In my six years as a photographer, I’ve heard hundreds of bits of advice on how I can and should run my business better. Some examples: I need to offer just digital files because that’s what people want. I need to do in-person sales because that’s how you make more money. I need to offer fewer photos per session to save time editing. I need to give clients all the photos so they feel they’re getting more value. I need to have at least three different packages to suit all types of budgets. I need to have only one package so as to not overwhelm potential clients… It’s an avalanche of seemingly conflicting advice and for a new business owner, can be incredibly confusing.

After years of trying all the advice only to find myself frustrated and uncomfortable, and not seeing the results other photographers were seeing, I realized that the best advice for any business to grow is this: Model the business after yourself. You see, all of the business owners who give advice have had huge success following their models because they are models that fit their personalities and their client bases… but they don’t fit mine.

Miller's print lab photography products by Kellie Bieser

How Miller’s Professional Imaging works for my business.

And so I set out to create a model that works for me.

I am a busy mom of five kids who doesn’t have a lot of extra time to explain various packages, pricing scales, or product lines. Therefore I have one package that includes the session and digital files — and a specially chosen gift. Yes you heard right: I want my clients to feel truly cared for during their sessions, therefore I give each client a special printed gift and up to 35 of their digital files to let them know how much I appreciate their business.

I choose my gift based on the feel of each session; Miller’s products make it possible for me to choose something unique and precious for every client. Different sessions beg for different product choices; sometimes it’s a canvas, or a metal print, or a custom print box with 5x7s of every shot.

Then here’s what happens next, every client, every session: When my client sees how cool Miller’s products are, they come back for more.

I am passionate about beautifully printed products to display my art the way it was meant to be seen. I am not super excited to try and “sell” to families (who are often budgeting for all the things my own family has to budget for and aren’t wanting a sales pitch). I am a perfectionist. I want every last detail of my client experience to be the best it can be — therefore I work with Miller’s.

Miller's print lab photography products by Kellie Bieser

Miller’s prints sell themselves.

I don’t have to “sell” Miller’s products because Miller’s products speak for themselves. There is no denying the beauty of a professionally framed fine art print. I don’t have to say a word for a client to see the difference between a Miller’s canvas and one they would print themselves. And a Signature Book is the perfect way to show clients the visual story of how I see their families while allowing them feel the difference of gorgeous press paper lay flat pages.

I knew that this business model would make me happy and I hoped that it would make my clients happy. But the most wonderful surprise is that it has grown my business. I don’t have to talk about the difference between drug store prints and Miller’s products because my clients can see and feel the difference in the printed gift they receive.

When clients walk into my in-home studio, they see it filled with Miller’s wall art and they want that in their own homes. Without me ever having to suggest it, the vast majority of my clients ask to buy more. I don’t have to sell prints because Miller’s (and their commitment to creating a range of products with a perfectionist’s attention to detail and unmatched quality) sells prints for me!

Miller's print lab photography products by Kellie Bieser

No matter how you choose to structure your business, do it in a way that serves your clients while staying true to you. By partnering with Miller’s Professional Imaging, you’re creating products that will bring true joy to your clients. They’ll display your art the way it was meant to be seen, and chances are, that ongoing reminder of what you created for them will keep them coming back to you for years to come.

All images by Kellie Bieser

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