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
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.
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!
I never had a chance to make it out a lot this past year on the kayak but with the warmer weather and the river breaking up it is SOOOOO tempting. I wonder if you can get a kayak with onboard heat?
So far I cannot complain about the winter as it has not been that cold, but the wind is keeping me in a lot more than I like. Today I went to the Lethbridge river bottom to see what birds and animals were around and not a lot of anything. When I saw how much of the river was open I was tempted to toss a kayak in and see how far I could get. I know I have to be patient but it looked so nice!
Watching this piece of ice make the run down the chute had me daydreaming of when the warmer weather hits and I can get out. I am not one for huge rapids but I do like some movement. One of my favorite half day trips is from the water treatment plant in Lethbridge to Pavan Park. Not a lot of excitement but it is a nice length that I can sneak away for it and not have to rush. There is also a fair amount of birds and wildlife that is in the river bottom so taking a camera allows me to get a few images at the same time.
With the nice weather I was more than happy to finally be able to do a harvest shoot. The lower levels of the sun in the sky, little wind and the rich colors was great to work with.
Add to this the fact that I do not have to get up so early in the morning to catch the sunrise and I am REALLY a happy photographer.
These pictures are from last week when I was walking my do. Most days I forget to grab a camera but this day I knew that a camera had to come with me. The dog is not very happy when I am stopping to take pictures but she still got her walk and possibly a little extra as I was going back and forth waiting till the sun was at the perfect angle.
Canon 24-70 & 70-200
To see more images click on the Read More button below….
Working on edits from the Bridge shoot the other night. The colors were amazing and with little wind I did a number of time exposures. Would like to do more before winter but not sure how the leaves are going to hold out.
It is funny living in southern Alberta to say that I would have liked a little more wind, but I would have. Not enough wind to shake me or the camera but enough to cause the clouds to move a little faster. When you are doing time exposures there is a fine line of not enough movement and too much. You want some things to show movement like the clouds and the water but you prefer to not have the trees bending over so much that they look like dancers. Tonight was just sort of getting the clouds to move enough to show how I wanted but I will take it.
One of my favorite subjects!! The high level bridge in the City of Lethbridge. This rail bridge is as much part of the landscape of the city as any building or coulee. When I think of Lethbridge other than the wind the bridge is what I think of. I have had the privilege to take pictures of the bridge in all seasons. All times of the day and night and I still come back. This was a time exposure to show the flowing Oldman river.