Photography Business – The Print

The print is the secret!

People have been asking me how to improve their photography business, simple it comes down to the print! The past couple of weeks I have had a chance to sit down with a number of photographers.  I have been hearing a lot of the same things from these people and I thought that it would be worth sharing with others. The main issue is how do you impress your customers, set your business apart from others and improve your sales?

Several points keep coming to the forefront

The print
Set yourself apart with the print!

1) For those that do shoot & burn weddings (shoot the wedding and burn the digital files to disk or USB for the client) I have been hearing a number of photographers mention that their customers are complaining about bad prints.  Their clients are taking the images to a discount lab to get prints made. When they get the prints back they are coming back horrible.  Most times the photographer does not know how their client feels as they don’t hear about the bad prints. The clients think it is the photographer ~ because the lab says it is not them.  If the photographer hears it is through a third party and the bad printing has damaged the photographers reputation.

2) Many photographers have seen a drop in the number of assignments they get.  A couple photographers actually inquired of past customers and received some feedback.  One of the biggest points is that clients were not happy with the final prints. Many clients mentioned that it was a pain to go and get the prints done themselves. All had mentioned they were having prints done at a discount lab.

The common statement went something like this…….

“…. the photographers service was great”. “We were not happy with the way the final prints looked”.  “The prints looked like the ones that you get from a one hour lab ~ not professional prints”.  “It took me a week to get a couple pictures done properly. It was a HUGE waste of my time”. One photographer actually brought me a couple of files to print. Their customers had them done someplace else. They wanted to see what their client thought. The response from their client was “These are amazing, we never thought that the printing would do that!!!!”

3) Many of the photographers also mentioned that they needed something to add a WOW factor to the services that they were offering.  They have been giving clients 4×6 & 5×7 prints. The small prints were not impressing their clients.


The consensus

In just about all the comments one thing was clear. The photographer’s clients want/demand something more than a cheap 4×6 or 5×7 one hour print.  I have been saying for years that if photographers want to survive that they need to set themselves apart. Something more than what uncle Bob is doing ~ usually for free because he is a relative and wants to be helpful.  Uncle Bob can have the nice camera. Many times he is handing the wedding couple a disk and that is it.  Or he is printing some prints at the one hour place and handing them to the couple.  The problem is if that is what the “professional” photographer is doing we are not setting ourselves apart and WOW’ing our clients.

So what should professional photographers be doing?

First, every client should be getting a WOW picture.  Something that stands out like a 16×20 or 20×24 portrait fully finished!! Second you should be providing your clients with some professionally printed images that they can show friend’s and family so they can see what a great picture looks like.  Prints that they cannot get at the local one hour!

Finally if you are handing over the disk to the client make sure they know the difference in the printing that they will get.

Remember we need to set ourselves apart for the positive. One of the best ways to do this is with professional printing!

To help with giving some wow to your photography we are offering a coupon for a discount in printing that you can give to your client to get professional printing.  That way they will get the best image possible from your files.  Drop us an E-mail and we will run off some discount coupons for you!

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Adjust images in PhotoShop

Using layers to adjust images in Photoshop

I am often asked what is the best way to adjust images in Photoshop?  So I thought it deserved a post on the blog to help you get the best images when editing.

Question: How do you do color and density corrections in Photoshop?

Answer: I use adjustment layers whenever possible.  Why? If you use adjustment layers then save the file as a PSD you can go back and see what you have done. You can make small adjustments from the last place that you adjusted without starting over. And finally if you get one image looking great and you have a number of others that need the same adjusting then you can drag the adjustment layer to other images.

So how do I do this?

1 – Open your image

2 – Select Adjustment layer (see picture below)

Adjust images in PhotoShop
Adjust images in PhotoShop

Read moreAdjust images in PhotoShop

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Spring Birds

Some of the spring birds I saw from a drive this past weekend.  East of Coaldale. It is amazing how one day you can look and not see a bird then the next day they are everywhere!

With all the fields flooding the returning birds are finding lots of open water to land in.  A REAL change from last year as last year even the lakes were drying up.  Many of my favorite birding spots have actually been dry for a few years.  Some in farmers fields have been turned back to producing farm land as they have dried up enough to get equipment in. My only concern is that this water is only a spring thing and birds will start to nest in the flooded fields and then they will dry up.

I am not one to say everything is a result of global warming but something sure has been playing havoc with the rain and heat patterns.

American Wigeon southeast of Coaldale
American Wigeon southeast of Coaldale
American Robyn, first one of the year. Here come the birds
American Robyn, first one of the year
California Gull out for a morning walk
California Gull out for a morning walk

See more bird images in the gallery

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High Level Print

Another high level print done and ready to head out. It is like one of my babies is leaving for its new home!!! Love this view of the bridge!

This frame helps the bridge to stand out even more. The black outside of the frame plays off the black of the bridge. It is amazing how a picture looks so different in different frames. Even the thickness of the frame will make the print look so much different. I have framed this print many times in my classic black frame and lit looks great. This frame changes all that up!

CPR High Level print
CPR High Level Bridge Lethbridge

High level bridge, Lethbridge, Nature Prints, CPR

More high level bridge prints in the gallery

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Sign your prints?????

Another question that I get a lot is “Should I sign my prints”? and “How should I sign my prints with a real signature or printed digitally”?

Hand sign?

First let me say I DO NOT HAND SIGN MY PRINTS!!!!!!  Why? My signature is horrible!  I see so many artists with amazing signatures. Then there is my signature that looks like a bird flew over the print and dumped on it!  So for me a digital signature is the only choice.

Read moreSign your prints?????

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The differences in printing companies

“What are the differences in printing companies and what should I look for when selecting one”?

This is a question that I hear a lot from people. It seems that anyone that has the money can get a printer (and many people and companies do) thinking that they can start offering printing services. So what are the differences you should look for.

1) Make sure that the printer that you use is knowledgeable towards colors and density. If I hear one more time that the color is “yucky” I am going to loose it!! There is a reason that a color is off, and a good printer will know the difference between cyan and blue and magenta and red. There is NO adjustment when printing to remove “yucky”, it is a color and / or density issue.

Read moreThe differences in printing companies

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