Doug’s Photography and Social Media Rant – May 31, 2013

Doug's RantIt’s been an interesting week or so in photography and social media – from a certain Internet-based company CEO’s assault on professional photographers, to facebook’s announcement (finally) of verified accounts.  A couple of interesting nuggets happened here at Frameable Faces as well, so while I’m not sure if this is something I’ll do weekly or monthly (or ever again haha), I thought a little column about various current events as they relate to our business, the photography industry, and social media might be a good idea.

Not feeling so “yahoo” about Yahoo.

We haven’t used Tumblr or Flickr before so while Yahoo acquiring Tumblr and making changes to Flickr didn’t affect us, the comments Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made during the announcement that “there’s no such thing, really, as professional photographers…” caught our attention a little.  I watched the news conference and while I don’t like the stuffy overly “professional” suit and tie approach in corporate America, I also think your CEO should sound slightly more articulate than this person.  I was not impressed.  Scott Bourne has shredded her and she is treating him like some random troll to be ignored.  Scott Bourne is a very influential professional photographer (maybe that’s why she hasn’t heard of him) and I believe her comments and her subsequent non-apology will come back to bite her.

Facebookus Promotionus Interruptus

We pride ourselves on being pretty savvy when it comes to social media – we try to do it the right way and follow the written rules and (more importantly) the unwritten rules, but we still make mistakes and we are still learning.  Heck, there is something new to learn every day if not every hour.  For example we got tripped up last week in some changes to facebook terms that we were unaware of.

Email notification from facebook

I must say I find this “no more than 20% text” policy a little arbitrary and bizarre.  We spent 5 dollars to promote a fundraiser for Relay For Life West Bloomfield.  We created it as an “event” on facebook, and there is an option to add an event cover photo.  The dimensions for this cover photo are 714×264 while the standard timeline photo is 851×315.  Not sure why the slight difference here other than to encourage users to create unique content for your event different from your timeline photo?  Fine – makes sense I guess.  Logically I figured I’d keep it simple and include the three logos of the participating entities with a simple phrase “Let’s Help Defeat Cancer!”.  When we created the graphic we didn’t think it represented a call to action with phone numbers, websites etc. which we thought must have been the issue when we received the email.  However it turns out that facebook “quietly” updated their terms on March 6th to allow for calls to action so that wouldn’t have been a problem.  The problem is this new 20% text policy, which I’m fine with when it comes to a timeline cover for your brand, but isn’t an event by nature a call to action which requires a little bit of text to announce the event?  They let me keep the cover photo up, they just wouldn’t let me promote the event.  I didn’t think my promoted post was going to include the cover photo in it anyway so I’m still a little confused.  Weird…  No biggie – I suppose this year (our first year at the Relay For Life) we can take some photos and next year include those as a collage for the cover photo for any fundraiser events we are doing.  That will look better anyway than this quickie we put together this year…  While I’m at it, here is the link to our team page if you want to donate to help us fight cancer.

Relay For Life Fundraiser - Facebook photo

Our event cover photo which violated the new 20% text rule....


Yes This Is The Real Doug Cohen

I must admit that there have been times when I’ve had to do a double take on fake facebook profiles of famous people – wondering if it’s really them.  Some of the fakes are obvious and some can fool you even if it’s just for a second.  With twitter you always knew because of the little “verified” check next to the profile.  This is finally coming to facebook and facebook will determine who gets the verified label.  First will be celebrities and public figures but eventually it will come to highly followed people and pages.  I’m wondering since the limit for personal friends is 5000 for everybody what the threshold will be for personal verification.  Pick me!!! Pick me!!!  I wanna BE somebody!!!  😉

Other quick hits…

  • Really want Vine to be released for Droid!  Hurry up Vine developers!!!  Thinking this could be a cool platform for Frameable Faces and this seems to be taking forever…
  • I’m becoming more active on Yelp (yes this is a link directly to my profile) as a way to connect with people – spend some time there – you’ll see what I mean.
  • Had a really nice genuine interaction on twitter (I know right?) with a charming Australian tweeter I met named Susan Israel.  Reflecto was a little snarky to her of course (remember he tweets) but she took it in stride.  You should follow her at @bondi_izzy.

3 Months Old and A Total Pro!

This was a day we were looking forward to for a very very long time!  These are old friends of ours whom we are very close to and we are so happy for them – they’ve got the cutest little boy!  He’s a very smiley baby and this may have been the best 3 month old session we’ve ever had.  Sometimes the 3 month old session isn’t the easiest for getting all of the best shots since it’s around 6 months that the little ones start to develop a lot of personality and they have a little more range since they can often sit up by then – but this little guy already has a ton of personality!  He was awesome – in a great mood and so easy to work with – a total pro!  We had so much fun with him!  Enjoy!

Baby PhotographFamily PortraitFather and Baby3 Month Photo


Class of 2013 Frameables! Part 4!

Here we are with another round of awesome seniors from the currently-graduating class of 2013!  This has been a fantastic class and these young ladies and gentlemen continue to validate for us why we’ve chosen to do what we do.  Each one has been a pleasure to photograph and to get to know!  As their near-futures start to come into focus we look forward to following their post-high school careers!  Enjoy!

Senior PortraitSenior PortraitsSenior PicturesSenior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior PortraitSenior PortraitSenior PortraitSenior Portrait

“Perfect” Children!

Let me explain….   We have photographed plenty of little ones.  Newborns, toddlers, kids – and we love all of our little Frameables.  Often when we tell parents that our sessions are two hours they react by saying “there is no way my child will sit and pose for two hours”, and we reply saying “that’s why we need two hours!”  Sometimes toddlers need a little time to get comfortable, and for newborns in particular we block off 3 hours and try not to schedule anything right after just in case we need more time.  With newborns very often there are feedings that need to happen, diapers that need to be changed, and sometimes we need to wait it out while baby falls asleep so we can take photos while they are sleeping.  It’s not a perfect step by step choreography, but that’s okay – it doesn’t have to be.  We almost always get what we need even if the good stuff doesn’t start to happen right away…

Having said all that, there was one child that we photographed three years ago that we always remember as being so extraordinarily easy to work with as a newborn – we were able to get a ton of perfect shots and it didn’t take long at all.  Well, she just came back as a three year old with her 9 day old sister and sure enough, she did an incredible job again – this time with baby sis and the baby was amazing too!  These parents are 2 for 2!  Like the title of this post says – PERFECT CHILDREN!!!  We love love love these photos… and hope you enjoy them too!  🙂

Little SiblingsNewborn Baby PhotoNewborn PhotoSibling Cuteness

Will Smile For Smoothies!

We have been photographing these cute siblings for a couple years now and they are growing up so fast!  They are at the age where they are pushing some of mommy’s buttons which all of us who are parents can relate to.  Lucky for us we have plenty of tricks to deal with this – for example this time we sent mom down the hall to get smoothies so we could have some time alone with the kids in the studio, and sure enough they settled right in for some fantastic shots!  So adorable, and these two clearly enjoy each other!  Enjoy!  🙂

Brother and SisterPretty PrincessHandsome Little ManBrother and Sister

Bring On The Little Brother!

We have had the immense pleasure of photographing one particular little girl who is super cute, super smart and full of personality since she was still in utero, and now we introduce to you (actually as you’ll see below she is helping to introduce to you) her newborn baby brother! She was so well behaved for this session, she did a fantastic job with her new brother, and she was so excited!


This was such a fun session, and meanwhile just look at all of that blond hair on the little man!  He slept for much of the session which is very helpful for newborns – he was only 9 days old!  Enjoy!

Newborn babynewborn baby

How To Become a Photographer

So how do you answer the question of how to become a photographer?  Let’s start by saying that you obviously cannot become a photographer from a blog post.  However I’ve gathered a few resources that combined together will give you a good guide for getting started whether you are just interested in photography as a hobby or if you want to become a real pro.  It’s certainly not the last thing you should read to become a photographer or a complete guide, but this post along with the links provided will be a good first thing to read.

How To Become A Photographer

How To Become A Photographer


Find out what inspires you and pursue it.  With photography there are plenty of ways to discover this.  One way is to simply take pictures.  LOTS of pictures.  Odds are you have a camera – even for now if it’s just the camera on your phone.  Take pictures every day and find out what moves you.  Another is to look at pictures.  This link is to the inspiration category at the Photo Argus – these posts of images are designed to inspire and there is some wonderful content here.  Here is the inspiration category at PetaPixel.  You should also read and follow these five steps by Scott Bourne, one of our go-to experts in the field – and find other articles like these.  Think in these terms and follow your dream!


Keep in mind it’s not the camera that makes great photos – the photographer does.  But having said that, once again here is a fantastic article by Scott Bourne on what you should think about in considering a new camera.  As for where to buy one, just check out a local camera store and buy local where possible!  If you are in New York City you should visit B & H which is the Taj Mahal of camera stores – the place is incredible and downright inspiring just being there.  They also provide fantastic help over the phone AND they provide free shipping on equipment.  Once you’ve invested in a camera take the time to learn your way around your camera.  As you gain experience make sure you are taking the time to learn technique, lighting, post processing and the tools that go with all of it.


If you want to be a pro you MUST learn the photography business.  Photography can obviously be rewarding even if you are just doing it for fun.  But if you want it to be your career then you need to really understand what makes it profitable, what makes it sustainable, what makes it rewarding, what makes it special.  Go to conventions, sign up for seminars, read books, hire an accountant.  Take the time to connect with other photographers, hone in on your specialty, find your niche and become the very best at it.  Learn how to use social media as a brand.  Learn how not to use social media as a brand.  This list goes on and on – there is so much to it.  It takes years to perfect your craft, learn the business and build a real studio but it can be done – after all, we are doing it….  and notice I didn’t say we did it – it’s an ongoing process – we are still learning every day.

If you are a photographer what advice would you give to someone starting out?  If you are starting out, share with us why you want to be a photographer – what inspired you?

Frameable Faces Photography
Frameable Faces Photography is a small biz retail mom & pop shop of Doug&Ally Cohen located in the Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield, Michigan, United States Of America!
Ally & Doug can be reached at the studio at tel:248-790-7317 or emailed at
Being “Frameable” is an attitude, a community, a way of life – a life you would want to celebrate and display on your walls for all to see!  Tell us… ARE YOU FRAMEABLE?
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Class of 2014 Spokesmodel Party!

This year’s third annual spokesmodel party was a blast!  It’s definitely one of our favorite days of the year and the culmination of the planning, photographing, and getting to know our newest team!  Some of them we’ve known for years and some we’re just getting to know.  We’ve become very fond of each and every one of these seniors-to-be and to have them all at the studio wearing their Frameable Faces T-Shirts and hanging together is as good as it gets for us!

class of 2014 spokesmodel party

Our awesome team!

Just like last year we began the festivities with the debut of the new spokesmodel video with behind the scenes clips from the photo sessions and even a fun outtake at the end:

We then had dinner, and this year we had it catered by Pine Lake Market in Keego Harbor – the food was fantastic!  Then in keeping with tradition we ate Just Baked cupcakes.  Soooo good.

class of 2014 spokesmodel party

Our Just Baked Cupcakes!

Then we took some photos.  Everyone had picked up their t-shirts and spokesmodel cards which were laid out on the table when they arrived, and we took some team pictures first.

class of 2014 spokesmodel party

Frameable Faces Spokesmodel Swag!

Then it was everyone’s turn to do individual shots for the mural that goes in our window for the upcoming year which is always a lot of fun.  Look for that in about a month in our window and on Facebook.  There are actually some traditions within the murals emerging – like who will be the “jumpy girl”, who will be eating a Just Baked cupcake, which boy will be flexing his muscles, and who will do something that has not been done before?

All in all it was a great night and as we’ve said before, a great group of kids.