Recently I attended the Wedding MBA show in Las Vegas. Wedding MBA is a conference aimed at the business side of the wedding business. No Ice Lights for sale, no posing tutorials, no demonstrations of the latest Photoshop plug-in that softens skin like magic. Just great speakers and industry leaders there to help photographers, wedding planners, florists, DJ’s and anyone else trying to make a living in the wedding industry. Aside from assisting at the Zookbinders booth on the tradeshow floor, my goal in attending was to learn all that I could to better help our photographer customers be more successful at selling photography.
One of my favorite takeaways came from Chris Evans of Bridal Business Boot Camp during the “Ask an Expert” session. Chris rightly supposes that too many photographers and other wedding vendors do all the wrong things when they take a booth at a bridal show. Having done many a bridal show in my previous life working for a high volume wedding studio, I can appreciate the long hours and the veritable cattle drive of brides, their moms, maids of honor and handful of unenthusiastic grooms-to-be over the course of an all-day show. You get tired of “how much is it?” and “do you guys give the digital files” that are par for the course. It’s hard to have a conversation of any substance with your prospects let alone actually book any weddings there. You pass out your “show special” fliers that brides shove into bags of similar material from the 92 other vendors there and you hope the phone starts ringing the following week.
Every month we will showcase a studio that is challenging the norm in the photography industry by doing something new and interesting. They could be an established studio that has innovative ideas on how to stay on top, or a brand new studio that has managed to break through and present themselves boldly.
I remember as a young photographer intern being told by one of my mentors, “Ask for guidance from those who are where you want to be,” and with such a wonderful network of photographers here at Zookbinders we want to pass on what makes the studios that do well succeed!
It’s that time of year! The holidays are coming up fast. Please see our holiday deadlines below to make sure you are not left out in the cold!
While it’s true that the Adobe RGB (1998) color space is able to map a broader range of colors than the more common sRGB color space, it may not be the ideal working model for all types of photography. In particular, Adobe RGB (1998) is not well suited for those photographers using larger commercial labs to make prints and albums for their clients as many of them (Zookbinders included) only support industry standard sRGB color. Additionally, the internet itself does not support Adobe RGB (1998). If you’ve ever wondered why your images look duller and less saturated in your online web galleries or on your blog than they look to you on your computer or in Photoshop, check your document profile. You may be uploading Adobe RGB (1998) files.
So how can you address this issue? To start, it is always good to shoot with the profile that will be used for the output. It gives you less ordering issues and a more streamlined and efficient process. But if you prefer to shoot with Adobe RGB for color optimization, you will want to convert images to sRGB color if they are bound for the internet or your lab or book binder. This may be as simple as setting sRGB as your output option in Lightroom or whatever batch file processing program you use to edit raw images. Note that if in Photoshop, be sure to use the “Convert to Profile…” command and NOT the “Assign Profile…”. The latter command will actually desaturate your colors much the same way a lab would print the piece if it were an sRGB only lab. When properly assigned, the profile change should not be very noticeable on your monitor if at all.
- Shoot in sRGB if web or commercial labs are the ultimate destination for your image files.
- Opt for sRGB when saving/exporting from your batch processing program
- Convert your files to sRGB (not assign) if in Photoshop
Keeping these in mind will create fewer ordering headaches and consistently yield the kind of print quality you expect.
Last week I wrote about the often forgotten,cardinal rule of sales: You must ASK for the SALE. This week is the equally important follow up: once you’ve asked, SHUT UP!
Good sales people who have talked themselves right out of their own sale probably outnumber the stars in the sky. They’ve asked all the right questions, checked for understanding, and built value in their offering. They do all the right things up to that point. Then they get up the nerve to ask that question, but are seemingly afraid of the answer or their own chances of success, so they torpedo the sale by continuing to talk. They start blathering, “you don’t have to let me know right now, just think it over and give me a call in a day or two. I know you guys will want to talk it over and that’s cool. Just shoot me text if you have any questions…”
That’s all folks! You’ve just escorted your sale is right out the door. You might just as well have given them directions to your competitor while you were at it. It’s the Hollywood equivalent of three teenage girls who sneak out to meet their boyfriends at the old abandoned Wallace house on the edge of town on Halloween night. Nobody gets out of that movie alive and your sale dies a miserable death too.
When you ask for the sale, just shut up! Awkward silence is way better than you gabbering away, slicing and dicing your sale into oblivion. Instead, listen very closely to everything your prospect says after you’ve asked them outright to do business with you. You’ll either get a yes or a no or you’ll get more questions, which signals you’ve got more work to do and that you’re still in the game! If they just want to “think about it”, ask them what specifically has them feeling unsure–and then shut up again being careful to listen very closely for the answer. If the decision is no decision, let them know that their event is important to you and that you’ll be following up with them in a couple days after they’ve had some time to sleep on it, and then do it!
In the end, sales is truly about solving problems for your clients and meeting their needs. If by the end of your consultation, you don’t know what those things are (or you wrongly assumed the prospect was just like every other bride-to-be), it may be that you were too busy waxing eloquently about your f/2.8 glass and not listening. As the old saying goes, it’s why we have two ears and only one mouth.