Rethink Products


Senior Photography: Break the Mold


Lesson Info

Rethink Products

I'm going to share with you guys a few more ways that we rethink our products and also in this segment I said, you know what? I want to allow for a few more questions this time because the last few segments I've had a lot of information to get through, so I want to really open up someone the internet I want you to dig really deep and now would be a great time to cue up some questions of things that may not necessarily be related to something I talked about just five minutes ago, but even if it's something in the very beginning that you'd like to go on recap and say you know what, I've thought about it for two days and I really want to ask this question now big time to really dig deep same thing for you guys, anything at all there's nothing. I'm sorry there's almost nothing off limits. So it's not just about diversifying yourself through products because anyone khun anyone khun, take this water bottle and sell it but it's the way you do what you do to this water bottle and how you marke...

t that water bottle you know, take a regular water bottle and I turned it into something to make a profit and it's not it's, not something really cheesy, you know, sometimes like I said, a mouse pad that's honestly let's face it that could be pretty cheesy I mean it really can write a mouse pad but if I could take a mouse pan and put a really cool design with it and make it my brand am I still am I embarrassed that I sell a mouse pad no cannot be a high end studio and sell a mouse pad of course one hot so you can take something that is deemed as you know who that is kind of cheesy let's face it you could turn it no no profit and you can make it trendy and then what we do with a lot of these products is right around the holiday right around the holiday we really, really, really start to push because they can make great christmas gifts, right? So who wouldn't say that I've never had a grandmother come in and buy twelve mouse pads ever? So think about this what if oh here's a good idea what about at a christmas? You go back and you just you use one of our templates various template we have christmas card template says. Well, imagine that and you download some of those templates and you just go ahead and pre make all you're doing is dragging an image in that's all you're doing and you just pre make a ton of those from some of your best clients that you've had throughout this past year and you send them in an email form with a copy right over the front of it says, hey, I took some time today and I made this up a design this for you. Keep in mind we can change this sum, but I wanted to offer this to you for a christmas card because I know the holidays are going to be pretty tough. Everybody's busy, but I have christmas cars. Maybe you didn't know about that. You didn't know I had holiday cards. Now if you want it, you can order it, I'll send it to you. You don't have to go anywhere. Think about so take those regular products using your advantage. Be creative with, um they are walking advertisements, as I mentioned earlier, when a mom gets this she's going to show this to everybody, she can think of everybody, she goes to get tires put on her car, she's going to show somebody in the tire shop exactly what our daughter's announcements look like. Christmas cards people are going to show their christmas cards they're going to carry their christmas card in their in their wallet are in their pocketbook and the women are going to show people their christmas card because it's, indicative of my brand of taking a regular product. Of added my brand to it, and there you have it, same thing with press products, any kind of press products. Look at some of these press products here, all right? This is this is one that reflects this. This couple's brand are actually this is this family. This reflects their brand. They were avery subdued, very clean, very proper family. But what did I do? I went on this very first one, and I put these little pearl things on here just to add value to it. It takes maybe a minute now. Do I do this toe all one hundred fifty cars that they ordered? No, absolutely not. But I put this one on the very top of that stack and wrap him up, so when she gets him, she sees this. Now if she wants them all done this way, she can have them done it's going to cost her because I've gotta I've gotta have one of my interns do it. I'm not going to do it, but I can up charger about twenty five percent or so. So don't be afraid to try innovative things with your products here. Don't be afraid to do that now think about iphone cases, everybody in here that has an iphone, everybody out there that has an iphone you most of us have a case on it. Most of us have a case of some sorts. Now check this out. Look at the cases that I used to hold these up here. All right? This is a custom iphone case, obviously. And I do not use this one with this girl's picture on it. That would be kind of weird, but her mom has won. She has won. Her dad has won. And they recently bought grandma on iphone, which I don't know why, because she still complains that she doesn't have to use it, but I have four iphone cases. The way I'm able to sell this, too is I said, look, mom, you can buy for these cases, and then what I'm gonna do is I'm going to design you for separate little images to go in here, four separate ones, and I offer the inserts of fifty percent off, so I'm taking a product, but I'm adding multiple things to it, and I'm making it my own. I'm putting my own brand with it. This is all stuff from agent h. They thought of everything. Now for that client that wants something, you know, a little more, or they say, well, I don't I don't know, I don't really like this one too much there's other options but if you are interested in this because my wife has these and she loves him, I got him to fifty percent off all cell phone cases. So if you want a cellphone case, now would be a perfect time to try one get one for your business, throw it on the counter, stick it in your camera bag when you're out on location, say, mom, look at these, these are brand new. We just got these in the other day, their iphone cases and they're cheap. Why not? Why not now? Here's another one the outer box cases a lot of people don't really want to spend the money. It takes for another box case, obviously because these things were pretty expensive. I've got one on my phone, and the only reason is because I'm really hard on stuff I get out of my truck all the time and I have it in my lap don't forget it's in my lap and it falls out of the truck slams to the pavement, but we get these right here we get printed through denny, which is danny manufacturing that makes the backgrounds so you can get these done and the way I sell these and say, listen, for someone that may not be interested, that I'm seeing they're not interested in the cell phone cases, the clear information age I wanna have a backup plan and stuff like that, and I say, look, you could get this custom case right here and it's literally not very much more than what it was called as a plain case from one of the conglomerates of selome, we don't make a lot of money on those, but again it's a walking advertisement walking advertisement now I talked about limited editions, I want to think of clever products that can match what I'm doing with my limited editions, and I showed you one of these earlier and I didn't bring one, but I had one with a child. I think one of my next one of my next one I'm going to do is a limited edition and some sort of a garden for spring, you know? You figure like grand parents and some parents they have, they all have gardens, a lot of them in my area, people plant big gardens, so I'm going to do like a garden many session and like I showed you for picture one of these flags right here, follow me on this. How awesome is it gonna be to have this little thing flying out in front of the garden at grandma's house? So I'm using a regular product, but I'm going to make it specific to something I want to try and do in my own studio so don't just think see things at face value don't do it and there's garden flags typically who you're going to sell those too is a mom and a family obviously now I told you earlier we talked about some fundraising options and I wasn't able to get to that so boo on me but that doesn't mean we can't get to it now now one of the products that I'm going to share with you that h and h is put together give us a tool to go in and get the sports contracts to go in and get thes dance studios are the book bag tags or the bag tags so follow me on this I'm going to use this dance as as an example here this is a dance bag tag now what what they've allowed me to do h and h says you know what to help you out as a photographer land some of these sports contracts and some of these contracts were goingto be ableto all for you for one dollar the bag tag all right it's a little bit different in this one it's ah it's a little smaller it's still an awesome product that they deliver for us and I say I'm going to sell it to you for a dollar and then you are going to take this to the school and you're going to say, look, I'm going to give these to your school for free but what I want you to do as a dance studio owner I want you to put all of these out on the table. I'm gonna have a mall design, we're using a template we're dragging it in we're typing a name and it's super easy, but this is my compensation. I'm going to allow you to have all these for free. So you're gonna have two hundred fifty these things out on recital night, a recital day and you're going to have someone there to man the table and again, I'm giving these to you for free. This is a huge value and I want you to sell these things for ten dollars a piece, which is not a lot of money because they're spending a lot of money on recital. Another ten dollars is nothing. Now you don't think that every girl that comes through there is gonna want that bag tag this pre design, they can pick it up it's a tangible good everybody is gonna want it so you do tend dollars times two hundred fifty I say think about the potential of the money that you're going to make, and I don't want a dime of it that's all yours to keep, so that has helped me land another large dance teo, because they love the idea that I'm going to give them for free. Bag tags to be able to give to their star, to be able to sell to their students and raise money for the dance studio. Now what they do with the money is up to them. I say raise money for the studio. They may raise money for their own pocket. I don't know, but that's their own business. So little programs like that is what never ceases to amaze me is that I'm gonna lab that says, hey, we've done a lot of homework and research the nation, try this and see if it works like I don't have to think about that that's an awesome that's, an awesome idea. Even a lot of a lot of my girls in the schools, a lot of guys, the guys that do basketball will throw him on football guys aren't really gonna bodies their moms abaya, but all my girls sports are all bonnie's for their equipment, bags, all of them. And when one little dancer sees that, someone so has one of these bags, obviously they want one as well. So you got two hundred fifty kids that are gonna want one of these things or sure and I said before, we're gonna open this out to a few more questions from the internet because we're going. Coming to a close here a little while and I want to make sure that we give everybody their voice and make sure that we answer as many of those relevant questions as we possibly can. So I think in just a minute we may go to you as early segment and see what you guys want to talk about talk about one more thing and then we'll go from there now agent sells a lot of jewelry, there's a lot of awesome jewelry and we buy a lot of jewelry from them, but we ran across and another company recently that was doing something pretty innovative with jewelry and in our true fashion we're going to take a regular product that they offer and we're gonna turn it into our own and we're going to make it very personal, so I want to show you we find one here let's look at this right here let's just say that on the front of this and this is made out of glass on the front let's say that this is a high school senior it's not that it's my wife we use it as an example so that's a high school senior but on the back of it is a hand written message is a handwritten message that says, dear mom, thank you for all of your hard work for the years of me being in high school all those mornings when I gave you a fit when I didn't want to wake up all those mornings when I was a brat going to school whatever what an awesome gift that his senior could buy their mom or what an awesome gift that a senior's mom could by herself and again it's something that people will actually wear but we're taking a regular product and we're making it our own we're making in our own some of the chains and things that they have a crazy like I almost want to wear this myself but I don't know still probably a bit much even for me, isn't it that's a picture of my daughter now wait until you see what's on the back now this is really cool we take a normal product and instead of putting another picture on the back it is her birth certificate has her name as her weight all of her measurements and sober certificate so it's like a locket almost but it's something that women will wear everywhere they go then if you look on the front this is a little there's a little ring on it it's a little charm and that is my daughter's birthday so we're making things so personal very, very personal and this company is they are absolutely tearing up now they have jewelry pieces you know such a cz this that don't necessarily have pictures on them so we're letting our clients take these catalogs and have jewelry parties and we're I mean it's just going like wildfire it's crazy again is jewell cade front and back design you could do letters to mom you put the baby photo on the back so you could do a senior on the front and then her baby picture on the back sky's the limit sky's the limit so I think let's take a second before we keep going here and I want to make sure that the voice of the internet is heard and let's see if they have it anymore. Questions going on way have such a great internet audience this class so enjoying the great questions first I'm going to shadow is from a web twenty five forty who asked how much of your budget can do you allocate towards all of your marketing materials especially for those party now? Yeah, you know that's a that's a tough question you know, for me when I was first starting out, obviously I couldn't have one of everything you know, but if you pay attention to the lab almost every month they'll have specials you know? A lot of times h and h will have like a two for one special you buy one sixteen by twenty you get another one free, it doesn't come with a backing on it but I can put backing onto myself so take advantage of all the special say and they may have they may have you know, you buy twenty five of these and you get ten free well then I'm going to take the ten for free and I'm going to use those for marketing but you know, if I'm just starting out and just say just say that I'm only making making ten thousand dollars in photography per year, you know, my advice to you would be to spend at least two thousand dollars of that you know, the only way you're going to grow is by spending a little bit of money early on and even now, you know, I have to keep investing into my business so if you're just starting out, you know, maybe you take maybe take ten percent of what you're making and you put it back into your business and buy certain products because it's so hard to sell him if you don't have him, so I would say on average, maybe ten per cent when you're first starting out and then you could maybe phase back just a little bit of you get going uh, you have a question going back to the many sessions, so you're taking a general for sure when you said you post on facebook is that like the advertising on post book or where you pay advertising her is that you just oh, now, ryan, your page. I got you. Yeah. That's ah, that's a good question. We put that on our business page and our personal page. I never pay for any of that ad spaces on facebook for me, I just don't really see the advantage of doing that, but yeah, we posted to our business, paige. And what we do is we'll take one of our templates. We'll put that put that image in a template, make it look really, really, really all some of that example image and that's what we show with the verb ejup underneath that small bits of burbage and, you know, with a link they can click on it, and it may take him to our website and have even more information about it or to our blawg post that we've done about it. So we're using facebook as a visual for sure. Yeah, I've never paid for the ads again. I don't know anybody that's ever done that. It may be a good idea, but I would say probably not. I think there's more you can do with your money for right now. Yeah. What do you have, man? You show one pictures there, you have a group off kind of young. Kids you know on a stand studio and everyone is posing like perfectly right one of the challenges I found when imposing with a group is that as soon as you can get the number three and number four person and you froze them and then you know you get to the end and everyone's kind of messed up already how you gonna keep them kind of in chap the same post yeah well with that being said you've gotta flex your muscles every once in a while and I'm kidding but you basically if if I have that situation it's probably because I may not be communicating enough with them and when I start posing before I pose the whole group I back up and I say hey excuse me guys listen up this is really important when I get you posed it is so important that you hold really really still because if not we're gonna be here all day trying to get this done so look when I get supposed old really really still will get knocked down and we'll be done everybody everybody understand so don't be afraid to jump in there and say look before you started be still when I get you where you need to be be steel and I even lied to when I tell them okay pot's right in here I'm grabbing by the shoulders and I say look be real still hold real steel just like this, okay look, I'm writing now, ok? And I said okay, so you may have to just communicate a little more with them, okay? Yeah, if you do that that's great. Right then how everyone had a ball, how you going to get them to get that really kind of perfect expression also. All right, if I was photographing you guys and, you know, it's been a long three days now you guys, you know, you kind of do wearing down a little bit. You're in information overload if I took a group picture ofyou guys, which we're going to do in a little while, make it smiles like this, I don't want that. So what would I do for me? You're not gonna do it the same way I would do it because it made that may not be who you are, but for me, this is what I would do, and I do this all the time at weddings. Just say that. Just sam photographing you guys and I'm like okay, guys, these are alter pictures or something where everybody looks almost did I say smile? Grandma, grandma goes like someone check on her. She did, uh, I say, all right, grandma, come on, you can do better than that, and I'll put the camera down, I say grandma are you serious right now you can't smile more than that and if she still doesn't act act right, I'll get up and I say all right, here we go do a little days shaking real good about that right there whoa and normally by just that little bit when my face is hidden from the camera like this right here and all they see is alright look right here guys they'll do exactly what you guys did the laugh so they're a little bit of booty shake in there man you know, you may not be comfortable with it try it anyways, what do you have to lose? You know that is so cool throw it in there and if that doesn't get their attention, put your camera down and walk up to him and say, listen, I'm not exactly sure what is going on here, but you've got to smile you are killing me right now so make an example of him but don't be mean about it, you know, don't be mean about it, so we'll see we'll see what everybody else asks this I think it's just about being a kid yourself relays way give you watch senior high school seniors there is like, so fun and they're smart, but they're like completely goofy although I like big goofy with him, I'll let you know let's go back to these awesome bag tags that sparked quite a few questions from the internet and so I just want to take a few questions about that one is from m design eso what is on the bag tag that is unique for the dancers if you haven't landed the contract it right and what is unique for that is we will put their name on them so they're personalized, alright, sorry that might be against creative lives protocol, but we'll put their name on them, so that is what makes it unique and it's something about when people see their name on something. I remember when I was a kid you have been in one of those like beach stores or somewhere, and they had like the license plates like the little mini license plates I used to get so mad because they never had money and I was so aggravated with that, but it's something about seeing your name on a product just like, oh dad, look, I got my name on the license plate, I'm only five, but they've got my name on the license plate, I want it, I want it, I want it in a bond, a few kid and you don't know what they're gonna do with it so for us it's personalizing it to make it their own that's that's the deal and again using some sort of a template to make it not just look like a regular bag tag turn into no piece of art so treat every piece of product as hey this may be the last thing that someone ever sees from my studio I want to make it really really good really good so yeah good question that okay great next question from marianne regarding the bag tags eso has their name on it and it also has your branding on it correct yes when if the school or dance studio they want their brand on it well they can't have that because I'm giving it to them if they were paying for it then obviously you know we would we would allow them to have whatever but that's just like the goes back if I show them a bag tag without my brand on it and they're going to expect that that's what they're going to get just like those banners every one of those banners that I'm charging the parents for my logo my company named everything is pretty big on the bottom of that thing it's just a standard protocol and I don't ever you know they say well blair you know is there any way to put our logo on there's like now seen actually that that's just how they come and I showed up I don't say well just like we know actually that that's ah that's just how how they're made so if you give them an ounce they'll take a mile and run with it or roll like taking a juicy couture sweatshirt and putting somebody else tag. I like your sweatshirt, okay just doesn't fit that's mine, so you need to back off all right, colin, just just to confirm for everybody out there including regina d h and h provides this product correct? Yes, they provided and that dollar price can you reiterate what that meant again? Was that for everybody or just for you in the beginning? No, it was not just for me. I'm nobody special. No, they will help you gain a contract. And like I said, those bag tags there. I don't have one exactly that they all for its a little thinner because I mean, they are giving it to you for free. Basically they they cost us. I think they cost us a dollar pretty sure there are dollar don't hold me to that, but I'm almost certain you're a dollar on dh they allow us to buy those backpacks for one dollars at a discounted rate because they know it's going to help us, which again is in turn going to help them so they understand they give us things that will help us because they know what's going to help them as well, so it has to be a two way street you can't always be what are you going to give me to help me you've got to give them something back as well so we bought a bag tax for a dollar we give them to the school so safe I've got a dance studio two hundred fifty kids I would much rather spend two hundred fifty dollars versus given the dance studio owner twenty five percent of my total sales so it's a whole lot cheaper to do that then is to go in there just all for our money that's another thing on those sports contracts any kind of contract don't ever go in there and just start offering up stuff you know I didn't offer anything really on my first one I was like you know I could come do it because part of my compensation zehr is much better images so that's that's the compensation that you're going to get for me you know of course I gave a little more a little more a little more sometimes you give so much that's not even worth doing it you know so any more questions about those bank tags back you are popular okay thinking it was the banners and now that bag tax I don't em so much get information about renzo has one more question there was no it's not about the bag tag but it sze the guest the compensation you were saying you were rather that rather give them the bag tags so they sail and I think I just asked my own questions so they'll actually sealed the bad taste to make their compensate exactly and I was opposed to you yeah exactly now if you run into a dance studio there's not really feeling the bag tags I've got one dance studio there like I don't know that just seems like more stuff I've got to ask the parents too bye so sometimes every student, every studio is not going to be all about it. So what do you do in a situation like that? What I do is the studio owner not the manager but the owner she's the one that that probably has a lot of influence if you can get on her good side you're in you're in good shape so I go to the dance studio owner and I say, listen, I've come up with the compensation package for you that I think is gonna be awesome why don't for every package that I sail at this dance studio, why don't I give you personally five dollars okay five bucks for everyone so two hundred fifty kids you figure if one hundred eighty of um by something times five dollars that's pretty good money that she's going to stick in her pocket but that doesn't come without a price for her she is going to work for it I say look all I'm asking for you from you is every girl that comes in. I'm not a dancer as much as a look like a dancer. I'm not a dancer, okay, I want you to post the kids, you pose him, and I'll make sure everything else is just right. Because she's, a dance poser she knows what's going on if I'll put kids in a first position and they're too young for first position or if I say tonda your foot and they're looking at me like what is that around may have a dancer just like stand there like this that's, not a dance pose. The mom may want to see him in a, you know, a a plea, a or whatever, and I don't know how to play a. Actually, I do, but the most most people don't know how to play eight. I'll show you that in a little bit if we have some time. So all from that conference, a conversation, but I make her earn it, make her earn it, so hopefully that helps out a little bit as well

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.