{modern, stylized and urban couture~ san diego county based destination photographer}

Nicole Benitez

I am a Modern Stylized and Urban Couture Photographer based in San Diego {Southern California} and always available for session and wedding travel. Specializing in Modeling Portfolios, Commercial and Editorial Photography, Weddings, Couples, Kids and Seniors.

I love God, cupcakes, handbags, shoes, my family and wine. We recently moved back to California after my husband retired from the Marine Corps and we are living life in the Southern California sunshine.

Thanks for stopping by, make sure you leave some comment love so I know you were here. oxox

Monday, November 14, 2011

For Photographers... My Top 3 Favorite Resources || FAQ's and More

When I started my business, I went in blind. To be brutally honest, I had no idea how much work it would entail. I didn't know that I would spend more hours on the business side of things than actually taking pictures and making memories. I didn't know what my style was, or even how to shoot in manual mode. My website was horrid {did I mention that I'm nearly computer illiterate unless it involves shopping or..uh, shopping?}. I was a hot mess!
When I got really serious about my business, I started asking questions {without being afraid of being laughed at for what I didn't know}. I spent hours and hours looking for answers to the questions I had. I wanted to know about the technical side, marketing, pricing, posing, networking.. all of it. I wanted to nail down the best way that I could make my business work for me and my family. I also learned to shoot.. for real. Not in auto, but honest to goodness figured out the hows and whys of my camera, lighting circumstances and posing.
I am in no way the authority on how to start and grow your business, but some of the things that I have learned may help someone else and save you some headache in the searching and investigating.
Here's my top 3 favorite resources {and a few extras thrown in}.
1. Served Up Fresh~
 Common Sense Business Tools for Portrait Photographers
 Alicia has come up with so many resources under her Served Up Fresh series including Easy As Pie, Happy Place and LuxUndercover to fine tune the pricing, perfecting a business life plan and creating a luxury customer service experience to keep your clients HAPPY {and talking about you to their friends!}.
If you just don't have a clue where to start with your business, she also offers a FREE business 101 e course. It will get all of your little ducks in a row so you can be legit!
 I can't even share with you how happy her system has made my life! I have all three e books and recently did the business e course to make sure I had everything in line and hadn't missed any major steps in making sure my 3 year old was in deed where it needed to be from the beginning. My only regret was not finding Alicia at the beginning of my business! I could have avoided about 50 million hours of pricing research and trying to figure out who or what I wanted to be in my business life {and creating the boundaries between work and life!}.
2. The Joy of Marketing
Sarah Petty is simply amazing! Her knowledge and experience at running a super successful boutique portrait business has crossed over into one of the most generous and biggest resources for photographers of all levels! I first found Sarah last year and reviewed The Boutique Experience HERE, then had the opportunity to talk with her last winter One on One {you can read my blog post HERE} and she gave me some great advice on marketing myself locally in a new area. I have to say that I put her ideas into action and less than one year later.. my fears of moving to a new community and having to start my business over have been out to rest {Thank you Sarah!}. She knows her stuff and runs tons of online seminars!! You can learn so much from The Joy of Marketing and taking advantage of all of Sarah's knowledge!
3. Pinterest
Pinterest, you say?! Yes~ pinterest!! What is better for figuring out what you are drawn to, deciphering your own personal style, inspiration for posing, locations and session styling than a visual virtual place to store all of your favorite things?! I am not a fan of copycats, but I think that we can appreciate a beautiful or creative image and sometimes those images spark our own imaginations when we're running low on creative juices. Use pinterest as a place to book mark all of the things that make you... you! Use it to communicate with clients their vision with yours. Use it to figure out what types of images you are drawn to, then go out and practice and define your own style through inspiration.

If you still want to spend a bazillion hours reinventing the wheel, by all means go and rock it out.. but if you just want to run a killer successful portrait or wedding business~ Network and develop genuine relationships with those that are willing to help! Talk with other professionals, ask questions and learn what they use to make themselves stand out, ask them the hows and whys of how they came up with their systems and pricing, ask about the technical side. There are so many people willing to help steer you in the right direction, just make sure you pass it on when someone asks you!

If you have any questions for a future FAQ, feel free to leave them in the comments or email me

To book a Session, Portfolio Shoot, Wedding or for more info
contact me HERE

View my Portfolio HERE

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