And now, we introduce Shannon Steffens of Candid Moments. Thank you so much Shannon for the interview and the giveaway!! You are AWESOME!! :)
Shannon's Photography Website http://www.mycandidmoments.com/
Shannon's Blog http://www.mycandidmoments.com/blog/
Shannon's SEO Blogsite http://www.seophotoguide.com/ (link to buy is on top)
1. How long have you been a photographer, and when did you get started? I have been a ‘photographer’ as long as I can remember. I have ALWAYS be interested in documenting life through photographs. I got my first camera at age 7 and have not stopped taking photos since then. I didn’t have one for a while and felt, lost. I had been doing photographs for friends for a while, when I decided to take the plunge and do it as a business. It was a long journey but Candid Moments was born out of my love of capturing those moments the ones you almost don’t see, between the smiles and the tears. I launched officially the fall of 2006, but really get truly going until after I had my daughter the following spring. In all honestly it was something that just evolved out of my love of photography.
2. If you weren't a photographer...what would be your career choice? I would be a librarian. That was my ‘other’ life before I started my own business. Long story short if I could go and do it again, there are days I would. I loved helping people learn how to find information.
3. How would you describe your work? This is hard, but if I had to give it words I would use fresh, clean and basic. I tend to go with simple and processing that will be more timeless. I would love to be known for my black and whites, which are my personal favorites but my clients seem to love my color, go figure!
4. Tell us your background and how you gained so much knowledge of SEO? It’s simple, I researched it. I work for another company online (Flashpalette can I say that here) and wanted to understand better how to optimize a flash site for SEO. It was during that journey I realized that while SEO is important, most of us just need to raise to the top of a small area and not be listed number one for the term photographer. That when people search they search by area, type or other parameters.
5. Show us your very favorite image taken by you. This is so hard. I have so many. I have to say that my current favorite (and that rotates) is this one of my kids. I like it because it so “imperfect”. My daughter has remnants of tattoos, the clothes are not what I would have picked, the background was their choice, but it’s real it’s “THEM”.
6. What equipment do you use? Nikon all the way! I shoot both with a D700 and a D300 and a variety of lens. I primarily use the 24-70, 60 mm macro, 105 macro and the 85 1.8. I have a few others, but these four are my main staples.
7. What is the one piece of equipment you can't live without? Hmm… this is hard, because I think anyone who knows me would tell you I would die if you took away my 24-70 or my macro’s. However, it is not either, it’s my reflector – odd choice I know. However, it saves me so many times when the light is not just right. I also love that I can and have used it to sit on or just catch the attention of a fussy toddler.
8. What is one piece of advice you can give to photographers to help them get noticed on the web? Make sure you have your website listed with Bing, Google and Yahoo. I also recommend you get your website/business listed with Yahoo and Google maps.
9. What is the biggest misconception about SEO? The biggest misconception is that it’s a magic bullet to QUALIFIED clients. Yes, you need to have good SEO to be found, but there is so much more to getting clients to book you. They may find your site, but you may be priced too high, you may be too far or your style may not mesh. Yes, you do need to work on it and have some web presence and come up on searches, BUT you still need to cultivate word of mouth and make sure you are finding other ways to hit your target market.
10. If you could have any superpower what would it be? To fly, for so many reasons, but I think of all I can show my children about the world if I could just transport them to somewhere else for a bit!
11. What's your favorite guilty pleasure? A hot bath, a good book and Diet coke and dark chocolate. I don’t get all four at the same time often, but when I do it’s heaven!
Again...HUGE thank you to Shannon!! We loved having you here on the Chicks Blog. Don't forget to enter the giveaway by leaving a comment and don't forget to check out more of Shannon's work and her SEO Field Guide :)