by Phil Jones Published 01/02/2000
Based in the village of Bwlchgwyn near Wrexham, Howard Pearson runs a successful Wedding Business from his home. He shoots in excess of seventy weddings a year. Seven years ago Howard became self employed, prior to this, he was the senior photographer for the BFL, where he was salaried, the weddings being only a part time income. These days and since he has become self employed the wedding are his main source of income and therefore it is important to maximize on the amount of business he will receive for each weddings he attends. After all there are only 52 Saturdays in the year and only so many people choose to get married these days. Once a wedding is booked it is imperative to capitalize.
Over the last seven years Howard has found the best way to do this is to start with a reasonable pricing structure for his albums which can all be upgraded. Another pointer is to get close to people and give them quotations over the phone. This with a trans-viewing method of showing photographs with high quality albums has expanded his business from up to 30 to in excess of 70 weddings a year in just five years. This has mainly been achieved through recommendation and very little advertising.
The method that Howard favours is using the Fuji FV10 with a television set. He says that without doubt this has increased their sales of the main Wedding Albums. Compulsive buying - as soon as their clients see the wedding photographs they want them, and to take them home, they have to purchase them. When they used to send out proofs for the couples to view over several weeks or even months, after looking at them several times, they would eventually talk themselves out of buying lots of prints. Using the trans-viewing method Howard can guarantee that lots of Albums will go out with 60 and sometimes more prints in them.
The Fuji FV10 sits on a light-box; which is supplied by many outlets, including Bob Rigby, enabling them to view the negatives through transparent neg. bags, which is ideal. The television monitor is a Sony 28"screen.
All the weddings are booked from home, - they don't go to their client's houses. This allows Howard and his partner Pat Kelly to show prospective clients samples of their work, a large selection of preview albums and the method by which they project the photos onto the monitor. This results in approximately 8 out of every 10 prospective clients booking their wedding through Howard. It is very easy to get clients up and book a package for £600 - £700, which by using the trans-viewing method and upgrading the albums, can be increased to as much as £1000.
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