Jump Start Your Spring Portrait Sales

Live animals in studio for small children.

Pet promotion working with a local grooming salon.

Portrait fund raiser with church or civic group.

Business Portrait refresher trade in program. Offer past customer trade in, upgrade, renewal of their portrait at a discount. Special days only.

Police, Fire, EMT, Judges, Politician, Civil Servant promos. Roster boards / composites or portraits of retirees.

Sales calls on all nursery schools in your market. Spring promo portraits.

Reach out to all dance schools showing custom premium action dance photos. Also offer basic posed dancer and group photos. Two different programs for them to choose.

Contact me with your thoughts or questions. I would appreciate hearing any promo ideas you have. Usually these discussions bring out many new and improved ideas. Give me a call to jump start your Spring Sales.  Your blog comments are also welcome and appreciated.


Boost Revenue With Mini-Sessions

Why Mini Portrait Sessions?

Mini sessions are a great way to boost business anytime of the year. One caution, do not over do it, because consumers soon may expect it instead of a regular session.

When doing mini sessions, a photographer should have a defined set of goals while keeping in mind that these sessions are only 15 to 20 minutes long. KIS–keeping it simple applies given your time is valuable. Themes should closely align with the needs of your clientele. Think of these sessions as “Lite” or “Petite.” Market as such. Mini Session link examples: LINK 1  LINK 2

1. For portraiture keeping up with stages of a child’s growth or a cute phase.

2. For special gifts for grandparents.

3. Up dating a family portrait with new child.

4. Need current image for Greeting Cards.

5. Engagement sessions for brides on low end budget.

6. Not for seniors, except for last minute year book photo.

7. Mom’s or Dad’s recent promotion or wedding anniversary.

8. Fast and easy pet sessions.

9. Great for “theme style” portraits for children: fairies, Halloween, Thanks Giving, etc.

10. Some photographers have a special day theme each month just for mini-sessions. Great for infant photography programs–3,6,9 &12th month portrait.

11. Impromptu family reunions–group shots only.

Suggestions to help:

1. Keep images down to a conservative number: 1 per minute or max. 30.

2. Use outdoors when ever possible, same location. Have rain make up date set.

3. Reduce the customary session fee up to 50%, but not the individual print price. Instead establish unique mini session packages to establish a sale price.

4. Relying only on “Image Posting for proofing” will result in lower sales or aces.

5. Face to Face selling will result in higher sales averages.

5. Don’t like to sell or don’t have the time, sell packages so that lowest priced package + session fee is $200 minimum.

6. Mini session revenue average should not be lower than 50% of your regular sitting average. Example: $400 x 50% = $200. Yours may be higher or lower.

7. Use coupons for Greeting Cards to remind clients to place their orders early.

8. Token of your gratitude: Place several images on FB, etc. for them only after they make their purchase.

9. If some consumers don’t want prints: Disk is default at $200. They should know this up front. Editing for other than bloopers at additional cost.

10. Establish a referral program.  Keep all email address for future mailings.

Some of our clients are doing mini-sessions right now. It’s is a tradition for them.

Looking forward to discussing the pros & cons of Mini Sessions with you via comments or your phone call.

To your success,

Steve and Frank

PS: Mini Sessions–a great way to build up a client base.

PPS: Try our video-slide show program–Free for 30 days.

Innovative Products Will Save The Portrait Industry

Found: One Possible Solution to Save the Portrait Industry.

Look out! There is a fork in the road ahead. Turn right or turn left? Soon a decision must be made.

~Professional photography is waiting for the next innovation in portraiture to launch a new era of consumer demand.


~By innovation we mean products beyond where the industry is today. For one major reason, we would certainly place our bet on technology leading the way. That’s because consumers under 30 years of age are totally engrossed in everything technology.

~Current product life extension of portraiture isn’t cutting it: even with prints on metal, print wraps and floats, images on ceramics, wedding albums with exotic leather covers or as press books (a.k.a. children’s Dr. Seuss books).

An all important question.

Are Seniors and Brides really waiting in lines to book appointments to get their hands on a metal print or a press book? Millennials are balking at such products as we speak, more so everyday. Ask any professional photographer, even the “home run hitters”, their answer is a resounding, no. If Millennials do call and book, they want that disk before they are willing to purchase anything additional.

Traditional marketing methods, Internet and Cloud Marketing are not producing hoped for results.  Apathy is just too intense, even with some Moms, which puts a dent in not only your income, but also greatly impacts photography vendors, suppliers, labs, Kodak and Fuji as well.

OK. What is the answer? Imaging technology seems promising.

Like the digital camera, imaging technologies are fantastic tools in the hands of professional photographers. New products must be developed by professional photographers who are willing to explore cutting edge “technology and software.” Such products must attract millions of apathetic consumers back to professional studios.

” Steve has an idea for you that uses current technology borrowed from advertising agencies to create immediate impact.

IMPACT is what professional photographers need right now. Steve recognizes his idea is just the tip of the iceberg. Brainiac pros need to explore my idea’s potential, he says, and run with it.”   Read on.

How so? First and foremost, photographers are on the front line. They should be conducting research for new product development ideas given they are in constant, face to face, contact with the buying public. This is where market research must take place given the numerous paradigm shifts caused by the digital age.

When we ask the big suppliers if they are in direct contact with the buying public, their answer is “minimally” at best. Why so? The major reason is nearly zero revenue in pro and amateur film sales and reduced usage of photographic paper no longer warrants extensive marketing research. What does that mean? Mostly that photographers, album suppliers and labs basically are on their own. There is no calvary coming to save the day. It’s up to us. We must team up.

Second, no matter what technology is going to be used, the professional must sell an “image.”  Any forth coming innovative process is still all about “image creation” that the consumer is willing and eager to purchase.

There are two parts to the long term solution: 1. image creation and 2. the medium by which the image is shown. Right now the millennium consumer is overly interested in the Cloud medium: Facebook, etc., while shunning anything hard copy.

A world wide problem has ensued. Far too many consumers have arrived at the conclusion that they or someone they know can provide all those important image creations, more or less for free. Uploading to Facebook is a simple task for them to accomplish on their own with wireless technology: cell phones, Ipads, etc. Also, an avalanche of free APPS is not making life for the pro any easier.

In summary:

What needs to happen is a major paradigm shift in the image creation process far beyond what the consumer can do for themselves, even right now, with or without major changes in technology. Results must easily create consumer demand. That is key.

Solutions are all around us right now, but they have not been assimilated into portraiture, just yet. Call to action: We all can help each other find the right direction with the right technology if we work as a team.

Here is Steve’s solution that must be explored more in depth: Live Pictures a.k.a. Cinemagraphs. You be the judge if cinemagraphs will renew consumer interest in professional portraiture.

All we ask is that you take a good look and consider all the possibilities of Cinemagraphs & Tutorials  before your competitors do.

Consider your website and Facebook page drawing renewed attention using the Live Pictures concept.

Your comments are welcome and will be appreciated by everyone. Sharing knowledge is a gift.

To your continued success, Pechman Marketing Team


Where Has All The Senior Portrait Business Gone?

Where Has All The Senior Portraits Gone?

Studios have misunderstood the shift in the market.

Less money to spend, more new exciting things to spend what money they have on and an increase in newbie wanna-be shooters are some of the causes that have gotten people out of the habit of having professional portraits made.

Studios have not yet I believe accepted the fact that in all their years of marketing their senior photography it is doubtful that they ever convinced a student or parent to have senior pictures made.

What they did was get a person who had already planned on having pictures taken (a habit, tradition began with the use of ego’s) to choose their studio for the work. That is not the same as getting someone to decide to have a portrait made.

The fix in 2014 to the senior photography market is learn how to persuade a person to have a professional portrait made of themselves and purchase photo prints. To convince someone to have a portrait made you have to discuss benefits not features. You need to appeal to their emotions and ego. They want to be remembered, not forgotten. Their graduation is a major accomplishment in their lives deserving respect from others as well as themselves. DIY efforts and part time disk only wannabees show no respect to the achievement. Cell phone shots and selfies are fun but they are also everyday routine parts of their lives. Everyday and routine are not in the same class as special achievement. These types of images are disrespectful of the students hard work.

In the beginning professional senior portraits were assembled into a beautiful piece of artwork, the class composite. If you get a chance to see some of these from 80-100 years ago they were truly beautiful pieces of art. These were displayed in schools for years showing later students those that came before them and had made the cut, got the grade and graduated. They accomplished something to be proud of and were remembered. We need to get this feeling back. Maybe we can’t do the class composite. We can however have the family preserve and enshrine this accomplishment in their own home showcase of honor. A picture wall with all the generations and achievements of the family.

As always, if this stirs up any thoughts or you have an idea to add or debate, please let me know. Comments and critique are welcome and appreciated. Everyone will benefit from your insight and contribution.  Steve

Living Portraits – The Future of Photo Marketing

Photography has always evolved along with advancements in technology. From plates to film, from black & white to color, from analog to digital and now from still to motion.

Living portraits evolve the art of photography by adding a seamless element of motion. The effect is simply mesmerizing.

Living portraits or cinemagraphs™ are a fun product that can be used to excite your younger clients and generate portrait sessions where you will have the opportunity to sell additional classic prints. Living portraits can be made with Photoshop or with specialized software (Flixel).

The design collaboration with your client will lead you to some amazing images. During this process you will have the opportunity to build a strong relationship that will lead to better sales, happier customers, less stress, fewer complaints. All in all, a good thing.


Stand Outs – A Modern Alternative To Canvas Wraps

Stand Outs –  What are they? A modern alternative to canvas wraps. Stand Outs feature crisp clear images, brilliant colors and sharp edges.

Sell Stand Outs in groups of 3 or 4 images as a cluster arrangement. People want to use multiple images vs just one large print. Later you can show your client how they can add other events in their family life to create a family photo wall tribute. Some examples could be a photo restoration of great grand ma you made for them. One of their children had a super year in little league and won an award. Graduation portraits of course. Fluffy the cat should have a spot on the wall.

You could create a loyalty club program for customers purchasing ‘Stand Outs”. They receive special promotions and discounts for repeat visits and purchases. Always include a coupon or reminder in every package you deliver.

Should You Include A Frame In The Price When Selling A Wall Portrait?

Reasons to include a frame in the price of the wall portrait:
1. It gives more control of how the photography leaves your studio.
2. From a customer service perspective, the client is able to make all of their decisions when they place their order and they end up having a finished product in a few weeks that is READY to be displayed.

Many photographers who do not include a frame in the price still present the print to their clients at delivery in a suggested frame that is then available for purchase at a discounted rate.

1. Makes the print look much nicer.
2. Easy for client to just pick it and not have to make another stop at a frame shop.

You need not stock nor should you many different styles. A couple of basics will do nicely. Place the print in the frame, make the presentation. Your client gets the idea of how nice the print will display when placed inside what ever frame the finally choose. At the moment they can take an easy step and accept your frame or you can remove it and they can make another stop at a frame shop. Either way they are happy, you offered a convenient service that is appreciated.

What is the best marketing tool for staying in touch with your clients?

Email and Phone is considered by many to be the best methods. The handwritten note is rare today but for the few portrait photographers using them they are seeing very good results. One of the keys in sales is to get your portrait customers attention. The personal handwritten note sent via the US Postoffice, due to it’s rarity, does an excellent job of getting your clients attention.. The more personal your communications become, the more results you derive. A combo of all methods is required to be successful.

Sell Wall Portrait Groupings – Boost Photo Studio Profits

Show groups of 3 photo prints as a portrait bundle. Offer 2 or 3 print finish options. Classic Color, Techno Color, Silver Tone. (Note: make up your own product names. Research other industries for trends in naming.) Present a choice of one large and two smaller images and a grouping with 3 identical size portraits. Show two frame style choices with your bundle, Classic / Contemporary; Mini / Bold, just use names that are current, catchy and  that draw a customers interest.

Selling tips:
Have actual display samples of your photo bundles with a couple of the options.

Make a Black and White set (Silver Tone) that has clean bright highlights and detailed black shadows. If your Silver Tone images don’t pop search for some help in getting this look. Lighting is also important for these images.

After your client has selected the poses they prefer you can ask which of these samples you have showing they like the best. They can just point to a display and you can then make their order ‘just like the sample’. Next step is to write up the order and collect the money.

The EYES Have It

In communication with a sports photographer last week he described to me the importance of seeing the eyes of his subject. He shoots close up big time sports action shots. His words, “the eyes are the window to the soul’. Now I have described this idea myself but I have always been a portrait photographer. Now my sports shooter colleague is telling me that he works for the same thing in his fast moving split second timing sports photography.

A mentor of mine several years ago, this was during the Black and White Senior Portrait days with hand colored portraits, would look high school girls very closely in their eyes to determine the proper color to send to the oil colorist. Her conversation went something like, “Oh how beautiful, hazel eyes and yes, with gold flecks”. Now if you could see this high school girl when she was told she had ‘gold flecks’ in her eyes the kid just about came up off the chair in delight.

I learned to explain to the portrait subject as I adjusted my lights and reflectors during a photo session how beautiful their eyes looked and with the addition of the last light or reflector that now their eyes really look amazing.

Summing up for all my portrait friends, focus, literally on their eyes. Focus, figuratively on the lighting and your conversation to emphasize the beauty and importance of their eyes. Their eyes are like my sports colleague felt, “the window to their souls”. Remind the loved ones of your subject these same ideas.

Oh, don’t forget to present the idea to the parents that a wall portrait, grouping or composite proudly displayed within their home will do a lot to enhance the self image of their children.

“The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.”― Marcus Tullius Cicero