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by Phil Jones Published
Do you remember transproofs? For those of you who don't, let me explain: Transproofs were a projection slide made from negative film. It was at the time, undoubtedly one of the best marketing methods a studio could use. Those of us who used twin dissolve projectors and a background music system were able to give clients an audio/visual presentation, which had lots of impact.
Since digital capture has come along many photographers have gone back to producing paper proofs, which is quite a backward step when it comes to selling big wall portraits.
The answer is most definitely a digital projector. Yes we have all spent a small fortune over the last year or two buying the latest digit camera, computer and printer, yet the projector has been overlooked as an essential part of a professional photographers kit. It is the one and only piece of equipment that will make you more money. Projectors are now compact and relatively inexpensive with prices starting from £700
Projector brightness is measured in ANSI lumens. Ultra-portables start as low as 500 lumens (best for lights-off presentations) all the way up to a 2500. A projector with at least 800 lumens is desirable for use in rooms where there will be some ambient light. A 1000 or more lumen projector would put you ahead of the pack however, and these brighter projectors have now become the industry standard.
The motto is 'show big to sell big'
There are numerous presentation programmes (Pictures to EXE being on of them) available which will help you put together slick presentations to show your clients.
Special attention should be given to your selling area. If possible a separate room from you studio should be used. It should be tastefully decorated with large individually lit wall portraits preferable 40 x 30's. Smaller sizes may be shown in clusters perhaps the children from one of the large family groups that you are displaying.
All surfaces must be clutter free with furnishings that match and are comfortable. Do not leave ashtrays out so that your clients aren't encouraged to light up because your next client may be a non-smoke
Really listen to your client's requirements but listen with eyes as well as ears. Listen to how things are being said as well as what they are saying. Over 50% of all communication is non-verbal; using body language, so learn to interpret what the client is really trying to say.
Keep abreast of the ever-changing market. Be sure you know what is in vogue. Your client may have come to you because she has seen some of your work at her friends and liked that particular style.
Think long term. Try to build long-term relationships with clients. If you are doing a family sitting, there is always the potential there for the client to come back for Christenings, Coming of Age Portraits, Engagements, Retirement etc.
When shooting a family portrait session, always remember to shoot splits i.e. the children individually, together, mothers with daughters, father with sons, mum and dad together, mum and dad individually etc. If you can encourage the family to bring along grandparents, or the family pets (if there are any) then this gives scope for even more splits which will lead to further sales.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 307 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 16th March 2022