Jeweler Teaches Photo Marketing

SB Atkins Photo ©2011

Family Photo

I just heard a radio commercial for local jeweler. They were explaining that the cut of the diamond makes a big deal in the look of the diamond. They went on to invite people into their store to see a side by side demo of this they have available.

Professional photographers can use the same technique to demonstrate to clients the differences between professional and consumer photography and print quality.

Your basic display should have three prints.

1. Show a camera phone picture taken in the style as a consumer would take, no lighting, flat dull posing and poor clothing selections.

2. Take the same group, better clothing choices, adjust pose for better lighting, arrange group in pleasing composition. Large people in back or center, covered slightly with smaller people, you know the techniques. Have great color, tones, focus and definitely a top notch professional photo print on display next to the drug store made camera phone print.

3. Good idea to have your pro print also printed at drug store. Be sure the drug store does not do a great job.

When showing this display do not have a smug or condescending attitude as you point out the differences. Explain the clothing consultation was a discussion you had with your client and some suggestions that the family went back to their closet and made some additional choices. Do not suggest they had to go to a store and buy new clothes. Your amazing photos are the result of professional training, experience and taking the time to discuss some important details that contribute to make the very best memorable photograph that everyone is proud to own.

Get social media exposure telling everyone you have this available, be sure to mention the display during phone calls and always show and get comments to anyone visiting your studio.

Wall Portraits Alive And Well

I saw at my 2nd cousin’s house this weekend evidence that displaying wall portraits is very much still “alive and well” with the younger generation. Heather and Peter are in their mid 20′s, finished college and just had their first child.

On their family room wall, proudly displayed was a 30×40 collage style mat filled with multiple professional 8×10 and 5×7 family images. Background color was a brownish mat with cut outs for prints in a thin metal frame, no glass. They must have purchased it at Michael’s. Also saw professional baby pictures as 8×10′s in paper easels on end tables. As a young family in a difficult economy, they still managed to find a way to display their prints within a limited budget.

Again, what I saw was a host of pictures, not just one print or two displayed as “hard copy.” There was a lap top computer sitting on the table. No one said, ”Let’s gather around to see our pictures on the lap top.” Also on the coffee table was their wedding photo album proudly displayed for all to view.

So what is my point? Traditional portrait values are still very much present in professional photography. Plenty of clients still want hard copy professional photo prints. Far too many professional photographers are psyching themselves out to believe the contrary. Middle class families can still afford a $25,000 automobile. Are auto dealerships’ lots flooded with $14,000 cars thinking that is all the public can afford? No! The general public wants value though. The “value concept” is what professional photographers need to concentrate on and provide that: great posing, composition, lighting and price-packaging for variety. Auto dealerships could never survive selling entry level $14,000 cars nor can you and the portrait industry survive by selling “shoot & burn CDs” alone.

Decorating With Portraits

Browse more than 600,000 photos from top wall décor designers. This site should more than convince those photographers out there “consumers don’t want bare walls” in their new homes, and they want photos on their walls too. Minimalism (bare walls) is not the in thing. People who want bare walls have no imagination. Most people do decorate with photos and art. Please, check out this website and see how USA home owners decorate their walls; yes, with portraiture too.

We have included other links to give you ideas on using portraiture for wall décor. Pottery Barn illustrates how to decorated with their frames. As you view their sample walls one can easily visualize how to decorate a wall with smaller prints and frames. Once you customers see what can be accomplished with your portraits they will purchase professional photo prints, but you most likely will have to show them how. Even a mom with a senior can easily decorate a wall without going over budget. Again, you must plant the idea in mom’s mind.

Family portraiture can take on a whole new venue once mom sees how you can transfer a simple wall into a family wall “icon” that is decorative yet still  tastefully showcases her family. Family portraiture no longer has to be about a large single print hanging on the wall. Cluster framing just might be another solution for those moms who cannot image a large print on their wall. Years later the framed cluster can be separated into subsets or distributed individually throughout the house. Possibilities are endless. But you must first sell the idea and then let mom’s imagination take over. If you don’t want to sell frames, simply direct them to Pottery Barn, Michael’s, etc.

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.

How To Get JR Class Officers To Be Senior Reps

Adrian Michigan Senior Portraits

Senior Portraits, Adrian Michigan

Your goal is to get them to come to your studio for mini sample sessions and get their opinion on senior pictures and current senior styles and fashions. Get these images and their comments on the class officers FB and Twitter. Post the same information to your studio blog. Do some video snippets of these sessions and interviews and yes, put them on FB and your blog. Tweet the links.

How to get started. You are going to send them a letter addressed to Junior Class President, ABC High School. Your letter should present the idea that as a class officer their opinion and thoughts are important. This letter must be flattering to them but also sincere. You would like to show them how much fun pictures can be and how much their loved ones will appreciate having a professional photo prints. You get to show their family, them and their friends how much fun and how important senior pictures are in their lives. During the session and pose viewing you want to get their opinions of senior pictures. Take some video featuring their comments and experience. After they get a few prints and present these to their families get some more reactions from them and their parents and friends. All of this can be edited tastefully and placed on your blog, Facebook and Twitter. Later these officers might be able to create a small mailing list of their friends for you, you just need to ask. You should now have samples of the next senior class online to show and stir up a little action. You will also have testimonials explaining the value and importance of senior pictures on your blog and social media pages.

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.

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  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 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 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.

How Portrait Studios Grow Profits

Fact. Disk only photography coverage today for portraits and weddings may seem cheaper but in the long run of life and memories are very expensive and of little true value. A disk only coverage is really a disservice to the wedding couple and their families.

SB Atkins Photo ©2011

Family Photo

Reason. Disks of images are never shown again or even very much at first. Disks have a very low long-term archival stability. Additionally, ask around to find someone who can show you a Sony Beta video tape or for that matter, how many VHS tape players are still being used? CD’s are only a few years, if that long, away from non-use or existence.

People who think a disk is ok for today because they plan to get a wedding photo album or maybe some quality professional photo prints made are really fooling themselves. People’s natural tendencies are to procrastinate. The cheap disk will get lost in a drawer and be forgotten until it is to late to rescue the images locked inside and have an album or prints made. By the time someone finds the disk it will likely be to late.

These disks will be found someday by kids going through grandma’s old stuff. The kids will likely think this shiny circle is probably some kind of tree ornament. Some other lucky kids will find a book or box of photo prints showing mom, dad, grandma and grandpa at a wonderful old time party.

Now which set of kids will be your customers?

What are you allowing your customers to leave their kids?

If you don’t explain this to your customers everyone, you, them and most importantly their kids all loose.

Family events deserve professional photography and these memories deserve to be printed and preserved.

Professional photo printing and Wedding photo albums, the caring solutions to the disk only photography problem.