As an industry veteran, Chris Garcia knows how to
survive in an ever-evolving photography market. He
got his start almost 20 years ago working with the
family-portrait photography business Newman Garcia
Photographic, a studio and gallery in Lemoore,
California, since 1989. In 2012, Garcia began his own
company, Garcia Sports Photography, serving the
community with volume school and sports portraits,
custom banners, statuettes and more. Earlier this
year, Garcia, who has been working with Virginia’s
Richmond Professional Lab to create the products
that have helped sustain his business, shared what
he’s learned from his years in the industry.
WPPI: What sales strategies have you finessed
for selling prints in the sports photography
Chris Garcia: Showing samples of everything you
want to sell is key, and so is upselling on the day
of the shoots. When parents see their children all
dressed up, you have such a huge opportunity to
sell on emotion. Capture them the moment they pick
up an item and imagine their child on that specialty
product or buddy photo with a cousin, and watch
how your average can jump by double digits.
WPPI: For those new to volume school and
sports photography, what would you say are
some pitfalls to avoid?
CG: There’s a lot to avoid. To be honest, the biggest
one that I still su;er from to
this day is to always believe in
yourself. Build a strong network of
people around you. Take people
out for tacos, ask questions and
make new friends. You never
know when someone may have
the one answer that will help you
grow and flourish your business.
I was 14 when I went to my first
WPPI show, and I will never forget
always asking the speakers questions. Growing
up, I always wanted to be like them, and to know
I now get to share a stage with them is a dream I’ve
had for 14 years. This never would’ve happened if I
didn’t believe in myself.
WPPI: How has your relationship with Richmond
Professional Lab helped your business grow?
CG: The crazy part about Richmond is that when I
first came across them back in 2012, they were more
interested in becoming a friend and building a real
relationship before we even spoke about business.
I spoke to Blake Bullard, the lab’s vice president, for
easily an hour about random
stu;, and at the end of the
conversation, he gave me a
price list and said to give him a
call if I ever needed anything.
I went right back the next
day, and it’s been an amazing
working relationship;ever since.
They constantly check in on us
before our busy season and
see how we are and how they
WPPI POWER OF PRINT
How Chris Garcia Delivers on
School and Sports Photography
can help us prepare, and they
have given us new solutions as
our volume has increased over
WPPI: What are some of your
favorite print products from
CG: By far, one of them has to
be the statuettes. My customers
love them. We are constantly
doing di;erent variations and
making buddy photos, individ-
uals and players with parent coaches. I can easily
say the statuettes help us turn an average order to a
$50—plus order each time.
WPPI: Why do you think print is still so crucial to
CG: As photographers, our job isn’t only to capture
a moment in time but to create a memory that can
physically be held and that can transport you back
to those feelings you had when that photograph was
taken. That special feeling you get when you see
a print and hold it in your hands is truly a beautiful
thing that photographers have been blessed with
creating, and we need to protect that as we grow as
Visit Richmond Professional Lab at their booth (#1421) and
attend their Power of Print seminar at the WPPI POP Show
Floor Theater. WPPI will be held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas,
February, 25-28. Learn more about Richmond Professional Lab
print o;erings at richmondprolab.com.