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Battle.net hack: how to keep yourself safe

Earlier today we received word that Blizzard’s chúng tôi servers have been hacked, and with a recent influx of 10 million users thanks to Diablo III’s launch, that makes this potentially devastating for a lot of people. Blizzard has since released an FAQ on chúng tôi telling users what exactly was compromised and what remains secure. Those with a North American account (which includes people in Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia) were hit the hardest, so if that’s you, read on to find out what you can do to keep your account safe.

When it comes to staying safe after the hack, the first place you’ll probably want to start is changing your password. Blizzard says that the intruders only made off with cryptographically scrambled versions of passwords – meaning that it wasn’t your actual password that was stolen – but its investigation is still ongoing. It could find more evidence of password theft as time goes on, but even if it doesn’t, changing your password as soon as you can isn’t a bad idea. This is especially true if your password for chúng tôi is the same one you use for other online accounts (if that’s the case, be sure to change those too).

Blizzard says in the FAQ that while mobile and dial-in authenticators were compromised (dial-in authenticators to a lesser degree), physical authenticators are still believed to be intact. This means that if you have a physical authenticator, now is the time to use it, and keep on using it if you were already. In the event that these hackers do manage to figure out your password, the physical authenticator will provide an extra layer of defense. Some claim that Blizzard’s authenticators aren’t a sure thing, and that may be the case, but in this situation there isn’t much reason to believe you’re actually better off without one.

Now for something that is a bit alarming: answers to secret questions were taken during this breach. When paired with an email address, that could provide an easy way into your account, and the bad news is that there currently isn’t a way to change the answers to your secret questions. Even worse is the fact that Blizzard has opted not to suspend secret questions, as it believes that leaving them active does more good than harm. In any case, Blizzard will be asking chúng tôi users to update their security questions soon, and it’s a very good idea that you do so as soon as possible after receiving the prompt. Doing so closes a backdoor that hackers could use to easily gain access to your account.

Make no mistake, this breach could have been a lot worse, but the steps above will still help ensure that you stay safe as Blizzard continues its investigation and begins rolling out software updates. We’ll likely be finding out more about the breach in the coming days, so keep it tuned to SlashGear for more information.

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New Thunderbolt Hack Exposes Your Files: How To Check If You’Re Safe

New Thunderbolt Hack Exposes Your Files: How To Check If You’re Safe [Updated]

A new Thunderbolt vulnerability could allow hackers to bypass a laptop’s security and access its files – regardless of your password – in a matter of minutes, researchers have announced. Dubbed Thunderspy, the exploit can be used on computers with encrypted drives, though it requires physical access to the notebook and Intel says that recent OSes, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, have been patched against the hack.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen Thunderbolt blamed for security issues. Last year, another exploit known as Thunderclap was discovered, which could allow a malicious USB-C or DisplayPort accessory to compromise a computer.

The exploit that Thunderspy relies upon was identified by Björn Ruytenberg, a researcher from the Eindhoven University of Technology. “Thunderspy is stealth, meaning that you cannot find any traces of the attack,” he explains. “It does not require your involvement, i.e., there is no phishing link or malicious piece of hardware that the attacker tricks you into using. Thunderspy works even if you follow best security practices by locking or suspending your computer when leaving briefly, and if your system administrator has set up the device with Secure Boot, strong BIOS and operating system account passwords, and enabled full disk encryption.”

It’s not quite as simple as plugging in a Thunderbolt 3 device and instantly being granted access, mind. It works by creating arbitrary Thunderbolt device identities – which would usually be generated for authentic accessories when they’re connected – and cloning user-authorized Thunderbolt devices. To do that, a hacker would need physically access to the target PC, as well as time and opportunity to actually open it up and attach a specially-constructed piece of hardware.

Still, it’s enough to suggest that all Thunderbolt-equipped systems shipped between 2011 and 2023 are vulnerable, Ruytenberg says. He’s released a tool known as Spycheck to identify whether systems are open to being compromised.

Whether your PC, Mac, or Linux box is will depend on what version of its software it’s running. In a response from Intel, the chip-maker points to changes made to OSes last year.

“In 2023, major operating systems implemented Kernel Direct Memory Access (DMA) protection to mitigate against attacks such as these,” Intel’s Jerry Bryant, Director of Communications for Product Assurance and Security, writes. “This includes Windows (Windows 10 1803 RS4 and later), Linux (kernel 5.x and later), and MacOS (MacOS 10.12.4 and later). The researchers did not demonstrate successful DMA attacks against systems with these mitigations enabled.”

For Windows 10 systems purchased before 2023, Ruytenberg says, there’s no fix to avoid the Thunderspy exploit. Those purchased in or after 2023 may have the Kernal DMA support that Intel discusses. The same applies to Linux machines.

As for macOS, according to an Apple statement only certain aspects of Thunderspy apply. “Some of the hardware security features you outlined are only available when users run macOS,” the company told Ruytenberg. “If users are concerned about any of the issues in your paper, we recommend that they use macOS.”

[Update: An Apple spokesperson pointed us to a presentation by Ivan Krstić, Head of Security Engineering and Architecture, in which he specifically discusses the work the company did to prevent these malicious DMA attacks. “Intel introduced a technology called VT-d, which is a way to initialize an input output memory management unit to manage those kinds of DMA transfers,” Krstić explains in the talk, from around the 3 minute mark. “We have used this technology to protect the kernel since OS X Mountain Lion in 2012.”

How To Delete Yourself From The Internet

All of this, of course, happens behind the scenes, making it harder to keep your guard up. There’s also the threat of identity theft, where someone gains enough information about you to set up accounts in your name or take over existing accounts. That can lead to a whole world of trouble.

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Recently we’ve also seen the emergence of disgusting things like revenge porn, where people create fake images of people in compromising sexual positions or share private videos/photos never intended to be seen by the world. The good news is that your data might be protected by GDPR or another privacy law, and it might well be possible to remove your information from those databases or websites.

Here we’ll explain how to go about doing this, which methods are free and how much it’ll cost you to use those that aren’t. Bear in mind that a lot of this stuff is very far from instant and that it is virtually impossible to completely delete yourself from the internet.

How to remove yourself from Google Search results

The main place people search for things is on Google, so this is a good place to start when you want to reduce your online presence. In 2023, the company introduced its ‘Results about you’ tool that can help make it easy to request the removal of listings that show your phone number, home address or email address. The tool doesn’t seem to be universally available at the time of writing.

It works in the US but not the UK, but Google says that it will be rolling out very soon.

To use the tool, here are the steps you need to take:

1.

Open Google Search

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In a web browser, go to chúng tôi and enter your name into the search bar. To make things a bit more accurate, especially if you don’t have an unusual name, try also adding your home city or organisation to the search query.

2.

Select a search

3.

Request its removal

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At the bottom of the next screen you’ll see an option to ‘Remove result’. Tap this then follow the instructions on how to send your request to Google.

You can also submit removal requests for content such as revenge porn, deepfake content or other potentially malicious or harmful listings by visiting the ‘Remove your personal information from Google’ page.

It should be noted, that while Google may remove the search listing from its results, this won’t take the content down from the site that holds it. To do that, you’ll need to contact the owner of the site directly and request the removal of the content itself.

Also, there are archive sites including the Wayback Machine that keep old versions of web pages alive. Removing your data from here could be difficult, but you can use the site’s Contact page to make a request.

How to remove potentially criminal content

If the content you’re trying to remove is criminal in nature, such as revenge porn, doxing information or deepfake sexual images, then you should contact the police if the site owner proves uncooperative when asked to remove the items. Sadly, it can be quite difficult to eradicate this kind of content as it’s often moved to other sites, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

The Revenge Porn Helpline is a good source of information for those dealing with this upsetting form of online abuse.   

How to delete your details from data brokers

There are quite a few data brokers around the world, with some of the biggest including Acxiom, PeopleFinder, Radaris, Equifax and Experian. You can approach each site individually and go through their process for removing yourself from their records, but this can be incredibly time consuming and may not even end in success. There are some very helpful resources out there, including the site DataBrokersWatch that tracks and maps the data broker ecosystem so that you have a better idea of who may be holding your data. It also provides helpful opt-out forms for the largest culprits.

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If you want a more thorough approach to escaping the clutches of data brokers, then you’ll probably want to pay a professional service to act on your behalf. You can opt for the likes of DeleteMe that will work to remove all your personal information from search engines while also monitoring any new ones that appear. The service costs $129 (approx. £108) per year for one person and there are other tiers if you want to add more members of your family or friends.

How to beef up your social media privacy settings

If you don’t want to delete your social media accounts (which is a good option for privacy), then the next best thing is to ensure that the security and privacy settings are the way you want them.

Facebook offers a ‘Privacy Checkup’ feature that can take you through the various options and allow you to tailor the amount of information you expose to the world.

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The same approach should be taken on your other social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. If there are any you no longer use, it’s a good idea to log in one last time and delete your account entirely.

How to delete social media accounts

Next to the Download profile information option, select View. Then look through the data that’s there and select the categories you want to download. When you’re all done, select the Request download option.

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If you want to permanently delete your account, then Facebook has instructions available to make this happen or you can read our How to delete Facbook tutorial.

Be aware that Facebook states, ‘Some information, such as messaging history, isn’t stored in your account. This means that friends may still have access to messages that you sent after your account has been deleted.’ The company also says that it retains some log records in its database, but these are disassociated from personal identifiers so they shouldn’t be traced back to you.

It’s a similar process on other social media accounts, so check out our guides on how to delete a Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp account.

Do also note that deleting the app from your phone (as shown above) is not the same as deleting your account!

How to delete old online accounts

If you’ve been using the internet for a while, then there’s a good chance that you’ll have signed up to various services and sites that you no longer use. Sadly, there’s no quick way to wipe all of this out, so you’ll need to go through your memory or search in your password manager to track down all those abandoned accounts that still have your name on them. Although it will be time consuming, this kind of spring-clean is generally a good idea as it also lessens the change for hackers to find a way into your old accounts (that probably don’t feature security settings like two-factor authentication) and steal your information. Don’t forget old email services too.

How to stay anonymous online

It’s pretty hard to live in the 21st century without using the internet in one form or another. So how can you prevent the whole digital life scenario from happening again? Well, innovations like Apple’s Hide My Email service can produce proxy email addresses that allow you to sign up to things online without revealing your real address.

If you’re on Android, then Firefox Relay is a similar service for creating aliases. Alternatively, you can create a free email address from any service, giving it a name that bears no resemblance to you, then use it solely for signing up to things online.

When surfing the web (do people still say that?), you should also use a VPN to stop companies (such as your ISP) from tracking you. A VPNs creates a secure connection through which your information travels, remaining encrypted at all times. You can see the services we recommend by reading our roundup of the best VPN services.

One thing you shouldn’t do is wrongly assume your web browser’s private (incognito) mode makes you anonymous online. It doesn’t. It simply ensures your browsing history isn’t recorded on the device you’re using. If you’re open to switching, try the Brave Browser which is designed to help protect your privacy.

In truth, you can’t disappear entirely from the web. But following the steps above should drastically reduce the amount of information about you that can be found.

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Keep It Stable, Stupid! How To Stress

Modern-day PCs are more reliable than ever before, but that doesn’t mean they’re infallible. Equipment failures still happen, however rarely, and even the beefiest of computer components aren’t worth their weight in silicon if they aren’t dependable. Thankfully, the hot and heavy world of stress testing can help to identify critical faults before your PC craps out in the middle of a critical operation.

Let’s make this processor squirm, shall we?

Why stress-test? Simple: To ensure the reliability and stability of your system. Even if a computer boots up and performs well under normal usage, fickle hardware can cause woes when you step up to heftier tasks, such as gaming or video editing. Stress-testing software places your components under an intense workload to simulate a worse-case scenario; if a component crashes, hangs, or otherwise fails a dedicated stress test, there’s a good chance that it won’t be reliable under a heavy everyday load. It’s best to uncover unstable components sooner rather than later, while they’re still under warranty.

Running stress tests can also let you know if you need additional cooling in your computer. If a graphics card or overclocked CPU consistently overheats and shuts down during a stress test, it’s time to dump the stock cooler, add a few case fans, and possibly even consider liquid cooling.

All that said, the actual process of stress testing isn’t terribly complicated, though it can be time-consuming. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to start your engines.

Laying the groundwork

Here’s a look at HWMonitor and SpeedFan’s interfaces side-by-side.

Actually, it isn’t. Before you start torturing your PC, you’re going to need a way to keep tabs on its screaming. CPUID’s HWMonitor software does exactly that, providing you with a real-time glimpse of your components’ temperatures, voltage, and fan speeds. SpeedFan does the same, though its interface isn’t quite as polished as HWMonitor’s.

You’ll want to have at least one of the two programs open during stress tests. While many components will automatically shut down if they overheat, not all will, and you want to pull the plug on your testing if your hardware hits dangerous heat levels. You can fry your components if a worst-case scenario occurs and you’re not paying attention. If you see CPU temperatures starting to creep north of 70 degrees Celsius, or graphics card temperatures around 105°C (though that varies by model—do your homework!), stop the test and add more cooling to your computer. You’ll also want to halt your testing if temperatures continuously hover around those marks for an extended period of time.

Push your CPU with Prime95

If you stress-test only a single component, stress-test your CPU. It’s that important—and it’s frequently the culprit behind an unstable system.

Prime95 includes three different “torture” tests.

IntelBurnTest is a nonofficial, user-friendly version of Intel’s brutal Linpack benchmark.

Want a second opinion? Different programs test CPUs in different ways. Hard-core types also hold IntelBurnTest and OCCT—two other CPU-stressing programs—in high regard. Both hit your processor hard and ramp temperatures up very rapidly, however, so keep a close eye on your system-monitoring software when you first start them up.

No matter which testing program you choose, run it for at least four hours; a full overnight run is preferable. Personally, I like to stress-test new PCs using Prime95’s Blend and Small FFT tests for at least twelve hours apiece, and I sometimes follow it up with an hour-long, High or Very High stress level IntelBurnTest run. Overkill? Maybe. But if your CPU survives all that, it’s definitely a keeper.

Ramp up your RAM

When it comes to seriously testing RAM, only one option is worth considering: MemTest86+. This tried-and-true diagnostic software has been around seemingly forever, and while it definitely looks its age—MemTest86+ rocks an ugly BIOS-esque interface—the program is just as effective now as it always has been.

Verifying your video card’s stability

Nope, that’s not the eye of Sauron, it’s the FurMark stress test.

Benchmarking tools abound, but FurMark was designed specifically to give your GPU a stress-inducing workout and punishes graphics cards much harder than the average game. This bad boy uses real-time renderings of furry objects undulating in front of groovy backgrounds to push your graphics card to its limits, complete with antialiasing and resolution options. Stick to the standard burn-in test, but keep an eye on HWMonitor and/or SpeedFan—FurMark gets your GPU very hot, very quickly. You won’t need to run FurMark for long. If your graphics card is going to crash or start tossing out funky visual artifacts, it will do so within 15 to 30 minutes.

Unigine’s “Valley” takes a more serene, Skyrim-inspired approach to stress testing.

Alternatively, Uningine—the makers of the popular Heaven graphics benchmark—recently released “Valley,” a new GPU stress-testing tool that’s a lot prettier and more peaceful-looking than Furmark. I haven’t had a chance to use it extensively, however.

What about the rest?

The CPU, GPU, and RAM are the only major system components you really need to worry about stress-testing. Should you benchmark your storage drives to make sure they’re delivering the promised data transfer rates? Sure—but that’s a performance issue, not a stability or reliability issue. I recommend checking a new hard disk drive’s health using a S.M.A.R.T. monitoring tool, but that’s about it, the usual “Make sure your data is backed up!” axiom aside.

Likewise, you can loop a long video with your display brightness on high if you’re worried about the battery life of your laptop, but again, it’s far from necessary and more of a benchmark test than a stress test.

While this guide can help ensure the stability of your system, the methods and tools outlined here are far from your only option. In fact, a plethora of different stress-testing strategies and software solutions exist out there in the wild. How do you stress test your PCs?

Eight Ways To Hack Boston

Eight Ways to Hack Boston Apps that help you find your way, report a problem

What we all want from our phone apps, whether we have an iPhone or an Android, is technology that makes our lives easier and better. Provide that key sports stat, find that recipe, locate that address, summon a ride, play us a soothing (or raucous, according to taste) song while we wait.

You’ve got Waze and Yelp and Uber, sure, a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks app, maybe Tinder. But what about apps that will give you nuts-and-bolts solutions to Boston-specific needs?

To be honest, there are fewer than we’d hoped, with some good Boston apps too specific to include, such as the HUBWeek and Boston Calling Music Festival apps. But here are a handful of what we think are essentials, all free from your favorite app store unless otherwise noted.

Got some other suggestions? Leave them in the Comment section below.

For surviving the MBTA: Transit

There are a ton of T-tracking apps, but the best, hands down, is the Transit app, aka “your real-time urban travel companion.” Power it up and let it access your location, and right away you get a live map showing nearby transit stops, with tiles telling you about the approaching trains and buses. Also included: a trip planner, offline schedule and route maps, service disruption notifications, and stop reminders. Bonus: If you’re really sick of waiting for that B trolley—we feel for you—Transit will also help you book an Uber, check the availability of Hubway bikes at nearby kiosks, and even let you book a Car2Go.

For hacking city services: BOS:311

Boston City Hall may not be as wired as, say, Palo Alto’s, but it’s doing pretty well, and BOS:311 is one of the reasons. This app allows you to report a broken streetlight, pay a parking ticket, get that pothole fixed or graffiti removed. Requests are automatically fed into the city’s work order system. And users get a unique tracking number for each case. You could also call 311, tweet @BOS311, or use the web, but where’s the fun in that?

For following your favorite team (or one you love to hate): Boston Sports Journal

This is the app version of the new-this-summer Boston Sports Journal website covering the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, and more, started by former Boston Globe and ESPN journalist Greg Bedard. You can get some basics for free, including Bedard’s “Daily Briefing,” but this is one pay site we think might be worth it, especially for diehards and fantasy sports addicts. For $4.99 a month, or $35 a year, you can go deep on each team, with reporters covering all of them at home and on the road.

Taking your fam on that mandatory tourist excursion: NPS Boston

Haven’t walked the Freedom Trail yet? You’ll want to take that historic walk when your parents come to visit, we’re betting, or maybe check out the Charlestown Navy Yard and the USS Constitution, or walk the Black Heritage Trail for another side of history. Your companion for these trips ought to be the National Park Service’s NPS Boston app, which features text, audio, images, and video for each of the sites and helps you create your own tour, complete with walking directions.

For when you actually—OMG!—find a parking meter: ParkBoston

There are apps such as SpotHero that will let you book a spot in a downtown garage, but if you’re like us and find those pretty pricey, you’ll drive around the block until a meter frees up. And then you have to hunt through the glove compartment for quarters—unless you have ParkBoston. With this city-created app, all you need is your zone number—which is marked on the meter—and your car’s license plate number, as well as a credit or debit card to link to the app. ParkBoston will give you a live countdown clock with a 10-minute warning before your meter runs out—and you can extend your parking time without running back to your car.

For hacking your favorite University: BU Mobile

For listening to your favorite NPR station: WBUR

For listening to your favorite college radio station: WTBU

This is a simple, straightforward way to listen to WTBU, BU’s student-run radio station at the College of Communication, when you can’t tune in 89.3 FM, 640 AM, or BU Channel 6. We typed up this story while listening to the afternoon show Please Use the Formal Usted, hosted by DJ Saxy Beast. The app includes a program schedule and a few other helpful features as well. Calvin Rose (ENG’19) is credited in the App Store, but he says a team of engineering students coded it for the Global App Initiative, which aids nonprofits.

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How To Introduce Yourself As A Photographer (6 Effective Strategies)

You only have one chance to make a good impression. Not to put too much pressure on you or anything.

Besides building a website to increase reach and improve your services, word-of-mouth marketing is and will always be a very efficient way to get people interested in your business.

Thus, networking is key. To network, the most important part is to be interested in the lives of others. Once that is achieved, you can easily establish new contacts. Photographers don’t just get randomly hired, and photography isn’t a line of work where you can easily just go apply to a job board online. You have to have a strategy to be able to break into this industry. 

The good news is that you don’t have to go at it alone, as there are several business organizations and social groups that will allow you to learn, network, and make valuable connections.  These organizations are invaluable to help you build your network and start building relationships.

The trouble is, no matter how many contacts you have access to, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to say. Introductions are one of the most important parts of business and it’s just the same in photography.

Luckily with the six tips outlined in this post, you’ll know exactly how to introduce yourself as a photographer, and increase your chances of landing new clients!

6 Tips For Introducing Yourself As A Photographer

1. Remember To Share The “Who, What, and Where” Of Your Work

With introductions, you always need to remember to share the very basics, and quickly! Make sure to establish who you are, what you do, and where you’re based at the start of your introduction. You’ll learn more about how to do this later on when we discuss elevator pitches.

The more people who know your name and brand, the better. After all, putting your name out there is the very first step in establishing your brand. 

Presenting your niche is also very important. More specifically, what kind of services do you offer: product/brand photography, wedding photography, portrait photography, fine art photography, real estate photography, just to name a few. The name of your actual business can reflect your niche as well.

Don’t forget to mention the location of your business. This goes beyond saying where you live. Mention whether your photography services are local or if you are available for worldwide collaborations.

2. Define Your Style And Experience In Photography

As every professional will tell you, you have to develop a personal style that sets you apart from everyone else. That takes time. Your style is defined by the pictures that you want people to be able to identify you by. A tailored approach is what differentiates you from your competitors. This is an important point to mention when introducing yourself as a photographer.

Your style can be moody, artistic, minimalistic, vibrant; it doesn’t matter. This style should showcase the direction you decide to take visually in your niche and branding. Whether you shoot film or digital, events, brands or magazines, or are a photojournalist or a nature photographer; Just make sure that whatever you do, it undoubtedly shows in your actual work.

The important part is to be consistent and let your style shine throughout your portfolio. For example, don’t call yourself a portrait photographer if you haven’t done that before. You want your niche should go hand in hand with your brand. For example, as a wedding photographer, if someone thinks of a wedding, you want to be the first person who comes to mind.

As you may very well know, defining a style only comes with experience. Whether that experience comes from shooting independently or working for various clients or brands. Tell the other party how long you have been in the industry and talk about your milestones.

It’s important to talk the talk, as well as walk the walk. Try to get as much as you can in a conversation. Tell people what you have been doing so far, highlight the work you’re most proud of, and drop as much info as you can. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a big name; Use the conversation to show people your passion.

Make sure that your pictures tell a story. Keep in mind that a photographer that can create a compelling visual story will always be ahead of a photographer that only photographs a bench in a well-lit park.

Whatever your style is, make sure any potential client has a solid idea of what they can expect after seeing your portfolio.

3. Describe Some Of Your Notable Recent Projects

Let people know what you’ve been doing – personal projects, the clients you’ve worked for, the exposure you had. Don’t leave any stone unturned, but also make sure you’re showcasing your best work. Selling yourself short is the biggest mistake you can make. Don’t be shy when talking about your experience: every experience and every client matters.

Show your work by referring to conventions, publications, expositions, classes, awards, and so on. These social spaces should be an extension of your work and brand. They matter tremendously.

If you’re a beginner, you can showcase what you have done so far and focus on speaking with passion. Don’t put yourself down if you feel like you haven’t gotten enough recognition. Sometimes all it takes is for one person to see your talent.

4. Mention Some Recent Clients And What You Did For Them

Mention your current clients, as well as clients that you’ve worked for in the past.

Discuss the challenges that you’ve faced while working for a certain company or client. Describe what you’ve learned from those experiences, the strengths you bring to your role, and the actual work you did for the client. Talk about your personal experience at work and how it made you become a better photographer.

Discussing the past clients, you’ve worked with ultimately gives you credibility. By sharing the interesting things you’ve done for someone else, it can peak the interest of a prospective client. Good working relationships are essential to any respectable business and show that you care about people. Because, in the end, it’s still about them.

5. Ask The Other Person About Their Business And Decide How You Fit In

Offer your services to people that might need them. You will meet a lot of people that are not particularly interested in your photography. But if you never show them what you do, you’ll never know who might be interested. Your prospect is usually not in the best position to tell what you can provide. They’ll be limited in what they can tell you. This is where you come in and show others what you can bring to the table.

Ask questions. They offer you the chance to showcase some of your knowledge and expertise. Apart from that, showing a genuine interest in the other person helps you find out more about their own business. This, in turn, will establish how you can best represent them.

When talking to other freelancers, show interest in their work and present ways to help them be more successful. For example, you can help promote a writer by shooting for their book cover, or you can help a real-estate agent by taking real-estate images to help sell their homes (see a how-to guide on that here).

When looking for solutions, target the service that people are looking for. If you’re in the wedding industry, don’t talk about locations or catering. Talk about wedding photography as a solution to an event that would otherwise end up being undocumented. You ultimately need to identify where your work fits in with the other person.

With that said, don’t be too pushy. Show the other person what you can offer them, but let them run the show ultimately. Remember, you have to show people that you are eager to give them a service that might make their business bloom. Then just sit back and let things develop on their own (with some follow-ups, of course!).

Be well-paced and listen carefully. What is the client looking for? How can you help them increase revenue? You need to have an informed understanding of their business, BUT you don’t need to answer every aspect of the other person’s business. You want to learn about what they are interested in and use this information to establish an offer.

6. Exchange Business Cards Before Ending The Conversation

Wrap it all up by giving your potential client your business card. This encourages people to take the next step.

Pitching yourself should always end in giving some contact information to a potential client or someone in the industry. Always, have a business card at hand. I can’t stress this enough. All that talk is nothing if you can’t back it up with a physical representation of your work and value. People are bombarded by an overload of information every day, so you must catch their attention in more ways than one.

Your business card should include your name, website (or a platform that includes some photographs from your portfolio), and a contact number/address. Having it available at all times shows that you are serious about what you do. Not to mention that it looks more professional.

The Importance Of An Elevator Pitch As A Photographer

An elevator pitch is essentially a straightforward, short sales pitch and introduction of yourself as a photographer. I truly think it’s as essential for your photography toolkit as your camera equipment. It should be around 20-40 seconds while keeping things brief, concise, and easy to understand.

An elevator pitch should address you and your work, things you have done, and how it’s relative to a client’s industry. If you’re telling a restaurant owner about how good you are at wildlife photography, they won’t see how that’s valuable to their business. However, mentioning your experience in food or real-estate photography would be more enticing.

When you’re in a room full of people, and someone asks about your work, you don’t want to spurt out some ambiguous nonsense.  Once an opportunity is gone, you can’t get it back. It’s gone forever in the vast, dark void of lost opportunities. With a prepared elevator pitch, you’re always ready to sound professional when introducing yourself as a photographer.

Whether you’re at a networking event, a random meeting (or in an actual elevator), make your pitch sound human. After all, behind every business, there is a human being that has desires, dreams, and bills to pay. Establish an emotional connection with the person in front of you. Don’t just talk about numbers and big names. Talk about your passion and the services you offer in an honest and friendly manner. Show your willingness to help the other person, not just “make good business.”

Always provide a solution to a real problem. You have to give something of value to a potential client, something they’ve been looking for. You can emphasize how your services can increase sales, engage customers or give somebody a lifelong memory. You can talk about sales when mentioning brand photography, and you can talk about timelessness when pitching a wedding or family photography service. 

Don’t be vague. Saying that you are an artist that likes to be artistic just won’t cut it. Offer an immediate result. Your pitch should establish credibility from the get-go. Get specific while also encouraging the other person to want to know more.

Elevator Pitch Examples For Photographers

To help give you an idea, let’s go over two elevator pitch examples for photographers. The first is directed for cold introductions, meaning the person has no idea who you are and little attention span. The second is directed for warm introductions, meaning the person already knows who you are, what you do, and are interested in hiring someone in your niche.

Example Of Pitching A “Cold” Client:

Example Of Pitching To A “Warm” Client:

After shooting hundreds of weddings throughout my career, I know how big a deal hiring the right photographer can be. It’s stressful, time-consuming, and you don’t always know what to expect. My goal is to make that process smoother for my clients so you can focus on your special day while getting better photos than you ever imagined. I’m currently available for bookings and would be happy to discuss more details about what it would look like working together!

Do Introductions Really Matter As A Photographer?

There’s no doubt that introductions matter a great deal whether you’re talking to techies in the industry, entrepreneurs, or just your regular Joe. You never know who might take an interest in your work. The best part about face-to-face introductions is that you get to choose how you present yourself.

In-person introductions allow you to mention your services and provide potential clients with more than just your portfolio.

Of course, you can’t always predict how others will react to an unknown photographer, so your confidence should be high! If it isn’t, fake it till you make it. It will pay off in the end! After all, a good introduction is the road to a good working relationship.

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