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Lessons Learned from a Photographer Planning his own Wedding

Planning our wedding has been intense, fun, and quite a learning lesson. The experience gave me a much different perspective on what new clients see while searching for photographers and other professionals who make their wedding day special. The First Impression At the beginning of our planning process we met with the general manager of the venue where we wanted to host our wedding. We looked through their display albums out of curiosity and for decor ideas. There was strong work by local photographers, but surprisingly none of the albums had contact information for the photographers printed inside! The albums had the photographer’s name, but no phone number, email address or website. The ‘A List’ and the ‘Black List’ After settling on the venue, we

The Power of Projection

Projecting your custom-created portraits for your clients is not new. Back in the film days, photographers projected slides made from portraits prepared by their lab. When photography migrated from film to digital, the use of projectors came into vogue, especially now when the quality of projectors has improved dramatically as prices have plummeted. So while this method is not anything new, it is still considered by many portrait experts (like Chuck Lewis) to be not just the best way but the ONLY way to share your work with your clients. It may seem old school, or it may seem like an inconvenience to you and your clients. Those were some of my concerns about projecting when I started. Boy was I wrong! Now I’m a

Digital vs. Physical

Written by Ed Monahan of Eastman Kodak It’s no secret. Printing has substantially declined in recent years. With a glut of devices that take pictures – digital cameras, smart phones, iTouch and handheld video devices – consumers capture more images than ever before, while at the same time, print fewer. Rather than focus strictly on the numbers of prints being made (or in this case, not made), I try to understand the reasons behind the numbers – why do consumers increasingly opt out of printed images and more importantly, how do we bring them back? In recent years, everyone, from high-end professional labs to online consumer services, has introduced some kind of photo book offering, Kodak included. Yet, with all of these offerings, we have

Your Holiday Sales Guide

**Great news! We’re hard at work updating this guide and will be re-releasing it shortly. In the meantime, check out The Photo Life Social Media Guide!** Sales is More than the Act of Selling December 1: cue consumer chaos. Dare to venture into a mall anytime after Thanksgiving and you’ll be bombarded by brash, blingy sales messages. They’re everywhere screaming, “More, More, More” and “Buy, Buy, Buy!” It’s downright maddening. Savvy small business owners know that sales is more than the act of selling. It’s an art that starts with selecting the right products and services to offer your clients. In fact, the act of selling is the last step in the sales process. Knowing your clients and carefully curating products and services you offer

Pricing Yourself to Help Sell Albums

It’s a common perception in this industry that album sales are dead. That might be true for some photography businesses. But, as a studio that sells an album to almost every couple that comes through our doors, it’s not true for us. Selling albums isn’t always easy, but we have found a way to set our studio up for success. It’s all in our pricing. Your pricing will either make it easier or more difficult for clients to purchase your products and services. At our studio, we price so that it’s easy for our clients to purchase albums, that’s why we sell a lot of them. But, making it easy doesn’t mean just offering cheap albums. Our pricing guides clients to buy the products that we

Simplify the Sales Process with Pricing Packages

Why would prospective clients that you’ve built relationships with, that love your photography, and that can afford to book you NEVER BOOK? In one word, the answer is CONFUSION. Purchase confusion can surface in a variety of ways such as pricing structure, upgrades, and overwhelming album options. And no matter which way it shows itself, purchase confusion will lead to delayed or eliminated bookings. For brides and grooms, planning a wedding is a lot of work and involves an overwhelming amount of decision-making. When it comes to making vendor decisions, couples often choose the option with the least headaches. Simplifying the process for them will keep them happy and headache free! It will also allow them to focus on the products and services that you

How to Approach an In Home Sales Session for Portrait Photographers

We’ve heard it all before: Selling in person increases your sales and client experience exponentially. There’s a lot of truth in that, and I’m thrilled to be able to talk about why. My husband and I run a boutique-style child photography business in Atlanta and have been building and serving our clients for about 5 years now. We love the flexibility it allows, being able to work so intimately with our clients, and of course – not having a boss to report to 9-5 everyday! Unlike the wedding business, however – most of what we make comes after the photo shoot as opposed to everything upfront. The sales process is just as important, if not more, than obtaining new clients to shoot. Up until about

5 Tips for Increasing Your Portrait Sales

All the time I hear about successful wedding photographers dabbling in portrait photography who can’t figure out how to actually make any money shooting portraits. It has nothing to do with their photography and everything to do with the way they run their businesses. And it’s no wonder, considering that it’s a whole different business model and needs to be approached in a different way. For weddings, we make most of our money up front by selling packages. Prints or album upgrades after the fact tend to be more of a bonus income stream. If portrait clients were willing to spend thousands up front then we wouldn’t need to worry so much about how many prints we sell. But unfortunately this just doesn’t seem to

Pricing and Packaging- Determining Your Start Price

Pricing and Packaging. It’s no one’s favorite topic, but it’s so very important. There is a science to pricing yourself as a photographer, and getting it right can make a huge difference in your bookings and revenue! The first decision every photographer should consider is whether to price based on a Package method or an A La Carte method. Both have advantages, and can be used effectively to present your services. Packages give the client more guidance on your suggested services, while A La Carte gives them more freedom and flexibility. Packages can be easier to book and manage, but A La Carte can have a lot more profit potential. Either way you go, you should pick a pricing method that fits your personality and

My $430 Blender: A Lesson in Running My Photography Business

Life lessons come in all forms and usually when you least expect them, and this was the case when I was, oddly enough, shopping for a Vitamix blender. How does a blender have anything to do with business and photography? I’ll get to that. After going through an unexpected cancer experience in 2009 I decided that it was time to step up my health and I was going to achieve that goal through fruit and vegetable smoothies. I picked my random mental number that I didn’t want to exceed ($100) and started shopping around online. After all, $100 was a lot for a blender and it seemed like a fair budget, right? The more reviews I read, the more I decided that I wanted an

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The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!