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


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.

Do Your Eyes ‘Have It’? Take This Test And See!

Here is a nice color test that will give you an idea how well you can differentiate subtle color tones. Additionally you can use the test to get an idea of how well your monitors are presenting subtle color tones to you. The test I am writing about is found at the X-rite Photo webesite.  Their Color IQ Test is free and you can take it multiple times to try and improve your score or compare two monitors you might have to see which monitor allows you to achieve the best score. That would then be the monitor that is the best to use for your work. A well calibrated monitor will help you achieve a better score. I have found squinting a little so the display gets a little out of focus or soft helps in making those tough comparisons. As you take the test you will realize what I am talking about. An easy test that can become addictive as you try to get a perfect score.

Professional Photography Profits Soar

Now is the perfect time to begin making your marketing and sales call plans. Dance schools come to mind as a top priority. Communion children portraits should be on your list. Any sports league you can contact and begin or renew dialog with is essential. A time and business management technique that is important here is to first recognize you need to make these sales calls. Since you are reading this it seems you are considering the assignment. You next step to ensure you actually follow through with the task is to go to your appointment calendar and schedule days for the sales calls and also days to plan your calls. Actually make the appointment for yourself on your schedule. If you do not do this step very likely you will put it off and never make the calls resulting in lost sales.

In all of these meetings you want to explain your services in a manner that shows how they benefit the group or group leaders. You are making their jobs easier, less stress, no hassle or phone calls or texts from angry parents. Of course the pictures are great, you have excellent customer service and follow through. Your customers are happy and satisfied with your service and products and they routinely express their positive experience to those who selected you.

When you are looking for the names and contact information for those in charge of groups be sure to ask all your friends, family and clients if they know of anyone on a committee or if they know someone who might know someone. Ask everyone this same question, do you know of someone in charge or someone else who might know. Ask them also on their advice on how to proceed, what is important to talk about, what parents are wanting. People like to be empowered and like to help others and being asked for their opinion tells them you feel they are valuable and important. Be sure to listen carefully and take notes, yeah write the stuff down. This truly shows people you value what they are saying. Plus it helps you remember the details, phone, email, names and dates you were given. Ask if you could use their name when you follow through with this recommended contact.

Speaking of notes, keep a notebook or computer file with contact date history, names of those contacted and a summary of what was discussed. Keys to list are what you intended to talk about, what you found out and finally what you plan to do next. Now go to your calendar and schedule your next sales step with this contact.

If you need a coach to help you with organizing your sales calls contact Pechman Customer Service for a referral to a sales pro who can explain these ideas or answer a specific question concerning the sales process you may have.

How To Optimize Your Photography Website

As a wedding professional, you want to make sure that your website or blog does the best possible job of speaking for you. Your website is your front lobby and it must act as a virtual receptionist. Many articles discuss web site “optimization” the art of getting your site ranked on the search engines. Equally important is optimizing your site so visitors will take action and either pick up the phone to schedule an appointment with you, or send you an email.

Here are some suggestions:

Start with a Home Page that is visually appealing and resonates with your bridal audience. Feature photographs that show the spontaneity of the wedding day. They should be the fun, candids of the day. You don’t need a lot – maybe 3 to 5.

Include a few carefully chosen words to make the best introductory impression. Focus this statement on them and the emotional benefits they will receive. Also, clearly showing your contact information and the areas you service is very important.

Provide some video client testimonials.

Offer a bonus gift or information for their first meeting in your “Call To Action” Contact Link.

Have an About Us Page that reveals who you are. Create a virtual rapport with your potential client by including a photo of yourself, even better; include a photo of yourself in the act of working with a client. In the brief text, discuss the high quality service you provide and a little history about yourself and your company.

Clients are searching for a photographer at this early point in their wedding planning and are looking for someone who they can be comfortable with, someone that can capture the fun and excitement of the day. Include testimonials from the bride and groom featured in those photographs. A link to a video snippet interview would be good to use. Let your clients tell their story about how great of a photographer you are and how easy and fun you are to work with. Nothing convinces people to make a decision more than hearing the words of commendation from their fellow peers – people that have been through it before and have been satisfied with the result.

Encourage a get together with both the bride and groom at a time that’s convenient for them. Let them know that this is a meeting to help all of you get to know each other better. Let them also know that you have several resources that they are welcomed to and could really facilitate their planning needs and you’re happy to share those resources with them at that first meeting.

The point we’re trying to make here is this. The first contact with today’s wedding client should never be about you – it should always be about them. Once a client feels that they are important to you as a person and not just another booking the door is opened to talk about yourself, your passion for your art, and how much you’ll enjoy working with them.

Also, showing fun, spontaneous photographs will speak to their heart and soul because that’s exactly what they’re looking for in their wedding photography. And, your customer testimonials will help seal the deal on getting them to come in and talk with you.

In the wedding industry, every year is a rebirth. You cannot rest on the laurels of satisfying customers and hoping for referrals. Even when someone recommends your company to another engaged couple, if your website and blog are not up to par, you can turn them off before you even have the chance to meet them. In this day of technology and online communication, it is vital that your website not only does your talking for you, but also makes you look good, and allows your prospective client to connect with you in as easy a manner as is possible.