From Images to Art: Storytelling in Wedding Photography

Lesson 10 of 36

Unleash Real Profit

 

From Images to Art: Storytelling in Wedding Photography

Lesson 10 of 36

Unleash Real Profit

 

Lesson Info

Unleash Real Profit

Sales so important obviously we must sell what we do we need thio realize profit from the work there create now I've talked to you a little about my background in psychology haven't talked to you about my background before being a photographer so it was a hobby of course for many of us it wass it started for me in middle school actually the pinhole camera assignment in middle school were actually made a camera out of a coffee folgers coffee jar we'll put a pin hole through it I mean some of these exposures were like forty five minutes so cool I felt lover that I lived in the dark room then I went and ended up being the yearbook photographer because I loved it so much I think trevor here's got the same characters this is what I see in you my friend you picked up a camera and I'm gonna put it down about it is it isn't it great doing what you love but it started there but I never thought you could make a living as a wedding photographer so I did what my family does and they're there in th...

e sales business okay my mom's manufacturer's rep for years and she house has a designer showing she sells furniture designers um my dad as well he sold insurance and it was natural for me to go into something with sales so that's what I did when I I first met katarina I knew I need to go do something that sales field and it was software sales in fact that's where we met at a software company where we sold educational software I learned from that experience what sales are about and I'm going to share with you now this seven components of sales but I'm going to do it with from understanding of how the psychology of sales worked and this was really relevant to what we're talking about today because this is an emotional sale you got to get your clients to that place in order for them to value what you are selling so let's talk about this step five is exactly what we need to hear this stage of the process emotion and brain and sales unleashing the real profit first season quarter three and four very important that you guys understand this process so up to this point we've established that we want to move into this area photography we want to um work towards the goals we do all the steps up to this point now we need to learn how to sell what we've refined and turned into a beautiful creative product for ourselves so little quote first to get us inspired I have learned and this is my mom and angela I have learned that people will forget what you said people forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel and I find this to be such a relevant quote for the sales portion because sales isn't about taking a cz much as you possibly can from somebody it's about helping them understand what they need and want and then for feeling that in a very fair and beautiful way, very important, we talk about this now, so at this point would step five you guys were still watching this show, um, and and you haven't been able to leave out of the chairs in front of me here because you're stuck here with me for three days, okay, so you have to understand this is key, alright, but emotion to terms, pricing, emotional terms, pricing. And now the first questions we're going to get from people out there. So how do you do your pricing? This is the section okay, so just all a little bit, but I'm gonna back up a second, remind you about the emotional brain or what we call for the purpose of explaining the technical side of how the brain works. Characteristics are. If your there's two states of mind basically the right brain state of mind, the emotional state of mind as well refer to it as uses feelings, big picture oriented it's, imagination, symbols and images get it feeling spatial perception, it's, fantasy based philosophy and religion believing versus knowing it's risk taking versus safe that risk taking component is where we need our couples to be in order to find the will to take thereof credit card out of the pocket and give it to you because they fall in love with what you do so I've learned not teo cell on the literal brain side of things I have learned not to do this okay in nineteen ninety nine two thousand three we're hourly and by the rule okay were undermined the concept of commissioning an artist viewed as a vendor okay you're viewed as a vendor if you do this it undermines the concept of commissioning art piece so in two thousand three to two thousand seven we had a three tier program that I'm going to show you in a second so there's we'll just call it for sake of understanding easy good better best okay three tiers clients have control in this case they could pick one or another your lowest price to your medium price or your upper level price that you received the most and they're in control the off a couple will choose the cheapest of the three they get in the door price well been there right leaving additional revenue at the whim of the hard sale process part sale soft sail smart sale we're gonna talk about that now okay now two thousand seven to today we have create custom proposals custom proposals uh it's basically based upon information gathered during the meeting about the wedding plans so we have a conversation tell me what you want what do you have planned what would you where do you envision your photos to be displayed you're interested in this album fantastic you love that wall art that you see in our studio fantastic we want to create that for you as well tell me everything that you could possibly desire and also telling about your wedding day you have people in your bridal party how many locations you know you have a ceremony and recep in two different locations have you considered going to a third or even fourth location just add experience you'd like the experiential style great perfect okay what I'm gonna do is after you leave I'm gonna put together custom proposal for you that involves all of this that includes all of this because we want you to have everything you could possibly want all right and then you're going to let us know if this fits your buzzer works for you that does is such a big change from what we used to do where they just pick a price and you deliver what you will get what is involved in that package price the three tier program so custom proposals are not yes or no they're negotiable it's not a threat at all even if you come back in your price is way out of their price range ah, you know well your proposals a little bit out of our price range well, you know let's work with that let's work with that so yeah, we put you down for four locations sixteen locations now we put you down for a few locations and we also considering the size your bottle party we assume that you'd want to be very large book thirty five double page spreads but let's work with that we still want you to have the thirty five spreads but here's what we can do okay to lower the price for you. Ok, this is how smart sales work okay, wait have a little dream photography who says oh, golly custom proposals would be great but there is no way you do that for every bride would be nothing but doing nothing but proposals all year is this actually how you do it? Do you propose to do a customer a puzzle for every breath? Well, it sounds like that person's shooting quite a few weddings and my question of would be are you shooting the type of weddings you want to be shooting? Yeah, you're right that's custom proposal actually for us is in our potential in our our toolkit you sampled custom proposal all you do is change the content within and off it goes okay it's a template so for us it's very, very easy and it also creates a oh she ation it's cute occassions not hey it's a b or c take it or leave it no you want to work them into something special and so it devolves custom proposals evolved now what is my favorite thing to do in the experiential style give away free time and even free spreads double page spreads even three images complimentary I don't say free confirmation our gift to you to make your day even more special want more time in your hands okay that's how we work into making these custom proposal a data made their living documents they adapt okay it's really fun now I'm gonna explain all this and I love how you hit me with that question right now because I'm gonna answer it in the slides ahead so the old ways versus the new so nineteen ninety nine to two thousand three were arlene by the rule and you saw this number twelve fifty that doesn't include all of our cost of course but now let's look at the three two system of two thousand and three to two thousand seven twenty five hundred dollars was our get in the door price okay thirty five hundred dollars was level b eight hours twenty spreads that includes an engagement shoot um level c is ten hours twenty five spread engagement book and an engagement shoot okay they just pick one but most of them seem to pick the twenty five hundred dollar one and then we have all a carte menu that's a lot of left brain stuff all cartman you could get you get additional spreads for x you get you could get additional shoot time for why you can't get the big book you keep the medium sized book you could get a small book o you get a framed art or unframed r that's what we were doing back then and all the carte menu was so left brand that we it was this price shopping it wasn't working so now check this out custom proposals it's all about the art now it's about orienting the minds of your clients to the art correct they've come to us the senior website they've what we want to do is seldom on the emotional level in order to do that we must bring them to our studio they must see what we want so we have a four tier system that I mean to get into in one second this is tried and true there's been studies around it p p a has been involved in the forty year system it's been taught for quite some time and it works but I'm gonna ask you teo I want I want I want lead into that just yet this is really fun stuff I really love this stuff okay eighty moments world okay so here's my all a cart priceless is just an example but I'll call left brain literal brain all the cart sheet okay, you could you wedding books there four hundred dollars eight by tens or wedding book is five hundred sixteen by twelve wedding but six hundred you get medal fifty add acrylic ad sixty another ad seventy leather engravings on lee fifty dollars more parent books this is a really small document because I don't want you really see it just know if you're doing this it's not an emotional sale we want you to consider this there's a lot of copy on this particular, but these are fortiers mirrors images on the left there's a beautiful signature images distract from the content on the right. I'm trying to get them in an emotional place before they go to the right side. But this is the's are the the forms that we use to ride our custom proposals out. Okay, this is not a custom proposal yet I'm going to show you a national custom proposal or bride that just booked us last week two weeks ago in one minute so you see it's a totally different experience all the car versus these customer puzzle we can control the emotion when we custom proposed so let's talk about it I'm gonna give you more examples but let's talk about what we can charge for our everyone wants to know what my prices should be first gotta make sure they know what they want that is a property or at the client's understand to what we deliver they will value two things time and size of art okay the amount of time we spend on their wedding day it was going to so many questions about this I can't wait to answer all your questions in the chapel is it going crazy right now oh yeah good can we get through all of it eventually answered many of them but I'm absolutely willing tto stop midway and do some questions along the way okay but we have they want it decide foreign and properly to what we sell time in size of art and that size of are of course is that it thinking pick any album besides they want the coffee table sized one or the standard size one and obviously wall are too okay that's that's considered size of art as well um but time is what they really want from us ties into the experience of style no how do we raise our price is how do we set up our prices it's all going tying together it's going to be confusing at first but in time together we talk about incremental annual and trans form excuse me transformational style of price changing okay incrementalists when you change your price a little bit with each booking that you have many people starting out used this technique every new wedding you get you slightly increase two to three percent okay or something like that annual is raising your prices by percentage each season so we did that starting out each year we're one twenty five one hundred dollars twenty five dollars for role and they were one twenty five thirty five dollars for roll we incrementally raised it every year I'm asking you to transformational style and that is going big doing something completely different it's another shit it's another invention for you go big do what I'm about to share with you ok so here is our current four tier system and I know everyone's gonna take a lot notes we'll have a lot of questions but this formula by the way I'm sharing prices with you I've asked uh forgiveness about talking about money it's all about being transparent but I've created a formula that I no work anywhere in the world okay this formula is uh something that you can take teo you know a place where weddings are a lot more expensive or a lot less expensive plug it in and I'll work for you okay so here we go we're called good better best and then wow a b c and d okay and I'm just plugging in my what is in each category good better and best are good is up to six hours and up to fifteen double page spreads I'm using up to because that's an emotional way of saying it if you say firmly you get six hours and you get fifteen spreads that makes it a little left brain but you see up to you have the opportunity to say you're gonna get every last spread and mohr okay watch your wording in this okay? And this is just again a formula but after I teach you this I'm asking to throw it away it's going to be really funny okay, so uh better up to eight hours and up to twenty five spreads best up to ten hours and up to thirty five double page spreads and then all the way over there this is we're gonna have a giant leap is the wow tear it's like you got everything firstborn children like you get our firstborn children no just getting you get unlimited coverage and a multiple volume book multiple albums it's big now noticed this jump here that's out there the psychology behind all of it us good is you get in the door price this allows you to tell them when the first question is we all know what it is how much will you be able to say? Well, I'm a story shooting photographer I do things differently but I started the same price as everybody else we called out the lost leader price lost leader we're going to that in a second it's there to get them to come see you so you know we start everybody what everybody else is and uh but we do things differently. I really need you to come into the studio we really want to see a work they come in they see your presence, they see your studio whatever you open these beautiful books this is how we're different we're storytellers were also really concerned with your experience last create a custom proposal for you that's how you do it every single time. Okay, so that's why I'm going to say in a minute you got throw your throughout this formula this is nothing but psychology and getting him in the door okay, so let's talk about bebe better and that is okay. We don't want to go with this um from where you are I need you to start with whatever cost is competitive for your field that could be your lost leader price it could be right at or slightly even below your your your competition first level price your goals and had never actually book it. Okay? And you're going to with the psychology of how this is laid out be able to shift people into the other tears. Okay, so let's say it's a thousand dollars let's say it's safe ten dollars just for the sake of knowing that everywhere across the world is going to be different okay, you can legitimately say that's going to be ten dollars for good this would be fifteen dollars for better and this is one point five x plus people say okay you're gonna have to study this at home I know I'm thinking quick notes so that's a b b minus a rather so that's fifteen minus ten is five plus fifteen that's twenty twenty dollars in this here okay this is now three x that was ten this is thirty dollars okay so for me we'll say let's say it's fifteen twenty five thirty five five thousand it's a big jump to get over here I don't do the math right there but you get the idea one thousand fifteen hundred two thousand three thousand okay it's got have a big jump and why do we do that because we want this psychology of how this works is that this price makes this price very attractive we need to have this be a very safe and wonderful place to shoot with we're happy here we're not happy here but this will always get us to here and here and guess what the rule is I'm gonna jump ahead on my side if you book this twice three times in one year you do another transformational pricing change it's really quite scientific it's fun too so let's move forward x equals a starting price of direct competition specific to your region plugging in it works so let's get move forward what's my next line here oh why and zero adams this is great so you also are gonna have wine z which are your additional things that she could purchase since there's like an engagement shoot, etcetera. All right, I know this is math stuff. I know we're all right brainers out there and add ons let's talk about adams. Additional time is why an additional spreads are z ok, that's what they want from us adults. So my vish additional time is expensive for fifty dollars additional time. It isn't our sport for dollars additional spreads two hundred fifty dollars per spread it's expensive. Why? Because I'm gonna give it away. I'm gonna sign the valley like we talked about earlier. My time is very expensive and it's a high value and these into spreads that go in the book are very expensive, very high value. And you know what? My clients like those gifts that's where we could negotiate that's where we can talk about how we can make that package price come down for them. So look at the custom proposal now, so incremental, we're gonna change our pricing as our top weekends book up right annual ten per cent raise on a product only with this system you don't raise your prices, you raise the price of your things that you sell lindsay fine, yes, you're spreads in your time so that's why each year I become my hourly becomes more expensive and my album spreads become more expensive that's making that gift more valuable and able to be negotiated and ultimately leads to more profits. Okay, so and then the transformational moment in this tiered system is when you book three wells in one year, the entire tier system goes up a percentage ten percent that's the science that's what's worked for us year after year, and it has changed our business completely. Sixty five weddings now we have, like from five under ten weddings is more profit than sixty five weddings as a result of this each year it's baby steps. I know there's so many questions let's get into it. So first of all, though april rene says this formula is brilliant why hasn't anyone else offered a kick ass formula before? Now? Because we haven't had jim gunner on that's, you know, but a couple questions. First of all, just a very simple one. You find a way to find a spread for people when you're talking about additional products to find us. Friend yeah, what what is this? Spread spread a cz two pages in an album that contain a single story. The story has a theme. It has continuity between each image. Each image has a reason for being there, usually under three to five images per spread in our rules um it's absolute continuity meeting this photo shopped at the same time a spread is a page in the book a double page spread in the market um omar zeeshan asked from england how does jim tackle sales with clients that are overseas or outside of seattle bearing in mind that plants may not be able to visit the studio to view products? How do you kind of tell that story it's great because it's fifty percent there are at least a third of what we do we got the experience is so important or clients of course the meetings in fact I'm about to show you a custom proposal of somebody who doesn't even live in seattle we haven't personally seen this person uh in in years I photographed her sister's wedding three years ago but it's all done through ah uh skype conversations et cetera we control the experience of the viewing their images for the first time with okay, first of all to book them we explain the process explain what did you just over skype or the phone visually showing them by sending albums the quick time movies so they could see it to music controlling experience while they're looking out for similar how would be in the studio to communicate with them regarding their, uh, experience along we're going to talk about that experience and how you must amplify every time they see images you gotta amplify that you know, tenfold. So when they first see their initial slideshow from the images, by the time they get home from the honeymoon by time we give a proof book. This is all gonna be in work flow. We send it to him and we ask them, we're sorry. We asked them to open a bottle champagne or do what they do something quiet the room, close the drapes and be together. And I'm gonna email you a link to that slide show gallery. At that moment you're ready with a champagne poured that's how we control it. Same goes for the slide show of seeing their album for the first time. We pick music. Talked about foreign language music, allowing them to think it's being something about themselves, or often it's their first dance song. We surprise him with that. And we say, and often for clients, consider this ship him a bottle of champagne. Okay, open that box and tell us when you're ready. And we will, uh, email you at that moment or text the link to that viewing. So I believe that, uh, you know, having distance from your couple is not a problem. In this era, you could still provide a wonderful experience to get creative about it. That's really cool I love the idea of sending them a bottle of champagne and then saying okay when you're ready to open it let me know and we'll then we'll send you the late that's cool let's see so shaffer photo we talked about how to raise your prices but for people first starting out if someone's never done portrait sir weddings before would you recommend going through the three tiers to build a portfolio or just jumping right out and starting your business with custom proposals uh this fourteen system okay, so the custom proposal process is part of the four tier system uh I would definitely recommend the four tier system the three tier actually uh enables the clients to just pick one and you've got to go with it because it's firm on the price the four tier system has x and why which are additional time is for fifty for me additional spreads is two fifty and all of that is negotiable a member I want them I want to then say hey here's kind of I wanna be able to say here is kind of what we work around these air general price but let me hear about your day let me put together custom proposal for you and you know what we do this thing called experiential style I'm going to shave I'm gonna like it I'm gonna take care of you guys I'm really interested shooting your wedding we have a couple of hours couple digital spreads I will subtract that from the bottom of the custom proposal subtracting time subtracting sorry price from the bottom line it's what I'm about to show you and that shows that I'm willing to work with him and I really want them to choose me and our team to take care of them that next level so you know there's again, it's all psychologically considered one more question him from tina um, what do you tell clients when they do call and they say how much she charge for a wedding and price? This is the only thing on their mind. And tina says as a side note, just got two of those contacts were facebook while I've been watching this class very timely, tina also okay, yes, so it sounds like the question really is about, like, price price price, right? So that is exactly the problem I have. The picture focused philosophy is that you're that particular client he's coming to you looking for a price deal because they happen to beef picture focused, they know that their friends and everyone else were delivered it perhaps a disc of image and maybe an opportunity to get an album maybe you know, one opportunity to get some enlargements five by sound forward, but most likely they're after you for your disk right where your individual images on a disk in the process so therefore you are in the ninety percent competing over price and so of course they're calling you to ask what your price will be. So that is the key to this to season transformation is to move you out of that marketplace that that place with the type of clients are looking for individual pictures on this and move you into the type of clients that value this type of art and I guarantee you there's a lot of people out there there's a lot of people out there in them or as I said, the more of us to do it the more people are looking for that art so make that transformation and the phone will stop ringing with how much are you how much you harm issue and it will start ring with are you available and then how much are you okay and that's what we want um not when we're coming on that but I'm having a squirrel moment so could we just very briefly because I know that this is an issue that a lot of people deal with so just a role play like okay, I'm calling you up on the phone here that's what I was going todo had that the squirrel moment little boys love their work checked out your website can I ask how much it cost the book it well tell me what your wedding day what do you tell you everything about your way today because it really depends we custom we cater our pricing teach never come couple how could we just give you a price? We don't know what you want your wedding might be different than everybody else but we start at twenty five hundred dollars in our tier system you could work your way anywhere that's here but why don't you come in? Why don't you sit with us see what we do? We do things differently we're storytellers and every single client that comes to us we'll leave with the beautiful art book and enlargements we guarantee it come see this art and we'll share with you how we're different than everybody else so how unthreatening is that we started the same price and everybody else but we do something different once they're in front of you that's when you sell yourself as a person you sell yourself as a studio, a service based company and you get them excited you follow up with a phone call hanna know you're getting wedding at you're getting married and you're weddings at the newcastle golf course hey here's a quicktime video take a look at this I shot this at a newcastle golf course last month and I just finished the album check it out to see how sales work is not and this is the booking portion of sales but it's not about competing on price it's about showing that you're different from everybody else so they choose you orienting their minds to what you do then finally on and then I think it's good t keep going prepared a lot of people getting enquiries as tina was on facebook or via email or something like that is your response any different when you're typing it or is it that same general strategy of here's my baseline where I start but let's get in a room together let's typing it meaning internet inquiry yeah, okay, yeah, I feel strongly about this I need like, the social thing and the internet the world that we live in right now. This is a personal this has to be phone hey, I'd love to talk to you, but I know I know we're not always given the opportunity, okay? They just want show share of me, your price structure and that's basically what this is about this is about showing you could still hire me. You could send that document, have them two over and say, you know, we could still do level one or we could probably afford level two but you're able to say in your documentation and by the way we have all those documents in a toolbox for you how you write a cover letter to the pricing so important how you lay it out hey this is just a basic overview kind of where price is right but we want to hear from you a see you in person and we're gonna make a custom proposal just for you and for the question that happened earlier I had a squirrel moment I guess the answer really did that question is, um of what we do if every wants me on price maybe that's not the right bride for you and that's being able teo except hey it's not gonna work out was one of the biggest blessings and gifts that we ever had in our business because it opened up a spot for people to do value the art and believe me we're ten eleven twelve fifteen enquiries for the same saturdays in seattle you know we could have used to grab every single person in the first person that got that that book doesn't is using the first person we met with for that weekend way were closing the door on the opportunity people that really oriented art so don't like feel bad as you move through this transformation you know having people say you know what you're I can't afford that trust me you'll be rewarded when you find the right clients for you in this philosophy but a question yeah so we talked about ninety percent you know in the photographer side ninety percent picture takers and ten percent is our makers of storytellers is your view that even on the consumer side is that ten or ninety? Or what was the trend right now? Uh, it's? Well, the neat thing is it doesn't have to be it doesn't have to be a huge market, but the trend is on the rise as the more we talk about that's, why I'm really promoting it as much as I can this opportunity to really get people on board again, the mohr people that do this and I want to reiterate some people in my logged in after we defined the ninety percent in ten percent, the ninety percent a good portion of the ninety percent that our picture taking philosophy also produce albums and art as a supplement to their picture taking philosophy that they're making more more picture style books, okay, to be like the ten percent that I'm my observation by the it's, not scientific observation from from taking polls for last minute multiple years regarding this program, um, the ten percent has to be to find us ten percent in my personal study, they have to deliver art with for each and every client and that goes even into the family work. They do the high school senior work they do etcetera, so, um keep that in mind when we talk about those statistics, but again the market is fantastic and I can have profits that equal and it almost like a half of your shooting weddings during the picture taking philosophy from one destination wedding or one local wedding that signed onto the double volume book idea. Then I believe there's. So many more out there not available. We just need to raise the bar together. Don't we? We can do it, teo, do you think, guys?

Class Description


What techniques turn a single wedding photograph into a powerful, multi-dimensional storytelling tool? In this captivating course, professional wedding photographer Jim Garner will teach you how to transform your photography business by thinking like an artist.

Jim will share hard-won industry secrets — learned from decades at the helm of one of the nation’s leading wedding photography studios — guiding you through the creative journey from picture-taker to storytelling. You’ll explore tools and strategies that will make your workflow more streamlined and your studio more profitable. During live action photo shoots, you will watch Jim’s “story shooting” philosophy in action — as he demonstrates how posing, shooting, and lighting contribute to the strength of the visual story.

By the end of this course, you have a full grasp of the art of storytelling and be able to apply this new way of thinking to every aspect of your business.

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