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Day 27: Special Events & Mini Sessions

Lesson 48 from: 30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business

Lori Nordstrom

Day 27: Special Events & Mini Sessions

Lesson 48 from: 30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business

Lori Nordstrom

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Lesson Info

48. Day 27: Special Events & Mini Sessions


Class Trailer

Day 1


Day 1: So You Want to Be a Pro Photographer?


Day 2: Setting Up "Shop"


Day 2 Bonus: "Setting Up Shop"


Day 3: Getting Organized for Success


Day 3 Bonus: "Planning"


Day 4: Studio Image


Day 4 Bonus: "Studio Image"


Day 5: Defining Your Niche


Day 5 Bonus: "Your Niche"


Day 6: Defining Your Target Client


Day 6 Bonus: "Your Target Client"


Day 7: Marketing Part 1


Day 7 Bonus: "Marketing - Part 1"


Day 8: Marketing Part 2 Ideas For implementation


Day 8 Bonus: "Marketing Part 2"


Day 9: Networking


Day 9 Bonus: "Networking"


Day 10: Pricing For Profit Part 1


Day 10 Bonus: "Pricing Part 1"


Day 11: Pricing For Profit Part 2


Day 11 Bonus:"Pricing part 2"


Day 12: Projections for 2014


Day 12 Bonus: "Projections"


Day 13: Scheduling and Planning


Day 13 Bonus: "Scheduling & Planning"


Day 14: The Inquiry: Handling Emails & the First Phone Call


Day 14 Bonus: "Initial Inquiry"


Day 15: Client Education & Customer Service


Day 16: Defining Your Product Line


Day 16 Bonus: "Product Line"


Day 17: Packaging Your Product


Day 17 Bonus: "Packaging"


Day 18: The Portrait Consultation: Designing & Planning Session


Day 18 Bonus: "Consultation"


Day 19: Photographing at the Client's Home: Shooting for the Wall


Day 19 Bonus: "Wall Concept Shoot"


Day 20: Shooting On Location: Client's Home with Older Kids


Day 20 Bonus: "Mandi Shoot"


Day 21: Shooting On Location: Client's Home


Day 21 Bonus: "Dryden Shoot"


Day 22: Adding Video to Your Portrait Sessions


Day 22 Bonus: "Adding Video"


Day 23: Shooting with Studio Light


Day 23 Bonus: "Studio Lighting"


Day 24: Portrait Workflow


Day 25: Sales


Day 26: Handling Objections: Finding Your "Yes" Answers


Day 27: Special Events & Mini Sessions


Day 28: Charitable Events: Give & Get Day


Day 28 Bonus: "Charitable Marketing"


29: When Should I Hire Help? When Should I Go Retail?


Day 29 Bonus: Skype call with Lori & Carly


Day 30: Goal Setting & Motivation


Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25

Day 26

Day 27

Day 28

Day 29

Day 30

Lesson Info

Day 27: Special Events & Mini Sessions

Day twenty sour anyway, our special events in many sessions before we even get started, I'm gonna show you guys just a little video that happened last week on halloween. We have a couple hundred kids who come through our studio over halloween, and I'm photographing the kids. We do a fifteen dollars donation to my charity to dondo more, and they get five by seven I have all those side by sevens printed, I do that out of my pocket and do make one hundred per cent donation to the charity. And so this is just something fun we do for the community, and they just come through the ghetto see the studio when they come back to pick up their five by sevens, and we also have some other little packages that they can purchase, and so and they do, you know, here and there we have people purchase and we almost always about I break even personally. So while I'm saying the five by seven cost is out of my pocket, the package is typically pay for the event, so but this is just fun. Just a little quickie ...

video. We set this up in our front, in our front lobby, in the studio and kim's, they're handing out candy, and we've got little packages put together with a logo sticker thinking on the front. And just to let him know where they came from and we don't photograph every single kid but we photographed a lot of them they come through they fill out a little model release and then we give them over the course of two days they can come and they can pick up their five by seven you see his nails come out way yeah so just easy and quick but I thought that would be a fun way to start the segment so what we're talking about those quickie events and that one's a little bit different and that we're just I mean it's not even you know they're not scheduled it's not fifteen minutes they're literally walking through getting their candy the parents are signing a little model release and information as they're walking through the kids are getting photographed and they're all walking out together so it's like an assembly line and it's just two hours with kid after kid after kid so it's pretty fun and we decided to do this I don't know probably four five years ago shortly after I the first year I moved into the building that I'm currently in and we had hundreds of kids coming through the studio for candy and I was like why am I not photographing these kids that's gravy so I'm going to do it and you know so that has been a way to reach out to my community as well because I'm not typically photographing those people and so now I'm actually getting to meet them and meet their kids and it's fun. And so we have had a few of those people that have come back actually for regular sessions, not a lot of them, but if you have them do and you know you can do this in your front yard on halloween or your front porch, you don't have to have a studio space or you could tie with another business that has kids coming through like that, you know, so there's a lot of options for that. One of my rules for special events is I want to make everything about it different, and this is going to be whether it's a portrait party and it's a higher end special event or its many sessions vintage valentine's, you know, one of the themed events, whatever that we're doing in the studio, I want to make everything about it so different from what we do on a day to day basis that, you know, they're not comparing, they're not saying, well, why would I come for regular studio session and spend all that money when I can come teo, uh, portrait event and spend a couple hundred dollars? And so we're making it very different? I want to make sure that I'm shooting very, very specifically for the product and so if we've got packages built which we do on almost all well all of our special events we're gonna have packages built and so I'm shooting specifically for those things and almost always when we do a special event we're gonna have one specialty product for that event that's going to be something different or unique renew and so I know for sure that I'm gonna shoot for that one thing the other thing was shooting specifically is not like I like a lot of us shoot I should you know, when I'm outside I'm not taking a ton of images because I know that you know especially I mean halloween of course I'm shooting like two shots of each kid and they're going but for a special event I want to make sure that I'm being selective and intentionally shooting and not just you know, shooting away because they're going to see their images immediately following and that's the next thing I want to show them their images right after the session and that's going to cut down on my work flow and that's what helps the special event stay profitable? So even though I'm not I don't have the percentage of profit that I would per session as a whole the special events you can consider a session or you can consider two sessions if it takes that amount of time or however much time it's gonna take for you it's going to take way last time to do all of those sessions and it would do one or two sessions by the time we've got that seven plus hours in for our regular sessions we know that so we have invested in those and so if I can do if I could photograph twenty kids or even ten kids over the course of a day and I can make that same total profit then it's absolutely worth it and I can do that so that's the way we planned those so part of that profit is cutting out on the workflow we want to slash it as much as possible and so we want to show them their images right after I shoot them shoot them and so because of that we want to show them packages and that's where packages air perfectly appropriate appropriate when we need them to make very quick buying decisions so we're just kind of walking them through the bottom package is getting them to book those many sessions and then when we're there we want to lead them into the higher and higher packages by showing them the value that's there the different products that they're gonna receive and then you know just really it were really just talking about about you you know with this package this is the best value for you and here's why I always want to show the samples from my very highest package and so packages should always build on each other you never want to take something out of a package that was in a previous package and so if you've got five five by sevens in a package don't go to the next one and have to wait by tens and two eleven by fourteen even though that's more value you might lose somebody that's in that lower price category because they want by by seven instead of eight by tens and let my fourteen so always keep everything adding into the next package and grow it as you go and so what that means is in your top package you should be covering every single thing that's in the other packages because they were building on each other so I always don't want to have the samples I wanna have them sitting in an area of everything that they're going to get with that top package and the first time you do a special event you may not be able to do that but you can pull images and you know templates drop your images into them you can show people in other ways just even if it's just a picture of what they're going to get so make sure that you're showing them everything they're getting in that top package so that that becomes more desirable you know it's kind of like what they see it all you know what do you want to get rid of what can we get you? What package can we plug you into by getting rid of things that you don't want and so very hard for people to eliminate? And so we will always want to start with the biggest one I always want to choose a no brainer add on to add into our sessions and what that is going to mean is I want them to choose a package and then there's a product that's only available with the purchase of a package and it's going to be a product that people really like it's going to be something that is a high value item on our regular menu and they can get it you know, for fifty percent off sometimes I'll even do seventy five percent off sometimes I'll even do free with our top package or the top two packages and so choose those items that for me I want to do and add on and then maybe if they do the ad on I'll throw like digital files in for free with this package plus this ad on you're going to get three digital files or five digital files or whatever it is I don't ever for any reason give everyone all the digital files to me that's crazy there's no reason anybody needs every you know all digital files that you shot and I believe that even with a wedding and I know that that sounds crazy but my wedding packages they can add on one hundred digital files at a time and they're going to add those on it's going to cost them or for you know, every package that they go up and with our top package they get a hundred digital files for free and so they can continue to add on a hundred and I will tell my bride's what are you going to do with six hundred images? Six hundred digital files you know let's choose your hundred favorites and with this top package you're going to get him for free and that starts making sense if you explain it that way because all they know is all they know now that I know is every other photographer they called it gives them all their digital files when they call me I'm talking about an heirloom family album there first heirloom as a new family that they're going to be able to pass down from generation to generation and there are so many wedding photographer so we're not giving an album anymore that is becoming unique and special and I let my clients no and I'll tell them stories of people and actually carly told me of her story she said that when we got photographed or when we got married our photographer gave us the digital files and she is a photographer herself she still doesn't have a wedding album and I think that's really, really sad no, and we know this is what's happening with our clients. Well, they go through all the planning, they go through all the hard work of their wedding and they have this beautiful special day. We're creating beautiful images for them, and then they sit on a dvd and it's very sad, so I don't know how I got on that tangent, but choose especially product that they want to add on. And then I always always want tohave a gift card that I can give my clients that's going to be good for a future session in the studio, and so this is going to be for our higher meant I'm not gonna do that for halloween, but our higher events are higher and special events. I'm going to have gift cards that are available to them that's going to be fifty dollars to use at your next future studio session or one hundred dollars, depending on what type of of event is so tips for the special events and our download for today is a dvd, uh, template and a dvd. What do you call those holder case? Thank you dvd case template and you're seeing the back of it there, but there's a front and a back to that those air temple is that you could drop your images into and we love to put our an emoto slide shows on these dvds as a product for our clients we charge one hundred seventy five dollars if it's not a video session it's just images that role in an emoto slide show with the song freedom song on them and that's what we're delivering to our clients the final product for one hundred seventy five dollars is what it is on our menu and so that's one of the things for special events that weekend throw their you know, ten images or their twelve or even twenty maybe at a special event on a little looping an emoto slide show and you know charge him seventy five percent off and you know we're not making a bunch of money there but we're not giving it away either and it's something that's very very valuable to the client and so it might be one hundred seventy five dollars on our regular menu so they know what that value is what we can say at this event you can purchase this in addition to a package for forty dollars and so that's what that temple it is today very good question eh? So let's go with questions to make everything look so different on special vance and I'm not talking about the high end special events just thie but even I ends I want them totally different my question is quality and product a client ass okay, so I have this real kids information from me where's the where's, the freebie where's all the stuff I'm going to get and I said, that's one thing that makes our studio special is the quality doesn't change, but we'll block. You're getting exactly what you would get in our studio, but it's a special event, so the price is discounted. But is your quality so vented? Valentine our prince mounted? Are they lester coated? Is everything the same? That's a good question, and no, they're not. That is one of the things that are different and are really kids events, the portrait parties I do, I am that we have a custom line and a gift print line. The gift prints are sold in packages, so there's they're sold in three, five or eight poses and then for the special events their gift print pricing and give print pieces so they're not mounted in texture. So it's a little bit different? Um for that quality means to me, there's still going to get a great image, but no, we're not mounting and texting all those things when we're doing the, you know, the quickie packages that started one hundred sixty eight dollars for vintage valentine's now those airman not mounted in texture, but you know there's there's a lot of other things that are different. There it's going to be a shorter session? Of course it's going to be one outfit and one theme or one background it's going to be you know they're there we're not giving them choices as faras custom planning and designing their session with them which is different about a regular session they're going to see their image images immediately following they're going to be plugged into no quick decisions we're going to turn their images around they're goingto have those gift print's pretty quickly like two weeks I always put off so usually an age restriction on our events and so even for riel kids, which is a higher end event, our ages are sitting up through age fourteen and that's because I want newborns in the studio and I want high school seniors in the studio and so I'm not going to photograph either of those ages at our real kids event. I also do not photograph families at our real kids events and most of the special themed events we have a family event once or twice a year a thankful event and then usually a christmas event but can we love are thankful events that's a pie and event that's not something that we're discounting we're just giving it a name same thing with the christmas event we're not discounting it we're just giving it a name and so you know there may be same but the theme is not the background or the location or a set or anything like that it's this is our products from this our product from our thankful event is the image box and that's this and if you purchase the course you've got this as a template er but we do the image box for, uh, the product for thankful event and then inside of the box there's cards that they can ride on throughout the year about what they're thankful for pull that back out at thanksgiving and read them together as a family, so starting a little tradition for the families, which brings them back here in your again to build that collection of those those thankful boxes so, uh, that that answer the question I'm like off on little tangents today. That's what we love is get washington someone asking spark another thing that you think so we have a question from debo who I don't know if that's debo or deb oh no, I'm curious about that it's a regular loving but how many images do you shoot for a special event? I know that you just said two per child with halloween, but what about others so that you can offer higher end products with the real kids events? I'm probably showing them thirty to forty, which is a lot, but the real kids events are thirty minute sessions and they're seeing their images immediately following, but they do have thirty minutes to purchase with the real kids events. I'm also I'm doing consultation calls witches with each and every mom so it's a little bit simpler than we do with regular studio sessions, but I've also turned real kids sessions that are booked into family portrait sessions, and they may not even come to the real kids event and so and but, you know, and we've done that even though they've seen the real kids pricing it's, not an issue, because when I start talking to them about wall decor and doing something special for their home, they want the whole family included, and they understand that that's a different process with the studio, and I still give the host mom the credit for inviting them that's all good, because she's still referring them to the studio, but, you know, we're we're showing thirty, forty images on a session like that, one of the things that I do, any kind of special event anytime I'm showing the client their images immediately following, even if it's a high school senior or a family that's coming for a regular session, I am editing in my camera, so if a high school senior is changing clothes I'm I'm going through and I'm starting to delete and so and and that's okay uh, there are also times when I will shoot to an ipad and mom can start flipping through and start to leading when she does that there knock on forever because all the route raw files are still on my camera but she can go through and she can start the leading as she's looking and she thinks she is starting to make decisions and that's okay too for like a fifteen minute uh special event I'm probably showing them twelve images and we all know we can take forty images in fifteen minutes can you speak a little more about the christmas when you're growing police musker on dh things like that? Um do I include christmas cards in the christmas miss event and you know sometimes yes and sometimes no sometimes I'll do twenty five cards that are included with your event session uh fi and so and that's a way to do it a lot of times with vintage valentine's we do a ninety nine dollars session fee and with that they get a it's a the willow fly frame from wild survey it's a desktop frame and it's a little wooden painted frame and they get that identified by seven and if they were to purchase that separately on my menu it's almost two hundred dollars tohave that five by seven framed print and so it's a huge value their getting it like half price plus their session be included for ninety nine dollars and then they get that little frame's piece it's costing me about twenty two dollars for that and we're selling it with the ninety nine dollars session that we're selling the package is on top of that so it's kind of like that with e with the christmas events you know I might offer a discounted session fee because I'm going to be photographing mohr than my two people a day like I normally do and so we may be planning for ten people on a day or twelve or fifteen or however many it is and so for that because I'm doing that profitability wise I can charge less for the session fee and include a product with that which gets people excited about coming for the event because it's something special like christmas cards or like an ornament you know it could be something that I don't normally do I'm not gonna have ornaments on my count are my menu but we can do something special like especially product like that it could be on a telephone case that could be, you know, a piece of hitori jewelry that you could include with a discounted session fee but you're figuring it in to your figuring your profit for the entire day instead of figuring out like for me to sessions during a day I hope that makes sense, absolutely. We don't have any more questions in the studio we are going to end today. However, I didn't want to point out that I really love this checklists that you have in the workbook. This is the workbook that you get when you do purchase the course and it's a special event checklist. I know I don't know about you, but I love checklists. Eso going through all the different gear you might need backgrounds, printed materials, props, product samples and goodies like a hostess. You don't want to get into it and find out, oh, I don't have that thing that will actually let me make money off this. Absolutely, that would be a problem so cool, thank you for that. Excellent. So that is the end of day twenty seven, everyone, we are going to go into day twenty eight, so let us, uh, cross that off. We're getting so class, you guys.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Day 30
Day 28 Press
Day 29
Day 8 Mommy and
Day 23 Contact Sheet.pdf
CL_LORI30 Desktop Screen Saver 1.jpg
CL_LORI30 Desktop Screen Saver 2.jpg
CL_LORI30 Desktop Screen Saver 3.jpg
CL_LORI30 Desktop Screen Saver 4.jpg
Day 3 Weekly Calendar.pdf
Day 3 Monthly Calendar 2014.pdf
Day 4 Thank You Back.jpg
Day 4 Thank You Back.psd
Day 4 Thank You Front.jpg
Day 4 Thank You Front.psd
Design Gift
Day 7 Blog
Day 7 PlayDate
Day 8 Gift
Day 8 Mini Accordian Book
Day 8 Promcard Digital and or
Day 8 Timeline
Day 9 Gift
Day 9 Vendor
Day 10 Accordian
Day 11 Event
Day 12 8X8 Econo Layout
Day 13 Grateful Worksheet.pdf
Day 14 Call Log Worksheet.pdf
Day 14 Phone Scripts.pdf
Day 15 Welcome
Day 16 Square
Day 17 Certificate of
Day 18 Consultation Phone Scripts.pdf
Day 18 Consultation Planner.pdf
Day 19 Wall Cling
Day 20 Image
Day 21
Day 22 Designer
Day 23 Holiday
Day 24 Workflow
Day 25 Record of Sales Workbook.pdf
Day 26 View and Choose Appointment
Day 27 DVD and DVD

bonus material

Course Outline.pdf
CL_LORI30 Model Release.jpg
CL_LORI30 Model Release.psd
Day 2 Workbook Sample.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


This course is amazing! Lori covers so many essential things to have a successful photography business. She goes through everything in a very methodical way. I also appreciate ALL the free stuff she gave to help make my business successful. I also love how she shared how she gives back in her community and worldwide. Thanks Lori!

a Creativelive Student

I cannot say enough GREAT things about this course!!! I've been in business for over 10 years now, but still need to check in on the business side of things periodically. This class reminds us just how much fun marketing, sales, and planning can be. It has rejuvenated my passion for the BUSINESS side of this business. In fact, I'm so inspired by what Lori has to say, I think I will recommend this class to my COMPETITORS down the street. We will all be better for it and the industry will be better too! This is perfect for those just starting out AND seasoned pros :)

a Creativelive Student

I have loved so many creativeLIVE courses but I have to say this has been THE BEST for me. Lori thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge! I am feeling more confident and excited about moving forward and making my photography a real business finally. I have been crippled by insecurity and fear and with this course I feel like I have finally been given the ok and the KNOWLEDGE to do what I need to do. Thank you!

Student Work