As photographers, we have a pretty awesome job. Take pictures & make people happy. Unfortunately, we also have to find ways to sell, and upsell, our work to pay for that equipment, that studio, food, mortgages, and well, just about everything else.

Problem is, these days imagery is so prevalent, many consumers fail to see the inherent value of paying a professional. To us, it’s clear, but contrary to what mobile phone camera marketers tell people, we all can’t be photographers. We have something special. We see the world differently.

While there are a myriad of ways to capitalize on your vision and what you do, there’s one tip that works for everyone across the board: culling.

When you cull, you’re not just getting rid of blinkers, weird expressions, and reject photos, you’re telling the world what your vision is. To do that, you can’t jumble your message with tons of jabbering (aka: a ton of photos). You need to be succinct and clear. When you limit the iterations of a particular pose within a session, you help unconsciously guide your client toward picking the best of the best. Also, you’re making it easy for them to do that.

For example, if you take one photo you absolutely love. Say your client just nailed their expression at the same time you nailed the pose, composition, and lighting. Put that image into a series of 10 or 15 others that are more or less the same (pose/lighting/style) and see how long it takes someone else to pick their favorite. Odds are, they aren’t going to choose your favorite and you will be left bummed that the one that represented your work best is not the one picked. Your message was too watered down with options.

Now take that photo and put it in a series of 3-5 images and ask someone to pick the best one. With a smaller series, your message won’t be as muddled and chances are they’ll be able to see that awesome image without getting it mixed up with a dozen others (almost) just like it.

When you are succinct and clear, it helps your client’s choices be easy and definitive. You end up getting your personal favorites chosen more often, and clients appreciate how easy it was for them to choose. When you facilitate the ease of buying, naturally, the buying (and client satisfaction) will increase.

So give it a shot. I challenge you to reduce the amount of photos you give your clients and report back on how things go for you! Try 15 or 20% reduction and see how it goes. Oh! And if you need help with the process, check out my other article on culling, here!