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How to get a Great Professional Portrait: Tips by Top NYC Photographer Bob Krasner

If it’s time for a new professional portrait make it SUPERB 

This week’s video shows you how! I go on location with renowned NYC photographer Bob Krasner to learn from him what makes a great portrait. Watch how he works a miracle with this old bird — then grab his tips and work with your photographer to make your portrait FABULOUS!

​How do you make your professional portrait look marvellous? Even if you’re grey and overweight. When you look like this and your professional portrait looks like this, it’s time for a new one, even if you’re a little greyer and heavier than you’d like to be, because you know, the trend is not going to change on that anytime soon, so you might as well just get a grip and do it.

So, how do you get to a great professional portrait? How do you get to a portrait that shows you as someone other folks would want to get to know and engage with? That’s a problem we’re going to solve in today’s video, and I’m super excited because I called on my old friend and colleague, Bob Krasner. He’s our go-to photographer here at Camere, and he’s shot presidents, philanthropist, actors, musicians, and he’s been published in Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Town & Country. So, you know, doesn’t get much better than that.

Bob and I met in New York where he lives and works. The first step to a great portrait is getting out of the studio and going to a location that will give your portrait some more interest and tell more of a story about you.

Bob: To create a portrait you really want to show something in the person that says kind of who they are, and you have to make sure that you’ve have the basic’s, you have good lighting, you got to have a nice composition, you don’t want to have anything in the picture that doesn’t belong there, and you don’t want anything that distracts from the person. You want to make sure that the background either frames the person, or it has a nice, pleasing texture. But, it’s not so much in focus that it’s distracting from the person’s face.

Deb: I’m reminded of that picture you took of Demise. Demise works at Camare, she’s director of operations. You were in central park, and you would think that in central park you’d have some rolling vistas, but you took this incredible picture, you got here in a tunnel. It was the light behind her— the lighting on her face was extraordinary, but that wonderful circle, almost a halo around the back of her head, the shot is very interesting and what a beautiful portrait came out. It wasn’t what I would’ve expected when you said “meet me at central park” you know?

Bob: I’m going to agree with you that the picture did come up fabulous. That bad lighting in the picture can totally backfire on you if it’s not handled correctly. You want to make sure that the person is placed in such a way that it enhances the picture, it doesn’t distract.

Deb: I think it’s amazing how you get people to calm down in front of the camera.

Bob: You know, it’s a matter of getting people to trust you, because they have to feel like you know what you’re doing, first of all. I mean, the basic advice I would give to anybody who is having a portrait done in anyway, no matter who the photographer is, is they need to trust the photographer, because if they don’t trust the photographer, no matter how good the photographer is the pictures are going to be terrible, because the person is going to be twisted, or contorted, or they’re not going to let down that wall between them and the camera that you need to kind of break down to get a nice picture of somebody.

Deb: Okay, we’re off to do a photoshoot of me, and we have a wonderful assistant sage behind the camera who’s going to shoot some of it, and I’m really excited and kind of nervous, but Bob is going to call me down. We’re going up to the highline, and we’ll show you how that all works out.

The highline is an abandoned elevate railway that’s been transformed into New York’s most popular park. High above the street it offers unique vistas, great light, textures and backdrops. Add a great photographer and baby, you’re a star.

A quick word about glasses and transition lenses, if you wear them and you’re going to shoot your portrait outside, they’re going to turn into sunglasses. So, I went to my optometrist and got the same frames, they’re not filled yet, they will be filled for my prescription, but for the portrait they’re much clear obviously. So, you can see the difference. Okay, on to the portrait.

Today with the internet there’s so many uses for photography, and it’s important to know how your imaged will be used. One of my used would be for the banner art of my YouTube channel, and that means I need some space over my right hand should to accommodate text and design. So, be sure to think through how you will use your image and your portrait, and discuss that with your photographer before you set out on your shoot.

Oh my god, bob asked me to put my foot up this way, twist that way, lean towards the camera, and here’s why it’s really important to trust your photographer, because even though those kinds of poses may feel weird, they look great in camera. The one think about bob is that he feels relaxed, here we are in a super crowded park and it’s not a problem. Bob and I work in really high pressure and dangerous corporate shoes, and he’s always Mr. Calm and focused, and that’s so important when you have seconds to get this shot, and it’s really critical for a professional photographer. When your photographer is relaxed, so are you.

Even our assistant sage and had her moment in front of the camera, let’s watch how Bob gets comfortable, relaxed, and gets that shot.

And here are the results of my day in the park. Authoritative, friendly, a captain of industry. My grey hair and assets, my extra weight, are non-issue. I love, I’ll take it.

So, in a nutshell; trust your photographer, consider the clothes that you’re wearing, something or upside dark, you said. You said dark tones. Consider the location so it tells a story, and trust your photographer. So, if any of you are in New York call Bob, his link is below. Also, if you liked this video please subscribe and follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. And you can follow bob on Instagram, he’s got two wonderful Instagram Channels, and we’ll link them below too. Until next time, have a great business day.

The Power of Inflection Points in B2B Marketing Strategies

Hi There!

Today I’ll talk about THE POWER OF INFLECTION POINTS in B2B Marketing Strategies. Do your products and services answer your customer’s pains during their inflection points? I want to hear your thoughts!! Enjoy the video!

The power of the inflection point, hmm. An inflection point is the moment when your customer or your client experiences so much agony that they determine they need a solution, and hopefully, that solution is your product or service. That’s why it’s so important that you understand that inflection point.

Now, for consumers inflection points are fairly linear and easy to predict, fairly. For instance, graduating from high school and choosing the right college or right choice after high school, there are a huge number of decisions, little ones around that lifetime inflection point that require outside support, getting married, having a baby, an enormous number of businesses have built around this lifetime inflection points.

But, if you sell business to business, it’s not as neatly linear, and it gets a little more challenging. What it really requires is that you understand your customers market place better than they do, you anticipate issues that are going to cause inflection points before they do, you know the run up to that inflection point for your customer. So, examples of inflection points in business to business would be market consolidation, market deregulation, market regulation, commoditization, disrupt of technologies. All of these things would cause agony and pain for a business owner, and if your product or service solves these and answer these pains, then you really need to know when they are going to happen, and that means you really need to understand in a very nuanced way.

So, do your market research, go to conferences, read white papers, watch what’s happening in your customers marketplace so you can identify those inflection points, anticipate them, and present your service or product right at the moment when your prospective customer needs you.

Okay, thank you for watching. If you like what you see here and are going for the big time, please subscribe and hit that little bell so you now when the next video is coming up, and follow me on Instagram and LinkedIn, and Facebook, and all those great places. Until next time, have a great business day.

Google Paid Search vs Facebook Promoted Posts

Hi There!

Google Paid Search vs Facebook Promoted Posts — both are incredibly powerful, but which is best for what? Take four minutes to watch and save yourself some heartache!

Google AdWords vs Facebook Promoted Posts, which to use when? There are a million thing you can spend your money on when it comes to online advertising, but today we’re going to talk about the two behemoths. Google versus Facebook. Google AdWords and remarketing or it’s also known as retargeting, versus Facebook promoted posts and display advertising.

Let’s start with google first. It’s the most mature platform, and it’s really a cool platform because people go to google with intent, they go with the intent of solving a problem or doing some research, they are taking action simply by being there, and once they found the solution they’re looking for, they intend to take action. So, if your Google paid search Ad responds to the query that the prospect has made, and the landing page really brings it home, they have more greater likelihood of converting, because they intend is to take action, cool.

Now, google remarketing, google retargeting, once the prospect lands on your website, it places a cookie on the browser, and then your ads follow your prospect all around the web. There is good news and bad news about that, the good is that they’re seeing a lot of your ads, the bad is they rarely click them, display ads are traditionally the poorest performing ads online. So, you’re not going to necessarily keep them back to your site, but if you keep your expectations that this is a really great and inexpensive form of branding, you’re good.

So, that’s Google paid search and remarketing or retargeting. Let’s take a look at Facebook. Facebook is a different creature all together, people go to Facebook to check up on their communities and their friends, so when you advertise, it’s largely interruptive, you’re interrupting their intend, they want to check up on their friends and there you are, Bam, you’re the price of free, you’re interrupting them. But, the cool thing about Facebook is that it allows you -because we’ve given them permission- they know everything about everyone, and it allows marketers and advertisers to go in and super micro target special interest, all kinds of groups. No other platform is so powerful in term of targeting. So, Facebook is really great for expanding your brand to folk who don’t already know you, just don’t have high expectation about them taking action, remember, you’re interrupting their day.

Display advertisement in Facebook is largely the same, so we think about it, and I’m saying on both sides very generally, there are people, groups and businesses that can do quite well advertising on Facebook. But, in general, given its interruptive nature Facebook is really more of a branding tool than a tool that actually gets conversions in the that you can really get conversions from AdWords.

Alright, I hope you found this informative, if you like what you hear here please subscribe, share the video with friends, follow me on all the other places you can follow me, hit the little bell so you get notified of the next video. Until next time, have a great business day. Thanks, bye.

Searching for sales success with Google Adwords? Here’s the key…

I promised a video a week — and so far, so good! (If you’re “Going for the Big Time” it helps to be consistent!)

This week: A lot goes into a successful Google Paid Search campaign — but there is ONE THING most folks NEVER do — and that one thing can make all the difference! In less than four minutes you’ll learn how to do it too!

Google paid search, is it one big rip off? You go to google AdWords, you go to the keyword tool, you get a whole bunch of keywords, you create a campaign, you throw some budget and a month later… Bupkis.

There is a lot that goes into a paid search program to make it successful, but the most important thing is the one most people completely overlook, and that is that google is the ultimate collision of an algorithm with humanity. If you’re just looking for words from the keyword tool you’re relying on the algorithm alone, you’re not looking at the human element.

So, before you even being your program, this is the key thing that you need to do: Think about your customers inflection point, that is the moment where they are in so much agony that they go looking for a solution, and they go to Google to do the research to find the solution. Now, think about how they frame that pain, think about how they articulate it, how they expressed it. Now, this isn’t as easy as it seems, you have to really listen to your customer.

Let me tell you a quick story that exemplifies some of the complexity. Let’s make a believe that I have a diner and I sell green eggs and ham, and everyone on two know Deb’s diner has the best green eggs and ham. But, when tourist come to town I never see them, why? Well, because if you’re from the south, you call it Chartreuse Eggs & Pork, and if you’re a lefty from Berkley California you call it Ova & Oink. Okay, this may make up half of my market and I may lose them because I’m not using Ova & Oink or Chartreuse Eggs & Pork.

I want those customers, don’t you? So, here is your assignment; you and your team, and your sales people, and your customer service people, give them all a big stack of post it notes and ask them all for the next 30 days to listen really carefully to the customers that they are speaking with, and to write down the exact words used by your customers to describe the problems that they’re having, the exact words. Then, take those post it notes and put them all up on a wall in the office, at the end of the month you’re going to have some really exciteful keywords, and you’re going to have the human element, you’re going to be able to augment that keyword tool with some really good, juicy, powerful search terms.

Please subscribe, please hit the bell so you know when the next great going for the big-time video is posted, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, the works. And until next time, have a great business day.

New Videos Every Monday

Things4Strings Hits a High Note!

 We are extraordinarily proud to have been a part of Things4Strings success. Ruth Brons developed a truly beneficial product that enhances the love of music for young people and in all our years working with companies, she is by far the finest example of how to build a business!

Add a Dash of Excitement to Your Message!

Get inspired by this recent work from Camares.

This video takes market stakeholders on board Caldwell Marine International’s custom barge and inside the process of laying a submarine power cable that will deliver clean hydro-electric power across beautiful Lake Champlain to Vermont

CMI’s a great company, doing great work — we’re proud to tell their story.

Even if you don’t wear a hard hat, we do the hard work of DYNAMICALLY SHOWING your story — there are so many creative, exciting AND cost-effective new techniques available; give us a call: (973)539-6000 ext 101.

Winning at Business Takes Three Fundamentals

We just completed an in depth review of our clients from the last decade. What did our clients who experienced the best business outcomes from working with us have in common?

They had these three attributes. The first two were expected, but the third was the kicker.

  1. Exceptional Skill-Set — It didn’t matter whether they were selling products or services, they were very good at engineering a great product or providing a superior service.
  2. Ambition — a burning desire to grow, develop and succeed. To be a market leader — no matter how common or how vertical, specialized or unusual their offering.
  3. A Sense of Entitlement — I use the word “entitlement” here to mean this: our successful clients believed they deserved their success. Plainly put, that belief allowed them to succeed and to own their continued success. Those that did not quickly undermined their accomplishment.

We met each of these exceptional businesses when they had reached an impasse: market changes, channel pressures, commoditization or potential extinction from technological advances. In spite of what appeared to be insurmountable odds, we were able to provide the insight, planning, marketing, branding and plan execution to pull them through.

And their three winning attributes transformed our work into lasting success.

Move From Commoditization to Market Leader


The Internet changed everything. Customers are in the driver’s seat. CEO’s are feeling the crush of commoditization. Many Mid-Market companies are struggling to make headway in our new business landscape.

Marketing has become a complex new discipline requiring sharper strategy, tighter tactics and obsessive measurement. It demands a range of disciplines from strategists to tacticians, brand experts, writers, designers, videographers, developers and more. This is out of reach for many Mid-Market companies. That is where Camarès steps in:

 Marketing Director Salary = Camarès Expert Program 

 For the cost of a Marketing Director you can have

  • An entire Marketing Department, expert in the latest strategies and tactics, with every discipline you will need at the ready.
  • A powerful “Marketing Department” that cross pollinates successes from one client to the next.
  • An expert competitive market survey, new positioning, new website, marketing plan, plan execution, coordination with your sales department AND monthly measurement and reporting.

We pioneered Agile Marketing, a robust winning marketing process based on Agile technology development and we will bring it to your business. Using Agile you will spend money on what works; marketing and sales will be held accountable and you will see your business move from commoditization to market leader.

How do I know this? Because we measure our results. We transform companies every day.

Make Camarès Your Expert Marketing Department 


Call me directly: 973-508-6859.

All the best,

Deb Di Gregorio



Nimble: The Tail Wagging the Monkey

frowinin mailchimp“WE HAVE SINNED!” opened the email that I had to send manually to my entire email list. It went on…

Being swashbuckling guinea pig marketers, we always test on ourselves before making recommendations to our clients.

Yesterday, we pushed Mail Chimp too far! We have been found GUILTY of committing a Mail Chimp Carnal Sin for which the only redemption is begging your forgiveness and asking you to opt into our mailing list! 

So here’s the deal:

If you do us the favor of opting in here, we will tell you the sin we are guilty of — cool huh? 

When the Internet Gods hold their bible secrets too close to be known, being very very bad is the best way to learn where the boundaries lie 🙂

Looking forward to your opting in… here

Aw hell, let’s make this even more fun! I’ll buy lunch for the 7th, 17th, 27th and 107th person to opt in, and I will share the rest of the seven deadly sins we’ve committed over pasta Fra Diablo!

Be well and stay out of hell!


As promised:

MailChimp shut down our ability to import our corporate house list because our list was riddled with problems and resulted in too many hard bounces. How many is too many? According to MailChimp we were pushing 30%!  And given that, it is no surprise we were shut down.

But how did the list get that way? The real problem was with the program we were testing before we got to MailChimp: Nimble. Nimble was the tail wagging the monkey.

Why Nimble?

A week does not go by when a client doesn’t ask me to recommend a good CRM (customer relationship management) program to easily manage their customer/prospect lists and associated information. Most of our clients are mid-sized businesses. For these companies, the IT world provides very little in the way of truly useful solutions. They fall into one of three categories:

  • Overpriced, once global applications shrunk down for smaller companies,
  • Overly complex and overpriced SAAS (Software as a Service) offerings (such as that has gotten so complex it requires consultants to customize it), and
  • Products so lightweight as to be laughable. (such as Full Contact, it has a slick little interface that allows you to photograph business cards that are beamed to India where workers type what they see — yes you read that right, manual typing means better accuracy.  Beyond that, attempting to manage your lists on Full Contact is a horror show of near zero functionality.

Nimble Integrates Your Contacts on the “Big 4” Social Networks into One Fabulous River of Posts

That’s why when I found Nimble, even my jaded geeky self felt a shimmer of excitement. The price was right $15 a month. The functionality was cool:

Nimble features integration with Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin plus your own email client and brings them all together in one nice interface. That means that when you upload your house list Nimble fetches all of the user profiles from those services AND their posting streams and integrates them into one river of posts that can be viewed by individual contact or as a group.

And what about those followers, connections and “friends” that are not on your house list? It brings them right into the interface as if they were on your house list. Integrate your email and send and receive mail, posts and tweets all from one interface. Well slay me now!

To that Nimble spices it up with the ability to connect company credit ratings and a host of other details in a very nice tabbed interface. Leads can be attached to “deals” that can be tracked.  It tells you the last time you communicated with a contact, you can attach Google docs (such as proposals), and when you receive mail you can see the backgrounds of everyone on the thread. It features a bevy of integrations, I was particularly excited about its integration with MailChimp.

The benefits are huge! People I had not seen in years, and for whom I had old addresses would be found on Linkedin, Google+, Facebook or Twitter automatically and I could populate their card with the latest contact information. And for an old bird like me with many old contacts scattered hither and yon that was just magic!

But Nimble is a Roach Motel!

I quickly hooked it all up and discovered when integrating my Apple Mail, sent emails would not sync with my Apple client. It ends up that Apple Mail is not supported by Nimble. For most of my clients this is not an issue. For me it was a speed bump. The joy of connecting all my communication streams kept my attention. Nimble became my go to contact list.

Then Linkedin pulled the plug on their integration. I figured it was for “walled garden” reasons — Linkedin is notoriously uncooperative with other services. But that just meant I had to bulk download and upload my Linkedin connections. Another speed bump.

Overtime I synched all my accounts regularly so I’d be sure to keep all my lists up to date.

And then I noticed something dark: my list always seemed to get bigger never smaller! It seems that Nimble is like the Roach Motel — roaches check in but they can’t check out. 

New contacts are added, but contacts that have stopped following you are NOT deleted. This is especially a problem with Twitter where followers blow in and and out like the wind.

In fact many of Nimble’s integrations are Roach Motels! The ramifications of this did not fully sink in as I was dazzled by the concept of one beautiful river of social postings coursing through my interface. But it did hit me like a bad hangover after MailChimp whacked us.

Still smarting from our MailChimp hangover I kicked myself for assuming that everyone keeps their social media accounts up to date — they don’t — and that just meant more bounces. I also realized that the MailChimp integration was another Roach Motel: Unsubscribes or bounces would not be fed back into the Nimble mother list from Mail Chimp. Making Nimble useless if you want to keep a clean house list.

Bottom line: I so want Nimble to work! What a concept! Practically until Nimble works out two-way integration taking a wrecking ball to its Roach Motels it is not fully functional. And as we learned the hard way, it cannot be relied on to deliver clean up-to-date email lists. That said, Nimble has demonstrated that they have an engaged development team. I remain optimistic. I think they will be a great service one day, but they are not there yet.

As for the Fra Diablo pasta lunches — we have our winners and I’ll be emailing you soon to set up a date.

Getting to Hockey Stick Growth — and making VC funders smile :)

b2ap3_thumbnail_hockeystick-growth.jpgVCs dream of big growth graphs moving aggressively up and to the right – and in the best of all worlds, straight up like a hockey stick. I have never met a founder for whom this not-too-subtle demand did not terrify because by most business standards it is extremely difficult to achieve.

However, over the last three years we have seen that aggressive growth has not only become possible, it is repeatable. Changes in B-to-B shopping habits and a comprehensive response make it possible. We have seen 600% to 850% ROI on marketing programs and growth to match. But certain conditions must apply and specific tactics must be executed. Here they are: 

Product Price Point

The price point of the service or product must be high enough to absorb the ever increasing cost of customer acquisition. In the last decade, the cost of customer acquisition has risen so high that your average sales value (ASV) must be well into the thousands.  This can be achieved through bundling hardware with service wrap arounds for example. Or, by finding a way to sell your product or service using a monthly recurring revenue (MRR) model and annual contracts. Under these conditions there is enough revenue to balance the cost of customer acquisition. 

Death of a Sales Team

Pre-shopping online – a common practice among consumers – has invaded the B-to-B space. A recent Google/CEB study showed that shoppers are up to 70% through the shopping process by the time they want to speak to someone from your firm. That means that your web site must work very hard for you. It must quickly telegraph your differentiation and attributes. And it also means that the prospect does not want to waste time with a glib salesperson. They have tougher technical questions they need resolved before moving forward. So fire your salesforce and hire a few good sales engineers who can work in pairs with skilled sales closers.

Then hold expectations high. Today the freshness value of a lead expires within hours not days. Your sales team must jump on that lead within 30 minutes — for better success within three minutes. Like a mental-health hotline, some companies create 24/7 on-call schedules, rotating sales engineers to off hours and forwarding calls and emails to mobile phones.

Dig Deeply Into Your Prospects’ Brains

If your firm meets those conditions, then it is worth investing in a comprehensive online presence and lead-generation program to match. We call it a “stra-tactical” approach. The strategy was developed over years of practice but it is otherwise executed tactically.

Many companies attempting to achieve aggressive growth are also aggressively talking to themselves, repeating their sales mantra to prospects over and over like a jackhammer. That’s old school and no longer works. Reverse the process:

Come to understand your market’s inflection points. That is, the moment when a prospect perceives the need for your product or service. The question is no longer “how did you find us” but rather, “what preceded your search for us.” A finely-tuned ear is key to success.

Once you have cataloged their inflection points, consider how the prospect articulates their search. Here is where program complexity increases exponentially. The search is articulated differently by market, geography and even within organizations: the person in pain will search differently from the person managing the person in pain, from the guy signing the check.  Or simply put: one person’s green eggs in ham, is another person’s chartreuse eggs and pork. Your program must address each and do so with great specificity. Achieving specificity requires building comprehensive libraries that align to your inflection point catalog, then building a web presence with multiple aligned architectures: backbone, paid search, social and to a lesser extent SEO. 

Lead-generation programs based on search articulations are then rolled out over the architectures. Your firm will now be presented in the right place at the right moment when your prospect needs you: be it via paid search ads, social media platforms or at the right face-time conferences. 

Take an Agile Approach

A few leading edge marketers have moved Agile into the marketing discipline. In 2011, Anthony Freeling from McKinsey UK published Agile Marketing. Our team had already developed our own Agile framework called ZebworksTM in 2009. Our objectives were the same: drive out risk, drive in results. Agile marketing requires measurement and reporting, which is possible leveraging Google Analytics and CRM data.

For example: Google Paid Search is very Agile: sprinting out a program that leverages your comprehensive architecture, your advanced sales team delivering urgent response, then measuring, adjusting, pivoting and sprinting again. Similarly this can be applied to all lead-generation efforts even conferences and networking events. 

Aggressive growth is achievable (and repeatable) under the right conditions, when comprehensive groundwork is laid and an Agile approach is taken to adjust in real-time.


First published in NJTC Tech News August 2014