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product spotlight: pricing guide for portrait photographers

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The numbers behind your business might not be pretty, whimsical, or full of joy… but they are important! One of the primary causes for failure in small businesses is not the quality of work produced, but the inability to get a handle on finances, costs, and profits.

Understanding the true cost considerations of your business allows you to determine how to price to cover your costs, then to price for your brand – two very different, but equally important, concepts.

Design Aglow has created another exceptional educational tool that will cover the groundwork of basic business finance and budgets, provide you with Best Practices thinking to set up budgets for cost recovery, calculating your time and paycheck and pricing to support your brand strategy. In addition, we have provided you with three ready-to-use price lists that you can put into place today to immediately achieve profitable sales. Finally, of course, we have our industry experts weigh in with their thoughts and experiences to place everything into a perspective you will understand.

The Essential Pricing Guide for Portrait Photographers is a mini-MBA created just for you!

Hear what other professionals are saying:

“The Design Aglow Pricing Guide for Portrait Photographers is a fantastic resource that no one should miss.  It explains how to create prices in such a easy to understand way that applies to both just starting out photographers as well as experienced professionals. With this guide you will never second guess your price list again!” – Laura Novak, Little Nest Portraits

“I just couldn’t put it away. I worked through the whole thing from start to finish. VERY different approach from what I’m used to hearing (which is the “multiply it by 7 or 10 for prints and by 3 or 4 for canvases/books” etc. It’s a whole paradigm shift! I’m planning on reviewing it and comparing it to EVERYTHING I’ve heard in the last 3 years. It’s THAT different.” – Caryn Scanlon

“The Essential Pricing Guide is just that….essential.  The wealth of information and guidance provided in this product is really unbelievable!  Not one stone has been left unturned, and it can guide both seasoned portrait photographers and those just starting out through tricky budgeting, pricing, and planning hurdles.  We get emails daily from those just beginning their business, asking sweeping questions about the hows and the whys of how we operate.  We now have the perfect resource to point them towards.  This pricing guide should be a cornerstone resource for all portrait photographers serious about their business.” -Angela Weedon

“Are you a portrait photographer? Do you know your numbers? I am discovering mine thanks to this Pricing Guide – thanks Design Aglow for another awesome (elegant and useful) product for photographers.” – Seshu Badrinath, Seshu Photography


the mini session guide is here!

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Sometimes great things really do come in small packages. Perfect for clients on the go, Mini Sessions deliver a custom boutique photography experience without a huge time (or financial) investment. The Design Aglow Mini Session Guide includes step-by-step instructions to guide you through the entire process, from lighting, to handling clients, time squeezes, and session workflow.

With our Guide to lead your way, your studio can feature an entire year of gorgeous Mini Session events in five themes: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter & Anytime. Ideal for building buzz, bringing in new clients, and generating business during slower times of the year, our comprehensive Mini Session package will get you started as soon as you download!

*Special thanks to Shannon Sewell Photography & Alyssa Saylor Photography for the lovely images throughout our guide.

CATEGORIES: Education, What's New & What's Hot

the top six: organization & workflow


Smart organization and effective workflow are key factors to any successful business. With help from six of Design Aglow’s most popular studio success tools you can streamline these systems and get back to doing what you do best: photography!

1. The Big Picture: An Essential Planner for Studio & Personal Success
Turn your hopes and dreams into real accomplishments with our simple and effective system for getting things done. Other planners on the market don’t take into account the specific needs of photographers and their businesses; The Big Picture’s gorgeous aesthetic and practical approach will change your life. Let Design Aglow set you up for success in workflow, planning, marketing, and your unique “big picture” goals every single day.

With a 100% customizable format, start planning with The Big Picture on any day you wish, with a fresh design that allows you to fill in your own dates for 2014 and beyond. Once you’ve personalized The Big Picture with your choice of cover and other customizable components, keep yourself accountable by joining The Big Picture Facebook community and enjoying our time management newsletters, motivational content, and additional downloads for your planner every single month, all included with your purchase!

2. Studio Workflow Assistant
Do you frequently find yourself relying on sticky notes to recall important client info and product details? You need an organization intervention – and you can find all the tools to do just that (and more!) in the Essential Workflow Studio Assistant template for photographers. We named this guide the Studio Assistant because it’s designed to help you with virtually every aspect of studio life, from organizing your client lists to organizing your entire production system. Distinguish your workspace by keeping orderly schedules and by designating places for things and processes. This whiteboard template helps you create the ultimately organized workspace with photographer-specific best practices workflow system, session checklists and more, serving as a complete photographer’s guide to studio organization. And, everything is fully editable and can be customized to your own specifications.

3. Studio Order Form
Design Aglow’s Studio Order Form is pretty and prepared, with its simple worksheet format for studio order fulfillment, complete with customizable features and crisp layout. Snazzy and smart, these customizable fill-in-the-blank forms will ensure your workflow stays orderly and organized, and includes all of the most important information. Simply add your studio details and branding components, print as regular or carbon copies, and start writing orders!

• Give clients a clear definition of the invoicing details and key information
• Keep orders clearly organized for fulfillment
• Includes space for client signature acknowledging order approval, model release, and copyright information – all in one place!

4. Studio Email Assistant
Do you struggle to create smart studio policies that will head off client issues before they arise? What about finding the best way to approach a touchy subject with a client?

We’re not all gifted with the ability to write, but communication is a key factor to any business and you’re certainly not alone in wishing you had eloquent studio policies for virtually every situation. It’s for you that Design Aglow has to created an extensive collection of 20 professionally crafted business correspondence letters.

The complete catalog of beautifully written emails helps you deliver the perfect prose for any situation, while also diplomatically but firmly establishing your business policies. You will head off potential problems from the very start, helping you avoid a host of common pitfalls.

The Studio Email Assistant has you covered on everything from how to handle price shoppers and habitual re-schedulers, to how to appropriately set the rules for smart studio policies.

5. Essential 3 Hour Wedding Workflow
How long does it take you to edit a wedding? 5 hours? 10? 20? Stop the madness! You need to be able to turn that wedding around quickly if you are to make any profit for your time and your art. Sadly, many photographers struggle with getting their editing time under control.

We are here to help get you on our simple 3 hour workflow system…with a little practice, you can wrap up that wedding by lunchtime on Monday! Our Essential 3 Hour Wedding Workflow takes you through a revolutionary process for editing that begins with the end in mind. We follow a “do it right the first time” mentality that starts with camera settings and finishes with final client delivery, and of course illustrates and explains every single step in between.

6. Photographer’s Marketing & PR Guide & Calendar
Do marketing, social (and live!) networking, communications and public relations leave your head spinning? Do you have 1,001 ideas for the New Year but have no idea where to begin? Do you start, but never finish, projects? The Marketing and PR Calendar is a 41 page guide that has the answers to these questions that will help you plan, organize and act in a way that will ensure success in the upcoming year. This start to finish primer is another exceptional business product that will educate you on marketing and social media, provide you with worksheets so you can apply concepts immediately to your own business, and includes a Calendar to keep it all on track (and give you daily ideas and inspiration for those days when the well is dry!). If that’s not enough, read up on how industry leaders manage their marketing and social media campaigns using everything from traditional marketing and PR campaigns to quick and easy social media hits! Think of this as a quick and easy version of “Marketing, PR and Social Media 101.”



the big picture planner: helping you succeed in 2014


Photographers from all over the world are raving about The Big Picture Planner:

“The Big Picture Planner is one of the most powerful comprehensive documents to use for my business, from being able to keep daily to do lists to tracking and managing my financial goals. I love that it was  ”plug and play.” I made no customizations and printed everything as-is and immediately started using it in my business. The financial investment and time investment is minimum when compared to what I know the payback will be. The Big Picture Planner helps me take my big goals/ideas and break them into easily attainable tasks, which as a “creative” can be difficult. Committing myself to using the Big Picture Planner as a daily part of my business will most definitely give me an edge in 2014. It’s like having my own business/marketing team. Thank you Design Aglow for once again creating a business tool, designed for the financial success of the photographer.” – Courtney Ortiz Photography


CATEGORIES: Education, The Big Picture Planner, What's New & What's Hot

Wedding Day Photography: 11 Tips For Capturing a Couple

Are you interested in wedding photography? Do you struggle with unique ways to photograph a couple on one of the happiest days of their lives? Here we have for you 11 simple tips for capturing a couple in love from 5 experienced wedding photographers from Clickin Moms.

1. Don’t forget to start of with a traditional portrait of both the bride and groom smiling and looking at the camera. While it may not be the most creative pose, it is a big seller.

traditional bride and groom photo by Allison Zercher
*image by Allison Zercher of Snippets from Suburbia

2. You’re photographing a couple who are madly in love, don’t forget to draw out their sexy side. A little nuzzling and some strong light from off camera lighting or bright middle of the day sun can add just enough drama to an image without crossing a line.

*image by April Nienhuis for Andrea Murphy

3. Close up portraits are classic and always beautiful, but for variety make sure to include some environmental portraits of the bride and groom with lots of negative space. This will help the couple remember the beauty of their venue and surroundings, as well as provide some options for great wall art.

*image by Sarah Vaughn for Sunshine Lane Photography

4. Use unique architectural elements of the couple’s venue to help frame the newlyweds at portrait time. Find some part(s) of their location that make it special, and include those spaces in your portaits. Oftentimes, the venue where the wedding is being held is a special place for the couple – make sure to capture the location as well as your bride and groom.silhouette-wedding-portrait-with-American-flag-by-Allison-Zercher*image by Allison Zercher of Snippets from Suburbia

5. Keep an eye out for reflections. Reflections can help you strengthen your composition and add interest to your portraits, detail shots, or documentary work. While water is an obvious place to find a reflection, look for glass, metal and other shiny surfaces to provide an interesting reflection as well.

*image by Michelle Turner

6. After you have your couple look at the camera and smile for the perfect portrait, don’t forget to have them turn and interact with each other. This allows you to get an entirely different image without changing the pose or your position and helps capture a more intimate moment.

*image by April Nienhuis for Andrea Murphy

7. Look for different ways to compose the same shot. Sometimes your first composition won’t be your favorite, so look for ways to photograph the same scene from a different vantage point. If you can’t change locations, try shooting from the ground or elevating yourself to alter your perspective.

*image by Michelle Turner

8. In addition to your traditional wedding portraits, tailor your images to suit the personality of the couple. Are they quiet and romantic, a little bit quirky, or fun and spontaneous? By incorporating their personality into the posing and atmosphere of the portraits, you will add something that is more personal and uniquely them that they will treasure.

*image by Sarah Vaughn for Sunshine Lane Photography

9. Include the bride and groom in some of the detail shots. Details can help tell the story of the day, but you can breathe new life into some of those images of shoes and flowers by including the bride and groom in some way.

*image by Michelle Turner

10. There are many times on a wedding day where you aren’t in control, but need to make great images. Being constantly aware of a potentially great moment and photograph is really important. Sometimes those images are found in focusing on the smaller details, like how his hand rests on her back as they are walking together, or that look they share when no one is looking.

*image by Jen Bebb for Bebb Studios

11. Not only capturing the special details of the couple but also consider the details of the day. When photographing a bride and groom try to include the special details of their wedding, whether it be the floral arrangements on the reception tables or their friends and family surrounding them with love.

include loved ones when photographing a bride and groom
*image by April Nienhuis for Andrea Murphy

Thanks to Clickin Moms for the guest post! Are you interested in contributing to Design Aglow’s blog? Send us your best work here.



the reviews are in for the design aglow posing guide for wedding photography

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Ready to add some new posing ideas to your toolbox in 2014? Make a resolution to buy the Design Aglow Posing Guide for Wedding Photography for a fresh, modern take on classic posing techniques. Here’s what some happy readers have to say:

This is a fantastic resource for any photographer who works with couples and especially weddings. It’s filled with so many great and modern ideas and is helpful for creating multiple shots within each pose. I also love that each photo in the book gives the camera settings and environmental settings, so you can get inside the photographer’s head a little. I highly recommend this resource, and I love Design Aglow!Katie (via Amazon)

“A good reference book for ideas for posing brides, Groomsmen and couples. This is handy as a reminder for posing examples and inspiration.” – John (via Amazon)

Modernly designed and laid out, the book’s beautiful images alone are worth the inspiration provided. The fact that each page is loaded with how-to’s, tips, and camera and lens settings makes it pretty much perfect. All photographs shown have been taken in the daytime, therefore utilizing gorgeous natural light. Filled with inspiration, fresh perspectives, and something for everyone, the price point of the book makes it a smart buy.” Rebecca (via Amazon)

“Great book for a seasoned professional, or an aspiring wedding photographer! The imagery and descriptions of the poses are awesome. Every image includes the settings and there are helpful tips throughout the book as well.” – Carrie (via Amazon)


CATEGORIES: Education, Inspiration
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