Best Practices: Babies, Glamour, Engagement & Wedding
Let's talk babies and keep your questions coming. I love him. Let's talk babies here. Session fee. $100 for an hour, hour and 1/2 session. Same concept on location and door in studio. So I will do baby shoots in the studio because depending on what you're doing, if it's a newborn child, I'm not taking a newborn child out in ST Louis, where the heat index is degrees. That's just ignorant, right? We're not gonna do that. So we want to keep on either on location or in studio. Just depends on what the parents looking for, what time of year it is. I mean, what could be more beautiful than taken? Maybe a baby in a basket in the fall, right under a beautiful fall color trees so conceptually that would be beautiful. But if it's January, that's just not gonna happen. And so you've got to determine what you're gonna do. About 200 to $300 an hour, hour and 1/2 both both on or off location. One outfit for the parents. Two outfits for the child do not turn this into a major production They're onl...
y gonna buy so many pictures there. Now, remember, I'm giving you this advice about babies from the from a perspective of a wedding in senior photographer. If you are a dedicated baby photographer, this makes no sense to you, and I'm okay with that. And so if you're dedicated baby photographer, you've got an entirely different structure, an entirely different set. You've got warming blankets to put the baby to sleep. You've got set designs, right? And get us and you want to go. That That's not me. That's not what I want to do. And so what we're gonna do is your gonna come in? I'm gonna get what's the shot I need to get If it's a newborn baby, the shot I'm looking to get is off the parents okay with with the newborn, Maybe it's for baby announcements. Maybe it's for a nice black and white portrait in their home. So I will typically have a if I'm doing it indoors, a black backdrop set up and I encourage the parents who wear black T shirts. And so what I want to do is kind of a low key shot, okay? Or go the opposite way, go high key, make it all make. Everybody's wearing a white shirt and then the baby's in that. But I love having that baby pop off the black background because I want the baby may be naked. Or maybe, you know, in a swaddle or something to that effect. Eso That's the kind of stuff you should be looking to do. Shot Count is going to be about 150 to 250 images. We're gonna show them about 100 images. The goal. The main goal I'm looking to do is 11 16 or 16 by 24. And so that's what I'm trying to sell out of that. I've had a very difficult time personally selling anything larger than a 16 by 24 toe a baby client or a newborn client. Just I can't do it to those of you out there who are. Keep doing what you're doing, But typically that's the size they're gonna be looking at unless you can get super super creative. Like I said, if you do that, if you're outdoors and you've got that beautiful fall colors and the baby's just there in a basket on a pedestal or something like that, and you're doing arty stuff, creative stuff. You're gonna have a better chance of selling big prints. And I can only tell you the one off we have. We have one baby client. She's been with me now through two kids. She's on her fourth year with us, and she just comes back in every six months and she loves what we do. So every time she comes in, it's actually a style. I shoot for her because we're trying to one up what we did last time. I have to keep up. She's got two kids now, so I can't do the same things for the second kid that I did for the first kid. But we did things where we would put the baby in the basket out in a field, right? It was just beautiful sunset, beautiful sky babies out in the field. She's buying these things in 2030 so she she looks at it. His artwork. That is not. I would love to say every family or baby client is that way for me, but they're not. She's a one off and I take care of her. I make sure I'm being super creative every time I'm with her glamour this the way we were on our glamour session. So, like I advise you where I find somebody, you look up to find somebody who inspires you and try and emulate what they're doing. Sue inspires me and has motivated me to get into glamour, just like she's motivated many of you to get into it. This is my way of implementing what she's doing because I can't do what she's doing and make it work for my business. There's nothing wrong with that. If you try and copy everything she's telling you to do, you might not get it to work for you saying for me you might try and copy everything I'm telling you to do, and you might not be able to get it to work for you. So you got to find ways to adapt what? The advice that we're giving you up here. And so for me, this is how this is how we're running it. Today we charge 2 to $300 for an hour and 1/ session. We're doing on location or studio, right where sue a majority of our work is in studio. That's not that doesn't match my brand. So for me to do it that way would not help my brand. It would actually hurt me. So I've got clients who, yes, want to stand in the middle of the street in lingerie. So I had one of one of my clients shed a trench coat on. We went down to an abandoned area, Um, she and she opened it up and she was in right lingerie underneath. And that was an anniversary gift for her husband and look freaking amazing, right? Because that's not it's that juxtapose. It's not where you expect to see somebody standing in the middle of street wearing lingerie wasn't trashing was classy. It look good. That's my style. That's my brand we're typically only gonna do to outfits. Shot count is gonna be approximately 100 to 150 images total from the entire event here. We're paying attention to every detail we can, so these shoots tend to move much, much slower for us. We are not pop pop out, tightening a wide that is not what's happening at all. Every shot is measured were really thinking about what we're doing here with two outfits you realize you're only getting about 75 50 to 75 images per outfit. Final. We're showing the client about 30 images. That's it. But here's the difference. All those images air fully edited. I'm not talking. Color corrected. I'm talking. Beauty edits. Okay. Enhancing the eyes. Making arms thinner making legs, waist hips than her face dinner Eso Each one of these goes through heavy, heavy retouching. And let me tell you my thought process here. Here's what we've found when we're doing this. If I show a client Ah, fully retouched image where where I shaved Let's just call it £10 off them. They're gonna look at that image, and they're gonna love it. And then when I show them the next image which hasn't had that done and it's what you really look like even though you've been skin soften vignette id color corrected, they will reject the before and after, Right? You women know what I'm talking about. You don't want to believe that I had to do that much work to make you look good? Is that a fair statement? Right, But if you believe that's what my magic camera made you look like because of the way I was posing you. Suddenly you will accept looking £10 lighter. And so what we have found is that we have to show all images completely retouched. We cannot expect them to will ruin the fantasy of it all. And so that's what we've been doing. And that's what's been working for us. The ultimate sale. And I do expect questions on the glamour stuff. The ultimate sale is around album in a picture box, and so I'm rarely. I do have those clients. They're smaller amount of clients. We're gonna put a in the bedroom for their husband or for them. You know, maybe it's a body part. I've had women request, like maybe a black and white silhouette of like right, just a silhouette of their body in the window. That's totally fine. We'll do that form, but that's not every client. The average client that's coming through for glamour right now is looking for either an album or picture box in the picture box. I showed you on day one where we have, um, right, a slideshow being able to be played in that picture box for the night stand and maybe some matted prints that are in there. That's the next product we're gonna try and sell to our glamour clients. Yeah, cool that we got into it did my brother. He's in the military. Afghanistan, like I have lots of just history with that and so some that I thought would be awesome Do is like a Let's try to connect with the military wives and those people who want to give their husbands something. So they give him, like, a little box with them they'd bring like, a flag in, or they bring part of his uniform in and we get those shots and they'd get those in acrylics, like holding the flag up silhouette of her body. And it just it was just beautiful. And it was just like they, of course, talked to all of the other wives. And it was just once you start doing that stuff within like the circle of influence it becomes, it becomes addictive emotional thing for people. All of them. Yeah, they all want it well. And what about doing something like kind of a girl's night out party, like go Friday, night Girls night out there like little mini sessions in the studio. It's like 5 10 minutes in front of the camera, But you got multiple makeup artists there. You've got wine, cheese. Girls are having fun. I mean, if you can do that and you get you know, eight girls together for this, first of all, they're having a blast doing it on. If you can run a $200 average right and you're just working a couple hours at night. Doesn't matter if you're photographing eight people. If you're in a $200 average, that's a great night. That 1600 or is that just being one would just be me. So Taylor's help in hair and makeup and I'm just having these mini sessions going. I could care less if we were there for three hours doing it on a Friday night. Everybody's having fun, and then what you'll try and do When you have that little party, you're really trying to get it to a point where you can get some of those girls to book you for a one on one session. That's where the big money will come in because you got to kind of look at the girls Night out is almost like a teaser or marketing exercise. But if you can make money at that marketing exercise, well, that's successful. And now the word starts getting out. Because imagine if one of the girls who comes in think about how this works. You bring in 5678 girls, right and getting the hair makeup down. Everybody's having a great time. They're tweeting about it, their Facebook and all their friends about it, and now you photograph them. And now those girls go off and you say, Hey, why don't you host your own party? And if you do, I'll give you a free 11 by 16 for free. I'll give you a free picture box if you host your own party and get eight girls in there. And now this thing starts splintering off where your glamour line could just explode just by doing that way, Yeah, along those lines. Do you ever do a mini session day where it's not so much a group of friends, but where say, you get a hotel room and then you book him on the hour, hour and 1/2 However, it is. Love it. I've never done it. Love it. I think that's a great idea, right? You run a high end, very unique hotel room, something to that effect. And you've just got people coming in and out all day so that you've got a unique set. But maybe it's not a hotel room unless it's super unique. Maybe it's like renting an antique store. Okay, we can or event. You know, just a vintage store, especially with your your style of photography. You should be looking to do something that's very edgy. Very vintage t Get them in there, but not pinup. You like dad last is gonna did. But you got to see what your clients doing. Are they spending money? Well, there you go. Right. So there you go. So it is dead, right? Financially is dead. So maybe vintages. What's in right now? But that whole concept is where you've got to find where the money is, right? If if pinup was working, you and I would be having a different conversation. I keep doing it. But when it's not working, even though you love it, you gotta run away from it, right? Chase the dollars where the money is, that's where we want to be. So today I think vintage eyes, something that would cells and rent an antique shop, rent unique hotel lobby. We rented Ah hotel in ST Louis and we had access to this whole 19 sixties. Look and feel. We had a room. It was it was amazing. So those are the kind of things you gotta look to do? Yeah. Approach like hotels by like, Hey, we're gonna have do you say, Hey, we're having a I kind of shoot and they're gonna be running around with Andre on. Like, how do you wouldn't want them running around in the lobby? Lingerie. I think almost every hotel is gonna be, uh, no. Except maybe in Vegas. There's some hotels to be like, Yes, that's awesome, But no. So you don't want you don't do that. That would be with a room on something like that, I would say, especially if it's a glamour shoot. I don't know that you're gonna get the hotel to be donating the room. If it were more than engage, stylized engagement, shoot, stylized family, shoot something like that, you might find hotels will be willing to give you a room. I mean, we did. We do it all the time in ST Louis, and we get hotels to some don't return our phone calls at all, and then others air like, Yeah, you're gonna give us promotional pictures. I would absolutely love to do that. So just about making that phone call and being persistent. All right. How we doing? Photo girl would like to know if you could talk about the pricing structure for the glamour business. Ah, high level. I cannot around my pricing in front of me. So the pricing structure for glamour is gonna take the same principles that we do use for the rest of our business. Right? The ala cart is gonna be artificially high, and then you're gonna have this package structure and what we're looking to do, Remember, you're not rarely Are you gonna be able to sell 2030 30 40 prints from glamour session. She's not gonna happen. It's a one off, so we can't build our business on one off. We gotta build our business on what can happen on instead, this would be an area I would be willing to release the edited files. This would be the one area because I would never want I'm not gonna invest all this time to get to the 30 images on and then show them the originals. They're going to reject him. I'm not worried about other people seem more about my my glamour clients rejecting them. So the only way I would do that is in the black label top level package. That would probably be a $3000 package for the client. In that package would be digital files. Right. And they would be low or medium rez. They're not gonna be full rez digital files. There's gonna be a picture box in there. There would be an album in there, and it would be one of the signature collection albums, right? It's not gonna be a press printed book. I wanted to be a very high end read. You saw the one I showed yesterday where it had that black kind of alligator looking leather. Imagine we have one that's red. It's called Scarlet. That would be one that our clients would want. So we include an album ah, box in a slide show with the picture box. And that would be in that top level package. Mid level package might just be some smaller prints. Maybe just a picture box. And that's the route. We would go for that. So I'm talking off the top my head. So I apologize. Natalie Simmons. Golly. And splashed from Long Island. Both of questions about kind of the logistics of the girls night out as far as would you show them photos that night with a place orders at the party. How do you show them their pictures? Individually or altogether? What's the logistics of that? Yeah. So, first of all, big shout out to my girl. Natalie. Natalie, I've been mentoring for Gosh, gotta be, like, 3.5 years now. So and she's her business has just been exploding. So, congratulations to you, but so logistics for the night. The logistics would work the way I would try and do that is that would be shooting tethered, because that's the only way you're gonna be able to get this stuff going to Ah, hard drive quick enough. Taylor would then be able to connect from the presentation room to the tethered hard drive case. You're gonna have to photograph tethered. So she's pulling these images off and there would be a huge, huge precursor toe. Let your client know what you are capable of doing and not doing with that image. So there is some vision required at that point in time. Now, Taylor might just use light room presets to give the client an idea of what this is gonna look like once it's been fully edited. But it's not gonna be the skin softening and the and all the corrective edits you're gonna do. So you're gonna have to share some vision at this girl's night out and use. The photographers are gonna have to work really, really hard to make sure you're posing your client in a very flattering way. Because this is your client seeing raw at this point damn near raw. And so you better be good at what you're doing. You're white pounds. Better be there. Your exposure better be there. But if you're working in a studio environment with lighting, there's no reason why you don't have your exposure and everything. You know the way it should be. It's not like you're flying all over the place shooting in this dynamic environment. So that's how we're gonna work it. And then we're gonna offer a discount for anything they order. That night, there would be packages put together for them that night that would be affordable. So I'm doing girls night out. The average I'm looking to have is anywhere from a 2 to $400 average. If I can run a 2 to $400 average and I've got eight girls coming through six girls coming through, that could be a very, very powerful night force, let alone giving them. Maybe Maybe you give them a free right if they spend $300 arm or you give them a certificate for a free party that they can host at their house or give them a certificate for a free session one on one session, Right. So maybe they can come back and they can do two or three outfits on their own because the girls night out party isn't the end. All that's not the end result. To me, that's a marketing exercise that you're actually gonna make some money on the really the end. All here is getting additional portrait sales from other people. Yeah, hair and makeup artists, would you? Since it's, ah, eight girls like sometimes they charge by the well girl the our like, Do you work closely with somebody? But how do you have it set up a sphere is that we work very closely with one of our makeup artist. So you're gonna have to develop relationships to get to that point because, you know, and I'll jump over you. Jules, I know you do make up, but you don't have time to be doing makeup. Your job is to focus on photographing. And so what's gonna end up happening is you've gotta work that relationship with them. You you may have to pay for the makeup, but they should, with eight girls being in a small window, be able to give you a fixed rate. Now, with that fixed rate, you should absorb that cost and pass it on to the girls night out as part of this session fee. Right. So you could say, Hey, girls night out. It's $100 a girl $150 a girl. This includes hair, makeup, wine, cheese. You know, whatever else you're gonna throw in there, but it does not include prints do not let it include prints. That's the part where you want to bring them out, try and sell them one. And it is going to be hard, man. Because you what's gonna be hard is not the sale. If you make him look beautiful, they're going to buy stuff. But you're not gonna sell an album. That's not gonna happen because you've got 15 20 minutes with somebody. One outfit, very limited, which are really looking to sell, is maybe a picture box, a slideshow, possibly on limited prints. That's why I'm saying your sales average is really gonna be lower in that 2 to $400 range. And that's okay, because it's about volume, right? We're working with kind of mini sessions, not making sense. Yeah. So we've got about 20 minutes till break. You want to keep going to want to keep going, Questions. I want to keep going. Sounds great. Power through it. Engagement session fees. 203 $100 for an hour, hour and 1/2 on location. Burst studio. I have no idea why in God's name you would be doing engagement sessions in the studio when I think about myself and when I got engaged with Taylor. When I think about who we are as people, I am not a white background. I am not a fake painted background, right? This is not who we are. We want to be on location and so I think it's absolutely crazy. If you're offering engagement pictures in studio, take your camera. Go outside. It's okay. It will still work. Two outfits is typically what we'll do for an engagement couple. We do one casual, which to me would be something like this. Not cargo shorts and a T shirt. I think art and we remember the Pinterest boards. I showed you guys that we sent to our clients. This is the kind of stuff were sending toe so on. Then one might be dressing, so one might be her in a dress and him in a suit not be very careful here when referring to two outfits. The last thing I want to do is have two outfits on that is not representative of them. So we've got the way we explain store clients is we want the best version of you. So if you're not a suit and tie person, don't wear suit and tie. That doesn't make any sense because they're not gonna buy those pictures. They're not gonna like him. But we do have clients that are like, No, we're super dressing. We want to be in a suit and tie and dress. But that's happening verbally in a communication between Taylor and the client, different locations read each outfits, and we want to give them diversity, Right? Maybe it's a park. Maybe it's a brick wall or an urban landscape. Were having that conversation with the client? What do you guys want to? You want more urban? Or do you want Park like some of our clients are like, Nope. We love your urban scene. That's where we want to do things. Shot count is gonna be between 203 100 images. We're back to that tight, middle wide vertical horizontal, looking at each other, looking at the camera, giving each other kids, looking away, right, so there's four looks right there. Then you could do things where you're staggering. The client Okay, so you'd have the girl out front and the guy back behind. There's do things where you have the guy out front girl behind right not everything has to be on that same focal plane get. Give that some death final count that they're going to see when they come into studios. About 100 to 150 pictures. The main print that we're trying to sell is a 16 by 24 a 15 by 30. That's the main size we're trying to sell, and I emphasize this all the time. Our business is built on 16 24 15 30. That fits in any home in America. So where I'm not telling you the story about how we built our business selling 20 foot canvas is that's not what we've sold. We've sold least two sizes and they'll fit over any couch in America. Yeah, hair and makeup for engagement session for the girl we do, we offer. We offer hair makeup, but it's not. It's are saying makeup artist that does all our seniors. So they would either go to our studio to get hair makeup done, or they would go to the makeup artist location and then meet us on location for the shoot. So, yes, and it's a great trial run because the same hair makeup artists is the same one we use for weddings. And so we tell them, If you're in a user for a wedding, go do it for your engagement session to make sure you like the way your pictures are looking with that hair and makeup. So it's a great 12 punch questions on engagement. Does this make sense? Not complicated. Most engagement sessions we don't even charge for. So the session fee. I'm saying of 2 to 300. That's Allah cart. But every wedding package we have has the engagement session built in, so there's no rarely to have a client that comes in. Hires, hires us just for an engagement session. Would you charge extra? That was stylized. Shoot like you're mad men think if it were style, I shoot, I would probably charge extra. It just depends on how much more time is involved. I wouldn't charge extra just because it's a style. I shoot. I would charge extra because now the shoot is not an hour and 1/2. It's gonna be a three hour session. But I also want to make it as easy as possible because if they do a style, I shoot. I know they're going to spend more money. And are you getting the props and the location and coming up with all the costuming and all that stuff to That's exactly back to the timing issue. If we're if we're owning this entire process, more than likely this session fee is gonna be about $1000. And in that $1000 will roll hair, hair and makeup in so we'll own it on pay for it. Will own wardrobe on, will pick up wardrobe as well, and then will will own locations. So with that $1000 I'll probably spend damn near the entire $1000. So what I'll do with it is rent out a very unique facility that we can't get to ordinarily. So there's been situations where we're working. I might spend $500 on a location fee, and I'm okay with that, right? So it's not one. I can just kind of show up, take a picture and be gone. It's one where it's indoors. I need time. Delighted, and I need 3 to 4 hours toe to do things right in there and that don't be afraid to spend that money because that's gonna build your portfolio, and that's gonna be, uh that's how you're gonna get the sale. Don't look to make money on the session fee. Reinvest that session feedback into the session. And you know your client's gonna spend money because the pictures are so unique. Just quit that they get nervous asking people for things. There's an awesome old car, beautiful car that's always parked in the same spot in our town, And I'd love to be able to use that. Do you ever see that? And you're like, Gosh, is somebody has this vehicle like you ever ask for it? Like, How do you find those antique? Yeah, beautiful. Restore cars when you're when you're driving around, don't be afraid to just drop your knock on a door. Leave your business car there and be like a I'm a professional photographer. Here's my information, right? Make sure your email dress isn't like you know Susie 1 to 5 at gmail dot com. Right Suzy Q t at gmail dot com. Right, that can't be your email address, but make sure you've got your professional, which you guys do. You've got a good website, that kind of stuff. Walk in, knock on the door, but I can t knows car. This is I'm a professional photographer. I'd love to rent it for a photo shoot. Don't say I'd love to use it for a photo shoot because nobody's gonna call you back. But I would say he continues your your car. No, not really. The minute you say I'm looking to rent your car off for a photo shoot, that starts a whole different discussion, right? And you'd be surprised. So we rented a There was a photo shoot. We did a year, year and 1/2 ago was when we're launching signature collection albums. We wanted something little risque, something a little more edgy. And we had Taylor with Greece honor wife beater and shorts, right and boots. And we rented a mechanic shop just for ah, half hour. Right. And we approach them. We said, Hey, we'd love to use your facility or we'd love to rent your facility for an hour. Half hour. Would we be able t do that for a photo shoot? And then it turned into they gave us the facility for free. All we had to do is give them a photograph off the car, right? So I was like, Well, I got this 1969. I just restored. Done. I'll take pictures of it during the photo shoot. I'll give those, too. So you'll have. So now they gave us that for free. But if I just walked in and said, Hey, could I use your facility? I'm a photographer. More than likely, I would have never gotten to that part of the conversation. So again, don't be afraid to ask people on. Offer them money for their thing. And don't be afraid to invest back in because it will come back to you tenfold. There's something that came up yesterday as well. Photo Girl Wants to know. Could a business be successful in marketing as an engagement photographer on Lee and not shoot weddings? Wow, I don't think so. Uh, it's a good question. It's a good try. Sounds like she might be afraid of weddings. They are, or she just wants her Saturdays, which I want mine back, too. But the reality is, I think you're competing against studios like mine, which have engagement sessions bundled in tow all their packages. So the question you have to ask yourself is Why would your client just get an engagement session from you and not want to photograph with their their actual wedding photographer? Because I actually sell against that. I sell to my clients. And I say, Hey, you want to your engagement session with me Because you want to get used to working with me and my style, the way we shoot that kind of stuff. So I don't think that's gonna be a good business model. You obviously try it. But you're up against studios like mine who are bundling that for free into our packages. All right, let's go to weddings. Eso on the wedding piece. We're talking about best practices. Typical wedding. We're gonna produce 3 to 4000 images off two shooters with 10 hours of time. A lot of people cringe it. That back in the days of film, you would never photographed at many. Because the reality is you got to go develop that film eso today with it being digital. I'm tipping, typically gonna photographed 3 to 4000 images. I'd rather be safe than sorry. We're gonna call those down to about 1500 images and then the clients going to see the top 700. So the top or what they're seeing, edited that's color corrected vignette ID on. Then there's gonna be one or two that are what I call signature at it, and I'll show you some signature at its later. But a shot like this behind me. This is a signature at it where we've dropped in a new sky, Uh, or something like this where we've added Sun Flare dropped in a new sky because for this particular photograph, the sky was blown out just from the lighting scenario. And so that had to have a new sky dropped in. But I'll show you some signature at its later, but that we're gonna show them of those 701 or two. We're gonna be signature level. That's what the ones I'm trying to get big print sales from on my goal out of a wedding post wedding is to get them to add extra pages to the album and a large print, and that's going to come from that signature at it. We talk about digital negatives. The one thing I'm gonna do is they're gonna get 1500 so the digital negatives will be all the unedited 1500 but Online and what they'll be able to pick from for their album or things like that are gonna be the top 700. Those are the ones I think should be the album. Tina. You mentioned a lot about Onley putting like the signature edits and the ones that really represent your style in your marketing and on your website. Do you find that clients book you expecting that that's going to be all of your images? And then when they see that there's only one or two that really looked to that level, are they disappointed? Then how do you prepare them for that? No, not at all. In fact, it's the other way around. I have clients that come in and make sure that we take those other pictures, too, so they love the dark, dramatic images. But I get more than not. The question that gets asked of me is not. Do you take those other pictures? They don't even know what to say. They use the word other all the time. They're like, Do you take those other pictures? And I have to explain. Of course we do. We take all the family pictures at the altar. What you're seeing here? These are the pieces, and this is how I explain it to him. These are the pieces, I believe should be artwork for your home on its that single statement piece for your home. And they're always like, Okay, you remember. I showed the sideshow yesterday, and you saw a medley of images that are just your typical documentary style of a wedding day. But no one's gonna put those images right. Do you really think you're gonna get a client to put a 20 by 30 on the wall of him reading the note? It's not gonna happen. But do they want that in their wedding album? Of course they do. So, no, they're never disappointed there always blown away because they understand how much time goes into each one of those images. Right? If it just looks like, yeah, this is a one. Click at it and you're done. You're really gonna have a hard time getting them to spend more money