The Sales Session


Family Portraits


Lesson Info

The Sales Session

do the kids have a good time yeah I think so they're adorable like how do you have three so well behaved kids it's not me it's not you is it president must be no no they were delighted to work with really adorable I know they were a little shy and you know so it's hard to be in front of a camera but they did amazing I think you're gonna be thrilled with what we did so I normally ask this point can't get you any water anything to drink I'm like dying of thirst say can I get you something to drink oh good think I can have my butler get it for you awesome yes I'll take a water then jo seo hee so funny okay so what I would do now is have a slideshow set up for her and please forgive me as I'm walking through this with you guys because as these images were loading up as we were talking so um we're gonna go to slide show slight show music I'm going to use a music file which is one of my uh triple scoop music files right down here so okay so right here from pro select I can go in and start my...

little slide show and make mom cry so why don't you guys can't really totally hear the audio do have a little microphone I can stick right here isan she beautiful look look at her closed eyes just totally unedited people you're watching it raw look how beautiful the background is totally out of focus it's just gorgeous look how pretty she is jeannie tissues so we go through these and I'm not gonna go through every single one of them but this is the process right love her look at that natural light so pretty knows where mom goes oh hate myself since this is stuff that we've been cropped out right um do you love that she likes that one yeah I like that one so I keep coming closer now I'm going to get a smile out of you I just there is and we're gonna get the next one with your eyes open but this is just to give you an idea of what goes on right so in general in real time I would have had this edited and real teo and real time I would have had this edited could be a little soft focus on her um they'd be edited down to thirty of forty of my favorites that's good babies yeah and the sales session is normally about two hours just so you know so we're taking a two hour sale session and shrinking into thirty minutes can I tell you how nerve racking it is to have your unedited images shown all over the world I am a bold human being this's absolutely no control this is just what happens happens oh any time you feel like oh yeah uh see I'm like it's a baby shower over here trouble's good music roxanne sounds like telling plane that uh but kept killing playing a piano yeah now mixing them up so we could go through with all that right tell it because that could take their one hundred seventy something images in here so normally what I would do now is like what did you like him oh I love all my good and then you would say oh my god how am I ever gonna pick yeah that's there's a lot I know ha yeah well which is why I let me let's walk through it together and I hope you pick out the best ones and we'll go through them and you'll tell me yes no maybe and don't be afraid to say yes no or maybe they feed off it if you don't like it you're not gonna hurt my feelings right so I usually pull up you know images that are similar to each other so do you prefer the laughter the right uh obviously you prefer the lab yeah so you know we take that one out we'll go to the next set of images let's start here which one do you prefer left or right left I think michelle I want to throw a little bit of internet love teo really quick because the chat rooms they're kind of going nuts everyone saying I can't believe that she's so bold I can't believe she's throwing up unedited on my and my favorite jen cromwell says my seven year old just said over my shoulder man mom she's gaby oh shouts of the kids that I think you know what I have to say I truly love to teach it really is a passion for me as much as I love photography um and I say this all the time it's a it's truly an honor to be here and giving back what was given to me so don't take it lightly and I feel like if you've taken the time if you have taken the time out of your life to spend a little time with me I'm gonna give you everything I have and so I get a little emotional about it this is that supposed to happen till after the next break right on some tissues I'm good you know you know it's bad when you cry at your own client sessions and it happens that what happens to ones with grand parents and seniors who are photographed through the years and now they're seniors and going off to college and I'm like this with mama look and you think it's so ridiculous I had the best non mommy mommy moment ever I photographed christopher at five days old really good clients of mine uh my photograph their older daughter and we're doing infants of infante images of christopher beautiful little baby boy and this was I don't know seven or eight years ago now and I'm driving to school with my daughter one day and I'm behind a client's car and my daughter and her kids go to the same school well little christopher jumps out of this big suv jumps out kindergarten backpack on and goes running up to school I start bawling in the car on my daughter's leak what happened my christopher he's going with that bag fight photographed with can't believe it yeah totally that is ridiculous mom moment and so I picked up my phone I call his mother who's sitting in front of me like I just watch get out the car crying hysterically back here my daughter's like mama you know because she was like this is like three years ago it was so funny but we know you're really connected to people when you have that moment absolutely get back to you trudy okay obviously we're not gonna pick this one um so this is the whole process that we would go through until we get down to the ones that really like these are a little bit brighter on that screen and they are my computer so I hope they look good for you guys home cause this monitor up here is a little bit right so anyway would go through and I'm pro select you have a happy face you have a medium face and a sad face if I click one it's happy too it's not so happy three it's in the delete section so as I'm going through these images I have to do as we're going through and I could just pull up one of timing go through mary like yes or no no ok yes or no yes okay we keep it next we'll go no no okay so this is a fast way to end it fast they're not going anywhere really but it's like okay as you know yes and if I have okay no she's great decisive mom she's like yeah no I'm o I mean there are some moms are so indecisive they like even the ugly ones well I know where I was that close but still looking baby yeah and I have to be like no and you know there are times when I cut I'm like yeah no not decide not this one or there are times when like I have a particular favorite they're like I don't know like we're keeping this one you know like really I'm like this is a michelle pick and ninety nine point nine percent of time the michelle pick is the one that they pick and ninety nine percent of the time what I'll do is I will pick a few of my personal favorites and then go ahead and retouch them like I would as if they had already chosen them this way they can see the pre retouch and post retouched and then and then they will know what the rest of their session will look like in ninety nine percent of the time the one that's my favorite that have already retouched that looks perfect is the one that goes on the wall so it's another way to direct your client to like the best image for them is to go ahead retouch it call it your favorite artist's favorite artist favorites a very powerful statement so so this was a no or yes no I like this one oh yeah did you know I hate that one yeah yeah the first one that does one better so that this is exactly what's happening and holding back I'm part of the process I'm assertive is as direct as I am and the rest of my life I'm the same way here and there everyone tell me like what do you like that one okay fine breaking my heart you don't tease e I love that one no it's ok I understand you know but yeah these look so beautiful so I'm saying no to that why I'm saying no to that one oh yes we like yes next did you I looked away yeah next one I think I like the other one before okay so that's a no like that one yeah so anyway so we go down the line then we go look at this guy let's go look at something ah a little awesome nerd awesome nerdy depressed when I called him that I was like I think she may be steered me down the aisle he made a slideshow of his self on google doc saying how awesome he wass so he's a narcissist he probably didn't like that I just put that on the internet okay yeah his his crowd probably not washington just guesses so love that I love that face on him he's adorable he is so stinking q which one well I like I like that one right there okay I probably am gonna like all of you are I love the way he looked this beautiful directional light coming in and we have just enough shadow here and we almost have a little triangle here for rembrandt lighting I mean it's a subtle little triangle but it's there it's so subtle and look at the catch light all right I would not do that to a client I not be up in my tv oh yeah look at his catch lights no like good job I'm just telling you guys high energy has come back to the room we did we did for a little bit and now you've come back up so yes no maybe let's say no oh no no so yeah you know see what happens when he leans in oh he's either close there oh yeah okay so cute I love that when they all lean together again what you're seeing on my computer is actually a better exposure than that screen right there so uh now this is a really high camera angle remember I was um I was like up on the chair I think at this point but yeah it was pretty high I don't know if I was up on the chair but um and look at how nice he's looking up at me their eyes are bright their catch lice so yes or no I love that one like it yeah no so I do all this and create it right I'm like no no no pre edit and pre edit my whole pre edited appreciated and light ramon just a tiny bit of background I created in light room I can tell you my download edit and output maybe take thirty minutes procession serious was taken longer in that it's too long here this sitting here editing not where my money's made sitting here with you these weren't make some cash even though I'm not driven by money I'm not really so funny my coaches like totally I work with life coaches like how we're gonna get you motivated for other things like I don't know if that's a personal note that's a whole other segment no no no no oh like they like that one I like that one I do to uh without even better that one's better see how the texture in the background my cameras tilt a little bit because you know I'm a camera filter I forgot to check my horizontal line back there probably just you know crop it and fix it but this is the one place it might fix something but look at how pretty the green eyes behind her and the texture and the books and it feels homey doesn't it may be just me he's so stinking cute I can't even stand it yeah so I mean we have a bunch of these remember I work this for expression so we were working these kids back and forth back and forth and I took a lot of images really working expression I keep talking to them waiting for that ida come up to me waiting for jordan a crack a smile for me oh look ah oh that's a like it I look a lot like a kennedy shell serious ah uh close his eyes oh you close your eyes if you're thinking we're going to basically that I love that you like it yeah there you go you have a family portrait oh yeah I'll take it home and retouch it so anyway so here we go this and this is the whole process so now let's just say we've narrowed it down teo I'm just going to throw a couple of images together we've narrowed it down he loved this one we love this one the uh this one with the whole family I don't know I'm hoping I'm pulling up something decent because I can't really see where I am right now but say these air all your favorites okay great so these are all your feet you're sorry okay it's a great one it is a good one so these are your favorites um we've narrowed it down um these are your favorites that we would consider for a wall portrait we still have thirty two other favorites here in the side panel which I think would be really great way to make an album and we can even throw some of the out takes in there if you want you know some of the silly faces like theo that is fun to throw those an album it's not something you would want to put on a wall but it's definitely something that's fun for an album so anyway out of these favorites um let's pretend these are all family portrait which family portrait d like the best this one yeah I really I really like this so this is a long we're gonna hang in your home and did you measure the wall where it's going to be yeah it's probably have twenty by thirty or so twenty by thirty wall or twenty by thirty portrait you think it's unfortunate area yeah perfect so let's write that down to you that what you want to do with this one um yes okay yeah so when you're twenty you actually it'll probably be a twenty four by thirty okay a little bit taller and we've got great lines in here so actually be appropriate size for that um now we have two different finishes you can do it in we can do it in a classic traditional finnish or we can do in a gallery uh gallery canvas which will be uh the photographic papers removed from the paper backing and it's actually mounted into a canvas paper giving it more of a painter like texture nice thing about it is it's fully laminated and don't need to put glass on top of it so it looks more like an art piece when it's hanging in your home that's a little bit more of a traditional touch style product if you like something a little bit more contemporary we go with this tradition channel style or we can go with say a gallery block and I'd have all these samples in my studio of different options so that do you like more classic I'm option for your home or a little bit more of ah trendy say more modern look a little more trendy okay so maybe like a gallery block with a cool border something like that yeah okay often so yeah so gallery bok is I'm forty two thousand dollars awesome okay and I'll deliver it and hang it for you you should have that straight yeah well um and then do you need any gives for family um yeah we dok great answer just once so let's go back to some of your favorites we're really condensing the sales ocean into like thirty minutes this is the most fun I've ever had to in a non sale sale session oh I get that one two oh oh that's my oh I like that I now see here just so you know at the angle that I was at this one would definitely get crop tony by ten because uh because that chair in the post that was behind them and I can show that to you as well so that's when I just crop to need by ten you've a beautiful door behind you light coming in uh maybe this should be the one I like that one teo yeah so you know that's another option but oh and in just in case I can show it tio let's look at it square I like to make square portrait's quite often um because it's something a little bit different and something that most people don't have in their homes so and it is good for cropping out hips and stuff too awesome just saying and then we can check that we've got fifteen minutes we're good to go so let's look at that see actually like square I like square too well look at that so that we could do a thirty by thirty twenty by twenty sixties by sixty four hundred four hundred four hundred four okay let's do it you're so awesome and let's just take a look at it and see peotone oh absolutely no it's horrible what I'd be like e actually wouldn't even show it to you that way but the nice thing about it is this particular software pro select allows me this option and this is why it's not fun to look at him at home on the internet by yourself like if I just send you to a website that says oh here's some images go look at him and please place in order any time you feel comfortable how am I serving my client like that I'm not but here here's how we could make this happen how here's here's how we can make it a square image which I think will be beautiful and if you wanted to we could do is do a square image in the centre and we could do a rectangular vertical picture of you and your husband on one side and all of the children on the other it would be a little bit smaller but it would make a collage on the wall you know that would be beautiful how can you do that if you're selling your images online I can tell you right now the fastest way to blow your business up into pieces and not make any money is sell your stuff online with the exception of the session was twenty thousand dollars I'm going to post your images online you tell me your favorites and I'll make whatever you want that's the only way I think that works but if you like sprinkle here your image is call me when you're ready please in order please give me money please place an order please buy something beginning eight by ten big mistake you know if you pre sell a package it might be a different story if you're you know package type photographer and hey the session is fifteen hundred dollars and includes a sixteen twenty and includes an album includes this and includes that and you want to pick out personally it still doesn't sit right with me it still doesn't sit right that I don't get to see the expression on my client's face when she sees her images that I worked hard for because you see I work hard for it so I want to see her expression I want to know that she likes him I don't want to just throw them out there into the world and not know now she's going to say to me michelle these are really beautiful but but all of my parents are out of town is there a way for me to post them online once she's placed her order and she's narrowed it down to her favorites and maybe those favorites are fifteen you know these are the ones can can you post them online so my mom can pick her eight by ten different story they'll be up for four days I give you four days I'll let you know when they're up and after four days they expire so if you just leave him up there indefinitely they're not special you know there's no urgency just leave hated your mom pick that no not yet do you want pick that no not yet you know you know what they're gonna we're gonna be taking him down tomorrow you need you do oh yeah yeah yeah I'll call her up and get that so a time limit a sense of urgency right okay so this is what it looks like uh that is great that that's a total out take that goes in the booth scissor what's wrong with you trade and I mean how much fun is it to sit with your client go through this and enjoy the experience with her and you know this is the whole you've gotten to see the whole relationship start to finish from the you know the consultation to getting to know your client having fun with them squeezing them hugging them during the session them coming back seeing their images and then in the long run will actually end up probably going to their homes and deliver the portrait it's a customer service experience it's not I'm just I'm not a body behind a camera handing you a disc for you to figure it out I'm a portrait artist I'm a photographer I sell photography okay huh so you feel happy about that I do I'm really excited for ray so let's go pick up grandma's favorites let's see so grandma who's grandma's favorite no I'm just kidding uh does your husband like to have something for his desk it work oh yeah yeah because they have an office with a wall er cubicle oh cubicle he yeah no corner office I'm just wait now yeah a different client okay just get it but yeah I mean that's a great question is there a space meeting your husband's office where you might want to hang a portrait or your office do you have an office do you have a corner office is there some place in your work you'd like to display port oh yeah okay great okay and then remember with the albums if you purchase two albums you get third one is a gift with purchase so do you think you want to do that today yeah the grand parents will be so excited I really be excited alright great I'm so glad you're thrilled with your portrait it's your balance is forty two million dollars which lady put that on american express or cash cash okay great let's get you home wait million dollars cash and so the more you say the more comfortably given this so your orders forty two million dollars how do you want to pay for that yeah that makes it two thousand I'll order sea like why bother it's like you know I only play the lottery after gets to a certain number of millions you don't normally play but it has to get like two hundred million because if you do the math you only get half because the cash pay on then uncle sam takes not forty percent so released not two hundred millions only like really sixty million so what's point okay all right so there's our sale session and so I give you know trudy a timeframe of when they'll be ready um albums I sometimes we'll say take a little bit longer especially the album's coming from italy they're going to take a little bit longer um generally have two types of albums that we're going to start offering two types of albums uh a moderate price album and then the higher end album because I think for me what I'm going to personally start doing in my business is increased the session fee that includes an album and then everything after that is additional and then you have your choice of this a album or this luxury album so I think that's what I'm gonna do I'm not promising but that's what I have in my mind you know his businesses were always evolve saying we always have to come up with new ways being creative and you're selling our products you have to sell your products in a way that feels really comfortable to you if you're really comfortable handing your files over to clients for for them to do what they want as long as you're getting paid really well for it and that's okay for you okay it's so not okay for me you know and it wasn't okay from me before and I didn't listen to my inner voice the one that client came and say oh you know I really should've just had you it because I haven't done anything with them okay that's the last time I do that so uh daddy and a little girl so there we go do we have any questions from the internet and know that nothing nothing was right okay there is luke collins going in and questions I'm just gonna dive in and ask the first one vintage road ask as a mommy owned company we struggle with people who constantly want evening and weekend appointments how do you deal with maintaining the family friend friendly schedule for yourself and still keeping your clients happy um I usually reserve one night a week for evening appointments so uh based on my husband's schedule he works as a firefighter too you know so he's gone like two days in a row so usually schedule client appointments when he's working and so we have that on the schedule in advance michelle is available tuesday the thirteen or tuesday the seventeenth for an evening point whatever it is you know I'm not thrown out uh realistic numbers um you may do one saturday a month I worked one saturday a month this is the saturday I'm available um I used it for weddings I used to go through my calendar two years in advance and mark off any weekends that I did not want to work and I figure this out because the first years of shooting weddings fourth of july weekend memorial day weekend you know labor day weekend all of sudden I was shooting weddings because I booked them without knowing like oh yeah it's labor day weekend itjust didn't dawn on me and then I realize those weddings will all my friends and family are like barbecues and having a great time and I was missing out on fam anytime so eventually went through I took off birthday weekend's your family birthdays made sure that I was off for holiday weekends and I just said I don't work though weekends because I have a family and a life and I'm available other weekends you know I have a few times clients change dates for me either one because I was booked or two because I just wouldn't work that day because it was my husband's birthday and we're going away for the weekend and I don't want to miss stuff like that so schedule your time make one night a week if you have it available or two nights a week where you'll be willing to work late but that's it don't make exceptions you know your clients do you have to work around you to certain degree try to be a successful accessible as you can but you also have a life you know say this is the evening we reserve for evening appointments this's the saturday we have for saturday appointments I definitely don't work sundays people oh yeah we could do it something like no sunday is family day I have a family I cook sauce on sunday it's you know italian dinner sunday wear beaten by two o'clock and drinking wine by three r I can't do bordering on sunday afternoon all right already people already sauce and one yeah semester has a great question what about those of us who are just starting out and don't have a studio or a room in our homes to do this type of consultation or proof showing I really love how she you does this and would love to incorporate it but I have no place to do it what are some suggestions go to your client's home go to your client's home take your laptop you know um you can actually I'm either like bring like a fold up screen that will fold up you can do presentation right in their home you can see if their tv will hook up to h t m I and hook your computer into their television right most people have a big screen tv you know you can ask if that's possibility hey can I hook my computer into your tv um if not you can use a wall in their home take a small projector you could get a relatively inexpensive projector find one used take it with you take samples of your work with you however you have get it done get it done you know you don't have to have a space you can say you know what I'm so customised I do everything in your home this is not a bad thing you know what I like to have my client's feels comfortable as possible so I do absolutely everything in your home you won't have to go anywhere I just took that I just took that negative I don't have a space at home too well why would I do it anywhere else but your house it's your convenience what would you say that coffee shops and public spaces are to not professional enough or with the suffice as well if that works for you yes but how are you gonna do projection how you gonna show a big portrait how are you gonna do a sales presentation and it can get busy if you have the intimacy of someone's home and they're willing to you at home I think most people would actually rather you come to your home if if you don't have a space for them to go to otherwise you're sitting in a coffee table looking at your laptop I would recommend getting a projector and projecting the image is and um doing the sale at home or like I said I mean my my computer hooks into my tv at home where I sit my consultation room so I went around my computer I've got a wire that goes from my big screen tv right into my computer and I sit literally just like this with a big screen mine is on the wall and I would so so if you can hook in if you have the right cables have a bunch of different people that work with your computer and different tvs reality in your face because I'll leave you with this because it's a lot to think about but here's the thing we have to as photographers understand sort of the buying habits of our clients or at least the emotional buying needs of our clients and what clients value and I get really irritated when people say oh my gosh you're so expensive I can't afford you but they pull up to my studio in or my home and a ridiculously expensive car I know the community they live in I know the house they live in you know I know they have disposable income and and like they're complaining about my price and I know and you kind of know other things about people spend money I'm not that not that I should know that but you like it's not like you're living on food stamps and I'm asking you for a million dollars for a portrait right so a couple of years ago it really upset me that you know these high end clients would walk in and like just so expensive you know I would never spend that kind of money blah blah blah I decided to do a whole take on the priceless uh ad campaign and did a little spin off on it and this is when I was doing infants and families and all kinds of stuff on my hair is longer he can see my hair's longer but anyway um I decided to this sort of in your face reality marketing and my studio manager assistant at times like you cannot do this michael yeah I can she's like no we can't I go yeah I can sew it says forty five hundred square foot house in the country club eight hundred thousand dollars by the way this is a two page spread in a little magazine decorating your house one hundred thousand dollars luxury car to get the kids to school in sixty thousand dollars a little nip and tuck twenty thousand dollars now you have to understand phoenix scottsdale second only to l a in plastic surgery okay it's summery it's warm all the time I'm all for it if you can and you want to great do it I've no problem with it but it's expensive to get a little nip and talk and have the mommy makeover tummy tuck boobs the whole thing I know it's expensive I haven't had it done I'm just saying obviously I haven't had it done but the portrait's that document the relationships of your family priceless what will you leave behind for your children what will you leave behind for your children because I can guarantee you someday they're not going to be fighting over ipods and not going to be fighting over electronics and no jimmy and johnny are definitely not going to be fighting over your left and right silicone breast so you spent all this money on your body which is great I'm all for it but then don't discount this and the power of this how important it is to your children and what do you leave it behind you get buried with everything else this is what you leave behind for your and the girl worked for me that time was like oh hell no you can't do that I'm like oh yeah I can and I'm going to have people don't get it they don't get it then they're not my client right I had so many women say you are so right you're so right you know my husband just spent ten thousand dollars on an in house surround sound studio system for the big screen tv that he bought and he spent all that money on that you know what I want my family portrait I do and I'm in it I'm just going to do it because you're right it's worth it I had so people responded positively to this I was trying to make a statement and people were pretty excited that I was bold enough to say that uh selling your wall portrait's we actually just went through this with trudy using projection pro select online sales of portrait ce the number one worst thing you could possibly do for your business the worst in my honest opinion

Class Description

Learn family photography from Michele Celentano! You'll learn how to pose and light groups, but to be a family photographer you also have to be a psychologist, director, sales manager, a marketing director and postproduction expert. Spending three days with Michele will help you find the style of family portraits that you love, learn how to create portraits that illustrate family relationships and learn how to work with people of all ages, from newborn to 99.