5 Ways to Use Social Media to Your Advantage…… as a Person!

At Frameable Faces we spend a lot of time on social media and facebook in particular.  Sure it’s primarily how we market our business and I personally spend a ton of time on the various platforms because I consult on on the side, but it also dominates much of the conversation with our clients in general because we post sneak peaks and/or video clips from the sessions on facebook, this blog, YouTube, even Google + a little, and we tweet as well so it’s just naturally a popular topic.  We also pin, use LinkedIn (although frankly we have a ways to go on LinkedIn as a brand) and a few of the others.  Social Media, 5 Ways to Use Social MediaBased on my own observations I’m not sure the typical casual end user knows where to go for help to get more out of social media for themselves.  The social media “gurus” focus much of their content on how brands can build and engage with their peeps, but who is helping the customers to get the most out of social media?  People still seem to get frustrated with facebook or don’t quite get twitter for example.  So while this is by no means a comprehensive list I thought I’d provide a few of my own tips to help you manage and benefit from the information available on social media platforms.

1.  “Like” and more importantly interact with your favorite brands on facebook.  More and more companies are dedicating resources to maintaining a presence on facebook and interacting with their customers there.  The company website will have information sure, but you can usually interact with your favorite store, restaurant or TV show in daily discussions if you like on facebook.  Keep in mind that hitting the “like” button, adding a comment to the conversation or even sharing something you find really worthwhile with your facebook friends will help ensure that future posts from that brand continue to show up prominently in your news feed.  This is why the interact part is so key.  Plus by liking, commenting and sharing you are putting your own stamp of approval on things that are important to you for others to see (which is one of the social aspects of social media).  So as you can see you can essentially craft your own personal flow of the information you care about on facebook.

2.  The “unsubscribe” button is your friend.  If that annoying acquaintance from high school finds you and insists on telling the world that it’s cold outside every time it’s, uh….well…. cold outside, or that they didn’t sleep well, or who you should vote for, you can just hover over their status update and unsubscribe from their updates.  This goes for all of your settings when it comes to customizing your content and your privacy.  I still hear a lot of people say they don’t want to be on facebook or don’t like facebook because they don’t want people to know a bunch of information about them, they don’t want to be in contact with a bunch of people from high school they don’t care about, or they don’t care what people ate for breakfast.  Facebook has evolved a lot over the last couple of years and you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to share, you can select who sees what, and you can unsubscribe from annoying status updates without potentially hurting someone’s feelings by de-friending them.  These are all easy and intuitive tools and if you don’t understand them then ask someone who does.  It’s very easy to tailor facebook to your interests so that it becomes a valuable source of information while still filtering all the noise.

3.  Follow your favorite brands, news outlets, blogs and teams on twitter.  If facebook can function as a good flow of information and interaction with friends and brands, twitter can positively be your personal AP wire.  I remember when the first smartphones came out and were shortly followed by sports scores apps where you could pick the teams you cared about to get updated scores.  Cool right?  Except they never worked, you had to launch the app to get the updates and then they were barely ever updated.  Now many sports teams will tweet frequent updates during a game beyond just the score, including stats and even brief mentions about how rowdy the crowd is or if the momentum has shifted.  If you want to follow the Detroit News you’ll get breaking news throughout the day.  If you follow local blogs you can get updates on what’s happening around town.  If you follow your favorite brands you can get updates on their products and content related to those products.  You can tweet and retweet as well and build relationships but you don’t necessarily have to to get a lot out of twitter.

4.  Make use of lists on twitter.  If you start to really dig twitter and find that it’s a great way to stay up to speed on the things you like you may start to find that following too many tweets becomes a little overwhelming.  Unlike facebook where your interaction and/or unsubscribing can help shape your news feed, on twitter you are either following or unfollowing a tweeter and that’s pretty much it.  You might miss some tweets you may have cared more about because they quickly made their way down the wire behind a slew of other tweets from all the tweeters you are following.  That’s where the use of lists can come in handy.  You can create lists within twitter and name them by category, slot all the different feeds into the categories and then view the feed for each category.  Some of our lists (most of which I’ve left as publicly viewable if you’re interested – you can even subscribe to them) are “Social Media focused”, “Local Detroit / Michigan”, “Photography” and “Bloggers”.

5.  Have fun and be smart about it.  This is general advice but people often talk about how each new platform is just a new “time suck” – a way to keep themselves from being less productive.  Pinterest for example can certainly be that way, but if you think about it as the virtual pinboard that it was designed to be then it can be useful – as if you were pinning things up on a board in your kitchen for use later.  YouTube?  Subscribe to the official channels of brands, people, teams, things that are of interest to you instead of just aimlessly searching for the new fun popular videos.

What are your favorite tips?  Now it’s your turn to interact – remember?

A Newborn Addition to a Lovely Family!

Family Photography, Frameable Faces Photography, Metro Detroit Photographer

You should’ve heard the excitement when we got the call to photograph this sweet newborn!  10 days old at the session and she was pure sugar!  Sweet, smushy and very cuddly!

Baby “S” came into the studio with her her dashingly handsome dad, her exquisite mom and her adorable big brother.   Put them together and what a beautiful family!!!  We had to so some coaxing to get these amazing smiles from big brother, L, but when we “popped” the flash, we got some fabulous smiles out of that little boy!   Don’t you just want to jump right into that photo and just squeeze his little face?!?!
After we captured the newest family photos, little Miss S got her very own turn in the spotlight.  What a little love she was!  She let us change her clothes, move her around and barely woke up for it.  There’s just something some amazing and wondrous about a sleeping newborn baby.  Little lips, little nose, little finger and little toes.   Ally was swooning!!!!
It’s families like this that make our job not really a job.  We are so lucky and so blessed!

Newborn Photography, Frameable Faces Photography, West Bloomfield Photographer

“A” For Absolute Frameable Family Photo Fun!

Family Photography, Frameable Faces Photography, Metro Detroit PhotographerYou already know how much fun we have in the studio.  And if you haven’t ever had a session with us, you can probably tell by looking at our images how much fun they look.  But when we have a family in here that can make US laugh….that’s when the real fun begins.  This is the the “A” family.  From the moment they came in to the studio, the boys were all about F-U-N!

M is all about being the big brother.  It was so much fun to watch him interact with D.  D is a typical little brother.  So funny, keeping the family (and us!) in stitches.  One liners were abundant and we were laughing while we were photographing their entire session.
And talk about some talent, too!  M brought in his cello (and gave Doug some serious cello envy, since he was a cellist in the Orchestra back in high school).  He played the theme from Star Wars and wowed Ally.  D is a pretty accomplished lego maniac.  You should have seen the pieces from his collection that he brought in!  Impressive!
J and J, you guys have some pretty amazing boys.  We had so much fun with you all!  Enjoy your sneak peaks!  Child Portraits, Child Photography, Frameable Faces PhotographyChild Photography, West Bloomfield PhotographerChild Photography, West Bloomfield Photographer

The E Family Session

A few weeks ago, we had the E family in the studio.  They were such a blast to work with!  J and Ally had been friends since high school, but had fallen out of touch until recently.  We had such a nice time working with her, her husband M and their sweet kids!  So much personality in the studio!!!  The sounds of laughter were echoing throughout the mall.  Those are the kinds of sessions we love!

 

Child Photography, West Bloomfield PhotographerFamily Photography, Frameable Faces Photography, Metro Detroit PhotographerFamily Portrait, Frameable Faces Photography, West Bloomfield PhotographerFamily Portrait, Frameable Faces Photography, West Bloomfield Photographer

The B Family – B for beautiful that is…!

Ya know how there’s that one family that you’re always so excited to see when they stop by your studio (or workplace)?  The one with the adorable little kid who’s all personality that you just want to squeeze and talk to all day?  The people who you just click with – you can just sit and talk to them while you’re working so that your work doesn’t even seem like work?

THAT family came into the studio a few weeks ago.  You may recognize little MIss E from our studio walls.  She made Ally fall in love with her because of her super sweet personality that just shines through in every single photograph.  So when her parents came by several months ago and wanted to book a session, we were over the moon excited to work with them!

There was a ton of laughing and so many big personalities at Frameable Faces that day!  Not sure how you didn’t hear all of the noise, jokes and wit from where you were, but we can assure you….it was there!!!
Child Photography, West Bloomfield PhotographerWest Bloomfield Photographer, Frameable Faces PhotographyFamily Photography, Frameable Faces Photography, Metro Detroit PhotographerFamily Portrait, Frameable Faces Photography, West Bloomfield PhotographerWatch out for the B family!!!  They’re definitely going places!  We expect big things from these guys!

Frameable Pups!

Let’s “paws” for this blog post as we celebrate a few of our frameable pups!  Pet photography is lots of fun and while dogs are not allowed in the Orchard Mall as a rule we have an exemption for our canine frameables who come to our studio for their close up.  Yes sometimes Frameable Faces Photography goes to the dogs.  Ally has been known to be a bit of a dog whisperer – she has a pretty good rapport with these furry friends and we thought we’d share a few images of Buster, Jasmine, Chuck and Maggie…   enjoy!

Frameable PupsFrameable PupsFrameable PupsFrameable Pups

Cold outside? It’s “haute” in here!

“Haute” is listed in the dictionary as “fashionable, high-class”, and we found a gorgeous model to work with to showcase our “Haute” sessions here at Frameable Faces.  These sessions are so fun and we wanted to display a few of the images from this shoot.  Sometimes it’s fun to push the envelope a little and share the results with a significant other.  Sometimes it’s fun to, ahem, really push it with a boudoir shoot and we do those at a private location, but for now we’re just talking fashionable, sexy and fun in the studio, and our model was all that and a bag of chips!  🙂Fashion Photography, Haute Photography, Frameable Faces PhotographyFashion Photography, West Bloomfield PhotographerGlamour Photography, Frameable Faces PhotographyFashion Photography, West Bloomfield Photographer, Frameable Faces Photography

Attention Small Business Owners – 10 things you should know

I just read a fantastic blog post that I wanted to share. http://virtualphotographystudio.com/photographyblog/2010/05/running-a-photography-business/comment-page-1/#comment-11993 It is entitled “10 Things You Should Know About Running A Photography Business”, but you could easily remove the word “Photography” as most of these are universal and wherever the topic is specifically photography related you could easily insert products or services from your own trade.

For us this was mostly reinforcement that we are approaching our business the right way but we still have two weaknesses on this list and we’ll be the first to admit them:

Number 3 – we need to hand off some of this bookkeeping – NOW.  I’m good at tracking many aspects of our business but I’m not exactly an expert bookkeeper and some of this stuff bogs me down.  When I read this point it kind of smacked me in the face….

Number 6 – actually more of a strength for us overall (so maybe I lied).  We do this well – we are specialists and not generalists (love that way of putting it by the way).  We do NOT specialize in event photography.  We will not photograph huge events.  Or even pretty big events.  We will photograph certain smaller events and we are selective about which ones will fit for us and our clients.  We are fortunate to have the talents of miss Angela Bell as well for some of our informal events such as engagement parties that require more casual images – she is our second photographer and she does a great job on those.  As a rule however, we specialize in portrait photography – all kinds.  Yes it’s a broad category but it’s one category we enjoy the most and it’s where we rock.  I listed this one because we need reminding – as do all business owners – to resist the temptation to accept a one-off job that isn’t really what you do best and isn’t what you want to be known for.  We’ve done this before and we’ve learned that we should not be doing it or we should at least think it all the way through first.

Hope this helps and we would like you to add any advice for us and for each other if there is something you don’t see on this list.  Please comment and join the discussion!

– Doug

Senior Highlights From The Classes of 2011 and 2012!

We love photographing high school seniors here at Frameable Faces!  As we prepare to start photographing our new crew of spokesmodels for the class of 2013 we have been reflecting on the fantastic class of 2012 and how great of a class it was.  Having gone to high school together (go North Farmington Raiders!) we still talk about high school a lot and we keep a couple of our yearbooks here at the studio.  The current seniors get a kick out of them.  They are vintage 80’s yearbooks – big hair, skinny ties and the like.  It’s fun comparing the changing styles and that leads to conversations about changing trends in senior pictures.

Do a search on Wikipedia for Senior Portraits and the article will tell you that senior portraits date back at least to the 1920’s, but today’s senior pictures aren’t your grandparents’ or even your parents’ senior photos…  today they are way more awesome!  North Farmington High School’s yearbooks for example didn’t even have color senior headshots in the yearbooks before 1988 and “back then” seniors weren’t typically going on location for part of a three hour shoot.  So as we look forward to getting started with the class of 2013 we take a brief look back at a few of our favorite images from the classes of ’11 and ’12….

Senior Highlights…

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No sibling rivalry here!

Not sure these guys could’ve been any sweeter! They truly love each other and as a mom of an older daughter and a younger son, this was HOPEFULLY a glimpse of things to come. H and M were so happy together – like best friends! A true gift that every parent dreams of!

H was a total trooper!She was completely into the photo session and put on a great smile even though it was absolutely FREEZING outside! I think that even if we had her in the water, she would have had the same gorgeous smile on her face. She was like working with a true professional and I loved every moment of it!

Frameable Faces Photography

Sitting pretty at one of the most beautiful locations!

M is absolutely adorable.His freckles were AWESOME and he has this great infectious personality!A very genuine person, very warm, friendly and was willing to do just about anything I asked him to do! He didn’t even put up much of a fight when I asked him to plant a kiss on his big sister’s cheek for a photo. Super sweetie!!!

Frameable Faces Photography

Such a cool guy!

Add in two amazing locations, and I think that’s a recipe for an exceptional photo session. These two kids were a complete and total pleasure to work with. Great kids, warm (personality, not outside!!!) kids, and NICE kids!Way to go Mom!!! H and M, you guys were the best! Thanks so much for a super fun afternoon!!! Can’t wait to show you the rest!xoxo,Ally