Our Jumpstart page will help you understand what our staff members do, and what you can do to get the most out of your Wonderful Machine membership. Every once in a while, look for updates and please let Bill know if you have questions, concerns or suggestions. Back in March, we scaled back some of our processes as a result of Covid-19, and we cut the cost of membership by 50%. However, we're starting to see the industry recover and we'll gradually ramp back up as circumstances allow.
We have 25 team members who are dedicated to your success. You can learn a bit about each of them on our Meet the Team page.
Since our main objective is to drive quality traffic to your website, it’s important that you optimize the design, functionality, and edit of your site and that it accurately reflects your interests and skills, and that it resonates with your target audience.
Your Print Portfolio
Normally, our client outreach team arranges Portfolio Events several times each month with important clients (mostly in New York City, and occasionally elsewhere). Since the pandemic started, we have suspended our Portfolio Events and it's hard to say if or when they might resume. We'll keep you posted.
Your Wonderful Machine Profile
Upon joining, our associate photo editors will evaluate your website to determine which specialties are appropriate for you, and they'll select images from your website to represent those specialties. Our photo editors update member profiles on an ongoing basis in order to keep our site fresh and in sync with your current portfolio. Due to the dynamic nature of our site, we won’t be able to coordinate our image selections with you ahead of time, but let our photo editors know if you have any concerns and they'll do their best to accommodate you.
New Photographers, Recently Updated, On the Move
On our Find Photographers page, in addition to the photographer search interface, you'll see that we have widgets for New Photographers, Recently Updated, and On the Move. Upon joining, you'll automatically appear on the New Photographers list. When you make any major improvements to your website, let any of our associate photo editors know, and they'll add you to the Recently Updated list. And if you’re planning an extended trip and expect to have some wiggle-room in your schedule for an assignment, let them know your availability dates, and they'll add you to On the Move.
Our associate photo editors also select the pictures that we use on our landing page. While we attempt to cycle through all of our photographers, our first priority is selecting the strongest images to represent the group as a whole.
Blog Posts, Social Media, Emailers, Web Ads, Press
We have a team of publicists who research, report, write, edit, and share articles about our photographers and by our staff. You can reach them at [email protected].
Much of the promotion we do can happen without your assistance, but the blog is where we need your help! Our main criteria for blog posts is to feature projects with some combination of the following:
- Great Photos
- High Production Value
- Big-Name Clients
- Interesting Backstory
- Nice tear sheet
We get a lot of submissions for our blog, so we won't always be able to publish everything we get. But we will always do our best to spread the word about your accomplishments.
We share our blog posts and otherwise promote our members on Facebook and Twitter, and we're pretty active on Instagram too. We have an Instagram takeover every other week, and we mix in a variety of other content. We use Pinterest to share the best examples of our photographers’ marketing materials (whether we designed them or not) including boards for Logos, Print Promos, Emailers, About Pages, PDF Portfolios, and Stationery & Business Cards. We can grab some of that stuff directly from your website, but please send us JPGs of your print promos, PDFs of your emailers, and copies of your PDF portfolio if you'd like us to consider adding you to any of our Pinterest boards. We also post company news and business-y articles on our LinkedIn page. We share director's reels and portfolio videos on YouTube.
Every other week, our publicists send out an email promotion to about 12,000 clients. When Covid-19 hit, we created a series of promotions called Creative in Place, where clients can see how our photographers can cope within out current restrictions.
We occasionally place web ads on industry websites or blogs. Sometimes we use photos; other times we'll do a text-only ad on Google AdWords.
Any time someone publishes something nice about us, we add it to our Press page.
Expert Advice, Specialty, Crew, Pricing & Negotiating articles
We write Expert Advice, Specialty, Crew, and Pricing & Negotiating to help you . Please contact our publicists if you'd like to suggest a topic that we haven't covered before or if you see one of our older posts that needs updating.
We receive several Stock Requests each week from all sorts of clients, which we'll pass them along to you. Let us know if you need help negotiating any of those sales. You can opt out of our member emails at the bottom of any email, or you can opt back in by emailing our Stock Requests team.
Client Research & Outreach
Over the past 13 years, we've been able to compile an unprecedented list of commercial and editorial photography prospects. We divide those prospective clients into three main types: publications, agencies, and brands. We have 7 people doing systematic research and individual email outreach to those prospects. Those emails promote individual photographers and they also lead to phone calls and in-person meetings where we can learn more about their needs and share our roster of photographers and our shoot production capabilities. Because we want to maximize our efforts for all of our photographers, we usually do not let you know each time we promote you. But we will let you know any time an individual client expresses an interest in you.
Find Crew, Find Agents, Find Resources
Our staff members are constantly interacting with all kinds of people in our industry, and as we gather valuable information, we like to share it with you. Our Find Crew page makes it easy to search for assistants, stylists and more from all around the world. Our Find Agents page is the most comprehensive list of assignment agents, stock photo agencies, and collectives anywhere. Our Find Resources page covers everything from professional services to workshops, festivals, galleries, and museums. Please let Bill know if you have any crew, agents, or resources you'd like to recommend.
Wonderful Machine offers a wide range of expert Consulting Services for photographers including Photo Editing, Design, Publicity, Marketing, Estimating, and Production. No other company in the world offers all these services under one roof, which allows our photo editors, designers, publicists, marketing specialists, and producers to easily collaborate to give you comprehensive, integrated support. Your membership entitles you to a 20% discount off all of our normal rates (our production rates are all custom, and we do not offer discounts on those). We bill at the beginning of each month for work done during the previous calendar month (whether that project has been completed or not). We use the credit card we have on file, and Adrienne will send you an itemized invoice several days before charging your card.
Your Marketing Plan
Wonderful Machine can be a valuable piece of your overall marketing plan, but it shouldn’t be the only piece. Every photographer needs to reconcile their interests and skills with the needs of the marketplace in order to decide on an appropriate path forward. If you're not sure where to start with your marketing, we offer a Branding & Marketing (BaM!) Plan, where we take a hard look at your existing brand, marketing materials, and marketing plan. We then deliver a comprehensive report with specific recommendations to help get you where you want to go.
Contact our project manager Bryan Sheffield if you would like help with any of our photo editing, graphic design, or marketing services.
Contact our executive producer Craig Oppenheimer if you need help with an estimate or shoot production.
Contact our business manager Adrienne Cramer for anything related to billing or payments.
Web Traffic, Successes
Since we encourage clients to contact our photographers directly, there's no way for us to know about every assignment we get for you or every connection we make. So when you discover that someone found you through our site, please let us know. You can also use Google Analytics to monitor the traffic coming to your site, both from Wonderful Machine and other sources.
If you decide to end your membership, please email Adrienne before 5pm the last business day of the month. We do not offer retroactive cancellations.
We're glad that you've decided to be a part of Wonderful Machine and we look forward to working with you!