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Ask Cathy Anderson Anything! - PPA Today

Ask Cathy Anderson Anything!

By Sarah Ackerman

Earlier this week, Imaging USA speaker Cathy Anderson, CPP visited theLoop for an AMA (Ask Me Anything). 

Before we dive in, let's get to know Cathy and her business partner, Chris Garner. This duo of Certified Professional Photographers (CPP) were born with photography in their blood: Chris learned everything he knows from both his dad and grandfather, and Cathy's own father was also a studio owner. Today, Chris and Cathy work together in the foothills of North Carolina as the successful team at TPS Photography. 

As the only CPP-certified team in their area, TPS began with preschool photography in 2000 but were then flung headfirst into the wild world of high school photography - and they haven't looked back since! Their high volume business has been a great source of clientele for their custom portraiture, and TPS has seen profits and sales grow each and every year. The talents of Chris and Cathy combined with their teamwork and abilities to delegate and outsource has allowed them to establish a studio like no other.

Here are some of our favorite moments with Cathy as she participation on theLoop, sharing different aspects of her photography career:

On what's her favorite type of client to photograph: 
My guilty pleasure regarding photography is how psychology fits into your role as a photographer, with regards to dealing with clients. Long story short, I can answer your question by saying this: my favorite type of client is the one I can connect with and relate to most. I came from a hard past, so it's been tough getting through all of life's challenges and converting from an introvert to an extrovert.  However, forcing myself to step outside my comfort zone has really opened up a lot of opportunities in my career.  

On her must-have software:
Lightroom and ProSelect. Lightroom (LR) is so amazing because it takes the best of both worlds, both Photoshop and Camera RAW, and marries them. Rendering is kinda slow in LR, but you can get around that with a little optimization. ProSelect is awesome because it takes care of all of our in-person sales (projection), exports orders to our management software, shows portrait sizes in actual, real-life size, and really increases our sales average. If you've never used ProSelect, make sure you check it out.
On holiday session:
Christmas and holiday events are super tough, unless you have a solid marketing strategy. I've found that they are very similar to mini-sessions and only draw in a certain type of customer (again, unless marketed properly)--the one who is looking for the cheapest deal. So my over-reaching answer to your question is this: Market your holiday mini-sessions to sell wall portraits. 

On advice to her younger self:
If you don't have confidence at the consultation, you might lose the session/sale. Clients naturally gravitate towards confidence and enthusiasm (not cockiness), and naturally seek an authentic experience. Meh photographers are everywhere, but confident photographers (in all that they do) are rare.
If you don't have confidence behind the camera, your clients will sense it. What you reflect is what you will receive back from your clients. 
If you don't have confidence in the sales room, you are leaving money on the table. Have confidence in your product and know what you want to sell. Ask your client what their needs are and gently guide them to the products that you want to sell.
Find who you are in all facets of your business, and be confident about it. You'll find more customers making the phone ring and higher sales on the back end.  

Want to learn more about Cathy & her partner, Chris? Check them out at Imaging USA 2016! Register here today!

Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarahs in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

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This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on November 5, 2015 6:31 PM.

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