Tag Archives: photography

TFBM Magazine Issue 3 is LIVE

I invite you to come enjoy issue 3 of TFBM Magazine Spring 2014: The Photography Issue!

I couldn’t be more proud of an issue!  This is the prettiest issue yet as it is focused on product and fashion photography.  Whether you are a designer looking for tips on how to take photos for a line launch, a photographer looking for information on shooting an editorial, or a model looking for posing tips to show off product this issue has something for everyone!

AND I haven’t forgotten my followers that just appreciate the work of independent designers and love the opportunity to shop unique designs.  The online version of the magazine is FREE and all the company names have live links to take you directly to their shops!

Come see for yourself and don’t forget to let me know what you think.  🙂  CLICK HERE OR ON THE COVER BELOW


TFBM Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2014


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Engage your Fans and Get More Sales!

I was going to send this information to my collaboration workshop group but thought it is helpful information to all so I am letting you, my readers, in on it too.  When you do a giveaway or a collaboration and gain new fans it is important to engage your fans to turn them into buyers.  It is also important to engage them to be sure you show up in their news feeds.  Facebook shows your posts to people that stay active with your page.  If you don’t have engaging content that your fans “like” or comment on your fans will stop seeing your posts.  It’s that simple.  Here are my top tips for engaging your fans and turn your fans into buyers.

ENGAGE YOUR FANS: Ways to get fans to like and comment.

  • Post material they can comment on.  Ask a question.  Often questions of opinion get the best response.  For example:  Do you prefer shorts or skirts?  Do you like pink or teal for summer?  Do you like fabric A or fabric B?  Do you like photo prop A or photo prop B?  What is the average price you will pay for a dress/photo shoot/fill in the blank.  These questions will also help you get to know your fans so you can turn them into buyers.
  • Do a mini giveaway for just your fans.  Giveaways to gain new fans are great but how about making your current fans feel special for staying with you?  And how about getting those fans that may not normally interact much to make a comment?  Just because they don’t interact much or haven’t bought from you yet doesn’t mean they won’t later.  KEEP THEM ENGAGED!  It’s as simple as posting “Today I am having a fan appreciation giveaway to say thank you to all my fans that support my business!  I am giving away a (fill in the blank).  All you have to do is be a fan of my page and comment below that you are a fan.  Please also share this post.”  You can’t make people share but you can ask them nicely and most will.  This gets your page more publicity.

ENGAGE YOUR FANS AND GET SALES: these ideas will get people to comment on your page and encourage sales!

  • Have an auction.  I am currently hosting an auction of all my spring inventory.  I am working on a new collection so it’s time to make room.  Maybe you have product sitting around you’d like to sell.  An auction is a great way to move it.  Pick an openig bid and raise minimum.  My advice is to start with a low bid and do dollar raises.  Your fans want a good deal so starting low will engage them.  Your lowest bid should at least cover costs and go up from there.  Have them leave their bid with their paypal address so at the end of the auction you can bill them.  Also be sure to post about your auction several times to encourage fans to outbid each other.  Here is my bid album to give you an example. https://www.facebook.com/kangacoodesigns?ref=hl#!/media/set/?set=a.10151565353971259.1073741830.355005206258&type=1
  • Ask your fans to post photos wearing or using your product.  When fans post pics wearing your goods or showing off your photos it sends a message to other fans that you have a great product!  There is no better way to encourage sales than customer endorsement!

GET SALES: bring home the bacon, make some moola, take the check to the bank

  • MAKE IT EASY TO BUY You know that little about section below your Facebook photo?  You know that little photo in the bottom left hand of your banner.  Does it clearly state where to buy your product and include a link?  If you sell only on Facebook does it say “See something you like?  Comment on it with your paypal email address and we will make it and ship it to you.”
  • MAKE IT EASIER TO BUY Even though I have a shop link on my page I always sell more when I post a photo and a price and ask people to leave their paypal email so I can bill them.  People want quick and easy and since you sell clothing or photos which are impulse luxury buys you want to make the sell quick and easy while your buyer is in the moment.  Try it.  Example:  Today only our butterfly skirt is only $30 (normally $45).  Take advantage of this great price by leaving your paypal email and size(s) wanted below.  offered in sizes….  shipping is $4 US.  Then post a pic.  For better coverage follow up with a plain text comment saying “Did you see our deal of the day?  Look at our last post!”  More people will see plain text posts so this gets your photo more views.
  • POST PHOTOS OF NEW PRODUCTS WITH SHOP LINK OFTEN Out of sight out of mind is the truth.  Are you posting photos of your goods on a regular basis?  If not you can’t complain about low sales.  You can’t expect people to know what you sell or visit your about section to find your shop.  Facebook is for sharing information and interacting.  So share and share often!

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Designer Call Out: Beauty of Movement

I am very excited to share this opportunity with my followers!   Kimberly Hicks photography is starting a beauty of movement photography series.  In this series she is capturing the beauty of movement using dancers and fashion.  She has photographed two sessions so far and you can see them on her blog but here is a peek.
Skirts by Amanda Rose Studios
DESIGNER CALL OUT:  Kimberly is looking to work with designers to create long and short dresses that capture the beauty of the dancer as well as the clothing.  She wants to use spring and summer colors. They can be patterned or solid.  Her next model is a 12 year old girl.  Other models will be casted based on designer sign ups, women, teens and children can be casted.
This will be a trade for photos project.  Here is from Kimberly’s own mouth what she will provide in return:  I will give credit to the designer in every image that I post on Facebook and I will write about his/her loveliness on my blog as well. The designer will have access to the entire gallery and will be able to download all of them images. I will include both action and still shots so that the designer will have images that are not only the dancer jumping but also product photos that can be used to sell items in a shop.
If you are interested in designing or sending clothing for this project please email Kimberly at kimberlyhicksphotography@yahoo.com.
My name is Kimberly Hicks from Kimberly Hicks Photography. I’ve been in the photography business for about 2 years now. I specialize in general portraits, seniors, engagements, bridals, and weddings. I have been taking pictures for about 4 years now and have fallen in love with creating art. It has been my creative outlet and my passion. I’m located in Fayetteville, Arkansas and do portraits all throughout the state of Arkansas.

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Collaborration Call Out: Get Seen!

This year the fashion business mentor has a lot up her sleeve.  I will be redoing the blog, offering an industry resource guide, advertising and a fabulous new way to bring designers and photographers together!

I am going to be doing several collaborations this year myself and I will be helping you all to collaborate with eachother too!  The idea is to use your social media fan bases to cross promote using beautiful pics and a giveaway of the items photographed.  Everyone gets new fans and hopefully more sales.  Here is how it works:

I will create a list of interested designers and photographers.  I will use these lists to match up designers and photographers and hopefully stylists to create one awesome photo shoot showcasing a few brands [pulled together to create one great look!

WHO CAN GET INVOLVED?  Photographers, Stylists, and Designers.  Designers of all products, women, men, children, accessories.  We are looking to create editorial shoots of all kinds.

Who does what?
DESIGNERS: will send 1 item to be photographed together in a shoot.  The shoot will be themed so that items go well together.

PHOTOGRAPHER:  will style and shoot the items on a model they cast.  Clothes will be photographers to keep.  Photographer can decide to give model clothes from the shoot or just images.
Images needed, 2 showcasing each product and 3-5 of whole outfit.  A minimum of 9-11 edited watermarked photos.  Please watermark photos for marketing purposes.

Once the shoot is done.
All designers and photog post photos on Facebook and tag all involved.
Designers if you use these photos to list your product in your shop please be sure to credit the photographer and other designers involved so that all products/services can be found and purchased.

Finally the giveaway.  This is where you will gain new fans.  Each designer will give away the item they had photographed.  I will host the giveaway on my blog.  In order to enter the giveaway entrants will have to like all designers and photogs Facebook pages.  PHOTOGS you do not have to give any thing away but I do ask you promote the giveaway on your fb and blog to help spread the word.

The cost to designers will be 2 products and the photogs cost will be a stylized session with 9-11 edited images given to all involved.

The gain.  All collaborations will be featured on our blog, you will all gain new fans/customers!

So that’s it.  WHO’S INTERESTED?  Email me at katietfbm@hotmail.com with COLLAB in the subject line and your business info and links and any questions you have.

STAY TUNED…I will have photos from a colloaboration I am doing soon!


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See you on the Phippside:On the Phippside Photography

My relationship with Amy Phipps from On The Phippside Photography began with a photographer call on my Facebook page.  I had a Baby Gown I needed photographed and she responded to help.  I was excited to work with Amy because not only is she from the area I grew up in but she has an accessory line in addition to being a photographer which means she knows how to shoot product and she knows it is different than other types of photography.  Here is a bit more about Amy in her own words and then we will move on to some eye candy and some great tips from Amy!

I am a mother of 4 children, ages 15, 12, 11 and 9 and for the next 9 months, a 5th child, who is a 17 year old exchange student from Colombia.  This December, my husband and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary.  I live in Central California and love it here!  I have always wanted to be a photographer.  I worked at my kid’s school as an aide and when the state budget cuts got so bad that all aides had to be cut from the classroom, I decided it was time to pursue my dream.  I started my business, On the Phippside Photography, 2 and a half years ago.  I also own a hair accessory business that launched just a few short months ago, called Fancy Me.  This is a project I work on with my daughter, who seems to be taking after her mother creatively!  I love to wear flip flops all year round, drink Dr. Pepper, listen to Colbie Caillat on Pandora and sing in the car, even though I am completely tone deaf, and I’m pretty sure I own 34 black shirts that pretty much look alike.   Follow me on pinterest here:  http://pinterest.com/phippsamy/


1. What is your primary focus in photography (types of photography/subjects?events?etc.)

My primary focus in photography is people and capturing emotion.  That may sound silly, but at the end of a session, I go home, download the images and look for a couple photos that stood out during our session.  Those are the ones I do an edit on right away and post on facebook for a sneak peek.  I have often thought of narrowing down what I photograph, but the truth is, I love it all.  If I was forced to choose one type of photography to specialize in, it would be seniors.  I love their confidence and that chance to have all the focus be on them for the 2 hours we are together.

2. How often do you do fashion clothing/accessory shoots?

I do freelance photography for 2 local magazines, so I generally shoot fashion/accessories/products for them 3-4 times a month.  I have my own line of headbands and bows, called Fancy Me, which is a company I started with my 11 year old daughter, so I do my own shoots for my products, and then I have vendors that contact me to do trade shoots for them (they will send me products wanting quality photos in exchange for letting me keep their product).

3. How do you prepare or photograph differently for fashion shoots?

It’s a different mindset doing a fashion shoot.  Rather than capturing emotion, which is what I primarily do when working for my own clients, I am focusing on the details.  Bringing out the colors, shooting at different angles and not having distractions in the background are all things I keep in mind.  I also find that I am not as emotionally invested when shooting fashion shoots because I generally am not trying to capture the love between a child and their mother, but more focused on how the purse looks or how the pants fit!

4. How do you feel about the designer giving you direction on a shoot?

LOVE when the designer gives input!!!  I have had negative experiences where there wasn’t any input given and in turn the vendor didn’t get what they wanted, but got my vision of their product.  Creative people tend to have an idea of the finished photo in their mind, or at least the direction they would like it to go, so the more direction a designer gives, the better.  After all, you are capturing their product and it should be represented in a way that they feel proud of.

5. How many pieces do you photograph in one session?

This all depends on what has been discussed ahead of time and what there is time for.  I have done fashion shoots with 4 models and each had 4 outfit changes, which took a little over 2 hours.  I’ve done other shoots that involve jewelry, food or hair accessories and those take less time.  When I’m photographing for my own line, I use the same background each time (burlap with old vintage books) so that all I have to do is pull it out of the basket, set my products up and shoot.  I can shoot 30 headbands in 20 minutes because of being organized.

6. How many photos of each item do you take? How many get edited and returned to designer?

This really depends on what the product is and how creative I feel I can be with it.  I recently did a shoot for Kangacoo Desings with 3 girls modeling socks.  The designer and I discussed wanting a sports theme involved.  So, we went to the local high school football field, the lockers, roamed the campus and then headed over the school the girls attend and took photos on the playground.  The girls were fun, we had several different looks/poses and I was able to send the designer appx. 20 photos.  I’m sure it was more than what she needed, but it gave her options.  If I’m doing photos of a still product, like a necklace, I will provide 4-5 photos at different angles.

7. How many hours do you invest in a typical session?

From beginning to end, it can range from 4-6 hours.  What most people don’t realize is it isn’t just the shoot time for a photographer that is invested.  We communicate what is wanted with the designer, choose locations, brainstorm for the shoot, if needed, gather models, do the actual shoot, download and edit photos and then send back to designer.

8. What are the biggest challenges in photographing product on a subject?

For me, it’s choosing how to have the product staged.  I like to get creative, do something different and not just have something sitting on a white backdrop.  I want a product to stand out.  Because I have my own line that I photograph, I know how important it is to have photos that truly represent your vision and have the focus on the product.  I am mainly a family/high school senior photographer, so I’m used to encouraging people to interact and capturing their time together.  Photographing products is very different.  You want the subject still, posed in a way that flatters the product.

9. Please share any advice you have for designers or photographers regarding photographing fashion products.

Designers should be  very clear with what they want-number of photos, deadline, ideas they have in mind, what they expect.  Never assume your photographer knows exactly what you want. Both are artists and art can be interpreted different ways.  For photographers, shoot at different angles.  Get low and shoot wide open to create that nice focus on the product, leaving a soft background.

10. Do you offer sessions on trade for product? If not how can a designer get pricing?

I do sessions for trade.  But, I only do session for trade for those designers that I truly believe in and would purchase from.  I have an established business and do not need to do any portfolio building.  So when I trade a product for photos and don’t receive any financial gain, I want the product to be something I can truly recommend to my friends, family and clients.  If the job is for something that I may not have a need or interest in and a trade wouldn’t be mutually beneficial, then I suggest a designer contact me with specifics on what they want and how much the job entails.  That would allow me to give them a fair quote on my time.  onthephippside@att.net


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Fashion Photography:What makes a Good Fashion Photographer

I wanted to take a quick break from interviews to address the purpose of this series.  I want to give you all some insight as to how photographers and designers think as they approach fashion photography.  That is the purpose of the interviews.  But I also want to take that information and my own experience and combine it to create some tips that will help you get the photos you need to sell product.

I have been lucky to work with some amazing photographers with some amazing styles.  In the last year I have moved from working with photographers all over the US to mainly working with local photogs so I can be present.  I want to inject my styling and vision into the shoots.  It’s something I am still defining but the goal is to create a more cohesive look when it comes to images used to represent my brand, kangacoo designs.

In the past month I have worked with a husband wife photography team, JT Pro Imaging, already we have 3 shoots under our belt.  Jennifer Tousey (wife and one of the JT’s in JT Pro Imaging) approached me to do our first shoot.  They wanted to expand their experience and offerings by adding product shoots to their portfolio.  Jen and I met at the Covenant House Fundraiser at Project Runway All Star Gordana Gehlhausen’s Shop earlier in the year.  Our daughter’s both modeled my clothes on the runway for silent auction and became fast friends.  Jen and I did too.  Josh (the second JT of JT Pro Imaging) manned the camera at the runway show.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Bella, their actress daughter, who also donned some kangacoo for charity.

Now that introductions are out of the way let’s talk photo shoots.

Our first photo shoot was of my first release of my wild child collection.    I wanted a fall look to the pictures in the dead heat of summer.  Jen said no problem and began preparing location and props. She was very organized and detailed communicating what props she had in case I wanted to bring along others.  She prepared one set of back to school props and another set of fall props.  She arranged 2 locations within walking distance that would provide different backdrops so I would have variation in my shots.  The day of the shoot she had everything lined up and kept things moving along.  Josh just took pictures.  Along the way Josh showed me what he was shooting and asked if it was what I needed.  I was able to instruct him what photos I liked and why.  I showed him the angles I wanted to show off the clothes and the detailed close ups I wanted.

After the shoot Jen organized some photos to be arranged in collages and edited by Josh so I could use them to market my collection.  There were in addition to the product photos.  Josh emailed me a couple test edits to get a feel for the type of finish that worked best for me to show off my product.

JT Pro’s motto is to showcase personality not poses and I love that!  I think kids clothes should be fun and kids should look like kids, not supermodels.  (Don’t get me wrong everyone loves a pretty picture but when a mom is shopping she needs to be able to say to herself, “I can totally see my child doing that.”)

Jen and Josh are a well oiled photography duo and gave me exactly what I needed!  Some may say they go above and beyond and I’m being spoiled.  I say, EXACTLY!  And that’s why I will use them again and again!  Can’t wait to share about our other shoots but first please enjoy some pics from our wild child shoot!


Be sure to stop by the JT Pro Imaging fb page and show them some love from The Fashion Business Mentor.


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A Designers Take on Fashion Photography:Art and Soul by Bercot

You may be asking your self why a designer such as myself is so willing to promote other small designers.  After all, aren’t they my competition?  Well, yes they are but here’s what I figure…my daughter doesn’t have a closet full of kangacoo designs (my line), so I don’t expect others to.  So I am happy to promote other brands that have inspired me AND that create product I love (and own) AND that have been willing to let down their guards and create a dialog with me so we can learn from each other.

It is truly my pleasure to introduce Elizabeth from Art and Soul by Bercot.  We have become online mentors to each other, reaching out from time to time with questions on wholesale clients out of the country, marketing, and of course photography.  Elizabeth has a clear vision of what images she needs to sell product and how to get those images when working with photographers.  I know you will find this generous sharing of her experience and insight extremely valuable.  Not only does she share about her process but she has shared some of her favorite images and listed why they sell product.  Read on!

Tell us a little about Art and Soul by Bercot
At Art & Soul Boutique we make & sell comfortable and stylish boutique women and girls clothing. We started online in 2009 selling only girls clothing serving the 12 month through size 10 range. One launch, what seems like so long ago we made our first women’s skirt with yoga waist band to coordinate some of our girls pieces and the women’s line has just blossomed from there. Today we offer women’s pants, skirts, dresses & cardigans for ladies wearing XS-2X. An aspect of our women’s line that makes us stand out is that we make clothes for all sizes of women so each us, no matter what size, can feel good in affordable boutique clothing. We are proud to be one of the few clothing lines that can say we are 100% made in the USA.
How often do you do fashion clothing/accessory shoots?
Art & Soul Boutique is an of the moment line and launches 4 times per season for a total of 8 launches per year. Each launch is photographed by different photographers from around the country.

Who does your photography?  How do you find photographers?
Art & Soul Boutique is always on the look out for new photographers who are able to take awesome pictures that also sell the product. We typically find our photographers through Facebook because we are following their brand and enjoying the pictures they post. We also find photographers because they buy our line and approach us about the opportunity to work together.

Do you pay for sessions or do product trades?
Art & Soul Boutique trades pictures for clothes. We encourage our photographers to take pictures of their kids and family so they benefit with an outfit in their size.
How many pieces do you photograph in one session?
Art & Soul Boutique typically only sends 1-2 outfits to a photographer who is out of town. There are times though that we photograph an entire line locally with 1-3 photographers which would include about 30 pieces total.

How many photos of each item do you request?
Art & Soul’s website allows 3 pictures per item. So for example if we send a photographer a dress, we can only use 3 images but if we send them an outfit we can use three images of the top & bottom. When we have outfits like a top & bottom I request that we get 1 close up image so shoppers know which item they are purchasing as well as 2 full body images which are sometimes front & back depending on the piece.

Do you attend the shoots?
When Art & Soul Boutique does local photo shoots I usually do attend. I have 5 local photographers that I have worked with over the last 2 years and each of them have varying degrees to which they know exactly what I want from the images. We are to the point that I can send a substitute in my place to help keep the models on track and the photographers will act like I am there when talking about what I prefer! A lot of times when I go on photo shoots it is to help the models style their pieces as this is likely the first time they have seen the clothes.

How do you prepare for fashion shoots?
At Art & Soul the toughest part of photo shoots is that we are working up until the last day to get all the clothes designed and assembled in the models sizes. This requires me quickly get a vision of how a piece should be photographed and styled and in some cases going out to buy those accessories to make sure the model has everything for the outfit. Other preparation includes determining which photographers we will use, the location and who is providing the models.

What direction do you give photographers?
I have a photography checklist that I send to each photographer which has the exact pictures that I need of each piece, which format I want and reminders about little things that I do and don’t like. I also make a point to talk on the phone with each photographer so we can look at our website and I can show them my favorite pictures and talk about what makes them my favorite.

What do you do when you are not happy with photos?  What are reasons you would not be happy with photos?
I ask for  reshoot.  That is NOT my favorite call/e-mail to make! Sometimes it is just too  close to launch and I can’t get new pictures from that photographer, in  those cases I either work with what I am given or I get the pictures I  need locally. The pictures of a piece will make or break whether people  will buy it so I have to be particular and specific so the photographers know what I want the first time around.

Please share any advice you have for designers or photographers regarding photographing fashion products.
The pictures of an outfit will make or break it’s sales. Re-photograph if they aren’t perfect and then as a designer you have to figure out if the problem was your ability to communicate what you wanted or the photographers skill in translating that into an image. When you find amazing photographer…cherish them.


I asked Elizabeth to share some of her favorite photos with us and tell us why.  She wanted to start with this disclaimer: These are SO hard to pick by the way because I work with SO many talented photographers. So to be noted, this is in no way a comprehensive list of my favorite photographers or pieces there just wasn’t room or energy to go on!


This is our newest style of dress that we just launched at the beginning of September. I love how tight the photos are around the model. Each picture has a different background but those backgrounds don’t distract from the clothes and we are left just looking at a beautiful dress. Photography by Just Shoot me Photography http://www.justshootmebydawn.com/

Must Have Black DressLarger Image

From lighting, to angle, to styling Missy did an awesome job photographing this skirt & cardigan. Photography by Melissa Dewitt Photography http://www.melissadewittphotography.com

Oh Dear Women's SkirtsLarger Image

I think we only have 1 of these dresses even left but I just loved the images. The background was was bright and busy but some how complemented the dress. I loved all three of these images. Photography by Land O Jake Photography http://www.facebook.com/pages/Landojake-Photography/129941480356934?ref=ts

Bubblegum Apron DressLarger Image

I loved how this photographer found a interesting and detailed background that contrasted with the outfit so that it really stands out. Photography by W. June Photography http://www.facebook.com/wjunephotography

Summer Soiree Kids DressLarger Image
Finally tell us a little abou the designer for Art and Soul by Bercot and yourself.  Then tell us where we can find out more about your line.
Kristine Bercot is the designer and owner of Art & Soul Boutique by Bercot. She started in the clothing business over 20 years ago with stores around the country selling kids clothing under the name Bercot Childrens Wear. Life changed and she transitioned from managing stores to selling wholesale and then from wholesale to making clothes and patterns for other lines and then finally in 2009 to online sales through our current website. We currently sell both women’s & children’s clothing all over the world while mostly working school hours. We have a team of 5 ladies who make all of this possible. My name is Elizabeth, after everything is designed, cut & sewn I come in and make sure everything else runs smoothly. The launch and everything that goes with is my favorite part of the business!
Website: http://www.ArtandSoulBoutique.com

Your followers can enjoy Free Shipping in the US & Canada with voucher code: Fashion this code is active now and will be valid for 5 days from today 10/21/12.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-and-Soul-Boutique-by-Bercot/119797764717239?ref=ts
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/KristineBercot/

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