For Art’s Sake Project: A 52 Week Journey ~ A Professional Photographer’s Challenge

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For Art’s Sake Project: A 52 Week Journey to Rekindle the Love of Art

by Meghan Aileen

When I was a child I loved to paint. I used to sit in the basement with oil paint, canvas, and the smell of turpentine for hours and hours, happy as could be. I painted landscapes. Bob Ross taught me techniques on the TV. I would get so frustrated that I could not finish a masterpiece in 30 minutes like he did, but I kept trying, not because I had to, but because I had passion – there was a rawness to what I was doing. I was not tainted by the difficulties of combining art with making a living. I did it because I loved it and only because I loved it.

I eventually went to college and learned the business of commercial art. I could make money making art. What could be better than this? Don’t get me wrong I am very grateful that I have made a living only from the world of art, in some way, for 15 years. I do not take this for granted; however, it is not without difficulties. It changes the way you view art and after awhile it is very hard to have it continue to be your passion when it is also the thing that pays your bills. We must take jobs we are not inspired by or even dislike. We must take input from others, and many times, do what they want over what we want. We are forced to be creative even when it is not how we feel, and to keep going even when we are just burnt out.

I woke up one day and realized that I did not remember why I was doing this. I would listen to people talk about art inspiring them and and I felt disconnected, like I could not relate. This scared me. It was such a huge part of me, how could I lose that? I know how. I lost it when I was worrying about how many Facebook fans we had, and how many sales we got this week… I lost it worrying about what products/designs people would buy…. what style would be popular. I lost it paying attention to what my competition was doing.

I say all of this as a photographer and a designer, but most of all an artist at heart. I started as a painter and an illustrator. I mostly taught myself photography and graphic design and then eventually I got lost focusing on the business aspect, the marketing and promotion, taxes and calendars, and employee payroll. These things are important for sure. This project is not designed to get us all to go live in a cabin in the woods and not run a business. (Although right now that is tempting!) It is designed to remind us why we do what we do. To help us discover/remember who we are as artists, and maybe even what style represents who you are now. As we know life is movement, art is as well.

Join me if you feel you need this. I will create something each week: Art for Art’s Sake. It may not be great, it might not even be a photograph, but I will create something and talk with you about the challenges I face on this journey and the challenges I have faced over the last 15 years. And hopefully, at the end of it, I will remember the passion I felt as a child painting in the basement. I will revive the gifts that God gave me, I will make my business better, and hopefully help someone else on the same journey.


To begin my For Art’s Sake Project: A 52 Week Journey to Rekindle a Love of Art I share with you 3 paintings I did my senior year in college. They were illustrations done with oil on wood for fictional book covers. It was a made up project, so to speak, for school it is the last time I remember having complete freedom in my art. Sometimes freedom means just the right kind of boundaries, not no boundaries at all. We can get lost as artists with NO boundaries as well…


Hope to see you next week,


Meghan Aileen







Photography Business Tips ~ Streamlining Photography Client Meetings

LESS is MORE ~ Streamlining Photography Client Meetings

All photographers, as business owners, will benefit from streamlining photography client meetings. Though some people might believe you just “click a button all day”, we know better, and with shooting, editing, marketing, and product design, your time as a photographer really is money! While you can’t add more hours to the day, you can streamline the time you spend in client meetings. How? By remembering that LESS is MORE! How you do make the most of the time spent in consultations and sales meetings? The key is being prepared. Fifteen minutes on the phone, or scripting and sending a client questionnaire, can save an hour (or more!) in a meeting.

Have you ever been to a department store when you need a new pair of shoes? How long would it take you to find and buy the right pair if you didn’t know where the shoe department was? What about if the sales person showed you luggage, jewelry, and clothing first? Quite likely, you would get overwhelmed and give up long before getting to the shoe department and not purchase anything at all. Would you trust the salesperson at that point or think they either lack knowledge or want to sell you things you don’t need? Think of your clients the same way. Don’t show them every package you offer. Don’t bring a catalog of cards and announcements to a client meeting when they really need or want an album and wall art. While it would be great to have all clients purchase your biggest package, it just won’t happen, so don’t offer huge packages to clients on a medium or small budget.


LESS is MORE ~ Streamlining Photography Client Meetings How

So how do you know that your clients need “shoes” and not “jewelry”? Simple. You ask. Develop a client questionnaire. Plan an introductory conversation before your first meeting, or simply send an email explaining that you can better meet a client’s need and make good use of their valuable time if you know things like:

-          What type of shoot they’d like.

-          How many subjects there will be.

-          What their product interests are.

-          If they have a hard deadline for image and product turnaround.

-          What their planned budget is.


LESS is MORE ~ Streamlining Photography Client Meetings Why

When you know the answers to some important questions, you can plan your meeting in advance. Prepare to show the client products and packages that match their needs. If you discuss LESS in MORE detail, you will find yourself more comfortable, appear more knowledgeable, and your clients will think you have just what they need without trying to sell them on more! If you bring your clients the “shoes” they want, they will trust you, and you can trust that when they are ready to buy “luggage and jewelry” too, you’ll be their first call. Everyone leaves happy, and you’ll feel like you just managed to add that extra hour you need to your day!

You really won’t regret little bit extra time on the front end when you begin reaping the long term benefits of streamlining photography client meetings.


Need more help with your client meetings and business planning? See our full business kits here!


photography humor - streamlining photography client meetings - photography business tips

Oh, if only there were a few more hours in the day!!


All Your Business Forms Needs Met in One Place ~ New Full Buisiness Kit for Photographers

Let The Shoppe help you with the details so you can FOCUS on your capturing those important moments for your clients! Every professional photographer needs forms and contracts, and The Shoppe has been working hard to gather them all in one organized place that easily fits into your brand!

Check out our latest business kit below.



A full set of professionally designed business tools for print or web use. With a contract, model release, credit card forms and more, you can keep all of your official forms looking as professional and stylish as your work is. Print at home and put in a binder or make into a PDF and send to your clients over email.

Have your business stand out with the bold and modern design of this set!

Edit with your information and use the included text even add your existing logo to personalize it even more.

The colors of the shapes are editable using a color overlay feature on the layer. ALL text colors are easily editable.


Photoshop or Photoshop Elements is required to use the templates. No printing is included. You will download the files and edit them as you wish then order them from your chosen lab that has the same size press cards. We can recommend labs upon request.

12 binder-ready 8.5 x 11  individual pages


  • Front and Back / Introduction
  • Minor Model Release
  • Portrait Contracts
  • Credit Card Auth / DVD Warning

Jina Lafary - Thank You

isis - Nice one. Thanks!