Selling Posts

3 Tips to Get the Job in a Bidding Situation

Business planningYou receive a phone call from a prospective client asking you to “bid” on an upcoming photography project she has. It’s an opportunity to forge a new relationship with a new client and you really want the job. Here are three guidelines that have served me well, resulting in me being selected as the successful “bidder”:

Phone Inquiry? Remember These Three Tips

Selling on telephone photographersYou receive a phone call from a prospective client asking you to “bid” on an upcoming photography project she has. It’s an opportunity to forge a new relationship with a new client and you really want the job. Here are a couple of guidelines that have served me well, resulting in me being selected as the successful “bidder”:

1. Never, ever, give a “ballpark figure” for the project; you’ll surely overlook something if you provide an estimate on the spot. It’s just impossible to quickly throw together a figure while under the pressure of “I want an estimate now.” Instead, gather information by asking open-ended questions and let your caller know you’ll get back to her quickly with the estimate.

Why I Don’t Quote Prices via Email

michelle kawka

Thanks to New York Photographer Michelle Kawka for this guest blog post.

Often times, I will get a price request for my photography services via email. Generally, the inquiry looks something like this:

I need a photographer for X photo or video project or event and it is on X day and time. Are you available? How much do you charge? Please email me back with your price.

To which my email response is generally along the lines of:

Negotiating? The Next One to Speak Loses

Businessman with finger on lips asking for silenceLong-time members of ASMP (the American Society of Media Photographers) may remember Detroit-based photographer Jay Asquini.  He served many years on the National Board of ASMP and was always willing to help emerging photographers.  After suffering a fall while trimming a tree that resulted in a severe neck injury, Jay retired from photography.  Before retiring, Jay used to speak to chapters around the country on business practices.  His phrase, “the next one to speak loses”, has always stuck with me.

He would go on to explain what he meant. 

Editing for Your Own Portfolio? Don’t!

2924786954_040d27f97b_bPhotographers are not the best editors of their own work. The task of choosing which images belong in your portfolio, either online or analog, is often best left to anyone but yourself.

Persistence Pays, Sometimes Years Later

Guest post by Chicago Photographer Joe Pobereskin.

Joe Pobereskin

Copyright Joe Pobereskin

I had a client (now retired) who I met when I was an assistant. When I opened my own business I went to see him with my portfolio and he immediately gave me a smallish job to shoot. He came back with a few more jobs over the next year or so, then dropped off the map. I’d call every once in a while and mail him stuff on a bi-monthly basis (I was doing mass mailings six times a year), and about nine years later, after I’d mailed a reprint of my NY Gold ad (picture of a news anchor in a red suit) he called me.

“Joe,” he said, “it’s Ernie Blitzer, bet you never expected to hear from me.”

“Ernie,” I replied, “how are you? Of course I expected to hear from you, I’ve been mailing you shit for nine f*&%$#g years! What’s up?”

“Yeah, I got that thing you sent me.”

“Which one,” I asked?

“Oh… I don’t remember,” he replied, “it was something red.”

Next thing I know we’re scouting locations for two annual reports.

“Stalking” may not be the right word for it, but “persistence” does pay-off. I know it does, Ernie proved it.

A Candid Dialogue About Success in Photography

McCleary Intro

©Rick McCleary, used with permission

The following is a reply to a post on one of the photography forums I read daily. In it, Rick McCleary, a Washington DC based photographer, replies to comments and questions posted by another photographer.


Your post has been stuck in my head for a couple days because it makes me recall the exact same sentiments I felt when I was starting out – all full of myself and feeling like the world owed me something/everything. There are a couple things you need to embrace that will help you get out
of your own way:

1) This is a business, just like any other business. Nothing is given. Learn the basics. Read some business books that stress marketing. Read Seth Godin’s blog.
2) No one owes you anything.
3) Your job is to make your client’s life better. See the world from your client’s perspective. User experience, and all that.

Q: So, let me see if I got this straight: I have to be “persistent”?
RM: Yes, exactly.