Retouchup Blog

November ’21 – Week 3 – An Interview with Michele Celentano


Michele Celentano – photographer, instructor, prestigious Canon Explorer of Light, successful business woman, traveler, Italian enthusiast – shares her experiences running a profitable business. Whether your photography business has been going strong for years or you’re just getting started, there’s something for everyone in this month’s interview! Full audio and transcript are below! 

October ’21 – Week 3 – An Interview with Chris Smith

Chris Smith portrait

Find your niche and stick to it. We’ve all heard this, but Chris Smith takes this saying and flips it on its head. From photography techniques, to teaching how outsourcing saves you time and expands your business, to explaining how to keep yourself from getting stuck in a rut, Chris expounds on all of this and more in this month’s interview!

September ’21 – Week 2 – An Interview with Alison Carlino

Alison Carlino Portrait - 1080 x 1080

From elementary school teacher, to starting her photography business and career, to teaching multi and single day photography workshops, Alison Carlino has nearly two decades of industry experience and isn’t slowing down! We’re excited to bring you this month’s interview with Alison! 

August ’21 – Week 2 – An Interview With Ana Brandt

Ana Brandt Portrait

She’s had a HUGE impact on the baby and maternity sectors and is known all over the world! We are so incredibly excited to share this week’s interview with Ana Brandt!! The full audio and transcript of the interview are below.

July ’21 – Week 2 – An Interview with Mary Fisk-Taylor

Mary Fisk-Taylor portrait - 1080x1080

We are delighted that we had the opportunity to speak with PPA President, Mary Fisk-Taylor! Get your pen and paper ready, it’s going to be a good one! The full audio and transcript of the interview are below.

June ’21 – Week 2 – An Interview with Bill Keane

Bill Keane - CEO and Founder

53 years of photography and related industry experience. You read that right, 53! Bill Keane has extensive knowledge when it comes to running a photography business and he opens up in this interview about how he’s been able to stay in business for so long and be so successful. To give you an idea of how far back Bill started, Bill’s first camera was a Kodak Brownie that he bought when he was 10 years old. (If you’re not sure what a Brownie is, click here to see.) The full audio and transcript of the interview are below. 

May ’21 – Week 2 – An Interview with Kira Derryberry

Kira Derryberry

We are thrilled that we had the chance to interview Kira Derryberry! Kira, along with the amazing Mary Fisk-Taylor, put out the The Get Your Shoot Together Photography Podcast. Kira also serves as on PPA’s Board of Directors and opened up about what the pandemic has been like for her, and also how she continues to push herself so she doesn’t grow complacent. The full audio and transcript of the interview are below. 

April ’21 – Week 2 – An Interview with Booray Perry

Booray Perry portrait

What a fun time it was to sit down and pick the brain of Booray Perry! In this week’s interview, Booray gives great tips and insights into how he’s navigated the waters of the pandemic during this last year, and shares some of the tools that make his daily life so much easier and more efficient. The full audio of our interview and the transcript are below.

March – Week 2 – An Interview with Kirstie Marie Jones

Kirstie Marie Jones Photography

We had an amazing time getting to sit down and ask Kirstie Jones about how she runs and operates her business! She shares insights to some of the resources she uses, as well as what it’s like to be a busy equestrian photographer. The full audio of our interview and the transcript are below. 

Pro Photographer Spotlight: Ann Monteith

Ann Montieth (1).jpg

We recently have had the pleasure of getting to better know Ann Monteith who has so many wonderful accolades behind her name including being a past president of PPA, owning three successful photography studios and running workshops where she teaches fellow photographers the many ins and outs of successfully running a photography business.

Ann is truly an industry leader and we hope you enjoy getting to know Ann and pick up some great business wisdom like we did during our interview with her!

“Once upon time there was time.” Ann said when I asked her why it was so important that a photographer outsources to be able to grow as a business. She explained that a photographer traditionally thinks that because they work for them self they often think they need to do all the work by themselves and that there is just not enough time to do that. “Well, there is enough time…” She continued, “But if you do use your time like that, your photography business will simply not be profitable.”

Ann then filled me on her experience, where she started, how she struggled, and how she gained control of her photography business. In the 1980’s her and her husband started a portrait photography studio and enjoyed it very much. Soon they realized however that they were in debt, bills were piling up, and even though they had business coming in they were losing money. Ann and her husband didn’t understand how that could be, being that they were working so hard and her husband even had an MBA. “We soon realized that even though he had an MBA it was structured to support a person working for somebody else, not yourself.”

Ann began to search out for others in the photography world who could help, give advice and teach more about how to run your photography business as… a business. Learning from the greats like Bud Haines and Ken Whitemire, Ann could see how much other photographers would benefit from having more business education. After becoming president of PPA, Professional Photographers of America, Ann was really able to focus on providing all the business and financial management skills she had learned to others on a large scale, really turning around how studios viewed their profit making ability.

We then discussed how the film to digital change has impacted how studios thought of outsourcing all over again. She explained how back in the day a photographer only took 20 – 30 photos during a session, (another word of advice to being profitable these days says Ann, “Stop shooting so much!”) then they went back to their darkroom, developed the images, made prints, and then delivered them to the client.

From shooting to showing, the photographer had about 2 weeks to work, edit, create and learn.  But photographers soon realized that being stuck in a darkroom, processing and printing themselves was not profitable at all. They learned that the better solution was for them to keep shooting and outsource their darkroom work to photo labs. “You can’t be doing what someone else can do better and certainly more efficient if you intend to make money in this business.” Being stuck in a darkroom 20 years ago is now the equivalent of being stuck behind your computer. Then Ann commented, “It has the same outcome – you are losing aspects of success when you don’t outsource.”

We also discussed why some photographers are reluctant to outsource. As Ann travels across the country offering Business and Financial Management Workshops for photographers that very subject often comes up. Ann talked about how 95% of those that don’t think they should outsource are clinging to controlling everything in regards to their photographs. In reality, she concluded, they are controlling nothing. Others say why they don’t want a retouching service is because they don’t like “the photoshop” look. Ann learned what they really mean is they want a “natural, polished look” and they are afraid others won’t have the same eye or understanding.

Ann said, “It’s really important to understand when you are outsourcing your work to another in the industry, it’s not about you just giving them work, but you are now working with them.” She talked about how important it is to keep communicating instructions, ideas, and opinions as you work with one another to keep business moving forward and successful. Some photographers get hung up on outsourcing because they feel their clients expect them to handle everything from start to finish. “Clients should expect an excellent finished product, how we as photographers get there is unimportant. What is important is that our time needs to be used wisely. And wisely means it needs to be profitable.”

At the end of our conversation Ann said something that really stood out to us, “We call ourselves professional photographers not because it sounds great to the ears, but because this is a business. A professional business.” If you’re not profitable that doesn’t make your photography a hobby, but it does mean that with the right business and financial management along with outsourcing, you can be!

Thank you for your time Ann! We really appreciate all your insight on the photography business!

For more information on Ann Monteith and her “Get Down to Business” workshops click here!

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