A promotion where you DON’T have to discount your work?
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Yes it is true! You can have promotions that create buzz, get people through your doors, and you can charge FULL price! They are called Portrait Safaris and they are marketing strategy that has made our studio incredible and consistent revenue for many years. Oh sorry, this is Josh by the way; I gave the old man the night off. He actually finished his first webinar a few hours ago. Guess what the topic was? (Insert Jeopardy music). Times up! It was a full hour on Portrait Safaris. This is just one of the webinars for our Mentor Marketing & Sales Series. A complete list of up-coming webinars can be found at www.marathonpress.com under the Events@Marathon section. Check them out! This is a great way for my dad to really get into the “nitty gritty” on specific topics like: The Art of Donating to Charity Auctions, How to Start a Newsletter…Relationship Marketing at it’s Best, Selling Large Wall Décor, and Pricing Your Work for Profit…and More Profit! I am just so proud of my dad! He rocks! I have never met a man who is willing to share his “secrets” and show others how to be successful in this business. Trust me, he is the real deal! Love you dad, keep up the great work! Tomorrow I am going to have him blog about how to conduct an effective “Go-See”, since he has one tomorrow morning. What is a go-see you ask? Check back tomorrow and find out. It will make you more money! Josh -PS. didn’t catch my dad’s hit webinar on Portrait Safaris tonight? Not to worry, it will be available on www.mystudiomentor.com under our new Education On-Demand area. Coming soon!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Last night Terri and I had the opportunity to spend the evening on our new dock with a couple glasses of wine to enjoy the sunset. I have been so busy lately that I truly cherish these little moments. Both Terri and I had our laptops out on a table at the end of the dock, combining a little work with a little relaxation. We noticed a boat slowly making its way from across the lake to check us out. Being the newest home on the lake creates some “buzz” and we always get curious people cruising by to see if we have moved in yet. As the boat got closer I recognized one of the couples, they were clients of mine. Their friends live directly across from us on the lake had been watching our home’s construction for the past 19 months. They pulled up to the dock and we offered them a glass of wine. What a great reunion and a wonderful time to socialize with some new neighbors. After a few glasses of wine the little party moved inside and we gave them a tour of our home. After a few more glasses of wine (fun night!) we exchanged information (Address, Phone, and EMAIL) and said farewell. The next day before I could send them a follow-up and thank you, there was a delightful email waiting in my inbox from our new neighbors that we had met the night before. I immediately returned it with a nice response of my own. In addition to that I wrote a hand written thank you letter and sent them our last e-newsletter as well. The marketing seeds have now been planted. But they were planted long before our dock crashing incident. Their friends had used my services a few years ago and there are many gorgeous wall portraits hanging in their home. Those were the first seeds. Most importantly, the first impression of my work was large, that is key as well. Throughout the night family portraits on the lake this summer came up more than once. It is now time for me to do my job and maintain the relationship that I have now started with our first dock crashers on the lake! What’s the moral of this fun story? You have to be persistent and proactive when it comes to marketing. I didn’t have to send a thank you or get their information. I could of just given them my card and thought to myself, “They’ll call me when their ready.” No way, it is up to me to help them decide when they are ready by following up and getting them into our Hudson’s marketing community. Be proactive and have some fun! B.H.
Sticking to your guns!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Today’s Mentor Minute will be brief. Josh and I had a very busy day meeting with our web designer Rhon today about some updates we have planned for MSM.com. Very cool stuff! Anyway, I just want to share with you a preview of June’s Issue of The Monthly Mentor featuring Angela Carson. Don’t know who Angela Carson is? She is probably the highest paid children’s portrait artist in the country and has been a student and good friend of mine for over 20 years. One of Angela’s discussion topics is sticking to your guns even when times get tough. She talks about keeping her prices on the higher end of the market even during economically slow times and also marketing heavily to her past clients. She knows a thing or two about this, her studio is just outside of Detroit, Michigan. The whole excuse of, “It’s the economy”, does not fly with her. “People are going to spend money no matter what. It’s up to us to show them what they should spend it on”, says Angela. When I asked her how she has been able to survive and thrive even in an area with probably the worst economy in the United States she says, “Just stick to your guns. When others are lowering their prices and coming up with packages, I stayed with ala carte and tried to market even harder to my existing clients. Just do your thing and you will be fine.” Great words from a 20+ year veteran, thanks Angela. One thing I have done in our business regardless of how slow or busy I have been is continually marketing to my past clients. I know, I always preach this but trust me, I am still running a profitable business not because of my new clients every year, but my past or “current” clients. Point in fact; today I received a phone call from a client I had not heard from in probably 15 years. He called me out of the blue after receiving out Summer Portrait Safari Card that we just mailed out (Gold and Platinum members, yours is in the mail). He is ready for some high quality family stuff and he told me that I was the only photographer that he ever wants to do his family. Josh and I have a go see this Friday at his home on Mercer Island, WA. The session is set for our portrait safari on June 14th at Lake Chelan, WA. I am so excited! This is one of those clients that you don’t mind waiting 15 years in-between sessions for. He is a perfect client. Why do I say this? Because he views and cherishes what I create for him…and he is willing to reward me as well! Not to mention he invented the game Pictionary! What’s the point of this Mentor Minute? When times are slower, yes the studio does have to evolve and make some changes to stay profitable, but we always stick to our guns. Prices do not drop and we never cut our marketing dollars, especially to our bread and butter clients (our past or “current” clients). Trust me; they are the best marketing dollars you can spend! B.H. >PS. Want to learn some more ways to get people into your studio with out discounting your work? In fact, even charging full price? Check out my first webinar on Portrait Safaris, just one of the 16 Mentor Marketing and Sales Webinar Series brought to you by MSM.com and Marathon Press. Go to http://marathonpress.com/education/webinars for a complete list! Monthly Mentor Members also receive $10 off just for signing up! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Set Yourself Apart- Don’t Nickel and Dime! Part III
Monday, May 26, 2008
Being rewarded in the form of compliments is one thing—being rewarded in the form of compliments and dollars is even better. Was this Senior Sale any record at $1250, no, but it was double the amount that mom had budgeted from the beginning of the process. I think sometimes we lose sight of the actual dollars our clients are investing with us. We must keep in perspective that life is all about relativity. What I mean is life and its situations are all relative. $1250 was an enormous sum of money for this particular client in relation to other clients of mine that might spend that on lattes in a month. The bottom line to this story is that we got the opportunity to photograph an amazing young lady because we didn’t “nickel & dime” her and her mother through the session and sales process. In this day of immense competition in our industry, we all ask ourselves how do I separate myself and my studio from all the others? Maybe in this case it was making it easy to invest by not “nickel & diming”. BH
P.S. A personal note on this Memorial Day, thanks to All that has served & continues to serve our country—we should never take for granted our Freedom & Liberty!
Set Yourself Apart- Don’t Nickel and Dime! Part II
Friday, May 23, 2008
A few days ago I shared an inspirational moment. It was a video on YouTube from a talented 6 year old singing phenomenon. She is amazing! I hope you checked out the video. I am always looking for sources of inspiration and this time it was right in my studio. Yesterday Josh wrote about a phone call with a client and the frustration she had with other studios she had talked to before calling us. It was extra fee this and surcharge that! Bottom-line, she felt as though they were taking advantage of her with studied fees (nickel and diming her to death)! Well Josh booked the session (way to go Josh) and I photographed her the next day. This young lady survived being hit by a car and having her leg severed off. She also spent 6 weeks in the hospital with surgeries every 3 days to save her other leg. What an inspiration just having her in front of my camera! After everything this young lady had been through, she still realized her dream of making the varsity tennis team this year! Sometimes it is hard “getting up” for a session but in this situation it was easy to put all my heart, soul, and creativity into images that she will cherish for a lifetime. So to rein myself back to the topic of nickel and diming, I was the 5th studio that her mom had called. Each one before me had an extra charge for everything this senior wanted. More than 3 outfits…Charge. Go 15 minutes over your hour session…Charge. Want your car in the shot…Charge. What to go on-location…Fuel Surcharge. Instead of charging for every little thing, just raise your prices to cover any extra cost you might have to incur. The senior and her mom were so thankful and even commented that I was worth spending more than they had anticipated. This session defiantly paid off for me emotionally, but did not “nickel and diming” pay off financially? Check back tomorrow for part III! B.H.
One Way to Stand Out- Don’t Nickel and Dime! Part 1 of 3
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Hey everyone! This is Josh, my dad wanted me to write about an experience I had on the phone the other day in the studio. I took a call from a parent of a graduating high school senior this year. She was inquiring about booking a session for her daughter. So I started asking her questions and building rapport. She was interested in our Indoor/Outdoor session at the studio. She asked how much the sitting fee was, how many clothes changes were aloud, number of poses, and how long the session would last. I answered, “The session fee is $115, we offer unlimited clothes changes and poses, and the session would last about an hour.” The mom then asked if it would be alright if her daughter’s session went a little over an hour, since she has a prosthetic leg and it takes her a little longer to change clothes and get around. I of course said that is fine, “I’ll schedule your daughter at the end of the day so Bruce and her can take their time.” The mom then asked how much extra that would be. She was surprised to hear from me that we would not charge her anything extra for the session going longer than an hour. The 5 studios she inquired with before calling us all had time restrictions. If you go over, it is “x” amount per 15 minutes. There was also a limit on poses, each additional pose was extra. There was also a limit on out fits and it was even extra if you brought props such as a car. The mom thanked me for being so understanding and not charging her for every little extra! No one wants to me nickel and dimed. I am not saying that you should let your sessions go 3 hours over, but an extra half an hour is not going to kill ya. Yesterday my dad did the session and met a remarkable senior. She lost her leg about 2 years ago in a car accident and this year with her prosthetic leg she made the varsity tennis team! My dad will blog tomorrow and tell you how the session went. Also, on Saturday, he will tell you if the extra half hour on the session paid off, he is projecting the images to them as I write this! So to conclude this mentor minute, don’t charge extra for all the little things! Just build those cost into your prices for session fees and portraits. As consumers, we all want a pain free buying experience. If you start charging a fuel surcharge for on location or charge extra for an additional body over 4 people in a family session, it is not going to be a fun experience for your clients. Not a fun experience- Not a good sale. It’s that simple. Thanks everyone, Bruce will have part 2 tomorrow! J.H.
Never Judge a Book by its Cover!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Occasionally we have walk-in inquiries at the studio. We are typically a by appointment only studio, but today we did have someone stop by to chat about a possible portrait opportunity. A gentleman drove in to our parking lot, got out, and walked into our lobby. “Welcome! How can I help you sir,” Josh asked. “I need my son and new grandson photographed this Saturday,” the man said. Josh’s first response was telling the man how young he looked for having a grandson. I then entered the lobby and got into the conversation, reinforcing Josh’s initial observation. When we have walk-ins like this my first goal is to build some quality rapport and begin educating the client (just like we do over the phone or in the pre-portrait consultation). In talking with this gentleman I sensed that he was nervous about cost issues. At this point, I took the lead and began talking about our pricing starting with the session fees. When he heard the price for our least expensive session fee, which is in-studio, he became very uncomfortable and showed signs of embarrassment. We have all been in that position at one point in our lives, no need to throw fuel on a fire. At that point I asked him if he had a budget in mind. In this case his budget was about $50 more than the session fee I quoted him. Ok, so now what do I do? (1) Show as much respect as possible- He may not have the large budget today, but maybe someday in the future he will. (2) Refer him to a studio that has the highest quality and best service in his price range. (3) Mention how we would be honored to work with him in the future- You just never know! I can’t tell you how many of my best clients today could not afford me the first time they inquired about my services. They might be a High School Senior that I end up doing their wedding. Or a wedding inquiry that later becomes a family client. Right now I am thinking of one of my premier clients who invested $12,500 for his wife’s soft touch portraits (boudoir). He and his family couldn’t afford a fraction of that on his senior portraits. They were forced to settle for their 2nd or 3rd choice of a senior portrait package. They absolutely loved the images, but money was an issue. Well some 12 years later, he is now married and extremely successful with his own business, and he came back some for portraits of his wife. Today he continues to be one of my top clients! Never judge a book by the cover it has today- you just never know where your future clients will end up in life. It might be right back in your studio with a budget you can get excited over. B.H.
What inspires you?
Monday, May 19, 2008
One of the hardest parts of being an artist is staying inspired. My personal goal is to always create something new everyday for my clients and myself. Inspiration comes in many forms with a variety of shapes, sizes and ages. What inspires you? I came across an unbelievable source of inspiration from a little 6 year old from England. Go to www.youtube.com, and search for Connie Talbot and check out this amazing talent. My favorite is from the show “Britain’s Got Talent”. This little Connie wows Simon Cowell! It has almost 18 million hits so far! Go check it out! See ya tomorrow!
What Sets YOU Apart?
Monday, May 19, 2008
Hey everyone, Josh here. I gave the old man the night off! I was taking a walk this evening after dinner and stumbled upon a topic for today’s Mentor Minute. What sets you apart from all the other photographers out there? I thought of this as I stopped to grab a flyer from a house that is for sale in a neighborhood next to my girlfriend Melissa’s. The first thing I noticed was that there were flyers to grab. Too many times those flyer boxes are out when you go to look at house to see how much they are asking. I am in the process for buying my first house and it is frustrating when there are no flyers. Imagine the opportunities most agents miss by not replenishing those flyer boxes. Secondly I noticed that this flyer was not just printed on plain paper, but heavier card stock printed professionally on glossy paper. The photographs were amazing too! It also had great custom fonts as well as clear, concise, and elegant wording describing every aspect of the home. Here’s the best part, the flyer also advertised an up-coming open house this Sunday. It read, “Open house this Sunday, May 25th 10am to 5pm. Fresh brownies and FREE Starbucks coffee!” This is the kind of stuff you would expect at an open house for a higher-end premier property, not an entry level house. I loved this flyer so much that when I got home I went to the agent’s website to learn more. Go to www.aliseroberts.com or www.homesandinfo.com and check it out! This is not your average agent! She has virtual tours of the homes, testimonials, detailed information about her, information about home buying (educating her potential clients, sound familiar), and much more. So you’re probably thinking what does this have to do with photography, Josh? Everything! You think we as photographers have competition, try being a real estate agent. I have seen it first hand from Terri, my dad’s wife and my real estate agent. Terri does the little things much like Alise Roberts and they are both great examples of setting themselves apart from the competition. What are you doing in your photography business that is setting yourself apart? For us, it is unlimited clothes changes for a senior session and we go on-location anywhere. Also, when you come into our studio you are greeted as you walk in and offered a beverage. We also hand deliver the finished prints and hang them in our clients home. And of course, we bring them a nice bottle of wine for them to celebrate with. Those are just to name a few. Sit down tomorrow and make a list of some unique factors that sets your studio apart from the ever growing competition and changing market place. What sets YOU apart? J.H.
I love your clean bathroom!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
“What is marketing? Marketing is not having gum on the bottom of your shoes at the end of the day” –Walt Disney
If you are looking to attract the high-end clients, you might want to read this quote again! This morning I had an amazing family consultation with a couple that drove in from central Washington. The bathroom comment was the first thing out of my client’s mouth! This is one of the many things that can make or break your first impression with a client. Especially an affluent client! Trust me, we are not clean freaks, but we do take pride in the way the studio looks for many reasons. As I have described today, you only get one chance for a good impression, may it be your toilet or gum on your shoe! See ya tomorrow!
Smelling the Roses
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Today was one of those days. At times I felt guilty for taking some time off while Deb (my office manager), Kelly (my production manager) and Josh (Managing partner of My Studio Mentor .com & “got his Dads workaholic genes”) were all swamped! Each were working at a fever pitch and answering an unexpected amount of phone calls. Many of those calls were me, “did you remember to . . . have you. . .”? Anyway my goal was to be home by 2pm to spend some time at my new home and clean up what I could from the construction. Well, 2pm ended up being 4pm by the time I got home! My incredible wife Terri of 7.5 months had today off and was starting to tackle washing all the windows in the house. It’s hard to believe but this was the first quality time I have spent working on the new house since a few months ago! I have been looking forward to this time with Terri but also taking “ownership” and doing the whole “nesting” thing! What was the motivation? Well, we are having my daughter McKenna’s college graduation party on Sunday and sometimes you have to just take some time and smell the roses! Yes, even if it means feeling guilty! See you tomorrow!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I had a number of senior projection sales yesterday. We had some great cash flow. One of the appointments was potentially dangerous. Why is that, you say? Well, this was my client’s 3rd and final senior that I have worked with. The first two seniors in the family had the dreaded “proofs.” The mom was able to check out the “proofs” for a week or so and choose her favorites. We haven’t used paper proofs for senior portraits in 5 years and mom wasn’t too excited about our new way of presenting senior images. The worst case scenario would be having to print off some paper proofs for her to take home if she couldn’t make her mind during the projection. But you know what? Mom and her daughter loved seeing all the images to music on my 80 inch screen! The editing side-by-side went very smoothly as well! Bottom-line, mom ended up spending double what she did the last time and purchased more images (not to mention, LARGER images). The mom said to me, “I wish I could have seen the images this way for my other two kids!” Is that cool or what? Trust me; projection is the best way to present your images! Really! We even project weddings, but that is a whole other blog…if not a program! If you haven’t viewed my 2 DVD set “The Secret of Projection Sales” I highly recommend it. It WILL pay for itself the first time you use the techniques I outline for you. I hear from a lot of photographers that they do not want to upset their clients by not giving them proofs. They also do not want to switch to projection because no one else in their town is doing it and it will hurt business. Trust me, take a chance with this! Sometimes you have the darkest clouds in front of you just before the rainbow is revealed. This is one of those cases! I have a few more projection sales today, wish me luck. Have a great day everyone! B.H.
Blast from the Past! Part II
Monday, May 12, 2008
If you didn’t read Saturday’s Mentor Minute please do it now. – Ok, there you go! So what is the next step? First make sure you get all the information so you can start rekindling your long lost friendship. We do this with newsletters, E-newsletters, and various cards throughout the year. Second, start planting seeds for some of the other types of photography you offer. When Renee first called to schedule her son’s Senior Portraits, she also mentioned a need for a family one as well. While photographing her son, Renee and I got to catch up on the last 24 years, her life and mine. I asked, “What do you like to do as a family? Is their anywhere that we could create a family portrait that is special to you?” These are two great examples of planting seeds. Have they sprouted yet? Not yet but they will, trust me! On Saturday when Renee came to order the images of her son, I planted more seeds. “Were you really thinking about a family portrait this summer before your son leaves for college? Wow, what a great time to do it”, I said! “Yes I am”, Renee said. I then mentioned that we were having one of our Portrait Safari’s at Cannon Beach, OR in August. “Oh my gosh! We love Cannon Beach! Neil (her husband) grew up in that area”, said Renee. I then recommended she touch base with the rest of the family. We have a wonderful opportunity here but it is so important to keep the momentum going at this point. To do this I made sure to reinforce our conversation in a personal thank you card. I also gave her the date and also expressed how honored I would be to come to her home and help her begin to design the look of the portrait (colors, clothing, feeling, mood, size, etc.). What is the chance that they will do this portrait? With our follow-up procedures and plugging her into the database, I would say very, VERY good! To be continued… B.H.
Blast from the Past!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I had a wonderful client encounter this morning. Renee (The Mom) came in to view and order her oldest son’s Senior Portraits. See brought her wedding album, which was created in 1984, 24 years ago…by me! What a blast from the past! What made this reunion even more special was that we hadn’t talked in 24 years. Yes, I am supposed to be the “Relationographer” master of relationship marketing, but the last time we worked with this client we didn’t have a computer, let alone a database! Renee and her family had been M.I.D.B. or Missing In Database! Granted, they had moved around the world with the U.S. Military, but I feel honored that they remembered me after all these years and chose me to do their son’s Senior Portraits. The longer I am in business, the more I recognize that my client database is the lifeblood of my business. Don’t let even ONE of your clients become M.I.D.B. like we did. Now that their back, what’s the next step? Check out tomorrows Mentor Minute to find out! B.H.
Friday, May 09, 2008
I just returned from an appointment this morning at a client’s home in Sammamish, WA. The meeting was what I call a “Go-See.” It’s exactly what it sounds like- going to their home and seeing it. This is Step 4 of my 5 Step Consultation Process. I meet with all my clients prior to a session and I cover all 5 steps: (1) Show them all the possibilities via a slide show. (2) Ask questions and develop rapport. (3) Educate the clients to price, proper size, clothing, etc. (4) Schedule a “Go-See.” (5) Send a personal thank you! For my client today, her in-studio consultation was on Wednesday and her “Go-See” was this morning. The “Go-See” is effective for both me and my clients! Within 30 minutes we were able to: (a) Est. the location of where the portraits will hang in the home- Entry way and hallway in the case today. (b) Reinforce the proper size of the portraits- 30x40 would be the proper size for both walls. (c) Come up with a color palette for the clothing and style of clothing. (d) I also met 2 of the 3 kids that will be in the family portrait and started building rapport with them. (e) Continued building the relationship that I started with the mom at our first meeting. (f) I viewed images of their summer cabin on Lake Chelan where we will be photographing them in July. And (g) I also viewed images they already had from past family portraits- Seven years ago. Did this “Go-See” take valuable time, gas, and energy? Yes! Is it worth all the time, gas, and energy? ABSOLUTLY! This is one of those strategies that not only makes your sessions run smoothly, but will defiantly add to your bottom-line as well. You will be rewarded for going the extra mile. To learn more of these strategies check out May’s Monthly Mentor! It will be in the mail next week! B.H.
“You miss 100% of the shots YOU never take!” –Wayne Gretzky
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
How many shots did you take today? I am not talking about images, but rather shots (or steps) to move your life or business forward. Sometimes you just need to work outside your comfort zone. May it be photography, marketing, or sales, try something different today. My late wife Sue used to say, “Success is found outside your comfort zone.” For us, today it was sending our first batch of letters out to clients offering them their wedding negatives from 10 or more years ago. In my 25 years of business I have never done this. Basically, we are doing it to make room and help with the studio move. I am offering them the opportunity to purchase their negatives for a few hundred dollars, a portion of which will go to the Sue Hudson Memorial Scholarship Fund. In addition, I am having Marathon Press print up a bunch of $125 gift cards that we will send our clients as an added thank you. Mine as well try to get some family business from some of those clients I haven’t seen in many years with a gift card! I’m looking forward to seeing the results in the next few weeks. I will be sure to share them with you! B.H.
“Humility is a sign of true greatness”
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
What a fantastic quote! That was actually said today by one of my amazing clients, Marty Scillachi. I was interviewing him for this month’s Monthly Mentor, which will be going out next week. Marty owns an accounting software company that works in conjunction with Microsoft, he also has an amazing story to tell on how his company was able to survive after the big tech bust in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Man, you think photographers have it bad now, imagine having most of your client base literally go out of business overnight. It was his existing clients that got them through it and they are 100% stronger for it! Sometimes it takes the tough times to appreciate the good times in business. It will also teach you how to thrive in uncertain times, much like the media is framing for us right now in America. Marty also mentioned a new phrase to me today, “It’s not just relationship marketing, its nurturing marketing.” He actually has a two full time people that do nothing but call their “A” clients twice a month just to make sure everything is going ok with their software. Wow! This reminded me of when Sue and I were going through our second recession (the first was in 1982 when we started the business, yes, we started a business during a national recession…go figure) with the business in the late 1980’s. Business was a little down and we were trying to figure out some way to drum up some leads. Sue came up with the idea of a newsletter to our existing clients. She and I were going through our database and categorizing each client into A, B, C, and D clients. We were going to send the newsletter to everyone, then put more focus on A’s as far as monthly mailings, quarterly for B’s and maybe once a year for C’s and D’s. Sue said. “Huh? Why do we even need the D clients? Let’s delete them!” So she did. I guess my point of this story is nurture the clients that are going to help you through the tough times in business and lose the ones that are not! Sometimes you have to let some go to focus on the ones that WILL reward you for you talent and service. Go though your database and figure out who has kept you in business and make sure they know how much you appreciate them! For me, it is clients like Marty, and he said something else profound today during our interview that I should share with you. When I asked him why he went with me as his family’s photographer he said, “Because you were more expensive than anyone else! You also had a quite confidence about you. You showed great humility and were genuinely excited to be part of creating something special for us.” Wow again! Marty is definitely an “A” client and it is my goal to make him and all my other A’s feel as special as that comment made me feel today. See you tomorrow! B.H.
Finding a Balance Part II
Monday, May 05, 2008
This weekend I had the opportunity to play proud “Pappa” at my daughter’s college graduation. McKenna graduated from Washington State University last Saturday in Pullman, WA (5 hours Seattle, right on the Idaho border). The day was perfect as all of our family travelled to see McKenna receive her much deserved diploma- congratulations Mckenna, we are ALL SO proud of you! In addition to being a proud parent I also had the opportunity to photograph one of my clients and his family as well! His graduation ceremony was an hour before McKenna’s, giving me 20 or so minutes to create some really nice images of him, not just your typical graduation snap shots! The timing was perfect and the family was so thankful! You never know, they might purchase a 24x30 of the graduate and a 30x40 of the family! Not to mention, I was also planting seeds for a possible family session this summer at Lake Chelan (one of our portrait safari’s in Central WA, for those of you who are Gold and Platinum Members, your will be receiving a card promoting it that we are sending to our clients this week). As I have stated before, “Life (family and business) is all about finding a balance.” This weekend was a great example of doing both. Much like our Portrait Safari’s, I let my clients know when and where I am going to be via newsletters, e-newsletters, etc. and sometimes I am able to capture some very special moments for them while also experiencing my own! The next vacation you plan with your family, give yourself an extra day and leave it open for a few sessions. Let your clients know about it, you never know what might come of it! I am not saying that every vacation or graduation I attend I also invite my clients, just find that balance! Hope everyone had a great weekend! B.H.
It is not the end…Just the beginning!
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Last night we completed our final city on the New Directions Tour! The packed hometown crowd in Seattle was the perfect finish to our many months on the road. Josh and I had the opportunity to publically thank the special people in out lives that were supportive and understanding while we were away. My wife (of 7 months), my daughter McKenna (graduating from Washington State University on Saturday!), Josh’s beautiful girlfriend Melissa, my staff Debbie (office manager) and Kelly (Photoshop goddess), and my sister Patty who saw me speak for the VERY first time! Even though the tour is over, it marks a new beginning of sharing the message of studio success each day, week, and month on this website. Not to mention The Monthly Mentor program that has been embrassed by hundreds of photographers each month. The implementation of The Monthly Mentor has been overwhelming with numerous of our fellow photographers subscribing daily. But sharing the message and showing other photographers that “Yes, you CAN do this” is a challenge that both Josh and I are willing and excited to pursue. Yes the tour has ended for us, but now is the time to educate, inspire, and motivate on a Daily, Weekly, and Monthly basis. Josh and I hope you will take full advantage of us and MyStudioMentor.com! B.H.