Landscape photo of Lake Crescent in Washington State, USA.
Landscape photo of Lake Crescent in Washington State, USA.
Photo © Sierra Duffey

Earth Day thoughts

This Earth Day I’ve been thinking a lot about how the ongoing pandemic has affected our planet. Many small businesses are struggling to survive. With new cleaning and sanitary protocols in place, taking care of the environment is not likely to be a top priority.

Even on my daily walks, I see disposable masks on sidewalks, garbage in parks overflowing, and piles and piles of shipping materials.

In our current situation, how can we continue to protect our environment while also keeping our business afloat? It’s a challenge for sure. While there are some things we cannot control (such as…


Why invest in professional product photography?

With more businesses moving online, and with so many different products to choose from, it can be difficult to stand out as a small business. When it comes to selling physical products, beautiful product photography is key to showing craftsmanship and care that goes into each item.

A hand pouring water from a grey pitcher into a matcha bowl
A hand pouring water from a grey pitcher into a matcha bowl
Photo © Sierra Duffey 2020

There are a lot of things to consider when getting images of your products, but it is an essential investment. Working with a photographer who has a flexible setup, a lot of creativity and a streamlined process, can make things a lot easier.

One of the biggest things to think about when getting…


2020 was a year of change in so many ways. From social movements, political turnarounds, and a pandemic widening the existing wealth gap — we all had to face some difficult truths about the world around us.

Last year put a big focus on small businesses facing immense challenges as well as big corporations that are profiting more than ever. Individuals are reflecting on their own values and beliefs. Part of this reflection includes supporting organizations and businesses that align and that use financial wealth to give back to our communities.

Five friends sitting on a bench with arms around each other
Five friends sitting on a bench with arms around each other
Photo by Nassom Azeved on Unsplash

This is the perfect time to think about impact…


To put it lightly, 2020 was unpredictable. Going into the new year, setting goals for your small business will be tricky. This year, focus more on your intention and set small milestones to help mark time. Breaking goals down into small, achievable steps will be key to making progress this year and feeling good about your day to day work.

Two young women working on a robotics project in a lab.
Two young women working on a robotics project in a lab.
Photo by This is Engineering on Unsplash

Start with a vision for the year

Setting specific goals can be much harder this year given the uncertainty small businesses are currently facing. Goals related to revenue, online engagement, or product launches are likely to be affected by forces out of your control. …


What is SEO?

SEO is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid (also known as “organic”) search engine results.

Despite the acronym, SEO is as much about people as it is about search engines themselves. It’s about understanding what people are searching for online, the answers they are seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they wish to consume. (Definition from Moz.com)

There is a lot to know about SEO and the industry is constantly changing as search engines get smarter and as digital experiences evolve…


Woman’s hand holding a smartphone.
Woman’s hand holding a smartphone.
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Productivity and organization

As a business owner, the biggest challenge is always to stay organized and accountable. Finding applications that are available on both the web and on mobile devices is a great way to stay organized. Regardless of what software you use on your main computer, always check to see if there’s a mobile version, so you can keep up with your work any time, any place.

Here are some of my favourite apps for staying productive both at home and on the go:

Google Drive or your main cloud drive

My number one piece of software is my cloud drive. Whether…


Three people working at a table and laughing together.
Three people working at a table and laughing together.
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

What is web accessibility and why is it important for your site?

Web accessibility refers to designing and developing websites in a way that provides alternative methods of use to accommodate users with diverse needs and levels of ability. This can include disabilities such as colour blindness or keyboard-only users, but also provides options for anyone using the site in varying situations. Designing alternative methods of use gives greater flexibility for everyone — closed captions on videos, tabbing through an online form, and getting accurate feedback on whether you entered errors when checking out of an online cart.

Think of the last time you filled out a frustrating form online. It probably…


This isn’t yet another blog post about how to use all this time you have and destroy your long to-do list. This isn’t a blog post telling you to use every moment to your advantage and learn x, y, z and make a thousand dollars in one week. This is a crisis and everyone is going to respond differently, especially those who run businesses and who are struggling financially, physically or emotionally.

Pug wrapped in a brown blanket.
Pug wrapped in a brown blanket.
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Difficult times are an inevitable reality when running a business. Difficult situations are always going to look different, and need different measures to address effectively. …


All images in this blog post were taken by Sierra Duffey. https://sierraduffey.ca

Cream and lipstick sitting on a wood background surrounded by fruit and leaves.
Cream and lipstick sitting on a wood background surrounded by fruit and leaves.

Step 1: Hire a professional product photographer

Professional product photography is one of the best ways to really show your craftsmanship and display your products in a visual way. No matter what you sell or how you promote it, showing off quality photos of your product or your process will be a key selling factor. Especially if you run an online store or promote your products in other ways than on a shelf, quality imagery is important to provide your customers with an accurate and appealing portrayal of what you’re selling.

Marketing psychology proves that…


Working collaboratively is important to get the most out of your photography experience and your final images. Here are some of my tips for becoming your photographer’s favourite client, and preparing for an amazing photography experience.

Girl wearing a denim jacket and red hat holding vintage camera with pine trees in the background.
Girl wearing a denim jacket and red hat holding vintage camera with pine trees in the background.
Photo by Benjamin Combs on Unsplash

Like all freelancers, I’ve had clients that I loved to work with and others that I didn’t. It’s taken time, but eventually I started to notice patterns among all of the clients that really had the most creative and fun photo sessions with some of the best images as a result.

Photography is a service and a product, but more importantly, it’s an experience…

Sierra Duffey

Photographer and Content Strategist. I work with small business owners and creatives across Canada. https://www.sierraduffey.ca/

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