Does this look doable

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by vtf, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've been in retail for close to 30 years and find it continuing to get worst. I've reached that burnout stage and am looking to get into a different field. I've ran my own stores plus managed several for corporations. I'm looking for a profession I can be passinate in and show some of my artistic ability.
    I am a novice at photography, that I know but I know givin time I can master that to the extent I need to be successful.
    At the same time my business sense is kicking in with creating a business plan. I know the following is simplistic and more specifics will fill in as I determine what computer programs, websites, equipment etc I will need.
    I am setting up to do portrait photography, this so far would be my routine.
    1. Cover with client what I offer and how I will achieve this, and have client sign release/contract once comfortable and they decide to go with me.
    2. Take shots at event/ setting.
    3. I will process the designated number of shots in said contract, delete those not worthy and keep those so-so shots that are not processed.
    4. At this point I will uplaoad to a gallery only the designated processed shots who in turn will offer the print packages to the customer and I share in the profits off prints. If customer does not have access to internet I will sit down with them at my studio and we will view gallery on my computer and available print packages.
    5. They lastly will have the option to buy said shots on a cd for an additional charge (what I anticipate would be the lost on print packages). This too would be included in the contract that would allow client to make their own prints but I would retain copyright and portfolio rights.
    I'm trying to keep it simple, steamlined and informing the client on my steps beforehand hoping that it will eliminate alot of issues.
    Is this doable?
    Did I leave any possible steps out?
    Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's sounds doable...I think that a lot of other photogs are dong it...but also...a lot of other photogs are doing it. So to be successful, you may want/need to have an edge...something to make you stand out etc.
    I'd guess that with your retail experience, you'll be better off than most, because it's usually on the business side that most photographers fail.

    There are certainly many resources that you could tap, to help you figure this out. TPF is a great forum, but there are some that cater mostly to professional photographers, and thus have a greater wealth of knowledge when it comes to this type of advice. DWF comes to mind, but it's a paid membership site.

    I will say that everything I've head, says that the 'best' way to make money selling photography...is projecting. It refers to using a projector, but there more to it than just that. The basic idea is that rather than putting the images on-line, or giving them a proof book, you bring the clients into your studio (sales room) and sell the photos in-person. You show them the photos in a way that generates the most emotion. So using a projector or large screen TV, playing music, having a comfortable room, offering food & drinks etc. Working in retail, you should know many of the techniques that can help people free up their purse strings.
    So once you have them in place and wow them with the photos...then you make the sale. Many photographers won't offer any other opportunity to purchase the images, so there is a sense of urgency for them to buy. Also, some photographers might specify that both spouses must be present, so they can't cop out with 'I should really ask my husband'.

    You can still offer the on-line gallery if you want, but you may want to only include it after a certain price point has been reached etc.

    I'm sure it's different for everyone, but the numbers I've heard are amazing. For example, a photographer who averages $200 per portrait session, when using proof books or galleries, might raise their average to $1000 or more.
    I'm sure that a lot of it comes down to sales technique...and that's where retail experience would really help.

    If you like, I can dig up some contacts of people who can give you a lot of direction for this type of thing...although they would likely charge for their services.
     
  3. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I apperciate your offer and may take you up on that at a later date.
    It is in my plan to possibly be tethered so I could possibly show the client the portrait shot immediately in studio (not on location) then proceed to a larger monitor to have a presentation of what I offer in prints and accessories. This of course would be accessed through a internet site like smugmug etc. who would do the printing for me. I may just use the gallery for my service in the presentation and forget them viewing it separately.
    Good thought on the couples together thing.
    Im studying several options ie. Express Digital (darkroom) and how their program may help. Part of it provides presentations to clients that places their pictures just taken tethered into the frames, baackgrounds, etc for you to work with the client on possiblities.
    This is a plan I'll be working on for the next 2 years. I have a very demanding job right now so taking it slowly and absorbing everything I can both here and elsewhere is the game plan. Your help on this forum has helped me alot.
     
  4. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    Unless you're shooting weddings, I don't think you want to get into contracts. Sure, it's good to get a model release if you want to use their images in your marketing. But you talk about a contract that stipulates numbers of shots, etc. I think a contract like that will just work against you. I generally don't tell a portrait client how many shots I'm going to take or how many they will see as proofs. If they ask, I can give them some generalities, but I don't get too specific. It really depends on how well the shoot goes and how much they're "into" it. People who love getting their photo taken will always end up with more shots than the deadpan ones who don't. So don't paint yourself into a corner with a contract that promises anything.
     
  5. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A "contract" to the extent of a model release and what I offer for each package or type of shoot. I agree with you with on number of shots and viewing, except I may tether and show someone a simple portrait I've taken in studio someone who isnt into multiple shots.
     
  6. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    What you offer for each package is your price list. They should be seeing that in advance of the shoot or when proofs are presented. It's not something that requires a signature, and isn't a contract.
     
  7. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    WTF ?
     

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