Dale interviews… Arden Ward!

Hey everybody!

In anticipation of WPPI, I’ve interviewed the MpixPro booth speakers so you can get to know them just a little bit better before their presentations.  Of course, you probably already know them. Because we’re running a new post each day, make sure to come back tomorrow.

I first met Arden early 2009 when we were both on the MpixPro focus group.  We sat together during lunch and chatted about our respective markets, and I could tell even then that she had a high fashion style to her photography. Check out more about Arden below.

1) Advice for photographers who are attending WPPI for the first time
People always ask me for advice for first timers to WPPI. Set a budget before you go. The first time I went,  I went crazy buying so many things because they were the latest and greatest and I was caught up in the excitement of the show. A better plan is to go with a shopping list of items you have researched and are really interested in or truly in need of. Wait until you get home to make any large unbudgeted purchases. The number one goal for any business is to make a profit. It is easy to get wrapped up in the atmosphere and spend all your money on cool new tricks of the trade. But ask yourself if this latest purchase will improve your bottom line. If it won’t, you should probably walk on by.

2) Without giving too much away, what’s your talk gonna be about at the MpixPro booth at WPPI?
I like to help businesses get the most from each client and most of my speaking engagements are focused on that topic. I try to help business owners see how they can take their initial consultation, turn it into a sale, and then transition that sale into a long term loyal customer who would not dream of taking their photography business to anyone else. I also teach how to get those loyal customers to work for you through referrals. And most importantly, I teach how to get more money out of the initial sale. WE can all use a little discipline in this area; in a tough economy what you up sell will really effect your bottom line at the end of the year. Make products so irresistible that the customer can’t imagine life without them.

3) You radiate fashion.  How did that start and how does that influence your photography style?
Dale, I am so flattered that you think I radiate fashion. What a compliment! Thank you so much. In the business of photography, image is everything. Our clients are buying into an experience for their wedding day and I am part of the whole package. I like to reflect a classic,  polished, and refined image at all times. Fashion greatly influences me. I actually find more inspiration in fashion magazine ads than I do in anything wedding related. (With the exception of bridal fashion week in NYC! Then I am in heaven!) My favorite ads this year are Ralph Lauren ( http://www.ralphlauren.com <http://www.ralphlauren.com/>  ), and Dior ( http://www.diorcouture.com/dior4.html ) I recently started paying attention to Hermes and Carolina Herrera. These are brands (http://www.carolinaherrera.com/) <http://www.carolinaherrera.com/>  I am just starting to follow them; their websites alone are inspiring.

4) MpixPro has some pretty sweet products.  What do you love?
Well, Mpix Pro Rocks! What I  love the most are the people behind the scenes. Now that I have met the team that drives this company, I have found a new respect for the printing industry. So many factors go into delivering an awesome final product. There is a heart behind the customer service they provide to me! I email at all hours of the day and night and I always get a speedy response. Aside from the customer service, I would rank my favorites:
#1 Gallery Wraps: These are beautiful and an easy sale.
#2 Framed Prints: Mothers of the bride love these. Simple,  easy, and ready to hang straight from the box.
#3 The new gallery mats are growing in popularity with us and may quickly become our number one.

5) Do you have any unique uses for MpixPro products?
My uses: Mpix products are a huge asset in how I market to my business. I’m not sure if this is unique or not, but it is practical. I am all about common sense smart business decisions and Mpix is the perfect match for that!

6) Outside of photography for a second… what do you love to do?
I have a new hobby outside of my photography: horseback riding. I started in October and I am hooked. The time I spend riding gives my mind a break from business and it is very therapeutic to work with animals. I also like to travel and hope to do more of that this year!

7) Best advice or words of encouragement for a new professional:
Best advice for newcomers: Set goals, manage your time well, and love what you are doing; it will show in your work. The first year of business can be amazing and challenging at the same time. Learn from your mistakes and build on  your positive client relations. Be sure to smile a lot. That way people will smile back at you for their photos. Network, Network, Network.

Below, I’m going to put some of Arden’s favorite images up.  Make sure to come back tomorrow for our next feature!

Talk to you soon,

One Response to “Dale interviews… Arden Ward!”

  1. New Jordan says:

    Great articles and it’s so helpful. I want to add your blog into my rrs reader but i can’t find the rrs address. Would you please send your address to my email? Thanks a lot!