How to make money with really big portraits
You've got another chance at learning Profit Secrets from family portraiture.
By Sara Frances | April 13, 2012
Would how to pre-select, serve and provide the right products for our clients in this cost-cutter, amateur wanna-be, do-it-yourself world help your business model for now and ten years from now as well? Family portraiture used to be big business all around. We all know how prices have sunk very low, but there are contemporary answers of how to make a profit. Even in a depressed market, Master Photographer Ken Whitmire details how to succeed - during one of the best (and cheapest) week-long workshops I know. I've been at this workshop to hear how Ken details every step toward making good money with boutique specialty portrait photography.
The basic concept is simple; big is good, bigger is better. In this case less is not more.
In photography more means big, really big prints. Wall sized. Mural big. As big as your sofa big. There really isn't any in between any more. You know the typical portrait scenario. You set a modest sitting fee, but the client just wants to buy out a disc. No prints at all, or just a couple of little 5x7s. No money there. You might as well have stayed home, because the fees you earned won't even pay for professional equipment. And you certainly did not get paid for your artistry behind the camera.
With everybody snapping tons more images than ever before, there is still a huge lack of enjoyment of fine portraiture. Your job as photographer is to bring back the pleasure and satisfaction of seeing one's family on the wall every day. Look at these images - it's a rush.
We humans simply crave making pictures of each other. But we just put them on an un-color-corrected computer (maybe lose them in a disk crash), send tiny share photos where you can't really enjoy to expressions or atmosphere, or do nothing with them at all. Even if we hire a pro for the big family reunion, we seem so afraid to go the next step to create a stunning presentation that is a joy for all who see it. What are we thinking?
Part of the problem is, of course, that portrait creation is becoming a lost art. Emotion and relationships are worth more photographically than always smiling into the camera.
The camera does everything for you, right? NOT! It's the skill of the photographer, and you can learn this, but it takes some in-depth learning and doing to be good. Ken will lead you to discover your latent talent, and how to capitalize on the technological advances that do make our job easier and much more varied in possibilities.
The second part of the problem is that most photographers are simply not trained to look, analyze and then take the time and skill to make enhancements that turn a good image into fabulous portrait decor art.
The third major need is an understanding and sourcing for contemporary printing and presentation - canvases, finishing, surfaces, framing, hanging.
The king of how to turn your portrait business around, or start it up with a bang, is Ken Whitmire from Yakima, Washington. In just one month, he's once again teaching his week long Wall Portrait Conference that will take you from 0 to 60 - everything you need to know start to finish about creating mural wall portraits and making good money in a career that will last you as long as you care to photograph.
The Wall Portrait Conference is a six day school, May6-11, at the Whitmire Associates Portrait Decor studios in Yakima, Washington. The tuition is a very well-spent $835, with most meals furnished. (Other workshops will run you $2-$3K!)
- several actual family group photo sessions on location
- other session types and how to design them specifically for lucrative wall portrait sales
- how to plan a group session, pre-design clothing, decide on locations, props and accessories
- presentations on posing, posture, hands, animation, attitude
- camera-side manner to get the best from your subjects
- location lighting for dramatic effects, time of day and year
- how to generate public acceptance of the wall portrait - and sales
- attracting today's different buyers
- how does the word "decor" change the way we sell portraits?
- discussion of proofing methods
- editing of actual session images
- analysis of images and presentation of corrections and artistic enhancements needed
- portrait finishing for the very large size image (but not way in-depth on Photoshop)
- how to recommend display and correctly size for client's space
- framing, presentation
All of these concerns are exposed in Ken's Wall Portrait Conference, and solid techniques and training are presented by Ken himself, staff members and a variety of visiting speakers.
Ken says it best himself: "The WALL PORTRAIT CONFERENCE is just a few weeks away. If you have yet to register, do so now and we will allow the 5%, sixty day advanced registration incentive. (Do it by telephone, by mail, or from the website). If you are traveling by air, we recommend you "cinch up" your tickets now, to take advantage of lower, early purchase rates.
If you are still "on the fence" about the decision to attend, take the time to read through the comments of past attendees in the conference brochure, or check them on the website: www.wallportrait.com. To obtain a brochure, telephone (509) 248-6700, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or: email@example.com. This is the original Wall Portrait School, started thirty years ago. There's nothing else quite like it, anywhere. It has changed the lives of many (Ask anyone who has attended). There could not be a better time to get together and seriously discuss, and study, the profession of producing adequate size portraits to hang on walls.
What past attendees are sayingâ¦
"I have attended many seminars, schools, and workshops, but none can compare."
Jill Bochicchio, Gaithersburg, Maryland
"I can't begin to tell you how much attending your fabulous seminar has done for me. It was by far the best course I have attended."
Burl Noggle, Coos Bay, Oregon
"Don't change a thing. It's a fantastic conference. ANY Photographer who wants to be in the Wall Portrait business should attend this workshop."
Charles J. Lewis, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Great information, to the point, with no wasted time . . . the most worthwhile seminar I have ever attended . . . "
Gilbert Fong, San Francisco
"One word sums up the conference and results I am getting: INCREDIBLE. I have sold more wall portraits in the last six months than I sold in the previous 13 years all together! This conference is by far the best educational experience I have ever had, and the best business investment in time and money. I will always consider the WALL PORTRAIT CONFERENCE as the turning point in my career."
Kirk Saint, Nova Scotia
"Your Wall Portrait School is a thunderbolt to the inertia of change. What seemed big before has become small in every aspect."
Walter W. Klages, Enterprise, Oregon
Jill Jongeward, Yuma, Arizona
"The best workshop I have ever attended!"
Michael Todor, Drumheller, Alberta
"My first session after the conference was a family. I did just as I was taught and sold a 30x40 and two 16x20's! I'll be back next year."
Leslie Goodman, Littleton, Colorado
"You have helped change my direction and thought. It was the most informative seminar I have attended."
Jim Johnson, Stockton, California
"When you wish to learn . . . you go to an expert in the field and ask âhow is this done?' An expert by my definition is one who knows how, does it successfully, and can effectively teach others. Ken Whitmire is the nationally/internationally recognized expert in wall decor portraiture."
Ed Matuska, Rapid City, S.C.
"A wonderful experience. I'll recommend it to anyone."
Don Feltner, Wheat Ridge, Colorado
"Your school format is one of the best, and you treated everyone as an equal . . . an important quality."
Don MacGregor, Vancouver, B.C.
"A life changing experience."
Larry Ericksen, Portland, Oregon
"Your ideas and lifelong dream are helping to change our profession."
Trish Perrin, Portland, Oregon
"Five people from our staff have attended Ken's incredible Wall Portrait seminar. Even though my sales person was in sync with wall portraits and we project our images, the largest sale we ever had was $6K. Four days after she returned from the Wall Portrait Conference, she made a sale over $17K. This seminar is for every photographer and salesperson, no matter how new or old you are in the portrait business."
Bruce Berg, Springfield, OR
"The Wall Portrait Conference is the most dynamic week you'll ever spend . . . "
Bruce Hudson, Renton, Washington
"I have seen the renowned Zig Zieglar speak, and Ken's enthusiasm is every bit as contagious as Zigs. In a short time we have sold four 30x40's and two 24x30's. Another sale was two 30x40's and three 20x24's. All we are doing different are procedures we learned at the wall portrait conference."
Paul Sayer, N. Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada
"The principles gleaned from your seminar have transformed my business. My first family after the conference purchased a 30x40, 24x30, 16x20 and two 11x14, all canvas. My first high school senior bought a 24x30."
Alan McCullough, Sacramento, California
"One session at the Wall Portrait Conference added $25,000.00 to our annual gross. We'll be back again and again!"
Alan and Melanie Feldman, Brandon, Florida
"Ken and his entire staff put their heart and soul in this educational and inspirational week. They will share with you the magic of selling wall portraits to your clients."
Angela Carson, Northville, Michigan
"Your Wall Portrait renaissance is truly international in scope."
Gerald Wilson, Hamilton, New Zealand
"Your warmth, hospitality, generosity, and excellent instruction were far above anything we have ever experienced."
Nomi Wagner Beane, Los Angeles, California
"The most comprehensive, relevant and thorough educational opportunity I have ever witnessed. You touched my life in the deepest way."
Phil Lobeck, Yuma, Arizona
"I waited too long for this. I want to come back every year."
Mary Jensen, Richmond, British Columbia
"A must for anyone who is serious about wall portraiture. An excellent investment in my future."
Steve Ellison, Reno, Nevada
"Your contribution to portraiture goes far beyond your images. You are transforming society."
Steve Yeager, Petaluma, California
"Ken, I believe my life has reached a turning point. Thank you!"
Kent Burnett, Wichita, Kansas
"I have attended photography schools and seminars all over the country, but this wall portrait conference is the best!"
Ron Snyder, Canon City, Colorado
"Words cannot express what your conference has done for our business. We have attended many conferences. Yours has had the most impact of any."
Ron and Faith Quinlin, Mt. Vernon, Oregon
"Now for the first time, I know exactly what I want to do and I know exactly how to do it."
Jim Whitehead, Florence, Montana
"You have changed my life."
Brenda Huckle, Kent, Washington
"I compliment you on the organization of the conference. There was no loss of time or information. The food was beyond expectation."
Chris Kittredge, Auburn, California
"Every minute of my time was put to good use."
Jennifer Sparks Harriman, Austin, Texas
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