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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 02 Jul 2007 (Monday) 17:32
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[RANT] I just don't get it!

 
Beau ­ Hudspeth
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Jul 02, 2007 17:32 |  #1

[RANT]

It never ceases to amaze me by peoples reluctance/refusal to pay (even at a greatly reduced rate) for quality professional photography. I have a special running that costs $200 (here local) and $125 (in a far more depressed area of the state) for a package:

  • • Shot by Multiple Award Winning Photographer
  • • Five Professionally Retouched Images - As Selected by You
  • • Your Pictures are Back to You in Less Then 2 Weeks
  • • The 5 Images in 8x10
  • • Your Own CD Containing The Five Images For Future Reprints ***
You know how many takers I have had? ZERO! And it has been running for almost 2 months.

They seem to all be under the impression that since everyone has a camera that everyone can take a great picture. I mean, a $200 8MP camera is as good as a $1600 8MP camera, right? After all, 8MP is 8MP. They fail to realize that the guy behind it is what matters, and that it is not the cost of the gear.

So, what if dental drills become all the rage like digital cameras - and everyone gets one? Will you go to your 12yr old to get your teeth drilled, or maybe the guy with the training and know-how. The professional.

Maybe I should sell my gear off and bye good cookware ...

[/RANT]

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Box ­ Brownie
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Jul 02, 2007 18:41 |  #2

I am not a pro but would love to earn some 'proper fees' for my efforts.

I feel your pain and have been told my camera takes very nice photographs, hence my sig ;)

So remember even cookware can be risky when you do not expect it :lol:


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Beau ­ Hudspeth
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Jul 02, 2007 18:46 |  #3

Box Brownie wrote in post #3476518 (external link)
I feel your pain and have been told my camera takes very nice photographs, hence my sig ;)

How appropriate. :)


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blackshadow
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Jul 02, 2007 18:48 |  #4

Obviously you aren't reaching your target market - you need to work out a strategy so that your marketing gets to those who appreciate and are willing to pay for professional quality photos.


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Hogloff
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Jul 02, 2007 19:38 |  #5
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blackshadow wrote in post #3476542 (external link)
Obviously you aren't reaching your target market - you need to work out a strategy so that your marketing gets to those who appreciate and are willing to pay for professional quality photos.

Exactly. Either your photos are not as good as you think they are or your marketing skills are lacking. In either case, don't blame your customers...blame yourself.




  
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cdifoto
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Jul 02, 2007 19:41 |  #6

Maybe it's because your website doesn't work. I can't get past the splash page.


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Karl ­ C
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Jul 02, 2007 20:02 |  #7

cdifoto wrote in post #3476786 (external link)
Maybe it's because your website doesn't work. I can't get past the splash page.

Using Firefox, I can't get beyond the splash page either. However, using IE6 will load the site.

You might want to fix that. ;)


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Beau ­ Hudspeth
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Jul 02, 2007 21:43 |  #8

blackshadow wrote in post #3476542 (external link)
Obviously you aren't reaching your target market - you need to work out a strategy so that your marketing gets to those who appreciate and are willing to pay for professional quality photos.

The last market was those earning 40K - 210K per year. The market place is sound.

Hogloff wrote in post #3476773 (external link)
Exactly. Either your photos are not as good as you think they are or your marketing skills are lacking. In either case, don't blame your customers...blame yourself.

No offense, but that is pretty ballsy talk for someone with 32 posts (to which the majority are either belittling, crass, smug or just plain rude). At this point, you have no vested interest in what transpires in these pages and seem to be here to simply be combative. Welcome to the Ignore List. ;)

cdifoto wrote in post #3476786 (external link)
Maybe it's because your website doesn't work. I can't get past the splash page.

They are never referred to that site. Ever ...

Karl C wrote in post #3476887 (external link)
Using Firefox, I can't get beyond the splash page either. However, using IE6 will load the site.

You might want to fix that. ;)

This I know and that is why the site is undergoing a MAJOR revamp. Thanks!


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blackshadow
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Jul 02, 2007 22:19 |  #9

Beau what is your marketing plan/strategy to target those with the $40K-$210K per year earning capacity? Just because you live in an area where people earn that money doesn't mean they appreciate photography and the cost of professional photography.

Living in/servicing an area with a certain demography isn't a marketing strategy. It takes a lot more than that.


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Curtis ­ N
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Jul 02, 2007 22:32 |  #10

Photography is tough. Running a business is even tougher. I don't have a magic cure, but here's a thought:

Beau Hudspeth wrote in post #3476206 (external link)
• Your Pictures are Back to You in Less Then 2 Weeks

We live in a society of instant gratification. People want stuff now. Heck, I work for a company that manufacures custom-made, printed boxes and some customers expect us to go from concept to shipping thousands in 2 weeks. :rolleyes: People don't plan ahead for their needs. If they look for a photographer today, it means they need pictures tomorrow. And they'll pay whatever it costs. Quick service, rather than price, is what makes a lot of businesses successful (not just photographers).

I think if you can improve on that turnaround time, it might prevent some people from driving down the road to Wal*Mart or Sears.


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poloman
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Jul 02, 2007 22:37 |  #11

My wife sells radio advertising.
We were talking about the difference between a transactional and a relational customer.
A transactional customer is going to always respond to lower pricing and that is their sole concern. A relational customer knows you do good work and is happy to pay for the quality. They will always be your best customer.
How do you reach them? What activities are frequented by the people you seek? Can you shoot on spec at some of those activities and collect names and email addresses?
You then direct them to your website to look at pictures of their kids playing lacrosse or whatever. Offer prints at a reasonable cost. Make sure they know that you also do other kinds of photography. You are now developing a mailing list. Send them a card with a photo that is too nice to throw away. Information about your services is on the card. etc. etc. There are many ways to get it done. Hopefully you can find one that works for you. IMO the best target is parents of teen age kids. These teenagers are soon to need senior pictures, prom, engagement, wedding, baby, family portraits......
Hope I helped in some small way.:)


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Beau ­ Hudspeth
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Jul 02, 2007 22:40 |  #12

Curtis N wrote in post #3477543 (external link)
Photography is tough. Running a business is even tougher. I don't have a magic cure, but here's a thought:We live in a society of instant gratification. People want stuff now. Heck, I work for a company that manufactures custom-made, printed boxes and some customers expect us to go from concept to shipping thousands in 2 weeks. :rolleyes: People don't plan ahead for their needs. If they look for a photographer today, it means they need pictures tomorrow. And they'll pay whatever it costs. Quick service, rather than price, is what makes a lot of businesses successful (not just photographers).

I think if you can improve on that turnaround time, it might prevent some people from driving down the road to Wal*Mart or Sears.

That is a great point. The only reason that it is in there, is that a few of the places that I have this ad posted are 250 miles from my pp-studio. That means that I have to come back to the studio to do all the pp work as well as get the printing done and then ship the prints to the client. One of these towns (Spray - population 350-450) is 2.5 hours to the closest city that even has a place to make prints - much less good prints. We are talking remote. So, that line is in there for their benefit.

Thanx for the good observation.


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Beau ­ Hudspeth
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Jul 02, 2007 22:45 |  #13

poloman wrote in post #3477557 (external link)
My wife sells radio advertising.
We were talking about the difference between a transactional and a relational customer.
A transactional customer is going to always respond to lower pricing and that is their sole concern. A relational customer knows you do good work and is happy to pay for the quality. They will always be your best customer.
How do you reach them? What activities are frequented by the people you seek? Can you shoot on spec at some of those activities and collect names and email addresses?
You then direct them to your website to look at pictures of their kids playing lacrosse or whatever. Offer prints at a reasonable cost. Make sure they know that you also do other kinds of photography. You are now developing a mailing list. Send them a card with a photo that is too nice to throw away. Information about your services is on the card. etc. etc. There are many ways to get it done. Hopefully you can find one that works for you. IMO the best target is parents of teen age kids. These teenagers are soon to need senior pictures, prom, engagement, wedding, baby, family portraits......
Hope I helped in some small way.:)

That was a great help.

Part of the issue I have right now is that our primary sitter is no longer sitting and I have a 16mo and a 3.5 year old in tow most all the time - at least till the wife gets home. Needless to say, that makes doing great game photography somewhat of a challenge with them running a-muck. Letting them go 'free range' is a bad idea but stuffing them in the stroller is even worse. :D


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Beau ­ Hudspeth
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Jul 02, 2007 22:49 |  #14

blackshadow wrote in post #3477503 (external link)
Beau what is your marketing plan/strategy to target those with the $40K-$210K per year earning capacity? Just because you live in an area where people earn that money doesn't mean they appreciate photography and the cost of professional photography.

Living in/servicing an area with a certain demography isn't a marketing strategy. It takes a lot more than that.

Correct. ;)

One of the ads is on a companies internal website for that client base. This place employs 1000's of folks. So the target is smaller then just living in that demographic area.

That particular ad has only been there two weeks, but nothing as of yet. :confused:


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rustylewis
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Jul 02, 2007 23:19 |  #15

In my mind, buying photographs is an emotion decision. A photo is appealing visually, or of a subject I have an emotional connection to like a relative, friend, or a place I have visited or want to visit.

How do you create that emotional connection for photos that have yet to be created? Your ad needs to do that.

Your potential customers fall into two groups. Those that have a need, and those that you can convince they have a need. For those that have a need, the ad needs to motivate them to call you (as opposed to someone else) right then. For the others, your ad needs to visually show them the possibilities. Get them to think of what subject would be worth that much money for photographs. And motivate them to contact you for additional information.

You are competing against all other professional photographers in the area, but you are also competing against ambivilence, and pressure from other sources for limited resources. Your potential clients probably have many things they could, should, or need to spend that money on.

... of course I am a computer guy so I may be way off here.


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[RANT] I just don't get it!
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