Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lightroom: Huge Success


We just had our PUG meeting for October on Monday. When I arrived and saw that the room was completely packed my jaw dropped. I knew we had had a LOT of rsvps but wasn't sure that all of the people would actually come out. We had the most well attended PUG meeting I think we've ever had. We counted 30 people although somehow they didn't all make it onto my list. We had at least 10 people show up who have never been to a PUG meeting. I've had a number of people email me about what a great time they had, how much they learned, and how surprised they were to find so many other photographers so willing to share. The photographers who presented about Lightroom were so helpful and hung out afterwards to help answer any additional questions. I'm thrilled with the turnout and what a success it ended up being.

Next month.

For next month we're considering doing a library night similar to what Pictage suggested. One of the photographer's has a software program that will track barcodes and all kinds of things to actually set up a library among all of the Utah photographers. (Not sure if this is going to fly yet or not...) We're planning to ask everyone to bring one or two of their fave photography or biz books and give a review on them mentioning how the book has helped their business, creativity, etc. It will be the launch of having a short book review every month. I'll let you know how it goes.

Next year.

One of the big things I'm doing since the year is winding down and I've had the last bit of the year to get a feel for being PUG leader is to sit down and make a plan for next year. I'm hoping to come up with topics for each PUG meeting over the next 12 months so that I can get in touch with guest speakers for next year. If any of you PUG leaders are going to be in the Utah area in the upcoming months, let me know, I'd love to have you be a guest speaker at our PUG. My only concern is that I want the meetings to cater to the people who attend the PUG so I'm hoping I'll be able to have a schedule that will be flexible enough to change if necessary.

Tell me.

What are some ideas you have for the upcoming month?

Have fun!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nov. '07 Pittsburgh PUG: contracts & pricing

Yes, we are nearing the 2007 season end; end of photographing weddings perhaps, but there is never an end to evaluating our businesses, from work flow to contracts and everything in between!

Our Pittsburgh, PA PUG will be focusing (pun intended!) on reviewing contracts, booking policies, cancellation policies and cancellation contracts, delivery memos and all the C-Y-A involved in operating our business. We plan to share documents then discuss, add to and advise and I'm hoping that a friend of mine that does contract law and mediation will attend as a guest speaker!

Our December PUG will be for networking purposes between all of us and we will be inviting as many shooters from around the area to join Pictage and our PUG!

Share the LOVE! ~ Joanne

Monday, October 29, 2007

November workflow in Philly

So, I have had a lot of requests to talk more about workflow. i think as the season is almost over people are really drowning in work. The big wedding push is almost over but the squeeze before the holidays for portraits and the orders are rolling in and we can't seem to make head nor tail. For those that had DJ visit their PUG last year with his workflow seminar, have made huge strides with their workflow but there is still a lot that needs to be worked out. We will be discussing tips on what works and doesn't and we will have a lightroom and bridge demo. If anyone is like me, I learn much better by doing and hate having to read books and manuals on how stuff works. So, I think the lightroom and bridge demo will be really great for everyone who may not be familiar with one of these programs or at least some great shortcuts.

As things begin to slow down, it may be a really great time to revisit your workflow and see what worked and didn't work during the season. it really helps to share so that next year we can do even better and have more time for family, friends and our business. Besides we want to have plenty of time to party in December.

Pictage Pumpkin Carving Contest

Hey guys, we thought you'd enjoy this! We're holding a contest tomorrow here in the office to see which department can carve the best pumpkin. We decided to enter our "Pug'kin". Wish us luck!
~Emily and Becky

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

November Meeting Ideas

It seems my scavenger hunt idea was just that... a good idea. Getting the NJ folks motivated seems to be a real chore or I can just chalk it up as a bad timing thing. Most if not all probably attended PhotoPlus and we are still winding down from a really busy wedding season. So sadly Laura and I made the call to cancel the hunt last night as we only had 4 confirmed participants and none of them were Pictage members. I would still liked to have done it, but after hearing Laura out she made the point that 2 teams of 2 wouldn't be much of an event. So we'd be better off saving the clues for a better run at it on a later date.

The idea I have for Nov came from a conversation with one of our local guys. John Schafer was at Jason G's Pre-PhotoPlus party and we were catching up on his experience on the Revolution workshop. He said his favorite part was being able to try out new lenses. So my lightbulb turned on (if you know Laura she'd say candle) and I have this new idea.

I'd be willing to bet all of us have bought or wanted a lens without realizing it's not what we need, only to regret it later. So Laura and I are gonna try and get some lenses together for the next meeting and have a hands on, try before you buy, kinda setup for the next PUG. Basically we want to give folks the experience we wished we had before we blew some money on lenses we now collect dust with in a closet.

So if anyone is looking for an idea for their next meeting, try doing this. For those of you within driving distance of us I'm open to a combined meeting, especially if we can get Canon on board by sending us a rep with some glass as they are only about 30mins from us.

Let us know your thoughts and your ideas for the next meeting!
- Paul & Laura

Thursday, October 11, 2007

unofficial San Francisco Bay Area PUG mascot

shows off his new T shirt.

Hi everyone! Make sure to note that our Oct PUG will be taking place in Oakland, not San Francisco, at our alternate location--the home studio of AGB Photographics. Here is the address:

5040 Daisy St
Oakland, CA 94619

And a big shout out to Angela for opening her home to us.

This month I had planned to continue some of the business basics stuff we talked about at last months PUG...but those of you who watch the Pictage forums (or OSP, or Fred Miranda, or DWF) will know that a more immediate concern has come up. This issue is multifaceted; involving such topics as marketing, client communication, studio reputation and branding, as well as the future of the industry and the role that each individual photographer and studio can play in it. I think it's vital for the photography community to talk about this stuff, and to turn a learning experience for one into a learning experience for all.

...and that's probably as much as I can say on the topic right now as I am technically on Pictage turf. Check the aforementioned forums to find out more.

I look forward to seeing all of you there! Remember it's Wednesday, October 24th, at 630PM.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Philly PUG has guest speaker- marketing, business plans and pricing

We will be having a guest speaker talk more about pricing, marketing and business plans. Three meeting ago we had a business guru come in and I was surprised how little people actually understood about branding, business plans and target marketing. The biggest question from that night was, how do we get people to book on us and not on price. Well I am hoping that this question will get answered more in depth at theis meeting.

I also sent out a survey to get feedback from all the Philly photographers so that we can increase attendance. Our numbers are usually steady at around 5 people.

Any ideas on how to increase attendance? Do you find people like a more social atmosphere or when you really present something related to biz or technique?

NJ PUG Scavenger Hunt

Tuesday Oct 23rd @ 6:30pm we're meeting at the Princeton Panera Bread to kick off a fun scavenger hunt.

We are asking everyone to bring their favorite camera, a lens capable of around 50mm or something similar, basically something good for low light and candid type shots. Brin your walking shoes! AND FLASHES! & wireless triggers if you have them.

Jason Groupp and Paul Eaton will be teaching those that don't know, a little lesson on rear curtain sync and off camera flash to use in the hunt. Then off ya go!

We're gonna break eveyone up into a few teams and then send you out with a list of clues and things to photograph. We're gonna set a time limit on the hunt so we don't have people wandering the streets of Princeton into the wee hours of the night. Then we'll reconvene for scoring and/or judging and award prizes.

I'm awaiting further news on prizes but so far Pictage has been very generous to offer up $100 credit.

This is going to be an awesome break from the norm in NJ. We hope to get a great turnout.


Lightroom next month. What are you doing next month?

We've started having our PUG meetings at various studios and as much as I thought our attendence would diminish it's actually increased.

This past month the spot light studio introduced us to his work as well as showed us few images from his trip to Africa. Everyone was interested to know how he planned for the trip, what he took, etc. Now we're scheduling him to speak again on how to plan a photo safari trip. We also had another member present on getting organized and staying organized in your studio and in your life. It was a huge hit and people stuck around to talk to her.

During the course of our meeting everyone was asking questions about lightroom. We decided it should be our next meeting. We told everyone to bring their laptops with at least the demo downloaded. Three people in our group love and know lightroom very well. They are each going to teach a portion of how to use lightroom next month.

Everyone was feeling so excited about the next meeting that there were people that hung out until past 11pm. For our PUG that's pretty late.

Thanks to Justin and Mary for getting this blog started. I'm so excited to check it out for more ideas about what you're doing to make your pug awesome!!!

What are you doing next month?


salt lake city, utah pug leader

Ideas for the Holidays

Hey PUG Leaders and PUG-ees!

We had a fun, small meeting last night here in Atlanta and had some GREAT ideas thrown out on ideas for holiday portraits. I'll list a few out here:

Sarah: She's planning a few days of "mini-sessions" for the holidays and will be shooting in B&W so the pictures can be sold ALLLLL year round, not just for the holidays. She'll be offering colorful holiday card designs with the B&W pics for cards.

Gary Idea#1: He's having his Boy Scout troupe doing the selling for him! He'll be donating a bunch of portrait session shoots (coupons will be made up) and the little guys will sell them for $20 for a mini-portrait-session in the park. The Boy Scout Troupe gets all the proceeds but Gary will still make all of his profits off the product sales.

Gary Idea#2: Get in with a Country Club. It's the only time to catch a lot of dads for family portraits! He's arranged it before with a Club so that he just takes their member # down, the club bills the family, then cuts Gary a check. Brilliant!

Jennifer: She and her husband are doing some fab portraits of Themselves! The idea is twofold: a great holiday card, and also to let friends and family promo them as they are new to full-time photography.

Jody: Jody is new to Pictage, so he'll be sending a TON of past events to Pictage for upload so they can be a part of the Holiday Promotions.

Me: Thanks to a massive computer crash this week, my bright idea had nothing to do with the Holidays except to make SURE you're sending ALL Pics to Pictage for double-back-up and have a solid recovery/back-up plan in place. ;)

Can't wait to see more fun stuff up here! Any ideas on what you all are doing for November and December meetings!?



Spread the Love

Mary and I just wanted to share with you our CT PUG video that we made for PartnerCon LA. It's just a bunch of us being silly and having a great time! Check it out up on (or if you have an iPhone you can see it on youtube also)

= Justin =


Welcome to the new PUG leader's blog! This is a place for all of us to share ideas, images, news, and any other exciting PUG info you might have. It's also a great way for us to get to know more about each other and other groups across the country. If you are a PUG leader, please send me your email address (to so I can add you as an author to the blog. This way everyone can login and post!