Archive for September, 2009

Sep200930

10

button we’re gonna score tonight

It’s no secret that I love my two jill-e bags. (I have the small leather and the large suede rolling.) I sing their praises quite often, not only for how much they carry, but also how protected they carry the cargo.

But for the upcoming weekend I wanted something “tiny” – something “camera only”. Tiny is usually not a luxury afforded to DSLR users. I also didn’t want it to scream “please steal my camera / bag”. And of course I wanted it to protect my camera and lens. Oh yeah, and be cute. No problem, right?

bowler camera bag

Thankfully my needs were met the instant I hunted around the Photojojo store and found their Bad-Ass Bowler Camera Bag.

bowler with the top down

The inside view in the photo above shows my Nikon D200 (sans grip) with a Nikon 12-24mm f/4G lens attached. The bag also comes with a removable divider (more photos at Photojojo) just in case you should require such a thing. Oh yeah, and it also comes with a cute plastic dinosaur (and is conveniently designed in OU’s school colors). Can’t forget that!

(Camera wristlet strap courtesy of My Funky Camera. Check the comments to see a size-comparison of the new bowler bag and the jill-e small bag.)

Nothing like a little shiny patent leather to make a girl all happy and smiley. Let’s bowl, let’s bowl, let’s rock-‘n’-roll!

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Sep200927

2

button elfin magic

moo mini card holiday / Christmas tag

This (FREE!) Moo mini card template is designed to be used as a bag-tag or gift tag for the holidays. Just punch a hole in one end, run thin ribbon through the hole, and ba-da-boom, ba-da-bing!

download link ← (please note this file was designed in CS2 and you must have Photoshop or Elements and know how to edit a .psd layered file — I do not provide technical support for this download)

The fonts used are Annabelle and Myriad Pro. You can change the background color but I don’t recommend it, as the candy cane graphic won’t appear properly.

As luck would have it, Moo is currently running a mini-card special through midnight EDT tonight (9/27)—as part of their 3rd birthday celebration they are 15% off. So no excuses. Go make some and play.

This template is ©Robyn Pollman, 2009. All rights reserved. It may not be copied, resold, made available for download or given away elsewhere, or redistributed without my written permission.

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Sep200925

0

button it’s not easy being green

I would love to feature a photographer here who has ‘gone green’ with their packaging and product / marketing presentation. Finding one has proved quite the challenge, however. Do you fit the bill? Would you like to see your name up here in (energy-efficient) lights?

If so please contact me (my e-mail is in the sidebar and is robyn @ this domain – or you can leave a comment). I’ll help walk you through how to get your guest post and photos published.

Thanks!
Robyn

P.S. A few sources for environmentally friendly packaging and products:
1. H-B Photo
2. Botanical Paperworks
3. Greenerprinter.com
4. Nashville Wraps
5. ProDPI Lab (Green Executive Packaging)
6. Moo (Eco Friendly Business Cards)
Have more? Please leave ’em in the comments!

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Sep200923

1

button mocha with cream

Looking ‘expensive’ doesn’t always mean being expensive. In today’s guest post, Chelsea Stirlen of Chelsea Stirlen Photography shows how your packaging can look like a million bucks without breaking the bank (or even the piggy bank).

Chelsea Stirlen

When I chose my packaging I had one thing in mind – COST. I knew the look I wanted, but as a new business I was, shall we say, poor. Very, very poor. I chose chocolate & ivory for my packaging because not only was it easily available from many different vendors, but frankly I loved the way it looked. I always have. I wanted to keep my branding very simple, inexpensive, and available so I had the option to shop for the best price.

This is everything I use to package (except my glue gun). Avery labels, ivory paper bags, ivory wrapping paper, white tissue paper, 1″ ivory satin ribbon, chocolate boxes, and 1″ chocolate satin ribbon. That’s it. Simpler was easier for me and had the added benefit of being less expensive. It still gives me the rich, special look I want, but it doesn’t break my bank book to package my orders.

All but the chocolate print boxes were purchased at Xpedx – a nationwide supply store. Those spools of satin ribbon & the wrapping paper come in 100′ lengths for $10 and $15 each (respectively). Much less expensive than a lot of online outlets and I don’t have to pay shipping. Unfortunately they do not have an online store, but they have retail locations all over.

Chelsea Stirlen

The chocolate boxes are provided by my lab and my prints come pre-enclosed in clear poly bags according to size. I remove the ecru tissue paper and replace it with white, then seal with one of my thistle flowers. This flower appears behind my logo and I use it for sealing tissue in print boxes, thank you notes to my clients, and the info packets they receive at their sessions.

I’d show my info packet but you’ve probably already seen it… It’s Robyn’s Template #1 from her ‘Fit to Print‘ line. I personalized it with my own colors, included print prices & frequently asked questions. I also created a seperate 5×7 flat insert that contains my referral program and an area for order notes. My model release and photo contract are printed onto simple letterhead and are awaiting my clients the morning of their session – I do not send them ahead of time so they do not need their own packaging.

Chelsea Stirlen

To cut costs in creating personal touches, like my thistle sticker, I opted to create my own. I created a page full of brown circles the same chocolate tone as my packaging, inserted my purple thistle flower and VOILÀ – an entire sheet of stickers for next to nothing. I print them onto full sheet Avery labels – available at any office supply store or large chain – and punch them out using a scalloped edged craft punch.

Chelsea Stirlen

When everything is sealed up, I add ribbon. Brown boxes get an ivory ribbon and ivory wrapped items get a chocolate ribbon. Canvases, digital files, keepsake books, etc. are all wrapped in ivory paper to protect them, keep them clean and create that ‘gift’ look.

Chelsea Stirlen

My ribbons used to be hand tied, but thanks to Robyn I now use the ‘uncrushable’ version! They hold up well, don’t come apart or become indistinguishable in shipping, and they’re quick & easy to make. When everything is sealed, wrapped, and adorned with ribbon I bag it.

Chelsea Stirlen

I use ivory paper bags in a variety of sizes, each with it’s own Avery label. (I should be an Avery label spokesman!) On my bags I use the 2″ x 4″ labels & just round the corners with a craft punch. It has a chocolate edge, my logo inside, and a space where I can write my client’s name. As I often have more than one order packaged and awaiting pickup in my home, it’s nice to label them so I know I’m giving the correct order to my client. I use more of the white tissue paper in the bags and top it all with a small chocolate ribbon to keep the bag closed.

My vendors are few, but I do love them.
WHCC
Xpedx
Perfection Distributing

I hope this helps other newbie photographers realize that they can do beautiful packaging without bankrupting themselves. It may seem expensive, but if you shop around for the best price you can get an expensive look for a very reasonable price tag.


Thank you so much, Chelsea! Please stop by her website and blog to thank her for her time and recommendations!

If you’re interested in having your own business packaging, marketing ideas, or photography-related products featured please contact me (my e-mail is in the sidebar and is robyn @ this domain – or you can leave a comment).

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Sep200921

4

button on display

New week – new guest post! Today Jen Gentry of Mesmerizing Moments Photography shares how she set up a booth for a recent community event.

So grab a pen and paper to take notes. Ready? Set? Go! Take it away, Jen…

Mesmerizing Moments

I think booths at local events are the best marketing you can ask for. They typically run about $100 for the entry fee, and then you can just bring whatever samples you already have, maybe order a few more, order a few hundred business cards, then borrow some tables and a tent! That’s it! One new client from it will pay for everything you put into it, but YOU WILL get more than one!

Mesmerizing Moments

Mesmerizing Moments

To make my booth a little snazzy, I just create a few different unique ways to display business cards, and decorate the whole thing with colors that match my logo and marketing.

Mesmerizing Moments

Mesmerizing Moments

I set up my booth in way that catches people’s eyes (with large prints & canvases)—then to make them stay I put out lots of little photos, and candy with my business cards attached, and products. The longer you can get them to stay looking through your stuff, the longer you will have to sell yourself!

Mesmerizing Moments

This booth was a big success, because I was approached by a local pediatrician office, and asked if I would like to do a big display in their office…ummm, “yes please!” These events are great ways to show your work, and get known in the area, for very little cost. I still get people from events long ago saying that is how they found out about me. And once somebody has met you in person, I think they tend to remember you more, so when need of a photographer comes up, they will spread the word for you!

Mesmerizing Moments

Mesmerizing Moments

Word of mouth has truly been my most successful marketing, and has kept my calendar full! You can just check your town’s website, and be on the lookout for fliers at local stores. Hope all that helps! Thanks so much for the guest spot.


Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us, Jen! Don’t forget to stop by her website and blog and tell her you appreciate her time!

If you’re interested in having your own business packaging, marketing ideas, or photography-related products featured please contact me (my e-mail is in the sidebar and is robyn @ this domain – or you can leave a comment).

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Sep200915

4

button visual dessert

If you’re like me and you’re not ashamed to say that photos of pretty packaging make you weep openly, this is your warning to go grab a tissue right now. This is some of the most beautiful presentation I’ve ever seen—and the product photography is as outstanding as the products themselves!

So let’s get started! A guest postJ.Passon Artistic Portraiture packaging:

J Passon

These pictures show the variety of ways that I package up my orders and client gifts. No two packages are necessarily the same yet they all have the same components.

J Passon

J Passon

I am very particular about my colors and search high and low to find the perfect color of turquoise and 2 shades of brown for my bags, boxes, ribbon and tissue. I love using kraft bags and boxes as they have a great organic and natural feel which goes with my natural and candid style of photography.

J Passon

J Passon

Just the past couple of months I decided to step up my game when it came to packaging. I realized that my clients were spending quite a bit more money and I wanted them to feel like it was a $1,000 package in their hands. I just love hearing the oohs and aahs from my clients as I hand them their package!

For all of my prints, I slip them into clear self-sealing bags with a white board for rigidity. I then layer them into the boxes with tissue and secure the tissue with a mini sticker from Moo. The boxes then get a couple of layers of ribbon and a label on the top. On the bags I hang a mini moo card that I customized by rounding two of the corners and I layer behind the card a piece of coordinating cardstock and then tie it to the handle. Finish off with tissue and a big ribbon and it is ready to go!

J Passon

I recently launched a new newborn website so depending on what type of session I am wrapping up, I have two different sets of labels and mini cards. This helps the newborn client feel a little extra special!

J Passon

To each session I bring along a client packet which contains all of the product and pricing forms, some marketing materials and I tie it up with a ribbon.

J Passon

J Passon

Each client also gets a little bag with some chocolates and a mini version of the Inspire Guide. I customized the guide to match my colors and presentation style. Just about every item in the client packet is customized with my colors and the same fonts that are used in my logo. This helps to maintain a specific style and look.

J Passon

J Passon

Earlier this year I found a lab that printed 5×7 cards that fold on the side. I loved them and instantly had my graphic designer create a high-end gift certificate that clients love!

J Passon

J Passon

I have used various graphics from templates I have purchased to create custom stickers from Moo. I use them on a variety of my packaging.

J Passon

I get a variety of my packaging and marketing products from a variety of places so here is my general vendor list:

Rice Studio Supply
Bags & Bows
Nashville Wraps
Paper Presentation
Clear Bags
Moo
WHCC
Bay Photo
McKenna Pro Lab

Make sure to visit Jessica’s website, new newborn website, and blog. Tell her thank you for sharing and inspiring!


If you’re interested in having your packaging, marketing ideas, or products featured please contact me (my e-mail is in the sidebar and is robyn @ this domain – or you can leave a comment).

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Sep200912

2

button joy to the world

joy wonder family template

(Originally posted to Flickr forums in July 2007.)

This (FREE!) Christmas card template was originally designed to print as a 4×8 photo card in sRGB from WHCC. (You can view a larger demo version here.)

download link ← (please note this file was designed in CS2 and you must have Photoshop or Elements and know how to edit a .psd layered file — I do not provide technical support for this download)

The three images that go in the black area of the bordered image boxes should be 660×450 pixels (300 dpi) or 2.2 x 1.5″. See this previous free-download-post for information on changing the background color.

The font I used for the top and bottom of the card is “Frivolous“. It can be downloaded (FREE!) here. The text for “JOY / WONDER / FAMILY” can be hidden but not changed.

This template is ©Robyn Pollman, 2009. All rights reserved. It may not be copied, resold, made available for download or given away elsewhere, or redistributed without my written permission.

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Sep200909

0

button the great beyond

Ready for another fantastic guest post? Me, too! I’m excited to share the following by Sherri Sanchez of Beyond Red and Green – “Christmas and Baby Templates for the professional photographer”.

Make sure you read ’til the end for a special discount!

beyond red and green

Hi everyone! My name is Sherri Sanchez, and I’m the designer behind Beyond Red and Green! Photography is my first love, but I have always enjoyed creating in many different ways. Four years ago when I was looking at templates for my photography business, I found that there really wasn’t much out there that suited my tastes. I didn’t like the traditional bright red and green colors and styles that I saw. I wanted something “beyond” all that so to speak, and decided to put something out there that I felt other photographers might appreciate as well. I love the simple and understated. Crisp and beautiful elements. Pretty colors and vintage touches. I feel that my design work expresses a little of each of those things, and I hope that you do too!

beyond red and green

Beyond Red and Green offers a completely new set of Christmas templates each year. (One thing I’ve always offered on my Christmas templates is the ability to order them individually.) But I have also found a way to express my love of newborns with my beautiful baby announcement collections. I try to make each set with care and attention to detail…only creating something that I would be willing to send out for my own baby.

beyond red and green

All of my templates come in complete layers, so that each element you see can be moved around to your liking. Colors can be changed, and image boxes can be duplicated, moved or deleted to meet your client’s needs. Text can be deleted if needed as well. Each template is sized for whcc’s specifications, and come in psd format.

beyond red and green

beyond red and green

Come by and check us out! And as a special thank you to Robyn for featuring my work, I’m offering $10.00 off any order of $50.00 or more to Paperie Boutique readers! Simply mention that you saw me on The Paperie Boutique, send in your order as usual, and I will make sure to refund for the discount!

beyond red and green

Thank you so much Sherri! Make sure you stop by Beyond Red and Green and tell her “hi”!

If you’re interested in having your packaging, marketing ideas, or products featured please contact me (my e-mail is in the sidebar and is robyn @ this domain – or you can leave a comment).

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Sep200903

8

button see. spot.

*tap, tap* Is this thing on? I apologize for the temporary neglect of this site. Finally have my real life back together enough to tackle my online one. And I’m kicking things off with a bang!

You might remember Carrie Small’s recent feature (and her adorable logo). The following guest post is by that logo’s amazing designer at “On the Spot Studio“.

UPDATE: See below for a special discount from OnTheSpotStudio.com for Paperie Boutique viewers!

OTSS logo

Choosing and Designing a Logo for a Photography Businesses
by Tiffany Willett of OnTheSpotStudio.com

Hi! First off, I’m Tiffany of OTSS. Thanks so much Robyn for having me here at Paperie Boutique! Today we’re going to talk a little about logos and branding.

OTSS logo

The first step in branding yourself is, of course, choosing a designer. There are quite a few designers out there to choose from so how do you know which one is the “right” one? When choosing your designer, be sure to look for the following:

Budget: How much are you willing to spend on a logo that defines you?

Communication: Does your designer offer methods of communication other than just email?

Previous Work: Check out your designer’s portfolio. Do they do a lot of work similar to the style you’re wanting?

Research: Contact some of the designer’s past clients. Find out how the process went and whether or not they were happy with the result.

Policies: Be sure to check out the designer’s policies. Make sure they offer what you are wanting in terms of final files, turn around time, edits, etc.

OTSS logo

Let’s touch on the subject of budgeting. Most importantly, stick to what you can afford. Your logo defines your business and should be with you MANY years. Wait until funds are available to work with the designer that you really feel can capture your style and business in your logo. Your logo defines your business and shouldn’t be changed often. The basic concept should remain the same, as constantly changing your look may cause your clients to wonder whether or not you are serious about your work.

Next up: Communication. I offer my clients the option to call me, chat with me on messenger, or email me. I personally prefer designing when I have my client on instant messenger. It really gives me a “feel” for my clients personality. For me, the key to nailing the clients vision is to really get inside their head, get a feel for what they like, their personality, the type of photography they do, etc.

Research: Be sure to research your options. Check out local competition to make sure you don’t brand yourself too closely to them. Make sure you make note of the style of logo you like, write down links, and be sure to write out what you like about each logo you choose. I supply my clients with a questionnaire and I ask for logos that they like. This way, I can get to know their style a little better.

Final Files & Policies: I supply my clients with all files needed to use their logo to its full potential. PSD files with a resizeable vector shape, transparent PNG file to use on website, marketing materials, etc., JPG files to show off on sites such as Facebook or MySpace (sites that require a JPG image), ABR files (Photoshop brush file) for watermarking images in Photoshop, and I supply an optional vector format (EPS or AI) if requested. I keep all my client files saved on an external harddrive so should my client lose their files, I have a backup.

Be sure to check your designer’s policies!!! Some designers do not offer PSD or Vector files that can be edited. I do. This guarantees the client the ability to change colors or placement of elements within the logo. Hey, if you’re paying for it, you should have the oppurtunity to change things up once in a while!

OTSS logo

Now, after you have chosen your designer, its time to get down to business! Below I will explain MY logo process with my clients.

Once the client orders the logo, I will send them a logo questionnaire to fill out. The questionnaire contains things such as Business Name, a place to describe their preferred style, a section for them to let me know their color preferences, examples of a few logos they like (note above: Research!), any elements they feel they want in their logo (flowers, trees, bubbles, etc.), and finally, I ask my clients to describe what they feel their style is. The questionnaire helps me create the design based on exactly what the client wants.

Finally: How I Design for Clients

The most important part of designing, for me, is capturing the client’s style. I love to hand draw elements that really show the photographer’s personality. I will try basically anything the client requests…I love the challenge of drawing new things! My goal as a designer is to create a brand that the photographer will never want to change. Something that defines them, as a person and as a photographer.

Let’s start the process:

Once I have received the client questionnaire, I file it in their folder in my inbox. I then tag the email so that I know what they ordered and when. This helps me make sure I get to orders in the order they were received.

The design process can either be simple or a bit trying. I always let my clients know that even if they’re less than satisfied with the first set of proofs I create for them, to not get discouraged. I ask them to voice what it is they like and what they dislike about the drafts. It’s kind of like a process of elimination. From the first set of logos, I take what the client has mentioned and apply it to a new set (of 3 logos). I will do this (within reason) until I get a logo so very close to what they’re wanting. Then all that’s left are the final edits. I try to go out of my way to make sure the client has full control over the design they hired me to construct for them.

For viewing proofs, I supply my clients a link and password to a private gallery on my site. This lets the client view their choices all at once, instead of having to refer back to older emails. This is also where I load new proofs during the process. It makes it easier when they tell me which logo designs are their favorite.

Once a design has been chosen, I will add their folder to a “Finalize” folder in my inbox letting me know what the next step for the client is. I primarily do finalizations on Friday afternoons, although if the client needs the file sooner, all they have to do is let me know. Once I finalize the files (PSD, JPG, PNG and ABR), I will zip the folder up, labeled with the clients name (for organization) and Description of the folder. Then I email the final files to the client.

OTSS logo

I am always available for my clients if they have any questions about their designs. I like to work with them on a personal basis, and nine times out of ten, by the time I am finished working with the client, I can think of them more as a friend. My clients also get discounts for future purchases from OTSS as a thank you for choosing me as their designer.

If you have any questions for me regarding choosing a designer or any other questions about how the process works, I encourage you to email me and let me know! I will do all that I can, as a designer, to promise you my best work should you choose me for your design needs!

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Hey, guess what? Use code paperie15 for 15% off from OTSS!

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Thanks so much to Tiffany for taking the time to share her expertise and advice! Please also visit the On The Spot Studio Blog for more!

In order to have a custom logo, you’ll need to have a business name picked out first. If that is something you’re still struggling with, visit this excellent new article by Photojojo: “Starting Your Photo Biz…What’s In a Name?

There are more guest features in the queue so please stay tuned! If you’re interested in having your packaging, marketing ideas, or products featured please contact me (my e-mail is in the sidebar and is robyn @ this domain – or you can leave a comment).

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