28 Days Testimonial: Mapuana Reed
Last time I came back for my last 28 Days, we lost Mapuana. We lost her, and now she' she's here, okay. She had to bow out the day before, and we review Nikki's studio, Dusty's and Amy's. So, Mapuana's here, so I wanna quickly review hers. Mapuana was one of my very first students on my first Creative Live, two and a half years ago; well two years, three months. You've been running your business for two years, and three months. You shoot solely glamour, and I've got some beautiful images of Mapuana's studio here, that she been working on; some before and afters. (mousing clicking) And Mapuana also kindly photographed her space. She's now shooting on a reveal wall. (mouse clicking) (mouse clicking) [Sue Bryce] Loved that shoot, by the way.
One of my favorites.
Yeah, loved it! She, just blew me away! And I absolutely loved this one also! And good girl for doing such really good before and afters, very, very important. (mouse clicking) (mouse clicking)
All right so, at the time, I t...
hink it's very important. I'm gonna get Mapuana to come up. If there's any questions for Mapuana, I want to you to ask her. I feel like, what's important is that you learn we speak to the people that are starting out. Because I still maintain that I remember every part of starting out, but I know that everybody thinks that it's just so much easier for me now. So, I really like talking to Nikki and Mapuana, 'cause I love seeing them go through things that I went through, that are really really important. If there's any questions for Mapuana, I'd love to hear them. And if you guys have any questions, my question would be, after two years, where are you struggling the most?
It could probably pitching my work to a complete stranger. When someone comes up and they ask, like or if they're already kinda know about my work it easier. But going up to a complete stranger, and being like, Hi I'm a photographer, I would love to photograph you. I thing that's the part that I'm struggling with. All right, and what are your other challenges? Have you, how have your sales gown up? Like what's your average sitting at? My average is at 1600 now.
Because, I changed it after 28 Days. It was 775 I think it was.
Seven hundred and seventy five, do you doubled it?
Hm-mm, and then right after 28 Days, it went to 1600. I switched everything around; I did everything different.
And you're doing the reveal wall?
And you're enjoying that?
I love it!
Nikki is too, and Nikki doesn't have a wall as such. She's just showing, pre-printing her folio box. I love how many people on the 28 Days, and be able to say that they're actually doing the reveal wall, 'cause it's changed my world. I feel like it's one of those things that you can't not have; like if you're working towards anything, it would be to create that reveal wall. So, for the people that are new to this: the reveal wall, we are printing our shoots prior to the viewing and showing them actual finished products instead of a.
I'm sorry, on the reveal wall, it's something came to mind that I've had a question on, it's you know, I'm wondering whether the reveal wall should be more of a secret surprise, where they don't know anything about the reveal wall at all. And they walk into your studio, perhaps expecting a digital reveal. And then, boom, they see the wall, or, do you actively use it as your marketing?
Well the thing is, they don't know about the reveal wall unless somebody's being photographed. And if they don't know about the reveal wall, I wouldn't necessarily tell them, in case something goes wrong, and you couldn't print them in time, or, you know, really, you're just going to, "I cannot wait to show you your beautiful images and do your viewing session, so really it's irrelevant how they produce, the fact that they see them finished is kinda the mind-blowing part. Do you have a question Mapu?
I do, I have a question. I've been watching her for he last two years, going through the whole process. And I know, when I first started watching you, everyone was saying, "Oh, Mapuana's killing it! She's out there doing it!" And, I'm just wondering if you, now, two years later, when you're flow posing, are you confident in your posing now, because I know, when you pick that camera up, it just, it all goes out, it all goes out he window.
I feel like there's five poses that I can pretty much nail, but, after that, I feel like I'm just kinda going with the body and, but I still get nervous. When that client comes in, I'm still kind of like, oh, my gosh, you know. Or, right when she gets out of hair and makeup. While she's in hair and makeup, when she walks in and I see her outfits, I see her body type I will sit down and watch 28 Days. If she's a curvy girl, I will watch the curvy girl session. Yah know, and just go through whatever I think would be best for her.
You still do that, just to have it fresh I your head?
Yeah, oh yeah, yup!
Okay, cool, good to know!
Because I have an hour and a half,
True. so she's in hair and makeup, I have an hour and a half. I just sit on the side, and I'll just put my headphones on and I'll just watch.
That's really good, because I do the same thing. One, I don't talk to the client when she's in hair and makeup, because otherwise she's talking, and the hair and makeup artist is trying to do stuff, and they always want to talk to me. And if I leave the room, or sit off to the side, they talk to the makeup artist, and I always choose my makeup artists that are calm and centered, so that they calm and center my client, 'cause I'm kinda the opposite to calm and centered. You know, and so I kind of want them to come in come and centered, 'cause I'm kind of wild and loud and you know, more whoop, whoop, then they are. So, I always kind of think, calm, centered. But I still, til this day, after 24 years go and draw my poses, draw my sequences, and fully map my shoot in my head before I do it. Anything that comes up after, in between, or during one of the compositions, is an add-on. I'm already prepared; otherwise, I forget to do things. Still, after all these years, I still forget. Okay, any other questions for Mapuana?
Cool, thank you.
So, $1600 is a very viable, working model, if you're doing two to three shoots a week. It's also, I would like to see you get up to 1800. 'Cause I feel that 1800 for the first two years of my business, for three years of my business, my individual business. I remembered how hard I had to work, because the shoots are coming in consistently, which means you have staff, which means you have marketing, shooting, selling, retouching, so you know, you got to lock down a cycle. Are you outsourcing your retouching?
Okay, are you outsourcing your retouching; are you paying a hair and makeup artist?
A wage, or an individual amount?
Okay, so you're just booking her as you're booking. And you've found someone that you really like?
Yeah, if you could change one thing right now, what would it be? Like, if you could go away today and say, "I need to change this right now," what would it be?
I think I would shoot in a little bit bigger space so I can have more people come in; maybe more family members, and maybe do family photos. Because, my space is so small, that I don't feel like I have enough room for someone to bring in there kids. 'Cause they're sitting in the hair and makeup chair right there.
And then I just move that to the side, and I just start shooting right there, which is just.
Yeah, so you've got a corner.
Right, so I think maybe a little bit bigger space would be great, so that way I can have more women in there, or maybe more people, so I can shoot families.
Also, I noticed that you wrote on Facebook yesterday, that you're doing an event, where you're gonna be.
So, we'll talk about pitching in a bit, okay, don't let that go past without pitching. I make most of my income from going to women's shows, so I learned how to pitch to a expo audience, which is the hardest audience, 'cause you know, everybody is there to look at the expo, but nobody wants to make eye-contact in case you try and sell them something. So, you get this audience of 30000 people that aren't looking at you. (audience laughing) And you're standing there with a pamphlet, just wanting to give out your pamphlet, and really, at the end of the day, you're just like that guy on the street, that's giving away a massage voucher that you don't want to look at, because then you have to take it, or you take it and thrown it in the rubbish bin 30 meters past, because you felt guilty. Because I feel guilty about everything, so. You know, I've also learned to say, "No, thank you." But, oh my goodness, okay so pitching to expo really important, and you know, with the space you've got right now;
Okay, but I really wanted to show everybody your studio.