Rick Avalos-Pueblo, Colorado

Riding the Storm

“I need to cancel my portrait appointment. My husband just got a new digital camera and he wants to do it.” Far fetched? Not at all for many professional photographers. For those who adapt, business can still be very good. Such is the case for Colorado photographer, Rick Avalos who was the feature speaker for the August Virtual Backgrounds workshop in San Marcos, Texas.

Rick sees two fundamental weaknesses in studios today: poor marketing and poor basic photography skills. Too often the photographer depends on “walk ins” and uses automatic digital methods to do the work. They must clean up mistakes on PhotoShop or Painter. They do not provide the client with anything new, different and impossible for them to do on their own.

A key factor in Rick’s success is what he calls the “visibility factor.” Through partnering with other businesses, Rick makes certain that his work is always being shown in the public arena. The local mall is his major showroom outside the studio. He also works closely with “Dream Weavers” as a method to give back to his community while also establishing visibility.

Another key factor is relationship building and creating rapport with the customer through design consultations. Rick insists on meeting with each customer before the sitting to map out what is going to be done. Customers are planning where they are going to hang their wall portraits before they are even taken.

In Rick’s studio you’ll see examples of big wall portraits, from 40 x 60s down to 16 x 20s. Customers will buy large prints if they see large prints. Customers are resistant to buying large prints only when they don’t have the proper perspective on how the print would look in the home.

Still other promotional programs include gift certificates, co-promotions with other businesses, participating in local “Parade of Homes” and gathering testimonials from past customers about the services and products they received from Avalos Photography.

For four years now, Virtual Backgrounds has become a key element in Rick’s studio. He uses his Virtual Backgrounds system for 99.9% of his studio work. He credits it as being an important factor in enabling him to “ride the storm” that is hitting professional photographers everywhere. Rick states that the only problem with Virtual Backgrounds is that it provides the photographer with more creativity than they know what to do with. He loves the ability to have total independent control over the background and to be able to change backgrounds in seconds.

Rick has just completed putting many of his strategies into a DVD titled Profit Building Strategies and Promotions for the Portrait Photographer. For information on how to acquire his success plan, contact Rick directly.

In summary Rick Avalos states, “There is no reason to be depressed about what is happening in our industry. We just need to work harder and create more positive outcomes.”

Click here to read about another VB Featured Photographer

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