Choosing a photographer
Vintage Photo Books

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Cont from page 24

During 1982 and 1983 I subscribed to an American magazine called Direct Marketing.

During one of those times when I had a pile of magazines that I had not read the renewal subscription came up and I did not bother renewing it because I was running out of reading time.

Every year since then they have been posting me another renewal slip inviting me to re-subscribe to their magazine.

  • Do you do this with your customers?

  • Do you do this with your prospective customers?

  • How often do you work your mailing list with an invitation to have a portrait made?

Remember most of the successful people running portrait promotions give the people reasons to have photographs done.

  • It may be Valentines day.

  • It may be tots day.

  • It may be family group day.

  • It may be a half price special.

  • It may be a straight invitational sitting.

  • It may be swap a toy for a sitting.

  • It may be a special high key week.

  • It may be a special Autumn week.

  • It may be special Summer week.

  • It may be special Spring week.

You may even have some customers that go skiing every year and would like a skiing photograph of their whole family standing on the ski slopes in skiing gear on skis.

There is a thousand different reasons why people can have photographs taken and it is over to you to use your mailing list as to give people some clues as to why they should spend money with you instead of the local white wear shop.

Everybody that telephones you is a potential customer if they are interested enough in photography to telephone you then put them into your mailing list then keep on sending them literature.

You only remove them from your mailing list if it comes back, gone, no address.

If a company that market a Direct Mail Marketing magazine feel that it is good enough to keep me on the mailing list for five years without a response and we are talking of a subscription of around the $U520 to $30 it is certainly worth while you keeping these people on your mailing list, particularly when you consider your item is a much higher profit line than a magazine.

TRY, TRY, TRY again

King Robert Bruce was known for watching the spider swinging backwards and forwards and from that we got the old saying try, try, try again.

Keep on trying with these promotions at your customers the reason they have not come in is perhaps that you have not made a good enough case for photography. They feel they can put it off until tomorrow.  Of course there is the telephone follow-up if you want to be perfect and maximize all of the potential customers.

So come up with good promotions.

Come up with reasons that people should buy portraiture.

Come up with why they should shop with you and turn this year that is doomed by the politicians to be sliding into a slump to be sliding into an upward spiral and make this year your best year yet.

NEWSLETTER FOR MAY 1988                        VOLUME No 97

We still have people in New Zealand that believe that because an idea has come from America it will not work in New Zealand.

They overlook the fact that a lot of the adverts they see on the television are American.

They overlook the fact that IBM has been using its American sales techniques in New Zealand since computers were made.

They overlook the fact that National Cash Register has been using the American sales techniques for longer still.

They overlook the fact that the American product Coca Cola is selling like hot cakes.

They overlook the fact that Pepsi who are on San Diego's side in the Americas Cup is selling like it is going out of fashion.

They overlook the fact that MacDonald's, Kentucky Fried, Pizza Hut are all American and none of them are lining up in Bankruptcy courts.

Prestige Photography about whom quite a number have been complaining about find it very easy in New Zealand with American sales techniques of going through the telephone book one number at a time selling New Zealanders in American fashion photographic appointments.

In Whangarei they sold 450 telephone appointments and the photographer that is going to be doing those will probably do those appointments in three Weeks and using American sales techniques make more money than the average New Zealand wedding and portrait photographer makes in 12 months.

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What I think the photographers are saying is that they themselves cannot make these ideas work or that will be too much work for me or some other excuse.

American sales techniques do work and when they are used by a New Zealander they become New Zealand sales techniques.

If you are one of these people that are saying that because it is American it will not work, open up your mind and you may be surprised how much money you can make.

Here are a few sentence's that you may be able to use on your price list....

In times of old craftsman took pride in their work.  They would not let an item leave their workshop until it had the finished quality that they knew it should have.

These items of craftsmanship today are often worth many thousands of dollars and they often illustrate skills long since lost.

In today's instant world we at "Mac's" Studio take pride in the way in which we have combined automation with craftsmanship.

We take pride in the way that we have blended craftsmanship with "State of the art technology".

We use all the skills we have gained in the last 20 years as a Professional Photographer in composing and exposing the negatives. These are then sent to a laboratory that deals exclusively with professional photographers and these negatives are developed and high quality previews are made.

Once you have selected photographs from these previews the negatives are once again returned to the high quality laboratory to be crafted with high quality state of the art equipment.

We then take these high quality prints and with the experience we have gained over the last 20 years finish these raw photographs by hand to present to you the finest quality portraiture money can buy.

To produce finished prints to our high standard with the craftsmanship that we demand that goes into them does take time and considerable more expense than the local small lab that develops your snaps.  This is why we ask for what, in today's instant world may seem to be a reasonably long length of time but in that time we can produce for you the quality you would expect from a studio like ours.  

Do not just rely on your showcase to drag people in but find reasons for your photographs to be in almost every business in town.

For example in the Doctors rooms why not have family groups, in the Plunket rooms have babies, in the Vets office have animal portraits, in the Caterers have wedding cakes, in Bridal shops have an album of Bridal photographs for your Hairdressers perhaps when somebody has an up market hairdo they get a free portrait voucher and you will let them have on of the proofs to go on the wall.... there is on danger however and that is often when somebody has a hairdo that they have no had before, nobody recognizes them and consequently the photographs may not be purchased in any quantities.

The third party promotion can still be alive and well if used properly.

For example with every Car Dealer in town what is wrong with them giving a free family portrait and you will do one picture with the people around the car which you will give the garage or you will sell them a 5 x 4 for them to put up on the wall... it will show their customers just who they sell car to...

If you normally show transproofs of family portraits you may do the "car" photo on a spare film back and hold for next weeks wedding so that 5 x 4 prints come back from it or alternatively you may do it on 35mm and have it processed every so often but I think for this to really work with your car dealers you need to get prints back to them good and smart so that they are seeing some results from it and they can start displaying these photographs.

Perhaps to get it started you may offer to do the portraits for their last six months of car sales this will get a quantity of photos on the wall.

They will naturally give you the names and addresses of the people who purchase that cars and if they do not come in you can always get the car dealer to do the chasing up for you.

Spa pools may be another possibility however you may have to go around to the home and do a candid snap of the people in their spa pool after they have had the family photograph done.

Look whatever is selling in your town, refrigerators, washing machines any major item could be a reason for the third party person to give away a portrait.

Real Estate salesman, every time a house is sold two families are involved, if a house is sold you can photograph the departing family and the incoming family.

There is no real reason to have a shortage of business in these times, as long as other merchants are selling things you can become involved in their sales and by so doing increase your sales.