IPS Week: Meet Brooke Price

IPS Week: Meet Brooke Price

Product shown: Stock Image Template, Multiple Frames Mockup

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What was your road like to becoming a photographer?

I’m Brooke, the driving force of Brooke Price Photography (BPP) - a wedding and portrait studio based in Southwest Florida. Of my many quirky attributes: I prefer Starbucks, collect classic horror literature, have too many fandoms; The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter (shout out to my fellow Slytherins!) to name a few, and I am a wedding photographer who does NOT have her own wedding photos displayed.

I fell in love with documenting the stories of couples, when I realized I never wanted anyone else to feel the way my husband and I do about our own wedding images. We describe them as "really nice pictures of other people.” There’s nothing about them that feels authentic.

That’s when my work became more than a pretty picture.

In the seven years that I have been in business, the images I create have evolved into a breathing representation of my clients, the amazing individuals they surround themselves with, and their unique story. My style is documentary with an artistic flare. I don't enjoy overly posed moments, or too many "smile for the camera" images. I love shadows and cloudy beaches. I love hearing from my clients that, "you just got us! That's exactly who we are together!" But mostly, I love creating amazing moments for my clients to display in their homes and enjoy with their families. I want you to love your images. I want you to print them. I want you to share them!

Have you always done IPS sessions? When did you realize this was something you wanted (or needed!) to incorporate into your photography business?

I started out in a time and place where nearly everyone under the sun was enthralled with the concept of “digitals, digitals, digitals”. It was quick and dirty, and you could crank out hundreds of sessions. It was also tiresome and overwhelming to me as a photographer and underwhelming to my clients.

My entire brand is based on emotional impact. The sense of who we are, and what our relationships mean to us. I go through a very intimate process of learning my clients so that I can better tell their stories and we end up in these beautiful emotional moments. Just delivering a “cold and stale” digital doesn’t do it justice.

Enter: the love affair with print (or reintroduction to print)

I’ll never grow tire of sitting down with a client and opening a studio album with them. Picture this: we have a great meet-and-greet and are settling into the how, why, and what portion of the meeting. I place this gorgeous 12x12 Pistachio Green Suede Album from our product line in their hands and invite them to take a peek at one of our real day weddings to get an even better sense of Who and What BPP is.

It’s a full sensory experience, the weight of the album in their lap, the inviting suede cover, the feel of the silk pages, the vibrancy of the inks in the images, the density of those pages. Watching a client experience an album is like watching someone enjoy a meal. You can actually see them savor it, and it is a beautiful thing!

How important are these IPS sessions to your success as a photographer?

These IPS sessions are fundamental to the success of the studio. Not just in a profits and margins way, that is significant as well, but in the experience of our brand. It ties right into the bare bones of what my studio is based on which is the human connection. The wall art and the albums - it all makes what our hearts feel a tangible reality. We are literally holding our hearts in our hands when we look through our wedding album, our family session. Honestly, my clients deserve that. They deserve the best and to be rewarded for the amazing humans that they are.

What tools do you use to ensure your IPS session with your client flows smoothly?

Roughly 85% of my business is destination. Either I am flying out to my couples for their weddings, or they are inbound to Southwest Florida for one of our gorgeous beaches. For that reason, quite a few of my IPS sessions happen using Fundy Designer. Seriously, I LOVE FUNDY! The complete suite is PRICELESS in my book. From the designing of client wall collections and albums to the ability to screen share with the clients via Skype or Google Hangouts while we see their initial album design and custom art is invaluable.

Having the ability to still walk them through the process even though they are states or countries away just blows the client's mind. They appreciate having a white glove service, even in a different time zone.

What does a typical IPS session look like? What steps do you take to get your clients interested in those keepsake products?

The process is ever evolving as the studio grows and changes. I learn something new every day and am constantly refining. The foundation for the sales session really starts from first contact on my website. I make mention in my introduction that I personally do not have my own wedding images on display in my home. And this is a true statement. I then go on to let clients know that I base my business around no client ever being in that position. That my goal is creating images that they love and cherish for years to come beautifully displayed in their homes. In our first phone call to schedule a meeting, we touch on the after-process of a wedding or session and that includes a reveal and ordering portion.

If we meet in person, I have an info packet that the clients are presented with that goes over studio policies and processes, it clearly states our pricing for collections, portrait sessions, and fine goods. After we assess their needs, we chat and then “check out” some studio albums. This is a two fold opportunity as it's a way for them to “live a wedding” we have shot and also, it gets the products in their hands.

I always have additional products on hand during post session/wedding reveals. My studio carries the Design Aglow line of frames, and it is a fantastic “bridge product." As I love large-and-in-charge canvases and canvas collections, I have several in my home, but for some clients, they want a little more classic and as one client said it, “ Something more warm and homey feeling.” She associated a framed print with her mother because that is what was always in her childhood home. The frame collections are perfect. No overwhelming options, just enough, and can work in any decor of a home. I can quickly and easily adjust and show my clients their options within Fundy Designer as well as in person, they hold a complete product in their hands while we discuss. Being able to see and feel the weight of the sample product really gets them thinking and builds their confidence in the decisions they are making during ordering. And, in carrying the frame line, I know that I am still getting a finished product to the clients. I don’t know about you, but I personally have a storage box full of loose prints from my kids’ school and sports teams. When the images arrive already in their frames, the clients are more inclined to get them up and begin enjoying them.

If the clients are local, we’ll come by and custom install their wall collection for them so that it looks just like their preview from our viewing. If they are not local, we make sure to send them a care sheet on just how to properly install their art.

If someone was thinking about starting IPS, what advice would you give them?

Take a deep breath, and do it! It is scary when you start, but so very worth it. Your brand elevates, your authority to your clients elevate, their confidence in you; in the ability to guide and help them increases. You yourself will get an incredible sense of pride and gratification from knowing you not only delivered a gorgeous image and moment to your clients, but you also gave them a quality and fantastic product to cherish it with.

Take the time to try different things. Build a concise line of products that suit your brand. I have been extremely picky in what labs that I work with and what products I carry that they offer. You don’t need to sell everything and you shouldn’t. It will overwhelm you and your clients. Be deliberate in selecting your line. And only carry items you love personally. Trust me on this. If you love it - your clients can tell and it makes talking about it and therefore selling it that much easier.

If you are completely brand new to IPS, find a course or a mentor. After seven years, four of which I have been selling product, I still purchase education on IPS and photography. I am constantly looking for ways to grow and improve and I hope to never stop learning and evolving.

Anything else you’d like to add?

As with all things in this industry, be true to you and to your brand. If you are like me, your name is literally on everything you do. It is important to align yourself with like minded and motivated individuals and companies that help you to grow and service your clients. And, if you are ever in Southwest Florida, drop me a note and let’s do coffee!

~

I'm Brooke Price, a wedding and engagement photographer from Florida. I love that I get to share in the joy of my clients and do something that I love so much, because I truly have the best job in the world! 

 

 

 




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