Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotos Radio - Portrait EFX Portable Photo Studios Grow YOUR Business
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ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by Morephotos.com helping professional photographers with all their internet needs. Also brought to you by Labimages.com. Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here is your host, Damien Allen. 
 
DAMIEN: Good morning and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen, and today we are joined by Chris Wunder, President and COO of Portrait EFX.  Good morning, and welcome to the program, Chris.
 
CHRIS: Thanks a lot. Thanks for inviting me.
 
DAMIEN: We’re very happy to have you here today. I understand Portraits EFX is reinventing the photography business. How are you doing that, Chris?
 
CHRIS: First of all we are a very consumer oriented and customer driven business. Since we bring our portable studios right to our clients, we can make the photography experience so much more convenient and accessible to them plus with the auction of online viewing of client photos, we are actually empowering our customers to share the images with family and friends and that allows them to order that as well. So we do drive to remove all the barriers that people calmly feel about the photography process. All the complaints they have had in the past, that sort of thing. We want it to be a fun experience while making our clients look their very best. We also offer lots of innovative products and services that frankly just simply aren’t available any place else and certainly at prices which are very affordable. We also try to harness the power of all the new emerging technologies and digital photography and bring them to our customers first and we do a lot of introduction of these new technologies to our customers.
 
DAMIEN: It seems like those technologies are changing, growing every 30 seconds.  How did you get started in the business, and how long have you been is business?
 
CHRIS: I’ve been in the photography business a long time, actually since I was a teenager, about 35 years ago. I photographed my first wedding when I was 15 years old, and I did portraits for family and friends and relatives, and I also did sports photos to help earn my way through college. In my career, I have done virtually every type of photography there is and just the last 5 years, I was awarded the Craftsman degree from the Professional Photographers of America, and I am also a member of the ASP which is the American Society of Photographers which is a very prestigious honor. I’m very, very proud to be a part of.
 
DAMIEN: Now you mentioned portable studios, what type of services does Portrait EFX offer?
 
CHRIS: We primarily offer event photography for schools, elementary schools, private schools, middle schools, etc. We also do a lot of day care photography, day care and preschools. We do sports leagues, youth sports, action sports. We do church directories, membership directories. I like to say that we do our work any place that groups of people meet and celebrate. We also offer personalized  services on a one-to-one basis for portraiture and babies and children of families at home and off to the park, or high school seniors and also for business people in need of publicity photos. Some of our locations we also offer wedding photography services for that very special day in someone’s life.
 
DAMIEN: So it’s lots of different types of location photography, seniors, sports, day care. How do you make these pictures exceptional?
 
CHRIS: That’s our motto, and we start with detailed planning and communication with our clients well before picture day actually happens. Then we make it a point to get started right on time and we stay on schedule throughout the entire picture day. Usually our clients are just amazed at how quick and efficient we are. We always bring enough staff and equipment to get the job done quickly, yet professionally, and most of our clients remark that their experience with us is the best we’ve ever had. It’s efficient with a very personal touch.
 
DAMIEN: Now you also give back to the community. How do you do that? Can you tell us a little bit about that program?
 
CHRIS: Yeah, at Portrait EFX we do feel an obligation to give something back to the community that has supported us so well during our rapid business growth. Financially, we actually rebate a significant share of our sales directly back to the schools, to the sports leagues, the day care centers, the churches, and other groups that sponsor our programs. These rebates support their own fundraising efforts. For example when we do school photography, we give back a significant amount to the schools activity fund or to the school’s PTA group. This is in recognition of the privilege they have given us to be their exclusive photography provider.
 
DAMIEN: Why is this important, Chris?
 
CHRIS: Quite simply, we think it’s the right thing to do. When a group or organization or church hires us to provide photographic services to it’s members, we know that it’s our job to make them look good for their decision to hire us and financially we want any group or organization’s relationship with us to be a win, win for all involved, the organization, the individual parents, and even down to the small child or client we are photographing wins in the process, and we do want to thank them for choosing us as their photography provider. 
 
DAMIEN: Well another unique service you provide is franchising, can you tell us how this works?
 
CHRIS: Yes, franchising is a big part of our business plan. As there is so much need for it in the photography industry today. Over the years I have been active in our national association, the Professional Photographers of America for many years as a platform speaker, as a trainer and a mentor. Plus I have offered private consulting services for many years to both aspiring and mature photography businesses and during that time, I have discovered that there is a lot of very talented photographers who often fail in business, because they lack the business skills, sales and marketing resources and other support services which is critical to their success. That was one of the motivations to start Portrait EFX franchising corporation in the first place. To provide photographers with a partnership opportunity for mentorship, for support, and to provide resources to help them grow their business. Our franchise provides photographers with access to proven programs and promotions and affective advertising tools and specialized training and much more. It’s kind of like buying a business in a box. Turn key solution for building a new business or growing an existing photography business without the usual cost of trial and error in terms of time and money wasted trying to figure it out on your own. National research has shown that buying a business under a franchise model offers a much higher success rate over doing it on your own and we commonly hear from our current franchises that the training we provide, alone, is worth the price of the franchise fee they pay. Our company Portrait EFX has been blessed with very rapid growth and we’ve grown to over 50 franchise locations in 26 states just under 5 years. I think this fact helps validate our franchise concept plus in 2010 we were named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of top franchises. The only photography franchise showing sustained growth during these troubled economic times.
 
DAMIEN: What are the benefits to having a Portrait EFX franchise, and would I need training in order to operate it?
 
CHRIS: Yes there are many benefits. Very, very briefly, our franchises enjoy an exclusive marketing territory where they would have exclusive access to our products and services in that particular area, and those products will set them apart and above all the other local competition. Our training program is very comprehensive and very much hands on. Our franchisees leave training with the start of their portfolio of their professional photography and the confidence to go out and get the business. We provide things like pre-written proposals, their sales letters, their price lists, their samples, and a lot of other collateral material to help shorten the development of their new business, and we provide proven tactics and strategies to win photography contracts. In short, we help our franchises jump start their business and take on the national competitors and win.
 
DAMIEN: It sounds like a great program. What’s going to be new for 2011 for Portrait EFX?
 
CHRIS: We are really projecting that 2011 should be a great year for us. We have lots of new programs and promotions to attract new clients, great new technology to allow us to provide our customers with more dynamic, innovative and personalized products and services, and also work flow solutions that allow our franchises to be more productive to get more work done in less time, and that hopefully will allow them to still have time to enjoy a good family life. So stay tuned and we’ll let you know for any other good new stuff we have coming in the future.
 
DAMIEN: Well if someone has questions or wants more information about Portrait EFX, what is the website and contact information they need?
CHRIS: To reach the Portrait EFX franchise or our affiliate location nearest you, just go to www.portraitefx.com and just use the convenient locator feature. Just enter your zip code and you will get the contact information for our location nearest you. Now many of our franchises will also travel statewide or even regionally to service clients and customers and to cover events so if there is somebody who is a distance from you, but still within driving range, please contact them. Of course if there is no Portrait EFX franchise close to you and if you have always wanted to start or grow your own photography business we would love to talk to you about the opportunities in owning a Portrait EFX franchise in your own local area. Just follow the franchise opportunities link on our website to get more information. You can also contact me personally with any questions you might have. My name is Chris Wunder and I can be reached by calling my cell at (704) 763-0409 or by emailing me at cwunder@portraitefx.com. I live in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area which is the eastern time zone. I always like to mention that to people that might be on the western coast who want to call me at 7 or 8 at night their time. Anyway, I do appreciate the opportunity to share a little bit about Portrait EFX with you.
 
DAMIEN: We’d thank you very much for joining us today and discussing it with us, Chris. You’ve been listening to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen. We’ve been speaking with Chris Wunder of Portrait EFX in Charlotte, North Carolina.   We’ll catch you next time. Everybody have a great afternoon.  
 
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