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Chic Critique is THE elite magazine, community, & resource for women who love photography (yes, we’re biased!)
Our mission: critique | confidence | community
Get your CHIC on with our Celebrity Photographers who inspire, teach, and critique to help increase confidence and improve your images!


We are so excited to have Zach Prez of Photography Spark join our Celebrity lineup at Chic Critique!  He is a master of SEO and ready to help you make your page the best it can be!  

Join Zach for his LIVE CRITIQUE on October 28th!  

zachprez-bio photography-spark-logo-chic With 10 years Internet marketing experience, Zach has consulted for huge photography companies, contributed to dozens of popular websites and have been featured in magazines like Chic and Professional Photographer. He's personally helped hundreds of photographers with SEO strategies via workshops and one-on-one coaching, plus thousands more through ebooks.


A welcome from Zach:

I look forward to helping you increase your presence in search engines. You'll soon have two new best friends (me and Google).

What has been the most helpful critique you ever got on a webpage?

On my first website I was afraid to show myself. I thought it would create a better brand to hide behind a logo. I contracted with a major marketing group for a critique and the first thing they told me was to showcase myself as much as possible. They recommended I use headshots, first person text, and get very personal on my About page and throughout my site.

The results were instant. I added my headshot to every page of my site and suddenly I was recognizable online in social media and forums. People knew me at events before I even arrived. I started getting tons of questions and comments through my blog. People started talking about me on other websites.

All because they could relate to me on a personal level. My personal interests from my About page (Ms Pac Man, cycling, soccer) became conversation starters and I found clients had more in common with me than anticipated.

Thus my first critique for you is to let potential clients immediately know who they will be working with when they hire you. You'll attract the ideal client!


Where do you pull your inspiration from?

Print media is still good for something. I've seen marketing courses that recommend stealing lines from the cover of Cosmo and tweaking them slightly for the titles of blog and social media posts. The goal of print magazines is to get you to open the issue by using some killer gimmick. I often look at magazine headlines and design for themes that can easily translate to attention on the web.

Pinterest is another great source of inspiration. I simply type fonts, branding, ideas, or design and get hundreds of examples I can scan in an instant.

Finally, it is fun to look at blog theme sites. I find it a quick way to see what web designs are trending while gathering ideas for little elements on a webpage, from the background treatment to a sidebar style.


What is one specific way that you balance work and family?

I value my family time with my wife and three kiddos and therefore charge what I deserve. I have found it easy to raise my rates on a continual basis because I'm not afraid to turn away business that is not worth my time. If someone wants to meet with me outside office hours, I charge them more to make it worth leaving my family. I don't take any gigs outside a very small area close to home. The result has been a stress-free environment that gets me cheering every time new business comes in. I never dread a single session.


Best biz/photo advice?

Every photographer's #1 goal should be to build a list - contact information for people who have hired you and who have not hired you yet. Instead of handing out business cards, take business cards, so that you can be in control of the next communication. Otherwise you end up waiting for people to call you and it never happens. Once you have 100 or 1,000 people's contact information, you can generate sales whenever you want. Simply send them a promotional email. Plus, you can continue to "drip" your brand to them by sending valuable content/photos/newsletter to stay front of mind.

So think about how you are going to collect contact information, including why people would give it to you. A stranger would not give you their business card. Why should a potential client give you her email address? Usually it takes a small incentive, like a free download, or the promise of receiving special offers. Just have something ready to trade for what will become your most valuable asset - contact information from as many people as possible.


What have you done to standout and compete?

I teach marketing in a world full of online marketers. Yet, I'm one of the top dogs in the photography industry. That's because I got focused. Instead of doing search engine consulting for every type of business out there, I focused specifically on photographers. I'm one of the only ones doing it. In a broad service industry I'm a nobody, but in a super-niche I'm #1.

Your #1 may be to focus on a single niche (like weddings) or even more specific, a style of weddings (like Indian) or a single venue. Go as granular as you can to be the top person for that segment, and as you build reputation you can broaden your services.


Where have most of your 2014 clients come from (besides WOM)?

My top traffic source is search engines, followed by Facebook and Pinterest. But it is not enough to track website traffic. Most of my sales come from communities and article contributions I make to other sites. This is an important distinction. Instead of focusing on sheer volume, I go where the clients are hiring me, which is other websites. I spend the first year of any business exclusively writing content for other people's sites. I don't even blog on my own because nobody will be there to read it. After I've done enough speaking events, interviews, podcasts, forum posts, and guest articles then I start writing for myself.


October 28th 2014 @ 9 pm Central

(7pm Pacific, 8pm Mountain, 10pm Eastern)

In this 90 minute LIVE Critique, Zach will give feedback on YOUR website!

Can’t watch the LIVE event? No worries. A downloadable video recording is available for pre-purchase (below) & will be sent to you 48 hours after the live event.

Live Event: FREE for Chic members! >>REGISTER HERE!<<







Guest Contributor | Leslie Vega



Leslie Vega is a seasoned brand designer for photographers and wedding professionals. She founded Leslie Vega Design in 2008 and has been creating breathtaking brands for clients across the globe ever since. From logos to stationery and beautiful web presences, her passion exudes in her work and in her client experience. View her work at www.leslievegadesign.com
Leslie Vega Design, LLC |  Twitter | Facebook | Blog




It's the Final Day of our week-long Birthday Celebration.

Thank you to everyone that participated in this fun contest!

Here are our 5 Faves from our Cake Smash Contest on Facebook:

They each won a 1-year basic annual membership to Chic Critique Forum {$78 value!}

Email us at giveaways@chiccritiqueforum.com to redeem your prize


Moments from the Heart Photography 1901180_10205294802348470_846343387409268855_n

Memories by Mere Photography 10698420_10100169772137582_8841250495963336364_n

Giggle Bee Photography 10659235_10205050895699901_4695514620111801222_n

Lynette Weber Photography


Katie Parker Photography 10440710_10152390517469499_1926047651915469910_n


FAT FREEBIE FRIDAY:  Go download tons of gifts for YOU here

HUGE GROUP GIVEAWAYS EVERY DAY THIS WEEK:  You can still enter at our Chic Giveaways site to enter the HUGE Group Giveaways ($300-$900 value!) that are going on EVERY DAY for our Birthday week!