Rethink Products Part 2


Senior Photography: Break the Mold


Lesson Info

Rethink Products Part 2

I didn't share exactly where I get this stuff from what I do with this this ornament go to your local craft store this is really really a popular gift for newborns when we do newborn announcements birth announcements again take a pair of scissors, cut him up in a small little strips and just keep stuffing it down in there until you can't stuff anymore so you go to the local craft store and get these clear ornaments they're like I think they were three, ninety seven for a dozen of them so four dollars for a dozen of them a little piece of ribbon around you just pull this little thing here out stuff it all down in there put this little guy back in there and you've got a great product whenever you order your announcements instead of ordering forty order forty one something to think about their everybody that I know my wife especially that we could go to san martin or the caribbean or somewhere we'll go to the equator in the middle of summer when it is hot I mean it's hot enough to I mean ...

it's just I don't even want to go there but it is high really high and she wants to go into a storm by christmas ornament I'm like how you've been thinking about the holidays right now it's one hundred forty eight degrees outside and we have to we have to nestle this thing back you know, two thousand miles back home and be real delicate was it? Everybody loves ornaments so maybe you can think of ways to do ornaments now check this out we take a metal tag this is a metal tag and what about making this into an ornament a christmas ornament to recollect her graduating high school on the back? I've got kinsley two thousand fourteen and imagine how easy it is to make these how long you think it would take to create one of these in photo shop we have a template that's really, really easy it's all designed for all this stuff is so so simple there's not only that when there's different shapes there's different sizes there's different styles people girls won't this kind of stuff they see it the parents are especially the ones that wanted so if it's if you're there doing that job, take the extra minute to try and throw something together don't leave anything on the table I mean anything if there's a possibility that you can make some money from it in this day and age, you better give it a shot because if you're not giving it a shot, I guarantee the guy right down the road he's going to be doing it so like I said in the beginning and I thought man, im not interested in all this product's all this stuff is cheesy no it's not cheesy it's not cheesy I mentioned earlier about the water bottles alright sold one of these toe a volley ball girl and since that's holding one of these water bottles to a volleyball girl the whole volleyball team one on one same thing with the cheerleading the first day I showed up to photograph the cheerleaders everything has to be paid up front it was about three or four girls at ordered a water bottle but they were clients amount already so they knew what they were getting all right after they came in a week later a bunch of orders trickled in because they wanted on friday nights they didn't want to carry a gatorade bottle down on the field with him they wanted to pour the gatorade into these and they wanted to set this down in front of them while they do their little cheers that's what they wanted so you can take a product that you don't think is really sellable you can put your brand on it, you could design it, put their name on it, take five extra seconds and put their name on it I mean it doesn't take forever you know here's another one love this we're using this one in two different ways this is basically a medal this could be a metal print but check this out we're using this in a senior's room or on a senior door or we're using this on newborn store so this is this is a design for a child. This is one of my dance studio. We have this out at the dance studio and I will bring a segment of the door if I have to I'll cut on old door and half and prop it up and put this on the door knob so people know what it is if I say this is a door hanger what do you mean? I don't get it like you like pull it back and knock on the door. No, I said a door hanger what do you mean? You hang a door with it? You have to be really specific to people but this is metal and it works awesome it's beautiful. Imagine newborns and you have one of these and like I said earlier, you put over here like be quiet baby sleeping babies resting beauty risk, beauty sleep in progress who knows, man, that could be absolutely awesome. So we're loving that we have them put a little hole in it and we tie a piece of fancy ribbon on it and we make it our own you're not supposed to do what we do with it, but why not? And why not make this into a if you have a high school senior there's really dysfunctional and loses her keys you know, maybe you hook her keys right here and is apparently saying here's your key you can if your wife ever loses her keys or your husband ana something of something to think about that way use these I'm going to try and pitch these as use in locker rooms you know, in my locker rooms at school who knows I might even be able to convince the coach to do an image even in like the laundry area and put on their you know I don't know dirty clean who knows it's a sign that could be used I'm not trying to use this thing for everything I could think of and there's no answer or no question that's stupid I'll try if it doesn't work what I have to lose I don't sell one for that particular market what you got randy what's going on man put magnets for lockers yeah that's exactly right and the magnets you could get the the magnus is a little strip that comes in a role like a roll of tape that's it he's up on the back and and you're good to go see randy I like your thinking you're not together for about a week thinking about some stuff would be dangerous wade come up with one of two things even mohr innovative products or multiple dangerous what which everyone which everyone would come first I do have one more thing to say yeah from the beginning we've always talked about family yeah right I want to thank your wife for letting you come out here to spend time with us yeah absolutely yeah thank you absolutely I appreciate you saying that because that is you know that's a lot for all of us to be away from my family so I appreciate I appreciate you saying that and I've got one more product I'm gonna have to find it in just a minute I think it's actually in one of those boxes over there and it is an upscale cutting board now people say okay why would you want a cutting board with your family's picture on it like that's gonna cut my kid's face let me tell you I put one of these things up front and people buy them not to cut food on but they use it as a decoration piece and they put it out on the counter and it's a glass cutting board this textured on the front hh mousey image underneath on the back side of it and these things are awesome we got two of them in our house that we live out all the time and actually after about a year I was like you know what? I'm gonna give this a shot and I did I cut my first watermelon on that thing and I felt bad because my daughter was on it but you get over that's a cutting board but again, you know people walk in and they see that they say, oh my gosh, what is that it's so beautiful because it's a high end product they even h and h even made made tiles that you could like if you're doing a backsplash tile with your kids image on it I'm like building a new house it might be kind of cool, but some of her growing up in the backsplash and the kitchen who knows who knows again you're gonna want to mark it to a lot of these products is mom and dad so again for these mouse pads mom and dad's or terror in these things? Oh, tearing them up and I mentioned earlier I want to put this one back out my wife from the day that my daughter was born she knew she wanted a new wallet and she carried around a designer wallet in her pocketbook forever she loves designer pocketbooks that's her thing you know, I spend money on hunting stuff and ah whole lot of other stuff and she likes pocket books so I don't gripe when she buys a pocketbook and I was leery because I said I was like, we're going to give up, give up your designer wallet for a wallet from agent h I'm like no offense or anything, but I mean, how is it gonna hold up because you're pretty tough on things she's been carrying this thing for over two years now my daughters over two years old and when she puts stuff in her wallet she's got too much in there so it all hangs out the edge and she slams it shut so there's receipts hanging out and I mean this thing's like bowed out I don't even see how is still working but this class has worked forever and the material that the stuff's printed on I was like it's gotta scrape off some point but she's been using it two years and it looks as good as the day when I bought it so love love love those things again another thing that's great for parents a mission early these ipad sleeves these are made of the same material so I know they hold up I know they hold up I'm going to get one from my daughter's preschool image just because I love it so much I shot her preschool on friday and we had to do her class very last and I had to dio had to get everybody in the group picture first and then we had to like open the cage and let her out because as soon as she saw that have mama and the whole class went crazy but I don't know how in the world I got her to cooperate but man she sat there and I put a little hand on her hip and she she did this little thing and smiled how many of you guys love photographing your own children really he has a crazy man that is awesome depends on the day depends on the day I think with me mine oh my gosh next time I need my child photograph I'll have to get with one of you guys and figure out a wayto make that happen and let you do it because she has zero tolerance for me for some reason but I get the most enjoyment of taking my little point and shoot camera is this snapping random images of her love love love doing that okay another getting off subject you can tell that you could tell him thinking about my little girl here you know what you got man you know how you get the little children to cooperate and stay at the spot that you have always perfect lighting well that my friend is something that we would have to get into ah whole another three days and creative love about but know with kids I like a kid man you know I mean I'm like a kid this is what I do with kids and I'm not afraid to show you I like a moron if there's a kid here and I can't get his attention you know instead of saying ok little timmy okay buddy listen here we go all right you're gonna watch me watch I'll show you what I'll do and this is the honest to goodness truth here and I'm hoping I'm not going to go off camera to do this, but I want to prove a point here of what is taking to get these kids gives attention to these days I'm gonna walk right over here and hopefully that's going to be okay but if little kids just aren't gonna cooperate, you've got a window of opportunity with kids little kids you've got a small window of opportunity they're not going to sit there for hours upon end why you tweak your lights and you get everything right so what I do as I say okay buddy here we go right here look, I might do something like that and then I jump up come over here and I'm like hi, little buddy are you ready right here look what just happened who you see that right there so it may take all of that to get one good shot of that little kid so at the end I am absolutely worn out and I'm over here making noises you know, mike, I'm like a moron but that's what it takes you know you can't just okay listen, here you go and you have to use a lot of manipulation, lots of manipulation if you have that kid that just will not cooperate go over to him and whispering his ear and say, listen your daddy said if you'd be really good, he might buy you a new four wheel okay? And he'll say really yeah, but you gotta be really okay and then twenty minutes later he's like daddy can I go get my four wheeler now on then you say it is kids, we've got one heck of an imagination, don't you crazy kids you have to you have to match the personality of what you're shooting, so when I'm working on the wild kid, I'm a wild kid when I'm working with a senior citizen, I'm a senior citizen, so you have to you have to match that personality she got my man for you know, I come from a family with five kids, you know? And you know, we I don't even try to pose no, I just just take the shot, you just take off the last family picture I mean, I have my youngest or he was second youngest, sir, I have him by the bill he's tryingto follow my daughter's looking off into nowhere. My son is like it was just and my wife and I were the only ones that were paying attention and you're just taking shots and that was it, so don't typos and just let him because odds are at home it's organized chaos oh yeah so just take it is it true you sometimes let it be organic and just let things unfold? You know? But but you still when you're working with the single client, you know, you still want to get those good images if you can, but yeah, I agree, like my christmas cards at home from my personal family, you know, it may be me throwing my daughter up in the air, you know? It may be I mean, who knows? Who knows what it could be? Yes, you have a question when you're talking about h and h helping you out, not not there product so much, but their customer service and, you know, you've mentioned different things that they have helped you if they help me figure this out and help me figure that out now, what do you do it? Are you I'm calling them up and say, hey, I got this question where you getting that information? You watching their web and I where you getting that sort of training information from let's? Take, for instance, whenever I wanted to set up my pricing for schools, you know, I didn't want to go in and set up my pricing for schools and have it all messed up and not make the profit that I wanted. So I called and I said you know do you know any other photographers that you might could set me up with it I may be able to call that would help me with some information and they said well, you know what we'll do you one better than that we've got people that we hire as consultants so I've got someone I'm going to give him your information and he's going to call you and this is a guy jim sears he called he called me and he said I heard that you you were getting into sports photography I love sports photography he he liked I mean this guy got really excited that's his deal just like it let's talk about it man and he kind of he gave me his opinions on things that he would have done differently when he first started he gave me some advice based upon what he hears from other people all across the nation he looked at what I had laid out and he said blair to be honest with you man this package c I'd probably move that want to de and then see I would add one more these that way is going to drive everybody up to package b I'm like man I was smart like thank you so you know when I say that there's resource is out there and that's the thing to love about it is I have a dedicated customer service team so when I call, I talked to the same person every single time it's not like I call and I'm just a number, you know? Hey, can I speak to shelley? Yes, absolutely. Who is it? Blair okay, I'll tell you, hey, what's up where and if I'm having issue with an order, you know, hey, I want you to meet I just submitted the order number three, three, nine, five, eight, seven b if you will go in there and double check and make sure that I didn't choose color correction on there, okay, no problem, and what I like about it is I don't have to follow back up and say, hey, did you remember to do that? Because you said you would do it on thursday when I called you on monday don't worry about it, so, you know, when I say that that they've got it together, you know, I don't work for h and h, you know, I if this thing all went south, I would do everything I could to still be friends with everybody there because that's, what they've done for me, so yeah, they have resources available for just about everything, and if they don't have a resource available, they can most likely find you somebody that can help you, so what do you have to lose, right you want to go back to the internet for just a moment see if there's a few more questions before we keep on going there always question next question is from megan leaf photos who ask uh first of all, thanks for all the great information but what is your profit margin on these products and how do you decide how much you shouldn't mark these items up? Yeah, you basically marked them up tio and if you're having an issue of I don't know what to charge taken image of it, shoot it out to all of your friends, all your good personal friends and then ask them say hey share this with a couple of your coworkers and has asked them if they think what I'm trying to charge is unrealistic so like a bag tag, I'm not going to sell a bag tied for forty dollars there's it's just not gonna happen, so what you have to do is you have to realize that all of these products they're not necessarily this isn't going to be what's going to keep you in business, but if you're not selling any products at all, what would an extra just say on this bag tag right here? Just say that my profit margin wass eight dollars eight dollars doesn't seem like a lot of money but there's a lot of people in this world that don't even make that in one hour so for me, if I can sell this and make eight dollars off of it tom's four hundred of them per year, why not? So I think a lot of people they discredit products a lot of towns because they think there's just not enough mark up in him there's just not enough markup in him for meat even mess with it, but when I can slap a designer on something and make eight bucks on it, tom's four hundred and then I sell this one and I might make fifteen and I sell this one I might make fifteen it's a never ending circle, you know? So it's like going into a department store, you know they have things and the other ninety nine cents because they're still making money off of it, so don't get greedy that's a big thing don't get greedy don't get greedy, good point and that another followup question for that one is from asked photos who asked, how do you balance pricing and volume? And is part of it your location? Uh, yes, well, with pricing on volume, everything is set it's one set I'm not moving anything around and it's a pretty standardized photo, you know and it's one shot normally they don't get a great big group of shots that they can choose from, so you know that's that's how I'm justifying it and most of the time people are used to volume type work through the school and things like that parents are used to it so they kind of know what to expect and when they come to the studio I can explain okay this is a way different deal here obviously my overhead here is really expensive and you know the type of attention that you're going to get for two hours is goingto obviously have to cost you a little bit maura good but more than what it was for three minutes of me working with your child so you know there's a great big difference they're great big difference but it's all in how you break it down and all in how you explain it so I would explain it just is that if someone ever said well I don't understand because bella had her dance pictures made and if I've got seven wass twelve dollars but here at your studio five by seven sixty dollars I understand it's the same exact thing well that's when I say we know you have to understand that bella's school you know I discount those pictures tremendously and I'm not really making a lot of money at the school to be honest with you I'm doing it mohr to gain a new clients gained new potential clients and I'm trying to save you from wasting your money on those crappy pictures like you always get so to be honest, I'm really not making much of a dance studio that's what I'm telling her just to appease her which really I am making a lot but not off of each person a big volume so I say, you know, here at the studio obviously you see the variety of sets that I have you know, the amount of equipment I having here the overhead I have I have to charge a premium price you know there comes a certain level of skill set that has to come with photographing all these different ways so that's why I do it but I will tell you I've never I've never had anyone question me on that because I think people kind of understand it already and if someone is going to question it really hard you know I'm not afraid to kind of let them go is a client either so don't be don't be afraid of it tackle everything head on I tell everybody this all the time I say listen it's much better just to go ahead and face it tell the truth you know if if a client to save a client ordered these right here and they were supposed to be here today and she called and said, hey is my order there today don't tell her a story just tell her the truth and so you know what, emma? I am so sorry but something has happened and I don't know what but I promise I'm going to get to the bottom of it I'm going to put a rush on it and I won't have it here for you tomorrow but honestly I must have dropped the ball somewhere and I'm terribly sorry when you start making up a bunch of excuses for everything you're going to get in a mess and I learned that from getting my rear in torre buy my parents a few times when I was a kid and they said, look, son, that old thing this is going to hurt you a lot lesson is going to hurt me yeah that's just something that parents because that is not true all right that's not true because I tried with my dad a bunch of times and he said no, but just go ahead and face it face it head on could you imagine that might well give let me I do I will pew is fine, it will hurt me at all doesn't quite work that way, so we'll see we'll see what happens you may not be able to tell actually today I didn't put any on but makeup all right? Actually, I'm kidding I don't wear make up get over it all right, what about a makeup bag now is every client gonna buy a makeup bag? No but should we make a cute little makeup bag available for purchase? Should that client come in and see it and say, oh, my goodness, I need one of those, you know, you put you put your kid's pictures on you, put your engagement picture on your wedding picture, why not? Could this not be a really cool gift for bridesmaids, where you give them a certificate and with what this picture on a makeup bag that says, you know, hey, coming soon I bought you this gift, but obviously we have a picture made to go on it, so you do a close up shot of every bridesmaid's, every bride's maid with the bride, and now your client will buy this from you to gift to them. So it's all about just thinking a little bit just think about it any certain way that you feel you could get work in front of people don't close the door on it, even something as as what I used to think was cheesy and corny, even something as simple as a license plate. I'll tell you what we've done with these license plates obviously dance these dance girls are not driving a car yet, but I said, wait a minute, how can we be? How can we be creative here? What can we do every one of these little dancers they come in with these boxes. Okay? He's. A great big gearboxes, their own wheels, and they roll their little stuff, and they got their make up on there. Everything in it and they get in there and it, like all unfolds like a transformer. I mean, these girls were professional, so I said, hey, bella, let me do something to one of your butt to your box here and asked her mom, why do you trust me? Well, no, not really, but, uh, so we riveted this to the outside of her little box. So everywhere she goes, she's got her cute little dance picture. So all her competitions that she goes goes too. And she's wheeling her bag down the hallway. This is stopped right to the back of it. She knows whose it is. Other people see it. Somebody at that at that whole competition may say, hey, we're hey, where did you get that? And who knows? It could be a dance studio mom, that has a lot of influence at another dance studio and that may get her to call me. And then I may strike up through all my small talk that I'm going to do my strike up a meeting for me to go and meet with them. You never, ever know me gave me this advice to the last dance studio that I picked up. I went in with guns blazing. She called and said, where you told me to call you if I'm not one hundred ten percent happy. So I'm about ninety percent happy, but I'd like to see where the other twenty percent would get me. So do you think I just showed up over there was like, a picture? No, man, I got there thirty minutes early. Spread all my products out on the table that were dance specific. I had a keynote presentation. Okay? I keynote presentation to show them and educate them. The differences on what I do versus what just may be a run of the mill photographer would do. And they said right then and there said, look, you went through all this effort just for a dance studio picture. Where do we sign up? Book him on the spot. Book him on the spot. Now that ten boxes, these are awesome for our wallets. Kids with wallets. We even use these as gifting. We may give thes teo, you know, two people put jury in and our candy throws in government and mail it to a client. Is your things that don't really cost a whole lot of money, but again, they add a lot of value to what you're doing. We have these and also an alternative to the little cd hub for those of you, they're shooting weddings, and you have clients that really all you're doing is just a shooting burn, you know, again, you know, I'm not judging or san you should or shouldn't do that that's not my business, but what if, of course, this is a senior, but what about one of these a cd ten? So when you give them that cd, it feels a little more justified if you're charging three thousand dollars to shoot their wedding and given him a cd of images, and then you open it up and it's made for a cd it's matching your brand is saying thank you, it is saying thank holiday cards again. If you're not offering holiday cards, go back through some of your past sessions this this holiday, and I want you to try just pick about twenty of your top spenders and see if they won't buy him see if they won't buy him. I'm telling you it will happen, it will happen, so what we're gonna do here, let's, see talked about those books while ago what enabled her toe reiterate exactly what rebook who was reboot who helped me get out of a jam big time early on and they have stumbled upon them through going to a convention and they said I said, wait a minute so you're telling me I could just send you my images and I can pick a style from all these photographers that she worked with and you can make my books out of their templates and I said, yeah, absolutely so they worked with my lab, right? They said, yeah, we're a partner with them, you can upload them, applaud him straight to them and they send them right to you what? So I don't have to do that anymore so you have to think, does that cost me money? Yes, is it cheaper than me sitting there struggling with a book for three or four hours? Yeah, so the way they work as they say, look, we've talked to several different photographers and we've had to design several different books for us and they give us the templates and then you look and you say I like blair phillips is senior boy book does not like that and you're done so I got them to do a twenty five percent off anyone service, so if you're interested in that check these guys out reboot who dot com and twenty five percent off anyone service blair loves creative love and that is exactly the case is I do love creative live now royalty free music again why are we using music that's that people here on don't do that? Listen, I'll tell you why you don't want to use popular music number one, your little pants suit off of you and the number to picture this you have an awesome senior session I mean, you just knocked it completely out of the park. I mean, you cannot wait to see the amount of money you're going to make all this session and you can't wait to share your love with the client and they come in and you have a katy perry song playing with the slideshow she may absolutely hate katy perry because there may be a girl at school that looks like katy perry and they all say, oh, she looks like a period or she may that maybe her and her ex boyfriend's favorite song, but he just dumped her the week before homecoming to go out with another girl and she hates anything to do with that song can't stand it, I can't deal with it, so it comes on and it's a katy perry song she's automatically turned off she just turns are completely all it kills the mood, so play songs that people are unidentifiable with whenever you play a song tto a slide show that I understand and recognize I start paying more attention to the song and I was singing along but if it's a song that just enhances what I'm looking at and that's what I'm using why do you think people like apple and companies like that why do you think they're using songs that aren't necessarily you know mainstream songs because they want you to pay attention to the product at hand and not the song so food for thought there don't be crazy now I got ancient age during this last break I said listen I've been talking a lot about these albums because I'm gonna tell everybody how cool they are so you've got to help me with something here and they said fine, we'll do it we'll do it fifty percent off eclectic albums ten page twenty side album when I said when you said how do I get samples? This is a great way to do it design a book you can get one fifty percent off what if you wanted to take it a step further so you gotta enter this code here c l blair album so goto h and h fifty percent off albums if you have any issues is in any of these call asian nations say hey, I saw this weird gown creative live blair phillips and he said something about a discount on album well, I'm calling to cash that in how do I do it so don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to do that. Those folios, if you decide maybe a folio, is not quite where you want to go. Analgesic. Not quite. We're going to go try a folio was really beautiful folios. I had fifty percent off, fifty percent off. How can you go wrong with that?

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.