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8 Challenges For A Home Based Business

1. Not being taken seriously.

A common concern of most home-based photographers is whether their customers will consider their business a real one, rather than just a hobby that they are making a bit of money from. They think that their customers may feel that the business is not legitimate.

Home businesses are generally seen as part time concerns, and therefore their professional image and credibility suffers. They are not taken seriously!  Although this perception exists, the business owner should do everything that they can to change this. This can be done by presenting a strong professional business image, not only in the physical appearance of the home, but more importantly in the way that the business is conducted. The way that you treat the customer, together with strong branding, advertising, and business practices, will go a long way to justifying working from home. Your own mindset is also paramount in having a strong profitable photography business.

2. Separating work and family life.

When a photographer makes a decision to work from home they feel that one of the advantages is that they can be there for the kids, but this can be an enormous disadvantage as well. The daily household chores, picking up and dropping off kids, and working around sleep times of smaller children can be a great source of distraction in running your business.

As everyone knows, there is always something to do around the home, especially when you have kids. It is very hard to talk professionally to a customer over the phone, with a two year old screaming in the background, or trying to photograph someone else’s children, while yours are fighting in the other room. Handling two or more different roles under the one roof can create challenges and difficulties, as you juggle the demands of both your home and your business.

3. Lack of space.

The setting-up of a home business is made easier if you have a large house, and you can separate spaces for the business. Lack of space can be a concern if you are living in a small house or an apartment.

Compromising some of your family space can be quite confronting, but this is a trade-off that you may sometimes have to accept. A separate entrance for the business would be ideal, and just thinking through the problem and discussing it with someone outside of the immediate business can often bring a solution.

4. Working too much or procrastinating.

When working from home, there is always the constant temptation to work long hours. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you check and answer emails in the evening when the kids are in bed. If you are passionate about your photography business and are constantly working on growing your business, you should work hard. Only if working too much intrudes on and effects your family life negatively, should you re-evaluate your work ethic.

The opposite of working too much, is procrastinating on work related tasks.

There is an unlimited amount of things that you could do around the home instead of doing work related things. Failure to keep up with your work-load could amplify and create a massive problem in a very short space of time.

Another potential problem is spending too much time on tasks which you enjoy and may not be generating income and neglecting the tasks you don’t.

5. Lack of privacy.

Even if you have your own private business space in your home, privacy and security is always a concern. You also need to keep the whole house tidy, just in case the customer has to walk through your house to go to the toilet.

Some customers can be annoying if they knock on your door at all hours of the day and night. You must make it clear to your customers that you work strictly by appointment, and are not available at other times. Your customers will appreciate your professionalism in this regard.

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6. Strain on family relationships.

Be sure that your family understands what it takes to operate a home business. Talk to your husband or wife and ask for their support, and explain to the children your need to be given time to work for the business.

Some members of your family may resent the fact that while you stay in the house for most of the day, your attention is not focused on them. However, be sure also to know when to stop working for your business and start living as part of the family. Your family and kids need your attention, and of course housework, friends, and even pets, can demand your attention at different times. Working at home can be very hard if you have a newborn baby or three or four small children who always demand your full and complete attention.

7. You can feel isolated.

If you are the sole worker in your home business, you may feel isolated and often lonely. It can be a confronting and solitary existence, when you are dealing with customers, phone calls, emails, and the photography, without having someone to share your experiences, or ask advice. The isolation can become quite intense, especially if you have a naturally outgoing personality.

Self -discipline can become hard with no one looking over your shoulder. Failing to maintain a tight time management regime, and not being able to control and handle your feeling of isolation, will make it very hard to achieve success in your business.

8. Lack of experience

When a photographer commits to working from home in the hope of making some money from their passion, the one thing they lack is the knowledge and experience of how to control and maximize the way in which they conduct their business. Many of these photographers may be like yourself, a mother/father and wife/husband first, and a business person second. Taking that transition in becoming a business person may be difficult to handle, if you have not had any training in setting up and running a business.

Experience of course can only come with time. Time will allow you to learn. The question of course, is whether the things that you learn are the most effective and profitable way of going about it.

Attending seminars and workshops held by other photographers may motivate you and help you take better photographs, but may not give you the individual and specific answers to your particular circumstances. I’ve attended heaps of seminars and workshops, and what I found was that they gave me short-term inspiration, but did not put any money into the bank. Only practical advice from and experienced and readily available mentor or consultant can achieve this.

Every photographer working from home has their own individual and personal challenges. These challenges need to be addressed individually with their own unique circumstances taken into consideration.

Solving the problems

So what’s the secret to growing your photography business despite the tough economy, and the challenges of working from home?

Any business whether large or small, is mainly about solving day to day problems. Getting more customers, increasing sales, lowering overheads, staff relationships, and maximizing the efficiency of work spaces, are all focused on to improve profitability. A micro business that is operated from home by a single person has the same issues to resolve. What you may need is a viable and long term business model.

You need to develop business systems which cost very little time, money and energy, together with sourcing help and guidance in integrating them into your business. In other words a business model that puts money into your account regularly year after year.

I have consulted with many photography businesses over many years, and have seen the effects of the pressure that it can have. I have seen marriages break down, uncontrolled debt, and legal proceedings, all happen with bad business practices.

Getting a good Business Coach can keep you focused and alleviate a lot of the problems that you may come up against.

For further Photography Business Coaching information …bernie@aswpp.com.au

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Is Your Portrait Photography Booming?

What a fantastic time to have a portrait photography business.

Each and every week my clients tell me of their  successses with great sales and large amounts of bookings.

This email from a client last week…………

“Hi Bernie, 

Here’s a number……we have 52 paid $50 bookings in the diary taking us into August.

I have taken 6 bookings today and I have been on the phone all day except for entering shoots into Light Blue. 

Thank you,

John – aipp member”

John has worked hard on his Marketing over the past few weeks and now is starting to see the results of his hard work.

The $50 refers to the confirmation deposit that I get my clients to charge whenever they make a portrait photography session, that has come through Marketing channels.

If you are a portrait photographer your Marketing goal should be to have at least 20 bookings in your diary.

If you are a wedding photographer, your  goal should be to have at least 20 weddings booked, and in the diary.

If this is not the case you should put your feet down hard on the Marketing accelerator.

Having bookings in advance is one of the keys to a continuing successful photography business.

 Bernie’s Soft Selling System

It took me many years  in my own photography businessto realise that people love to buy, but hate to be sold.

Over the years I have read numerous books on selling portraits, but they never gave a specific step by step of the process.

After doing hundreds of portrait sales where I sensed the customers and myself felt a bit of pressure in the room, I tested a new way of selling.

From the very first sales sessions that I did with this new way, my sales went up and the customers and I concluded the sale feeling relaxed and pressure free.

So here it is…..”The Portrait Photography Soft Sell Success Guide”.

It is powerful, and it may appear too simple for your brain to accept, but believe me it is based on my specific experience over thousands of portrait sales, that have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into my bank account.

My “soft sell” system gave me a very high average sale.

It changed my mindset.

It will change yours if you let it.

Don’t fight it, simply try it. Test it.

I believe that you can at least double your average sale.

You can easily lose thousands of dollars if you do not do your portrait selling correctly.

Imagine if you only increased your average sale by just $100, over 50 sales that would equate to $5,000 !

That would pay for a good holiday!

Most photographers do not see themselves as salespeople.

That is why they fail in the most important part of their business.

In fact in my opinion, eighty percent of photographers are failing miserably in sales.

They are simply not maximising their sales.

They are throwing money away.

Are you doing your portrait selling “the old way.”

To get my FREE E-book “The Portrait Photography Soft Sell Success Guide”, simply ask for it at info@aswpp.com.au

Last Chance For NFPM

If you wish to participate in this years National Family Portrait Month you must register by 15 June.

We are about to start the Marketing. REGISTER AT……..  https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/photographers-national-family-portrait-month-july-2016-tickets-25187877620

More On Growing Your Photography Business

ONLINE COURSES

http://www.createaphotographybusiness.com

http://www.photographymarketingforprofit.com

CASHTOGRAPHY PODCAST

Rants Raves and Myths in The Photography Industry

http://www.cashtography.com/podcast/21berniegriffiths

How To Market Your Photography Business

http://www.cashtography.com/podcast/2016/1/24/e5-how-to-market-your-photography-biz-for-success-with-bernie-griffiths

PHOTOPROFIT PODCAST

How A Single Mum With 5 Kids Went From Broke To Making Over $1000 Per Photo Shoot

http://www.brentmailphotography.com/photoprofit/21.html

SPROUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Getting Clients In The Door

http://sproutingphotographer.com/197

Get my FREE ebook “ 7 Simple Strategies to a Successful Photography Business”

http://www.berniegriffiths.com

My book “Success Secrets of a Professional Photographer” is available on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Success-Secrets-Professional-Photographer-Griffiths-ebook/dp/B00DF4WSMG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452487899&sr=8-1&keywords=bernie+griffiths

Another book that I am featured in……… “Quantum Leap My Life”

http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Leap-Life-Extraordinary-Transform-ebook/dp/B00FWVF3A4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1452487899&sr=8-4&keywords=bernie+griffiths

QUESTIONS OR QUERIES….

CONTACT ME ON info@aswpp.com.au or call 0418509228.                                                                                                                                                                                                         Photography Business Coach  Photography Business

Same Time Next Year

The start of another year….are you excited?

Have you written your business plan for the year?

Do you have your Marketing Strategies ready to go?

Have you planned your holidays yet and scrubbed those dates out of your diary?

Have you reflected on your business from last year and looked at what you can improve on?

Have you reviewed your website to see if it is the lead generating magnet that it should be?

Have you done a time analysis on the jobs that maybe are taking far too long, and looked at ways of doing them quicker or outsourcing them?

Have you set some financial goals as a target that you can aim for?

If you haven’t done a few of these you may already be behind in creating success for your business this year.

But don’t panic.

Here’s what you can do.

This is the way I plan the year.

Imagine that you have a Time Machine.

downp

Sit in it and press the button marked “This Time Next Year” and be transported to this time next year. Get it?

Now write yourself a letter describing the year that was 2016.

Here is mine after my Time Machine journey.

“Wow! Another year has seemingly flown by and it’s the first week of 2017.

What an amazing year I had last year.

Some of the many highlights were……

In January I was able to increase my database of photographers around the world to over 10,000, and through my regular weekly newsletters I built up a waiting list of photographers who want me to coach them.

To facilitate this, the creation of my brand new online course has enabled me to help a much bigger number of photographers move forward in their businesses.

Wendy and I spent the whole month of March in New York and it was totally amazing. We had never been there before and were both totally blown away with, well, everything.

Great to catch up with Millionaire photographer Bradley Rowley. He spent a lot of time with me in his New York studio, and I came away super inspired, and with a lot more understanding about the high end portrait market.

National Family Portrait Month in May was an even bigger success than last year, with over 100 A.I.P.P. members participating in raising over $10,000 for the Women’s Cancer Foundation. Many families now have a family photograph, that they probably would not have had done but for this promotion.

I have generated well over $500,000 new income for my clients, via my proven Marketing Strategies.

The decision to get a coach for my business early in the year proved to be one of the best major decisions that I made for the year, (yes coaches have coaches too.)

My golf game since my friends bought me a new set of golf clubs, has improved so much that I am thinking of taking it up professionally. Ha ha…no way……………………………”

Get the idea?

Write it down and send it to me, or your partner or a friend, and become accountable.

Or even print it, stick it in an envelope and open it “THIS TIME NEXT YEAR.”

Ever Success……You Really Do Deserve It.

http://www.berniegriffiths.com

#photography business coaching

#business coach

 

 

 

 

 

A Friendly Kick Up The Butt.

Interview On Sprouting Photographer

I was thrilled to be invited to do a Podcast for Sprouting Photographer last week.

Check it out HERE.

Summary of Discussion Topics:

Your business, and any business needs customers.

The important difference between marketing strategy and implementation.

It’s okay to make mistakes in marketing – don’t overanalyze.

It all boils down to lead generation and nurturing leads through the buying cycle.

Why you need to learn copywriting, and automate your content through the buying cycle.

Testing and measuring everything about your marketing – and what to keep track of.

Making sure all aspects of your business are realistic, including pricing and expectations.

The power of Facebook as an inexpensive marketing tool.

How to design an effective Facebook marketing ad campaign.

What to do with cold leads to warm them up to buy.

There is no right or wrong with marketing, just keep trying and keep learning.

Maintaining professionalism and avoiding the ‘bait & switch’ style of marketing.

The secret to marketing – get out there and market!

Getting Around To It.

If I say to you…………….

You should put your prices up.

You need some new Marketing ideas.

Your website looks very dated.

You should update your Blog.

You should put an opt-in form on your website.

You should send a newsletter to your database.

You say………

I have been meaning to, I just have to get “around to it”.

So what are you waiting for?

The single biggest excuse I hear from photographers not taking action towards growing their business is time.

We all know that an excuse is your heads way of justifying your lack of action on doing the priorities that you KNOW that you should do.

Do you want to be in exactly the same position that you are in now, this time next year?

I know I don’t.

I have already started implementing some great personal and business challenges for next year.

Will I achieve everything that I am setting out to do?

I cannot see any reason why I will not fulfill my challenges and exceed my own high expectations.

What about you?​

Are you going to get “a round to it”.

This year succeed beyond your expectations.

NO MORE EXCUSES……..IN THE BATTLE BETWEEN THOUGHT AND ACTION……THE ACTION TEAM WINS EVERY TIME.

TEST MY COACHING

 

​www.berniegriffiths.com

photography business coach

photography

photography mentor

 

Wedding Photographer versus Wedding Guests

I like these comments by U.K. Wedding Photographer Jeff Ascough and I must admit that I do completely agree with him.

“I posted a link to the BBC website yesterday which contained a small piece of film about a photographer who was complaining how smartphones were ruining weddings, particularly in the hands of the guests.

I’m still a little perplexed by the photographer’s stance on this and just wanted to put a point of view across that I think is just as valid. A counter argument if you like.

We all know that couples spend weeks, months or even years preparing for their wedding day. It is an event that brings families together and guests from all over the world.

Now here is the thing – the guests are far more important to the couple than the photographer is.

That’s it. Period. End of argument.

Untitled design (3)

If we look at any wedding day, it has usually been organised around the guests. The pomp and ceremony is as much for the guests as it is for the couple. Most of the budget and time will be spent on the guests. The guests are far more important to the couple than the photographer is!!

So…if the guests want to take pictures – that is part of the wedding day. If the guests want to stand in the aisle and video the wedding – that is part of the wedding day. If the guests want to take the bride and groom aside to take unlimited selfies – that is part of the wedding day. I believe we should embrace that, not get heated about it, or demand that the guests leave their phones at home. We certainly should not get so precious about our job as photographers.

If a couple don’t want their guests to take pictures, then they will tell them. I know this because I have experienced it on many an occasion. A lot of my clients actually encourage guests to take pictures and upload them to Instagram. Some have asked the guests to video everything for them on their phones so they can produce a completely different type of wedding video. It is not a problem to me as a photographer – nor do I make it part of an excuse if I can’t get the pictures I want.

The craze for watching everything from the back of a phone is part of life in the 21st century and it may get worse or it may disappear altogether, but for right now, guests are glued to the back of their phones for parts of the day. Embrace what happens and document it in context because it will eventually become part of our social history.

As an aside, this past week we had an order for three 16×12″ panoramic albums from one of our clients. They were for the bride and groom and both sets of parents. They all chose different pictures to go into their respective albums but each album had this particular photograph in it…so much for guests with smartphones ruining the wedding day”.

Photography Business Coach Bernie Griffiths

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Sprouting Photographer Podcast

  1. Marketing Mistakes
  2. Test & Measure
  3. Facebook Marketing
  4. Converting Cold Leads

He was fifteen years old when he began his career working for a local newspaper.

Leaving school with no qualifications, his burning desire to be a business owner, determined his future.
When only 21 years old he worked for a worldwide cruise ship company with a staff, and travelling the world.
His intense passion to run a successful small business led him to open his first small business. His dream had come true.
He thought that by having a shop front, the customers would queue outside the door each morning and hand him their hard earned money. It wasn’t to be. He realized very quickly that he had to become a marketer. He had to get his name out into the marketplace and promote his business.”
Bernie has walked the path as a small business owner, and knows the frustrations and day to day challenges. There are short cuts that can lead you to accelerate your success.
Using his own system, developed over many years, Bernie has turned over millions of dollars in his businesses.

Summary of Discussion Topics:

  • Your business, and any business needs customers.
  • The important difference between marketing strategy and implementation.
  • It’s okay to make mistakes in marketing – don’t overanalyze.
  • It all boils down to lead generation and nurturing leads through the buying cycle.
  • Why you need to learn copywriting, and automate your content through the buying cycle.
  • Testing and measuring everything about your marketing – and what to keep track of.
  • Making sure all aspects of your business are realistic, including pricing and expectations.
  • The power of Facebook as an inexpensive marketing tool.
  • How to design an effective Facebook marketing ad campaign.
  • What to do with cold leads to warm them up to buy.
  • There is no right or wrong with marketing, just keep trying and keep learning.
  • Maintaining professionalism and avoiding the ‘bait & switch’ style of marketing.
  • The secret to marketing – get out there and market!

Links and Resources:

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Converting your phone calls into customers and cash.

When your phone rings do you get excited?

Or do you think that it is just another potential customer who will waste your time just asking questions about price?

Are you expecting them to ask that famous question… How much do you charge?
What you say next is either going to, cost you money, or make you money.

So is there a  secret to answering a phone enquiry?

It’s the same as anything else. Be prepared so that you are ready.

If you haven’t prepared yourself with a system to handle the phone call you’re probably going to lose the customer to a competitor.

You don’t want your customer to leave you, saying “thanks, I’ll think about it, and get back to you” They never do of course.

So what’s the answer?

In business we spend a lot of money to attract potential customers, so when we get “cold” leads or any general enquiries, we must handle them in such a way that we can maximise the number into customers.

So try this process of questioning the prospect about her needs, getting to know the triggers that motivate her, and build rapport that will generate trust. The end result is a much better chance of successfully taking a booking, or at least having a client in the future.

Throughout the conversation it’s important to talk to her in a friendly and conversational way that does not sound like a scripted list of questions that sounds like an interrogation.

Of course, we need to tailor our list of questions according to the specialty you’re talking about, but I would suggest having a phone script that you can draw upon before you move the discussion to the topic of the price and investment.

We need to build a relationship quickly, so that the person on the other end of the phone feels a natural affinity for who you are and what makes you different from all the other photographers.

Key questions to ask in answering a client enquiry over the phone are.

Here is an example of a phone script for a portrait photographer.

Have you seen our website?

What did you like about our photos? We specialise in emotive relaxed portraiture etc.

Tell her about your brand and what separates you from other photographers.

Was there a time frame that you wanted the photographs taken?

Could be an anniversary, or special birthday. You also need to know the time frame to check your availability and create a need for the customer to book.

Who was to be in the photographs?AWARENESS DAY

You need to know whether it is one subject or a big group, to give you some idea how long the session will take.

Where did you hear about us?

You need to know what marketing strategies are working.

Do you have an email address?

You need to know this so that you can put the email address into your database, so that you can start sending your regular emails that you send out to everyone on your database.

What’s most important to you about having a professional take the photographs? You need to know the answer to this question should find out the dominant buying motive.

Listen carefully to her answer, you may be given a great opportunity for her to reveal, in an emotional way, why she should work with you.

Tell them your session fee plus a guide to prices of your products.

This is the main reason that the customer is phoning, to get information.

Tell them your photography and ordering processes.

This will give clarity to how you do business.

Tell them that “the only time that you can decide what you want is when you see

your  photographs, and it is at this time I will go through all of the products, and pricing,

and  from there it is up to you”.

Tell them what makes you “different”, and emphasis it, so that you can create value in the customers mind.

Tell them that you are happy to send further information by email. This would be information, not a price list.

Tell them that you are happy if they are in the area, for them to drop by and see your samples. Then they can see exactly what they are getting for their money.

A key point is to add their email address to your database, so they are going to get regular emails with information, and special offers, that may cause them to make a booking further “down the track.”

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The Portrait Challenge

PHOTOBIZX
http://photobizx.com/berniegriffiths/1
Photography Business Coach Bernie Griffiths Podcast Interview
136: Bernie Griffiths – A Challenge for You to Book More Portrait Photography SessionsSomething different for this weeks episode with previous guest and photography business coach Bernie Griffiths. It’s a step by step instruction on how to book more portrait photography sessions through a targeted Facebook ad with a challenge for you to get this done. Are you up for it?In the interview, Bernie explains with clear instructions how to format your Facebook post for your promotion including a headline to grab attention, a reason for your promotion and an attractive offer that will be difficult for your target client to resist.All you need is an open mind, a small advertising budget of $25-$30 and the willingness to take action. Oh, and time to shoot and sell more portrait photography when you commit to this and follow through.“Once you started treating your hobby asHere’s some of what we cover:

The state of professional photography today
Why Bernie believes the photography industry is harder than it used to be
Do you need to be a better photographer to be successful today?
What most photographers are doing wrong in their business
The key to business success
How to grow your photography business
How to avoid making the wrong decisions when marketing your business
Why lead generation is key to success in a business like photography
How to nurture potential clients until the time is right for them to buy
How to find reasons why clients should consider your business
Target marketing is key
How a simple Facebook promotion can deliver great results
How to do a boost post on Facebook
Why you need to invest money if you want to generate leads
What genre should you choose for marketing your business
Get specific when targeting audience with any promotion
Incorporate the five “who, why, what, when, and how” in creating your ad
The ideal print size to giveaway for your promotion
Easy yet catchy phrases to use during contact details gathering
How to fully take advantage of your leads
How to plant the seed of follow up sales effectively
Key phrases to use to catch your readers attention
Using a call-to-action in your ad campaign
How to respond to clients who say ‘NO’ to your offers
Do not limit your promotions on a single genre, expand and grow with your ads
Put all your energy into your marketing project
Cost-effective ways to promote your ads
Be passionate in promoting your business
When marketing your business, everything works, even when something fails
Do not dwell on your failures, instead, move on to the next task
Innovate and keep changing things to succeed in your business
Why you should never stick to one marketing strategy
http://www.berniegriffiths.com
#photographybusinesscoach
#businesscoach
#berniegriffiths
#photography
#photographymentor

Re-Boot Your Photography Business

GETTING

Many Photographers are struggling to earn a reasonable income through their photography, mainly because they are running their business the “old way” and have not kept up with new ways of Marketing, Website lead generation, and easier selling strategies.

Learn the new ways getting customers in front of your camera, and how Social Media can help grow your business.

The whole day will focus on re-defining your business with some brand new Marketing ideas, and an up to date view on using Social Media for your photography business.

Bernie Griffiths http://www.berniegriffiths.com has over 40 years experience in running a successful photography studio, and now he coaches and mentors photographers around Australia and New Zealand.

Johannah Barton is founder and owner of Confetti Design http://www.confettidesign.com.au specialising in branding, website design and small business marketing. Johannah, coming from an artistic family is sensitive to creative industries, and specialises in working with photographers.

PROGRAM

9.00am – 9.30am      REGISTRATION

9.30am – 11.00am    CREATING THE PERFECT WEBSITE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

11.00am – 12.30pm   5 WAYS OF SELLING YOUR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

12.30pm – 1.30pm     LUNCH

1.30pm – 2.30pm       7 WAYS OF GETTING CUSTOMERS TO YOUR BUSINESS

2.30pm – 3.30pm       TRENDS IN USING FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM AND GOOGLE +

SYDNEY…Tuesday 13 October THE RANCH Cnr. Epping & Herring Rds North Ryde

BOOK HERE

MELBOURNE…Tuesday 20 October MANNINGHAM HOTEL 1 Thompsons Rd, Bulleen

BOOK HERE

Cost…EARLYBIRD $47 before 25th September… $97 after that date.

Includes LUNCH and FREE ALL DAY PARKING

Real Photographers…Real Coaching…Real Results….Real Money

Photography In Tough Times

FROM AIPP VICTORIA NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 1991

by Peter Owen

Well, another year has drawn to a close and a lot of us have seen some big changes this year.

It’s been a year here the purse strings have been tightened and a lot of hard decisions have been made by all of us.

Those who have come through are the bigger well established studios who were able to continue to market aggressively or who have built up a reputation over the year that still had people coming to them because of their name.

There seems to be more of us photographers in the market place now grabbing the same bit of the pie, and in the good times when people were parting with their money more freely, it was good for us.

Now it’s survival of the fittest.

Via meetings or social events I have met a lot more photographers this year through the Institute which has been great.

I have also seen a lot of their work, and one thing that does strike me however is nearly everyone’s similarity, especially among us wedding / portrait photographers.

On average the general daily work also is the same as what was done 10 years and more ago.

This was more evident however when I recently revisited Queensland after having lived there 8 years ago. Overall, the wedding/portrait and thee commercial/advertising industry hasn’t changed much in the style and the way images ae produced at that time.

Does it matter  that there hasn’t been much of a change in the images we produce especially for the general public?

To some people it doesn’t  because  their  marketing  and  primary aim in these tough times have still seen them achieve the number of weddings or portraits thy want, to make the profit they want, because that’s THE reason they are in business.

The “perceived value” of our work by the general public and users of the work has greatly decreased over the years though.

There really have been some big changes in the amateur market over the recent years. Look at the improved camera, film, processing and printing technology that are readily available to the masses. There really are great cameras now that you can point and shoot and get great results with, and then take them to a processing place and obtain good cheap prints in an hour.

Kodak now have a machine available in a lot of their Kodak Express Stores that can analyse, enlarge, crop ad then process and print a clients image from a 35mm and have enlargements ready within 10 minutes, all with the direction via an operator from the client.

A 10” x 8” print comes in under $10, and it’s good quality.

With the advancement of this technology it has enabled the general public to obtain good quality for a cheaper price.

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For example stereos, TVs , CDs have all come down in price over the years.

However in our industry our product hasn’t changed and yet we are expecting the public to pay a higher price for this product.

Well my crystal ball says there will be, and has to be, some changes very soon in order for us in our professional industry to stay ahead of the public.

No matter what technology we have to produce an image of some sort you still need a human being behind the image making device (still, video camera, laser image, data transfer machine or whatever!) so the “artist” or master craftsman will, if promotes or separated from the ordinary person, survive.

In order for this “artist” to survive though, the end product will need to be something that everyone wants to have.

This will mean a good price can be charge and a value will be placed on the product because it is “different” or “better” to what is available to the general public.

You see we are not really in a good industry because any one can pick up a camera, and take a great photo.

Especially now when there are so many food short and cheap photography courses available to anyone who wants to improve their photography as well.

You can’t do a weekend doctors or solicitors course.

The other way to survive is to grab the modern technology, go high volume, trim your overheads and train production people to produce a result that is good and easy and cheap so people wouldn’t be bothering doing it themselves.

I saw a bit of this in Queensland, where some people are providing a “John and Trish Perrin style” glamour photography for cheap as chips prices and a 2 day turn around on framed wall prints.

So what am I really saying by all this…….The industry as whole needs to change both its look and its way of doing things.

Those that don’t, won’t survive. Each individual in the industry also needs to be individual, then competition wil come on a photography, style and service basis and not on a price basis.

The images need to be up with the times and of a high quality.

We just need to look at the modern fashion shots, to see the décor of some of our premises and the way we present ourselves and our images, so see some of us are behind.

These tough times will bring about some big changes. The writings on the wall.

Change and Prosper or Don’t and Die!

 

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