Thursday, February 9, 2012

Photographer Interview with Lawrence Chan of Tofurious

I didn't think Lawrence Chan of Tofurious would respond to my inquiry requesting an interview.
Why would he?
I mean, he is busy, busy, busy.
(And pretty much famous in the photography industry.)
He responded immediately.
I love his blog and how he gives practical advice.
I love that he helps people!
{Taken in Florence}
Tofurious is a genius name, isn't it?
 Creative and perfect!
He makes me laugh all the time.
He makes me think about why and how I do things.
If you don't know him, definitely check out his advice. He can help your business grow. 
You will love his witty posts and his travels all over the world. 

You are a Market Strategist for smart photographers. Are there a lot of Market Strategists for photographers? Are you rare?
Marketing is subjective. By definition, anyone could be a marketing strategist for his or her own companies. [Insert winky face]. 
What is market strategy?
Strategy defines the actionable tactics. The goal drives everything.

What made you start this business?
 I created Tofurious to document the many questions people ask regarding marketing. 

{Wedding Style Magazine Fall Winter 2011 Editorial Shoot behind-the-scenes by Love and Lemonade}

In your About Me section on your blog you are wearing a fashionable shirt with a kitten and lightening bolts. Do you wear that shirt regularly? 
As often as possible. 

Lawrence has designed and created some Wordpress Blog Layouts for photographers. Here is a video of him sharing about one. The information he shares in this video is helpful even if you do not utilize Wordpress for your website. 

You live in California. Do you know all of the up and coming as well as the well established photographers in your area?
I’m quite hermetic, so I know only know of the photographers whom I’ve had the distinct pleasure of meeting during conventions. 

When a photographer is just beginning their business, what one tip would you share that you think is often overlooked?
Define your goals and strategies before committing to actionable tactics.
When did you decide to write a book
An online article or blog post has a short attention span. A book allows writers to elaborate on concepts in great depth. Wiley Press approached me during 2010 WPPI, so it worked out nicely. 
Tofurious is going to be at WPPI again this year, so if you are going, you will definitely want to take his class. Here is a video he made about WPPI. It made me laugh like crazy.

What was the most difficult thing you encountered in your book writing process.

{Wedding Style Magazine Fall/ Winter 2011
Black and white decor inspired by Hermes featuring a mirrored tabletop with monochromatic centerpieces surrounded by Pasha chairs.}

Organizing a lot of ideas into a nice flow.

 You are married to Julie. Does she like taking pictures? Does she like when you take her picture?
Julie and I are not married, although it seems so. She disfavors being behind the lens, but does not shy away from an opportunity to smile for me. 
You speak extensively. How do you decide which speaking engagements you accept?
I’m a proponent of sharing knowledge, but I can only do it when my schedule fits. 
What was your favorite speaking engagement of 2011?
Image Explorations in Vancouver was pretty neat. 

Do you like flying?
Only in my imagination. 
You love books and learning. Can you share your favorite book of the year?
I do love reading books. My favorite book for this year is Water for Elephants. 
In 5 years, how do you hope your business has grown?
I hope to be able to continue doing what I love doing – sharing ideas on my blog.
 Do you have a mentor?
 The closest to someone of whom I regard with great reverence would be Julie. She sees what I do not see. 

Lawrence is a huge promoter of valuing yourself and your services. I love this video he shared.

You love food. Tell us about the most delicious meal you had during the month of December. Are you a good cook?
I’m a decent cook since most of my entrees are vegetarian. How hard can it be to cook vegetables?
December’s ambrosia would be food from Guu – a Vancouver based restaurant. I had some delightful Izakaya. 
Have you ever met any of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or Orange County?

How do you stay humble when you are in a field where many aspiring photographers look up to you?
We all have different strengths. I’m terrible at decorating. If a room’s d├ęcor was my discretion, it might look like a rainbow exploded if I’m unlucky.
You are going to love this guy! Trust me!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions Lawrence. Much appreciated.


Pam D said...

Becky, I really think this is my favorite, FAVORITE interview EVER. I am going right now to bookmark Lawrence's site. I might be just a little mad at you for not reaching through the computer, grabbing me by the lapels, and shaking me for not already following him. Lawrence, your photography is amazing, your business sense and ability to impart it great, but most of all I love your sense of humor! And you and I share a lack of decorating sense. "Exploded Rainbow" really ought to be a new and popular style; I bet you could push it to the top of the list in no time if you set your mind to it! And yes.. you ARE 1 Million% awesomeness! Love that kitten shirt, btw...

Lisa said...

Of course he do the interview with you... you are fabulous!!! I love the interview and I can't wait to check him out! AFTER SCHOOL ~ my kids need me to do stupid math. ;)

Maddy said...

I love Tofurious and I anxiously await the emails announcing the new post is up on the blog. I love that he dishes tons of advice and does so in such an easy way to comprehend all the marketing mumbo jumbo :P

jennykate77 said...

His photos are SOOOOOOO cool!! I LOVE the "leafing" pictures...espresso w/ the designs in the froth. I know how to do that.

I also really love the Pike Place Market picture. I've been there! I adore Seattle and can't wait to go back. I kinda think I was meant to live there...if ALL my family wasn't in Oklahoma. *sigh* I have a really cool picture I took while I was there...similar angle/location. I blew it up to an 11x17 and framed it for my kitchen.

Hope you're having a great week!! ♥

Formerly known as Frau said...

Awesome his pictures and his humor! Amazing talent!

Laura said...

I love this post, Becky! I bought Lawrence's book and read it in two days. There is SO much information in there, my mind almost exploded. He is hilarious too. xx!

April said...

Now, that's a first class interview, if I have to say so myself! Love his beautiful work and can't wait to meet him!

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

What a great perspective for an interview!

I'm still laughing about 1 million% awesomeness.

Casey said...

I just bought his online guide a few months ago and love it!! Has really helped narrow my focus on pricing.

Great interview!

the Lola Letters said...

Loved this!

And anyone wearing a lightning bolt/kitten/keyboard T-shirt is an A+ in my book!

Great interview Becks!

Teri M said...

What a great photographer and person! Love love love his pictures!!

adrienne said...

My favorite photos were the dog with shades and the market from Seattle. Jeff went there for a training and came back all excited trying to explain how cool it was. So seeing it made me smile. :)

I appreciated the blog theme video. I currently use another theme, but I liked some of the marketing tips he shared. Particularly the one about three clicks. I'm off to make sure my blog has all the information in less than three clicks!

And he's so right about being paralyzed by too many choices. I've seen that happen when I offer too many proofs during an ordering session. I'm still working on that one. :)

Becca said...

What a great interview!! Thanks for sharing fiend :-) oh and I just LOVE Lawrence's landscapes -- so gorgeous!!

carissa at lowercase letters said...

whoa, what cool photos. california is my home and now i live 3,000 miles away... so seeing a picture of my beloved See's candy is almost too much to handle. ; )

Briana said...

This is awesome, I'm definitely going to have to check out Lawrence's site and books :)

Sarah Manuel-Johnson said...

Another great interview!! Looking forward to looking up Tofurious!! He seems like a cool dude ;)

Heather Wood Photography said...

Becky! I LOVE LOVE LOVE HIM!!! I am so glad you had the chance to interview him! How wonderful!
I follow his every post! He is fabulous!!!

Sarah King said...

Great interview!! I have really enjoyed getting his emails and now learning more about him on your blog...SUPER AWESOME!!

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

Such a wonderful interview! I love people that are so open and willing to share their knowledge with others. That photo of Alaska is making want to pack my bags and move! It is stunning. And that giant gorgeous fall leaf... LOVE! :)

Wanda said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. Now I can't get this grin off my face!!

Photography by Lisa M said...

His work is amazing. Awesome interview Becky

Cecily R said...

Fabulous interview and I am so excited to start following him now!!

Buckeroomama said...

I love the name Tofurious --LOVE it!
His photos are wonderful and I especially love the variety of themes and style in them.

Great interview as usual, Becks! I love the questions you ask and I love how you get to know your interviewee a bit first, so your questions don't come across as empty, standard ones. That's what makes your interviews so fun to read. =)

Amy said...

What a fabulous interview. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

Elaine A. said...

Wow, such stunning images and I can tell from your interview that he has an amazing personality!! :-)

Mrs4444 said...

These photos are so fantastic, Becky; every single one. The interview was nice, too. Lawrence seems like a very likable guy :)

Tracy P. said...

Thanks so much for sharing, Lawrence! What a great spin on photography to spend this much time helping others. Looks like such good food for thought over there. Will check out the videos, and also head over to Tofurious!