Starting all over and I need advise....

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by photogoddess, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    After being out of the business for many years, I'm biting the bullet and jumping back in with both feet. Gone are the days that things were strictly film and paper portfolios. It wasn't that long ago but digital has come a LONG way in a short time so I'm the proverbial old dog learning some new tricks. :lol: I've listened to everything the old pros and new photographers have been saying here. Special love to Terri, Alison, Cindy and Pete - your help has been both educational and inspiring. JodieO - your site brings tears to my eyes. **sniff sniff** The point of all of this is that all those things you guys have shared with me have made me think of more questions. ;)

    How long (time) should a portfolio CD be? How many images would you include?

    How many images do you include in your paper portfolio?

    How much time do you spend with post processing on a typical shoot?

    What's the typical time frame for posting photos online for customer viewing?

    How long do you leave them up?

    Do you find that fundraisers (give-a-ways) help grow your business? If so, what type do you participate in and what do you donate?

    Any other marketing and business tips would be much appreciated so feel free to add info at will. :mrgreen:
     
  2. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    How long (time) should a portfolio CD be? How many images would you include? I haven't done one yet, but I'm thinking of adding it to my wedding folder that I give to clients. I'm interested to hear what others are doing

    How many images do you include in your paper portfolio? Right now we have about 25-30 images. I have a lot more on my website, and I'm surprised how many people don't even ask to see the portfolio, they just go by what is seen on the website. I also show sample albums as well.

    How much time do you spend with post processing on a typical shoot? It really varies. For simple portraits it can be as little as a few hours, including uploading to our website for ordering. For all day weddings with two photographers the total time can easily be 10-20 hours between the two of us. The more weddings we do the less time it takes.

    What's the typical time frame for posting photos online for customer viewing? For weddings we say 4-6 weeks (but during the wedding season I do let clients know it will be on the 6 week side of that range). I quote 2 weeks for portrait sessions.

    How long do you leave them up? I leave them up until I receive the orders because my online viewing is the same as ordering. I do not charge extra to post them to the web, and it's increased sales from out of town guests/family as well.

    Do you find that fundraisers (give-a-ways) help grow your business? If so, what type do you participate in and what do you donate?
    Living in rural NH I find that donations go a long way. I pick up the local paper and look for fundraiser and go from there. I've given away a free wedding as well as several portrait gift certificates. It helps to get your name out there and also to generate referrals.

    Any other marketing and business tips would be much appreciated so feel free to add info at will. Something that Aubrey has told me several times is to get in with other wedding vendors. For example, my hair stylist gives out my card to clients who say they are getting married. Or, you can send photos that you took at the reception to the reception hall along with your card. Same goes for the florist. Most brides are happy to tell you who did their hair, cake, flowers, etc and these people can be a great source of referrals.

    I would also suggest advertising in your newspaper in the weddings/birth section. I've gotten a lot of calls off of an ad I have there. I also offer a 20% discount if they reference the ad.

    Websites are key as well. In a sense they really have replaced the paper portfolio. When clients call I always ask if they have been to our website. In fact, I also tell them to view some of our completed weddings to make sure our style is what they are looking for. In the next year I'll be having my redesigned (by bludomain.com.....they did Cindy's site and I've been following their work for a few years now).

    I'm really interested to see how others operate, this site has been the inspiration for some changes that I've made (including raising my prices...thank you Pete!)
     
  3. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    See - I warned ya there would be more questions. :lol:

    Where do newspapers generally post information about fundraisers?

    What day of the week do newspapers post the wedding/birth announcements? Is it a weekly thing or a monthly thing?

    Have any of you had any experiences with Bridal Faires or Expos?
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How long (time) should a portfolio CD be? How many images would you include?

    I haven't made a protfolio CD. I'm seldom asked for a portfolio. When I am, I show recent completed examples of work that is simular to what the client is shopping for.

    How many images do you include in your paper portfolio?

    Again, I would show as many relevant pieces I have. For instance, if I'm calling on a client that builds farm building, I show everything I have of building exteriors.

    How much time do you spend with post processing on a typical shoot?

    This is an interesting question. I don't do a BUNCH until I get an order. Say, on a senior portrait, I might make 30 or so exposures. I'll open each file, crop, add a vignette, and save as tif. Once I recieve the final order, I do general retouching, make some critical color adjustments, just to the files to be printed. So, on this senior portrait, about 30 minutes to proofs and another 15 minutes or so on each file to be printed.

    What's the typical time frame for posting photos online for customer viewing?

    Portraits, about 3 days. Weddings, 2 weeks.

    How long do you leave them up?

    Until the completion of all ordering. Sometimes this is 4 weeks, sometimes 4 months.

    Do you find that fundraisers (give-a-ways) help grow your business? If so, what type do you participate in and what do you donate?

    When I first opened the door more than 20 years ago, I decided that I would NEVER give away my photography. When someone does stop by, I might give them a frame to raffel off, but never my photography. Just my personal decision. I have no idea if this has helped or hurt my reputation in the community.


    BTW... sorry about the sluggish reply. We've had the flu at our house. I'm still feeling very nasty.

    Pete
     
  5. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    How long (time) should a portfolio CD be? How many images would you include?
    Alison and Pete have been in this much longer than I have, so take all this with a grain of salt. This is just the way I do things.......and it can change from moment to moment. LOL.
    My Slideshow presentation lasts approximately 5 minutes and contains 40 of what I feel are my absolute best photos.

    How many images do you include in your paper portfolio?
    I use two different ones. The first is a book of my personal favorites, all 8x10 in size, and there are approximately 60 of them.
    The second book is a proofbook of a complete wedding.

    How much time do you spend with post processing on a typical shoot?
    I think I tend to overdo it. Right now it's about 60-80 hours on proofs, and another 5 or so for digital composite albums. I don't include negative on anything other than the $3000 package, so my proofs need to look just as good as I can make them, as reorders have so far been pretty profitable.

    What's the typical time frame for posting photos online for customer viewing?
    Again, I'm probably taking too long, but between 2 and 3 weeks until the client sees anything.

    How long do you leave them up?
    I use Collages.net, so the photos live there for 60 days. If I need to, I can put them back up for however long I want to.

    Do you find that fundraisers (give-a-ways) help grow your business? If so, what type do you participate in and what do you donate?
    I participated in one of these for Breast Cancer, and it was a wonderful experience. I donated a family portrait sitting with various prints. It raised a good deal of money, and I felt it was totally worthwhile from just a humanitarian standpoint.

    Any other marketing and business tips would be much appreciated so feel free to add info at will. :mrgreen:
    Thanks to the internet, there are tons of free avenues for marketing. Most times all you need to do is bury a reciprical link somewhere on your site. Don't forget about Craigslist. It's free, area targeted, and a wonderful source of income.

    Best of luck to you my friend, but you won't need it. You are a wonderful photographer and I'm sure that people will soon find themselves very fortunate that you have decided to step back into the arena!!!! :hugs:
     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I highly recommend this book: [ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1582972109/002-0942098-1410468?v=glance&n=283155[/ame]
     

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