This SSG Business Spotlight is sponsored by Rebooku.
I want to send shout-out to all you SSG followers! My name is Sherri Russell, and I am so excited to share with you a special SSG Business Spotlight on successful photographer, Trina Weingart of VioletRay Photography.
Professional photography is an excellent career choice for anyone who wants to generate an income for using their creative talents. In fact it’s one of the few fields where age and college degrees aren’t as important as a good eye, a quality product, and self-discipline. But like any profession, you need to constantly feed your creative juices or you will likely starve.
Modern technology allows us to do so much more than ever before, so scheduling our days can prove challenging when juggling both work and family life – some of us need all the help we can get…So, try to take a moment out of your busy schedule once a week and learn something new to help you work smarter and not harder. Step out of your comfort zone and try a new service or product that has been proven to aid in the success of a fellow photographer.
Staying on top of the latest trends and products can prove to be a key ingredient for a successful photography business. It can be as simple as discovering an image editing service such as Rebooku to help free up your time so you can focus on ways to generate a greater “need” for your services with future client, as Trina discovered during this interview with a free service trial.
Throughout this interview, Trina shares her knowledge in hopes to educate other photographers. Even if you walk away with learning just one tip that may help your photography business, then you will surely make Trina’s day!
So let’s move forward to the interview to learn more about Trina and uncover what advise this amazing photographer had to share!
What is the most valuable business advice you ever got?
“Show to Sell”… “Jamie Schultz”… “Sheer brilliance”. You can have a 100 specialty items in a shopping cart, but never sell one because the client won’t have a clue what that “3×3 Mini Accordion” is. Quite honestly, they get intimidated by things they don’t know. Show them what a product is, and blow their minds with how special, unique, and “brag worthy” it is. Do this, and they will just have to have it!
In no more than 12 words, how would you describe your brand?
Timeless, Stylishly Classic, Fashion Forward, Bold, Rich, & Bright.
Is there something special you do when your business reaches a goal?
I love to reward my clients when they have helped me reach my goals! I have done a few giveaways when a publication comes out with my images or articles in them for that publication, and when I reach certain numbers, I’ll do a discount sale on specialty item purchases, such as canvas or albums.
What is your favorite tool that helps run your studio?
My iPhone & iPad. Seriously, with the apps you can purchase and download, easy portability for slideshows, and the invention of Apple TV for image interaction, they have been a God-send in the business world. I can’t imagine trying to be a boutique photographer without these tools.
What product do you sell most of?
“StoryBoards”… I have found that clients feel like not only do they get “more images” in a single purchase, but they LOVE the fact that they are getting something that you: design special for them, comes mounted for protection, & it gives them the opportunity to display it in multiple ways. And!, it’s unique and different than just a simple print. Just mixing up the norm a bit makes all the world of difference to a client.
How do you nurture your creativity?
Shootouts, reading fashion magazines, following fashion photographer icons such as Emily Soto & Amanda Diaz, and watching other photographer’s fashion shoot videos. Even looking at shoots from clothing lines can trigger a thought or concept that might just light the fire that you were needing to push you through a dark moment. Sometimes, you need take some time for yourself in your artistic career. Because when you are shooting clients, you are shooting for them and what they want, even though you are using your own creative talents. But when you do an entire shoot for YOURSELF, you are nurturing the creative juices that feed those client shoots.
What is the best application investment you have ever made?
It sounds so simple, but the GoIntuit credit card app down load. The actual app itself was free, but for some it might be hard to get past the stigmatism of paying credit card fees to accept credit cards from clients. We live in a society that is built on the ability to purchase on credit cards, and if you want your clients to put in those $1000.00 orders, you need to be willing to give them the pathway to do it. I don’t think very many people can plop down $1000.00 in cash, so it’s up to us to give them the ability to feel free to do it however they can.
What is the best equipment investment you have ever made?
My Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 85mm 1.2L lens. I love them. They really are my pride and joy. I worked hard to save up for them, and they are paying off. Quality of tools really does make a difference in the overall outcome of your creative products after you have learnt to master the skills of using them. While it is true that a camera doesn’t set its own settings and pose the client, it does help the over-all effect when you are using pro-grade equipment to make a pro-grade product.
What’s your advice for better profits?
Again, “Show to Sell”. You are triggering all of the senses of a client when you allow them to hold a product, seeing, feeling, & even hearing its amazing quality. And try to always have something that no other photographer in your area offers. That’s the best part about attending a tradeshow such as WPPI, Imaging, or Sync. Vendors come in to show you the latest and greatest items, so that you can have that leg up on other photographers that only offer bare bone basics, or “just the download”. Set yourself apart from the crowd, be on the cutting edge of awesomeness.
Have you had to change your game to stay ahead in the photography world?
Yes, education and change is everything! This world has never sat still when it comes to evolving practices, techniques, and knowledge. If we cease to learn, we cease to survive. As time goes on, equipment advances and so does the need to learn more about the internal structure of operating it, and understanding the field in which we are working in. If you don’t follow up your skills with continuing education, you will find yourself stuck in your own personal modern-day mid-evil times while everyone else moves on with the most current and innovative techniques and business principles.
If you were to go back in time and start over, know what you know today, what do you wish you would have learned early on to help you succeed in your business more quickly as far as image quality?
For image quality, what I wish I would have focused on earlier is SOOC education. About 1.5 years into my “self-taught” photography career, I took Nichole Van’s Professional Workshop in a Box course and my eyes were opened up to so many things that I was doing wrong, and what I needed to start doing right. Once I learned the basic rules of photography: positioning, metering, and everything in-between, my workflow sped up, I had fewer mistakes to have to try and fix, and I quickly learnt that the hundreds and hundreds of dollars that I used to purchase “miracle actions” could have been saved because I didn’t need them! My SOOC images today don’t need 15 actions piled on top of them. I proud to show off my images SOOC to clients now, and I want to see that for all young photographers!
What was your experience like using services by Rebooku?
I got my images back from Rebooku and oh my gosh!!!!! I’m so incredibly happy, excited and am definitely going to be using their services again! Here is an amazing transformation sample!
This was using the Ku option. Time is money, and they saved me a LOT of it, and a huge headache. I has spent over an hour on one image and still wasn’t satisfied with it, and sent it to Rebooku and in less than 6 hours, it was back and PERFECT! I’m so pleased and happy, and I’ll be sending all my images to them for now on for editing touch-ups!
Where can potential new clients and our readers view more images and learn more about your business?
You can learn more about VioletRay Photography at:
In conclusion, Trina hopes to hear from some of you! Simply leave a note saying hi, or ask a question… She loves to share what she can with others. Photography is a field that she absolutely loves, has a passion for, and the desire to share what she can, when she can. She would also like to shout out a “thank you” to everyone who has shared their knowledge with her in the past. Once upon a time, she too was new to the world of photography, and had it not been for educators like Nichole, Jamie, and Kirk Voclain, she’d still be doing many things wrong. So she was honored to have this opportunity through SSG to give back and help educate others.
SSG would love your feedback as to what you found valuable with in this interview, suggested questions to ask the next featured photographer, or what topics you may want to simply learn more about in future SSG Business Spotlights.
Leave your comments below for a chance to win a FREE trial service with Rebooku! — Don’t miss this chance to discover how much time you can free up so you can get out there and shoot more clients vs. sitting behind a computer screen and editing. One lucky winner will be selected from all the comments posted by the 3rd day of posting this article. Good luck!