Many professionals tether already because it makes our workflow faster and easier. There is no doubt about those two benefits. However, let us look how tethering can help make more money when implementing it in your workflow! There are many genres of photography and for simplicity I will use portrait/headshots sessions as an example.
Traditional Inefficient Workflow
Let’s start with a possible portrait session without using tethering from the moment an inquiry is received to when the client receives their photos. WARNING: We do not suggest following this model.
Most of the time, it starts with an inquiry from a potential client. After email exchanges communicating pricing, answering questions and figuring out the availability on both ends – the session finally happens.
If no tethering is done during a session the usual steps are:
- Downloading photos from memory cards onto computer
- Post-production/adjustment of images
- Uploading photos to online gallery
- Send client email to share online gallery
After the online gallery is shared with the client there are additional factors that make the process take much longer than it must. It’s understandable that some time has passed from when the session happened. The client may have additional questions and items that need to be clarified. From our experience, the process from selecting which photos they want to purchase may take weeks if not months to be complete. The worst scenario is when the client is procrastinating so much that they forget about the photos and never order the photos.
For the clients that didn’t procrastinate and efficiently took the time to select and order photos, time is still spent on creating invoices, accepting the payment, and editing and printing the final selections.
That’s a dreadfully long workflow process that is inefficient and ineffective. There are other more simplified ways to streamline the client experience and generate more money.
Out Simplified and Efficient Workflow
This simple and clean workflow will clean up your process and help you generate more revenue while providing an experience for your client.
Here’s the breakdown of an efficient and effective photo session:
Client books their session online. Our preferred online scheduling is Acuity Scheduling which gives the most options and flexibility at a very reasonable price that truly pays itself off in less than a month. You can also use the online scheduling system to schedule a free consultation if needed. There are many ways to save time here.
The online scheduling system is synced up with your calendars, that way you can easily avoid getting double booked. Also, it allows us to block certain percentage of our time, so we appear more booked to our leads. This creates a perception of scarcity which may encourage faster booking.
Once a client schedules a session with us, we usually give them a call to find out more about their expectations and how we need to prepare for the session. This way we are not surprised by any new requirements and we do not waste session time when the client is in our studio.
It is extremely important for us to shoot tethered. This eliminates the steps of downloading phots from memory cards but most importantly it is the prerequisite to selecting photos with the client which is the next step in our workflow.
As soon as we are done photographing or often during the session, we review the photos with our client on a big monitor that is connected to our laptop.
There are few key benefits of reviewing the photos with the client during the session:
- See the results right away so we can provide constructive feedback to our clients and they can see for themselves what we are referring to
- Tethering provides comfort for clients to be in front of the camera. Most clients feel much more comfortable once they see awesome results while the session is still going on
- Fix any issues before going into post-production by seeing all the details on the monitor and spending less time fixing in post-production
- Gateway to selecting images and increasing sales by letting the client see the photos on the screen right away and making the selection together creates better client engagement and makes the process of selection much easier
Key Money Maker
Now, here is the bigger time saver and money maker through the power of tethering during the session. As mentioned before, procrastination is the biggest factor for delays, wasted time and lost revenue. Selecting the photos together with the client eliminates procrastination all together. This also allows you to work with the client to guide them in selecting the strongest photos.
Most people have a hard time selecting the best photos. Mainly because their eyes aren’t trained to look at photos from a professional standpoint. At first, they easily can go for the generic “camera smile” they typically see in other photographs. However, after working together with the client and knowing as a photographer what the clients desired outcome should be, they start to understand which portraits or headshots will be the best selections based on your recommendations. In other words, tethering is helping photographers have a stronger engagement with clients by building their trust.
From our own experience we noticed that people tend to select more photos once we work with them to understand their needs on how they want to use the photos. Most often they are happy to have a different headshot for their email signature, another one for Skype/Zoom Profile, another for company’s web site and yet another for their Speaker Profile at conferences they speak.
We photograph them until they are happy with the photos. Because we tether and review the photos as we go, we know what the clients like and we can add variations. Having those options will help our clients to purchase more photos that they like and will use for personal branding, professional uses and social media.
In summary, efficient workflow will save you time, which is a money maker. All the time you save will allow you to spend more time on marketing your business or serving more clients. Through tethering, having instant photo review and photo selection with the client will create better experience and help generate larger sales. It will also result in higher chance of returning clients and referrals.
About Yaneck Wasio
Yaneck is a wedding (WASIO photography) and portrait/headshot (WASIO faces) photography based in Southern California’s Orange County in Irvine. Yaneck is PPA’s Master of Photography and Peter Hurley’s Headshot Crew Associate. He has won numerous awards at WPPI and PPA competitions. He was also honored to win Best Portrait Photographer of the Year, Best Wedding Photographer of the Year and Best Photo of the Year from San Diego Professional Photographers.