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!

Favorite Five Stock Photography Sites | NJ Business Brand Photographer

Don't have any new visuals or graphics to post on your daily feed?

It's tough to hire a photographer every time you need a professional photo for your website, blog or social media post. And sometimes your iPhone pic is just not working hard enough. Or you just don't have the time or energy to style and shoot something on your own. So you need another option.

Here are five stock photography sites that can help you maintain fresh, creative content. Some are even free. I definitely don't recommend doing this for all your business visuals in fear that you your brand starts feeling generic. But once in awhile, we all could use some visual help. 

1)  Death To The Stock Photo  - I love their mission to help creatives live their passion and do more great work. Gives me goosebumps! Join their free email list and get photos monthly. 

2) Stocksy - Beautiful, contemporary photography at a fee in every category you can imagine. 

3) Unsplash - F-R-E-E. 10 photos come out every free days and costs you nada. Mostly landscape images. 

4) Foodies Feed - Free images of all things food. I am digging their coffee and drinks category.

5) Life of Pix - Another free resource of high resolution lifestyle images. I was impressed with the quality of the images and range of stories. 

Not all stock websites are the same. Some offer up visuals that feel generic, too commercial borderline cheesy. Although free, beware of what you use to represent your brand. These are my top five picks for stock photography sites because I like their visual storytelling and creative feel. 

Tell me - do you have another go-to resource for stock? 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. 


Introducing the #brandflatlay | NJ Business Branding Photographer

Have you heard of the flat lay image? It's widely popular right now (especially on Instagram) and used mostly in fashion. Basically, it's an arrangement of clothing and accessories on a flat surface and photographed from above. You will get the gist if you click here. 

I took this concept and applied it to business photography. I like to create for my clients and myself the brand flat lay. This is a creative arrangement of brand-related objects (think business cards, books, quotes, books, anything that represents your brand values) on a flat surface and photographed from a birds eye view. You are sharing an inside peek of what matters to you. This powerful image adds a layer of depth to your business, allowing you to connect better with your ideal customer. It is a must-have business photo to reveal your brand story. Perfect for Instagram and blogging.

How to create this?

  1. Find a neutral surface or plain background like white foam board or a wood floor. Avoid busy, noisy backgrounds that can distract. 
  2. Look for good light. Natural, clean daylight works best and can be found near windows or on a covered porch. Consider using a reflector to bounce the light and reduce shadows. 
  3. Curate your objects. Find things that tell your brand story. Play around with different arrangements and see what feels most cohesive in size, color, texture and balance. Beware of clutter and stick to a color palette (preferably your brand colors). Give your items room to breathe. Make it look pretty!
  4. Square format (especially for Instagram). Arrange your items in a square layout and shoot in square format on your iphone. This way you know everything fits. 
  5. Aerial view. Shoot with your phone from above. Keep steady hands and shoot a lot. Pick the best, sharpest shot.

BTS shot to show you my setup.

Use white foam board as a reflector to remove shadows. 

Have fun designing your own! Be creative. Try different arrangements. If you need some extra tips, check out this helpful article

And if you post on Instagram  - follow me here, tag me @mikifotonj and #brandflatlay. I can't wait to see what you come up with. 


Just Have Fun | NJ Family Photographer

Family photo sessions can feel stressful. Especially if you have a bigger family. Kids are all over the place. Parents beg them to behave and cooperate. Everyone is feeling anxious until.......you have some F-U-N. Once you let go and reveal your playful side, then you can express yourself so much easier. You smile more. You connect more. You love more. And those things make for very pretty pictures. 

Want to see more family photos? Jump to over here to see more of my portfolio. If you would like to join my daily photo fun party on Instagram, find me HERE

Favorite Five Podcasts | NJ Business Photographer

Podcasts. Do you listen to them? Do you know what they are?

This is my recent new addiction. Podcasts are audio programs that you can download from the Internet. There are a wide variety of topics available from business to politics to cooking to design and more. You can listen on your computer, on your phone, on your iPad, AppleTV or in your car. And they are FREE! You just have to subscribe and you can do that easily on iTunes.

My discovery of podcasts has really helped me feel more productive and inspired in business and everyday life. Now when I am waiting or chauffeuring my boys around town, I can pop on a quick podcast and learn something new. I have even started taking more summer walks so I can take a break from the computer, be outdoors and listen. It feeds my brain. Before I would get frustrated being stuck in the car or in front of my screen but now, I look forward to the listening time.

I encourage you to give it a try. Here is a list of my current favorite podcasts:

1) The Lively Show.  Jess Lively covers topics from personal habits, career and style while also featuring guest interviews. All designed to uplift, inspire, or help you add a little extra intention to your everyday. I always learn something new or hear a new perspective.

2) Being Boss. Podcast for creative entrepreneurs hosted by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson. Through interviews and honest sharing, these ladies help you get your business together and start acting like a #boss. Real stories about balancing work and life with all the messiness that comes along with it. 

3) Biz Chix. Hosted by Natalie Eckdahl, she interviews amazing women entrepreneurs, and a few cool dudes, five days a week. Each entrepreneur shares work life balance and productivity tips as well as their journey. Natalie is a true professional and you will leave feeling like you just took a university business course. 

4) After The Jump. Through a series of interviews with designers, store owners and up-and-coming members of the creative community, host - Grace Bonney delves deep into the world of independent artists. From exploring the day-to-day lives of contemporary makers to discussing the challenges they face, After the Jump takes the conversation off the screen and into real life. I LOVE this one because of the diversity of talent she shares. 

5) The Simple Show. Tsh Oxenreider—entrepreneur and author - talks shop with some of her favorite people about simple living. Not only getting rid of your stuff—it’s about living holistically with your life’s purpose. Topics covered include food, travel, writing, books, parenting, work, fashion, and everything in between. For us busy moms, this is a fun one to keep us centered and living with purpose. 

Tell me - what podcasts are you loving right now? Email me at mallika@mikifoto.com or reply in the comments. I want to hear from you and expand my list. 

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.