After a week off, we're back with another issue of SeniorInspire the newsletter!
Did you miss us?
Read on for a complete update on our year end contest including when we'll be announcing the winners and what this year's winning badges are going to look like (spoiler alert - they're amazing!)
We also have a fun interview with Tonya Bolton as well as a HULU tip that will knock your socks off!
Here we go!
I've been spending a lot of time in front of my computer...
But I'm completely loving the chance to get to review all of your hard work!
I've had my butt planted in front of my monitor the last three days and I've got to tell you, my stomach is in knots and my eyes are starting to look like those little spinny wheels. But the work this year is just SO GOOD!
We had over 3,000 images submitted from about 250 photographers. And did I mention the work this year is SO GOOD!
I'm so grateful to all of you who entered and wish EVERYONE could be winners! But of course everyone can't win and I'm hoping to be through the process of narrowing this down to the top 100 soon!
If you didn't see the upcoming timeline I posted in the SeniorInspire Facebook group, here it is again...
Feb 15th - The 100 PILF winners will be announced and you'll receive an email with your winning image. You'll also receive instructions in this email telling you what you need to do to have you client submit one of our online photo releases for the print magazine.
Feb 22nd - Photo releases will be due. When you receive your email announcement on the 15th it will include instructions about obtaining the releases. Your client will have one week to digitally sign the release and submit it to us. For those of you who have not been part of our last two magazines, don't get hung up on the release process. IT IS SUPER EASY!
March 15th - Magazine Release Date! Our print magazine will feature images from all 100 winning photographers including two page spreads for each of the 20 Rockstar Photographers selected.
As of right now these dates are still looking good, but I'll let you know if anything changes along the way.
If you do have any questions other than, 'Are we there yet?' hit reply to this email (or shoot me an email if you're reading this on the web) and ask away!
Thanks again to everyone who entered! You're ALL PILF's in my book!!
We don't need no stinkin' badges!
OK, ok. Of course we need PILF badges!
And as promised , I'm revealing them for the first time ever in this issue of SeniorInspire the newsletter!
Thank you Barbara Neely Deisgn for your incredible work! These are exactly what the Doctor ordered!
I'll be emailing each of this year's 100 PILFs one of these badges on the 15th, with the top 20 getting the RockStar version.
Let me know what you think... I know I can't wait to see these popping up in my Instafeed!
Meet the Photographer
Trash talkin' with Tonya
With the frigid temps at SeniorInspire headquarters in Chi-Town, we decided to pack up the igloo and point our private jet south to visit with photographer, Tonya Bolton.
Imagine our disappointment finding out it was still below freezing in northern Kentucky... I mean WTH?
Despite the vortex fueled temps, we still had a nice conversation with Tonya, though a little hot cocoa would have been nice...
SeniorInspire I've always loved your work and I've probably looked at your Insta feed a hundred times over the last several years, but I've never noticed that you post all your photos in groups of three. It really gives your page an amazingly cohesive look. How long have you been doing that?
Tonya Bolton I’ve been doing that for a few years now. I always envied other photographers’ feeds because they all have this very consistent edit that no matter what picture they post, it seemed to fit their grid perfectly. I don’t have that look because every session is edited differently depending on so many factors, one of which is my attitude for the day! So, I felt my feed was all over the place. This was the only way I could figure out how to make my grid look well-thought out and cohesive.
SI Think this says anything about your personality?
TB It shows my need for symmetry! Lol.
SI Your Instagram handle is funphotog. That seems like a lot of pressure to me. Have you ever felt like the not fun photographer at a senior session?
TB Honestly, I have a very outgoing personality. Also, my price range helps with my clientele a lot. No parent is going to pay me $3000+ if their kid isn’t that into it. So, all the seniors I get, even boys, are great to work with.
SI This is a little geeky, but I noticed you do a great job of keeping your 'Google My Business' page up to date. Not many photographers do. Have you seen any benefits from that?
TB Absolutely! My GMB is my highest performing page. I don’t know why other photographers do not utilize this because it is GOOGLE and it helps your SEO.
SI What character from Mean Girls do you most identify with?
TB It’s been so long since I’ve seen that movie. There probably is a character in there that I relate to but its one of the unknowns because that’s what I was in school. Unknown. I didn’t have a great homelife and I was very quiet and kept with a small circle of friends. I never had any trouble nor caused any trouble.
SI Do you have a go to pose you use on nearly every session?
TB Hair Flip. Every Time. Girls love it.
SI What’s something expensive you've bought that was completely worth it?
TB All of my Apple products. Thousands of dollars. I have an iMac, Macbook pro, iwatch, iphone, ipad. My work and personal life live on my phone and the fact that it can communicate and sync up with all these other products is a huge time saver for me. I love being efficient with my time.
SI What’s one song you can’t get out of your head?
TB Ariana Grande: 7 Rings. My theme song.
SI Is there a photographer you follow on Instagram for inspiration that others may not know of?
TB Honestly, I do not follow other photographers. I may have a handful. 2 reasons: I’m a staunch advocate for not diluting the algorithm. I want local followers who have the potential to become my Honestly, I don’t follow other photographers (I may have a handful). 2 reasons: I am a staunch advocate in not diluting the algorithm. I want local followers only that have the potential to become my clients. That is why I do not mind having low numbers of followers. I do not participate in like ladders/follow-for -ollow type things. This only makes it harder for my work to get in front of someone who may hire me. The second reason is I find myself unfairly comparing myself to them. While I definitely love seeing other photographer’s work to stay inspired, I don’t want to go down the comparison road. It starts making me doubt myself and I don’t need to because my business is doing very well.
SI I've got a few more questions for you, but honestly I can't feel my fingers anymore so...
If you have HULU, drop what you're doing
Right before the deadline to our PILF contest, I had some time to watch Derek DelGaudio's In & Of Itself on HULU.
All I can say is, HOLY SMOKES!
As someone who deals with people every day trying to find their place in the world, DelGaudio's concept of identity as an illusion is fascinating!
If you haven't seen this yet, grab a few tissues and strap in for this 90 minute theatrical presentation - I honestly envy your opportunity to see this for the first time with a fresh set of eyes!
If you do watch it on my recommendation, drop me a line and let me know how much the last half hour completely blows your mind!