Archive for Business
Jan 30, 2017
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In my last post I mentioned something that I wanted to talk a bit more about for you in this post.  But I want to be careful not to give all the details away.  And that is that I am currently working on creating a second photography business that will be separate from Brandon Malone Photography.

So why would I do this?  Simply put, there’s additional services that I would like to be able to provide my community and surrounding areas, that at the same time I would like to keep separate from my current business model.  I also want the new business to be equipped to employ other aspiring photographers.  Not every photographer is meant to be a business person, so I want to give them a chance to work doing what they want to do, but without having to worry about the business and sales sides of things.  I also see it as a good opportunity to offer high school seniors an additional opportunity to earn volunteer hours.  Ultimately I want to build a business that is designed to hire others to operate it.  I believe this will in the end accomplish many positive results for our community by expanding quality professional photographic services, and employing others, even if on a small scale.

So what will we do?  Our first focus will be on elementary school portraits.  Once we have that down, then we’ll work on things like proms, pageants, corporate events, church directories, and more.  In fact, I even plan to move my current sports photography from Brandon Malone Photography to the new company.  Over time as this develops and grows, we will explore and pursue other areas as well, to include various types of personal portrait sessions.  There is even a possibility that I may eventually consider moving my senior photography over to it as well.

So what will stay with Brandon Malone Photography?  It’s really hard to know exactly what the future holds, but for the time being my real estate photography is definitely staying put, and I’ll use it to continue providing any kind of commercial related services, along with any custom or boutique portrait sessions that won’t fit into the new business model.

So what will be the name of the new business and when can we expect to see it?  The new company name is Tennessee Photo Company LLC.  You will slowing see it coming about one step at a time.  Once we finish with establishing our schools devision, we will quickly start aggressively going after other markets as well.  Our first will probably be school proms, then will be followed by pageants and church directories.  And then probably dance studios as well.  We have already moved Sports over, so look for that to be branded with the new company when you see it next.

But that’s it for now.  I’ll keep you posted as we update things.

 

Tenn Photo Co. Logo

 

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Jan 17, 2017
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Last Friday night we finally returned home from the 2017 Imaging USA Convention, which was held in San Antonio this year.  Next year it’ll be back in Nashville, which is totally awesome!  And so I just wanted to touched on things for you guys.

Imaging is a photography convention done by Professional Photographers of America and is done every year, but moves around between a handful of locations.  Generally Nashville, Atlanta, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Phoenix I believe.  It consists of classes every day on a wide variety of subjects from people that are experts in their fields.  Then in the middle portion of the day there is the expo, in which a massive number of vendors are there for attendees to wonder thru and learn about them and buy products and services.  Vendors can include labs, camera stores, camera manufactures such as Canon, various business services, educational resources, props and accessories, and so on.  Canon usually is one of the biggest and provides constant educational programs throughout the expo hours.  Some of the other vendors also have educational programs, so there’s always learning to be done even when classes are not in session.

For us, Amanda and I started with one class on boudoir.  At one point we also had a posing class with one of my favorites, Lindsay Adler.  Other topics included school photography, sports photography, drone imagery, and even one on dance photography.  The dance class was really helpful since I would at some point love to branch into working with local dance studios as well.

If you’re wondering why I did these classes specifically, let me tell you why.  Posing and boudoir both focus on helping women look their best in pictures regardless of whether you’re shooting boudoir portraits, high school senior portraits, or commercial/model pictures.  As most of you know, we started doing team and individual sports pictures last year, so we want to further ourselves in that area.  Drones is because I recently added that to my real estate photography work.  But then schools is an entirely different thing.  Not everyone knows, but we are currently working on creating an entirely new photography company specifically for volume work.  Eventually my sports work will shift over to it as well, but our first focus is school portraits.  I’ll get into it more at a later time, but that is something in the works.

There’s of course all kinds of other classes on everything from weddings, to sales, to lighting, to babies, to seniors, and more.  That’s why it’s sometimes hard to pick which class to go to during each block of time.  And every once in a while you’ll land a dud class, but overall it’s always an extremely exciting and overwhelming experience.  Oh yeah, there’s also a great opening and closing party each year that includes a meal, and there’s a guest keynote speaker as well.  This year it was Mel Robbins talking about her 5-Second Rule.  Awesome speech!

Anyways, that’s the start of our new year for us.  Can’t wait to see where we’re at on the other end of 2017!

This is just the lobby area of the convention center in San Antonio. The expo was thru the welcome area.

Cheesy selfie of Amanda and I at the Alamo. Being a Texan, I also remember the Alamo. lol. Love doing things with my wife. It was such a blessing to have her there with me this year. Makes a world of difference for me.

We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant there on the River Walk in San Antonio one day. Can’t remember the name, but they had churro’s. Not near as good and real one’s in Mexico, but still good.

Amanda eating ice cream over the River Walk in San Antonio. The mint flavor was so intense that she said it was like eating tooth paste, but still good. lol

 

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Dec 01, 2016
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So after months of studying in my spare time, I finally took and passed my Part 107 Knowledge test in order to gain my license as a remote pilot operator so that I can start providing drone imagery services for my real estate photography clients.  For months I have been looking to do this, but haven’t had much spare time.  As the season slowed down, I was finally able to put in the time needed, and in the end I scored a 93% on my test!  Way better than I expected to get.

drone farm picture

For those who have not yet taken it, I want to make sure you know that it is not a simple test.  It was not a simple study and pass a test kind of thing.  I had to really dig in and get as much info as I could.  I had to learn it and understand things about maps, and weather, and airport and radio operations, air craft performance, and personal performance.  If I didn’t understand something, then I found a video online to help me understand.

drone farm picture

I found that I wasn’t able to rely on one single source alone for preparing.  The FAA Study Guide is a great starting point and has lots of good info, but there’s other things on the test that aren’t covered in the study guide.  I found an app for $20 that had almost 400 study questions.  Many of which were on the actual test.  This app combined with the study guide and online videos really helped.  I found other online courses also that are great, but I was close enough to being ready by the time I found them that it no longer made sense for me to invest in them.  The app by the way was called the Remote Pilot FAA Test Prep – UAS Rating.

drone study app

For those wanting to know about the test itself, please feel free to leave any questions you have in the comments below.  I was not allowed to take into the testing area my phone, material of any kind, or writing tools like pens or highlighters.  I was provided with a book that contained all the charts I had to refer to, and I was not allowed to mark in the book.  I was given a clear plastic page and a dry erase marker if I needed to make marks over any of the pages for any reason.  They also gave me a pencil and one sheet of blank paper.  My test was done on a computer and I was able to bounce around as needed between questions.  That way I could address all the easy ones first, and then go back to the ones needing more thought.

Once the test as done, I left there with a couple pieces of paper, one of which included a code related to my scores.  I had to wait up to 48 hours for the system to see my code so I could complete the online precess for my remote pilot license.  Once I got that submitted, now I’m waiting for about 7 days to receive my temporary license till I finally receive my official one.

I know that there’s still lots of drone operators out there flying commercially that do not yet their license. For mine and my client’s sake, I refused to do that.  Once I knew I was ready for the test, I finally purchased my first drone, the DJI Phantom 4.  Now while I wait for the process to finish running its course, I’m getting myself acclimated to my newest tool for my real estate photography.  I definitely was not looking forward to all the expenses, but it’s worth it in the end.

 

drone farm picture

 

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