Future Proof Your Family Photo Memories

Trusting your families photo history to electronic storage only is a bit risky. Take Facebook as an example, most high school age students no longer hang out there. So all those pictures stored there  mean nothing to them.  One simple, inexpensive, highly reliable and very safe method for archiving a families photo memories is to select the most important milestone images and have a hard copy Kodak Photo Print made. Store these prints on a shelf or in a safe in an archival quality print box. Years from now any print can be rescanned and additional hard copy prints can be made for any family member. No need to search through folders of files, old cell phones that no longer work or some cloud that went out of business. A source for archival print boxes is the University Products Company. Your studio can create a product or service to clients by bundling a print box and say 25 5x7s to get them started with their Memory Collection. Place a retail price on the box, maybe have a discounted price with a package or print bundle purchase. You could also gift a box or small bundle of prints with a large order. There are a lot of ways to engage your clients in this idea of preserving their memories with the safety and reliability of hard copy prints.

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.

How To Increase Photography Sales

Portrait Photographers Rochester Michigan

Portrait Photographers Rochester Michigan

Vault Prints Provide Profits and Future Proof Memories

Legitimate reasons for your customer to need additional printed copies from their photo session will provide additional photography studio income. One rarely thought of reason, usually until it is to late, is ‘Vault Prints’.

The best way to explain the ‘Vault Print’ concept is to describe the sales presentation. 

You are meeting with Mrs. Johnson to show her the poses you made from her family portrait session. During the sales presentation Mrs. Johnson has indicated to you her favorite pose of each segment of the session. You have gone through these favorites making note of the size and finish of the desired prints to be made for each important family member and display location. Family room, dad’s office, mom’s office, living room, Grandma’s and Grandpa’s, add your own ideas here.

At this point you can pause a moment (sometimes an “oh, I almost forgot” works well) and then ask Mrs. Johnson which pose or what size print she would like to use for her Vault Prints. You likely will get a strange look or question, What is a Vault Print? Explain that some of your customers have learned that while having you make nice copy and restoration images of their older family photos it would have been more economical to have had a few extra prints made and preserved at the time of the session, IE Vault Prints. Your suggestion is to have an extra 5×7 or 8×10 made for each of the children that will be placed in a safe archival print box for safe keeping. (you can provide these to Mrs. Johnson at a discount or as a gift) Later as the children start their own families Mrs. Johnson can give them their box of preserved prints. Mom could even have the prints bound into a nice album that could be gifted at the child’s wedding. This is an especially emotional moment if you explain this to Mrs. Johnson during the sales presentation. WIth this much emotion and the common sense value it is rare when this does not result in a few extra 5×7 prints being sold. Print boxes can be purchased from  University Products.

Aunts, Uncles and family portrait prints –  Sales Idea Bonus.
I was frequently told during sales presentations that the family did not give their brothers and sisters family prints from their family portrait. I learned to respond by asking my customer if they would like to see either their brother or sisters family portraits throughout the years as the kids grew up and changed. The usual response after thinking a moment was yes it would be nice to get a copy, even a small one, of their brother or sisters family portrait. My response then was to ask that do you think if you gave them a copy of your family portrait that they might get the idea and take the hint to send you a copy of their family portrait the next time they had one taken.

Oh yeah, just after you sell Mrs. Johnson these extra few prints, 4×5, 5×7 or 8×10 you could give her some coupons she can mail to her brothers and sisters for a complimentary or discounted session and print sale discount. It might be better if she sent this to them later in the year or a few months after her session. Be sensitive but be sure she knows shortly after her decision to purchase she is getting this bonus. Let her decide when to send it. You might even give her the stamped envelope to send them.

Remember, be aware, selling photo prints from your work has always been the best way for creating profit for your studio and providing value to your customers. Social media movies and digital files are nice and likely necessary in todays market but they are not the profit centers you need nor do they future proof and protect your clients memories as safely as a hard copy printed product.

Feeling a little like Columbo here but just remembered ‘one more thing’. I said make some copies for the children to be stored in archival boxes for the future but I myself realized a little to late in life that my children liked and wanted photographs of the family and their brothers and sisters displayed in their room just as much as my wife and I wanted the family picture in the living room. These personal, they are mine, prints of their siblings are important to children. Sometimes a 4×5 is just fine for this, be reasonable when you sell these, sometimes this is where a Bundle works well. (see Bundle Post).  This display copy could be sold at reduced rate or given to Mrs. Johnson with her purchase of the Vault Print to be stored. This gift would be the extra value and could replace any discount on the Vault Print.

Please comment with your suggestions for this promotion or tell us about your favorite photography studio promotion. Everyone at Pechman Imaging is interested in your thoughts and experiences.

Drop Shipping Helps Grow Photo Sales and Profits

Selling photo products to relatives across the country creates numerous sales opportunities for your studio.  As you begin photographing for the holiday season, keep in mind that Pechman Imaging offers drop shipping via the ‘alternate ship address’ option in ROES. This makes ordering and delivering professional photo prints and greeting cards more convenient and more profitable.

Some ideas on how drop shipping can help grow your portrait studio sales:
Take advantage of upcoming family gatherings to offer large family sittings. Offer picture greeting card specials – photograph large family groups, break the group down into smaller groups, send them proof sheets with the best pose and a simple order form.

Drop shipping allows you to get products into the hands of clients quicker.  As the holiday approaches and you photograph people from out of town, drop shipping allows you to eliminate work and add convenience to your service. Offering this service and passing it through to your client is common practice in retail and the market has come to expect it.  Thus, while offering drop shipping as an inexpensive service, the opportunity to pass along the cost is an acceptable business practice – thus you increase your sales and not your costs.

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.

Photo Collage – A Symphony

Michael's Photography Photo Collage

There is a story about a man who was visiting a museum showing works by the renowned portrait artist Yousuf Karsh. The man was admiring the portrait of famous cellist Pablo Casals. The curator of the museum noticed this man studying the image for an extended time and for some reason thought he should stop and start a conversation. The man viewing the portrait asked the curator to please be quiet since he was trying to ‘hear the music’. The image by Karsh was so compelling the museum visitor felt he could indeed hear Casals playing.

The first photo collage I saw several years ago featuring 9 images of little baby feet, fingers, eyes and wrinkles inspired me to make the comparison that if the Casals portrait of one cellist was music, surely this collage was the entire symphony. The photographer who created this composite used skilled lighting and composition to present each little feature as a living object with shape and feeling. Each image was it’s own tiny little voice speaking to you. If I a non related viewer felt these emotions can you just image how this child’s parents valued this portrait.

A photo collage with this kind of power will be a real money maker for a professional portrait photographer.  Photographers should strive to make their work the very best ensuring each image they create expresses the persons spirit.

Some might say the photo collage is an old idea. As a photographer you may have stopped offering this type of product. That is a mistake. For the mother with a brand new baby this a new idea. Many photo poses from a few years ago will look brand new to today’s parents. The child on a white tricycle on a white background with a few colored helium balloons floating above them was a wild shot 30 years ago and can be popular again. There are many other standards from 10, 20 or 30 years ago that can be resurrected to build portrait studio excitement and the need for a real studio camera room.

Collages are a great way to showcase special life moments, like a baby’s first year (or month!). Wedding photos and high school seniors are also very good subjects for a photo collage. With a photo collage you can assemble all of your customers favorite poses to create a one-of-a-kind keepsake. The Photo Collage is a Unique Photo Gift and The Perfect Memory Keepsake.

Build studio profits everyday with quality professional photo printing from Pechman Imaging.

The hardest part of making a photo collage or growing your business is just getting started. To make this a little simpler Pechman Lab has several styles of photo collage templates you can drag and drop your images to instantly create your own symphony.

Please leave your comments and suggestions to make this article and marketing idea better. Or let us know of topics you would like discussed in future posts.

Profitable Family Portrait Photography Today and Beyond

Portrait Photographers Rochester Michigan

Portrait Photographers Rochester Michigan

Learn how to convert every phone inquiry for a family portrait into an appointment. What if as a bonus you got the customer involved for two more appointments at the same time? (Note: This program will also get Mom’s talking on Facebook about the good deal they received from your studio. This will then generate additional phone calls to your studio.)

How to begin – Print up a little certificate booklet containing 3 certificates each offering an 8×10 portrait (or some basic one pose package) and basic sitting. Price this booklet so that you get the regular price for the first session and 8×10 and then add in your production costs (shipping, prints etc) for the other two sessions. Round this total of the three sessions to anything that you find you have success with ($49, $69, $89). Realize that people first calling and asking prices are usually shocked by $100+ quotes for one picture. Everyone will be telling them numbers like this. You will be different because you have not only taken care of this picture opportunity but their next two needs during the next year or two. This is a big savings in the customers mind. Now when someone calls shopping for a deal, have you got it!  Explain you have a special 3 sitting package that can be used by their family during the next 1-2 years. This could be of the kids, the entire family, mom & dad, grandma & grandpa, the puppy, their senior or a wedding portrait etc. The neat part is that by making the advance purchase they get a super deal. They get three for less than the cost of two. You should also have special additional print prices that go along with this plan.

Of course you need to talk about more than price. Remember this, People buy on emotions, so you still have to get them involved thinking of all the wonderful memories this portrait will preserve for them and excited about you doing the picture. Logic (a sale, good value, service etc.) though keeps this sold and them happy.

Part of your price presentation should be to mention the total regular price of all three sessions and prints. Example: This is a $350 value normally priced at $249 and with the Family Plan today all three sessions and three prints are only $89.  If you have never watched TV infomercials, spend some time there. Follow their methods of presenting their products and prices. You might even have a ‘but there’s more’ offer to add to your family plan for those who take the offer right now with out ‘thinking it over’ or calling back.  You might include a fourth session for only the shipping and handling. Any kind of small bonus will work.

Phone Sales Suggestions – The Studio Phone rings.

Customer – I’m calling about a family picture, how much are your 8×10’s?

Studio – It’s great you called today!  (This gets the customers attention and helps diffuse the need to start talking about money right away.) We’re right in the middle of; just starting; in the final two weeks of; our annual super something special.  Could I ask how you heard of our studio?  When was the last time you had your family picture made?  When do you suppose you will be having the next picture made? I see that this is something pretty special to you since it is something you don’t have done just everyday and I’m sure you’ll want everything done just right, won’t you? Ask questions about the number of people in their family, who normally gets copies of the photograph and when they were planning on presenting the photographs. These questions will help qualify this customer, IE do you want to offer them a Family Plan. If they only have one 8×10 from a sitting you don’t want them for a customer. On the other hand if they have lots of relatives and friends who always get a picture they would be great prospects for a family plan. The additional photo print sale is what makes this profitable for the portrait studio. The customer gets the additional sittings and special duplicate print prices as their reward for being a loyal repeat customer. Everyone wins.

Refunds – If someone moves and asks for a refund of the unused coupons they get the costs that the remaining coupons are worth. Spell this out in writing on the coupon certificate you provide.

Extra Hints – During the first sitting/sales cycle find out who and when they would like the other pictures made. You could go through your card file and remind these people of their need for a sitting, helping you to fill in slow times. Offer your family portrait plan to a current customer you want to give something extra. Sell the plan to current customers to be used by them as a photo gift to one of their friends or relatives. Donate a few plans to charity auctions.

The goal of your Family Portrait Plan is two fold. One – get today’s sitting by being different and offering the great value and service of a Family Plan. Secondly – you want future sessions committed to your photography studio and the Family Plan accomplishes this goal.

Today’s successful portrait studio photographers combine their photo and business skills with quality professional photo printing from their professional photo lab.

Please add your comments and suggestions for this article and others you might like to see in the future.


Boost Portrait Studio Sales With A Portrait Fundraiser

Need to boost your portrait studio sales this year? Looking for a way to help your church or civic group raise some extra money?

Church groups, sports leagues and school bands all need more money.

This is the perfect time for a professional portrait fundraiser. There’s very little cost to start one. Community groups will make attractive profits with your professional photography fundraiser. The program and certificates are easy to sell.

Consider that Family Portraits are Earth Friendly and they are Made in the USA. Your portrait fundraiser program can offer a selection of sizes and styles that are competitively priced and attractively packaged.

Getting a group of people to work for your studio to get portrait appointments is a way of multiplying your sales efforts. You make a couple of calls to get a group (5-50) of people to go out and talk about your studio. If each person made 2 calls each, you have just gotten a lot of publicity from your only two calls.

In addition the group will make all the money they need for their program and those getting portraits will have a wonderful memory and a great savings. Everyone wins big time.

Your plan is as follows. Print a certificate that is redeemable for a portrait session and print (probably an 8×10 or it could be a small multi print package from one pose). This can sell for $9.95, 14.95, 19.95, 24.95 or 29.95, anything that you feel will be acceptable. Give the band group $5, $10, $25 or what ever it takes and you agree to for selling the coupon. You get the balance (keep enough to cover your basic costs). Explain to the group that they collect their fee when they sell and deliver the coupon. The coupons are printed stating that the balance (use actual amount) is payable to the studio at the time of the session. Be sure to also print the group name and all your contact info on the certificate. Emphasize to the group that they have no upfront investment, no bookkeeping, no responsibility to keep your money, only a sure fire way to make money for their group.  Organizations like the idea that they have no investment and even if a coupon is lost or stolen they are not responsible to you for any money. If a stolen coupon comes into your studio the customer still has to pay you your money so you are always covered and need never have to go back to collect anything from the selling group.

You can put a fairly short time limit on the coupon that would get sittings into your studio sooner. A longer time limit, say 1 year, would let the group sell more coupons. People could see using these for seniors or Christmas portraits. You could offer an ‘Early Bird’ bonus for those who choose to use the certificate earlier in the year. This gets some action early in the program and gives you the benefit of both long and short expirations.

Your Portrait Photography Fundraiser offers the following benefits: NO money upfront – you provide all the sales materials the group needs to hold their portrait fundraiser. No selling required. Many people within their group will have a family event during the year that would be perfect to commemorate with a professional portrait. The fundraiser merely allows them to obtain this portrait at a discount and contribute to their groups program at the same time. Everybody wins. Purchasers can call the studio at their convenience for an appointment.

People know and trust your portrait studio because you deliver quality professional photo prints at a great price. This program offers your customers spectacular value and is extremely easy to sell.

Today’s successful portrait studio photographers combine their photo and business skills with quality professional photo printing from a professional photo lab.

Pet Portraits – Professional Photography Studio Promotion

Pet portraits are a great professional photography studio promotion. The most effective way to promote and photograph this pet portraits is to work with a local pet grooming salon. They have the base of customers you are trying to meet. Why run ads when you can make a few sales calls to meet salon owners and present your idea?

The promotion is explained that the pet salon has provided the portrait session as a thank you to their loyal customers. Prints and photo products are available for purchase at special prices the salon has negotiated with the professional photographer.

The photographer will donate to the salon the session and possibly a commission on sales. This is negotiated with the salon owner.

After the salon staff spends the day grooming the pets you will photograph each of the pets before pickup by the pet owner. Many groomers will assist in the photography by directing the pet. Remember, the pet knows the groomer and will respond well to their instructions. From experience these portraits are easier, faster and better without the pet owner being in the salon or involved in the portrait session.

Try to get a close up face, medium and full body shots. Your zoom lens helps a lot with this step. Have enough light to shoot at f8 to f16. You want the pet to be sharp and clear. Some tests will be of help here.

Set up a second visit to show the pet owner the photo proofs or a package of professional photo prints. You could show the images on a computer screen but it is too easy to leave on screen images behind. Prints lying on the table that look like they are heading toward the trash are purchased. Price the proof prints at a higher price for one proof or a discount price if all prints are purchased.

Have various products available in addition to print packages. Photo buttons, picture magnets, calendars, blankets, tote bags any thing you can think of that the customer will want to have their pet portrait displayed.

The keys to the success of this promotion and the benefits to each party are as follows: The salon is able to provide a valuable professional pet portrait to their clients creating good will and lasting loyal customers. The pet owner has a convenient one-stop way to get quality pet portraits at a discount as compared to making a personal studio visit.

You might start your search for pet grooming salons by listing the names of salon locations and owners you might use. Ask you customers the names of grooming salons they utilize for their pet grooming. Ask any friends, neighbors or family members the same question. Take this list and start your visits.

Todays successful portrait studio photographers combines their photo and business skills along with quality professional photo printing from their professional photo lab.

Adobe Lightroom 4 beta Reviews and News

Adobe Lightroom 4 beta is now available for download and evaluation from the Adobe website. This is a full featured piece of software you can use for free until March 31, 2012. At that time you may choose to upgrade or stop using the software. For the professional photographers who want a fast high quality tool to process their raw camera files this upgrade has some excellent improvements. Some of the process module adjustment sliders have been rearranged and renamed to make their use more intuitive. A much requested soft proofing option is now available.

Some great online resources with some up to date information on the new features in Lightroom 4 are:

Michael Reichmann at www.Luminous-Landscape.com  is offering a free 22 minute streaming video showing the primary new features in Lightroom 4. While you are at The Luminous Landscape you should check out their highly recommended photography training videos.

Ian Lyons on his website www.computer-darkroom.com has in addition to his great photography posted a very informative article describing the new features available in Lightroom 4. Read his article:  Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 – Public Beta Preview

Andrew Rodney aka the Digital Dog has posted a video on his website www.digitaldog.net showing the use of the soft proof feature that has been added to Lightroom 4.

If you have never been to any of these sights, be warned, these three photographers have so much amazing information and knowledge available that you will be spending a lot of time on their websites.

Great files deserve quality professional photo printing and some of the very best professional photo prints are available at Pechman Imaging.