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Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Lesson 5 of 39

Senior Sessions and Presentation Methods

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

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Lesson Info

5. Senior Sessions and Presentation Methods


Lesson Info

Senior Sessions and Presentation Methods

Let's talk about our sessions we got four of them they start with the you picked you pick session is a minimum order one hundred ninety nine dollars that is just a promise that you're gonna spend one hundred ninety nine dollars on product through my city of it guarantees ten images two outfits and it's just inside and just outside of the studio this is the easiest this is the easiest one to make money on it takes me no time take me no time so this slide this show this will take the easiest to make money at quickly alright takes it thirty minutes to shoot he's in thirty minutes at it now one thing that I do want to tell you guys all these numbers I give you this is what we promised our clients now when I started doing this and I'd say we'd give you ten images this is almost always a problem with the smaller orders okay with smaller sessions they come in and they'd say well we love the images but I hate number seven I don't know why you picked number seven for one of his pictures why in ...

the world did you pick seven such a stupid boat? It looks like an idiot and then he so what we do is we learned quickly that we should overdeliver tow our clients so we tell them we're going to give them ten we give him twelve you know what happens now? They say I hate number seven I say aye yes I see why you don't like it I think it's good I don't think it's that bad but you don't like number seven let's get rid of it. Good news is I give you twelve images euros let's get ten to seven extra one and they uh they feel good and all is right, so we always do overdeliver all right, now we have here is an example this session two outfits I love this kid war suit he was like he came in off of a sports team session so he came in and had been in our studio for the poster shoots that we do. So you kind of do the work really cool get barn town works. Well, all right, so this session thirty to forty five minutes issue forty five minutes on the long and if the kid takes a long time to change now that session takes me thirty minutes at it and I'm going to average um we're not average three hundred twenty dollars an hour in gross sales off that which is crazy. So our next session that's also the only session that we have just so you know where it might be in their favor to buy the proof book as opposed to get it for free through our incentive pricing now, our double obsession too easy one to explain, they say it was a double up double everything double the outfits double the time, it's inside and outside at my studio. This is probably a lot of the calls that we get our from kids that want simple sessions, and this is an easy up cell to get him to the double up. So it's four outfits like I said, it takes forty five minutes to an hour to shoot our would be on the long end. So this session, I guess it's going, take me forty five to sixty minutes to shoot and see me forty minutes to edit. Now our session fee on the r minimum order on this is two, ninety nine were generally able to double it with this session. Okay, we double our average order, our minimum order were averaging four hundred and twenty eight dollars and fifty seven cents an hour in gross sales, so our next session is three hundred ninety nine dollars minimum order. Now this when we're actually going to go somewhere, we're going get in the car and drive somewhere is another tangent that isn't scripted was going to tell you guys this one because this got asked when I was teaching another class, we're photographing people's kids, and I'm a guy. And they're certain there's certain situations that I can never ever allow myself to get into now I showed you pictures of my studio my city is a basement all right? My city was a basement room and there's a lot of times that the old saying to be nominated as to win the election I don't allow myself to get nominated for anything that could be not good so especially if I'm dealing with a female I never shoot a girl alone ever if they show up alone and employees in the basement the whole time never alone with me they don't ride in my car go get your own ride and it's just one of those things that I'm constantly aware of and I think that it's something that we always need to reinforce that these air kids these are other people's kids and you've got to make sure that there's never even an opportunity for anything you do toe look shady so that's why I talk about this when we go places but they gotta get a ride it's not for me and we have two locations we have a minnesota landscape arboretum the landscape arboretum is ten minutes west of my studio it's like six a hundred acres or something insane they're like four waterfalls and this grass field and ponds and all this I mean it's ridiculous flowerbeds and it's all landscape that's beautiful and it cost me like one hundred fifty bucks a year to use that as much as I want and I don't have to do any work so that's a great location for us and the high school girls go nuts over it's got the fountains and the flowers and it takes me ten minutes together and I don't have to cut the grass so this plays is uh that's really big but it doesn't always sell guys guys don't want to go where the girls go so I realize that there's another place downtown why's that it's like ten minutes the other way that was on my way home so I hope they pick that one so the wise that a one is like boardwalks it's a lake in the background there's no train station there that's bricks it's maur it's like a little bit more urban a little more manly stuff like that so that's where we do have two locations you pick want to take um it's up to thirty images it's what we guarantee and it's up to six outfits mostly him that we're six outfits because I have a place for them to change so they have to change in their car it'll have to do with a change like one time generally when we're on location so this one takes seventy five minutes to ninety minutes including drive time it's a three ninety nine minimum order so here's one of the sessions she's a tennis player and she's like seventeen, which is why she's just so insanely skinny and tries, you know, I'm like, yeah, all right, so that session with the three, ninety nine minimum order and through our incentive pricing, which I'm going to go in depth with you guys on, we are averaging three hundred dollars an hour off of her work. Now I understand that's less per hour than some of the other ones, but it still ends up being more money, which I'm okay with, and I'm okay with doing three hundred dollars an hour and gross sales, I'm okay with that number, and the last one we have is our city life there's one that gets booked the least, which I don't understand because it's obvious it's like definitely the best deal. It's definitely the best deal. So it's for ninety nine it's forty images it's the on ly session they have where they get to automatically keep their proof book and it's unlimited outfits we goto like two locations downtown now, this one I get mohr sensitive on the time that will shoot because I don't want you stuck in traffic, so I don't want to shoot like, uh, when russia was going into the city, we're leaving the city, I don't want to do it then so we tend to shoot this kind of I'll meet them downtown in the morning so I don't have to go in. We figure that out, but this session takes up to two hours and all of our sessions still the ones where we go on location we also do inside. I like that hoodie picture very eminem under the bridge before anyone starts right and yelling at me before the next slide. His mama works for the construction company. We had permission. We were not trust passing. Please don't blow up my feet with this nonsense. Okay? It's legit it's legal. You can't set up drum sets in the hood that where they're knocking down buildings? Otherwise all right, so this session is my least per hour. This could get me to seventy to seventy two an hour with my average sales. Okay, it's gonna take me two hours to shoot up to two hours to shoot and to take me up to eighty minutes to edit. So this is the one that's providing my clients with the most options. Now, a lot of my clients end up spending enough where they could have gotten this session for free, because we're all based on minimum orders, so in the end, it doesn't really matter because they all end up spending more than their minimum order, but people for some reason, have like a hang up on the perceived value of just committing to the most expensive thing. I don't want to commit to the most expensive thing, so even though this is a great deal, I don't sell that often, which is I'm okay with it because if I can get nine hundred bucks, I'm shooting a kid for an hour. I'm good with that, too. You know, all of our sessions guarantee us at least guarantee us at least one hundred fifty dollars an hour and gross sales that's where we start, like now, now we average much more than that, but every session I do, I know that the amount of time I'm going to spend shooting and editing that kid, I'm going to make it least one hundred fifty dollars, in gross sales. And this means that you want to tell you guys that though that's the thing you need to understand that's only because my timeline is so tight. My timeline on I know what I'm going to make per hour if it takes me an extra hour to retouch this kid didn't make more money, and this is what building profitability into your business is like this is what it is building profitability into your systems into your workflow, making sure that we are never questioning if we're going to make money and even though I'm doing business completely differently than you you you you you I'm still certain I'm going to be profitable and once you know your stuff like once we go through all this you're gonna be able to set your your minimum orders up for whatever works for you obviously I don't recommend set your minimum orders of a fifty bucks but maybe you're maybe you can charge more for minimum order to me maybe you don't have a desire to shoot the fifteen twenty minute session so you start higher and that's okay, but just make sure that when you set up your sessions you're doing it in a way that's going to guarantee you profits all right? So let's talk about viewing options how do you view your stuff? Oh my gosh, I have so much stuff to go through all right, there's three options we got online ordering we got in studio viewing and we got paper proofs these are all just my experiences please don't send me hate emails online ordering all right that's what people are going to go sign up and look at their stuff on a website it is the easiest to dio it will get you the lowest amount of money on average and you should avoid it at all costs now I know that some people have success doing online ordering in my opinion and in my experience it hasn't worked now if you use a company like smug mug if you use collages dot net it could be so painfully easy cause you just upload the photos and people order in a box gets shipped to them and you get a check a month later sounds great right? But you're doing yourself a disservice because you're leaving money on the table you haven't guided your client through any process they don't know if they're ordered what they really need all right if they need something if they want something changed on an image it's really hard to make sure that you get that image perfect for them if you um it's a way to diminish the client experience because they aren't you aren't involved in it and being involved in the sales process should be pleasant for them okay and we get asked all the time to do it I will do it with our high school stuff after they've placed their order the way we want them to if they got not an uncle in phoenix or whatever yeah cool yeah and I know I'm going to get like a couple of five by sevens fine because I know the primary order has been set has been done the way that we wanted I would never ever ever do it with boudoir I don't know he gets so there's just a big scandal not that long ago where a bunch of websites got hacked in these photos start floating around the internet. Real client sessions never in a million years, the moment it leaves her studio, you lose the ability to guarantee its security. You have lost control of your images, hopefully it's at a good place that you can trust, but you've absolutely lost a huge element of control in studio viewing. Now, this is something that most people in the industry are doing. Why? Because it's a great way to enhance your client experience in front of lisa. She, like, pours them wine and they have chocolate when they hang out and play candy, crush and whatever like that's her deal and she's great at it, and she makes good money she's higher average is into me, but like we were talking about what the question that came in from online it's a time commitment, and it requires you to adjust your schedule to be available to your clients, especially with senior stuff, our family photos when you're dealing with more than one purchaser, it's a hard one to do for me because I don't want to work at night. I don't I want to go home and I don't want to, and I don't want to have to spend two hours going through all your images and working through what nana wants. And what what you want for your uncles don't want do it and so we do this only for our boudoir stuff and that is a different situation because in that situation it's generally just the woman or maybe the woman in the guy but generally it's just a woman and so are nine to five hours work because they can still figure out a time that they could get there and it's great if you got the time to do it and you got the client list do it it's a great way to enhance the experience and you can sell stuff you can show stuff big on a big tv I mean that's there's a lot to be said for this but we got paper proofs paper proofs are lot of guys probably have never seen people proofs alright paper proves our riel photographs so we send out our clients with five by seven spiral bound books all right now this is a great way to show your work because you're able to show your clients finished product this is what it looks like printed don't have to imagine what it looks like I monitor I'm going to show you a print this is what it is take it home talk to dad show everyone what's up and start to place your order and I don't need to be involved in the majority of your order okay bad thing about it is that people can scan it can't happen in our market the company's around are really good about making sure that people have copyright releases so I'm sure that people aren't printing them but they do get on facebook every once in a while but to combat that I'm generally just pretty I'm pretty upfront with my client's so when kids come in like we have a facebook group in we put pictures on there for free but also a man just so you know like don't scan your stuff it's against the law and I like you and I want to keep being your friend but I don't want to send you a nasty grams saying take that off your face book so don't make me like hate on you just don't do it and people don't mean I'm sure it's so gets done in some places but the huge plus about doing the sparrow bombproof book is that when our people most excited about their pictures the moment they see him they're losing their mind you have captured my daughter I love these and I'm gonna order a bunch now if you do in studio viewing the moment that they're the most excited about their images they leave your studio with nothing that's the peak of the emotional connection to them that's not going to get better that's the time that they had the most excited and they have nothing to talk about so by having this this fits and purses this goes toe happy hours this goes to church this goes toe work this goes all around town and people see this and we get calls from people that want to book us because they saw joni's kids proof book at work and we'll get kids from schools that we don't even market too because they've seen these things get around now we have the in house lab were able to print these uh it's like twenty seven cents a page for us it's cheap and weaken spiral bind and puts like a buck for the cover in the back and stuff I mean it's really cheap for us to do this? I understand that there's probably is there anyone watching who own is their own lab like really cutting curious and I buy that unique is that anyone watching creative live right now? It doesn't house printing if you don't have a lab which I'm assuming most of you don't because it would be a really bad business decision for you you can use labs we would use nations nations is awesome if you were to order this for nations I think like five bucks just to start and then I priced it out is like twelve bucks to do it through nations for full session for us so it's certainly affordable it's not crazy and it's absolutely imperative that this does not leave the studio until I have all of their money the minimum order has to be paid in full. Everything has to be done before this leaves the city so it's spiral bound it does have the proof it does have the file number on it so it makes it easy for them to order and see it right there. And then we also hook up all of our clients with what we call an order catalog I printed in order catalog for you guys on photographic paper. You guys can check it out too. I brought in proof books and stuff, but we wouldn't typically print this on a photograph just because they write on it and it went right very well, but it would sure just shows better for you guys, so typically this would be on just regular office paper. Okay, there order catalog is they're workbook that's what they fill out and they take that home and I lost my clicker. They take the order catalog home and they bring that filled out to us. The order catalog walks them through all of our products. All of our policies, deals and free stuff album's other products. This goes with them when they pick up the proof book and in the back of it is a contact sheet that has all of the images along with various prince sizes and the option to move it to a gallery block or a campus rap this is huge for us, and if you do buy the course, I hooked you guys up to you. Get all the psd layered files for order catalog so you can go home and just customize it and make it your own. Do whatever you want. Add products, change pricing, hook it up for your business. But it's always easier for me to start from a jump off point than it is tio. Just go from nothing.

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!