Monthly Archives: February 2012

Afraid of specificity?

The more I talk to photographers about retooling their businesses to be more purposeful and client-focused the more a recurring theme keeps popping up.  Photographers are terrified to be specific.  In a time when what they are doing is rarely bringing in enough business they are often afraid to do anything that might turn someone off and therefore do very little to turn people on.

Let’s look at some other businesses.  The Mexican restaurant around the corner doesn’t apologize for not serving pizza, or cheeseburgers, or falafel.  I mean, they know that often times I’m going to be in the mood for a bunch of things that aren’t on their menu.  They stick to their thing.  Nike isn’t worried about not offering me a full line of dress shoes.   Sometimes you have to be willing to be specific enough to be hired, and be courageous and confident to let the stuff that doesn’t fit slide.

Believe it or not, specificity breeds universality.  The more specific you are the more people will be able to find something of themselves in your work.  So think for a minute today about how you are presenting your business.  Are you doing it because it specifically represents you or are you doing it to pander or appear to appeal widely?  If you aren’t booking exactly the jobs you want with exactly the clients you want, for the exact amount you want to make then I’d suggest you pitch what you’re doing for a while and try to be as specific as possible.  Put it out there long enough for it to resonate.


– trr

P.S. – We had a last-minute opening in our Nashville SEXY BUSINESS Workshop running March 14-16 – CLICK HERE to register for the last spot.


We’ve got a scattered few things to talk about today.  First, we’re travelling back from Virginia after what I hope was a very successful conference for the Virginia Professional Photographers Association.  So we’re going to be planes and automobiles for most of the day.  Regular posts will resume tomorrow, send in your questions and expect a further WPPI week wrap up soon.

Second, due to some unfortunate circumstances we’ve got an opening in our Nashville SEXY BUSINESS Workshop March 14-16 in Franklin, TN.  Check out the further details on our WORKSHOPS page.  Since this space is coming up out of the blue the first person to contact me and claim it is in – send the email to workshop@amantofish and we’ll get the details hammered out.

Third, you deserve some content.  Head over to Sean Lowe’s The Business of Being Creative blog today for an incredible post.  I wish I had written it – Fundamentals

Fourth, if you didn’t catch it yesterday there is no time like NOW to check out my podcast with uber-portrait artist, executive hippy and business guru Laura Romero.  She’s killing it in a down market and making it look easy.  Check out Episode 7 of the …a Man to Fish… podcast HERE

Fifth, I love you guys.


– trr

…a Man to Fish… Podcast #7 – Laura Romero of Everyday Charming

I am pretty excited like this because Episode 7 is the first podcast I am doing with a friend from back-in-the-day.  Laura Romero is the heart and soul behind Everyday Charming Image Boutique.  Laura and I have been a mutual inspiration to each other for a few years.  We actually met because Jamie and I photographed her wedding and honeymoon (!) a few years ago.  I want you all to know Laura because she is currently bucking every trend out there and pulling down RIDICULOUS portrait averages in the midst of a horrible recession when every other portrait photographer I am aware of is struggling to maintain.  She also does all of this while remaining blissfully unaware of the drama and conventions of the photography industry.

The podcast comes in 2 versions.  Check this out:


The standard version is oh-so-free to download and listen to.  It runs about an hour and 10 minutes.   Laura and I discuss how we met and the relationship between one photographer hiring another.  We also talk about how we have influenced each other throughout the years.  But I suspect the most interesting thing you will want to hear is about Everyday Charming portrait sessions and how much she is pulling in per session (we are talking how many thousands per session).  Dig it here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Feel free to right-click and save down the .mp3 file.


We are also offering an extended version of the podcast.  This is the entire uncut conversation between me and Laura and it runs about 2 hours and 15 minutes!   Everything we could not fit into the main show is here – We talk about the work/life balance (something Laura has figured out better than any photographer I know), shooting on spec, how markets with fewer opportunities can actually be a benefit, and whether a connection to the photography community is a good thing or a bad thing.

The extended version includes the entire standard version as well as the pre-show and post-show.  It runs 2.5 hours, and comes as an .mp3 download for $3 US currency.  Drop your loot and you will get an .mp3 link to download the show straight computer, ready for iPoddery.
Buy Now


Let me know what you think of the podcast in the comments section below.  It really helps the blog and the podcast grow when you share it out on Facebook or Twitter (follow us there too if you have not already).  If you like the viewpoint, attitudes and insight that you are hearing on the podcast and you want some help to get business in 2012 check out our SEXY BUSINESS Workshops – Three of the first 4 for 2012 have already sold out.  Check out the following link for an unpolished review of SEXY BUSINESS VEGAS courtesy of Spencer Boerup


– trr

A Quick note on Friday

Today is a travel day as we leave Vegas and get ready for the Virginia Professional Photographers convention this weekend.  So we’re in transit but still checking email, comments and Twitter.  As a quick note if you’ve been thinking about attending a future SEXY BUSINESS workshop you might want to check out Spencer Boerup’s review of this past week that was just posted this morning – SEXY BUSINESS REVIEW

The DC workshop (July 23-25) only has 1 slot left so if you are interested get in quick.  Due to the increased demand we’re considering offering another DC workshop date so if you are interested in securing a slot in the add-on workshop please send me an email ASAP –

We may be traveling like crazy but tune in for another episode of the …a Man to Fish… podcast dropping on Monday.

– trr


UPDATE – The DC workshop is now SOLD OUT.  We are tentatively considering adding another if we get 3 committed bookings in the next two weeks.  Check out the WORKSHOPS page for more information.  Remember that our Denver and Atlanta workshops still have space available!!!

Your best meat

OK, last night we were celebrating SEXY BUSINESS attendee (and all-around fantastic photographer/human being) Spencer Boerup’s birthday at Fogo de Chao in Vegas.  It was an amazing exercise in pricing strategy.  They had one price to thrill you.  You paid one price and they literally ran at you with the most amazing food you’d ever seen/smelled/eaten.  The servers circle you with giant skewers of meat and offer you as much as you can handle of type after type of option.  It was enormously entertaining and felt very indulgent and decadent.

Make no mistake – the food was amazing.  But the experience and treatment was what made the night one of the best I can remember in a long time.  They only let us have the best that they could do.

Creative pros get so caught up in their starting price.  What’s your amazing price?  What’s your utterly thrilling decadent price?  What is your totally amazeballs option?  What will make me go bananas?  Have you even thought about your top while fixating on the bottom?  Figure out what the best is you can do then give me an argument as to why you ought to be offering the world any else besides that.

I need you to figure out how to run at me with your best meat.


– trr

(happy birthday Spencer. And yes, this blog title was a dare, and yes I WILL post it shamelessly)