Super Secret Marketing Plan

Super Bowl Sunday is the one day that Americans forget we hate television commercials. Companies will pay at least 4 million dollars for each thirty second advertising spot during the game. If I understood marketing, I could explain why companies continue investing more money on Super Bowl ads each year, but I do not even know how to market my own photography business.

Collosi family portraits in San Mateo, California in the Bay Area. Jaunuary, 2013. (Bryan Farley)

I am still looking for the right strategy. Perhaps I have a secret marketing plan that I am hiding from myself.

Collosi family portraits in San Mateo, California in the Bay Area. Jaunuary, 2013. (Bryan Farley)

I often tell people that I am not a real photographer. I am not a fake photographer or a bad photographer, but I am an unusual photographer. When I renewed my passport last week and I listed my profession as “photographer,” I worried that someone at the Department of State would deny my application because they know how I work. For instance, last weekend during my photo shoot at the Collosi home, I played wiffle ball indoors with their son. After he threw a fast ball past me, his three year old little sister called me Uncle Bryan. (She wanted me to push her on the swing. I think she has a future in marketing.) Is this how a real photographer behaves?

Collosi family portraits in San Mateo, California in the Bay Area. Jaunuary, 2013. (Bryan Farley)

Real photographers do not take pictures with their subjects and real photographers most certainly do not let three year old kids use their expensive equipment during a photo shoot. There are some obvious reasons (three year old kids can drop cameras), but some other concerns too. In case you are wondering, the person who takes the photo usually retains the copyright. I think my new favorite niece owns the photo taken above. (Maybe she has a future in photography too, if there is such a thing as a “future in photography.”)

Collosi Family Portraits

Real photographers probably do not post cell phone photos.  I also promote my volunteer work. I promote other photographers.  Real photographers list prices on their websites. I also have too many sites and I confuse potential customers. (I even confuse my own customers.)  And I admit it… I also confuse myself.

Collosi family portraits in San Mateo, California in the Bay Area. Jaunuary, 2013. (Bryan Farley)

When I was young, I remember being photographed by real photographers. I did not enjoy the impersonal experience. Now that I have the camera, I share the experience as well as my camera.  Whether I am working with people who have suffered or planning their  family trip to Disneyland, I connect to the people I photograph. I even miss them afterwards. This last week I have missed the Collosi family. I really miss them.


You can see more of our photos in this gallery.

What is a real photographer?

What do you remember from your first family portrait sessions?

4 Responses to “Super Secret Marketing Plan”

  1. I wonder if “Real Photographers” edit their blog posts before publishing them. With some help, I have changed a few sentences and eliminated a couple misplaced words.

  2. Janene says:

    Our family never sat for “professional” photos. In fact, I remember very few photos being taken. As I got older, I joked that we were in the Witness Protection Program and photos would be dangerous to our health. 🙂

    The limited photos I do have are what I would consider “professional” quality. The moments, mostly candid shots, tell a story and capture the heart and emotions of the subjects. They weren’t canned or forced with unnatural props.

    Your work, your art, Brian captures the spirit, life, and energy of the people. You work has heart and soul. If that is what makes a real photographer, than I would count you as one.

  3. Bryan Farley says:

    Janene Lamanuzzi Marsella and Lynette Brondstater-Carlisle thank you both for your comments. One of the great things about this shoot was the note I received from the family. It was signed “Team Collosi.” Every family is probably a team. This family seemed to remember it. They inspired me! Thank you again.

  4. Bryan Farley says:

    [Comment imported from blog]

Leave a Reply