Thursday, October 22, 2009

Business Day Thursday: Stop Putting A Gag Order On Your Sales! - Part 3

Good Morning Everybody,

windows-7-aurora-green-wallpaper So, who's heading out to pick up their brand new Windows 7 computer today? Who knows, I might just pick one up myself to see what all the buzz is about.

As I've been touring the country with my DWUC tour, the subject of MAC vs. PC always comes up. Don’t worry - I'm not going there today.  But another topic that came up now and then was how many Windows 7 adopters would be jumping on the bandwagon after today's launch of Windows 7. 

It was amazing to me how many photogs were part of Microsoft's massive Win 7 public BETA.  Even more interesting to me was the response I heard from 100% of the Win 7 beta testers.  They went something like this, "I've had it running for months and not one crash." Or, "It's the most stable OS I've ever used." And lastly from a tech support rep running a MAC but using Win 7 Boot-camped on his MAC, "I’m buying it the day it comes out!"

Anyway, I happen to be one of the guys finally giving up on my XP Pro system and jumping on the Win 7 bandwagon.  I'll keep you posted.

Help Wanted - One Last Time

Help Wanted LaDawn asked me to put out the call for volunteers for our last ten cities on my Digital WakeUp Call tour. On November 2 we head out on the last leg of our travels wrapping in Honolulu on November 18. 

LaDawn is looking for volunteers for Raleigh, NC - 11/2; Charlotte, NC - 11/3; Columbia, SC - 11/4; Atlanta, GA #1 - 11/5; Atlanta, GA #2 - 11/9, Birmingham, AL - 11/10; Memphis - 11/11 and Nashville, TN - 11/12; Las Vegas - 11/16, and Honolulu - 11/18.  Here is the link to hotel locations right here.

Please email LaDawn at for start times and more information. Hey, the adult beverages are on me at the end of the night! Oh, and by the way, LaDawn definitely makes it worth your while for helping, too.

OK, time to get on with today's episode of Business Day Thursday.  Here we go.

Stop Putting A Gag Order On Your Sales! - Part 3

Last week I was on my soap box about how so many photogs are killing their sales by not being pro-actively involved with their clients during the image selection process. It baffles me as to why photogs settle for far less than what their energies, effort, and creative ability warrants.

Lest, I jump back up on my soap box, let me share with you how we've been doing things around David Ziser Photography for years.  It has been the main reason for my success in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.

Since 1980, I have had clients come back to my studio to view a slide show of their wedding images and make their selection at the time when they were most excited about what I was most excited about showing them during that special appointment session.  We always called it our "Presentation" appointment.

Client Meeting_000002757268XSmall Things have changed in our brave new digital world.  Today we post our images on-line for our clients to view. We notify them that their images are on-line and continue to make a "presentation" appointment with them at the same time. They select, NOT their final selection, but only their favorites from all the images we present on-line.  From the 1200+ images we post, my clients typically select about 400-500 images as favorites.

Here is the cool thing that happens next.  When our clients arrive for their "Presentation" appointment, they are pretty darn excited about what they viewed on line.  They are visiting our studio with a wonderful first impression of what they've seen on line.

With our guidance during the "Presentation" appointment, we narrow the 400-500 FAVORITES down to a more manageable 250 - 280 images which we will design into their album.  Instead of letting our clients take a "hit or miss" approach to selecting their images, we work with them sharing with them what we saw through the lens and suggesting how these series of images really tell the entire story of the day.

Here is another reason why this collaboration with your client is so important.  The album that we eventually design from the client’s selected images is a reflection of your story telling ability, your  talents and your creativity. The "hit or miss" on-line selection process seriously jeopardizes potential clients' perception of your most important product. That is the ability to tell the complete story of the bride and groom's most important day in their lives.

Wedding Page Without the collaborative process in action, that final collection of images, the story, the excitement, the beauty, the spontaneity, the emotional marrow of the special day is sadly missing.

When my clients show off the beautiful album we deliver, I can rest assured that their album is a complete story of their wonderful day capturing all the details, nuances, expressions, and splendor of the their event. That's how I want my work presented in the community in which my studio's reputation is so important.

Food for thought.

Hey gang, that's it for me today.  See everybody tomorrow for my thoughts on, "Should We Trash the Dress Or Trash The Photographer? The post should "stir the broth" a bit.  Hope to see you then.  Adios, -David


  1. What I have seen of Windows 7 makes me very excited. Microsoft actually appears to be listening to the millions who use their products. I guess Vista was a wakeup call. As for Mac v PC, Leo Laporte had a great tweet a few days ago: "Windows 7 has been in public beta test with 8 million people for a year. Snow Leopard? The beta is now."

  2. David -

    I was at DWUC and incorporated an idea with some clients based on your model. I had two sets of clients come in and go over the images they liked best and you're absolutely right: they pick out way more than I ever would and they go away with more ideas of how to use them.

    Something I incorporated too was live "proof of concept" ideas. I pulled Lightroom up and showed them how I could crop something or put on a vignette, or desaturate. Some people were so excited by some other shots I'd done for another client that I went into Photoshop and did a quick cheap effect that they loved (give the people what they want).

    One new idea that came out of this for me: one is that I might just set up a microphone and record some of what they were saying because they walk down memory lane while viewing the shots. Some of what they say would make great bylines in an album.

    So thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I've been running Windows 7 since it was available on MSDN (back in August) and it's flat out awesome, easily better than Mac OS. If only Aperture was available for Windows...

  4. Lightroom 3 beta is announced and released!!!

    Download at:

  5. David,
    How do you post your image online? Lightroom? How does the client communicate their selects to you?

  6. "Oh, and by the way, LaDawn definitely makes it worth your while for helping, too."

    Somehow I'm not sure that this came out exactly the way you meant it... ;-)

  7. I came across an advertisement from (they print your picture on a business card or other small handout) suggesting that you print mini-cards (half high business cards) with an image on one side and a discount code on the other.

    What a great way to add sales (give 50 to each bride) or just have a general one to hand out yourself.