New “Members Only” FREEBIE Packet {V44}

The newest “Members Only” FREEBIE Packet {Volume #44} is now available for download in the forum!!  This month’s packet is filled with the most FABULOUS goodies from our amazing vendors!  We want to extend a HUGE thank you for their generosity and support. Special thanks to Little Sweet Designs, Magazine Mama, and Sweet Little Muse for this month’s contributions to Rock the Shot Forum members!

You can find the download link in [the Forum] under “Freebie Packets”. New members, don’t forget to download the other available issues of our “Members Only” Subscriber Packets as well! You’ll get HUNDREDS of dollars in FREE photography products.  Hurry, these packets are only available for a limited time!

Not a member of our forum yet?? JOIN TODAY, and get exclusive access to all our FANTASTIC FREEBIES!  Plus… for a limited time, save a whopping 30% off any level membership using code JANFB30 (new/inactive members only: expires on January 18, 2015).

And now….on to the goodies! You will receive the following freebies:

Mini session marketing boards (4 templates) from Little Sweet Designs {$24 Value}


In the Little Sweet Designs shop you’ll find a range of beautifully designed Photoshop templates and marketing solutions to WOW your clients. Little Sweet Designs helps photographers with design solutions; think of us as your marketing support service consultant. We provide and supply you with tools, products and know how that allows you to take your business to the next level without the ‘designer’ price tag. Save yourself hours in design time, increase your average sale and become the talk of the town with Little Sweet Designs marketing products and Photoshop templates.

  • Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Creative Cloud, and Photoshop Elements

Mini Session Welcome Guide from Magazine Mama {$99 Value}


Magazine Mama helps photographers “turn pages to profit” by providing customizable marketing materials, as well as workshop curriculum that photographers can use to make additional income during their off-season. We offer customizable magazine style templates, pre-written articles and curriculum for teaching basic DSLR photography.

  •  Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Creative Cloud, and Photoshop Elements

Save the Date Overlay Collection (7 Overlays) from Sweet Little Muse {$18 Value}


Sweet Little Muse is a full service digital design shop that creates and sells beautiful custom logos, marketing materials, pre-made professional logo designs and other design goodies! If you’re looking for marketing materials that are customizable to your brand, look no further! Visit Sweet Little Muse on Etsy!

  • Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Creative Cloud and Photoshop Elements

Not a member of Rock the Shot Photography Forum yet? Come on over and JOIN our fun and friendly community TODAY!  Plus… for a limited time, save 30% off any level membership using code save JANFB30 (new/inactive members only: expires on January 18, 2015).

And… don’t forget to stop by these wonderful vendors websites and Facebook pages and check out all the FANTASTIC products they have to offer. Remember to download all of our currently available packets in the forum. Here is a list of all the fantastic freebies available for download.  Hurry, these packets are only available for a limited time!!

Volume 43:

  • Facebook Timeline Collection (10 Cover Templates) from CRAVE Photography & Design {$29 Value}
  • Holiday Card Collection (4 Card Templates) from Hummingbird Press {$32 Value}
  • Christmas Overlays Collection from 7th Avenue Designs {$20 Value}

Volume 42:

  • Exclusive Mini-Session Marketing Set from EW Couture Collection {$24 Value}
  • Holiday Card Ordering Kit from {$45 Value}
  • “Simply Elegant” Wedding Marketing Collection from Designs that Inspire {$70 Value}

Volume 41: (expires January 18, 2015)

  • Mini-Marketing Collection from Kimla Designs
  • Facebook Timeline Collection {5 Timelines) from The Album Cafe
  • Vintage Frame Bundle from Indigo Boutique

Three Things Taylor Swift Can Teach Us About Photography Marketing

Love her or hate her, you can’t deny that Taylor Swift and her team are marketing machines.

As photographers, we need to do the same.  We need to market well if we want to make any sales at all. I’ve been jotting down notes since the release of Swift’s first single “Shake it Off.”

Here are 3 things that Taylor Swift can teach us about marketing to our photography clients.

1. Go above and beyond for VIP clients

Just like how Taylor Swift rewarded her fervent followers with The Secret Sessions, we need to do the same with our best clients.  Every year, do something special for your VIP clients: the repeat clients, the clients that keep referring you to everyone, and the clients that are just dying to be photographed by you again.

You can send a gift or even a thoughtful card.  I have found that sending thank you cards that include a discount to be applied towards a future session is not only appreciated, but it is also valuable to my VIP clients.  The cards show them that I’m grateful for their support, and it entices them to book another session with me.  A handful of VIP clients always book after receiving the discount, which is great, because I can count on those sales, and I get to work with wonderful clients again.

Simple suggestion: The holiday season and birthdays are a great time to send those cards. However, don’t forget to include an expiration date for your discounts.  It creates the urgency to book.

2. Not everyone will like you, but it is important your market knows who you are

When clients search for photographers, they look at price, style, talent, testimonials, accolades, and these days, how many blog/print publications the photographer has been in.  Anyone ready to make an investment in photography will thoroughly research of you before he or she makes an inquiry.  You have to serve potential clients a big platter of Y-O-U so they have plenty to investigate.

Here’s why…Every client wants to trust their photographer.  In order for them to trust you, they have to find common grounds to relate to you.

Swift does this so well.  She is seen photographed with her cats often, and that resonates with cat lovers. She’s outspoken about shaking off haters, and that’s a message that anyone who’s ever been bullied can get behind.  She loves New York, and so do a lot folks.

However, there are as many people who dislike Taylor Swift and her brand.  Does that prevent her from selling 1.287 million albums in the first week?  Not really.  Swift’s sales come from her supporters.  Her haters don’t add to her bottom line.

That’s why you shouldn’t focus on the people who may not be a good fit for your photography brand. Share your personality and personal interests on social media and website.  Give potential clients a taste of who you are, so the right clients who are drawn to you can hire you, and the wrong clients don’t take up your time.


3. Surprises are the best advertisements

When I bought Swift’s 1989 Album from Target, I had no idea I would get 13 Polaroids with the CD.  That was a good surprise.

Surprises are the very things that get clients talking to their friends, so go the extra mile.

Here’s an example: have you ever shown up to a session and given a client flowers?  I have, and it completely changed the mood of our client interaction.  This particular client felt slightly neglected during our client communications, and it was my fault.  I was drowning in work during my busy season, and I didn’t spend as much time with her during the planning process of her photoshoot.  In order to make up for it, I showed up early when she was getting her makeup done to give her a bouquet of flowers she could use for her session.  It was my gesture of saying “I care.”  Whether it was the beauty of the flowers or the surprise element of it all, her face immediately lit up with delight.

In the aftermath of the photoshoot, not only has this client referred many of her friends to me, she also purchased $2000+ worth of prints and products. A mere $15 surprise helped achieve that – so worth it!

Here’s what I know about the photography business.  The photographs are important, but how you make someone feel is just as important, if not more important.  An unhappy client who had a bad experience won’t buy from you no matter how much they love the photos you took of them.  Even if they do buy, they buy begrudgingly.  The little effort it takes to surprise someone is well worth it, and it is the best marketing for your photography business.

About the Artist: Ling Wang is a nationally-published senior portrait photographer and founder of Project Relaunch workshops based in Houston, TX.

Visit Ling at her WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST pages today!


January Photo Challenge: Favorite Shot of 2014

Featured Weekly Faves 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  As we begin 2015, it is always fun to reflect on the past year and how much we have grown as photographers.  For this months challenge, go through your image libraries from last year and choose your “FAVORITE  SHOT OF 2014″.  The only rule for this challenge is the photo you submit be your own. Everyone is invited to participate!

Special thanks to our very generous sponsors for the FABULOUS prizes for this months challenge!

Here are the prizes you can win:

1st Place PRIZE:  FIVE-YEAR Membership to Squijoo {$600 Value}


If you’re looking for totally awesome Photoshop templates with an amazingly wide selection there is not better place than Head on over to their website and check out the wonderful array of templates you can get access to including marketing tools, collages, cards, albums, overlays, timeline covers and much, much more. They really do have it all!

THE BEST PART: Squijoo wants everyone to be a winner .. so during this photo challenge period they are offering a whopping 50% off membership to their site. This means you can access unlimited templates for just $5 per month. Simply use coupon code 1EE3B at checkout. This is a type of deal that rarely comes by so take advantage of it and join today. PS: If you join and then end up winning this challenge prize Squijoo will refund your initial payment and credit a 5 year free membership to your account. You have nothing to lose!

 2nd Place PRIZE$150.00 Gift Certificate to Sassy Designs


Sassy Designs has been a leader in templates and design goodies for professional photographers for over a decade. They have templates for press cards and invitations, full size albums, mini accordion albums, storyboards, a large collection of design elements like photo frames and word art, and of course the HUGE collection of digital paper patterns that Sassy Designs is known for. Over 1,400 unique and original design items are available to help you wow your clients with custom items and increase your bottom line.

Special Offer: Sassy Designs would like to offer RTS readers a special discount for the month of January. Enjoy 50% off nearly everything in the Sassy Shop by using the code RTS15 at checkout. Coupon code is valid once per customer through January 31, 2015.


 3rd Place PRIZE16×24 Canvas from Canvas by Blossom {$137 Value}


At Canvas by Blossom, our state-of-the-art print technology brings your photos to life on canvas. Our craftsmanship in stretching and wrapping your finished canvas prints is precise and sensitive. Not to mention our quality assurance guarantee is comprehensive and straight forward.

Here are the details for entering your submission:

1. Create a post on your blog and include ONE photo submission for the challenge. If you like, include some fun facts about the photo, and any tips or tricks you might like to share about how you captured and/or processed your image.  For this month’s submission, the only rule is that the photo you submit must be your own.  There are no other requirements!
2. Include the Rock the Shot Button and type the link in your post. DO NOT include http://
3. You can also link your submission from public Facebook pages, Flickr, Pinterest, etc. Just be sure to include the link within your post. If you are having trouble with this method, check out our step-by-step video tutorial HERE
4. Submit the link to your post using the InLinkz button below. You must submit the actual post link (permalink), not just your website URL. NOTE: do not include http:// in your link
5. You may submit your photo at any time during the challenge – the deadline for this month’s submission is Saturday, January 31st, at 11:59pm CST.
6. The winners will be announced on Friday, February 6th, 2015.

LEGAL STUFF: This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You will NOT be notified publicly via Facebook if you are a winner. You MUST be 18 to participate. By entering this giveaway, you are providing information to Rock the Shot and NOT to Facebook. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items.

By submitting your photo, you grant Rock the Shot permission to re-post your photo on our blog and/or Facebook page.

December Photo Challenge Winners

We are so thrilled today to announce the WINNING photos for our December Photo Challenge.  Our theme last month was “Christmas Tree”, and the images were absolutely beautiful, bright, and merry!  We want to thank all of our readers who submitted entries for the challenge, and a HUGE  THANK YOU to our fabulous sponsors Intuition Backgrounds; Photographer Depot; and Canvas by Blossom for their generous prize donations to the challenge this month.

Here are our winners for the “Christmas Tree” photo challenge:

1st Prize: #2 Lindsay Williams Photography

2nd Prize:  #27 Janelle Rideout Photography

3rd Prize: #32 Eliz Alex Photography

Honorable mention 1: #53 Carrie Anne Photography

Honorable mention 2: #58 Ashes Imagery

If you’re one of our top five, proudly display the button “Top 5 Photo” button on your blog and Facebook pages. This button can be found HERE.

Winners, please contact Karlen at

Thanks to everyone who entered, and STAY TUNED for our next Photo Challenge…

Photographer Spotlight + Celebrity Mentor: Megan Alisa Photography

We are so excited to welcome the amazing Megan Alisa Photography to the Rock the Shot Blog. Learn more about Megan’s creative custom portraiture and editorial fashion photography in our Photographer Spotlight, then visit her at her website.

The best news… Megan will be featured as our “Celebrity Mentor” in the Rock the Shot Forum for the entire month of January so come on over and ask her anything you like. Thank you so much Megan for sharing your work with us today!

Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
I have never really sat down and thought about it before. I have always loved art and beauty. I started with taking photos of my first child in 2006, on auto with bad white balance, blurry and loved them anyway because I didn’t know the difference. I look back at those photos now and cringe a bit but I have to look passed all the technical errors I see now and just see the love and beauty of my children instead.

I think photography really started fascinating me when I first saw photos from Florabella and Paint the Moon and discovered actions and how you could make photos much more fun and colorful in photoshop back when my oldest was a toddler. I never really thought much about that aspect of photography until then.

After that, I bought my first prime lens – 35 1.8g and put my mode on aperture priority mode and went for it. I loved the difference between a prime and the kit lens. Back then I had a Nikon D3000, which is a cropped sensor so the 35 different came in handy. I didn’t make myself learn manual mode until I decided I wanted to attempt to do this as a profession. So I forced myself to learn and practiced practiced practiced until it was in me and apart of me, to the point where I didn’t really have to think about what I was doing when I was changing settings. I suppose I am going beyond inspiration for photography at this point though.:)

How would you describe your photography style?
I often wonder how to describe my style. I feel like it is a mix of different kinds of photography. I think I would say it is a mix of fine art, editorial, lifestyle and portraiture. It is whimsical, colorful, and hopefully, mood provoking.

Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
I never went to photography school. I am all self taught when it comes to the technical aspects of photography. I am still learning and a student of life.

What camera do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens?
I shoot with a Nikon D800 currently and I love to shoot with my Nikkor 24-70 2.8g, Nikkor 85 1.8g, Nikkor 70-200 2.8g and LensBaby Edge 80. I cannot stick to just one lens. I am a multi-lens lover kind of gal.

Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
I think I would tell other photographers do not be afraid of the light. Seek it out. Experiment with it. See what works and what doesn’t work for you. Move from side to side as you are taking your photos and see what is happening in camera with the light. Turn your subject until you feel the light works with them. Experiment with the mood the light brings. Just try and do not be afraid of failing.

What is your favorite subject to photograph and why?
I love photographing children. I feel like I have a special kinship with them. I am not sure why but I just love finding the magic of childhood. I also love capturing the love of children and their families together.

What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
Only take on what you actually have time for and put your family first.

If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
I would encourage a new photographer to experiment with finding their own style and with really going for it. Do not be swayed by what is popular right now if that isn’t what you are interested in doing. Find your own voice in photography and do not be afraid to tell people no if you are not interested in doing weddings, parties, etc. I knew from the beginning what I wanted to photograph and what I didn’t and felt fine telling people that I do not do x y z and I think it really helped me feel good about what I was doing.

What do you love most about being a photographer?
I love every aspect of photography, from thinking up the concept, to picking out all of the styling and props, to actually taking the photos and then the editing process. I love it all. I also love the relationships I have made with clients as well as other photographers.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself teaching, pushing myself further and in new ways, and continuing the love I have right now for photography.

About the Artist: Megan lives in Orange County, Ca with her husband, two children and bunny. She has been published in several children’s fashion magazines and specializes in children’s commercial & editorial fashion photography, as well as creative custom portraiture for her wonderful clients. She is a lover of pink, turquoise, vintage, cute animals, singing loudly, and sushi. She spends her time with her family, annoying them endlessly by taking photos of them constantly.  She is a lover of the light, the clouds, and beauty around us.

Visit Megan at her WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOOGLE+ pages here

And don’t forget, you can ask Megan anything you like in the Rock the Shot Celebrity Mentor Forum for the entire month of January!!

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