Archive for Getting Started in Photography
I’ve just cut the red ribbon, popped the champagne corks and flung open the doors for the first time, to welcome you to, Ruth Bayley Photography. If you’d like to come in and have a look, please mind you don’t trip on the ribbon at your feet.
If you’d like to open a separate browser with the link and gather round, I will proudly give you the guided tour. http://www.ruthbayleyphotography.co.uk/
Well here we are then! Welcome to the much changed and right up until a few hours ago, still fiddled with homepage! I just couldn’t resist tweaking the text. If you refresh the homepage, the large photo on the right of the page will randomly change to keep the site looking fresh. It also helps to promote different styles of photos, and clicking on them will take you straight through to the photo and the collection it resides in.
This page is laid out as clearly as possible, and here, I have to confess, I break the quota of words that Google likes a site to have per page. It’s really not practical or at all pretty, to squash in 250 words. I can confidently tell you this as during my meltdown stage a few weeks ago, the page did contain that many words and it looked pretty messy.
My beloved, and much wanted sign up box, is to your lower left, clicking here will take you through to sign up for regular email updates and also give you a free gift of photography tips. My original design for this box was well, I have to say, a little boring, so the designer at SmartDeCat did a little bit of magic and came up with this lovely image, which by coincidence, virtually replicates a photo I have in the ‘Waterscapes collection’ of birds flying in a diagonal line over mountains. Read More→
As the site gets closer and closer to being ready for business – hopefully I will be giving you a guided tour around it this time next week – I’m starting to think and plan for alternative sources of income.
Photography courses seem like a good option they require little outlay in terms of finances; it’s more a question of time and planning to make sure the guests get value for money. The difference between the research for setting up a photography website is that I was pretty much able to do from sitting in front of a computer, this time for some parts of it any way, it’s about getting out and doing a dummy run.
I’m really enjoying the process of starting to put it all together. In the main they are going to based in Europe, I’ve lived in a few areas of mainland Europe, so my tours will draw on that local experience. Hidden gems of the towns and countryside that I spent hours exploring, restaurants used by locals that serve good tasty food with great service, and a knowledge of locations for sunrise and sunsets, alluring alleyways and hidden coves.
An exciting tour with a twist I’m looking at, working in partnership with a friend who owns a travel agency is, a photography cruise holiday. This all sounds exciting doesn’t it? And it is, yet to make sure a worthwhile course is delivered there are some important structures that need to be in place, not least that the content I give is useful and moves people forward in their photography. Read More→
On our mastermind group call last week, we started talking about marketing and how best to do it. We all put our heads together sharing tips, with different people talking about marketing courses they are doing that incorporated social media promotion. I’m not quite sure if there is a right way, or simply a way that you feel more comfortable with.
For my part, this week I’ve started listening to a teleseminar series about marketing, called, ‘know, like, trust’ with Bill Baren, (I will put all links I mention in this article in the notes). The purpose of the series is that marketing is changing and it’s more important than ever, particularly if you are an internet business, to build a relationship with your potential customer so they come to know, like and trust you and finally buy from you. The first interview was with duo, Jeffrey Van Dyk and Suzanne Falter-Barns, of Spiritual Marketing Quest, talking about the best way in a service business to connect with your customers is by using language that they can relate to.
I’ve got an eye on this with a view to a second business – photography related yet more practical – and in this arena doing as they suggest, remembering a pain that has brought you to this point and using that same language from the things you experienced at that time to relate to others is easier in the spiritual market, but can it be transferred to a sales site? Read More→
I took a complete break from the computer this weekend and journeyed out to do a recce of an area that I’m thinking of using as a location for some sunrise shots, right at the top of a very steep hill with a view over the plain below.
It was a very rainy day and I decided it would be perfect for a drive out, (if you ignored the flooded roads!), the country roads were quiet so I could pull up whenever I wanted, blocking the road to have a peer over hedges or through gates.
The area around this particular village has been calling to me for a while; it’s a lovely English village, a sandstone church stands high on the hill overlooking the village below, a country pub is the sole commercial activity and opposite, a tiny triangle of village green which is dominated by a huge old oak tree.
As I drove around the lanes I noticed important things I hadn’t seen on my previous visit, footpaths – rights of ways across farmland. As the ground was sodden from many days of rain, yesterday wasn’t the time to take a walk and see what new views can be seen from the fields. I’ve made a mental note though and will be back soon to investigate.
Driving back down the steep hill that affords a dramatic view over the valley below, past a golf course with a footpath crossing it – who would risk that Sunday lunch walk? Winding my way down the road past grand houses I glanced to my left and on a grassy bank below the trees were daffodils in bloom. I couldn’t believe my eyes, daffodils in February, so I pulled in and got out to investigate. It was going to be tricky to take good shots, the ground was sodden so not great for kneeling or lying down and the daffs were on the lowest part of the bank. It was worth a shot though, I decided. I love taking photos with raindrops on petals and as the rain was bouncing down I couldn’t fail to get some. Read More→
As the last few days before the launch are fast approaching, I’ve been enjoying the chance to go through the site with a fine toothcomb to make sure everything is as it should be.
I’ve had some friends take a look at the site and all feedback has been positive and some interesting things have come up too. It is a great idea to let people have a look at your site before you send it live. Spelling mistakes you’ve become blind to get picked up and having some test customers going though the site before launch is so useful for getting to know how smooth a transition it is from product to checkout.
Because I’ve been working with the site for so long it became clear that I have become more blinkered to it than I imagined; a couple of friends flagged up areas they didn’t think were as straight forward as I did. So there have been some tweaks. It turned out to be really quite scary asking friends to have a look over the site, particularly as two were photographers but it was a good stepping stone for the launch.
It’s been a week of ticking off checklists when the tasks were complete. Favicon – the image that appears on the address bar & makes your site more visible when it’s bookmarked. All delivery prices correct for each country. I’m having a download section so we, (the web designer and I), have been testing to make sure they download ok. Read More→
Who am I, anyway? I received my first camera as a Christmas gift when I was 7 years old. For years I would carry around my camera (remember the old 110?) and shoot roll after roll of snapshots. They really weren’t very good…trust me. I didn’t know the first thing about composition, aperture, shutter speed, ISO…it never even crossed my mind to try holding the camera vertically for a portrait shot. Even worse, since I was a kid (and, presumably, shorter than everyone else) all of my pictures were tilted upward. I would take my rolls of film to the drugstore to be processed, so needless to say I knew nothing about photo processing either.
When I was 17 my grandmother took me to Germany, Switzerland and France. I blame my wanderlust on her – she is German and has traveled the world. In fact, she even worked as an interpreter on the German leg of the Orient Express in the 1940′s. After this trip, I was hooked. I wanted to go everywhere. And why not bring along my camera? Unfortunately it would still be several years before I could really embrace my desire to travel. Read More→
I’ve been very fortunate in having parents who have always been supportive in everything I do. They went to all my school events, championed my dreams and bolstered me whenever my confidence has wobbled. So then it comes hard when people in my circle pick holes in my dreams.
Have you experienced this situation? You are on an exciting journey, everything is gathering pace, you are full of confidence your visions are becoming a reality with every passing day. As you radiate confidence your social circles widen, opportunities for partnerships come your way like never before, yet you suddenly discover a fly in the ointment.
Someone, and probably someone very close to you, is taking great enjoyment in being negative. They are trying their best to bring you down to their level of disbelief. In their world it is incomprehensible that all your visions and dreams could and are coming true. I remember listening to someone talking about their own transformation from wage earner to self employed and her surprise and hurt at some of her closest friends and family who didn’t want to share her vision or support her, slowly she released them from her life. Read More→
I almost didn’t make it today; I’ve been so busy having a mini meltdown with the site, and if you follow me on Facebook you’ll understand, that I almost forgot what day it was!
On Monday I decided that I didn’t like the front page, I took it apart, rearranged the text and then finally started working with different templates to alter the look. By the time I’d finished and made a real mess of it I decided that actually I really did like it the way it was! By that time it was a case of calling help to my web designer. I’d altered some of the design that had already had been done and now it not only looked messy I’d just created some extra work for him.
I felt a bit like when you go to a clothes shop, sorry I guess I’m only talking to the female population here, try on many different clothes and then decide after walking around a hundred shops that the very first thing you tried on was the right one! So a very big thank you to my wonderful web designer who didn’t tell me off just simply understood that I was just having a little meltdown.
I think it’s just first night nerves, the closer the site comes to launch day the more things I want to change and fiddle with. And oh gosh it is the fiddling that causes the problems; its how it started with the homepage; “I wonder if that would look better there?” It’s that very preserve I thought I’d banished from my psyche, the hunt for the non existent perfection. I’m comforted though that if the dress rehearsal is having hiccups the launch will go to plan. Read More→
The other day a fleeting memory of photo frames suddenly came into my mind of how when starting out with the idea of this business I suddenly realised it was going to be more involved than simply putting up some images to sell on a website.
There were so many questions I had like where to find suppliers? I didn’t have anyone I could ask or bounce ideas off – it was learn as I go along. And so when the vision of frames came to me the other day I breathed a sigh of relief, I made it!
However maybe if I’d used a tip I read earlier on in the process from business coach Jack Canfield’s book ‘The Success Principles’ I could have had immediate support: though I have to confess, wasn’t brave enough until now to do it. One of his principles is mastermind groups; gathering four to six business people together to meet via phone or Skype weekly, fortnightly or monthly whichever works for you all. Mastermind groups are routinely used by many millionaire business people to help drive their business forward. Read More→