Photography Backdrops And How To Select The Best One For You

You've studied all the different camera settings and by now you've learned all about the difference between shutter speed and f-stop. Thanks to your studies of lighting patterns, the difference between butterfly and split lighting is an obvious no brainer … Now, it's time to consider the backdrop.

In my experience, having over 6000 professional sessions under my belt, MOST people prefer to have a natural setting rather than a formal backdrop.

For example …

If you're shooting Indoors – possibilities may include placing your subjects on the floor around the fireplace, (always have a fire burning or it appears as nothing but a black hole in the final print), or they could be posed on and around their furniture in the living room, etc.

Outside portraits could be in their back yard, at the beach, a local park, etc. Anyplace that has meaning for THEM!

Most people just want a beautiful portrait that singles them out as individuals – rather than just another group posed in front of the same old pull down screen that everyone else uses.

Whenever possible, ALWAYS try for a location that has meaning for THEM …

However, if you must use a formal backup, here are a few suggestions …

First – buy a commercially available background stand to hold your backdrops. They do not cost much and for ease of use, stability, transportability etc. it's better than making your own.

For this discussion, I'm assuming you DO NOT own a professional portrait studio and are doing your sessions in your home (or your customer's home).

There are several types of backdrop materials:

Paper- Large rolls of paper come in most any color you can imagine. They can be purchased at many local camera stores and are relatively inexpensive.

Pros – They are readily available – are fairly inexpensive – come in most any color you can imagine. They can be used in a "sweep" so the model (s) can sit or stand on the paper and have it seamlessly up up behind them. Paper rolls come in two basic widths (around 4 feet and around 9 feet as I recall, I do not often use them).

Cons – The smaller size is not wide enough for much more than a head shot while the wider size is very heavy – difficult to transport – and most homes do not have enough "empty" space to sweep it without moving around the furniture. (People really do not like you redecorating for them!) The paper gets dirty, gets creased, tears and has to be constantly replaced. If there are animals in the session, the papery feel and crinkly sounds freak them out.

Painted Canvas – These can provide some truly stunning portraits. Many back suppliers create them and they can be ordered over the internet if you do not happen to be near a supplier.

Pros – Depending on the creator, they can be stunningly beautiful. There are thousands of colors and patterns available and if you have something unique in mind, you can have one created just for you, to match your exact specifications. They are very durable and will last years. They come in many sizes and can be used in a seamless sweep.

Cons – They are EXPENSIVE! EXPENSIVE! EXPENSIVE! Again, like paper, the wider ones are heavy, difficult work with and to transport. Like paper, size vs. living room furniture is a challenge.

Seamless paper and canvas backgrounds tend to be the province of professional studios – where they can be mounted on the walls and just folded down when needed.

They are really difficult to work with in the field.

I recommend that you go to the fabric store and get strips of material. As wide as is available and about 12 feet long. Getting some sort of material that either does not easily wrinkle, or where wrinkles will not matter is best.

Pros – Choose the type and colors you like, you can get any color, style and texture that suits your fancy. It can be hung bunched up (like theater curtains) behind the subject, or stretched flat if only one piece is needed. One piece can also be used as a seamless sweep.

You can use one piece or thirty – no matter how wide your back needs are, you can easily accommodate them.

It's easy to store and transport (just fold up the strips and put them in a box in the back seat of your car!) Material is very inexpensive compared to a painted canvas (which can run into the thousands of dollars) It's reusable so it works out to be cheaper than paper in the long run.

Use another piece of two for the flooring and since it's flexible, it can be flowed around furniture. Animals have no problem walking on it. (It's washable too!).

Cons – If you want multiple strips (and you do!), You may have difficulty finding enough of the same material. If you live near the garment district in a large city, they may have it. Otherwise you may have to have your local fabric store special order it for you.

These are the major background considerations and you should have no trouble finding the perfect backdrops for YOUR creative vision!

How to Encourage Your Customers to Leave a Consumer Product Review

A consumer product review can be a wonderful tool when it comes to helping you build your sales, but it does not do you much good if you can not convince any of your consumers to leave one when they go! Knowing your consumer product review to work for you requires you to have consumers that are willing to take that extra five minutes out of their day to let you know what they really think. Here's how you can convince them it's worth their time and effort:

1) Offer a small discount on their next purchase to consumers who fill out a consumer product review after they have received their product. This is guaranteed to bring you the results you want-who can say no to saving money? Just remember to keep the discounts within the limits you can afford. It's one thing to offer a 25-50% discount on their next purchase to everyone who gives you five minutes out of your day, it's quite another to look at the cut that's going to take out of your profits when they actually use it.

2) Offer to place them on your mailing list to receive further discounts or coupons after they have filled out a review. You've seen it before; "Answer three easy questions about your shopping experiences and join our mailing list to receive discount coupons and special offers." Again, all of your consumers are essentially cheap at heart; if they were truly satisfied with their experiences they would be happy to have the opportunity to save money in the future. (Hint: Let them know exactly what you'll be sending them, and if you can give them a look at a previous mailing. This eliminates the fear of SPAM.)

3) Spend money to make money. There are a number of companies that offer professional consumer product review services; for a fee they will review your products and put a professional review onto your site. If this makes you flinch, relax. There are plenty of companies that do it. The reviewer gets a free product and fifteen to twenty dollars, you get a great review to show to your returning customers. Everyone wins!

4) Be sure to ask for their contact information when they register for your forum so you can contact them regarding a bad review, but do not go overboard. An e-mail address will suffice, and it will inspire more confidence in your clientele that you're not secretly planning to load their mailboxes up with SPAM.

5) Include a product review card and a website address where they can post a consumer product review with your products when you mail them. While these surveys often find their way into a trash can, every once in a while you'll find someone who's willing to fill it out-and every completed survey is an extra ace in the hole for you.

Many consumers look at a request for a consumer product review and cringe, thinking, "I do not have time for this." It's going to be up to you to convince them otherwise, and these tricks and tactics will get you off to a great start.

How to Become a Millionaire – Here’s 3 Ways

It’s something that we all dream about and chances are if you had one wish you’d ask to be a millionaire right? But how can you become a millionaire is there some special knack or insider secret or is it just down to luck?

As I see it there are only really three ways to become a millionaire the first is to win the lottery now if you’re a person that likes to gamble this may seem a perfectly logical way for you to make a million the only flaw in your plan are the odds of winning, they are impossibly stacked against you. You stand more chance of marrying into money than actually winning it.

The Second way you can become a millionaire is to steal it. Conning or robbing people is not a very honourable way to build a fortune not to mention the dangers involved with criminal activities, not least the threat of spending time behind bars and losing all your ill gotten gains. Like disgraced businessman Bernard Madoff who pleaded guilty to the largest investment fraud ever committed estimated at 65Billion Dollars.

The Third way you can get wealthy is probably the hardest but ultimately the most ethical and most satisfying, it can be broken down into two separate fields so want to know how to become a millionaire? Yes well here goes…

In this world ordinary people are not rewarded for their skills. However, if you are extraordinary or have a rare highly sought after skill, you can be paid very very well think of top sportsmen or actors both have sensational but rare talents, not everyone can do what they do right?

The other way is to become an entrepreneur, forget about working for someone else you will never become a millionaire while working for a boss. The time to make it as an entrepreneur is now and the best way to be successful is to help people by solving their problems. If you can provide services or information that can solve people’s problems whether they be emotional, physical, or financial you can make money.

Think of The Hilton’s they solve problems by providing luxury accommodation for holidaying people. Or British Airways solving the problem of faster transatlantic travel, or even Bill Gates who solved computer compatibility problems with his now legendary windows operating system just think where we would be now without it, would you be even reading this?

So there you have it the real secret to being a millionaire is to be extraordinary and try to solve people’s problems and with the power of the Internet you can do this now easier than ever I hope you have enjoyed this article and you know have a better idea of how to become a millionaire.

Learn The Steps To a Successful E-Commerce Business

Have you ever imagined living a life without cars which means trekking long distances, without tractors and the likes which means tilling the soil with hoes, without basically the things that’ll make living easier and enjoyable but all thanks to technology and its inventions we have everything at our finger tips. And yes this has widened our horizon and everyone thinks it’s amazing owning a business cause once technology is involved, it can be swift and interesting.

We have various kind of businesses that have thrived and survived but our focus here is E-commerce and what is entailed setting up such. Its true there are many benefits that come with owning a business like being called a C.E.O or M.D, having that big catchy brand name, great siting of business premises with its frivolities, flamboyance and of course the most sought after which is the ‘steady profit and income’. But many a times, focus is lost as to the issues and difficulties encountered alongside the startup, let’s have a quick overview of e-commerce.

What Is E-commerce?

Have you at one point in time purchased shoes or clothes via the internet, sold your phone or gadget using your laptops or even had one or two bank transactions using the online method? If yes, you’ve taken part in e-commerce, if no then stay tuned as it’s served you now. E-commerce is an abbreviation of electronic commerce which can be defined as a platform, method or business model established for sellers and buyers for the sole purpose of carrying out business transactions of buying and selling through electronic medium. And stores that function by selling their products online are referred to as electronic commerce (e-commerce) stores and we have them around us. This platform allows customers to successfully exchange goods and services without the time or distance barrier coming between the parties involved and this has helped bring about good customer base and fostered unity across the globe.

Starting-up Your Successful E-commerce Business.

Starting up a successful e-commerce has a lot entailed as there are many things to look out for while starting up, you need to get started in the right direction so there won’t be mistakes that could sabotage your idea and pursuits; Let’s have a run through.

a. Have Your Idea Ironed Out and Processed

For you to think of starting out your business you have an idea of what exactly you’re bringing to the world aside the funds or capital to start. Do you intend going into clothes, gadgets, automobiles or what precisely? When this is thought out and processed successfully then you’re on your way to having a successful business.

b. There Are Various Types Of E-commerce

When starting up, you have to understand that there are various types of e-commerce businesses in the world today so this would determine what type your idea falls into. Note the very common types below;

B2B: The b2b model is called the business to business model and this is when a business is selling to other businesses across the globe thus the prices are low and given out at wholesale prices to help the purchasing business encounter some profit too.

B2C: The b2c model is called the business to customer model and this is when businesses open for the sole aim of selling to customers. So if you find yourself opening or starting up your e-commerce or online store then it’s most likely this category it falls into.

C2C: The c2c model is called the consumer to consumer model and this is when consumers are selling to other consumers. This is better known as when average people sell products they own be it second hand or used, whatever way it is it’s a consumer to consumer interaction and thus has its uniqueness as the above mentioned types. Once this is settled and you know the type you intend running or starting up then you have to do what’s next.

c. The Right Domain Name and Web Designer Is Vital

Purchasing a domain name is very important as this is the web address people input to find your website, and finding a good hosting would help promote your business to the level you anticipate it to get to. More so, a good designer who has special experience in e-commerce website building is vital so as to have both a touch of professionalism and good customer interaction arena. Never make the mistake of creating one yourself because this is just the beginning of failure, so never be cheap. Invest and sit while it works wonders.

d. Stay Legit

There is nothing as good as legitimacy when it comes to business startup as this would help avoid many issues that could arise in the future to crumble the business you would say you spent a long time building. Remember the type of legal business entity you’ve settled for would determine the kind of legal involvements and taxes associated and even the insurance that would help yours thrive and survive amongst many that may start up alongside yours. Thus, getting a good attorney does the trick as he helps you with the legal backing and if you have vendors involved in your business, you definitely would need a vendors license from your local state agency. Secure the business in advance and sit back while the initial struggle pays off in the long run.

e. The Best Theme Works

For every good business to flourish online, there has to be a good theme that would get the attention of your visitors and customers which would make them come back again and again. Make them come back? Yes, make them come back and stay. Thus the best theme and layout should work the magic. You don’t know how to go about getting that? Check for good websites that can aid your theme purchase and acquisition as this saves time, money and is stress free. Go for the best.

f. Have Your Customers At Heart

One of the reasons why businesses fail is because there is a wrong focus which is on the profit rather than on the target audience; the customers. Create a good platform for customers to interact on the product of desire before it is purchased. Use quality images to showcase your products with correct details to sell it to them. Patience and understanding I would say is the key to having your customers and keeping them on your site.

g. Never Forget The Payment Access and Input

This is very important as I’m certain you aren’t giving out your services for free. There has to be a secure payment service be it through Pay-pal or any other method of payment but what’s important is that it is secure and working adequately. This may take a while to process as it deals with Privacy Policy, Return Policy and all that determines your shipping and delivery functionalism so be patient so you wouldn’t have to run at loss be it now or later. Nobody wants futile efforts.

h. A Tip Of The Ice Berg Doesn’t Hurt

While at the setup process and all, why not give your visitors and future customers a tip of the ice-berg? A tip or two wouldn’t hurt. Use themes like coming and other related terms to publicize your soon to be e-commerce platform. This helps create awareness in the mind of users and enables them go through what the intended offer would include as this keeps them talking and anticipating the big drop.

i. Go Over The Launch Process Again and Again

Although it is said humans are not perfect but we aim at perfectionism to bring about the best thus testing, testing and testing is very important. It would be disastrous to launch a website and the user interface is non-functional. Go through the site yourself presuming you’re the customer and see how it goes, this would help know the kind of impression your customers would have about the site in progress. We don’t want to stress our customers or frustrate them, therefore test, test and test again.

j. Make Use Of The Right Social Platform

Using the right social platform aids in the successful run of your business as this helps to promote your goods and services aside the use of your website. When these social accounts are properly set up and handled, you’re on the go to giving the best. Therefore never rule out the importance of social media because it helps the world know about you and connections around the world and among individuals is realized.

k. Tracking Is A Necessity

Never forget that helping your customers track their goods is essential because you would be dealing with people outside your locality and even across the globe. These method helps to ensure their goods arrive safe and secure, never forget it’s a necessity.

l. Be Focused And Stay Positive

Having a positive mindset is essential to having a successful business. Stay focused and know their you’re your greatest competitor. Competition and competitors would sprout but never lose focus as you’d excel more than you can imagine. Remember the sky is your starting point and you never rushed up your set up so you’re in for the best. Go commercial already, get started!

Conclusion

The only person who can stop you from actualizing your dreams and maximizing your potentials is you. Never stop believing in your self and the things you can accomplish, trust me it’s never too late to start and you’re never a failure if you fail but you become one if and only if you stop trying. It’s never too late to become that independent person you’ve always wanted to be. Believe in yourself, you can do it.