Episode 171 – 73 Photographers Came To Nashville for Selling Summer Camp. Here Are Their Biggest Takeaways

73 Photographers Came To Nashville for Selling Summer Camp


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Sarah Petty: In last week’s episode, I shared what went right and what went wrong when I did a live session and in-person ordering appointment in one day for over 70 of my peak performance coaching students.

This week, I want to share with you the takeaways that my students had.

I’ve been running a profitable photography business for 25 years.

Yet doing the entire process of a session through the presentation to the client in one day was challenging.

I was photographing a family with three little kids on a small stage and had a moving clock to get it all in with a packed room of photographers watching.

While it was imperfect, it really was as perfect as it could be.

It was fun to hear the feedback from both our new students and our more advanced students on their biggest takeaways.

I thought you’d enjoy hearing some of these.

Hildi Todrin: I am Hildi Todrin and I started my business in 2008.

One of my biggest takeaways was seeing Sarah do a session live in less than ideal conditions.

Seeing the interaction and realizing we don’t need a huge space and you don’t even need the most gorgeous space was huge.

It’s all about the people and the relationships you’re capturing.

It was really interesting to see how she navigated the older son who wasn’t as mentally prepared for that setting.

She didn’t panic.

Instead, she let him do his thing and waited till he met her at that equal place.

It was really enlightening to see how that played out.

I think as a result of her lack of panic, the whole session went so well because it all just came together when it was supposed to.

Jean Lachat: I’m Jean Lachat and I’ve been in business since 2008, and my biggest takeaway from summer camp was the way that Sarah interacted with the mom during the session.

She asked the mom what she loved about her son, which made her get a little emotional and cuddly, which was really great for relationship photos.

I also liked the way that she walked the parents through the ordering session and explained what images she loved and what made them special.

Stephanie Scott: I’m Stephanie Scott and I’ve been in business for one year.

It was so wonderful to see Sarah in action on stage.

So many takeaways, but I would say the top two were during the in-person presentation where she started with her favorites.

She wasn’t afraid to lead them and I think it all flowed really well after that.

Also, the images weren’t edited before she put them in ProSelect.

I thought that was super helpful because I spend so much time editing before I even put them into ProSelect.

It was really neat to watch the whole process.

Stacey: I’m Stacey Marsh-Undernehr and I’ve been in business since 2021.

My takeaway was that I never thought about separating the series of three and showing it large.

Also, whenever the clients decided they wanted to cut back, you can show that in a smaller frame.

That was really awesome.

Amanda Inch: I’m Amanda Inch and I’ve been in business for four years.

My biggest takeaway was that you don’t say the total price out loud at the end.

It was just a, “Duh, aha,” for me.

Why would you need to?

We already talked about it.

It’s circled and they can look at it.

Definitely doing that now.

Sarah Petty: I want to add a little bit of clarification on that because you might be wondering why I did that.

What I do is I go through the presentation.

I have a whole system with “12 Ps” that needs to happen in that one hour presentation.

I think that’s where so many takeaways came from because people were saying, “Wow, just the words you use in the language patterns are so powerful.”

But when I get to the end and I add it up, I don’t just blurt out a giant number.

I sit next to them, I show them where I’ve written down what they ordered and I say, “Here’s your first one. Remember that’s the one of all the kids together,” for example.

So I’m explaining to them and I’m creating value with each one that they’ve ordered.

And then we get to the bottom and I say, “This is your pre-tax total.”

And I just let it sit there and I see how they react.

Sometimes they’re like, “Okay, cool.”

Or sometimes they say, “Oh gosh, that’s more than I thought.”

And I say, “Hey, no problem. Let’s talk about it and let me help you cut down to what your very favorites are.”

It’s not a big deal at all.

I want to share a few more takeaways from students.

Lainey Poelzer shared that she liked the free-flow posing.

She said, “It’s not just chasing little kids at the park and hoping you get something.”

She heard me paint the picture for them every step of the way.

She also said, “Getting desperate for the sale stops me from hearing them and prioritizing their needs and wants.”

I get it because you have done all this work and you go into the presentation like, “Oh my gosh, I need an order. I have bills to pay.”

But if you’re doing that, you’re coming from a place of needership and not leadership, and I want you to focus on the client’s needs and the order will unfold.

The last thing Lainey took away was that I led them down the path.

I’m helping them choose, helping them cut, helping them prioritize, but I’m listening to what they want and I’m not forcing my opinion on them at all.

Stephanie Pauley said, “Watching you do the photo session and realizing it doesn’t have to be a sit down and pose this way session, that it runs more organically if in your head the images you need for your products.”

That was a big epiphany I heard from a lot of people.

And what I did is I did the consultation with the client, we did the session, and then while Andria was creating the presentation, I told everybody, “Here’s my plan. Based on what we photographed this morning, this is what we’re going to offer to them,” and so they saw that what I photographed in the morning was based on a plan.

It just wasn’t willy-nilly.

She said during the in-person consultation, which is where I met with a client before the session, that she came to the realization that it is not as hard as she’d made it in her mind.

If I can do it in a day and get a large order, they can do it over weeks, and it’s so much easier than everyone makes it.

Soo Keith mentioned that what she really loved was how I casually was leading the client throughout the presentation.

I explained when I presented three canvases, one of each boy, that these will be heirloom pieces that the boys will take with them into their adult lives.

And I probably even said it might be a wedding gift or a first apartment gift or just a life gift for them.

She said that I painted this beautifully layered value for the client while using economic language that describes both the gift he’s giving to the child with the meaning that the gift will continue to have for that child into adulthood and beyond.

She thought that was VERY POWERFUL.

Wendy Adams, who has been in business formally for seven years said, “I learned so much. My biggest takeaway was your check-ins with the clients during the in-person presentation.”

This is where I would show the images to the client.

I would say, “This is how I’m seeing them, in this size and hung in this place.” 

And then I would ask them, “How do you feel about that?”

I want to give them an idea, but then I want to know their feedback because they may say, “Oh my gosh, I love, love, love it.”

Or they may say, “Hmm, I don’t know.”

Kaycee Joubert said, “A takeaway from camp that I just realized that you do is you photograph each kiddo with each parent.”

She said, “I’ve always photographed the kids with each parent, but like you, I didn’t exist in photos as a child. This was such a light bulb moment for me. Duh. You can’t split up that photo between the kids. They need to be photographed with their parents individually.”

A couple more things that we heard over and over is that you can still get a big order even if things don’t go perfectly.

The main goal is to serve the client.

I think the biggest thing that people said was that watching the process allowed everyone to hear the phrases in the verbiage that I use that are absolute gold.

People said they had pages and pages of notes.

I’m very particular about the words that I choose.

My team and I couldn’t have been more thrilled with how everything turned out, and the feedback we got was amazing.

I think it’s cool because I have courses in how to do all of these things, but sometimes watching the process unfold is what changes the game.

The consensus was overwhelming that everybody wants to do it again next summer.

I hope the feedback has inspired you to not keep making it so hard and just go for it.

Download the Episode Transcript Here

Episode 171 - 73 Photographers Came To Nashville for Selling Summer Camp. Here Are Their Biggest Takeaways
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