All About Family

Posted on February 1, 2013
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Preserving the Family

I hate to break it to you, but one day we are going to be old. All of our children will have families of their own, our grandchildren will have no idea who our grandmother was or that she made the best ice cream and pumpkin pie, and they won’t even remember Uncle Tom’s black high sock’s with white tennis shoes. Before our generation gets old, it’s our job as professional photographers, to make sure the younger generations understand the need to capture pictures of family so that they can transcend their life on earth into the pages of the sacred family photo album.

A family photo album is not a gift for you by any means—it’s a special gift to future generations. By capturing family celebrations, we are allowing a chance for future generations to experience the family they will never have the opportunity to meet in person. Photos have been a way for people to meet their World War I veteran great grandparents, to meet the people that have had such a great impact on their lives without realization. We MUST impress upon our customers the importance of capturing their family perfectly so that after they are gone, others can look at a photo and be proud to say “This is exactly who s/he was.” One day we’ll be old, but we can help our customers leave their legacy by helping them understand the importance of leaving something behind so that future generations can remember too.

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The Bride Needs An Album!

Posted on January 2, 2013
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The Bride Needs an Album

Planning a wedding can often turn a rational, well mannered woman into somewhat of a “Bridezilla”. When the flowers are not just right or the bridesmaids are not cooperating, she develops an attitude and will verbally attack just about anyone. So when Bridezilla finds a photographer and she requests just a disc of her wedding pictures, the photographer agrees—often without an argument.

Although not all brides can be classified as a Bridezilla, lately many brides are becoming victims of the disc phenomena. The photo disc proves to be a simple solution for the busy bride. She can save money and print her images later when the turmoil of the wedding settles. The sad fact however, is that there is always an excuse not to print the wedding photos. There is always a mess to be cleaned or a child to be picked up from practice and before she knows it, the tenth wedding anniversary rolls around and the photos are still sitting on a disc in a drawer somewhere.

Even though we live in a rapidly growing digital age, we need to stress the importance of printed images. While the wedding disc is becoming more and more popular, we forget some very major details. We can store a lot of photos on the internet through social media sites like Facebook, but there is no guarantee that photos will reside there forever. There is always the possibility that the photos are accidentally deleted or your hard drive crashes. Ultimately, there is one key difference that separates a photo disc from a photo album—touch. Without an album, your kids will continue to mindlessly attach themselves to the screen of a computer without being able to physically flip pages of photos and forever lose a very special moment in their own family’s history.

As professional photographers, it is our duty to impress upon our clients the importance of properly archiving lives precious memories ~ in albums!

Katie Perez

Marketing Intern                                        bella-black-image.JPG

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The All Important Finishing Touches

Posted on December 3, 2012
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The All Important Finishing Touches

Years ago, when given the opportunity to choose between an assortment of prize packages people chose the largest package.  As the phrase “big things come in small packages” gained attention people began to think twice.  Enter the importance society now places on accessorizing almost everything from wardrobes to homes and even cell phones and your opportunities to increase profits are abundant.  Society now gives more consideration to the outward appearance of a package and its accessories as an indication of the value of the packages contents.

This trend presents a golden opportunity for anyone looking to increase profits on finished goods.  A minimal investment and attention to detail can add big dollars to your bottom line.  Adding a fashion bag or box, as opposed to a plastic bag or plain box, with coordinating tissue and ribbon makes a statement about your product.  Presenting your customer with a beautiful, boutique like package further reinforces their confidence in their decision to purchase and acts as a marketing tool for your business by trade marking your brand.  Avoid letting potential profits slip away by adding the all important finishing touches.

Show your customers that your products are worthy of exceptional packaging!

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Your Photos Are Worthy of Exceptional Packaging!

Posted on November 15, 2012
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The Secret Is In The Packaging  Whether your packaging photography for delivery or the ultimate sweet confection, packaging is an important factor that can make or break a product. If correctly presented, people will buy solely based on packaging because many link superior packaging with superior product.   Much thought should go into the art, color selection and overall visual design of your package. The average consumer decides whether or not to pick up a package to learn more in a matter of seconds, therefore, making a strong first impression is crucial.  The way you present your product not only identifies your brand, but helps to promote consumer confidence in the brand.  Creative, innovative packaging lets your customers know you are passionate about your product and that your product is worthy of exceptional packaging.  Exceptional packaging can go so far as to entice a customer to purchase without any prior knowledge of the brand or the product.   Packaging communicates both emotional and functional benefits to the buyer and should be in line with the brand personality. A well-designed package appeals to our emotions as well as our reason. When a consumer needs to make a shopping decision quickly they yield to their emotions.  If  your package excites as well as informs, it can provide comfort to your customers and eliminate buyers remorse. Remember, many companies spend more on packaging than on advertising and packaging is often the most distinguished marketing effort in a products marketing mix. Give your products the packaging they deserve!  

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The Value of Photo Easels

Posted on October 17, 2012
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Many photographers struggle to come up with ways to increase the value and ultimately the price of their portrait packages.  As I have mentioned in previous postings, presentation and first impressions are key.  Many of us would like to think our photographs sell themselves but it is a known fact that consumers place a higher perceived value on items in pretty, glamorous packages.  Presenting your printed images in Easel Frames is a great way to impress your customers at a minimal cost to you.  For just a few cents more you can present your customers portraits in a delivery device that they will be proud to display.  The Easel Frame is perfect for displaying any size image.  Easel Frames are made from sturdy paper board and come with both a horizontal and vertical easel for versatility.  They can be used alone to display at home or at work or framed for a high end presentation.

 

Easels come in many shapes and sizes.  From formal to sport and school easels that hold an individual and a team shot, the Easel Frame is a perfect addition to your portrait packaging.

 

To see a collection of easel offerings, follow link below:

 

http://www.albumsinc.com/easelsandframes.aspx

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Creating Lifelong Customers

Posted on October 2, 2012
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Create Lifelong Customers with Children’s Portrait Packages

Let’s face it ~ repeat customers are what sustains businesses.  Attract the customer, impress them with your presentation and chances are they will be back!  New parents offer an amazing opportunity. 

Grab them while they are still basking in the glow of their new arrival, give them a heartwarming experience in your studio and then WOW them with a final package presentation.

Every parent loves to show off their bundle of joy and you can provide them with numerous opportunities to do that.  In addition to framed or gallery wrapped larger portraits, a coffee table book is a perfect vehicle to share their entire collection of portraits and acts as a great marketing tool for your studio.  Include 5×7 and wallet albums for grandparents as well as additional 4×6 or 5×7 prints in folders or easels for aunts and uncles.  (Make sure they realize that professional portraits make great gifts!) Wrap the entire assortment in a beautiful box that coordinates with your studio branding, complete with tissue, ribbon and a bag and your new parent has lasting memories to share. 

First impressions are one of the most important marketing tools. The time and effort you put into these infant sessions will get paid back ten fold.  Remember, these babies grow up to be seniors, brides/grooms and parents themselves.  As I prepare to send my baby off to college I treasure more than ever those precious childhood portraits and wish I had more!

Remind them that childhood will fly by in the blink of and eye and offer to book birthday sessions to keep them coming back. Create life long customers by presenting priceless childhood portrait packages.

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Increase Profits with the Digital Proofing System by Tap

Posted on September 19, 2012
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With the increase in online communication thanks to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, clients are seeking low resolution images of their sessions to use on their internet pages.  In addition, many customers are requesting digital images instead of printed images.  As professional photographers you understand the importance of printing images, but it is becoming increasingly more difficult to convince those of the digital age of that fact.

Don’t be discouraged, rather use this as an opportunity to up sell your clients.  Offer them the option to get those coveted digital files by moving them into a higher priced package and present the disc in a unique way.

A paper sleeve is the most economical option for digital delivery, but does not hold value.  A CD case is better.  Numerous companies offer attractive CD folios, but why not wow your customers with the latest innovation in digital image delivery?  The DPS, dual purpose packaging line, includes folios and easel frames all equipped with a patent pending retractable CD tray hidden in the back seam, allowing your printed images to be the focal point of the package.

In today’s economy, it is more important than ever to emphasize the perceived value of your product offerings.  Your photographs are your best advertising, but don’t forget the packaging makes the first impression when your images are delivered.  Make your first impressions lasting ones!

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Feature Photographers Wanted!

Posted on September 6, 2012
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We all know that Word of Mouth is the most effective form of advertising.  Now is your chance to promote your business and Save 10% on all Tap purchases for and ENTIRE YEAR while featuring your work in the 2012 Tap Professional Photo Packaging catalog.

 

We want to see your creative ideas for using Tap product to present your portrait packages.  Send us an image (or 2 or 3) of your best presentation and we will consider using it in our catalog.

 

Your studio name will be credited with all images used and you will receive a 10% savings on all orders (excluding custom product) throughout 2012.

 

We will chose multiple photographers to feature so don’t miss out on this great opportunity to save and to promote your business!

 

Submit your electronic images to Susan at sauzenbergs@tap-usa.com by September 15.

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How to Effectively Use a Folio

Posted on February 1, 2010
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By (Guest Contributor) Allan Tyndell

Folios are an elegant delivery system used to advertise, market and highlight a photographer’s work. When folios are used properly, they generate revenue at no additional cost to the studio.

1. The folio gives the customer an ego boost and makes the images worth more.
2. A folio allows the student to share their photographic experience with friends.
3. Folios give the student instant gratification by the comments of their peers.
4. Senior photographs are a must have item. The need is created by the students. The more the students see their friends pictures, the greater the need to have their pictures taken.
5. Folios elevate the overall appearance of the product.
6. The folio is an easy to show item and can be easily transported.
7. The folio should always be imprinted with the studio name.
8. Folios allow the photographer to sell extra previews to the customer.
9. The extra previews that don’t go into the folio can be put into Royal Preview Packs.
10. Previews must be on your price list.
11. Photographers must sell their previews.
12. The cost of the previews with the folio must be less than just purchasing the previews.
Example: previews are $9.00 each, $72 for 8 or $69.00 for the previews and the folio.
13. The photographer should pick out the best eight photographs that they want to display to the general public.
14. After delivery, the customer is able to pick their favorite eight photographs from their original previews to put in the folio.
15. The customer receives a discount if they purchase the same folio that their previews were displayed in. Some studios lower the price of the folio by the amount of the purchase. The more money spent, the less the folio cost.
16. If the folio is purchased, the photographer can offer as a complimentary bonus, four low resolution images that can be posted on MySpace or Facebook. This gives the customer a feeling of satisfaction for their purchases.

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Will Your Granchildren Be Very Upset With You?

Posted on October 20, 2009
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Author: Fred Molesworth, Salem, Oregon

I’m willing to bet your grandchildren will be upset with you. Here’s why. Imagine, 50 years from now, as your grandchildren or great grandchildren are going through the boxes in the attic. They are enthralled with the treasures and keepsakes they find and how they tie into the story of your life.

Amongst all the old items, they find a number of round silver objects. Some have writing on them, some are blank, but they resemble some kind of a small platter about 4″ across, with a hole in the middle.

Puzzled, they take them to their parents. “What are these, Mom?” they ask. “Oh, I think those are all of grandma’s photographs. Yep, here’s one labeled ‘My Wedding’. Here’s some more labeled ‘Family Photos,’ and some more labeled ‘Vacations’.”

“How do we look at them?” they ask.

“Well, I’m not sure we can. First of all, no one has the device that reads these anymore. Besides that, I doubt after all these years that they’re any good anymore. Being stored in the attic, the heat and cold probably ruined them.”

The kids are very disappointed. Nowhere amongst all the treasures are any actual prints. All that history is lost. Their connection with the past and all the wonderful stories that might have gone along with all those photographs are gone as well.

Along with all the wonders of our digital age come some significant problems that most people have never thought of.

Did you know that over 90% of all images taken on today’s digital cameras are NEVER PRINTED? I’m guilty of that myself. I have gigabytes of personal photographs that have never been seen other than on a computer screen.

In the old days, film went to the lab and everything that was printable was printed. Even if it was a bad photograph, it still was a hard copy, a part of your family history and it had permanence. Even if they never went in an album, they at least went into a box, to be discovered as treasures years later.

The same problem exists in professional portrait studios today. Many people are simply asking for the images on CD. “I’ll print them later” or “I’ll design my own wedding album” are common phrases. Usually this is done with the thought that they’ll save some money by doing it themselves.

But you know what? Most never make it into any kind of an album. Life gets busy and 20 years later they’ll be looking for some way to read those disks.

I bring this up only to point out the importance of what we, as a professional studio do. Our job is not just to create the images, to create wonderful story telling photographs about the people in front of our camera; it’s to create a final product, whether it be a professionally retouched and printed single image, a family heirloom wall portrait, or an incredible storybook album using a collection of the images that were created.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a wedding, a newborn baby, a senior or a family. Having the final product created for you is important. To do less is to leave the job half done and to short change the customer.

So, if you’re asked for a disk with all the images “so I can print them later”, that’s fine, just make sure your customers understand that if not printed, the conversation their grandchildren will want to have about their family history may never be able to happen.

Fred Molesworth

In addition to running a full time portrait studio in Salem Oregon, Fred Molesworth is a small business teacher and advisor, and the author of the Portrait Studio Marketing blog (www.portraitstudiomarketing.com). He’s also a nationally known business and marketing speaker in the portrait industry, and past president of the Professional Photographers of Oregon.

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