So, I was lucky enough to win tickets to go down to the Master this week. Along the way, my buddy Bryan and I played some pretty incredible golf courses. Here, we got some shots of us playing Tobacco Road.
When I started my business a year and a half ago I thought the only business model left was one where I charged a flat rate, sent your files, and didn’t talk to you again for a year. I thought that’s what everyone did these days. I thought the art of the film business was gone. I was wrong. Let me explain.
Historically speaking, the business model has always been to do the photo session and then meet later to take your print order. A photographer never handed over their negatives. After the digital camera arrived, the flat-rate business model became a thing, better known as the shoot and burn model – take pictures, edit, deliver files, done. Little did I know that many, if not most, successful businesses don’t shoot and burn but instead follow the classic business model.
As I grow as a photographer, I also want to grow as a business. Not just in client base but in my brand too – who I am as a business and what services and products I provide. As I think about my work, one thing really saddens me – I think most of my clients never actually print their photos. They might share some on Facebook but they often die there. And I’m not doing all of this for Facebook. I’m doing it for your kids, for your everyday soul, for your grandkids, for your legacy, for beauty, and for my pure love of each moment captured. I’m doing this because I want to be in business in five or ten years. I’m doing this because my grandpa has his wedding portrait on display in the dining room. He gets to look at my grandma, who is now gone, every single day. He gets to look and remember the day they committed their lives to each other. His house is filled with pictures of her, their children, their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren. I want THAT for you. I LOVE making a photo that speaks to me, and hopefully, it does to you too. And it breaks my heart for them to die on your hard drive.
So I asked myself why people weren’t printing their photos. And I came up with a ton of reasons (none good) but the biggest one dawned on me recently; I’ve realized it’s my fault. It’s my job as a photographer to not just take your photos but it’s to see the process to completion. My work doesn’t end at your photo session; I still cull and edit and deliver your gallery. But I realize I shouldn’t be stopping there either. Many of you want the beautiful quality artwork to display to be actually seen. Maybe even every day. Maybe even by your grandkids. Because let’s face it, Facebook isn’t forever. It’s probably not even for ten years. Gasp. And choosing artwork to display in your home can be overwhelming. And designing an album can be time-consuming and might not look very professional when you’re done. It might even look cheesy. And consumer labs aren’t all very good. Products fall apart or show up looking like junk.
So I’ve decided to change my business model. I want you to have a beautiful wall gallery of memories. I want you to have a coffee table book that your friends and family will page through when they’re over. And no, the $20 album from that online lab isn’t what I’m talking about here. I’m not doing all of this to just create a digital file no one ever looks at. So stay tuned for upcoming changes to my business.
And in the meantime, to my past clients, I love you all and want you to have the same opportunity for your previous sessions. Plus this will give me a chance to see what you all like in a product and my approach before I fully commit to a process. So I’d love to meet up (your house or mine or coffee) and help you design and purchase a wall gallery or prints or an album. Christmas is coming up and I promise you, this is a gift everyone loves. And I really truly believe you’ll love and appreciate this.
Shoot me an email and I’ll send you some information and let’s set a date!