Marketing Q&A


Senior Photography: Break the Mold


Lesson Info

Marketing Q&A

I like the little charm thing that was pretty cool. I could see that as a mother yeah absolutely absolutely yeah, what you ran you anything stick out for you well, going back to the glamour shots yeah, what you doing for the guys for the guys were doing absolutely nothing way haven't I didn't really I haven't got that for you. I just focused on the girls and I went that direction so remember I was saying I kind of kind of try and focus on one thing at a time and get it down pat and then go for something else so that raises a good point though my first thought maybe sport shots yeah, exactly that and that's a maybe you fix them up with their sporting equipment and instead of just like how to hold a football you're trying to figure out a way to make it really extreme so I don't know that's a good point because you have to whatever you do for the guys you know you really need to do for the are what you do for the girls you need to do for the guys as well. So yeah that's a very good point ...

that you make there so don't lose sight of the guys even though only shoot about five percent guys still need to have it there because if I don't have it available, what are they not going to do buy it exactly exactly somebody else will do it that's exactly right? What else do we have? What's what is that lovely internet viewers saying here what we got? They love the gum the god come where did you get that come? Are you actually putting that packaging on yourself way actually get it just like that? And you know what? That is something I'm gonna have to ask my wife because I do not remember that but I promise you that I will get you that information. I can't. I don't remember it was wildcat wholesale. I want to say it was wildcat wholesale travel wildcat wholesale dot com see if that's it and if that's not I'm going to check and I will get that information for you guys. I promise. Sorry, I don't have that no problem there quite a few people see octoberfest wendy anne and mary ann when you were talking about giving someone a session in order to use their images for promotional material, for example, for the plastic surgeon's office who is paying for that session? Yeah, that's a great point that's what I was saying that session is pro bono on ly thing they're going to pay for all their prints and everything, but I'm giving them the session fee for free so they don't have to pay this session fee but they are anything that they order they're going to be responsible for paying for and the way you don't get yourself in a mess is don't book that appointment and then come in and think, well, he said I was coming to get a session and I figured I could just get whatever I wanted so you have to communicate with your clients soon as they call let them know hey yes he's nice enough to by the session for you, which he really did and I gave it to him free but he was nice enough to buy the session for you, you know, but what you know, of course, if you any of the pictures you want you're responsible for paying for I think you have a quick question we'll come right back if you pose surprising on your intent on the web right and that's a good question, you know, do outpost pricing on the internet? I don't and I'll tell you why I don't do that. I feel like that if I can if I can have five minutes of conversation with you, I can justify why I charge what I do if you look at my prices and we'll just throw a number out say I charged a thousand dollars for anybody in all right you're going to say you're going to slam the phone down and say you're a moron there's no way I'm going to pay that for a print but if I can talk let's just say it's a hundred let's be realistic it's one hundred dollars you're like there's no way I'm gonna pay that for a print but if I can call if you can call me and I can talk to you and I can let you know my personality my training, my background how you're going to be serviced the level of quality you're going to get the number of poses I'm going to do the type of training I'm had the type of studio I have the type of everything I have I feel like I can validate that for you and then at that point then pricing is kind of like the last thing on your mind so I think if you throw your price is out there you could scare people away by saying whoa that's expensive but if you could tall them talk them into our talk to them for a few minutes you can let them know why you charge what you charge so personally I don't let's go back to an intern and I have a few more okay yeah we want to make sure let's see you said there are templates on your website can you go more into those templates? Some are free and some are not can you clarify what is actually the ones that are free if ugo we have a session on there for free download you click onto those does air absolutely free and then the ones that are not free obviously that we have senior templates for you know, for cards such as this for graduation announcements all sorts of things and those are obviously about available for purchase so yeah, just fish around on there and if you have any questions whatever, you always choose an email be glad to help you okay, thanks thank you so much for clarifying that alright, there are lots of questions on unconventional marketing because every slide it was like a whole new topic it was like tons of stuff came in a lot of good stuff all right, so cat tin ask early photography says I've been visiting businesses I want to mark it with but they all so far have had other photographers already placed they don't really seem to want another photographer to help promote how do you get around that offer them something better and cat to nascar nasally is from and dallas forth worth area question yeah, that is a great question their cat what I would do in a situation like that is you know you don't want you don't want to share a spot with another photographer, you know you don't want to you don't want to try and get into a bidding war and try and do it way better than they do and go in and bad mouth that other photographer and say, well, look, let me show you what I can do way better than this guy, you don't want to get into that sense kind of the wrong message, so what I would do is if it was a business I really wanted to get into, I would walk in, and if they said I'm already working with someone, I would say, well, look, you know, I want to do is just share with you a little bit of who I am and what I do and no harm done, so I would plead what I do want to say what I do, talk about what I do show some examples, and I would say, and I just picked up a dance studio of two hundred fifty kids by doing this very same thing I went in and I said, you know what, if anything, at any time, you're not one hundred and ten percent satisfied with the service you're getting and you don't like the partnership is a is a you know to a st louis my card and just give me a call, you know? And I hope everything will work out for you because I wish the best for the entire for and I wish the best for you and then just leave it alone and that's what I did for the dance studio and two weeks later that lady called me back and she said, you know what? That's what she said blair, you said to call you when I'm not one hundred ten percent happy she said about ninety percent happy I'm kind of interested in what you had to say I'm like ho your own it wounded pigeon I'm the hulk remember that oh yeah I got her they booked we got it so that's what I would do is always take the high road because there's a lot less traffic up there. Remember that? All right. Next question is from infinity len studio in a texas bill from texas hey there. Uh when you do your cross marketing with other companies like the dentist, for example, obviously you don't want people thinking it's all a one way and they stopped sending your clients. How do you refer back to them in a tactful way? Yeah, what I do is I donate prince art off his clients to go into a consultation room and into his lobby so I donate back to him images from those sessions I'll have campuses printed and I will physically take them and hang them myself so part of the agreement wass was I put those in the removal bags but I also wanted some of your real estate in here I wanted to put some prints up and I told him I said, look, I will give these to you at no cost to you I will buy them and I will personally hang them up and I said they're your clients there your work that you've worked on their teeth so that's exactly how we handle that it is a two way street absolutely great question texas is tearing it up down there I know they're actively listen and I love it all right another question from apple ashley before moving on yeah finishing up okay right on this is from apple ashley as I said when you put the complimentary session cards such as the braces removal cards what kind of session are you giving away? Is it a full two hour session or something more like a mini session and that's a great question too? It depends on the vibe that I get from that client you know, if I get the vibe that they understand my pricing and they're like okay, you know, after I tell about the minimum order and they're like ok, way want to do it it depends on when they get there, if I feel like if they just bring, like, one outfit because that's, what happens a lot of times, he would just bring the one out there like, you know, I just figured it was just a, you know, just a little session that we could, you know, you could take care of, then I'll only do maybe thirty, forty five minutes or an hour I'll sit and talk with him and build that relationship, but now if they come in and they've got a full regalia with, um, with all their outfits and things, and I'm kind of feeling the vibe that you know what this is, this is gonna work out pretty well, then I may shoot the full two hour session, but I think the thing to do is ask them on the phone, you know, hey, this is your your celebration time. We're going to treat this, and you want to treat this as, like, a family portrait session or a senior session where this is like your for a long session that, you know, we're gonna really deck you're home out with some awesome images, and she have your braces off, and they say that's exactly we're looking for then I'll say bring every outfit you can think of will make it a full on to our session so you know, I think it just depends on your communication if you wanted to be an hour session, make it an hour if you wanted to be a to make it a two but you have to pre qualify that client for sure and let them know that hey, the session is free but then we have to go into photographer mode and explain that hey, this is a regular session that you're gonna be responsible for paying for you definitely got to do your groundwork so let's move forward and give just a few more slides here and let's talk about some unconventional ways to give back everyone loves animals most people and it is amazing to me the amount of money that people will spend on their animals and donating back to a good calls that involves animals is a great way to get right to people's heart and to make yourself feel better. So you use your craft in an unconventional way too do good for someone else and what I did was I picked a local humane society in my area and the first year I did it I worked with the humane society the second year I picked a veterinarians office that takes in any stray that you want to bring and they will rehabilitate and get that dog back to help so they have a great big kennel that they have to facilitate and take care of all these animals it's a no kill shelter and I said you know what? That is a kind of I want to make sure that my money stays in my community here and that's what I did so we put together paul's and calls it's a way for people to donate and then it's a way for me to shoot and then it's a way for the animal hospital or the veteran areas office to receive something good and on the back end blade or not it's a really good way to drum up some revenue who knew so you could do something good you can shoot it they can receive it, you can donate it and then you can actually make money from it too. Now making money was the last thing on my mind from doing this but with every person that came in I said, listen that's what we're gonna do it we had a big drive I had things printed took himto every veterinarians office anywhere I could think of petsmart anywhere when you're doing something for free, people will let you put things out so I went in and said, listen, we're trying to raise something for these for the for the shelter and I said for every fifty pound bag of dog food you bring in so you bring your dog in a fifty pound bag of dog food I'm going to give you a free eight by ten of your animals I had a boy set and a girl set people brought their dogs in I photographed him I put little two twos that we made on them they brought in little things to put on whatever and I basically that I photographed animals all day long now what I did wass was I loaded two great big there was a long bed pickup trucks I loaded them things all the way up over the cab two of them with fifty pound bags of dog food. I mean, it was the trucks were like weighted down all right, two things happen we call the newspaper and I said, hey, I won't let you know that we're doing this event here you know, if you have somebody that would love to do a story it's a feel good story because in your newspaper are read your newspaper religiously and unfortunately there's a lot of bad news in there every day but I would love to see your paper be able to put something positive out in the community I think people would really love this they were like, oh my gosh that's a great idea with our editor somebody needs to get out there right now so they sent someone out total when we're going to do it, they took pictures of me, I stage it was like picking up dog food, and I had to cut all shirt on at that time, but I want to make muscles look big for like, so I made myself look really good when I was doing it, um, and one of the paper, it was a great press, great press, and what I'm going to do differently this year is I'm going to contact all the big name dog dog food companies, and I'm going to say, look, man, what's it was fifty bags of dog food, do you guys like, help us out here? I'll send them pictures of the newspaper clippings that we had, I'll send them information from the kennel, and I'll put together a letter, you know, that solidifies everything and validates it. And who knows? My goal this year is toe have, like, a tractor trailer load. I mean, who knows the potential? And it feels so good at the end of the day to do that so good, and I'm doing something good for things that don't have a voice. So it's it's marketing is unconventional and makes you money, but, you know, all I did with the money was I just help me take care of paying for staff that was there to help me take care of paying for everything it took to clean up the dog pee pee and, uh, it took care of buying the prince, you know, anything above and beyond that I would donate back to him. So it's a feel good story I love doing things like that and three aircraft for your service figure out a way to give back every once in a while and I promise that I'll come back to you. Good karma goes a long way newspapers if you're doing something in your community or you just feel like that you know what I'd like to be in the newspaper? You can't just call the newspaper and say, hey, yeah, I'm a pretty cool photographer can you come come to a story on me? No one of my clients happen to be a writer for the newspaper I was like, oh, we write for the newspaper how great come here, girl you appeared I did something for her she did something good for me when I was first starting out the one down on the bottom says picture this it was another one said there's, a new shooter in town this was that the art of photography they did three big articles on us, like one every year and I had people call in saint has saw this added this your write up in the newspaper and I'm not really into photography, but I just wanted to tell you I felt really compelled by your story and what you're doing for your community and I wanted to say good job like awesome sweet informs the community of who you are like who is this guy? What is he doing? So don't be afraid to reach out there don't be afraid to exhaust every avenue that you can think of if you think that it won't work and that's even more reason to go try because sometimes some of your biggest mistakes that you could make it and that may turn into some of your biggest, you know adversaries who knows who knows but encourage you to get out there and if there's no idea that is dumb no idea that his own there's another one up here I wanted to show you guys this is a bag tag for like a diaper bag or something like that this is the back of it and then this is the front of these air to twins. Now I can give this mom maybe two to three two weeks after she comes in for her session about one these bag tags from my lab throw it in the mail, put inside with these thank you cards she is going to definitely hope that on her bag everywhere she goes and plops her back down someone's going to see and say oh my gosh look at that where did you get that and she's going to say old girl let me just tell you none other than blake phelps photography don't even think about going anywhere else because he is the man so little things you can do go a long way so spread your money out a little bit and at the end of the month you know our throughout the month do this right here seven for me one for you are twenty five for you for me one for you throw a dollar side and do little things like this that at a lot of value see what happens there we'll go back to the to the online audience and see if there's any questions right after we answer you worse you're gonna adopt ideas because they give you another set off pictures that you could market to a new market yeah that you could kind of brian child without too much wrist that's exactly right like with dogs animals do you have any idea how much money people will spend on their animals? Pictures I have ladies that were coming in with these little dogs they just she's like yeah I just spend one hundred twenty dollars getting groomed I don't want to get messed up and I'm like you francis uh you need to come back for a full session one day and she will and you can make more money off of it that way and it's not necessarily all about making money you know but let's face it we all have to make money people say well I love photography I just love the art of it so you know it's not about charging a lot of money I just love it the people they're saying that are the people that aren't doing it for a living you know they have another job supports and there's nothing wrong with saying that I love the tire if you just as much as anybody but I have to get paid for my work as well. So yeah great point let's see what the internet saying all right people are loving this by the way good good content it's just awesome all right one thing that I think that people really like the idea of was actually signing your prince and so a couple questions came out sure about that would you sign your proper name or your studio name if you let's say you have a different right yeah yeah I signed my name my personal name and I don't necessarily try to make it like very ledge a vel very prim and proper I've signed my name the same way since I was old enough to write probably and if you'll look right here that's house on my name and that's not a very you know that's not very legible but you know, you look a salvador dali you know, you look at people like that you can't read necessarily that says salvador dali but you can recognize it because you've seen it enough and so I choose to sign my name the way that I was signing if I were signing a check just like a doctor that way you know I can reproduce it every time is well, so good question. Yeah. And how about those marketing pieces that you give the orthodontist or the dentists were for example, those prints are those also sign yes, every print it leaves offices and especially those and even on those I was signing even larger than I would on a customer's print because I really want them to see it. And with that no one's going to complain I consign this biggest I want to, so I really want to get that message across and in that aspect so yes, everything has a signature created a za piece of art. Okay, cool next question is again from apple ashley when setting out albums or images at local businesses do you have to ask the clients who are in the albums or images permission to display them and same thing goes for pets and that second question was from m design yeah, em design and apple. Ashley has a great question as well in our model release form that is already covered. And one of the lines of the model release formed. It says that blair phillips retired. He reserves the right to use all of these images for promotional material or basically any way that we see fit. So we have all that stuff documented in the fine print. And, you know, do I sit and read every single line with that client? No. Do I say, hey, I'm a post. These images are I may put these in an album that megadose along when there you cool with that? No, ask them that, but they have the opportunity to read it and you know, if something ever happens and they said, you know what? I did not want my images in there, we'll deal with that accordingly, but I've never had that issue. And, you know, if someone has a big problem with it and it's gonna cause a problem, even though they signed it, what do you do in that situation? Do you say, will you sign it? I don't care or do you be the big guy, and so you know what, don't worry about it, buddy out, I'll take that out, I'll take care of for you

Class Description

Are you ready to add a new, lucrative dimension to your photography business? Join award-winning photographer Blair Phillips for an introduction to everything you need to know about taking portraits for high school seniors.

In this three-day course, you’ll learn about how to market yourself to the high school audience, no matter where you live or who you know. Blair will discuss his signature techniques for effortless, versatile posing. You’ll also learn everything you need to know about both off-camera and natural lighting, including how to create foolproof lighting setups, even if you’re working without an assistant. Blair will also cover strategies for creating a productive workflow and working confidently in a wide variety of settings.

By the end of this course, you’ll have be equipped with the core marketing techniques and one-of-a-kind photography skills needed to connect with high school seniors, give them results they’ll love, and grow your business.


a Creativelive Student

Blair is great. This class is packed full of great info and is a genuine good hearted person.. Really like his approach with high school seniors. I recommend it.


Loved watching Blair Phillips. He has so much energy and is very entertaining to watch. He was extremely well prepared and did a fantastic job.