Market your branding photos in a way you probably haven’t heard before

Uncategorized Dec 22, 2019


For those of you that don't know, I am a woman's portrait photographer.  I specialize in boudoir and boudoir is what I shoot 95% of the time. I do, however, market myself as shooting “the three B’s for women”  and that is Boudoir, Beauty, and Branding. In order of preference… Boudoir is my fav, hands down. 

Now the reason I do this is that almost every single woman I have in the studio will do a combination of those B’s during her shoot. 

Let me explain what I mean-  a client reaches out to me for boudoir, we book a consultation (which I want you to do if you are not already) and this consultation is where we get to know each other a bit and chat about how she wants to be photographed, specifically, which of my images she is drawn to, for her boudoir session.  

Side note if you are just starting out and you don't have a huge selection of your own  images for her to choose from feeling free to scour pinterest for some image styles that you want to shoot and show her those. This is what I did when I was starting out.  You need a point of reference of what she wants, and she needs a point of reference as to what you can shoot.

(or what you want to shoot)  For example I dont shoot pin up.  At all. It is not my style, I dont have the props etc.  So if a client wants those types of images and you tell her to find images on pinterest that she loves she will choose those, and now you have to shoot pin up.  To avoid confusion and be clear on what your style is, you should have some pinterest boards already done with what you want to shoot and have her choose from there.  Once you build up a bigger portfolio, you will have you own images to show… but also, clients will be drawn to you, that like your style. I have not had anyone come to me for pin up shots in the last 5 years… because I don't have any to show…

Ok, I went off the rails a bit there.. I tend to do that if you haven't noticed.  

I will get into the pre-shoot consultation in another episode because I think it is super important, especially when you have a luxury brand, but for now, we are using the consult to plan her shoot.  While we are chatting I find out that she runs her own business or is some sort of entrepreneur, so I suggest that we add a few headshots or branding images during her shoot. After all, I tell her, you already have professional h&mup and you are in front of a professional photographer, so you might as well get some images to update your website and marketing.

Doing this offer has many benefits, for the client and for you

  1. Some women really want to get boudoir images, but they feel like they could not do it, or they would not look good doing it, which makes me crazy because boudoir is so empowering and so life-changing, that every woman should do it, and the fact that some women still think they cant makes me sad… and determined to change her mindset!  Anyway, I tend to get women in for their consultation saying they want some beauty images… or some branding images, and I always ask them about boudoir. I tell them it’s my speciality and how much I think they should experience it and how much they will love it and maybe we should add a few boudoir images in there as well,... they usually agree.  I never want to pressure my clients, but you can tell if someone is dead set against having any boudoir images, and someone who loves the idea, but is just not sure she can. So having the option of the 3 b’s opens the studio doors for more women to inquire. I think if I just promoted straight boudoir, there would be a lot of women who would never inquire..
  2. The client is impressed that she can have 2 different kinds of the shoot at once for no additional charge
  3. The client can now write off her payment to you as a business expense, which is also a benefit to you because clients tend to spend more if they can write it off
  4. You will have more image styles for the client to choose from at her ordering session which will result in a higher sale.  She will want to add at least one or two headshots to her package… hopefully more.
  5. When I shoot boudoir, lots of times, my clients do not let me share AND they do not show many people their images- not like family photos which they plaster all over social media, and in their home on the walls, on their phone etc.  People usually don't see the boudoir images I take so if I add a branding or beauty image in their session, they will almost always update their profile photo with that images and this gets your work in front of more people, and hopefully more referrals.

I will tell you that almost all of my clients get a headshot or beauty portrait thrown in at the end of their boudoir shoot-  I do it at the end because by then they are pretty relaxed and warmed up and as a result, their portrait is really great because there is a good, relaxed connection with my camera.

Ok, so now that you know about the genre I shoot, and how I make each boudoir session become as big a sale as possible AND have images that clients will share,  let me get back to the original promise of this episode which was a way to market your branding images that you probably have not heard of before.

When you get an inquiry from an office to do headshots- like a real estate office, or a spa or salon… any place that has staff, here is how I position it.

I charge xx dollars per person which include 2 fully edited digital images- make sure your pricing is worth your while, but I charge more per person if it’s 1-4 people, then 5-9 people it’s a bit less per person and so on.  I go more into how to price multiple people in one day, in my podcast episode on how to run profitable mini session. To learn about the mini session, you can check out episode#7 of my podcast here. There is also a free downloadable calculator that you can use to figure out what your average sale should be…

After I shoot them, we do the image reveal right on the spot, and they go through and choose their 2 images.  Of course, they are always welcome to purchase more at a steal of $90 per image, so hopefully, they do purchase more.  This way, I am only editing the purchased images and saving myself time by not editing the full session AND saving time by not setting up an additional ordering session.  

win/win

Then, when giving the office the quote, you also offer a group photo…. But with a twist.  You will shoot each person on the team, individually and use photoshop to add them into a group photo.  Now obviously this depends on your photoshop skills and of course only offer this if its something you are able to do, but you can always outsource this editing job to someone else as well if your compositing skills are not  up to par, but if you do outsource, remember to adjust your quoted price accordingly. 

And So, essentially what you are offering is a group photo where you can delete or add staff members as they change.  It’s so hard for the office to get a group photo because everyone needs to arrange to be there at the same time, then if staff changes or they hire someone new, that group photo is no good anymore and they need to arrange for the whole team to come in again and take a new photo.  For this reason, most offices don't bother with a group photo.  

But YOU CAN offer this service.  Personally, I don’t charge them anything to remove someone from the photo, because I save it as a layered PSD file so it’s pretty easy to take someone out.  And if they hire someone new, I get that new person in for new headshots (at the price depending on how many come in for the shoot- usually it’s just the one extra person so their individual price is higher than what the original group session was priced at) 

That new person chooses their 2 images on the spot… maybe they purchase more, hopefully, they purchase more,  then I take their “group” shot- which I do against a white or grey backdrop to keep it simple and then just photoshop them into the layered group shot, save it as a jpeg and send it off to the office.

Easy peasy

What I want you to keep in mind when you offer this service, is to make sure you are priced correctly-  yes this is a bit more work than a regular headshot session or mini session so your prices should reflect that, but make sure the office sees the benefit of what you are offering.  

  1. They don't need to wrangle the whole team together to get the group shot updated each time there is a staff change. (You can do this in your studio or in their office, depending on where you are shooting them- I like to keep it in my studio so I have control over the lighting and where I shoot the group photos so it’s the same every time)
  2. They have a professional photo of their whole team which is always current and up to date, this can help them stand out from their competition.
  3. You become the go-to photographer in your area for this type of service, and once you photograph that office they will come back to you again and again since you are the one who has the skills to add people or take people out of the photo.

And so, for pricing- you could make the price per person higher and “include’ the group shot in that price OR you could price it as an add on service, and they can decide if they include the group shot or not

So lets say for your pricing, just to keep it simple, for 1-4 people its $600 per person, and for 5-9 people its $400 per person, and over 10 people its $300 per person.   If they come in on the first day with 10 or more people and you charge them $300 per person, if an additional person gets added to their team in a few months and that one person comes in for their shots, you don’t charge them $300- you will charge them the rate for 1-4 people which is $600.

Does that make sense?  Your rate is lower because everyone is in on the same day- otherwise, you would be booking your calendar for this one person at a considerably lower rate than you would normally for one person-  you need to make sure your time is well spent and you are getting paid for your time.  

If you set up your prices like this for headshots it will never be confusing, and you will always know what your rates are.  You can charge less when you have more people IN THE SAME DAY and back to back because you are shooting in volume.

Side note- this could be set up the same way when you do mini sessions because this headshot full-day is essentially a mini session.  Again, if you haven't already, have a listen to my episode on mini sessions in episode 7

Once you figure out the price for individuals, then you can add on a cost of xx dollars to shoot and do the composite of the group photo.  Any removals are free, any additions are xx amount of dollars if the new person is doing a headshot with you as well…. The additional group shot image to add someone in can be rolled into the price to do their headshots so you are not nickel and diming them every time they want to add someone into the group shot.  That new person comes in, gets their headshots done for XX amount of dollars, which includes a shot taken to be added into the group photo.

I hope this makes sense to you. If you need more clarity, or have any questions,  join us in the profitable portraits facebook group and post in there and I will answer for you… 

 

~t

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