Wednesday, September 2, 2009

SEO: Wedding Photographers

Today it's all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how it can work for my wedding photography business in San Diego. See...I'm learning that one of my big problems is the fact I have no web "presence." I mean if my mom can't find me on the web how do brides do it?! I'm a "nobody" - and this week I'm beginning to get why!
The way I understand it, properly utilized SEO techniques help search engines find you (with Page 1 Google being the brass ring)! It also seems that Google has a mysterious algorithm that many have studied, but very few have mastered. (Google keeps it all under lock and key).
I foresee a lot of trial and error in my's so very important for marketing to maximize your web presence....and to think I knew nothing about this last week!!! Sidenote: I feel I've been very productive this past year...I've spent seven months developing my website...adding photo content, writing my "about me" section, naming my tabs and so forth (still have yet to get the pricing up...hmmmm....). I've also been working on my post-production workflow and manipulation of my wedding images in Photoshop and Lightroom. I'm learning HTML for my blogposts...I'm thinking I've been working very hard - now I ask, "Am I working smart?"
I was feeling pretty great last week - booking jobs, getting great feedback from my brides, going to seminars and SmugMug meetings. I've gotten into social networking and am now the proud owner of a Twitter account, Facebook page and blog.
Then I hit a wall where I had no knowledge. SEO - Search Engine Optimization How did SEO enter into everything and become my prime fascination this past week? Blame it on the awesome wedding photographer and all around smart-cookie, Jasmine Star, and her O.C. Smugmug meetings! I attended my first meeting last week and was introduced to SEO by SmugMug Co-Founder, Chris "Baldy" MacAskill. Brilliant!!! Thanks to Jasmine Star and Chris, I know now that SEO exists and there are tools I can use to maximize my web presence! There's also Lawrence Chan aka "Tofurious" who has worked the past two years on SEO research and let me tell you...Twitter is blowin' up with his SEO workshop tour for wedding photographers! (Check it out at Tofurious is quickly gaining a reputation for SEO genius - and though I don't seem to be in any of the cities for his tour - I hold out hope that I might be able to make the one in New York! Inspired, I got off my butt and finally verified at Google - and today I added my site to DMOZ a website catalog that I'm hoping will at least get me to page 56 of google in my "San Diego Wedding Photographer" search someday. Starting small but learning. I believe I am utilizing the "organic" SEO technique...or at least that's what I'm reading. I'm also learning about keywords, metadata, the importance of using keywords in your titles, how unimportant metadata tags are if not included in the body of your text, adding alt codes to your photos....and how to identify monthly site traffic. I'm trying to make smart decisions on the content of my blog... checking out the source code on some of my favorite wedding photographer websites to see how they do it - and on and on...
I also joined for the Tofurious interview on SEO where he gave this down and dirty tip that I pass to you: add a link to your website at the bottom of your blog as well as your email address because it's all about letting the people find you. Great tip Tofurious!!! And now I slowly build my blog hoping the people will come!!?!! Wait for it....wait for it...(hope this works!).... View my work at here
(Ugh...I need to make these buttons don't I?) san diego w edding photographeranother early am self portrait
san diego wedding photographerme and my man © Andrea Midori Scott

Monday, August 31, 2009

Golden Lighting

Great light is the key to any great photo, knowing how to manipulate that light to make a good photo takes time and practice. I woke up early on Sunday morning and walked into my livingroom half-asleep, ready to make coffee and sit at my computer for some good old fashioned post processing. Blinded by light in my livingroom, I stood for a moment as my green eyes slowly adjusted to the most golden light I've ever seen. Sunrise was greeting me and all around me was this rich, sexy gold toned light - as if I had walked into a room full of treasure! My first thought was, "awesome" I kid you not!
So now I'm thinking, this would make for great portrait lighting - too bad there's not one person in San Diego that I call friend who would be awake at 6:00! "Well, that leaves only you!" "Ugh." "Tripod in car". " Go get it! "Get your keys, go to your car and get your tripod!" "Wake up and show up." I run my half-dressed and barefoot self down three flights of stairs...asleep for the most part! Grabbing the tripod (and trying to move a bit faster) I finally make my way back up the three flights of stairs, set up the tripod and silently praise my brilliance in not washing my face last night! I still have eyeliner and mascara that sexy-kinda-bedroom-way. So I start shooting and lemme tell you....Not Pretty...the most golden glowing light from the heavens couldn't help my poor sleepy self! I can barely smile!!!! It's as if my mouth wasn't even awake yet! I did manage to get a couple of photos....and just so you can see how my Sunday am shoot turned out, here you go:
So go out and try your camera at dawn or dusk and work that light!