Skype Interview with Joe Abenheim
Joe is ah, good friend of mine. Um, joe, how long have we known each other? Two thousand two thousand eleven that's. All a couple of years ago. So we met. I was doing a mentorship in san francisco, and at the time he was living in san francisco. Now, he's on the east coast. Andi, I did this monthly mentoring program there, and and so we developed a relationship then. And you know what I like about job? Just get starting in l a, but chills a guy about going big or going home he's going to do it he's going big and he's going for it. And that's what? I really appreciate about his approach. And you can tell because he's only been doing this business for a couple of years, but he's having a lot of success. Ah, lot of success where he's booking ten thousand dollar weddings and he's doing it in a venue that I've never even spear e inst before and he's going to get into that. But before we get into that, jill, can you tell me a little bit about how you got into this whole photography thing? Ye...
ah, I started in early nineties, you know, high school photography, film days, that kind of stuff, and I did that for a good ten years and I took a break for about ten years after that on every star I get to times of ten slightly before meeting you I went back into a that was I just wanted to teo lance keep or like a macro photography and add another patient's for that so I was like I need to find something different and well living in some logs I found michelle nicole photography's plug and I studied that was right after the paris two thousand eleven workshop that you posted and uh I looked at her photography and saw the changes that happened during the year that she was in a mentorship with you and yeah and then I called up I saw that you were having a workshop in san francisco two days later on there was the first class of the year long mentorship program that you were hosting and yeah, the rest is history let's talk a little bit about your content and why you you feel like you're imagery is able to attract that ten thousand dollar client what's so special about it I think I think the imagery is I think a very modern slash fashion approach tio my wedding photography more than most that I learned from you and other mentors that I follow the past couple of years and most of my clients look at this photography and they feel they feel something in it like us you know I can artsy tired clean image that that they can relate to and that's that's the important part is is having your client related your photography because otherwise the association between you and the client doesn't work in and into being up for or mashed, if you will. So so it's very important to kind of screen your client and be true to who you are, and I'm not trying to bend, you know, to to accommodate a client that wants a particular style. So you kind of producing a style, the fashion ford style that is actually you you like that on dh, then through that imagery, you're creating some sort of emotional response from your client and that's. Another point that I'll get to later is that every sale had your client. You have to move your client emotionally before you'll make any sale. So if your work doesn't create an emotion that you're not going to get a sale, and I think clearly you're doing that, tell me, okay, so now I know a little bit about your style, but tell me actually, okay, so how do I how did you do it in two years? And you're booking ten thousand dollar weddings, the world wants to nil what your secret is, uh, well, I'm gonna be a brutally honest it has almost nothing to do with photography. It has it has a little bit to do with it I mean, obviously your you know your imagery has to be it has to be on par, but ninety percent of it has to do with your branding in your marketing and the type of products that you offered to defines so you can't go around ofthe rain uh, you know, bottom of the barrel albums and you know, in that kind of service is that you need you need to christ, dude, I mean, this is not sorry your products need to be eyes like they have to reflect the quality of the client that you're going after right? It is exactly like you can't go teo teo lou anytime get they you know get a target quality and bag over there something that's you know that's why it's just just like you know, houston behind your brand for your strobes and you will guarantee that if something goes wrong you will fix it on it's just the same same thing here. If anything happens, these albums are you know that I offer are guaranteed if anything goes wrong you know I stand behind my products and they will not find this, you know, to any of my competitors that's kind of like the luxury branding concept where there ah lot haier like, for example, I think bmw started this where is bmw said well, if you buy our car, yeah, it's a lot more expensive than other cause, but we're going to give you five years service and don't have to worry about it, so you're at you're doing that value add through the service and a lot of high end people upscale people time is important, so if they know that they don't have to go back and forth getting their album fixed and you'll do a forum, that means a lot to them. Yes, exactly. I worked with right from the start, actually, like almost a few months after started your mentorship program. I worked with a company called reason who worked on with me on my trending. So they worked on the name one charge, joe. And then from there we moved on to all the products, so from these see it, but from these metal business cards like laser cut on dh all the way tio these, uh enormous, you know, out signature collections. So it's a beautiful album, it's I mean, it just screams luxury, and this thing weighs like fourteen pounds it's ah, okay, so so the products, the products matter a lot and everything from from the way you dress to the way you present yourself to your client eyes all part of this whole got the style so you do uh you got the content where your imagery was good because you've been mentored and you've produced some good work right then you've got these high end products that kind of matched the client that you're you're going too how do you meet the just run into them at you know the store or where how do you run into these people that can spend ten thousand dollars a wedding well it's a mix of different things a little bit of it has to do with you know advertise myself not the preferred vendor's list so I do get customers from their referrals from their elite on my pricing well I don't put my whole priceless online I do say that my prices start at x amount so they already beat out a lot of the people that that obviously can't afford my services from there I got facebook advertising on that also targets a very specific market of brides and and then the rest is bridal shows can you tell me how to maximize or how to attract that client at a bridal show so so again at the bridal show I mean essentially I see other photographers there you know they have a nice little couches and a little tv and stuff you're not there to sell coffee not a furniture tio you know you're there to sell imagery and this is what you two do you need to cover your walls with the most amazing photos, exotic locations and went out, which, you know, I got plenty of during winnings and during your workshops so so again, surround yourself with beautiful in victory put on display, your your top products, that it makes the clients when they go to another booth to look at the other vendor, they look at their albums and it's like, wow, that's crap too, right? So so you want to have that wow factor there and and once and then and don't don't put your flyers up, uh, don't given opportunity for people to just grab it, go, you need to talk to them and engage them and and see what response to get from them and that's it that's where you get the solid eat, and then you can hand off at that point your your packages and this palace or special that you're running during that show on and at the end of the show, email all the people that left very email's, very foreign keeping track, but that's basically it than I do about three or four of those a year. And yeah, like you said, the groom says, yeah, it's full speed or or not? Well, that's great, I mean, I'm really extremely proud of you, joe, and where you're going and I'm like, wow, that's amazing and congratulations to you I believe we do have a question from we do we just we just want to take an opportunity if you have time for this joe here to take some questions from the internet. People are really, really loving hearing from from you as somebody who who has learned from scott, one of the things I thought was cool. A lot of people are checking out your website on dh, which, again, is we can say it on air one sharp joe dot com dot com awesome. So first of all, people want to know what your dog's name is. My dog's name is cleo she's a great name and she's like sleeping right now. Just awesome people, people actually, in all seriousness, would love to know about whether you have dean atlanta. Whether you have a studio, did you say on def? Not where do you meet your clients and then continuing on with that? I'm love photography. Can you have a ten k wedding for wedding business working out of your home? Sasha living room well, I actually in my living room right now I'm in a pretty big studio space and about it's about twenty, three hundred square feet and my studio is on the other hand over there so I got a client waiting area got a tv over there we look at slide shows when they come in to look at their pictures I'll get the stuff all the products are over there as well so yeah so I do meet my clients here this is new prior to that pretty small apartment so I used to be my clients at starbucks and yes you can actually have thank a sales at starbucks most of my son's actually happened at the trade shows so that's uh that's why I made made most of myself thanks joe hey, jim here one more question from mallory rene can you talk a little bit about what you mean by presenting yourself to your clients? The question is how can we pass for fitting into a luxury class if we're kind of middle class and the advice on that uh well I have a terrible sense of style and I went teo I'm not I'm not scott can't can for what he did but I um I got this think of trunk space and they style me so I'm blessed I get the whole friend jax and so that's how fresh you know what? Joe is a pretty tall guy but one thing he's he's modest about his is imagery and things but he has a very good personality where he's going talk to anybody and I think that for him that he that works for him great he's very professional too so I think that works for him well as we love to do here at credible I've joe we have crashed your website everyone go check that out after we leave but no everybody you can check back again later as this is what happens we love it when it happens but when everybody goes to a site at the same time so joe thank you again determine the final words or questions joe is the one who helps me plan on light workshops and things that are so pure if you want to meet joe when you wantto meet kenna and jim then come to paris and we'll all be there now there are only eight spots like actually I do I do want to ask this final question because again it is a really a really good one from elsie who's saying that people looked at your website so you start at thirty for ninety five for your wedding's at and how do you how do you get to ten thousand then what do you how do you work with your clients to get from that base price to the ten thousand? So really what you're looking at my price is thirty five hundred includes a very basic album and absolutely zero er you don't get it, you don't get digital images or anything like that so you have to go out from there there's a middle package around the fifty, five hundred, and then there is a top package. I think around seventy five hundred on day after that, they're supposed to weddings and post engagement sales for products and that's, how you get to get there. Thank you, thank you so much. Tell us again, joe, where we can find you. Where can we follow you? We owe and on facebook as well, write these books, nash went charging and code five in our chat room. Who is a regular here? Wants to know if your dog, cleo, has a twitter handle on where wait for instagram. If it does, I'm not mentoring him anymore, all right?