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Ask Kristi Elias Anything! - PPA Today

Ask Kristi Elias Anything!

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By Nicole McIntosh

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Earlier this week Imaging USA 2016 instructor Kristi Elias visited theLoop for an AMA (Ask Me Anything).

Kristi Elias is one of a kind. She is known for her artist's eye and poetic soul. Kristi is a pro at combining artistic energy and creativity into fine art portraiture. She has been a professional photographer for the past 17 years and a member of PPA since 2011. Kristi graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography in 1998 and has worked as a full time photographer ever since.
Kristi also received her Masters from PPA (M.Photog) this year and operates her successful fine art luxury based photography studio and art gallery right on the water, in Long Beach California. 

Here are some of our favorite moments with Kristi Elias as she graced us with her presence on theLoop detailing different aspects of her photography career:

On her creative process:

Normally clients hire me for my vision, a lot of clients don't know what they want until you show them. I do have a few clients a year, who have a very detailed idea of what they want. I always let clients know, I will create my interpretation of the time period or theme they have chosen or we have discussed. I always have to be careful not to open Pandora's Box, whatever is in my clients mind is not going to be an exact match of what is in my mind. This way they are not going back and forth with me proof after proof until I have guessed what their mind is seeing.

On creative inspiration:

I have always been attracted to storytelling dramatic art. Most of my inspiration comes from watching movies, I will find a certain color palette or wardrobe that will resonate in my mind, then I eventually create a vision in my mind. I believe that in order to get creative inspiration you must do cross training much like people do in sports. 

On her marketing strategy:

I market a luxury fine art portrait experience, my clients are not just coming for a quick photo shoot, I create a memorable fun almost vacation like experience. I get a lot of clients through referrals. My business is on the first page of google in my and surrounding areas, so that helps with getting clients and inquiries. I also offer promotions to the first 10 clients who book via Facebook and on email lists during the slower months. Occasionally I run a Living Social promotion to reach clients who normally would not have found me. My average sale from a Living Social promotion has been the same as my organic clients. The only difference is I lose the sitting fee, but I figure I save a lot of money from not marketing somewhere that might not bring clients.
I also offer a referral program for clients and I give my favorite clients a voucher for a free session with me to be used in the next 6 months (that includes a session with me plus $100 off their next order) I have about 15-20 clients that re-book and use the offer.
I also offer a VIP club membership to clients who I not only loved meeting and photographing but also had higher end sales. Let's say the sale value was $5k and I loved working with them, then I would give them the VIP fine art club membership complimentary. If I really loved the client, but let's say they were at $3k (my average sale amount), then I would offer them a buy into the club for $300. VIP clients have one year to use their membership rewards such as a $300 gift voucher towards a fine art photography session, hair and makeup by Annie Van Dye ($150 value), invitations to exclusive members' only events and specials plus more, and once they do, it is renewed for another year automatically. This insures that my highest paying and favorite clients return year after year. This has been very successful for me.

Want to learn more about Kristi Elias's experience as a professional photographer? Check her out at Imaging USA 2016!

Nicole McIntosh is one of PPA's Marketing and Communications Interns, yay! Nicole is known for her vibrant smile and the one to laugh even if the sky is falling. A sophomore at Spelman College, she hopes that working with PPA will give her the tools she needs to start her own non-profit organization one day

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This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on October 23, 2015 7:17 PM.

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