Recorded: Welcome to the ReWork with Allison Tyler Jones, a podcast dedicated to inspiring portrait photographers to uniquely brand, profitably price, and confidently sell their best work. Allison has been doing just that for the last 15 years and she’s proven that it’s possible to create unforgettable art and run a portrait business that supports your family and your dreams. All it takes is a little rework. Episodes will include interviews with experts from in and outside of the photo industry, many workshops, and behind the scenes secrets that Allison uses in her portrait studio every single day. She will challenge your thinking and inspire your confidence to create a profitable, sustainable portrait business you love through continually refining and reworking your business. Let’s do the ReWork.

Allison Tyler Jones: Hi friends and welcome back to the ReWork. One of the most common questions I get from other photographers is how do you handle husbands? It’s usually said in a really low tone, looking off the side, not wanting to be overheard. Well, I don’t know. How do you handle husbands? I know early in my career, I wondered the same thing. It seemed like husbands were always putting the kibosh on every order or they weren’t happy about being photographed or they were just as hard to handle as the toddlers. And that was before I learned how to speak husband. And with me today in the podcast studio is miss Kathryn Langsford from Photos by Kathryn in Vancouver, Canada and she also has had to learn to speak husband. And now husbands are our favorite thing ever to deal with and we’re going to talk with you about that transition, the problems that we used to have, and how we overcame them so that you too can learn to speak husband. Let’s do it.

Allison Tyler Jones: Straight out of Canada, here she is. PBK. Kathryn Langsford’s in the house. Welcome back.

Kathryn Langsford: Thank you ATJ.

Allison Tyler Jones: So this topic has long been on our list of things that we wanted to talk about and what we’re going to talk about today, we’re trying to be, like you said, we need to be more woke than we are, but there’s, should we say, a trigger warning for stereotypical stereotypes that are coming down the pike in this episode?

Kathryn Langsford: Trigger warning for gender stereotypes.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes. There might be a trigger warning for gender stereotypes in this episode, but it is what it is and then we’ll just see where we go.

Kathryn Langsford: Okay. Sounds good. We’re just basing it on personal business experience.

Allison Tyler Jones: Exactly. Okay. So we have had, earlier in our career, we used to get a little bit scared when people would bring husbands to meetings or husbands could tend to be problematic in sessions, sales meetings, that sort of thing. And many of my students in our membership group are like, “What do you do about husbands? Like how do you handle the husbands? The husbands are so hard,” but you and I love the husbands.

Kathryn Langsford: I feel like we’ve cracked the husband code.

Allison Tyler Jones: I feel like we know how to speak husband now.

Kathryn Langsford: I agree. We’ve learned over the years.

Allison Tyler Jones: We are husband whisperers.

Kathryn Langsford: We are.

Allison Tyler Jones: So I want to share, because we weren’t always like that. We didn’t always love the husbands.

Kathryn Langsford: No. It came with pain.

Allison Tyler Jones: It was hard won knowledge.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: And we want to share it. Okay. So talk about your experience.

Kathryn Langsford: Well, back when I realized that husbands are not wives.

Allison Tyler Jones: When exactly did that happen? How long were you into your-

Kathryn Langsford: I mean.

Allison Tyler Jones: Relationship?

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. I guess typical things that I had issue with were husbands being grouchy in photo sessions, not wanting to be there, and maybe even having a very bad attitude.

Allison Tyler Jones: Less than cooperative.

Kathryn Langsford: Making it difficult for me to make everyone look happy and lovey. That came at a time when I was expecting that everyone would just arrive being on board. So I hadn’t learned what I know now and that made it difficult. Also, I guess, husbands not coming to the sales meeting, which was a relief to me because I didn’t really want them there because it was the wives that were really excited about these portraits and wanting a million of them and thinking how great they’d be in the house, but then they’d go home and it would be the husband that said to the wife, “We’re not spending that. We’re not buying those.” And the whole thing would sort of fall apart. So again, those bad husbands.

Allison Tyler Jones: Exactly.

Kathryn Langsford: Winning my sales.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep.

Kathryn Langsford: And even the ones that did show up to the sales meeting, they would say things like, “What are we doing here? Why are we doing this?”

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: They didn’t like the way I was running my meetings and they were sort of, I felt like, a bit of a barrier to me directing the sale the way I wanted it to go.

Allison Tyler Jones: They were harshing the love.

Kathryn Langsford: They were harshing the photo love. Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Okay. Yes. And so similar, I think a lot of husbands would come in looking at their watch. Well, any meeting, but especially the photo shoot was kind of like, “Are we done?

Kathryn Langsford: We only need one photo.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Yeah. Or they’re over there on their-

Kathryn Langsford: Making that shutter so many times?

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: We only need one photo.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Or they’re over there on their phone, making money right now, like so busy, can’t attend. There was just a lot of they didn’t seem to be on board with the process.

Kathryn Langsford: And I want to underline that this is before we understood that husbands aren’t wives.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: Husbands are awesome.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes.

Kathryn Langsford: And we love them now. Now that we’ve learned how to speak husband, our lives have changed.

Allison Tyler Jones: In every good way.

Kathryn Langsford: And they were awesome before too. We just didn’t get it.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. We just were expecting them to be women.

Kathryn Langsford: Right.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes.

Kathryn Langsford: Men aren’t women.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. Exactly. So, okay. So how did it change? In your world, how did it change?

Kathryn Langsford: I feel like these were some changes that you and I sort of struggled through together.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes.

Kathryn Langsford: We kind of talked through some of this stuff. One thing that you taught me that I’ve done differently is when booking a session and when discussing the session beforehand, I acknowledge that the husband may not want to be here for very long during that session and it may not be important that he is here. If he wants to be a part of it and is excited about it, wonderful. I’m more than happy to have him, but if he’s just sort of doing his good partner duty by showing up and looking handsome and being where he wants us to be, he’s free to go after. And I-

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: Once I sort of wrapped my head around that, he doesn’t have to take one for the team being here in the middle of the day on a Wednesday for two hours. He doesn’t need to do that.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: So that can sometimes help to get the session booked. If we-

Allison Tyler Jones: Exactly.

Kathryn Langsford: We get everyone on the same page that like we may not need every family member here for the entire duration. And we may be able to book this session at a time when it’s easy for him to get in and out quickly.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep.

Kathryn Langsford: And then we’re respecting his time.

Allison Tyler Jones: Exactly. So to me that was a function of just listening to what the continual complaints were.

Kathryn Langsford: Exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: And that rather than just like, “Oh my gosh. I hate these guys. All they do is complain.” It’s like, “Oh, well what exactly are the complaints? Can we fix the complaints?” And so when you hear it enough times of like, “Look, I can’t be gone for an hour and a half in the middle of the day,” then I would get out ahead of that and say as we’re booking it with the wife, “If we book it on a noon on a Tuesday,” he shows up at noon, we’ll get every photo that we need him in, get that done first, might be 20 minutes, and then he can bounce. He’s out.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: And she’s like, “Oh my gosh. He would love that.” But you know what, don’t you think it’s funny, I don’t know if this is true for you, but they never leave.

Kathryn Langsford: They never leave.

Allison Tyler Jones: They never leave. They come and they’re like, “Okay. So what are we doing? How long is this going to take?”

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: And then you say, “Look, I’m going to get you in. I’m going to get you out. We’re going to get all the pictures with you.” And then they are having a good time and they stay.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. And they’re, “Oh no, no. I’m good. No. This is great.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. They love it because-

Kathryn Langsford: “Oh, don’t worry about me.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep. Because they’ve been used to two hours in the park at 114 degrees in their Ralph Lauren sweater with a photographer that’s like, “Well, what do you think? Well, what would you like?”

Kathryn Langsford: And you know what else? Their first sort of introduction to us is hearing that we are mindful and considerate of their time.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: Their schedule. And we are very willing to be working around it. And that’s a good foot to start on.

Allison Tyler Jones: True. Yeah. For sure. And so then another thing, as far as the session itself goes, is I like to acknowledge the husband and what he’s been through up to this point.

Kathryn Langsford: Sure.

Allison Tyler Jones: Now we know it hasn’t been as much as the wife, but in his mind, he has been very put upon because he has had to watch no less than like $5,000 worth of clothing coming to his doorstep from either Amazon, Nordstrom, wherever. He’s listened to his wife and watched her try on 75 outfits and dressed the kids 57 times and he’s just like, “Okay, well we haven’t even bought pictures yet and this has already cost me a million dollars.”

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay. So that’s already happening. The wife’s a complete nut job. She’s threatened the kids within an inch of their life on the way there, even though we tell them not to. She’s begging him to just cooperate. So already it’s very fraught when they walk in the door. So I will talk to the husband and just say, “Have you just been counting the sleeps until today? Are you so excited?”

Kathryn Langsford: If this is on the calendar.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. I’m like, “Has it been so fun living with somebody that’s spending the gross national product of America on clothing every week and making you watch her try them on?” And you can just see them laugh and then they kind of look at their wife and the wife, it kind of diffuses.

Kathryn Langsford: Yep.

Allison Tyler Jones: Like if you were called out-

Kathryn Langsford: Or jokes about like, “You know what kids? We got to hurry up and finish these photos of you guys because daddy wants a whole bunch of close ups of himself.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: “And I need to leave time for that.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. So just I think a little tease is always-

Kathryn Langsford: A little acknowledgement that-

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: We feel your pain.

Allison Tyler Jones: But we know that we’ve made your life living hell up until this point, but it’s going to be easy from here on out.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. And it’s light. It lightens it up. There’s nothing worse than knowing someone doesn’t want to be here. So if we just like let them know, “I know you don’t want to be here. You’re so awesome for being here. I’m going to make it easy for you.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Dad of the year. Husband of the year.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep. Love that. Okay. What else?

Kathryn Langsford: Well I guess we need to back up to pre-session consultation as always.

Allison Tyler Jones: Absolutely.

Kathryn Langsford: Because I mean, I wasn’t doing pre-session consultations when I was having all these problems, but one thing that’s in common with the pre-session consultation and the sale is that I’ve definitely made it clear when discussing with the family how we’re going to work that it’s really important that if you and your husband make decor and art purchases together, then we should be having this talk together. And that sort of gets it out there right away. Like, “Is this your project that you have free reign on or is this a couple’s project that you both need to be a part of?”

Kathryn Langsford: Many people have never thought about that. They don’t come in thinking about that and that is what burns things down in the sales room because they hadn’t thought about the fact that like, “Oh wait. This is a whole big set of decisions that I probably shouldn’t make on my own.” Or maybe it is okay for them to make it on their own, but just having that talk.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. I like the way you put that, how you said, “Is this a project that you’re working on your own or is this something that you guys would do together,” because you and I own our own businesses, we call the shots. If somebody said to us, “Is this okay with your husband?” We’d be like, “I’m going to end you right now. Like who the hell do you think you’re talking to?” That would be so insulting. So you would never want to say that because that’s not cool. So I like that. I think that’s really good language. I am absolutely going to use that. I would just say mine is a little bit like, “Hey. I really love to have both of you there so we can work on this together because this is a major home purchase that you’re looking at and that’s something that I think sometimes we think the husbands aren’t really that interested in, but they really love it. They really love to be in on it.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Now, you might have a woman that’s like, “Oh no. He is just going to get in the way and make things way harder.” They might say something like, “He never likes to spend money and I’m the one that does all the money,” or whatever, for whatever reason. So I’m not going to get in the middle of that. We’ll go ahead and whatever it is that she says.

Kathryn Langsford: Yep. Putting it out there. You’re putting the thought and the question out there and there are many times when the person you’re speaking to had never thought of that.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: So it is very important to bring it up and then they can tell you how they want to handle it.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep.

Kathryn Langsford: So if husband and wife are coming to the pre-session consult, then that just sets a great tone for everything we’re going to do together because we’re talking about it all together. We’re talking about cost. We’re talking about how big are the piece going to be? We’re talking about where we’re going to hang them. Previously, I didn’t discuss that until we were in the sales room and it might be the first the husband had heard of any of it after the wife had made the purchase and come home and told him. And it was just a recipe for disaster.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: So now we’re talking about it out front and usually those meetings go well, but there are times when husband and wife are not at all on the same page and they didn’t realize it until they got there. And so the positive side of that is that we can figure that out. Like husband is like, “No way do I want portraits hanging on the main floor of our home. They’re private. They should be in the bedroom.” And the woman’s like, “No. I want this to be our art. I don’t want paintings. I want art of our family.” That conversation needs to happen now and let’s figure it out and then from there, we’ll set the agenda for the session based on what you both have decided that you want.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Love that. So good. And I love how you say that too that that sets the agenda for the session. I think that’s such good wording.

Allison Tyler Jones: You know, I think we all could say that we would like more really great qualified leads, but what happens when we get contacted by a potential new client? We sometimes have that pit in our stomach of, “Oh, oh. It’s not a good time right now. I don’t want to call them. What if they ask me hard questions? Oh, I don’t really know that I have the words to say,” and we put it off until we call and they’ve already booked somebody else or maybe we don’t ever call or we’re just letting things fall through the cracks. So, if you ever find yourself in this type of situation and you feel like, “I just don’t know the words to say,” or, “I don’t know how to talk to these people,” or, “Am I doing it wrong?”

Allison Tyler Jones: I have a solution for all three of those things. If you go to, we have three different free resources for you. One is our ultimate client consultation guide that is going to help you step by step, walk that prospective client through your process, how it is that you work. It has all the little speed bumps so to speak along the way to help you remember to say all the things that you need to say. Next is our cheat sheet of frequently asked difficult questions that has an exhaustive list of all the hard questions that clients come up with that will help you get started on answering those confidently so that you don’t have that feeling in the pit of your stomach anymore and you’re going to pick up that phone immediately. And lastly is our sales sabotage evaluation tool and that is going to help you to figure out where you are screwing it up because we all do at one time or another. So go to

Allison Tyler Jones: And wherever you’re at in your business, if you’re needing to rework your message, if you’re needing to rework your answers, if you’re needing to rework your sales process, they are all right there on that very first page. They are free. They are resources to help you in your business. Go do it, download them now, and start doing better. Start booking those clients confidently and start selling them your gorgeous, beautiful work because they need it.

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay. So we’ve got it handled with-

Kathryn Langsford: Just let me say that anything good I have has come from many, many pain points.

Allison Tyler Jones: Absolutely.

Kathryn Langsford: Many nights of tears, nausea, night-

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes. Burned down sales.

Kathryn Langsford: All of that-

Allison Tyler Jones: And happy clients-

Kathryn Langsford: Spills into perfectly crafted wording.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes. Exactly.

Kathryn Langsford: It did not all start off that way.

Allison Tyler Jones: No. Nope, nope, nope. I couldn’t agree more. Okay. So we’re done a pre-session consultation. So in the consultation with men versus a woman, do you feel like there’s something different there, like husband versus wife?

Kathryn Langsford: Consultation wise, I think the process needs to be really clear and just, “Here’s how I work. I do this, then I do this, and I do this.” So that they have a sense of like, “This is what we’re doing.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep.

Kathryn Langsford: This is what…

Allison Tyler Jones: Here’s how we work. Here’s what the process is. And I think that’s the same whether it’s a male or female. One thing I love about men, husbands in particular, is that I feel like it’s way easier to quote prices.

Kathryn Langsford: Yep. Talking money is essential. And just backing up to talking about how we work, what’s interesting is many women are totally interested in hearing the process and they want that information, but the difference with men, the rare occasion when I have a man book the session or be the one whose idea this is, they’re just like, “Tell me how it goes.” “Oh, this is how it goes. I do this, I do this.” “Okay, great. Sounds good.” Like they-

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: I don’t know if I’m being articulate.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Well there’s not a lot of fluff. There’s not a lot of emotional laden greasing of the wheels that need to happen for a guy. Generally it’s like they’re binary. Like are we doing this? Are we not doing this?

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: If we’re doing it, how do you do it?

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: What’s the process? How does it work?

Kathryn Langsford: And then the money, I couldn’t agree more. We talk money right up front. As soon as I have a sense of what they want, we talk about how much it costs like right up front.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep.

Kathryn Langsford: And yeah. More so in the sales room.

Allison Tyler Jones: And we’re going to get there because I know where you’re going with that. So getting them into the consultation if at all possible is definitely a great idea. I don’t make it a deal breaker because again, there’s so many more women that run their own businesses and make their own financial decisions that I would never want to offend. But I do love it when we have both the husband and the wife in there because they can, just kind of recapping what you said, is there’s some conversations that they may have never had before. Now, I find that if you have art collectors, if you have a couple that already collects art, this is like sliding down a greased slide. It’s just so easy because they get it. They know things cost a lot. They know custom framing, all of that.

Allison Tyler Jones: So it’s just so much easier. But if they don’t, if they have not had that experience before and they have been maybe hiring shoot and burn photographers or just buying digital files up until now and this is their first interaction with a photographer that works with finished product, it’s a little bit more of an education process, but I find that with men, it’s easier to strip the language down and be a little bit more direct than with women. We kind of like to be wined and dined and fed it and have a few more emotional terms thrown around.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay. So we’ve shot this session and now they’re coming in to look at the images. How did you used to do it and what was the problem with that, as far as husbands go?

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. So many problems with how I used to. How I used to do it was I would have a box of printed proofs.

Allison Tyler Jones: Hmm.

Kathryn Langsford: I see your judgment and I’m just going to let that roll right off them.

Allison Tyler Jones: I know. I know. There’s an eyebrow, right. It’s right here.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. And we would look at them and gush over them and then maybe narrow down piles of each child. And I thought there was value in seeing how many great photos we got and I thought that that would lead to them wanting a lot of them because there was so many great ones. I mean-

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: I was so wrong in so many ways, but I didn’t know that. We don’t know.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. You don’t know what you don’t know.

Kathryn Langsford: And what’s interesting is the consistent feedback that I would get from men during this process was, “Okay. What are we doing? What’s our goal?” I can’t tell. You probably hundreds of times.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep.

Kathryn Langsford: And for a while I saw that as, “Oh, he just wants to get out of here or-

Allison Tyler Jones: He’s a jerk.

Kathryn Langsford: Brush the process.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: And I totally didn’t see it for what it was, which was what’s the end we have in mind?

Allison Tyler Jones: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kathryn Langsford: And they were basically wanting me to have a pre-session consult.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: That we didn’t have. But yeah. What’s the end? What’s the end goal here? What are we going for? And the way I did it was flipped. The way I did it was, “Let’s talk about the photos we love and then let’s sit and figure out how big they’re going to be and where they’re going to hang.” And in so many cases, people had decision fatigue by that point.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: And couldn’t make those decisions or made the decision in a way that like they regretted later or-

Allison Tyler Jones: Or they just bought a lot of little because they didn’t want to have to decide.

Kathryn Langsford: Yep.

Allison Tyler Jones: We just want them all.

Kathryn Langsford: So many problems with that process, but that is what men were asking for all along.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep.

Kathryn Langsford: What are we doing here?

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes.

Kathryn Langsford: And so now, the way that it is now, we talk about what are we doing here when I meet them before we even have the session.

Allison Tyler Jones: Exactly.

Kathryn Langsford: And so by the time we get to the sales room, we know exactly what we’re doing, we have a photo of their walls up on a screen, and I’ve suggested these photos in these places and the only thing we’re really talking about is, “Can we see a different photo of my daughter? I don’t know if I like that one.” It’s like night and day. Everyone is on the same page. Everyone knows how much it’s going to cost. Everyone knows what we’re doing, what we’re there to decide. And in times when in the past, if a husband couldn’t make it to that meeting, that was the other thing. If a husband could not make it to the meeting or even if we had stressed how important it is and he was going to be there, but something came up and he couldn’t be, that would burn everything down.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep.

Kathryn Langsford: Because the wife couldn’t decide without the husband, not because she’s not an independent thinker who is capable of making home purchase decisions. It wasn’t that. It was that she was getting overwhelmed.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: And she wanted his feedback and she thought she’d be okay without his feedback, but she’s not.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: Decide and the photos are too great and she’s just like, “I can’t. I can’t decide. I-

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. And it’s their kids together and it’s something that she actually didn’t realize that she really did want him in on because it’s a part of the experience together. Also, I feel like many times, not always, but with some clients, they would blame the husband as the way to get out of making the decision. They would say, “Well, I need to talk to my husband about it.” They just are delaying the decision or they would blame it on their husband because there are plenty of wives that are the ones that don’t want to spend money and the husband does. They don’t want him come in because they’re afraid he’ll spend too much. I’ve had that happen too.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: And they’ll say, “Oh, well my husband said that we couldn’t do it.” But really it’s that was a smoke screen.

Kathryn Langsford: We saw that as these husbands are wrecking everything.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. Exactly.

Kathryn Langsford: Make everything so hard.

Allison Tyler Jones: These men, they hate us.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. They’re trying to like put up barriers against this-

Allison Tyler Jones: Love killers.

Kathryn Langsford: Exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. So-

Kathryn Langsford: But it was just that we hadn’t educated people enough in the beginning. We didn’t tell them what our process was. We didn’t tell them what to expect or-

Allison Tyler Jones: Exactly.

Kathryn Langsford: From them or help them to realize what they want early instead of overwhelming them at the time of decision. There were times it burned down to the point where the sale never closed.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Oh for sure. So one thing I was going to back up really quick. One of the things that I’ve had happen a lot is as we wrap up the session and the husbands may or may not have been in on the consultation or they may not remember, they’d say, “Okay, so when are we looking at these,” or whatever or I will ask them, if they haven’t asked me, I’ll say, “So you’re coming to the view and order right?” And so some of them are like, “Oh, you don’t need me for that.” And I’m “Like, look you not coming to the view and order.” I’m like, “You just lived through the pregnancy and the labor and now you don’t want to see the baby.” I’m like, “That is not cool. You need to be there for the baby. You need to see the good part. It’s really, really fun.”

Allison Tyler Jones: So if we’ve scheduled it already and it’s a day that doesn’t work for them, then I’ll quickly just reschedule it right then so that it will work for him. Sometimes they’ll say, “Look, this is her thing. I don’t need to be there. She knows what she’s doing,” and they really don’t want to be, that’s fine. But I find that the more I include and say something like that and get them included, they are so glad that they came and they love it.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. 100% agree. I find the more I’ve developed my pre-session consult part of the process, the less I need to even try to talk men into coming. They want to be a part of it. They know what we’re doing.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: They want to see that and spot. And they’re both here.

Allison Tyler Jones: It’s so true. And I think even as you put your process on your website or when you’re talking about it, even in that first phone call, it has enough gravity, the process is clear enough that they realize that if this is something that they’re doing together, they really should be together. And so I find that more and more, I’m getting both of the people in for that consultation. Okay. So let’s go back to the view and order to the sales appointment. And you are talking about your box of proofs, which is hilarious. So my box of proofs, would’ve been the Pro-Select catalog with way too many images and this beautiful slide show, that’s plain music. And then, “Let’s go through and pick which images we like and compare them against each other.”

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: So it’s just a digital version of what you said.

Kathryn Langsford: Kind of. But-

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Kind of. And so men just love their families too. Husbands love the kids too, but it can just get overwhelming and you can kind of see after a while, like the eyes start to glaze over. They’re looking at their watch. They’re looking at their phone.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Whatever. And so it needs to be tidy and tight.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: And-

Kathryn Langsford: Not too long.

Allison Tyler Jones: Not too long. Not too long. All busy. Have things to do.

Kathryn Langsford: Very busy.

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay. So I love that, “What’s our goal?” So I think if we had been listening, if you and I had been listening to these men earlier.

Kathryn Langsford: Yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: So in the consultation, what our goal is. We’re beginning with the end in mind. We’re deciding what we’re going to do. So because we have that all nailed down, we’ve shot for that. Now they’re coming into the view and order and it’s a slideshow of images, but then it’s like, “Okay. Here’s the wall. Here’s your fireplace. Here’s your living room. Here are the walls. And this is what we’re doing.” Okay. So now we’re fulfilling the goal and it’s much quicker.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. Because the only thought is, “Do we love the actual photo she chose for those spots?” We’ve already picked the spots.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: We picked the sizes.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: We’ve already paid for it in most cases. They’ve already-

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: Paid. They’ve already paid a deposit on this. So it’s not thinking, “Well do I want that?” No.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: We’ve already done that.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: It’s just, “She chose closeups of the three kids and I think I want the one that shows more of their body. Can we do those instead?” Like, honestly, it’s just really simple just swap in and out.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep. I love that.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. And even like you said, like going through the photos and holding them all up against each other, sometimes we do that. Like they might say, “Can we just see all the family photos and know that this is the right one?” But even when we do do that, it’s way faster.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep.

Kathryn Langsford: Because the big decision is not that. The big decision was done before.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. The big decision was-

Kathryn Langsford: Are we okay spending this much. Are we okay? Do we like the idea of a photo that big in that spot? Do you want something in your office?” Those are the big decisions and they’ve already done it.

Allison Tyler Jones: Exactly. I love that. Yeah. So I feel like that learning to speak husband has really revolutionized our business. It’s allowed us to be clearer, more efficient, and quick. It doesn’t mean that we don’t still have a layer of emotion and love. We absolutely do. But we’re using the word husband and men, but we could just as easily say CEOs and busy people.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. Because if you had two women or whatever, doesn’t matter, whoever’s busy, has busy lives, have things going on, they don’t have endless time to just sit around and, “Oh, let’s just look at the pictures endlessly and never decide.”

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: So we have a process, we take them through it, and that speaks very well to anybody, whether it’s a husband or not, that’s busy.

Kathryn Langsford: Agree. I think another important point is we have created this process based on client feedback that we weren’t listening to for a while. And I think that’s important. That’s something important I wish I’d learned earlier is when you hear people saying something negative about the process, listen to that. And you mentioned it already. Try and figure out, what can I change so that that’s not their experience? Because, especially in the case where, like I said, when men were looking at the proofs and they’re like, “What are we doing? What’s the point?” I may have taken it personally or been annoyed by it, I should have listened long before I actually did start listening because they were pointing out a pain point in the process.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. That’s a really good point because it’s making me think like are there areas, because we all have blind spots.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Are there areas of things that I’m just missing because I don’t want to change or because there’s some requests that clients make that are unreasonable and that aren’t in the best interests of their best interests or the best interest of your business. But sometimes there’s always a way through that if you can interpret it a little bit differently.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. Well another one that I heard over and over again was, “I can’t decide this right now.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Kathryn Langsford: “Decide right now. I feel pressured. I can’t decide this.” And that was remedied by having a pre-session consultation and making the decisions then.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep.

Kathryn Langsford: And I don’t hear them say that anymore. The sales are-

Allison Tyler Jones: Totally agree.

Kathryn Langsford: To happen all the time. And I thought that it was just, “This is just the way it goes. If I don’t make them decide then that means I’m not going to close a sale. So I have to find a way-

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. And then you make them decide and then they call you the next morning and cancel half their order.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. Yeah. So again, that was a recurring pain point for people and I don’t know that I figured it out by putting the pre-session consult into the process was there were more reasons than that to do it. But after I did that, I stopped hearing people complain about not being able to decide.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. I love that. Okay. Anything else that you want to add? I’m going to recap where we’ve been because I think we’ve covered a lot of topics, but the things that I think really stand out to me, the high points of our conversation are number one, to include the husband. So learning to speak husband is include him because I remember when I very first started, I was like, “Okay. There’s female financing. Women were bringing me money in the middle of the night to my house. Don’t tell my husband how much this costs.” Like that kind of stuff. But I feel like that really my best clients, both the husband and the wife are into it.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: And when a husband is the one that calls, that’s some of the best clients you have because they’re so into it. So include him, acknowledge his pain. Even though every woman listening to this is going to roll their eyes. Like, “He didn’t have to get the outfits together. He didn’t have to get those kids coiffed and dressed and get hair and makeup and all that done.” But he had to listen to the crazy person who was trying to do all of those things, right.

Kathryn Langsford: And in many cases, she doesn’t want to be photographed.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Kathryn Langsford: A lot of men are grown up boys.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes.

Kathryn Langsford: And a lot of boys do not love being photographed as much as their sisters. Not-

Allison Tyler Jones: So true.

Kathryn Langsford: All of them. It’s definitely not across the board, but there is some sort of gender thing there about being photographed and I don’t know who to blame for that.

Allison Tyler Jones: Probably there mothers that drug them to portrait photographers when they were young and made them stand and be posed. Death by posing or whatever.

Kathryn Langsford: But I think that’s a lot of the lie that walks into the studio with the family is that the husband’s like, “Oh my God. I don’t want to do this.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: I don’t-

Allison Tyler Jones: Well because everybody wants to look good. I mean, come on. So acknowledging that like, okay, this has not been the easiest thing in the world for you because we tend to really spoil the wives and really make it great for them, but like just acknowledging him. So include him, acknowledge him, and then get to the point. Like, “What are we doing?” So that’s in the consultation, that’s all along the way, like, “Okay. Here’s the process. This is what we’re going to do. We’re starting with the end in mind. Here’s how much it’s going to cost. Here’s how we can make it less. Here’s how we can make it more. This is typically what most people do.” And then also letting him know during the session when he gets there that we can get you in and out.

Allison Tyler Jones: So you’re acknowledging his time. “We can do this quickly, get everything that you’re in, and then you can get out of here if you want to.” And then when it comes to the view and order, the sales appointment, having it a tight edit, we’re targeted, and we’re populating what they had already decided. So especially if he has an indecisive wife. Sometimes that happens, the wife can be indecisive. And if that’s a common pattern, you can see their eyes glaze over. Have you ever been in that situation where-

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: She’s like, “Well, I don’t know. Let’s go back and look at that again.”

Kathryn Langsford: Oh yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Like, “Oh, we’ve already decided.” So it’s like you can help that by like, “Okay. We’ve already decided because you sent us your room views that we’re doing the fireplace and the playroom. Okay. Here’s the fireplace. We know that that size looks great. Here’s the playroom. Da, da, da, da, da.” And so then all we’re deciding on is are these the actual images that you want to put in those places? We don’t have to go back and revisit that. Guys that have undecisive wives are going to appreciate that so, so much.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay. So include, acknowledge, process quickly, get it done, listen, listen to your clients, listen to what they’re saying to you. If there are pain points, if there are things that you’re hearing again and again and again, then that might mean there’s a speed bump in your process that needs to be smoothed out in some way.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. Definitely took me too long to get that memo.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep. Same. But we’re here now and we’re doing a podcast about it. So there. So hopefully we haven’t offended the whole world.

Kathryn Langsford: I hope.

Allison Tyler Jones: I mean, obviously these are stereotypes. It’s not always that way. I’ve had plenty of wishy washy men that couldn’t decide and plenty of like overly emotional men and the women are over there like, “Come on. Let’s move this along.”

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. Sure.

Allison Tyler Jones: In general, the complaints that we hear a lot is like, “Oh, how do you deal with these husbands?” But like you said, they are grown up boys. They don’t always necessarily want to do this, but our best clients, the ones that really love their families and really love their wives and they appreciate portraiture, if we can give them a process and a way for them to engage and a way for them to be successful, they’re all in forever. And how many have you, I’ve had so many husbands say to their wives, I’ve heard them on the way out like, “We’re never going anywhere else. This is awesome.”

Kathryn Langsford: Or feedback from the wives like, “Oh, he thought this was going to be XYZ experience and he just loved it and-

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah. “He’s the one who suggested we come back.” I’ve heard that kind of thing over and over. Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: And so if you’re making it easier for them, you’re making their wives really happy, you’re taking care of her and helping her to have a great experience, good husbands want happy wife, happy life. They want that.

Kathryn Langsford: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: So yeah. Okay. I think we’ve solved the husband language barrier. We did it.

Kathryn Langsford: That’s right.

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay.

Kathryn Langsford: Solving the world’s problems one podcast at a time.

Allison Tyler Jones: One podcast at a time. All right. Thanks for being here. I appreciate you so much.

Kathryn Langsford: All right. Bye.

Allison Tyler Jones: Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you being here? I know that you have so many demands on your time and so many demands on your attention. You could be watching Netflix. You could be listening to a true crime podcast, but you’ve spent time here at the ReWork learning to make your portrait business better. And that really means a lot to me. If there’s somebody that you feel like could benefit from this episode, that you could help them and help us spread the word in helping other portrait photographers build better businesses, please go to where you’re listening to this episode and hit that share button and share it with them.

Allison Tyler Jones: And if you have time and can give us a review, you don’t even understand how much that means to a little tiny podcast like ours to see those reviews and see how we’re helping. And if you have another minute and can send me a DM and let us know what you would like to hear in the future, what you really enjoyed hearing about, maybe things that weren’t that great, how we can do better, we always want to do better and we always want to support the portrait photography industry in helping you build the best businesses ever. Thanks again so much for being here.

Recorded: You can find more great resources from Allison at and on Instagram at do.the.rework.

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