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Engagement Pricing and Sales

Lesson 21 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

Engagement Pricing and Sales

Lesson 21 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

21. Engagement Pricing and Sales

Next Lesson: Destination Shoots


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


The Agenda


Why You Will Fail


The Changing World We Live In


Biggest Competitors For Weddings and Portraits


Day 2


Defining, Understanding, and Connecting to Your Clients


Day 3


Legal Issues


Day 4


Shoot and Share vs Shoot and Sell


Day 5


Pricing Your Work Part 1


Day 6


Pricing Your Work Part 2


Day 7


The New World of SEO


Day 8


Social Media - Facebook


Day 9


Social Media - Instagram & Pinterest


Day 10


Building a Better Portfolio & Attracting the Right Clients


Day 11


Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships


Day 12


Get More Publicity


Day 13


Booking More Portrait Sessions


Day 14


Booking More Weddings


Day 15


Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)


Day 16


The Engagement Shoot - Shoot To Make Money.


Day 17


Engagement Pricing and Sales


Day 18


Destination Shoots


Day 19


Working With & Training Second Shooters


Day 20


Growing An Alternate Brand


Day 21


The Wedding Day Timeline


Day 22


Managing The Wedding Day


Day 23


Post Wedding Sales and Pricing


Day 24


Post Production - A Real World Workflow


Day 25


Wedding Albums - Their Importance, New trends & Selling Them


Day 26


Ways Not To Suck At Customer Service


Day 27


Video - The Future of Story Telling for the Photographer


Day 28


Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients


Day 29


Lessons Learned - Where I Have Failed Over The Last 8 Years


Day 30


The Journey Of You


The Journey Of You: 30 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 60 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 90 Day Plan


Student Examples


Interview with Warren McCormack


Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo


General Q&A


Lesson Info

Engagement Pricing and Sales

We've kind of been stair stepping through this, talking about our client now we're digging, we just talked about the engagement shoot last time, what goes into it, but great now we're back after the shoot. Now what? What ends up happening? And this tends to be this kind of mystical area for people in trying to figure out what they should and should not do and how it all works. And so hopefully we can shed some light on all of this first thing that happens, let's, start with simple numbers. I do the shoot june first. Okay, I photographed a couple june first by the time that photo shoot's over and in many cases, while I'm actually on the photo shoot, taylor is sending them an email saying to them, hey, guys, hope you had a great time with salad on your photo shoot. I want to get you in to see your pictures. I've got june fourteenth at five p m available. I've got june seventeenth, uh it's six pm available she's giving them a mix of time. Summer during the day somewhere at night attach th...

is pricing and packaging tied to our vendor specials please be prepared to pick and order pictures let me know if you have any questions, right, a real simple yet pointed. Email it has to be that way if it's not that way you're gonna have trouble in the sales room that goes out so we already the clock starts ticking right now I'm not saying that everybody is coming in at two weeks to the day that that would be a straight up lie some of my clients can't make it in I'm out of town I'm traveling that kind of stuff but the beat we march to internally is two weeks now here's the thing you've got to figure out how to do this uh this is a conversation it's actually crazy there's a discussion going on in er shutter fast group right now and it's pretty interesting I'm backing to name names there's no point but a photographer got photographed his wedding was photographed by another photographer dr tarr for its going on ten weeks they still do not have their wedding pictures ten weeks this is crazy to me right especially in the day and age we live in so another photographer has just photographed ah photographers wedding that's not even your normal client you should be like hypersensitive to the whole thing right when I'm working with another photographer and I'm doing their wedding I'm going above and beyond to make sure that experience is super super good right? Because they're my peer I want to make sure I'm killing it for him and so they're going on ten possibly eleven weeks before they see their pictures that is acid and so ultimately what you've got to do is make the decision that either you're going to get these images out the door two weeks or outsourcing it's that simple I really don't care what you do I don't care if you hire an editor in house I don't care if you outsource to another company I don't care if you do them yourself but it's gotta happen in two weeks and so we outsource it's no surprise to anyone who knows that her father was I own a company called evolved at its I outsourced to them I didn't always only company you can't make the statement well of course you outsource you own the company no that's not how it happened I started outsourcing roughly six or seven years ago okay I got to a point in my career I'll never forget it was in october on I had I had like fifteen weddings in the month of october with some ridiculous number twelve weddings in the month of october on the average wedding was taking me about twelve hours teo edit myself so call all the images color correct them special at its on him and on and on well, you start doing the math there and you've got let's call it ten weddings in the month of october you got ten weddings that's one hundred twenty hours where's that coming from I literally would have to sit down for eight hours a day editing these jobs to get them in that two week window it was just becoming insurmountable I couldn't do it not to mention seniors, families, babies and everything else going on my business and by the way being a ceo and so I had to make the decision that I was absolutely just going to let go of the post production and it's funny because lauren who is my business partner today uh he was not I was in a business partner with him right I was just a photographer so I sent him all my stuff I go I call him up and he still has the voicemail which I think is funny weird but funny right why does he still have that voice mail and so he still eyes that voicemail I say all right I'm going to send you all my weddings okay but I'm gonna keep my engagements in my seniors and I thought yeah I still want to keep my hand in the mix don't we like it's for tigers there are baby we can't let go of our images we just won't obsess and even though it doesn't matter to anyone you could probably show your client's images that haven't even been color corrected and I'm not sure they would really know the difference but fine I go I'm gonna give you my weddings uh gonna keep everything else I get slammed again like days later I'm like okay, I'm gonna send you my weddings in my engagements and I'm gonna keep my senior's right he's like he was like whatever dude and finally he calls me up and he goes just send everything and I did and it was the most amazing moment of my life to just be done I just sent a hard drive sent all my images and I didn't have to ever worry about it again and so the history of this is I outsource for good four years to this company was called revolution imaging in design at the at the time I got a call one day about two and a half years ago from lauren he says hey man, your number one client and by number one I was spending almost fifty thousand dollars a year in outsourcing okay that's how big our studio was that's how much we were shooting fifty thousand dollars a year announcer saying goes your number one client, I've got to give you a heads up he goes in about two weeks we're closing our doors we can't make payroll my heart sank because I started thinking about are you freaking kidding me? I got to start editing weddings again I got to start doing this again I want nothing to do with it so I said to him I go okay here's the deal I said I'm gonna hire my editor so I had a dedicated added her name was jade I said I'm gonna I'm gonna hire her well then I need somebody who's doing my album design okay, so I'm gonna hire this person well then somebody's got to kind of manage this, okay? I'm not I'm like ok wait when we just reboot the company what's the problem right there having cash flow problems and so that was the birth ofthe evolved cos being mismanaged the old ceo we got rid of we took over we rebooted that company two years ago and so ever since then that's what I do I outsource every single things where you guys sitting here today you guys are having clients we outsource I highly advocate you consider outsourcing so in the spirit of all that evolve premiere this is of system if you're not using it, I want you to consider it it's one ninety nine a month unlimited color correction for your business so you send your job seniors, families, babies, everything you got one ninety nine a month all your color correction is covered now it is a one year program and so what we've done is it was a new programme and we took our lawns man the one thing we learned is outsourcing is not for everyone and so I've had conversations with photographers it runs the gamut I've got for tigers, you absolutely love being in the program and then I've got photographers who absolutely despise everything that program stands for, right? Because these air photographers too much magenta, too much green, not enough contrast, right? If you're gonna obsess outsourcing to anyone is more than likely going to be a frustrating endeavour for you. And so in the spirit of that, the one thing we came up with was a thirty day trial. So what you can do if you're not even sure thirty day trial, you don't have to commit to a one year program during a thirty day trial. Try it out, I guarantee you, we're sitting here in november as you're watching this, you are drowning, you are drowning in post production, let it go throw it over the wall, I promise you we can get it done and it take it'll take about two to three jobs to get dialed into your style. Once that teams dialed into your style, things are going to start flying for you, and now you don't have to worry about this anymore. So go to the web site, check it out, I don't want to oversell it, uh, what I want you do those give it that thirty day trial. Try it out and I'm promising you it's going to change your world and the reality is there's all sorts of added benefits you get discounts and all the other brands and stuff like that it's well worth letting go now back to our regular scheduled program at the end of the day you've got to figure out how to get your image is ready in two weeks if you can't figure out how to get those images ready in two weeks you are going to fail your client's three to four weeks is not acceptable turn time not in today's day and age they want it now they want it yesterday you know I'm actually talking to someone probably because of what I do with evolve I'm talking to somebody but who thinks they're going to be able to do twenty four hour turn time can you imagine that scares the crap out of me I don't even want to think about it as a photographer the thought of coming home at eleven o'clock at night on a saturday night and downloading and editing all those images here's his thought process he wants to download at it call the images edit the images goto his client before they even wake up in the morning out of the hotel and hand them not that cd from dr of images I don't know why I hope it never gets any traction because I don't want any part of it I don't want to try and get involved to the point where it's trying to turn images for clients that fast I don't want to train my own wedding clients that this is how things work, it says it's too easy I don't even understand how I would be able to create signature at its that fast a typical signature edit is taking my team an hour and a half to two hours of time, so how in that world am I getting them to cull through all these images? She sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn't it? This something there are people making this move to do stuff like this and so I almost think it devalues what we do is photographers if those things can be turned that quickly, I don't know I'm just like, you know, this is what people are trying to do and get it to work here's what I think is reasonable the system we talked about, what we're talking about instagram earlier on right previous segments I think that feeds that real time niche. I think that same day slideshow feeds that real time need I'm sorry that realtor time need for seeing the data instagram and then showing that slide show using an emoto and a block post I think that is good enough for our clients the second best thing you can do is get them their images in that too week window that is totally acceptable for me as a business owner. As an artist, I'm okay with that turn time, so you've got to manage that. Just be aware of it. If you're in the three to four week window or worse and you're drowning right now, man, you better figure out a way to get a life raft preserver because you're just gonna you're setting yourself up for a really, really bad reviews, and then ultimately, when they come in to see their pictures, they're pissed off, right? Why they're gonna spend money if they're pissed off? I learned that lesson a long, long time ago, many years ago, and so, like I said, ultimately, I don't care what you do, but you got to figure it out. You gotta you gotta let it go. How many of you what's your turn time don't don't lie to me I don't hear nonsense what's your turn time michael anthony three weeks about three weeks we gotta pull that up what's your turn time I way shoot on the weekend and then I'm usually doing in ordering session next thursday that's also that's. Great. How what's your scale plan. What do you do when you get busy um uh, I'll let you know when I am busy. Okay, well that's the goal, right? Yeah, I like that I like I like how we're having this conversation. No, I mean, I did get busy but usually usually get one done by tuesday and thursday so those are kind of my nights that I go and do those and, um and I try to keep it a two week so I can manage it good how quickly you turned it was two weeks after the last couple months I'm kind of drowning I'm closer to four weeks now. Probably four weeks that's problematic, right? We got to get away from that because what ends up happening is is the minute you start falling and slipping it's just it's this horrible, horrible circle you start falling into and I and I can empathize because I was there you start falling into this vicious circle where you're like you can't move because there's so much that needs to be done you need you don't even want to reach out to clients because you're afraid they're gonna ask for their images where my images, right? And so these are the kind of things that we got to keep this this machine moving someway somehow and hey, more power to you if you're in season and you're keeping up with everything in europe that two week window great stay there what's your what's, your scale plan right, what's your plan for scalability. How do u plan at when you get busy? Because you will get busy? If you start doing things the way I'm telling you to do it, you'll find that more and more of your time needs to be spent shooting and not obsessing about right green levels and tint levels and contrast, man, I'm telling you, that's, not what's going to help you sell it really isn't now I will tell you from my perspective, I'm just I'm just as bad as all of you. I haven't completely like off my editing and so my team, they do the editing, but it's very difficult for me to let go completely of my signature edits. And so a lot of the images I was showing you earlier that have come from, like brazil and all that stuff for that image where she had the headpiece, that beauty editor, that was all me that's me doing it because I don't want to lose touch of what I'm doing. But I tell you what I don't want to do. I don't want to color correct uh, eight hundred images. I don't want to color corrected thousand images, there's nothing artistic about yeah, I fought that because to me that's the sweat equity, like I was being you know I was being lazy if I wasn't that's the work I should be doing on my downtime but now I'm looking at that's now if it starts becoming a disservice to the client then right it's it's kind of loss well and how long does it take you in the spirit of that ride it was taking me ten to twelve hours to process a wedding how long's it take it that's part okay ten to twelve hours so let's forget it for a second the disservice to the client I agree with you if you start slipping into disservice to the client but I'm so far past there at this point in my career forget it being a disservice of client let's say I can hit those two two weeks for my client your actually it's actually worse than that that ten hours you're spending should be done spent marketing it should be spent implementing all these ideas I'm telling you to implement because hey man, the cost of outsourcing at this point is almost negligible right? One ninety nine a month so let go of everything is completely negligible to me because that's ah half of shoot if you do what I'm telling you to do from a marketing and sales perspective it's half issue if you can't make two hundred dollars on one shoot where you've got to get out of the business because you're gonna go broke whether you're outsourcing or not that's got to start becoming your mindset and there's other things I'm telling you you should be outsourcing its not just editing you know for the moment it's your county your bookkeeping we used to do all our bookkeeping right? And then I fell three years behind on my taxes I've shared this story before three years behind holy crump you know how much money I had to pay the irs in late fees and penalty fees because we're falling behind because what ends up happening is this the spot it spirals out of control so two thousand seven are business just grew like a hockey stick and I'm like yeah we could do it we got our bookkeeping we got I'm not paying in accounting that's crazy that's away some money I'm gonna do it myself then we were late in two thousand seven but we couldn't file two thousand eight until we did two thousand seven and then we couldn't file two thousand nine until we filed two thousand eight and two thousand seven and so finally taylor's like dude let it go and I did I just gave it to my accountant he handled it from there got us up to speed now I literally have nothing to do with the bookkeeping or the account because I can't do it it doesn't make sense for me to spend my time there now as you're growing yeah you're wearing many hats what you're going to find out all of you is that that becomes uh it's going to impede your growth right it's an impediment to growth if you're in the way you me are the biggest obstacle to growth I get yelled at all the time at the studio that I'm in the way of progress because I'm slowing things down okay just keep that in mind all right? So the actual preview meeting when they walk in they're walking in to a signature at it on the screen so in our preview room they're going to come in it's about a sixty inch screen there walking in there seeing that signature at it on that screen not an accident is all by design everything we're doing has a purpose and so when they walk in they're coming into that signature's screen taylor's welcome them she's having a conversation with them they're looking at this going oh my god is that is that us? I can't believe that's that shot it looks amazing they're already excited they're just looking at that one shot seniors, families, babies everything is the same that is the process follow the process now taylor system down she's like yeah, we got a ton of great images for your day I think you're gonna love him so here's what we're gonna do, we're gonna open up with this slide show we're gonna show you approximately one hundred pictures hundred fifty pictures from your session right? So whatever makes sense taylor's dropping into an animal too sideshow and that's what she's playing in the meeting room perfect now we sit back we've got music playing right we use song freedom uh right you can use song freedom music bad triple school pick a company used legal music building into their sideshow now all you gotta do is hand on that thumb drive if they buy it with that with that slide show that you have form now we gotta do is drop it on your website ah form so super simple stuff take them through the images so we let an emoto just run and we sit back and shut up we don't say a word we just enjoy the pictures with him okay no sails no pricing none of that stuff is being put in front of them and so now is now is we're going through that and that slide show's over now we bring up like and in the light room catalog we're just going through a picture by picture yes know tell us what you like it's that simple okay I don't want over I don't want to go through too much of that selection process because easy we've taught it before but it's step by step one image out of time now if there's three images that looked the same taylor bring the grouping of three up tell me which one you like best and it's a simple flag, right? So if you're in light room it's p for pick right? I think it's you for on pick get rid of the flag and so all taylor's doing is going through light room and picking what they like they'll typically narrow that hundred fifty two images two hundred images down to about a hundred images one hundred twenty five inches somewhere in that range because we've already called them once expecting them to call him down to fifty images is not gonna happen that's okay? I want to overwhelm them with great images that's really, really important I want them to be overwhelmed I want them to buy an engagement album I want them to buy uh add more pages I want them to buy big prints so if I just show them twenty images it becomes really, really easy for them to say we don't need that one you with me everything's related the way I'm shooting the progression I go through impacts my sales process it's not accidental and so once they've now gone through ah and seen all the the image is okay and narrowed them down to their top hundred now we're going to start talking about price and so from a pricing perspective right where they have that price that they received an e mail okay and then we're going to give them the folio uh that we had a pier in the last segment. Can somebody grab me that folio? Sorry it's that silver thing under my laptop I'm gonna give him that folio okay? And ultimately thank you. Thank you. We're going to hear them this pricing right like this? I'm gonna handle this folio put this in their hands pricings they're very professional feels rich high end this is what I want them to feel and enjoy and so we put that in their hand and now they're seeing the same pricing that they saw an email it's that same pdf I'm gonna drill into it what I want you to see here is you're looking at this is notice all the pricing is now on one page it's, not a multi page document and you'll see the reason for this in a second it's by design we're looking at package is on the left hand side and I'm going to dig in. Each of these packages were looking at the package is on the left hand side and in those packages okay, we're establishing value we're saying value is three thousand three hundred forty five dollars value is sixteen forty value is nine ninety five is we go through the packages well when I say that's the value do they believe me I don't think they do but I don't believe people when they say it's a value what do you think they want to do they want to start adding stuff up to really see if they're saving that much money so what I've done is rather we learned over time so in the beginning we used to have two pages for sheet for pricing we start our packages on one page on then we usedto have r ala carte on another and then we would see clients sitting in there going like this right looking page to page trying to add things up so I'm like you know what he's put everything on a single page if they want to try and add that up it's ah it's totally fine they can add it up and so that goes in here we hand in this it's professional it's on linen paper that's the other part of this okay so don't hand it on cheap copy paper printed on linen paper look man, I'm asking for anywhere from seven hundred two two thousand dollars from my clients it's the least I can do is invest in a five cent piece of linen paper for it to be printed on so just go buy one from you know staples or something like that and just have a bunch of box of it that you're just printing your pricing on all right and then so as we drill in to this right? Take a look at what's in their process that for a second black label collection that comes with twenty by thirty acrylic comes with a fifteen by thirty panel it's very important that I shoot this way, right? Because if I don't shoot for a panel right that's a long, skinny print taylor can't sell that panel, then taylor gets on me because I'm not shooting for what she needs. We put a twelve by twelve engagement album in there, and so an engagement album is not an engagement guestbook engagement album is an actual press printed book, but it's from bay photo on it has like metallic pearl paper. Very nice paper lay flat design your cost is probably about a hundred bucks on that. The other thing is ten gift prints and so the gift prince eight by ten five by seven four by six and so that's going to be in this package they can pick whatever side you want, right? So they get ten give prints, do whatever you want you want ten, eight by tens get ten, eight by tens I could care less high resolution digital negatives this is the on ly place. The engagement digital negatives are included right here black label that's why a majority of our clients on the engagement side end up at this black label and so this is huge for me. So now someone is contract id with me in my black label pre wedding, eighty five hundred dollars. Ok, then they add video let's say that'll be in the thirty five to four thousand dollar range. All right, so now we're at twelve thousand thirteen thousand dollars. Now they come in for their engagement session and they spend another fifteen hundred or two thousand, then they coming after their wedding and they spend money again. You're starting to understand how much weddings are worth to my business, especially when I'm shooting forty to fifty weddings a year. This is a lot of money coming in cp this process has been fine tuned, but if you start jacking with it throughout it, you're going to find different results. It's not gonna work for you. All right? High resolution digital negatives thirty day web posting, facebook posting so all their images will get posted to facebook here's, where things really kick in, notice the value, right? So we're always establishing that value so they see the discount it's on the same line, by the way, don't jack with the formula. The reason the values on the same line is so that they can see right there, plain and simple, what the discount is I go look photographers bring their pricing sheet and they say to me hey can you check this out tell me what's wrong with it and then I see the value has been moved all the way to the bottom of the package no it's not where it goes I want them looking at the night that nineteen, ninety nine the thirty three, ninety nine and connecting dots that I'm saving money by being this package I'm not spending money it's weird you are but I'm saving money hey if we go black label we're saving thirteen hundred dollars great awesome yes you are okay but here's where things really get interesting additional discounts you've gotta have the additional discounts in your packages this is what's going to allow them to keep spending I don't want them to get to two thousand dollars and stop spending I want them to get there and go twenty five percent off wall portrait so if they want another acrylic another canvas for the office for their mom boom you can buy it I'm giving you twenty five percent off additional gift prince fifteen dollars an additional panel for fifty percent off ah cluster clusters are becoming really big right? So if we look at this wall where they've got creative live up here this is a cluster okay? So what's big for us is twenty by twenty or thirty by thirty four up clusters, right? So four twenty twenties up on the wall clients are going crazy for it. You know why? Because we showed in our sales room if we didn't show it in our sales room, they would never buy it. We had clusters on our pricing list for over a year, year and a half before anyone ever bought one the first time they bought one was when they came in your studio and it was on the wall got to show it to sell it um and then a host of other options that they can add from this okay, and have that teo keep spending more money let's go down and we're taking them through this pricing list, right? So if we look here taylor's walking him through and she's saying ok in the black label that comes with a twenty by thirty of fifteen by thirty twelve by twelve and by the way, as she's doing this she's showing them pictures on the screen that's really, really important. So obviously the pricing isn't on the screen when we're in our studio, so they're holding this in their hand taylor's walking them through and she's saying, ok, the black label comes with a twenty by thirty acrylic here's a picture I think that would look good as in acrylic what picture do you think she's pulling up signature at it right she's pulling the signature read it up on the screen we already know they like it because when the slide show was playing they're like oh my god right so taylor's putting that up on the screen what taylor's doing is reinforcing what's in the package again none of this stuff is by accident there's a science to it and so she's reinforcing what's in that package most of you are missing certain key points these little things that will help your sale come together comes with fifteen by thirty panel boom taylor's jumping to this shot she believes would look good as a fifteen by thirty panel right and she's watching them either nod their head or going now I don't really like that great if they don't like it she gets off it she moves on to the next image that she think we look good she takes him through the whole package the platinum collection that comes with the sixteen by twenty four fifteen by thirty panel ten gifts sizes fourteen day web posting ah facebook posting so at this point she starts moving a little bit quicker through the packages there's no reason toe paws on each one because they already understand what's in each package so if we go back to this when she's walking through this it comes with a twenty by thirty acrylic she's showing them on the screen what that what image would look good and then she's pointing to the wall and saying that's, a twenty by thirty right there that's an acrylic she's showing them with a panel weighs and she if there's no panel on the wall, she's got panel right next to a chair, she's putting that panel in their hands. We want them to not only visually see it, we want them to feel something tactile. The silver collection that comes within eleven sixteen eight five by sevens two eight by tens in a fourteen day web gallery and so are you picking up that every package comes with a web gallery, right? So we're using shoot proof to post that gallery if they do not buy into a package, they get no web gallery sign option, they don't even get posted online, facebook, nothing's online nothing, and so if we go look at the original package, what you're seeing under the other and I mean you guys can't see it here, you're seeing people look at this and go, okay, well, what if I wantto add a web posting? If you want to add the web, posting a shoot proof web gallery it's one hundred ninety nine dollars, why would you just post to the web for web gallery and not get any pictures? You won't do it it's too expensive and so what ends up happening is they go to that web, they look at that and then they immediately fall right back into the silver punish bad behavior I don't want them buying ala carte that is absolutely imperative for them not to be buying allah card I don't want them in here now, if I started finding clients that were buying a bunch of eight by tens after an engagement session, then I'd have to adjust my my gift size price I'd have to raise that to get them back in the packages now this structure that were following you guys can follow right now this is the same well framework you can have uh, I could say you could go with your silver package, make your silver package three ninety nine that's reasonable somebody hires you for an engagement session it's it really unreasonable expecting to spend three four hundred bucks on pictures? I don't think so, so that base package can go two, three, ninety nine your platinum package can go to seven, ninety nine eight, ninety nine you're black label can go to fourteen, ninety nine that's a good place to be if you're if you're just kind of mid level just starting out right two years in business that's where you should be from a pricing perspective or higher and the more money you can get, the better okay and then make sure your cost of goods in these packages should be a roughly ten percent ten to fifteen percent is where you should be in his packages hard cost of goods and I don't want to go through and what each thing cost at a lab you can do that you can do that on your own. Yeah, our mountain great question eight by tens and smaller and not mounted there just prints the only ones we mount are the eleven sixteen and larger we mount those on styrene right? No gator bored I don't like it aborts really cheap. Um also as you're looking at this are you seeing everything that we offer is listed on this ala carte items on the right to allow them to do whatever they want to do. So what what are some right money's like water followed path of least resistance what something's clients are going to try and dio they're going to try and go in the platinum package then they want to upgrade teo twenty by thirty acrylic all right, can it be done? Okay, it can be done so planning packages sixteen by twenty four print we can look at the price list it's three hundred ninety five dollars toe upgrade to an acrylic would be the difference between the wall portrait sixteen by twenty four and the acrylic sixteen by twenty four to five hundred dollar difference so, yeah, you can jump to fit sixteen, ninety nine, I don't have to say no, can we upgrade to an acrylic? Absolutely it's the difference between the price of the two products so they can go and go to sixteen, ninety nine, but for three hundred dollars more to get all this other stuff, and so a majority of our client's operate that way, and the other thing that will happen is, well, we don't really want any package. Can we just get the digital negatives that's the one that's going to hurt you the most? And on the bottom right hand side, you'll see here high resolution digital negatives black label only only available in the black label package, you cannot come in and just by your engagement digital negus well, we don't want a twenty by thirty acrylic, we don't want all that stuff, we just want the neighbors to totally understand the price for that is nineteen, ninety nine, but we don't want any of that. Yeah, I know I get it, it's nineteen, ninety nine that's the reality is that's the price that I can afford to give you those digital negatives and and the fact of the matter is, is we're not really selling teo there they're a gift for being in that package that's how I position and so they're not for sale. You have to be in that package to get those digital negatives no questions on this that seems impossible. Yes? Do you ever get any any pushback of if they're not available? I mean, correct me if I'm wrong. I thought that you had a price list like this once that actually had them on there for fifteen hundred or is that just on the wedding that's on the wedding but not on engagement not available, not available on the engagement session, so from a wedding, I have to put a price point there because it's actually in a package, right? And I'm using that is value to establish value here in this black label where it says value thirty, three hundred that includes no value for the digital negatives. There is zero value there because they're not for sale, where if I wanted to put a value to them, then the value of that package I could save five thousand dollars. I'm not doing that. I'm basically saying there's no value to these I'm not selling them to you, they're basically gift for hitting that level. Once you have that level, I'm willing to give up the digital negatives there that makes sense yeah, when truth and for your portrait for family and children and all the other, oddly enough, I've not gotten to a point where I have to give up digital negatives for families, baby seniors it's not even in our packaging at this point, so we don't do it at all. So for seniors, families, babies, any other genre, we don't give up digital negatives yet as pressure mounts and clients are putting more and more pressure, this will be the model I adopt. So you remember we had a whole conversation many, many segments ago seems like eons ago about shooting and burning, shooting and sharing all that others, all that other stuff I was very clear I am not against giving digital file store clients, I'm not against it at all. I'm against just shooting and handing them to them. I think it's incomplete service and I'm holding true to that right here they can get those digital files, they've gotta hit a certain price point for him, and when they do get those digital files, they're getting all the product. So I know that when when they go home on their wall is going to be a just a perfect portrait on the wall. What they choose to do after that is totally fine, but I know I've done my job and given them an end and solution, so after you have evolved to do the color correcting and then you do the the enhancement on that one signature and traded and then they go for the black label. Do they get those files on the digital native? No, they don't sow. The only client is the only thing our clients get are the actual digital negatives that is the file as it came out of the camera. Okay, now you can do whatever you want, there's. A couple of ways to do it for me. They get it right out of camera. That's it. I'm not going to do all the work on these pictures and hand them to them. Uh, at all. Also, the file size is eighteen hundred by twelve hundred that's big enough to print about eight by twelve. They could probably adjust resolution. So it's not three hundred d p I it's one. Forty four. But they could probably adjust resolution and goto eleven. Sixteen. It's going to start falling apart. I tested it. You should test it. A swell. Just ordered from your lab. Take that same file. Order four by six five by seven eight by ten eleven sixteen and make sure you know it's. Behaving the way you want it to behave now, in the spirit of all that. Here's what I would be okay with you doing I would be okay if you want to give them all the color corrected files. Especially in the case. You guys, you're not spending any time you're outsourcing, you're sending to do evolve. It makes no difference to you whether they get the color corrected files, uh or not because you're not putting that sweat equity into it. Right? Here's what? I'm not okay with giving them the signature at its. So if you're doing all that time on those at it, so you have to come from you. That is my thing on I'm never die. I don't want to say never, but right now, there's, no scenario, I'm getting away from it. That is the way we run the business on the signature added, can they use that image on any one of those packages in absolute charge? Any premium to do that? Because you're no cream? No, no. Great question. No. In theory, they could come in and try and order it as a five by seven. But because of the way it's been shot, they're literally gonna be this big in the picture. So rather than me having to tell them no. I don't have to argue with them. We just go. You're going to be this big in the picture it's completely useless that's why we shoot it the way we shoot it. Fifteen by thirties cropped fifteen by thirty so there is no other size and it can come in have your showing your images at the at the sale session and they're like, we really love this portrait can you do something special with it after? Oh yeah that's a really good question. I'm glad you asked it s o we get asked that question all the time and there's two variants to that question will show the signature write it on the screen and they'll say, oh my god, we love that picture but we love that edit, but can you do it to this picture? That's a scenario that happens all the time? The answer is yes, absolutely if you're going because of the time involved, watch the answer because of the time involved, as long as you're getting it in a large portrait, we absolutely khun re edit this for you, but if they're like, yeah, we want this edit on the five by seven, sorry guys there's about an hour and a half to two hours that goes into this unfortunately we can't do it then there's the scenario where we shot multiple locations for them maybe they don't even like the edit I've definitely had occasion where my clients don't like the signature at it I'm okay with it because I use that for my portfolio, right? So that works where the client goes can you don't just do something different with this picture? They don't even tell me what it's not even edited specialized can you do something different? And in that case yes is only to get a large portrait will definitely invested time and work this image yeah he's a really, really good questions coming from you guys so I really like this idea this concept of where the negatives air being included because it ensures you make at least that much money. So if you're someone like me who's one man show I do everything when I go in and I call an edit a wedding once I'm already in the white balance and exposure I'm like, okay, I'm just going to go down the list do everything everything knocked out. So for me I'm almost thorn do I go through and just white band white balance and exposure and then I have that set up here's your negatives or do I just give them what I've already done because from a time aspect I don't wanna have to do things twice right eso within light room the way I work it uh I do all that I do all my edits everything black and white sepia tone stuff like that uh some of that stuff I get back from evolve because I don't really consider like c p a and and some of that stuff like super super hard to add it and they're like one dollar edits from evolved they're not that big a deal I said give me twenty five see pia and it's like twenty box or whatever it ends up being but even if you do it yourself when I'm doing it myself in light room he had command us saves all your meta data I don't know if you know all this so it's going to save all your ad it's so do your job don't render him out don't keep it separate at it the whole job the way you're saying you do it command as save him out okay then what I hit is reset all and that wipes all the edits I then have a preset for negatives, so create your own custom preset that sets up to twelve hundred by eighteen hundred pixels right on I think it's eighteen hundred pixels on the long edge is the way you're gonna export one hundred forty four d p I right, so what happens then is all the edits have been white, but it saved to the metadata you then export your digital negatives and that's the way I do it exports all to the digital negative jpeg file once that export is done I then go to metadata read from file all my edits are completely back immediately with me that's the work for so don't disrupt your workflow where you just do color correction branded them out the other thing you can do is flag all your special and it's right where you just go they're gonna be green all my special edits are green and then what you do is you filter because you're saying you want to give them a color corrected file, right? Right so then what you do is anyone that you've done a special added on signature at it black and why things like that you canoe flag them create them green okay and then filter where you exclude green then render all those out with just your basic color correction with me that's how I would work that that workflow yeah where there's a will there's a way I mean that show there's it's definitely easy enough to do and so having that exports script I try to script anything that I find myself doing over and over again so skin softening is something I do over and over again great, I got a script for that exporting to j peg or digital negatives I have a script for that. So anything you find yourself doing repetitive, lee automate that task is best you can. Yeah, jonathan on the digital files, you know that they can't do anything more than loaned by fourteen eleven sixteen. Do they understand that? Because they're looking at wall prints and they're thinking digital files. I can go do this one myself. Yeah, that's a great question. So two things to answer that question one they do know it because I've told them that during the initial consultation, I'm telling them that here on what they can expect to do with those, but more importantly, on delivering those big wall prints for them. That's why it's so important to me, that's why all of this works together? If I was just giving them those digital files that were sizing it in a smaller size and then not giving them large prints for their home, I would have massive customer sat issues, and I don't I don't have customers that are upset because I'm communicating with them. Hey, guys, these air great for eight by tens and eight by twelve so your parents and things like that anything big in your home you're coming to me for because I'm gonna obsess about every detail. I'm gonna zoom in. I'm gonna remove that garbage can I'm gonna make your arms skinny? I'm gonna remove zits on your face I'm gonna turn this into a piece of art for your wall I have that conversation over and over and over again with my clients. You don't have that conversation. You're leaving out the salt in the recipe and then the result of your cookies in your little baking in the baking example here, they're not going to be right, okay? And so you've got to understand this can't leave out these parts of the equation. They're all interconnected. These this is actually really good conversation. Yeah, handem the digital negatives and are you worried that they're going to go to walgreens or something print because you use shoe proof for your web hosting? Why wouldn't you just use shoot proof and let them print? They can't they just have to pay the full price for that print. I mean, you're not giving them the thumb drive for those digital negatives and let him walk out and go print anywhere. Well, they can print whatever you want. I'm not understanding the question. Yeah, I mean, but I mean, what you don't care if they shoot it, are they if they printed it? Wal mart you know, care there's nothing I can do actually I hate to break to everybody here, but actually walmart labs are pretty damn good uh walmart labs has fuji machines I know the big labs don't want to hear it I think I've gotten prints back from walmart that are actually better color calibrated to my monitor than I do from some of the big laughs it's just the reality of the situation now I've also gone in some wal marts and I get pictures back and it's orange just depends on if the machine's been calibrated but the truth is to answer your question directly I want to make sure if you look at all my packages, I'm delivering the client everything I believe they need for their home for their family things like that are they going to take that thumb drive and go someplace else imprinted they are? They're never gonna look as good as if I'm doing it because not only are we printing it were inspecting it when it comes in to make sure everything looks right in the spirit of all that, though I realized once we hand our clients was digital files, we have absolutely no control over what they're going to look like and we just have to accept that and just try and mitigate that as best we can my way of mitigating it is by delivering final product form okay, um so when you upload everything to shoot proof is that at the end of the sale or when you deliver your final portrait's to them great question that's literally so if you want to get in the workflow, taylor is going to take him through this package she's going to then ask him s so if we get to the clothes of how taylor's gonna walk them through, she walks into every package and then she says to them, okay, did you have any questions from here? All I need to know is what package you want this is how she closed. All I needed to know is what package you want, and I'll help you start picking pictures that's how taylor closes, they'll pick a package or they'll they'll say we're not we're not ordering anything doesn't really happen most of the time they're picking a package once touted take taylor, then goes through and helps him pick every picture in that package. She then upload all those images just as they're leaving to shoot proof, so by the time they get home, they already have an e mail from taylor with the link to the shoe proof calorie that's how fast the work for, which includes the signature and it's and it's, right? Yeah, they're seeing everything online they're seeing absolutely everything except it's got our watermark on that picture thank you. That is good dialogue I you should prove also now I understand you want everyone to get your large prints from you after the sell session's been done they get home, they have access to their gallery give any inversion to them being able to just get gift prince directly through shoot proof um I'm not sure how she proved no yeah, you could do that. Won't okay couple of things they do that today our clients they'll go online and they'll start ordering we don't you shoot proof for print fulfillment. Okay, they have that mechanism built in where to go right to the lab. We don't use that. What we do is we use if the order comes in and then we're handling print fulfillment on ourself. Yeah, we're self fulfilling even though we could let it go to the lab when that order comes in, I tend to be a little neurotic on cropping on the way things are right. People picked the wrong picture. It's cropped the wrong way. We just want to make sure that when that image comes in we're making it look the way it should look and that it's coming through us for print fulfillment I don't want being shipped to the client I want that order coming back into my studio so khun b package and branded in the packaging and brandon so it's all tied to that that overall experience so no very good question I do it when I saw him the negatives I turn on to proof and let him have a pta size eight by twelve with the pricing and then I control the crops and let it say it back to you for phil nice ship it to them and I use their boutique packaging okay, I'm hooked up with a lab anything any wall are eleven by sixteen and bigger they're getting through me and then they're picking up all packaged real nice and perfect but then threw them that's why? I wondered, could and I explained the whole thing I don't want you getting orange prints from by right of flemish, but the reason so just to give you some feedback on what you're telling me, I actually don't like what you're doing because unless I'm misunderstanding you if they order eight by ten and smaller they're getting one branding experience because coming from a boutique place but if they order eleven by sixteen and larger it's coming packaged completely different is that true? I picked they're packing to match my okay, so it all matches? Yeah okay, perfect yeah, that was the thing I want to make sure so my packaging is completely custom, so no lab has what I have I've got like special tags and things like that so for me, that wouldn't work out for you that's perfect, as long as it matches, that would be my only concern. Is that there? Yeah, I picked their packaging that matches so when they pick up its matching with her. Perfect. Yeah. That's brilliant, yeah, there's, nothing wrong with that at all. And so these are all really good questions and conversations to help you navigate through, uh, this situation this to me is this works our clients come in, we're not arguing with them, we're not having a hard time with them. We're not trying to force them that cell there seeing images that they love, it just makes life really, really easy. And of course you're going to grow your business because you got more money coming in. So if you're just handing over that cd of images today, this is how much money you're leaving on the table and you don't have to be at my price point. But if you're at three, ninety nine seven, ninety nine or nine ninety nine and fourteen ninety nine, what would an extra five hundred dollars per engagement session mean to you and your business? It's a lot of money, man it's a lot of money you're leaving on the table you had mentioned before that you yourself top going down, okay do you also spend any time or energy going through the different finishes or the different products of the crockett? And because they may want to prefer to have all of metal are all something else? Well, so we as we're going through these packages like for example, in the black label, we've got a twenty by thirty acrylic okay, so we don't go through metallic all the different finishes of paper we only offer really to matte finish paper and metallic metallic paper is an extra ninety nine dollars to their order and we'll upgrade everything in the order to metallic paper if they want that some clients love it some client stone so uh, just a simple conversation we're trying to up sell we just asking which finished they want the real conversation will happen if they want an acrylic or a mental print. And so the way our pricing structure works and I know you can't see it from their acrylic and metal is the same price. And so if in the package the client says uh it's a twenty by thirty acrylic and they go well, we'd really rather have metal grate just swap it out, you can have metal right now you on the back end one might cost you ten dollars more than the other fifteen dollars more in the other just absorbed that no reason overcomplicated because that's, why my pricing looks the way it does, I don't want to add another okay, acrylic sixteen, twenty four, twenty five, thirty metal sixteen by twenty four, twenty five, thirty. And then just to make an extra ten or fifteen dollars, you should have more than enough margin in your packages to cover cover. That that's. Why, I just want to make it simple for him to spend money. That's, really the ultimate goal, right, you're putting these packages together, get out of the way, let them spend money, and if they're not spending the amount of money you want them to spend that's on you, your packages air not geared up right to do that. So, it's, what I think, it's, overly simple.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Master the Business of Photography - Workbook
Master the Business of Photography Slides
5 Tips to Finding and Booking Your Client

Ratings and Reviews

Brandon D

Sal isn't disgruntled and angry like someone below said, and he doesn't have time for people constantly whining about why their business isn't going good. He's from Brooklyn, so he can come across as harsh at first, but after watching several of his classes and even getting to meet him in person and talk a bit I can tell you he is a really nice guy who truly does want you to succeed. He was very encouraging to me after I thanked him for helping me and my business get to where it is now. Growing up, I can remember photographers grabbing us and posing how they wished. They are often in a hurry to get things right, such as at a wedding, so I am not sure why one reviewer stated he would dismiss them. Sounds like he is just looking for a reason to feel powerful. Anyway, this is a great class to get you on track with your business. Yes, its a bit wedding heavy, but the concepts are the same no matter what. Just apply them to your niche and you are good to go.


Amazing course. Sal is such a great photography educator. Terrific course. I'm not usually big on watching business courses, but this course as taught by Sal was terrific. Down to earth, entertaining, packed with real life experiences do's, don'ts and lessons learned. This courses business A to Z and Sal is very entertaining to watch/listen to. Thanks CreativeLive for getting Sal.

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I have been a long time fan of Creative Live and have sat on the fence with all of Sal's classes because I already attend Shutterfest every year and get loaded with valuable information there, so it was hard to pull the trigger on a $300 course that was filmed 5 years ago. Also, in my earlier days of hearing about Sal, I'd heard a lot of negative opinions about how he comes across. Still, I'd heard he's a marketing guru, and my background is in marketing as well, so I really wanted to see what this class was all about. Now that I've finally gotten it, I'm completely blown away. There is just SO MUCH MATERIAL in this class that its actually difficult trying to decide what to implement first! It is good stuff too. It is all about marketing, sales, and workflow. If you're looking for a class teaching you how to take better photos, this one is not it. This is the class that teaches you how to get your work where everyone is seeing it and convincing people to book you and tell their friends about you! Now as far as others have already said... this class is definitely geared toward wedding photographers. Yes there are bits of information that work for other types of photography, but it is so heavily wedding oriented that there might be a better fit out there for another type of photographer. If you do weddings though, this is an amazing class! As far as Sal's personality goes.... he's a New Yorker transplanted to St. Louis. So expect that NYC no BS type of attitude. Susan Stripling is another one of my favorites and she is similar in attitude (and also extremely talented), so if you like her, you should like this. If you have a hard time with her, you might have a hard time with this. Regardless, its stuff y'all need to hear and implement to be successful. Obviously because the class is a bit older, you may have to make small tweaks to a few things (even though he says don't jack with the recipe), but the marketing principles are solid and timeless. Shoot this course is worth it for the SEO advice alone. Just buy it already!

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