New Products for Summer!

Have you been thinking about trying out a new professional lab this summer? If so, you’re in luck! Here at Candid Color Systems, we are gearing up for summer with cool new products that are sure to help you beat the summer heat! We have recently added several new and exciting items to our ever growing collection of CCS products that are available to order now.  Check out what’s new!   

Mini Kling Ons

-  2 NEW sizes available: 8×10 and 16×20

-  The 8×10 Kling On includes 1- 5×7 Kling On and 2- 3.5×5 Kling Ons (all of the same image)

The 16×20 Kling On includes 1- 10×18 Kling On and 2- 8×10 Kling Ons (all of the same image)

Prices= 8×10 Mini Kling On= $7.95

    16×20 Mini Kling On=$18.95

 

 

Framed Faux Mats

-  Available in 4 sizes: 5×7, 8×10, 12×14 and 16×20

-  Choose from a wide variety of color combinations for both the inner and outer faux mats

-  All products are finished with a black frame

Prices (includes frame):

    5×7 Framed Faux Mat= $4.91

    8×10 Framed Faux Mat= $7.12

   12×14 Framed Faux Mat= $15.14

   16×20 Framed Faux Mat= $26.18

 

Freestyle Collages

-  ONLY available on our retail website

-  Available in 10 different sizes

-  Use default backgrounds or upload your own

-  Add thought/speech bubbles and customize with text

Prices= 5×7 Freestyle Collage= $1.42

    5×15 Freestyle Collage= $2.99

    8×10 Freestyle Collage= $2.83

    10×14 Freestyle Collage= $3.99

    10×18 Freestyle Collage= $6.65

    10×24 Freestyle Collage= $8.70

    10×30 Freestyle Collage= $7.66

    16×20 Freestyle Collage= $16.25

    20×24 Freestyle Collage= $24.63

    30×40 Freestyle Collage= $55.92

 

7.5×20 and 11×30 Collages

-  Available in two sizes: 7.5×20 & 11×30

-  Available in 4 different layouts and two color options (black or white)

Framing is available for the 7.5×20 size and additional mounting options are available for both sizes

-  Prices= 7.5×20 Collage= $10.75

    11×30 Collage= $21.08

 

iPhone Cases

-  Compatible with the iPhone 4 or 4S

-  Available in 3 different colors: Black, White and Clear

-  Special Promotional Price= *$12.36

 

Water Bottles

-  Printed with an image and an optional crest/logo

-  Each bottle has a metal hook and a removable twist cap

Price= $15.96

 

 

Canvas Tote Bags

-  Image is printed on one side

-  Each measures: 10.5”x12.5”

Price= $14.31

 

 

 

 

 

Ceramic Photo Tiles

-  Available in 3 sizes: 4×4, 6×8 and 8×10

-  Glossy coating protects images

Prices: 4×4= $14.26

    6×8= $14.36

    8×10= $14.63

 

 Acrylic Key Chains

-  Includes an image and a logo/crest

-  Each measures: 2.5” x 3.5”

-  Hard coated with long-lasting acrylic—More durable than our traditional key chains

Price= $2.60

 

 

Clipboards

-  Image is printed on the back of each clipboard

-  Add 3 lines of optional text to the bottom of the image

Price= $16.50

 

 

 

 

Framed 12×24 Faux Mat Collages

-  Available in 4 layout options: Trilogy- 3 Image Collage (horizontal and vertical) and Duet- 2 Image Collage (horizontal and vertical)

-  Choose from White or Black faux mats

-  Available with 2 frame finishes: Black or Cherry

Price= $93.00

 

 

 

Acrylic Panels

-  2 NEW sizes available: 5×5 and 5×10

-  Each has a metal stand for easy display

Prices: 5×5= $15.00

    5×10= $30.00

 

 

 

NEW 5×15 Mounting Options

-  Gator Mounting (3/16″ thick)

-  Box Mounting (1.5″ thick)

Prices (mounting ONLY):

    5×15 Gator Foam= $5.55

    5×15 Box Mount= $19.23

 

 NEW T-shirt Colors

-  NEW color options: Black, Chocolate, Green, Grey, Light Blue, Natural, Red, Royal Blue and White

-  All colors are available in Youth XS –Adult XXL

-  Image is printed on the front of each shirt

-  Prices: T-shirt with image only= $10.95

                     T-shirt with art (such as L2s) = $13.95

 

To learn more about these new products, contact Customer Development and become a customer today! 1-800-336-4550.

Holiday Gift Ideas to Wow Your Customers

The holidays have finally arrived, so it is time to promote gift-worthy products! Candid Color Systems has a great selection of photo gift items that your customers will love to give to their family members and friends.

Small gifts

What better way to start the season than by giving festive sculpture ornaments? The ornaments have a traditional ornament shape with a hole in the top for hanging on Christmas trees. Ornaments are made of flat acrylic and come in a set of 2 ($6.50 lab price). The front of the ornament features your customer’s favorite image.

Personalized items like photo mugs ($8.66) and mouse pads ($9.27) make creative gifts for loved ones as well. Photo mugs can be customized with text and color options. Our new t-shirts (starting at $10.95) are another great choice. Customers can choose the image they want to be printed on the shirts, creating a memorable gift.

For stocking stuffers, consider remarketing the year’s Attitude panos in our brand new 5×15 size! At just $3.58 per print, the smaller pano prints will make a nice impression for a great value (for new pano creation, the $35 artwork fee still applies).

Fine Art

CCS just launched a fantastic selection of fine art products for the home. Our acrylic displays are one-of-a-kind art pieces that highlight your box-mounted images in a modular format. The box mounts are nestled between two layers of acrylic and secured with magnets. Customers have the choice of up to four layout designs ($95) and one table top option ($60), all of which allow for the box mounts to be interchangeable. Acrylic displays are also equipped with a unique patent-pending circular wall mount that allows the piece to be balanced in any orientation.

Acrylic mounts are a beautiful product that will catch the attention of your customers. Images are printed on Fuji flex paper and fused to a crystal-clear acrylic sheet. Acrylic mounts are available in two sizes (beginning at $35) and come ready-to-hang with a sturdy mount and wall bumpers. Offer this product as a single unit, or wow your customers with modern wall groupings.

 

 

Gallery wraps are very popular right now. Starting at only $56, this product has an incredible value that is hard to pass up. Our wraps are 100% canvas hand-stretched over a sturdy wooden frame that is finished with a picture wire mount. They are available in four sizes.

Finally, framed prints and collages are also sure to please. CCS offers black frames in six sizes (beginning at $3.78 lab price). Collages can either be added to offers by themselves, or customers can use the collage builder to create their own photo art.

Remember, customers will not buy what they cannot see. A great way to bring these products to life is to include emails about holiday gifts in your email campaigns. Grab some samples of these products and bring them to your shoots as well, suggesting the items as great gift ideas. Be excited about these products and your customers will follow suit.

For more advice on holiday product selection, call Customer Development at 1-800-336-4550.

 

Attention: Personalized Captions Coming SOON!

Candid Color will be releasing a new concept in early 2012 that will allow customers to personalize any image with text and speech bubbles. This new concept will not be officially released to all customers until January 2012, but beta testing will begin in November. If you are interesting in participating in beta testing, please contact Candid Color Systems Tech Support. We would love to hear your feedback on this new concept and any help is greatly appreciated!

*Beta testing includes text and speech bubbles only. Additional graphics will be available when the concept is launched in January.

Customers MUST use the new retail website to use this feature.

How Does it Work?

Adding Captions – Your customers can add captions to each image and choose from over 50 fonts and an infinite number of font colors. You can choose a default set of colors, but customers can also select a custom color from the color wheel, creating the perfect match to any photo.

Font size can be increased or decreased by dragging the corner of each caption in or out.

Captions can be rotated with the arrow button in the top right-hand corner and can be placed anywhere on the image by simply moving the caption to the desired location.

Speech Bubbles- Customers can also choose from four different speech bubbles. Each speech bubble can be placed anywhere on the image and text can also be layered over each one creating a fun effect!

Graphics- Over 20 graphics can be added to each image. These graphics include items such as sports equipment, animals, mascots and more. Pick your favorites to customize any image!  NOTE: These graphics are NOT available in beta testing but will be available in January when the concept is launched.

What are the Benefits?

One of the biggest benefits is that consumers can personalize as many images as they want, all completely free of charge! Customers simply make the necessary additions, save their image as a favorite and order the products they desire.  Several of our popular products are available with enhanced images such as t-shirts, prints, collages, image downloads and more.

Adding text and graphics to images not only gives them more personality, but it also makes the buying process more fun for consumers. Images that are personalized with funky text and graphics tend to be more desirable and more sellable as well.  Take the following images for example. Alone, they are pretty basic. However, when speech bubbles and captions are added, these images are a lot more appealing and attention grabbing. It is virtually a different image than it was before!

Get Started!

Again, this new concept is only compatible with Candid Color’s new retail website. It will not be released until January 2012, but beta testing will begin in November. Contact Customer Development at 800-336-4550 today to sign up for a free account and begin beta testing this cool, new concept!

What’s New for Candid Color Customers?

If you are looking for a professional print lab or are considering switching from your current lab, give Candid Color a try! We provide solutions for photography businesses of all sizes and offer turn-key marketing systems to guide you through the booking, sales and photography processes. We are continually adding new items to our vast collection of specialty products, which is sure to give you the competitive edge you’ve been looking for. Here are just a few of our newest additions.

 

Multi Image Level TwoTM designs are the newest addition to our Level TwoTM product line. Multi-Image Level TwoTM prints are available in 4x5s, 8x10s and 16x20s. Each design displays 2-3 images of each athlete and can be personalized with custom text. Create a fun and unique product that is sure to impress parents and coaches alike!

 

Pano Collages are available in two sizes: 5×15 and 10×30. The 10×30 Pano Collage holds 4-15 images and the smaller, 5×15 Pano Collage holds 4-7 images. Each of our 9 designs can be customized with text and our 10×30 option can also be mounted or framed for a finished look.


 NEW Greeting Card designs have been added to our collection of 4×8, slim line Holiday Greeting Cards and our line of 5×7 Premium Folded Greeting Cards. All cards can be personalized with supplementary text or a custom greeting at no additional charge and are available with white envelopes.

 

New Green Screen backgrounds have been added to our ever-growing collection of over 400 backgrounds. All of these backgrounds are available exclusively for Candid Color customers, completely free of charge.


 

To learn more about each new product listed above or to become a customer, please contact Customer Development at 1-800-336-4550.  We look forward to doing business with you!  

New Products Announced at the CCS Summer Workshops

Candid Color recently held the 2011 Summer Workshops and we are proud to say that it was a huge success! We were thrilled with the turn out and even more excited about the new products and updates that were announced. If you were unable to attend, here’s what you missed!  

New products/updates announced at the Summer Workshops

  • NEW Email Campaign- our newly redesigned email campaign will be available exclusively to CCS customers by August 5th.  It has a clean, updated look and is specialized for Sports, Grads, Schools and Races.   

                                          

  • NEW Retail Website- our new site has a completely new look and is currently available for all CCS customers.   

 

  • Splatter Sports Line- this new sports line will soon be available for CCS customers. The Splatter Line is non-sports specific and allows the photographer to select two custom accent colors.

  •  Acrylic Mounts and Acrylic Displays‑ these brand new products that are sure to give you a competitive advantage over your competition.

  • Spotlight Memory Mate‑ this is a modern twist on the traditional Memory Mate!  

 

  • Multi-Image Level TwoTM Productsthe perfect addition to our ever-popular Level TwoTM product mix.

 

  • 10×30 Pano Collage – choose from four designs and anywhere from 4-15 image nodes.  

 

To learn more about each new product listed above or to become a customer, please contact Customer Development at 1-800-336-4550.  

Get Ready For The 2010 Holiday Season!

It’s time to get prepared for the fast approaching holiday season and a great way to do so is by offering your customers holiday greeting cards. CCS has 12 unique greeting card designs available for 2010*, including three completely NEW designs- Dove, Red Tree and Ribbons. All of our cards are available in both CORE and QuicPost and are ideal for Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday celebration! Every card is offered in horizontal and vertical formats and offers six title choices. All greeting cards are sold in sets of 12 or 20 and envelopes are included.

No matter what market you are shooting, holiday cards are a perfect addition to any offer.  Now is the perfect time to bring your customers a desirable product for them to enjoy and use through out the holidays.

 

 

*Previous year’s holiday card designs are still available online

Making the Most of Prom Candids

With Easter less than a month away it’s safe to say that Proms are just around that next bend in the calendar.  Though not the “cash cow” that they once were—especially from posed couple portraits—proms can still deliver decent revenue returns when you attack it from all fronts.

Though the explosion of digital cameras and camera phones has influenced our industry significantly, there are still some strategies that you can employ to maximize your income at proms, namely, get the most out of your candid photographers and the number of images taken at prom events.

It’s a proven fact that the more images taken at an event, the better your sales will be.  By just relying on the posed couple packages you may be leaving extra money on the table. Using the CCS PhotoMatch system for Party Pics® candids can influence the buying patterns of your school dances and proms.

PhotoMatch, a CCS software solution, can be used at Proms where hundreds of students are being photographed multiple times.  This combination software/hardware solution allows students (and their parents) the ability to easily find their images online. This system also gives photographers the option of sending home printed proofs of each student’s candid photos!  But, more about that later.


Here is how it works! The PhotoMatch system revolves around a wireless scanner, barcodes, email addresses, and the time clock present inside all digital cameras. By synchronizing a camera’s time clock with a barcode scanner, PhotoMatch is able to pinpoint the exact time customers are photographed, and then match their email address to the time they were photographed.
After taking a photo, the photographer simply scans a barcode which has been pre-printed on a perforated two-part form. A card is scanned for each person in the photo. The photographer can also take multiple photos of a couple or a group and then scan as many barcode cards as they would like.

Barcodes can be distributed in several ways. Each attendee could receive one half of the two-part card containing a barcode before entering the event. The photographer would keep the other half of the card that also contained the barcode and the attendee’s contact information such as email and mailing address. 

 
Alternatively, photographers can create wristbands for each student attending. The wristband would contain a barcode to be scanned and student contact information would be collected when wristbands are distributed.  This method was successfully pioneered by our current CCS Customer of the Year, Leslie Broadland of NorCal Candids.  Her fresh approach to maximizing results has given a big boost to the candid market at special events. 

The PhotoMatch system was created to make it easier for the end customer to find their images online, thereby creating a more timely purchasing opportunity by sending a link, via email, that will take them directly to their photographs. The ability to get images in the hands of parents is also a way to boost sales! The scanning and “competition” to participate in more photos also creates excitement at school events like a Prom.  Additionally, Leslie figured out that she could mail out printed proof sheets that would include all the images of one person!  This also contributed to better sales at events.
The PhotoMatch System provides an easy and reliable method for roving photographers to match customers to their photographs. PhotoMatch works with almost any digital camera by using a non-tethered bar code scanner to tag the images. It is a simple and easy process but does require some training.  If you are interested in discovering more information about this method contact Tech Support at 800-750-0494.

Dance schools are a great revenue opportunity!

Photographers do not often discuss Dance Schools with the same excitement as the highly coveted sports or activities such as football. Many photographers stick to the basic, and familiar, sports such as soccer, football and basketball. I would like to suggest that all sports photographers take a very close look at dance schools as a potential source of great revenue. Here is why…

I base my suggestion on recent dance shoot experience. These results (if not better) were also confirmed by other photographers who offer  similar products, pricing and the same marketing method.  To hop right to the numbers, we achieved a $45.39 sales average (subtotal without tax & shipping). The sales average with shipping included was $49.59. This is an important number because in our scenario, shipping is a profit center for the photographer. In addition to a healthy sales average we experienced a 74% buy rate. Here is a more detailed look at the sales from a recent dance shoot:

•       Subtotal (Product Sales )$9,125.00

•       Shipping $842.50

•       Total Revenues $9,967.50

•       Tax $731.51

•       Total Event Sales $10,699.01

•       Average Sale/Customer $36.92

•       Average Sale/Order $49.59

•       Sales per Image Shot $2.33

•       Average Sale/Order without shipping     $45.39

•       Gross Profit $6,659.88

•       Gross Profit Margin 66.8%

The buy rate and sales average were definitely a result of shooting several images of each dancer. Here is a closer look at the number of dancers and number of images involved in our example:

•       270 dancers photographed

•       Many students were also in multiple classes or had multiple routines/costumes for one class

•       We shot 75 routines plus additional solos, buddy pics and sibling pics

•       # Images shot 4,280

•       Average images per customer 15.85

•       # Images ordered from 474

•       % Images ordered from 11.1%

•       # orders placed 201

•       % of customers ordering 74.4%

The above sales average and buy rate were achieved with a View First™ or speculation marketing method. Here is what we did:

·         the dance studio helped us to advertise/ promote photo day

·         we shot each dancer in multiple poses

·         we emailed a link (within 3 days of the shoot) to each dancer’s proofs for online ordering

·         we created a printed proof for each dancer showing their images

·         we mailed (within 5 days of the shoot) the proofs to each dancer

·         we sent a series of follow-up emails as order reminders

We did NOT require any order forms or money be turned in on the day of our shoot. This means that the dance studio did not have to handle money or pass out order forms prior to the shoot!

The email campaign that we used in the above scenario was a key to our success. We thought that orders might trickle in over time and the numbers proved our theory.  Here is a look at when our sales occurred after the initial proofs were emailed:

·         0-7 days               $1,076.50             10.8% of sales

·         8-14 days             $1,712.00             17.2% of sales

·         15-30 days           $6,922.00             69.4% of sales

·         31-45 days           $177.00 1.8% of sales

·         46-60 days           $80.00                   0.8% of sales

You can see how important the additional communication beyond the first email or proof can be. We sent additional emails at the 5-day, 12-day, 15-day and 21-day mark. These emails do not go to everyone. Several of the emails are triggered for only those who have NOT purchased at that point.

The sales information outlined above is not the only reason to consider dance schools. Dance Schools are typically a large concentration of students which is more like booking a league than a team.  Parents of dance students also have a large financial and time commitment to this activity for practice, costumes, recital fees and sometimes competitions. This level of commitment and the elaborate costumes make this group likely to spend more on photos. Dance Schools often have some flexibility on when they can be photographed. Some schools are photographed on a weekend in conjunction with their spring recital and others are photographed during the week with the regular class time. Other opportunities come with photographing dance schools such as photos at the recital, photos of the instructors and even competitions and winter ballets.

 

I encourage you to quickly put dance schools on your to-do list. Dance schools plan far in advance and most began fall classes in late August or early September. Dance schools can be photographed as soon as their costumes arrive in the spring. The time to book dance schools is now.  For more information on dance schools and guidance on how to book them, please contact the Candid Color Systems customer Development department at 1-800-336-4550. Check back next week for a detailed look at our product and pricing mix, labor and lab costs.

Send Emails to Boost Sales in Youth Sports Photography

Letters from the President

 

 

 

 

So you have decided to take multiple shots or poses of each athlete and allow your customers to view their proofs before making a purchase. Great! Now what? It is not enough to photograph players and their team and then hand their parents a card with a link to your website telling them where they can see their child’s proofs.

The “cross your fingers” method (handing out cards that convey ordering information, hoping people keep the card AND use the card) is a passive marketing approach.
You can only hope those parents will use the card, find their images and actually place an order.

The problem is that people are people. They are busy. Potential customers, even with the best intentions, misplace their order cards and eventually forget about the pictures.

It is much better to pass out a two part card – one part remains with the parents and has the information needed to find their child’s images on your site, the second part is filled out by the parent with their email address and immediately handed back to the photographer.

By having the parents’ email addresses you can have a “proactive approach” and email the parents a direct link to their child’s images.

Make it as convenient as possible for customers to order.

This proactive approach generates much better results immediately, plus more orders will occur after other emails are sent several months later.

People really need several chances to order. Here are a few reasons why:

1) An initial opportunity
2) A reminder before a deadline
3) When they have a need for a picture
4) When they have the money available to order
5) To offer a new product where the image can be utilized
6) Seasonal emails can be sent that offer the image for seasonal gifts
7) For use in a Holiday card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is all best done as part of an automatic program like Candid Color Systems’ “QuicPost” software.  Once you set up your job in “QuicPost”– the email campaign will happen by itself.

I cannot stress the importance of collecting the email addresses and then conducting an email program enough. Collecting fresh email addresses as opposed to getting a list from the organization or team is also extremely important. We have tested this theory time-and-time again! We can tell you with absolute certainty that you will have a better delivery rate and response rate if you collect new email addresses at your event or shoot. You can use both the emails provided by the organization and the emails you collect!

Emails are the critical part of a marketing program where you allow the customer to order pictures from multiple images of their child after seeing them.

Remember, collecting the email addresses is like collecting cash. Having a well thought out email campaign will make your event a success.

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