Monday, December 29, 2008

My Last 2008

Here is my last video I will be creating for 2008. I just wanted to take a minute to say thanks and give you a few ideas of what you need to be doing to plan for 2009.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Living In The North East....

Watch this video in full size....HERE

Video Run Time 3 Min 43 Secs

Here are two things that you need to be doing on a regular basis. The first one I discovered due to a storm we just had that made me realize how important this is.

The second one has nothing to do with the storm we just had, but I figured it was a good time to talk about it. This is the fastest way you will build and promote your business and it will cost you pennies to do.

Watch the video and I'll explain everything.

I'll talk to ya soon!



Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Creating Black Backdrops That Really Look...Black

Run Time: 8 min 9 secs

Feel free to post a comment.

Talk to ya soon!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Using Digital Photo Card Templates

I've just put together a short video on how to use card templates in your photography business.

This is another great way to get noticed by others and drive new customers to your business. This is Free advertising that will sell your work.

People will buy cards from you and send to friends and family. Your name is on the back of the card with your website and contact info.

If you sell 100 cards, that's 100 people that are possible customers. This is why you want to stand out from the crowd.

You'll be surprised how much business you can get from this form of advertising.

You can watch the video I just created and download the templates HERE.



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beginner Photography Business Questions

Hey Everyone,

I hope things are going well.

Here is a new short Podcast to answer a few more questions. I talk about lighting and watermarking proofs.

Let me just say this again. Don't go over the top trying to do all these complicated lighting set ups at first. Keep it simple and learn to get a nice exposure. If your exposures are on...your pictures will look fine.

We were guilty of this in the beginning as well and looking back, if we would have just kept things less complicated, we would of been smarter.

I'm mostly talking to the guys. (LOL) We tend to over think things.

I will try and get another Podcast out to you real soon.

Here is the Blog that I posted on YouTube.

I'll talk to ya soon!

Enjoy the Podcast.


Keep the questions coming in under the "Submit Your Questions" link.

I should be posting some news about my secret project real soon. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beginner Photography Start Up Cost Podcast Episode 3

Hey Everyone,

I'm going to make this post very short.

I just posted another Podcast I completed answering a few more of your questions.

Check it out!

Keep the questions coming in and post them under the "Submit Questions" section in the far right of this page.

I've got some really exciting news I'll be sharing real soon. This project has been consuming a lot of my time, but it's going to be worth it.

I'll talk to ya soon!

Enjoy the Podcast.


Download Podcast Episode 3 - Right Click and "Save As" to you PC

Monday, September 8, 2008

Photography Studio Space & Basic Camera settings - Podcast Episode 2

Hey Everyone,

I received lots of emails and questions last week after I sent out my first Podcast. This response is exactly what allows me to deliver good information and what is being asked.

In this Podcast I will answer a couple of questions regarding our photography studio space and some basic camera settings. This should help answer those questions that we all have wondered in the beginning.

I want to also remind everyone to submit your questions on this Blog under the "Submit Questions" link on the right hand side of this page. This will keep all the questions in the same location for everyone to see.

If you want to send an email instead, I will add it to the questions page for all to see. It's really important that we see everyone's questions. It will help you see what others are asking and know that it will be answered in an upcoming Podcast.

Once again, thanks for all the kind emails.

Enjoy the Podcast.


Podcast Episode 2- Photography Studio Space & Basic Camera Settings:

Download Podcast Episode 2 - Right Click and "Save as" to your PC

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Photo Biz Buzz - Podcasts

Hi Everyone,

I uploaded 2 Podcasts that I recently finished. These are really fun to do and I hope I can record a lot more.

I will need your Feedback and Questions submitted so I can put together future episodes.

I'm also going to supply a link to each Episode, so you can download and listen to each Episode on your ipod or your computer.

Podcast Intro: Future Podcasts

Download Podcast Intro - Right Click and "Save as" to your PC

Podcast Episode 1 - Choosing Your Photo Lab:

Download Podcast Episode 1 - Right Click and "Save as" to your PC

Here is the link to the Online Photo Lab that I talk about. They are offering 20 Free prints so you can see if you like their product and services.

Just upload 20 pictures and enter this promo code TREAEXP08 at the check out page.

Here is their contact info:

Talk to ya later!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Submit Your Questions Here

Hi Everyone,

I receive emails everyday from all over the world. I never thought I would be saying this, but it's true. I can't believe that I can reach out and communicate with people in Australia, Brazil,United Kingdom...just to name a few. It's really AWESOME!

Since I released a few Free videos about getting started in a Photography Business, people have been watching them and wanting more. There's always going to be questions. I've been doing my best to get back to everyone, but it's getting to the point where there just isn't enough time in the day.

I will try and answer your questions here or in future videos.

The Benefits of having questions public, is that everyone can listen in on the conversation. Everyone can learn from each other this way. This is very powerful for people just getting started.

So, let's use this space to ask the questions or post your comments. I'll do my best to answer your questions and keep it real simple.

NOTE: Go to the bottom of this page and use the "Post Comment" link to leave your question or comment.

Talk to ya soon!


After I did my first Podcast I kinda laughed at myself. I sounded like a DJ in the beginning when I say "New Photo Biz Buzz" You gotta listen to it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Photoshop Lesson 7 - Using Cover-Up Layer

Hi Everyone,

I actually created this video lesson for a product we sell on Ebay at the moment. After I created this short tutorial, I thought It would be helpful to everyone here as well.

This lesson talks about creating and using a Cover-Up layer.

Now if you Google that term, you probably won't discover much info. The reason is, that I kinda made this term up. It's one of those things that I just created to make my life easier when using different digital props.

This is something that you can better understand by seeing real examples of it being used.

So, watch the video below and I'll explain.

If the Video doesn't load on this page, you can Click Here to go directly to our channel.

If you want to view the video in High Quality, just click on the video after it's playing and you will go to our Youtube channel. Click on the bottom right of the video
where it says (watch in high quality)

Talk to ya later!


Friday, August 1, 2008

Photoshop Lesson 6 - Shallow Depth Of Field

Photoshop Lesson 6 - Shallow Depth Of Field

What is Shallow Depth Of Field?

Depth Of Field is when your subject is in focus and your background and sometimes the foreground is out of focus. This will draw the eye into the subject and create a nice portrait look.

You can create this effect using a small f-stop in your camera like f-4.5 and having your subject positioned further away from the background. A longer lens also helps achieve this effect.

In Photoshop you can create this effect whenever you see fit.

In this Lesson I will show how you can add a nice Shallow Depth Of Field effect to most any portrait.

Check out lesson 6 and watch how easy it is to give your pictures that professional portrait look.

Photoshop Lesson 6 - Shallow Depth Of Field

Note: You may need to refresh your web browser to view the new lesson.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Photoshop Lesson 5 -Create Detailed Eyes

Photoshop Lesson 5 - Create Detailed Eyes

In this lesson I will show you how to sharpen the eyes in any portrait with just a few simple steps.

I'll show you how to give the eyes more detail and depth so they stand out and draw the viewers eyes into the subject.

What are catch lights?
The catch lights are another important part of the eyes make up and there's a simple way to have these placed perfectly.

These are the reflections created from the light source in the eyes. If you are using one softbox or an umbrella you will see only one catch light in each eye. If you use two lights you will see two catch lights. The shape of the light is also shown in the reflection as well.

Check out Lesson 5 to give your portraits eyes that detail that they deserve.

Photoshop Lesson 5 - Create Detailed Eyes

Note: You may need to refresh your web browser to view the new lesson.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Photoshop Lesson 4 - Center Spot Soft Focus

Photoshop Lesson 4 - Center Spot Soft Focus

In this lesson I will go over a real simple way to create a dreamy effect.

Years ago we had to screw on a filter for this same effect. The nice thing with Photoshop is you can apply all different strengths of this effect after you take the shot. When before if you didn't have the filter on the front of your were just out of luck.

We use this effect all the time on all different portraits to achieve that dreamy look, and our clients love it.

This is so simple to add to your post edit work flow.

Photoshop Lesson 4 - Center Spot Soft Focus

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Photoshop Lesson 3 - Fixing Exposures

Photoshop Lesson 3 - Fixing Exposures

In this lesson I will go over how to use the curves and histogram to fix a pictures exposure. Photoshop allows you to adjust the exposure of any picture and still keep the contrast and color looking really good.

In other software programs this feature tends to make the image look washed out or faded. Photoshop has proven to be the best at correcting under or overexposed images.

I'm going to show you how to take an underexposed image and lift the levels and create that perfect exposure.

Note: You may need to refresh your web browser to view the new lesson.

Photoshop Lesson 3 - Fixing Exposures

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Photoshop Lesson 2 - Text & Borders

Photoshop Lesson 2 - Text & Borders

In lesson 2 I'm going to show you how to add text and borders to your pictures.

This will help customize any print and also help you understand how the text tool works. You can create some really neat effects with just a few steps.

Practice using these techniques and tools and you will start to feel comfortable working within Photoshop.

Remember, after you do these steps over and over they will become second nature.

Photoshop Lesson 2 - Text & Borders

On the bottom of each video, you will have the option to download the full size video to your computer. You will need the Quicktime player to view the videos.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Photoshop Lesson 1 - The Workspace

Photoshop Video Lesson 1

After receiving requests for basic Photoshop lessons, I am going to be releasing a series of videos.

I will be going over the very basics and gradually introducing more advanced techniques. My goal here is to have everyone use Adobe Photoshop in their digital workflow. Once you start using this powerful program you will find that you will have a great deal of control over your images.

When you first open this application it can look very intimidating, but I'm here to show you how to get started in little bite size steps.

After each lesson, I want you to use the techniques that I explain and become familiar with every tool that I go over. This will help you understand how it all comes together.

There are a lot of different ways to do things in Photoshop. You will need to find the ones that work best for you. Over time you will see that you start to develop a routine and things will become second nature.

In the first video lesson, I will explain the tools you will be using and exactly what layers are and how to use them.

Lets get started.

Photoshop Video Lesson 1

On the bottom of each video, you will have the option to download the full size video to your computer. You will need the Quicktime player to view the videos.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Creating That Special Gift

Happy Father's Day to all of the Dad's and a special thanks to the Mom's who put up with us all year long!

I would like to share my Father's Day gift with you.

My wife, Lisa, took this picture of our 6 month old daughter sitting on my guitar. I have played for over 20 years and it has always been a passion of mine. I usually bring out the guitar and play once a day. My daughter Kayla is my best audience, lately. She lays next to me relaxed and as still as could be listening intently and enjoying all of my songs. I treasure these moments!

This photograph is very special to me because it incorporates my passion for music and my beautiful daughter. What more could I ask for?

How can this photograph help you and your business?

Lisa will sometimes ask clients during the initial phone call about their hobbies and careers and often tries to incorporate them into the sitting.

We have used a briefcase, computer, stethoscope, musical instruments, sports equipment, firefighter or police uniform, helmets and hats just to name a few.

Try some of these ideas or think of some of your own to create a meaningful portrait for your clients. I guarantee they'll love it!!

Be creative and unique and clients will talk about YOU!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Portraits That Last Forever

For those of you that don't know already, my wife Lisa and I just had our third child 6 months ago. We are having our beautiful little girl Baptized this Sunday, the 8th of June.

This past weekend we took a few photographs outside in our field to help us remember this wonderful occasion. After we had taken these shots, we realized the significance of what we have been doing for our own clients over the years. We've captured a very special moment that will be shown and passed down for generations.

This is why I wanted to share this post with you. A Baptism is a lot like a first birthday, a first communion or a wedding. People will pay a lot of money for this once in a lifetime portrait session and become a loyal customer. If you offer this service and do a really good job at it...they're your customer for life.

Here are a few ideas that you could use in your own sessions.

Create a natural, pure look by shooting outdoors. In this portrait we used a white wicker chase lounge in some tall grass. Notice how the grass actually comes up in front of the chase. It really takes you into the picture and frames the subject.

Personalizing these types of portraits is another great way to get your clients to purchase more and pass your work out to others. A Baptism is a big occasion and usually results in a big party. Parents often give out favors to all their guests for attending.
(Great Advertising Tool)

Try shooting both vertical and horizontal to create 2 different looks.

I hope you see how this special occasion can have quite a few benefits for you and the client.

The client will receive a wonderful keepsake that they will cherish for years and years.

This is what you will receive.
  • Money for creating wonderful portraits
  • A potential customer for life
  • Thank You favors that will be passed out to potential clients
  • Gratification for capturing a special memory
Start with your friends and family to gain experience and exposure.

Volunteer to be the photographer at the next Baptism that you are invited to. Jump in and get started!

Click on images above to view larger pictures

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Easy Techniques For Better Portraits

Easy Techniques For Better Portraits

Change your angle when shooting. Move left and right up and down. Just the slightest angle adjustment can create a whole new look. Once you find angles that you like you will start to find yourself using them more often.

This shot was from up above shooting down. You can use a small step stool to gain some height.

This was shot down below from our knees.

Try adding these techniques to your shots and you'll be surprised what a difference it can make.

Let us know how this works for you.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sitting Example...Being Creative

O.K, I am posting a link to one of our Portrait Sessions we did the other day.

I am hoping you will learn a few things from checking this out.

First: We want you to see how many shots we presented to our client. We usually give between 18-30 depending how the shoot goes. We only guarantee 18 proofs with every sitting we do. This way when the client receives more proofs at pick-up, they are usually very thankful and surprised.
We always over deliver to our clients.

: We also would like you to see the kind of style we represent. We are very unique and creative and this is what has separated us from the portrait studio chains. (example: Sears, JcPenney, Walmart..etc.) You can be different and unique as well and dominate the market in your area if you do it right. Trust me, you will be a celebrity.

Third: Seeing how we present our pictures as an online slideshow. This slideshow is the same way we present our pictures online for our website. (our online storefront) Were going to show you a step by step video tutorial in a later Module.

Tip: Your website or slideshow is how people will see you and your business. Don't cut corners. Be Professional.

Make sure your volume is not muted on your computer. Listen and see how adding audio to a slideshow creates emotions. Just picture this being your child or loved one.

We'll talk more about this later.

Post a comment and let us know what you think.


Check out the Slideshow Here:
Sample Sitting Slideshow

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Study Our Website

I recently included a link to our website in the Bonus section of our course. If you missed the link you can access it here.

Use our websites galleries to study, study, study.

I know in the beginning we would study other photographers websites to get our creative juices flowing. Sometimes once you see an idea, it helps with your own portrait shoots.

You will also see some of the classic props we use to receive some really priceless shots.

Also, pay attention to what we include on our website. We send every client that calls our studio to the website for samples of our work. This has been a great tool for our business and is what will sell your portrait style. You just can't receive the same results in a yellow page Ad or newspaper.

I will be doing a video on why a website is important and what to include in yours in a future Module. I will also show you how I create flash slideshows to display our work.

So, go check out our website and study our shots.

If you want to go straight to the's the link.


Friday, April 25, 2008

2 Big Questions Answered

I just recently created a short video answering 2 of the biggest questions we received when asking people who were just starting out.

This video should clear up some of the basic questions and get you on the right track.

Let us know if this video helped at all and what you would like answered in future videos.


Friday, April 11, 2008

We're Giving Away 5 Courses

Our course giveaway is now over.


Thank You to all who entered this contest.

It was a difficult decision and we wish we could give everyone a copy of the learning materials found in NewPhotoBiz 1.0.

We narrowed it down to 10 finalists and then asked our children to pick the 5 winners out of a hat. We felt that this was the fairest way to select the winners.

Our Contest Winners are:

  1. Kaylea
  2. Bridget
  3. Stephanie
  4. Shelley
  5. Gisela

We will be contacting all the winners via email to give instructions on how to access their prizes. If you do not receive an email from us, please contact us at

Thanks Again to everyone that has submitted their stories and good luck.

The winners will receive full online access to:

NewPhotoBiz 1.o - the learning materials in 3 different versions
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Ebook

Bonus #1: Over 4 hrs of additional help videos + some help PDF's

Bonus #2: 16 Photoshop Tutorials

Bonus #3 $25 Rebate on NewPhotobiz 1.0 the complete system that includes "Digital Creations Volumes 1 - 10.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lets Talk!!!

Hi Everyone,

Use this space to talk with each other or to ask a question. We know how important it is to surround yourself with people that want the same thing. In this case we all love photography and want to turn it into a career. That is exactly what we wanted over 10 years ago and now it's a reality.

We now want to share our knowledge and experiences with the "Just starting out crowd". You can save so much time and energy if you just had a mentor or successful business to show you the way.

So don't be shy. No matter how silly you feel your questions are, just ask. That's how you will succeed.

If your not currently on our insider list, you can be added by filling out the form on the right.

Take Care!

Scott & Lisa

Let us introduce ourselves

Hi Everyone,

We're Scott and Lisa Voelker and we started this blog to help people start their own home based photography business.

We have been running our own successful children's photography business for almost 10 years. Currently, we are in the process of finishing our complete New Photo Biz course on how to get started building your career in children's photography.

We have received many questions that you would like answered and are currently putting together a step by step blueprint that you can follow to achieve success like we have.

This blog is where you will find the latest news and updates on our New Photo Biz course. We will be posting and answering questions on this blog to help you before the course is finished. We would appreciate any questions or suggestions you may have in regards to starting your own photography business.

We are also looking into having live tele-seminars that Lisa and I will be hosting in the future to help people immediately. The tele-seminars will be recorded and available to our email list via podcast.

We are also in the process of recording a full video from one of our first teachers that answered a lot of our questions early on. He currently has a Great workshop teaching beginners and intermediate photographers the ins and outs of photography. We're keeping our fingers crossed that we can get this done real soon. We may even get him to sit down and do a one on one interview. This guy really knows the technical stuff and helped us out in the beginning tremendously.

If there are any questions you want answered in our upcoming posts or our free videos, enter your first name and email address in the box above and we will send you some really good stuff as we produce it.

We want to make sure that we cover the most popular questions asked. Our goal is to help as many people as we can that are just starting out and want to get going right away.

When we were getting started it was a lot of trial and error. Actually a lot more of the error (lol). We are developing an easy and profitable business blueprint to follow that we have perfected over the years. We only wish that we had this information when we started. It would have saved a lot of time and frustration.

Most of what will be releasing will be in video and audio format. This will make it much easier to follow and understand. Our goal is to keep it simple.

Don't forget to submit your name and email in the form located on the right of this blog.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Scott & Lisa