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Senior Sessions Q&A

Lesson 7 from: Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

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Lesson Info

7. Senior Sessions Q&A


Lesson Info

Senior Sessions Q&A

I didn't get your questions ready here in the room but I'm going to start out from earlier in the session you were talking about your your gross profits for per hour? Yep and melania and mackenzie lee were we're questioning whether that was realistic or whether you are leaving out your appointment times retouching ordering times etcetera that included in the hope that is that's how much we make per hour of shooting and editing so that's from that's from shooting the session from the moment they walk in tow when stuff is in hand for them to view that's how much we make per hour it does not factor and that booking time and generally our booking since we don't do we offer free pre session consultations I do like to a year it's just generally people don't really take me up on it and remember like no disrespect to any of the photographers out there that do like amazing works like jessica larks ah boudoir photographer herself crazy like I love her work and she goes out into like brings couch...

es in the fields and like fire stuff and crazy stuff and she sits down she conceptualize is these shoots does all that and it's great and I love it and it's so the exact opposite of what I d'oh my job is to get him in, get him shot get him out so to answer that question there really that time isn't factored into that number. It is a very real time for what we make for shooting and editing that's a very real and honest dollar amount, but are our times it's really it's? Not much like in our sales sessions, it doesn't have a sale sessions in there, it takes fifteen minutes to pick up their proof book, and it takes half an hour to go through that so we could factor that in so great. There was quite a few questions and clarification questions about when you when you talked about, uh, giving people ten images, eso debe said. When you say ten images or thirty images in the package, do you mean to choose from? Correct? Camilla said, do they get to choose the sizes of the ten images you've met? Mary, do you want to know? Are these printed images peggy wanted to know? Are they digital? So clarification when I talk about we talk about the ten, twenty, thirty, forty images that's images to pick from, those images are printed into their proof book for them to go home and order from because at that point, I have gonna get me out of here session it's a three hundred ninety nine dollars minimum order, I have the entire minimum order in my hand before I take the first picture. I take fifty bucks when they make their appointment. We're gonna talk about this in the next segment on walking us through this more, but I have the entire minimum order in my hand before I take one picture now that money, they haven't bought anything, that money hasn't gone to anything that's just my guarantee that they're going to spend that with me. So the images, the ten images, what they were the the images in the minimum order, when people say, what do they get for that's? Whatever they want, if they want in the whole money on wallets, if they want by four hundred dollars for the wallets, they could do that. If they want spend five hundred dollars on one big wall portrait they can do that doesn't matter so that's. Why it's hard to talk about margins on this, too? Because it depends on what they order. But every posed to the other thing that I want to talk about is that every image I show if you take one hundred fifty images let's, just talk about the psychology of you as a client coming in to buy. Okay, how many images do you, how many poses do you sell? Typically, like a really high amount would be like fifteen? That would be a ah high amount. Most senior photographers do not sell fifteen poses so if you come in and you book a u pick uh get me out of here session from me and you end up buying fifteen poses you pick from thirty so you went through your book and you said yes no yes no yes no if I show you one hundred and fif if the images you literally went through your images and went no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no yes no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no yes so by including a ton of images and overshooting you're giving your client there they're having to say no more they're going to buy a hundred poses from you and let's be really aren't going to sew by delivering a smaller number of images but making sure that every image is perfect it's retouched it's enhanced every image they see is a different pose a different background or a different expression making sure that that's done makes your images be more unique which will make them be more desirable and we'll change the psychology of how the clients buying they have to say yes to a much higher percentage of the images all right get a question in the audience yeah for it for the outfits for two or more outfits how many posters they issued for an outfit and when do you say like change in our six six, six, six shots because remember, we show him twelve so it would be like we would tell him five, but generally it's it's six pictures and I kind of have, like, a mental checklist the thing with with senior photography's remember, like all of your images, you have to shoot an extremely high percentage that have to be able to be used for the yearbook. Okay, so a lot of yearbook restrictions in our in our areas like you can't have hats on, so the kid comes in with a hat I'm not going to shoot of his six images, I might do one or two with a hat on because I know that if he were here in the yearbook is a big part of their decision, they can't use any of that you can't use hands on the face can't do props things like that. So the number of shots that we do is going to be affected by law, like if they're outfit or props or whatever would impact that we could use it for the yearbook that might influence it, and then also it's like I do, I don't shoot a lot of full body, so but I shoot with the five d three issue with big camera two, so even if I'm shooting you know, thigh high, I can crop there's enough information on that that I can crop that way in for for a head shot, which is what the yearbooks going to require. So six images, mental checklist, what you're going to dio, uh, school online really quickly we'll go jump back to lorenzo. We've got one from deal couture and a couple other people who are kind of confused about the proof book because you said like not a lot of people have seen a paper proof book anymore. Dale couture says why would anyone order a lot of prints if they're given a proof book of all the session images to take home with them? I can understand ordering medals or wall prints, but I charge eighty five dollars per small gift print. I could see them saying I already have those printed in the proof book. So why does anyone ever order anything? When you've given him a book, they don't get the proof book. The proof book isn't there's remember that four hundred dollars I have they got nothing, they got nothing, they haven't bought anything from me. This comes back when you place your order, you can buy it. It's eight bucks for every picture it's eight bucks per image if you buy every single picture in the book, okay? Which means that the smallest session is the only one where you could get it, where it would be cheaper for you to just buy it, but otherwise we incentivize our pricing and it's a bonus item, you spend five hundred dollars with me, get your proof book for free and by charged by putting it in as a bonus item. If this was just there's like if this just went to you, yeah might might my orders wouldn't be great, they wouldn't by having this is an item that they have to spend five hundred bucks to get to keep it drives up. My averages like crazy because even though you're never going to sell one hundred percent of your images, you're never going to sell like issue even ten images, you're not going to sell all ten no clients going to come in and pick ten five by sevens of different poses, but once they have this book, they don't want to give it back to me, and our pricing takes them where they need to spend more money to get it, and they happily do it because they want to keep it. And if you mean who doesn't spend more money to get something for free, I do it all the time, and so by putting it as our incentive item. You're inclined to spend the money because you feel like you get a win, you'll get it for free so they don't get it they get to borrow it it's on loan that's frank thanks for the clarification I think that was part of what some folks are missing. Yeah gotta have the runs off with you saying that some of the packages have different outfit changes what do you pick their outfits was was it pretty much? Hey, you know, you bring your favorites and no, we'll go through that in case somebody comes in with, you know, like tad as shirts and cut off change that's a great question that's a great question I was tell people like bring mawr in, then you're goingto then what we're gonna wear, so if you got a two outfits setter bringing like four, five options, I don't care bring him in and we're going to go through it now. The first question I will ask when I go through a heist like go through outfits with someone is I say lorenzo was your favorite outfit now let's just say it's, some god awful bright green neon nike sweatshirt and I'm going to retouch an image was some god awful bright green neon nike sweatshirt later on, it's hated it if photographed awful, it was so distracting it was just this bright weird color? We didn't look good, but I knew it was the kid's favorite outfit, he said he loved it, so I had to incorporate that into it. So the first, like with smaller numbers, I always ask what your favorite outfit is and that's when that I make sure that we're going focus on getting the best images in that's going to be the one that I that's the one that I'm going to really drive home if I need to do a couple extra shots of there to make sure I really nailed that outfit, I'll do it because I know that's, the one that you are going to be the most inclined to like, because that's, when you told me already. Now, after that outfit, I will give my opinion after that one of you'll get one free pass now after that often I mean to say, uh, you know what, man? Like really busy patterns, the super bright colors it's really going to be distracting? I'd recommend we go with this. This is gonna work a little bit better in your pictures, but I always asked what your favorite one is, and we always focus on that one because I know, even though it may not as important as it is to look in photos it's that it's equally as important to feel good like you need to feel good in your images so even if I hated this kid's sweatshirt it made him feel good aware that so there really be an off putting situation for the kid to come into this session and be like, oh, I really love this shirt I want to wear the shirt and he's now it's not gonna work did we can't use that it's just not a good start to the to the sessions but if that's where you're starting so I always shoot their favorite and then I'll go in and you want to it's just basic stuff you know? I would say like darker solid colors tend to photograph better but things that bring out your personality or just as important all right, matthew let's take one final question for the segment. All right, julie says with your pricing model is the business exposed to getting ripped off by clients who do this session and then never return. How do you minimize the risk especially if you don't have the extra revenue to cover these losses? Do you have a contract that people signed before you start the session? I don't do like I do contracts on our photo booth stuff and we'll do contracts on our weddings and we'll do contracts if they're going on the website for our booed wall line, but otherwise I don't do like a standard portrait client contract because I don't really see the need for it and to be honest with you I think it can like it would be weird to me if I was like I just want to book a family session and you're like I need you to sign this contract that would be a weird experience for me like I would I would be taken back by that so we don't do contracts how do we make sure we don't get, um screwed out of money? I have their entire minimum order in my pocket or the catherine sir before I take their pictures I have their money that two hundred, three hundred four hundred five hundred dollars that's in my bank account before they get their proof book, so if they were like if and it has never happened not come would if I were going to have someone come in and take their proof book and just never come back I still have their money you still have that two hundred bucks that three hundred bucks that four hundred bucks, five hundred bucks they could never come back and I still have it and there won't up with a proof book that's got my copyright on it and all they're gonna be able to do a scan and images and try to find some of this friend I'm like it's not a good deal for them so that's not an issue that and that goes into building profitability into your business and making sure that you aren't going to lose money as we have those systems in place, that I'm gonna have your stuff. I'm gonna have your money before I start to work, and I also did, like, if we have orders that come in, I don't know if you order an album from us and you don't have the money. We need to break up your payments. I don't work on your album until you pay it. It needs to be paid before I work. I will hold it. I won't charge you interest. I will happily do a payment plan for you because I want you get the products you want, but I do not work and release product until I'm paid.

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

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!

Student Work