Sales Session with Michael Van Auken


Building a Profitable Portrait Studio


Lesson Info

Sales Session with Michael Van Auken

So we're going to sort of simulate ourselves process and because the couple that we photographed ray and mia I'm sorry ray and marisa had to leave we've had these folks are going to step in part of our audience and play the role of ray and marissa and one of the reasons that ray and marisa couldn't actually be here is because they had to take care of the kids they didn't have anybody to take care of them and that's part of a very important element of all this is that you don't want the kids in this part of it we're going to spend it we used to spend anywhere from one to two hours we block out two hours to meet with our clients so you khun pretty well figured kids like that they're not going to last that long on they're going to be distracted with the kids and and so you you really need teo find a way to have grandma grandpa or somebody to baby sit the kids now on the off chance and it does happen every once in a while that they do have to bring their children then it's a good idea to h...

ave a little dvd baby sitter, so to speak you know, little movie little finding me I can't pronounce things but I say okay, finding nemo or whatever just happen to be one of my favorite children's movies so you know, find something that will occupy them just toys and that they get tired of those really fast so eso a movie can engage them but by all means really try to get them to not bring the kids for that another important element is that they're both here mom and dad because what we want to do is we want them to make a buying decision here during this meeting and we emphasize this all throughout our process through our consultation when we're doing a portrait session that this is emphasized it's very important that we have them both and yes, sometimes it doesn't work out that way and yes, it does hurt our sales um and we of course all as business people are motivated by ourselves but we're also because of the business that we're in of creating this imagery for our clients were also motivated by creating family history by creating photographs that that are going to live with this family for the rest of their lives. One thing that we did today with a cz we brought grandpa in and and the reason I wanted to do that is because um these kids are not going to remember a lot about their grand parents you know, twenty years from now but they're going to remember that photograph and that's what motivates us is to have these photographs of these special moments that happened with these with these families so so with that said uh what we would like to do is I'm just gonna take you through the process just like we do with our clients with ray and marissa I keep want to call you mia because the little girl's name was mia so first of all is there anything I can offer you going to get you something to drink or a snack or in the water? I just happen to have all right hey why is this so important because I want them to feel welcome I want them to feel welcome that they're in here that this like it's not our home but it's like our home and so I just really want them to feel welcome so I always have some sodas, some water, some snacks anything to make them feel comfortable you don't want to go cast we really got to go because we haven't eaten dinner yet and we really want we were you know I'm so hungry you gotta have something thereto fill them up so that because you're gonna lose him you know if they're hungry think about food there nothing about buying photographs so anyhow so make him feel comfortable have these things available beer and wine up to your own discretion we do have a little bit sometimes here but I don't really push that really hard into tae truth most people don't even accept it so uh least not monks are clients so I'm going to do that here if that's okay is sometimes I'll be going into our little simulation here and other times I'm going to step up beside and explain some of the things that and why we're doing it the way we're doing it so we're so excited we got some really cool photographs he's in the best photographs I'm sure that you've ever had taken it's certainly one of the best sessions that we've ever done we're really excited about it the kids were awesome, they have a lot of personality and and you guys weren't bad either, but the kids really great so so I can sit here and talk about it talk about it, talk about it but nothing you know, I don't want to keep you in suspense I wanna show you how great they turned up, what we love to do a slide show so we put together will slide show just to give you a little presentation just give you an idea of how they turned out and all that and then I have some ideas that I'm real excited to share with you about how you might want to help put these images ok, so without any further ado let's, take a look at your family portrait can we take a little time back porch in a rocking chair, leave the lot on, I'll be mean you out there reminisce every moment past all the times I shared with you and I are growing old together we stood face though ever want nano you're muscle collapse of us we're going to take it slow little things you do I love about you hold you close like the day we met much allows and golden sky tonight start to tell a story so good a my tonight on I just know that I never will be it beautiful way some come up more shares of adultery colors on the leaves changing seasons moving and steve wear time go we got some history a little bit older never you still looks good to me what nod off you must so I got a lot of us were going to take it slow little things you do I love about you hold your course of the day we met him what your last sky tonight stars tell a story my tonight way no way be beautiful you'd fly way if I get a little crazy way back to get the rest to mina rock chance using background way time share it's been so beautiful love you through all of these no, you're must soul good laugh a lot off smoke gonna take slow little things you do I love about you hold you causing the day we met him what your last golden sky tonight stars teo story tonight so how do you guys feel about those pretty amazing that was a great great yeah I told you that I told you this is just amazing session for us um so I'm going to stop and talk a little bit about the uh about the slide show itself it so it's it it gets the family emotionally involved choosing the correct music and I actually I really like the lyrics and this this was this music was provided by triple scoop music that has just a wide array of music that you can select from for both weddings portrait it's all sorts of different things but what's nice about it isn't it really kind of gears itself towards our imagery and that and a lot of times I do like instrumental is well and sometimes I do use popular music but especially in a situation like this a cz bambi alluded to before we don't wantto infringe upon copyrights so with triple scoop you have you know the rights to use this music reproduce it we do sell slide shows a cz well but our main purpose of it is too is to just make a really nice presentation for families and to add a little bit of an emotional element because I know about you guys but I got a little teary eyed there and they're not even my kids you know and so so that's ah that's the you know that's the first step in this we've as baby is also alluded to we do a lot of consultation whether being person or over the phone, communicate through email and we do send pricing information and then when they come in for their portrait says what we give them a hard copy of the of the priceless tas well, you always want to keep them informed you don't want to shock your client you want them to know what they expect it's only fair that they know you know how they're investing their money and how much it costs so then I also have a copy that's rather nicely presented I believe like this of our pricing information in a nice little foley it's kind of like a menu it's like is what I like to call it instead of a price list and so this is our price menu um so I'm going to present that here this is our price menu so that as we're going through this, you can refer to that for, for whatever you know, whatever type product that we're talking about. So and I do already have some some ideas free that I'd really like to share with you. We have a lot of clients that we photograph um repeatedly repeat a lot of repeat clients and after a while they start going, you know, we're kind of running out of wall space we have all these wall portrait fact, if you want to invite some of your clients overto view the your imagery, you know, you could come to our house, so we start going well, what do we do? We just reach start replacing those and yes, that is part of it. We can replace those, and they move them around this stuff, but a couple of years ago, we started getting into albums, and we love albums, especially the variety of imagery that we're able to present. So what I've done is I've just sort of mocked this up a little bit, and I just wanted to say, is that okay? If I show you, um, show you a little bit of this and give you an idea, I have to wear these to see what I'm doing. So this is ah, by the way, I don't think I mentioned pro select that's, the program that we're using to view the images here and pro select gives you an opportunity to do many, many different things besides the slideshow and editing and showing album layouts, as well as doing your invoicing and keeps track of all your and I'll get into that a little bit later, but it's just a wonderful program, it's also very the interface is very friendly to its doesn't look real technical it's got little little smiley faces and stuff it's got different categories so when we get into the editing process we'll use that but what I wanted just kind of show you um what I put together a sort of, uh as as what would be an album now this would represent a two page spread and we're always gonna be mindful of where the gold's gonna go it's never going to go and you know, across somebody's face there's a question that comes up a lot so and then usually what we'll do is we'll put your name somewhere in here and I've got us actually a sample album right here um that I'll show you here in a second that will show you how the final layout iss so this would represent um page one and two and then I'll just kind of go through this so I love doing double page spreads just have really great impact in that, and I thought this image really worked well for that as did that one I just love love love that image and then we can groups um different photographs together until little stories like this and then we do these little fades here, which are really cool, kind really nice storytellers as well and that's about as many photographs as we're going to put on a page you know, some people say, how can we get a cz many in there as we can, you know, but we don't want it to start looking like a yearbook, so we want the impact really be on the images themselves, just a couple more ideas, that's supposed to be like that. And then, of course, every story has to have a little ending. And so we found this works really well, we have a wedding going on here today, so that's, actually, why we weren't able to go out and photograph out in the other location. We did a session with this family earlier a couple of days ago. And so some of these photographs like these that you're looking at are from that from when we did the earlier session. So s o that again, like I was alluding to before this is actually a really great location, forgetting all those different sort of scenarios in which you can get at a park or in a home or wherever you go. Just look for these different places that you could go toe, add variety to your imagery, so I'm gonna go back to them. So, uh, so how do you how do you feel about that? Do you guys like the way that album lays out in all that? How do you like it honey I like it okay, great okay well you don't have to decide anything right now I would still want to do some editing and see which ones were your favorite photographs and so how many? How many pages are in the album that's a great question the way we have a number of different albums that you can choose from and if you look at the pricing there you'll see that the that there's three different albums that we offer and the one for that huh that we found what's really well for this particular type of session is the twenty image album it's twenty five hundred it comes with twenty pages and twenty photographs and if you want to add an additional photograph to them it's only hundred dollars for that additional photograph this is our the best value of everything that we offer not only all that but you also get the digital files with that as well. So you have those archives that's a nice thing about the digital files is you'll have that as an archive so you know when your kids are graduating from high school or college and you want to pull up some of those images that we did here recently, you don't have to come track us down and look for us you're gonna have your own archive of those images on a disk or whatever we're storing them on and twenty years from now, you're going to have you're, you're going to have access to those and those air your images. You can post this on facebook or whatever social media you like, you can reprint them, you can you can do whatever you want with those images barring, if your kids become famous and use them for for billboards or anything like that, then we'll talk. But but you are free to use those for your personal use and s o that's that's a really nice added benefit to that, um and it's a pretty nice eyes album tour it's ten by ten it is a night. Very nice eyes on. We like it. Here you go important to let them hold it. Um, it is a, um it's. A very manageable size is not one of those ones. That's just going to take over your whole coffee table or you know that you need like to pull a handle and wheels out toe. Move it around it's a it's, a very user friendly, uh, style album. And that and and you could see the kind of similarities between this album and the one ones that we designed for you, of course we custom design it for you. We'll do some of the work here so that you can kind of give us your input as faras, which photographs you feel go best together and you may select some other photographs that were different from what we've selected. We've got a really good percentage rate of images that we are able to weigh select images uh, say we have about a ninety five percent that people like what we chose, but sometimes you, as the parents will see something that we don't see, uh, and so there's certainly are are those situations where you are going to see something and something touches you and and, you know, we might not see we might see this photographers, but you're going to see it is the parents that so um and then another nice benefit to this too is if you want other prints we have add on pricing too, which is quite a bit significantly less than our normal are beginning price for print, and so if you want to get copies, of course you can print your digital files, but if you'd like the quality of prince that we do, then uh then for forty five dollars, you can out of print, so if you want to get copies for your parents and things like that as well as we do offer additional albums to at a discounted price so if you want duplicates of those albums for grandparent's gifts what have you or for the kids when the kids grow up you know they might want their own copy so uh so that's something that we can do to so so good that we move forward all right um so, um I'm gonna go into a neck another step here so I'm wondering is there any questions at this point I've covered everything you'd want to know no question oh yes so let's say I wanted to change a photo like I saw inside so and I just said, oh, they're three images you know, one of our son our daughter and then the two of them I said, well, I want to take that out could you show me that right now will is it absolutely great question there, ray? Uh I wanted to throw that in the acting, but I didn't know that you do your thing were you asking me is rare gray would like to know ray, we'd like to know well, that actually is a cz alleged question both as an audience member end as our client because that is something that our client could ask it so the answer is yes, uh what we can do is we will pull up um okay, so let's pull this page right here and let's say that there is, um, another image of of our little guy here and we can just but that and there we go so that we just switched out that photo, which I agree, that is a better photo. One of the things I like about this particular image uh, the way it works with the other ones, they're all laughing and having a really good time here. And I think that one actually goes better with this one then that's that's a good call there, right? Yeah. So so that's part of what will do it if you decide to go in this direction, then that's what we could do, we could go ahead and, uh and make these changes and then we'll save that, then we can go from there. I have another question on your price list. It shows that you have twenty images for a twenty page album. So what if we do want a spread like this that has four images on it? Well, sometimes sometimes, uh, you will have one photo that will take one or two pages, actually, so that frees up some more photographs to take. Okay, so yeah, that's kind of the way that that ends up working out because we do a lot of dub page spreads okay, so I know it sounds kind of funny sounds like oh, I would only have one photo per page but because we do some of those other doubles that kind of freeze up another image this is twenty uh pages but take for that count the photo so um and I don't always like I said they can add if they want so it's up to twenty and then they can add an extra page so I may want what there to be you know, it depends on how the album feels when we're designing it if it feels like it should be a twenty image album, then it's a twenty image album but if it feels like it should be a twenty five image album there's twenty five and then I just have to say, well, it's another the one hundred dollars, five hundred dollars or five hundred dollars hold extra for that? Do you want to go that way? Do you feel the same way as we do about it or do you feel like you need to subtract some images? You know? And if that's either way they go that's? Why, yes, so I think I think that you've just clarified it, but we've had a number of questions coming in about whether the couple is picking the images for the album and then you have it made before meeting with a client or you showing it to them on the screen so just want to make sure everybody knows what you're doing, okay? I think I know what the question is, but just so you know what we will do, what bambi and I will do is we will design the album ahead of time before we show it to them, but not printed but not printed no, just like you're doing right here, just like we're doing here, so any changes that they want to make, we're gonna make it because we have two hours to do this, and I found that once they have a focus, if they've decided they want to do an album once they have that focus, it all falls into place and becomes a lot easier and not everybody does now, but most do. And so once you have that focus in it's just really easy and like I said, we have about a ninety five percent uh positive selection rate that we make, they generally agree with what we what we do, I didn't want to bring up. I see you have your hand up and I want to get to that question, but I do just want to make one other point we've just recently started, um uh, making the simulated album that we're presenting to them more of a finished album in the past we just did a little rough thing really quick and said, well we could do something like this but what we'll do is we'll post them online and then you can approve it or make changes if you want later well that uh worked pretty good for most people but for a lot of people it was like a month or two later before they decide maybe they changed their mind you know, people have a right to do but it really bogged down the process and that and then you get some people that were going kind of going back and forth with their with their changes with there well, you know I want to see it this way and then we go in which repost and everything and then oh no you were right now let me have it back the other way and the end up with a lot of back and forth not all the time but sometimes so we finding we're finding that this way we're getting it all said and done right here and now and um and so they're they're actually going to approve it before the evening's over and that and of course our expertise and your expertise is going to guide them uh as they're doing this uh we have a couple other questions online if you're okay with that coffee fueled says a tte the prices you're charging just the studio offer payment plans yes, we do I do generally because we do accept credit cards of course I do generally at the end of the sale um will uh ask if they want to pay for it all at once or if they want to do half down now and half when we're done and that one of those two options is usually what people do now once in a while you have somebody who is on a budget and uh and they need a little more help on that so we will work with them and well I may say something like well, how about if we do a third down now and then when we're about halfway through the process and about a month then we'll do the second third and then work completed will do the final third and then of course you can get even more creative some people have even done things of course I don't know who writes checks anymore but back when people were writing checks I remember doing things like okay, well why don't you write me a check for you know, x amount of dollars and write me you know, ten checks you know and each month I'll deposit one of one of those checks and you just you know, post date it for that so there's a lot of creative things you can do as faras payments but with so many people having credit credit cards you know I tell you, I'd sensei start just asking if given the option to pay in full most people just painful but good question now you've been very patient you've been waiting to ask this question and I've been e t here I'm wondering if you usually use pro select and if the software has the margins for the various album companies out there yes, yes they do have uh where you khun directly? Um uh upload your files to them so we because we're a really big hurry too put these images together for you for this broadcast we've used lower as images and uh just to make things work faster but you can use high resolution images in this program and then linked them to your album or your lab for that matter and send your orders directly in their work with most labs they have the margins and the most your major major labs yes are simply color is one of those labs the one that we use and yeah, so most of them most of the major lapse air drink directly link that pro select has become sort of a mainstay of our industry for doing this type of presentation. So just to clarify for everyone did you design the album in pro select or with another software though I designed it in pro select I've created uh we've created our own templates that we use and but it does have the ability to you can go into photo shop or whatever designed software you're using um and create custom wants to sow of one of our templates does not fit what we want to do then we can go ahead go into photo shop and creativity is just a lot faster with the templates and so can people use other the question was coming in can they use other album design things to then put into process yeah, there are some album companies that you can actually as well as framing cos that will have templates for you so if you want to do another thing that you can do is wall groupings and while you know matt things with the popular one with like babies for instance is the nine images in a matic frame and mostly major frame companies like uh gross national product and some of the other major framing places have templates that air uh that you can download and put directly into pro select and that so you can and then you could just send your orders right to them yeah I have a question do you sometimes create slide shows for the albums as well or do you always present them throughput press select sometimes will do you could do a slide show really fast in this program you know you just select the images hit slideshow nut place um and uh and so I might do that. Like, if, well, can we see one last preview of it? You know, and you can also control the er you can control the timing. So if you just hear let's, go ahead and do that since you brought it up. So you, khun, um, because if you were going to do that, if if they're wanting to look at it as I review type thing, you probably want to slow it down a little bit. So or if you're presenting it to the client for the first time, would you sometimes create the album to have that emotional effect you were talking about with music and that type of thing? Um, not so much. I think the individual I like the sideshow that way. We showed it to you with the individual images. Yeah, I think it just has more impact on, um, you know, just to have each image up there. Plus, the album would just be kind of a quick slide show, but I might do, like, just a, uh, a quick review. And of course you do. Have you have fair controls in this? Um, if you really want to do something, this far slide shows more custom than you know, than, uh uh um I just drew a blank on the name of the any moto you know, some like any moto are some of the other ones where you can make your own and you can kind of customized it a little bit the ones that come out of here out of pro selector kind of basic like you can just set the timing of the dissolved for everything you can't like change the dissolve on this in here and then go to another one and do different dissolve it all has to be pretty consistent um but uh here's where all the slideshow information uh our controls are and you can see here we have slide time which happens to be on a slider about that um I like the timing to be a little bit well, kind of towards the music because that music was a little bit on the upbeat you know, it wasn't like super slow so I don't want the slights to drag on to long er and then a one second dissolve is pretty nice, but if I wanted to do this the album, for instance that I might move it up too, you know, maybe eight or ten seconds each and then save that and I won't make you sit through the whole thing, but um but then you got coming up here and then in seven, six, five, four, three, two, one so you go like that so that I might use that for a review you know, just kind of bringing back to that michael one quick question that there are folks online that are asking about that song first of all do you happen to know what the particular song is and then further we have talked about life something music but do you license the music before showing anything to your client as in if it were going tio you're gonna provide it in a slide show say that they purchased but do you need a license it or do you just to show it to them um just to show it to them I'm sure there's some technical parts about this it say no you can't use you know, uh copy write music but I don't think the copyright police are gonna come busting down your door if you use a stevie wonder song or something but but absolutely ifyou're going to reproduce this you have tohave copyright free music you can't and I don't know how people get away with it on their websites when they put, you know, recorded music or popular music that's copyright written um it's just not it's just against the law it's and but it's also I don't believe in it morally because you know a lot of us do get a lot of photographers get on other artists get upset when people use their imagery so why is it ok to use somebody's music that they've created without permission or right uh or without paying for it um so uh so yes, if you're going to sell the music or sell the, um the imagery in a slide show format then absolutely need to have the rights to use that music and there's a number of different uh uh companies that you could get music for even popular music couldn't get the rights to it we just happen to really love triple scoop on that because their music is geared for what we do you know, it's a lot of it is I like this song just is which I'm going to find for you right here um let's see it is uh slideshow music we got to use a music file and it's uh by a gentleman named justin jaymes and a beautiful life is the name of the song so um all right, that was a good barrage of questions. Thank you. So so what I'd like to do is I'd like to find out ray marissa which of these images are your favorite teams? I want to see how well we did how well did we pick out which ones we thought you would like the best? So I'm gonna we're gonna do a little bit of editing now and you can see here that we have kind of a happy place and we have kind of on the fence. And then we have neutral, happy place. And just to make some space, I am going to first of all, get rid of our well title slides. I'm just gonna put him over there and the not so happy place I said I was gonna put that, okay? And, um, what I want to do here now is I'm goingto make this a little simpler and give her the things we don't need. I'm also going to put the images back into order of how they were created so that when we want to compare images, we have the ones that were comparing without having the fish around look for him and everywhere. Um, and, um, pro select one of the things that they really do nice. Oh, I was going to say, also, you can see which ones are in the album by these little of these little album for these old books here. So those are the ones we currently have in the album. Um but, uh, as far as organizing the images, um, you can go to, um, sort of images, and sometimes I I've actually just used the random before. And it just kind of scatters them up all over the place and then just move a few like if you're like my life is gonna be here in five minutes I'm gonna get this light show done you know and I'll just hit random and then put you know, maybe the main family the best family one at the front and the ending photos at the end and then go with that but for this we're going to go file name and that's just going to put everything right back in order of how we how we created them another nice feature pro select as you can also not only show them in color but you can show him in black and white and you can show men see pia as well so um so we like the streamline our imagery and when we what I mean by that is that we like to show you the very best of the best of the images that sometimes we use a little bit of technical stuff toe move faces around stuff like that so we've taken the best of the best and put it all together and so that's what we did here and we came up with what we believe is the best of the best of this particular pose with that so what we're going to do is is we go through these you're going to tell me yes I want to consider this image or no I don't I don't know I'm not sure maybe we'll come back to it so how do you feel about this one yes I like it so that's going to go into the happy place just so you know to the your key strokes here for for this so you don't have to move the cursor around a lot is one is for the smiley place too is for the on the fence and three is for the nutso smiley face there okay so that's that just means I don't have to have this cursor bouncing around all over the place when I'm doing this okay so so we do sometimes we have just one image to show you and you're just going to tell us whether you whether you want to consider it or not and then there will be some where we'll be able to compare them and and you pick out which one you like the best so how we feel about this one yes yes what do you have any idea nothing I like that one thank you it's a little funny in that one he does look different nervous yeah a little smarter so I don't know I like that one. All right e I love that that that's incredible. I like that one e o u doing great you notice that I keep asking him how do you feel about it? There's a key wording there you know you know how do you like that one what do you think of that? I don't want to say that you want to say how does that make you feel how is that well that sounds like a psychiatrist uh but how do you feel about that one you know but let's go on yes I can't even imagine actually being one of his clients because to be honest even just straight out of her cameras my jaw was on the floor that howie heck is this woman going to choose her daughter's pictures do you find clients a lot of times going well yes I love that I love them I love them and then you get to the end it's like great so we've taken out two pictures and yeah well then if if we're going in the direction of an album then I might just go back to the album so well these are the ones we thought were the best is there another one that we didn't put in here that you feel really really strong that you absolutely love that you can't live without you know and if it well there is this other one I did like better than that one you know that that could happen or sometimes we just have to add more photos to the album we have to be more like us we're going to do so yeah you do get some people that can just be really it could be really difficult for them and that's where we come in. I mean, that's and I will have I will have somebody might reject an image, and I might just love it, I'll fight for it, you know? I'll just just like we were judging and print competition, how you would fight for an image that you really like. I'll fight for that image, and I'll bring it back, and I'll go, you know, I know you guys rejected this one, but I really love this one, and I know baby really liked it, too. She really loved this image, too, and here's a why? And I'll give him the reasons why, you know this expression, the the glitter, the gleam in there in the child's eye, or whatever it is that and, um and you do have to love him, I think that's, just really important. We love being in this business so that we can create these images, and you have to love these images. Yeah, we were in business. We want to make money. Yes, we want to make money. Should be more enthusiastic about it. But deep down in our hearts, what we really want to do is we really want them to have these collections images to add to their their whole family history and be part of their heirloom be heirlooms be part of their family archives so we believe in our imagery we believe in the images that we capture and so I'm sorry kind of got off track there lou a bit but I just get myself sometimes but anyhow so um let's see let's go good thing I'm not totally a d d here uh I could get back on track so um but my computer sometimes can't keep up with me eso anyhow so we did bring in chris to grandpa and that really was the grandfather by the way um no grand parents are getting younger and younger looking every day but that was a really great opportunity and how they're going to say no to putting that to just sucking that photograph whether it's in their album or not you know um and how's how how is she not going to get him that image for father's day? You know, I mean, what can she buy better? You know, a thai could gloves? I don't think so. This um so um so you gotta have that one, right? You definitely have to have I mean, right you definitely have to have them so now we're going to come into some images that are kind of similar and now what we can do is we can just select uh, we can select them both and pull them both up and then you guys can take a good look at these and see which one do you like the best? I like the one on the right? Yeah, the one on the right, right? Because we kind of ok. Very good. So we're just going to take that to go where we please and we'll put that one in there. That's what? I wasn't gonna use that. Okay, so you know what? Um, let me bring that one back to hear because we do have another comparison we commit because there are some similarities between these, even though there's different composition and that, um and once black and white one color, but, uh, I wouldn't let black and white or color sway you because if we had to, we can come back to color even though we're presenting it in black and white. Um so how about between these two? How do you feel about thes? It looks like it's tree versus no tree on dh I'm also also you know, you're a little more loving in the rain like that way, huh? Yeah, like like like let's say the black and white okay, so we'll send this one sure, sure not so happy place will send that one to them happy place there there we go you guys are doing great at this we've got a couple more we can compare we could even bring three up here somewhere we love this place this is such a great location you want that urban funky sort of look you know this one this is a very contemporary look here in this location I think I like the one in the middle but can we crop it a little bit? I don't know if I like those stairs we could we could that's technically possible I'd like to see how that works out in the album because sometimes we like to use those elements to kind of help we may drop a couple of images on top of that I would base my select my selection not on cropping not on black and white not in color but on the three most important elements of a portrait expression expression expression so if that's the one you like best expression wise and that's the one we should select I like it best because I don't like that mia's hands or down not up in our face that's a good point do you think those green? Yeah okay let's do that millie that and then and then when we get into the final process will see whether cropping is going be appropriate for that or if we may want to keep it the way it is great minds think alike I love this one because this is just another hands on her face but I think that adds so much to it um actually like her an interfaith here yeah, so that's definitely keeping you don't like it no, this is where you want you want you know, like I had nothing to do with no that's your sort of your hand okay sir, I do without you know oh great energy here, doesn't she? Yeah this really this really I mean doesn't this epitomize her? I mean she's just like go go go, go go this girl okay, so that's a keeper way have a couple of these with the camera and see how we're doing here now this this uh this format right here which it seems like there's a lot of space but this is one of those ones would be great for a double page spread see, they might be thinking do we really want an album? But these photographs are kind of resonating towards being in an album so I'm kind of go go back to that. You know, this would be great for a double page spread I kind of prefer the one on the right you like the one right? Okay, this is a great photograph of the two kids together and it's you know what I love about it is the spontaneity of it it's not all perfect pose um uh bambi has this expression she really loves expression over perfection um and uh you know by portrait standards because she's down there doing the funny thing with her hands you know, it might not be appealing if you're looking for a more traditional photography but I don't think you came to us because we do traditional photography because obviously we don't but what I love about it is just the spontaneity, so I personally I like the fact that she's not all just perfect like that how do you guys feel about it? That's pretty cute I like it like easiest company how many photos we have we just both the kid's way have just way have a couple more coming up so we just keep this one for now and they're not definitely when we get to those when we get to those that we can come back and do comparison if you want to just narrow it down to that one. But again, if you're gonna go album, I think that having more than one of just the two of them it as long as they're different enough er would be a good thing to have so that we're going to keep that one we, um we can offer a cover, but we generally don't do a cover we we found that just the really basic simple black cover is really nice although we are starting to go into some other type fabric type albums as well um, I and I think maybe would agree with me on this I think that putting a photo on the cover especially one that takes the whole cover it's sort of lessons, the value of it to me I don't know I can't exactly put my finger on why that is but for me it just takes some of the elegance out of it for me on by saying that you shouldn't do that because maybe your clients will really respond to that but our clients we found just like a pretty simple type of type of a look simple yet elegant sort of look but if I was or if my client really wanted that, then yes, absolutely. I would choose a photograph I personally would probably go for more of a photo illustration type portrait that, uh uh is more of a storyteller as opposed to ah, hi, mom. Looking in the camera sort of photo. Um but that's just me so, uh let's see, we got, uh we got rex turn here there's a couple that are kind of similar great expressions on both left one like him really cracking up there, that is a great choice, okay? And then I've got another one this was this second one coming up here I did kind of crop for album in mind for that one for two page spread but this one would work just as well you know like I don't like the one on the right going on all right all right. So those teeth yeah, that really shows this chopper's okay, so here we've got another one of the two of them how do you guys like this one? I think I like some of the other ones better remember how I said how do you feel about it and they like those but when I said how do you like this one okay so yeah, you know, it is a really nice portrait yeah, but I think if you were just looking for one of the two of them that other one was just awesome so I don't always just say something just to make a sale you know if I was just making a sale I'd say oh no but wait they're laughing their smile and look at this great composition and all this stuff but I do feel stronger about the other image I love the other eye like this image I love the other one um so uh let's see? So we're gonna ditch that one I might if I really felt stronger about that I might put it in the on the fence and leave it there so it's easy to come back to so these are some of the images that really make a nice like a trip ticket in the album or even if you wanted to do like an album that what a trip to frame to do three photos like one of rex in one of mia one of the two of them together in the middle would be really cool we're choosing this one good oh, sorry that's a that's a keeper sure yes ok and then I've got a couple of me here you know what? You got a lot of really fun laughing photos of mia and this is one of them but I absolutely I love this expression on her I know you don't see this expression on her very often but there is a quiet serious side to everybody uh children and adults alike and this is one of her serious sites right here and I think this would be a great addition to your collection of images that sounds good. Okay. Do you think so? You know, I I photographed this wedding one time in the pastor said and let it be known that the husband should always have the last words in this relationship and it is all the guys were feeling a little uncomfortable in their seats with that statement cause they knew they were gonna get trouble from their wives he said they should be yes dear e do tell that story to my clients so this is another image that I feel it would be really a great addition to your collection because I know it's not hi mom I know it's not a big here's our faces here we are smiling but it's a great story telling image it's a statement type image yeah that's so him yeah trying to be up there with his sister where his sisters sometimes the stories were simple but so true and then we've got some photographs here that that that bambi did ofyou guys going down the hall which again I know these are not you know, this is not the kind of photo you're going to give to your parents unless they're very contemporary uh but this is more of ah storytelling type image it's more of a feeling image it's not what they look like it's who they are like um uh so let me go ahead and pull a couple of these up and see if you have a favorite we've done a couple of different effects on some of these what's going to be applied anywhere so if you really like this effect I can apply this effect to any one of these images I can't do it right here but we can in the final product kids running yeah, I like that yeah, this is a great image for ending the album um you know, because again it's one of those statement images so I'm gonna move forward here, then, um, and soon as this little spinning wheel stops going around and I'm going to go as if we have made all of our final selections as if we've gone ahead, taking the ones that you like, and we've put them into the album like we know we can within the pro select um and then I and we do have some other images to show, but we'll just move forward so one of the things that most all of our clients also love to have his one photograph that represents the entire session, that the one that just really stands out and this is one of things that we specialize in that's wall portrait's we have a number of surfaces that you can choose canvas, watercolor, straight prints they all are priced the same, uh and it's, just a matter of your personal preference, and we do include framing with that we have a select number of frames that are included with that we also have ah, a wider range of, uh, frame's too, if you wanted to upgrade to those but aiken, um uh, I can show you some of the frames here within pro select I have the frame corners because we're running out of time here, I'm not going to pull that out, but, um but that's, what we would do with our clients, we'd let them hold frame corners because that's important. And then we would also show here on pro select how the frame would look around their image. So our goal is to make a wall portrait for them and the size of the wall portrait would be. Well, what I might ask a client is s o uh, if you had a wall portrait, where? Where do you think you would hang it? Living room, the living room. Okay, so, do you think you'd be above a fireplace sofa? Or do you have, like, a little nook somewhere? Who could use a new one for the fireplace? Okay, so the one that I would recommend and then we have a mantle, actually. That's, usually right here. And I'll have a photograph that's, like about a thirty inch or forty inch print above that. And I'll just say, well, that's, a thirty or forty inch print above that mantle does that seem like that would work for you? Yes. Ok, great. Well, let's talk about the surfaces, and then we go from there. So, um, the pro select, um uh, well, also allow us to do invoicing so we can go there, I don't have the price in that this version right now, but it'll let you put all this into an invoice and that so then at the end, you know, after they've made all their decisions here's what it costs would you like a piece of her mastercard or write a check? Whatever. So, um so bambi's got some parts that she wants to share? I hope I've given you guys some good information here and, uh, about your sales, I would like to say one other thing, and I think bambi's already said this to if you're doing internet posting, don't unless unless you have a financial commitment up front. If your client if you want to know, if you want your sail to be two thousand dollars and you get your client to say here's two thousand dollars, I want you to post images on mike my selections then why not? But otherwise it's it will it will kill yourself. You have to do this in person is a very personal thing and we'd be, I believe, very strongly in, uh, presenting our imagery in a personal way. And here comes bambi, okay, actually, mike, I'd love you to stay because oh, that's, right, go set up lighting, lighting with what michael's been talking with you guys about about the sales process I wanted to to go through now a few concepts for you when it comes to pricing your products and a way to elevate your products so that they look more valuable. I thought that it would be very, very helpful because a lot of people are charging. So such small amount for photography. I know a number of photographers. I know one specifically that charges thirty five dollars for the session for a thirty minute session and then gives them all of the high. Russell gets him all their digital files. I'm thinking you're thirty five dollars that's what you want out of your client and think about this, you know, it's not just that that's, not the end of the game. The other thing that you have to consider our the remedy locations of someone having something that's not printed. You know, women are tactile creatures. We like to touch and hold things. And when you just hand somebody a digital file that takes it and becomes very antiseptic because very, very antiseptic it's not there's, no touching and feeling. And so we have choices when we when we provide products we can charge. You know what? Costco could print a photograph for our dollar fifty four five by seven. But if you take that print and then eight by ten, they'll give it to you for, like, I think it's two dollars or something of that nature, but if you put it in on eight ply, matt doesn't look better than just handing somebody a piece of paper or what they consider a piece of paper. You see, we all pay the same amount to have a photograph processed, but many of us don't consider the fact that it's what's on that paper that counts and we undervalue our work. And and for those of you that are out in the internet right now, I hope that the one thing one thing that I'd love to get across to you is just because you don't value your work because you don't think you're good enough that's okay, it's okay to feel that way, I still feel that way, but don't let it affect what you sell to a client because they obviously, if they've come to you, then they obviously think that you are worth something, and by george charge something that makes you that makes you some profit, because at the end of the day, if you don't, then you're going to have to end up getting a day job or something doing something else, let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. I know of a young photographer, and I pulled some numbers because this just blew me away. There is a young photographer that I know that was charging for three sixteen inch prince. Three sixteen inch photographs gallery, not gallery with big, beautiful campus is he was charging nine hundred around nine hundred dollars for those three prints. Now on the surface, doesn't that sound really like wow, I'm making money. I'm doing okay. Okay. You're thinking that's that's pretty good, right? Do you know how much a sixteen inch prints cost some water? What is the cost? Right on top your head to have any idea. Okay, are you guessing you? You're guessing, right? Okay, first of all, the fact that you have to guess that says something, doesn't it? Because this is the weak link for all of us, this photographers and and? And you know what? I am one of you? Because I don't like talking about the dollars and cents and the money on this thing as well, because I'd rather be out taking pictures and getting romantic about it all but a sixteen inch print is between seventy five and a hundred dollars for print. Okay, so right now we're at two twenty five for three, three prints, right? So we're actually doing what you might be thinking in your mind while nine, eighty five minus two twenty five were doing okay, because that still gives me a good seven seven, ninety seven, eighty five, right? Yeah. That's. Right. So okay, so we think we might be all right. Right? Uh, excuse me. One thing that I didn't tell you. Those airframe to pieces framed sixteen by sixteen prints sixteen by sixteen prints framed have any idea how much a frame costs true and about one hundred twenty dollars? Ok, yeah. That's on the low end, a sixteen inch frame is between one hundred two hundred dollars. So we're already we've eaten up almost our entire budget. And then on top of that, this photographer also gives him gift prince guest guest prince, you know, smaller princess. Well, so do you see, even though on the surface a price that somebody pays for something, you know, a photography might look at their price list, and it might be a pretty price list on top of that, if it's a real pretty priceless and they have a precedent. You think in one thousand dollars, like this other photographer has ah, product it's a sixteen by twenty and two sixteen by sixteen for eleven eighty five that's great until you start thinking about how much of sixteen by twenty costs a sixteen by twenty cost let's see two hundred will sixteen, twenty, five hundred bucks for a canvas. So around a hundred dollars so when you think about that, and then those air also framed pieces at the end of the day, they're really actually paying the client for the privilege of photographing them and giving them photographs on top of that. So you really want to think carefully about the cost of goods? So what you have to do is you have to sit down and go online, and you can do that it's simply canvas and many of the other labs it's ok, let me what I want to offer clients. What is it that I want to give them? I want to give them something tangible for me. Every person that walks here in this studio, I want them to have a product, a finished product because you see, they're not buying air, they're buying, they're buying my beautiful imagery, this photograph matter, just like this is the product that I want them to purchase this and, of course, larger prints and albums and such, I don't want them just walking out with the digital file because that's air that's not even real it's not a real tangible thing not to mention the fact that when they go have those printed at really inexpensive place like costco or whatever, they're going to look terrible and it's going to reflect on my skill on what I do is a photographer and all of our work is printed you know, we do a really good job printing, so what I try to do is okay, what can I do? And I don't want to reduce my price what I charge I don't want to compromise on that, so I have two choices I either have a sale and really charge less and like many people do or maybe I do something special to make what I'm trying to sell them look more valuable like apple did with their product they started with unique photography are unique product I mean there there there's really sexy looking their apple computers and ipads they're sexy looking would you agree they're cute and you are hot and you just feel good when you have one not like just a brand x. So if that's the case, then I want to become the apple computer of photography doesn't mean I have to charge thousands of dollars I don't have to be the most expensive, but what it does mean is that if I want my products to be perceived to be we worth more and more valuable and something that people want to have that I gotta do something about my packaging and that's actually what they did, you know, I read the book steve jobs about steve jobs. And if you haven't read that book, it's really quite fascinating to read. And one of the things that you talked about it in that book was the fact that he went through something like sixty five colors of white to come up with the with the white color that he did for the first time, mac or something of that nature. I mean, think about that that's obsessive and crazy, but at the same time think about what that means. It really meant he was absolutely relentless about the look. And I think that's something that you and I must do. So there's a couple of things that we try to do to create and have a unique look. One of the first things that I came up with, I thought you really wanted to make my work look like fine art. So I went and I bought an impostor. How many of you familiar with this? What this is this is what the boss serious, and basically you can order these online there, I want to say they're about thirty nine dollars. And you can get these little gold seals to go with them and basically like you should take the little gold stealing you stick it in here and you squish it and it takes and puts your imprint it could be your company logo it could be anything that you wanted to say in mind says it says fine art print you know numbers such a such a you know, fine art print and that has my company name and so forth these we take one of these we put it on a beautiful card on dh we sign it and it goes in the box with our prince you see now I validated that piece of fine art that they're getting again this is just one more silly little thing thirty nine dollars and a sticker ok it's just a glorified sticker but this has takes takes my work to the realm of fine art because if you buy any art if you go and you buy like a limited edition etching or anything like that they always come with a certificate of authenticity that's what I want because any time you can get you can get people to start thinking of your work as art and not just a picture first of all it validates ifyou'd be charge a bit more than others do and then the second thing is a mix you in more demand and I really wanted that was my goal is to make my look, my work appear to the client is being more valuable, so I try to go. I try to do things that that are affordable yet smart to make my work look better. And so it's in the packaging, I think that's really, really important. Did we have some questions on that let's say, well, we just have a a few minutes before we need to break. So is there more we want to make sure you get through what you want? I just want I've got one more thing that that okay, I already read that. Okay. That's. That's. Good. I'm good. You know, actually, just talking about one of this thing. Please make it really quick. I promise. I know I always do this, you guys. One other thing I wanted to show you and I have a we really believe in albums. I love albums, and we try to use good quality products. Speaking of albums, how much does it cost to have a wedding up? What is the average price of a wedding album? Just from a nice company? How about try six hundred to a thousand dollars so think about that if you want to provide an album for your wedding clients then guess what you'd better be charging how much to be able to pay for that to make it worth your time and to be profitable, you have to charge low less than four thousand dollars to start for photographing that wedding. So you want to think about that? If your cost of goods is twenty five percent should be no more than that and your regular albums. A normal nice album is between six hundred thousand dollars for that beautiful wedding album. Then you have to consider charging a bit more. And then I just wanted to show you one other piece that I think really helps to set us apart. And that's this beautiful book. I got this one from jonathan penny. He created it for me, and I did this book because I really wanted to create something that was just that made my work look absolutely like fine art. So it comes in this beautiful hand bound this this beautiful, hand bound album there's. Only one print on each saw on each double page spread as you see there's, their deck old edges and the papers deca let's. This is not a book that you take and you have on the coffee table for everybody to put their hands on because it's hand sewn just like a normal book. But it's, one of those showcase pieces of fine art it makes mason basically takes your work and makes it look like a beautiful fine art piece. In fact, I have a client in florida that I photographed and I did their wedding. This is their wedding album. She ended up having teo, she was baby, she says. I love that book so much, she says. I don't want anybody touching it. Would you please order me a normal book as well, and I'll pay for that, but she wanted this as her art piece. So if you're trying to cater to that carriage trade and you want to have a product for that upscale client, then this might be something, or this kind of concept might be something that you want to go to look at now later on tomorrow, we're going to talk more about albums and get a little bit more specific on the kinds of design layouts for them and other ways that you could become more profitable when it comes to wedding photography.

Class Description

Are you thinking about creating, revamping or maximizing your home or studio space? In this creativeLIVE photography course, Bambi Cantrell shows you how to take everyday materials to design stunning shooting spaces, and how to use available areas such as doors and windows for special effects. You'll discover how to use your marketing money in the most efficient way, including strategically working with local businesses, auctions and bridal fairs, as well as how to create a strong marketing brand. You'll come away from this photography course with everything you need to identify and create inventive shooting spaces, a strong marketing plan, and a new look for your business!

In this in-depth look inside Bambi's studio, you'll see all of the materials and processes she uses, including how she scours thrift shops for props and sets up her award-winning shoots.