sign in // Cart (0) $0.00 USD
the mc blog

HELLO FRIENDS!

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.

I have a confession... // A Look Inside The Modern Collective Design Process

June 18, 2013   //   POSTED IN: INSPIRATION, PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS, theMC NEWS

I, Adam, have a confession to make... it's messy, it's a bit dirty, and it's not my finest quality but today I'm sharing it with all of you. So here it goes..... 

 

I am a packrat! Now, hold on a second. I'm not to the stage of being featured on TLC's show about hoarders or to the point where I need an intervention! I just like my stuff and I struggle with parting with some things from time to time. Especially things that I know could be useful in the future, and for once my inability to throw things away actually worked in my favor. Let me explain! :)

 

It all goes back to my 9th Grade Art Class. Our assignment was to make a layered "tape" painting. Although the painting as a whole was a horrendous mess, certain areas had a lot of potential! Many opportunities came to throw this painting away over the past few years, but I just couldn't part with it. The painting landed on a shelf collecting dust... that is until the other week!

 

While flipping through the mail, a new GAP flier caught my eye. The paint styled text sparked my creativity and I instantly had the perfect plan for a new template design! It was the perfect project to incorporate my 9th grade art! I went to work, combining my old "hoarded" painting with a little digital magic and TAH DAH the Modern Artistry 4x8 Accordion Book was born! From 2004 to 2013, this template design has been a work in progress! I'm so glad I didn't throw that painting away!

 

Here's a look at how it all came together! 

 

Want to see more photos of the Modern Artistry Accordion Book? View it IN THE SHOP.

Creating Stylized Text In Photoshop // Tip Tuesday

June 04, 2013   //   POSTED IN: INSPIRATION, Photog Quick Tips, PHOTOGRAPHY RESOURCES, Tip Tuesday

 

 

font used in this demo // Nevis

 

SEE THIS TYPE DESIGN USED IN THESE MODERN COLLECTIVE TEMPLATES //Sean 5x7 Grad Card Template

Love S-Truck Newborn Wall Art

 

 

Want to see more Tip Tuesday posts? CLICK HERE

 

Grad Announcement for Senior Guys // Product Spotlight

April 26, 2013   //   POSTED IN: INSPIRATION, PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS

Last week we featured two of our favorite grad card designs for the senior girls. We thought it wasn't fair to leave the guys out, so today we are featuring Liam + Sean, two of the senior grad card templates from the 2013 Grad Card Collection

 

These two designs are modern, masculine, and filled with plenty of style for those senior guys that want something different! Plus, these designs will make their mom happy too! We all know that is who we really are trying to impress!

 

Like all templates in The Modern Collective Shop, designing with these grad card templates is as easy as dragging and dropping your images and changing the text to match your client's party details! Quick, easy, and DONE!  

Featured Templates:  Liam 5x7 Flat Grad Card Design  //  Sean 5x7 Flat Grad Card Design

Design Trend // Gold Foil - Is it here to stay?

April 17, 2013   //   POSTED IN: INSPIRATION, PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS

We've been seeing gold foil ALL OVER lately! It seems to be all the rage on design blogs. We've even spotted it on clothing and housewares in our most recent trip to Target. (oh Target.... how we love you!) Gold foil is luxurious, it's sexy, it's modern, and it's a little funky too! No wonder it's so popular! Below are a few of our favorite gold foil finds on the internet!

SOURCES:  | 1 | Drop It Modern  | 2 | Anagrama  | 3 | Ben Sherman   | 4 | Lara Casey Shop

 

We've been inspired and thought we better join the fun and use the new gold foil love on a few of our products here at The Modern Collective! Of course, in our Modern Collective fashion, we simplified the trend and incorporated the gold foil in two of our 2013 Grad Card designs! The Zoey and Taylor grad announcements are oh so trendy! :)

 

So, what do you think... is gold foil here to stay?

Template Remix // A Creative Use For Your New Template

April 10, 2013   //   POSTED IN: INSPIRATION, Photog Quick Tips, PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS, TEMPLATE HOW TO

We design all of our templates to be easy to use for customers who don't have a lot of Photoshop knowledge, but our templates are completely layered for those customers who want to jump in and pick the template apart. Providing a layered PSD gives our customers the flexibility to rework, change up, and customize the templates for their needs. Today we are featuring a creative use for the I'm New Here Birth Announcement Template. Although the template itself isn't changed a whole lot, the card is being used for a unique purpose.

 

Our client came to us looking for a birthday invite for a joint party for her son and daughter. We needed something that was gender neutral and a design that coordinated with party's farm theme. Our client requested to have a lot of images on the invite as well. 

 

With these requests in mind we went to work and decided the I'm New Here Birth Announcment was the perfect fit for the client's needs. The modern wood texture blended well with the farm theme and the design was neutral enough to showcase the photos of her children. We changed up the text and added a little "see y'all there" farm talk. With that we had an invite design that our client loved! With a simple change, we had a whole new use for a cute and versatile birth announcement template! 

 

CARD DESIGN  //  CUSTOMIZED (farm birthday party invite)

 

CARD DESIGN  //  BEFORE (as sold in the shop):

  

- - - - 

Click the link below for more info about the I'm New Here Birth Announcement design

 

Visit The Shop

Valentine Freebies Just for You! // theMC Freebie Share

January 11, 2013   //   POSTED IN: FREEBIES, INSPIRATION, PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS

 

Hello friends! We have two new freebies available for a limited time over on the facebook page! Head on over there before the valentine candy is gone and you are left with just the tin foil wrappers and those nasty chocolate covered cherrys.

 

Oh Sorry. Here's the link:  www.facebook.com/themoderncollective

Identify Your Target Client with Lori Nordstrom // Guest Post

December 14, 2012   //   POSTED IN: FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER, INSPIRATION, PHOTOGRAPHY RESOURCES

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!!

- - -

 

 

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.

 

To download your own TARGET MARKET WORKSHEET and BONUS HOLIDAY FACEBOOK TIMELINE TEMPLATE, click here: http://bit.ly/FREEGiftfromPhotoTalkForum.

 

 

- - -

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

December 11, 2012   //   POSTED IN: FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER, INSPIRATION, PHOTOGRAPHY RESOURCES

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!

Show Us Your Holiday Cards! // Instagram Giveaway

December 10, 2012   //   POSTED IN: CONTEST, INSPIRATION, SALE

Tomorrow we will be posting our very own holiday card. Yes, the one we sent out to our friends, family, and studio clients! As we were taking photos of our cards to share with all of you, we thought it would be a lot of fun to see all of YOUR holiday cards too!!  We also happened to create our very own Instagram page for theMC yesterday so we decided there was only one good way to see your holiday cards and introduce you to our new little world on instagram..... AN INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY!

 

So here are the details! We hope you play along because a $100 shop credit to The Modern Collective is up for grabs!

 

So, as you can see it is really easy to enter! Just follow these steps!

 

STEP 1: Follow The Modern Collective on instagram: @themoderncollective

STEP 2: Take a photo of your holiday cards (finished cards or take some behind the scenes shots of your design in progress) and post it to your personal instagram

STEP 2: When posting, use the hashtag #themccardshare and tag us @themoderncollective.

 

We will choose one lucky winner at random to with the big $100 shop credit. Entries must be posted by 12/20/2012. Winner will be announced on 12/21/2012! PLEASE NOTE: only instagram users with public profiles will be entered into the contest. If your profile is set to private, we will not be able to see your photo entry. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administrated by facebook, instagram, twitter, or pinterest.

 

 

Don't have a holiday card designed yet? We can help with that too! Head on over to The Modern Collective Shop and enjoy 15% off any holiday template now through 12/21 when you use code INSTAGRAM at checkout. That should make things easier!

There is nothing wrong with dreaming // our dream studio

July 02, 2012   //   POSTED IN: INSPIRATION

This blog post isn't like the posts we normally write here on The Modern Collective Blog, but heck we are in a dreaming mood today! Do you ever catch yourself thinking of what your dream studio would be like? The fixtures, the building, the furniture, and the shooting space... Well, I was sick of dreaming and thought it would be fun to pull my virtual dream studio together and get it out on paper! Digital blog "paper" that is... I was also pushed to pull this post together for a little contest that Barn Light Electric is hosting! I LOVE their lights and a chance at a $1000 gift card splurge on them really caught my eye!

 

So, here is my dream studio / office? What would your dream space include?

 
 
 

Sources // 1: Downsizemyspace.com 2: Barn Light Electric 3: Design Sponge 4: Fab.com 5: Bryant Ross 6: Barn Light Electric 7: Just About Home 8: Barn Light Electric 9: Gilt

 

Want to enter Barn Light Electric's contest too? You can see all the rules and enter by clicking here.

© 2011–2019 The Modern Collective | * site by Aeolidia *