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This post is a far-cry from photography, but I feel it’s interesting business information for any photographer or creative artist to consider.

I’m assuming you’re probably already aware of Google Analytics, but if not, check out more info here.  It’s a very powerful and useful (and free) tool that photographers can use to track website traffic.

I set up my analytics account about a month ago and since then haven’t touched it.  I wanted to see what type of results my current online marketing efforts were offering, so I didn’t alter any keywords or page content.  The results were compelling.  Here is a brief synopsis of what I found interesting:

– Traffic is coming equally from referral sites (Facebook, Twitter, other websites), direct traffic, and engine searches.  I find this interesting that just as many people type in radiantphotography.com, as do people clicking links to the site, and people finding the company through search.  I really thought the referral sites would take the lead, assuming most people don’t type direct URLs in much anymore.  People really feel compelled by my business card and face time to look up the site after meeting me.  That’s great, but in the future I’d really like to see more search and referral results.   I’m obviously not using the internet to my full advantage right now.  That said, I’ve never mailed out a promo piece or done an Adwords campaign, so the personal/social marketing  I am doing is working.

– Most of the site’s visitors are using Internet Explorer.  41% of the viewers are using a Windows-based Internet Explorer setup for their web viewing.  Followed by Windows/Firefox, Mac/Safari, then Mac/Firefox setups.  So when designing anything on the web page, it’s important to use CSS code that will display in IE acceptably, something IE had always had trouble doing.  While I’d love to say that art directors, art buyers, and other creatives on Macs are our primary audience right now, that’s not the case.  It may not be for naught, however, since some of the corporations we market to use system-wide Windows computers in their business.  Another factor in using this browser info for site design is the fact that most visitors are using high-res monitors (1440, 1280, 1024 pix wide).  I used to design websites at 800×600 pix to serve the lowest common resolution used in the marketplace.  That type of website would look minuscule on today’s LCDs.  Knowing I’ve chosen a better size for our current site makes me feel confident that our images adequately presented on the viewer’s screen.

– “Photography of celebrities” is our second highest keyword hit, right under “Radiant Photography”.  I Googled the term today (6/1/09) and sure enough we come up as the second Google result.  That’s a position some photographers would pay money for, so our keywording is definitely working.  However, combined with the browser results above, I feel like the wrong people are finding us.  Magazine art directors are more than likely using Safari in their Mac-driven world, probably followed by Firefox and Opera.  Combine the term “photography of celebrities” with IE browser and we’re probably getting teens or star-struck fans Googling around for pictures of their favorite celebrities…something we don’t offer.  This also explains the 36% bounce rate.  Some folks are leaving after the first page view.  They obviously know what they’re looking for and we’re not it.  I don’t know what an acceptable bounce rate percentage is, but this number needs to come down through our future marketing efforts.

While the results our mixed, I’m positive that using Google Analytics is a wise addition to our box of marketing tools.  Our social marketing efforts are paying off and people are visiting the site.  In another month or two we’ll have enough info to embark on our first Adwords campaign to directly target the art directors, buyers and editors we’re looking for.  Same applies for our other project whiteproductphotography.com.  There we will be interested in gaining marketing momentum with product manufacturers, designers, retail outlets, etc.

I’d like to see Google incorporate keyworded images into their analytics.  To be able to track your keyworded images across the web and figure out which images get people to your site, would be an amazing tool for visual artists.  I’d be more inclined to hand out sample images for people to use if I could track where they would end up and if they really paid off as online marketing pieces.

I’ll report back in the future as I learn more about Analytics and how useful it can be for photographers.
-ryan

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Radiant Photography‘s owner Ryan Weber has be invited to design a skateboard deck for the LVSK8 III art exhibit.  The show will take place June 19, 2009, from 7-11PM at Henri & Odette, in downtown Vegas.

“I’m extremely honored to be a part of such a cool and unique show,” Weber says.  “After focusing on commercial work for years, I’ve been looking to get reconnected with the fine art side of my photography.  This opportunity will motivate me to set time aside for shooting some very personal work.”

The LVSK8 III show might be the start of a few exhibitions this year for Ryan and Radiant Photography.  There are already talks of participation in a summer show of local artists.

“Fine art is a world I’m unfamiliar with and I will embrace the learning curve.  Business is going well, and I’d love to step into the world of fine art photography and maybe even installations,” Weber says.  “During grad school I realized light is my paint and the camera is just the brush I’m currently using to paint with.  I have some light installation ideas using lasers and such that I’d love to put some time into.  If this year goes well with photography exhibits and I start getting more comfortable with the industry, I might dust off the idea book and tackle a couple exhibition projects.”

For now, the LVSK8 III show is the focus.  As for Radiant’s skate deck, there is talk of hot rods, roller girls, giclee, textures, Mod Pog, resin coatings, and pinstriping.  Come out to the show and see what is unveiled.

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After much work, Radiant Photography has launched its new product photography service at Whiteproductphotography.com.  We managed to get the whole project planned and implemented in less than two months and it has been met with great reviews by current Radiant clients.

Through the whiteproductphotography.com website Radiant Photography provides crisp, high-quality product photography on a seamless white background.  These images are perfect for manufacturer catalogs, PR media packets, apparel designers, online retailers, advertising, and many other uses.

What sets our product photography apart from others?

– First, we don’t shoot your product on a desk, then just mask it into a solid white background.  We shoot on handmade sets and use a special blend of paint to ensure a pure white background.  We’ve tested numerous paints and they all have predominantly blue or yellow tints to them.  Our paint has no tinting agents, so there is no color cast, making your product colors vibrant and true.

– We use custom white balance profiles calibrated for our studio lighting.  We recheck our profiles often and recalibrate when needed.  Shooting with automatic or preset white balances does not guarantee your images are color-correct, as different manufacturers can have different color-temperature output from their lighting gear.  To be accurate, one must calibrate the equipment to the lighting.  Additionally, we calibrate our monitors for accurate colors during retouching.

– Since we don’t just mask your product into a white background, you get a real drop shadow under your product.  Having a shadow grounds the product in it’s environment and adds realism and dimension.  Having a floating object in a sea of white looks unrealistic, so we ensure we deliver realistic drop shadows.  99% of the time we achieve this in the lighting, but on that 1% of challenging products we can recreate a realistic shadow digitally.

– Our turn-around times and delivery methods rock.  We think two weeks is too long to wait for your images, that’s why we average a four day turn-around.  We also think that waiting for your images to be delivered on a CD packed with your returned items is lame, so we do online delivery so you get your images pronto.

– We include a non-exclusive, unlimited rights lease with all images.  You get to use the images as you please, indefinitely.  That’s right, you don’t need to renew any licensing down the road.

– We’re not overseas.  We’re based in Las Vegas, Nevada, we speak English, and we’re not going to send your images to China to have knock-offs made.  High profile companies trust us with their prototypes, new products, and proprietary designs.

What can the images be used for?

  • Retail – Point of purchase displays, billboards, print & web advertising
  • Public relations – media packets, new product launches, editorial submissions
  • Manufacturers – Online catalogs, line sheets, swatch cards, print catalogs, print collateral, websites, and packaging
  • Magazines – product reviews, advertorials, article artwork
  • Anything else where you need a clean white background to showcase your product

Take a look at whiteproductphotography.com to view our current portfolio.  If you’d like to start an estimate, head to the the pricing/contact us page and click the estimate form link.

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