I highly recommend “meetings and portfolios, fantastic forgotten tools” in the March/April Picture Magazine even though half of it is a Q & A with me.  It’s a really good read, check it out.

One of my favorites:

Would you recommend to other emerging photographers to follow in your footsteps- to go after meetings in other cities right out of the chute?

A- If you’ve spent the time to plan everything out, have a solid portfolio book, a website and your work is great then absolutely.  To me first impressions are everything.  You wouldn’t show up for a first date poorly dressed with fast-food wrappers scattered throughout your car would you?  It’s the same thing with the agencies; don’t show up until you’re prepared and confident in what you’re doing.




Go to APE to read about building your own fan club. It’s an extremely important topic for sure. Check it out, give it some thought and implement it into your own company.

In todays world if you want to survive, you must be flexible, open minded and pursue a plan of action. Long gone are the days of buying a spread in a source book then sitting back in the shade of your backyard watching the money roll in. You must be proactive, you must be talented, you must be good with people and you must have a fan club.

Today’s guest post comes from Brandon Knowlden. He is an AD for Struck Creative in SLC. I first met up with him last October while schlepping my portfolio around. His personal website can be found here. He’s a great guy and will be enlightening us on some cool topics over the next few months.

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My first Creative Director said, “you can get a hamburger anywhere, but if you want filet mignon, you go to Ruth’s Chris.” Well, I have yet to eat at Ruth’s Chris, but I got his point.

You might wonder what this has to do with collaboration. Well, it has everything to do with collaboration. The people who are the best are the best at one thing and they know the importance of using the right people for things they can’t do. Those are the people you want to go to, to seek out and collaborate with. That’s why I love concepting so much. I’ll say something that I am seeing in my head, and more often than not, the person sitting across from me sees it completely different from me – and often for the better.

The same goes with a photographer. I love giving them a two sentence description of the idea, followed by “so what were you thinking?” The best photographers, the ones I want to work with don’t sit and take directions, they work with you. And because of that kind of collaboration, you will ALWAYS end up with a better piece.

I’m headed out of town for the rest of the week to shoot a project. I’ll be out of cell and internet range so I thought this would be a good time to link back to some of my favorite posts. I’ve been getting a lot of new readers over the last few weeks so I think a refresher is due.

balancing act
plan, what plan?
the whole package
essential creativity
the naysayers
on vision and style

Look for some new thoughts next week-

I liked what he had to say. The fact that he had his eye on it on Amazon says a lot.  More so he had to wait until the next semester to order it. So, email me your address and I’ll get it out to you. You can check out his site here.

Everyone else should go sit in Borders or B&N and read it.
Thanks for all of the emails and comments-

I’ve been thinking lately about the things I wish I would have been told before starting my company. In hindsight these things would have been good to know.

  • Respect yourself and your time
  • Learn from others mistakes
  • Never trust a banker
  • Keep things in perspective
  • Listen carefully
  • You have no competition
  • Patience, it’s only a matter of time
  • No one cares about you, they only care about what you’re going to give them
  • Give them a reason to care about you
  • You don’t need to be an expert, just perceived as one
  • You don’t need to justify your art to anyone!
  • Write down all of your thoughts, everything!
  • Fear the known
  • Dare to be different
  • Doubting yourself is natural, just don’t let it control you
  • If it scares you, it’s probably a good idea
  • If an offer sounds to good to be true…
  • Build credibility in everything you do
  • Always look for opportunities
  • State your fee, then shut your mouth; don’t justify anything
  • Confidence is key
  • The question isn’t if you’re going to make it, it’s when you’re going to make it
  • Some people are just jerks. Stay away from the naysayers
  • Take frequent time off to pursue other interests
  • You will work harder than you have ever worked in your life

What things do you wish you would have been told?
Feel free to add to the list… As always I love hearing from my readers.

So, I love to read. Most of you know that already. I had planned on doing frequent book reviews but somehow got sidetracked along the way. The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier is a great read. It’s relatively short, to the point and is only filled with the most important information (sweet!).

Some of Marty’s points that caught my attention:

  • 5 disciplines of branding- differentiate, collaborate, innovate, validate, cultivate.
  • The client decides the brand.
  • Brand extensions- new additions to the brand family serve to strengthen the meaning of the brand. [As long as it furthers the brand image and doesn’t take away, ie Porsche used to be a classic sports car company but what happened to the brand when they added that SUV?]
  • It takes a village to build a brand- Marketers, designers, ad agencies, consultants, photographers. [what, teamwork? Oh yes!]
  • Abandon the comforts of habit, reason, peer approval and go in a new direction.
  • Logos are dead, they identify rather than differentiate; create an icon instead, it contains the DNA of the brand.
  • A good brand icon is like a nicely taylored suit, it should only look good on you.

How do you know when an idea is innovative? When it scares the hell out of you!
I don’t recommend creating your brand on your own. It’s who you are, what you represent, for crying out loud get help, collaborate, work with a team. You’ll be glad you did.

Want a copy? I’m going to give mine away. It’s a really good book and everyone in business should read it. So here’s the deal-

Comment or send me an email-
Briefly and creatively tell me why you want/need it. (ie. your brand sucks, your poor, recently divorced etc.)
Prove it- link to your company, portfolio, blog etc
I’ll look everything over on Tuesday and on Wednesday I will announce the winner.