Making bigger pies – or at least supersize your piece of the pie!

Posted by on March 3, 2012 | 0 comments

I recently attended WPPI12 in Las Vegas, and gained a lot of new knowledge about services, products and challenges that photographers are facing. Brides are also facing challenges as their budgets are being trimmed but their desires aren’t!

The latest must-have at a wedding reception – 20% of brides surveyed today say they are incorporating these into their receptions – resembles a ‘photo booth’. And in many cases, this type of experience service is not being offered by the wedding photographer; it could come from the DJ, or some type of multi-media vendor. Some of the photo booths are eating up between $400 and $2,000 of the overall wedding budget! It’s squeezing the bride’s budget and it’s diminishing the photographer’s potential for revenue, in essence leaving the photographer with a smaller piece of the pie.

Remember the disposable cameras that were so popular at wedding receptions in the 90’s? Fast forward into a new century and now it’s all about digital camera rentals for use at receptions. These can also be costly, certainly time consuming since the bride or someone in the wedding party needs to keep track of the equipment and ship it back to the source. Not ideal, but it’s the current reality.

And let’s not forget to recognize all the pictures taken with cell phones and uploaded to Facebook and other sharing sites, of which the professional photographer didn’t get a chance to monetize and provide additional value for the bride.

Savvy photographers are looking for ways to maintain the largest slice of the brides’ budget, while providing the utmost in choices, services and value for the bride. An emerging concept in event photography combines the best of all of choices while providing the full service and value to the client and maximizing revenue potential for photographers.

I liken it to a virtual photo booth kiosk.

Envision this; you have a software license loaded on your laptop or iPad, and you set up a space at the reception for the photo booth type activity and fun. And all those guests with camera phones and digital cameras? Those can be incorporated into this virtual kiosk along with the event photos including the ones that the photographer has captured.

At this kiosk station, people can purchase on the spot! How? A small item called “square” – it’s a credit card reader and easily attaches to an iphone or android phone. Check out how easy it is at squareup.com; there’s next-day payout, free readers and apps for your digital devices, free account, free reader hardware and one rate for all transactions.

According to Professional Photographers of America, the most successful photography studios allocate 25-35% of their gross income to the cost of sales, and on average between 30% and 40% to operating expenses which leaves roughly 35% left as take-home pay.

Watch while Larry Adams from Storefront.com gives DigitalPhotographyCafé.com a demo and see for yourself how you can use this service to provide greater value, choices and experiences to your clients, and maybe even grow your piece of the pie!

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