Do you create your own path? Do challenges excite you, or leave you shaking with fear?

Human nature says conformity is what’s best for us. We don’t want to stand out in the crowd. If a bunch of people are doing something, that must be the right thing to do. Right? Watch this video for a look at what people will do to conform.

The same thing goes with today’s professional photographer. Instead of breaking away, and creating a studio experience that is nothing like the competition, I’m willing to bet 90 percent of all studios do what everyone else does. They give the digital files because everyone else does. They charge very little for their work because everyone else does.

It’s time to change that around. Here are 5 things you can do that will help you break away from “doing what everyone else does”.

1. Make your photography an experience. If you bring them in to your studio, and stand them in front of a standard blue backdrop, you’re doing what everone else does. If you transform an entire magical room in your studio to look like like a garden, and your children are given wings and wands, and encouraged to become a fairy, that’s an experience.

2. Handing your customer a few 8x10s and 5x7s in folders is similar to what they receive at their local discount store. Handing your customer mounted and framed images in odd sizes [why not 12x12s or 10x30s] makes them look twice.

3. Walking out the door with a few photos in hand is ok. But walking out with custom designed boxes and bags in vibrant colors – making the packaging almost as exciting as the images – is an experience. [Ever received a Tiffany’s box? I can guarantee you women now Tiffany’s blue instantly.]

4. Heading to the local park is ok. But what about meeting at a dude ranch, with a sleigh awaiting to take you to a magical part of the forest for an incredible winter portrait experience?

5. Proofs, well it’s really not acceptable to use proofs anymore. Isn’t it much more rewarding to use projection and be in control of the entire selling process? You can show the difference between an 8×10 and a 30×30 hanging over the fireplace. I guarantee you’ll sell more large prints using this method.

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