THOUGHTS, STORIES and IDEAS

Focal Blog

Learn more about Focal and our mission to make the photography industry a better place for customers and photographers alike

December 1, 2022

SEO For Beginners

Ever wondered how to get to the first page of Google? Have you heard big words like Search Engine Optimization and not been able to follow along? The purpose of this guide is to teach you the very basics of SEO and the three bucket approach that will help your webpages rank higher on Google!
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November 28, 2022

Q&A: Joy Michelle & Lachlan Shum

In this FB Q&A session, photographer and educator Joy Michelle gets in-depth with Lachlan Shum about the origins of Focal, standing out in a competitive industry, attracting your ideal clients, running mini sessions, and much more!
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November 18, 2022

How to write a blog post that will boost your photography business!

Struggling to write blog posts? We hear you! That's why we've put together a quick guide on how to write creative, engaging blog posts that demonstrate who you are as a photographer and drive traffic to your website!
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November 9, 2022

What The Focal? Episode 3: A Balancing Act w/ Palms and Lace

The dynamic photography duo, JJ and Alison, join us to talk about their amazing and hectic career balancing photography shoots between Utah and Hawaii.Tune in to hear them talk more about picking up and moving locations as a photographer, what it is like to make your high school sweetheart your business partner, and discussions around braving the pandemic and getting through slow times.
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November 2, 2022

Q&A: Lindsay Coulter and Lachlan Shum

On their Facebook Live session, Lindsay & Lachlan discuss a number of topics, including building a portfolio, how Focal was started, how to market and price your photography, and even Gucci sneakers!
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October 28, 2022

What The Focal? Episode 2: Get Your Ass UP w/ Lindsay Coulter

Named One of the Most Inspiring Wedding Photographers in Canada, Lindsay shares her story and advice about growing a business one step at a time.
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October 28, 2022

Tips with Taylor Jackson: Book More Mini Sessions!!

Mini sessions are a great way to build a portfolio quickly, and supplement your income during the offseason, but can be really hard. In this blog, Taylor Jackson covers some of the common questions and confusion around mini sessions. He'll also go over pricing, setting up, marketing, and running your mini sessions effectively.
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October 19, 2022

Episode 1: What The Focal? (w/ Lachlan Shum, CEO & Founder of Focal)

In the first-ever episode of What the Focal, join hosts Sierra & Kirsty as they quiz their boss on what made him start Focal. Hear Lachlan talk about side hustling before Focal, slinging RVs and designing hanging clothes racks. Only to be engrossed by how hard it is to get photographers to take his money! 
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October 17, 2022

Take us back 😍🍾 Hair & Makeup: @behindtheblus...

Take us back 😍🍾 Hair & Makeup: @behindtheblush Florals: @fabloomosity Dress: @thebridalboutique @ruedeseinebridal Photography by: @amberleechristeyphotography @heydenphoto @johnatacanphoto @eugenekimphotography @nickylynn_photography @davidalangrahamphotography @scottrobertlim
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October 17, 2022

Interested in winning a free ticket to our Maui conference in 2023?! Join our Facebook group to find out how to enter - link in bio! 🎟️🏝️

Interested in winning a free ticket to our Maui conference in 2023?! Join our Facebook group to find out how to enter - link in bio! 🎟️🏝️
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July 20, 2022

Is Wedding Photography Dying?

Is wedding photography dying? Is the wedding marketing shifting? Hear Taylor Jackson's insight on this topic!
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July 19, 2022

How to Book More Weddings From Your Website

What is website conversion and how does it work? How do I book more weddings from my website? If you're asking these questions then you've come to the right place. Dive into the details on website conversion with Taylor Jackson and Lachlan Shum and learn about what website conversion is, how it works, and how to optimize your website to convert more visitors into paying customers. Learn more and level up your photography business!
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December 29, 2021

Tips and poses for including siblings in newborn portraits

Newborn sessions highlight a new chapter in a parent’s life. In these sessions the newborn should be the star, however, we understand how important it is for parents to have a sibling photo during this exciting period. Capturing the love and impending lifelong friendship is a cherished moment. However, with that being said, we also understand how kids can be. The reality of a sibling photo can be chaotic. To help make your life easier, we compiled a list of tips and poses for including siblings in newborn portraits.
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December 22, 2021

Top 7 family photographers in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to an incredible amount of creativity. With so much talent in a city full of amazing photographers, we helped narrow down the top 7 family photographers that you can trust to capture your family’s unique personalities and the love you share. 
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December 7, 2021

Why elopement weddings are rising in popularity

I’m sure you have heard of the phrase eloping, commonly defined as running away secretly with the intention of getting married. Previously, it was treated as a stigma because to elope meant that your marriage wasn’t supported by your family or friends. It was considered a whim and many other misconceptions surrounded it. But, now it is being seen as for what it really is: a choice to focus the wedding entirely on you and your significant other. Elopements and weddings have the same result, committing your life to your partner. However, the journey, experience, and adventure that makeup elopements and weddings are wildly different. With that being said, why elope?
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December 7, 2021

Why you need to book yourself a portrait session

Hiring a photographer is seen as an investment, commonly reserved for special occasions; weddings, graduations, families, etc. Many people wait to hire a photographer until one of those ‘special occasions’ happens in their life and those moments are amazing, but guess what? You deserve to be celebrated just as much! We believe that it is important to have your portrait made at least once because why should you settle for cell phone selfies? Having said that, we have compiled a list of reasons why you should book yourself a portrait session.
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December 7, 2021

Top 6 family photographers in San Francisco Bay Area

Most people have thought about doing a family photography session but just haven’t got around to it. Don’t wait around and let the time pass you. Family photography sessions should be an important part of your life; to document growth and milestones, create a fond memory that you and your children can look back on, and have it hung proudly in your home. San Francisco, California is home to an abundance of talented family photographers. We have compiled a list of the top 6 family photographers in the San Francisco Bay area to choose from. 
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December 2, 2021

Get to know Focal: 'I want us to earn your respect'

Our promise? To see you as a photographer, an artist, and a human being. To always listen. And to help your photography business succeed in the best way we can. 
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November 23, 2021

What to wear during your winter family photography session

Winter photography sessions hold a special place in my heart. The physical and emotional connection you get by snuggling closer, the fresh snow that looks like a blank canvas, and the snow-covered landscapes can be stunning. However, it can be tricky when dressing for a winter shoot. On one hand, you want your family to look amazing and on the other, you have to make sure everyone is warm. To help ease your mind and give you some ideas, we have created a list of what you should wear and be prepared for during your next winter family photography session. 
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November 23, 2021

Top 9 wedding packages in Calgary, AB

The time has come: you and your partner are about to embark on a whole new journey! When it comes to planning out your wedding, there are an endless amount of things to consider and plan for. A wedding photographer should be at the top of your priority list because, during that single day, your photographer will capture every joyous moment. 
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November 18, 2021

Top family photographers around Seattle

Family is such a big part of your life! Wanting to treasure these amazing people and the fond moments they represent is something we value and understand. Having family photographs that you can affectionately look back on displayed in your home brings comfort and joy. Your choice to invest in a quality family photographer is important. We have you covered with a list of the top family photographers in the Seattle area -- from Normandy Park all the way to Bellingham. 
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November 12, 2021

Q&A: Documentary Photography and Motherhood with Krystle Schofield (Victoria, B.C.)

Whether she’s photographing a family in their home or a yoga group in their studio, Victoria based Krystle Schofield connects with her clients and their space in a unique way. With her documentary-style approach to photography, Krystle captures those candid, authentic moments of connection. We talked to Krystle about her background in design, her journey through motherhood, and the importance of being seen.
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November 7, 2021

Top 5 elopement photographers in Calgary, AB

Elopement weddings are very intentional choices that couples make for a variety of reasons: money, family, or simply for the fact that they want this joyous occasion to remain intimate for themselves. Eloping does not hold the stigma that it did before; it simply means the couple have chosen to shift the focus onto themselves and their relationship. From having a big adventure together to exchanging your lifelong vows somewhere meaningful, we have gathered a list of the top 5 elopement photographers in Calgary, AB. 
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October 30, 2021

5 unique engagement photography locations in Calgary, AB

Engagement photos are an irreplaceable opportunity. They capture you and your partner's excitement and the overflowing joy before you dive into the next chapter of your life. During this process, you may be struggling to decide on an engagement location, one that represents you and your partner's journey. Calgary is home to amazing scenery with an abundance of jaw-dropping locations to choose from. If you’re looking for a unique, memorable location to represent your relationship, we compiled a list of striking options in and around the city to spice up your engagement photoshoot. 
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October 29, 2021

Can’t decide between in-home or studio newborn photos?

Wanting to capture the fleeting newborn stage can be a very daunting task. With an ongoing list of things to do, the last thing new parents want to worry about is the location of their newborn photos. If you are having a hard time deciding between an in-home session or a studio session, don’t worry: We partnered with Calgary newborn photographer Nadine McKenney to offer some helpful insight. 
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October 20, 2021

Q&A: Birth Photography and Island Life with Melissa Whittington (Paia, HI)

From massage therapy to acting to owning a frozen chocolate banana stand, Melissa Whittington has done it all. But nothing comes close to her love of newborn photography. After leaving Georgia for Hawaii, she decided to embrace her love for babies and baskets and Rainbows and Hot Fudge Photography was born. We talked to Melissa about life on the island, birth photography, and her deep love of Willie Nelson.
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October 17, 2021

Why you should hire a newborn and maternity photographer

During this new chapter in your life, it may seem like you have an endless amount of things to do before the baby comes. It is a very exciting yet busy period. You may be hesitant about whether or not you should hire a maternity and newborn photographer -- well, we have compiled a list of reasons why you should! 
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October 17, 2021

What to look for in a newborn or maternity photographer

The time between your pregnancy to the arrival of your newborn is a magical journey; however, it will fly by quicker than you anticipated. Entrusting a photographer to understand and capture those incredible fleeting moments that you want to cherish is very important. We partnered with Calgary maternity and newborn photographer Nadine McKenney to narrow down key points you should consider when looking for your next maternity or newborn photographer. 
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October 16, 2021

Top 6 newborn/maternity photographers in Calgary, AB

Pregnancy and the road to motherhood is an incredibly special, yet fleeting time. A need to capture these amazing moments is something we understand. So, whether it be a maternity shoot or a newborn shoot, we have you covered with a list of Calgary’s top 6 maternity and newborn photographers. 
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October 6, 2021

Top 6 locations for your next family photoshoot in Calgary, AB

When it comes to having an abundance of incredible locations to take family photos, Calgarians have no shortage. We compiled a list of eye-catching options in and around the city to juice up your next family photoshoot. 
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October 6, 2021

Q&A: Relationships, energy, and photography with Hannah Tabert (Vancouver, BC)

With 10 years of experience as a professional photographer, Vancouver-based Hannah Tabert decided it was time to finally stretch her entrepreneurial wings and start her own photography business. With her relational approach to photoshoots, Hannah lets her subjects’ guide her lens, capturing those elusive moments of authenticity. We spoke with Hannah about how she came to love photography, the influence fashion has had on her career, and her experiences as an entrepreneur.
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October 1, 2021

Top 5 reasons to hire a family photographer

Photography has become much more accessible than it has ever been before. We spoke with four experienced family photographers from across the United States and Canada to find out why you should hire a professional for your next shoot.
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September 29, 2021

Growing your Photography Business: One-on-One with Lachlan Shum

Do you want to learn how to better identify and reach you ideal clients? We talk to Focal CEO Lachlan Shum about his history in sales, his disruptive approach to the industry, and why he developed the Business Accelerator Program.
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September 24, 2021

What to consider when hiring a family photographer

Picking a family photographer who you want to represent and capture each of your unique personalities and relationships can be extremely intimidating, but it doesn't have to be! 
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September 15, 2021

Q&A: Diving headfirst, growth and a deeply rooted love of family photography with Haley Skof (Calgary, AB)

Inspired by her two free-spirited kids and the loss of her job during the pandemic, Calgary-based photographer Haley Skof took matters into her own hands, picked up a camera and dove into the photography community.
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September 14, 2021

Top 6 family photographers in Calgary, AB

With the holiday seasons fast approaching, countless memories are made between you and your loved ones. Capture that timeless joy and laughter between you and your family with one of Calgary’s top 6 family photographers. ‍
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August 4, 2021

Q&A: Mastering food photography with Sandy Weatherall (Vancouver Island, BC)

An avid skydiver, yogi, martial artist, and commercial photographer, Sandy Weatherall (Jinsei Media) has photographed everything from pets, to portraits, to candy-coated donuts and exploding smoothies. We spoke with Weatherall about the secrets of food photography, what makes a good photographer, and “watching the light bulbs go on.”
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July 16, 2021

Top 10 Wedding Photography Packages in Vancouver, BC

It’s time to find the perfect photographer for your wedding day. You want a photographer who you can trust, and who will capture all the special moments on your special day. To make things easy for you, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 wedding photography packages in Vancouver, BC. Here are the top 10 wedding packages in Vancouver, BC.
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July 14, 2021

10 steps to perfect SEO as a photographer

At its core, SEO is about simplicity: making things fast, useful, and easy to find. If you keep those principles in mind, the rest will fall into place.
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July 9, 2021

Q&A: Darkrooms, joy and happiness with Julie Doro (Vancouver, BC)

An eight-year professional photographer, Julie Doro has a knack for finding what makes her subjects unique. We interviewed her about falling in love with photography, why photographers have to "lead their clients," and getting her subjects to relax.
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June 30, 2021

Top 10 Family Photography Packages in Vancouver, BC

Summertime is the perfect time for a family photography session. If you are looking for a family photographer in Vancouver, BC, but have no idea where to start looking, we’ve got you covered!The Focal Marketplace makes it easy to browse talented photographers in Vancouver, BC and beyond, giving you all the information you need to book your perfect photographer.
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June 30, 2021

Q&A: Family photography and "quality over quantity" with Brittany Barry (Victoria, BC)

There is starting a photography business, and then there is starting a photography business during a pandemic. For Victoria, BC-based photographer Brittany Barry (Burrow & Bloom Photography), the challenge was a welcome one. We spoke with Barry about getting her start, lessons learned, and the maxim of "quality over quantity."
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June 22, 2021

How to turn mini-session clients into full-session clients

Mini sessions are great for a number of reasons as a photographer: they're quick, easy to edit, and you can shoot them in high volumes. But if you want to convert your mini session clients into ones who will pay for your full sessions, there's a trick to doing them well.
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June 14, 2021

Q&A: Reaching your ideal clients with Annemie Tonken (This Can't Be That Hard)

The owner of Megapixie Photography; co-creator of The Family Narrative; and host of This Can't Be That Hard, a business podcast for photographers, Annemie Tonken has made a career out of helping photographers build more confidence in their businesses. We spoke with Tonken about getting her start as a photographer, why marketing to ideal clients is like birdhouse-building, and how to convey your value in an industry where pricing varies wildly.
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June 4, 2021

Q&A: Boudoir and empowerment with Blackfish Collective (Victoria, BC)

Running a photography business can feel like a solitary endeavour. Victoria's Blackfish Collective are proof it doesn't have to be. A co-operative model that "arose out of the notion that creatives can always learn from each other," we spoke with the group about working together and how boudoir photography has led to some of the most rewarding moments of all.
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May 27, 2021

Q&A: Elopements and "doing shit you love" with Vanessa Fukuyama (Vancouver, BC)

Vanessa Fukuyama (Fortune Hill Photography) has an eye for details — the kind of things easily missed, like a glance or a quiet smile on a busy wedding day. We spoke with Vanessa about building confidence behind the camera, photographing for Lululemon, and why "life's too short to do shit you don't love."
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May 25, 2021

Q&A: The superpower of freezing time with Jessica Woodall (Wake Forest, NC)

To spend a photoshoot with Jessica Woodall is to feel like you've reconnected with an old friend. Her North Carolina charm and easygoing manner make you feel at home in front of the camera. We spoke with Woodall about lessons learned from Christmas shoots, getting her subjects comfortable in front of the camera, and the superpower of freezing time.
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May 11, 2021

How to use customer personas in your photography business

Feeling lost on the business end of photography? Developing clear customer personas can help — and you don't have to be a sales whiz. You just have to pay attention to your clients and what they want.
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May 11, 2021

"Helping photographers and clients connect": Focal on This Can't Be That Hard

The ever-gracious Annemie Tonken invited our Co-Founder & CEO, Lachlan Shum, onto This Can't Be That Hard to talk about all things photography business-related, including how to put yourself into your client's shoes as a photographer.
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May 7, 2021

"Punching the roof": Focal on the Six Figure Photography Podcast

Award-winning photographer Ben Hartley hosted Focal's Co-Founder & CEO, Lachlan Shum, on the Six Figure Photography Podcast. Listen as the two discuss the keys to communicating value as a photographer, sales techniques than anyone can incorporate, and how to make your business stand out.
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April 19, 2021

Why your photography investment page needs fixing

If all you're using your website for is to share photos, you might as well stick to Instagram. Your goal should be to answer your photography clients' questions before they get in touch with you.
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April 13, 2021

Top 5 Maternity & Newborn Photographers in Victoria, BC

Are you in search of the perfect maternity photographer in Victoria, BC to capture the beautiful moments of your pregnancy? Or maybe you are looking for a fantastic newborn photographer to take photos of your sweet baby! Focal has you covered with an array of talented, local Victoria photographers.Here are our top 5 maternity & newborn photographers in Victoria, BC!
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April 9, 2021

Finding your ideal photography clients starts with you

Reaching your ideal photography clients hinges on one key principle: you don't choose your ideal clients; they choose you. To bring in bookings, focus on what makes you stand out. Then tell your customers about it.
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April 2, 2021

The top 10 wedding packages in Victoria, BC

Are you in search of the perfect photographer to capture your special day? Do you have absolutely no idea where to start looking for a wedding photographer in Victoria, BC, and no idea how to book their packages? Focal has you covered!
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March 21, 2021

How to create a photography business plan

Whether you are fresh into your photography business or two years deep, it is essential to create a business plan. A business plan is the key to your success in the photography industry. It ensures that you aren’t stumbling around blindly, but rather making productive decisions that will propel your business in the right direction. Read on to learn about the 5 key parts to every photography business plan.
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March 18, 2021

The top 25 percent rule: How to succeed as a photographer

You can be more skilled than 90% of photographers, but if you haven’t learned how to market yourself, your business will plateau — and you’ll watch as other photographers, even lesser-skilled ones, fill up their booking calendars faster. Being a professional photographer takes both — and more. You don’t need to be the best at either. You just need to be good enough.
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March 9, 2021

How Focal Marketplace is different from other photographer directories

Let’s be frank: many of the big-name directories don’t treat photographers very well. That's why with Focal, we set out to create a marketplace where the focus is on you.
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March 8, 2021

Your mindset is losing you photography clients

When it comes to business, mindset is everything. A positive mindset and optimistic attitude can truly affect the success of your photography business–and here's how. Here are our 5 tips for shifting your mindset and achieving all your business goals.
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February 23, 2021

Photography Website Checklist

A website is essential for any business–especially for photographers. It is where customers can come to learn about you and your photography, understanding everything from your photography style, packages, prices, contact information, and more. Read on for a "pinnable" checklist for your photography website and tips for creating one that works!
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February 5, 2021

Your photography business is a store, not an art gallery

The worst mistake a photographer can make is to treat their business like an art gallery and not a store. Essentially, not treating their business like an actual business. Here are 4 tips for transforming your photography into a real business.
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February 4, 2021

3 tips for simplifying your photography workflow

A simplified workflow is essential for any photography business. Not only does it ensure your business runs smoothly, but it can also combat feelings of imposter syndrome. If you struggle with feeling like you are a true professional, developing a simple workflow can help your business feel more legit. Here are 3 tips to get you started.
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January 25, 2021

How to stand out in a saturated photography industry

When anyone with a smartphone can take a half-decent portrait, you’ve got to find a way to separate yourself from the crowd.
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January 25, 2021

Why CODB isn't what it's cracked up to be in photography

Nobody wants to work for less than they’re worth. But too often, focusing on this one thing ends up hurting early-career photographers who don’t have the experience or client base yet.
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January 22, 2021

How to build an awesome photography investment page

An investment page is a lot more than just explaining your sessions through the number of photos included, the number of hours it will take, and how much it is. Your investment page is meant to describe your sessions and convince inquiring customers to book you through conveying your value as a photographer. Here are 5 tips for building an awesome investment page.
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January 20, 2021

How Nellie Quail retooled her photography workflow with Focal in a single day

Nellie Quail is the kind of family photographer clients love: genuine, kind, and with an eye for bringing her customers’ creative vision to life. But between raising her young kids and shooting in the evenings, she’d never had the chance to build herself a solid workflow. She turned to Focal to take her business to the next level.
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January 18, 2021

Q&A: Equine photography with Olivia Danielle (Great Bend, KS)

Olivia Danielle makes an art out of capturing horses and their riders. We spoke with the Kansas-based photographer about finding her niche, landing her first clients, and why getting things wrong helps in getting things right.
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January 8, 2021

The secret to finding ideal clients

It's one thing to have clients, it's another to have ideal clients. What if I told you there was a secret to attracting and booking people who are perfect for you and your photography style? Well, there is. Read on to learn all about how to reel in those perfect clients.
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December 24, 2020

How to revolutionize your photography business

Is your business ready for 2021? Whether you feel ready to bring your photography business into the new year (after the strange year we are in right now) or not, you might not have considered completely revolutionizing everything from your website to workflow. But today, I will convince you why NOW is the best time to revolutionize your approach to your photography business to take you that one step closer to your business goals. 
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December 21, 2020

3 ways to fix your photography website

Having a website is crucial for professional photographers. But it’s not enough just to have one — if you want bookings, you need to make sure you’re doing it right.
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December 17, 2020

"Show your value as a photographer": Focal on the Capture Crew Podcast

New podcast alert! The good folks over at Capture Crew invited our CEO & Founder, Lachlan Shum, to talk about conveying value as a photographer and attracting ideal clients.
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December 14, 2020

Q&A: Car chases and cherry blossoms with Greg Samborski (Victoria, BC)

Greg Samborski is a photography polymath: the kind of lensman who pilots drones as deftly as he rides a motorcycle, shoots weddings as comfortably as street photography, and cut his industry chops in Korea working for the likes of Dior, Netflix, and Google. Now based in Victoria, BC, Samborski is looking to bring his creative approach to a new clientele — one ready for something outside the ordinary.
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December 14, 2020

Marketing 101: How to grow your photography business online

As a photographer, you're probably a creative first and a business person second...or don’t consider yourself a business person at all! That is why I’ve put together this blog post: to give you a short rundown on the essential marketing tips for getting your name out there online and finding your ideal customers.
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November 23, 2020

So, you want to be a wedding photographer: 8 tips for shooting like a pro

Wedding photography comes with its perks: every day’s a celebration. But with that position comes pressure: how do you ensure you’re ready for such a milestone moment? We asked the most talented wedding photographers we know for their advice on how to shooting weddings like a pro.
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November 23, 2020

How Christin Carruthers rebuilt her photography business after moving across the country

A newborn, family, and wedding photographer from Victoria, BC, Christin Carruthers (Ooh Ooh Darling, Photography) specializes in capturing the memories that will last a lifetime. But it didn’t come easily. Along the way, Carruthers had to start from scratch and change her whole approach.
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November 20, 2020

How to prepare for your family photoshoot in Victoria BC

You have your first family shoot coming up and still so many questions! Whether you feel bad asking your photographer yet another question (which you shouldn’t!), or it is just too embarrassingly close to shoot time to inquire more, this post will be your go-to guide to your family shoot. With insight from one of Victoria, BC’s top photographers, Marlboro Wang, I’ve curated this post to answer all of your pressing family photoshoot-related questions.
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November 15, 2020

The number one mistake every photographer makes

Being a photographer is difficult. You are not only a photographer but a businessperson too. Therefore, you are bound to make some mistakes along the way. Whether you're business savvy or not, if you are a photographer, you are most likely making the number one mistake every photographer makes. But that's okay! Read on to learn what that number one mistake is, and how to stop making it.
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October 28, 2020

How to get more clients

With photography being such a competitive business, it can be hard to stand out among the other photographers in your area and get clients. Especially if you are brand new! But don’t worry. It is possible to start building up your client list at any point in your photography career, and for you, today is that day! This post is going to walk you through how with Focal’s help, you will gain more clients. 
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October 23, 2020

"Photography is the way I communicate": Meet Marlboro Wang

A wedding and family photographer based in Victoria, BC, Marlboro Wang has established a reputation for his grandiose, cinematic approach to capturing couples. You'll notice it in his wedding and engagement photos: breathtaking; each one carefully-staged, not a hair out of place. We caught up with Wang—a longtime Focal user—to hear more of his story.
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October 22, 2020

Q&A: Scottish ceilidhs and safe spaces with Sarah Murdoch (Calgary, AB)

A Calgary-based photographer, Sarah Murdoch has been photographing weddings since 2006. A product of the film era, Murdoch cut her teeth in the darkrooms at the Alberta College of Art and Design. It's that same handcrafted approach she carries into her shoots—"the biggest goal in my business is to create photos that are timeless," she says. "I want realness, I want authenticity, and I want to tell people's stories."
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October 13, 2020

4 reasons you need a photography mentor

Whether you want to boost your photography skills or grow your network, a mentor is a great way to take the next step in your business. Along with 4 reasons why you need a photographer, I share the necessary questions you need to ask yourself before searching for a mentor to get the most out of the experience, and also a few places where you can find the right one for you.
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October 2, 2020

6 tips for boosting your social media

When running a photography business, social media plays a critical role in gaining clients and building relationships with other photographers. So, here are 6 helpful tips for boosting your social media game.
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September 18, 2020

The biggest fix you can make to your photography portfolio

It’s almost always the first question customers ask: how much do you charge, and for how many photos? Like it or not, we’re a price-shopping bunch — and when we buy, we want to get the best deal. Thing is, it’s a terrible approach for photography. It’s just about reframing the conversation.
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September 18, 2020

Ask Marlboro: Should I charge for photos on top of my session fees?

Oft-debated in the photography industry is whether photographers should be charging for photos on top of session fees, or if the pricing should all be rolled into one. It’s a question veteran photographer Marlboro Wang has been asked more than once. Read on for why he opts for the all-inclusive approach.
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September 14, 2020

5 tips for starting a photography blog

As a photographer, a blog is an easy and fun way to engage with potential customers and other photographers. So, if you have ever asked yourself, is it even worth it for me to start a blog? The answer is yes! Here are 5 essential tips to help you start your photography blog.
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September 9, 2020

Q&A: Astros and hip-hop photography with Todd Spoth (Houston, TX)

A self-described punk rock kid from Houston, Todd Spoth's high school photography course was “literally the only class I’ve ever failed,” he says. Today, Spoth is a Gold Remi award-winning documentary film producer whose photographs have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and ESPN.
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September 2, 2020

6 tips for becoming a full-time photographer

Do you dream of making the transition from part-time to full-time photographer? Do you have no idea where to start? Before quitting your day job and pursuing photography full-time, read these helpful tips with insight from Marlboro Wang, one of Victoria, BC’s top photographers and a Focal partner.
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August 28, 2020

Want better photos? Crank up your ISO

Every digital sensor has a base ISO where the camera performs best. Nowadays, that’s usually 800. Anything less — 50, 100, 200, 400 — and the camera is simply faking it. It’s only adding or reducing the grains to imitate a look. A higher ISO evens out your exposure and leads to a smoother distribution of light.
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August 25, 2020

Q&A: Chasing summer with photographer Rob Wilson (Victoria, BC)

Victoria-based photographer Rob Wilson is obsessed with "that feeling — like a late summer evening." It's there in the photos he captures, whether he's shooting weddings, portraits, or his travels. Raised in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, Wilson is the co-founder of Arcas Media, a production collective specializing in photography, videography, and graphic design.
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August 21, 2020

How to use golden hour

How do you use golden hour? What is it? When is it? What types of settings should my camera be set to? Golden hour is a fantastic opportunity for photographers to learn how to utilize natural light and be creative. Before you can have fun though, it is important to learn the what, when, why, and how's of this magical time. Read on for the answers!
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August 12, 2020

6 places to go for your next photoshoot around Victoria, BC

Need a bit of inspiration before you head out the door with your camera? Looking for the perfect place in Victoria for a family or engagement shoot? We’ve got you covered with a list of stellar options in and around the city that will bring your next photoshoot to life.
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July 2, 2020

Headshots vs. personal branding photography

A common mix-up for customers looking to hire a professional photographer for self-portraits is the terminology of “headshots” and “personal branding” photography. We've covered everything you need to know in order to choose the right one for you.
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June 10, 2020

Best family photography locations around Victoria, BC

With summer's arrival on Vancouver Island, it's the perfect time to gather your family for a morning, afternoon, or evening and make some memories! Discover the best locations for family photoshoots in Victoria.
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June 10, 2020

How to choose the perfect wedding photographer

With so many wedding photographers out there, each with their own plethora of packages and options to choose from, it can often be daunting to tell the difference. Thankfully, Focal is here to help!
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May 28, 2020

Conquering COVID-19: How to book more small photoshoots and grow your revenue by up to $10,000 a year

With the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly impacting this year’s wedding season, photographers everywhere are trying to find new ways to make up for lost income. At Focal, we’ve had good success helping our partner photographers grow their business through booking more small shoots. Here's how our top photographer grew their income by just over $10,000 in 2019.
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April 29, 2020

Top outdoor elopement locations in Victoria, BC

Love isn't cancelled due to COVID-19. Every day, our team is surprised by the beautiful and incredible ways that couples are finding to forge ahead and celebrate their love. Looking to ditch the big ceremony? Discover the top outdoor elopement locations around Victoria.
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April 22, 2020

Victoria, BC takeout inspo

Staying home doesn't have to mean cooking during COVID-19. In the spirit of supporting our beloved friends in the food service industry, the Focal team wanted to share some of our favourite places for takeout in Victoria. (Don't blame us if you get hungry.)
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April 20, 2020

Why Apple’s Keynote is a super awesome design tool disguised as presentation software

Our Focal team just finished an eight-month software development project building the latest iteration of our e-commerce and marketplace platform. We designed our whole project without any designers or UX developers. The magic tool? Apple’s Keynote.
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April 12, 2020

Starling Lane Vineyard in Victoria BC - Wedding Venue Photo Walkthrough

Timeless elegance meets natural beauty at Starling Lane Vineyards where you’ll be transported into a fairytale world filled with antique buildings and blossoming flowers. Just outside Victoria BC, this gorgeous venue offers a tranquil setting for your ceremony and is only a short drive away from town should you desire a lively reception.
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April 10, 2020

How I learned to code: 8 lessons from a non-technical founder

Since I can remember I always dreamed about building an iPhone app and launching it on the App store. But I always just had one little problem...I didn’t know how to code! Here are my 8 lessons for learning to code as a non-technical founder.
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April 9, 2020

How working for a startup was invaluable to my education: The top 5 things I've learned working at Focal

Like many University students, I finished my schooling for the year in April and was eagerly hunting for a summer Co-op. I hunted and hunted for Co-ops but everything that interested me was either too far away or required more education than I had at the time. Just as I was considering moving back home and re-applying for one of my previous jobs. I received an email advertising a summer position with Focal...
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