"In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity."
The year was 1995. We were just starting on the road of creating our iconic style of Relationship Black and White Fine Art portraits that would later prove to be our saving grace.
We didn't know it. We couldn't foresee it. And...we didn't know that we would be able to create a whole new genre of products to answer a major difficulty we had-we couldn't print anything larger than a 20x24 with our darkroom sink size.
We needed to be able to fill a client's wall space in their home, so how did we overcome? How did we take this obstacle to create many new opportunities?
DECISION ONE: SELL ONLY SQUARE FORMAT AND INCLUDE A MAT
We made the decision that every print would need to be square (20x20,16X16 or 11X11). To make each of these take up more space on a client's wall, we decided each would come with a white, acid-free rag mat. Not only did the mat increase the size, it also gave our prints the look of a fine art presentation.
Today, following the same vein, we call this our "Museum Print." It is easier to sell and hang wall portraits in multiples when all portraits are square.
DECISION TWO: SELL IN GROUPINGS
We were always taught to sell one LARGE wall portrait when we shot color to be successful. Now we had a problem as we couldn't sell one large portrait (the largest paper we had was 20x20) and take up enough space.
We had to think differently. A new idea.
A second way to fill up a client's walls with smaller prints was to offer multiple images which spawned a new idea...creating and offering 3 different "mini" styles within the session, all with different purposes.
TheEstablishingportrait was essentially the entire family, looking their best with the goal of hanging in the parent's home as their legacy piece. This image typically became the centerpiece of the wall grouping
TheAbbreviationswere purposed to capture each child with a parent which would later be that child's legacy to be given to them when they were adults. These images added to the Establishing portrait to complete the story of the family.
TheMomentswere the spontaneous images that became the memories of that day and often were put into a book or album.
Now, there was a logical reason to purchase a grouping PLUS it gave our products purpose.
I love it when an obstacle stretches us as artists.