Referral Program, say what?
Hey Jennifer, What if you offered an amazing referral program?!
OK! I'll do that! So I've been thinking of setting up some amazing options for referrals programs in addition to the incredible payment plans I'll be launching. The way the referral plan is, you send someone my way I'll give you free digital images from your previous or upcoming session OR the option to stack up those referrals for a free session! How amazing is that?!
I mean I love free stuff, I love referring people so it would be a win win for me! Let's hope it's a win win for you too! First step. Share this blog! I have my form all ready to get you that credit for the referral!
Ok Jennifer, that all sounds great but I want the details now.
Sure enough. The way it's going to work is for every person you send my way that books a session you get a free digital image from your previous session or your upcoming session. If you send 10 referrals my way you get the choice of my middle package for free!
But Jennifer I bought the package and got all my images included so I don't need free digital images.
Well if thats the case, then I will give you a gift card to your favorite coffee shop or donut place!
This works great for my out of state friends that send people my way too! If you can't take advantage of the free digital images or the free session I will totally send you a gift card as a thank you!
My business most almost solely thrives on word of mouth and referrals! Being a military spouse and moving often makes my job, well hard. Rebuilding that client base is hard especially in smaller towns so referral systems like this encourage those of you to spread the word of my business!
So what do you think?! Want to help a girl out?! Don't forget to share either this blog, the post I made on Facebook that brought you here or even just my Facebook page! If someone comes to me I always have them fill out my form that will ask how they found out about me but always make sure they tell me you sent them if they don't !
Have a lovely day! Have you helped a small business today?
Hey Jennifer, Why are you not giving me the copyright to my pictures?!
This is a very common question I get when people sign my contract. So I wanted to clear some things up for others who also have to sign a copyright on their contracts with other photographers. The thing is with the copyright the photographers can and may (depending on your agreement) give you digital copies of pictures to print as you wish (again this will also depend on what you agree with the photographer) BUT this does not mean YOU own the pictures.
This is usually how I break it down to people working with me personally. I don't sell prints usually. People can order prints through my website as they please but I usually allot so many digital images with the package that they choose. With this comes the printing rights to print said pictures, this does not mean you own the copyright to OWN these pictures. So the difference here is while you can "own" prints that you've purchased and hang on your wall you don't own the rights to use those pictures and sell them as if you took them. So let's say I take pictures of some birds, and an advertising company comes in and asked me if they can buy the copyright for that image, I sell them that image and they can print and sell it as they please. If I take a picture of you and do not sell you the copyright, you can print and share as you wish but you are not allowed to go make 100 prints and sell them and claim ownership of them.
I think the contract confuses people because they think why would I want to have services with you but then not be able to do anything with the pictures. I do give a print release with digital images, so if you go to a store and try and make prints and said company (as they should) will ask for the print release from the photographer. Sadly this isn't always the case so if you're saying this has never been asked of me, well thats sad, but thats just the way it works sometimes.
Photographers run into people stealing their images a lot, if you ever were to join any photographer group you would see that photographers are always talking about how businesses photography related or not, steal images from websites and use the images as their own. That breaks the copyright in the contract. This is illegal and wrong! So if you see a photographer using another photographers work claiming it as their own they could get into some serious trouble. It's not only against the law but it's awful that a person will hire you thinking they're getting that quality of work but they don't. Don't be that photographer, don't hire that photographer.
Not all photographer even allow for digital images because there is a lot of mishaps with that too. A copyright also doesn't allow a person to alter the image in any way. Which means you are not allowed to add a filter or edit the image and post it on your page. Not only does that not represent that photographers work but it's something you should discuss with your photographer on how you would like the images edited. There are a lot of photographers that edit certain ways, dark and moody, light and airy, portraits like glamour shot style (some of you may not know what I'm taking about and I'll just go feel old in the corner) so asking for light and airy from a photographer then editing it yourself dark and moody seems silly. Hire for your style type. Though if you hire a photographer and they advertise as dark and moody but edit light and airy bring it to them that their work didn't represent what they have done in the past.
Don't get me started on screenshots and cropping. We've all been there. I'll screenshot my own work from time to time because its easier than downloading but my watermark is on there and it's known it's MY work but some people screenshot then edit out the watermark and that is stealing! I take these things very personal because you're stealing my work. If you pay for a meal but walk to the kitchen and take 2 pieces of cake on your way out, it's still stealing.
Thank you for reading. Follow me on Facebook, if you're in Northern California and are in need of a photographer I can help you out!
Hey there! A lot of photographers have been moving over to the client closet option when booking a session with them. This has so many pros to it I don't know if I can count. If you know me, you know I'm going to try in this blog. Here goes....
1. Using a photographer's client closet is so great because you don't have to worry about picking outfits for people. There is a lot of planning when it comes to getting pictures taken. Whether it be a family session, wedding, maternity and so on. LOTS OF PLANNING. Having an option for someone else to pick out your clothes makes it SO MUCH EASIER. I for one text all my friends asking them about outfits for my family pictures so I can appreciate the help.
2. Color palettes are kind of hard to pick. Depending on the season, colors just photograph different. In the fall we all wear beautiful fall colors to go well with the background! Unless of course you live in Northern California, Arizona and a few of those desert like places and the only color in the fall is brown.... Those times we wear fall colors to be FALL haha
3. Buying clothes isn't cheap. If you're like me and you buy nice clothes for your kids to wear for pictures they may not wear them again. I can't even stand that face my kids make when I tell them what they're wearing each year because I know it's a well I'm not wearing this again unless I'm forced to. If they have to dress up they're not wearing that $50 outfit I got them for pictures last year, thats for sure. #notcoolmom
4. Step outside your box. Family pictures or any pictures really are a time to step outside your box for clothes. I don't wear a nice dress walking into the store or going to my sons baseball game. I am a photographer so it isn't like I need that skirt/shirt combo for the office so this may not be for everyone. People who don't have to dress up for work may not have that many trendy cute outfits to wear. Getting it from a client closet is perfect!
5. This one is for my maternity clients. These dresses ARE EXPENSIVE!! lol Who REALLY wants to shell out $200 plus on a dress they're literally just going to wear for like an hour then try and resell in a group and get a fraction of the cost back. That's where I come in, get one from my client closet ;)
6. Pick and choose. Let's say your husband wears one shirt type and he has a perfect one he's excited to wear for pictures...I say that because my husband says "pick out my clothes and I'll be there with my smile and then try and get this whole picture thing over with as fast as I can". His shirt is well bold, and you have no idea what to pair it with. I can show you my client closet and see what we can do to make it work. A lot of my items are neutral because it keeps it simple. Not everyone is bold.
Ok that is really what I can think of at this time, but I'm sure there are more reasons having a client closet as an option is such a great idea for any photographer and a great opportunity for people who are getting pictures taken and really don't want to buy new clothes or just have no idea what to wear!
Here is a link to my current client closets as I have them broken down to maternity and girls dresses though almost all of my maternity dresses can be worn by non expecting women. I also have several skirts and dresses in stock that I really need to get on my site, but I just keep forgetting!
I Just Want A Few Pictures
I just want a few pictures is probably one of the most common things photographers hear. I get it. We all know we aren't going to print out 100 pictures from every session we get and we want to get to most out of our money by just getting what we want right? The thing is, and this may make you stop reading from here because this blog is not one of those blogs a lot of people want to read. Photography is a luxury, I said it. It's hard to hear because we all feel like it's one of those professions that we should pay the bare minimum for. "I just want a few images" means I don't want to pay your price, I want a discount because I just want a few pictures.
"But Jennifer, all you do is just push a button"
I'm sure if you're still reading this you're either a photographer or you're genuinely interested in what I have to say about this specific topic. I appreciate you. There is really a lot that goes into photography than just pushing a button, and I'll go into that after I make this side opinion.
Moving to a new place is always hard because the value placed on photography varies from place to place. Let's say I moved here from Washington D.C. (wink wink I did) and my business was BOOMING there. People booked and paid for sessions and I rarely heard "I just want a few pictures" and "I don't want to pay and arm and a leg" That one is another one that makes my skin crawl lol People knew the importance of pictures in that area because a lot of people wouldn't live there forever. It's an iconic place so pictures "appear" to be more valuable. This is where I think that's wrong. Pictures are valuable wherever you are. Genuinely! My focus in photography is to capture those moments you don't realize are as important as they are until they're gone. My kids have grown older and less into me taking their pictures. I value all the pictures I took of them when they were younger because one they were much nice then LOL and two, the memories I have of their toddler years are well less than ideal with meltdowns and demands. I can look at the pictures I took and remember there were sweet innocent kids in there I didn't see as much as I should have.
Ok let's get back to the subject at hand. Photographer is a luxury. It's a service like a professional hair stylist or make up artist. Sure you can do those things yourself but are they REALLY going to be as good as paying a professional to do it. We all that that cousin that has a nice camera that could take pictures for us for free but are we going to LOVE them? Perhaps because they're of our kids and any picture even of them having cheerios stuck to their face are perfect. The real question is are you going to hang them on your wall or just put them on Facebook? Hiring a professional photographer is art, you hang their art of your beautiful family on your walls to display proudly.
Well I know a photographer that is just starting out that will do them for $5 and give me 100,000 pictures. Totally hear that. We all start from somewhere but again at the end of the day, are you going to hang up those images in your house, or just post them to Facebook. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of newbie photographers out there that have gorgeous work and charge $5 for 100,000 images and I could write a whole blog for them about how their selling themselves short but thats for a different day. The point of this what seems like a very long blog stressing how important it is to value photographers because like I'm sure you've read before it isn't cheap being a photographer. My cameras, lenses alone probably would pay for my first car and then some. Then there is my website fees, credit card fees, permits, taxes, insurance, LLC and legal business fees and so much more that people don't realize we have to pay because if they're doing it right, they are a legit business with expensive business expenses. Then we have to discuss editing the images, they're not taken then uploaded directly to our websites and ready to go. A lot of HOURS go into editing images. Now I'm fairly sure if you've made it to this point of the blog you're a photographer and you're sitting back saying "THANK YOU" but if the rare chance you're not a photographer and you got to this point you value the hard work that goes into making those perfect images! It's a passion and not a lot of photographers make a lot of money. I know a lot of photographers don't even make a living wage. They have to do it part time and work full time because well the industry is flooded with photographers and honestly flooded with the $5 photographers.
So, again if you've made it this far, next time you make a post looking for a photographer say "I value all photographers work and time but this is my budget, can anyone work with that" That comes off way nicer than "I need a photographer, I just really need a few pictures but I don't want to pay and arm and a leg".
Have an amazing day!
I see you military spouse and small business owner! I see you struggle!
Being a military spouse comes with all sorts of challenges but when you add in factors like children and small business thats when it becomes a blur really. You're constantly moving to either amazing locations or places that you tell yourself every day we will move from here one day and we will take one day at a time until we do! I am a military spouse, mother and a small business owner that doesn't move well. Let's be real you can ask in any Facebook page if anyone knows a photographer (and well a realtor) and it's going to get overwhelmed with recommendations. This is a great thing for the person that is asking, but sadly unless all those comments are recommendations for you, it's a tough business to be in. Your work has to stand out, your prices have to be lower than your competitors if your work is comparable. If it's the opposite of that, business will be slow for you for a while. I speak from personal experience here. The other hard part about being a small business owner and a military spouse is not that you move to a new location and you have to figure all that out, but you're moving to a new place that you won't know a single person most of the time. This is hard for me because like most small business word of mouth is my main source of work. Once you get your name in there you're golden, but if you move and you have no word of mouth and you're up against a ton of other photographers you're lost in the mix.
I would love to say this blog is a solution to this and if you came here in hopes of a "Hey Jennifer, how can I succeed with a small business in this military life" answer, I'm sad to say I'll have some suggestions of what works and what doesn't work but I can't promise you'll leave with a sense of optimism you didn't already have.
Ok here it goes. My advice on running a small business in a new area. Again, please don't expect this to be eye opening in any way. This hopefully will be broad enough for all small businesses but I apologize as I'm a photographer so I may be biased.
1. First step is know the rules of all the local Facebook groups. A lot of them (and for good reason) don't all marketing of any kind. Some allow it at certain times of the week or even month but others just discourage it all together. If you can post your business on Mondays, set an alarm on your phone or a reminder every Monday to make sure you add it to the page you can. If people see your name regularly you'll be the first person they remember when they need that product or service.
2. Connect with local people before getting there. Don't make it about business. No one likes that person that reaches out and blasts their business without getting to know a person. It's like that running joke of "How do you know you've met a (insert whatever profession here)? They'll tell you when you meet them"
It's true. There are several professionals whether it be a Photographer, Realtor, *cough* Air Force Pilot (sorry I had to), or someone who sells essential oils that will tell you immediately and it's like SLOOOOWWWWW down, I just met you. While being on the side of I somewhat get it because well you'll remember that every time you see them, which means you'll remember when you need someone that sells essential oils. That limits that personal relationship immediately though, unless they were looking, you're now just seen as that person that sells something and you're going to just always try to sell them something. Except for those pilots, they're not selling anything they're just proud of their incredible achievement as they should be. It's not easy being badass, I'm sure.
3. Join a local marketing group. Now this one is new to me because well I've really never thought I've needed one until here. The one I joined locally has been amazing for me already and I've not been part of it long. The point of these marketing groups is to connect with other small business owners for not only ideas but to share each others businesses with the people in their lives too. So when Nicole Eib, local realtor reaches out to me and said "Hey Jennifer, you're amazing and I have this person that just bought a house and they need a GIGANTIC picture taken and hung on their new 20ft walls, can you help them!?" She thinks of me first because we connect once a week and we've become close. See there! You're going to go to the people in your life first before reaching out somewhere else because you trust their judgment better than Frank Random that recommended a super sketchy place to get new tires for your car on Facebook" Sorry if there is a Frank Random out there and you sell super sketchy tires on Facebook I had no intentions of targeting your business.
4. Ok to be honest I typed 4 then sat here for a good 3 minutes thinking, what the heck do I type. Then it came to me! Do events! These are so fun, I've done direct sales in the past, and if I'm honest sell Tastefully Simple for fun and because I order so much of it for myself regularly why not right? Connecting with groups and businesses that do events are a great way to get your name out there. One great benefit other than meeting people you might not otherwise have is through connections from fellow vendors. Someone set up next to you may sell amazing cups and customized shirts (Shout out to Hanging by a Jerzy Thread) and she has people who ask her all the time if they know someone who sells customized birthday invitations because they're getting these awesome shirts to wear for their kids birthday party. She can say absolutely, here is a business card for Printably Perfect, she's a military spouse too and would love your support in her small business!
5. And certainly not least because honestly my recent initiative to jump start my business again was all form the help of my Business Coach John Pyron. It was a step I wasn't sure if I was ready to take but honestly I had a quick 15 minute phone call with him where we suggested we meet in person for a strategy session. After I left that strategy session with John, I left motivated to get things done. He gave me so many tips on what to do for MY business. He sat me down and worked out all the details of marketing, managing and ideas to move forward. Ideas I would have never thought of. He is a great person to reach out to if you're getting to this point in the blog and thought well I've done all the other stuff, what's next. Talk to John. I should add I get no personal gain aside from the fact that I see him once a week at our marketing meetings and he may give me a "Hey Jennifer, thanks friend!" and thats good enough for me.
I am not sure if I have more to add to this as it's loaded with ideas as it is but know if you're a military spouse and you're really struggling and already not looking forward to that next move because you have to start it all over again. Hang in there. We have to stick together, in all my other blogs I talk about supporting and sharing other small businesses every chance you get.
Shout out to mentions above. Follow their instagrams or Facebook pages or check out their sites! They're amazing, I promise!
Nicole Eib & Co. Brokered by eXp Realty in Sacramento, CA area
Jessica Jerzy- Hanging by a Jerzy Thread -https://www.facebook.com/Jerzthread
Printably Perfect - https://printablyperfect.com
John Pyron - Business Coach-https://johnpyron.com/