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The Annual State of Mind

Lesson 10 from: Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

Julia Kelleher

The Annual State of Mind

Lesson 10 from: Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

10. The Annual State of Mind

Next Lesson: Pre-Consultations


Class Trailer



Class Introduction


What is a Baby Plan?


7 Steps to Baby Plan Success


Shooting Prep for the 4-5 Month Old "Smiling Stage"


4-5 Month Olds: Tummy Time and Headshots


4-5 Month Olds: Basket Shot


The Baby Plan Structure


Lesson Info

The Annual State of Mind

So we're going to talk about the pre consultation next, okay, we've talked about structuring a baby plan we've talked about a product line for which we'll get into a little bit more tomorrow as we discuss pricing that product line but what's so important and, you know, this is I'm talking to about the seven steps of creating a baby plan, right? Well, the pre consultation is kind of a step that you're going to complete with every single client. So it's, not something it's, not part of, like the actual seven steps per se, but it is critical to the development of a client who is going to take part in the annual plan are you following? So you've seen these products that kind of keep the client coming back, keep them motivated and satisfy their wants, but you can't get to a decision on those products unless you educate the client beforehand on what the process is going to be like and kind of come to a conclusion of what we're going to be shooting for. Okay, now, a lot of people ask me, do I...

have to do concerts in person? No, sorry, I've got some of my no, you don't have to do I rarely do concerts in person any more, okay, I do that most of this over the phone, and when it comes to you know what product are we shooting for? Sometimes the client really isn't making that decision until we get to the session and on rare occasions they don't decide what they're going to do with that product until that first ordering appointment okay that's okay as long as they kind of come to that conclusion by the order appointment you should be all right, but if you don't prepare them in advance for that, then you it's going to bite you in the bottom when you get to the organ appointment and you're going to have a crappy sale and you're not going to have a client who's enthused about the baby plan and it's going to kind of fall flat on your face so that first initial pre consultation is critical to the process of doing this over a course of a year so what we're gonna learn in this segment includes why baby plan consultation obviously is so important and we've kind of touched on that we're gonna get into it a little bit deeper, okay? We're also going to discuss how to think differently about baby plans okay when it comes to pre consultations what to cover in that pre consultation so what topics to need address and the rial reason to do a pre consult and how pretty consulate can help educate the client and of course what to say and how to say it solidifying the sale for all the session's over that yearlong process okay, so that's, we're gonna basically cover in the next hour hour and a half here. So I've already talked to you about this whole annual state of mind with clients. This changes the way you think about baby plans and forces you to look at all three sessions as one unit. They just happened to be occurring at different times throughout the year, so that year long approach means planning this baby cute. What is it about, baby? But I don't know, but we'll fat rolls just crack me up planning and parents, by the way, love it. This was the cover of their album but absolutely love this image planning, envisioning, motivating, okay, dangling the carrot implies a soft commitment that's what a pre consultation does okay? And it helps you create uniquely for the client because you are going to get a lot of information from them in this process. And when you do that that is going to help you get get a jumping off point to create something that's unique for them and that they're going to love, but that also infuses your creative style with that. So with a pre consultation that's goingto basically occur over the course of the year, these are the things that you're going to be doing okay, each sale has to be profitable right you can't do one of these sessions without it making you money because ultimate that's what it comes down to is every session we do has to make a certain average but the beautiful part about this is that every sale will be guaranteed because the client will be returning every time to get that one album or to get that one canvas that completes the year in product okay so the product basically sells the process satisfies the clients wants gives you profits and motivates the client to return right and I know I keep pounding on that but it's true those are the basic things you need to create a product line as well as a process and customer service that works together so the final thing I want to talk about when it comes to this is that when you customize the like this it adds value in the consumer's mind so a pre consultation implies customization which in turn implies value we're service or it would be just like you going tio your hair stylist before you actually go to get your hair cut and talking about different styles and what you could do and what would look best on you and what your lifestyles like and what you need for your hair in orderto make it be you she's cutting your hair with the art and skill and expertise that she has but ultimately it's about you and what works for you your lifestyle you know do you put your hair up all the time are you blondie you burnett do you run you have kids who pull on it you know she wants to know all these things not granted I've never seen a hairstylist actually do this to that degree but she does ask you kind of what your thoughts are imagine if she took it to the next level and really had to part with you in sat down we look through magazines what do you like what looks going to your ship face your face is like this maybe we should do this kind of talent because that would be more flattering make you look taller compliment your skin tone this hair color work best on you because you have a dark complexion etcetera etcetera can you imagine if she did that? I liked it a full on custom pre consultation before she cut your hair and colored it you'd be like sweet now I look really it you know I'm saying it would give you confidence in what you're doing is the right decision you'd feel like she was the expert and you'd be willing to pay more right so that's kind of what you think about pre consultations and it's so important to do one because it sets up those expectations okay and you could do them on the phone it's perfectly fine I do him on the phone all the time but if client wants to come into the studio, then we do it is to you and I actually can close the deal and make a better sale by doing it in person that I can't on the phone but you know, I'm dealing with a clientele who has new kids and they're busy and crazy and their life is thrown upside down especially if they're on second baby or third baby for that matter and it's exhausting to try to come in, so keep that in mind and try to make it easy as possible on your plan. Okay, so you better do a pre console for those reasons and because if you're doing an annual product, you have to know what you're shooting for when you switch to this annual state of mind and shift the way you think about product delivery, it becomes in crime incredibly important and all of a sudden digital files are no longer that it product in your studio. The art that there's creating over the course of a year becomes that ansel adams said the negatives comparable to the composer score and the prince of performance digital file can be put in place of negative as well okay, the performance is what the ultimate goal is correct I pretty much just use digital files to lower my cost of goods that's all it's therefore otherwise and my clients wanted so it's in demand and yes today said you'll file is yesterday's I don't want to confuse you because the prince but the court I just gave but yes today's vigil follows yesterday's eight by ten do you remember back in the day when a client would call you a potential client? How much is innate by ten? First question they would ask now what is it? It's it's just shifted into a different product and so many others don't understand that and remember how back in the day you would go to conventions and they would say to you oh, just give them what they want cell made by temp just make sure doing it within our product with a large wall portrait there by the wall portrait to give the gift front for free remember that whole concept well it's the same darn thing with digital files make up by their product before they can get the digital files. And if you just replaced that word eight by ten with a digital file that's what it comes down to because remember back in the day when clients were printing that's what they printed five by sevens and eight by tens from their own negatives film negatives that one hour photo you know down at k mart or whatever they would go one hour photo it and that's what they were producing so that's what they wanted, what our clients producing now that's what that's what they produce so that's what they want because that's what they know people only buy what they know okay so use up to you to educate them to interest into something different and that's part of what the pre consultation is about okay I'm a huge believer that children are growing up on hard drives and how I educate my clients is with these concepts about digital files a negative back in the day wasn't archival product a negative was archival I mean I'm sure you still have negatives to this day sitting somewhere from your old film cameras they will last if you take care of them they will ask because they're developed with chemicals and fix and stop coming that's all it's all done archival e okay digital files pick new they're not archival is a matter of fact if you think about it let's take ourselves out of the photography world for a second how is every single document in this entire world produced for the most part in the western world digitally historical documents, news stories all this stuff that is being typed up on computers, inward documents and pages and made into files that are elektronik they're doing research studies a university right now to figure out how to make digital mediums archival any digitally and what's a j peg tiff pdf file pages doc whatever elektronik documents are not archival period they will eventually corrupt you didn't know that, did you? No matter what, how many hard drugs you save it on, no matter how many times you back it up and put it and eventually it will corrupt now you might get lucky keep one for fifty one hundred years but we don't really know yet do we? No it's such a new technology so the way I educate my clients on digital files that they want so badly is it's a crap product. I'll sell it to and grant is a high forsee value because that's what I print my price was on the one hand telling him oh, it's so valuable I'm losing all this money if you know if you buy the files but the hand I'm like yeah that's, how you're going to have to put your product but really it's crap because it's not archive on ain't gonna last so it's valuable right now you have no idea when it's gonna lose its value and once it's gone it's gone, okay, but print is archival to one hundred years or more it professionally printed print and have you seen some of the restoration work they're doing on images right now? They're taking images from the mid eighteen hundreds and earlier, when cameras were first coming out, their scanning, those restoring them in photo shop and reprinting them I scare the bejesus out of my clients because it's true that the safest place for their images is to print them, so I tell them when I give them, you know, thirty to forty images, I say take your top twenty images that you love and print them in an eight by ten and put them in a cool, dark, dry place, a photo album, something archival, acid free paper. Just make sure that it's in archival spot print them professionally through the lab we're going to send you to, and you will have your images for as long as possible. If you do that, even if we back it up on hard written, even if you back it up, the print is safer than the file, and so when you educate them for this, like how transient digital files are that they really don't have any value long term, then all of a sudden the printed product becomes more important. Combine that with the fact that you know how many of you have actually printed your own pictures and put him on the wall fairly. You know, I'm a shoemaker whose kids have no shoes. It's true I'm a photographer and I've got pictures of my son up through two years old he's going to be four next in july and I still hope coming from two to four you know it's like it's classic they're all stepped on her drive somewhere I'm sure I've lost half of them well I do with my clients know my client stops backed up like this you know how it is you don't do it with yourself but you do it with your customers but anyway my point is is that children are growing up on hard drives and things get get shoved into back corners of drive somewhere and clients know that you asking what they do with their wedding photos so they just had the baby you know and they kind of laughing way have an album but that's it you know that photographer to the album for us or whatever and holding anything there's an opportunity to go wanna go yeah well you wouldn't have that album if it were her would you so I wouldn't say it like that but you kind of reiterate these things to them and all then all of a sudden it's a it's a different endgame okay so by convincing your clients to print and that show showing there's research out there that printed portrait's actually raised kids self esteem there's a couple articles out there on the internet I know designer glow has a hole article on and I think somewhere anyway but there's lots of places where you can find that research at university study and that is huge to client it's and so I made basically a brochure I can show it again tomorrow I made a brochure that educates my plan from digital files and on printing I was asked him have you ever tried to put your snapshots in your your home printer like oh yeah now I want to that they know the instantly that's just a bad idea because it never comes out right because printing is an art color profiles and caliber moderate celebration all this stuff and paper president paper profile it's confusing and a client can't just take their iphone and print what they want because it never comes out right it never comes out like it is on their phone and so they know that and so they trust me to refer them to the printer that they should be referred teo and we end up you know I have a zen folio account and it's so they end up getting printed through m pics or miller's or something like that because it's going through a professional level lab and I tell them that so once you kind of tell them and get them to understand the transient nature of digital files do they still want them? Yeah sharing is carrying I mean they still want the digital files because they're valuable right now there they know I'm right, but they're still not convinced they still want the files for that ultimate control over the images. Do they ever print them? Yes. A lot of my clients do print through the professional lab that we send them, tio, but some people just want that control. They want us to do all the printing. As faras products were concerned in those digital files they never print. They just hang on to him for that control aspect of it. But with a printed product, the annual product has to be completed because you're printing it, right? So there's that adds value to your studio as well. And your bottom line it has to be planned in advance. That has to fit its intended space because it is a plant product. Okay, you have to shoot for it. And you have to educate the client to its value and the vision that means having studio samples, even you know, you see me do these electronic samples. I didn't bring any samples with me. But you still got an idea of the product's final result based on me showing you elektronik lee. So you don't have to do all this stuff necessarily, at least the wall stuff with physical prince. He's problem upon the wall and something's software's you know arianna floor arne has those you see the rooms in the background that's where they came from she does a beautiful job in the rooms and she has a great ipad app called shoot and sell that you could do all this on the ipad with and take screenshots, etcetera, etcetera and just design it on your own time to create these products and show your clients this type of thing in a product catalog so I really encourage you to find these rooms or these kind of contrived environments that are pretty that show your product in a good light to create something electronic if you don't have a studio or if you don't have the space and you're in your students based actually show a large canvas siri's or something like that okay, but you still have to give the client inflation of what it looks like um all right, so but you know, digital files are so profitable is what everyone tells me. Yeah, they are well, that's why I use this hybrid model why don't you provide both? Okay, the digital file is what the client wants so let's give it to him now a lot of people argue with me on this I totally understand and this is something that you have to make you have to make that decision for yourself as a business owner I know tens of studios out there that have baby plans just to printed products and refuse to sell additional files and they do amazing stuff jobs and they're extremely profitable in my market and being a newborn photographer as well and having the millennials be my clients the generation millennial they grew up with digital files, that's the product that they want, so I want to provide it to them as long as I do it profitably and in a way that encourages them to print correctly. Okay, so what we do is provide an art or annual product and the digital files, okay, this essentially equates to create your own collection, so they have, and I'll explain this more in depth later, but they basically have to to do two steps and the first two to choose their art product. So that would be the single piece for the three siri's yearlong product. So the one piece of it and they're digital files at every single session, so they make those two choices what's the product gonna be and what type of files do they want to get that's create a collection so it makes my turn around on the ordering appointment very easy because all I'm doing is ordering that our product and providing them with the files I keep my cost of goods low, they get what they want they print through the lab I send them to, and I'm still producing the large wall piece art product that they can't produce themselves. So there's your ticket. I'm producing a product they can't. They can't make themselves it's, part of a three siri's that culminates in the end of the year. They're getting the digital files that they want so badly, and I'm educating them with the value and quality of digital files and how to print them in a professional way. That's archival that will make them last makes sense. See how the pieces they're starting to add up. Okay, I truly believe that children will not remember you for the material things you provide, but for the feeling that you cherished them. And this is all over my marketing materials. Teo put forth the notion that a child's emotions are important, so putting them on the wall makes them feel cherished. So the printed product is crucial to that process.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Customizable BP Postcard Templates
Customizable Recipe Tag Templates
Customizable Stat Card Templates
Baby Plan Images
How The Baby Plan Works
Baby Plan Resource Guide
Baby Plan Success Checklist

Ratings and Reviews

Natalia Malinko

I just finished to watch this course. And I confess: I've been struggled all the time during the viewing to say already: I LOVE IT! So, I LOVE this course! Julia is so nice teacher, and photographer, and person. And she is so incredible organizator of whole child's photography business. She is amazing, so meticulous, so persuasive trough all and each one of the important points of this business. And she is just great in the part of studio´s shooting examples with the babies. This is one of the best and most valuable courses I found in Creative Live, thanks!

Dawn Potter

I've been so fortunate to be able to be a part of the Live audience experience with Julia. She is an amazing person, photographer and teacher. She does a fantastic job of explaining in detail, the steps she has taken that have helped her success as well as the steps that have set her back. We are so lucky to be able to learn from her experiences and to have someone who is willing to put herself out there to teach us and help us to grow as photographers. For anyone considering adding a Baby Plan to their portrait offerings, this class is a MUST have. Julia, you are #awesomesauce !! xoxo - Dawn Potter

Student Work