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Thread started 09 Aug 2010 (Monday) 09:28
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STICKY: How to photograph a high school Senior

 
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gonzogolf
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Jul 10, 2012 10:59 |  #8311

huskie wrote in post #14696647 (external link)
Thanks for the tips, do you know of any public locations with forest and streams? She is wanting some with the water too, but we haven't found any good locations for it yet. She also likes a few spots in the Red Rock Canyon Trails.

http://kevin-jones.smugmug.com …PBHLL/0/XL/IMG1​107-XL.jpg (external link)

Not exactly a stream but the place in the link above would be a great spot. It takes a little bit of work to get to though. Park by the Pikes Peak cog train station and then walk past the station up the hill, not the peak trailhead, but up the road that goes beside the train. The paved road has a sign that says local traffic only, but you can walk on it. if you follow that up the mountain it turns into a dirt road that runs parallel to the canon and train tracks. At some point there is a pipe gate across the road, its there that you want to veer left toward the stream there are several paths that you can see there. as you follow the stream up there you will notice that the bottom of the canon is filled with boulders and the water sort of meanders over, between, and under them as it makes its way down the mountain. I should note that there are warning signs there, about flooding and the land may be marked as private. Its used as part of a hiking running trail so its not like they are going to throw you out though. It would be better either early in the morning, or in the evening when the entire canon is in shade. During the middle of the day you have a mixture of bright sunny areas and deep shadows which doesnt work as well.




  
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Jul 10, 2012 11:03 |  #8312

KCMO Reefer wrote in post #14696775 (external link)
I watched some of the workshop, mostly on Sunday. I thought it was pretty good and had I spent the $100 for it, would have felt it was worth it. Naturally, if you've been at this a long time and had a pretty good system in place, you wouldn't likely benefit much from it.

He made a few comments that had me do some re-thinking of my business model and I'll make a couple tweaks but no major changes. If you haven't seen his "packaging" as in what he delivers the final product in, check it out in the Shutter Mag article on Branding. The firm that designed it for him has an ad toward the back of the magazine that shows the full line of packaging. I really like it and you could say it's timeless. A lot of "boutique packaging" I've seen being used today are the trendy colors that won't be "in" in a year or two.

I did take advantage of the acrylic print discount offer and received confirmation of my order. Interested to see how it turns out. Couldn't pass at the discounted price for a sample to display.

I tried to do the acrylic print order, but the website didnt make sense to me, I just seen the "upload a photo" that seeme to email it to them? How do you place an order? I emailed them last night so hopefully they will honor the deal for me, I would love to see an acrylic print. :) but I dont see how it will be more impressive than a metal print with acrylic cover since the metal will make the colors more vibrant.


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GerryDavid
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Jul 10, 2012 12:18 |  #8313

quick lightroom 3 question, is there a way to switch to full screen? right now its showing the picture in about 3/5's of my laptops screen height, I would like 100% height. lights out is L which is handy but I want a bigger preview. :)


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umphotography
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Jul 10, 2012 12:55 |  #8314

bobbyz wrote in post #14696725 (external link)
He mentioned InfoUSA.

I tried them ,,,,,,they SUCK:mad:

purchased 1200 names out of 1675 that were in the price bracket i was going for ( 100k and up for the area codes i was interested in)......i got 2 responses out of 3 mailings so i gave up....and i think hes feeding everyone am extra spoon o sugar to go with the koolade. I think hes really good at marketing himself and his programs......what he is teaching is not working in central MN.

You guys got to remember that these guys that are teaching this stuff are marketing at a very tight portion of the market. They are looking for a 1500.00 average sale and are going after a market that is 12% or less that the total senior market available. That is a very small piece of the pie to market to. Man, i hate to sound so negative, but what these people are suggesting cant and wont work for 88% of the senior market.....i just know too many that are or have been marketing to seniors all they say the same thing.... BS....why do you think they are teaching and selling you the koolade.....if they were doing sooo good at what they teach wouldn't you think they would keep on raking in the $$$$$ ???.........they make the majority of their big money selling the programs that they teach.


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AvailableLight
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Jul 10, 2012 13:00 |  #8315

umphotography wrote in post #14697343 (external link)
I tried them ,,,,,,they SUCK:mad:...BS....why do you think they are teaching and selling you the koolade.....if they were doing sooo good at what they teach wouldn't you think they would keep on raking in the $$$$$ ???.........they make the majority of their big money selling the programs that they teach.

"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." ;)


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Jul 10, 2012 13:11 |  #8316

Mike, how much were the mailing lists? How well did you do off of those 3 customers?

I think hes using it more as brand awareness to work with the spokesmodels that together the parents may go for it.

I do know I cant copy his prices and get any customers in this area, he charges something like $300 for a sitting and hsi first package is $800, I do plan to raise my prices a bit but nothing like that.

right now my packages are $150, $300, $600 and $1200, I am contemplating doing $250, $500, $1000 and $2000, but as I raise my a la carte items I am also raising the quality of each one, wall prints having backings, upgrading albums to include customization right away and the best paper options, etc.

Im not sure how well charging $200 for a 2 week web gallery just so they can order pictures from me would go over here though. But that is something I need to do *just not sure about the fee yet* but only put the pictures that get ordered on there from the parents.

I am also wondering if people care about a dvd slide show, I do like the idea of making it and showing it before a picture viewing so I'll already have it done and ready to sell so may as well try. :) Have you guys had any luck with slide shows? Whats a good price point in your market?


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Jul 10, 2012 13:30 |  #8317

GerryDavid wrote in post #14696678 (external link)
I was just wondering if anyone knew of a good and reliable company for high school senior mailing lists? It was mentioned on the Sal course a couple of days ago but I didnt catch the name of the company he uses.

GerryDavid wrote in post #14697431 (external link)
Mike, how much were the mailing lists? How well did you do off of those 3 customers?

I think hes using it more as brand awareness to work with the spokesmodels that together the parents may go for it.

I do know I cant copy his prices and get any customers in this area, he charges something like $300 for a sitting and hsi first package is $800, I do plan to raise my prices a bit but nothing like that.

right now my packages are $150, $300, $600 and $1200, I am contemplating doing $250, $500, $1000 and $2000, but as I raise my a la carte items I am also raising the quality of each one, wall prints having backings, upgrading albums to include customization right away and the best paper options, etc.

Im not sure how well charging $200 for a 2 week web gallery just so they can order pictures from me would go over here though. But that is something I need to do *just not sure about the fee yet* but only put the pictures that get ordered on there from the parents.

I am also wondering if people care about a dvd slide show, I do like the idea of making it and showing it before a picture viewing so I'll already have it done and ready to sell so may as well try. :) Have you guys had any luck with slide shows? Whats a good price point in your market?

Include the slideshow in one of your top tier packages or sell it for $99-$149 ala carte. Once you start your viewing session with a slideshow, most everyone will want it (make sure it's HD). It's already produced, it costs nothing more than a little time to make so use it to upsell. Rarely can we play a slideshow without making Mom cry. Powerful.


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Jul 10, 2012 13:31 |  #8318

GerryDavid wrote in post #14697431 (external link)
Mike, how much were the mailing lists? How well did you do off of those 3 customers?

I think hes using it more as brand awareness to work with the spokesmodels that together the parents may go for it.

I do know I cant copy his prices and get any customers in this area, he charges something like $300 for a sitting and hsi first package is $800, I do plan to raise my prices a bit but nothing like that.

right now my packages are $150, $300, $600 and $1200, I am contemplating doing $250, $500, $1000 and $2000, but as I raise my a la carte items I am also raising the quality of each one, wall prints having backings, upgrading albums to include customization right away and the best paper options, etc.

Im not sure how well charging $200 for a 2 week web gallery just so they can order pictures from me would go over here though. But that is something I need to do *just not sure about the fee yet* but only put the pictures that get ordered on there from the parents.

I am also wondering if people care about a dvd slide show, I do like the idea of making it and showing it before a picture viewing so I'll already have it done and ready to sell so may as well try. :) Have you guys had any luck with slide shows? Whats a good price point in your market?


Gerry. I will have to check but i believe it was just under $300.00. Over the past 3 yrs i have become more and more skeptical of using spokes models. EVERYONE is doing it...EVERYONE. And all the kids are very hip and wise. I have many photographers in our area that give it away for free for spokes models, so these kids, especially the cute ones have a sense of entitlement right away as they start the programs.

I have backed away from spokes models. I will pick about 6 each year to keep he program fresh with new faces but nothing else. And they don't get it for free. they get a discounted package unless i get a specific amount of referrals from them. Just about every HS senior program has spokes models. The people that i have talked with that have been doing it a number of years are shying away and doing a different approach as well......I would look at guys like john Hartmann and Beth forester for idea's and what they are doing. I thinks what Sal is teaching is a bunch of BS......its not gonna work unless you have a niche in the upper end of the market. Like all of the PPA, Wppi instructors...ha has an excellent self promoting marketing program.


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Eight ­ Oak ­ Acres
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Jul 10, 2012 13:38 |  #8319

AvailableLight wrote in post #14697370 (external link)
"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." ;)

...and those who can't teach...teach gym. ;)


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Jul 10, 2012 13:39 |  #8320

umphotography wrote in post #14697343 (external link)
I tried them ,,,,,,they SUCK:mad:

purchased 1200 names out of 1675 that were in the price bracket i was going for ( 100k and up for the area codes i was interested in)......i got 2 responses out of 3 mailings so i gave up....and i think hes feeding everyone am extra spoon o sugar to go with the koolade. I think hes really good at marketing himself and his programs......what he is teaching is not working in central MN.

Before you go an bash what Sal was teaching consider the following:

I would suggest several reasons why your mailing didn't "work"

1. The target audience was wrong
2. The message was wrong
3. The offer was wrong or non-existent
4. Timing was wrong


In direct mail or any other advertising for that matter, there are 2 main factors. Reach & Frequency.

The reach is the # of prospects reached.
Frequency is the # of times in a specific period they are reached.

Direct mail typically will yield .01% response rate. (That's response, not closing)

3600 x .01% = .36

So 2 is not a bad response. Did you close the sale? Was is profitable? Did you get any referrals from the 2 that did respond?

I would,

1. Evaluate the design of ad piece (there are rules)
2. Evaluate the offer
3. Evaluate the audience

To be fair, one mailing of 1200 is not enough to make any real decisions. It is such a small number (even though it seems like a lot to your wallet).


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Jul 10, 2012 13:56 |  #8321

max3k wrote in post #14697576 (external link)
Before you go an bash what Sal was teaching consider the following:

I would suggest several reasons why your mailing didn't "work"

1. The target audience was wrong
2. The message was wrong
3. The offer was wrong or non-existent
4. Timing was wrong


In direct mail or any other advertising for that matter, there are 2 main factors. Reach & Frequency.

The reach is the # of prospects reached.
Frequency is the # of times in a specific period they are reached.

Direct mail typically will yield .01% response rate. (That's response, not closing)

3600 x .01% = .36

So 2 is not a bad response. Did you close the sale? Was is profitable? Did you get any referrals from the 2 that did respond?

I would,

1. Evaluate the design of ad piece (there are rules)
2. Evaluate the offer
3. Evaluate the audience

To be fair, one mailing of 1200 is not enough to make any real decisions. It is such a small number (even though it seems like a lot to your wallet).

I agree to a large extent on what you are saying. its a numbers game and being consistent. mailings can work with the right message but its also expensive. Sal says a minimum of 2500.00 just for the mailings. Right now, in my area, i know 7 big name senior photographers that are doing the exact approach.....the ones that i know and can trust what im hearing are spending twice that and there counts have dropped to below 100 for the past 2 yrs. The average sale for a couple of companies is less than $600.00 multiply that by a count of ??? lets say 75 at 545.00 average sale and you get a total of 40,000.00.....now start deducting 5K for the mailings, 1000.00 for the paper to print it on, and that drops it down to 34K...after you deduct rent, printing costs, branding and packaging and several other factors,, your bottom line gets gobbled up pretty quick. Guys that i know that have been doing it a lot longer than myself are starting to reevaluate the senior market. But they are definitely doing things much different then what Sal and others are teaching. We will to for 2013.


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Jul 10, 2012 14:04 |  #8322

Eight Oak Acres wrote in post #14697575 (external link)
...and those who can't teach...teach gym. ;)

LMAO! Have to add that job to my list of potential post-retirement jobs ;)


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Jul 10, 2012 14:23 |  #8323

umphotography wrote in post #14697662 (external link)
I agree to a large extent on what you are saying. its a numbers game and being consistent. mailings can work with the right message but its also expensive. Sal says a minimum of 2500.00 just for the mailings. Right now, in my area, i know 7 big name senior photographers that are doing the exact approach.....the ones that i know and can trust what im hearing are spending twice that and there counts have dropped to below 100 for the past 2 yrs. The average sale for a couple of companies is less than $600.00 multiply that by a count of ??? lets say 75 at 545.00 average sale and you get a total of 40,000.00.....now start deducting 5K for the mailings, 1000.00 for the paper to print it on, and that drops it down to 34K...after you deduct rent, printing costs, branding and packaging and several other factors,, your bottom line gets gobbled up pretty quick. Guys that i know that have been doing it a lot longer than myself are starting to reevaluate the senior market. But they are definitely doing things much different then what Sal and others are teaching. We will to for 2013.

Just because you "know" guys doing it, doesn't mean they are doing it correctly.


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Jul 10, 2012 15:00 |  #8324

max3k wrote in post #14697776 (external link)
Just because you "know" guys doing it, doesn't mean they are doing it correctly.

Looking at Mikes figures, I would say it is good information he is offering here...


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Jul 10, 2012 15:27 as a reply to  @ mtimber's post |  #8325

ryan

not trying to be negative or tell you nor any others how to do things. Our business will gross close to 70K this year. The majority will come form weddings and family photography. I would lob=ve to do more seniors and cut back on the weddings. its very hard work and time consuming. I am looking at all possibilities and talking with very successful working photographers in my state. The senior market is extremely difficult because there are a lot of photographers trying to break into it. Ive known 3 senior photographers that were grossing 150K 5 yrs ago and are now out of business because of the market. You can market your business any way you like. But im telling you, go to any of these teaching pros programs. There is probably 80-100 in every class you go to. Multiply that the number of guys that visit your state and come up with some numbers.

Better yet, google photographers in the 5 closest zip codes to your home business and see how many photographers there are trying to break into the senior market or are working the senior market...the numbers will blow you away. Again, not trying to be negative,,,just a reality check. All these people are getting trained by the same teaching support systems and instructors out there. Everyone is getting the same information about marketing and how its done.

You can find a way to get through and survive. You just have to be clever. I took some of these classes 5 yrs ago when i was breaking into the senior market area,,,,ive taken a few others as recently as this year.......nothing has changed except how the information is presented and rehashed. Im following John Hartmann and Beth foresters advice. They are realists and brilliant photographers. I know where im going but its not going to rely on the HS senior market for a while. Got to find your niche and have a product line that people will want to purchase...we will change things up for 2013 big time when it comes to seniors. But Sals way is not going to work in my area.


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