“Leverage new technology to increase profits.”
These are the words tech guru, artist, and visionary Brian Derenski uses to describe the manner in which he’s growing his business successfully. It all began on the sidelines, while he took photos of his own child during their games. Curiously, this led to other parents asking if he’d photograph their children as well – beginning a small side venture for Brian. This all changed when he noticed the contracted league photographer taking photos of his son’s baseball team. Brian could tell he had a great way with kids, but he looked extremely overwhelmed. To help out, Brian gave him a card, and the very next week, the two of them were photographing an entire soccer league. Over time, the two became business partners. After experiencing a lot of initial success, the league photographer left their business to pursue commercial work – this left Brian in the position of sole owner and operator of his studio. Without looking back, he has taken on everything, serving as his own graphic designer, marketer, shooter, and editor. His versatile talents have created a unique photography business focused primarily on school sports and senior portraits.
Putting Together a Team
Brian was eager to get away from paperwork and order forms. After piecing together a few different digital services, he stumbled upon PhotoDay. After working with it for some time, Brian fell in love with its use of cutting edge technology to get directly in front of the customer, being able to update his entire volume photography workflow without sacrificing the profitable studio package.
Brian tells the story of one specific team to explain how PhotoDay has saved him time, while also increasing his sales –
In 2018, he photographed a baseball team that had been unhappy with their previous photographer. The main complaint from parents was that they were unable to choose from an array of poses for their child. The interim solution Brian proposed involved creating a posing sheet from which parents could choose which poses they wanted – however, this led to a grueling, stressful shoot, taking almost four minutes per player to capture these poses. He later described the whole situation as “a nightmare”.
This changed in 2019 when Brian went back to the very same league, with one very notable adjustment to his strategy: PhotoDay. With the ability for parents to choose which poses they wish to purchase after the photos are taken, time and stress were greatly reduced for both himself and parents. As he said, “the multi-pose thing is gold with PhotoDay. It drives sales”.
A sales comparison
This table here shows an example of one baseball club photographed by Brian in both 2018 and 2019. After adopting PhotoDay in 2019, he saw his total sales jump by over $500, even with nine less orders than the previous year. This is explained by his average order value skyrocketing from $33.25 to $50.35!
“The longer you wait to answer someone, the less likely they are to care about the answer.” Brian believes strongly in communication and uses marketing to drive his business. The vast majority of his senior portrait clients are of individuals he has previously photographed on a team. Brian advises asking leagues for a full roster with contact information so that studios can directly contact parents and explain how their picture day works. Once a studio has this information, following up with customers with reminders and special offers becomes that much easier.
Brian has so fully incorporated PhotoDay into his business that he’s including it into his sales pitch for leagues. When a new league or team reaches out to him via his website, they are led to a page explaining how PhotoDay work. His website even includes several of PhotoDay’s educational videos, helping potential clients familiarize themselves with the process!
For these next steps, Brian has decided to pursue some new business. He had always shied away from volume school photography due to the large workload but now feels that PhotoDay has simplified things to a point where he can pursue those clients as well as larger leagues he had previously given up.
“I like to call PhotoDay my ‘Force Multiplier.’ It multiplies me times an exponent that now I can go out there and get way more than I was capable of doing before because it’s so much faster.”