I was listening to Tom Hopkins recently at the Sheraton Ballroom in Auckland talking on selling.  He came up with some rather interesting quotes which I will list.

  • He says you have to spend money to earn money. He says suicide is the most sincere form of self criticism.

  • He says that everything that you want in life is behind a closed door.  You have to learn how to love doors so you can open doors.

  • He is known right throughout the world for his formula for success, which is "get off your backside".

  • He also says that do not hang onto the past, the past is a pile of ashes.

  • There is a list of words you do not use in the Hopkin's dictionary.

  • He says you never mention the word cost or price, just total investment.

  • Never down payment, only initial investment.

  • Not buy, use the word own.

  • Not sign here, rather would you o.k. this paper work.

It was a very good seminar but not necessarily full of meat.  One could almost justify the $98.00 with these little gems that I have recorded.

In talking to Jay Stock, he made the point that he runs seminars for doctors, for lawyers, for many professional people, teaching them about photography.

In doing so, of course these people will not set up in business in opposition to you.  You have really got nothing to worry about from them, but these people will start to know what fine photography looks like and consequently whenever they go, wherever they go, they will of course be looking for what they will learn to recognize as the best.

The Yale university art gallery has the largest collection of English paintings in America. They define an English painting as one that was painted in England or painted by an Englishman abroad.

The art adviser of the gallery who spoke to us about the collection told us that English art was influenced by Henry VIII when he broke away from the Catholic church, in so much that he forbade any religious paintings, he forbade the Church sponsoring art and right up to that stage and in the continent at that stage, the Church had been the biggest sponsor of art.

This meant that the artists in England had to turn to portraiture to make a living. He showed us first the Elizabethan paintings which were extremely flat filled the frames and lacked imagination altogether.

We then went on to painting around the time of Charles 1 when Van Dyck visited England and he changed the complete style of painting with his technique of doing the full length figure allowing space, creating form with shadow.

We then saw how some English painters copied his style. He showed us how they put various pieces of clothing, armory etc. into the picture to show how important the person being painted was. In just about every case, the portrait flattered the person. They placed articles of clothing or armory or if he was a holder of the knight of the garter, that was on the portrait. They were magnificent paintings.

He then went on to show us the next stage of paintings and that was of houses. This was the next stage that happened and the artist used a birds eye view of the castle, painting massive large paintings of the castle, the surrounding land that was owned by the castle owner and the castle. It basically showed every little dent in the brickwork. You could certainly see the turrets, the pinnacles on the roofs, the cabbages growing in the garden, people walking on the promenades, even to the stage of the field that they laid the clothing out to dry in. There was of course a carriage pulling up at the entrance.

These paintings then developed into some that were almost turned into landscapes but of course landscapes weren't bought by anybody so they had to include the birds eye view of the castle and the land to be able to get away with the landscape.

The next stage of painting was the pictorials of the people outside in a setting and what was called conversation pieces of people chatting in a parlor, playing cards etc.

It was interesting to note that the portraits that were done of these people outside the whole family, whatever the person's interest was they had something to indicate that in their hands. For example if one of the children was a keen reader, they had a book. If one of the others was a fisherman, he had a fishing rod. The woman had her fancywork, and so forth.

It was round this time that Gainsborough made an appearance and Gainsborough was self-taught. He was particularly keen on painting landscapes, but of course landscapes didn't sell, so he had to resort to the family group type portraiture, outside and build them into a landscape. Of course, Sir. Joshua Reynolds was in this particular period as well and his portraiture was extremely beautiful.

It was interesting to note the way that the portraiture changed over the hundred years, how it was influenced by the various artists who traveled to England from the continent and how the portraiture improved from a flat, badly cropped portrait through to the beautiful portraits that were produced from the Van Dyck period on.

It was interesting to note that whilst most of them wanted to paint landscapes, etc., they produced what their customers wanted and would pay money for. There was a stage when people did not like sitting for the portraits and one of the painters used tailors dummies to get the majority of the portrait painted and the subject would come in a t the last minute and the artist would place their head on the various paintings. They certainly did not have it easy, yet they produced beautiful work to a standard that today other paintings or photographs are compared to.

NEWSLETTER FOR DECEMBER 1985                        VOLUME 74     
PAUL YAFFE  at N.Z.P.P.A. convention

I have just come across some notes I made while I was listening to Paul Yaffe. Unfortunately, I did not sit through his whole talk and I am sure there would have been many more notes had I done so. Any notes in brackets are my comments otherwise the comment is as I recorded it from Paul Yaffe.

Social photographers (portrait photographers) must make people look as good as they can. They must be convincing, they must be spontaneous, the portrait must flow and balance, it must flow in and out. It must have sensitivity, in other words you must capture the tender moment.

Cont.Top of Page   


Two thirds of his portraits are pensive and one third are smiling. He has soft music playing in his studio.

He captures most of his clients from previous satisfied clients, does P.R. releases all the time, has large displays that he puts on twelve 8 x ~ foot panels. He advertises in the newspapers, on television.

He changes his window displays twice a week. In his studio, he uses contemporary furniture and not reproductions. Contemporary makes it easier to walk into and it is not what it costs but how it looks.

He has navy wallpaper and uses 100 watt bulbs over each picture. However he uses air-conditioning to reduce the heat that these bulbs generate.

He gives them a cup of coffee that is so hot they cannot drink it and leave for ten minutes. His average order is 375 pounds sterling and he deals with the home market and not the Arabs.

He uses transviews and projects them through to 40 x 60 and sits the people at the back of an ordinary room so that the print looks smaller.

When taking appointments, his customers never ever see the diary, so that they walk into the shop and the diary is out the back and out the back it stays. He goes out and brings back two possible dates.

  • His staff are trained in professional selling and are always there during the lunch hour.

  • They must know and be able to sell on the telephone.

  • He feels very strongly that you must be able to close the sale.

  • He feels that 63.8% of all sales presentation do not close today.

  • He feels that failure will never overtake him if his devotion to success is strong enough.

  • He feels it takes 30 days to get a new habit (so that if you want to change something that you are doing, you must concentrate on it for 30 days).

The professionals write down all the important details - the non-professional will not do this.

He who asks the questions controls the sales.

I am sure there is a ton of new ideas that I did not hear. He is one of the best speakers that we have had at a conference and I am sure that even now that if you were to write to Don Buick at Mayfair Studios, he would have tape that you would be able to buy.

Well I have just finished listening to the set of tapes by Paul Yaffe and boy! was this guy good.

 His sales techniques, his approach, his philosophies are what I believe and have been saying are the correct approach for years.

 I have been hearing reports from all round the countryside as to his approach, how people like it and I have heard of people trying to follow it.

 It is my belief that if you are setting your business up along any lines, you could do a lot worse than follow Paul Yaffe.  However do remember, he is an extremely good photographer.  No, he is better than that.  He is a brilliant photographer.  So that when he asks for a high price, he has the product with which to back it up.  He has the premises that look expensive.  The guy dresses so that you are left with no doubt that he has seen a thousand dollars..  or in his case pounds.

So don't just pull out one small portion of what he spoke about, try to put it into your business and expect to get the success that he has.  Work on your total image.  Read back through previous newsletters and start putting into place some of the things I have described in fine detail.  Do remember, if you are asking for a high price for the product, you had better make sure that it is worth it.

NEWSLETTER FOR JANUARY 1985                        VOLUME 75

The reports that I've had coming in and one or two comments that have been reaching me indicate that one or two photographers in country towns, are trying to do a Paul Yaffe.

This idea is ludicrous. You can only do a "Paul Yaffe" in an area that has a reasonably large population, like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch.

You can only do a Paul Yaffe if you are one of the best photographers in New Zealand.  Or, if you are one of the best salesmen in New Zealand.

You can only do a Paul Yaffe if your clients recognize that your work is worth more money.

You can only do a Paul Yaffe if you have a large population to draw upon so the that you can reach that five percent who are prepared to pay more.

In a country town of ten thousand people, that means there is roughly three thousand families which means you have about one hundred and fifty families to work with, working on the assumption they have the city person mentality.

Country people don't usually spend money like city people on large single photographs.

If any of the above paragraphs fits what you're doing, even remotely, have a good look at it.  I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm saying be very careful.

I'd hate to see anybody go broke.       Particularly one of my customers....

In my last newsletter I spoke of how good the information Paul had to give. said that he had a lot of good ideas to follow.

I didn't say change everything now and do it his way.  If you make any changes they must be made with the consideration of the population you are working with, and your own ability.

A good example of this was when Joyce Wilson went to Salem, Oregon.   She found that the people in that particular area were farm people.

They were of a different stock to the people she had been dealing with in Indianapolis, they were country people.  They didn1t look elegant in photographs.  She was not able to do very well in Salem.

She went back to Indianapolis, had a different clientele to work with, Indianapolis is a very large city in the mid-west, more sophisticated that Salem, Oregon, of a different stock, they didn't look clumsy in photographs and she is doing very well  Which of these two area's fits your particular area the closest.

It does matter, and it does count.   Be careful.