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"touchstart" : "mouseenter"; $(document).on(triggerevent + ".dropdown.uikit", "[data-prl-dropdown]", function(e) { var ele = $(this); if (!ele.data("dropdown")) { var dropdown = new Dropdown(ele, UI.Utils.options(ele.data( "prl-dropdown"))); if (triggerevent == "mouseenter" && dropdown.options.mode == "hover") { ele.trigger("mouseenter"); } } }); })(jQuery, jQuery.UIkit);; (function($, UI) { "use strict"; if (UI.support.touch) { $("html").addClass("prl-touch"); } var $win = $(window), $doc = $(document), Offcanvas = { show: function(element) { element = $(element); if (!element.length) return; var doc = $("html"), bar = element.find(".prl-offcanvas-bar:first"), dir = bar.hasClass("prl-offcanvas-bar-flip") ? -1 : 1, scrollbar = dir == -1 && $win.width() < window.innerWidth ? (window.innerWidth - $win.width()) : 0; scrollpos = { x: window.scrollX, y: window.scrollY }; element.addClass("prl-active"); doc.css({ "width": window.innerWidth, "height": window.innerHeight }).addClass("prl-offcanvas-page"); doc.css("margin-left", ((bar.outerWidth() - scrollbar) * dir)).width(); bar.addClass("prl-offcanvas-bar-show").width(); element.off(".ukoffcanvas").on( "click.ukoffcanvas swipeRight.ukoffcanvas swipeLeft.ukoffcanvas", function(e) { var target = $(e.target); if (!e.type.match(/swipe/)) { if (target.hasClass("prl-offcanvas-bar")) return; if (target.parents( ".prl-offcanvas-bar:first").length) return; } e.stopImmediatePropagation(); Offcanvas.hide(); }); $doc.on('keydown.offcanvas', function(e) { if (e.keyCode === 27) { Offcanvas.hide(); } }); }, hide: function(force) { var doc = $("html"), panel = $(".prl-offcanvas.prl-active"), bar = panel.find(".prl-offcanvas-bar:first"); if (!panel.length) return; if ($.UIkit.support.transition && !force) { doc.one($.UIkit.support.transition.end, function() { doc.removeClass("prl-offcanvas-page").attr( "style", ""); panel.removeClass("prl-active"); window.scrollTo(scrollpos.x, scrollpos.y); }).css("margin-left", ""); setTimeout(function() { bar.removeClass( "prl-offcanvas-bar-show"); }, 50); } else { doc.removeClass("prl-offcanvas-page").attr("style", ""); panel.removeClass("prl-active"); bar.removeClass("prl-offcanvas-bar-show"); window.scrollTo(scrollpos.x, scrollpos.y); } panel.off(".ukoffcanvas"); $doc.off(".ukoffcanvas"); } }, scrollpos; var OffcanvasTrigger = function(element, options) { var $this = this, $element = $(element); if ($element.data("offcanvas")) return; this.options = $.extend({ "target": $element.is("a") ? $element.attr("href") : false }, options); this.element = $element; $element.on("click", function(e) { e.preventDefault(); Offcanvas.show($this.options.target); }); this.element.data("offcanvas", this); }; OffcanvasTrigger.offcanvas = Offcanvas; UI["offcanvas"] = OffcanvasTrigger; $doc.on("click.offcanvas.uikit", "[data-prl-offcanvas]", function(e) { e.preventDefault(); var ele = $(this); if (!ele.data("offcanvas")) { var obj = new OffcanvasTrigger(ele, UI.Utils.options( ele.attr("data-prl-offcanvas"))); ele.trigger("click"); } }); })(jQuery, jQuery.UIkit);; (function($) { "use strict"; $.fn.jAccordion = function() { var $this = $(this); $this.find("section").each(function(idx) { var section = $(this); if (idx === 0) section.addClass('active').find( 'div.acc-content').slideDown(); section.find('a.head').on("click", function() { var handle = $(this); handle.parent().toggleClass('active'); if (handle.parent().hasClass('active')) { handle.next('div.acc-content').slideDown(); } else { handle.next('div.acc-content').slideUp(); } return false; }); }); }; })(jQuery);; (function($) { $.fn.jflickrfeed = function(settings, callback) { settings = $.extend(true, { flickrbase: 'http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/', feedapi: 'photos_public.gne', limit: 20, qstrings: { lang: 'en-us', format: 'json', jsoncallback: '?' }, cleanDescription: true, useTemplate: true, itemTemplate: '', itemCallback: function() {} }, settings); var url = settings.flickrbase + settings.feedapi + '?'; var first = true; for (var key in settings.qstrings) { if (!first) url += '&'; url += key + '=' + settings.qstrings[key]; first = false; } return $(this).each(function() { var $container = $(this); var container = this; $.getJSON(url, function(data) { $.each(data.items, function(i, item) { if (i < settings.limit) { if (settings.cleanDescription) { var regex = /<p>(.*?)<\/p>/g; var input = item.description; if (regex.test( input)) { item.description = input.match( regex)[ 2] if (item.description != undefined) item.description = item.description .replace( '<p>', '').replace( '</p>', ''); } } item['image_s'] = item.media .m.replace('_m', '_s'); item['image_t'] = item.media .m.replace('_m', '_t'); item['image_m'] = item.media .m.replace('_m', '_m'); item['image'] = item.media .m.replace('_m', ''); item['image_b'] = item.media .m.replace('_m', '_b'); delete item.media; if (settings.useTemplate) { var template = settings.itemTemplate; for (var key in item) { var rgx = new RegExp( '{{' + key + '}}', 'g'); template = template.replace( rgx, item[ key ]); } $container.append( template) } settings.itemCallback.call( container, item ); } }); if ($.isFunction(callback)) { callback.call(container, data); } }); }); } })(jQuery); (function(a) { a.fn.jqinstapics = function(b) { var c = { user_id: null, access_token: null, count: 10 }; var d = a.extend(c, b); return this.each(function() { var b = a(this), c = "https://api.instagram.com/v1/users/" + d.user_id + "/media/recent?access_token=" + d.access_token + "&count=" + d.count + "&callback=?"; a.getJSON(c, function(c) { a.each(c.data, function(c, d) { var e = a("<a/>", { href: d.link, target: "_blank" }).appendTo(b), f = a("<img/>", { src: d.images.thumbnail .url }).appendTo(e); if (d.caption) { f.attr("title", d.caption .text) } }) }); if (d.user_id == null || d.access_token == null) { b.append( "<li>Please specify a User ID and Access Token, as outlined in the docs.</li>" ) } }) } })(jQuery); (function($) { "use strict"; $.fn.fitVids = function(options) { var settings = { customSelector: null }; if (!document.getElementById('fit-vids-style')) { var div = document.createElement('div'), ref = document.getElementsByTagName('base')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0], cssStyles = '&shy;<style>.fluid-width-video-wrapper{width:100%;position:relative;padding:0;}.fluid-width-video-wrapper iframe,.fluid-width-video-wrapper object,.fluid-width-video-wrapper embed {position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;}</style>'; div.className = 'fit-vids-style'; div.id = 'fit-vids-style'; div.style.display = 'none'; div.innerHTML = cssStyles; ref.parentNode.insertBefore(div, ref); } if (options) { $.extend(settings, options); } return this.each(function() { var selectors = ["iframe[src*='player.vimeo.com']", "iframe[src*='youtube.com']", "iframe[src*='youtube-nocookie.com']", "iframe[src*='kickstarter.com'][src*='video.html']", "object", "embed" ]; if (settings.customSelector) { selectors.push(settings.customSelector); } var $allVideos = $(this).find(selectors.join(',')); $allVideos = $allVideos.not("object object"); $allVideos.each(function() { var $this = $(this); if (this.tagName.toLowerCase() === 'embed' && $this.parent('object').length || $this.parent( '.fluid-width-video-wrapper').length ) { return; } var height = (this.tagName.toLowerCase() === 'object' || ($this.attr( 'height') && !isNaN( parseInt($this.attr( 'height'), 10)))) ? parseInt($this.attr('height'), 10) : $this.height(), width = !isNaN(parseInt($this.attr( 'width'), 10)) ? parseInt($this .attr('width'), 10) : $this.width(), aspectRatio = height / width; if (!$this.attr('id')) { var videoID = 'fitvid' + Math.floor( Math.random() * 999999); $this.attr('id', videoID); } $this.wrap( '<div class="fluid-width-video-wrapper"></div>' ).parent( '.fluid-width-video-wrapper').css( 'padding-top', (aspectRatio * 100) + "%"); $this.removeAttr('height').removeAttr( 'width'); }); }); }; })(window.jQuery || window.Zepto); </script>

Making the Jump to Professional Photographer

Everyone has their story about how they made the jump from being a student or a hobbyist into being a professional.  There are the challenges and the triumphs.  There are the long nights wondering how in the world are you good enough and how will you make it.  There is the perseverance and the rewards.  There are those moments that you live for which tell you that you are doing something right.  This is my story of how I got to be a professional photographer.


I must start out with saying that some of this may sound familiar to all of my readers.  Many people find that they face similar obstacles and hurdles to overcome.  That does not in any way diminish my efforts nor the efforts of anyone else.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality product photograph of a Nikon DSLR camera with removable flash unit in Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho
I have already shared the story of how I decided to take up photography and why I decided to become a professional photographer.  If you need to catch up, use the above links and you can read those stories.

Making the jump from something you do for fun or as a creative outlet to something you make your living on is a difficult business.  It is a long struggle to climb to the top and find what works for you.  There is no magic formula to follow (I really wish there was as my personality works great with such things).  There is only a lot of sweat equity along with trial and error.  There is a lot of education which also takes place.

So, following on the idea of shooting specialty event and sports action photography, I started by putting out my shingle much like everyone else does when starting a business.  I used what talents I had available in friends and family to build this website and start telling people about my new business venture.

I decided to add some standard photography services, such as portraits, to my photography offerings to supplement the income of what I hoped would be coming from print sales and commissioned shoots at SCA events.  It would help pay for things like site fees and membership fees.  I also wanted to continue the landscape work which I had been hearing I was so good at.  That became a sideline as well.

Things were somewhat promising on the portrait side of things as there were a few people who hired me.  I added a few pieces to my portfolio using those jobs.  I wasn't making nearly the money I was hoping to though.

Come to find out the reason I was hired for those jobs was because I was so very cheap that the customers didn't mind paying for my travel expenses to places like Rigby (a good 90 minute drive).  I also had some help from friends in the SCA local Barony.  They were promoting how cheap I was.  That should have been a big red flag for me but I still had to learn that lesson.

Cramer Imaging's graphic of fine art with a high price tag attached to it
Things came to a head when I found I was only getting paid about $100 for a trip to Firth, Idaho and processing up 14 separate images for a family portrait session.  I put hours into that processing session and only had a few pennies an hour to show for it.  I was most disappointed with myself and the serious lack of profit from that session.  I wanted to actually make some money for my time not give my services away for free.

I started having to do a lot of internet research on how to price my work.  I came up with a pricing structure which was far from perfect but granted me a greater profit.  All of my trickling leads dried up.  I was not good enough to be charging that kind of money and my portfolio showed it.  I struggled on.

We spent months of me being delighted with a single webpage hit in a month.  This was not what I was hoping for with an active webpage.  It was supposed to supply me with lots of people checking out my work and generating leads for business.  Nothing was working right there.  I spent many a night secretly crying about everything not working.  The number of times I planned on closing this business or spent days in a depression about keeping it open are too many to number.

Graph showing a very low number of webpage hits over time
Looking at graphs like this for months on end was depressing.
I was presented with the opportunity to photograph a wedding for some people I know.  Being that they had no budget for it and I had no experience, I did the job and did not charge them for it.  Knowing that wedding photography can be very lucrative and is one of the very few photography businesses which can succeed in Southeastern Idaho, I added weddings to my list of photography skills.


After months of beating my head against a wall about why things were not happening for us, I learned about search engine optimization.  I immediately started learning what to do with that.  It took weeks of work to get this webpage into shape for the search engines to like reading.  I generated back links somewhat easily with online directories.  The keyword content was less easy.  Regular updates was even more daunting.  I settled on a regular blogging schedule and writing relevant and lengthy content.  I was persistent even when the results were not immediate or easy to see.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality photograph of a hand holding a one, five, ten, and twenty dollar bill in Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho
Don't pay for advertising unless you really know what you're doing.
I ran into the trouble of paid advertizing during the process of SEO.  That was a very costly lesson for us as a company.  We would have made a profit the year we started this had it not been for a few decisions to try paid advertizing routes.

Directory listings have proven to be useful back links but not a good source of leads for us.  Radio ads were even worse.  A little research into why these decisions stung so bad revealed that there are far better ways to advertize using free options.

Things began to happen for us very slowly thanks to the SEO efforts.  We even started getting leads which found us using a search engine.  Our webpage activity has increased dramatically but it has been very slow in coming.  Organic growth that way always is.

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