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

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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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 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

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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June 3, 2021

Top 10 Father's Day Family Photography Packages in Victoria, BC

Capture the love between your family for Father's Day this year with one of Focal's top 10 packages in Victoria, BC, featuring some of the city's very best photographers. One of who will be the perfect fit for you and your family, so browse our packages and get your smile ready!
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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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May 3, 2021

How to master your customer journey as a photographer

Have you ever felt like your photography website's traffic isn't leading to any bookings? Figuring out your customer journey can go a long way to solving that.
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April 29, 2021

Q&A: Portraiture and fashion photography with Noah Asanias (Vancouver, BC)

In an industry that can be notoriously hard to crack, photographer Noah Asanias has built a reputation for his billboard-worthy style and knack for capturing the best of his subjects. The founder of Ark Studio, Asanias has worked with the likes of Lululemon and AllSaints, and has photographed a wide array of film and television personalities, from Leah Lewis (The Half of It), to Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), to Metta World Peace (Los Angeles Lakers).
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April 27, 2021

3 ways to make free and TFP shoots work for you

Nobody wants to earn a reputation as the free photographer. But if you're going to agree to a free shoot, there are ways to maximize its value to your photography business. It's about thinking strategically.
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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 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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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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