The ability {of professional} hair and make-up in your portrait enterprise

With time within the portrait enterprise comes the arrogance to supply a “higher-end” expertise. Right here’s how one can up your sport with skilled hair and make-up and enhance income concurrently.

I admit it. For years, I used to be simply inviting shoppers to my studio with none actual session previous to their skilled portrait shoot. I left the clothes, jewellery, hair and make-up choices to the consumer. The outcomes had been predictable. I used to be getting completely common outcomes. I had mainly glad shoppers and I used to be making some cash on quantity as a result of I wasn’t charging a premium.

A number of of my shoppers got here again sooner or later to replace their portraits, nevertheless. Many extra went on to strive “greater finish” portrait experiences elsewhere. By greater finish, I imply photographers who had been providing hair and make-up along with clothes consultations. They had been providing a better finish expertise and charging exponentially greater charges. This meant they had been serving fewer shoppers, but they had been making more cash than I used to be. In 2021, I made a decision it was time to alter my portrait images enterprise mannequin. I had the years of expertise and strong evaluations; I simply wanted to take issues to the subsequent degree.

Step 1: The session

That is one thing I by no means actually thought-about for my portrait enterprise. Once more, a consumer would name or electronic mail or fill out an online kind asking me about my charge for a “skilled portrait.” I might arrange a time, give them a charge, they’d present up, I’d take their photograph, acquire their cash and ship them off. Later the identical day or the next day, I’d ship them a gallery and allow them to determine. Inside just a few days, they’d make their choice, I’d do the requisite Photoshop work and ship them the completed picture. I did this for years. Defending my enterprise practices, I might typically scoff at photographers that had been charging greater charges.

Quick-forward to at present. Now when a consumer calls, I ask just a few qualifying questions:

  • What’s the function of the photograph? Enterprise? Private? and many others. …
  • Have you ever seen any photos that offer you inspiration? It may be one thing a buddy has performed, or one thing you’ve seen on-line.
  • Have you ever thought-about skilled hair and make up?
  • I will even make clothes suggestions. Particularly, I’ll remind shoppers that they’re the topic of their portrait, not one thing they’re sporting. I’ll warning in opposition to “busy” clothes or massive jewellery. Professional tip: Inform your shoppers if somebody appears to be like at their portrait and the very first thing they are saying is one thing like “Good costume!” or “Good Necklace!” versus “YOU look nice!” then I really feel like we failed.

The underside line right here is to get extra pre-portrait intel. It’ll give your consumer the impression that you just genuinely care and it’ll add to the general premium, spa-like expertise.

Step 2. Rent a hair and make-up skilled

You’ve performed the pre-portrait intel, however the sport changer is the skilled hair and make-up. Don’t underestimate the worth of a powerful hair and make-up skilled. I had some shoppers who would herald their very own make-up professionals or would get their hair “blown out” at a neighborhood hair salon previous to coming to the studio. By and enormous, my outcomes with these shoppers had been noticeably higher. Nonetheless, it was not sufficient for me to initially soar on the hair and make-up bandwagon. I by no means collaborated with hair and make-up execs on the studio. That was a mistake!

One in all my fundamental opponents was utilizing the identical hair and make-up professional for his or her portraits, and their outcomes had been constant, glamorous and delightful… I felt pangs of jealousy at their outcomes. I feel numerous us do that; We see somebody in our market who’s doing wonderful work and so they’re charging far more than us. Their calendars are full and their occasions promote out. They not solely promote out however at loopy excessive charges. I feel all of us attempt to determine this “secret sauce.” For me, sturdy hair and make-up execs modified my portrait enterprise.

In 2021, a consumer employed her personal hair and make-up and to my shock, it was the identical hair and make-up individual my fundamental rival was utilizing. I believed she was unique to the opposite firm. Seems, she’s a freelancer and obtainable. It wasn’t lengthy earlier than I spotted why the opposite agency had been so profitable. Not solely was this professional nice with hair and make-up, she’s additionally wonderful with shoppers AND she stays round throughout the session to assist with posing, hair and make-up changes as we’re capturing. It actually places an exclamation level on the spa like and excessive finish expertise.

Step 3: Inquiries to ask your potential hair and make-up execs

I feel a part of the explanation why I wasn’t so hip to skilled hair and make-up prior to now was as a result of I didn’t set any expectations, nor did I actually perceive the variations between hair and make-up execs. Clearly, I lucked out with this specific hair and make-up skilled, however there are many proficient folks on the market. Right here’s the way you slim down your search. I’ve give you just a few questions to assist maximize your success as knowledgeable portrait photographer.

Do you cost for hair and make-up by the job or by the hour?

This is a crucial query, as a result of some cost a flat charge, and a few do in reality cost by the hour. Most of my classes that embody hair and make-up will run as much as 3 hours, generally extra. A set value make-up artist makes determining pricing simpler.

Do you do each hair and make-up?

I’ve discovered that is probably the most important merchandise. Many make-up artists are simply make up artists, many hair dressers are simply hairdressers. It’s the uncommon breed that may do each nicely. I’ve had the great fortune of working with 2 ladies who’re extremely proficient at each. Discovering a hair and make-up artist that may do each helps in quite a lot of methods. It’ll assist with scheduling and the over all effectivity of your operation.

Will you keep after you’ve completed each hair and make-up during the shoot included along with your charge?

In the event you’re fortunate sufficient to seek out somebody who can do each hair and make-up and is keen to stay round, now that, my associates, is the holy grail!

Skilled hair and make-up shall be a sport changer in your portrait enterprise

I want I had performed this sooner! Ever since I began providing hair and make-up providers within the studio, I’ve seen a marked enchancment in my income progress. Furthermore, I’ve happier shoppers who’re keen to spend extra on their portrait classes. Much more. It’s performed wonders for my enterprise, it could most likely do wonders for you too! With a bit little bit of teaching and an entire lot of newfound confidence, your shoppers will crush it of their portrait classes. The outcomes and the suggestions since I began incorporating skilled hair and make-up have been nothing wanting game-changing!

Different tricks to maximize your studio’s publicity and your hair and make-up expertise

  • Publish behind the scenes “BTS” pictures and movies to your Instagram and Fb tales. It’s wonderful how a lot engagement these tales obtain.
  • Publish “enjoyable” photos of the expertise and the enjoyable your shoppers are having. Who knew having your portrait taken could possibly be a lot enjoyable?

The outcomes

See for your self!

Pontificate within the feedback beneath and relate your experiences!