Brand Management Business\Marketing Strategy

Logo Design

Business Cards

Brochures/Flyers

Media Kits

Market Research

Competition Research

Professional Photographer available

Updates to your Website to meet changing business goals or to support projects/promotions

Website Design & Development

 

Having the right website for you and your business is the most important factor in growing and maintaining your on-line presence. It also has a great impact off-line as well (in the mind’s of your customers).

In the past, having a website could have been a novelty, or for on-line only businesses. Now, it is essential to the success of your business.

 

What We Do For You

Responsive Design: Mobile Presence, on-line sales, drive information, support your brick and mortar store, increase the reach to your audience.

Custom Design

Migrate your old content to your New Site

Make sure you are on a web server that will meet your needs

Provide on-going updates

Content Management and Creation

On-going analysis of your sites performance and how to improve it to meet your business goals

Social Media Plugins

WordPress Websites

We build websites using the WordPress platform. For a more in-depth look at why WordPress is the way to go, check out our WordPress post.

Here are a few high lights:

Self-Update your own content

Supported by All major Search Engines

Used by many (Designers will be familiar with WordPress and able to work on your site)

Allows Responsive Web Sites

Supports multiple users with role permission control

 

Nashville Area SEO | Go Mobile or Go Home

Web searching and online shopping/retailing continues to rise (63% of cell phone owners now use their phone to go online). More and more people (consumers,clients,businesses) are spending time online while using mobile devices. Both tablets and smartphones (stats). With this in mind, it is important that your online presence can keep up with this trend and indeed take advantage of it.

Responsive Web Design

Mobile Friendly Design Layout

Mobile Friendly User Interface-Including photo viewing, e-commerce, and information research, and contact info (forms, click to call, directions-google maps etc)

Social Friendly-Stat-people on facebook from mobile, how often they share on mobile,site easy to share

Photography Prints | Photo Mounting Options

 

3/4” Black Standout

Sleek and slightly textured, Black Standout is a black plastic edging that encases lightweight foam. Choose from popular sizes between 8×10” and 30×40”

Masonite

This traditional mounting surface provides a heavy duty and long lasting substrate. Our Masonite comes in the standard 1/8” size and is perfect for the high-end market.

 

Foamboard

Foamboard is available in white and is 1/4” thick. The foam material is encased in a durable plastic shell and can be the perfect lightweight solution for inserting in frames.

 

Styrene

Styrene is our most popular mounting substrate, available in 3mm white and black. Made from plastic, it is not susceptible to warping.

 

Matboard

A heavyweight, dry mount board at an economical price. Over time, some warping may occur due to its fiber-based nature. For this reason, we do not offer sizes larger than 16”x20”.

 

 

 

 

masonite

 

mounting_large_matboard_01 styrene foamboard

Nashville Web Design | Why WordPress Websites

Website Building with WordPress

 

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A Common Website Scenerio:

It is time to build a new site, or at least overhaul the old one. But there is a problem: The person that originally built the sight is no where to be found. In some cases, the site built has become so specifically built by someone, that only they could possibly figure out the set up and lines and lines of code (sometimes they might not even know what they did three years ago). This puts you and your business  at huge disadvantage. Investing even more of your time and money. Usually you will have to start from scratch.  Makings it more difficult and more expensive to update,redesign, or create a new site.

If you are unfamiliar with WordPress, go ahead and check out this website platform. Make sure not to confuse a WordPress website with just a WordPress Blog. A WordPress Blog is fine for someone that just want’s to share what is on their mind. A WordPress site is a full website that allows you a plethora of options and customization features for you and your business.

wordpresswhy

So why a WordPress site? There are several reasons to recommend a WordPress platform based website (We use one ourselves).
As a highly recognized and used platform, many people are familiar with the WordPress platform. Leaving you with more options and fail safes for the future development and updating of your site.

A WordPress site provides many options and full customization for you and your business. Making it easier to find the right website to fit your needs and to promote a consistent online Brand presence. It offers responsive websites (increasingly important in the mobile world), and they are Search Engine friendly.

Another great thing about using a WordPress platform is, if it is built correctly from the ground up, most people can become familiar enough with it to write and post new content on their site. You would still need someone to do re-designs and other updates, but You have the power and control to put your ideas and special offers on your site with ease. You can have your own login to allow you to:make posts, update information, or moderate comments. Giving you the freedom and ability to help your website succeed.

We recommend upfront and continued Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website, to make it perform its best, drive traffic to your site, and help you meet your business goals.

Periodic Table of Search Engine Optimization Factors

Search Engine Optimization | Organic vs PPC

Organic SEO

Organic SEO is generally  described as unpaid or natural (organic) clicks your website receives from search engines. While these are sometimes referenced as “unpaid” there is a lot of time and effort that goes into ensuring your website appears high in the search engine results pages (SERPS) and that users click on your URL.  The majority of searchers only look at the first page of Search engine results so it is important that your site appears as high on the rankings as possible. There are several tactics used to improve your page ranking. While the ranking of your website is extremely important it is also important to make sure your website is easy for your customers to use and provides them with relevant information so you can convert viewers to customers. This also drives users to share your site with others on social media and to return to your site.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

Pay Per Click Advertising or as it is commonly called PPC, is a type of online advertising in which you select certain keywords relevant  to your business. When a customer searches for these keywords on search engines (Google,Bing Yahoo!,etc) your add will appear in the advertising sections of the search engine results page (SERPS). This add when clicked will direct the customer to your destination URL. You pay an amount per click your ad receives. PPC advertising can be a great way to drive more business to your website. There are a few things to note with PPC ads.

A click on the add does not always equal a sell or  a conversion. When you stop running your PPC campaign you will immediately stop seeing results. PPC campaigns can be costly so it is important you choose the right keywords and have a website that is user friendly and drives conversions (be it sells, information requests, contacting your business, etc.) PPC is a great way to supplement your online campaigns but we highly recommend using Organic SEO as well to create a lasting presence online.

Periodic Table of Search Engine Optimization Factors

Fantastic “Seo Periodic Table” created by South African SEO Experts, WikiSEO

 

secret to good SEO and site rankings is content

SEO Tactics | Search Engine Optimization

WebSite Optimization:

Optimize for mobile search use (56% of American Adults are now smartphone owners), User experience, Meta,XML sitemap submissions, web crawl friendly

On-Page Optimization:

Improve the pages of your site for relevant keywords and improve the user’s overall experience on your site.

Backlinks:

Generate quality backlinks to your website to increase visibility and drive greater traffic

Content Generation:

Providing quality and relevant content on your website is extremely important to both your Page Ranking and to your Customers/Brand

Analytics:

Detailed data on your website allows you to see: how much traffic you receive, where you rank for which key words,which pages users click on the most,how long they view your site, if they are viewing your site from a mobile device,insight into your competition, and valuable social network data

On going updates: The world of SEO is ever changing. Major updates that roll out from Google and other search engines can greatly effect the  Page Ranking of your site.We ensure your site is updated accordingly to continue to drive traffic to your business

Float Wraps

products_hero_floatwrap_01 Our Float Wraps are built to grab attention. We take your photographic or canvas print and wrap it around padded masonite, then coat it with a protective laminate for a sleek, elegant look.

How Does it Float?

Secondary_FloatWrapsG_v2

 

It’s black paper backing and thick gatorboard block with holes allows the image to hang extended from the wall, giving the appearance that your image is floating.

 

Choose Your Float Depth

products_hero_floatwrap_03 (1)Float your print with a 3/4” thick or a 1 1/2” thick piece of gatorboard. Or, choose to not have a block mounted to the back, if you don’t want the “floating” appearance, and simply place it on an easel for a shelf or table display.

Standout

products_hero_standout_03

A Contemporary Mounting Option

The sleek Standout is made from lightweight foam with the edge of your choice. Choose from popular sizes between 8×10” and 30×40” and two different depths. Holes are added to the backside making it ready to hang as soon as it arrives.  I really love this product because it’s so easy and affordable, yet still a very elegant way to showcase your favorite images without having the hassle and expense of frames, matting, wiring and putting heavy objects on your wall where you might not always have a stud.

Two Depth Options

Mount your print to either a ¾” or 1 ½” depth Standout with your choice of edging.  This is simply the thickness of the foam-board on which the print is mounted.  Unless you prefer a larger block, our default thickness is the standard 3/4″ size.

Edge Options

There are lots of different types of edging that can be applied to your standout in order to give it a more finished look – it can also become a part of your home’s pre-existing decor or style by accessorizing your edges to match!

gallery_standout_options

 

Black
White
Light Wood
Stainless Steel
Bamboo

 

 

Why Prints Are Better Than Digital Files

Or how I learned to stop worrying and have tangible memories of my cherished moments in life . . . . .

DSC_0068

“I’ll print them myself one day.”

This is a common excuse for not ordering prints after a photo session. In fact, there are many excuses people use for only purchasing a disc of files. Unfortunately, these people are missing out on many fantastic benefits that come with having a print. Here are a few points to consider when ordering memories from your photographer:

Technology changes, prints don’t.

Records and 8-tracks have seen better days, so why should we think DVDs will be different? Whether we like it or not, things change and files get corrupted. One day, you may find yourself struggling to view your beloved wedding photos. Prints stay consistent and make the perfect heirloom piece in your family. And besides, you spent all that money to have photos taken, so why not keep a visible reminder above the fireplace?

“I’ll print them one day.”

Let’s be honest. You’re not actually going to get your photos printed. It will get put on your To-Do List and slowly fall to the bottom until it has been six months since your photo session. At that point, you’ve probably also permanently misplaced the disc of images. Life gets busy, so let us worry about getting your memories printed.

“Look at this beautiful… disc?”

Passing around a shiny piece of plastic at the next family gathering is not the way to grab Aunt Betty’s attention. With a print, everyone can instantly see just how cute your kids can be when they aren’t running through the house.  No computer required, just immediate satisfaction.

AUTO is for amateurs.

I love printing, and I want to make your photos as beautiful as possible! Taking your files to be printed at Walgreens will leave them in the hands of someone who has no personal concern for your images. At Don Wright Designs, we have control over every aspect of each photo. We pay attention to details and make sure that your charming face matches your quality print. For those of you looking for a little more pizzazz, we also have a nice selection of materials and paper types to choose from for your images.

photographer has lighting setup for bridal portrait of girls

Available Light vs Off Camera Flash and Umbrella

This is a quick little comparison I decided to put together tonight after tax-filing burnout kicked in.  I hope it speaks for itself somewhat and will inspire you (those who don’t yet know lighting) to start learning more about controlling the light around us.  As a photographer, all we have to work with is LIGHT and we can choose either to be it’s slave or learn how to harness it and coax it into doing what we need it to do to properly balance a group of bridesmaids, maybe a product you have to sell, or even that shiny bmw in on the latest billboard.

wedding group with available light and off camera flash example comparing

man with big camera in nevada redrocks

Things to consider before buying a new digital camera

1) Is there a particular budget you’d like to stay under/around? ($400-$600, $1000 – $2000, etc)

2) What will be primary types of photographs taken? (ie: Landscapes, children playing, animal photos, travel photos)

3) What is past photography experience? (ie: ever owned a film slr? have you used point-and-shoot digitals before?)

4) Is size/weight a concern? (some larger heavier cameras have more features than lightweight, smaller cameras)

5) Is buying used something you’d like to consider to save $$$ ? (we buy many of our cameras used from reputable sources)

6) Do you plan on using any OLD lenses that you’ve perhaps inherited from a family member’s OLD camera??

7) What type of computer do you plan on using to edit/organize your images? How old is the computer?

 

All of these questions help us identify the best type of camera for your specific, individual needs and can also help us tailor our private photography lesson for your camera and primary usage habits.

album of mom and child on couch - design-a-glow

The Investment of Custom Professional Photography

The explosion of digital photography, online sharing, home printing, and social media over the last decade makes it easier than ever to capture those everyday (and special) moments. We are thrilled that the art of photography has become more accessible to the hobbyist. Often times our clients have top of the line gear, similar to ours, and are well versed in how to use it.  But even with all of the tools and resources so widely available, and the ability to capture the every day, nothing beats the work of an accomplished professional photographer to document your family, in its entirety.  Yes, we know you’ll be in some of the images at your cousin’s wedding… and  of course there are all your own family milestones… but the return on the investment of capturing who you are, today, is enormous.  There is so much to gain from a custom, professional photography session, one that is created specifically for you, solely for that purpose.

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Very Rough First Attempt at Creating Moving Photographs

They are sometimes called “cinemagrams” but really it’s just a fancy word for an animated gif. Gif is an old type of image format made popular back in the 80s that stands for “graphic interchange format” and allows animated frames. The unfortunate part, however, is that it only allows 256 color-spectrum meaning we photographers are severely limited in color gamut when we create these the old fashioned way. I’m no expert, in fact I’ve not really been very interested seeing as how you cannot print a moving picture and put it on the wall, but I do think they have their place in the internet/web world. It’s as easy as shooting video or taking lots of images (with camera on tripod so it doesn’t move) and then select the frames you want to use and mask out the entire background other than the small section of the image which you with to animate. Select your frames, then export into gif format and voila, you have a cinemagram. More on this later.

Advanced Photography Lessons in Nashville TN

A few nights ago we were trying to come up with some really specialized topics to promote which have been popular requests from students during their first lessons.  In middle TN there are lots of budding photographers who really love stars.  I’ve been asked as many times how to accurately photograph the moon and stars

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DJ Kayjay – Beautiful Entertainers & Celebrities

DJ Kayjay mixing music black and white beautiful blonde bombshell playmate turntables

Playboy Playmate DJ Kayjay mixing turntables music live blonde

Blonde Playmate DJ Kayjay gorgeously making music

Valley of Fire

When we were out in Las Vegas for our WPPI trip, I wish I had taken MORE landscape photos – but this one is pretty great. I did NOT use a tilt-shift lens, or a lens baby – I simply used some photoshop magic to give it the miniature effect. I’m not sure if I like it better than the original or not. What do you think?Valley of fire landscape photograph
and the original

Desert Portrait Shoot

These beautiful images were taken while we were in Las Vegas Nevada attending a photography conference for wedding photographers. See more about our trip here.

beautiful blonde sitting in the desert in nevada black and white portrait
beautiful portrait of brunette girl in red rocks nevada
beautiful portrait of brunette model girl with mountains of nevada in the background
Stunning blonde model sitting on desert ground with sun behind her wearing leather jacket
Black and White portrait of beautiful model standing near rocks in nevada by don wright

Leaving Las Vegas

carey wilson and don wright photo in las vegas nevada

That's Us!

Okay so unlike Nicolas Cage in “Leaving Las Vegas” we didn’t drink ourselves into a [complete] stupor and neither of us fell in love with an escort. However, we did leave with some great new knowledge, new friends, and some awesome photos to add to our portraits portfolio! In case you haven’t kept up with our facebook page recently, Carey and I just got back from attending the Wedding Photography Professionals International convention in Las Vegas last week.

We decided at the last minute to attend when our friend and fellow photographer Matt was looking for some travel buddies. It was mine and Carey’s first time to Vegas and we couldn’t believe:

Photography Crew shooting at Nevada Valley of Fire

Carey assisting Matt at our Valley of Fire Shoot

1. That a coke was $4 in the vending machine (and you could swipe your card!)
2. That the limit on the ATMs was $5000 at a time (what kind of limit is that??)
3.  That we could get free drinks simply by GAMBLING?! Who knew? Okay, we knew, but it seemed too good to be true! Till we realized how the system works of course . . .
Carey: “I’m up $40! I should walk away. Walk away. But, but, my gin and tonic hasn’t arrived yet!” She ended up down $20 but up a G&T. Suckers.
4. That we lost money at the black jack tables before we discovered the black jack machines built into the bars! $0.25 minimum bet and you’re sitting AT THE BAR. Face it, bartender, you can only avoid my longing gaze for so long.

Anyway, down to business—we took a few classes but mostly we wanted to shoot in an exotic new location, network with other photographers, share stories, and feed off of ideas from one another! Success!  Matt Andrews, Carey and I went out to Red Rock Canyon with Jordan Kate Mitchell and had a great time snapping a few photos before the sun dropped behind the mountains. See how much fun we were having?!  Little did we know, we’d get stuck in the park for an hour and a half after the shoot. Note for future travels: Nevada is serious about its state parks after-hours security. 13 terrifying miles later, we finally got out.) Thanks to Jordan for being such a natural – she was beautiful and has a great voice to boot!

Day 4 we headed out to Valley of Fire with Anita and Meg and decided to do a few slightly risqué shots before it got too cold. Meg hung with Carey and me for most of the shoot while Matt shot with the lovely Anita.

The models were really great to work with. Meg was totally game when I suggested we hike up to the top of a HUGE MOUNTAIN (read: smallish but very rocky . . . boulder). I’m glad we did, some of our very favorite shots were up there:
Carey had to catch an earlier flight back and unfortunately missed the impromptu shoot with Matt, Joe, Justin and Lisa. Next time she won’t book a 1am return flight from a party town like Vegas! Live and learn.

So, to recap: We got to shoot in the desert, but we DID NOT get stuck there, we got (mostly) free drinks, we got to know some other great photographers, and we survived riding with Matt! Overall, we say this trip is a WIN.

Nikon FE 50mm 1.8 Vintage Metal Camera

Five New Ways to Refresh Your Photography

Nikon FE Silver Vintage Metal Body Camera 50mm LensI never realized how much I love teaching and sharing my knowledge with others until 2 years ago when a friend suggested that I start offering photography lessons in the Nashville area.  Throughout middle school, high school and college I did some tutoring here and some speaking exercises at mock-trials and pseudo legislatures (youth ledge anyone?) but never truly sat down one-on-one with someone and shared knowledge that came solely out of my own brain without referring to some sort of manual or text.

I recently finished teaching my 168th private photography class (out of our collective 250 or so) and it was refreshing to work with someone who is an aspiring pro.  Brennon reminded me so much of myself several years ago that I suddenly realized the best way to help him. . . . . I asked myself the question – “What do I wish that someone had said to me back in 2005?”

It came down to this short list of suggestions on how to improve your skills and portfolio if you’re already familiar with the basics of aperture, shutter-speed, exposure, ISO sensitivity, balancing flash with ambient, long exposure, etc.  I hope these recommendations will help push you to accelerate your photo-skills at a faster-than-your-average-lull pace.

Unplug the Computer and Shoot for You.

Remember back when you used to go out and shoot photos for fun? Try. . . . come on . . . there it is! Maybe 2-3 or even 7 months ago, right?  Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday photography was your favorite hobby and you spent all your free-time with a camera in your hands?  Perhaps you’re like me and somewhere along the lines got a little bit lost, and started associating our moment-capturing-machine (read:camera) with work and paying bills – while somehow losing that memory of it being your favorite past-time.  It’s always a sad moment when you realize that you’re in a weird funk that causes you to desire anything BUT holding a camera during your free-time.  I’ve been there.  Many times.  I’m also quite amused that (in my case at least) all it takes is buying some new piece of glass, or lighting modifier to inspire some spontaneous, fun, explorative shooting.  This type of shooting is sometimes the most important – when you’re not shooting to please ANYONE but yourself – it’s when you smile for YOU and not because you know you’re client is going to love that photo of themselves, but because you’ve shot something that you find valuable or exciting.  Remember that feeling?? It’s a shame that it sometimes takes buying new gadgets or accessories to kick you out from the computer screen and out into your neighborhood with the diopter glued to your face.  Sometimes we need to rekindle the old flame, reconnect on a personal level – with our cameras and our passion . . . . . . creating images.  Remind yourself that you chose this profession because you LOVE it, and think how lucky you are to pay your bills with your camera.

Painters Tape

Painters tape?  No, I’m not suggesting to tape your ears closed to enhance your vision and “use the force” I’m only suggesting that the next time you’re shooting something for yourself (see further down the list) simply tape off your screen so you can’t look at the results after each shot.  You know, like our parents, and their parents and Ansel Adams, Manuel Bravo, Karl Blossfeldt, Bill Brandt and many more of the greatest photographers HAD to do.  You’ll find that this will push you to take more time doing everything.  You’ll pay more attention to your metering, you’ll think more and work harder on each shot, and after practice, your skills will improve 10x as fast as they would shooting “chimp style.”

Get Rid of the Gear

Sell it all.  Okay – don’t really sell all of it, just pretend for one week that you don’t have all of it and pick your favorite (or only) body and ONE lens (hopefully a PRIME lens) to shoot with.  Carefully apply your painters tape on the screen and go shoot without that bag-full of options weighing you down.  Sometimes we work better with fewer decisions/options – it’s no longer about “which lens” or things like “which light modifier” instead the questions become more similar to “how far back to I walk” or “what angle” and “how can I best use the available light” (that last one was for me, I went through a long period of thinking that strobes were the end-all, be-all of good photographs – it all came down to a CONTROL issue I have.  That’s another blog entirely.

Stop Emulating Other Photography Styles

I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes when we all pay such close attention to so many photo forums, pinterest, tumblr, flickr feeds, etc – all of our work ends up blending together as a mixture of everyone else’s styles.  I know that I, for one, tend to go through phases where I see some work I like and I do my best to start shooting “that way” or “his/her way” in an effort to reinvent my style.  I know I’m not the only one who does this – I think if you look back at your work over the weeks/months/years you might see the same thing.  Go out and shoot what’s in YOUR mind and creative juju – not what you saw on some photo blog somewhere that you wish your work looked like.  Contrary to what you believe, your work IS and WILL BE unique if you stop chasing the trends so quickly.  My personal style has gone from Natural light (basic, beginner) to suddenly deciding that I MUST learn to use strobes > then I shot nothing natural light for a long time, I thought EVERY photo was better with some off camera lighting.  Once I could afford some nice glass (read: 1.4 aperture) then it was suddenly bokeh bokeh bokeh and everything I shot was wide open with tons of bokeh.  Same goes for our processing habits.

Start Emulating Other Photography Styles

(places foot in mouth)

For Practice. Practice.  I write this carefully considering the paragraph above.  Sometimes we get in slump where we look at our work and it all looks the same, then we start the downward spiral that is any artist’s self criticism, doubt, dissatisfaction.  Zack Arias’s video comes to mind.  It’s at these times that sometimes it’s GOOD to stir the pot and start looking at other work and emulating it NON PROFESSIONALLY.  All I mean is that go out and learn to shoot in as many “styles” as you can.  Once you know that you can shoot confidently in that “style” after practice and patience, then move on and learn another.  This goes only for developing your skills.  Once you’ve really gotten strong fundamentals in strobist style, available light, black and white, and can emulate or at least breakdown how most photos were taken, then it’s time to start the long winding journey that is developing YOUR style, not the compilation of all the style’s you’ve pinned on Pinterest.