Category Archives: Photography and Flickr

Fletcher Prince Photography Services

A picture is worth a thousand words…or a thousand customers!  Fletcher Prince http://www.FletcherPrince.com can help you create a suite of professional photos and images for your company or nonprofit, then show you how to feature them online — on websites, in videos, and on social networks.

Rely on us for organizational and optimization strategies that make your images get found in search engine results.

For more information, email Mary@FletcherPrince.com or call (571) 269-7559.

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Capabilities: our photography services

A picture is worth a thousand words…or a thousand customers!  Fletcher Prince http://www.FletcherPrince.com can help you create a suite of professional photos and images for your company or nonprofit, then show you how to feature them online — on websites, in videos, and on social networks.

Rely on us for organizational and optimization strategies that make your images get found in search engine results.

For more information, email Mary@FletcherPrince.com or call (571) 269-7559.

Reflecting light for outdoor video and photography

If you’re shooting outdoors, and who wouldn’t want to try it on a lovely DC day like today, remember that you don’t have to work with just the light you have.  You can use simple tools to reflect or diffuse light to create much more pleasing images.  We do this ourselves when we record video — the before and after effects are pretty impressive!  I can look ten years younger with the right lighting 🙂

In this brief F.J. Westcott video, Randy Kerr demonstrates some techniques you can try.  I think the African settings are fascinating!  In a pinch, you can use a piece of white foam core or even poster board to bounce light.  But reflectors are inexpensive and not too tricky to learn how to use, so consider adding them to your tool kit as you create photographs and videos for your marketing efforts.

 

Photo Shoot with PRofessional Solutions (gallery)

David and I had a wonderful time taking photos of Kate Perrin and Melanie Jordan of PRofessional Solutions.  PRofessional Solutions, as you may know, is the only public relations temporary staffing firm in the Washington, DC area.

Every photo shoot we do is different and I think what was special about this one was the warm rapport between these two professionals — which, naturally, carries over into how they run their business and work with clients.  I’m sure it’s a big part of their success.  They are wonderful clients to work for.

Check out the images … which is your favorite? (Click on the image to enlarge or enable the carousel).

Using online images to tell your story (video)

If you want to reach and engage your most important audiences, don’t discount the power of images. Online images are proven attention-getters on Facebook Pages and blogs, and can increase your EdgeRank and SEO.

Here are  a few practical tips from a presentation recorded in front of a live audience at RHED Pixed in October 2011.

To view the entire social media presentation, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FribPuQhwc

Special thanks to Richard Harrington and the video production crew at RHED Pixel.

A fun, creative, and free photo project: marketing mosaic

Our photo mosaic includes images of logos, staff, work examples, and clients

I am a big fan of Big Huge Labs, which offers a number of free ways to use your online photos and create photo products. These are creative and affordable tools for marketing your business or nonprofit organization.

In your downtime, you might try making a photo mosaic of your business.  It’s free and easy to make, and you can use it in a variety of ways.

A mosaic is a quick way to capture and convey the essence of your business and what makes it unique, and it’s a great way to feel good about your accomplishments.

Collect Those Photos!

Here are some examples of images could you include in your mosaic (keep in mind: each image will be cropped square) —

  • Company logo (use the square version you use for social media)
  • Company logos of your client
  • Images of staff (working, at events)
  • Images of clients and customers
  • Examples of your products, or service in action

You should regularly be snapping, collecting, and uploading these images online, by the way, so if you find you don’t have enough to make a mosaic, that is your photography project for the summer!

As you select images, they will be automatically placed into the mosaic, in the order you designate.  It takes some tweaking, as you go, to make a visually pleasing image (see my example, below).  You are basically creating a photographic quilt of your business.  Or, alternatively, a photo strip.

Like all creative acts, making a photo mosaic is relaxing and revelatory.  The very act of selecting and arranging these photos about your business is a good exercise in discovering and affirming what is important to you, what you value, and what you offer.

How To Market With Mosaics

Mosaics aren’t just for fun; they also have practical applications.  Here are some ways you can use the mosaic —

  • Use a long strip as a blog header or email newsletter header
  • Insert a square mosaic into the cover sleeve of a customizable binder or appointment calendar
  • Tack one up on your bulletin board (or employee bulletin board) to make you feel good every time you look at it
  • Decorate your website or blog posts
  • Use it as a background for an exhibit display or banner at a conference
  • Frame it and display it on your reception desk, in your restaurant, etc.
  • Print on letterhead, postcards, thank you cards, or notecards
  • Jazz up your annual report cover
  • Upload as a Twitter background
  • Include it on your Facebook Page landing “welcome” page
  • Make a bunch of strips and use them in brochures

All you need to get started is this Big Huge Labs link, a computer and color printer, paper, and some online photos.  You can upload your photos from your computer, or directly from your Flickr account.   If you don’t already have a Flickr account, now is a good time to start.

Ask us for help, and have fun with your photo mosaic!  I would love to see your results 🙂

Photo idea for your website or blog: cherry blossoms!

Mary Fletcher Jones, Cherry Blossoms (photo by David Hyson)

I help clients put together websites, Facebook Pages, and blogs, and the number one problem I encounter is that they do not have enough good, recent photographs of themselves.

I need my clients to be a bit more vain! 🙂

For my DC area clients, I do encourage them to have their picture taken (by friends or family) near DC landmarks, when they visit them.  These pictures can be great!

Today is the day to ask your friend or spouse to take a photo of you next to the cherry blossoms.  It can be a lovely addition to your photography collection, and can help reinforce your brand as a DC-based company.  The next few days will be snowy or rainy, so although it will be crowded, today is the day to get out there and get those shots.

If you get the right shot, you can use it on your website or blog. What says DC like cherry blossoms?  The Tidal Basin is great for photos, but there’s a nice grove near the Washington Monument, close to Constitution, and even some great photo ops in Bethesda, Maryland (Kenwood Country Club) and Alexandria, Virginia (near Clydes, Mark Center), among other places in the DC metro area.

Here are some tips for getting a great shot with the cherry blossoms…

Mary Fletcher Jones with Cherry Blossoms (photo by David Hyson)

Dress the part, and keep it natural and informal. It’s going to be chilly but for your photo, you can doff your jacket or coat quickly.  If you’re carrying a purse or anything, put that to the side, with your coat.  Wear a simple shirt or blouse in a solid color for the best results.  Try cherry-blossom complimentary colors like soft green, aqua, rose, or soft blue.  Even white can work, if that works with your coloring.

Frame or crop for a head and shoulders shot, with cherry blossoms in the background.  It can be harder to get monuments in the shot, too, but if you can do it, go for it!

Mary Fletcher Jones with cherry blossoms, Tidal Basin (photo by David Hyson)

Take lots of pictures! Have some fun with it. Don’t be afraid of close-ups (that’s what Photoshop is for).

Don’t pick the cherry blossoms, or even hold a fallen cherry blossom in your hand in the photo.  Picking the cherry blossoms is illegal, and you don’t want to convey that you might have done something illegal!  You can hold your hand lightly on a branch, if that is the look you are going for.

When smiling for the camera, relax and think of something wonderful so you will also smile with your eyes. A modeling tip: if you are displaying a toothy smile, put the tip of your tongue lightly against the back of your top teeth.  I don’t know why this works, but it does!  Try some different head positions, like slightly cocking it to one side, or 3/4 views.

If you are an older person (older than 35) don’t let your photographer friend shoot “up,” for example, if they are shorter than you, or downhill from you. Have them shoot from a slightly raised position, or angle the camera down.  These angles will be more flattering.  Or you can shoot from a straight angle, or from the side.  Just don’t let  someone aim the camera lens from below your chin.

Return the favor. Everyone wants photos of themselves by the cherry blossoms.  Take photos of your friend, and of tourists who ask.

Most importantly: post those photos online! Tweet them, put them on your Facebook Page, blog, and website.  Be sure to alt-tag them and/or caption them with your name.

All photos by David Hyson.

12 Days of Marketing Communications. Day 7: Flickr and Images

The least under-utilized marketing tool, but perhaps the most useful, are images.  Do you know that when I survey the 15+ Facebook Pages I administer or help administer, images are what get the highest impressions?

Online images can help you achieve higher search engine results, and when placed on a social sharing site such as Flickr, can be linked with search engine-friendly text to help tell your company’s story.

And this year, Twitter enabled a feature that allows images to be viewed directly in the user’s Twitter dashboard, as long as you upload links from Flickr or another reputable photo sharing site.  So any click-anxiety has been eradicated.

Yet, so many companies and organizations — and particularly communicators, agencies, and communications organizations! — simply do not upload sufficient numbers of photos to engage their followers and viewers.

At Fletcher Prince, we know how to get marketing results from online images.  We obtained a number of media placements for three of our clients, simply by emailing targeted media with a few images.  The photographs we took and uploaded to Facebook Pages in 2010 have been viewed by thousands of people.

My recommendations for 2011 are

  • Audit your online image inventory.  Google yourself, your company name, and your brand names, and check under “Images.”  What do you see?  What is missing?
  • Ask Fletcher Prince to help you set up a branded Flickr page.  We also offer affordable photography services.
  • Carry a digital camera with you everywhere you go, but especially to each industry-related event.
  • Get in the habit of regularly uploading images to your Facebook Page and Flickr account.
  • Start using more images in your blog posts, Twitter updates, press releases, email communications, videos, and direct mail.

Your best marketing tool may be your digital camera

I hope I don’t sound like a broken record when I repeat that as a business owner or manager (especially if you are communicator), you should take your camera with you everywhere you go, take lots of photos, and post them online frequently (with the kind of permission controls that allow people to share them).

Just  few things you can do with photos of your staff and business include

  • Sending them to the media (they always need photos) for news and feature stories
  • Fleshing out your Google Profile
  • Recording short YouTube videos (most digital cameras also take video)
  • Including them in videos or using them to create slideshow-style videos
  • Creating Facebook Page albums
  • Including them on your blog, email newsletter, and website
  • Including them on your print materials (newsletter, brochures)

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Having a camera handy has opened a lot of doors for me.  Going to an event, conference, or workshop?  Take photos and email them to people you’ve met, or to the speaker.  Or send them to the organizers, so they can include them in the post-event blog or newsletter.  People LOVE this.  I can’t tell you how many people are using my photos as their Facebook and LinkedIn profile photos!  Plus, it is a fantastic way to remember people’s names.

If you haven’t used a digital camera very much, I can tell you it’s worth learning how.  Here’s a short video in which I review my favorite, and share some tips for getting the most out of your digital camera and your online photos.

Image is everything (Tribulations of Headshot Photography)

I was recently asked to speak at a conference and I have to submit a head shot. (I am so excited about that by the way, but that is another post.) I have headshots, of course, but they are all old (and sadly, many pounds ago).  And I have kabillions of photos of myself, but not one that I really felt said: take this woman extremely seriously; she knows what she’s talking about.

Fortunately, David is a professional photographer.  At times like this, I feel very lucky to have David as a business partner.  Who am I kidding?  I feel lucky EVERY DAY to have David as a business partner!  You will not meet a nicer guy.

So, David agrees; he will take my photo.  I say, can we also take some photos of each other?  Where we look, you know, professional?  Because I have been working on that.  We have lots of fun photos but very few photos of ourselves as a team.  I wanted to take some of him, too, because I have never used a DSLR.

Well, I learned a lot about photography yesterday.  First of all, taking a really good photo of someone is not as easy as it looks.  David makes it look easy, but it is not easy at all.  I discovered this when I tried to take David’s photo.  Those DSLR cameras are HEAVY!  And they are not foolproof.  They take real know-how.  I took all kinds of overexposed shots until he showed me a few tricks.

Of course, David’s shots of me were more successful, and that is really saying something.  I am not super-easy to photograph.  One eyelid always wants to do something the other eyelid is not on board with.  I blink.  And, I have a jack o’lantern smile that enchants babies but looking like a middle-aged Muppet in a head-shot is, perhaps, not a very corporate look.  So I have to really work at being (or at least looking) serious.  We put on some Mazzy Starr and that tamped down my natural-born frivolity a bit.

Then came the challenge of taking our photo together.  As I said, I have a head like a pumpkin.  Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts?  We were separated at birth.  So I had to stand a bit behind David because in the shots where I was in the foreground, my head looked MASSIVE 🙂

But I knew that going into it, so we quickly adjusted and came out with some good shots.  So here are some of the photographs!

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