Sunshine money & some local business...

Yes my new twitter profile is the image that the paper didn't want to use!  Oh well...if you wish to see it I was featured in Get Reading in the Business section so feel free to click, have a giggle at the existing image but of course also read what I had to say about Carli-Art photography and business in the community.

Yesterday I was at the UK Solar Plaza conference for PV energy, what I initially thought would be a pretty much yawn subject turned out to be really interesting and while snapping away I picked up some 'really?!' facts about harnessing energy from the Sun.  The government's incentive launched in April 2010 predominantly aimed at Residential users, not that you would know as I haven't seen any information about it.  It has made me think about being 'greener' though and the shift that seems to be becoming more and more evident of business's considering in greater detail their impact on the environment.  Watch out tomorrow for some tips and some Thrifty bits on considering the eco sighing please....there easy to do and you can proudly stand on that soap box and state your consideration of the trees and pretty birds and so forth!

For the moment here are some sneak previews of the images coming soon.

Thrifty Thursday....ironing those brain creases...

If there is one thing I wish I knew how to do better and which seems to baffle a lot of people I know, is marketing!  I have no issues with ideas just staying on track.  Anyway I therefore spend a decent amount of time attempting to improve my skills in this area byt making sure I dedicate 4 hours a week to customer research, by taking part in business seminars and by generally absorbing as much info as I can about getting what is in my head, onto paper and most importantly taking action in my business.  I have read various bits and bobs today so have a varied collection of crease free ideas for you and as always, these are collected from a range of sources...

  • Generate some brainstorming activity by opening any magazine and picking a page, point to a random word on that page and develop and generate your ideas from this word. Thanks to Nick Bettes from Nick Bettes Consulting.
  • Set up a nurturing timeline for your customers and clients to ensure you are keeping on top of your relationships.  Thanks to the mini fountain of knowledge otherwise known as 'How to sell clever things to big companies' by Carrie Bedingfield at One fish two fish.
  • Name characters or types of people (eg Your Gran, A policeman) and then number them 1 to 6.  Roll a dice and whatever number the dice lands on, then use this 'character' as a mindset from where to view your current marketing strategy.  This puts you in somebody else's shoes, or slippers if its your nan.  This winner is from Dave Stewart and his thoughts on creativity within business.
  • Leave the excuses at home.  Thanks Dr. Lisa Turner 
  • Look after your existing customers first, then search for more.  Ta very much John Cheney ceo of
  • Last but by no means least this website 'Marketing for photographers' has a whole HEAP of bits from using facebook, having a phone script and taking senior portraits that are just a bit too sexy!

On a mission and making friends...

Carli-Art is very proud to be affiliated with Events company the Pineapple Parlour and now appears on their much loved friends and associates page - right here!  Check it out.

In other news the Mission Hair shoot was a lively event at the weekend with the sun shining and all models on top form, bar a few hangovers - Note to self not to arrange a shoot in World cup week again!  There are some exciting sneak previews below to keep your eyes happy and your brain keen for more.  Other images to follow on the final this space.

The end of this week will also see an opportunity for all friends, clients and those in the biz to win a selection of goodies and yes of course, this includes cakes-yum!  I won't divulge all the details about the lovely things available just yet but you will be able to get your hands on some free services and sweet goodies just by answering 4 questions, thats it....its a customer research project where all i want to do is improve my service to you so hopefully this will allow that to happen.  Keep your pinkies peeled.

What a Mission...Advertising shoot & Fashion Editorial pics

Tomorrow see's the Mission Hair shoot and a 5.30am start - should be illegal on a Sunday - but looking forward to it and working with a whole team of people I have never worked with before.  Model releases   printed, batteries charged and cards at the ready.  Also the first real shoot I am completing with the new camera - exciting stuff ladies and gentleman let me assure you!

So one thing which has taken a while to get posting on the blog is the Limited Ink pictures, a fashion editorial shoot for a cutting edge t-shirt design company providing limited edition tee's with an array of individual graphics and illustrations.  Below are some pics and when I get some time I think I am going to have a play with the saturation levels on Photoshop, up the yellow a bit or something.  Anyway, for the moment enjoy.

Next week......Mission Hair preview pics, client research project and a tog review!

Expose yourself....

How dare I go away and leave the blog residing on its own, terrible.  Anyway here I am back and with a bang!  Not only did my sparkly new camera arrive today but I have worked some on the new website and it is looking fab I must say.  As soon as the logo is redesigned I can really start moving things forward and one of the things I am looking forward to most is my new promo card!!! If you don't know what a promo card is check out this link.
I also have a new exciting format for my interviews, quick, fire filled and just 60 seconds long!  Welcome to EXPOSED!  I am really feeling this new style and hope to be speaking to various people from the creative and events industries.  Our very special first Exposed is brought to you by The Pineapple Parlour, a high end events agency creating truly memorable events by stepping outside the boundaries of expectation.  Welcome all pineapple lovers.

Being exposed: 
Tom Dee from The Pineapple Parlour
Web | Twitter | Facebook

In three words my company does...
Events + Events + Minor Miracles

If my company was an item found on a desk it would be...
Something functional but non-banal, probably a paper weight or envelope opener.....From Paris, circa 1910.  Or a Pez.

Not many people know...
Originally Superman didn't have the ability to fly, just very powerful legs for extremely high jumping

The last client Pineapple had the pleasure of doing business with was...
A social enterprise group called I-Genius.  We're helping coordinate events for the future and we are really chuffed as we like working with charities and good causes.

One thing I wish I knew more about is...
Astrobiology, purely because anyone who claims to know too much about it is making it up!  Genuinely interesting speculation though.

Photography to me means...
A chance to 'eternalize' that which we have tried so hard to get right, and very often the only remaining memory of an occasion, a person, a place etc.  This the world would be altogether less human without it.

I likes Pineapples because...
"Funky looking fruit, tough on the outside but delicate inside."  Sounds a bit dodgy but probably sums it up!

Thrifty pro or not to pro?

Thrifty Thursday again and I have been doing various research on using professional photographers and how images effect things like visitor experience of web pages and receipt of marketing material etc.  Not only does this help me to understand my services and products better but also the views of my potential target markets.  
I found some of this research interesting and for those of you rebuilding websites and thinking about using images this might give you some tips.

 - Commissioning a photographer rather than using stock images...are there advantages?
 - Why use a pro?  Everyone (almost) has a digital camera these days so why can't it be done without.  Well everyone has excel and access to some accounting packages, it doesn't mean doing your accounts yourself is a good idea. Kelly Gillam in this article asks one to think about the benefits before writing a pro off.  
 - Here the AOP a professional Association of Photographers writes a short piece on the False Economies of using Maureen in the office who owns an SLR, but also includes some useful pointers on copyright.
 - Getting your text right in your marketing material is vital so complimenting this with effective imagery can make those words resonate.  Download this blueprint for 5 effective tips for marketing material and how to get those images right.
Cliche but true...a picture paints a thousand words.  How many words would you have to write to say what that one image portrays in under a second?
 - Research in psychology and communication show that a visual display has many advantages in comparison to typical language...this is a detailed study completed in 2009 of the case for Graphic representations.  Read this if you have some time...interesting though!

(Image courtesy of loyalkng)