MorePhotos Blog


Photography Business Talk: Success for your Studio

In last weeks Photography Business talk, we discussed who should control the money, does a percentage plan really make sense and don’t be mislead on image count plans.

This week we have 3 more ideas for success in your photography business.

  1. Photographers can be very frugal in nature.  When picking a host never look at price at first!  First look at what you can make with the given sets of features offered  and what kind of help do they offer after the sale.  Live support or email only?  Do they have a marketing person that is always testing new ideas and  sharing them with their photographers?  You could have the very best system out there, but if you do not know how to make money with it, it is worthless.  Is it worth the paying an extra $5 to $10, or even $50 dollars a month more for a company that shows you how?  One good idea could make you hundreds of dollars more a month!  As the saying goes, “cutting off your nose to spite your face”, seems appropriate here.  I see this all the time with photographers. Plus the cheaper you get with everything else the cheaper your photography should be. And who wants to race to the bottom with I’m the cheapest. Practice what you preach.

  1.  How should I pick my  provider?  For the love of god, don’t go with a company that does not specialize in Photography!  You miss out on way to much.  As an example: The sites that specializes in photography have the image protection already in place, with easy ways to upload more than one image at a time. And since they specialize in photography you will find the image quality is much better because it’s their business.Responsive Website, Mobile Friendly Website

  1. Branding: Make sure you keep your branding at all times, you do not ever want anyone to think  you are someone else. Your brand (name) is one of your most valuable assets.  Again as an example: Your shopping cart should always have your name on it and a way to get back to your home page.

 

Next week, we’ll bring you a few more success tips for you and your photography studio.


Your Professional Photography Business: Increase your success

Over the next 3 weeks I want to use my years of experience in the Professional Photography business to help you become even more successful than you already are. Each week I will give you 3 or 4 main ideas that you should be asking before you choose a website/shopping cart provider.

This week I want to focus on the first 3.
  1. Who controls the money? With credit card merchant accounts being much cheaper than before there is no reason not to take your own money!  Either way you are going to pay for it. If you have someone else collect the money it will not be cheaper. Plus cash flow is one of the biggest reasons companies fail, you need to get the money now!
  1. Think twice before signing up with a percentage plan! Professional Photography WebsiteThey may sound good at first, because you think you won’t have to pay any money during your slow times. The problem with this is that you could pay more money during your busiest month then the other service would cost for the whole year on a non-commission rate. Do the math. If you are paying, let’s say 15% commission, and you have a good month of sales at $2,000.00, you would have a commission to the host of $300 dollars just that month. Or lower the percent to 7%, it would still cost you $140 dollars for that 1 month.
  1. Do not be the mislead by companies telling you can have unlimited image hosting! We recommend to not post events for more than 2 to 6 weeks, and the six week range is only for weddings. Some professional photographers think that if they leave them up longer they will sell more! This could not be any further from the truth. During our extensive testing we actually found we received 20% more orders from events posted only 30 days verses 60 days. Let’s do a little math again, say you average only $500.00 a month when you leave events up for 60 days. Since our testing Photo shopping cart, sell photos onlineshows a 20% decrease that is a loss of $100 a month compared to 30 days. At $2,000 a month, posting still for the 60 days, you are losing $400.00 a month in income. We recommend most events post for two weeks or less and give a discount if an order is placed the first couple of days. When testing we raised the cost 20% and offered a 20% discount the first week as an example. We also received another 12% increase in sales. Try it yourself as a test, you may be pleasantly surprised.

I hope you have found these 3 suggestions helpful for your professional photography business. Next week we will go through 3 or 4 more ideas. Tell me what you think. Any suggestions are always appreciated and we look forward to hearing from you. And of course, for more info, go to MorePhotos.com. See you next week!


Congrats to our MARS School Winners

MorePhotos wants to give a big congrats to our the winners at the MARS School this past week. MARS School is an intensive, 5 day training, that you can really sink your teeth into. MorePhotos was happy to be represented at the trade show again this year. Harry Markel, our National Sales Director, was on hand to preview our new system MARS Photography Schoolthat has been built from the ground up. At every trade show we attend we have a drawing to give away our great template DVD, version 3. We would like to congratulate this years winners at the MARS school!

Pictured left are Harry Markel and Gary Lloyd from the Mid Atlantic Regional School of Photography presenting awards to Torri Koppenaal and Rick Martelo.

If you are in need of a new photography website or state of the art shopping cart, give MorePhotos a call today.

Congrats Torri and Rick, thanks for stopping by!

 


More Photos Customer Appreciation Days! Visit us at SPI on January 24th for special discounts!

Yes, you read it correctly!

MorePhotos is offering you a $50 discount to the SPI 2016 Creative Summit Conference & Expo, plus a $49 graphics pack.  This exciting conference will take place in Orlando, FL January 25th – 28th 2016.

To receive this special discount, simply register online at myspionline.com and use code MP50 during checkout. When attending the conference, you will receive your $49 value of graphics.

This offer expires December 31st, 2015 so don’t miss out!

more photos appreciation copy

SPI Online has this to say about attending a Live Event!

There are many ways to learn. The internet has endless information however, the following are benefits of attending a live training event.

  • Network face to face with professionals with varied and unique experiences.

  • Ask and receive answers to your specific questions.

  • Get inspired by being part of a community.

  • Business is still about relationships, come have fun and mingle.

  • Spend one on one time with speakers and sponsors with years of experience.

 


ManeStreem and MorePhotos combine forces

Similar to the popular Uber for those needing rides, ManeStreem is an App that connects folks needing beauty services.  The ManeStreem App is the premier, on demand, beauty services application, delivering the industry’s leading beauty professionals directly to your door with the simple tap of a button. This service can open up a door to photographers who need beauty services on the quick!

ManeStreem thinks it is time to change the way that we envision beauty services by bringing quality beauty services directly to your doorstep. ManeStreem artists and providers (ManeStreemers) are some of the best professionals in the beauty industry. They use only cutting edge products and the latest beauty techniques to ensure clients always get the very best in beauty.

ManeStreem was created to provide women and men with a trusted resource for personal beauty services, to be conveniently delivered by fully licensed, accredited and insured professionals, on demand and on location. And now ManeStreem and MorePhotos are combining forces with the addition of a “Need a Professional Website Click Here” button which takes the visitor to the MorePhotos website!

Here’s How ManeStreem Works:
1) Browse our GPS driven, real time map or list view to select an artist (ManeStreemer) ManeStreem, Beauty Services, MorePhotosof your choice.
2) Review portfolio pictures, reviews, ratings and pricing of your artist (ManeStreemer).
3) Choose the service of your choice and the beauty professional (ManeStreemer) will be on his or her way to your home or office in 45 minutes or less.
4) All charges are billed directly through the ManeStreem App and there is no cash changing hands.
5) After your service is completed, rate and review your ManeStreem experience complete with pictures so that others can benefit from the insight of your experience.

Are you close to Philadelphia? Well if you are, ManeStreem is having a launch Party on December 7th 2015 and you’re are invited.  “Holiday Bites & Bubbles” is a Free Cocktail Party at The SkyBox, 2424 E York St. Philadelphia Pa. Meet the team and get tuned into this game changing technology. Bring your friends and colleagues. Enjoy great food, libations and Free surprise giveaways! RSVP through Facebook at ManeStreemApp or text your name and email to 609-831-3003.  ManeStreem and MorePhotos look forward to meeting you!

ManeStreem and MorePhotos! It doesn’t get much better than this…


Full Merchant Account for Photographers & Artists

Hi all, Kellie here with MorePhotos. Not only do I work for MorePhotos, but I am also a user. I first became a customer of MorePhotos almost 15 years ago when I had my wedding and portrait studio. A few years ago I made the decision to retire from photography and close my studio. To my dismay I found I missed the photography industry not very long after.  I loved the photography industry and knew that I loved MorePhotos as a vendor after being a customer of theirs for 10 years. I am so happy that 18 months ago I was lucky enough to go to work for MorePhotos. And today I have some exciting news to share with you.

When you hear the words “Merchant Account” most folks cringe. We have all had dreaded credit card fees, and especially the monthly fees associated with merchant accounts. MorePhotos wanted to do something about that so we went to PayPal to see if they would help our customers get a full merchant account without the monthly fee… And we did it! We are happy to announce that MorePhotos will waive the monthly fee for all of our customers who sign up to use PayPal Pro. For those of you that don’t know the PayPal Pro monthly fee is $30, in addition to the transaction fees. Now we are able to do away with the $30 monthly fee.

Up until now I had been paying $5.00 per month for my PayPal business account. As a MorePhotos user, the Mobile credit card reader, free full merchant accountprospect of having a full merchant account without paying any monthly service fees was very enticing. Last Friday I finally bit the bullet and signed up for my PayPal Pro full merchant account. Not sure why I hesitated so long, maybe it’s because none of us really like change. To my surprise the process was seamless, painless and quick!

And if that wasn’t sweet enough, once signed up and approved, you can download the “PayPal Here” app on your smart device. Once you get the app set up PayPal will send you a mobile card reader free of charge. Now you will be able to accept credit cards wherever you are.

The process was easy, I called the exclusive phone number designated to MorePhotos and spoke with a Merchant Account Specialist. I explained that I was a MorePhotos user, and that I have a current account. They were able to upgrade that account to the Pro account without having to change a thing. I did have to come up with a user name and password that will be used to tie the business account in to certain sites, but the email I was using stayed the same. He explained that with the pro account the client stays on my site now, which will give them a smoother checkout. And further explained if I was using my old account on any other sites that I had used a built in PayPal button, I would need to go in to check to see if I needed to re-input my information to make sure everything goes through seamlessly.

PayPal Pro Merchant accountLess than a week later, my mobile credit card reader arrived at my doorstep! And to sweeten the deal, I was able to easily set up my new PayPal Pro merchant account into the brand new MorePhotos shopping cart, enabling real time processing. Now you will be able to easily sell photos online and in person. If you are already a MorePhotos Customer, you can get more info on how to sign up on our Integrated Business Page here. And if you are a photographer, videographer or artist and would like to find out how you can become a MorePhotos customer, and get a beautiful new website and state of the art shopping cart, call 231-932-0855 ext.15. Whether you have a current PayPal account or not, there is no better time to join MorePhotos and PayPal Pro, it doesn’t get much better than this! And with the MorePhotos 60 money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose…


Are You Ready for Drone Photography?

Drone Photography is Here… Are you ready?

Drone Photography, Drone Law, Drone licenseDid you know for the first time in history that the FAA is allowing photographers to start using drones to take photographs and video for commercial purposes? Until recently, using drones for any business purpose, including photography and videography, was illegal. Dronelaw.pro is a website which can help you get your FAA Section 333 Exemption so you can start flying drones for aerial photography and videography for pay right now.

The new drone regulations for commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) aka drones by the FAA is great news.  The new drone regulations move us one step closer to widespread use of drones by photographers to capture all sorts of images, events and special occasions in ways never
possible before.

Early adopters of drones by foreword thinking photographers will be a huge competitive advantage.  Customers want aerial photographs and video of their events, loved ones, homes, buildings and activities. Here is what you need to know about getting in on this new and innovative market niche:

  1. You can start flying right now with a Section 333 Exemption from the FAA.
  2. It is currently taking about seven weeks to go though the FAA Section 333 process.
  3. You need a 333 Exemption, a drone (many options under $1,000 at 1080p60 video and 8MP photos or above), and a pilot with at least a recreational or sport pilots license to fly your drone for the time being. But pilots are easy to find and not very expensive to hire. You own the exemption; work the camera while someone else flies the drone.
  4. The demand is large, but the supply of 333 Exemptions holders is small.
  5. Early adopters will see a significant ROI on their investment.

MorePhotos has arranged for our customers to receive a $1,000 discount on Section 333 Exemptions for our photographers, reducing the price from $3,500 to $2,500.  Just enter “morephotos” in the coupon box or tell dronelaw.pro that MorePhotos sent you and you will be eligible.  Or call www.dronelaw.pro at 866-774-2869 to learn more about drone use by photographers.

To read a information on Exemption 333, click below: PDF


What to do with those cameras and lenses you no longer use…

What to do with those cameras and lenses you no longer use… This is definitely a question most photographers have to ask themselves at least one time in their career. If your old gear has been sitting in a box, unused for some time now, is it time to consider getting rid of them? The question is: what do you do with that old digital or film camera Camera gear, photography equipment, sell photos online, photography websitegear now that you don’t use them? Here are some ideas to consider:

Know Its Value: The initial thing to do if your gear is a bit outdated is to check if it has any worth beyond what you think the value is. A quick check on eBay or other ecommerce site will let you know if the camera is truly worth anything beyond bargain basement prices. If your gear is on the newer side you should find out what the value is before you try to get rid of it so you don’t get less than they are worth.

Talk to Photography Teacher: Most every city has High Schools and Colleges that have photography courses. It is very possible the instructors might know someone who is looking for used gear to begin their lessons. Even if a student is not in need, the teacher might have a personal interest or may know someone who does.

Find an Enthusiast: Camera enthusiasts meet in local clubs all over the world to share their love of photography. Most local groups have websites and even classified listings where you can place ads for your equipment. Check in with the clubs in your area to see what they might have to offer you.

Donate It: You can get a good feeling for donating your unused camera gear to a worthy cause. There are many great non-profit organizations that can use your gear in their organizations or sell the equipment and use the funds within. Besides doing a good deed, you can also receive a tax deductible receipt for your donation.

Sell It: The easiest and fastest answer is to sell your unused gear. Craigslist, eBay or a local pawn shop are good options. Also, there are many websites that buy used camera equipment and a quick internet search can give you a place to start.

Sell photos online, what to do with old camera equipment

One of MorePhotos longtime customers buys and sells both digital and film camera equipment. They pay top dollar for digital photographic equipment: Nikon, Canon, Sony, Leica. They also pay top dollar for film photographic equipment: Voightlander, Contact, Nikon, Canon, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Linhof, Dierdorf. They buy single items, collections, studios and estates. They are said to pay more than a fair price and are honest and reliable. Please call Kenneth Appelbaum Photography Inc. at 561-901-1732 or email kaaphoto@icloud.com.


What is E-Commerce and How Can It Help Photographers?

What is E-Commerce and How Can It Help Photographers? E-Commerce is selling goods, services, or electronic files on the internet. These items are presented for sale through a website, and eager buyers search through the items, and place items that they wish to buy into a virtual shopping cart. Once they’re ready, they can check out, or pay, and then wait for the goods to be delivered. Delivery times may vary from instant, for electronic files such as photographs, to waiting for goods to be delivered by the post office, such as framed photographic art.

E-commerce, Sell Photos Online, Photography Shopping Cart

Being a photographer can be a rewarding and lucrative career, and E-Commerce is a great vehicle to present your photographs to viewers. A website with an online shopping cart is also a great marketing tool, when used properly it can help drive traffic to your website. Whether you photograph weddings, portraits or events, an online shopping cart can be a valuable resource for your clients.

E-Commerce is the perfect method for a photographer to market their website and increase their earning potential. Your clients will be able to view their photos online and order the products that you offer. Even if you do in person sales, you can post the images online after the sale for your client in a password protected gallery that they can share with all their family and friends. This is like handing your client 20 brochures to hand out for you. This client is sharing your photographs with those who know and trust her. The marketing that is garnered from this practice is priceless…

If you haven’t dabbled in e-commerce yet, there is no better time to get started, and it really is easier than you think. At MorePhotos we have developed responsive website templates that are simple to build and if you need help along the way, our top notch live customer support personnel are always happy to help. Whether you need a website, an online shopping cart, or both, we have what you are looking for.

To register with MorePhotos, simply give us a call at 231.932.0855. There are no contracts to sign or setup fees, and you can cancel at any time. You simply pay month to month, and there is even a sixty day money back guarantee.

And to sweeten the pie, MorePhotos has recently joined forces with one of the countries top merchant providers. We are able to offer all MorePhotos customer’s a full merchant account and waive the $30 monthly service/statement fee. All you pay are the per charge percentages! Contact us to get all of the details.

Today is the day to give e-commerce and MorePhotos a try, you won’t be disappointed… What are you waiting for? You can learn more about MorePhotos and their services at morephotos.com.


Unlimited Image Hosting: You might want to think again

Unlimited Image Hosting?

If you are a photographer and you are looking for a website shopping cart… And you are thinking about going with a plan that has unlimited image hosting! You might want to think again!

what is e-commerce, sell photos online, unlimited image hosting This is the wrong decision 99% of the time! It actually encourages you to kill your sales! It is like shooting yourself in the foot. (Think about this part: If someone can simply use their SmartPhone to view the images from the website forever, what motivation do they have to buy anything?)

I would like to share with you some testing that Morephotos did and why unlimited image hosting ended up being a bad business move!

For our first test we worked with a photographer that shoots about 25,000 images a month. Originally, he was leaving the images posted for 60 days… so for the next six months we changed that up by posting every other event for only 30 days. Everything was the same, except for the additional 30 days of viewing on ½ of the events. The results surprised us both. He was averaging $4,000 in sales with the 60 day postings, and for the 30 day posting he was averaging $5,000 in sales. This was a 20% increase. He was on our Classic plan at $49.00 with tiered image count pricing, instead of a charge for a percentage of his sales. So his bill to us was $175.00 a month for 25,000 images. The bottom line is, he saved $175.00 in hosting fees and, the bigger number here, he made $1,000 more a month. The net loss to him for leaving them up for the extra month was $1,175.00 per month, now that is some real money!

Before (posting all images for 60 days)

Our bill: $300.00 a month – his sales: $4,000 a month – Percentage Cost: 7.5% of sales

After (posting all images for only 30 days)

Our bill: $175.00 a month – his sales: $5,000 a month – Percentage Cost: 3.5% of sales

The example above is using a large number of images – Let’s look at numbers using a smaller amount of images.

 

With MorePhotos current plans:

Pro Plan $24 a month + 10% of sales – unlimited images Classic Plan $49 a month + tiered image charges – 2,500 peak images
Monthly sales $300 – your total cost $54 Monthly sales $300 – your total cost $49
Monthly sales $500 – your total cost $74 Monthly sales $500 – your total cost $49
Monthly sales $1,200 – your total cost $144 Monthly sales $1,200 – your total cost $49

Bottom line, the shorter time you leave the photos up the more sales you will have. At this point I recommend leaving the events online for two weeks or less. Our classic plan is based on 2,500 peak images per month. Example: If you had 2,500 images posted and took them down in the middle of the month and then posted 2,500 new ones your peak would still be 2,500. And I hear this excuse all the time, I’m not busy three months a year and do not want to pay the extra $25.00 dollars those months. Some of you pay more in your busiest month, with your percentage, than you would pay us all year for our classic plan. Do the math!

The next test we did with the same photographer was discount pricing. Remember, we are posting for only 30 days now, with an average of $5,000 per month. I talked him into raising his price 20% and giving a 20% discount if they ordered in the first week. We tried this for three months and I told him I would pay the difference if it was under the $5,000 per month. I crossed my fingers and toes on this one. After three months the average was now $6,400 dollars per month.

This test resulted in another benefit as well – Less people forgot to place their order before the events expired. This meant less calls to re-post them.

This gave us another learning idea….. Archiving events. This idea built on the shortened availability of the online viewing by adding the capability of getting paid up front to “reactivate” the event. Now after the allotted time, the system automatically puts the event in the archive status. When the customer comes to the expired event and they try to enter, they receive a message. This message says something like this “This event was on line for two weeks and is now archived, to retrieve your event there is a $10.00 fee. If you continue and pay the $10.00 fee, you will receive a credit for $10.00 to use towards your order”. In effect, you are saying “I’m not going to charge you extra, but you do have to buy something”.

Another test we ran used and idea from one of our photographer’s that I thought it would never work. I have to admit, I’m a little embarrassed at how wrong I was. The photographer called me and wanted the archive feature activated at the beginning of the event post. In other words he wanted to charge them to even look at the photos. Like I said, I thought it would never work. He used his cap and gowns event for this test. This meant that if your daughter was graduating from the university you would go to his site and have to pay $10.00 (up front) just to look at the images. Then he gives you a $20 certificate towards your purchase. Before this test, he averaged around $800.00 in sales for this event. After implementing his idea, the average went to $2,500.00 for the same job. He tripled his money with the same university. This is amazing, and could be a new idea to implement in your studio(s). Any job that is relying on sales after the shoot, or a job that you have decided to stop doing due to lack of sales, you might want to consider retrying, using the pay to enter scenario above.

So many little things can make a difference and that is why morephotos.com does this testing. Anyone can send you down the road with a website and shopping cart, but we’ve gone the extra mile and teach you how to use them in an effective way!

Another point I disagree on is photographers’ using their unlimited image posting as a secondary image back up system. The main reason this is not a sound business choice is if a website or shopping cart company has all of your images stored online, you are to a point, held hostage by them. If you want to stop using their service you have to scramble to figure out where to put all of those images, which can be extremely time consuming if you store a lot of images. One really sound choice to keep in mind is this: There are several reliable companies you can use for the online backup of your computer and images, Dropbox is one in particular that we recommend. For only $15 per month you can have worry free storage, that you can access whenever, from wherever… and the best part is, it gives you the freedom to switch up your online services if you desire. Have you ever had a hard drive fail… Peace of mind for $15 a month is pretty cheap when you consider you can backup all of your computer files and images! Check them out at dropbox.com.

Remember this – It does not matter what it costs you, it only matters how much it makes you!