It’s happened to all of us at least once. That prospective client comes driving up in their Mercedes Benz S-Class and you start seeing dollar signs (Cha-ching!) You spend hours post-processing masterful artwork on a hundred images and you invest in an expensive canvas or metal print (certain the client will see it and just HAVE to have it). Then, by the time they eventually purchase something, they get that great big ol’ 8×10 (or whatever is the equivalent of your cheapest product). What?!
Three years ago we produced a training DVD series for Jeff & Julia Woods, two of the countries most prominent portrait photographers. As part of their promotional campaign, we created this funny video. At the time I made it I thought it was funny, but now that I’m actually part owner in a portrait studio and have experienced this first hand, it has so much more meaning. So I dragged this out of the moth balls to share it with you. If you’re a portrait photographer, I’m sure you can relate
The top five things I’ve learned (much of which from the Woods) were this:
- Show what you want to sell. Have samples of everything you’d ideally like the client to get.
- Know up front what the client wants from you.
- Shoot for the package, making composition, location and lighting decisions based on how the client will use the photos.
- Post process accordingly (don’t go Lightroom crazy).
- Have a minimum order (I learned that one from Kirk Voclain). If you know going into it that you’re making a certain amount no matter what, that will help you decide how much work to put into ti.