Q&A Part 1
Uh your name sd wants to know if you could be jasmine can you be my best friend? You're letting them know you know but I had the same best friend since I was fourteen years old, so yeah, I think you know all of them had sent a text early this morning and I feel like when you have friends like that you know who the people are in your life who are truly in your corner so that was good that's like a little clarification question that was from liam not uh with regard to you talked about raising the prices every three weddings and the person that person is asking are you raising the prices after booking three or after shooting three so booking three and then you would raise the prices but three because if I waited because remember you're booking a year in advance so if I waited until I shot those three I would be like looking a ton of weddings at like fifteen hundred and then then starting it would just be looking I have a follow up actually, um did you find, like, a certain point that you ...
hit a resistance with that strategy like things slow down everytime raised three hundred people like there's always gonna be like anything though like there's gonna be, I would guess I was just wondering if there was like a magic number you know, but every time you did it, yes, every time I did it because I never wanted to be the fifteen hundred photographer. I knew the photographer I wanted to become, and it wasn't a fifteen dollars, the fifteen hundred dollars photographer. Now one thing, too, is that people always say, but what about the referrals? Now I have to tell you, turning away referrals from a different price point, not because they were like, oh, no, I'm above that it hurts. Christina and danny's, christine very first winning. I shot christine and danny christina's brother got married less than a year later and he came back to me. But remember, within that time, I had raise my prices by the time he came to me almost two thousand dollars because I booked wedding so fast and he's like, oh, well, we were hoping and I sent him my prick made packages and he's like, oh, well, we were hoping that you could do the same thing that you did, christine and danny and I send back a sincere emails like, listen, I'm so sorry, but demand for the business has grown so much with such rapidity, and I could only be at one place at one time. And this is what it's turned out to be please forgive me if this is your price point, I will send you photographers within that price range and ensure that they take very good care of you the same way that I would do if I was in that situation again. What happened to christina stock? It went off she made a good decision when she took a risk on a photographer who she didn't really know that's okay, you know, slashing out your for ls everything the appraiser prices is going to come and people are so afraid of that at a conversation with the photographer who is so talented my gun she's so good and uh had opportunity to talk and just hang out with her we're talking about her prices and I was completely blown away because I was like, this is what you charge and I'm just like you are in such demand she's turning away business left and right because she's just booked and I'm like, if this is what's happening, why even you raise your prices like I just love my client I love like the demographic I love look who I'm kind of attracting and I'm like, listen, those types of clients don't ever go away they just was like, really okay it's photographers, we're gonna get this like like, I just really love the graphic designer client we all know god when some pieces were graphic designer I'm just like oh like you know their wedding's gonna be cute because they just get it in a different style like she's like I love the graphic designer and I'm like you're still gonna attract a graphic designers they're just going to be designing for bigger firms that's what it boils down to is you have to trust yourself as an artist to know that if you are in that demand she is in high demand just turning my people left and right there should I believe that when you're where your price you should always have a hustle if you're just like I'm okay oh no I'm busy busy busy no get out there hustle this is your livelihood do you think may be shooting for the next thirty years I don't know I don't I don't think I'm auditioning for thirty years what's my exit strategy to make money right now invested wisely and if I want to retire when I'm forty I won't have that luxury or not retire if I want to reinvent myself in a different industry I'm gonna have that luxury that's where I'm headed that's what I want to go so that's like e just like my brain I'm sorry all ok we all want to retire when we're forty just no right I would like everyone to keep me like would've worked sixty five so adam part had asked I would like to know without giving everything away, if you could tell us more about your collections and people always want to know more about your collections. Yeah, I mean, my collection that now the average collection that I'm looking for clients, it comes with the disc. The average is between ninety, five hundred and ten thousand five hundred four clients in southern california, and that the one that comes to meet you guys, the client make my flight collections are very straightforward. So that client will get and eleven eleven by fourteen album and a disc. And then the one that comes with more of the larger one comes with an engagement album and, um, a campus route and more pages in the album. But there's just it's, a discotheque album. That's what my clients are getting and how many pages in eleven by fourteen it varies and what that collection is but it's fifteen or twenty usually. And then, if the clients want to add pictures, I charge per picture rate instead of like a spread or a page, because people don't understand it in that context, and then it gives me freedom to place with the designer where those pictures go and add pages and spreads is I find it so it's fifteen dollars a picture if they want to add pictures to it you want to add ten you want to read it by this's the cost for it send me the check you get it designs were good to go so it's talent time eleven by fourteen book the disk of negatives second shooter and an engagement session oh my collections include an engagement session because I feel like there are teams now to the success on the wedding day gets to know them those are southern california collections we have some california we have northern california I want to get into the northern california market more than you know a lot of things so I'm gonna price myself advantageously right and I was like dang it yeah l a n e so yeah I definitely want to get there so I want to make it advantageous so you know I charge ah smaller trouble feed and I would say I'm going to vegas I don't want to get into the vegas market I want no offense kristie that's just not you know that's not necessarily where I want my my clients to go I like the steel oh I like divide of the northern california market and so it's a smaller travel from coming to get up there because I want to start shooting up there I want to diversify the business and then we have central america central america the center of the united states and we have east coast prices and then we have continent prices because the longer it takes for us to get to that destination is how you have to price yourself like, you know I'm sorry, but east coast wedding um it takes a lot of time. You're leaving on a thursday night on a red eye, you get there friday morning and you're exhausted, you take a nap, we grab lunch, then we go and we check out the venue. Then we come back, and most of time the clients are paying us extra to cover that rehearsal dinner. If you cover the rehearsal dinner reaching out by nine thirty, we go back to the hotel, chill out, wake up the next morning we're going go to sleep, we wake up, we're coming back like four d's and it's like what if that client like I don't necessarily? I don't know I'm shooting, I'm shooting a wedding in um filly in may I was our next wedding. I'm so excited to be there, I charged her a lot of money to be on the east coast she's probably watching whatever primary um, she told me she wants the entire last creative life course. So whatever I'm saying out on the web, I have to stay and by she she's paying more for me to have me on the east coast than she would in california, but she understand that I feel like there's this level of like I want to do so well for this girl because she's paying a lot more to be there I want to do well for all my clients but god now there's a different gang like she's chart I mean you know she not only did she pay higher rates she paid for our flights she paid for hotels she's paying for rent a car she's paying for taxes and she's paying for gas all of the things we're going out there and she's paying for us to be there now not only do I think she's like a rad person in general a few weeks ago she emailed me and she asked if we would be able to collaborate she's like I know that you like collaborating with other photographers who want to collaborate right and I was like well what do you mean and she wants to know if I would be able to host an auction and the auction would auction off a spot to be a third shooter at her wedding and one hundred percent of the proceeds will go to a charity of her twice and she's in med school so she works with like doctors up borders and like this cancer research and so we're doing that like probably announce it like next week so one hundred percent of the proceeds for a third shooter position and her wedding is going to be ill like it's going to be like it's my steel o if you like my steel oh then you're gonna love this wedding it's not ballroom her daddy's family's family family had a sewing factory she outdid the entire sewing factory I know everyone's like oh like you know she flew to los angeles for their engagement session had rat engagement session loved into bits and pieces and how could I ever say no to somebody who says let's do something big together with one hundred percent of the proceeds so the third shooter wins because shooting with jd and myself and then the charity wins and then she wins because she wants more picture s oh yeah and I told her, you know, we won the risk of getting anybody to show up at your wedding like, are you okay with that? We went through a litany of things and so we already spoke about second shooter, so if this second shooter is a third shooter now you know what I expect if you pass out your business card at this wedding, you know, know exactly exactly no no so she knows that she paid more so happy there so that level education is entirely different I think it's red but we're spending a lot more time to be there I could be hope so to shoot to be at a wedding two and two o'clock in los angeles I leave her house at twelve o'clock not because it takes me two hours and because I want to take my time we get a bite to eat at the hotel where the bride is getting ready we go up to the room jimmy's with the guys we moved to the day that usually we started to we ended ten were in the car by, like ten thirty were home by, like eleven, fifteen that's my day to shoot a wedding on the same day on the east coast is we're leaving on thursday. We're coming home on sunday night very, very different. You have to charge more for your time because you're doing that heavily. So so how did that work? Did you ask that? Know who asked that you guys, I'm so sorry I told you if I was talking trash, I feel like we need to do jumping jacks because energy just dropped way through mitt way. We're like hanging on your every word hey, you have your couples come back after away, I'll do it for my clients. I used to do all the cart engagement sessions and I used to do what I call any time sessions I know no longer do that because I got to a point last year, so I realized I was so unhappy I was driving to the chute and all I wanted to do was edit photos from clients who I would be working with on a long term basis and wanted to have dinner with jd and I picked up so much business by doing that I realized I was priced one too low if I was that busy and I wasn't pricing myself because I will shoot between los angeles and orange county, which is my main market ella orange county make up around seventy percent of my business I want to change that so it's a little bit more diversified but it is what it is right now so my anytime sessions were included in that demographic and um demographic, geographic, whatever in that area and so it takes me it takes me longer to shoot in los angeles than it does in orange county and it wasn't um I wasn't pricing myself out right here and I just was like I just don't like these anymore if I don't like it I stopped doing it so yeah so if they come back we'll do it the client's boudoir sessions I used to do it all a card I won't do it anymore I don't think it's my skill set I get extraordinarily stressed out withdraw it's so gorgeous I mean absolute eleven I think it's a different some photographers can make it extraordinary art form beautiful I'm just like oh my god like girls are very self conscious and so you know, to pose him write and edit it right? I just was taking me so long and so now I just refer them to a great withdrawal company in san diego they do a phenomenal job yes so I hear is curious where everyone but I just mentioned the first edition is something that's going on this year? It's we're announcing the auction next week. Yes, yeah, yeah. I mean, you can ask questions. I mean, it's going to be made it'll be ah, her wedding is may eighth. Yes, people are like that's a friday it's a saturday. So, like the first hundred, amy should really bring it up. Yeah, it's like the first saturday and I believe it's like meat anyway, may seventh got any night? Whatever I'm gonna pull it up anyway so it's on that date and we're gonna be opening the auction on ebay this's not like attached to anything. We're just doing it ghetto fab like I was like let's make this work and again I put the onus on the bride because yes, we could have done it, but I'm not in the business of creating auctions if this auction goes bad, who doesn't look back? Who does it look bad on me? I'm like how about ben and here's again the more invested she becomes in the auction the more ownership she feels in the auction at its success she will feel a level off ownership because of that option when people feel like they own something and it is successful it's a good reflection on me on you when you think of those in thick of those terms so yeah, it'll be in the philly area yeah may seventh may seven so it'll be in the philly area it's about unlike think twenty five thirty minutes outside of the city and one hundred percent of the profits are proceeds will be going to charity okay, so the third shooter gets to bid on position to come out and shoot the whole wedding shoot wedding and they read it in old sewing factory yes so she's getting married in her family's like historic church family the church of her family had been going to but I think if I'm not mistaken like protestant baptist so it's like that old school church feel that we totally do not have in orange county I'm super excited out she's doing the first look she read about natural reflectors and she's like I have this yes my ground has white barn maybe we should use the first because it's a great natural wonder I'm like where are you? You know she sent me a wedding invitation and it's like seven parts and she hand stitched everything with kinds of material. It's like letter press I'm telling you maybe I'm like talking it up, but she just has a different aesthetic. It's very unique she's and she's thinking about maybe getting transferred from the wedding from the wedding site to the second sight in a winnebago. Barry, your bride's going like rules races and I'm just like no big d oh, yeah, she's, she's awesome! And I think it will be I think that'd be a great day. That's what it's about and so the third shooter, obviously, to promote the images on their belong afterwards. Yes, in the on the condition that we have now. Julien's trying to buy me. Oh, no, no, no, wait! Things are great, great questions. Well, they're being by now, there will be there won't be a lightning like here's a day. I want to do this. Uh, I want to do it up do it up. I actually thought about having a comm in imam bid of, like five hundred because if you're not willing to spend five hundred dollars to spend a day and had to go to charity it's a write off for your business like minimum, it will be starting in five yeah I want teo I want it and I don't want it because here's the thing I don't want it for me I want it for her and I want it for this charity more than anything that fact that we can all pull together and do something different grand signed it's all up to her it's on you I guarantee you she's probably in there right now like she she bought the creative life course I like her I never watch it after but just in case I ever want to become a photographer I now know what you are I mean she's just like the coolest person like loki and that's another thing when you know you're bribing you starting to have a person that you attract I'm so happy that I attract loki brides like I'm a low key person I know it seems like I not I really really right great usually I'm very low key and to attract that kind of bride works extraordinary well go with the punches wedding days are perfect so yeah I have a client I'm sorry yes christie in a time where between where you look a client into every engagement session you might have monster between that time and their wedding yes do do anything in that time to like foster relationship with or is that just kind of like dead six it's what again it's about being personal with the clients and I am attracting are very media savvy and I think that's the type of generation that we're living in so if you and I friend him on facebook so they're seeing status updates and they're seeing pictures that I'm uploading on a compartment both personal and professional basis they're following the blogging some capacity some of them are on twitter and it's on twitter I will follow them on twitter um those types of things when they make comments on pictures and then if they show up on my feet you know about where it likes one of my bride's recently uploaded like hold the wean pictures on her fiance went as the tooth fairy funny, I never comment on that, so basically what social media allows us to do is have micro conversations without getting too personally invested I don't want to become friends with my clients until after everything is done because what happens is that when you be home friends and blurs the lines between business and professional, you don't want them coming like, oh, I'll get you the payment, you know, in a couple weeks it's like right now we have a very business relationship we're gonna run it like a business, but I want it like have been cool with you and I want it like that, but at the end after is when we'll get personal if you want to get personal, no question about that I don't know, I guess I've seen you have a propensity to attract what you attract your personality on as, uh as a woman going to, uh, attracting bride feel like you know, you have kind of an advantage and some some respect just because you have a light mindedness on a lot of stuff. But do you have any advice for guys? Uh, in that angle? I mean, how do you I think this is great. I do bleed. It is like divine I hired a male photographer so I could speak to that directly. I hired him because I liked him. I do believe that rights are smart enough to like people just, you know, I don't mean that, you know, that's it has to go that way. I just you know, I think it helps. Yes, she can change in front of me. I had my wedding photographer step like into we had, like, a grand bath, and so I have to have him come into the bathroom until I got into the dress, but I'm a total prude whatever, you know, but a lot of my bride will have male videographers step out of the room. If that was the case, if there's a male photographer who wins the bid for marie, I'm gonna happen step on the room like I don't carry anything, she says, ok, that's not happening, because I don't know this person all that well, so that person going out room until she's, like good enough and covered, I got it covered, and then he can come in and get last minute touch ups and things like that. But, um, do I think it's an advantage? Yes, but do I think that being a male and when posing groomsman, or hang with groomsmen isn't advantage? Yeah, so it's an equal advantage on a wedding day. So, you know, I played, played both those straits, and I think that you should be fine and being yourself. We're attracted to people who are like us, and, um, they're gonna hire you because they like you, not because of the shoes, anywhere. It helps but it's not like a deal breaker whatsoever at least I don't think you sort of touched on this I think maybe he was in the last crate of live or knowing your vlog but how you made that transition from having phone conversations to sort of doing things the initial things on email somebody might feel elaborate so you could save some more time on building out with jd and rather know constantly talking your clients on the phone together yeah, I read it very I want an extraordinarily streamlined business people I don't have my phone number and my web site and I don't have my phone number on my business card that's a personal decision and I don't necessarily advocate that I'm a firm believer in playing to your strengths meet on the first time phone conversation is not strength clearly you guys heard the way I've been talking right? Like I don't think that the and for the more trouble a lot I have my phone on that number transfer over to my cell phone I'm not gonna be in seattle and answer it oh, hey what's up oh my god get I would entire myself. I'm remember marketing to michael, so if I know that I'm going teo and again, what do I want to attract tech savvy rides? People who don't need to be hand held every simple process no, I do have rides that require a little bit more female attention, but that's fine, I can control the email conversation on the first time somebody interacts with me is in one of two places on my website on my block on ly. If ever this will be the last question well tied up in here because I think this is a great way to end it because it's gonna lead into tomorrow so two ways to contact me through my block or through my website in both those occasions there is so much about me not because I particularly clever and not because I think that in cute is because I want to make you feel something about me feels something distinctly about me and it's. Not always good. I'm sure, for as many people who log on and say they like me, there are three times that amount of people who say they love him and they can't stand me that's. Okay, now, what did I just do? I save us both some time. Perfect. Furthermore, I never want to get a bride who hasn't done her research about me yet and starts asking me all these questions I invest myself and finally get the opportunity to where we can ask what kind of budget she's working with and she says that she's working with two thousand dollars I just spent forty five minutes on a conversation with a bride who was never within striking distance whatsoever that's not running a successful business that's like I'm becoming less profitable because at that time I could be editing I could be doing other they could be doing anything that I want with my current rights so by the time they actually contact me in the meeting with me is through email that's how I set up that correspondence initially and then I find out their names where they're getting married their wedding date a phone number I have all that information before we even get to the point of talking about collections talking about pricing all that stuff so that I know should I follow up should you know they're getting married at the v f w probably not the lines club probably not if they're getting married in like a pelican hill or the ritz or something like that well then maybe it should be event just to follow up or see what's going on things like that so yes and again I don't want to have constant contact conversations with my clients, because, again, it makes it a very personal relationship. If I give them my phone number, the minute if they want to have a conversation, weaken, have a conversation. But prior to that point, we've already exchanged five or six e mails, so now they know my love languages. Email it's, not fun. If that resonates well with you, then we're gonna be great friends. You know, if they want to type let's, skype. But prior to that, they definitely know where I sinned and what I like as a business person. So you put them without you, put those things out first, and I think that helps attract the kind of guy that you want, who will later than become not just a client but an evangelist for what you do, and we'll talk about all that marketing and good stuff tomorrow.