Every so often, it's worthwhile to assess how you are adding value to the products and services you offer clients.
After all, adding value can strengthen ties with clients, increase client satisfaction, and enhance your competitive edge.
This issue of Studio Photography presents a mix of strategies for delivering greater value.
In our cover story, "In Gear: Brian Garland Powers His Business with a Passion for Cars, Technical Precision, and a Flair for Building Relationships" (p. 10), writer Christopher Appoldt reveals how Garland, one of the top U.S. and international auto photographers, captures much more than cars for his high-end clients. In "House of NyghtFalcon: The Unique Business Model Behind the Name" (p. 24), writer Elizabeth Friszell-Neroulas tells us how this studio delivers "consistently identifiable quality" for its clients. In "Keeping It Real: Colin Finlay Brings a Photojournalistic Edge to His Lifestyle Images" (p. 38), assistant editor Tara Propper reports how Finlay's ability to create unvarnished images has earned him high praise within the advertising and documentary domains.
Casey Bradley Gent's "Tell the Full Wedding-Day Story: Capturing the Supporting Cast Unobtrusively" (p. 42) explains the value of capturing moments the bride might otherwise never see. Dave and Quin Cheung's "Albums Can Be Powerful Image-Sharing Tools" (p. 48) offers advice on what it takes to create albums clients will fall in love with.
In "Getting the Most Out of In-House B&W Printing" (p. 18), Jeff Tiemann shares his formula for creating B&W digital prints that will exceed most clients' expectations. In her "Image Trends' Fisheye-Hemi Photoshop Plug-ins" review (p. 50), Allison Earnest shows how this new software will make a dramatic difference for clients requesting large-group photos in small spaces. Robert Grimm's "How to Capture Glass and Liquids in a Single Bound" (p. 28) lets us in on how he exceeds client expectations by learning everything he can about the brand and the client's goals for the campaign before the photo shoot.
In his review of the Hasselblad H3D-39 (p. 30), Andy Marcus tells us about the virtues of a camera with the benefits of a pro medium-format DSLR and the ease of a top 35mm DSLR. Event and portrait photographers: don't miss Bruce Haskell's account of how his two Kanematsu Shinko printers have increased client satisfaction with their speedy, low-cost, borderless prints (p. 46); and Terri Rippee's article on how Pictology has streamlined her workload while providing optimum service to her clients (p. 16). Tara Propper's PMA Pro Product Roundup (p. 34), Innovations (p. 8) and Industry Scene (p. 22) offer ideas for upgrading existing gear or jump-starting your studio with new products and services.
For a reminder of how one photographer can make a difference, read "Documenting the Effects of Globalization in South Asia" (p. 44), about photojournalist David H. Wells.
Our Peer2Peer question this month looks at photographers' training habits. Is your studio increasing its competitive edge by attending business and technical courses?
Remember last year's "Special Report on Powerful Marketing Strategies"? It was so popular, we're doing it again this August. Want to be included? If so, contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), in 100-600 words, describing the program and its objective, why you chose that approach, how you orchestrated and promoted it, how long it ran, how long before you noticed its impact, client reactions, measurable bump in revenue as a percent of profits. Due: May 31. Images: 3-4 (300 dpi tiff cmyk approx 4x5).
Until then, visit our website, www.imaginginfo.com, regularly and sign up for our biweekly enewsletter to stay current with industry news at home or on the go.
As you savor the arrival of spring, make a mental list of things you can do to add value for your clients.
And remember, Studio Photography means business.