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Inside the Home Studio

Lesson 11 of 31

Preview Showing and Sales Appointment

Tony Corbell

Inside the Home Studio

Tony Corbell

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Lesson Info

11. Preview Showing and Sales Appointment

Lesson Info

Preview Showing and Sales Appointment

are you going to show them previews if you're doing the creation fee or sitting feet plus prints then there has to be a preview showing for a sales appointment where they come back in and they look at everything that you wish to present to them then they go through that and make their decision of what they want to print and how many they want to print or how they want to do it I can tell you this I know that in the last three years the more successful photographer that I talked to that are selling fewer large prints are selling more albums and collections if you're not showing in a portrait situation especially and if you're really good and what you're doing you're creating so many pictures that they can't say no to but they keep you're you're not going to get a client is gonna buy a twenty by twenty four canvas print of every single thing that you've done but they might buy a ten by ten leather beautiful artistic album or book that sits on their coffee table they might do that and I'l...

l guarantee a in terms of profit you could probably make more money on that book than you can on that print on the wall don't discount the importance of uh of photographing collected works and big numbers like that makes sense I think you can do okay with it so I mean I know several people there doing this and they're doing really really well with it so preview setting and sales appointments are really important uh most clientele they're there most comfortable doing those in the evenings you're not going to get him very often in the middle of the day moms have to be there moms are the ones that came up with the idea for the portrait in the first place I can assure you it wasn't dad's idea to do this not very often occasionally I'm not very often um I just want to talk a little bit about dispelling some rumors and myths until you ask for the money until you ask for the fees until you tell them what your averages are you don't know what they say you think oh you think that's just way too much money they'll never pay for that you don't know what they're going to pay for you don't know how bad they want this I know a story that I'll leave the photographer's name out of it but I know a great story a true story of a family that pulled up to the sky studio in this beat up old car that was smoking you know the guy because he's in your territory it was a horrible old car and this family got out of this car they didn't speak very good english they didn't have any money they were dressed very poorly and they said they they wanted him to photograph their daughter's wedding and and he was like well he was kind of an expensive guy he was pretty costly and he just stopped betty what kind of him hard around and he could tell they could tell that he was uncomfortable and the mom of the bride to be put her hand on his arm and said we've been saving for ten years for this wedding it's the most important thing for us to have you photographed this wedding and we've cut corners on everything that we can cut corners on but we're not going to cut corners on these pictures and and it was it was just a wonderful moment for him and they went through this whole thing well of course he gave him just about everything but the fact is they valued those pictures mohr than probably any client he's ever had these people that couldn't afford to be there they were over their head but they did it anyway and they said if we have to pay it out on the layaway plan will do that whatever we have to do but we want you to do this work they valued it your clients have to value the work pretty important now also let's talk about this let's talk about the fact that uh until that number's laid out there until that average price is thrown on the table they don't know where you are so you don't know if they can or cannot afford you and I will promise you this here is the biggest mistake you'll make you ready for this everybody at home this is the biggest mistake you'll personally make if you price yourself and your work as to what you personally can afford as opposed to the true value of the product don't say I would never pay that much for prince because you're not your client they're your client and to them the value of what you do especially some of the things that I've seen you do in some things I've seen you do to what you guys do is you you create magic for these people you have no idea how valuable it is you don't even know what it means to these people so put that number words right put it worth appropriate now for wedding photographers I'm not gonna spend a lot of time on this but I will tell you this wedding photography could not be more important and I'll tell you I'll tell you a couple of examples one of my favorite clients of all time is that murder mystery author from los angeles his books are in every airport right now I guarantee and every gift shop this guy writes nonstop murder mysteries and I not photographed two of his kids weddings and a bar mitzvah and they have a home in beverly hills new mexico in one in new york and I I I love this family this is a family this is a great family this is a five figure family now all of these people the first wedding that I did for his family the daughter the ten year old daughter's older brother was getting married and at the end of the reception I walked out I was changing batteries and I walked outside and there was this long hallway and I saw him and I saw his ten year old daughter and she was sobbing she was boo hoo and because she was losing her big brother and and the dad jonathan was on his knees and he was a former child psychologist anyway he was he's great with kids he was on his knees and he was holding his daughter's hand and he was looking up at her and it was the sweetest expression on his face and the saddest expression on her face and I got like one frame maybe two frames of this shot and then got away so they didn't see me when I got home that night this was the wedding was the san francisco and I lived in san diego when I get back home that the next morning anyway I pulled that file I went through and I found that file made a print matted it framed it in fedex to tune in a small size and said from one dad to another I thought you might want this on your desk do you think that the dollar matters to him he will never use anybody but me because I was thoughtful enough to do that because I know that's what mattered and that's what they get when they use somebody that's a professional and if you guys aren't thinking like that you better start thinking like that because that makes all the difference it dispels all the rumors in the myths about pricing because pricing doesn't matter you did something nobody would have thought to do with every bride I photographed I stopped shooting weddings years ago now but with every bride I photographed I went to the gown fitting with the bride and her mom and I photographed the gown fitting and I included it no charge in the first two pages of the album nobody did it nobody did this in my community and I had another zero by the way I got paid for it they didn't know that they were paying for but they were paying for it but it's a kerem I gave him the best I could give him and that was my job to create quality okay sorry e get stuck in these little things little zones of our is everybody home still going what uh okay so this is this is part important so minimum order pricing is a really good idea for some photographers and versus ala carte pricing what I mean by that is let's say you don't want to do a setting feet for your portrait sessions let's say you want to have one portrait collective collective price which is a you know you are the commissioned portrait artist but let's say that you do want to do something like look at I have us I have a minimum order price let's say your session fees instead of one hundred fifty dollars let's say your session feast five hundred dollars and maybe two hundred fifty goes toward their purchase of prince maybe do something like that that way at least you're guaranteed x number of dollars from the session whether they buy very much or not here's the thing that always bugged me was that we as photographers as portrait photographers we counted on them buying a lot of pictures or buying big pictures as a way to make our living does seem like a reasonable statement sure we relied on that what if you have a client that's a pretty high inclined but they never buy big prints for the homes because you know their homes they have art work not photographs of themselves all they wanted to five by sevens of the family want to put on the piano and one for dad's office are you going to give them any less respect when you shoot this job if you know that up front right so then maybe you should consider those people just like a commercial photographer does maybe that's the one that you maybe you're pricing becomes something along the idea of a day rate or or a time and talent fee I would almost rather have an enormous time and talent fee and selling those two five by sevens for fifty dollars as opposed to try to have one hundred fifty dollars session fear two hundred dollar session fee and hope I can sell him up a thousand dollars of prints are two thousand five thousand whatever the number is for you maybe that's the way we need to think about it whatever the combination isn't however you want to do it I don't know but I can I tell you there's a lot of different ways of doing it here and some of them are brilliant they work great for you and some are terrible and it will never work for you so you're all different and you're going to have your own sales personality that's gonna work or not work so you have to find that that is a toughest part of what you have to do and that's where it comes in very very handed to be a member of some of these local associations because you've got people that are like minded people with the same scenarios sitting right there in your midst there at the same meetings with you so I think that's pretty important to get those people to buy in and talk to you about what they do I'm I'm new at this I don't know how to price my work and I don't know if at all answered any of her questions but I think that where you are when you are new and you don't know where to put your pricing I think you do need to reach after the community I think you need to ask some of the other photographers what they charge or call some of the other photographers in the community and just and basically shopped them until you can kind of figure out what they're doing and maybe you want to be honest and just tell him listen I'm anu for talk from trying to figure out where what we did in san diego when there was new photographers in the community instead of kicking them to the curb and sand up your new don't mess with us we're were priced over here we invited him into all of our meetings so we could train him and educate him on what we did and it would help raise the level a little bit before they putting out their single started charging for their work so it's a it's another way to think about it okay before hit this button any comments any questions sure miss I'll just go with a comment about that from kc five who says it's really nice when created by of educators share their personal stories and what motivates them like it's just it's really helpful too to hear all these things that we should be considering but as well a sort of some of your experiences so you know there was a guy years ago he's still alive and he's a really nice guy he's in san mateo california his name's christopher dare manual in now he stopped shooting years and years ago so you probably won't find much about him probably he stopped shooting before the internet came along uh but but his his business was called christopher of san matteo and that was the name of the business it was just that christopher of san matteo christopher never showed her client a proof he would go to the client's home meet with the client talk about their clothing for their portrait session he would go into the hall and the walls and figure out where you're gonna hang this and he would determine where it's going to hang and he would determine what size it is going to be and his fee for this job was exactly the same for every client that he photographed you want a christopher portrait it's going to be x number daughters and it was a lot of money in the seventies eighties and early nineties there's a lot of money but you never got to see a proof he didn't show you proves he made that selection and then he cropped and then he retouched and he did everything and then he finished the portrait and he went out and sent it out had it framed and then he brought it and delivered it to you in your home and it was an unveiling and they made a big deal out of and there was always champagne toast and it was a big event when he would deliver this to you why can we not do that if you live in a big city why can you not hire a limo to go pick up your client and bring him to your studio when they have the appointed time why can't you do that why can't you've been thinking why hasn't why's nobody thought about it hire a limo and bring that it's gonna cost you one hundred bucks I want to sell them eight thousand dollars worth what's a hundred bucks to bring a limo and have chilled champagne or wine in the back of a limo to have it delivered here I'm just I'm just spit balling here I'm just thinking I just want you to stop and think bigger than you're thinking you're trying to figure how to get one hundred twenty five dollars check from mom I know I get it I just want teo talk about my experiences I live in the suburb of dallas and there's many many many suburbs of dallas and there's lots of moms with cameras in my suburb as well as all the other suburbs of dallas and then we have very high end photographers in dallas it's very difficult when you live in a suburb to try to get your prices to look like that high end photographers in dallas not that I could even get to that point at this time but I also don't want to be at the level of the moms with cameras who charge a flat fee and give a dvd of fifty photos that goes in a drawer and nobody ever appreciates it so that's what is difficult to overcome it is and there's and there's not a quick and fast and easy easy answer but but I do think that you have to uh you have to investigate as much as you can what what will the market baron what is the value of your product and think about what tim walden said and let's make another gap you know you can't if if there are those photographers photographers they're doing that those they're catering to people that are not your clients I know two photographers in your community that air charging a lot of money and doing okay you know and I think that you have to um you have to put a stake in the sand at some point and say that's what my that's what my rights are I'm such a big fan of a black and white fine art guy named john sexton down the california coast I'm such a fan of john's and thankfully man john are pretty good friends and I saw some pricing recently for some of his works that I was so pleased to see that number it's a big number but he's now so collectible and his books are now his book some of those book collections are empty they're gone and now those books value of his books have gone up and uh he was never a fade too he was never afraid to charge fort he was never afraid to charge for and I think that that's uh it taught me a lot watching people like that and watching people like greg daniel and these people that they're just going you know what I'm not going to have that discussion about that side of this I'm gonna have this discussion about this and I'm just going to move on and do what I do and I'm just gonna put it right up here and I'm gonna do the best job I can from my client you know and I'm gonna give them the vest very best product I can possibly give him and that for me as a wedding guy I included everything had one wedding price just one price is a lot but it included everything how many pictures do I get it I don't know I haven't south the wedding yet however many pictures it takes to tell the story of your day that's how many I'm going to put in your album and I'm going to design the book with with the beautiful artistic style that will fit the mood of your wedding some brides have three rides maids and play elevator music at the reception some brides have eighteen brides maids and have aerosmith rocking out at the level ten it's a different feel of the albums and it better look different feel different right I can't tell you what how many pictures you're gonna get cause I must stop the wedding yet but I'll promise you this I'll give you everything it takes to tell the best story every day and it might be one ten by ten book and it might be three and a slip case I don't know because I haven't shot it yet but either way if the price is the same they would pass out what you give me the same yes the same price that's what it cost to get me for the day all this stuff I thought that comes with me that's the way I priced my weddings and it made my life so much easier and my client's got it they underst is it they never picked what went in their wedding album I did I'm the one it's done seven hundred weddings not them my bride would always pick the wrong pictures to put around you guys know that we did when you let your client pick their pictures they always pick the bad ones the ones that you're thinking to yourself oh I should never ever show her that once he picked it yeah you gotta sell that you've got to give it to her you know find a way to make the selections yourself whether it's portrait or commercial our wedding and somehow life gets a little bit better not every client's gonna let you go

Class Description

Working from home is a great way to minimize costs, but it can be challenging to deal with the inevitable space and light limitations and it can feel awkward to explain to clients.

In Inside the Home Studio, Tony Corbell will help you address the logistical and practical challenges of working from home. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Work with low ceilings, dark spaces, and small skinny rooms
  • Market and sell in-home shoots
  • Store and organize your equipment.
  • Work with family and client schedules

Tony will help you come up with new ways to shoot in ordinary spaces by sharing real-life examples of home studio scenarios. He’ll shoot formal and candid portraits throughout the entire house, teaching you how to leverage each room for its specific uniqueness.

Inside the Home Studio will show you how to approach different photographic genres and help you make the space you have to work for your business.



Another great course by Tony Corbell. I loved this course. Tony is a great teacher, great photographer and great business man. He's enjoyable to listen to and a great teacher. He holds nothing back and shows how to shoot great pictures even in small shooting environments or on a low budget. I would buy again Tony's courses.

Penny Foster

Wow! Tony is fantastic! So many hints and tips, crammed into this great course. I shoot portraits out of a small converted garage, about 9 ft high, 9 feet wide, and about 19 feet long. Tony has shown me so many ways to make this small space work for me, for which I am eternally grateful. What this course highlights is that whatever small space you have, there are ways of making it work. You need to buy this course and watch it over and over because, every time I watch it, I gain more and more info that I missed the first time around. Brilliant!

Kat Ciemiega

Absolutely wonderful, I cannot praise the content enough. I value Tony's stories as much as the information he is giving away, because it puts the data in the perspective and practical context of the actions we take. Thank you for this class!