Lukas Piatek – The Importance of a Photography Community & Education
INTRODUCING LUKAS PIATEK
DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Lukas Piatek is a well-renowned destination wedding photographer, based in Germany, who has shot weddings all over the world including, but not limited to, New Zealand, the United States, Mexico, India, Barbados and of course in many countries around Europe – and the list only keeps growing! He is also the founder of LooksLikeFilm and Meridian Presets. His latest project is AEON University – Community Based Education for Creatives. In this interview, we chat about Lukas’s journey as a wedding photographer and the heart behind creating communities and education for photographers.
Hi, I am Aida, host of My Wedding Season -The Podcast!
If you prefer listening, this blog post is also available in audio format on my podcast: Episode 42
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One of the best things that happened to me as a wedding photographer is the day I discovered that I no longer have to run to the post office after editing a gallery in order to send out a USB stick to my clients in the mail. I never really liked the idea that my clients would just open the files to view their images on the computer and that was that.
Now with Pic-Time, I am able to create and send out beautifully designed galleries and slideshows that my clients can easily share with their family and friends – and all that sitting comfortably at my desk and sipping my Ethiopian coffee while listening to music.
Friends, your client experience doesn’t need to end the moment you have delivered the wedding images and gotten paid. Pic-Time makes it super easy to provide your clients with albums and various other print products via their AI-powered store technology and marketing automation tools. And if you feel a bit lost and overwhelmed, they have an excellent team to walk you through it.
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MY WEDDING SEASON – THE PODCAST
INTERVIEW WITH LUKAS PIATEK: MAIN TAKEAWAYS
(I, Aida, have at times paraphrased and other times directly quoted what Lukas and I have said in the episode to make it easier to understand – this is not a direct transcription.)
Around the end of 2022, when I saw on Instagram that Lukas is launching a new platform, AEON University, my interest was piqued and I just knew that I had to invite him on the podcast to talk about it and his journey as a wedding photographer. He was gracious enough to except and here we are…
Lukas started his photography journey doing macro and portrait photography. Since he is rather introverted and rather a quiet person, he initially found it a bit hard to photograph people – it just didn’t feel natural to him to interact with people in that way. About 10 years ago, one of his friends asked him to photograph his wedding – he showed up and realised that he really enjoyed it because it was something completely new that he had never done before – and like they say, the rest is history!
The Start of LooksLikeFilm
LooksLikeFilm is “a commuity of creatives where, by sharing our individual experiences, we enrich, embolden, and empower one another.”
Soon after, Lukas started to look at the industry and started to learn more and more leading him to evolve as an artist. His style from back in the day is certainly different from what he is doing now (those of us doing this long enough can relate to this so much!). Those days where a time in his life that he had to learn a completely new type of photography – this led him to browse the internet, Facebook and such, which led him to realise that there are different looks out there. Looking over to the States, in comparison to what seemed normal in Germany, Lukas noticed that there was a completely different style that was more moody and more filmy – and that is where the idea of LooksLikeFilm came along.
So in the beginning, Lukas simply set-up a website as a source of inspiration (all this before the Instagram and Pinterest hype). He ended up making a blog with amazing images that he found in Facebook and there was a good response from people. It then evolved to a separate Facebook Group – more and more people joined organically without any ad spend. And then all of a sudden, all the big names from the industry had joined the group and were sharing their photos. This ended up catapulting his name out there because he was running the group. Not only that, it also incredibly helped him in his journey because he had access to all those amazing people and he noticed that his work started to get better and better.
Lukas was fascinated to see how much you are able to achieve in your career simply by looking, learning and adopting, and also finding your own style within that space. He liked the transition that he made into a different style but didn’t feel like he was there yet. It was another two years until Lukas felt like it took to find himself. He reached a point where he could say “this is my style, this is how I want to compose my images, this is the way that I want to use light. And from then on, Lukas was able to build an internation brand for his photography business – he started to purely focus on destination weddings worldwide.
The importance of SEO for a wedding photography business
Lukas: Yeah, I think the entire SEO thing is kind of the backbone of my business… It is kind of hard to envision a life without Instagram but you never know. Sometimes , someday it might change. And so I don’t want to rely too much on Instagram or Facebook. I think in my mind, like, SEO, your website, this will always be there – 10 years, 20 years, Google will always be a thing. I just wanted to have that in place just in case something goes wrong – and it works!
Aida: Yeah, that should be a major takeaway for people because a lot of people have lost a lot of inquiries as soon as the algorithim changes. I know photographers who are relying 90% of their inquires just through Instagram and when things go south, their business goes south. So, like, establishing yourself in different ways is huge!
Lukas offers Advanced SEO Mentorships: How to optimize and restructure your website to target clients
The Heart Behind Creating AEON University
AEON is “a new online platform that aims to foster positive and real connections, while providing classes and courses taught by industry leading creatives, free resources and helpful topics for discussions in local chapters and events.”
Lukas: The idea started four years ago. It has actually been a long process for AEON to launch because there have been some hiccups and of course Covid didn’t make things any easier. That is why it has been a pretty long journey for us to launch it.
I noticed while working for LooksLikeFilm that workshops were popping up quickly everywhere around the world. Whereas six or seven years ago, there were like four, five big workshops in the industry you can go to, and suddenly everybody does their own workshop. Everybody that has been to a workshop suddenly does a workshop, using what they learned at the workshop. It was kind of weird to see them pop up everywhere.
We realised that it might be the best point in time for us to create a place where people can just be at home and look at stuff without travelling. Talking to workshop hosts, they told me that it is getting harder and harder to sell tickets because there are so many of them. And that’s why I thought it might be a good idea.
So we started talking to people and recorded people around the world for this. So there is a combination of Live Shoots, and like Masterclasses or just interviews and talks around different topics. It is basically aimed at everybody in the industry: there are videos for photographers, videographers, people that do Fine-Art, film photography, couple photograper, wedding photographer, family photographer – there should be something for everyone.
Aida: How are you planning on fostering more of a community? Especially when Facebook Groups were huge LooksLikeFilm just grew and grew. To be honest, I don’t know how it is thriving these days or not, I am barely on Facebook – just like the Feed overwhelms me. How do you plan on bring in an interaction between community members, and even maybe the educators?
Lukas: We are planning certain Instagram Live videos with the educators, where people can basically watch the video and ask the educators any type of question. Those will be the people who are currently on AEON and others that will share additional content. That is the plan to connect the website to social media, Instagram and Facebook.
Through LooksLikeFilm, people have created their own local communities, especially in the States. People that met in the group now meet up in-person. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a meet-up in Tenessee and it has just been great to see. Some even organise styled shoots – eat together, learn together, shoot together. I think that is the best way to learn – to go out there and connect with your fellow creatives in the area, and share knoweldge. That’s what the entire idea was.
It is important to note that all the educational content found on AEON is original content that cannot be purchased elsewhere. There are also plans for free content to be made available on AEON. This makes it more accessible to people who cannot afford to purchase a course. In addition, 5% of the money earned from the courses will be donated to charity.
A few examples of classes currently available on AEON University
- Sean Flanigan: How I create my images
- Jessica Hill: How to create and manage an associate team
- Igor Demba: How to do a fun and relaxed city shoot
- Jen Huang: Crafting a fine art editorial shoot
- Gione Da Silva: Artistic cinematography – editing with emotion
- Naomi van der Kraan: Building real connection with your clients
- Adam Alex: Commercial photography 101
- Catalina Jean: Creating an effective brand
- Jess Hunter: Intentional branding
- Posy Quarterman: Shooting a family session
I am so grateful to Lukas for taking the time share so much valuable information with us.
If you want to learn more from Lukas, you can book in a mentoring session with him: Photography Mentoring
Episode & Show Notes: EP 42. Lukas Piatek: The Importance of a Photography Community & Education | Introducing AEON University
Connect with Lukas:
Website: Lukas Piatek Photography
Website: AEON University
Facebook Group: LooksLikeFilm
Website: Meridian Presets
Connect with Aida:
Website: Aida & Tim Photography / Aida & Tim Hochzeitsfotografie
FREE Workshop for Wedding Photographers: How to Book More Weddings in 2023 | Date: February 2nd at 11am EST
HERE IS MORE OF LUKAS PIATEK’S INCREDIBLE WORK
MY WEDDING SEASON – THE PODCAST
BUILD A THRIVING BRAND & BUSINESS
Welcome to “My Wedding Season – The Podcast” where I provide overwhelmed wedding photographers with the inspiration, tools and resources needed to build a thriving brand and business. I am your host, Aida Glowik, a European intimate wedding and elopement photographer based in Germany.
This podcast is for wedding photographers who are feeling overwhelmed by the challenges that come along with doing life, building a brand and running a business. On solo shows, I address various topics including, but not limited to: branding & marketing, organisation & productivity systems as well as income generating business strategies.
Guest interviews are centered around exploring their creative processes and insights regarding photography and/or business! Can’t wait for you to hear from so many talented and inspirational people from around the world!
A new episode drops every two weeks on Wednesdays!
Are you in? Get ready to take some notes…
Lisa Devlin is a wedding and editorial photographer based in Brighton, England. She was a music industry photographer for 10 years before becoming a wedding photographer over 20 years ago! Lisa has years of experience working with clients and I am so grateful to her for taking the time to share with us about how she goes about providing beautiful albums to her clients. She explains how Pic-Time has made it so easy for her and her clients to make the process so smooth. If you are considering finally start offering print products to your clients or want to improve upon how to do it more effectively, this episode is definitely for you!
Show notes: Episode 46
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Podcast Episode Sponsor:Pic-Time | Online Galleries for Professional Photographers Detailed information on Blogs: Introducing: Pic-Time Blogs! Get 1-month free when you upgrade to a paid plan with the affiliate code AIDA
Connect with Lisa:Website: Devlin Photos Instagram: @devlinphotos
Photography Farm:Website: Photography Farm Instagram: @photographyfarm
Thrive Photography Conference 2023:Website: Thrive Brighton: March 20-21 Glasgow: March 23-24
Connect with Aida:Instagram: @aidaglowik Podcast: My Wedding Season – The Podcast 1:1 Mentoring Session: Book More Weddings in 2023 | Book a Website & Portfolio Review 1:1 Coaching Session: Book a Clarity & Action Session Free Download: My Wedding Season 2023 Digital Planner
MY WEDDING SEASON PLANNER 2023 // DIGITAL PLANNER
My Wedding Season Planner is custom-designed to help overwhelmed wedding photographers who are feeling stressed out because they are struggling to stay organised, keep track of their client work and reach their goals.
This 2023 version of the planner is made available to you for FREE as a pdf download!
For more details about the planner: www.wedding-photography-podcast.com/planner
Share the love and invite your photographer friends to get a copy by sending them this link: http://eepurl.com/hSBmWj
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