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Category Archives: Marketing

7 ways instagram has helped me become a better photographer

I’m guessing most people’s reaction to seeing this headline will be to laugh, and maybe get them curious at what kind of amateur non-sense I’ll be talking about in this post. As a matter of fact – it’s entirely the opposite. I know several photographers who feel that instagram is an app that makes *anyone* […]

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Mary Clanahan - Hi Tim,
We met on the plane from San Diego to Denver where I enjoyed some of your photography. I found some of your work on line. My daughter Teri works a lot with instagram too. Her screen name is tallgal43. I was telling her about you, and she’d like to have your screen name and see your photos. She’s addicted to hashtags too.
She’s a very good artist and does cool work. Have fun!
harleyomaSeptember 30, 2013 – 1:50 pm

Sasha Juliard - This is spot on. I am kicking myself because when Instagram came out I thought it was a bunch of filter tricks and people sharing food pics. If I had spent more than 5 minutes on it I would have seen that it can be so much more and would have had a whole extra year to be playing around with it and improving.

It’s a tiny photo and can only be viewed as a tiny photo. You have to think about what can make an *impact* in such a tiny window. I had to start experimenting with angles and lighting that I wouldn’t have otherwise done. It had me paying much more attention to colors and textures around me which is admittingly my weak spot.

Not only has it helped me improve, but it is also an awesome place to showcase a special kind of photo that wouldn’t be right to post on Facebook or my website and would have died on my hard drive.September 11, 2013 – 12:58 pm

Phil Lambert - Awesome as usual Tim. I still think the airport shot with you in the Snorkel Gear is still one of my favorites, even if the debate still continues about “Who pushed the shutter or who composed the picture.” Taking quite a bit away from this post, I’m always learning.

Thanks Tim!September 2, 2013 – 8:25 pm

Ignite Images - Great article.

Just goes to show that it is the photographer who makes a great photograph, not the camers.September 2, 2013 – 12:16 am

Cate O'Malley - So many stellar tips, but, most importantly, not just a rehash of all the other IG tips articles already out there. And I’m totally going to cool it on the hash tags. ;)August 28, 2013 – 7:10 am

13 Reasons why I’ve stopped referring work to specific photographers

First and foremost, I want to say that I’m no saint.  I’m guilty of a lot of the characteristics I’ve listed below, and this post is partly to share my lessons so that you can learn from my mistakes. The other part is to help you stop acting like a dumbass.   ////////   So […]

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Lauren - GREAT post, Tim! “Make it easy as possible for me” is the part that gets me when I’ve hired 2nd shooters. If you’re running late, otherwise stressing me out, or just getting in my way, that’s it. No more chances. The other points are definitely valid but this is the one that’s a deal breaker for me.March 21, 2013 – 6:14 am

Joe McDonald - Good info Tim, might be fun to deliver as a video with graphs, & pics.March 20, 2013 – 10:22 pm

Tim - All – thank you so much for the support! It means a lot coming from so many well respected peers in the industry.

Mandy – when you show up for work, your attire is apparent to EVERYONE sees and makes an assessment on your presentation/appearance. I don’t write on my blog to please clients or try to gain new business – it’s really just an outlet for me to share my life experiences and help others that want the same. I’m sorry you feel my grammar makes such an impression, but I do hope you realize that being proper, being the best, or being the most liked isn’t what always results in the one who gets the business. I do thank you for taking the time to circle back and vent your frustration – it means a lot to me.March 20, 2013 – 2:30 pm

Brett - Well said Tim. Content is spot on and I think it will help a lot of photographers – new and seasoned – take a look in the mirror and become better at what they do. Thanks for writing this great post!March 20, 2013 – 12:23 pm

Mandy - So if you don’t dress “professional” then you’re out.

But I guess if you don’t talk or write “professional” then it’s ok because you’re an artist?

What a load of hypocritical BS to excuse sloppy writing and poor grammar.March 20, 2013 – 11:41 am

jeremy - Photography is such an ecoteric field, a layman rarely gets a glipmses to read it. Thanks for yet again, an insightful and interesting read. Keep ‘em coming. “Especially the bad breath party is so common in clubs” Slay the dragon-breather. Makes a HUGE difference at work.March 19, 2013 – 11:04 pm

Candice Benjamin - Another reason why you are awesome. Thank you for keeping it real. :)March 19, 2013 – 10:39 pm

Tim - Thanks Michelle! And as a matter of fact, I’m planning a couple additional posts on second shooting – one to explain the value to brides and one to talk about what I particularly look for in a 2nd shooter/assistant. (I’m actually considering bringing on 3rd shooters as well)March 19, 2013 – 6:29 pm

Michelle - I may be alone in this, but I like grammar errors. It is proof that you are human. One of the most intelligent men in my life is horrible when it comes to spelling and grammar and I still think he is one of the smartest men on this planet.

I think your points are SPOT on. Your referrals ARE an extension of your brand. I would also love to see a similar post where you expand on second shooting :)March 19, 2013 – 6:24 pm

Jen Jar - Tim, EXCELLENT post! It’s a sad truth, but in our industry there are SO many photographers who can’t control their own egos. They all need to read this and hopefully gain a new perspective :)March 19, 2013 – 5:12 pm

Rich - Hey Mandy,
Lighten up! It’s a blog, not the Wall Street Journal! He says right there at the top, first line in fact, he’s not a saint.

Get over the grammar and take in the message.

Great post Tim!March 19, 2013 – 4:23 pm

Tim - And come to think of it, I think it actually *is* proper grammar. “Personal” categorizes between objective/personal and “professional” refers to attire – professional/casual/etc. While they both work with the “LY” at the end, they function the same without.March 19, 2013 – 4:10 pm

Tim - Mandy, thanks for the comment! I appreciate the time and effort you put in to correct me. And while it may not be completely proper grammar, I actually don’t really think it’s completely necessary to be the best writer to be successful at what I do. I capitalize entire words – which isn’t proper either, but it makes the point. And that’s what’s most important to me.

I wasn’t the top of my class in English lit, but I have been pretty successful in my business and what works/what doesn’t. So in that sense, I feel comfortable talking about my personal/professional experience with others in the past, and point out what habits may be causing others to miss out on work.

I’m not trying to attack you, but clarify where I’m coming from. Hope it comes across the right way.March 19, 2013 – 3:59 pm

Mandy - Someone who is complaining about how others present themselves should really look at their own presentation.

People dress professionalLY
People take things personalLY

Both of those are adverbs. Adverbs modify verbs and end in -ly.

Please learn proper grammar and writing before you criticize others for how they present themselves. Your writing sounds ignorant and uneducated and it doesn’t leave you a lot of room to talk about others.March 19, 2013 – 3:52 pm

Shooting Star Silhouettes Workshop at WPPI

Tired of boring seminars and listening to ideas you never put to use? I took it upon myself to make my own mini-workshop for those adventurous photographers out there that want to bring back some amazing imagery, and some wicked new skills.

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Kate - Aghhhh not going to WPPI this year but I agree; have one in a San Diego desert soon please!!! :)February 24, 2014 – 9:48 am

Cindy - dang i totally missed out! Not that I was going to go to WPPI….if you have a workshop like this at at dessert in San Diego, I’ll sign up!March 20, 2013 – 12:30 pm

Why hashtags and double-sharing are crippling your game

(An instagram manifesto by @timkingphoto) This has been on my mind for awhile now, and I really feel like it’s time to get it out.  There are a few things people are doing on instagram that they believe are helping them…but *I* think they’re actually HURTING THEM! So let’s get to it, shall we? 1. […]

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elyse renae - i am *very* grateful that i crossed this today.
a repeat offender on a few of these points, however, this make so much sense.
time to switch up my social media game!
best bonus? time SAVER!February 21, 2013 – 1:59 pm

How to grow your network of clients & friends

One of the most common questions I get from other photographers or people interested in my line of work is, “So how’d you get this gig?” And while the short answer of it may be simple “A past client referred me when their friend asked for a recommendation on a photographer”…the dynamic behind it all […]

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Phil Lambert - This has to be the best one I have seen in a while:


Very good read.February 8, 2013 – 4:04 pm

Kristin Bobb - Thanks so much for sharing this, Tim! I really loved the video, he is hilarious, and so smart.February 8, 2013 – 6:38 am

Anastasiya - I am not in the photography business. In fact, i am in no business at all. But you’ve described the kind of behavior im trying to practice in every day life. Like you said, I’ve experienced being just a number to somebody and it’s not the most pleasant thing ever, so i cut these people off (gently, step by step), and i am making sure none of the people who matters to me feel like “just a number’.It’s so important for everybody to know that they matter!February 8, 2013 – 2:50 am

Lisa Strickland - Great piece, Tim. There’s value in being genuine – thanks for reminding us not to lose sight of that.February 7, 2013 – 10:24 pm

Cajsa Andersson - Well, Tim, you are inspiring! And I guess I got a little bit to deep into this. BUT, if you want to read about what I think and my evaluation of it all take a look at;

Best regards,
CajsaFebruary 7, 2013 – 8:02 pm

amber fischer - Holy mother, you’re so right. As I read this I could see certain people in my mind who have done this to/for me – sent me links just because they thought of me, told their friends about my business, shot me a text to say “hi.” Those people stand out in my mind as being super awesome…. and I totally want other people to think of ME as being super awesome. Seriously, you’re onto something here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Really great stuff for everyone – not just those trying to build a business and market.February 7, 2013 – 6:04 pm

Natalie Holtz - Very informative and great tips.February 7, 2013 – 5:46 pm

Michael - Epic post my friend. You know, I’ve been in the same industry for over 25 years, but STILL need to remind myself how important it is to not loose touch of the fact that we are all people, with real feelings, real insecurities, and ultimately in need if real connections. It’s easy to loose site of that. Thanks for the reminder!February 7, 2013 – 5:34 pm

Danny - Excellent post Tim! Loved the line “no cover bands in the rock and roll hall of fame”…so true.

This post rang true for me, I have a couple of friends whom I considered close only to find out I had only started to hear from them when they needed something or had extreme negativity to pass along. Was extremely off putting as you said. I called them out on it only to have them back pedal, deny and attempt to weasel out of what was clear as day, but the damage was done…this was a repeated pattern over several years. No time to waste on people like that in our lives.

And yes, doing things for others without some quid pro quo attached is one of the keys to truly becoming a person of sound character. While at the same time staying top of mind to those in your social vortex, so when and if they can help YOU out they’ll willingly to do. You’re a good man Tim, keep up passing on the wisdom :)February 7, 2013 – 5:05 pm

Heather - LOVE that you’re writing again, I love following you and your adventures! Thanks for sharing :-)February 7, 2013 – 4:57 pm