Category Archives: Studio Tips

Use the “Concept of Three” in Your Package Strategy

3 package strategy

Three is a very powerful concept in our everyday lives. “One” symbolizes simplicity and unity, “two” symbolizes imbalance and tension, win or lose, while “three” symbolizes compromise and harmony. This post will take a look at the power the number three has, then offer some thought into how to capitalize on the power of three when creating your photography packages

Concept of Three

“Three” is a very powerful concept. Three represents balance. A stool with three legs will never rock. Three ideas are very easy to comprehend.

Three shows up over and over:

  • In movies and literature: The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Musketeers,  Three Blind Mice, The Three Stooges, three wishes
  • In religion: Christianity’s Holy Trilogy and the Three Kings, the Hindu Trimurti and Tridevi, the Three Jewels of Buddhism, the three holy cities of Islam
  • Past, Present, and Future
  • Three dimensional
  • Three primary colors
  • Photography’s Rule of Thirds
3 package strategy

There are always three parts to a well written essay or speech: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. A trick I learned in middle school is to have three main topics in a paper, and have three points to each topic. Each topic is a paragraph, each point is a sentence. This formula got me through college.

Three is so powerful because it is balanced. Three concepts are easy to remember. Phone numbers and social security numbers are easier to remember because they are broken into groups of three. A choice between three alternatives can be much easier to make than two alternatives as it allows compromise.

Decision Making Logic

For most people decision making is a stressful process. The conflict between the right brain emotional “I want” decision and the left brain “I should only spend” logical decision can cause much emotional angst. When you are dealing with a couple the stress can be multiplied.

During your sales process try to keep the stress from degenerating into conflict where one person takes a strong emotional right brain position and the other person takes the logical left brain position. If one of your clients is starting to take a strong logical position, such as “we don’t want to spend that much”, use logic instead of emotion. Of course everyone would agree that a 48” wide print is way more awesome than a smaller one, instead, show what a 20” print would look like on a 10 foot wall, and then what a 48” print looks like. Logic will dictate that the larger print really is needed.

Notice something here? Two items, “right brain” and “left brain”, are out of balance. Your goal during the sales process is to do the balancing act for the couple. One major way you can do this is to have the right number number of packages to facilitate the decision making process.

Three Packages for each Service You Offer

If you regularly market a variety of services, such as seniors, weddings, and family portraits, offer three packages for each.

  1. High End  There are certain people in this world that want, and

    can afford, the best. These people have enough money that the “I can only afford” logical decision just is not an issue. These people are predispositioned to buy the best. If you don’t have a high end package they may perceive you as less talented than one who does. A higher priced package gives you credibility (even if nobody ever buys it) and makes clients more comfortable buying your mid range package. Don’t price your high end package with the hope that most people will buy it. Ok, you can hope, but don’t expect it. If you’re selling a lot of your high end packages it’s probably time to move up the food chain and make it your mid range package. (Yeah!)

  2. Mid Range  Your mid range package is what you expect people to buy. This is the package that puts food on the table. “Most people buy…” is a very powerful phrase during the initial consultation.
  3. Low End  Your low end package gets people in the door. Don’t put enough in this package to make it attractive. If this is what most people are buying your business is probably in trouble. If you find yourself in this position you should take a hard look at your sales and marketing techniques, people need to value your work more.

The order you present your packages is important. During initial consultations lead with your top package, you just might have a buyer that will take it. More often than not, you’ll move on to “Most people buy the mid-range package.”

I’ve seen photographers recommend four packages, with the idea that the clients will choose between the middle two. This idea throws more stress into the decision process. Keep it simple instead. Let your clients customize their package.  Make the hard “which package?” decision as easy as possible, smaller upgrade or a la cart decisions are much easier.

As you think about your three packages you will realize how useful the “concept of three” really is in everyday life. You’ll notice how frequent marketing messages have three main points, you’ll find yourself having three bullet points in your elevator speech, and writing three main ideas in each blog post.

5 Tips on Getting Published to Grow Your Business

In our Tips for Wedding Success blog post, SharedInk customer Tracy Kreck stated that it is easier to grow her business by getting published than it is to pay expensive advertising costs. Another SharedInk customer, Caroline Tien-Spalding from Sphynge Photography, was published 31 times last year using services from Two Bright Lights, a company that makes it easy for photographers to submit content to hundreds of blogs and magazines.

We’re excited to share this guest blog post from Shalyn Hockey from Two Bright Lights.

The photography market has surely changed in the last few years. 40% of couples now find one or more of their suppliers through a blog or website editorial feature. This means that getting featured is a crucial part of growing a photography business.  In the past few years there has also been an exponential growth in blog, e-zine and magazines, so  it’s no wonder that photographers who get published earn 73% more on average than photographers who don’t.

But the submission process can often feel daunting.  Here are 5 tips and tricks that will help get your submission get published in a jiffy:

  1. Do your homework.   Publications are all unique so time spent researching is well worth it. When you decide on a potential publication make sure your submission fits their editorial style and meets all of their consideration requirements.
  2. Details, Details, Details! Blogs and magazines’ goal is to inspire their readers. That means they want to showcase the details – the flowers, the venue, the jewelry, the invitations, etc. They do love beautiful shots of your clients and their friends and family, but keep those to just a few of your best and fill the rest of the submission with detail shots.
  3. Provide context. Include a short story of the day to help place your beautiful images in context. Write a paragraph or two about the special details, about what it was like to photograph the event, and include any extra information you have about what made the day special. These details will help them tell a story to their readers. The more help you can give editors the more likely they are to feature your work!
  4. Add all of the vendors. Editors of course want to credit you for your awesome work, but they also want to credit everyone else who made the day fantastic. So make sure to add all of the vendors and include their website and contact details. The vendors will greatly appreciate the publicity and they will be more likely to refer you to their clients.
  5. Use a company like Two Bright Lights. Two Bright Lights makes the whole submission process simple. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get published. With Two Bright Lights, photographers have access to a streamlined submission process. Photographers simply upload an album, add vendors and information, and select from hundreds of blogs and magazines for submission. Resubmitting is as easy as picking a new editor and clicking “submit”.  Two Bright Lights also comes with a plethora of tools and resources that help photographers succeed, including free guides on what editors look for, webinars on how to create successful submissions, and marketing tips on how to make the most of published features.

Take advantage Two Bright Lights’ free 30 day trial and start using these tips help catapult your business! Visit for more information and to get started submitting your work today.

Senior Trends with Kevin Focht

Expert photographer Kevin Focht shares his insights on selling high school senior packages & delighting his clients by keeping up on current trends. Watch as Kevin talks about why he uses SharedInk books as part of his package, how he uses studio samples to upsell his clients, and how he keeps up with what’s cool to cater to his clients.

Many of Kevin’s ideas are also useful for weddings and family portrait sessions.

By watching the video you will learn how to:

  • communicate with today’s seniors
  • deal with the “I just want digital files” issue
  • use studio samples to upsell your clients
  • and more!
You can check out Kevin’s left turn seniors web site to see how he markets his senior business. For more great tips from Kevin, check out The Creative Orange.
As Kevin explains, you sell what you show. We always offer 33% off studio samples. Just contact us when placing your order.


Quick Tip: Rearranging Pages for Press Books

We all have different workflows in designing photo books. If you’re not diligent with naming your files, you can run into problems with the order of your pages.

Check out this quick tutorial on how to easily rename your pages in a consistent way, and how to use SharedInk’s online page rearrange tool for making last minute changes.

Wedding Book Grand Slam

wedding books

Increase your profits and do your clients a favor by offering keepsakes of their special day that will last for generations.

There are only so many days in the year to book clients so take advantage of each opportunity to increase your revenue. You have four opportunities for photo book and album sales with every wedding you shoot. Present them correctly and you’ll have a happy bride and more money in the bank. The opportunities are:

  1. Guest Book
  2. Proof Book
  3. Wedding Album and Parent Albums
  4. Wedding Memory Book

Guest Book

“Guest books sell engagement sessions, and engagement sessions sell guest books.”

Guest books go hand in hand with an engagement shoot. Showing a sample guest book when booking the wedding is the easiest way to book an engagement shoot. If you already have the engagement shoot lined up then offering a guest book it is another opportunity to sell it as an add-on revenue opportunity.

Proof Books

Most SharedInk customers that supply proof books to their clients do it as part of a package and not an add-on product. Offering a printed proof book has several advantages

  • It is an extra touch that sets you apart from the competition.
  • You can paint the picture of the bride sitting on the couch with her mother viewing the photos and selecting the favorites.
  • Prints can be scanned and emailed or reprinted. Even if they don’t have the quality of prints you supply, free is very tempting.

A SharedInk proof book has the same high quality printing and goes through the same QA processes as all of our photo books. Some of the best books have a single large image on the first page with title text, then one to three pages of images you select and would like to steer your client towards. The remainder of the book is standard proof images, easily created in minutes using the Adobe Bridge Output tool.

Wedding and Parent Albums

Do your clients a huge favor and supply some type of wedding album in all your wedding packages. Depending on your clientele, you might use SharedInk 6 color books in your less expensive packages and upgraded papers and covers, or flush mount albums, in your premium packages.

A few years from now your clients will be very glad they have the album.

“90 days after the wedding is the best time to upgrade clients.”

There seems to be a trend among many photographers to offer a press printed wedding album as a standard part of the wedding package, and then offer a flush mount album as an upsell opportunity later. It seems that 90 days after the wedding is the best time to offer upgrades. Your client is into their new life routine, earning paychecks, with maybe some money in the bank from wedding gits. This is the ideal time to upgrade their albums or other photo products.

Parent albums are a great opportunity to increase your revenues with very little work. Occasionally photographers order multiple copies of the bride’s album for parents, but normally it is a smaller, less expensive version of the same book. Contact us and we can provide you with a smaller “clone” of the bride’s album. Some photographer’s swapping out cover images or other pages in the book for the different sides of the family.

Wedding Memory Book

This book tells the details of the day and is the place for all those photos that don’t make the album cut. The bride can select all the photos she wants, allowing the wedding album focus on the story of the day. It is also a great use of all those photo booth photos. Read the blog post for more info.

The Wedding Book Grand Slam

Maximize your profits by always offering these four products for all of your weddings. The increased revenue is a real grand slam!