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Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Lesson 3 of 39

How to Run Your Photography Business

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

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Lesson Info

3. How to Run Your Photography Business


Lesson Info

How to Run Your Photography Business

There are three things that I hear creative say that if you say it you're screaming for help and not everybody in this industry need tell not everybody is struggling but he say these three things you are absolutely one of the people I set this course up for so this accounts for ninety percent of the people that you hear this set about if you ever hear this set about someone he's so talented why is he broke? This is why all right I'm too busy shooting to worry about my business I'm just going to keep on shooting if you say that you will believe that your talent is enough to survive on you are the type of person who thinks I'm a great photographer I'm gonna make it it's not true it's not true these people are neglecting that is a professional photographer professionals the first word I gotta run this like a profession and so your images might be amazing it's not gonna be enough to just have a great business if you say that you're in trouble next one I'm really serious about my photograph...

y business but not really like I really don't know anything about my photography does and I just say I'm serious and all my photography business because that's what some chubby kid with curly hair on creative lives said I had to dio but in reality I don't really kids say I'm just going to go with it thiss kind of goes back to the first statement it's it's very, very similar but if you're going to say that like if you don't take your business seriously, why should I take it seriously if you don't take your company seriously, why should I as another as appear as a colleague? Why should I take you seriously as a customer? Why should I take you seriously? Take your business seriously it's hugely important and the third thing in this one I told you guys about constructive criticism I got constructive criticism on this one this when I was told was a little bit too harsh, but I believe it up anyways, all right? I don't mean to offend I don't mean to offend, but if you say I am never going to be a business person, I'm an artist, you're never going to be your you're never going to run a successful business, you're never gonna have it. These are people of the people that I hear say this so in I understand that I'm up here, I'm teaching you guys about how to run a successful business, but I want you to know that not all of this comes insanely easy for me there's a lot there's work that I have to put into this stuff I by nature my wife would testify to this by nature I'm not overly organized in my personal life, I'm not overly organized but I but I run my business that way that's something I have to work on and that's something that's not always just an easy thing to do but because I take my business seriously and because we have I have two seven full time employees they're married, they got kids it's a lot of people whose lives are influenced by the decisions and the actions that I make it's more than just me and so if you're one of the people saying like I'm just in artist I could never do this you're a lot of the people I see that say that it's almost like you just aren't happy with where you are in this industry like you won't have people just don't get what I'm selling it might not be what you're selling it might be how you're selling it and beat again take the steps to run the business make sure you're doing well I'm gonna give you guys the structure structure of how to run this business I'm gonna tell you everything you need to know and this is not the gospel truth this is not the only way you can do it and you you should certainly tweak some things to make it work better for you but I will tell you right now that if you price how we price and you shoot how we shoot and you process how we process and you sell what we sell. You're going to be profitable, there's no way not to be if you pay attention to how long you're spending on your sessions, if you pay attention toe, toe, how long your shooting and editing and all that jazz and you price your stuff appropriately, you have to be successful, you have to make money turning a profit should ever be questionable in your photography business you should know every session you're going to do that you're goingto at least make x y z amount of dollars breaking even breaking even shouldn't be an option don't get me started on losing money on a client he is not a gamble it's a business make your money so, like I said, I'm a show, you guys how we did almost nine hundred sessions last year without working crazy hours you show us how we do this this course is gonna go through how we set up our sessions I'm gonna tell you all the sessions that we do going to tell you how we praise him, why their price that way and what we do for revenue off of them, I'm gonna go I'm gonna talk to you about how you get them in your studio, which is I mean, really fundamentally marketing, but we're going to go into more than just a website. We're gonna talk about your web presence. We're gonna talk about community involvement, going talk about direct mailing, which is something that I am surprised like less people d'oh because direct mailing it seems like when I tell people we're going to aa direct mailing peace on this it's, almost like I'm giving like archaic advice like, how could that work? And what what's true is that less there's a financial commitment to making a direct mailing, going to spend money to have imprinted and sent out? You're gonna buy a list, your sentiment you don't know if it's gonna work there's a commitment to it, and I think that weird's out a lot of people, especially when you could do free marketing online. Do facebook groups could do what I tell you guys? Why facebook groups if that's what you're doing for your business, I'm going to tell you why that's think on its last breath free facebook marketing is next to dead we're going go into that, we tell you guys all the steps you need to do to get him there attacked you how do you talk to them when they call the book your session? How do you drive up your sales from the moment you get him on the phone? We're going to go through our digital work flow now that's something that when you go through my shooting workflow to skip that one to show you how I shoot sessions like in fifteen shots fifteen klicks I do one shot one pose next one so hee always like I have the same joke and so if you see me speak before you probably heard this before but there's this little screen on the back of my camera and I can look at my screen as soon as I take the picture and see if I have the expression I want that lightning I want see if the eyes are open it's like right there I'm a camera so I use that as a tool I look at this is this is something like years ago when my father started this industry you took twelve shots on a roll of film you didn't know if you don't know if it was over exposed under exposed you didn't have eyes were open or closed, you know, wait a week we're blessed with the opportunity to see our results immediately why do we not take advantage of this to become something like this should not just be so that you could take a picture with your iphone in the back your camera and put it on facebook that's not what that's for okay is there so the lead you can make your work better it's not to make more work for you use this to streamline your work rig over proper dental work flow will tell you guys how we knock out all of our session it's like two minutes and image I spent no more than two two minutes an image and our stuff is like crazy fast and it's good and no it's not some ridiculous composite when nine thousand layers and elements from my travels in asia it's not that it's not that but it's great sellable photography that's not going to take a lot of time don't talk to guys about setting up your pricing pricing sets value value sets expectations it's a huge huge thing and it's something that a lot of people struggle with and I'm gonna tell you guys where we get our specially prague from where do we get our stuff from? Because the difference between lee if you sell eight by tens and wallets you're going to be a three hundred dollar photographer that's what you sell you and make a hundred bucks the the with how fast things are changing you need to get him products things that they can't just get at wal mart things they can't get at costco costco sells campuses I mean you gotta you gotta get in and you got sell stuff that your clients can't get and so costco sells grad cards and they're nice yeah I mean it's really not that bad so how do I compete with costco pricing cause I charge a lot more than costco we focus on providing our clients with something costco can't do which is we developed custom products for them they're template doesn't look like the dude down the street we give them something they can't get anywhere else we do that fast too and we sell and we sell well and we sell fast so the biggest thing that I want everyone to take away from this workshop I would set now this workshop specific to senior photography understand that we do we have the boudoir line and everything's different for our boudoir line we sell sesh duties which we don't for our senior so we sell packages which we don't proceed your stuff we do on ly in studio viewing which we don't do for our senior stuff but that's the business decisions that we've made that will work in all of them though haven't underlying workflow that's set up for speed, quality and efficiency and so no matter what you're doing well maybe you never even shoot a senior session you watch this this whole course you're absolutely going to walk away with things that are going to free you from oppressive work like this is going to make your life easier and um the thing that I really think that we should I want to encourage all of you to go home and when you start working on your workflow like I get a lot of questions about like how can I how can I make my work flow better what's what's wrong with my work flow and the best advice and give you let's go home, sit down takeout and a half by eleven piece of paper and write down every step for your workflow and I mean every step I want you to write out like the client calls I write down their phone number on a piece of paper and put it in my google calendar I go to the studio and pack up my gear I shoot the thing I take the memory card out I download the memory card I put the memory card back I want every step write it all out because when you sit down and you actually go through every step of your workflow it's really easy to sit there and be like I really need to do that oh if I keep all my gear in this bag ready to go that's a seeming like half an hour of getting my stuff ready for my session you're going to see your deficiencies better than I can and I'm getting it and we're gonna go over whole how to improve your workflow stuff and I'm going challenge you guys to think I would get calls someone has come from the audience here it would challenge you guys t think critically about your workflow because that's, what is stopping you? Your work full time is money if I worked for three hours on a session and I sell six hundred bucks that's easy math what a maid! If I worked for twelve hours and I saw the same amount I made a lot less if the end product is the same your time is your money so let's get our workflow kind of dialed in so well that's all we got for this segment and, uh I'll turn it over to you guys. We have one from m r iowa who has kind of been a little questioning as far as your schedule goes on and says, I've always been schooled at your studio hours should be when your client's khun b there a k sundays when dad and mom don't work in the kids are home especially when you first start out or later in the evening when dad is off working has had supper and ready to come in. How do you work around all that when you say you're not open on sunday? Do you expect dad to take a half day off work to come in on dh? Do you think it's different for an established studio versus for someone who's just starting out? I think that if you are going to start doing sunday appointments and stuff it's a hard thing to take back it's a hard thing like once you start doing it, it's hard to take it back once it's out it's out once they know that she can do it, they want that, and our goal is to get clients that are going to be at our studio for a long time. So I completely understand your statement, I get it, and I and I respect because there's some validity to it, but how we combat that is our sales structure specifically for our seniors, which is what we're talking about today is we send proof books and order catalogs home with parents, so when parents come into view their images for the first time, they get a physical proof book, and I have one, I'll show you guys in the now segments that goes home with them, as well as an order catalog, which they fill out, so they come back to me with ninety percent of their order done. So if you are doing a studio where you have to do projection sales, where you're going to say, ok, I need all the decision makers from your family to come in, we need grandma there, we need mom there. We need dad there, and we're going to view all the images and that's when you're going to place your order, then yeah I think you need to be open nights and weekends I do because I think that means that you're messing with a bigger number of a larger number of people schedules but with the way our schedule is no mom or dad can swing by one day between nine to five or ten to four on saturdays they confined one time that works now our sales approach doesn't require that every decision maker be there they take something home they show dad maybe dad doesn't care about pictures so dad's just gonna say I want this for my office whatever and move on so our system is set up to make that not it not an issue but with our boudoir stuff we do in studio viewing were still only open nine to five and we just explain to people those are ours we got saturday for you if you want if you want to make that work but take a lunch break coming out fridays we order pizza I love pizza and I have a question yes my big thing I guess just thinking right off the top of my head is like work flow like if I do ah session or something like that and I'm looking at an image okay I like that what do I do with this image? I mean, you know some not said I do a ton of layers or anything like that but it's just like you sweet I'm a teacher I got you covered I got you covered that's going to be that we're going to go over that today we're going over that today and the thing with digital work flow like the question that you're asking is I think that most people you know you have to have a vision of what your image is going to look like you should kind of no with my lights set up here with my reflector here with my camera here when the subject pose like that you should kind of know what it iss what it's gonna look like now I was joking about that little camera the screen on the bag your camera I look at that and I said yeah that's it now sometimes I'm like I need to move that light delete the camp delete the image move the light get the right one so when you take your image is in the photo shop or light room same question is do you have a vision as to what that image is gonna look like finished do you know because if you know if you look at that image and you're like all right I love this photo but I got to get rid of that big honking zit get rid of the bags under the eyes I'm a smooth skin out I'm going to give it a little color pop and they were going to toss it and yet on it if you have that vision before you start it's super easy to execute it's super easy so the point is to answer your question how do you get there and what I'm going to show you is when you sit down and you know what you're going for it's easy so know what you're looking for, matthew I love your style I love that you're like we're gonna whip you business people in the shape that at the same time you're fun and you make it you make it interesting so I just love that combo you know you think that you make us all uncomfortable like ono s o that's perfect really appreciate that so we're going teo in the next time we're gonna be talking about setting up sessions and marketing you want to talk a little bit about what we're going to be doing? Yeah, we have four sessions at our studio so I'm gonna walk you through what's unique about our city we don't have a session fees we don't packages now don't confuse that with like he would just come in and order a five by seven and leave because that's not what that's not how it works with us, we're set up on minimum orders now this sometimes gets confusing when I'm teaching classes because people don't really understand what I'm saying when I say it's a minimum order our minimum orders range between two hundred and five hundred dollars. That's. Just a promise that you're going to order at least two to five hundred dollars in any product that we have. I'm gonna walk you through our sessions, and I'm gonna explain our minimum orders. I'm going to explain, what are averages are until you guys how long it takes for us to edit these sessions and what we see and what we make per hour in gross sales.

Class Description

The success of your photography studio depends on your business model, not your location. Learn the key strategies that have propelled a booming second-generation family photography studio for more than 40 years in rural Minnesota.

In this course, Matthew Kemmetmueller will show you how to set up your entire high volume senior photography business step by step — including successful sales tactics, shooting techniques, and efficient workflow practices. You will see Matthew’s strategies in action as he takes you through two live shoots from start to finish — each in under 90 minutes. Matthew will also teach you how to increase the value of your services, market directly to new clients, and create unique products that will delight your customers.

Whether you’ve photographed thousands of seniors or just looking to learn high volume tactics, this course will give you a comprehensive, replicable roadmap for multiplying your revenue.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lightroom Start to Finish Guide

Order Catalog

Step by Step LR5 and PS Workflow

Keynote 1

Keynote 2

Jen's Design

Lightroom Templates for Ordering

Keynote 3

Syllabus and Keystroke Shortcuts

Order Catalog PSDs

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

I decided to listen in on the free course of Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business w/ Matthew Kemmentmueller...I thought it would be good to have the skill sets even if I chose to do another photography forum other than seniors. And I was laughing thru the whole thing...he is one funny guy!! So, I decided to buy it...not only is this course full of great tips/advice/ and "did you know facts" but it's really informative and again, he is down right funny. I'm learning lots. Thanks for having him on Creative Live...this one is a keeper.

Diane Yvon

I absolutely loved this course. I am primarily a maternity and newborn shooter and to my surprise what I learned here applies to my current work as well as developing my senior work. I thoroughly enjoyed Matthews delivery of each topic as it was clear, precise, fun and non intimidating. I will watch this over and over and the course downloads were amazing! 100% satisfied with this course


Matthew's class is excellent! I watched it live, but decided to buy it since it's so foundational. I think his information and materials are excellent, whether someone wants to be "high volume" or not. I love how he continually drove the point home about how so many photographers overwork themselves and gave excellent ways to resolve this issue. CL does such a great job of covering the gamut in education of all types. Thanks!