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Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 31 of 33

Rethink Products

 

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 31 of 33

Rethink Products

 

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. So I want the Internet. I want you to dig really deep. And now would be a great time to cue up some questions off 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 to recap and say, You know what? I thought about it for two days, and I really want to ask this question. So 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. It's not just about diversifying yourself through products because anyone can. Anyone can think this water bottle and sell it, but it's the way you do what you do to this water bottle and h...

ow you market that water bottle you know, I take a regular water bottle and I turn 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 can take a mouse pan and put really cool design with it and make it my brand am I still am I embarrassed that I sell a mouse pad? No. Can I be a high end studio and sell a mouse pad? Of course. Why not? So you can take something that is deemed, as you know who as kind of cheesy. Let's face it, you could turn into 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 him because they can make great Christmas gifts, right? So who wouldn't say that I've never had a grandmother come in and buy 12 mouse pads ever? So think about this. What if oh, here's a good idea. What about at a at Christmas, you go back and you just you use one of our templates. Various template. We have Christmas card templates as 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 copyright over the front of it. It says, Hey, I took some time today and I made this up. I designed this for you. Keep in mind we can change this some. But I wanted to offer this to you for a Christmas card because I know the holidays. You're 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. Don't have to go anywhere. Think about. So take those regular products using to your advantage, be creative with, um, they are walking advertisements as I mentioned earlier. When a mom gets this, she's gonna show this to everybody. She can think of everybody. She goes to get tires put on her car. She's gonna show somebody in the tire shop exactly what our daughters announcements look like. Christmas cards. People are going to show their Christmas cards. They're gonna carry their Christmas card in their wallet, are in their pocketbook. And the women are gonna show people their Christmas cards because it's indicative of my brand. I'm taking a regular product. I've 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 a very subdued, very clean, very proper family. But what did I do? I went on this very 1st 1 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 150 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 gonna cost her because I've got I've gotta have one of my interns do it. I'm not gonna do it, but I can up charger by 25% 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 use Gonna 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 one. She has won, her dad has won. And they recently bought Graham on IPhone, which I don't know why, Because she still complains that she doesn't how to use it. But I have four IPhone case is the way I'm able to sell this to. As I said, Look, Mom, you can buy for these cases and then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna design you for separate little images to go in here Four separate ones and I offer the inserts at 50% 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 age. They thought of everything. Now for that client that wants something a little more or they say, Well, I don't 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 do 50% off all cell phone cases. So if you want a cell phone 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 there IPhone cases and they're cheap. My night. Why not now? Here's another one. The Otter box cases. A lot of people don't really want to spend the money it takes for an honor box case, obviously, because these things were pretty expensive. I've got one on my phone, and only reason is, is because I'm really hard on stuff. I get out of my truck all the time and I have it in my lap and I 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'll sell these is, let's say, Listen for someone that may not be interested that I'm seeing, I'm not interested in the cell phone cases. The clearly information age. I wanna have a backup plans like that, and I say, Look, you can get this custom case right here, and it's literally not very much more than what it was called as a plane case from one of the conglomerates that sell them. 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 ones I'm gonna do is a limited edition in 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 gonna do like, a garden mini session. And, like I showed you for a picture one of these flags right here. Follow me on this. How awesome is 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 gonna make it specific to something I'm gonna 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 gonna sell? Those two 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 to give us a tool to go in and get these 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 gonna use this dance as a 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 gonna be ableto all for you for $ 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 gonna take this to the school, and you're gonna say, Look, I'm gonna 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 these out on the table. I'm gonna have him all designed. Were using a template, were dragging it in. We're typing the name and it's super easy. But this is my compensation. I'm gonna allow you to have all these for free. So you have 250 these things out on recital night, a recital day, and you're gonna 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 $10 apiece, which is not a lot of money because they're spending a lot of money on recital. Another $10 is nothing. Now, you don't think that every girl that comes through there is gonna want that bag tag this pre designed? They can pick it up. It's a tangible good. Everybody's gonna want it. So you do $10 times 250. I say think about the potential of the money that you're gonna 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 to you because they love the idea that I'm gonna 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, you know, 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 going to buy these their moms Obama. But all my girls sports are all by knees 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've got 250 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 gonna coming to a close here in 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. We talk about one more thing, and then we'll go from there. Now H and H sells a lot of jewelry. They sell a lot of awesome jewelry and we buy a lot of jewelry from them. But we ran across another company recently that was doing something pretty innovative with jewelry and in our true fashion, we're gonna take a regular product that they offer, and we're gonna turn it into our own, and we're gonna make it very personal. So I want to show you may 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, though. 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 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 a senior could by their mom. Or what an awesome gift that a seniors 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 an our own some of the chains and things that they have are crazy like I almost want to wear this myself, but I don't know. It's 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. It's a birth certificate. It's just like a locket, almost. But it's something that women will wear everywhere they go. And 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 birth stone. 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 as 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. So that again, is Joel 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 any more questions going on way. Have such a great Internet audience enjoying the great questions. First I'm gonna shadow is from a Web 25 40. Who asked, how much of your budget can do you allocate towards all of your marketing materials, Especially for those starting out? Yeah, you know, And that's a That's a tough question. Um, 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 1 16 by 20 you get another one free. It doesn't come with the backing on it, but I can put backing on it myself. So I take advantage of all the specials that they may have, They may have. You know, you buy 25 of these and you get 10 free. Well, I'm gonna take the 10 for free, and I'm gonna use those for marketing. But, you know, if I'm just starting out and just say, just say that I'm only making I'm making $10,000 in photography per year. You know, my advice to you would be to spend at least $ of that. You know, the only way you're gonna grows 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 10% of what you're making and you put it back into your business and buy certain products because it's so hard to sell them if you don't have him. So I would say on average, maybe 10% when you're first starting out, and then you can maybe phase back. Just a little bit of you. Get going. Yeah. You have a question going back to the mini sessions. So you're taking what general question for sure. When you said You post on Facebook, Is that like the advertising on Post book or where you pay advertising? Or is that you just Ryan, you're paid. I got you. Yeah, that's a That's a good question. We put that on our business page and our personal page. I never pay for any of the ad spaces on Facebook for me. I just don't really see the advantage of doing that. But, yeah, we posted to our business page, and what we do is we'll take one of our templates. Will put that put that image in a template, make it look really, really, really also in that example image. And that's what we show with the verb Ejup underneath it, small bits of Burbage and, you know, with a link they can click on it, and it may take them 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? Um, 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 challenge that I found when imposing with a group is that as soon as you kind of get to the number three and number four person and you pose them, and then you get to the end and everyone's kind of messed up already. How you gonna keep them in chapter? The same post. Yeah, Well, with that being said, you 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 oppose 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 hold Really? Really still, we'll get it knocked out and will be done. Everybody Everybody understand. Cool. So don't be afraid to jump in there and say, Look, before you get started, be still when I get you where you need to be be steel. And I even lied to when I tell them. Ok, pose right in here. I've grab him by the shoulders and I say, Look, be riel Still hold real steel just like this. Okay, but come right in our okay. And I say, OK, so you may have to just communicate a little more with him. Yeah, if you do that, that's great, right? Then how everyone can a ball, how you're 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 you're wearing down a little bit. You on information overload? If I took a group picture of you guys, which we're gonna do in a little while, I may get smiles like this. I don't want that So what I do for me, you're not gonna do it the same way I would do it because it may, but 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 the same photographing you guys. And I'm like, OK, guys, these are alter pictures or something where everybody looks almost dead, I say, smile, Grandma and Grandma goes, I'm like someone check on her. She did, 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 up or act right, I'll get up. And I say, All right, here we go. Do a little days shaking real good. What about that right there? Woohoo! And normally buy just that little bit when my face is hidden from the camera. Like this right here. And all they see is all right. Look right here, guys. They'll do exactly what you guys did. They'll laugh. So throw a little bit of booty shaking their 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 that does 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 has to say. I think it's just about being a kid yourself. You watch seeing your high school seniors. They're like, so fun and they're smart, but they're like, completely goofy. Although be goofy with him. 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. All right, 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 into 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 I never had money, and I was so aggravated with that. But it's something about seeing your name on a product just like all Dan, look, they've got my name on the license plate. I'm only five, but they got my name on the license plate. I want it, I want it. I want it in a bonnet for you, 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 like a regular bag tag turned 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. Their great next question from Mary Ann regarding the bag tags. Eso It has their name on it, and it also has your branding on it. Correct? Yes. What 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 than obviously you know, we would we would allow them to have whatever. But that's just like the it goes back. If I show them a bag tag without my brand on it, then 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 name. 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 is, like, nasty and actually, 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 they're made. So if you give them an ounce, they'll take a mile and run with it rolling, taking a juicy couture sweatshirt and putting somebody else tag sweatshirt. Okay, just doesn't fit. That's mine. So you need to back off. All right? Cool. And just just to confirm for everybody out there, including Regina de H and H provides this product correct? Yes, they provided. And that dollar price Can you reiterate with that meant again, Was that for everybody or just for you? In the beginning, 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 offer. It's a little thinner because, I mean, they are giving it to you for free. Basically, they cost us. I think they cost us a dollar. Pretty sure there a dollar Don't hold me to that. But I'm almost certain euro dollar on day. Allow us to buy those value tags for $ at a discounted rate because they know it's gonna help us, which again is in turn gonna help them. So they understand. They give us things that will help us because they know it's going to help them as well. So it has to be a two way street. It can't always be. What are you gonna give me to help me? You got to give them something back as well. So we bought a bag tags for a dollar. We give them to the school. So safe. I've got a dance studio. 250 kids. I would much rather spend $250 versus Given the dance studio owner 25% of my total sales. So it's a whole lot cheaper to do that than it is to go in there. Just offer up 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 1st 1 was like, you know, I could come do it because part of my compensation, sir, is much better images. So that's that's the compensation that you're gonna get for me. 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. Any more questions about this bag tags back? It was the banners. And there s so much good information. Renzo has one more question there. It's not about the bag tags, but it is the I guess the compensation You were saying you were rather than rather give them the bag tags so they sail. And I think I just asked my own questions So they actually sell the bag, take, make their conference. Exactly. And I'm supposed 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. They're like, I don't know. That just seems like more stuff I've got to ask the parents to buy. So sometimes every student, every studio is not gonna be all about it. So what do you do in a situation like that? Or 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 you're in good shape. So I go to the dance studio owner, and I say, Listen, I've come up with a compensation package for you that I think is gonna be awesome. Why don't for every package that I sale at this dance studio, why don't I give you personally $5? I'll give you five bucks for everyone. So 250 kids, you figure if 180 of, um, by something times $5 that's pretty good money that she's gonna stick in her pocket. But that doesn't come without a price for her. She is gonna 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 little 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 put kids in the first position and their two young for first position, or if I say ton to your foot and they're looking at me like, what is that? Or I may have a dancer just like standing like this. That's not a dance pose. The mom may want to see him in a, you know, in 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.

Reviews

David - Muse 10
 

As an experienced photographer myself, this class was both helpful and inspirational…we're never too experienced to learn from someone. Blair is really a lot of fun to watch and listen to. He has a way of making things fun with his high energy and dry sense of humor. To be completely honest in my review of this class, the lighting and posing sections, while VERY good, have been done over and over again by lots of photographers and didn't offer much in the way of new ideas. The real value was in the customer service and marketing techniques presented here. Blair's use of video as a marketing and communication tool with his clients is very unique and sparked TONS of ideas I would like to implement in my studio. His simple pricing structure and the way he presents it to his clients is also unique and has helped me rethink some of my own methods. "That being said" (Blair should appreciate that phrase) this class is totally worth the price and will continue to be a good reference for me. Some photographers are excellent at their craft but are dry teachers; others are great teachers but their "real-life" work doesn't live up to their classroom presentations. Blair is the real deal and makes this class very exciting.

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.

a Creativelive Student
 

This has been my favorite class on Creative Live. I loved how Blair explained exactly how he landed dance and sports contracts. This class was packed full of ideas for marketing and selling products. There was just so much great information. Thanks, Blair!