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the mc blog


Welcome to The Modern Collective blog! We are Adam + Amanda. We are photographers who love fun and funky design. We design modern templates for photographers and sell them in our shop! Cool, right?

Learn more about us, here.




“How does Amanda know?  Better yet, how did Adam from The Modern Collective know?  I needed to update my senior magazine.  I had a custom magazine made almost 3 years ago and I outgrew it.  The task was heavy on my mind.  I knew it would take a lot of time which I did not have.  And then this guide comes out!  Not only did it fit the look and feel of my website, but I am able to customize it to fit MY needs.  It has a gorgeous clean and modern feel to it. And it has room for all the valuable information you need to convey to your client!  Don’t know what that is?  Well the help is all here in this beautiful guide.
The videos are a bonus and a great way to know what to put in your magazine and if you are not comfortable with photoshop they hold your hand through the process.  My favorite part?  The pdf guide of a finished magazine to give you starting point.  This is not something you would want to copy but instead insert your own voice.  Sometimes just staring at those blank lines can be daunting but to gain inspiration to what others have put in there is super helpful so you can start typing and fill it with YOU!
This guide is so cohesive, well thought out and for more than just the senior photographer.  It could literally be all genres.  I’m going to make a separate one for my tween and teen clients! Grab this guide while you can and create your own one of a kind client guide.  Have fun with it and insert your voice, your style to make it all about YOU!”
-Vickie Black
Founder Senior Style Guide

“What can I say . . . Amanda Holloway and The Modern Collective have done it again!  Engage is NOT your average been-there-seen-that senior magazine template.  It is the most inclusive and informative client welcome resource I have ever seen.  
From inception to publication, Amanda & Adam share step-by-step instructions on how to make the perfect client welcome magazine for your business. Not only are the included templates gorgeous and easy to use, they have included a TON of educational information and instructional videos.  Amanda’s detailed .pdf regarding the whys behind what to include in (and what to exclude from!) the magazine are invaluable in determining what information is appropriate for your magazine.  Adam Hommerding’s how-to photoshop video is full of photoshop education and is a HUGE time-saver when it comes to actually creating your magazine!  Amanda goes above-and-beyond in her branding video to help you customize the template to your brand, including information on how to chose the best images for your magazine and how changing the details will help set you apart!  
And, the best thing about Engage is that the information is not exclusive to welcome magazines . . . the tips and tricks can be used for any and all marketing pieces!  Engage is a MUST HAVE for the senior photographer!”
-Heather Owens with Heather Owens Photography

“Engage is a serious game-changer when it comes to marketing for your business. Most of us are familiar with Amanda’s genius “senior magazine” and we also keep up with Adam’s amazing designs so this is a win-win for everyone! I was able to take the easy-to-use PSD files and not only drop in my images to create a high-end magazine for my business, but I was able to fully customize it to fit my brand. They did such a great job making it user-friendly and if you do have any hiccups, the videos that came with the download are very intuitive and thorough. I also loved reading the PDF document that they added to the download because it completes the package by telling you WHY Amanda uses certain information in the magazine and it really allows you to understand the importance of the senior magazine on a conceptual level so you can truly customize it for you! “
-Dan Brouillette with LOOK Portrait

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Introducing // Taylor Made Gold Foil Marketing Set


It's Here! The Taylor Made Gold Foil Marketing Set has been one of the most requested templates since the release of our popular Taylor Grad Card design this past spring! Now the same design aesthetic found in the popular grad card spans this collection of marketing templates! 


The Taylor Made Gold Foil Marketing Set is all about glitz and glam! This set is the perfect fit for studios that have a desire to present themselves as classy and elegant with a touch of boldness and it includes everything you need to share your work and attract glamorous clients! This complete photography marketing set is only $39 during the introductory sale now thru 10/7 (retail $49)!


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Look What Susan Did! // Taylor Grad Card Design Remix


Check out this all of this glam! Susan of Susan Dodd Photography gave us a little surprise in our inbox over the weekend with images of this stunning Accordion Book that she designed using our Taylor Grad Card template. Susan used all of the elements from the grad card to come up with this coordinating design and we LOVE it! Isn't it fantastic?!



Anything is possible with our layered PSD templates. With a little time and just a bit of creativity you can create numerous products from a single design! Thanks for sharing Susan! Click the image below to see the Taylor Grad Card in The Modern Collective Shop! 




Did you use our templates in a creative way? Send us photos and be featured on The Modern Collective blog too! 

From Grad Card to Modern Bridal Shower Invite // Design Change Up


We love photographers that think outside of the box! Jodi and DeeAyna from JW Photography did just that when designing this bridal shower invitation for DeeAyna's daughter! With a few simple changes to the Taylor 5x7 Grad Card Design from The Modern Collective Shop, this duo created a modern and fun bridal shower invite that everyone is sure to love! How cute is that front image?! Thanks for sharing Jodi and DeeAyna! 


Introducing Urban Crossroads // New Product


Say hello to Urban Crossroads, the new senior layflat book design from The Modern Collective! Need that perfect product to impress your senior guys? This 20 page book design will do the trick! Included with the design is theMC's exclusive Album Splitter Action. The Album Splitter Action allows you to export your design for any of WHCC's square book designs in less than five minutes! Sizes include 5x5, 8x8, 10x10, and 12x12 books! Easy, simple, done! 


You can see larger images of this design's layouts, HERE.


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Identify Your Target Client with Lori Nordstrom // Guest Post


We are so excited to have Lori Nordstrom share with us today! Lori shares some great tips on identifying your target client + even gives you some freebies that will help you jot down your ideas and get organized for 2013! Thanks for sharing with us Lori!!

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Have you ever been to an archery shoot and seen the painstaking steps the archer follows before letting loose his or her arrow? Carefully the three fingers of one hand are hooked into a strong “claw” that draws back the string until it is taut and even with the chin. With his or her other arm the archer steadily stretches the bow, pivoting the wrist slightly to keep the arrow in place. Eyes locked in concentration, the archer sights down the shaft of the arrow to the target, looking straight at the bulls eye and nothing else. Can you imagine the archer at that point, when everything is in place for making a perfect shot, just pointing the bow and arrow off in some random direction and letting the arrow fly, hoping it might hit the target somehow? Ludicrous as this picture seems, that is exactly what we do with all our efforts to build our business when we move forward without identifying our target client. We are letting loose our best shot with no target in mind. It has been said that the businessperson who doesn’t do any market research is the businessperson who doesn’t want to make money. Narrowly and clearly defining your target client is an essential step you must take for your business. Until we know WHO our target client is, we can’t effectively develop a marketing strategy to find them and reach them.


Why do they buy?


When we determine where our client is spending her time and spending her money, we can begin to understand what her needs and expectations are as well as what she values and what we can offer to her that will be in line with those things.


Ask yourself, what expectations does your target client have for the value of the product you are offering? If I choose to purchase my clothes at Siren in Des Moines I know I can walk into the shop and they will know my name. If I tell them what sort of event I am going to they are going to bring outfits to me in my personalized fitting room. My name will be written on the chalkboard that hangs on the door.  Inside the dressing room will be bottled water and chocolate. They will put together accessories for me, recommend a shoe style and continue to use my name throughout the shopping experience. When I’m leaving, everything is packaged nicely. I will spend much more than I would at somewhere like Kohls, but I have an expectation of getting extra value for what I spend, right down to the distinctive packaging Siren uses that adds pleasure to my shopping experience.


Whenever I think about packaging, I remember going to the shopping district of downtown Chicago and seeing all the girls walking down the street carrying a little red bag because they went to the American Girl store for a doll. When I saw the American Girl store’s distinctive red bag, I thought about the whole experience of taking your daughter to Chicago to get an American Girl doll and having a tea party in the store, having their dolls hair done and how different that experience is compared to going to a get a baby doll at Target. There is nothing wrong with shopping at Target - I love Target!  But, if I wanted to create a memory with my daughter along with the purchase of the doll, I'm going to go to American Girl, pay 5 times as much, and be happy about it!


Which experience are you giving your client? What expectations does she have for the experience she will have with your business? How does your business and your product meet the needs of your target client?


If you are stymied on how to answer some of these questions, look to yourself.

What businesses do you return to over and over again?

Who are you loyal to?

What are these businesses or services doing to earn your loyalty?

Do they remember your name?2

Do they make specific suggestions that you believe are just for you?

Do they say thank you in a special way?

Do they take care of you after the purchase with exceptional customer service?


An example of studying customer care is my experience with my son’s pediatric dentist. The dentist is great, but it’s the people and things he’s surrounded himself with that make us return each time. When Jaxon walks in the door, they know his name and ask him questions about the sports he’s playing or about school. They don’t just ask about school, however. They ask how the 5th grade is, or call his teacher by name. Jaxon gets to play video games while getting his teeth cleaned and worked on, so he loves going to the dentist! He always leaves with a little surprise and lots of smiles and hugs. They make him feel special, and that makes me happy! Because of the way Jaxon is treated at his dentist, there is no way that I could ever take him anywhere else!


What lessons have I learned from Jaxon’s dentist? Well, I am a businessperson and I know that the hygienists and assistants at the dentist office probably do not remember Jaxon’s name, let alone his best friends name, or his dog’s name. This tells me that after every visit, they are logging in information about Jaxon, documenting the things that are important to him, and then taking the time to read and review those things before he comes in. What a great practice!


Jaxon gets to do something that he likes to do while having a service provided that is not so fun. I won’t say I’ve never heard a child cry there, but there is plenty around to distract them and occupy their hands and minds if a child does get upset.


How can we make our clients feel just as special? I want to make sure that moms leave my studio knowing how much I care about them and their babies and children. Think about the things that you can do, things that you’ve learned from other businesses around you. Meet your clients’ expectation of value with customer care and an exceptional experience. Keep careful records on your clients so that you can not only call them by name, but also remember little things that are important to them, as well as the milestones. After every contact with the client, write thank you notes. Do this all along the span of working with your client. Have mommy gift bags for new mommies, or a gift for the new baby, and don’t leave dad out of the pampering. Do something extra as a surprise for a nice order. Take the time to get to know your clients and their tastes. Ask about their homes and their décor and help them design their space beautifully. Thank them for referrals with a special gift or portrait credit. Offer extra services like going to their home to show them their images, or going back to their home to hang their portraits for them.


What is happening in my client’s life? Do those events offer any windows of opportunity such as marriage, a new baby, children hitting birthdays, a completed family, tweens, a high school senior, last family portrait before an addition to the family or wedding anniversary.





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Lori is the owner of Photo Talk Forum and they are having a HUGE holiday celebration this week! Head on over to the blog to participate in the 12 Days of Gifting. We even have a blog post over there to inspire you to simplify your portrait sales. Also, be on the lookout for a giveaway from The Modern Collective during their celebration!

Our 2012 Holiday Card // Happy Holidays from The Modern Collective


We received a few emails asking to see our personal holiday card this year. With a little convincing we decided to share! So we took a few photos, threw them in a layout, and here it is.... OUR 2012 HOLIDAY CARD!


Happy Holidays from us to you and thank you for your business in 2012! May 2013 bless each and every one of you!


 P.S. Don't forget to check out the contest at the bottom of this post! 



But wait.... Did you see this fun contest? $100 shop credit to theMC shop is up for grabs! Click the image below for more details!

Creating Awesomeness with the MC templates! // See what Jen created!


We always love getting emails from all of you telling us how much you love our templates! It seriously makes our day every time we get one of those happy emails in our inbox! What makes it even better is when you include photos! Even if it is just one or two. When we received a whole set of product images from Jen of Daily Life Photography, we almost did a happy dance in the office! Here's what Jen shared with us as well as what she had to say about her MC templates!

What Jen had to say //

"I love your stuff. I'm just starting out, so I really appreciate not having to create all of this myself. I'd never be able to do it. Thanks again for the great templates. Keep them coming. "


Oh, and just so you know - Jen received a $50 shop credit for sharing her products. Send us photos of your products created with theMC templates and we will send you a credit too!

Jen's custom senior marketing pieces created with elements from The Senior Model How-To Marketing Set //

I love how she placed her logo in the middle placeholder of the rep card below! Great idea!

The elements all together! Such a great cohesive look to present to her clients! Although she mixed things up a little bit from the original templates, she kept the look consistent throughout all parts of her marketing! Doesn't it look fantastic?

Thanks again for sharing, Jen!


Product Spotlight // Call Me Harper Birth Announcement


This product spotlight was prompted after receiving an email from Jodi Wilson of JW Photography ( She shared with us a birth announcement that she designed for her client using theModern Collective Call Me Harper Birth Announcement template! Isn't it adorable?!


The Call Me Harper template works great for those warm toned newborn images like Jodi's or even with very modern and simple black and whites! It's a favorite for all of those stylish little newborn boys! Find more info about this card template here.


Thanks for sharing Jodi! We love what you did! Do you have photos of finished products using the Modern Collective templates? Email them to for a chance to be featured on theMC blog!


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Purchase the Call Me Harper Birth Announcement template:


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Look what Jen did! | A Custom Modern Collective Template


The wonderfully talented Jennifer Nace, owner of Jennifer Nace Photography, shared this birth announcment  with us that she recently design for a client using our Chalk Me Up Birth Announcementtemplate! Jen is a rockstar of newborn photography + we were so excited to see one of our templates looking so good! Thanks for sharing Jen!


Do you have examples of products you have created using one of The Modern Collective's templates? Send them to us at!


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Are you looking for really fun newborn props? Check out Jen's site, Couture Props! She has a ton of cute stuff on there!!


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Purchase the Chalk Me Up Birth Announcement:


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