Mark Laurie, MPA SPA F/PPOC FSWP PPOC
Member since 1994, 28 Accreditations
“If you are submitting for the first time, be bold, be comfortable with the idea it might not be accepted. Get someone to guide you, brag that you are submitting, and use it as a growing tool” Why do you submit accreditations?
For a variety of reasons:
- It’s a big marketing tool for us
- It got us to explore unique corners of my niche, (in most entries we skew them towards my specialty)
- It shows our clients diversity
- It’s great as backup material for speaker bio
- It gives us ideas on images for competition
- It really excites our clients to be part of it
Which one has helped your business the most and why? That’s hard, different images have impacted different aspects of my product lines. But, I think it was the crossover images (combining fantasy painting with images of women) and the digital art. It brought in speaking assignments, signaled clients we are on the edge with exciting stuff. So we got business that was unique to that niche. The accreditation actually created a reputation. How do you decide on the images? Do you ask others for help? My process is to spend a few hours going through files that meet the description, almost like brainstorming, only a mild filter on quality. Then group them into the specifications of the category, like must have 3 people, x number outdoors, and so on. We also add to the mix fresh clients shot just for the category; that is the marketing angle. The client will get a copy of the image we submit and can purchase any they want. Yes, I get input from other photographers. Did you have any that didn’t go through on the first try? Lots did not make it the first time. I think we had one that came back 4 times, maybe more. We would get two in, then two more, and soon, my staff was very frustrated since some of the comments were contradictory. Never gave up, just picked some more and resent. Judges are sometimes tricky clients to please, but you can get there. Do you feel you learn by submitting accreditations? Yes, I have also seen huge growth in other photographers too. It’s also a process that toughens you up for print competitions. But by focusing on one sliver of a niche, and fully exploring it, this gives you some great skills and growth. You can also add challenges in your approach.
To view more of Mark's work, please visit: Inner Spirit Photo