COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Practical Steps For Your Professional Photography Business

The information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is changing daily, so we are doing our best to gather some practical steps you can take to minimize the impact of this event on your business. Please continue to check back with this article, periodically for updates. March 18, 2020 Update BE PATIENT WITH YOUR SCHOOLS Best approach is to be one of support and flexibility. School administrators are dealing with a myriad of urgent issues. Everyone is worried about what the future holds and most genuinely want to help. But understand, the school/league does not have enough information yet to determine when life will resume. Let them know you aren’t going anywhere, you’re there if they need help, and when the dust settles you look forward to seeing them again. IT IS SAFE…

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Our Kids Got Us to Start Our Photography Business. H&H Helped Us Grow It!

15 years ago we had a beautiful daughter. She was our first child and I got suckered into the Sears baby plan. That’s right, every month I was at the Sears portrait studio getting our daughter’s picture made. It was about ‘month 9’ when I purchased the $600.00 package! That’s when Rodney decided that it would be cheaper for him to go buy a camera. So that is what he did. He started photographing anything and everything. We photographed seniors, weddings, babies, families, and an occasional ball team. The cool thing was he was really good at it. We opened our studio around Abby’s first birthday. Our plan was to grow this little photography business as a retirement plan. During the first couple years of our business, we found it…

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2 H’s + 1 Mission = Celebrating 50 Years

H&H began in the basement of Wayne and Shirley Haub's residence in a sleepy suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, in 1970. Wayne and his brother, Ted Haub, owned a portrait studio that had just landed its first high school senior contract. With a background in and love for color printing, Wayne chose to install his own color processing equipment in the basement of his home to process film and to print the black and white and color photographs that were demanded by the senior market of that generation. Other photographers began asking Wayne to print their work; business increased; and so did the need for additional employees. What began with one person (Wayne) doing all the processing, printing, invoicing, telephone, purchasing, maintenance, etc., now took five people! The small-home business…

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It Is More Convenient for Mom to Order Through a Smartphone App

Have you ever tried ordering pictures through an app for the first time? After the 16+ steps required to download the app, install it, create an account, find the images, and order, you are just left wondering “was this really easier?” Compare that to a well-designed prepay form and a mobile-optimized online store – the results are staggering. Recently, a Midwest studio learned this the hard way. They switched to an app-only model and sales went down $4k! The kicker? They had a higher sales average, but a significantly lower participation rate. The fact is, allowing clients to buy post-event and adding more steps to the sales process creates a higher barrier to entry. This results in lower sales. Any marketing or sales person who knows what they are doing…

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Parents Will Buy Prints After They Have the Digital Files

Parents will buy prints after they have the digital files in hand. Who in the world is propagating this madness?!?! Sure they will buy prints, just not from you. They will purchase from Walmart, Shutterfly, and the like. So, let me get this straight, you are ok doing all of the hard work and letting these other companies profit from it? Come on! This is either a nightmare or a bad joke (the jury is still out on which one). Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. FACT: Once parents purchase only the digital files, they will only come back and buy physical product 7% of the time. Bottom line, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR SHIRT HERE. You cannot build a sustainable business this way; it…

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Parents Only Want Digital Files

It has been a dark time for the wedding and portrait industry over the last ten years. A time where "digital only" became a thing; a “thing” so pervasive that it changed the face of the industry forever. Today, studios and customers alike are still recovering from this fad. We call it a fad because the market is realizing that “digital only” is not now (and never should have been) a “thing”. We’re using a lot of finger quotes right now because we need to really drive the point home. The schools and sports industry can avoid the same fate as the wedding and portrait industry. Learn from the history and mistakes of the past, or we are destined to repeat. Are we advocating a world where no digital files…

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Facial Recognition Technology in Professional Photography

The future is here! Are you ready for it? If you can imagine it or you have seen it in a sci-fi movie, there is a good chance someone is actively working on it. Computer vision, computational photography, facial recognition and other forms of artificial intelligence are technologies that have been excitedly discussed for the past decade and have finally come to fruition. Artificial Intelligence (AI if you want to be hip with the lingo) is entering the world of volume sports photography with a bang. Recently, companies, including H&H, have embraced and demonstrated or released facial recognition and other AI capability software services to improve the quality of our service offering to professional photographers and their customers. "Innovate or die" is the battle cry, but this begs the question. When is technology for the sake of technology…

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The Elephant in the Room

In recent months, there has been a lot of misleading and contextually inaccurate information being put into the universe about the buying habits of parents in the world of volume school and sports photography. While it is great that this conversation is happening, at H&H Total Schools and Sports, we believe knowledge is power. Without proper context, one might be led to believe that the sky is falling and scramble to make, what we believe, catastrophic changes to both your business and our beloved industry. Today, digital file delivery is on the forefront of everyone’s mind. According to companies like Capturelife and PhotoDay, parents only want mobile apps and online proofing. And a false conclusion that photographers are taking from photo industry SaaS companies’ education, is that parents only want…

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