Q&A from the Internet Audience
Okay, so now I think we're going to do the the objection objections? Yeah, good. So we have been collecting your objections on facebook and feel free to keep sending them in, put them in the creative cues tab and let us know what your biggest objections are from your clients for yourself, whatever it is that's keeping you from running a profitable portrait studio, let us know, and the bannister is going to knock them all down. So the one we're goingto best wanting to start with is from stephanie fife simpson, who says her biggest challenge for two thousand thirteen is getting clients into a brand new studio. She says, I've built my portfolio but now need paying clients to help me pay the bills and put reel money into my bank account. Bambi, if you were to launch your business today, what would you do to get the word out? Oh, gosh, okay, and this is exactly what I did. The first thing I would do is I'd make a list of the biggest groups of people that could benefit you immediately like a...
uctions, and we're gonna be doing we're discussing this more in our review in a few in a little while. School auctions I would also go to your local hair salons in the community and start making friends go to the med spas in your town where they do bo tox injections and fillers and facials and things of that nature, and get to know those people and start cross promoting with them because people that talk like that, I mean, there's nobody that talks more than a hairdresser, those guys gabble all day long so you can really make that you do hear worse segment, and then, you know, you can even do a write it for the newspaper when you do something like that. Hey, I'm just I've just taken an online class that was just amazing, but, you know, such a such through creative live, and I've been implementing something really interesting, and you'd be surprised at some of these, you know, especially in smaller towns and newspapers are really interested in that kind of thing, so those would be the first, those air be absolute, my first line of attack, the next thing I would do if you're going to do family portrait is that besides, doing the school auctions is that I would also make friends with some of the local your local stores in town maybe offer to come in and do a day of baby portrait or children support it's when someone purchases you know, maybe something over fifty dollars or something and come in and do a couple of torches you might have to do a few things to grease the wheel to get people actually to know about you through that means your doctors oh my goodness you're local gynecologist or your o b g y n I'll tell you what have you ever seen the pictures that those people have in their in their in their and their doctor's office? They're boring, they're just awful and so I would go into my doctor's office and and I would start saying, hey, you know what? I'm a local photographer I've got some great babies and how about some pregnancy photos? It's something really nice like that or a local hospital? In addition to that, when was last time you went to the dentist? Have you looked up in your dentist when you're in the dust? This chair the ceiling in your dentist's office is a great place to put interesting fund photographs and here's a really cool idea this is one actually want to do with my dental haven't done it yet, but the last time I was in my dentist's office I was thinking this would be a really great thing to do is to have a day designated for it's called you know you know you know just to make children not afraid of going to the dentist so what you do is you invite a bunch of kids in into your studio and all you do is you say ok, this is a day when you get to make crazy faces and we're gonna do really tight faces shots of your face you can show your teeth if you don't have any seat that's even better so you get these really tight face shots and then you take him to your dentist office and you put him on the ceiling while so that when the people are sitting in the chair had getting there their teeth drilled in they see these great fun giggling great photographs of kids and stuff on the ceiling so great ideas okay? We have got so many things to talk about this is awesome jonathan evans says was just watching great advice but honestly this isn't attainable in most markets I think it may change depending on what city or place you're in but for the most part it isn't realistic we live in a commodity society now unfortunately and I think this is probably a firm teo the way that you're able to price herself well but did I tell any of you what I do price myself at so how do you know how can you have a blanket statement like that I find that really inconceivable to make such a huge blanket statement without having all the facts to me I'll tell you right now that and I would love to address that because I feel like when you have that kind of negative attitude well it is no wonder you're not making any money I mean think about it if that's your mental attitude that well, that won't work for me it's like a child it's like a baby that is just learning to walk and falls down and says, well, you know, I tried it once and it doesn't work, you know? And I saw my other babies that are my age and they did the same thing they tried and they fell down too and then think about it I mean, they don't ever get back up again so there's always going to be someone who says it doesn't work and I have my question is this I wouldn't go to look for those people I'd say fine who was it who in your town is doing well? Who in your town is the most the photographer who does the best and why are they in business so there's always somebody there's always one person your town that you know photography especially that is like, you know who would you go to is like the best photographer in town? Well that's john q that's john so and so and then I say, well, well why are they in business if they charge more you know, and also my other thought is this is if that is true if we are in just a commodity if that's all that it is this just another commodity than tell me why do tiffany's why are they still in business? Why does louis vuitton still in why're they in business? Why are there any of the designer labels when we have all the knockoffs from china? Why? I mean, why you could buy a luton handbag and time in times square for twenty bucks. Why would anybody want the real thing? It's? Because there are some people out there not just rich people and I find that really offensive to think that just rich people want good stuff. I think all of us, no matter who we are, you know, want some there's times when we want something special and you know how I know that's? True, because women are still getting married if it were just true that it's all about commodity that tell me why a woman spends fifteen hundred dollars or two thousand dollars on a dress she's gonna wear once or even a hundred dollars if she's going to david's bridal that's still a lot of money for someone to buy a dress she's gonna wear one time I mean, just even an inexpensive wedding is for five thousand dollars so to say that it's on ly a commodity I find that I just think that's wrong often monica olsen price says it's hard to notice there it's hard to charge what you know you are worth one in the public side it's easy want it cheap and expect turnaround in twenty four hours you know that is absolutely true there are there is a segment of the population that wants it yesterday they wanted really super cheap that's not my client that's not the client that I want there are lots of people like you and I who actually value something special so are we you know, think about ourselves as a consumer, not as a photographer, what would you want? You know d is that all you want is just something super quick and cheap no there's times when we want something special and it doesn't amount talking specifically about photography, I'm just saying in general that for all of us there is something in our lives that we value. The problem I find with many photographers is because in their mind they don't value themselves and then second of all when they think they look at a price, she and they say, well, I only pay three dollars and twenty five cents to have a print made the problem is is that they're paying for the paper, not the talent I mean for those photographers that set in on this program this weekend that's three days out of your life that you had to do and for those that purchased the the course I mean that's a hundred bucks so there is some sort of an investment and I think that rather than laying down and dying and just saying okay, I'm just going to give the digital files maybe as an industry photographers need to band together and start elevating their craft doing things to separate themselves if we all do the same thing, give the digital files away. First of all, a digital file is air it's just it's not a real thing. You notice how it's just it's not even really it's just on a silver piece of disk he had a really photograph that comes in an album is tactile remember who your client is? It is women and women like to touch and hold things and there's a reason why there are still department stores when lots of people buy online because women still want to go shopping, we like to try it on. We like to touch and feel on hold so I would challenge this any photographer especially new ones this's my challenge to them instead of compromising and say okay, I'm gonna be at the bottom of the food chain I would love to see you do a couple of things differently photograph interesting pictures, take interesting photographs that are that are fun and energetic. The second thing I'd like you to do is to create pretty marketing pieces, create beautiful marketing pieces that showcase you in a very sophisticated, nice way, and then the third thing that I'd love for you to do is then find a price point. I'm not saying you have to charge thousands of dollars, you don't have to charge a ton of money to be profitable. It's not about charging a lot, it's about it's, about what you get to keep that is so important. So I don't want you to think I'm not trying to be a snob here. So will I charge a lot blah, blah, blah, because I am one of you. I came from exactly where you're at, so I am living proof that you can do it. You absolutely could make a success of this, I mean, if I can and I mean, I'm not the sharpest person ever lived, I mean, there's, not luck involved, and, you know, I didn't I don't have a degree in what any brilliant stuff I can hardly count, so I mean, I think that should be incentive enough right there, thank you so much, bambi. And I would love to have our instigating audience thinking about what their biggest challenges or objections are and I think john is ready with once well when you when you read that that objection uh I was thinking, you know, I've had those thoughts you know? I can't do that because and but just hear when we after we win to rake or whatever and we're all looking at the album like that album was incredible okay, so we all have albums and we have our price points and you know, we're trying to work it out, but when you see the quality of something like you know what, this is really good I would be willing to pay for it you know? I don't we don't know how much that you know, okay? That's it's been in but I want that you know, we have two albums right next to each other and and you have a you have a choice, you know, just like, okay that's nice, but this one is nicer and just figure out a way and even then my business this year I've kind of had those those small steps when you do something kind of out of the box or spectacular, you know, people look at me like who and it's a different reaction to, you know, the other prints before because they're like, hey, I like like a handed a print they said the guy said, well, I like that I like me some mommy I want one for myself and so it's kind of exactly what you're saying so you know it is possible. Yeah, and I mean, I go backto apple, I just say ok, apples the commodity. Why does why do people buy apple computers? Tell me why they buy them, you know, why are they? I mean, this just a tool, right? Why do they buy them? Why did why is it prestigious? Why does it make you feel good to have one of those when you could go just have the other kind and there's lots of people who have the microsoft or the, you know, the windows based computers, and yet it's really prestigious that makes you feel special tohave an apple computer and I really think that you should read steve jobs book I'm telling it I'm not advocating him the way he lived his life, but he really did have a lot to say. And if you look at people that are successful when I look at people that are they have a degree of success, all of us are born with the same, you know, we all have breathing, we all live and we think and we talk and everything else what makes someone successful different it's that it's not that they didn't fall down it's not that they didn't have problems in their life and that they didn't you know they have times when they were starving but they just looked forward they just kept moving forward they did not sit there and wine and gripe about it and then okay, I'm going I can't do this when you have that and you can't do something attitude you might as well go get out of business now and go get a different job because it's over for you it really is all right so many great ones we're trying to figure out which ones to throw at you so perfect as a new photographer how do you increase your confidence that you're worth that you're worth it? Um well, you know, I gotta tell you I ous faras confidence go I think that it's I don't know that I will ever have confidence I really don't have confidence, but I know that if I don't behave as though I have confidence that the alternative is a really bad one for me so I just believe in just being too stupid sometimes you know, I think for me this is really what it boils down to and that's why I think that if you're a new photographer and you're trying to move up the food chain, then start in baby steps number one, sit down and caught figure out how much it costs for you to do the business. How much does it cost you and make sure that your cost of goods to actually do the job is no more than twenty five percent? Then, once you've done that, then have one, like have a tear in your collection of what you provide, that is more expensive than others, so that you have a place for someone who wants to spend more money to go, because if you don't, they're not going to be able to go there. Package package package package is really important there's a reason why, when you buy software that you have to get, you have to have a degree and a new opening the thing because their package so well, right? Because because and that's, why they package them that way? Because it's just a little tiny disk, right? And yet there's a reason they package because they know that packaging is worth one hundred fifty dollars or two hundred dollars to pay for that software. So, that's, what I would say to you is a new photographer have one area where you have a couple of things that are a bit more more expensive, or take baby steps, and then raise your prices slightly, or you don't necessarily have to raise your prices, how about reeve evaluate what you're giving a client like lauren I mean lawrence prices it's not that three thousand dollars is bad to charge for photographing a wedding but you're given the house away for giving them to family books and you're giving a wedding album so reevaluate what you're giving that client so that you can stay in business and be more so it could be something that you can actually make a living at it and when ever I have a client that tells me you know, they have some of that they make a fuss about the price of something I just go you know, I am so sorry that I have to charge this but you know what? I have this this terrible habit I like to eat and you know, what's really funny is they just totally back all over themselves like, oh my you know? And you know what the funny part is the people people that liked that sometimes give you resistance are not the people that are like us that air, you know, they're just normal people it's sometimes those that have more money there's a reason they have that because so it's to me a fallacy to believe that only rich people spend money I think that's a joke rich people quite often because they are that way and I'm not trying to make a blanket statement but sometimes they're used to people giving him stuff so they don't necessarily have to pay I know some people in the celebrity field that's kind of the way it is they don't pay for very much so any rate that's kind of a short answer that all right fabulous next barb thrall says my biggest challenge is managing time between my full time day job and transitioning to photography full time I have a hard time trying to do both the day job always seems to win and we have seen this as a team yeah, you know that I actually really understand is having that day job so and I think this is probably one of the most important lessons that we have to learn and that is learning to say no we don't say no we what do we do if somebody wants us to work on a friday night to saturday and sunday night and then we have to get to go to work on monday morning we'll do it because we feel like we have to sacrifice will take a wedding on a day when we've got like a family outing us if we don't we're not good at saying no and I am is guilty of this in the past as well anyone but I learned the importance of saying no that there are times when it's appropriate and it's a good thing to dio I have learned over the years because of making stupid mistakes in the past that when that little voice tells you to say no, that you listen to it and you let the words come out of your mouth on dh, that actually is very true with sort with clients because there are times when a client isn't necessarily a good fit, and so I've learned that it's okay to say we're not a good fit and thank you so much, and I would love to be able to refer you to someone else. Lori haden or mountain, says bambi as an equine photographer, I travel to all of my chutes. My biggest challenge is that is that I would love to preview the shoots with my clients and up sell them in person, but there's rarely an opportunity for us to sit down and do this together. How do you deal with your clients that you travel to? That is a terrific question. Here is the answer to that make sure that you have a substantial investment from the client before you do this photo shoot, you see if you have a nice investment from them to begin with, then it's okay to post online? If you're being well paid to begin with, see for my wedding clients, I'm I will post whatever theywant online for a cz long as they want it because my profit is built into the coverage. To what I initially have for for me showing up so after that wedding, I don't care if they buy single eight by ten I go, honey, you want to have this christmas cards done here, let me give you the digital file. Go have them printed down wherever you want and so, but for portrait. So if you do with all of your work out on location with your with your business, then that's. What I would do is I would have the kind of pricing where you have a client that gives you a certain investment to begin with for you to go do that session so that you're well compensated for your talent. All right, fantastic. So we brought this one up earlier, but it's from can karen anderson getting people to part with lots of dollar signs for quality photography? And so what is it about or and let me combine that actually with jessica bangle burger says how to attract clients that value my work. Boy oh, boy, that's, that's a big one. Well, first of all, I find that I go back to the auctions. People who value photography by auction pieces, you know, they'll buy a kn auction will participate in a silent auction or in a live auction at a school for charity. Anyone who participates in charity, I find those are the kind of clients that I want because they value what I'm doing, you know, if they're gonna bid on a on a wall portrait for their home through an auction. First of all, it tells me two things number one, because they're participating in an auction that tells me that they're interested in our community and I think that's important, and then the second thing is when they bid on a on a on a wall portrait that tells me as well that they're interested in photography, and so those are the kind of clients that I want to migrate to. And then once you have that client people migrate to people like themselves, so I find that, and I think that probably some of you find that, too, that if you have clients that they usually have friends that are a lot like them, and so I would want those kinds of clients from them as well. Wonderful. Uh, kristen bonneville says you you told us how you homeschool your son while you work from home this's her goal from two thousand thirteen, lord willing. How'd you manage your time? And did you involve your son in anything to do with your chutes? Did you use things as a teaching tool for him? Everything was a teaching tool for him. I will tell you. My husband was very, very involved in my son's education with me. My husband and I have always been both self employed. So we both took an active role in our son's education and one of the most amazing things about homeschool children. I person had been a huge advocate of home schooling because it their role models are you what a better role model is there than your parent? I really find that so much more powerful and so much more important than then children that air their age and that maybe don't have the same values that you do, and it was really funny. One our son we started when he was twelve, and the first six months were rough, because he really he was definitely a follower in school, and he was one of those kids. He he was my great chickens that were not necessarily good associates, and he was a follower. So that was a bad combination. Within six months of us homeschooling him, we got this wonderful, brilliant young man back. And one of the benefits I found two home schooling is the fact that he because he was used to being around adults a lot, he learned the way to behave around adults and he wasn't just with kids are home became the hub for other parents and that had children that were home schooled. So in the afternoon our kids what our son went to school from nine to three just like every other kid in this school and then after three o'clock, a lot of the other parents who had home school their children, our house was the hub we always knew where our child waas so they would come we had basket ball on a pool table and all kinds of things, so that way they could engage in all kinds of fun activities. Yes, he did go with me and well, he went with us everywhere on all of our travels. And the great thing is that he learned to communicate at a very early age with adults and be able to communicate with them and intelligently in an intelligent way, and I found that to be very, very helpful today my son is twenty seven years old, him and my husband are in business together. My son is absolutely brilliant of course I'm his mom and to say that, but in four years my son went from he started a company that went from zero to almost four million dollars and he did that as a home school child taking some courses after you know after school and does not have a four year university degree but I find that people are successful because they have they want to do that it's what they're going to do and I don't think one way or the other that you're defined by your life or your horrible experiences I think that those can make you stronger or they can make you weaker and you're the determining factor to that nice bambi says like three days consolidated into your wine I love it I know what I'm saying stuff I'm going my god my son's going to kill me for saying that I'm gonna hear it when I get home I can tell you right now oh thank you for sharing uh addy far eighty far who is one of our regulars and thank you for the christmas cards by the way the whole office anyhow hey has a couple of objections that he gets all love okay so he says he gets this you are too x offensive and you are only just starting out in the business I love your work but why should I pay that much when you do not have a big reputation yet and similarly you have just started out in your business therefore you can take photos for free or really cheap you can use them in portfolio to get more work that is a great and have we not all heard that first of all I would say first off thank you so much because you know you said something really important and that it was you said that I did great work and that's really important and no doubt you'll agree that you know, we should all be compensated accordingly tio not on bunch of numbers but how much you like what we do and so that's how I would address I would just say I'd say thank you so much because you know, first of all if you didn't like my work we wouldn't be sitting talking so that tells me that it's not just about you not trying to buy a carton of eggs and in fact that's what I know I've had a number of especially gentlemen that have been my clients that have done that they'll go but baby, you know you're you're so expensive or you charge a lot or whatever the case is and you know, the funny part is it doesn't matter what you charge can I tell you right now I don't care what you charge there's always somebody that some say you charge a lot because sometimes for people one hundred dollars is a lot to charge to photograph a wedding because they don't value it's not important to them so they're thinking oh my goodness I could go buy a case of beer for that or maybe three or four cases of beer for that, right? So that's, why I always say that there's always going to be somebody less expensive than you, so you can't you can't base your business, you can't based life on what other people do, all you could do is move forward and do what you're going to do, and so and and that's so that would be my answer to them. Does that make sense? Sounds great, many clicks says. I've been foot photographing a model for free I like to practice with he likes the pictures a lot and told his friend, we have a photo shoot tomorrow and he wants to bring his friend to get pictures to I don't want to get passed around is the free photographer in his circle, but I wonder if I should embrace the unexpected and take his friend is a new option. Well, first of all, there's a couple of factors that you need to think about is are they first of a legal age? Because if they're not, then you are seriously wasted your time unless you get them to sign a model release and second of all, you know, if when you give something away, what you're saying to them, and that is that there's no value to it. And is that really what you want? I mean, I don't get me wrong there are times when I will do sessions for someone a complimentary all of the models this weekend work were you know, they did it for me for free on all of course give them pictures and so forth, but and so there were times we're going to do that, but I don't know that you want to set a trend like that I think I wouldn't say no, but I don't know that I'd say yes either. Um without having more information, I think thank you, that's, right? I'm glad you remembered that good team name. Okay, I've seen this one come through it it's kind of a question, but also could be an objection. Okay, about this scamming from family and friends. So family. Okay, what do you say? The family who says okay, there's all the time you're going to get people are gonna ask you to do things for free. I will tell you there are occasions when I will do ah job for a very close family friend. And then there are times when I charge I'll say that I charged double what I do because I don't want to it because I'm gonna tell you right now, if you if you do things for free you get what you pay for on glen me tell you a true story on that because this happened to me about seven years ago I was approached by a radio station and they said, hey, bambi, we have we would love to have you photographed this wedding we're going to do it a giveaway on this k one o one okay? And I was thinking who this to be great press right? And so since of course I'll participate I'll do that wedding for this couple for free so I did so anyway I called the bride the week before the wedding I said ojai I said baby cantrell and thank you congratulations on that you get this wonderful complete wedding package you know from this radio station and how exciting for you and so that day a rolls around I said, look, I said I'm going to be at the country club and your wedding's at three, so I would love to start shooting about noon and, you know, like taking pictures of you getting ready and I'd never met the girl okay, so I get to the country club I'm there at noon no bride one o'clock rolls around, no bride two o'clock rolls around, no bride to forty nine the bride flies in by the seat of her pants literally throws her dress on and runs down the aisle literally like sweating, like profusely, um, to get married and then after the ceremony, it was just a complete free for all. Why? Because when you don't pay for something, it has no value it's not important to you and you see, that was my point, and that taught me a really valuable lesson never to do that again, so I don't do a lot of giveaways there. I'm not going to you. I've never done a wedding for a client for free of friend for free, but I don't make a big habit like arlene's kids course I'd shoot their weddings, but you know, not not a whole lot of other people, but, you know, I think it's just a matter case by case, so we have a lot of people in our audience who are older and are looking to kind of change careers or or shift over. Mark v reynolds says I'm a fifty six year old truck driver and would like to become a full time wedding photographer. How do I compete with the younger generation? There is good or better than welcome to my universe, okay, because I'm a fixed fifty six year old photographer is competing with the under generation on a daily basis. I've got to tell you, I don't think about age, I mean, I mean, I do want to get up in the morning because my back hurts a little bit, and and, you know, the other other issues, you know, that furniture disease, you know, your chest to slipping down your drawers and stuff, but it is after three o'clock organize their almost so, but yeah, there's, no question about that, I'll tell you, there's a couple of factors, I think that are really important. I think that it's very important to dress appropriately, to dress professional and to teo, take a imagery that is fresh and exciting, and if your imagery is really fresh and exciting, people don't pay attention about who you are or the way you dress. If you dress like a granny or a grandpa, and you were just flannel shirts or aloha shirts with the little hat on your head, then you're probably not going to be all that, you know, exciting to the young people, so I would say dress neutral. In my case, I usually wear black when I photograph a wedding. This is pretty much what I would wear at a wedding, as I try to keep just all black low profile, the great thing about an all black profile or something that's, really neutral like this is that it doesn't date you and it does not put you in a particular genre like like I'm not going to warn the baggy pants around my hips and and I'm not going to dress trendy because when you dress trendy, you put yourself in a particular genre or a particular age bracket. All right, so this class's men is about students having your studio building a profitable studio, and so warren verity has said, I don't have a studio, I can't, and I can't use my apartment. We've talked about using your home, okay, any ideas on places that I could use that are cheap or free? I haven't had the client base base yet to rent, so I have infamy to rent, and even if I did, I didn't have the money to outfit it, ok? I totally understand that here's what I would do, the first thing I would do is I would join your local professional association, your professional photography association, and start getting to know some of the other people in your community to guess what there's probably a lot of other people in your community that are a lot like you. And so then, once I've joined that local association, you might be surprised that some of them are thinking that they, too, would like to have a studio space, why not share I can't tell you there's a couple of people that I know here in the in the in the bay area that share studio space, and I know of a number of photographers who rent their studios out to other photographers who maybe need a studio for a day or just need a place where they can meet clients. So the best place to find those people to go to your local professional organization. So even if it's if you live in a fairly small town, there's got to be a bigger city fairly close to you. And if there is that I would make that my special point is to get networking with those people. The other thing I would do is buy by starting to to get involved with princess creative live and starting to meet people in the chat rooms on this. This is a great way to get to know other people. Why not become one of those students that comes and becomes part of a live audience we heard this morning about you've got new friends here. I mean, you gals are all like buddies. Now, what a great way to collaborate. And I can tell you from personal experiences. I teach a lot of different workshops around the country every time I do that I find that some of the students they go home and they're like all of us and we've got this whole new group of friends so it's a great way to do it fantastic okay you've been killing it I think you have time for about one more. Okay, so julia wonderful life says how do we keep these beliefs fresh in our mind it's like coming home from a lecture when everything is playing seems so simple and then you forget everything all the bambi is saying seems so straightforward but maintaining it in day to day life is the challenge. Okay, well, a number one blithe I'm sorry it was just it was the ball was thrown right here. I couldn't help myself. Okay, but besides that okay, here's, what you do you take the five most important things that you learned and you're right him down and you put him on your calendar. Put him on your calendar. It's okay, this is number one and then give yourself a date, make a schedule and make this is what I'm gonna work on this particular thing put stars on in importance one, two, three, four and five okay, and then put them each on the calendar for a date and then make a put a timer on your on your phone or on your calendar so that it reminds you of what you have to do every time I ever want to implement something new. That's exactly what I do. Because I forget stuff. And the only way I can remember anything is if I say it five times when I learned how to work photoshopped. This is how I did it. I hired a kid to come in for fifty dollars an hour and just say, show me what the buttons do. And so every week he come in and show me like the little selection tool, and then I would work with that to five times, and then I'd finally okay that's, how you do it and I would remember it. So anything that you want to remember, write it down and then put a schedule together so that you have, ah, course of forward movement. You have to do that. Because if you don't daily life will overtake you because they were all super busy. And we get so engrossed in life with kids and everything else that that we let those things fall by the wayside some