Our Vendor Spotlight series continues with Chris Scott of Swift Galleries. Chris along with Adrienne, his wife, are the founders of Swift Galleries – a powerful photography sales software that helps photographers drive more profit through in-person sales.
For artists and creatives, venturing into in-person sales (IPS) can feel like stepping into uncharted territory. IPS carries a daunting stigma because, well, it means selling. But selling doesn’t mean being salesy – there is a distinct difference. And Chris knows the difference well. He says it starts with learning to sell prints, not just digital files. “Sell your clients something that they can hand down to their kids. No one dreams about passing down an image file” when they think about their legacy. Selling wall art, albums, and prints means offering your clients something that they can cherish forever. And printed product sales mean more profit for your business – profit beyond the initial session fee or investment. Swift Galleries has many features and helps photographers take the guesswork out of the process of selling wall art and prints.
The Perks of Using Swift Galleries
Per their website, Swift Galleries is “refreshingly simple, intuitive wall design and photography sales software for busy professionals.” Here are some of the features:
- The Swift Galleries Designer: Show your clients the images on their walls – at the exact size, with the exact image.
- Room Photos: Use your clients’ room photos or choose from 50 different room photos to show them what images would look like on their walls, real-time.
- Wall Gallery Templates: Show your clients what a collection of photos will look like on their walls using an unlimited gallery of layouts, or make your own.
- Suggested Layouts: Pre-design a collection of layouts to show your clients and make quicker sales.
- Sales Meeting: Run your entire IPS meeting online or in-person using the Swift Gallery software. Compare images, cull images you show as you go to make it easier for the clients to decide on “yes” or “no.”
- Built-In Slideshow Feature: Create a slideshow to show your clients using Swift Galleries technology, or embed a third-party slideshow.
- Add-On Products: Above and beyond wall art, you can also create custom add-on products to sell and entice clients with “real-time” discounts as you sell.
- Integrated Payment Processing: No hidden fees and no commissions.
And that’s just the beginning! In our conversation with Chris, you’ll learn so much more about his philosophy on IPS and why (even if you don’t use Swift Galleries) you’re leaving money on the table if you’re not doing IPS.
ShootDotEdit: Tell us a little about your origin story. How did you guys start and what led to the foundation of your business? Did you guys start as photographers? If so, what led to the change?
Chris: Adrienne and I were wedding and portrait photographers for nine years out of the Nashville area and ended up building the software to scratch our own itch. We had been using another software and wanted something mobile that we could use on a tablet. We wanted something that was more streamlined and all of that led to asking some friends if they knew about software development.
"Our first thing was an iPad-based app called Preveal."
We ended up finding somebody who could create an iPad app for us. So our first thing was an iPad-based app called Preveal. It was way back in the dark ages of 2012. We launched Preveal and that was iPad-only, but it took off because it was just something that was there at the right place, right time. Alongside that, we were coaching some of our friends, also in the Nashville area, and starting to do a little bit of coaching outside of just our circle of friends.
Initially, we were just shooting – like a lot of photographers are when they first start. As that’s what we thought we were supposed to do. And we made it a year before we realized that something had to change. Mainly because we were working way too hard for way too little. So at the time, Adrienne was an elementary school music teacher. And we had just gotten married and she was already financially supporting us. And so we made it that year but then it got to a point where, I remember this vividly, she came into the office and said “Hey, I’ve been going through our numbers and this isn’t working.”
"We started digging deep into how to actually be profitable and have a sustainable business."
But instead of asking me to get a “real job”, she said, “maybe what I could do is just get another part-time job and work weekends.” So that was kind of a wake-up call for me. I thought to myself “I’ve been doing what I think I’m supposed to do instead of what I think I should be doing”. We had been playing business and I was just copying what other people were doing. So we started digging deep into how to actually be profitable and have a sustainable business. We ended up attending some events – like the PPA’s Imaging USA conference – and there we heard about this whole thing called in-person sales. And we wondered, what is this magical beast? So we switched to IPS and within a few months saw the impact. We did it drastically and we got really lucky.
"We were photographers, and now we’re not. We do this full-time now."
Then things changed. I found out I have rheumatoid arthritis, so I couldn’t shoot anymore. We didn’t really realize it for a couple more years, but it was already showing up and it was starting to hold me back. Thankfully, for us, that was also about the time when Preveal took off and other things, too. So we were able to transition to full-time managing that and coaching, which is nice. I would love to continue shooting, but it’s just not a practical thing for me. So we were photographers, and no we’re not. We are Swift Galleries full time now, which is great because now I can help other people, and see those same massive changes in their business as we did in ours.
Suggested Read: Finding Your Photography Style: Develop & Evolve At Your Own Pace
ShootDotEdit: What was your thought process during the initial days into the business? Is there a story behind the first sale and the sale thereafter?
Chris: It worked! The first client we ever did IPS with was just shy of a $6,000 sale. And we thought this is going to be easy. But the next weekend, we made a $25 sale. It brought us back to earth really quickly. Honestly, I think that the $25 sale was more important than the $6,000 sale because it was that one that made us realize that this isn’t easy. But we do see that it works. So it forced us to start looking at what worked there and what didn’t work here, and asking “what did we miss?”
"By the end of that year, we had done $116,000 in sales."
I think that if we would’ve had smooth sailing, every single session, right from the beginning, we would’ve never worked to improve. Since we had that terrible sale on the second weekend, we understood that we know this works, but we have to figure out why it didn’t work this time. It really forced us to take a good, hard look at every step of our process. The first sale was in April and by the end of that year, we had done $116,000 in sales. I think it was around $92,000 in profit. So it was life-changing for us.
ShootDotEdit: What initiated the teaching and training aspect of the business? And how did it start?
Chris: It started with teaching some of the people in our friend circle. The reason we were teaching some of our friends was that they asked what changed, “how are you guys doing this?” So we invited them to just hang out. And we said, “we’ll just tell you about what it is that we’re doing. There’s no magic to it. We’re attracting the right client, we’re finding out what people want, and then we’re just giving it to them.” That’s essentially what it is. And I think we turn in-person sales into this big scary thing, and really it’s just attracting the people who want what you do in the first place.
ShootDotEdit: How did Preveal transition into Swift Galleries? Did the teaching segment play any role in it?
Chris: Yes, teaching kind of led into Preveal and that transitioned into what we do now, which is Swift Galleries. It was like – if Preveal was the Wright Brothers Plane, then Swift Galleries is the Boeing 747. It’s the same idea, only it’s a sales tool and a design tool. It helps photographers show their clients what their photos would look like on their walls at the right size from a design perspective. Then, we also added this whole other section that is the sales meeting. It’ll walk a photographer step-by-step through a slideshow, cull, comparing similar images, selling wall art, selling other images, and it does it within the context of how we teach in-person sales. So it’s a really cool tool. That’s our story.
ShootDotEdit: How would you introduce the concept of in-person sales to other photographers who are new to it or are somewhat hesitant to approach it?
Chris: I think that there’s a stigma around in-person sales. First, it has that scary word “sales” in it. And we photographers are artsy-fartsy people and are more inclined towards just creating and giving things away. So there is this stigma of “I have to be a salesperson”. And I think, there’s also this idea that “I’m just not there yet” or “I’m not good enough to do in-person sales yet.” And the way I like to teach and position this concept for people is let’s just stop thinking about IPS as in-person sales.
"Forget that IPS stands for in-person sales. Define IPS as an incredibly personal service."
If you say “I can’t sell, I suck at selling”, or “I don’t want to sell” or “my clients don’t like to be sold to”, then I want you to forget that IPS stands for in-person sales and now define IPS as incredibly personal service because that’s what it is. Now, look at it from this perspective and say those same sentences and see how ridiculous they sound – I don’t like to “serve” my clients, my clients don’t like being “served” to.
We like to throw around the word boutique in the photography industry, this is what boutique looks like. It’s this idea that you’re crafting this experience around every single individual client. Those of you who are in a shoot and burn kind of rut, and are thinking, this is not sustainable, but you’re hesitant to do in-person sales, or you’re just hesitant to sell, I want you to really dig deep and think about this – is the process that you’re using right now, whether it’s shooting and burning or shooting and sharing, truly serving your client or is just more convenient? We confuse convenience with service a lot.
ShootDotEdit: The idea of incredible personal service is so impactful! And the idea that what is convenient isn’t always right for you, or the client! Wow!
Chris: Yes! And look – is what you are doing now (when you shoot and share) more convenient for your client? Absolutely. Is it actually serving your client though? I would argue, no, because what we do when we hand over files is we’re essentially saying, “Hey, here are your files, good luck figuring out what to do with them.” And that’s not service. So if you build your brand on this idea that you truly serve your clients, IPS is the way to serve your clients. Help them figure out what to do with these images that you created for them, and do it in a way that truly serves them. And that’s what I mean when I say incredibly personal service, rather than in-person sales.
ShootDotEdit: So in-person sales centers a lot around meeting clients and doing sales in person. So how did you pivot after the COVID outbreak when pretty much everything went digital and online?
Chris: Actually, I think the term in-person sales is really not even that relevant to being in person because we do a lot of this over Zoom. As things are relaxing right now, by all means, go back to doing in-person sales, as long as you feel like it’s safe for you and it’s not breaking any laws in your area. But over the last year and a half, we have been actively encouraging people, especially because of COVID, to explore the sales session online.
"The return on their time invested is actually higher when they do a virtual sale."
In fact, what a lot of our members have found is that the return on their time invested is actually higher when they do a virtual sale than doing it in person. Are they making as high of a sale? Not necessarily. But are they spending far less time traveling and preparing and getting the kids to clean up the room? Yes. So when they look at the time that they’ve spent, they’re actually making more of a profit doing virtual sales than they are in person.
Now, there are always going to be exceptions to that rule. But for the most part, you just have to look at the return on the time invested. Count your time with your costs and look at that very scientifically, rather than with just emotion. Analytically, what do my numbers say? What makes me more money? Do I still feel like I’m serving my client well, doing this? If the answer is yes. Great!
ShootDotEdit: Switching to IPS when you haven’t used it with past clients can be a really big deal for photographers. How would you want other photographers to approach this change or transition?
Chris: I know that it is a really big deal for photographers who are switching over to IPS, who are even considering switching. They want to understand how I approach this with my past clients. How do I tell them that I’ve changed what I offer? They think that they are going to lose all of their clients – and they worry about that a ton. Here are few things to keep in mind when going through this transition to IPS:
- In complete honesty, you’re going to lose some clients. The plus point, they’re probably not the clients that are going to be loyal to you, anyway. If you raise your prices, you’re probably going to lose them. They’re loyal to your price and they will go to the person next door to you if their price is lower.
- The clients who do understand or the clients who do stay are going to be the ones who understand this pain, even more strongly than brand new clients. You can ask them – “hey, what did you do with the digital images of the photos that we took last year?” And 99.9% of them are going to say “nothing”. And what this does is give us, as the photographer, a very unique opportunity to step into that gap and immediately take the blame. Since as soon as you ask that, it’s going to put them on the defensive, but you can step in saying “That’s not your fault. That’s mine. I didn’t do my job. My job is not done until you have something that you can enjoy daily, that you can look at on your wall, that you can pass down. And until that’s done, I haven’t finished my job. So that’s why I’m doing it this way now.” And those are the transition words. That’s the way that you talk to your past clients about it. I really love that kind of segue – that transition – because it allows you to take the blame, it allows you to surface that pain point for them and then immediately reverse it.
ShootDotEdit: Is it possible to approach your past clients and sell them products from previous sessions you’ve done with them?
Chris: With past clients, you have an opportunity to not only sell them photos from the current session, but also from previous sessions. You can now say that – hey, I blew it before, but let’s go do this session, but we’ll also build a gallery for you and that can include some things from the past sessions we’ve done as well. And guess what? Now, they end up with something even more meaningful to them on their wall and you end up with a better sale. So that’s a win-win.
ShootDotEdit: How do you navigate the conversation when a client says they have a small space and don’t really have room on their walls and just want the digitals?
Chris: First, you will be amazed at how many people are just “about to move into a new home” when you start doing in-person sales. Everyone is just about to move into a different house and they have no idea what the wall space is going to look like.
The second thing is, if you’ve done your job right up to that point, then that should never happen. Everybody thinks that the sales meeting itself is the only time when the sale happens. They put all this pressure on this one-hour meeting. And that is not at all how incredibly personal service works.
The sale happens in all of the things that happened before that sales meeting. The meeting is just the time where you say – hey, remember that thing that you saw on my website, and then we talked about it, you told me what you wanted, then I made it for you, well here it is! Now, what else do you want? That’s all the sales meeting is, so ideally you will be attracting the right people to your business in the first place. So you won’t deal with that person who says I don’t want anything for my walls.
Related Read: Top 5 Tips For Selling Wall Art To Every Client
ShootDotEdit: Can you suggest some ways that can help photographers attract the right clients?
Chris: There are a ton of things that you can do to make sure that you’re attracting those people. First, show wall art. Everywhere someone sees your work, they have to see it in the context of the product you would want them to buy. Even if they don’t realize they’re doing it consciously, always connect your work with physical products or show physical products. If you go to your website, what are you showing your clients that you sell? And if you’re thinking “I’m not showing products, so I’m showing them nothing” that’s actually not true! You’re showing them digital images. You’re showing them ones and zeros on the screen.
"Help your clients visualize exactly what they’re going to get with the Swift Galleries Designer."
When everywhere they look they’re being pummeled with wall art, then it becomes a lot less a conversation about digital. It will help people recognize that people come to you for wall art. Then, when you communicate that in your emails and your inquiry phone calls, you’re saying “so what do you want to do with the artwork we’re going to create?” We’re not even talking about digital in those conversations. We just assume that printed product sale right from the start because we’ve set the expectation already on our website. Everywhere they touch our brand we should really be setting expectations.
ShootDotEdit: Can you shed some light on what these expectations are?
Chris: We can talk about three different expectations that need to be set everywhere someone touches your brand: product, price, and process. What products do people get from me? What price are they going to pay? And what does the process look like to get those products? So if you’re setting those expectations upfront, then ideally, by the time you get to the end, you won’t run into that situation where they say “we don’t even have wall space.”
ShootDotEdit: And what’s your mantra or plan for when you do run into that particular situation when the client still says we do not have space for wall art? What do you do then?
Chris: As a photographer, you can say a lot of things, I would say you don’t have to be all wall art, all the time. Sell them an album, sell them a box full of prints, sell them something that they can hand down to their kids. There are tons of things that you could still sell. Also, another solution would be to start suggesting multi-image wall displays with smaller prints, especially for those people who say that they are going to be moving and are skeptical about their wall space. You can pitch a triptych – 3 smaller pieces of art that make a series – so that way, if they end up in a small space, you can suggest that they break up the trio and spread them across different rooms or areas in their home.
Something really important to me is this idea of “don’t try to sell the biggest thing, sell the right thing.” And if that means that it’s a small thing today, it’s okay. Next year, they will come back because you were good to them and you sold them the right thing for their space and now they’ve upgraded and finally moved into that new house. So, now they’re going to say “yes” to wall art. Or maybe they’d never do that, but they might refer somebody who does. Or maybe they never do that, but you still get the good karma out of it. It’s just that you sold them THE RIGHT THING. You didn’t just try to get the biggest thing on their wall. Because if you do sell them something that’s not the right fit for them, they’ll eventually find out.
ShootDotEdit: What is it like to become a customer of Swift Galleries? Tell us more about what you get and what the process is.
Chris: Swift Galleries itself is the tool. So we do have some education, especially around setting up your account. Moreover, we like to give context because there are a lot of tools out there that say they are plug and play, that this is the silver bullet where all you need to do is buy my tool and everything is going to work perfectly for you. That’s not me. This tool is best used within the context of good, solid business practices. So we really like to teach that as well. Also – we have two different branches of our business. We have the software side and the coaching side. We have some courses, we have what we call the printmaker system and the printmaker accelerator.
"You get direct access to me through a voice messaging app called Voxer."
Our accelerator program is more hands-on – it’s a six-week program where you get biweekly group calls, a couple of one-on-one calls with me, and direct access to me through a voice messaging app called Voxer – and that’s where we would dive deep, all the way down to the emails you sen, when you send them, what scripts you use, and how to respond to an inquiry phone call.
Outside of that accelerator program, you can just opt into Swift Galleries membership. As a member you do still get some of the sales training because it’s not just a tool that’s going to magically work – you have to use it a certain way. So your membership gets you access to the tool, access to some training, and access to the Facebook group where we teach the same things.
In fact, you don’t even need to be a Swift Galleries member to be a part of our Facebook group called Product Sales for Pro Photographers. If you get into that group, there’s a whole section in there on print sales 101 and it just goes through a ton of information. It goes through what we now call our AEDD framework: Attract, Excite, Delight, Deliver.
ShootDotEdit: Tell us more about the AEDD Framework!
Chris: As I mentioned, it stands for attract, excite, delight, and deliver: how to attract clients who want printed products, how to build their excitement throughout your process for those products, how to delight them with a sales process that feels nothing like sales, and then how to deliver on all of that stuff. So you can work all of this for free from us in that Facebook group without even needing the Swift Galleries membership.
Chris: There are things that Swift Galleries was made to do, and then there are some things that it was not made to do. With this tool, you can design wall art galleries. You can also upload and calibrate your client’s own wall photos. This helps you show images to them at the right size, in the context of their own home. I really love that because it’s almost like a try before you buy. The clients can see exactly what it is going to look like before they have to commit to it. So you get the designer tool, but then you also get the full sales training part.
"If it goes on the wall, Swift Galleries can help you sell it."
We have a whole section in the tool where you can also load in all the other things that you sell. If you offer it, you can sell it. In addition to that, with the full built-in checkout system, you can actually make the sale right then and there while your clients’ emotions are high and they want to go forward with it.
ShootDotEdit: Can you explain how these products & services differentiate Swift Galleries from your competition?
Chris: As far as what differentiates Swift Galleries from others out there, it’s a little bit weird. It is an odd answer, but it’s what we don’t do rather than what we actually do. So we pride ourselves on being refreshingly simple. At the very beginning, Adrienne and I used a different software that was a big piece of software. When we created this, we set out to not make another really big software. We want a scalpel, not a hammer.
Every single thing that we add into Swift Galleries runs through the filter of “is this something that will help someone in an in-person sales meeting or an incredibly personal service meeting?”, if the answer is “no”, then it doesn’t go in. We’re always running everything through the context of “is this something that will help the clients in a sales meeting?” That’s what’s going to separate us from others – we are a very specific tool for a very specific job and we do that one job really well.
"We are a very specific tool for a very specific job and we do that one job really well."
Another thing that separates us from the herd is our focus on photographers, specifically, those who are switching to in-person sales. They are our people. While other tools may talk about these users whose names you’ve heard, we pride ourselves on having customers you maybe have never heard of but they’re doing really well.
ShootDotEdit: Can you share some of the comments or success stories of your clients where Swift Galleries played a pivotal role in their lives and careers?
Chris: We have a member in Florida who did $60,000 in print sales in November of last year. That was in the middle of COVID in one month. And we have members who have bought houses or renovated old houses with the profit they earned from print sales. We have one member who bought a sailboat in cash from the extra money that she made selling prints!
"One Swift Galleries member bought a sailboat in cash from the extra money that she made selling prints."
Some responses leave you emotional when you receive them. One such message was this – “I got divorced last year, I’m raising three teenage daughters myself now. And I wouldn’t be able to do this without Swift Galleries. I would have to go back to teaching and not being around my kids, not being here for these pivotal moments in their lives. And because of your tool, I’m able to make the money that I need to be able to support my family on my own now.” I never saw that coming because it wasn’t really real for me until we started getting emails like that.
Suggested Read: Why Educating Your Clients Is Crucial For Success
ShootDotEdit: Okay, this could be a bit controversial, but do you think brand new photographers can still benefit from in-person sales?
Chris: This is actually something we think about a lot. So, for this coaching program that we have, I do one-on-one calls with people before they ever even join coaching so that I can look at their work. I talk to them about their goals and figure out how we can help them. And there are a few times when my honest feedback is that “you need to continue working on your skills and hit a certain threshold before we can get you the kind of results that you’ll hear us talk about.”
My real opinion on this is if you’re just looking at being a shoot and burn photographer right now, and would like to switch to selling prints, and you’re not putting a number on it – you’re not saying I need to be making $2,500 per session or similar – then, in that case, I think, yes, you could absolutely benefit from this if you’re a brand new photographer because again, it goes back to thinking about it in the context of incredibly personal service. And you phrase the question that way – can I benefit from serving my client better? Well, yeah, absolutely.
And I like to think of it this way, if you have clients who are already paying you for files, then you’ve already proven that there’s a market for your work. Now let’s do something with those files. Let’s serve that client better. So that’s my take. If they’re already paying you for files, then you’ll find people who will pay you for prints. Now, if you want to hit $3,005,000 in sales, you have to be a pretty good photographer too, or at least a certain threshold of good. There’s only one best photographer in your market. That’s literally how the word ‘best’ works – there’s only one. If you’re not that one, then you have to have something else to compete. Maybe you can serve your client better than anybody else, and Swift Galleries will help you figure out how to do that.
ShootDotEdit: Is there room for in-person sales in commercial photography or business headshot photography? Do you think it could be considered possible, or is that more out of the realm of possibility?
Chris: So I’m going to cheat by changing the rules of that question. Because IPS means you’re building anticipation for all this artwork that you’re going to put on a wall, you have to change the conversation to fit the client.
We have a friend who photographs artists. He’s the photographer for iHeartRadio and he did a full tour for a huge artist. And at the end of that tour, he compiled all of these photos into a big album and had that album printed for that artist, and then sold the management team on getting one for every single person who was on the tour. Even if you are doing small-scale headshots, it’s great. Just sell them one piece for the office or use that as a springboard for family sessions, especially if you’re doing a lot of lifestyle sessions.
There’s absolutely room for wall art or product sales in commercial photography. A couple of examples. We have a member who sold around 43 metal prints to a brand new hospital. She got hired by the hospital chain, went out and photographed landscapes around Hawaii, and sold them – tens of thousands of dollars worth of metal prints and designed all of those and showed them exactly what that was going to look like in the hospital actually before it was even finished being built. I think they gave her the CAD designs and gave her the scale.
We have another photographer who did something very similar for the home office of an oil company in Louisiana. It was around $14,000 worth of prints for the oil company.
So there’s absolutely room for product sales. It’s just different.
ShootDotEdit: Apart from Swift Galleries, what would you say are the other necessary tools in the business toolkit of the photographer that can help them become a successful business owner?
Chris: I would say it depends on where you are in your business. The tools that I would recommend for somebody would be whatever is the next tool that you need to be successful. Look at all of the things that you need to do in your business, look at it very analytically, and ask yourself what is the one thing on this list that you can do or buy that’s going to make everything else easier? It is so easy to get overwhelmed with all of the things that we have to do as business owners, so let’s change the rules and weed it down to one thing.
"Look at the next thing you need and nothing else."
If you’re more advanced in your business though, and you’re now looking for ways to streamline the process and to aim to cut back on your time, then that’s where I would say new management software is necessary. ShootDotEdit is an absolute must-have. It all comes down to context and where you are in your business. So if you are at the point where you know that you are doing pretty well, then ask yourself – how do you want to scale your business? Do you want to do it by getting more people in the door, by making more money per person, or by cutting back on the costs? All three of those things are going to give you more money at the end of the day.
ShootDotEdit: Is Swift Galleries also available as a mobile app?
Chris: It’s all web-based. It’ll work across laptops, desktops, tablets, all of that. That was actually why we switched from just being on iPad because we had all the Android people coming to us and calling us mean names. And instead of just developing an Android version, we decided to just make the tool web-based.
ShootDotEdit: What do you see in the future of Swift Galleries? Are there any big upcoming reveals that are on the way that potential customers can look up to?
Chris: We have some plans to make some pretty good changes to the Swift Galleries Designer. One is better renderings of frames. However, for Swift Galleries, the main focus right now is how we can continue to just help photographers use it and implement it in the best way possible. So, honestly, at the moment, we are a lot more focused on the educational side of things because the tool is there. It’s making people a lot of money already. However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t continue to add features.
We are also looking forward to streamlining our free trial process. So one of the things that we’re looking at right now is when you sign up for a free trial, we just already have your account set up for you. We’ve got products in there, we’ve got prices. We’re looking at ways to streamline that whole process so that we can just tell photographers to jump in and start playing and ideally start selling well before the free trial is even over. But truly, our number one priority is member success. How can we make our members more successful? Let’s get more people faster wins during their free trial.
ShootDotEdit: Sounds like a lot of interesting things are in the making! On that note of excitement, tell us a bit about what you love about what you do? What brings you to work every morning?
Chris: I will share an experience from one of our sessions – one of the first ones that we did IPS where it was a good sale. It was not like that $6,000 one, but it was still a $3,000 sale. At the time, we were still so new at it and so we were a bit nervous. Then, the couple’s mom came over and we went through the sales meeting and it was a $3,000 sale and she wrote the check and she’s handing it to me. Then, she started crying and hugged me. She said, “Thank you so much. This means so much to me.” And my response was – “no, I’m the one who should be crying saying the same thing to you right now.”
That was a pivotal moment for me when I realized that this is incredibly personal service, this is not sales. There was something really powerful about that. I made this money, I made these images, and I made this moment happen. That’s why I wake up – for other people to have that moment where somebody ugly cries on their shoulder and they can have that realization. The realization that I’m good at what I do and I made this possible with my own hands and I got to make this for somebody who appreciates it this much.
"What you do is create reminders of why life is worth living."
And I’ll leave you with this last thing that my brother made me realize in a conversation that we were having a few years back when he asked me about how things were going. I thought, next to you, it’s boring. I take pictures. You are in law enforcement, you legit save people’s lives. And he replied, “what you do is vitally important because when I come back from work, I see the photos you’ve taken of our family, and I’m reminded of why life is worth living in the first place.” And it moved me. And what we get to do now is help photographers do that for other people, and get those moments. It’s really cool for me to be able to be a part of other people’s businesses so that they can, in a sustainable way, get paid very well for the fact that they create reminders of why life was worth living in the first place. If you look at it in that context, you should, as a photographer, be paid well for that. Starving artists – that’s BS. Get paid for your work. Do what you do really well and then be compensated for it so that everyone is happy.
ShootDotEdit: Wow! That’s really profound. Lastly, we would love to know how our readers can find you and learn more about Swift Galleries?
Chris: You can visit our website, and check out what we are up to on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Testing the waters of in-person sales can be a challenging phase in a photographer’s life. Navigating emotions of fear and uncertainty around sales, in general, can further add up to a state of constant confusion. However, photography sales software such as Swift Galleries can make the transition easier for you. With a host of features, this tool can be your backbone to drive more in-person sales, sell more prints and wall art, and be more profitable. All the while you are learning the in and outs of the system and growing your business towards a rewarding outcome.
Further Read: IPS Photography Business Tips For Wedding Photographers
Chris, we want to express our sincere thanks to you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share the story of Swift Galleries. It was indeed an inspiring journey and we believe our readers will love learning about you, the business you’ve built, your passion for teaching and training in-person sales, and how you continue to help the photography community benefit from it. We wish you and Adrienne our best! And we can’t wait to see what other success stories you will be a part of as you continue down this path of providing incredibly personal service.
At ShootDotEdit, just like Swift Galleries, we are passionate about helping the photography community. We aim to help you grow your wedding photography business by reducing your post-production workload and doing your photo editing for you. This way, you get more time to work on your business, not in it. Want to further understand how we can be of benefit to you? View our pricing plans to learn more!
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