IPS vs. Shoot and Burn: How to be Successful in Photography

Digital files vs. Printed Products

Value your work, value your time and make money in photography.

Digital files or printed products…which is right for your business? And how do you position it with your clients? Look, we all want to make money, but running an IPS session might not be for everyone. There are many ways to make money in photography. Sal will dive into the pros and cons of each and how to bridge the gap for today’s clients and their increasing demands.


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About this course

when does selling digital files make sense?

In this course you’ll learn when and where to offer your digital files to clients. Learn what package Sal places them in, and how he deals with corporate clients that only need digital files.

Pricing and Selling social media files

How many files should you sell for social media use? Should they be built into your packages or available a-la-carte? Sal will explain how he addresses the need for clients to have images to post to social media.

products mentioned

Your clients want printed products

Shutterfly sells billions in prints and albums each year with your images. Why shouldn’t your clients get their prints from you?

Learn how Sal makes his products stand out through packaging

See how Sal packages products and gives clients a high-end experience they can’t get anywhere else.

how to make the transition from shoot & burn to in-person sales

Your shoot & burn clients won’t expect to come in to your studio for a sales session. Learn how to make the transition and communicate the change to old clients.

How to do in-person sales without a studio

Don’t have a studio? That’s ok. Sal will go over tips and tricks for running in-person sales sessions in your home.

Sound off:

What are the challenges you face in selling tangible products to your clients?

This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. Spencer Harris

    Question: When you offer prints mounted on Styrene, how does the customer display that in their home/office since there is no hanging hook or wire?

    1. they would put it on an easel or get it framed. thats why they like it – gives them options. for us, we dont make money on frames, they are not nearly as profitable as selling canvas, etc.

  2. Spencer Harris

    I had to close my photo business down a few years ago to move out of the expensive Bay Area. Now that I live in a lower cost of living part of the country I am finally ready to get back to doing what I love. I had great success with IPS following Sal’s Creative Live structure. My first IPS sale was $1,944. Prior to this I had told my clients that I offered printed products but the customers never purchased, except the occasional 8×10. Night and day difference. I mention all this one as a testimony that the process works, but secondly – watching this video has helped confirm how I want to go about restarting my business. I initially thought I would just shoot and burn as a way to get back into things, but right now I work FT for someone else. What spare time/energy I have I don’t want to waste on making a few pennies. I am going to start with the right foundation, even if it means not as many clients in the beginning. At least they will be the right ONEs. Sal’s passion has relit my dormant passion.

  3. Spencer Harris

    I started busting out laughing when you gave the example of an incomplete service where you would go to a steak house and they give you the raw steak and point you to a grill with seasonings for you to cook yourself. I actually ate at a place that did that in San Diego this past November. I was there for work and after sitting down and ready to order the waitress proceeded to tell us that we have to cook our own meat/fish. Everything else was cooked like our fries, bread, and asparagus. We were all stunned and everyone around the table started saying, ‘I don’t want to cook.’ One guy at our table said, ‘I am here for work with customers, I don’t want to cook.’ https://www.cohnrestaurants.com/gaslampstripclub

  4. I just start advertising my photohraphy business and been learning for about 2 years and these is the cain of information that no one wants to share so I appreciate your time and honestly.

  5. Sal, thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise. I thoroughly enjoyed and most likely will be viewing it several more times for it to fully sink in. LOL! Again, thank you!

  6. Thank you so much for giving this incredibly valuable information gratis! You’re a mensch! This photographer salutes you for inspiring others and making a photography business a realistic goal. Can’t wait to do my first in person sale . After watching this video, I feel like it’s doable. Thank you!

  7. Excellent information and advice, thank you so much for taking the time to present this to us!

  8. Bellissimo!!! Thank you! Now that my photography business has taken off, this helps me refine things that will. It will continue to propel me forward. Grazie.

  9. This was a FANTASTIC video. You are so clear and straightforward. Also, well done on your branding. I’m looking forward to your next videos. I’m ready to do IPS and have actually been on an FB group for a while called IPS: Mastermind (they offer online classes also) however, I like your approach. I was ‘dithering’ so time to start just doing it!

  10. Hey Sal. This video really helped me with many things. You always make me realize things that I wasn’t thinking about. I do have a question about the custom metal tags you use. I would love to incorporate that in to my packaging too. Are you willing to share where you get those? I understand if not. Thank you so much for all you do.

  11. For quite a while I have been hearing about IPS. You are the first one to put all of the pieces together and I thank you for it. Thank you for not leaving anything out, at least nothing that I needed to know. I am eager to relisten to your presentation two or three more times, got to get it all. Thank you, thank you. Language is an issue for me too, but a minor one.

    1. glad you enjoyed it! get out there and make it happen!

  12. It’s hard for me to write this, but as much as I wanted to watch this video, there was just so much profanity that I couldn’t get through it. I had to stop after the 5th f-bomb. 🙁 I think you’re a great guy with lots of great wisdom, but I personally feel it’s unprofessional to be using such language during a video like this.

    1. sorry I offended you. i wish you the best of luck in all your ventures.

    2. Hello Sal,

      Consider making the content of your educational video, such as this one, more professional by dropping the profanity. Why would you speak to your video audience diffidently than your photography client at your studio? I am guessing you are doing these “free” videos to ultimately sell your educational products? Assuming your potential audience could be a global customer, why risk insulting them and losing a sale? I purchased your new photo bag, which I like, after seeing your promotional video about it. Had you spoken like you did in this educational presentation, I suspect I would not have purchased the bag.

      You are to be congratulated on 12 hard fought years of making a go of it in your photography business!

      Thank you!

      1. there is truly nothing to consider. i speak my mind. i speak and teach the way i speak in real life. im a real person not a robot or dancing monkey for an audience. what you see is what you get. sometimes its raw. but its always genuine. its always honest. its always from the heart. im not selling you anything. not a single product was pitched. its free – its my way of giving back. if that insults you – i am not sure what to say. perhaps we can focus more on the gesture, more on the content, more on the validity, more on the authenticity and less on an adjective. 30 years ago – “damn” was punishable by death (dramatic exaggeration) but you get the point… its a word. move past it.

  13. Two questions:

    1. Islay region or something else?
    2. Prints. Are you selling framed prints or just mounted prints?

    1. Islay – LOVE!

      as for framed prints. NO. i stay away from framed prints – we dont have the same margins as we do with prints, canvas, metals, acrylics, etc. and i have no desire to inventory frames or corners to try and match every clients taste. instead, we have a relationship with a frame shop were we send clients.

  14. How do you do IPS with clients that arent local?

    1. great question – we do a combination of skype and a product called N-Vu.com – check it out. Has built in IPS and allows your clients to log in remotely to be part of it.

  15. What size album do you like to provide family portraits? 8×8 or 12×12 Bay Photo Press Printed BayBook?

  16. Wow Thank you Sal your are my IDOL you are the best mentor. WOW you are the MEN!! I need your help to get my studio to the next level. Thank you again for your class this is a A1 information.

    1. ty ty! keep pushing and keep working hard – anything is possible.

  17. Sal. Thanks once again for such an informative webinar what I love most about you without sounding weird lol is that you get me so pumped up him when I have such doubt about my future after watching you I feel like I can accomplish anything I truly mean that. Still hoping one day I get to meet you and if you ever run that Boot Camp out of your studio I hope to win it this time The last time I wasn’t lucky enough because my studio is struggling big time but I’ll keep chugging along re-watching these videos over and over again till it sinks in to my thick skull. Thanks again Sal


    1. ty my friend. not weird at all – i know what you mean. if i can motivate you to go do great things – victory is mine!! thats my goal. 🙂

  18. This was such a good amount of advice . I Learned about you through shutter an profoto an must say you are s real an straight to the point in a educational way . It’s the best Iam just getting into photography an when I hit that point of success, wIll send you that bottle of scotch ..thank you so much .

  19. I really enjoy your webinars, your style of delivery is down to earth and direct and very informative. Thanks

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