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Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo

Lesson 40 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo

Lesson 40 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

40. Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo

Next Lesson: General Q&A


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

Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo

So I'm going to show you ah, lenny and melissa cultural, they are also they're based out of miami. They've also done one on one consulting with us, so they've come to our studio, as has worn by the way warren actually sat in. You heard us in the video talk about the ecosystem. That was the eye opener for warren. He came to salvador, some kind of a tire. Fanny shadowed me. He went on, I think it was two engagement shoots on, then we did some senior shoots. I can't remember exactly what shoots we were on, but then he sat in the very next day and watch taylor do about five sales presentations. So we introduced warren as he's training with us, and he just sat in the back of the room, fly on the wall and literally watch taylor do a sales consultation for wedding. Ah, post wedding sail and then two high school seniors. Okay, there may be one other session in there, but he sat in the whole day and just absorbed what goes on. So he truly understood from the consultation to the final sale tow, ...

how we edit and present the pictures and how we create that experience for clients, and he was able to take all that knowledge, walk away and execute on it. That's the key is just kind of taking away this kind of you know black curtain like what's behind the curtain what makes it all go there's an ecosystem there and you have to understand that I can't do it alone there's no way there's a team of people behind me that helps me be successful as an entrepreneur forget is a photographer right you have to find those people you can't do it alone whether you're outsourcing whether you're hiring people what is your plan for success and by the way are you planning for success are you actually planning for you know being mediocre what is the plan on lee you know the answer by the way I learned a few years ago we have to stop planning for average that's what I used to do I used to come up with a business idea and a black man if just if ten people will buy it you start planning for ten people to buy it right whatever it is I'm making up numbers then you start planning for ten people to buy and then when twenty people buy it you're like aw shit what do we do now I can't edit I can't package I can't rap I can't handle phone calls I can't turn images around you've got to break that cycle and that's how we are now now we go let's plan for success and the minute you start planning for success a lot of things are changing mentally in your business and I've gotten to a point in my career where I realized I cannot do it alone I've got elissa I've got taylor, I've got lauren, I've got crystal these are people in my camp that without them I can't execute on any any idea have then I've got a design team right? That I work with designers that take my vision in my head and actually make it make sense we're all like that it's creative's we things seem amazing in our head, right? And then what somehow gets on paper and it's like that doesn't look good, right? You know what I'm talking about? And so you need you need that ecosystem around you to be successful on again, that could be a combination of hiring people outsourcing you've just got to figure out what that is and so let's come back to lenny and melissa these air to people again, I'm just I'm just speaking kind of out loud for me, I really do take to heart what I do in teaching I feel like forget being a photographer, we as for tigers, I really do believe we have the best jobs in the world, but honestly, no, as a coach, I really get connected to the people that that I'm with right because I really want you to be successful and when you make money I'm actually happy for you because I know everything that goes along with that I know all the fears that have been overcome I know all the bills you're going to be able to pay and all the toys you're going to be able to buy that is why I do what I do and so lenny melissa or to those people I've actually become friends with them you know if I don't see them every few months I like when you guys coming to town when when we grabbing dinner what city you're going to be in so I just become connected and so I actually had the luxury of getting to know their family photographing their wedding on dh their family treated me I wasn't sow the photographer I was like just a family member that was amazing it was really cool so you want to talk about having a vested interest in someone success they can't fail there's no way I would never let that happen that is just impossible and so we worked with them recently they rebranded their entire studio I'm gonna show you that before and after their before his horrible lenny knows about it initially they were going after kind of low end our entry level brides today their new brand is very high end very louis vuitton they want to move into that higher and market and I will tell you just like everybody out else out there they were scared to death to make that turn and you're going to hear from lenny in his own words what he was scared of on dh how how he overcame that and he got to a point just like warren I don't know if you remember warren in the beginning of his video he said I told them point blank you just gotta let go let me do what I do and will change your business will change your life just let me do what I do fear is the worst thing you can have his entrepreneurs and so same thing went for lenny and melissa so this was their initial website it was park avenue photography entertainment wedding films d j services lighting services they were going to a carwash tied to their business I mean it's just like dude what is your brand saying about your business? I love you lenny so what is what is your brand saying about your business? It was horrific and it didn't matter about his photography the business the brand the messaging was all over the board how do we change that? Where do you even begin if that's where you are in your career right now where do you begin its overwhelming it's daunting you're going okay well I gotta change my photography I gotta change my logo I gotta change my editing style all that matters you can't edit with that like nineteen, eighty five soft glow and think you're going to be a high end fashion looking you know fashion forward wedding photographer those two things don't necessarily work well together so you've got all these things work together so here's his new brand that's more indicative ofthe ah higher and wedding photography look at this site where's the beer there is no s e o there is no search engine optimization it is not gonna happen his website is not going to be found hey look at this now this is an asio goldmine form right words words, words, words, words leonardo vulture oh he's not even lenny he's leonardo sounds like an artist doesn't he write and so he's made these changes to his brand really clean simple design photography that editing and photography that matches his brain you may not like his editing you may not like his for targets okay he'll be ok is in need you know like it he needs his client's toe like it you by the way don't need other photographers so like your work you need your client's toe like your work that's all that matters don't worry about what other photographers have to say okay this is his new brand and so what I want to do now is show you the conversation with him and then kind of dissect how we make that work for you and keep your questions coming in in your success stories everybody I'm here with lenny cultural and lenny has been aa student but most importantly a friend over the last few years and it's ah it's been fun working with him and his wife melissa whose wedding I was fortunate enough to photograph out in san friend but lenny rather than me talking about you introduce yourself where you from? Where's your studio what do you focus on? Right? So, um listen, I my wife we photographed together were both originally from new york. Now we are most working the south florida area in miami for lauderdale tom beaches, predominantly weddings. Um melissa gets into a little bit off mature women and babies and this year we're looking at pushing toe seniors law? Yeah, perfect. And I think unlike like most retirees, I should say we all focus on one kind of core and then, you know, a t end of the day we'll photograph anything that gets in front of the camera that's pay money right? S o lenny, you know, in the spirit of this conversation what I really want to do right? We're talking about the thirty day course. You and I have been working together for several years both my workshops one on one consulting, but what is it in the last thirty days? And I know specifically this whole facebook thing we talked about tell everyone because the whole goal of this is for everyone to hear from their peers I think it's easy when they hear from me and they go all with that sow that works for him but you went off you did it tell him what you did tell him what the results were because it's uh it's mind blowing? Really? Yeah, it's funny, because once you put that segment and you talked about us with the facebook ad, all these random people just started message into me and now I'm looking at their ads and you know, what should I do here? This and that? Um, so you are you're a coach now. Now I'm a coach association, you know, I don't I don't claim any of this is my original knowledge. Um but what we did, wass what you put on fate of line was we ran the first ad for, like, four days, twenty five bucks a day. You've booked one wedding at our middle package. What is that number four thousand? So I want number, so you know, okay, so you both a four thousand dollar wedding? How much had you spent on facebook? Hundred bucks? Incredible. Keep going. What else happened so that that was four days, twenty five bucks a day that client we shot their engagement we haven't done their wedding yet we shot their engagement they spent fifteen hundred bucks on engagement pictures so now that one hundred went from four thousand to fifty, five hundred human we ran the ad again um for longer and fifteen bucks a day and we booked another wedding top package, which is six thousand um and this one is awesome because they're all the top top like super high in places where like everybody wants to work way haven't done their engagement session yet is their weddings far out? Okay, so again let's let's break it down wrong numbers your two hundred dollars in or less on the facebook at um for those two I'm two hundred and we just started one last week's way haven't marketed to those people yes, I'm not counting that, but for the first two that we did were like two hundred and maybe she bucks over um and we're on the books for over eleven thousand with with one engagement and to post wedding sales the golfer right? So you still have three more sale cycles? I hate them and obviously you're using our sales presentation. I see the pictures behind you, you bring him into your studio, I'm hoping that everybody out there right now is is their jaws or dropped their minds were being blown mostly because this sounds like an infomercial pitch uh except I don't have anything to sally that's gonna expire at the commercial and the reason I have you here lenny is again all too often people here our sales strategies and they find a reason to convince themselves it won't work so in the spirit of all that when you were going through this and I don't even know the answer was there something that you're scared you that you had to overcome and I ask you this for why you're smiling at me? I'm not the answer, okay? The reason I'm asking you is because I think fear is what stops other photographers from taking that first step they keep convincing themselves it won't work yeah so we when we first met you was two thousand twelve um and you know, it was started implementing the package structure and the sales process which we weren't doing any oh so you're just handing over the cd right? Right, right so we said we settle that up and then the one thing that we didn't do um, which I'm I'm totally for this but not by my decision wass you can't throw your wife under the bus when she's not on air with you so it was we had files in the base wedding package, right? You you didn't have that pull through you had the digital files in the base package I told you that was killing you right got rid of that now nobody looks at me more beautiful and then we warrant um in the beginning our wedding so boring back back great either post wedding engagement was always good because they don't have anything you don't know album with the wedding and stuff like that so a little while ago heavily invested as you know and and cigarette it's er and we've been getting them from every job consistently and since doing that they also everyone's been getting a post wedding package uh as well as engagement so combining with getting those negatives out of the files out of the base getting people to step up into spending more on their wedding package and then really showcasing and creating images like nobody else is with the signature edits the signature collection albums we just we got a bunch of those now uh the medals acrylics all the virtual snow stuff it's once you we put every single piece of it together it's just like it's a machine rolling people write exactly it's like every single piece it is a machine and I love it because I feel like you're running like salvador cincotti ink in miami you know what I mean like and that's what I want that's why I teach the way I teach is take all those ideas don't mess with the recipe don't jack with my recipe it works just take it into your market subtle tweaks I think they're fine but for the most part success is yours and share some of your other success because in the last you're doing so you went off and you took some of my marketing ideas as well with the bridal salons tell us a little bit about that and how that's translated into real dollars right so um something that we've been wanting to get uh rebuilding our portfolio and getting stuff in different locations melissa went to where she bought a dress andi just started talking to them and actually set up a meeting and there there are very hi hi numbers along traffic always busy set up a meeting so we started talking to them really about what we can do for that um and we took your idea of the bridal shop and putting our images all over it you know so they gave us addresses we took him to new york we'd so now we have pictures oftheir dresses on the brooklyn bridge is awesome from you know really really cool stuff we're gonna put those in their dressing rooms we ordered twenty four thirty six campus friends and that's going to go in their dressing rooms that's huge there uh give us a point of sale display right on their their checkout counter so we have a big we have eight by twelve mental print on an acrylic stand that sits there with uh big takeaway you know, high quality materials that they take with them so we benefited by being able to market in there getting use of their dresses, so any time we want to do different things, we have access to that they also do a lot of prom work andare marketing heavily to high school students, so this is really interesting because currently today you don't really do a lot of senior business, so this is all new business icing on the cake? Yeah, we haven't done any seniors at all, so what they're actually doing is they're letting us take you back on their marketing just just today we went and shot a couple of senior models, we shot eight of their dresses really cool location that they're going to market our images and then we're gonna go in the back of their mailers. We're doing a fashion show with them at the end of the month for for seniors as well, so they're really, you know, helping us goingto get into that that supermarket and kind of anything we need they're they're definitely open teo giving us whatever we need. I love that that I haven't had a chance to really catch up with you on all this current stuff going on that that is incredible and you really are taken that messaging of like developed vendor relationships uh and you can get your own that's awesome, dude, yeah, absolutely so let me tell you I gotta wrap this up would tell everyone give him your ah website facebook where can they find out more about you? Sa website is ah leonardo vault oral dot com instagram is leonardo underscore altero twitter's una volta oral facebook is you know, overall toe photography you catch me in a shutter fast group shutter fast baby it's it's coming you got a good irish name I like it it's uh yeah it's italians got to stick together yeah it's really uh uh amen much love to the missus and thank you so much for being part of this absolutely thanks for being here. All right, so another cool story, right? Lenny is doing incredible in his business. Those numbers are just staggering even I was blown away when I when I heard them, right? So here's somebody who's taking it to heart, implementing these ideas and seeing incredible, incredible success he's at about fifteen thousand dollars and he still has three more sales. So by the time this is all said and done this little two hundred three hundred dollars promotion he did on facebook a book is going to gross him damn near twenty k that's incredible can you understand the numbers we're talking about? And they're not from me they're from your peers and by the way, do you understand how crowded miami's south florida is so competitive with photographers so how do you stand out from the crowd? You heard lenny talking about that the click for him I was embracing the entire ecosystem if you're taking bits and pieces of what I've taught and trying to implement him, I don't think they're gonna work for you you're actually going to fail and I truly mean it when I say it run salvador cincotti ink making a franchise take everything we're doing and implemented in your local market and enjoy success that's why I teach I don't teach so I'm going to be like you're a copycat how dare you that's not what I'm doing I want you to be successful in if you know there's a formula that works okay, why not just copy it make it work? You don't have to copy the photography make the photographer your own that can be your art but the business side the framework, the structure of the blueprint stop jacking with it just implement it and make it work. You're hearing from multiple piers on how they're doing this stuff and making and making work and then I'm so proud of lenny because he took that idea right of working with vendors and putting prints in there and now he's starting to break into senior's something today he make zero dollars from so as he goes into twenty fifteen he's now breaking into the senior market in an area that doesn't really have a lot of seniors there. And he's going to start that's. All new money for him. That's on ly revenue. So these air really, really cool things.

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!

Student Work