Senior Photography: Break the Mold


Lesson Info


Now packaging that's another form of unconventional marketing that a lot of people really missed the boat on with your packaging, you want to make sure that your packaging matches your brand, you want to make sure that matches your quality because you can have a great quality product and you send it out in a duffel bag and it looks like garbage again, like I said yesterday, it doesn't feel right don't send it out like this in the box that it came in, you know, it feels better don't do that. How many of you people shouldn't say you people, it doesn't sound right how many of my wonderful friends aren't here on this panel would ever sign any of your prince with a pin like before it went out, you know, just say, okay, you sign them, uh used not to do that, I was like, may I can't bring myself to mark on their picture, they would be mad at that. What famous artist do you ever know that really didn't sign his sign his work because he wanted his name on it? So everything that is above an eigh...

t by ten anything you must tell you if it's bigger than eight by ten it's getting my signature on it signature is golden, you're going to be in someone's house or someone's going to be in your friend's house and they're going to see that they're going to say, wait a minute, I recognize that signature. I've seen that before somewhere. So the more you get it out there, the better off you are. Let it be a standard. Don't ask people, you know. Do you mind if I sign your picture? It's your picture it's a standard of what you do, show what you want to sell. Have everything that you ever show anybody that's bigger in eleven fourteen have your signature on it. Make sure that your signatures on it, if they come into your studio and you have blank portrait's up with no signature and all of a sudden you signed their picture, they're going to wait a minute. Why did you do that? You didn't do it. Any other ones have to lead by the example that you want people to be. The pans that I use are very, very, very good pins for writing own pictures, and I use these right here, these deco color I think they're made by mar v m a r v e y marty and I used the extra find decco caller opaque paint marker. I do him either and silver or gold if I have something has brown tones or, you know, whatever I used the gold something that looks better in silver obviously uses silver a black and white portrait not some with the gold because it makes it really stand out. So don't be afraid to sign your images it's your work you worked hard on it put your name on it it's going to go as a form of unconventional marketing that you never really intended to bring you business but your signature will become noticeable for sure now a lot of people struggle with packaging, and I even thought a while back of opening a packaging company I said, you know what? Photographers were very limited on what we can use and where we can go because no one makes anything specific to photographers and I still have yet to really find much of anything that was very affordable specifically for photographers, so what? I've had to do it I've done a lot a lot of work for you, so you don't have to go out and search the country sound like I have and I'm gonna give you some things here that are gonna work for you for your packaging. I'll show you exactly how we package everything, how we make it really, really simple and we do it on a very, very small budget first thing that we use for images anything less than eleven by fourteen so eight by ten and under they go into clear bags and their website is very, very difficult to remember but if you can remember clear bags he still make myself it's not anything very very fancy but it just protects the print and it looks good from there we take those and we put those into tissue paper we get tissue paper that matches our brand that kind of looks like my studio right and national wraps that's where we buy that and let me say this you don't get anything from these companies these companies don't even know who I am I'm just showing you where I get it from and you know I don't I'm not afraid to tell someone where to go because they don't give me anything I'm not going to share with you I mean it took me years to find people that would do that would provide this stuff that I wanted to use so that's what I used I used tissue paper we wrapped the prince upin the tissue paper and then we have a box a plain black box we don't go for anything like super super frilly there you know I may do that, but it cost me too much money and I feel like packaging you can do it on the budget still gets your point across without spending fifteen dollars per box that goes out and me for me it's just not in my budget I don't want to do it and we get those from wildcat wholesale and they have various different sizes of boxes eight by ten eleven fourteen sixteen twenty go all over the place and then what we do to trick it out make it look a little bit better is sometimes these companies will offer screen printing I checked into that it was like three hours and fifty cents a box I was like okay gotcha I'll call you right back no I'm not gonna pay that to get a box spring printed but I could get a sticker company and I could get a sticker made for next to nothing and achieve the same look but on a much smaller budget and I get all these stickers printed at this website right here wait for it there it is sticker giant dot com official certified blair fellows wall decor it's portia is an original creation design blah blah blah blah blah bonded to gator board but professional retire photographic artisans I want to make this portrait feel like it's an art piece so there again I put a little sticker from that same company and we get another sticker made and it goes on the back of every wall porch sure that goes out and when we woke him up front and we show it to him we say hey, you know what it's been stand this officially certified about barefoot photography and it's building my brand is building recognition the other photographers in the air not going to go through the effort, they're not going to spend thirty four cents on a sticker that's just way too much. You've got to be out of your mind, but I'm okay with doing that because, like I said, when you're sitting down the first of you of your year and you know, you're trying to figure out where to go with your pricing, you have to figure all this stuff in your pricing, so if you haven't your eight by ten, your figure eight by ten calls, you know, like well made by ten doesn't cost me much. I can sell it for ten dollars, and I'm still doing pretty good you have to take into account everything and that's where a lot of this kind of mess up, you have a quick question ready? Yeah, I do something like that, but what I do is I put reorder the marone, okay for family members that says, hey, I like the picture they could call mesa halik wait, you don't have to dig through on figure out, you know what? That is a great idea. I might go back and do this and somehow in corporate and I could even see you doing it like on the bottom right hand side of the screen but do it in a fund that looks more commercialized you know I mean or maybe matches your brand I would say make it even stand down and look like a serial number or some that's a really good idea I'm gonna have to remind me of that one word from me like that here creative love we're not only learning with with their online audience but you guys are teaching me things this is great any other tips you guys have feel free to keep him calm and I like that randy but yeah that's great but I've had clients calling and saying you know I like to reorder you know another one and you have to flip it over you have to there's a sequence of numbers have to make sure they're giving you the right sequence of numbers and yeah that's a great idea great idea rainy is a matter of fact if you don't mind I'm going to hit the restroom and since you got such good information I'll let you come up and just finish this up for you I'm kidding randy randy just turn greatest day was like you're like wow okay so again don't be afraid to spend a little bit of money and again how many times did I say yesterday it's not about seeing how much money you can spend don't be a spendthrift that is what I love about this this uh this city they were in everyone in this city seems very organic and there spend conscious instead of like where I live where everyone is a spendthrift that's why I hear there's probably more well I don't know but out on the street people riding their bikes they're saving money they're saving time I love that when I get done from here I'm gonna walk back over to the to the grocery store this organic grocery store and just sit and watch people like they bring in their own bags in which is so foreign to me where I live where I am it's like yeah sorry could you just put one item in each bag these plastic bags I want to have a whole bunch of them because I'm going to use him for something else at home it's ridiculous ridiculous um yesterday we talked about this one is well the wall decor where we hang that on again unconventional marketing it's in all this authenticity label it's going to add value and it also confirms that it is artwork so it makes it turns it into an art piece I'm not just selling a picture or a photograph for an image I'm telling my client I'm creating you, eh? A wall art piece to go on your wall and talkto you know, talking about to say, you know I wanna outfit you're you're home with artwork use different terminology to raise your sales to raise your solidify your pricing packaging we talked about that to give him everything it's a print care card that justified feeling and it is it instills pride in your product if you don't have a tremendous amount of pride in your words it's probably going to show probably gonna show right so you want to instill that pride in your product because if you show a great deal of care in it and obviously they will is well now people ask all the time what do you do with it framed piece that comes in I don't want to buy a big o a great big box for a frame piece I want to do that is going to cost me like fifteen dollars I don't want that because in all the customer is going to do is they're going to go home they're going to just throw in the garbage that's more waste in our land feel so you're doing a couple of things here you're saving money and you're being green you know you're you're saving our land field and I'm not trying to get all organic on you here but I'm just saying I have children do you have children? We gotta think about our future so that's one way if you ever have that client that argues with you about well um later asked a lot of meat on that why is that not in the box? I'm gonna need this in a box you can explain it that way and if your client argues with you over that if you say well, listen here plateful of photography we're doing our part to reduce your carbon footprint I have children you have children I'm just doing my part just as I'm sure that you do at home if they argue with you over that and let him argue if they do they're there are more on but I love it now I thought about this too we said, you know what? A lot of people they probably liketo have something like that and they could put on there you know, on their own artwork so and true blair phillips photography fashion we have made that available for you guys go to go to my workshop page playfulness workshops dot com we have the template available there free of charge and you go to h and h and it's a five a seven designer card and we just make it into a tag so player phillips workshops dot com you can get a free template there free of charge absolutely free and then inside of those packages why don't you leave him more to think about? Think about your bag at when you check out at a boutique they're going to throw in that hey, we've got a sale that's going to start next monday they throw that little flyer down in there when you get home maybe read it. Maybe you don't, but for that client that pulls it out and says, wait a minute, save forty percent for every hundred dollars you span. Well, then that's a reason to go spend a hundred dollars, right? So if you don't put it in there, if you don't show it, they don't know that it's gonna happen now, does that mean that every person you put something in their order is going to read it and know that something else is available? No, but don't punish the people that will buy don't punish them, so you throw it in there and that's exactly what we do. We put exclusive gift items in there, just in case they don't remember that it was there. Upcoming sprechen er specials or specials depends on where you're from prada post sales so after their sale you want to let them know again? Hey, don't forget about us, the these air still available, the ones you didn't buy and that's another card. We've got this all pre designed, so all you have to do is just drag and drop your images in there and you can change the burbage you can change the colors, you can change whatever you want to and we're going to give you one of these templates is whales already made for you you go that workshop page you can download it absolutely free when you go there throw through all the pages that maybe on the third page the fourth page the fifth page I'm not really sure so when we're talking about framing pictures what did they go out in? Well, most people don't drive a pickup truck and going to throw the print in the back of a pickup truck with hay bales unless you live in my area I'm kidding. Um so again this is how we package him they come to me with this type of packaging so instead of tearing all that all and then repackaging it you know I'm just going to give it just like this I keep the frame corner zone it call it a day a tire print care card on it and what do you do now? What do you have and what I do to protect that is my client now this is a really good point right here that I want to make my client pics of their images I have them sign off on everything okay? We bring all their images up, we take them all out of the packaging, lay them all out tell my client look, I mean, inspector, all these images and we're going to check him off together off my call sheet you got number forty eight five by seven okay here's eight by ten let my fourteen you got twenty eight twenty nine thirty when you say to see this all satisfactory gotta form here won't you just sign and this basically just says, you know that I delivered your order satisfactory nothing was wrong and you know, it lets me know that me and my staff have done a nice job for you and they're like, okay, they read through and it says once you leave the studio if you realize something is not right or your prints are damaged or whatever blair phillips is no longer responsible what does that mean if a client calls and says layer I just spilled coffee all over my wall portrait and I'm going to do my husband is going to kill me does that mean I'm going to say, well, honey, I'm sorry you signed off on it too bad no, I'm going to say, listen, mary, don't worry about it at all I'm gonna take great care of you, but every once in a while you have that little trivial thing where someone says, well, blair, she calls him back blair I thought all that sixteen twenty that we were going to make that black and white no here on the order form that you signed off on your way went over it twice we went over it and the order session and when you picked it up in a sense here in my nose and matter of fact, what I'll do is I'll scan a copy of an e mail it to you just say you have because I don't want you to think that you know that we made a big mistake here. I don't know what what exactly happened, but let me shoot that to you right quick, take a good look at it and, you know, let me know where to go from there. They've signed off on it plain as day now, in that case, I'm probably not going to say, well, you know, okay, I'll get you another one because I'm going through the proper channels, going through the proper channels to make sure that that's not gonna happen. Now what do you do if they do not have a frame? Oh, another thing. I carry it out to the car for them. Any wall portrait I carried out of the car, they open their car. I make sure everything is where it needs to be. I turn it face down and I let it ride. Now, when I leave it, I say, all right, now, listen, this baby's yours now be careful, okay? Be careful because it's yours and then I walk away and normally I give him a hug pat him on the ramp and off we go I don't do that last part that would be a little much now what do you do if what if they don't buy a frame you know so well what do you do with a client that doesn't buy a frame? Well, our lab when they send us our images they are wrapped in an awesome like foam pad type stuff and we of course you know we untaes pit we don't rip it into shreds we a n't tape it they're very clever and how they do it because they want you to re use it as well we on tape but we open it up and we lay it out we inspect the print, we signed it, let it dry put it back in that package that came in it's not very pretty, but that's how we give it back and we say, hey it's already protected it came from missouri this way so I can give it to you it can go twenty miles right? Exactly glad you all agree with me. All right let's talk a little bit about client gifting that's another form of unconventional marketing and it's something that doesn't have to cost you a lot of money it doesn't have to cost a lot of money and it will boost your image when I say boost your image meaning that your clients will start to put you up only even more of a pedestal than they already do so you want to give gifts that are within a budget that doesn't mean that I have to go to go to a coffee shop and buy a twenty five dollar gift card and send to them I can do something that cost me two dollars and it could have way more effect than a twenty five dollar gift card could all right so what I do here I showed you the product yesterday I'm gonna show you what I do with it today we take a simple thank you know simple thank you card now yesterday I didn't tell you this but today we also have another free template so if you want to download this exact card right here so you don't have to design one you can have your very own personal thank you notes now what we do with these is and I think I've got my slot in here for just a minute let me keep going forward and I'll show you what we do with them also part of client gifting thes t shirts what's really hot in my area is camouflage I don't get it but it's camouflage so we have camouflage shirts with bright orange onem the kids they wear those things everywhere but the trick is nothing against these types of shirts. They're great, but the hanes beefy tees, those they're great shirts, great shirt, but for my application that choose to go a little bit of a different route. It's a little more expensive, but I go to a clothing store and I'll find them in their own sail normally coals or someone like now finding their own sail and I'll get those burn out t shirts really, really cheap. I take him to the screen printer and when I get him printed, just say if the whole shirt cost me six dollars, I sell it for six dollars, I lose money on it. We'll have to count my time, but I would much rather have these shirts all out everywhere. There's, a local restaurant that we go to. I went in and gave everyone of the ladies and they're one of my shirts and I said, listen, how about on thursdays, everybody where their shirt I like cool, I don't have to find anything to wear, so you go in there on a thursday and all the ladies in there wearing it, and it says you should be shot black phillip photography so it's a conversation piece conversation piece it did cost me money, but think about how many people are seeing that think about it beware of imitators people lo love love these shirts now what I do with these thank you cards I think this next one is a video I think well, cute is a video I think it's a video I made a short little video before I left just to show you exactly how this is gonna work. Client gifting is the best unconventional marketing anything up so let's, check this out. Yes. Every portrait we received from a change color lab there is basically a call she eight of artwork that follows that image from basically the conception at the lab all the way through to a final product. And then they take that call sheet and they tape it to the front of our order so it basically just follows it all the way to my doorstep and instead of just taking that call sheet off and just thrown it away, we decided, hey, why can't we use this in a way that's more positive than throwing away its a free product to us? And why don't we figure out a way to give that back to the client? Just take your subject, put it inside the little charm here that you've already pre cut and fill it with marge podge and let it dry for basically three hours and once it dries, it will be clear you can see straight through it put a charm on it, and you've got a virtually free gift that will keep on giving easy enough. Now, these little things that we buy, we buy these blank charms from the craft store it's just a blank charm that you can glue things in. You can do whatever you want to with, and we with that call sheet, I cut out the image of the little face, drop it right down in here, and then this is a finished product. Now, is this the most high end product in the world? Probably not, but is your client going to be like, oh, my gosh, I cannot believe that you made this for me and sent it to me without me even asking for it. So something think about when I'm when a new mom gets this in the mail, you don't think she's going to tell her friends about that? You don't think she's going to sport that thing for a few days at least, but she's definitely gonna call you and just tell you how much he appreciates it. This right here, calculating everything that I've got in it, it is less than three dollars, I can buy these things by the dozen, you can buy a dozen of these, I get when they're forty percent off, and I want to get a dozen of them for two, ninety nine or three ninety nine or something that's ridiculous pennies on the dollar but little things that you can do like that make a wealth of difference think about an intern that's a great job for an intern to do from a school great job for her to do custom packaged gum alright little things you can do that don't cost a lot of money on conventional marketing throw those out to your clients like hey man your breath is rank here before you leave grab one of these as a joke though as a joke kids toys when kids come in before they leave I will go grab these toys put him on the floor, get down in the floor with them and roll around and play with him let him pick one out and I play with him people love to see interacting with their kids they love to see you gifting with their kids you convert all this stuff super cheap the dogs or e oh oreo trying in oriental trading dot com these things are like five cents probably I'll let kids grabbed through form of they want seasonal gifts right? We take we take bags like paper bags and we time together up top and we shred them all up and we put another bag inside of it it'll stick coming out of it, fill it full of candy corn just another form of hey, client gifting. Take one of these home with you. And again, that is the job of an intern. Not solely. But we want to teach them what you have to do to maintain the business.

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.