Great grammar didn't keep Dr. Seuss from success, so be forewarned of mine!
This to say, it's still Brian Geraths at the camera, but wearing a more business-minded hat.
2015 studio sales were up 25%, thanks in large part to an even greater increase of commercial photography services.
Even under the Prints Charming Photography name, more than 70% of my creative busyness was attributed to entrepreneurial clients.
Those results were not only acknowledged, they were honored with this brand new dba and matching domain - Photo Media Productions.
My question: "If this many new clients will trust a guy dubbed Prints Charming, how many more would trust me with a more serious business name?"
Well, check back next year, and I'll let you know, but my insight-filled prediction... Double!
That sounds pretty grandiose, right? Well when I opened Prints Charming, that "double" prediction, compounded its way to the bank for six years in a row. After a sobering fourth quarter in 2001, Prints Charming was reduced to 25% increase (understandably, as we all felt less than cheery post 9/11)
So, without increasing my prices, how can I expect to double my sales?
Here are my top five expectations:
1 - Time Value: I've had to let go of a few services that made me feel great as a visual historian, but just didn't help me feed my family. Two of those I will surely miss, the music department at Tigard High School (shooting for one of my old Pendleton classmates) and the other - Lucy and Ethel, my comedic duo at St. Agatha. I believe both gigs were 12+ years of service, but they all understood.
2 - Less committee work = more creativity time. Still serving a few hours a week, I was able to cut mt tithing time in half to focus on writing. Happy writer = more creativity behind camera. More creativity as Photog = better results, better reviews, more clicks, more new clients...
3 - Video!.. After five years of practicing the lessons of some GREAT documentary instructors. One (from Hollywood) shared this critique?.. "You have an advantage over most video guys. You get lighting, you get composition, you know how to direct your clients and extract what you need". Loved that shot-in-the-arm assessment enough to say... It is time!
4 - Product photography - Great projects in the works that were NOT there prior to the name change. LOVE IT!
5 - Last, and by NO means, least - Wall Decor! I moved to Portland in 1986 on a monomaniacal mission to think BIG! (big scenic wall ART)
I wanted to be "The Next Ansel". Okay, you cNt accuse me of being selfish now, can you. I'm sure I've shared that dream with countless other shooters.
When I hung my first studio sign 10 years later, it was never about portraits. It was to be "Scenics and Commercial" .
While it may appear that it took me 30 years to take action, I assure you I've been building my collection, as well as my reach into other countries. I even pulled a beaUtiful Kiwi named Cathy out of New Zealand to add to that!.. A move that compounded the value of my domestic collection as well. (Five kids between us)
Thanks to our priceless returning clients, I get to now fulfill my dream with an increased mix of B2B creativity. I can still photograph you with your family, but first, let's help you wan more with some marketing images!
(and of course some wall art for workplace morale - send this to your HR Dept!)