The Business of Volume School Photography

 

The Business of Volume School Photography

 

Lesson Info

Learn From Your Mistakes

So, first time I ever bid on anything. I was looking at a school that we'd been doing sports work at for 20 years. It's actually a true story, like every word is true. We'd been doing, sports work for over 20 years, we were super invested, involved, in the community, we were, we were there. And I was sitting at work one day, and I must have just been feeling super proud about myself, and thinking I just had it going on. And I said, I wanna do their school. I wanna do the whole district. I wanna do it. And they said, so I picked up the phone, I called the district, who's in charge? And they said, this person, and alright, can you transfer me over? And I got on the phone with the person in charge, and I said, hey, it's Matthew Kemmetmueller, Kemmetmueller Photography. We do all of your sports pictures. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I wanna do your school photography. First words out of her mouth are, were, why? (laughter) And I said, oh, you know, we're here, we're local, we've been doing this..

. I really want to do, I really just want to do your stuff. So, like, can we have the job? If you remember, I'm going into this, I'm stupid about schools. I've never mentored with anyone about schools, I've never bid on anything for schools, I don't understand anything about schools. So complete innocent, naivete, I went in. And said, I just want the job, can I have the job? And she goes, "well, we'll bid it out "this winter, I'll send you the bid." And, okay great! Easy. And honest to god, I thought I was entitled to that job. I thought it was my job. For no reason. Like, there's no valid point that I could tell you why I should have had that job. I thought it was mine. So I send out this bid, I've never seen a bid before. So they send it out to me. And, I got it, and when they send out bids, typically, a bid is only, it's like, a two or three page document. That's what they'll send you. I'm gonna walk you guys through a full, we're gonna go through the highlighted portions that you guys need to know. What the difference is between my really, really bad bid, and our current, beautiful, gorgeous, structured bid. But I got this bid, and I'm sitting there, and they send it to ya, and it's due in two weeks. I'm like, okay, two weeks. I got two weeks. I sat downstairs, and my wife is watching Real Housewives of some nonsense, and I sat at the computer, and I had a glass of Maker's Mark, and I was like, I'm gonna hammer out this bid right now. Let's go. And I typed it up, I literally just was like, every question they asked was just the most vague and nonsense response, I, I ever could have done. It would be question like, "How do you plan "on communicating in the details "of the shoot with the school?" And my response would be, Kemmetmueller Photography will develop a customized plan for each school, identifying their needs. Well, that doesn't tell them anything. Nothing. I answered every question with the most vague response possible, because truthfully, I didn't know. I didn't know. So, I wrote out this bid, I took their little thing, and I wrote out my responses. And I printed it out, stapled it, and I sent it in. It was really, really bad. It was really, really bad. I wrote it in less than an hour. There's no examples in it. It's like, I have one copy. A single copy of this bid, that's printed out, that's in my office. That I have there, so if I ever feel, like, maybe I'm getting a little bit too smug, or feeling a bit too entitled about something, I sit down, and I read it, and it humbles the heck out of me. 'Cause it is so bad. It's pathetic. And, I turned it in. I was like, I didn't know how bad it was. Remember, I still think this is great. It's my job. You'll get this job. They owe it to me. It was so bad, that the woman that was in charge of it said, "so we want you to come in." (laughter) And, she said, you didn't get the job, but it was so bad, we want you to come on in. And we wanna talk to you about why you didn't get this job. And, I was getting ready, I was doing a speaking thing, I was going to Vegas for WPPI, so, I was like, okay, yeah, I'll come back and I'll see ya, and I went in for this meeting, and she just, honest to god, and rightfully so, she was like, (laughs) "this is your bid." It was pathetic. But I was down, but not out. Alright? I lost. My losses are generally my biggest educational opportunities in life. I got beat bad. So I started reaching out to professionals, people that were doing the business models that I liked, things that I enjoyed. People that had the businesses I wanted. And, I started talking to someone, there's a guy named Chris Wonder, he's a big PPA guy, he does a ton of school stuff. I reached out to him, and he educated me on some stuff I didn't even know. And he said, "well did you see your bid tabulation?" What the heck is a bid tabulation? I didn't even know that existed. Like, I didn't know that was a thing. Bid tabulation. I can't believe I'm gonna show this slide. This is really humbling guys. So bid tabulation is when they're gonna go through and say this is your score on this part of this bid, out of a hundred. So they go through and they score you. They got three bids, one's from a company that's out of business, the other one's from Villedemort, and me. There. 18, 19, 11. 19, 20, 10. 18, 20, 13. Dude, I'm pathetic. Terrible. My final scores, I was in the 60s. 94, 86, 91, 89, 96, 88. And I'm in the 60s. What the heck was I doing? Like, really, honestly. There's a quote I love. "Courage is going from failure to failure "without losing enthusiasm." I think sometimes it's easier to just not want something, than it is to worry about the disappointment of not getting it. But I really want this. I needed it. So, I decided to start growing through my setbacks. I wasn't going to become so down and out that my bid sucked, I wasn't going to become so depressed about that, that I quit. So, I became obsessed with this failure. Completely and totally obsessed with it. And I started focusing on everything I could possibly do to do this job better than anyone else.

Class Description

We’ve all had our annual school portrait taken over the years. Of course you didn’t think about the hard work and organization that it took for the photographer to get hundreds of images taken during that day, but volume school portrait photography is a great way for photographers to add additional income to their business. Matthew “The Body” Kemmetmueller has broken into that competitive market and wants to share his knowledge of that industry with you. He’ll explain:

  • How to get into the schools that are right for your business
  • The best way to choose the software and gear you’ll need
  • How to put together bids and win over the schools
  • The most efficient way to order and deliver products
  • How to automate the retouching process

School photography is not an easy market to conquer, but Matthew will walk you through everything you’ll need to know in order to become a successful school portrait photographer.