Photo Proof Books Destroy The Smartphone

Photo proof books should destroy the smartphone. Likely not for awhile but eventually Mom’s will start to realize the flashy phone isn’t as warm and fuzzy as a classic proof book.

Everyone wins with hard copy photo proof books. The recent trend in sharing pictures of your family when you are with friends is the ubiquitous smart phone. (Been trying to use that word for a couple weeks now)

A classic printed proof book with high quality photo prints can be touched, held and cherished. The feel of the proof book gives an intimacy with your family not possible with the cold electronic format.

The classic printed proof book provides your children with a strong sense of belonging and family stability not possible with the fleeting, here today, gone tomorrow characteristic of the electronic medium.

Professional photographers win with classic printed brag proof books through the increased sale and the continued happy customer who each time they share their kids with friends using their proof book will be thanking you time and time again.

Pechman Professional Photo Lab has several proof book styles available at economical prices.

Top 5 all Time Senior Picture Marketing Steps Techniques Strategies

  1. Reps or Ambassador Program
  2. Displays
  3. Direct Mail
  4. Word of Mouth – Referral Program
  5. 3rd Party Promotion

Any one of these techniques has generated sessions for senior portrait studios. Combining two or three or better yet all five will produce much better results.

Your Rep program is a key to get things started or the ball rolling. Your reps are the first to pass out info, get on their Facebook or Twitter and talk up the fun of senior pictures and very importantly ‘doing it right’  by having a real pro do the work. I doubt they would trust a friend to mess with their car or give them a hair cut. Since when do they let their friends sew up a new shirt or blouse for them? Your reps help you get a list of names you can send a letter and brochure of your services. This lets the senior know you are serious about their business and that you respect them enough to formally invite them to your studio. Reps are some of the first images of the year you can place on your website, blog and Facebook.

Displays help in a couple of ways. Being accepted to be part of a portrait print display is a big honor and ego boost for the student. They will want to be a part of this. We have written other articles outlining some ideas for portrait print displays and how to get locations to let you show your prints. A key point today with a print display is that is shows to potential customers the value and benefits of having real prints and having them in larger sizes that are enjoyed on a wall for many people to see.

Direct Mail is where you formally invite seniors and their families to visit your studio and discuss senior portraits. Their value and the many styles your can offer them. Show a few examples in your brochure of photography and pricing. Examples, not the entire story. Use the direct mail to drive them to your blog, website for further information. Here you can tell a little more but not everything. Enough to get them to book an appointment or call you to book. Be ready to properly handle this phone call.

Word of Mouth – Referral Program — After you have photographed a student you have a couple of steps you need to do. During and just after the session shoot a few video snippets capturing the student having a great time posing for their pictures. After the session during a sort of debrief you can engage them in a conversation that will get them in their own words to describe their thoughts on how much fun they had and how important they see this is for their family. The very people who have stood by them and loved them their entire life. After all, this photo gift can only be given by the student, they are in control. Use these videos on your blog and Facebook. Have links to these in your emails you send out to future inquiries. When you have students and parents carrying folios or proof brag books and showing them to their friends you should also have a Referral Program. As friends see these proofs they will be impressed and will ask where these portraits were taken. You customer can give this friend one of your referral certificates that offers them some kind of special discount. For every certificate redeemed your original customer gets some kind of thank you bonus. Everyone wins with this approach. You could create an electronic version of this as well. If you provide a couple of Facebook images for your customer to display do it with a request they send links or tweets to all their friends and have the friends also mention your name and special offer. When people call you, you can inquire if they saw you on Facebook or twitter and then give your first customer the bonus credit.

3rd Party Promotions – Here you work with another business to promote to the senior. This other merchant could provide a discount coupon you would include in one of your direct mail packages. Pizza shop, athletic shoe store, fast food restaurant, tux shop are a few places to check out. They could provide space for a portrait print display. You could offer them photo discount coupons they could use in marketing to their customers who purchase some special offer they are promoting.

For any of these techniques, you must have a plan in place in your studio to answer the phone and convert the call into an appointment. (See a previous blog post for a suggested technique) You also need to work on an email response that will convince email inquiries to call your studio or go to your website and book their appointment. Consider some of the styles of emails you receive after visiting a website and requesting some information. Have a series of short emails ready to send to the parents of students or short text messages you can send the student that will convince them they need to act now for senior pictures.

End of Year Seniors


Phone calls to your studio — be prepared to respond with a special sale offer. Every phone contact you receive is valuable. You can not afford to let a potential customer hang up without making an appointment.

To get some ideas to help writing up your phone presentation, watch late night TV infomercials. Learn the techniques of presenting the products features by explaining the benefit of each feature. Have a total value price that is on special and even discounted a little more for those who act now. And oh yeah, almost forgot, “But Wait There’s More”, have an extra special bonus for them if they book right now and give you a credit card. You could even offer a two for one special, just like late night. They bring a student friend and both get a session.

Your offer needs to be tested and tuned until you find one that is irresistible. Try to make a package that does not exist with other photographers. This eliminates direct comparisons if they are shopping. Be able to explain the compelling benefit of each feature. Use emotions, get the caller involved with the fun, excitement and memories possible with quality portrait photography. This is a once in a lifetime event being preserved. Why would they trust this to just anyone getting started or learning on their time and dime?

Print package special would likely include a session, mention it has been very popular and is the one they have seen most of their friends have. Talk about the different poses and outfits and locations. Let them know how each will make them look great, handsome, beautiful, intelligent, what ever the mood or feeling of the shot. Oh yeah, almost forgot, part of the super spiffy special this session includes some extra shots, poses or outfit changes that are great to include a friend if you like. Next talk about some of the photo prints in the package. Explain how much each family member and friend will appreciate every print they receive. Different sizes and poses for different people. There could be a bonus here as well, an extra pose and print in the super spiffy special not in regular packages. People want lots of poses so a brag proof book would be a good thing to include. Explain they likely will want some poses for their Facebook on a disk. This and/or the brag proof book could be the “but wait there’s more” closing offer. After you go through the package in detail and before mentioning the price run through the package again quickly outlining all the products and services and then mention the low special price. Pause a bit and then ask how this sounds to them. Way to high, About right, Can’t believe I get so much… then wait for response. Have some answers prepared and some extra things you can add at special prices.

One of the best opening lines ever for incoming phone calls to your studio just after the customer identifies themselves and states the reason for their call you reply…  it’s great you called today.  Pause a bit, they will be surprised to hear this. Then continue with, We are right in the middle off, or Just getting started with, or In the final few weeks off, our super spiffy special.  Replace of course super spiffy with the Name of your special.

To help make your phone ring a little more–

Use your studio Facebook page to post some pics and mention your end of season sale.

Ask your friends and previous customers to post something similar.

Tweet about the special and all the fun kids are having with the sessions. Describe how glad they are that they decided to have senior pictures taken professionally at a real studio.

The word is… It’s not to late to get in on all the fun and excitement of senior pictures.

There’s still time to get in on creating a lifetime memory and they are the only one who can do it.

Senior portraits costs less than you think.

Coming up, a tip on how to get class officers to brag about your studio and a blog post detailing The Top 5 All Time Senior Picture Marketing Steps.

As always your comments and suggestions are welcome.