Friday, September 25, 2009

PhotoPlus Expo 2009 - Your Best Plan of Action

PhotoPlus Expo is fast approaching, and there are a ton of seminars to see, and registration is open. We feel that there will always be resources to learn about lighting and software, so instead, we'll give you the same "Best Course of Action" for all three days that we did last year for your business-side of things. However, last year, we gave you one recommendation, this year, we'll give you a few alternate recommendations. Our "Best Choice" recommendations are in red. Here Goes:

(Continued after the Jump)

Oct 22, 2009 - 8:45 AM to 11:45 AM
BEST CHOICE: How to Get Work from Ad Agencies (Link)
Presenting: Sarah Galkin, Andrea Kaye, JoAnne Tansman, moderated by Debra Weiss
Description: Many changes have taken place in the ad industry and many more are to come. With more and more slashed budgets, growing competition and fewer jobs what's a photographer to do? Join us for a roundtable discussion with two art buyers and a creative director and hear what you need to make it as an advertising photographer. Gain insight into what it takes to get their attention, how they choose the photographers they work with and how to build lasting beneficial relationships. You'll hear panelists' honest and frank perspectives on how you can succeed in this rapidly changing and increasingly impersonal business. This seminar is a must for photographers looking to increase their chance of getting work from ad agencies. Sponsored by ADBASE
My Comments: This panel discussion has been a tried-and-true presentation, with valuable insights from each panelist.

Oct 22, 2009 - 11:45 AM to 1:15 PM
BEST CHOICE: LUNCH and the show floor (here's a link to the Javits Food Court offerings)
My Comments: Now is the time to grab a quick sandwich and take a quick spin around the show floor for 45 to 60 minutes to pinpoint your "must see" booths, for later.

Oct 22, 2009 - 1:15 PM to 3:15 PM
BEST CHOICE: Is Your Website Making You Money? (Link)
Presenting: Blake Discher
Description: Each day, there are 300 million searches on the Internet. According to Forrester Research, 81 percent of consumers on the Internet find products or services using search engines. According to StatMarket, only 7 percent of all Web sites are visible on search engines. In this three-hour seminar, Blake Discher shares how he succeeds in having his Web site consistently place at the top of the major search engines, resulting in increased billings and greater visibility for his business. Photographers, studio managers and artist's representatives will learn about the importance of proper keyword phrases and links, site design and copywriting that is search-engine friendly. Learn more about pay-per-click search engine marketing and how to achieve excellent organic search results. In addition, Discher will discuss how to effectively implement a link-building campaign to increase page rank, perhaps the single most important aspect of search engine optimization. Sponsored by ASMP, ADBASE & LiveBooks
My Comments: Blake has given talks on this subject for a few years, updating it as the web evolves. If you've seen it, go see it again and get refreshed, otherwise, check out the panel below.

Oct 22, 2009 - 1:15 PM to 3:15 PM
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Tools for Selling Stock Direct (Link)
Presenting: Fred Benenson, Ellen Boughn, Pam Fischer, Allan Murbayashi, Rahul Pathak
Description: We are very close to a convergence of technology and evolving search behavior that will enable photographers to license their existing images directly to clients as never before. Learn how from representatives of companies on the cutting edge of these technologies: Photo Shelter, ImageSpan, LookStat and Creative Commons. PhotoShelter has great tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and ImageSpan offers a soup-to-nuts program for licensing stock direct. LookStat provides microstock photographers with detailed information about their own licenses, eliminating reliance on traditional stock shooting tips. Finally, Creative Commons offers a series of licenses widely used on Flickr. It has possibilities for teaching emerging photographers which images are the most popular, helping them to refine their style and monetize their best images. Handouts will be provided. Sponsored by Agency Access
My Comments: As people realize that they have all the tools at their disposal to monetize their image archives, knowing how to do that - direct - without the aide of a traditional photo agency, will be valuable knowledge. Ths program will give you those insights, or set you in the right direction to begin to grow your understanding of what's involved.

Oct 22, 2009 - 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
BEST CHOICE: What do I Charge? (Link)
Presenting: Susan Carr
Description: Are your clients asking for more and paying less? Are your costs increasing? Are you struggling with how to determine your fees? And, what about talking to clients about price? Susan Carr takes the mystery out of determining your fees and setting licensing terms as she presents real world strategies for pricing in this tough business climate. Topics to be covered include: what you need to know about copyright; why copyright, how licensing and pricing are connected; a real world look at how to license photography; different pricing models; steps to determining what to charge; and selling your price. Sponsored by ASMP
My Comments: I've known Susan for several years, and her presentations are always top-notch. When it comes to developing pricing models that are best suited to you, her presentation will be a sure thing!

Oct 22, 2009 - 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Stepping Up to Larger Production Commercial Shoots (Link)
Presenting: Kareem Black, Celeste Holt-Waters, Conor Risch, Kathryn Tyrrel, Bette Wilkes
Description: In this seminar photographers will learn from top photo industry professionals how commercial shoots of every size are successfully planned and produced. Photographers will gain a top-to-bottom understanding of commercial production, from the ins and outs of the bidding and planning processes, to communicating effectively with creatives, clients, crews and talent on the day of the shoot. Seminar attendees will also learn how to pitch themselves to buyers and build portfolios that land them their first production-heavy jobs. A photographer will also discuss the success strategies that have allowed him to land increasingly complex commercial jobs. Sponsored by PDN
My Comments: If you feel like your pricing systems are in place, and you want to take your business to the next level, don't miss this presentation.

Oct 22, 2009 - 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Light & The Dramatic Portrait (Link)
Presenting: Michael Grecco
Description: Michael Grecco, author of the bestselling book Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait, creates highly stylized portraits that have been featured in numerous publications, including Esquire, Maxim and TIME. Using his own work as a reference, Grecco will explain his techniques for rendering light and shadow, and will demonstrate how he creates his stylistic and dramatic images. He will share work from his latest book, Naked Ambition: An R-Rated Look at an X-Rated Industry, and other current projects. He will also discuss the specialty lights, equipment and setups he used to compose the striking signature look for this new work. The last 20 minutes of this seminar will be a Q&A, during which time some of Grecco's specialty gear will be shown. Handouts will be provided.
My Comments:Michael has a unique perspective and a no-B.S. approach to photography, and the business of photography.

Oct 22, 2009 - 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
BEST CHOICE: Greg Heisler Presents: Arnold Newman, Impact & Influence (Link)
Presenting: Greg Heisler
Description: "We do not take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds." This poignant message to engage the medium with intelligence and compassion, as quoted by legendary portrait photographer Arnold Newman, has deeply impacted generations of photographers. In this special presentation award-winning photographer (and former Arnold Newman assistant) Gregory Heisler, will share his personal perspective on Newman's work and legacy, along with a presentation of indelible images from his own thirty-year career. Also in attendance, representing the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation, Newman's sons Eric and David will join Heisler to announce the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture.
My Comments: Heisler's program will be a great way to close out the day and enjoy amazing images.

Oct 23, 2009 - 9AM PM to 1:15 PM
My Comments: Hit the show floor. Visit the places you identified the day before, and do more in-depth research. Sleep on your decisions, and make your final purchasing decisions tomorrow.

Oct 23, 2009 - 1:15 PM to 3:15 PM
BEST CHOICE: Super Sites: Successful Self-Promotion for the Digital Age (Link)
Presenting: Rebecca Crumley, Louisa Curtis, Richard Maltz, Lorraine McNeil-Popper, Erin Rabasch
Description: With all the new ways of letting prospective clients know who you are and what you do, "one size fits all" just does not cut it in today's market. Whether you shoot advertising, editorial, fine art or weddings your Web site is the most important tool to showcase your work and your visual brand. This panel of esteemed photo buyers will discuss not only what makes a Web site that clients want to bookmark, but also how to steer them to your site and make them want to return regularly. The panelists will weigh in on new and buzzworthy ways to "sell" yourself, such as having your own blog or using social networking sites, and will share their self-promotional do's and don'ts. The discussion will culminate with a "live critique" of willing audience members' Web sites. This is your chance to get candid, constructive feedback on your own marketing efforts! Handouts will be provided. Sponsored by LiveBooks & APA
My Comments: This is a great panel discussion and will help you to know better how to market yourself.

Oct 23, 2009 - 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
BEST CHOICE: Strategic Estimating (Link)
Presenting: Jeff Sedlik
Description: Ever struggled with the wording of an estimate? Do you confidently respond to client requests for "buy-outs" and work-made for-hire terms? Do you know all of the most important factors to consider when quoting fees to your clients? Effective estimating is both an art and a science. To be successful, your estimate must be profitable, yet competitive. Learn how to generate estimates designed to win jobs and maximize your revenues and profits. Learn precisely what questions to ask your client, and how to best use their answers to win the job. Beginner to intermediate levels. Sponsored by PLUS
My Comments:WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT MISS THIS ONE (or mine!). Sedlik will give you clear and concise tools for estimating. I will absolutely positively be there!

Oct 23, 2009 - 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
HIGHLY RECOMMEND: Starting Today, You're a Brand: Building Your Brand & Your Business (Link)
Presenting: Ken Carbone, Shama Hyer, Lynn Martin, Corey Rich, Todd Wasserman
Description: Whether you're a photographer, educator, independent consultant or corporate employee, developing a "personal brand" to market yourself isn't merely hip. . .it's a survival strategy. Young turks of marketing and social networking join successful photographers and seasoned industry insiders to explain, inspire, share their own experiences and outline the creative and strategic process of defining and establishing your brand online. You'll learn what's essential, where and how to source compelling content, how to use key sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others), video and other resources more efficiently and effectively, plus learn time-saving tips and what NOT to do online. All levels. Sponsored by Brandweek
My Comments: If you feel you know estimating, this is going to be a great alternative to Sedlik's program.

Oct 24, 2009 - 8:45 AM to 11:45 AM
BEST CHOICE: Negotiating With Clients & Best Business Practices For Photographers (LINK)
Presenting: John Harrington
Description: The art of negotiating takes time; this seminar offers a shortcut. John Harrington will offer insights into how he negotiates his assignments using real situations, including actual exchanges with clients. In this seminar, everything from tone to cadence to the selection of when—and how—to address the sticky details of your negotiation will be demonstrated and discussed. In addition, Harrington will touch on key considerations about how to run your business more efficiently and effectively in the current economic climate. Beginner to intermediate levels.
My Comments:Need I say more? Mine is, of course, a don't miss program!

Oct 24, 2009 - 11:45 PM to 1:15 PM
BEST CHOICE: Final Trip to Show Floor
My Comments: May your final decisions and purchases during this time.

Oct 24, 2009 - 1:15 PM to 3:15 PM
BEST CHOICE: 10 Steps to Becoming a Great Photographer (Link)
Presenting: Steve Simon
Description: There are no secrets, at least in this session, where Steve Simon deconstructs the elements that make good photographers great. Through this innovative 10-step process, Simon will help you transform your passion into a unique personal vision. He will take you out of your comfort zone to help you determine what you want to say with your work while providing practical knowledge to translate your feelings into strong content. Simon's presentation combines humor and poignancy as he takes you on an inspirational journey through his personal and compelling projects. His presentation is full of surprises, tips for balancing personal and commercial work, as well as insights for pushing your photographic limits to the next level of your journey as an image-maker. All levels.
My Comments:Steve knows his stuff, and will give you some real-world insights.

Oct 24, 2009 - 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
BEST CHOICE: Breaking into the Biz: What Every Student and Emerging Photographer Should Know
Presenting: Judy Herrmann, Mike Starke
Description: Sure, you want to be a commercial photographer and you've got talent, drive and ambition but where do you start? In this seminar, veteran photographers Judy Herrmann and Mike Starke will provide you with a wealth of resources and share real world tactics that will help you take your career where you want it to go. Topics include finding work as an assistant, portfolio development, marketing your work, as well as pricing and developing sound business practices. This seminar is ideal for students looking for guidance and advice; for emerging photographers seeking a more satisfying career path; and for anyone contemplating a career change into this exciting but challenging field. Handouts are available online. Beginner to intermediate levels.
Sponsored by ASMP
My Comments: We recommended this program last year, and reprise that BEST CHOICE recommendation again. If you saw it last year, and are implementing their recommendations, then check out the recommendation below.

Oct 24, 2009 - 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
HIGHLY RECOMMEND: Photojournalism: What's Next in Storytelling (Link)
Presenting: Deanne Fitzmaurice
Description: Big changes are happening in our industry now, particularly in photojournalism, as budgets shrink at print outlets (magazines, newspapers) and readers turn to the Web for information. The good news is this has opened up new opportunities for photojournalists who want to learn new skills and new ways of storytelling using multimedia. Media outlets, corporations and NGOs are constantly looking for multimedia content for their Web sites, including still photos with audio and video. Diversifying and learning these new skills will make a photographer more marketable in these changing times. All levels. Sponsored by Microsoft
My Comments:Deanne is a great presenter, and will talk to you about her solutions and ideas about how to evolve in the contracting world of photojournalism.

Below is what your registration should look like. Note that because you have eight seminars, you get the "full conference" price of $495.


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