improvement

When you think of a home, many people think about the inside, but the outside is just as important as the inside. The value of a home includes both views of the home, inside and outside. You may have a deck that looks ancient because it is weathered and because you haven’t given it much attention. A simple do it yourself home improvement might be, to spruce up your deck. Have you heard the joke about whether a woman should wear make up or not. Well, even an old barn needs a coat of paint once in awhile. The same thing applies to your deck. Any kind of change will enhance a new look on your deck, but it may be a simple do it yourself home improvement such as painting it, that could make a world of difference.You may need to do some repairs on the boards of the decking before painting. There may be some gouges that need filled in first. A simple do it yourself home improvement step would be to get some wood putty to fill in these scrapes. You may then need to do some sanding if the boards are pretty rough and especially if there is old paint that is coming up. This may take a little time to do, but the results will be worth the effort. There are many choices of paint to choose from for a simple do it yourself home improvement project. You can get oil based paints or water based paints, from a flat to glossy finish. A semi gloss might be a good choice for a simple do it yourself home improvement job because you can wipe it off or hose it down to clean it.Another simple do it yourself home improvement choice for covering your deck floor might be to stain it. You would need to follow the steps above for covering up bad spots, but then you could use a stain instead of paint. You will be surprised at the amount of choices available today in the stain department. Once you have chosen the color of stain and applied it to the deck, you will want to preserve it by using a top coat. A simple do it yourself home improvement stain project isn’t really much different than if you were using paint, but you will need to put a coating on top of it to protect it from the weather and make it last longer.No matter which simple do it yourself home improvement you choose, you will need to put two coats of either paint or stain on it, because the first coat will probably soak into the wood. The second coating will make it last longer and if you are going to all the trouble in the first place, you might as well do it right. A simple do it yourself home improvement will leave you feeling proud that you did it yourself, and also add value to your home.

Article Marketing – 7 Essential Elements of an Article Resource Box That Gets Clicked

Distributing your articles to various article banks and directories online (what I refer to as article marketing) won’t work for you unless you have a well-developed resource box. A resource box is the bio information about the author that appears at the end of the article. Why is a great resource box important to the success of your article marketing efforts? Because it is the key element that will drive traffic back to your site, which should be your primary purpose when you engage in article marketing as an Internet marketing strategy.Rather than trying to sell readers with your article resource box, promote your call to action and give your reader a reason to click on your call to action to go to your web site and learn more. It’s on your web site where you do the selling, not in your article resource box.Here are the 7 essential elements that you need to include in your resource box for maximum clickability:1. Your name. Article marketing is all about branding and identity, so don’t forget to identify yourself in your resource box.2. Brief bio. Don’t try to convince your reader that you’re the expert here. If your reader hasn’t figured that out through reading the content of your article, a lengthy bio won’t change things. A short yet effective bio is written in the following style: (Your name) helps __________ (fill in the blank) to do ___________ (fill in the blank) even though ___________. (fill in the blank)3. Call to action. Don’t simply invite the reader to visit your web site in your call to action or just subscribe to your email newsletter or to join your mailing list. Give the reader a reason to visit by offering your client attraction device, which is a a free resource that the reader receives when he opts into your list.This free resource might be an ecourse, audio, video, ebook, or special report, all of which serve to continue to educate your reader, thus raising your level of expertise in the eyes of your reader. Furthermore, asking your reader to opt-in to receive your client attraction device permits you to keep in touch with your article readers long after they have read your article. Your ultimate goal in capturing their contact info is to convert them to customers.4. Compelling domain name. Article marketing and resource boxes work best if you let your domain name do the talking for you. So, rather than sending someone to, for example, send someone to a domain name that portrays an exciting benefit or feature in which the reader might be interested. You can use your domain registrar’s domain forwarding and and masking features to help you channel your reader to the desired location on your web site.5. Keep it short. Many article directories limit the article resource box to 450 characters (yes, that’s CHARACTERS, not WORDS). Use your limited real estate wisely to ensure maximum clicks back to your web site.6. Accentuate your offer. To drive home the point that I want someone to click on my call to action, I include ==> just before the domain name of my offer.7. Anchor text. If you have the option of including HTML coding in your resource box, create a hyperlink to one of your primary keywords/keyword phrases for which you want to create valuable backlinks. So, for example, if I wanted to increase my findablity on search engines for the term “Internet Marketing Coach,” I’d link that phrase in my resource box to my web site URL.If you use this last tip, keep in mind that most article banks permit no more than 3 hyperlinks in any article. If you use one on the anchor text and one in your call to action, that leaves you with only one to use in the body of your article.Remember, it’s the body of your article where you provide valuable info to your reader without any promotions, and it’s your resource box where all the promotion occurs. A well-crafted resource box can entice readers to click on your offering and drive droves of traffic to your web site.Note: For a great example of a resource box, see the end of this article.