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Reframe Success

Running a Successful Studio in a Small Market with Jason Marino

Jason Marino of Imagine Photo AZ talks about running a successful studio in a small town

Have you ever thought to yourself that there is absolutely no way you could command high prices when you live in a small town? Do you feel like your market is just too small for you to be wildly successful? THINK AGAIN. Jason Marino, along with his wife & business partner Joanne, run the highly sought-after Imagine Photo in Kingman, Arizona. They are wildly successful, even being the most expensive in their market. Jason also shares his tips on how they do In-Person Sales minutes after a session, and the part that Fundy plays in the process. It’s amazing – be sure to get pen & paper so you can take notes!

The Imagine Photo photography website can be found at ImaginePhotoAZ.com
You can find Jason on Instagram at @imaginephotoaz and at @thejasonmarino

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For the full transcript of this episode, continue reading below.

Episode 3 with Jason Marino – the Transcript

Christine Tremoulet: [00:00:00] You’re listening to Reframe Success, and I’m your host, Christine Tremoulet I believe that you can have a successful photography business and you get to define what success looks like for you. My guests, and I will help you with actual advice and information on how to get there. I want you to know that I believe in you and that you are enough.

Now let’s get on with the show.

Show Sponsor – The LawTog

This episode of Reframe Success is sponsored by The LawTog. From contracts to copyright trademark to teams of employees running a photography business has many legal aspects to it. There is a resource just for photographers, learn more and get the help that you need at thelawtog.com

Introduction of Jason Marino

Christine Tremoulet: [00:00:51] Hello everyone. Joining me today is my friend Jason Marino. Jason and his wife Joanne have a studio in Kingman, Arizona. And Jason, I’m going to just say, pass this over to you. Thank you for

Jason Marino: [00:01:05] Oh, super. Happy to be here. Thank you for having me. It’s awesome.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:01:11] so can you tell us a little bit about your studio? What do you guys do there

Jason Marino: [00:01:16] Yeah. We have a little studio downtown on like main street of vintage building, and we photograph, you know, all types of different portraiture, and boudoir, and seniors, and families. And, we used to, we used to be a big wedding, a studio. That was all we did was weddings. And we kind of ignored our portrait side.

But in the last few years, we’ve actually cut way down on weddings and focus almost solely on portraiture. And so yeah.

Successful Photo Studio in a Small Market

Christine Tremoulet: [00:01:43] Now, how big of a city is Kingman?

Jason Marino: [00:01:45] Kingman has, I think, just hit 30,000. They were reporting in the local paper recently. So it’s a small town and he’s not a tiny town, but it’s not a big town by any measure. I think Phoenix, a couple hours away where I grew up, has like four and a half million or so.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:01:59] Right. So it’s not, it’s definitely not a major city, but you guys have a super successful studio business yet, like you’re pretty, pretty well …

Jason Marino: [00:02:08] Yeah, we do. We do. Okay. And, and, I don’t know. You know, I mean, obviously, I know, I know how we did it because it’s pretty formulaic, but, but yeah, we, we are definitely doing our thing here in this little town.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:02:19] I feel like so many people think I can’t be successful because I’m not in a big city. I can’t, like we get in to a lot of basically limiting beliefs about what we can’t do, because our area isn’t big enough. It’s kind of ironic because those of us in major cities like Houston we say, Oh, I can’t do this because my market’s so saturated.

And I hear people in smaller cities or even small towns say, Oh, I can’t do this because my town is too small. People won’t spend the money on this, you know, this sort of thing. But you found that, how have you found that to be?

Big City – Oversaturation of photographers – versus a Small Town

Jason Marino: [00:02:58] Right. And, and it’s, it’s like, it’s totally ironic. Yeah. As you said, people in a big city, they complain about. The oversaturation and too much competition. And then people in the smaller towns are like, Oh, there’s nobody here with any money. No wants to spend any money, et cetera, et cetera. And so what we’ve found is that, first of all, we’re glad we’re not a big city because.

You know, we, we can be the big fish in the small pond here. So when people say, Oh, I need to live in a big city to make any money, it’s not true. And it’s actually easier in a small town because yes, there is less quality competition. But that being said, if you have a great business model and a great client experience, it doesn’t matter what town you live in, it doesn’t matter how big or how small you can have a successful business.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:03:46] A rough average, like what’s the client average? If somebody come, you know, you guys do a lot of senior portraits.

Jason Marino: [00:03:53] What, what kind of money do people spend?

Christine Tremoulet: [00:03:56] Just on

Jason Marino: [00:03:56] yeah. Oh, you know, around $3,000 per client and yeah, and we photograph, gosh, I don’t know, 75 clients a year, so yeah. I don’t know what the math is on that, but.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:04:10] Whatever that math works

Jason Marino: [00:04:11] a couple hundred thousand dollars or so, you know, it’s, it’s a, you know, individually. Then we also have other, other businesses that, bring in, you know, another others, other six figure business as well.

So, yeah, I mean, it’s, that’s photography related business. But yeah, it’s a pretty, pretty interesting.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:04:28] It’s just that I always say when when people say, Oh, nobody in my town is going to spend $3,000 on portraits. Well, yes they are, but if nobody in your town is offering it, I feel like they’re importing it from another major city nearby. Like they’re, they’re going to go to Phoenix for that experience.

Jason Marino: [00:04:48] Vegas, which is really close to us. Yeah.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:04:51] Right, right. So they could go, they could go somewhere else, but you’re keeping them right

Jason Marino: [00:04:56] Right. And that, that’s a big thing with what we’ve done is that there are, wa there’s like one other studio in town and they’re skilled people and they’re friends of ours. And, you know, they do a fine job and they’re, they’re really nice people. They have a completely different style from us and approached than us.

But, you know, we don’t really worry about. What anybody else is doing. But we like to offer the high end experience, to, to people in this city because it’s lacking pretty much across the board and almost in every. Type of, you know, business. So from, from automotive sales to restaurants to, anything, there’s really no high end experiences in our city.

So coming to our studio is one of the few ways that people here can indulge in a, in a wonderful experience. It feels very high end and, well put together.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:05:46] Right? Cause I would imagine that if somebody lives there and they want like a high end dinner there, they’re probably hopping in the car and driving up to Vegas.

Jason Marino: [00:05:55] Yeah. People are going to Laughlin, which is kind of like a Laughlin, you know, it’s, it’s high end with air quotes. It’s, it’s not really high end, but it’s, it’s, better than Kingman. yeah.

You’re going to Vegas a lot because it’s a quick 90 minute drive to Vegas, and then you’ve got all the, you know, world-class dining, and service there.

But we basically bring that type of experience to photography in our city. And that I think is what helped us help set us apart. And people know that when they come to us, it’s very much about being taken care of and having a wonderful experience that’s going to be something they remember forever. And.

You know? Yeah. Our average is like $3000. We had a client who just spent $6,500 last week. And so, and then, you know, there’s clients who spend $2000 and we even have clients who spend $500 but generally, you know, anywhere from, we’ve had up to $13, $14,000 so, you know, we tell people $500 to $15,000 is what our clients tend to spend.

Are you in your client’s wallet?

Christine Tremoulet: [00:06:53] Well, I always think it’s so easy for us to go, mentally we go into our client’s wallets, like we decide what they’re going to spend, but we don’t know what somebody has in their bank account or, you know, what they have at their disposal. What they might choose to spend, could be so much above and beyond that.

Now, did you guys always . Focus on the client experience like this, or is this, did that change in your business over the years?

Jason Marino: [00:07:23] Well, quickly, I wanted to touch on what you were just saying about, putting ourselves in our client’s wallets. Because when we do that, we really are limiting our client and basically saying, Hey, we’re not going to let you. Do what makes you feel good, rock. Let you spend money because we don’t think that you should.

We’re projecting that on them. And so we, absolutely step out of the way and make it, make it easy for our clients to want to spend money because they enjoy doing that and they know they’re going to spend it one way or the other. Why should we stop them? And so, yeah, we don’t want to project on people.

And we often say that, Hey, you’re not your ideal clients, so don’t try to, you know, project on how you spend. Onto your client and say, look, I wouldn’t spend this. So why would the, why should they? So that’s something that’s really important for us is that, Hey, you’re not your ideal client and don’t project your spending habits on your clients.

So you were asking me about how are we focused on client experience? That’s something that, Back in 2016 we really made a huge transition on after our, after having a week long intense workshop with our mentor, Steve Sam burrito. And we, we, again, we spent like five days, you know, in a small group, just really working on how we were going to become, you know.

Become something better for our clients to give them something better. And we walked away from that completely transforming our business and making huge life changes for ourselves. And it’s been nothing but great.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:08:52] circling back to the money thing, I love that you guys made that transition. I, I, I figured it was not. Always the case and the money part ties into it. Prior to that, did you ever struggle with that? You know, putting yourself in your client’s wallet

Jason Marino: [00:09:13] Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, when, you know, before, before we made a change on how we did things, we, you know, we were doing portrait sessions for a couple of hundred bucks and given everybody everything, or a couple hundred bucks and just throwing prints on a, in a sheet proof gallery or show, I’m 30 show them throwing the files on a ShootProof gallery so people could log in and look at them and we’d give them like a hundred dollars per credit with their session.

We would have people literally never order anything. They’d have $100 sitting there. And six months would go by and they wouldn’t order anything, or they would order $99 and 99 cents including tax and shipping. So they didn’t have to spend a penny with us. And. It wasn’t because they didn’t, they didn’t like their photos.

It’s just they didn’t value any of it because we weren’t valuing it and we weren’t helping them find the value in it. We were just a transaction. It was transactional and it, there was just nothing else to it, and that’s why we were, we were shocked if someone would spend 50 bucks on prints after the fact.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:10:11] . Did you then you switched and you do everything in person now? Yes. That you show them their proofs in person or did they get to see their proofs online.

Jason Marino: [00:10:22] we do everything in person and we not only do it in person, we do it immediately after their shoot, like 99 out of a hundred clients unless something crazy happens. They see their photos 10 minutes after we’re done shooting.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:10:35] Wow. So do you go through, let’s talk as minute about this process. Do you guys go through and cull them or…?

Jason Marino: [00:10:42] We don’t, because we actually cull in camera as we’re shooting. So we’ve made it a habit to have a finger resting on the lock or rate button, depending on what camera, you know, we’re using. But we are, we’re on Sony now, so as we’re shooting there’s a lock button, that’s really convenient on the left side of the camera, and we’re just hitting that button with a, with a thumb as we’re shooting.

And it’s, and it’s. And, and we know when we get a good shot. So we get the automatic review in the viewfinder as we’re shooting. And so we out, we just walk, we just cull on camera. and you know, if I go out, when we go photograph a senior, I take a 150 photographs, I’ve probably locked 50 of them. And then we immediately put them into, photo mechanic and it shows me a little checkbox on every picture I locked.

And I just take those checkbox photos with their JPEG sidecar and immediately import those JPEGs into Fundy and we’re off and running.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:11:32] Whoa.

Jason Marino: [00:11:36] No one does that, by the way. People do same day reveals, but they don’t do them instantaneously.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:11:41] as I say, I did them, but I needed like an hour because I was going to go pull them. I was gonna pull them into photo mechanic or light room and then go through and pick out the ones that I wanted. I shoot Canon and so I rate in camera.

Sometimes, but definitely not that much. So that’s a great tip. To just go ahead and get everything rated. If you know you nailed the shot, rate it right away.

Jason Marino: [00:12:10] Yeah. There’s no nothing to think about. It takes, it takes all of that out of the equation and after the shoot you walk away and you’re like, yep, everything’s ready. I don’t have to put any thought into it. And again, shoot with JPEG side cars so you don’t even have to import the files into light room.

Before putting them into your software of choice for us. Again, it’s Fundy. That’s how we show our clients their photos and do our sales and everything and it, and it just saves so much time. Imagine, you know, everybody knows how light room is slow, so imagine dropping 150 photos into light room. It has import them and render the previews.

Then you have to go through and. Select the ones you want to use, then you have to export them as JPEGs, and that can take 150 photos can literally take 10 minutes, 15 minutes to export out of Lightroom.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:12:54] I would have imported in probably 200, and then I would be pulling out, like you said, 50 or 60 I actually, I personally proof a little heavy. Mmm. Because I was out. My in person sales have all been for boudoir work, and so sometimes the smile that I love the most that a client has is not always their favorite smile.

So sometimes I give them two options and then when we sit down together, we narrowed them down really fast. I don’t ever export them out of light room, though, because I have been using Lightroom as what we view them through.

Jason Marino: [00:13:30] Oh baby, what is you doing?

Christine Tremoulet: [00:13:33] Okay.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:13:34] it

Jason Marino: [00:13:34] You got to change.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:13:35] I mean, it’s worked really fast for me, but I, so I’ll normally give them like a 45 minute break, and they’re where my studio used to be. There was a coffee shop just right down the street. So they go grab a cup of coffee and then come back and I’d be ready and we’d sit down and go through them.
But I, you know, I love this. As a another way of doing it because I know that showing them to them and funding is going to be a different experience. You could even show them probably their album layout options really fast, et cetera, and so I wasn’t doing that. I was giving them their album options after I did retouching.

Jason Marino: [00:14:13] Oh, got you. Okay. Yeah, we do. I mean, if you don’t, if you don’t mind, I’ll tell you how we do it. But essentially the first thing they see is, is a slideshow that’s set to music. And Fundy has that built in. So they have, you know, music’s right there. It’s all built in, it’s all synchronized. They watch a slide show, and the cool thing is that.

And I’m jumping ahead of myself, but we, Fundy, he has built in retouching like quick retouching through perfectly clear. We just hit one button. And it, and it does like light adjustments and you know, she’ll soft a little bit of skin softening what however much you want of that. And we synchronize it across all the JPEGs.
And then we, and so we’ve already got optimized photographs that look pretty decent and we don’t have to sit down and do anything with them. So they’re ready to go. So then we play the slide show. Clients see that? And then immediately we go in and help them pick their favorites one at a time using the, using all the built in Fundy options, like hearts.

They have a heart logo and you. Can heart the photos or unheart the photos for liking and unliking and we go through and help them do that. Then we have side by side comparison options just like you would in room, but with funding you can do, you know as many photos you want in the comparison and you just click each one and it lets you put four or five, six, whatever pictures in there and the client can go and get rid of this, get rid of that.

Let’s keep this one in it. It’s so cool because they really feel empowered. In making that selection and once they’re selected their photos, we can hit auto resign and we have an album design layout done in literally a blink of an eye. You click the button and boom, there’s an album with all the pages and layouts done, and then we just go through and fine tune each spread and help them make an adjustments to it.

And they’ve, they get to be part of the process, which they love.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:15:53] Right? That was my, that was my biggest holdup for a long, long time on in-person sales was I was convinced, especially because I was doing boudoir work, I was like, nobody wants to look at their photos with me. Yes, they did. They came to me to take the photos. They considered me the expert and which ones were the good photos.

So of course they want it, but they, they all wanted help selecting what was the best and what should they keep for the album. They, they truly love having that, that help and feeling empowered, like you said, that they are a part of the process. And so,

Jason Marino: [00:16:34] Yeah, and it’s fun. Like who? Who doesn’t love, you know? It’s like, I just had a photo shoot and now I’m sitting down designing it. It’s the same as walking into a Porsche dealership and ordering a car. They have a design center. You get to pick the colors. More of everything down to the stitching in the seats and the color of the emblems and the brake calipers and the wheels.

You know, every single the headliner. It’s all customizable. And there’s nothing more fun than being able to sit down and design your car. So for us, you’re sitting down and designing this, you know, multiple thousand dollars, you know, handmade leather, covered acrylic, you know, album that you. Are going to cherish for the rest of your life.

And so having them involved in the process just makes it takes the whole experience to another level.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:17:18] And the, when I was doing things where like you, I was, I was taking the photos and I was putting them in an online gallery and I was like, there you go. Go pick your images.
afterwards, once I made the switch, I realized that what that felt like to me afterwards was, hi, it was nice meeting you. So great working with you. Bye.

You’re just like, I was kicking them out the door.

Whereas sitting down with them and looking through the pictures and choosing their favorites and even sort of talking about this, I often, I did same day in person sales, but I, most of my clients came back a week later and it was like we got to relive the experience again and it was, it was a lot of fun for them.

I found though, for most of most people doing them the same day, that way they’re right there. They’re all hyped up there. You know? Cause when people are photographed, if you’re doing a great job photographing them, like they’re really hyped up after they’re done taking the pictures, they’re excited about them.

Jason Marino: [00:18:21] Oh, absolutely. And also one of the small benefits of it, or actually a large benefit, is that they don’t have to put aside a couple hours again on a different day to come back in. They just need to take the one afternoon and they’re, they’re handled. Like our midwife clients, they usually start at like 9:00 AM for makeup at 10 30 we’re doing a shoot and you know, we’re done by about noon.

And then they. Spend about an hour to 90 minutes designing their artwork and albums and they’re out the door. So nine o’clock to one 30 and they’re, they’re out of there and they’re done. They never have to come back. And it’s, it’s just a really easy, yeah. Or we deliver, or we, you know, any number of things.

If they have wall art, we actually install that. So we often will come to their house with everything wrapped up and, you know, knock on the doors, like we’re here and the, you know, fun with it that way.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:19:08] Not a lie. That was the part of the service that terrified me. I don’t, I’m not good at hanging things, so I don’t want to go hang Walmart and people’s houses.

Jason Marino: [00:19:18] Yeah, hire, hire a professional. Most of our, a lot of our friends hire professionals. We actually did for a while too, but it being Kingman, it’s hard to find a professional artwork hanger. So we had to take that on and research and figure out how best to handle that. And you know, it’s generally pretty simple.

But, we did have some stairwells where giant pieces got put in and we hired professionals that come in and handle that.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:19:42] That was the part I was like, okay, I can’t quite do that. Can’t, can’t do that part. But I love including that as a service because that’s that whole like start to finish experience. And I, I love doing, you know, doing online galleries works great for some people, et cetera. But for me, once I switched the experience up that IPS.

It just felt like a much more complete experience for my client and for me because a lot of times I become friends with my clients, or I’ve become, yeah, like their cheerleader while you’re photographing them, you, you know, you’re so encouraging of them while you’re taking their pictures. So wrap it all up.

I love that though, that you guys went in, but you go all in, you all have the same day. Just knock it all out and no reason,

Jason Marino: [00:20:46] Yeah.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:20:46] reason not to get it all done.

Jason Marino: [00:20:50] Right. And they can’t get this anywhere else. And, and not, you know, not only in Kingman, but just in general. They’re not going to find this just about, you know, hardly anywhere. And yeah, we, like I said, there’s some people that do same day and there’s some people that even do pretty quickly, but, generally not within just a few minutes.

And that’s a, you know, something that we’ve really, fine tuned and embraced and made it part of our
workflow.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:21:12] S your secret sauce strategy has been revealed,

Jason Marino: [00:21:16] It really is. Yeah, no, that’s, that’s the trick. That’s the thing that sets it off and people love it.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:21:21] okay. Oh. Oh, hello kitty.

Jason Marino: [00:21:23] Our cat just hanging out over here. He likes to flop down on the, on the keyboard of the Mac book and just shut it off, so I got to move him over.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:21:34] what? This is warm. Why are you making me move? I’m so cozy?

Jason Marino: [00:21:39] doing that.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:21:41] People can hear you and you and Joanne are speaking together. Sure.

Jason Marino: [00:21:47] Oh yeah, yeah. Sorry. It’s just me talking today. But I do have, I do have a partner and my, my brilliant wife who has, you know, been a photographer twice as long as me, and, who is the reason I even got into the business. And so she’s not a big fan of, of. Of doing, you know, doing interviews and speaking.

She likes to be quiet, just run the, run the show from behind the scenes. But yes, we are going to be, doing a lot of, public, speaking engagements and stuff coming up.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:22:12] speaking at imaging USA and at WPPI in 2020. And you’re talking imaging is lighting and sales seniors can’t live without. Do you want to give us a little like sneak

Jason Marino: [00:22:25] That’s fair. Yeah. Yeah. So we’re doing a 90 minute, theater. they have a, I guess I forgot about theater. There were work we’re going to speaking to and, and, you know, I’ll let you in on the secret. Joanna’s terrified cause I think it holds 1200 people. And so she’s a little bit scared now me, I love that stuff.

I, I don’t know if you know this, but I spent most of my life from the time I was in my late teens until just about five years ago as a rock musician. So I was on stage. Been on stage 500 600 times around, you know, around the country and you know, playing shows. So for me, I love it, but Joanne is like, Oh my God, I don’t want anything to do with it.

So this 1200 person theater is terrifying her, but she’s gonna, she’s gonna make it work. So what we’re going to do is we are going to be talking about, we’re going to be doing a demo. I’m showing, you know, a bunch of the shots that we do and recreating them live and showing people how we made them. And.

Fun tips and tricks that, that the seniors and their parents love. And then we’re going to be going through our process a bit, kinda like we were talking about a minute ago, and showing them how to create a great experience for those clients that’s going to be wonderful for their bottom line.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:23:36] you’re also speaking a second time at imaging the, yeah, you’re probably,
yeah. You’re probably not your ideal client.

Jason Marino: [00:23:47] Yup. That’s what that one’s called and it’s just like we talked about. It’s, it’s like I want people to understand that they don’t, they can stop projecting themselves onto the client base that they have and just get out of their own way and let their clients spend the money they want to spend.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:24:07] Any practical tips for people? Do you have any suggestions? I feel like, I feel like a lot of us feel, Oh, it would be wrong to charge that much. Or, it’s almost like a guilt thing about charging higher prices.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:24:24] Do you have any tips on how to overcome that?

Jason Marino: [00:24:29] You have to put yourself in the shoes. You have to take yourself out of your own personal business and put yourself in the shoes of another corporation or business. So you’ve got to think of yourself as Mercedes-Benz or you know, even just Walmart thinks of themselves. Walmart doesn’t apologize for making money off of people, and Ermez doesn’t apologize for selling $40,000 Birkin bags and Mercedes Benz doesn’t go, Hey, I’m really sorry that you have to buy this car today.

They say, Hey. We’ve got something for everybody. And Mercedes has cars that start at like 30 grand, you know, their class a cars or whatever they’re called, you know, they can, they can, you know, you can buy a car from there being just a regular working Joe, but they also have $200,000 cars. But the point is, they don’t apologize for it.

They don’t say, Hey. You know? So you’ve got to tell yourself, I don’t need to apologize for my prices. I just need to let clients enjoy the process and embrace the fact that if I do a great job, I’m being rewarded for that by them paying me for my services.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:25:31] at the, at the very start of this, that’s the other piece is making sure that you’re truly profitable.

Jason Marino: [00:25:40] Absolutely. You have to understand business. You can’t just, you know, hang a sign on your door and go, okay, I’m a business now. And that’s why we see so many people coming and going in our local, you know, buy, sell trade groups on Facebook and all that. You have these photographers popping up every other day and then they disappear.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:25:59] If I was making $15 an hour it in a corporate job and now I’m making $50 for a portrait shoot, it feels like I’m making great money.

But you’re, but when you sit down and do the profit margins and the money breakdown and what camera gear costs and everything else, you’re, you’re not Oh, you’re almost paying people for the privilege of taking their photos.

Jason Marino: [00:26:31] Absolutely. And when you want, the quicker you realize that, the quicker you’ll realize that you don’t need to apologize for the prices you have. And we have gotten to the point where we have employees and stuff now, and we actually have a corporation and we are employed by our own corporation. And so we have employment and payroll taxes we pay.

So we do things the right way. And of course, you know, we also make sure to let people know that you do not. throw that out there and complain. Like you always see people on Facebook going, well, my clients complain about my prices and they don’t realize that I have insurance and all these things. It’s like, well, no one explains that.

Mercedes doesn’t an explain that Walmart doesn’t sit down and break down their cost of doing business to their clients to justify the prices. No, neither should you.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:27:14] Last but not least, we mentioned the two talks at Imaging, but you’re also speaking at WPPI on the 25th of February on “Kick Your Client Experience in the Ass.”

Jason Marino: [00:27:28] I can’t believe they kept that name and we were just trying to be chinky. you know, on the phone we were being cheeky and they kept that name for the name of the class. And so that’s just gonna be a fun little masterclass. 50 people I think they are. They’re pretty small classes. They sell out pretty quick, but that’s going to be, really intimate and we’re just gonna be able to sit down and just really have like a round table with our, attendees and just really dive into all the things that the, we’ve briefly gone over today to help them fine tune their client experience, which is going to just automatically make.
Things better for

Christine Tremoulet: [00:28:01] that, and I’m also thankful that it’s on the 25th I speak on February 27th so it’s not at the same time. So I can go.

Jason Marino: [00:28:10] Oh yeah. Yeah. We could come see yours. That works

Christine Tremoulet: [00:28:12] that I hate it. I, I, I’m, every year there’s always, or at least every year that I’ve spoken, there’s always somebody or something I want to see at the exact same time.

So I always have to miss seen other people, but I’m really excited about that because I think.

Walking through that whole client experience from beginning to end. That’s where you show your clients the value in your pricing.

They see that, like what makes you different from someone else? Why they should consider you or they don’t.
You know what if, if people don’t value it, that’s okay. Yeah.

Jason Marino: [00:28:55] it is. Okay. And you can’t be, can’t be butthurt about that. You have to go, okay, that’s not the right client for me. No problem. They will. The next client will come along and I mean, it’s not, you don’t snap your fingers and they walk up, but yeah, you, you, you figure out who your ideal client is and you help convert.

Is it essential to focus on just one type of photography for your business?

Christine Tremoulet: [00:29:11] You touched on this briefly at the start, but you don’t focus on just one niche of photography. You have a variety.

Jason Marino: [00:29:23] Yeah.

And, and you know, for, for those that are kind of starting out, it’s probably not a bad idea to focus on one thing, to get really great at that and to also keep yourself from going crazy. But we have been doing this so long that, we’ve been able to, I wouldn’t say we’ve mastered anything, but we’ve been able to do good enough at multiple different genres that we can handle doing that.

And, and it, it took time to get to that point. To be able to, you know, move throughout the genres and be able to defer things at a level that is required of us. And so, yeah, we do anything from seniors to Patois, to families to, we even, we have head shots, we have a commercial photography, and we have an Associate photographer who also does real estate and drone. And we, you know, we do that in weddings, of course, which we still love to do. We just take a couple of them a year and try to stick with just high end, a simple, you know, just fun weddings that are something we would prefer to do versus things we feel like we have to.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:30:19] You feel that that has also helped with your success in your market size?

Jason Marino: [00:30:26] I would say so because we, yeah, not, we don’t have to specialize in one thing, which then allows, you know, so we, we don’t do newborns. I’ll say that. Right. We won’t, we literally will pass those off to our friends that have a studio around the corner, cause they’re excellent with it. And we just don’t want anything to do with that.

It’s just not our thing. But yeah. Other than that, yeah, someone can call us up and go, Hey, can you come down and do head shots of the mayor? It’s like, absolutely. And we’ve done that and Hey, we’ve got the fire department. Hey, we’ve got this big insurance company or law firm and we’re there. And then the next day we’ve got a client coming in and we’re doing boudoir, and then that evening it’s a senior.

So we are able to, just jump across all genres and deliver a great experience to everybody all the same.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:31:05] A lot of times, you know, if you’re a full time wedding photographer, somebody might call you up and say, do you photograph seniors? And as photographers, we, we are like, don’t they understand , I only focus on this niche, but I think. Most people out there don’t understand. They’re like, I know a photographer and they don’t get that.

You might be just one area of photographer.

Jason Marino: [00:31:30] Yeah, and that can be bad, especially with someone’s like, well, I know a portrait photographer. I’m going to call them and ask them to do my wedding. And I’ve heard so many horror stories, where people or photographers will go do a wedding and they knew nothing about being a wedding photographer because that’s mostly documentary photography.

And the backups required and shooting on dual card slots and just not missing anything and creating compelling documentary photographs is a whole, portraiture.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:31:57] The pace as well. The day of the day of shooting is a very different pace.
people find you online if they are looking for more.

Jason Marino: [00:32:07] our website is, ImaginePhotoAZ.com all of our Instagram and Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, it’s all Imagine Photo AZ. That’s all of our handles. So we’re pretty easy to find that way. And of course we love mentoring and working with other photographers and we have people fly in and meet with us quite often to help train them one on one and help them build their successful businesses for themselves.

So we’re happy to do that. And then I can be emailed directly. Jason @ imaginephotoAZ.com

Christine Tremoulet: [00:32:38] I love it and I will, of course, everything will be notes, but thank you so much for giving us a little inside behind the scenes.

Jason Marino: [00:32:47] I appreciate you having me on the show. This is a really fun for me and I enjoy doing it.

One last tip – refine your process & practice!

And, you know, one last thing I just want people to know is that . All this. You know, I’m probably making it sound like it’s no big deal. You know? Oh, this is easy. We just turn on the switch and make money. But it’s not like that.

And so it really is important that you refine your processes and practice, practice, practice, so that when you do have actual clients, you aren’t fumbling around because you need to be confident in everything you do
so that your clients feel confident in you.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:33:19] Such a fantastic tip. Thank you for sharing that.

Jason Marino: [00:33:22] Oh, it’s my pleasure. And yeah, again, thanks for having me on
the show. Looking forward to listening back.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:33:28] And, um, if, if anybody spots a guy at Imaging or WPPI that looks like you’re like, Oh my God, that’s The Rock. It’s not The Rock. It’s Jason. But they should come up and say hi to you. Right?

Jason Marino: [00:33:41] Yeah. And everyone calls me Rock anyway, so it’s actually totally okay if you walk up, say “what’s up, Rock?” And I’ll actually turn around and acknowledge you because that’s what everyone calls me. So it works out good. We’re, when we’re, you know, we’re the same height, which is nice. And, he, he, he works out a little bit more than me, but yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s me. Look for me and say, hi, big brown tattooed guy.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:34:03] Well, I think I, I feel like on a podcast, like people never know necessarily what someone looks like. So, but if you, but if you see the Rock, go say hi to him. He’ll either be the Rock and he’s real. I’ve heard he’s really nice and friendly too.

Jason Marino: [00:34:19] He is. He’s a nice guy. Met him before so.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:34:23] Was it like looking in a mirror?

Jason Marino: [00:34:24] It was funny cause I had always, I got to do a, I got to do a, I don’t know, like a walk on part or whatever you want to call it on his HBO show Ballers a few seasons ago. So I’m seeing, I always had this funny thing, like we saw each other in person. We’d stop and just kind of look at each other and be like, you know what?

Who is this guy? You know? And kind of this funny moment. But, it wasn’t like that at all. He’s just a, he’s a sweet guy. And yeah, it was fun working on the show. And. And, yeah, it was weird. So good times.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:34:53] Thank you again, and I can’t wait to see you both coming up in spring

Jason Marino: [00:34:59] Oh, thank you. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

Christine Tremoulet: [00:35:02] Thank you again so much for joining us. Show notes for this episode are available at Reframesuccess.com

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By Christine

Business Coach for Local Businesses, founder of the InstaLocal System, and Best-Selling Author. Blogger since 2000, I named WordPress. (Yes. Really.) My Superpower: Helping Local Business owners like you use the power of story to magnetize clients and dominate your market. It is time to stop believing the lies of the Perfection Culture. I live in Houston, Texas when I'm not on a road trip adventure in my Mini Cooper.

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