Cindy Cofer Barclay -Williamstown, Kentucky
WOW-ing Her Customers with Creativity and Variety
Just like so many women in professional photography today, Cindy Cofer had no intention to be in the business. She was a stay at home mom, raising four kids in Williamstown, Kentucky, a one stoplight town with 3,500 people. As the kids grew older, Cindy began taking more and more pictures of them, first with a cheap camera and then with a Nikon N90S. In 2001, she began taking photographs for friends and that is when she discovered how much she really loved taking quality photographs and that she was really good at it. This is when she began to seriously work to improve her methods. Within two years, she had purchased a home in town to be her dedicated studio location. The home had served for years as a doctor’s office and residence and was, therefore, a location well known to the community.
Cindy was first introduced to Virtual Backgrounds at the 2001 WPPI trade show. Cindy now uses her Scene Machine for more than 80% of her work.
In her own words
Having the Scene Machine in my studio was a huge investment for me at that time, but I knew it was going to be some of the best money I spent for my new studio. I knew right away that my clients would love having unlimited background variety. It helped to make my photography really different, and that this would quickly increase my sales. That is exactly what happened!
I love the total control and creativity I get with the Scene Machine. It saves me time and money and has allowed me to offer so much more and sell more and to have satisfied repeat clients. My clients come back again and again, because they know I can always do something really different each time. I will never be stuck with just a brown or blue canvas or muslin. My photography is always changing. My customers know that they will receive photographs above and beyond what they can get anywhere else. I always keep trying to come up with something fresh, new, and different.
I customize my backgrounds for my customers to complement their personality. Giving them the looks they want is something they absolutely love. I sell more large prints because the portraits include wonderful complementary backgrounds, and I provide them with so much variety to choose from. I’m never at a loss for coming up with something that works perfectly for their portraits.
When I schedule a senior session, I may actually use as many as 10 to 20 different backgrounds, depending on the client and the clothing they bring. I want to make sure they are absolutely wowed with the results. For non-senior sessions, I will typically use three to six different backgrounds, making sure that I change as much as I can with each exposure.”
There seems to be a simple rule. The more backgrounds that I offer, the more variety I create, the more my average sales go up. The more I offer, the more likely the client is going to want to purchase multiple images. Something must be clicking because I have customers who come to me in little Williamstown from Cincinnati, Lexington, and Louisville. They come the extra miles because they want what I am able to produce and they can’t get it elsewhere.
While the Scene Machine is a really important tool for me, I must say that my posing, lighting, and professionalism with my clients is also critical. I work hard to make my sessions fun and exciting. In today’s market, people want quality and variety, and they are willing to pay for it.
It’s so easy for me to be positive when I share what I do and how successful the Scene Machine has made me in my business. I love sharing with others. I invite other photographers to come to my studio for a hand-on demonstration. When you love a product, you will always share.
If I can do it, so can you!
Cindy has been a featured photographer in the book, BACKGROUND POWER! She won first place in the 2005 Virtual Backgrounds print competition. She also shares a section the Virtual Backgrounds promotional DVD, Imagine the Possibilities. A strong believer in the power of Web promotion, her Web site is continually changing and is packed with action! After viewing her images, one has to be impressed with her exciting new ideas.