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Survive? Think Thrive! with Selina Maitreya

Everywhere you go, everyone is talking about the economy, and by now you know, the news is not good. The newspapers, the pundits, radio talk shows, even our photo on line forums, all contain messages about how we are in the midst of disastrous times. We are told,  “devastating economic hardships with little relief to come can be expected.” Headlines shriek, “Corporate giants are falling, small businesses can’t keep afloat and government budgets are stretched beyond limits”.  Everyday we are confronted with tips that tell us “how to survive during these catastrophic times”. The survivalists tell you “you are lucky if your business survives the current economic downturn”.

I am here to tell you that surviving is the least you should expect and that thriving is the position that you should be aiming for.
In order for you to begin to understand why thriving, not surviving should be your goal lets look at the definition of each word:

* To manage to stay alive or continue to exist, especially in difficult situations

* To grow vigorously and healthily
* to be successful and often profitable

When you choose survival over thriving, you are putting your attention on and accepting the notion that your business is on its last legs. Is it? Many people will automatically accept the notion that existing is their only option, missing entirely the opportunity to develop a business than can prosper even in these harsh times. These are difficult days for many no doubt, and your choice of survival or prosperity is perhaps the most important one you can make.


Review Your Product Offering:
Start by looking at the visual product you is now offering prospects.
View the images that your buyers see on your web site, and in your print book. Pretend to be a buyer and as you look at the work ask yourself:


  • Would I hire this photographer?
  • Why or why not?
  • Do these images represent a solid body of work?
  • What type of assignment would I give to this photographer?
  • Are there enough examples here to build my trust that this shooter can deliver the type of assignment I need?



If you are not able to define the type of assignments that your visuals speak to, or if you see that your photos speak to your talent in many areas yet focus on none you have a problem. If the kind of assignment your images would have your phantom client give you, are not the types of assignment you want, or if there are not enough images to build trust in you as a new supplier, you will need to work on your visual product. If after evaluating your current offering you have discovered that you do not have a body of work that speaks to a subject area while clearly communicating your visual approach you will need to start here. Take heart this is an excellent time to begin to rebuild your portfolio.



Use your studio down time during this recession and begin the process of building your body of work. Consider working with a consultant to help you to speed up and hold you accountable during the process. If you have determined that you do not have a competitive product to offer, investing in professional help at this point is categorized as “product development” not frivolous spending. If you are unable to fund your work with a trained professional, be creative! Look to your pool of clients and contacts. Is there an art director, or a designer you know, (possibly someone you would love to work with but” they haven’t found the right assignment for you”) who is also currently slow, out of work, and might be a great visual team partner? Consider asking them to team with you. There are many ways to produce new work, or to edit a current body of images. What are needed is not tons of money, but creativity and a willingness to ask for help and commitment to get the job done.

Photographers will learn:
  • The TRUE difference between surviving and thriving in today’s business market
  • What steps other photographers are taking to ensure that their business will thrive?
  • How to maximize empty shooting calendars for future prosperity
  • What constitutes a competitive product to today’s assignment photo buyers
  • The way to match their vision to different industries
  • Steps to bring the sales process back into the marketing equation
  • How to successfully utilize, and combine traditional and contemporary marketing tools (websites, emails, portal placement, blogs and social networking)
  • Whether an agent or a marketing assistant is the right for them and how to find the right team member
The event will also feature a Q&A period when Selina will answer ANY questions about the business that you may have.
There will also be an opportunity to schedule one-on-one consultation times with Selina. See below for more info


Individual Consultations

Jan. 20,21,22 2010    Location: Vicknair Photography

Selina will work with each photographer for 2 hours; Prior to the consultation Selina will speak with you to arrange an agenda for the consult. Portfolio reviews, web reviews, and sales and marketing program development are all options for a consult. There are 4 consulting appointments available. If consulting apts are completely booked by night of event Selina will add an additional day for consulting apts. Selina will devote one day of her visit to meeting with photographers who are interested in exploring working with her in the future. Each apt lasts 30 minutes and while no team work takes place, photographers and Selina have a chance to explore whether Selina can be of help and to plan the work ahead. 
Fee: $500.00 for 2 hours consult

Door Prizes

You also have an opportunity to win a copy of THE VIEW FROM HERE, a 9hour 12 chapter MP3 learning tool and two notebooks form sponsor Scott Mullenberg!

Selina Maitreya

Having begun her professional career as a representative for some of Boston’s leading photographers, Selina has spent the last 29 years as a consultant to creative professionals, as a nationally acclaimed lecturer and as the developer of several professional workshops, the most recent being “Survive? Think THRIVE!”. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Boston Graphic Artists’ Guild and is a former correspondent for Photo District News. She has been profiled by The British Journal of Photography, Light Years (Ooty , India), ADWEEK, The Boston Globe Magazine, and PDN.

Call Selina to Book Individual Consultations @ 978-263-6822 or email her at

When And Where
Date Location  
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Orbit Studios
3805 Washing Ave. N
Minneapolis, MN 55412