The Photo Attic

The Photo Attic
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Heading out the door to mingle? Check out "The Top Eight Rules of Networking" first!

Career advice given to us through the website FINS

The Top Eight Rules of Networking

 By Kelly Eggers

You know the type. The people with obnoxious laughs, pushy pitches, and the ability to corner you at industry conferences and talk about themselves continuously for what seems like hours? The ones who clearly mean well, but their lack of etiquette can make you wish you hadn't even gone?  Here's a friendly suggestion: Don't be that person.

Networking is a critical part of any job hunt, yet it's probably the easiest thing to get wrong. Using living, breathing connections works better than blindly sending out resumes over the Internet, but for many, approaching people they don't know for help finding or getting a job is uncomfortable and nerve wracking.

Knowing a few etiquette guidelines can help you keep your conduct aboveboard, and perhaps ease a few fears about putting yourself in front of the well-connected.

Have a Solid Introduction
As most know, first impressions count heavily. Make sure your attire, attitude and overall appearance are the best possible before introducing yourself to someone.
If you're at a networking event, pay close attention to the groups people have formed around the room. Join people who are by themselves, or a group of two or three whose positions provide you with a physical "opening" to jump into the conversation, says Ivan Misner, founder of California-based business networking organization BNI. Introduce yourself by clearly stating your name and making eye contact while you shake their hand, says Carol Goman, a nonverbal communication expert and author of The Silent Language of Leaders. Weak handshakes turn people off, so practice yours with a friend to make sure it's neither bone-crushing nor wimpy.

If introducing yourself online, remember to follow in-person social etiquette rules. If someone referred you to the person, for example, put the mutual contact's name in the subject line of the e-mail, says Goman, so there's an immediate level of recognition. "Email is a cold medium," she says. "If you can warm it up with something personal, do so."

Don't Confuse People with Your Pitch
No one needs to hear your entire work history upon meeting you. If someone asks you to tell them a bit about yourself, your explanation from start to finish shouldn't take more than 30 to 60 seconds.

This is especially true when you're networking with people who don't work in your industry. Going into the nitty gritty details of your specific skills and interests in chemical engineering will likely go over the head of someone who works in management consulting or marketing. "Most people begin by reciting their resume in reverse chronological order," says Jodi Glickman, author of Great on the Job, and founder of the career consultancy by the same name.

"Instead, you should start with what you want to do -- your destination -- then a brief backstory, and connect the dots between them," says Glickman. Share what's relevant, not what's recent. "The latest thing you've been working on might not be related to what you want to do next."

Don't Tell a Sob Story
No matter how tough it's been, you need to paint a positive picture when you're making new connections. "Potential employers or connections aren't going to bring on people who are down in the dumps just to make them feel better," says Glickman. They want people who project a good, can-do attitude, and who will be energetic and excited about the position, she says, not people who are just excited to have a job.
Complaining in general has no place in networking – whether it's about unemployment, how tough your job is, or how bad your former employer was. "In this economy, people say 'How's business?' and they'll actually tell you," says Misner. "It doesn't do any good to complain about how bad business or the economy is. People hate doing business with people who are grumpy."

Spend More Time Listening Than Talking
In this case, the old adage is true: People were given two ears and one mouth, and you should use them proportionately. "Just like in the dating world, you should spend more time listening to and understanding the person in front of you than talking about yourself," says Mark Jeffries, a business communications consultant and author of What's Up With Your Handshake?. "Once you have truly understood what drives this person, then you can introduce yourself and tell your own stories in a way that best fits their specific needs."
"Most people think that the really great networkers are extroverts, but extroverts don't shut up," says Misner. Talking about yourself is a good way to spread the word about who you are, but listening closely can help you form a deeper relationship with someone.

Avoid Being Socially Inept
There's a fine line between being friendly and personable and being awkward. You do not want to be the latter.

"Steer clear of talking about things that would make people uncomfortable," says Glickman. "For example, don't tell me that you were out of work for six months because you recently had brain surgery, or because you were laid off." People are going to feel as if they need to pity you, but you don't want that to be the foundation of a relationship. Being vague about negatives – like saying you're returning after a six-month medical leave, or after spending some time traveling – is a good way to keep the conversation on a high level.
You should maintain some normal social constructs, such as where you direct your eyes and how closely you stand to people. Looking from someone's eyes to the middle of their forehead is professional, versus a more social gaze of eyes-to-mouth, says Goman. You should also try to keep an arm's length away from anyone you're talking to, says Misner.

Don't Overstay Your Welcome
Taking up too much of someone's time is almost as bad as ignoring them entirely.
"It's imperative that you understand when your time is up," says Jeffries. "You win in the social world if you 'release people first,' so if you see a slow crossing of the arms, an increase in the amount of time they're looking over your shoulder, or a sudden obsession with the word 'anyway,' they are giving you not-so-subtle hints that they'd like to move on."
Have a few "graceful exits" ready, says Goman. Examples: "It was a pleasure meeting you! There are a couple of other people here who I said I'd get it touch with while I'm here," or "Is there anyone here I can introduce you to?" If you're still lost, there's always the standby "I'm going to run to grab another drink."

Hand out Your Business Card, Not Your Resume
It's not ok to pass along an unsolicited resume. Offline or online, you need to work on forming a relationship with someone before you ask them for anything at all. Many people overlook this professional courtesy, and ask brand new connections to serve as a referral when submitting a resume or application.

"Don't ask strangers for a job," says Glickman. "You can't ask someone to do a favor for you who you don't have a relationship with. It's unprofessional, tacky and ineffective."
Instead, go for the business card exchange. Make sure that when you offer yours, you specifically and politely request theirs. Don't assume they'll solicit it on their own. Once you're a bit of a distance from them, take a minute to jot down a few notes about the person you just met on a sheet of paper – anything personal they may have mentioned, a news item you discussed, or a business idea you talked about. You can use that to politely jog their memory in a follow-up note.

Follow Up and Through
Perhaps the "Cardinal Rule" of networking is that once you've planted the seeds of a new relationship, you must follow up to maintain it. Whether it's a business referral, job lead, or a professional connection, get in touch – within 24 hours – to say you enjoyed meeting them.
"No one owes you anything, so you need to be as ingratiating as you can," says Glickman. People who have taken the time to speak with you and provide you with connections or guidance deserve a thank you. "Assume that you can learn from everyone. They might not be the right person, but they might know someone who you might want to be in touch with."
It's also critical to reach out to anyone a connection refers you to. "People hate it when they give someone a referral and the person never bothers to follow up on it," says Misner. If you don't, it makes two parties look bad, he says – you, since you didn't follow through on a potential lead, and the person who referred you, since they recommended you as a reliable resource.

Write to Kelly Eggers

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Sunday, November 7, 2010
11am - 4pm
Irvine, CA
Please RSVP by emailing me at

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Importance of Connecting: Jesh De Rox & Dane Sanders

First off, thank you to all who joined Paul and I for our BBQ a little over a week ago. It was so great getting to know each of you more. I look forward to launching "the photo attic" this summer, thank you all for your interest and support and I look forward to our gathering. TBA soon!

I NEEDED to share this with you...

Jesh de Rox on AskDane from Dane Sanders on Vimeo.

I can't stress how influential Ask Dane is in my life, each time i listen to the thirty minute sessions, i learn so much on how to impact my business AND LIFE in such a positive way. This session was shared with the amazing Jesh de Rox, please take the time to listen, one of the most important lessons in life. And you get spoiled with over a 60 min session ;)

Thank you Dane and Jesh!!! Two of the most giving and real individuals i know, but have yet to officially guys are unbelievable and I hope amazing blessings come your way today and always.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gatherings on hold until mid June!

I will update the blog when my life (hopefully) returns back to semi-normal by mid-June! I am looking forward to seeing you all again and having our gatherings back, thanks so much for your patience during this busy destination season and Paul and I are finally married!!! WOOHOO!!! :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Become a Better Photographer by Taking Fewer Shots

EDITOR’S NOTE: Guest post by Jason Anderson,
“Okay, I’m done.”
“That’s it? You’ve only been shooting for ten minutes!”
“Yep, got about 50 shots, I should have 4-6 proofs for you from that bunch.”
“So we’re done?”
“Pretty much…I mean I can keep shooting, but there’s really no point, it’ll just be duplicates of the same stuff.”
This was the dialog I had with a co-worker a short time ago when I went to take pictures of her son. It is indicative of a mentality that exists in society…not only is size king, but so is quantity. If you were to take two photographers and set them side by side, who would you think is a better photographer: the one who took 40 shots or the one who took 400? Many of the general public would probably respond by saying the latter, without giving it much thought. When it comes down to it though, people can recognize inferior quality no matter how many shots you put in front of them, so it’s a good idea to slow down, take your time and not only get it right in camera, but get it right once (or twice), but know when you have it and stop!
The same holds true in your post processing as well.  I know of several studios that just inundate their clients with hundreds of shots to choose from. They can’t understand why these clients never get any prints or very few prints from the studio. They think that people like to have a choice, and that the more choices you give them, the better. While the idea is not without merit, (because choice is a good thing) it can go to an extreme… that is where some trends are going. The reason why they are not getting prints done is because too many choices can also be paralyzing. If presented with 4 options, it is very easy to pick out which one you like best, whether it’s cars, cameras, televisions or photos. Presented with 400 options, the choice becomes more difficult and time consuming, primarily because you become concerned over picking the “wrong one”.
My perspective, in contrast, is to deliver just a select few shots. It makes the choices easier for the client. In a world where time is an increasingly valuable commodity, getting bogged down in sorting through hundreds of images trying to find one or two to print and hang can be more frustrating and lead to inaction. In essence it’s like you are transferring the process of elimination part of the work flow from your hands to the client. This has several downsides with minimal upsides. The one upside is that “Hey, the client chose this, not me.” can absolve you of responsibility for getting a bad shot framed. I would venture to ask though: why was a bad shot among the choices?
As I told a friend via email recently, it also comes to one of work flow management. Which would you rather deal with as a photographer – a work flow where you process 50 images or 500 images? The argument that “it’s digital, so what’s the big deal?” always seems to get under my skin a little bit. For me, the big deal is that some are going out there and not putting much time or thought into capturing the essence of a scene. They just lift the camera, point in the general direction of what they want and just fire away. I’ve actually heard the term “spray and pray” used for such shooters. The idea of slowing down and taking your time to both enjoy the moment and to really take into consideration all the nuances of things like lighting, shadows, and minimizing distractions has benefits. For me, the benefits far outweigh the downsides. First, it is a much more enjoyable situation to be in. Not only do you have fewer images to process, but you can really take your time, pay attention to the detail, and get every nuance of the image pegged!
Second, you will probably find that you are less stressed yourself. You’re not worried about missing the shot because you didn’t have time to consider all the aspects – primarily because you are considering the nuances. Third, and most importantly, when you relax and aren’t stressed, your clients aren’t stressed either…a photographer and their subject often feed off each other. I have so much fun when taking pictures of subjects, I often forget that I am there for a specific reason – we’re enjoying the moment.
That’s right…we are enjoying the moment – client and photographer! We’re laughing, and having fun, and I just happen to have a camera in hand recording it. Yeah, the first shots are often always a little awkward for them, but once they see my mug grinning over the camera at them and laughing and joking around, the stress level decreases by a factor of ten! When your client is less stressed, they photograph better! They are more willing to strike goofy (in their eyes) poses! You can capture the shot!
So, think about your workflow and how many shots you are taking.  By planning more and taking less, you can see increases in productivity threefold
1. Cut down on post processing (both for quantity and quality)
2. You stress less, and thus, your client stresses less.
3. You increase your keeper percentage!
That seems worth it to me – what about you?