Newsletter No 108 25th October 1990
other words, you told them something or did something that was
not clear to them in their mind.
can be avoided by giving them full details of what is expected.
you are selling promotion sittings, when they make the booking
or come in for the free booking consolation they should receive
a folder covering all of the points that you need them to know
before the sitting, along with how the order is going to be
taken and approximately how long it takes for the previews and
the finished photographs.
included should be a profile on you and your studio written
by a P.R. person that makes you look like the Second Kash of
is what I call reinforcing. It is something that reinforces
to the client that they have chosen the right photographer,
that they are going to get value for money, and that they are
in actual fact lucky to be able to be photographed by you, the
it comes to taking the order, again everything should be written
down, including any special deals, any special framing, any
special pricing, because the minute you don't write something
there, your client will have a different interpretation on what
you have told them than what you meant.
am also a believer that with every contact with the client,
you should be writing down little notes on your client card
so that you have something to look at before your next contact
which will put you in touch with what you have said to them
in the past, and in actual fact you will almost be able to carry
on the conversation from where you left off last time.
of course will impress your client and make you appear to be
extremely professional, which really, is this not part and partial
of what the whole exercise is about?
would also like to see at each contact with your client a thank
you card going out, first of all thanking them for the booking
and giving them the details about the sitting.
a thank-you card thanking them for coming in for the photograph
and again giving them details as to when the previews will be
ready and perhaps the last newsletter put out by the studio.
a thank-you card for when they place the order, telling them
the care and attention that is going to be going into the order
and approximately when it will be finished, noting if it is
a longer amount of time, that because of the extensive Art Work
they are wanting, it may take a fraction longer than normal.
a thank-you card when they have picked up their final order
with a questionnaire as to how did you and the studio do?
last is one of the most important things, because from this
you get comments that you can use to publicize to other clients.
would also possibly include with this, a sheet for them to list
other people that may be interested in photography, or alternatively,
this can be done at the time they place the order or pick up
the order and could be done in your studio.
you offer a bonus of "X" number of Christmas Cards
if they fill in this list now.
most important things:
might say something like this:
will of course contact you for this and now I have a special
gift for you should you wish to participate.
have a sheet here that, if you wish, you can fill in the names
of some of your friends that may be interested in
the raw bones on it, refine it into something that you can use
and you feel comfortable with, but for goodness sake start getting
recommendations of new clients and start getting how did we
do forms, so you can use quotations for future clients.
Newsletter No 109 11th January 1991
is an article that came from my American bank, I would suggest
you read it at least twice.
CYCLES: 1909 AND 1990
both business and employees are concerned about maintaining
their customers and their jobs, service begins to improve and
people begin to save, Babson emphasized.
time, he said, products and services improve and savings accumulate.
people who have been able to retain their jobs during a slow
economy find themselves able to buy better products for less
money. Finally, they begin to spend again and the economy flourishes,
boosting employment and personal income.
point of all this: It seems we are currently in an economic
down turn. After eight years of prosperity, prices as well are
our national debt got out of whack.
we believe that Babson's theories are as accurate today as they
were at the turn of the century. The down turn will inevitably
become a strong foundation for a period of prosperity.
difficult part is the wait.
I think there is some interesting meat there!
Photographers are reporting that it does not seem to matter
what they offer, the people are just not booking.
Perhaps this American Photographer who writes what follows has some of the answers:-
a "Wow shot.? It's
easy to describe----it's the shots that your customers look
at and, say "Wowl"
it's "Wow, I
really like that shot." Or, "Wow, that looks different." Or "Wow, I didn't think it would look like that." But in most
cases, there's one common denominator-" Wow"
about it. The technology for producing a well-exposed, printable
negative is so advanced now that there is little excuse for
anyone with a business card calling himself a photographer not
to get a great negative 95 % or more of the time. But, as always,
it's what's on the film that counts. And it's the "Wow
shot." that will separate you from your competitors.
The Wow" shots will
enable you to command higher fees.
customers have told us many times that they have looked at the
work of several photographers and decided upon us because the
work of the other studios all looked pretty much the same.
was very professional but also very bland.
this week one of our wedding couples told us they chose us because
of some of the hold ideas they saw in our samples.
had visited two other studios that were substantially less expensive
than we were, but the other studios did not have photos strong
enough to really grab their attention.
think there's a real reason for this. I think it's because of
the way that most people are taught wedding photography.
people who do wedding photography learn from other wedding photographers
who have been doing it longer than they have. In many cases,
they are not very skilled in the many difficult tasks that face
a wedding photographer on every assignment such as group photos,
close-up posing, portrait lighting, people relation skills,
and candid photos. You get the idea.
they learn to do weddings by using the "checklist"
approach. Bride and Groom at altar. Groom and best man look
at watch. Bride and Groom kiss in limo. Now, it's true that
there are certain shots that we are expected to get at every
wedding. But that's not all we're expected to get. Uncle Harrv
can do a perfectly acceptable job of taking the groom looking
at his watch with his Nikon… what are they paying us for?
give you my opinion of what I get paid for-I get paid to do "Wow" shots
It's up to the pro to get all the expected shots plus more.
Let's get some ideas for those "Wow" shots.
Composition-Most shots taken by pros at weddings, with the exception
of group photos, are vertical. Try doing some of the photos
of the ceremony, the couple, and even the bride or groom alone
of my "Wow "shots
are horizontal composition using the "rule of thirds."
Posing just placing a couple in the right place for a good composition
however, does not a dramatic photo make. If they're just there
smiling at the camera, it' a routine photo. Try a light kiss
their lips don't quite touch.
the bride alone with the sweep of her dress leading into the
the groom alone in a dramatic masculine. Or put the subject
in the center and make a dramatic square composition.
your head for ideas, look at magazines for ideas look at (Wedding
Photographers International publishes winning wedding photos
in The Rangefinder magazine).
at bridal magazines. Ask the couple! But do something.
have nothing to lose because you've already done the routine
have plenty to gain, earning the admiration and respect of your
customers and the personal satisfaction or creating something
from nothing (a blank piece of film) that brings joy for many
years to other peoples lives and to yours.
you will gain the sale of a wall print, or a new price list
and just maybe a whole new way of looking at yourself and what
of being merely a recorder of events, you are the creator of
a series of images that will reflect the way you interpret this
wedding day, the couple's feelings, and the events that take
a responsibility, isn't it?
Lighting-If you're going to have drama in a photo, everything
must be dramatic.
pose, the composition, the lighting, and the expression.
most cases (I never say never), avoid head on, direct sunlight.
There are exceptions, but try using some dramatic light.
rim-light (behind the subject), profile light (skim the face,
dress, etc), and window light. Silhouette against the sky, church
windows or doors. Very flat light can create a feeling of softness.
multiple lights. Use colored light from stained glass windows.
end of day light with dramatic skies. Study the light on people
as you go through the wedding day and use it to create great
There's an old saying in photography "Expression sells
pictures," or "ESP." While that's true, I'd like
to change that to "Emotions sell pictures." Usually
a "Wow" shot
is not a big smile pose, but one that shows emotion.
could convey romance, excitement, tenderness or more.
may not even show the faces at all in some shots, such as a
silhouette, but when you do, think carefully about what you
are trying to show.
the expression to the mood.
think by now you know what a "Wow" shot is. A few more ideas?
colored and graduated density filters.
your clients say "Wow" -you know you've succeeded.
that's a good few thoughts