High Volume 101: Timing is everything / Being successful with Calotype
Timing is everything. It is certainly the key to success in high volume photography, one the most profitable niches in the business. And Calotype wants you to participate in these profits, which is why we have redesigned the process, making it much more accessible and attractive for any photographer considering venturing into it.
For us, high volume photography is any shoot which involves more than two clients in the same setup. Clearly, this is a broad scope that captures countless business opportunities such as events, dance academies, daycares, company staff, photo booths, summer and winter camps, and tourist sites, among others. And of course, the big leagues like schools and sports.
The right time to land a contract.
Study possible seasonal markets to take pictures and choose the right time to approach those parties: holiday season is key for schools and daycares. Winter is the time for indoor sports like hockey and basketball, whereas soccer and football pick up in the summer or fall. October is typically the school photo month, and most graduation photos will take place in May and June. Other gigs, like staff photos, may not be time sensitive.
These photo days are booked far in advance, so be prepared to approach your client early. For example, if you are looking to take school pictures in September/October, the right time to make your pitch is January/February.
Make sure your price list is ready (see Pricing list 101). No client will sign a deal unless they see this first.
Time is money
The secret of the business is automation in every process, so be prepared. Calotype will increase your efficiency in every step of the way: from customer data management and QR codes and classification to photo gallery proofs and email marketing systems to promote and sell your photos to each individual client.
This will save you time, equipment and personnel, ultimately making your business much more profitable.
Time to practice
Practice to control your shoot. Every detail has to be synchronized:
1. Configuration: you must have previously defined the style of your images and with this, the configuration of lights, distances, backdrops, chairs, etc.
2. QR codes: prepare with your team how customers will be called and make sure the QRs are ready to identify the customer.
If you work alone, find the best way to call your customers, for example, in alphabetical order.
3. Be efficient when directing with clear instructions. It helps if you can provide examples of the poses you want. Remember that this is high volume so the less time you spend with each client, without sacrificing the quality of your product, the more productive you will be.
4. Don’t spend more time than is necessary editing and retouching. Be smart with your time, and determine what corrections actually add value. Where possible, automate processes like color correction so you can deliver the photos to your customers as fast as you can.
5. Stick to your timeline
6. Keep moving. Take on as many projects as you can objectively handle. The more pictures you take, more sales potential.