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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Red Rock Coulee

Red Rock Coulee – Great in all seasons!

Red Rock Coulee
Red Rock Coulee
Red Rock Coulee

If you are looking for an amazing road trip may I suggest Red Rock Coulee.  I have driven past on highway 3 a number of times and always wondered what was there, now I know. It is well worth the drive for a day or even if you want to stay in the area for a couple days.

Will be heading back that way soon for some more pictures and exploring!  Funny thing is that all the rock pictures that I took and I like the flower ones the best!

This place is amazing, a little out of the way and NO services. There is one broken picnic table and that is all the extras that are there. But it is well worth the drive. I do suggest that you go WELL prepared. When it is hot out this place is even hotter. If it is dry this place is drier. When it is cool this place is COLD!! There is no shelter to get out of the weather unless you hide behind a rock and they are not that big!

Read moreRed Rock Coulee

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Planning for 2019 – my goals

So as 2018 comes to an end I am planning what goals I want for the next year. I have the same general items for each year that I am in business …

  • Improve my photography
  • Keep my website & blog up to date
  • Improve print quality and types of prints offered
  • Add more courses and workshops

But those are general and if I did not have them then there would be a big problem as everyone or every business should have something to work towards.

So what do I have to work toward? I have heard many experts say we should have three types of plans / goals in our lives. The first are the BIG ones, or the dreams. The second is the more achievable ones (medium goals) but still will require some work and the third is the easy ones. SO for the next year so far I have the following…..

Big Goals

  • Drive to the Northwest Territories
  • Drive to Ontario for the fall colors
  • Go to Churchhill to photograph the polar bears
  • Get out kayaking more
Goals -  get out for more camping

Follow my exploring here

Medium Goals

  • Upgrade my 70D’s to the promised Canon 7D mark III
  • Add a vacuum press to the printing department
  • Head back to the coast for a whale watching trip
  • Head to Jasper to photograph Caribou
  • Add more premade frames to my selection
  • Update some of my display prints in the studio
  • Build a copy center for artwork and get polarizing filters for lights
  • Market more of my nature / wildlife work

Little Goals

  • Clean-up the backroom and the attic
  • Clean up my camera gear, and organize
  • Get out shooting more
  • Organize the shooting room more
  • Update my outside sign
  • Switch out my main hard drive in the office
  • Build more specialty frames

I know that these will change but I like having things to work towards. On last years list was a major rebuild of my website and I FINALLY got to it with two weeks remaining in the year, but it feels great to have that mostly done.

So what is one of your goals / plans for 2019?

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Full moon on the rise

Headed out to shoot the (almost) full moon rising tonight. I thought that the cloud in the distance was too thick to get the moon coming out of the horizon. I was surprised to see the moon right on time. For shots like this a really cold night generally gives less distortion. But I can never resist the opportunity to shoot the rising moon when it is clear. Was nice to have the White Turtle III with me to use as a base of operations.

Full moon rising
Canon 70D, Sigma 150-600 @ 600 3200ISo 1/80s F9
Full moon rising with a windmill in front
Full Moon Canon 70D, Sigma 150-600 @ 600 3200ISo 1/400s F9

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What to buy the photographer on your list

An oldie but a goodie, gifts for the photographer on your list …..

I get asked a lot from photographers and those that have to buy gifts for a photographer what is good to get/give for a present.  I have answered this before but thought that it is a good time to do it again as I have been asked many times this week. So lets go through some things;

Lenses/camera

Unless someone really needs a new camera it is more important to get better lenses than to get another camera body.  A GOOD lens will do far more to improve a photo than a camera body will. Don’t upgrade a camera just to get a new camera, save the money and get some pro lenses it will amaze you the difference a great lens makes to your photography. If you are buying for someone make sure you get them the lens that they need and not just any lens.

Canon 5D Mark IV with grip / battery holder.
Canon 5D Mark IV with grip / battery holder.

Read moreWhat to buy the photographer on your list

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CASA Lethbridge

A quick shoot of CASA Lethbridge, Alberta building last night. PERFECT light for the look I wanted to get!

CASA Lethbridge at sunset
The snow and the blue sky give the picture a cold look while the light from inside warms the building up.

#sunset #Lethbridgephotographer #evening #architecture #Canon

View my gallery

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