Dale interviews… Carey Schumacher!

Hey everybody!
One of my favorite things about going to tradeshows is that I get to see all my photographer buddies. One of my favorite, lively photographer friends is Carey. She, like me, gets to hang out in the booth and chat with photographers. If you happen to have questions about MpixPro, she is a great person to talk to; if you already know everything you need to know, she can entertain you with fun stories like photographing Jason Mraz (my absolute favorite recording artist) or how she got bumped to first class because of her twitter account! Check out Carey’s interview below, and be sure to peruse her favorite images at the bottom of this post.

1) Advice for photographers who are attending WPPI for the first time:
Don’t feel like you have to buy stuff! If you really have stuff that you want to buy, make a list, and look specifically for that stuff. Other than that, set a budget for “impulse purchases,” and try to stick to it! There will be a LOT of snazzy-lookin things on the expo floor, and it’s very very tempting. If there’s something you’re DYING to have but didn’t plan on buying, ask the booth workers if they have any show specials that are only good at the show (ask them if you can get the special once you get home, too). If there’s some AWESOME too-good-to-pass-up special, think about buying it. If not, write it on your “wish list” and think about it when you get home.
Bring some business cards, but even better, get the iPhone app called “Bump” so you can easily swap contact info with folks instead of stone-aged business card sharing.

2) Without giving too much away, what’s y’all’s talk gonna be about at the MpixPro booth at WPPI?
Sorry, that’s classified 🙂
OK, a tease: I’ll be talking about how I structure my business with a “digital model” so I can reduce post-shoot work to generate income. It’ll be great for photographers who want to have a successful part-time family-friendly business.

3) You seem to be featured all over the place–tv, magazines, etc. What advice can you give to pros seeking Carey-esque levels of publicity?
Carey-esque… HA! That’s funny. I got my first media break by donating a free session to a local military family through an organization started by “the most listened-to radio show” in San Diego. I did the session and went on the air with the family and the host to talk about the pictures and the family. With that under my belt, I pitched story ideas to local TV shows, offering to come on the morning news and do segments on photography — how-to segments, mostly. Getting that media attention helped pique the interest of my favorite lab (MPIX, DUH!!!). Even without media exposure, though, folks can still get the interest of vendors by meeting them in-person at tradeshows (WPPI is the best). Be sure to figure out who the big boss is at the booth, be positive, and tell them how you’d love to help them create some great samples or print ads with your images. Follow that up with emails & image submissions. I got that first “Mpix Rocks” ad (the one with me & a family on the beach in the background) because I went out and CREATED the image — without being asked for it! I enlisted the help of a friend (Zak Schwank) and his adorable family to hit the beach & create those images. I had emailed the boss-folks at Mpix telling them I was going to do this beforehand, and the response was “oh, ok…” But once I got the images to them, they loved it, and the ad ran a few months later!

4) MpixPro has some pretty sweet products. What do you love?
The blank DVDs! Every one of my clients gets one. LOVE ’em! So much better than inkjet, lightscribe, or labels (YUCK!)

5) Do you have any unique uses for MpixPro products?
I’ll talk about that during my talks at the booth… stay tuned!

6) Outside of photography for a second… what do you love to do?
Wife & mom duties are WAY more fun & important that photography. I mix photography & family sometimes by doing awesome shots for my son’s soccer teams (I made a slick website for his last team — that was fun!). For myself, I play on an indoor soccer team called the “Hot Mamas,” and trust me, we’re HOT!

7) Best advice or words of encouragement for a new professional:
Don’t spend hours on forums, and don’t stay up til the wee wee hours of the morning comparing yourself to other photographers out there on the web. That’s called “I-Suck-itis” and it’s a chronic condition that can be treated. Oh, and when you’re making a website, INCLUDE YOUR CITY/METRO-AREA on there somewhere (preferably in the html title). I can’t even count the number of photography websites I’ve seen that don’t have ANY info on WHERE they ARE! Sometimes, they’ll show a phone number, so I Google the area code if I’m curious, but COME ON, how do you expect to get clients if they don’t even know WHERE YOU ARE!? OK, one more: don’t include any shots on your website that aren’t jaw-dropping perfect & in focus. Quality over quantity!

Check back tomorrow for another fun interview!
Talk to you soon,

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