Archive for September, 2015
Sep 30, 2015
posted in Products with 0 Comments

We recently wrapped up our first barn sale.  We’ve never heard of one, seen one, let alone be part of one till this past weekend.  And it was tons of fun and I got to meet a lot of really fun and creative people who were also there representing their businesses.  I know there were a lot of other events and barn sales going on, but this one was the Becca Anne Barn Sale in Sparta.  I know it’s done and over with for now, but I’m telling you this one is a must attend barn sale when it happens again.  Currently, their next one is scheduled for March 18-19 2016, and I’m telling you that you really need to go and check this one out.

I’ll include a list of the vendors below, but I have to say that I was very impressed with the crafty things so many people were making.  Plus I know that at least three of the vendors were high school girls.  How cool is that!  I love seeing young people getting into business.  When I was in high school, I made money selling cookies to my classmates using recipes that I created myself, and so earned the nickname Cookieman.   But even better than seeing all the cool creations was getting to meet so many awesome people.  It took me two days to photograph everything because I kept spending so much time talking with so many of the vendors.  Not all of them, but most of them.

I don’t want to talk all day about this, but I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed being apart of the Becca Anne Barn Sale, and how much I recommend that you make it to the next barn sale starting on March 18, 2016.  Here’s the list below.  Look them up and check them out.  They’re all awesome people who are really creative!

There’s a few that I didn’t include pictures for below.  They are Buds-n-Blooms, Blue Collar Food, Country Boy’s Gourmet Kettle Corn, and Mountain Sno.

outside barn sale

outside barn sale

Vintage Charm

TN Chick Picker

 

The Screen Door

The Bollard Boutique

Synergy Herbal Works

Sew Mimi/Trendy Trunk

Poppie's Boutique

Pinky Plumb

Perfect Pallets

Matilda Jane

Love Is

Klassy Gems

Griffin's Closet

Deb's One of a Kind

Dave's Candles

Creative Chix

Back Achers Farms

Attitudes Boutique

AK Candles

AJ Soaps

A Touch of the Past

night time barn sale

barn sale

 

If you found this post helpfully in anyway, please let me.  Please Like and Share this post so others can enjoy it too.  Thanks for reading.

Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography

www.brandonmalonephotography.com

Sep 19, 2015
posted in Business with 0 Comments

We just wrapped up our first season of county fairs.  We’ve never had a booth at a county fair before, but being new in town we decided it was worth our marketing dollars to quickly be able to put our business and it’s products in the view of as many people as possible in the short amount of time that you get.  And since we had some awareness already started in White County (Sparta TN), we decided to put our focus on Putnam (Cookeville TN) and Cumberland (Crossville TN) Counties first.  Originally we decided against White County’s fair since it overlapped the Crossville fair, but due to the high volume of inquires about our attendance, we finally ended up going to the White County fair as well.  And really, it was by pure luck (or by God’s planning) that we got into the White County fair.  They were not only filled up, but had a long waiting list.  I came in three days after the fair started and inquired about any unfilled spots, and then there I was.

My experiences at each of the three was unique.  I did find that there is usually one photographers name more than the others that is heard in each of those areas.  But what I found extremely interesting was how many times I would hear comments about there not being any photographers anymore in the area.  I know very well that there’s dozens of photographers in the surrounding areas, so why would people say such a thing?  I never asked them to expound on their comments, but I have a couple of guesses.  One is that they just don’t know of any.  The other is that they may be referring to a specific quality level of photographers, meaning that they’re only seeing work that they don’t consider to be their idea of professional photography work and so are not seeing any work that they would consider to be that of a true professional photographer.  I’m guessing that the answer is a little of both.  But I do know some photographers in the surrounding areas that I personally would consider as professional and would be willing to refer a client to if needed.  At the same time, there is and will always be tons more photographers out there that are not operating professionally, and this is dangerous if not handled appropriately.

photo booth at Putnam County Fair

Booth setup at Putnam County Fair in Cookeville TN

There is one critical element that I just was not able to get into place this year that I wished I’d been able to, and that’s a system for collecting contact information from those interested in our services.  You bet I’ll have it in place next year.  But for this year, our main focus was just getting ourselves out there so people can know we exist and see the work and products we have created so they can decide if we’re right for them.  I truly feel that we accomplished that as our main goal.  Now we have a list of things we want to do for next year to help create a better experience for everyone.

photo booth at Cumberland County Fair

Booth setup at Cumberland County Fair in Crossville TN

Probably one of the most important factors in having the most exposure possible is location.  I was inside at Putnam, outside in a tent at Cumberland, and then at the door way of a building location (inside again) at White County.  The difference I found is that depending on your location, people can choose whether to avoid you or not.  If I’m outside and located in the immediate are of traffic to either the rides or the food, then people can’t avoid walking by me.  But if I’m in a building with other vendors, then people have to choose to walk by you and every other vendor in order to do so.  So next year, one of the biggest things I’m going to try fixing is my location.  As much as weather can be hazardous, outside spots do bring in more traffic.

photo booth at White County Fair

Booth setup at White County Fair in Sparta TN

I have a lot of other ideas as well, but listing them all will create a book instead of a post.  But I will list some.  I want to enhance the ambiance of the space with lighting, music, and fans.  I also want to update my samples with images of local clients featuring the main areas of photography that I want to promote the most instead of using so many samples featuring clients from back in MD. I’ve also thought about increasing my tent size and getting some customized printing done to the outside of the tent walls, featuring images anywhere from quarter size to full size of the 10×10 walls.  But whatever we do differently, our goal is the same as it is with everything else we do, which is to create a wow factor for those stepping into our space.

photo promotional card

This is the promotional offer that we’ve been handing out at the fairs. It is available to everyone and is good thru the end of 2015.

 

Though it has been expensive, challenging, and exhausting, the fairs have been a great experience for my business, and I’m surprised I don’t see more photographers doing them.  To me it just makes sense.  I’d rather spend my time and money getting in front of more people than just paying for print ads.  I probably met well over 200 people that I talked to personally during these three fairs.  That’s not to bad.  Plus another great bonus to it is the means of growing your network.  I was able to talk with a handful of other businesses.  Some I created friendships with, and others the possibility of working with in a co-business partnership and referral systems.  To grow a personal business, you must create, develop, and grow relationships with others, whether they’re individuals or business owners.  Building relationships is the key to building a successful busines.

 

Update: We will actually be at the Becca Anne Barn Sale on Sept 25-27, and at the Lester Flatt Celebration on October 10th.

 

If you found this post helpfully in anyway, please let me.  Please Like and Share this post so others can enjoy it too.  Thanks for reading.

Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography

www.brandonmalonephotography.com

Sep 02, 2015
posted in Portraits with 0 Comments

I just want to take a few minutes and share 5 pointers on posing for great pictures.  Unless you’re an experienced model, you probably know very little about posing.  At the same time there are some very simple things that you can remember the next time you’re being photographed that will make you look better.  And these are good posing techniques that work for both men and women.

There is nothing more important than good posture.  I know there are times to break every rule, but you first need to master a rule so you’ll better know how and when to break it.  The reason posture is so important is because it makes a person look confident, strong, and secure.  This is regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing.  So here’s what you need to know with posture:

  1. Keep your head up (not your chin).  Pretend a string is attached to the top of your spine and pulling up, lifting your head from the back.
  2. Straighten your back.  This refers to your upper back.  The lower back should have an inward curve to it.  If it doesn’t, it’s because you’re slouching with your upper back.
  3. Roll your shoulders back.  Not pushing them back so far that you crush your shoulder blades together, but only a couple of inches so as to broaden the chest.
  4. Breath in about half way and stop.  This fills and lifts the chest cavity, make you look confident.
  5. Put your weight on your back leg/cheek.  When standing, put your weight on the back leg so as to shift your hips back, making you thinner.  When sitting, sit on your back leg or butt cheek to help force you into good posture and to avoid frontal flat butt in your picture.

 

The photo below shows the difference in the back and the shoulders.  Additionally, you see an additional technique I use in which I position the arms so as to see the waist.  The image on the left makes her look wider because the arm looks like it’s part of the body, whereas the one on the right doesn’t.

two portraits showing difference in posing sitting

good and bad posing

 

Though the below image was more of a lighting example, it still has posing differences as well, very similarly to that of the above images.  You’ll notice that by getting the body turned just slightly more on the right than on the left, and by adjusting the arm positions, this bride appears much thinner in the image on the right than she does on the left.

 

model sitting on stool

The two above images demonstrate the difference a small amount of posing can make. The left image shows what can happen when little to no posing instructions are given. The image on the right is the result of more clear posing directions.

 

before and after picture of bridal portrait

(Two image above) Lighting difference demonstration

 

If you found this post helpfully in anyway, please let me.  Please Like and Share this post so others can enjoy it too.  Thanks for reading.

Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography

www.brandonmalonephotography.com