Review: The Photographers directory

review: photographers.com.au

photographers directory

Have you ever stumbled across a website and thought, “hmmm… this has potential!”? That’s exactly how I feel about this offering from photographers.com.au.

Essentially, it’s a directory site. So, if you’re a photographer yourself, you can put your own details up there, and depending on what level of support you choose, you can be found through the search bar which sorts photographers via category (product/studio, wedding, food, nature, portrait, etc), and via location. The basic listing is free, and it ranges up to $32AUD/month for a Professional Plus account. If you have a paid account, potential customers can pick you up from seeing your work featured on the home page. When they click on your link, they’ll be taken to your profile page on the site, which has more examples of your work that you’ve uploaded, a short “About” section, any testimonials you’d like to include, and various other sections for listing awards, high profile clients, and contact details.

If you’re a member of the public, You can search by category and location, although you can’t search by name (but then there’s always Google, if you’re looking for someone you know 😉 ). Then once you’ve found a few potentials, you can request a quote from them; and after you’ve used one, you can leave a review and a star rating for the next person too.

 

The site is very easy to find your way around in. For photographers who’d like to join, it’s easy to set yourself up with a directory listing (and a teensy bit amusing as well). There’s a fab blog to boot, covering lots of the issues that are common to creatives – several years worth of posts such as “How should you respond when a customer asks you for a discount?”; “At what point does creative photography become misleading?”; and “Is imitation the best form of flattery?”

 

Having said all of that however, the site does have a few issues. The clunky branding for one. For a photography site where the image should be king, there’s just too much going on on the home page. From the patterned background, to the drop-shadow on the edges on several of the boxed areas, to the inclusion of the map of Sydney. Then there’s the tiny writing in the menu, the very generic blue search box, some boxes with rounded corners and some with square, and the ‘Meet Some of our Members’ section laid out like a real estate showcase (not to mention the techy glitch of weird characters showing up where there should be quotation marks). Aesthetic things, to be sure – but I think that if you’re dealing in images, the aesthetics have to be top notch. Make it cleaner, make it neater.

 

photographers.com.au

 

Overall however, I think it’s worth having a look at – it seems to be well-populated already, which means that there’s lots of good, dynamic stuff happening. If you’re a photographer yourself, or even if you’re someone who needs a photographer for your next profile shot or product shoot, maybe this is the place to investigate.

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This post was supported by photographers.com.au; but please rest assured that my opinions are honest, and entirely my own.
I only ever share things that I think will benefit my readership.

Branding and Marketing in Finance.

Branding and Marketing in Finance? Why yes!! Although I know a lot of you aren’t involved in the finance sector, I KNOW there are still some of you who are! And in any case – good branding is good branding. This information is absolutely every bit as applicable to you as to the next business, no matter what industry you’re in. Read on.

Guest post by Tom Dawkins.

 

2016 feb CMC markets

 

When we think of a brand, we probably tend to stick to the private sector and its products. And that was the market reality back in the old days. As it turns out, branding can be put to practice outside the commercial world. No matter which sector or particular niche you are working for, we can all benefit from a proper branding (or rebranding for that matter).

The main reason being because your customers need and want to connect with you in ways that are personal to each and every one of them. People need to feel that they can bond with your company and its ideals because if they don’t, they will simply move on somewhere else.

Even the government and the public sector, in general, is starting to use branding in their marketing campaigns, because it’s very important that the general public feels connected to these campaigns. They need to know that there is a greater purpose in them, and, therefore, create a larger acceptance rate.

There is a general consensus regarding some archetypes which everybody can relate to, these are called Jungian archetypes, first presented by psychiatrist Carl Jung. He believed these 12 archetypes were inherently familiar to all of us, as a part of a collective unconscious identity. They are The Innocent, The Hero, The Regular Guy, The Nurturer, The Creator, The Explorer, The Rebel, The Lover, The Magician, The Ruler, The Jester, and The Sage.

The Financial Sector also Benefits from Good Branding.

In today’s economy, the general population is starting to gain increasingly more control over their financial statuses, and just like with every other market, they will place their trust in a company which makes them feel more comfortable, and provides a more seamlessly bonding environment.

So there is not one single answer as to which archetype will fit best with your company’s identity. This really all depends on the message you’re trying to communicate with the world, on the principles you truly believe in. Because no matter which branding archetype you choose, there will always be a group of people which will connect with it almost instantly.

One subsector that particularly benefits from good branding is that of financial advisors. For example, a company which specializes in online assets trading and in return for your trusted invested capital, they offer you a state-of-the-art secure platform in which to trade and elite financial counselors. A company like CMC Markets for example.

They need to know exactly who they are as a company, their principles, their strategy map, and who their customers are going to be, in order to have a proper corporate identity. Branding can help all these companies with some serious potential problems, such as:

  • Corporate Uniqueness: If you or your current or potential clients, can’t quite understand the differences between your company and the competitors, it means you have a branding problem. People need to know exactly why you’re different, and what makes you truly unique. This way your customers are much less likely to replace you, because you can offer them something nobody else can.
  • Referrals: If either your clients or their entrusted advisors, can’t easily explain why your company is better than the competitors, then it is much less likely to acquire new clients.
  • Prices and Services: In a world so competitive in terms of pricing, your company needs to step up from being just a commodity and possibly even reflect the actual value of your services to your clients, by charging premium fees.
  • Corporate Uniformity: If you take 100 people from your company and every one of them gives a different vision of what you stand for as a firm, it could hurt your corporate identity. Everybody needs to know exactly what makes the company different than the others.

So as it turns out, branding is not just for ordinary products like sodas or smartphones, everybody can benefit from it, and especially the financial sector.

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This post has supplied and supported by CMC Markets. 

 

Small biz how-to : meet Uncommon Goods

How did I not know of Uncommon Goods before now? I am so very glad they contacted me, as I love finding new ways to help artists and designers to sell their work!

Uncommon Goods is a platform for artists and designers from around the world to sell their work through, and is based in Brooklyn, New York. They offer a huge variety of homewares, wall art, stationery, jewellery and more. There’s a large range of categories, and the site is super easy to navigate. (How fun are these upcycled shark slippers I found in the handmade section here?)

 

shark slippers - josh title

shark slippers – josh title

 

Their point of difference is this: beyond their core purpose which is to support artists and designers, their mission is to impact the world in a positive way.

So, besides ensuring that emerging and established artists get paid fairly for what they do, they encourage ethical and environmentally friendly goods – all of their products are produced without harm to animals, and around a third of what they offer is upcycled or recycled goods. AND they have connected with a number of non-profit organisations – for every item that is purchased, they donate to the organisation of your choice, such as Reach out and Read (a literacy program for school kids).

So, already they’re an awesome company in my books.

And it gets better (for both artists and buyers!). It’s a curated site, so that means the quality is consistently high – if you wish to sell your work through them, you need to apply. And when you submit your work  for their assessment, you can also allow it to be voted on by the public so you can get immediate feedback on whether your item is a viable product! So if you’re feeling a bit shy or hesitant about putting it out there in the big wide world, here’s a very quick and easy solution to your dilemma. Uncommon Goods also have a calendar of Design Challenge competitions and encourage new and existing artists to enter their work for kudos AND a variety of prizes, including money and ongoing royalties It all adds up to helping you improve your own work, by encouraging design excellence throughout the whole site.

I love the clarity of this necklace; it’s reminiscent of mid-C atomic style, and I can’t go past the paired colours of aqua and coral (I found it in the handmade jewelry section here).

 

lotus on wire necklace - ronni kappos

lotus on wire necklace – ronni kappos

 

AND there is also a section for personalised items – posters, wall art, bottle labels… and embroidered portraits (found here).

 

personalised cross stitch family portrait - elizabeth dabczynski

personalised cross stitch family portrait – elizabeth dabczynski

 

If you’d like to apply to become one of their artist/designers, you can do so here.

I urge you, go ahead and do it!! And good luck!!

 

Julie X

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Disclaimer : This post was written in collaboration with and supported by UncommonGoods.com.  But rest absolutely assured I only ever share things  that I believe in, and that I think will be genuinely useful for you.

 

Small biz : The Artful Business Conference – who’s coming with me?

YAY! The Artful Business Conference is on again and will be here SHORTLY! I am very excited about attending this wonderful event again – I learnt HEAPS last time and came away buzzing with so many ideas!

 

artful business conference

 

Why is it so fantastic? Because its core purpose is to help small businesses just like you and me – it’s designed specifically for us folk in the creative industries. It’s fantastic because the speakers themselves have been through the hard grind of starting from scratch; they’ve built themselves up to where they are now – and they’re sharing the nitty gritty and the insights they’ve gained along the way!

There are NINE speakers over two days, covering a huge range of subjects – including Karen Gunton speaking on Branding (I saw her last year, and you will NOT be sorry!); Victoria Gibson showing you how to use advertising on Facebook to grow your business; and Denise Duffield-Thomas on how to break through the fears that limit your growth (You can check the whole list of speakers here).

With each ticket, you ALSO get access to recordings of the previous two events as well – that’s around 70 hours worth of fantastic information.

SO, if you’ve got a small business in any kind of creative field, then this is definitely something you should be attending. So excited for this year’s – I’m sure it’s going to be an absolute eye-opener!!

 

 

You can find out more about the conference and purchase tickets here

 

Disclaimer: YES! I’m an affiliate of the Artful Business Conference, which means I earn a small commission on every ticket sold through the link above. But seriously, I’m attending the event myself, and I reckon that should be recommendation enough that I think it’s an EXCELLENT idea. See you there!

 

Meet the sponsors : May

Hi there May! Getting close to the middle of the year. How are you all going with your plans for 2014? I’ve not got to everything on my list yet, but it’s happening, and I’m way ahead of where I was at the beginning of the year. And that’s a good thing, right!?!

 

Welcome again to my beautiful sponsors, who help keep the wheels of tractorgirl turning.

 

the artful business conference

the artful business conference

Do you run a small business? HEADS UP! The Artful Business Conference is happening really, really soon…!  It’s jam-packed with a bunch of fabulous speakers who all have a wealth of experience in running their own businesses AND teaching and helping others to to do same, and it’s especially for those of us in the handmade and creative industries. You can attend in person, or virtually; there is an EARLY BIRD PRICE on the tickets, but it’s only available for another two weeks, so get onto it! I went last year, and it was an absolute eye-opener. Check all the details on the Artful Business Conference here.

 

 

a piece of cloth - vintage paisley from her extensive collection

a piece of cloth – vintage paisley from her extensive collection

I love vintage fabrics! Jennifer from A Piece Of Cloth has a wonderful collection – everything from delicious whole bolts of uncut fabric through to smaller pieces she uses to make quilting packs. How glorious is this folk-inspired paisley? You can find her on the Facebook page, A Piece of Cloth.

 

 

crimson pear - social media buttons

crimson pear – social media buttons

Libby from Crimson Pear is a professional that comes with a personal recommendation. With her fabulous tech-whiz, she has helped me overhaul this site recently,and managed some very tricky behind-the-scenes stuff to make this site easy to navigate across all platforms, including mobile and tablet. She has been great with advice, and is always fast to respond to any queries I have, however small. Libby can do a simple tweak to a full-blown makeover, and has an expanding range of mobile-ready wordpress themes and social media icons available in her shop, which you can find at crimsonpear.com.au.

 

 

licorice fox - downloadable clipart

licorice fox – downloadable clipart

Erin of Licorice Fox has a range of hand drawn clip art for you to download and use in whatever kind of project you wish – chickens, birds, sweet flowers and patterns and much, much more. You can find her in her Etsy shop, LicoriceFox.

 

 

miss black and friends - lucinda

miss black and friends – lucinda

Lucinda Swan is a sweet friend to Sibella and to Miss Black. They live together in a not-so-faraway world created by Kathryn Hooper, filled with garlands and light. You can find Lucinda, as well as photography and artwork from Kathryn on missblackandfriends.com.au.

 

 

elephant and rose - scarf

elephant and rose – scarf

A big fresh welcome to new sponsor Jiah Harrison, who I interviewed a little while ago here. Jiah is a surface designer and is behind the fabric label Elephant and Rose. Isn’t this scarf just a stunner? She sells her work through Society6 and Spoonflower, as well as producting scarves, teatowels and tote bags for Etsy. You can find Elephant and Rose here.

 

 

shinelittlelight - springtime in the UK

shinelittlelight – springtime in the UK

Sophie had a recent trip to the UK and to Paris(!!) for a few weeks, and she came home with a shiny new diamond ring from her husband of 7 years and a whole bunch of glorious spring photos. You can find Sophie here – shinelittlelight.blogspot.com.au

 

 

74limelane - collecting inspiration from around the web

74limelane – collecting inspiration from around the web

Welcome to Kellie from 74LimeLane, a great little blog with regular roundups of all sorts of fascinating and fabulous stuff from around the interwebs, including lots of DIYs and printables. Kellie also loves inspirational words (like these beauties above), as well as packaging and design, photography, and the colour lime. Check out her blog at 74limelane.com.au/blog.

 

 

red parka - illustration

red parka – illustration

Jen {aka Red Parka} is an illustrator based in Tasmania, and not only does she write a great blog showcasing fabulous illustration from around the globe, she has also recently published a great book, featuring the strange and unusual names the English language has given to collectives of wild animals, all gloriously illustrated by Jen, of course! How about a smack of jellyfish? Or a bouquet of hummingbirds? You can find Jen at redparka.com.au.

 

fabric dot

 

As always, thank you so very much to all these wonderful folk for supporting tractorgirl. Please show your appreciation by visiting these fab indie businesses too. Go on, they’re fab!

Julie X

Meet the Sponsors : April

Hello there April! I think I’m onto you, before you slip past me like all the other months… Ha!

Welcome once again to my lovely sponsors, and thank you for April.

 

 

You all must know Libby from Crimson Pear now! Of course she can do all sorts of website techy stuff for you, from a simple tweak to a full-blown makeover. And she’s got some great responsive WordPress themes available in her shop too (the tractorgirl site runs on the “Simplified” theme!). Here’s her latest very stylish theme, “Eloise”. You can find Libby and all her goodies at crimsonpear.com.au.

crimson pear - 'eloise' responsive wordpress theme

crimson pear – ‘eloise’ responsive wordpress theme

 

 

I love Tasha Chawner’s Weekend Photo Project – her latest topic is “Guilty Pleasures”. Chocolate, of course. And tips on how to hide it from the kids.  She also has a very nice free blog planner for you to download. And check out her series, “53 Pieces of Unsolicited Advice”. This and lots more fun things on Tasha’s blog at tashachawner.com.

tasha chawner - The weekend photo project - guilty pleasure {chocolate}

tasha chawner – The weekend photo project – guilty pleasure {chocolate}

 

 

You know I’m always a sucker for a nice bit of vintage fabric. Jennifer at A Piece Of Cloth has quite a lot! She recently completed a fabric buying trip to the US and found some very lovely things. How sweet is this swirly roses print on feedsack? Check it all out on her Facebook page, A Piece Of Cloth.

a piece of cloth - vintage fabric

a piece of cloth – vintage fabric

 

 

Katie Alleva loves birds. Which is pretty damn obvious when you visit her site – all manner of birds adorn prints, embossing, and laser-cut cherry wood brooches. I love this limited edition print – it’s gloriously large at A2 size, full of colour and life. You can find Katie at katiealleva.com.au.

katie alleva - 'birda' limited edition print

katie alleva – ‘birda’ limited edition print

 

 

Ever wanted to have breakfast in Paris? Yes please! Now you can dream about it every morning with this wall art from Irina of Chulart. Or you might like to try New York. There’s also some sweet flowers for you, or your children’s room. You can find them in Irina’s shop at chulart.etsy.com

chulart - paris breakfast

chulart – paris breakfast

 

 

Erin of Licorice Fox has a range of hand drawn clip art for you to download and use in whatever kind of project you wish – chickens, birds, sweet flowers and patterns and much more. You can find her in her Etsy shop, LicoriceFox.

licorice fox - 'winter birds' clipart

licorice fox – ‘winter birds’ clipart

 

 

Sophie is my dear friend and keen gardener (aren’t these blooms glorious?) Recently, she had to deal with the harsh reality of miscarriage – something that is relatively common and that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. I know; that was my experience too. Much love to you S. X
Sophie is here – shinelittlelight.blogspot.com.au

shine little light - flowers from the garden

shine little light – flowers from the garden

 

 

Kellie lives at 74 lime lane, which is always full of the most interesting snippets of DIY, popular culture, printables, things to see and do and photography from around the interwebs. Check her blog at 74limelane.com.au/blog.

74 Lime Lane - inspiration roundup

74 Lime Lane – inspiration roundup

 

 

As always, thank you so very much to all these wonderful folk for supporting tractorgirl. Please show your appreciation by visiting these fab indie businesses too. Go on, they’re fab!

Julie X