“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
— Albert Einstein

If you think in the same old way, you will arrive at the same old conclusions and leave behind a wall-worn rut.The first step to sales is mindset. You must believe in your product and believe in yourself.

Remove negative thinking.

remove one-dimensional thinking.

Seek opportunities instead of identifying problems.

Be mindful of thinking traps.

Don’t be afraid of not knowing answers. Don’t be afraid to find them!

Break down all obstacles one brick at a time.

The first step in changing mindsets in sales is to first become a strategic thinker. What I mean by “strategic” is that you should be thinking about the long-term effects of your plans. It is much easier to get to someplace on a map if you know where it is on the map you want to be. Many photographers believe that success is measured only by income; however, income is the result of success, not the final destination.

A strategic plan may be to find twenty new wedding clients for the next year. It might also be building two new steady clients for your freelance work. Those goals are much more easily mapped out than “I need to make $50,000 next year.”

Sometimes, people feel that locking yourself towards a specific goal locks them out of opportunity. Nothing is written in stone. You can always change your goals. Nevertheless, there is a lot of freedom to committing to a goal. If you are focused on getting twenty new wedding clients, you have removed other options that may be detractions.

I also tell people to write their strategic plans down. Writing, even for yourself, is a contract that is concrete and tangible. It is a promise, to yourself if no one else. It is a focusing tool. Once you are focused on a destination, you can plan on how to get there.

The first rule of sales is that sales is about business and business is about people. Once you have your goal for your photo business, you now have to start dealing with people. The great thing is that people love to buy. Your job is to just convince them that your product is worth spending money on. You do that by developing relationships with — people.

The best way to develop any relationship is to have something to offer of value. For a photographer that should be your skill with a camera, but also your superior products, and customer service. But that isn’t always enough. Savvy photographer with sales experience can get business with inferior products, if they can convince the client that they don’t need better services. How do they do that?

Nearly every time, the photographer that wins the contract (barring jobs that are contracts because the photographer is their cousin) is the one that presents the best “win-win” scenario.

I have seen some photographers pull the “elite” card in a sale pitch, and demand that everything goes the photographer’s way. This is a “win-loose” negotiation, and unless you have clients banging down your door because you are famous, it will rarely work for most. The photographer leverages their status to call the shots, and psychologically some clients believe that they are fortunate to hire a photographer so “elite” that he deserves such reverence.

Low-end photographers have a less than ideal situation as well. They present “loose-win” situations where the photographer gives away their services and is essentially begging for work. Clients who hire this photographer feel like they are getting a real deal, but offer the photographer little respect; and almost always come away dissatisfied. How can you love images created by a photographer you don’t believe in, and who doesn’t believe in themself?

The “win-win” sales concept is the best. You are worth your money, and you are going to prove it to the client. Remember, the client wants to spend money. Your only job is to convince them it is best spent on you.

In any meeting with a clients, something is sold. Either you sell the client on buying your service, or you sold the client on walking away. In either case, you sold them. The best way on selling them on buying your services is to have a superior product and to anticipate all objections they may have for not hiring you.

1. Believe in your product.

2. Realize that objections to a purchase are never the reason for not buying.

3. Listen to the client and look for what their real concerns are.

4. Ask the client if your assessment of their concerns are accurate.

5. Provide solutions to their objections and remove them from the equation.

6. Sell to help. It is about benefits, not features.

7. Be sincere and always tell the truth.

8. When you ask a question, be quiet and listen.

9. Never down the competition.

10. Most important– Ask for the sale.

11. Regardless if you got the sale: follow up, follow up, follow up!

The last two are the real stumbling blocks for photographers. A salesman is not afraid to ask for a sale. If he believes in his product, and he has successfully removed all objections, then he should have confidence that the client WANTS to hire them. Some salesmen will play a fishing game and force the client “think about it.” That is a very tricky game, because they are essentially not finishing the meeting.

Imagine if you went on a date and then just walked away before the kiss goodnight? If you didn’t ask for it because you were afraid, do you think a date is inclined to agree to be asked out again? If you didn’t ask because you think it will make them realize that you are the perfect date– you better be darn sure your date was amazing.

The client expects you to ask them to close the deal. That is why you are talking. Don’t be afraid of rejection. A famous ballplayer once said, “If I swing a hundred times I may not get a home run, but if I don’t swing at all I certainly won’t.”

Whether you get the contract or not, always follow up. For new clients this is important, but for those who passed on your service, this is an important time to develop a positive business image. There may be clients they may refer down the line.

Most of all, sales it about being positive and strategic. Have a goal and get out there and sell yourself to get that goal.

“If you are given a bag of cement and a bucket of water, you can build either a stepping stone or a stumbling block.”

 

There are several factors that must be included when you are considering the characteristics of lenses. To perform well as a photographer, you must recognize the effect of these lens characteristics. Realize also that it is the recognition and use of these various lens features and/or qualities that can make the difference between a good and a poor photograph. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages beyond just the field of view of a lens opens an entirely new level of photography that is an essential, but often overlooked.

“let me be clear on this the focal length of a lens DOES NOT CHANGE PERSPECTIVE”

Focal Lengths of lenses is all about (what I call) “perception of the angle-of-view .” The human eye sees in three dimensions because of binocular vision (two optical cameras with overlapping images). A camera does not have the optical ability to be stereoscopic on its own and therefore does not allow for the sense of depth. What is considered “normal” focal lengtha for a lens gives the similar field of view that our vision covers (which is 45-55 degrees field of view), and the relative DOF (Depth of Field) of these lenses gives the familiar sense to feel the “depth” of our normal vision.

If you close one eye and look with the other, you can still register in your brain the sense of depth, because our brains have been programed to view the sense of Depth of Field through what is in focus and what is not.

However, when you use wide or telephoto lenses, the field of view and the characteristics of depth change properties. The “angle of view” and the perception of depth are changed– hence the “Perception of Angle-of-View” has also changed.

Any lens with an angle of view less than 45 degrees with a given film size has a longer focal length.

However, just as we know that we want/need more than just a pinhole camera to create the images we want, when you start using the studio lights, you will find that you need more from your flash than just a bright light.

Now…let me be clear on this the focal length of a lens DOES NOT CHANGE PERSPECTIVE. If you stand in one spot and change lenses, you get the same perspective no matter what lens you use. It is constant, because perspective is the relationship between the subject and the camera.

There are three classes of lenses that effect “angle-of-view perception:” Normal, wide, and telephoto. Within these catagories there are often subcategories of ultra-wide, zoom lenses, macro/extreme close-up to name a few. Regardless of the nomenclature– the following characteristics apply to the sub-categories.

Normal— as we said, the normal lens gives the same angle of view and feeling of depth of field as your normal vision. For most 35mm film cameras a 50mm lens is considered “normal.”

“ … you should have a good spectrum of lenses in your bag, and know the characteristics of each …”

Wide— Wide angle lenses have a greater than normal field of view. This change of FOV also changes the characteristics of compression between objects. These lenses create an exaggerated sense of distance. For example: You can shoot a close up of a subject model’s face and have a group of people who are close by seem very far away.

Wide-angle lenses have their own qualities, causing apparent, repeat, apparent, distortion and foreshortening of perspective, so objects close to the lens appear large, while background objects diminish in size dramatically

Obviously, there is the advantage of being able to get more of your scenery in your photo with a wide angle lens. You will able to get closer to your subject. You will be able to get steadier shots at lower shutter speeds. You will get greater Depth of Field at almost all distances.

Telephoto— Telephoto lenses have a smaller field of view, but they also have more reach. Just like binoculars or a telescope, they use the science of light refraction through glass to be able to see objects at a far distance up close. The reduced angle of view has the opposite characteristics of the wide angle lense. With the telescopic view, the angle of view is decreased. However, telephoto lenses characteristics also compress their images making subjects seem much closer than they actually are. (remember that this apparent change of distance is because our brains look at things through our “normal” lens. Thus there may seem to be a change in prespective, but the perspect hasn’t changed at all).

Telephoto lenses are great for: Shallow DOF. Making images look closer to each other and the compression often gives a sense of equal sizing. Compression of distance, the ability to see objects far away.

CHOOSING YOUR LENS.

Lots of photographers find a lens they like. Or a zoom they rely on. In fact, you should have a good spectrum of lenses in your bag, and know the characteristics of each.

The difference between a good picture and a great picture is often a matter of matching the images in your head to the image on your print. Very often, people will get lazy, or at least comfortable, and try to make a wide angle zoom do the job of a long telephoto and then wonder why the photo doesn’t cry “brilliance” to them later.

Here are some photos of lenses fromn 10mm to 180mm. I moved between one foot to twelve feet away from the bottles to fill the frame. See how shooting a very similar shot differs greatly as the compression, field of view and DOF change. Note the house next door behind the bottles and how it seems much closer with the telephoto lenses. This is an important consideration in choosing a lens.