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Prints For Sale! by Andrea Beça

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You asked, and I listened!

I’m thrilled to share that prints are now available for purchase, directly through this very website.

A number of months ago, you all started responding to my social media posts asking about prints. Honestly, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but I wasn’t sure if the demand was there. Turns out, it is! I am so grateful - and honoured - that you love my work enough to want to hang it on your walls.

Let’s dig into some details / frequently asked questions!

What type of paper are your photos printed on?

All of my work is printed on fine art quality photo paper for consistent tone, quality colour, and long-lasting work!

Can I order a canvas print of your work? How about something already framed?

You sure can! Get in touch with me and we can create a fully custom order for you to suit your space and aesthetic tastes!

What if a want a print of a photo that’s not listed as “for sale”?

I’ve included some of what I consider to be my “most printable” works - and some of my most requested works - in the print gallery. But the reality is that you can order a print of virtually any photo I’ve shot, as long as it’s not something I shot for a client of mine. If you see something in either my photography portfolio or on my Instagram that you’re keen to have a print of, drop me a line and we can discuss. If it’s available, we’ll do a custom order!

Can I do local pick-up instead of paying for shipping?

Yes! Just select “local pick-up” when you’re checking out. I’ll get in touch and we’ll make a plan.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Oh, and since I’m so excited about this new offering, I’ve got a promo code for you! If you order 2 or more prints, use the code PRINTS2018 at checkout for 15% off your order! This promotion is only valid for the next two weeks, so don’t miss out.

Thanks again for all of your love and support. It truly means the world to me!

Monthly Photo & Video Subscriptions, A.K.A. Content for Days (and Days, and Days)! by Andrea Beça

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We've all heard it: Content is King/Queen - that is, it's everything nowadays. Long gone are the days where having a website was all a business needed to find an audience. Now we need to have a website in addition to a strong, authentic social media presence. You need to show your audience who you are, what you believe in, what you have to offer, and how your products or services can change the world. 

And let's face it, content is a lot of work. 

I think every business owner/social media manager has felt the struggle of creating new content, and staying on top of it. We've all had those, "Oh, shit!" moments when we realize it's been too long since we posted something new, or we're not sure what to post, or we were too busy doing the things to capture the things we did, and now the opportunity is lost, or we have content, but it just doesn't fit the aesthetic or vibe of the accounts we need to post to.

This is why I'm so, SO excited to share my new monthly subscription packages with you all. 

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Now, if you know me at all, you know how passionate I am about small and local businesses, and how much I love to support my fellow entrepreneurs. I've had a podcast - That's So Maven! - for two years that is centred on that very subject! (Which you can check out here if you haven't yet!)

The thing that excites me so much about these new monthly subscriptions is that in addition to doing what I love, which I am so damn grateful I get to do every day, I get to help local businesses and organizations thrive and grow on social media by providing them with beautiful, consistent content. 

When you become one of my monthly subscription clients, you're never going to find yourself freaking out about what to post on social media, or throwing together a rushed, impromptu photo shoot with your staff so you have something to put on your website, or in your next e-newsletter again. Instead, you'll have a library of gorgeous photos and video ready to share whenever you want. And remember, photo and video content doesn't have one life - it's content you can revive again and again over time, across all platforms. 

Basically, you're gonna be ready to take over the world.

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Let's dig into the details!

What are the monthly subscription packages?

So glad you asked! There are 3 different packages to choose from. They are:

A. Photography (only 10 spots available)

  • 1 photo shoot per month (2hrs)
  • 35 edited photos (1 a day for social media, extras for special promo, blogs, website, etc.)
  • As many locations/outfits/focuses as we can fit in
  • Minimum 3-month commitment

$325/month (+GST)

B. Video (only 5 spots available)

  • 1 shoot per month (4-5 hrs)
  • 4 social media videos (elevated vlog style, formatted and optimized for social media) - things like how tos, Q&As, mini promos work well
  • Minimum 3-month commitment

$1000/month (+GST)

C. Photo & Video Combo (only 3 spots available)

  • Both packages combined to fully rock social media marketing
  • Minimum 3-month commitment

$1200/month (+GST)

What if I'm not sure what content I want/need?

That's what I'm here for! I've been a filmmaker for almost a decade, a photographer for well over a decade, and I worked in social media for 8 years. I know how to create content that will capture your audience's attention. When you sign up for a monthly subscription, we'll work together to make sure you're getting the content you need, and that it's gonna work for you. I want you to come in to each monthly shoot feeling excited and ready to have fun, because that's what's going to shine through in the final photos and video!

Where can I see examples of your work?

You can check out the video and photography sections of my website, where I have a selection of work available for your viewing pleasure (and I'm always updating it, too)!

I'm not in Edmonton. Can we still work together?

You bet! These subscriptions are open to folks in Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, and anywhere in between. If you're outside of Edmonton, there's an additional travel fee of $100/month. 

Are you from somewhere even further away but eager to work together? Drop me a line. I'm ready to chat.

I want to become a monthly subscriber! How do I get started?

Get in touch with me! I've got a contract ready to go, and I'm excited to book our first session!

Thank you so much for being here, and if you're as excited about this new offering as I am, do me a favour and share it with the world! I am so grateful for the support.

"Can I pick your brain about..." / On Coffee and Mentorship by Andrea Beça

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Freelancers and coffee - they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Once you go freelance, a lot of your life revolves around coffee, whether you're drinking lots of it to stay fuelled for late nights, spending your work days at various coffee shops to get out of the house, or meeting with clients over a cup of coffee to get business done. 

But somewhere along the line, coffee became misconstrued as a form of payment for freelancers, too. Suddenly, everyone wants to take you for a cup of coffee so that they can "pick your brain" or "get some help" with something - the thing you've made your career. 

It's a tough position to be in, because as freelancers, we're always trying to stay open to new connections and networking that could lead to potential work. But at the same time, we can't afford to spend our lives going out for coffees and giving away free information to people who have no intention of becoming our clients, but require a couple hours of professional consultation and guidance.

Now, if you're reading this and thinking it sounds extreme to say, "spend our lives," I can tell you this: in my own experience as a freelancer who works in multiple media from writing to filmmaking to podcasting and formerly social media, I receive a minimum of two messages a week requesting my knowledge in exchange for coffee. Not too long ago, I received six requests in a single week. On average, I'd say I get 3-4 messages a week from people who want to, "pick my brain."

Do I think all of the folks requesting my time and knowledge are malicious demon-people trying to steal my livelihood away from me? Of course not. And for a long time - almost three years, to be precise - I tried my hardest, often juggled my schedule around, and bent over backwards to say yes to as many of those requests as I could. 

Then I realized I was being a big 'ol hypocrite. A big ol' tired and sometimes frustrated hypocrite. I was always advising my friends and colleagues to make sure they were charging people for their time and knowledge, and always making sure that - aside from volunteer projects where all folks were on the same page about donating their time to something - I was compensating anyone who did any kind of work for me. 

I've learned so much over my last three years of full-time self-employment. So much. One of the most important things I've learned is that client education is a HUGE part of being an entrepreneur. We don't know what we don't know. Nobody does - including me when I am in the role of client rather than freelancer. 

I think there's a much larger conversation to have here about how the arts and creative careers are regarded in the grand scheme of things, but I don't have the time (ha!) or energy to go down that road right now.

Right now, what I want to do is send a love letter to all my fellow freelancers. I see you all. I have deep respect for the time, money, energy, passion, blood, sweat, tears, and years y'all have put into refining your unique skills and crafts. I want to encourage you to stand behind the rates you charge and know that your work is valuable. And I want to give you permission (if you need the nudge) to say no to any project or meeting that doesn't feel like it's in alignment, whatever that means for you.

And I want to reiterate that I don't think anyone who asks a freelancer for free time or free work is a "bad" person. I'm hoping that instead, this blog post will open up the conversation about how we approach and treat freelancers. The next time you start writing an email or a DM to a freelancer to ask them to teach you about something or help you with something over coffee, consider this: would you take your doctor for coffee to discuss your weird mole? Would you invite your personal trainer to coffee to walk you through a workout routine real quick? Would you ask your financial advisor or lawyer to coffee to pick their brain about your next investment, or to help you draft your will?

(Well, you might try, but I can tell you that unless there are some very special circumstances at play - i.e., your mom's your doctor - they're going to say no.)

My name is Andrea Beça. I have a BA in English and Creative Writing and a Master's in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. I have over 10 years of experience as a professional writer, director, and producer, almost 7 years of experience as a filmmaker and editor, and almost 3 years of experience as a podcaster. Storytelling is my life. Creating community is one of my passions. And I would be absolutely thrilled to go for coffee with you to share my knowledge and experience and guide you towards your next project. Please get in touch with me for a customized quote, or visit the Workshops, Training, & Mentorship page for my rates.

What's in Store for 2018? by Andrea Beça

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Happy New Year, All!

To be honest, it's really hard to believe we're already almost a full week into 2018. The last year has flown by - as they always do, I suppose. 

I want to start out by saying thank you to all of my 2017 clients. I had the opportunity to work on such an amazing variety of projects, from teaming up with Calgary-based company KNG Capital for Tiger Cage...

...to flying out to Vancouver for a week to be a production assistant on upcoming Netflix film, Game Over, Man.

I also won funding from Telus STORYHIVE to make a webseries pilot of Stump Kitchen: Cooking For the Heart

And that's just a small sampling from an amazing year. 

So, what's in store for 2018?

You may have noticed that I relaunched my website - and business - on January 1st. If you take a look through my services offered, you'll notice some significant changes, namely that I have streamlined my business and focused in on filmmaking, photography, and storytelling education.

My focus for 2018 is completely set on helping others share their story with the world, whether that's through creating engaging, effective video content, professional story consulting, or training and workshops. 

What is Story Consulting?

You've got an amazing business/brand/organization/event, but what's the best way to actually reach your audience and share it with them? 

In a story consulting session, we'll sit down and talk about your business, your audience, and the best way to reach them. It's 2018 and the amount of channels and platforms available to businesses is overwhelming. Do you need to be on Instagram? Would a podcast increase your sales? Or should you focus on a YouTube channel?

I'll help you figure it out, form a plan, and connect you with the people who can make it happen.

Training & Workshops

This is something I've been asked for a lot over the last two years, and I'm making it happen in 2018!

Not ready to hire a professional filmmaker, but eager to creative strong video content? Join my upcoming workshop, Ace Your DIY Video Content & Discoverability, on Saturday, February 3 at Homestead Coworking. 

During this three-hour workshop, we'll tackle:

  • Choosing the right camera
  • Lighting and audio
  • Composition and editing
  • Social media strategy for sharing video
  • Tricks for improving discoverability

And more.

Early bird pricing is live from now until January 19, so snap up a ticket while you can! 

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And of course, I have a lot of very exciting film projects coming up this year, so stay tuned to hear more about those - and to watch them!

That's all for today, folks! I am beyond grateful to be able to do what I love every single day, and I am genuinely beside myself with excitement and anticipation for this year. 

If you love this, do me a favour and click 'Share' below to help me spread the word. And as always, if you're ready to work together or you have any questions about anything mentioned above, you know where to find me!

Three Reasons You Need Video in Your Digital Marketing Strategy by Andrea Beça

I know I've said it before, but I'm saying it again: if your business or organization doesn't have video in its digital marketing strategy yet, you're missing out on a significant opportunity. 

Something I get asked a lot, especially when I'm presenting about social media and storytelling, is, "Why video?"

What makes video so special?

Here are three reasons you need video in your digital marketing strategy, stat.

1. It's engaging.

As a lifelong writer with two degrees in the field, I hate to say it, but words take more time and effort than video. You can convey to your audience in a 90-second video what may take you a short article to explain in words. And you can grab someone's attention much quicker with a strong visual than you can with a headline. (Especially now that we're in the age of brutal clickbait titles for everything.)

The digital space is a busy one. It's teeming with words and ads and info. Getting your story across in a succinct, visually appealing, emotionally gripping way (whether the emotion is excitement, fear, anticipation, romance, etc.) is going to do you good.

2. It's authentic.

Did I mention the digital world is teeming with words? It's also teeming with highly curated, often disingenuous personas that belong to both people and brands. And while yes, you can decorate a fancy set and make your business (or life) seem more sumptuous than it is, it's pretty difficult to fake personality if you're not a highly experienced actor.

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Video is a great way for people to see you - eye to eye - get to know you, and connect with you. And in the age of social media, that face to face connection can be absolutely priceless. I think that the authenticity of that behind-the-scenes glimpse into a business, brand, or organization is what really captures people's attention - and hearts.

3. It's effective.

The bottom line is, videos works for you. Social media algorithms love it, and, as a matter of fact, favour it. And it's been proven again and again that it gets a lot more engagement than written words or even photography. (And keep in mind that these stats are on the rise...at a rapid pace.)

Ready to start creating killer video content to up your digital marketing game in 2018, but not sure where to start? Check out my Five Tips for Great Video Content. Before you panic, know this: you don't have to kick things off with a giant film production. Start with a goal, and then figure out what steps you need to take to crush it.

Ready to collaborate with a professional to achieve your video goals? Get in touch.

 

Thanks for reading! Love this article? Hit the "share" button below to spread the word.

Five Common Misconceptions About Video by Andrea Beça

Video content is master of the internet right now. It's eye-catching, engaging, and effective. (Well, when it's done right, it is.) But over the last couple years running my business, I've also discovered that there are many misconceptions about video that create barriers for people interested in harnessing its digital marketing power. 

So let's talk about five of the most common misconceptions I've encountered concerning video content:

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Photo by L Photography.

1. It's Untouchable / "I don't even know where to start."

I hear this a lot. "Oh, I love the videos __________ posts on their social media, but I have no clue how to make them." 

Anyone can develop video content. If you're feeling intimidated, start simple and try out Facebook Live. Get online, engage your audience, give them useful information pertaining to your business and explore how that impacts your reach and engagement. The more you experiment, the more you'll hone in on what works and doesn't work. You may discover a certain type of video your audience loves that surprises you (e.g., a live unboxing of new stock), and you may also discover that it's time to produce some polished, professional videos to build business. Your audience holds the gold: if you can find out what they want and provide it, you're set for success. So don't be afraid to ask them what they'd like to see from your business, brand, or organization.

2. Anyone Can Do It / "My friend just bought a camera - I don't need to hire a professional."

Notice that in the previous paragraph, I said, "anyone can develop video content," and not, "anyone can develop great video content" - meaning engaging, effective, and successful video content. Yes, you can absolutely get your friend to shoot your next video. But that doesn't mean it's going to be good. 

Do you always need to hire a professional? No. Should you usually hire a professional? Yes. Even if you don't have the budget to hire a professional to develop, shoot, and edit your video, you can hugely benefit from paying one for an hour of consulting to learn how to make the most of the equipment you have, how to improve composition, how to affordably record great audio, etc.

(Hint: I'm available for these types of consultation, as well as one-on-one and group training. So don't hesitate to get in touch.)

3. It's All About Equipment / "I can't create video content because I don't have an expensive camera, a production studio, etc."

I'm a professional filmmaker, and I'm telling you, equipment isn't everything. You can have tens of thousands of dollars' worth of the latest gear and still make crappy films and video. Or you can have an iPhone and a couple extra tools and make an award-winning film, like Tangerine

Filmmaking is a skill. Actually, it's many skills that work together to create a final product - from writing and pre-production to shooting to editing. When you hire a professional (whether it's an individual or a team), you're getting a lot more than an expensive camera. An expensive camera can't save someone who knows nothing about composition. And no equipment on the planet can save someone who has no idea how to tell a story. Again, if you're not ready for a full-fledged professionally made video, consider consultation if you need help, but don't let your brand of camera (or smartphone) stop you from getting started.

4. Length of Video = Length of Shoot / "It's only a 30-second ad - it should take 30 seconds to shoot, and it should be cheap."

This is something I encounter almost weekly. The quickest way for me to respond is, "You know how Super Bowl commercials are (in)famous for costing millions of dollars?" 

A video could be 30 seconds long and feature 10 different locations, hundreds of extras, and a ton of special effects. Consider the content before you start drawing conclusions about how much of a professional's time you'll need. You may not be making a Super Bowl commercial, but how many different locations are you envisioning? What types of props, costumes, and people are necessary? And don't forget, editing happens after your shoot, and can be the biggest job of all. 

Bring your ideas to a pro. They'll give you a quote. If it's out of your current budget, you can either start saving up, or ask them what's possible within your budget. Because there are always options, and a professional will always be ready to present those options to you if you're open to hearing them.

5. Professional Video is Too Expensive / "I can't afford to hire a professional for a single video."

I'm not going to sugar coat things for you all: professional video content is an investment. You're not going to get strong video content for $100. That being said, if you're working with a professional, part of the process should be making sure that you're getting the right type of video, and that the content of it will serve you for a desired time period. I have clients who have been using their company profile videos for over a year already, and those videos are still bringing them a steady stream of new business. Would your marketing budget for a couple years be $100? I sure hope not! 

The best type of feedback to get from a client! Watch Andrea's video   here  .

The best type of feedback to get from a client! Watch Andrea's video here.

What I'm saying here is this: like many, many other things, professional video is something that requires an upfront investment before you start seeing a return on that investment (though once it's released, that return can happen very quickly). And yes, if you're a small business, brand, or organization, you may need to save up before you can make your first one. But having content that lives for years, tells your story in a beautiful and effective way, and (in a sense) works for you to attract new business is absolutely worth it.

Ready to create amazing video content? Looking for consultation or training? You know where to find me.

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Officially Unleashing My Inner Photographer (Finally) by Andrea Beça

A perhaps little known fact about me (though not if you follow me on Instagram): I love photography. When I was a teen, my mom and brother taught me how to use an SLR (yes, in the days of yore, when film was the thing), and as soon as I had saved up enough money, I bought myself a DSLR (some time had passed) in preparation for a huge solo trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland. 

I packed a film camera too - for good measure - and returned from a month of travels with over 35 rolls of film and thousands of digital photos. I haven't stopped taking photos since.

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Photography is a huge part of my professional life, too. Beyond taking photos to feature on my own website and social media, I do a ton of portrait and detail photography for my podcast, That's So Maven! Taking photos so regularly for the podcast (and getting asked by many of the guests if I'm up for hire) has really inspired me to take the leap and start offering photography services to my clients

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Okay, so truth be told, it's not much of a leap, per se. I know there are a lot of people in my life who are going to read this and say, "finally!!" But it's a new change and I'm very excited for it. 

Want to see more? Visit my new photography portfolio (I'll keep this one updated and fresh just like I do with my video portfolio) and if you're ready to request a quote or book a session, drop me a line so that we can schedule it in. 

If you dig my work, click below to share this post and help me spread the word!