Skip to main content

SWOT Analysis

Lesson 11 from: High School Senior Photography

Sal Cincotta

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

11. SWOT Analysis

Lesson Info

SWOT Analysis

All right, so swat analysis this should be done for your business every six to twelve months ideally a minimum I should say once once a year and then if you can do it twice a year alright swat analysis so strength. Okay, what are your strengths? That's what? We need to know all of you everybody what are your strengths? So I'm gonna work this er too you know, my my business and what you have to do is work into your business but I want you to understand what I'm actually doing. So what do I consider my strengths? I consider our strength, our brand, our experience okay, our style style of photography I consider those strength you should be able to come up with three to five in each category, but I sure hope you have strength for your big business that would be bad if you don't um everybody understands strength. What we're doing is looking to this is called a swat analysis on what we're doing is looking to be able to define what allows us to stand out from the crowd. So what is it that all...

ows you to stand out from the crowd? Give me one strength uh off camera lighting off camera lighting, headshots, headshots, getting people's personalities come out getting people's personalities come out I really like that is a strength so I really find that to be you know your strength is relatability maybe so you're able to relate to your client and get their their inner personality out and that's really important working with seniors, you have to be able to get that inner rock star out of them if not, they're going to clam up and so it's a very important skill have strength. How about same thing are look, the way they look at the image and then we made them feel so get out in a word or two words, how would you how would you qualify that capturing the true sense, capturing their true sense, ok, their inner beauty something to that effect. Ok, I customize each session to the seniors to what their interests are personalized approach, right minds more post processing so you would consider your strength may be creating a piece of art. Yes, right? Using all the tools and creating artwork for your clients. Okay, now this wasn't just cause I needed to fill air time and wanted to hear you guys talk. Do you understand that one of the things you just listed as your strength almost all of you have started putting together some of your taglines some of your vision statements, ok, so if your strength okay is using post production to create artwork for your clients do your clients know what your strengths is strength are is that part of your business branding is that part of what's on facebook so I see that if I go to your website do I grasp that that's your strength you're shaking your head no that's a problem we need to fix that immediately that something that could change tomorrow and it costs you zero you said your strength was the fact that you offer your clients ah customized personalized approach and experience is that anywhere on your website branding packaging is it front and center yeah I see your face says it all all of you and I'm not gonna go around the room for all of these things but if you just told me what your number one strength wass and you're telling me hey sal this is me this is what I'm known for and it's not front and center when I come to your website or are your marketing brochure you're missing the boat this is a simple change all of you can make effective immediately for your businesses and your brands you with me because if you're telling me head shots or something you're strong at I got to see that everywhere on your website you know I mean that's got to be in is it and as much as the strength it's a problem because my money shots are those shots okay? They're all over my website they're all over facebook people love so let's let's explore this those let's explore this you want something to this to this effect what's holding you back? Is it personal or is it the client resistance to you doing the I think I mean it's just my shooting when you mentioned earlier you do the type three quarter type metal wide yeah type metal wide I think I get trapped when I'm shooting okay? And I just shoot a lot of head shots. So for you I'm going to make the argument that not only is the head shot your strength is a weakness it's also your weakness all right, so let's, keep exploring this right? And hopefully everybody at home is getting getting the gist here on identifying your strength and now once you identify that strength, understanding what you're doing with that we don't just say it's a strength and then leave it there because I want everybody to understand something today what is your strength could be your weakness tomorrow let's say you were film shooter you might make the argument that being a film studio was your strength. Okay, I have a very unique, distinctive look and maybe today there's a niche for that, right? I mean there's still film shooters out there, but I would say today if all you're doing is film, I might look at that as a weakness okay, so just because it's a strength today doesn't mean it will remain a strength throughout your career throughout the life of your business that's why we have to go through this analysis the swat analysis every at least once a year but maybe twice or three times a year and I sit down just so you all know everybody knows out there I go through the swan analysis with my entire team we will take half a day sit in our sitting our home sit in our office wherever it is we have coffee lunch and we go through this this analysis and sometimes the strengths are easy yeah we're good at this. Yes awesome well what do you bad at? Well, you suck at this and nobody wants to hear what they're bad and that's we're going to get to that right? So everybody with me on strength and we just wanted to read off a couple yeah yeah I don't know what else is strange so so a npo x'd said client relationships huh? Photog couple so I'm not sure of imposed is a couple or photographing couples maybe that's what us uh darlene says is personal attention a strength and then see valdez says how do you convey relatability as a strengthen your branding? So how do you create? How do you showcase relatability in your branding? Relatability is never going to come through on the written word right so really if you're if one of your strengths is being a people person you're connecting to people you relate to people any of that personalized approach that is definitely not going to come through in the written word on your website and it's not necessarily going to come through in a still image but you know what video right? So imagine on your website get that those night cons in those cameras all have video built in let's create a cool video that showcases who you are, what you do and what it's like to be on a photo shoot with you what makes shooting with you so cool now you're you know, maybe you're showcasing you directing the client right? Suzy here's what I want to do I want you to you know, pop your hip this you know, whatever it is you're having this conversation with the client and then pop up some images that you captured off that shoot in this little video slideshow fusion piece that's how I would communicate that within my brand for sure good questions so we got anything else in school in there? Um some people photosmart I just like that name photosmart can go wrong yeah strengths are off camera lighting and capturing mood capturing move yeah that is that is a really good one but again I think capturing mood is going to come across in maybe the mood of your imagery but we've got to start embracing video and this multimedia experience to convey the message of who we are, who our brand is, especially. I think one of the main differences between your standard shooting burners and your standard established studio is that relatability that connective ity that customer service? Well, how do I communicate that in the written word? I mean, anyone who can write customer service is a priority for us, but that's really difficult to communicate that way. So we have to start utilizing video and multimedia to get that message across. You know what? I want to talk to you guys for a second? Something that came out up at the break was the concept of shooting and bernie and getting from that what you know, to the unknown and the unknown being moving to this package structure we were talking about, I'm not gonna lie. It is scary. It is scary going from what you do today, going to the great unknown, which is moving to this package structure, charging mohr and not shooting and burning. Those are the kind of things you have to be able to just take a leap of faith. I promise you it's the right direction to go for your business, and I totally empathize with the fear that you might have so let's keep going. Next up on the swat analysis, we're going to jump right to opportunity, so we're not going to weaknesses yet, so we covered our strength. What are opportunities that lie ahead of us? Okay, so now we have to think about this, so I'm going, I'm going to do this for my business. So an opportunity school contract's, right? So I see school contract's is an opportunity for my business. Um studio c studio c is that new part of my business? Right where I'm letting my senior photographers ah, shoot! And so studio c is another opportunity for my business to shoot mohr with me working less and having someone else earned money for me. That's a great opportunity for sure. Okay, what might be one other opportunity for for my business? Let's, talk about the mall fashion shoot. Ok, such as three. We're doing this. I'm kind of doing this off the cuff. So these air three opportunities. Imagine if you go home tonight. Notes for those of you out there, take the time, give this the energy and effort deserves and come up with maybe five or six in each category because what's gonna happen. Here's, if we say this is an opportunity, it's not enough to just write this down, that's pointless if we write it down, go home, I go, yeah, high school seniors and maybe some of you out there who were not senior photographers today you're seeing high school senior photography's an opportunity. The answer is yes, it is an opportunity. What are you doing to move after this? So this part of the opportunities is just at the fifty thousand foot level. Now we have to drill in. So if we're going to say school contract's or an opportunity what's next, how are we getting after that? So what do we have to do if school contract's aaron opportunity now, granted, my opportunities are different than yours, but you have to start seeing the way I'm thinking about this. How my mind is wrapping around this. What are three steps? You know that I have to do to go after school contracts while I have to contact the school. We're gonna have tio probably advertise in the school to let them know you know, to to donate to the school, donate to the yearbook, get in their good graces because they're not gonna accept us for a school contract if we're not if we're not in their good graces and part of raising revenue for the school, so maybe you're gonna participate in charities, that's something we've done a great success so they've got booster club's things like that. They're raising money for the football team, the baseball team, all things like that will donate portrait sessions, three hundred dollar value, thousand dollar value don't need a canvas something to that effect help the school raise money that's going to help you get in good graces. So you see where I'm going with this? What are the three steps now that we see, this is an opportunity. What three things do we have to do with each opportunity to make it a reality? That's very important. Because I don't want you to walk out of here and not be able to execute on any of this. That would be pointless. You guys with me on this so let's go through the room again. What's an opportunity for you and your business. And you can't all say seeing your photography getting high school contract. So you want high school contract's? Yes. Ok. How are you going to go about that? Um, well, contacting the school, putting some ads and good reach out. How did the school contract's work? Who's in charge of making the decisions for the contracts. One of the contract's up wins the next bid process. These are all questions you have to ask so that you know when its contract time you know you're poised to jump all over this it's different area because I have some grad undergrad right middle school in its every school is different but the only way to know for sure I used to go there and ask very good I like uh sports like more of a stylized sport artwork type of thing I love it that is a great opportunity for you stylized sports photography right? So you can go after him maybe you're doing like that hdr look that's really cool right now you get that sports athlete he's holding a football under his arm and got the stadium behind him lit up huge opportunity there that's not available in eight by ten by the way that's a piece of art that's only available twenty five thirty right that's the way you gotta do it love it well I'm thinking senior destination stuff I love it love it the destination concept they told you about I think that is money so that is a huge opportunity for you to go after beautiful gentlemen I'm going the other way. Um professional rodeo professional rodeo where'd that come from that's what I mean going the other way a p r c a photographer she did the audience I lie grew up rodeo so you're you love it I used to ride bulls and saddle rock and rope and I've come to come back around is as a photographer and getting there just ah bad gap there and I shot st paul last weekend and one of the biggest pierce here is around and I just absolutely loved it. So so how do we convert that to money though? Because there's nobody I shoot video as well it's nobody shoot video of the events nobody's shooting really it's it's old school shoot it and six weeks later maybe see your images online on write down your number and write down what page number on the website and then mail your check in okay maura real time automated right on the sea ice to see this is an opportunity so now when you get out of here tonight I fully expect you to write that down is an opportunity and then how are you going to execute on those things right? So you've got to reach out to that place put up put a plan in place to give you exclusive rights to photograph there maybe you're get doing a revenue share with the venue hey, guys will come out here. We'll give you ten percent of all revenue that we captured for exclusivity because you want exclusivity then from there you know, how are you going? How you gonna post these images online? We need to come up with a web gallery where you're driving all this traffic to to sell your prints and maybe you're handing out a card see your pictures online dub dub dub dot x y z dot com right? I love it so let we'll explore that more second fashion show bigger market second fashion show bigger market so the opportunity truly becomes you can become in your local area the fashion show guru company producing these why don't you take it a step further though if you're really going to run a fashion show, why don't you try and find a way to put a modeling contract in play for the winner? Okay find a way to take it to the next level man because what's going to stop me from coming in and copying you take it to the next level if you're going to truly run a fashion show in multiple markets now you're becoming more of an event promoter, which is fine because the photographers on the back into that but put something more at stake negotiate something with a local modeling agency and get these kids something more at stake you'll get the right kids, I like it all right last one and I'm starting sure we got some online uh, high school seniors gonna contract actually contact the school, the principal they're going to get me on the calendar for august, we're going to talk about it and it worked out specifically because of my strength being relatable that's exactly what got me in the door to make it work so the opportunity is the school contract for you good you need to brought brush up and make sure when you walk into that school contract that meeting you are well aware off what you're going to negotiate and what you're going to be given back to school they are going to expect kickback of some sort so I don't dance around the subject they expected all right let's hear online okay we have a couple comments one from dorian b who says because my market is special needs kids I see opportunities working with special olympics and local d s groups like buddy walks and then another comment from crow fox photography who says winter sessions and outdoor sport it's yeah I love it winter sessions could be fun that could definitely be a niche for sure to go after well good all right so we've got we did strength opportunities were gonna cover weaknesses in threats cause I'm gonna get you right in the pricing so what our weaknesses and then what are threats and I'm not going to dive into each one of these what are you weak at? This is tough, huh? Nobody wants to admit their weekend anything we don't want to hear about that kind of stuff so we've got to really think hard I changed my mind I must ask all of you tell me what all you're shaking your heads now it's brutal so it's like teacher what? Tell me one thing you're weak at marketing okay fair enough returning phone calls I love your honesty thank you photography or horrible or returning phone calls and email hey pet peeve alert right here if I send you an e mail and I get a response back that says sorry we're busy shooting other people right now oh, it makes me crazy dude like just don't even respond to it it's not you don't email a fortune five hundred company and you get our auto responder like that it's not professional don't do it respond to your email in twenty four hours or less yes but you don't need to send out this automated reminder I swear to all of you we did this once we sent out an email this was the response it made me crazy if this is if this email has been sent between monday and wednesday we're in photo shoots thursday we check email from four p m to five p m friday we don't check e mails it's our day off and on the weekends we may or may not get back to you due to some family events I swear to you that was the email that came back to me who does that that is not professional that is horrible so yes, you've got to get better returning phone calls and return emails in twenty four hours or less I'm still cramming to learn the technical aspects ofthe like photoshopped well, now, just in general posing all those okay second think under pressure and it just comes out naturally. That's good that's a weakness of a lot of photographers is especially with seniors. You have to work hard at it, getting comfortable within your own skin if you're not comfortable with who you are because very difficult to direct the seniors, I think you'll learn a lot tomorrow as you see me working with that senior but good, gentlemen, um, I would agree with a lot of marketing marketing. Yeah, perfect sales and asking for money. Yes. Lovett packaging packaging sucks packaging socks. Awesome goodwill in the shutter mag there's. An awesome, awesome article where we show you all our packaging on our branding because packaging is very, very important. It says a lot about your product. If you hand the client their images in some lame poly bag, you're basically saying here's some junk for you, right? But if a client to spend a thousand or two thousand dollars with you, it should be well, package. So very good. Awesome. Yes. What do we got on line back to luton comment that you made earlier about the packaging? Yes, louis vuitton was are we use louis vuitton as our inspiration for packaging so if you buy something if you ever in your life haven't opportunity by something from louis vuitton I swear to you you will not throw out the packaging because the packaging I think actually cost more than the product that's in there the shoes come in felt bags each shoe is in its own little felt back then that shoes in a box that is so high quality you can use it in your closet is a drawer then that box is in a bag all of this is made out of same material by the way that's in a bag made of the same material your receipt is in an envelope that is the same material as the bag it is amazing quality and you get that you don't want to throw any of it away it's on believable so that's the experience we want our clients to have when they open up their their packaging so I think on sunday what I'll do is adjust my presentation and include pictures of our packaging I think everybody would appreciate that I think that would be great I saw it in your in the article yeah it's good stop so we invest a little bit in our packaging but it pays off our clients love it let's read out a few more if you don't mind our studio are from our worldwide audience door and during b says I think weaknesses are the easy part to figure out all depends on how honest you're gonna be with yourself way but we have folks w b glitters technically week turnaround time carol m c f a turnaround time that's yeah guilty I think a lot of photographers are guilty with turnaround time that's why outsource? I mean I can't stress that enough I know that I travel a lot of on the road a lot of my clients just don't care about that stuff they want to see their image is their excited so we strive for a two week turnaround time with our clients and just for me to share one of my weaknesses I fool I fully believe even though we outsource everything it's the turnaround time off some of the printed orders because I've been on the road so much right now my clients I think are ready to kill me because we've you know they place their order but I haven't been home to get it delivered to him so you know we've got to fix that weakness now that we've we're doing more teaching we have to adapt or are really studio our clients are going to suffer and be angry so trust me we know that's a weakness as well good sound you don't post on your image is before you outsource them do you do any post in house that are no you just send him right the way my outsourcing workflow works is will take the picture downloaded to local machine back it up but then we put it on a little hard drive we export I'm sorry we ship it out to evolve at its it's there in two days they get all our images and within two weeks I've got the edited images back. I don't mess with him at all, and I don't even look at them to see what I got unless I'm looking for a teaser or something opposed to facebook, not I let them do all the heavy lift it's better, better use of my time? I just want to read off a few more of these. We don't mind because I think this is really this is the part where we're realizing what people need help with, you know that we all kind of struggle with so many of these things, a npo x'd said, trusting raising prices way have posing we have working quickly with toddlers instead of being able to take my time, so work life balance being a weakness perhaps ellen photo says up sewing uh carrie dixon says social media yeah, this is great, by the way, guys. So I think a lot of the questions you've had out there or we've answered today, some of them we've drilled into on, you know, there's probably more learning you can do, but what I love about everything we're doing right now with this swat analysis is I hope you're learning how to do this on your own so that you continue to do it and I'm so happy and proud of everyone really that you're writing this stuff down because it becomes riel the minute you put it down now you now you're looking at that weakness and it's staring you in the face man you can't look yourself in the mirror and not address it now so I'm really happy you guys air given this the time it deserves let's go to threats one more one more okay you think this is one that comes up over and over and over again from rad who said confidence or lack there of confidence is tough, isn't it? I think is the artist I'm a left brain right brain person so I think I've got strengths and kind of both areas and that's definitely helps with being an artist and being a business person I find that you've got to understand your personality type and if you were already acknowledging that that's a weakness that's great what you might want to do is another book that would be good for you and just getting comfortable in your own skin how to win friends and influence people that is a very old oldie but goodie and all the information and there will help you understand and maybe build a little bit more confidence but it's right, it's baby steps one day at a time get comfortable, I get uncomfortable and I think the more uncomfortable you get more comfortable you become in your own skin. Don't you think so? Good let's keep going. Threats. This is huge for your for your business. What are the threats and challenges that are facing your business today? Okay, now think about it. Your strength may not change every three months every four months. Opportunities can opportunities can pop up every two weeks, right, depending on what you're doing, where you're at. So you have to be constantly in tune of what those opportunities are your weaknesses. This should be your marching orders. All of you out there who said here in my weaknesses well, what you gonna do about it? You gotta do something about him. That plan has to start today. If you're saying you're bad at returning phone calls and let's, put a plan in place that return phone calls or, you know, on the technical aspect are imposing. If you're weak opposing, go pick up a book I learned opposing honestly by reading every book out there. On posing now I didn't try and copy it I didn't walk around with posing cards in my bag that's ridicu hold on uh yeah we're going to oppose twenty to know I don't do that right but I got comfortable after looking at all these different poses reading all these books I then got comfortable and I said, hey here's my top ten go to poses right and that's what I that's where I go into when I need when I need inspiration I know I've got my course set of poses if you will so but you've got to do something about it well threats those can change right all the time what our threats that might face your business shooting burners when you say that that could possibly be a threat to your business if you're playing at the low end of the market mid level market shooting burners, they pose a risk if you play the top into the market shooting burners honestly do not impact my business they make it easy for my business because I get I get the clients who want artwork for their home. I get the clients who want an album who want that higher level service so I don't have a lot of clients walking to my studio going I want the digital negatives because they really don't want it they want a full service experience, but when I was starting out that absolutely was a threat to my business because that level of client was always asking for that what could be another threat for your business I just put you on spot you get that mic gentlemen start thinking what's the threat I just see it all is a threat explain well I mean you've got shooting burners you've got pricing issues you've got you know you know everybody's doing it and you've got a market you've got maybe I'm talking a whole long list of wait no but I think how we can summarize that is the threat for you you see it's truly being an entrepreneur okay right because everything you're mentioning are all task that go in hand in hand with being entrepreneur I mean we've gotta pay taxes we've gotta worry about our competition we've gotta upgrade our equipment we've gotta learn how to use photo shop had a pose how to talk to people oh my gosh I just want to take pictures right eh so the truth is the real threat that I feel like you're talking on is just being in business for ourselves that's a scary proposition isn't it no guaranteed paycheck wait gotta go out there and fish and earn our own you know earn her own way so in that sense the best way to deal with a threat like that is to surround yourself with people who know what they're doing right so maybe it's post production find yourself a post production company, maybe it's design work find yourself a graphic designer on album design company so don't shoulder all of this responsibility on yourself that you won't grow your business will not grow you need to surround yourself with a team of people that can help you get to the next level. Alright, thank the biggest threat to my business is that I am a mom and I have four children I've got a senior this year when that one that will be a senior one that just graduated two daughters that just got married in the last nine months so my work like my my personal life is I mean it's just been insane the last year built a house built a studio it's just it's been crazy sorta tried it, keep up with business and hopefully we'll personal life will slow down a little bit but I think it as as a woman as a mom, I think it's it's difficult to balance everything and not have something go down him. So here's, what I want you to do yours was one that we kind of developed a little bit of a plan for right now you gotta shoot this many weddings this money, seniors, I think you have to step away from here if you see that is a threat because I'm creating that is an opportunity for you right so when I'm saying you're going to shoot this many weddings this money seniors I'm saying this is your opportunity but your counter balancing that with your threat I think you have to step away from here talk to your husband talked your family okay guys, where do we want to be as a family right that's very important because if I were to just go off and say I'm going to do fifty weddings this year I'm going to do one hundred twenty five seniors and I didn't have my wife along for the ride I wouldn't have a wife right? So it's very important that you're working this with your family so good um I think a saturated market in my area there's scene photographers everywhere yeah so you know I have toe separate myself so I guess that's why I'm here to learn more but it's good I like that threat that is truly a threat saturated market so when you step away from the here what are we doing to address that threat in your market you've got to start creating separation whether it's your posing your lighting, your marketing your website right so you got to start thinking that way perfect having a family and having kids and being willing to shoulder the risk risk award right? Yeah, no regional reward so is your wife in the business with you ah, she teaches so she loves doing that. She's starting to try and help me, but it's gonna be a slow process? Yeah, you know, and just some words of wisdom working with your spouse can be a challenge, you know, at times both ways. I mean, my taylor and I are perfect, I think kind of union, I'm a very much a type a personality. Go, go, go. You know, I told you guys when we started today this is me all the time. And so taylor is very much a reserved personality. Eso she's okay with me kind of stepping up to the front taking the lead if both of us were type a personalities would be a nightmare. And so I think it's very important when you're working with your spouse that everybody understands their rolls, their responsibilities and takes ownerships off their roles and responsibilities. Meaning, you know, if my job is to edit pictures, I don't want to see her editing pictures it's my job, right? If it's her job to run the sales room, she doesn't want me in there telling her how to run the salesroom, right? Because that's going to cause friction in your marriage and in your relationship so just be on that constantly was working together can be really rewarding I think the biggest threat for me right now because I have any to five as well, which I'm trying to get rid of assassins possible, but it's just time that decision is that when I quit that eight to five and whether or not there's truly going to be enough business down the road so that I don't lose my house, right, um, because we make a decent income for the area that we live in, but, I mean, you know, looking ahead and looking at when that decision is going to take place again, I can only say I can only speak from a true story I punched out in late two thousand six early two thousand seven I don't remember off the top of my head, I knew one thing I loved photography, I was tired of working the corporate grind, I didn't care if I made less money. I just wanted to follow my dream, and I've never looked back now was it scary when I punched out? Oh my gosh, we were scared to death way noah, I told you before I shared with you my story, we were sixty days away from bankruptcy that's how close we were to losing everything but here's, the here's, the deal, you're not going to be able to punch out and it's clean because there's not enough hours in the day so I don't know what you make today it doesn't matter let's just say for argument's sake, you make seventy k a year and you're going, I'll punch out the minute I can make seventy k a year, you can't it won't happen that way, eh? So you've got to be willing if you punch out and for any of you out there that want to punch out, you've got to do it knowing you might be taken a step back for the short term, but ultimately in the long term it's for the better yeah, all of those all those yeah, yeah, you know all about I mean, biggest thing when you think about somebody is threatening your business. It's it's always the the commodity, that toilet paper and I see that all the time I get the enquiries in prices start at like, all you're way too high, you're way too high and so you end up, you know, turning those down when I've turned down dozens and dozens because I'm not willing to, you know, you know, take those prices and go ok, I'll cut him in half, I'll take twenty five percent off just so I want the work and that's the hardest part for me is saying I'm sorry I'm not I'm not your photographer I can't I'm not going to shoot your wedding for that I'm not going to your senior porters for one hundred dollars. Well, so and so can you know and that's the threat to my business and so I would rather have no clients and hold true too that and hopefully someday you know, these start to work themselves out and they have because, um, you know, I saw you a couple of years ago and I didn't put that in a lot of your models and I tell you the first time I did a in hole portrait session, my first sale was seventeen hundred dollars that's awesome and I walked out and I look to my wife, you've got to be kidding me and the an emotive videos that I was putting on facebook for free and you said, are you crazy? You stole those from one ninety nine and I did it the next senior and I said only by the way, if you want the videos one nineteen either like, yeah, I want the video and I went that's brilliant, so I mean, taking that risk was hard for me to do, but it paid off, but I'm not I guess just taking that leap of faith and doing it, but I don't need to be undercut it maybe the threat is not taking that leap to a certain extent, isn't it? I mean if you just stay and this is what I wrote pace of change the only one thing I learned when I was at microsoft and my boss used to say it all the time and say the on ly constant in our industry has changed it's the only thing you can count on is there will be continuous change well guess what ladies and gentlemen it's true in the photography industry change and no one mentioned that by the way no one mentioned the threat to our business is the pace of change and here's what I mean by that if you do not participate in continuing education right upgrading your equipment upgrading your photo shop skills and continue to learn learn, learn, learn learn this becomes a major threat to your business you become that dinosaur you become that business that's moveable and that is a huge threat to my business. This is one I consider I take toe heart as the biggest threat and challenge to my business and my team you had one last thought you just answer it I was going to ask you what's yours because I think everybody's interested since you're at the level that you're out what do you think you're your biggest threat is that is my biggest threat is this pace of change there's this barrage of new lighting options new lighting techniques, new plug ins photo shop I mean I feel like assumes I upgrade my software the next version of the software comes out and then everybody's asking me or using that new version is suffering like dude, I don't even you know how to start it let alone use it right? So you have to invest the time when these things are happening to step back assess what the new equipment is whether it's technical or physical equipment and then ask yourself okay, great this great new gadget this new flash this new modifier how did you incorporate that into my business? Because I'm not I love gadgets don't get me wrong but and his photographer I think we all love the little gadgets and doodads but how does it translate to money I'm willing to spend money on anything anything that is going to help my business make more money but with that being said, this pace of change is insane, right? It just seems sometimes it's just really, really overbearing so online we got good yeah right comment from petra who says the biggest threat is age I'm a late starter and then that was seconded by bf photography and chris w and you said that you really got off the ground in two thousand seven so you're in your mid to late thirties yeah, right I'm forty two so there's no doubt I see age as a potential threat so I'm forty two now I feel like personally and some people out there may disagree with me that I have another eight to twelve years of being a wedding photographer and what I mean by that I'll always be able to shoot a wedding but what's going to end up happening is my younger brides my cooler brides the minute they start seeing me as their dad that's it I've lost that kind of x factor you know what I mean? And I'm conscious about it doesn't mean I'm not looking to insult anyone it's just the reality is once they start seeing you as their dad that client relationship starts changing you're not that cool hip guy anymore you're just a guy trying to be that who cool hip guy or girl you know what I mean? You start approaching the creeper area and I don't want to be that guy so uh can you do it? Of course I think you can still do it just be aware might not be able to charge top dollar and that this is a potential challenge for you and is always you address it and you see it's a threat so various student just interesting to see all the comments come up talking about this the age and then cowgirl jessie says I'm twenty three and I'm afraid people are hasn't hired me because I'm too young I would agree with that as well, eh? So I have a shooter on my staff he's twenty one he's probably one of the strongest shooters in my studio behind me, and I can't book him on his own weddings yet because he's too young, but the truth is, he would do a better job than any of my other second shooter's on staff, but he's just too young perception reality, right? So, yeah, you know, twenty three damned if you do damned if you don't. So I think right now in my life, I mean my sweet spot most of you guys here, I think we're all in our sweet spot. You can still do it, but just be aware of it, it doesn't mean going to stop you. I'm not seeing as you're fifty five and sixty, you can't photograph a wedding, I'm just saying there's a potential there for it to be a threat and just got to be aware of it. Anything else good? Or do we start a firestorm on the well? I have one more comment that I want to share uh, w v glitter said you made your first million in a year by forty two ages, not a barrier don't say that again uh, they say you made your first million in a year by age forty two age is definitely not a bear it definitely worked out well for so it's ah it's a good success story we worked really hard to get there and we obviously continue to work hard every day I think hopefully the message you guys here for me in here out there you see how committed we are to improving our business every single day so we never get cocky we never get arrogant we never take for granted where we are in our business I think you'll find that I'm extremely approachable, very humble and that comes across with our clients as well and I think that's kind of what they love about it so just be aware of that as well same right on the way down is it was on the way up, you know, right there's another one from sam cox who says so we talked about the pace of change in the industry but going along with that wood a threat be changing expectations from the clients from the market such a senior's wanting fusion products or videos and you're still just shooting still photography that is an inaccurate statement we offer full video so it's not you personally so for them so yeah, not yeah for them so that's another threat that sam is saying is that I agreed not just the pace of change for the industry itself but what clients are expecting you know, and in that situation, because I do wholeheartedly agree with that the threat there is the change in definition on what it means to be a professional photographer in a lot of people are resisting me on this, you know, I was I was on tour, and I would say this at the end of almost every city stop, I would say what it means to be a professional photographer is going to change in the course of the next three to five years, we will become the creative director and as your creative director for an event, you will tell the story by any means necessary that could be video fusion still photography, whatever the case may be, whatever new widget you know, it comes out at that point in time, so we have to engage in that and video is one of those things I find today that my brides love when they come to us and we're a one stop shop oh, you mean you'll do video and photography, you do both? Absolutely. That makes him extremely happy. So it's been a huge value. Add to our business we probably do fifteen to twenty full video weddings a year and the average wedding spends on video alone forty, five hundred two, sixty, five hundred in our studio I love video it's a lot of fun

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Sal Cincotta Pricing.pdf

bonus material with enrollment


Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I have been shooting seniors now for 6 years. I have to say this is the best course I have ever had online! My head is still spinning trying to process it all. (luckily I gave in and bought the course :) I was going to be printing my marketing magazine for my seniors this week. After the first day of this series, I completely changed my pricing structure and felt so much better about how it would work for me! That is what is amazing about this series. It has incredible amounts of information that the newest photographer to the seasoned photographer can take and use in the business. I watched all three, took notes like crazy; watched again and still could not get all the info I wanted on paper. So I did the logical thing. I bought it! I was so impressed with the down-to-earth style of teaching that Sal and Taylor use and how open they were to sharing so many helpful aspects of how they do business. I really wanted to buy another backdrop, but I truly believe my $99 for this series will reap way more benefit for my business. Thanks so much Sal and Taylor! Now... to go redo that marketing info. :)

a Creativelive Student

This course is amazing. Sal offers a truly comprehensive path toward success in a step-by-step way that leaves nothing out. You can tell he's very secure in his success and his skills and, therefore, can truly share his knowledge. This workshop is great for amateurs and experienced alike. And, unlike many other presenters, Sal doesn't spend exorbitant amounts of time bemoaning the existence of "shoot and burners" ... instead, he inspired even them to raise their game - benefiting the industry overall. Nice. You must buy this workshop.

Student Work