Client Image Proofing Online
Once we call everything, this is the next part. I use Zenfolio because it has quite a nice look. Any product that I use, I didn't use it because they paid me. I used it, I liked it. Now they might give me an offer or anything like that, but I didn't go to them because they show me money. I'm not that type of a person. I will try everything that's available, compare, and then I will stick with one and I stick with it. I don't change things. So what Zenfolio is is a proofing or website design. So with Zenfolio, you have unlimited galleries. So once I have my photos done, I upload them with the customer name and the date and their password on Zenfolio. I do this through Lightroom. This is why I like it. There's a plugin in Lightroom after I've done the editing. Click on the plugin, create the folder name. It goes straight out to Zenfolio. I do 1,000 pixels and with my logo all over the picture, faded, but I have a logo they can't download, they can't copy. It's low resolution and it goes ...
out there and my clients will select the pictures they like and put a heart on it. Once they've finalized everything, they will send me a message saying that their order is ready. So let's go to that next stage. Now this is the page. This is true Lightroom, so this is the plugin there. On this wedding, for example, I have 1,194 final pictures. They're in order, they're numbered, Yervant and the number. In Zenfolio popup in the menu, you click there. This comes up. So you put fittings there, so I don't want it to be copied. I create a folder, I know where it's going to go and once I go through that, this is what I send to the client. Once everything's ready, our message. "Thank you for allowing us to take the picture," blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you can write your own message. The customer names, I would put surnames. I add a password, I add a password for this client and then I also select the iPhone and the Google icons so they can download the files on their phones so they can share and show it to them. So it's good because I want them to sell pictures for me. My client becomes my salespeople. In the same time, we send and also (mutters) that there is a special now. If you order prints, we'll do it quickly and because I want the parents to have the pictures before they have the album because the album, it takes time and I don't want people to complain that, "Oh, we married a year ago and we still don't have files." So I want to sell them pictures. Yes, darling?
What's your average return time with clients so?
Usually, we say three months. Three months. Sometimes it depends. The busy seasons, it can slow down a little bit, but I've catched up quite a lot. In three months, we deliver albums. So it depends. The quicker they come, the quicker we're going to have the album. So we tell them, "Don't blame me if you come late." You know? So we give them time also to go through it and select. Yes, sweetheart?
So these photos, when they're downloading them and sharing them from their device, those are just like, unprocessed photos that they're sharing?
Yes, they're color corrected, but unprocessed. Then if you see, there is a transparent of my logo. And my clients know this is not the finished product. This is straight out of camera. So the magic, the Yervant magic is going to happen when they select the pictures. Until then, they can enjoy this. There's nothing wrong with this. This is like USB. You give a USB or this. They're all color corrected, they look beautiful. I want them to get the experience, next experience of Yervant, finishing them, where they're going to reach.
So you send in 1,800 photos. How many they need to choose or how many? Do you have a limit? And how many are going to be included in the album, the (mutters)?
The limit, the problem with my work is they come with three, 400 pictures and three, 400 pictures is a dangerous number. It's going to look like a proof book or we're going to have a book like this. So we warn them that, "Okay, girls "or guys, you've selected too many. "Can you bring it down a little bit more?" Usually Danny brings them and says, "Look, look, "around the 150, 200 marks." And when you come to the studio, we go through it together. We will let some from our favorites because when I edit, I create a folder of Yervant files, a folder of my favorite pictures and my favorite pictures are, I have image and something that's going to happen to them. And usually, I work on this files already for myself. I know that these are the hero pictures. I've done it for myself and I don't show it to the client. I want them to see the experience when there is the viewing of the album. So they have a selection. Then it's done with them. I don't see at this stage. It's not me, it's Danny's job to sit down with them and go through it, go through it. And there's a limit and we sell a 30 spread album. It's three pictures a spread, so if they have a 30 spread that, it's about 60 pictures or 90 pictures. 90 pictures. So, so, it depends what, how I'm going to design, okay? How I'm going to design the page. Now I'm more tempted to go into the single picture cells because that will work better because they can calculate easier and they won't blame us that we've overused pictures because if they use 100 pictures, they know how much they are going to pay, so there's that option. So you have to play and see what's best for your clients. So, their selection arrived. They get this. So they go through it and there's a little heart on them when you click. Just heart the ones they like and you see, there's 1,204 photos in that album. This is photo number 194. They can make marks there. They can have a look, but my logo is always blocking it, so they can't do anything with it. So years ago, we used to do paper proofs. Paper proofs are beautiful, but when you give them a paper proof, they buy less. They're happy with the pictures. Why buy more for the album? So it was very important that we eliminated service. Plus, this costs much cheaper than the paper proof.
Daniel asked, "How long between the wedding "and the proofs online?" So give us the three month thing.
Usually Daniel, I will talk to them when they're coming back from their honeymoon. Luckily, you know, straight out they have a more than month honeymoon. So, so, in a month we will have it ready for them when they come and they'll be ready also for more payment and thing like this. All about a month.
Sounds good. "Aloha from Hawaii."
(laughs) Hi there, Hawaii. (man laughs) We have a Hawaiian here.
Yeah. How long do you keep the photos online?
I keep it forever.
So that gallery's there forever?
They can watch it whenever they want.
You know, mom might want a picture after 10 years. Why not?
Okay. I think this is the same, real similar question. Do you leave the proofs up on Zenfolio for them?
For a limited time, or?
Because they're 1,000 pixels, it's not going to take much space.
Let it stay there. If they want. You know how many times I get all clients going into the proofs again? Even the ones who bought it. So most probably, they're looking for placing orders, print orders, and things like that. So don't think you've done the album, it's finished. There will be more future work through it. And Zenfolio, for this service, it's about $150 I think. It's a year.
It's a bargain.
One more question. Do you wait for them to ask about digitals or is that something that you convey before the issue is even presented?
Like the files?
Yeah, from the start when we book them, we have a price list and in the price list, we have files. You can purchase the files. We charge $1,000. This is the only price I'm going to give you. (man laughs) We charge $1,000, but it can be purchased after completion of album.
So they can't have the files before the album.
That's the rules. And we have never had a problem, never had a problem. And if the bride said, "Oh, I want files." Oh sweetheart, don't even worry. I'm going to give you 10, 20 pictures for your Instagram. Those are the pictures that I've already selected for myself. I will work on them quickly and I have them ready for her, so that's it. No one argues. They're all happy and that's what they want. Simple. And if she wants a couple more, why not? But as long as it's low resolution, not high resolution. I don't want her to print pictures out of it.
How do you deliver those low resolution images?
We send it to them through Dropbox. Dropbox is a very useful thing or email them because they are very low resolution. But if it's 10, 20, put a folder with their name, Dropbox, and stays there if we need to use it ourselves or anything like that, yeah. We have our logo always on it.
The letter that you sent them originally to let them know their photos are ready to view, is that through Zenfolio?
It's through Zenfolio. They have templates. You can type whatever you want, so it automatically comes when you send mail. You select which template you want to send, put their names up, and that's it.
So then what you send in for social media, are they retouched through Photoshop? Or would you?
100%. If I'm going to show my pictures on social media, I want them finished. I want them to be like the way I want them to be. So sometimes, it will be a nice traditional shot, sometimes it will be very trendy shot, but I'll have varieties. I will select the best ones and give it to them so they can share my picture because my name is there. When my name is there, it needs to be finished.
Do you send a reminder at that point not to put filters on it, or when do you communicate that to them?
They don't have. I don't think my clients will think to filter any.
They say, "Wow, "It's great" and post it.
Yeah. I've never had. You're the first person asking me that question. (all laugh) So I didn't know. Yes, sweetheart?
So one of the questions I want to ask is, if you change the color profile for social media versus your prints?
No, I always use Adobe RGB. All my profiles are Adobe RGB. Sometimes some labs use, it's RG. It's RGB, but I don't worry. I always keep it Adobe RGB. Let the lab covert it for me, but social media, Adobe RGB and I keep the profile in there, so what you see is what you get. Yeah, keep. You see, we become too complicated with our business. What are? Adobe RGB is, at the moment, the best. There are better ones like ProPhoto or anything like that, but they're still not very usable. So until we get upgrades on printers and everything like that, Adobe RGB is the way to go. A few years ago, it was sRGB. But I always shoot setting on my camera as Adobe RGB and everything is done in Adobe RGB. It's got more profile. You know, my friend Rocco on (mutters) the other day did a great presentation on profiling your thing. You can see his video, but this one is, for me, I standardize everything. It's production, it's production. I don't want to change things. Yes, sir?
So I just want to make it clear for me. So you work in the photo they choose for the album? Right?
So they sell it, they choose 100 photos. You already done one to the Yervant standards and then they're the ones you offer to buy, like a files?
Untouched. The ones they buy is this files.
The one we sell
Is this file. This is very important. I told you before because if I finish all this, how many files are there on that thing? 1,000 something file. If I finish them all, and if I'm only going to sell 200, why am I wasting my time? It's something that I have to explain and explain, guys. In the film days, we didn't sell films, we didn't do anything. We sold final prints. Why have we complicated this industry? Just finish if you're going to sell on paper. Don't finish. You know, my clients don't even argue about it. If they want the same quality as mine, they come, even if they bought the files, they come back to me and say, "Yervant, can we get "exactly like the album printed bigger?" I need to make money out of it, not them having the file. It's very important. I'm not being arrogant here with my clients. My clients respect me because of my art and my art comes with a lot of work. I can't just sit down there and work for people and not get paid for it. Would you work for some? Would you go work for Kmart and say, "Oh, I love Kmart. "That's why I'm going to work (woman laughs) "for it"? You don't say that, or whoever it is. You know, so it's important that we put value into our product. They want my quality, it's the technique I want, the way I cook it, and the way I print it. So if you want my, if you like my dish, come and my studio will do it exactly what you want. So it's so important, guys. Yes?
Maybe you explained it, but I just want to make sure I'm clear.
Yeah, of course.
When they purchase the, they pay you the $1,000 for the?
For the files.
Just basic color corrected, not with your art.
Does it have the watermark on it or not?
No. It doesn't have the watermark and it's converted to JPEG, JPEG full quality because that's the easiest way to do because I don't know what they're going to do with it. They might even not open it at all, but at least JPEG, they can open it. It is easier than anything else, that's it.
Do you ever get people that want the raw files?
Every now and then, yes. Every now and then, yes. If they insists, okay. Get the raw file, work hard. Some of them are enthusiasts. You know, sometime I get photograph, camera-liking people and they book me because they love what I'm doing and they say, "Please Yervant, I want to play "with the pictures. "I want, I have Photoshop NT." Okay, do it, you know? It's fine, it's okay. And most of the time, those are the people who spend a lot of money on the album because they are buying my product. They buy me as a brand and they, you know, they are so excited, they want to see my raw files or sometimes they come in and say, "Oh, this was the exposure on the picture." And usually, because when I convert them to JPEG, I remove all of the metadatas of it. I don't want them to see my metadata, but when they get the raw, they're going to see everything. And they come and say, "Oh, I tried the exposure myself "there that showed you were exposure like that." Good on you. You know (laughs), by knowing what exposure I set up doesn't mean anything because life changes, the place changes, you know? And at the end of the day, I am very simple. I use 2.8 to 5.6. I use the 60th or the second to 150 to 200, so it's very simple. There is no secret there, you know (laughs)? It's a matter of light and how we capture it. Like I said, the camera or the setting is not what makes the picture. It's how I see is what makes the pictures. So when they send us the files, this is the exciting part, this is the exciting part, why I like using Zenfolio. We get, adjust numbers from Zenfolio. We download that and we to link into our Zenfolio thing. Automatically, we will get their selection in Lightroom so we don't have to look for the files. What's the? Sorry, I forgot the format. What's the XME? You should know it. What's the word?
Numbers? Numbers? (men and women mutter)
I don't know the answer to that (laughs). (men and women laugh)
Yeah, it's a, it's a Windows format for a?
XML, that's it, XML.
So do it in XML format, so I should know those things, but I'm not technical, so whatever. You know? I get the dotXML format mailed from them. I download it from Zenfolio and if I load that XML file on Lightroom, which is a small plugin, again, another plugin that I have to add. You can get that from Zenfolio. It will automatically, if you see this, 1,194 images, this is the edited one. Then I have 190. This 190 is the one the couple have selected, so I don't have to go manually select their numbers because that can become confusing if the numbers don't match and everything. Automatically, their selection comes there. So when they come to the studio to have a look, we have their selection, we go to there and if you see, there's the 10 images off there, of Yervant. These are my favorite. There's the couple order, there's the edited. So, So, out of that number, they have selected 190. Now it's up to Danny to start selling or down. If this is too, this is a big number, so we are the good guys. We start eliminating because if you have this many in an album, it's going to be very big album. So Danny sits with them and says, "Okay guys, "this is not working. "Let's imagine a page like this. "There's this one picture doesn't go anywhere. "I don't like her expression there "and there's too many of this. "Or maybe let's add another one." "Yervant's favorite are that. "You want to add that?" So she starts to work with Danny and Danny comes with the final number. So the way we do it, again, the same way as we do the editing with like this and everything that is out, we click X on the keyboard. X, X so that becomes smaller number. Now I automatically get a copy of that on my hard drive on the couple's order and I know what's the order. 120 pictures, 60 pictures, or whatever it is. And now, I download those files as TIFFs, 16-bit on my hard drive and I start working on the pictures. I start working on the pictures that they have selected. So it's going to be less than this number. This is their selection. Once we eliminate some of the pictures and look at their budget because, for example, most of the clients might go with the first budget, so it's 90 picture. So they have 100 extra pictures. 100 extra pictures might cost them 3, $4,000. This is the upselling, this is when you start to make money. So if their package was $3,000, you're going to sell another $2,000, another $500. This is where it happens. So Danny will tell them, "Okay guys, "190 is too many, so you're 100 extra prints, "so it's double the album original package. "You want to go ahead with it or you want to eliminate?" This is when she starts to talk to them and start reducing to their budget, to their budget. Yes, sir?
So you don't do a layout for them to see how cramped it will be?
If I do layout, I don't mind doing layout. I do sometime, but the problem is, I select my selection. There won't be families, there won't be group shots and then it becomes a bit complicated. I'd much rather see their selection first and then I start being creative on their selection. So I give them that freedom of choice and then I start to add my pictures. So it's also, they feel better that it's the pictures they selected because there's so many pictures there. Which one I'm going to choose? Maybe I choose the other 190 that it's not matching, so it's going to be 300 pictures. Then it's going to create. And then what happens, all you've designed on the album, you've gone 20 extra pages. Why do we have to pay? You've done already the work. You know, it becomes complicated. So it's much rather work with their selection and my selection and give them the experience. So once that's done, Danny fills out a form. This is so important because all the word of mouth is good, but "Oh, we didn't order that much. "We didn't want to spend anymore money. "We didn't select this picture." So Danny prints all this, their selection, the final ones as a proof and everything gets signed at the bottom that they approve. They approve the upgrade, they approve the extra thing. Everything is approved because before I start designing, we need to have approval from the client and they don't say, "I waste my time, design it." And then they say they don't want to buy it because at this stage, they've paid the package. They've paid fully, so they've forgotten what they've spend with me, so there could be a good chance of selling more and believe me, it happens. It's emotion, it's a feeling. You know how, and it's always the girl. "Oh honey, I want that picture. "I love myself. "Or I love your mom there, I love it." It always happens, "I love your mom." So to keep him happy, "I love your mom." And then he just start. There was one girl just recently. She loved everything, she loved everything and the husband said, "We're going crazy about this. We're spending too much money." They fought in front of Danny. The next night, the bride ring and said, "Everything is approved." So she will win eventually, but it takes time. So it's, never push to sell it to them. Show quality, show beauty. They know it's an experience. It's like walking in the designer shop. They want everything. They know it's expensive, but they want to have everything because that's why they chose me. So it's all the experience. And Danny's so good at it, selling it, she goes very easy with it, so that's why it's important to have a salesperson.