#loridoesguillermo | NJ Business Photographer

If you needed another reason to visit Dressed by Lori , the best dress shop in Millburn, well here it is...Lori has joined creative forces with Ecuadorian designer, Guillermo Molina to offer couture design services for the women in northern New Jersey. She now not only offers a unique, personalized shopping experience but also a variety of dress options from custom to special occasion to every day. 

Lori celebrated her new partnership and 3 year anniversary of the boutique with an amazing party last night. Rockette models walked the aisles while modeling the newest fall fashions. Wine flowed from local winery Melovino Meadery (gluten-free wine) and healthy yet tasty apps were served from Slen'Da'Rella.  Plus, special appearance from style expert and author, George Brescia of "Change Your Clothes Change Your Life". It was a first class event, the only kind you would expect from this gracious hostess.

Check out some of the pics from the festivities : 

If you're local, Dressed by Lori is a must visit boutique for all your dress needs. See you there!

#bloomiesbloggers - NJ Business Photographer

Bloomingdales. Bloggers. Beauty. Three of my favorite things! I was so honored to be asked to participate in this fabulous event. I met so many amazing women and am already connecting / collaborating on some juicy projects. 

Alita's Brand Bar created a fantastic experience of hair styling, makeup application, manicures. fall fashion show, health and fitness tips. There was even an artist doing fashion illustrations. I can't wait to share the head shots I took of all the bloggers. Here are some pictures from the fun-filled morning :

If you haven't followed me yet on Instagram, I would love to connect over there. Come follow me and see my daily shenanigans. 

Instagram is my JAM! | NJ Business Branding Photographer

I have a love affair with Instagram. There is so much eye - candy and inspiration at my finger tips that sometimes I feel like my head and heart will explode with joy. Sounds cheesy, but it really is a visual paradise. And I love that I can connect with my audience through photo stories and engage with them in real-time conversations. I can also meet like-minded fellow entrepreneurs and learn from them. All of this activity has really helped my business.

So if you are on the fence with Instagram and have not joined the Insta-party, I am here to encourage you to take the leap. You may feel that Facebook is the only social media platform that you need for business, but I would say that adding Instagram will add another layer of depth to your brand. Check out these five reasons to give Instagram a whirl :

1) There are 300 Million users on Instagram and 48% check daily with 28% checking more then once a day. The average user spends 21 minutes everyday. It's reported that there is 15 times more engagement on Instagram then Facebook. That is a lot of stats that confirm that Instagram is here to stay and a great place for connecting.

2) Visual content is king! Instagram provides a platform for you to share photos with your audience. You can now tell photo stories to connect better with prospects. Whether it's behind the scene images or product promotions, sharing these images help tell the story of your brand and show of your personality.

3) There is less noise. On Instagram, you view one image at a time. Unlike Facebook, there are no distracting visuals and links to take you off the platform. The only clickable link is in the bio profile so once you're scrolling through pics, you are pretty much staying.

4) Engagement! There are so many ways to connect with your audience on Instagram. You can ask them questions in your caption, respond to their comments, tag them in posts, like their feeds, repost their content. The options are endless and what all of this activity does is build communities. You are connecting on a very personal level. And this relationship is what turns prospects into clients.

5) It's so much fun! It really is. Maybe it's the short and sweet captions or the photo sharing or the emojis...whatever it is, it is an inspiring, creative and social place. But don't get me wrong, this party zone has impact. This platform can get you noticed, attract clients and grow your business.

So there you have it! Go ahead and download the Instagram app. Explore the new territory. Find some feeds to follow, like some pics. Maybe even comment. 

And if you need more help in using Instagram for business, stay connected with me because I plan to share more of my strategies, tips and tricks. Click HERE to learn more. 

Favorite Five Photo Printing Apps | NJ Photographer

Like you, I take a million photos with my phone. Unfortunately, most of these live on my device and never make it into my hands. Sure, I enjoy scrolling through them and posting on Instagram or Facebook. But there is something so special about making your memories into something tangible. Holding prints in your hands. Hanging a framed portrait in your home. Flipping through the pages of an album. That is how we re-live and share our stories. 

Here are five easy peasy apps that can get those pics off your phones and into your hands:

1) Chatbooks - I have posted about this app before but have to say again, how easy it was for me to create a photo book from the pics on my iPhone. I made a 6x6 book of over 50 pages and it was less then $20. Plus, super simple to pick the photos, see them in an album layout and then purchase.

2) Printl - This is a new app I found from my Instagram friends. It prints out your 10 most popular Instagram photos every month. What better way to keep your memories alive and receive a sweet snail mail surprise. 

3) Artifact Uprising - One of my favorite printers because many of their core values mirror mine : Creativity - Community - Legacy - Authenticity. I love there bordered square prints. Your images will feel like art for only $22 for 25 prints. 

4) Postagram - Mailing letters, notes and postcards has sadly become a thing in the past. But now with Postagram we can use our photos and turn them into real postcards straight from our phone and send around the world. Brilliant!

5) Art.com - Create photo art in a snap! Print photos directly from Instagram, Facebook or your Camera Roll and turn it into a framed piece of art ready to hang in your home. This practice of printing and living with your memories is so important. There is nothing like having a wall of your life's special moments. 

I hope this list inspires you to take some action. They are all simple ways to start getting your pictures off your phone and into your life. Believe me, they will make you so happy!

Upload a Photo | NJ Business Brand Photography

I recently did a Linkedin 30 day challenge that kicked my bum into finally working on my Linkedin profile. It was an amazing exercise that really motivated me to dig deeper into the Linkedin platform.

As I was updating and tweaking my own profile, I couldn't help but look at the profile pics that others chose to represent themselves and their businesses on this popular professional online network. It was surprising and not often in a good way. There were wedding photos, selfies, pet photos, blurry photos - so many images that did NOT make a good impression.

As a photographer, I understand that I might have a higher standard. But I am also an entrepreneur and know the importance of having a strong profile photo. Your avatar should give the impression that you are competent, trustworthy and likable. It is your virtual handshake. It helps people know what kind of person you are. It is your first opportunity to convince viewers to scroll or click for more information.

Next time, you see the words "Upload A Photo", consider these things when you decide which picture you want to represent you: 

  1. Forget the family, the dog, your logo. Pick an image just of YOU in an uncluttered background. Make sure the image is a close up, tighter crop. People want to see your face. 
  2. Please make sure it is in focus. Nothing says amateur like a blurry photo.
  3. Smile. A warm, friendly grin will attract people. Beware of the smirk which can repel.
  4. Make an effort with your hair, makeup and styling. You need to look professional and polished. Consider this like a first date. Look your best!
  5. Hire an actual photographer who has a real camera to create a professional image. You will see a difference. Your audience will see the difference. This will legitimize your brand and business. 

If you have been suffering from photo shame and feel like your business image doesn't match your passion and expertise, I can help you. I work with an amazing team and we've created the GET GORGEOUS photography event that offers an all-inclusive hair, beauty, styling and photography package. We take care of you so that you can put your best face forward. We plan this event only 5 times a year and they sell out quickly. If you are interested in our next one on September 30, click HERE to sign up. 

Don't underestimate the power of a photo. It should help you stand out and connect with your ideal client. But most importantly, you photo should make you feel confident and excited about your business. 






Favorite Five Newsletters | NJ Business Brand Photographer

We live in a world of information. There is something online for everything. I sometimes have a tendency to opt in and sign up for every newsletter that comes my way. I just love to learn and see what others are up to. But, after a day of opting out of newsletters that wasted my time, I am more careful with sharing my email address.

Here are five newsletters that I think rock. They offer great content, a new perspective and an expertise. Take a look and see if they float your boat the way they do for me. And if you have a favorite, let me know. I love finding new resources that can inspire me.

1)  Think Creative.  Abigail offers an online resource for small business owners, entrepreneurs, creatives an bloggers.  From social media to systems, she has amazing content on all topics that will get you motivated and on the path to success.

2) Glitter Guide. The ultimate girly guide of all things sparkly from fashion to fitness. Pure eye candy. Some days you learn about the best lip glosses and others, you meet inspiring girl bosses.

3) Lovebomb Biz Studio. Shenee is the real deal. She offers inspiration, thought-leadership along with no-nonsense strategy and how-tos. You will finally feel like you have the tools to take action.

4) Story of Telling. I am obsessed with all things Bernadette Jiwa. Her newsletters are short and sweet and packed with simple marketing wisdom. Highly recommend!

5) Mikifoto. Can I pimp myself? I would love for you to join my monthly newsletter and learn some photo tips and tricks, read what inspires me, see pretty pictures and learn some new ways to be creative. My goal is always to inspire you to celebrate your story one photo at a time. 

Hope you find something new and noteworthy here. Tell me - do you have a favorite must-read newsletter? Email me at mallika@mikifoto.com or reply in the comments. I want to hear from you and expand my list. 

And if you are interested in connecting and seeing what I am up to on a daily basis, jump over and find me here on Instagram. 

Fresh Art | NJ Business Photography

Fresh flowers. Creative arrangements. Supporting local. Collaborating with a fellow woman entrepreneur. And color - lots of vibrant colors! These are all of my favorite things. So when a photography opportunity came that combined all of them from Bloom Nation, a new modern marketplace for florists, I took it. And I am so glad I did. 

Through Bloom Nation, I recently photographed Julie Randazza and her lovely Millburn flower shop - Millburn Florist. Funny thing is I live in the same town as this shop. I have always admired the store's window and the stories Julie told with flowers. So when the chance came to collaborate, I was so excited. It was a dream to work with her and her team. I was in awe of their creativity and passion for flower design.  

With every new project and new opportunity comes room to grow both personally and professionally. I am so glad I took this job. Not only was it a feast for my eyes, but I made a new partner in my town. Sometimes it is so worth taking a chance and doing something out of your comfort zone. 

If you want to see more of my daily life in photos, come find me on Instagram. I would love to connect!