At Mac Brown Photographers Christmas is one of our favorite times of the year. While Christmas mini sessions have been a huge hit at the studio, our July Christmas reveal was the biggest game changer to our Christmas marketing program.
WHAT’S THE MAGIC BEHIND YOUR CHRISTMAS MARKETING PROGRAM?
On the last Friday in July we open the phone lines at 9:00 a.m. to start booking Christmas appointments. In the weeks leading up to this, we are sending out reminders and a countdown calendar on social media. We release just the titles and descriptions of the sets with a reminder that we will post “sneak peaks” of some of the sets in August and September to help with clothing selections. Our clients are all sitting ready for 9:00 a.m. Our phone lines into the studio are typically full until around noon.
HOW DOES YOUR CHRISTMAS MINI SESSIONS WORK?
We classify our sets as either mini sessions or premier sessions. Our goal is to have something for all of our clients. Our premier sessions, such as the North Pole, are designed for that client that wants an “over the top” photography session and experience. The premier sessions feature Santa and often other characters, such as Mrs. Claus and Elvis, Santa’s special elf.
Our goal is to make our Christmas fun for the child and provide a memorable experience for the entire family. It is important to us parents view our Christmas as stress free and exciting. It is always worth it when one says “it just would not be Christmas without our MBP Christmas portraits.”
WHERE DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR IDEAS?
Throughout the years we have learned to keep a Christmas file. Our entire staff contributes to our ideas and we generally have several sets in mind two years in advance. We rarely repeat a set. While all three of our lead photographers are involved, Rebecca is the driving force. She is definitely one of Santa’s elves. Rebecca even got Jason involved in photographing the sets so that they could do multiple sets at the same time.
DO MINI SESSIONS KEEP YOU THAT BUSY?
During the peak weekend, we have five different sets at the studio. Now, even Miss Southerlin enjoys being Santa’s special helper on premier days and is in training for assisting her mother and father in the camera room. Tiffany and Kayla are the behind the scenes elves providing the magic of the finished product. We try to have a special item for each of our limited edition sets and new items for all of the sets each year. One of our best selling items is the personalized storybook available in the premier sessions, but ornaments, snow globes and cards are always popular.
We have the real Santa at MBP. We have been working with him for 15 years. He comes from the North Pole to see us at various times beginning in August and ending in December. He calls on the phone and tends to raise eyebrows when a staff member says, “Hello, Santa.” He is just the best!
WHY CHRISTMAS MINI SESSIONS?
Rebecca’s role as chief Christmas photographer happened by accident. Mac broke his ankle, requiring surgery the week before our Christmas sessions in 2003. Rebecca stepped in the role with Mac by her side inspecting every photograph. At this time, she had never photographed alone. She was a hit and never looked back! Christmas at MBP is owned by Rebecca and our very capable staff. A situation which could have been a disaster turned out to be one of our most successful ventures of the year. We just say “God had a plan and Rebecca became Santa’s little helper!”