Michael P Hoover Photography: Blog https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Michael P Hoover Photography (Michael P Hoover Photography) Thu, 03 Feb 2022 23:40:00 GMT Thu, 03 Feb 2022 23:40:00 GMT https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u1051885579-o124731920-50.jpg Michael P Hoover Photography: Blog https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/blog 120 80 Personal Brand Photography Kick Start https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/blog/2022/2/personal-brand-photography-kick-start      I've tried to blog post before. Typically I get about halfway through and either forget what I had intended to say about whatever, or I decide what I was saying wasn't all that important, or worse yet, because I can never seem to post with any sense of regularity, I give up before I even start. Not today though! Today I'm going to see it through to the end of the post.

     2020 and 2021 were tough for the business. 2022 isn't looking too promising either, truth be told. That is, if I don't change something. And so I shall. I've tried to launch my Personal Brand Photography arm of the business before. I let one thing or another always get in the way of a really good launch. I also feel I took too many cues from my mentor. That's not a bad thing, but it never seemed to work for me. Why? I don't know. I don't feel like I put enough of "me" into my pitches before. So I'm backing up and taking stock to release this project my way, in my time, and in my words.

     I love cosplay photography. I love working with experienced cosplayers, and cosplayers new to the community. I love working with people that are practically models, and with people who have never been in front of a lens. But in 2020 the pandemic shut down nearly all the conventions where 90% of my business happens. I was able to get in two cons in 2021. So you can see why something needs to change. So I looked back at the Personal Brand Photography lessons I took, and started thinking, "This would be a good time to really kick that off." It's one on one instead of a group setting. It's not dependent upon a convention, and I have something very unique to offer the PBP world and my clients. Maybe now is a good time to try and ramp it up!

     And here I am. Getting set to really launch myself this Saturday with four exclusive slots being offered at a significant discount to what this would normally cost in order to build my portfolio. You might be asking, "Why don't you do it for free like you did when you started Cosplay Photography?" Simple, my work has value. I'm also a lot more confident in what I can deliver than I was 8 years ago. So the cost will cover my time. What you'll receive will be worth far more than this limited offer will be charging. I'll detail what you receive a little later on.

     I broke down briefly, what PBP is in a Facebook post yesterday. But I really wanted to dig into it today. In this world, especially after the past two years and more than ever, business owners and entrepreneurs are connecting with their audiences and clients through social media outlets. Video and streaming have helped to play a big part of that connection, as has content of photos and selfies posted on a regular basis. But it's often time consuming to brainstorm, create, and post consistent content! And if we're connecting to our clients through online portals, that consistency is paramount!

     That's where Personal Brand Photography steps in. Your brand is put together of your colors, your words, but most of all your personality. You are your brand in this day and age! Clients will buy from you because the know you, they like you, or they trust you. PBP helps bridge the gap between you and your client to connect you to them so that they come to know, like and trust you, thus helping you close more sales. PBP is your way to not only have daily content for yourself, simplifying your life, and allowing you to build your business and brand, but it's also your way to reach your clients on a personal level if you desire. You open the door just as far as you like into your personality, and let your clients peer inside with PBP.

     We'll start with a contract. The contract spells out expectations for both you and me. From there we move into communication about what you want to see in your session, posed shots, candid, work in progress poses, tools, and even some product if you desire. Once that's all hammered out, we set a date. I'll come to you and work with you in your home, office, or makerspace over the course of two hours to make sure we get all you need from the session. I'm willing to travel. I haven't set a radius yet from my home that I will travel without an additional fee, but I'll be working that out in the next two days. Then, per the contract, I will edit the images and deliver to you through your own private gallery.

     At that point, the images are yours to do with as you please. You'll have a limited commercial release with the purchase. This means you can edit, drop filters on it, add text, add your colors, you name it. And you don't have to tag me like I ask when shooting cosplay photos. The content is about you and about you building your brand. It will be your content that you'll be using to drive your business to the next level!

     I want to thank you for reading through all of this and being a part of my journey. I have an ask of everyone who does find their way to this blog post. Whether you find yourself in need of the Personal Brand Photography or not, I would like to ask you to follow my posts on Facebook and/or Instagram. Please tag people you think would be interested in learning more (like...the price!) and share the heck out of the post on Saturday. Every little inch helps me grow, which helps other entrepreneurs grow, too. Thank you!


(Michael P Hoover Photography) business owner entrepreneur new adventure PBP Personal Branding Photography https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/blog/2022/2/personal-brand-photography-kick-start Thu, 03 Feb 2022 23:39:29 GMT
The MPHP Summer of Cosplay Kick-off Event https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/blog/2021/4/MPHP-Summer-of-Cosplay-Kick-off-Event There's a lot of info to unpack, so read carefully, please!

The MPHP Summer of Cosplay Kick-off Event is a go. The fam has spoken, so we're getting it set up. I'm working with James Wulfgar and the Matchbox Maker Labs to see this dream to come fruition. I can't thank James enough for his partnership on this! And let's face it, so many in our community are getting their shots, it's time we do some socially distanced fun, right?

Here's the details everyone will be clamoring for:

First, save the date of Saturday, May 29th at the Matchbox Co-working Studios in Lafayette, IN. There will be three sessions available. This part gets tricky so, take some notes!

  • Session #1 is from 10:00 am until 1:30 pm.
    • Session #1 is Cosplay Sessions (you want photos of your cosplay.)
  • Session #2 is from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm.
    • Session #2 is a Photo Workshop only! (You want to learn how to shoot cosplay photography)
    • I will be teaching Cosplay Photography
    • Tips, tricks, lighting, and posing.
    • The Photo Workshop is limited to 10 spaces ONLY! Do NOT wait to book!
  • Session #3 is from 4:30 pm until 8:00 pm
    • Session #3 is Cosplay Sessions (you want photos of your cosplay)

To book any one (or more) of these sessions, go to my website HERE and click on any of the "Book a Session" buttons you see! Choose "Cosplay" to book a cosplay session, and choose "Instructional" to book the workshop sessions.

But there is so much more!

There is going to be special pricing for this event. Normally, this would fall under my "Out of Con" pricing. However, as a special "thank you" to the support that you guys are showing me so far I'm using my convention packages and pricing! Let's save a little coin while doing this, eh?


Now, this is where I get a little serious. I need this to happen. I'm pretty confident it will go well, just judging from the interest so far. But please, please, please whether you are able to book this round or not, invite other interested parties, cosplayers and photographers alike! Share my post, and generally help me get this launched. Due to the costs associated with this, I have to book a certain number of slots. And I really think through networking the community is the only way this will happen. Thank you in advance, fam!

(Michael P Hoover Photography) cosplay cosplay photography Indiana Lafayette photography workshop https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/blog/2021/4/MPHP-Summer-of-Cosplay-Kick-off-Event Sat, 17 Apr 2021 01:06:04 GMT
What's next https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/blog/2021/4/whats-next A week or so ago, I posted that a part of me was considering just shutting down the business. With no conventions for over a year now, which equates to no income for over a year, things have begun to look very thin on the financial side. I attempted a socially distanced shoot in January, but there were very few interested parties. As in, none. So again, things continued to look thin.

But I hate giving up. I was taught to never, ever quit. Shoulder down and drive through! I'm not certain that's the best philosophy in all things...but in some things, maybe. So I intend a Summer Kick-Off to reignite the business, reignite myself, and hopefully reignite some cosplayers along the way on the traditional Summer Kick-Off Weekend, Memorial Day Weekend. Details are being hashed out in the background. And there will be some special pricing and limited availability, but it should be lit.

I am looking to descend upon the great city of Lafayette/West Lafayette, IN for a dual purpose day of awesome. First, I'll be booking sessions for cosplayers to get out all they have been working on during the pandemic and get some professional shots to show off! But wait...there's more! In the midst of all that fun, I am also looking at teaching a two hour class around "Cosplay Photography - Getting the Shot." It will be a studio session, working with natural light, flash, and some of the biggest and best names Indiana has to offer in terms of cosplay models with whom attendees will be able to work. THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE EXTREMELY LIMITED in order to keep social distancing and safety in mind! 

Maybe you want to sharpen your photography skills, maybe you're just starting out and want some experience before getting out there to shoot, maybe you want some tips and tricks on how to pose your subjects, or maybe, you just want to see what this "Cosplay Photography" thing is all about. All levels of photographers and aspiring photographers are welcome!

If the interest is there, this is going to happen. But the interest has to be there in order for me to make this financial commitment! So please, read, share, like, comment on the original post, LET ME KNOW YOU WANT THIS.

(Michael P Hoover Photography) https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/blog/2021/4/whats-next Wed, 14 Apr 2021 00:23:06 GMT
Cosplay Photographer Reality Check https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/blog/2018/4/Cosplay-Photographer-Reality-Check It's my first blog post! I know, you're totally stoked, right? Frankly, this is quite fearful for me. I mean, I know many of you have seen my "stream-of-consciousness-conversations," but a good chunk of you think of me as some sort of consummate professional. Ha! I have you fooled! Writing is where I get really real. Writing is where things tend to come out that I wouldn't normally let out. Writing, like many art forms, allows me to get deep within myself. And that's the part that scares me.

I allow people a peek in the window. Aside from a very, very, select few, foremost of whom is my wife, I don't ask people to pull up a chair within my soul and stay awhile. There's reasons for that, sure. It's also not healthy, I know. But, it's me. So...when you're done reading all this, PLEASE STILL LOVE ME AND SHOOT WITH ME! (Hahahaha...ha...ha...heh?)

Anyway, subject today is just going to be an update and, well, maybe an introduction of sorts. This past week has been an absolute struggle for me. Without super long details, for which I'm (in)famous, I was looking at possibly paying for a new roof, a crapton of money dropped to deal with the new termite problem discovered (YAY!), and...I thought I had lost ALL of my Saturday shoots from C2E2.

Oh, yeah, let's start with that last one first, right? I have a process of where I put my memory cards when I'm shooting on site. No sweat. It's so automatic, I don't even think about it, just pop one out, full one goes into the watch pocket in my jeans where it's securely held. I do not have a process, per se, what happens when I get home. Reality is, I was utterly exhausted when I got home Sunday night. Ex. Haust. ED. I unloaded things, dumped pockets, and tossed things in my beeline for my bed and my beloved's arms. (Don't think that way! I just needed a hug and a snuggle...dirty birds.) Anyway, wrapped up the LexCon photos, and set about my workflow for C2E2. Card #1 goes in the slot, dump, card #1 comes out. Card #2 in, dump, out. Done! Yay! Sort through, looking at LightRoom, and...wait. There's only 700 shots here. Something...is...amiss. Oh no. Oh NO. OH NO OHNONONONONONOOOOOHHHHHNOOOOO!! I frantically started throwing papers and the like around. I searched the van, pulled up seats, emptied everything from my Husky Box, reorganized my Husky Box, pulled out the pockets on jeans I didn't even take to Chicago with me! I was panicking. 

So look, the reality for me isn't the refunds I was looking at needing to give back. I was crushed by the failure on my part. Failure and I have a long, long relationship of strife. I fear Failure. Yet, the fear of Failure is not (usually) so strong that it cripples me from moving forward, though it has had it's wins in my life. There have been times where I stood my ground, afraid of what lay on the "other side" of chance. But if it were that strong, I'd have never picked up my camera. I'd have never taken classes to learn to use it. I'd have never pushed into cosplay photography. 

But I am forever haunted by the specter of  failing someone else. My drive to be better (some might say a drive to be perfect, but who knows) stem from a desire to succeed for someone else. I hate, hate, hate letting someone else down, or feeling like I'm letting someone else down. It crushes my spirit. It forces me and drives me to do better the next time. It compels me in such a way, I can't really describe. And to stare at that blank space where I imagined this memory card should have been, I saw all the upset faces of you, my clients, and in some cases, my friends, and I folded. I very nearly quit it all. No, it's not hyperbole. The thought that I could screw up something so fantastically as to lose more than 1/2 my work for the weekend was utterly debilitating. A weight lodged itself in my stomach and refused to move. This hit all at the same time as the roof and the aforementioned termite issue. I saw what little emergency savings I had rebuilt from the last emergency flitting away. But the harbinger of disappointing so many people...ugh.

I prayed. I prayed hard. And yes, it seems like such a silly thing to pray for. But my faith is a huge part of my life. I get that not all of you believe the same as I do, some of you believe completely antithetical to my beliefs, but this is me. Bare and open. I'm a Catholic Christian. And when our backs are to the wall, we pray. I strive to pray when things are going great too. But you'd better believe I double down when the chips are down. Anyway, I'm not saying what happened is miraculous. Miracles require no reasonable explanation. But I firmly believe the Holy Spirit kept my soul calm, and kept me from making very rash decisions in the depths of despair and depression. I formulated a plan to address the missing photos in a calm and professional manner. And then I slept.

The next day, I told Karen, my lovely bride my plan. I said I would check two more places I had already checked somewhat thoroughly, one last time, and if not there, I'd contact my clients with missing images, and offer recompense and a solution going forward. Piece by piece I straightened up my desk papers. And then, a glint of gold. A GLINT OF GOLD! Oh...oh...OH!!! I held this small, inch by inch and a half plastic and metal treasure trove aloft. Somewhere in the distance a choir of Methodists burst into Handel's "Messiah!" Sun streamed in from the heavens! I had found the missing memory card! 

And today I find out the roof is a simple repair, costing less than $1000. /whew! Termites? Well, those lil buggers are going to cost me a pretty penny to deal with. But hey, as Meatloaf taught me growing up, "Two outta Three Ain't Bad!"

Long story short, I'm not quitting. I am putting a process in place for memory cards for when I get home to avoid all this stuff in the future. And please, understand what drives me. And how much your satisfaction and excitement with your images means to me.

Have a good one, fam. Next blog is about another new and exciting change for MPHP!

(Michael P Hoover Photography) cosplay cosplay photography indiana indianapolis https://www.michaelphooverphotography.com/blog/2018/4/Cosplay-Photographer-Reality-Check Fri, 20 Apr 2018 03:17:18 GMT