Spammy Sales Emails and the Lingering Odour…

yelling man image

I’m willing to bet both of my eye teeth, that if you are a small business owner you get about a dozen of these sales emails a week. The might not be for photo editing specifically but you get the gist. On the odd occasion I’m actually at my desk plunking away I will return the odd response. Is anyone listening? Not likely. But it sure feels smug to be able to hit SEND.

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The real point that hit me was WHY would I not care about a POSSIBLY great service to use? It’s the angle of attack of course.

BUY MY STUFF. USE ME I’M THE BEST. WE GIVE GOOD QUALITY WORK.

Am I shouting too loud? Exactly.

First off – If you can’t even find someone to correct your grammar I’M OUT. This kind of poor quality attention to detail has me running for the door.

Second – I want you to learn about MY business. Ask ME questions, learn about what my needs in business are THEN pitch me the services I need.

Third – Blanket emails that you can’t even put a NAME to (and all that would take is checking on my ABOUT PAGE) to personalise. You would get so many more opens to this email if you personalised it with Dear XXX”

A well formatted sales email will ask questions, will hit on pain points, identify  problems, and provide solutions. And only THEN will they go in for the Sale.

Build the relationship first, learn, and then GO FOR THE JUGULAR.

(In case you were curious)

My response:

This type of blank solicitation email does not work to get sales.  We Australians do not like spammy unsolicited sales emails. Why don’t you ask me what I NEED instead of PUSHING your company all over me like a bad smell. I can bet you haven’t received even 1 positive response back?

Understand your customers, and what they want and MAYBE you will be able to offer me something I would buy into.
Your Sales Tip of the Day from Someone Who Would Actually Consider Using You If I Thought you Might Actually Care About My Business.
Erin Pimm
www.head-hunters.com.au

Crooked Lines and Dark Corners – Real Estate Photography

Real Estate Photography – Yours vs The Professionals

Many property managers, private home sellers, and rental property choose to take their own images. Yes, they have a DSLR, maybe even a tripod…compare the difference between these agent captured images vs HeadHunters professional real estate photography capture and processing.

So I decided to take up the challenge of local Property Managers Mitchell Properties. Hayley Mitchell is a great photographer herself and has done a good job with her images but we wanted to do a true head-to-head comparison.

The Bathroom

Which Bathroom would you prefer to wake up to every morning?

The biggest differences you will first notice is the colour of the images. The first has a very yellow colour caste and underexposed. There is also a wider angle in the image on the right. More coverage so to speak. You see how the shower connect to the rest of the bathroom (and yes I am sitting on the toilet).

Buyers and renters like BRIGHT rooms. They like to see the big picture.

Living Room

Mental note about the colour again of this room. Yellow tinge, dark ceilings and corners. In the second image the colours have been corrected and the ceiling lit for a much brighter vibrant image.

The other outstanding difference would be the over exposed windows. One exposure generally wont cover this. You either have to expose for the window or the inside. So generally you end up with a so-so medium exposure where nothing is correct. To accomplish this properly a professional will take 2 exposures, and composite them in post production so you have a properly exposed window and interior.

The last thing Im mentioning – and this is where my OCD kicks in  – is crooked lines – I feel like I’m in a Tilt-a-Whirl

The Pool

The HERO shot! Every property needs at least one. Generally we would have a fabulous exterior twilight balanced image to show off and hook you in…but this pool shot will do nicely.

Notice the vibrant colours, straight lines  and correct wide angle centred image. When in doubt – always pick a straight well centred image.

 

 

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The View

Million dollar views. Want to live here? We do too! View is the major selling point from this unit. Unobstructed views of downtown Melbourne from Sydney Meyer Bowl to ACCA in South Melbourne. So we capture a panorama to maximise the marketing opportunity for this property.

 

Not every property needs to have professional photographs. We understand that. But when it comes to your investment, the value of your property, the types of tenants you attract, the number of auction attendees – professional Real Estate photography will help you increase the perceived value of your nest investments. Its easy, fast and affordable, and the bottom line is more dollars in your pocket with a shorter vacancy time.

Give us a call for all your Real Estate Photography needs.
Pool03Pool03

Get your LinkedIn – Social Media House in Good Order!

Head-Hunters photography headshot image

 

Head-Hunters Photography Headshot ImagesIf you are the average Australian you’ve just spent on average 3 hours on your mobile cruising social media APPS today. Facebook is the obvious, and I know you’re looking on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and maybe even *gasps* Tinder! So you’ve seen some stuff… I can tell.

So how does your profile stack up to all the others?

I get it. you’re busy. We all are. Up and at ’em in the morning to work, a full 40 hours a week, the gym, social, laundry…who has time to update their profile picture right?

WRONG. Who DOESN’T have the time to get their profiles all spiffied up. You are probably part of the 75% of employees who are currently employed but looking to make that next leap up the ladder. Time to get your social media house in order.

And don’t be fooled…Employers are searching for you on social media. They want to see a balanced life…not too many party pictures of you munted at last weekends Rainbow Serpent Music Festival or your besties birthday at Miss Collins. So lets scrub or at the VERY least change the privacy settings on those more dubious images.  Do a Google image search for your name and make sure you scrub those images off the net as well. Here is a great resource for removing images from the web

Now I’m sure the thought of getting new headshots taken for your LinkedIn Profile and you other social media send shudders up your spine?Head-Hunters Photography Headshots

Well it doesn’t need to be painful! You don’t need to book time off work either! HeadHunters is offering a great new weekday $99 special where WE will come right to YOUR door.  We’ll use some of the great architecture and storefronts of your business hood and take a great environmental portrait for you. We’ll walk far enough away that the boss doesn’t need to see what we’re up to (unless of course you are going for major brownie point with him.

Quick and easy. 30 minutes from start to finish, and you’ll even have time to apply for that new job you saw on LinkedIn this morning.

So what are you waiting for?

Head-Hunters Photography Image
Head-Hunters LinkedIn Headshots

Bullet proof your profile.

First impressions are absolutely everything.

GO win the job, the contract, the GIRL. And call me to get your $99 Lunchtime LinkedIn Headshot! 

iPhone Photography Tips for Small Business

iPhone Photography Tips for Small Business

EVERY business owner has one of these smart gadgets they’re virtually tethered to …and yet most of us brick and mortar businesses could be doing so much more with these little devices every day to help out in our marketing. And guess what…these ideas won’t cost you a dime…

Special of the week/Feature Wedding of the week – Say you are a florist shop and you want to keep you clients in front of you. Do up your bouquet of the week with your feature flower, or wedding theme and take pictures of the sets…these go HOG wild on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook!

Wedding bouquet

POS and In Store Displays – Fresh fruit stands have fodder galore, but you know what makes them really great? Vibrant Colour and lots of Pattern (think of how lovingly they are stacked every day). Use that to your advantage in any storefront of business window.Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 12.12.22 PM

 

Coffee Shops – yes of course you are going to feature your shi-shi coffee and poached eggs on Feta and bespoke multigrain…but how about your PATRONS! Get them to check in with a review and photo on Google+, or YELP and give them their next coffee ON THE HOUSE and feature THEM on your favourite Social media…everyone deserves their 15 minutes!

Shoe/Podiatrists Shop – Engage a sporty “customer of the month’ and have her try on several different shoes. (GIve them a loss leader freebie as a thank you). You could also do a greaHappy Employeet little flat lay every week with a new outfit and pairing.

 

Tax Store/Accountant – So not sexy – I know, I know…BUT…Feature your clients with a big return on your Facebook page. You won’t need to coax them to have their picture taken when you save them money this year.

Book Store Special

Book Store – Featured books of the month are obviously the low hanging fruit but why not try a Kids Reading Corner – ask THEM to suggest a book! (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr)

 

flatlay

 

 

Clothing – Flat lays are hot! Try doing one up on the counter or bench – pair up your feature or specials with all the accessories…or better yet get the customers to try them on and model!(Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest)

 

 

Before and AfterHairdressers/Make-Up Artists – THIS business is the CREME de la CREME for Before & After Marketing. The key here is for images to be similar to each other in angle, distance and lighting. Toss those into a collage APP and that’s an INSTANT seller!

 

Best practices for Social Media.

Now in order to get the best out of your pictures – here are a few ideas on how to engage your customers at the right time and place with your social media postings…

  1. Try and post every day on Instagram and Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest (wherever your clients are). At the very LEAST once a week.
  2. Run monthly contests for engagement.
  3. Offer freebies for check-ins and reviews.
  4. Spend a few moments on the image using some great APPs with filters(most social media have them built in now)
  5. Post at the top of the hour, just before work, lunch hour (12:30-1:00)

 

Try a few of these APPS on your smartphone for fun…

And a  few more thoughts about your images:

  • Make sure the image is in focus.
  • Make sure the image doesnt have too much clutter around it or too busy
  • Use lots of colour and pattern
  • Use the square orientation if you are planning on Instagram, so its properly framed right in camera
  • Try and get an even consistent light from side to side.
  • Watch out for the overhead lighting…and it’s EVIL shadows!

 

Enjoy your creative time, use these iphone photography tips, and when you’re ready to get some incredible business images for your business –  call HeadHunters Photography!

 

iPhoneography – Part II

So now you know what your camera can do straight out of the box, let’s start getting into the fun creative aspect of iPhoneography

** Watch out for the exercise at the bottom – and send us your pics on Twitter or Instagram!**

Welcome to the wild wild world of ‘Photographic Design Elements’  

“To achieve visual unity is a main goal of graphic design. When all elements are in agreement, a design is considered unified. No individual part is viewed as more important than the whole design. A good balance between unity and variety must be established to avoid a chaotic or a lifeless design” (wikipedia).

So what are design elements REALLY? It’s a simple and complex answer. The Simple is: they make your photo better: The Complex is: the multitudes of elements and HOW you use them to create compelling images. Subtle or Overt.  We’re gong to tackle in the simplest terms the main elements used in composing images. This is where your eye, your style, your taste comes into play with your iPhoneography

Learn the Rules. Then learn how why and when to break them. But most importantly –  KNOW the WHY.

Depth of Field

This is your field of focus. Your camera WANTS to decide for you what and where to focus. You are are going to give a stern talking to and go Manual (AE and AF LOCK). To lock either your focus or Exposure, you need to open your camera, touch the place in your image that you want to lock in the focus (so your camera doesn’t take over and control this) and then wait until the YELLOW AE/AF LOCK block comes on. Now your focus and exposure are locked. Oh – And don’t forget to turn it off later – that could seriously mess your images up when you’re not thinking about it the next time your using your camera.

When you have a choice of close or distant objects to focus on, and it picks close, then the rest of the image will be out of focus. When everything is distant (on a similar focal plane) then the camera will generall y be able to put it all into focus. But when you can CHOOSE what the focal point will be and learn how to use it, it can isolate items in your image, pull your attention to whatever it is you choose to ‘pop’ that element out with focus, then the creative powers are in your hands now! You can choose close, mid distance, far away, or far enough away that its all in focus.

HeadHunters Headshots melbourne
Longer depth of field
HeadHunters Headshots melbourne
Shallow Depth of field

Quality & Direction of Light

Light changes all the time. But there are 3 things to ‘focus’ on (pardon the pun) when it come to assessing and using.

Quality: Have you noticed that the light looks different from sunrise to mid day to end of day? The color cast (warm early and late – cool daytime and in the shade). Even the seasons from winter to summer vary. Color cast is very important when considering light. Shade is cold, blue, and end of day is a golden cast. Tuck that away in the back of your mind for a bit.

Quantity: Night, Day, Inside & Out.  Natural vs Strobe/Flash short vs long exposure

Direction

Front Lighting – this is the most typical use of light.  The light source is directly in front of the subject. You get context, detail, colour. Its the most natural and obvious way to use light and what we’ve all been taught. To place your subject so that the light falls onto the face, or object.

HeadHunters Headshots melbourne
front side back side front

Side lighting you get shadows and texture. Try looking at your skin lit from the side. Its not particularly flattering really. It brings out every little bump. Thats the texture. But it is dramatic!

Backlit is an extraordinary form when used correctly. Its all about shape. You can use backlighting in daytime and expose for the subject but everything else will be over exposed and blown out. You can have some gorgeous sunbeams and filters. Or you can have the dark Film Noire feel when used at night to focus only on the shape and form.

Ghoul Lighting. All I can say to this is unless you are doing a horror movie – dont bother. It’s so unflattering and unnatural. Our eyes are not used to seeing things lit from below and its very strange and awkward and unpleasing to the eye. Creates tension for sure.

Patterns & Broken pattern

HeadHunters Headshots Melbourne

Pattern gives our eyes something to follow, direction, and purpose. Its identifiable, geometric and strong. Close attention to patterns can create a feeling of a bigger picture. What lays outside the frame. Our eyes recognize patterns very quickly and so its great to use in marketing design (think of the big rows of vegetables at your local veggies stand and how appealing and yummy they all look (if they are well organised as well).

 

 

 

 

jkahl10@flickr
jkahl10@flickr

On the opposite side of this you’re breaking the rule. Broken Pattern. Use it, but know WHY and HOW. Try and use this with color, placement, and focus. Give the  broken pattern even more impact. The one glass thats empty versus all full, the open window of the apartment building all the rest closed, or the post painted a different color than the rest, the red car in a sea of silver. The main point here being emphasise your broken pattern. Use it to your advantage. The eye will search and find. Let your image do the work for you.

Next Up…more design principles and how to incorporate them into your business!

Todays Exercise. Go out on your lunch break or around the office and LOOK for the direction of the light, where its coming from and then search for patterns and broken patterns and upload your images to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag: #headhuntersmelbourne.

I cant wait to see what you can find today!