Friday, November 05, 2010

Turning Dreams into Gold
Blog entry by Nell Merlino on 10/25/10

When Linda Russell applied for the Make Mine a Million $ Business competition four years ago, she was a photographer with a dream. A shutterbug for years, shooting for the likes of Rolling Stone, Linda changed the direction of her dream when she got a taste of school portrait photography. She saw a way to do it better.

Before her M3 win in San Francisco in 2006, Linda didn’t see herself as a “businesswoman.” She was the lone photographer at Mugshots School Photography and photographed 2,000 students, making annual revenues of $200,000. This year, using her community-based approach to school photography, she has brought in nearly $800,000. She, along with her staff of contract photographers, will take portraits of around 24,000 students in 80 schools.

“Things have changed so significantly since my win,” she said. “It’s exciting to see how things are possible.”

Since 2006, Linda’s business has grown 20 percent each year. She hired three full-time staff that aid with business development, production, customer service, and design. She has a fully operational website where customers can proof their photos and order online. Some 20 photographers are contracted with her, mostly located in California, who Linda and her staff assist with advertising, marketing and customer service. She currently has one photographer out-of-state in Connecticut and said there’s definitely the potential to expand nationally. She even started a company blog, complete with video snippets from customers.

Linda described herself as “blessed” having evolved alongside others with similar dreams and goals. M3 gave her the tools to see her dream accomplished with access to a coach, an array of experts, and a community to blog her way through concerns and issues about her SBA Recovery Loan. Along with all of these incentives, Linda now photographs our M3 events and has witnessed the transformation of dozens of women, including herself. And I can tell you, she takes the best photos of people they will ever have.

“It is exciting to have such a close view into their dreams,” she said of M3 winners. “I see them evolve from nervous and hopeful into winners. I took this amazing photo of Leah Brown standing alone in a hallway practicing her pitch. Now she is running a multi-million-dollar business.”

If you want to meet Linda, along with other past winners, and think you have what it takes to make your business a million, join us in San Francisco Nov. 7-9. The Make Mine a Million $ Business conference can take your business to the next level. American Express cardholders can register for free using code AMEX. See you there!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Brush your hair!  Spiff up your clothes!  It is Unleashed Family Portraits in the park.

MugsyClicks is delighted to offer great deals on family portraits from our fabulous photographers.  These special sessions are happening at various parks over the next few weeks.  JUST IN TIME for holiday portraits.  Quick and easy.  Just choose your location, date and time.  Your photographer will meet you there and capture the joy of family images.
Session Fee: $95   Sample Print Pricing: Click Here

For Session Details and photo day tips and hints click here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Wonderful Photo Day in the Garden at Saint Mark's School

Our photo days at Saint Mark's School in San Rafael reminded me why I love Mugshots. Over the years I have been blessed to have been the creative "eye" for many families in my community. I crawled on the floor with babies and chased down toddlers. I made a fool of myself for many a school aged child. But once I committed myself to working in the schools there was a whole new level of documentation. Now instead of one child or a couple of siblings I was committing myself to hundreds of individuals in a day.

As I continuously preach to my photographers "each and every child is an individual, each one deserves the passion of your eye." I recognize saying it and living it can sometimes be at odds with one another when there is an endless line of kids, changing light, noise and school day concerns. Last week, I had the joy of returning to Saint Marks School. Before my camera were smiling faces who I have been watching grow for years. From timid kindergartners to blossoming 8th graders in a garden that has grown from an idea to a bountiful space alive with food and wild life. How blessed am I? Pretty darn content. How beautiful were the photos the kids and I created? Truly special.

Thanks to Cindy Erlich for her great attitude and help each photo day. And much appreciation and respect to Headmaster Damon Kirby as moves on to new adventures leaving a legacy worthy of 24 years of his nurture and care.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

San Francisco School Loves MugsyClicks!!!

A Super Endorsement from Julie Galles at The San Francisco School
for MugsyClicks!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The San Francisco School is FUN!

It was a warm and wonderful school photo day at The San Francisco School on Friday, September 10, 2010.  A particularly heartfelt one for me as it was my son,  and Mugshots photographer, Jarreau's 27th.  We had the privilege of working together creating really beautiful images in the Adventure Garden of The San Francisco School.  What a great staff and delightful students.  Truly a pleasant way to celebrate Jarreau!  Later we went to The Ramp and relished the fabulous SF weather.  I had many dreams for my son on the day he was born but real life has been much better than I ever imagined.  Happy Birthday dear son... thanks for enriching our lives with your tender heart and amazing talent!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

School Photo Day Tips and Hints for Teachers

It is always exciting for me to see my "finger thoughts" out in the world. When Education World contacted me regarding writing an article focused on school photo day advice I was delighted to share. Our goal at MugsyClicks is to make beautiful portraits of not only students, but the attending adults as well,  so having an opportunity to share good practices was a treat!

Education World ® Professional Development Center: School Photo Day Made Easy: Tips for Teachers, Parents, And Students

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Join Us- MugsyClicks seeks GREAT Photographers

We are looking for excellent photographers to join Mugshots School Photography team in the following areas: Sacramento Metro, Los Angeles Metro, Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, Los Altos, Atherton, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Danville, Blackhawk, Pleasanton, Berkeley, Novato, Santa Barbara and a city near you. For more information on applying to our training program contact support + training maven.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MugsyClicks is in the News!

It is always so gratifying to see your ideas in print, whether it is on paper or online.

This year I was asked to create a MugsyClicks version of how to prepare your child for school photos. As I wrote out my suggestions I realized that the majority of the country who are still saddled with the huge assembly lined school photography companies would find my suggestions "sweet" but probably they would probably make little difference to the end result. Still there is hope! For every mom who sees reads the article with hope in her heart for a great school photo this year will see that somewhere out here there is another mom, me, who is working hard to make her fantasy a reality. All she has to do is "click" the link to MugsyClicks and a seed will be planted and soon a photographer in her area will hear the possibility! I can't wait to see the garden of smiles we are growing.

Here's a link to the Sacramento Parent version of our tips.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

MugsyClicks Wins GOLD

We are delighted to announce that Mugshots School Photography has been awarded GOLD in The Mom’s Choice Awards® for the best in "Family Friendly Products and Services!"

The awards were determined by an esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of their panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner,professor and founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling author, Priscilla Dunstan, creator of the Dunstan Baby Language; Patricia Rossi, host of NBC’s Manners Minute; Dr. Letitia S. Wright, D.C., host of the Wright Place™ TV Show; and Catherine Witcher, M.Ed., special needs expert and founder of
Precision Education, Inc.

The evaluation process used a propriety methodology in which entries are
scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment, value, originality, appeal and cost.

The end result is a list of the best in family-friendly media, products and services that parents and educators can feel confident in using.

To learn more about their program visit: