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PPA Today: Photography Workflow Archives

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By: Lauren Walters


Prom season is coming up! For a photographer, prom can be a tricky setting to work in - not to mention the formality of the portraits. So how do you survive a prom photo session? Read up on these tips from theLoop! Don't wait; it's just around the corner.


1.     Make sure you communicate with the coordinator often to ensure you both are on the same page. You will want to discuss backgrounds, props, times, etc. Prior to the prom, drop off advertisements for the school to distribute to the students including prepayment information, brochures, samples, etc. This will let students know of your services, pre-pay, or ask questions. Also, bring extras to the event.


2.     Arrive early to allow plenty of time to set up. Odds are the venue won't have all the supplies you need like a nearby wall outlet. Bring extension cords, pens, paperclips, a stapler, change, and a secure place to store money. If you can, bring along an assistant to help process the paperwork and payments. Make sure to let your assistant know the image number for each couple, so he/she can write it on their paperwork. High school is full of awkward moments, which may make for awkward photos. If possible, bring sample photos of poses.


3.     Make sure to clarify for each shot if the participating students are just friends or are a romantic couple. It's not uncommon to see a few same-sex couples come up for photos. Some of the time, they are just friends, but others may be an actual couple. If it is a same sex couple, pose them just as you would a heterosexual couple. This can be a sensitive subject, but if you're open and accepting about it, the students are much more comfortable. Considering you're a professional, it is most appropriate to keep your personal beliefs to yourself when on the job.


4.     It is important to have a reasonable turnaround time. It shouldn't take more than a few weeks max to get back to photos returned to the school. Notify the school and students of your estimated turnaround time ensuring your quality work.

Thank you to Crystal Prahl at Forever Me Photography for your contributions on theLoop. Have any further tips or opinion about prom photography? Check out the thread on theLoop.

Studio management software might best be described as every photographer's little helper--a solution that manages sales, marketing, client outreach, lead tracking, digital images and sales presentations, all in one neat package. (If they could only figure out a way to work in laundry and kitchen duty, we'd have to give this stuff a perfect 10.)

"With studio management software, photographers can know every detail about what product lines they're shooting and the average sales per session by product line. They can track where clients are coming from, integrate web leads and know exactly how each prospect is handled," says Bridget Jackson, PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS) manager. "In addition to the product management and marketing tools, there's also the benefit of managing workflow."

She also points out that studio management software helps photographers build comprehensive profiles of clients, which can help with up-selling, repeat business and those all-important referrals. "One of the most important aspects of successful selling is being able to consistently replicate what works, and the only way you'll be able to accomplish that is by keeping detailed records of what works and what doesn't," adds Jackson.

PPA member and studio owner Dave Huntsman, M.Photog.Cr., of Versailles, KY couldn't agree more. "Being able to track my numbers easily is so valuable. I can do comparisons to previous years, map trends and keep track of referrals...and it's so simple to use."

Spit-Shine Your Business Processes
If you want to learn more about a variety of studio management software solutions, there's no better time than the next two weeks. That's when PPA will feature guests representing PhotoOne, ShootQ, StudioPlus, StudioCloud and SuccessWare. In just an hour each day (at 2 p.m. ET, July 20th, 21st, 22nd, 27th and 30th), you can learn the basics of studio management software, including a detailed review of customer relationship management, online booking, total digital workflow and point-of-sale management tools, one of Huntsman's favorite features.

"Studio management software makes your whole process more professional when you're working with a client," he says. "During my presentations, I can quickly and easily include thumbnails of the images clients like and print them right on the order with the invoice, so there's no confusion about what's been ordered. I can use one product and button up all my marketing and selling into one nice package."

PPA members pay just $19 per webinar, or you can get all five for $39. Of course, if you have an online learning pass, you can get access to these valuable webinars, along with all other live and archived webinars for an entire year.'ll have to look elsewhere to get your socks washed, but if you're serious about cleaning up your sales, marketing and digital workflow processes to improve profitability, then don't miss this webinar series.

Eric J. Anundi

Enhancing Images While Saving Time
June 17, 2009 - 3:00pm EST
with Tony Corbell, Cr.Photog.

Yes, you want to enhance your images to bring out their best qualities even more...but image editing often siphons away valuable time. Tony Corbell, internationally known for lighting seminars and workshops, is here to help make your work life better. Watch and learn as he shares his time-saving digital workflow tips, featuring dynamic image editing tools from Nik Software. Follow Tony as he showcases retouching, creative styling, corrective techniques, and more. Rapid-paced and in-depth, this Webinar proves how you can use popular products to optimize image quality AND save your most valuable commodity: time. PPA members can register for free by clicking here.

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