Customer Service & Potential High Volume Clients


High Volume Photography


Lesson Info

Customer Service & Potential High Volume Clients

Paperwork's a big especially on this the mess up orders you're gonna have a lot of my supporters you need to have a tracking system for your message borders what's missing you have a lot of legitimate cases and we have a running list of a lot of the same family that call in every year for every sport they're missing their package and it's the same families every year so you you know this can be a huge thing I'm people call them hey I ordered this and I didn't receive it and then a lot of times these okay I ordered for it I'll get it I mean some of these items air two dollars for us so you think well I'm sure I'll just our you know well if you take the time to go back you looked through you find their order form well they never actually ordered that and so then you calm while you oh I just thought I did and like we keep hitting on this fact the hardest thing in the volume is thies sheer amount of people that you encounter and your regular portrait work our weddings you deal to people fo...

r a year whatever I mean that's that's the only thing really or they have a coordinate or something if you have a regular portrait studio a busy week you do one session of days that's five people all of a sudden with his volume jobs you're dealing with five, maybe ten thousand people in a day because you do that whole score of the whole school in a week, so you get ten thousand people, and when you get the photos back, they're all going to start calling at zach, same time, and you don't hear from the people the people are going to call and say, hey, you did a great job, I won't tell you how good you're doing good bye, you don't, you know you don't get that you get people says, oh, well, I totally hated this was wrong. This is wrong anywhere this this is the hardest thing for me in the volume is the deal with the amount of negative people there's a lot of people that you can never satisfy it don't matter what you do, it's like you go to wal mart and you look at the customer service, I'll it's backed out the door with people they're complaining about the products because and this is what we do high volume it's cheap products where's that till I like usually the story antidote. If you go to like a macy's, what what's what's expensive store tioga north way, you can't even find their customer service because people pay more far than they they're happy with paying more, but then when you start offering cheaper products it seems like our in mass products everybody wants a good plane you could never said there's a certain type of mentality that comes with people that buy cheap stuff all the time they just they're never satisfied whereas other people that spend a lot of money on something even though it may be worse that they were happy spending their money on it but even but and you will find that even the ones that are upset it's been a lot of money they will handle being upset in a different manner then we've had people literally over a ten dollar package yell scream used every f letter where four letter words in the book and in our studio and stuff that we rightfully messed up on a light five I mean like two thousand dollars for the prints we messed up on coming no worries just just wanna let you know you're gonna take care when they're just polite when we really should've gotten trouble we didn't and we miss a like a circle magnet or a button and they go off the deep end and it's crazy because being in that even tell us I'm a retired law enforcement officer I did crimes investigation for years, but the one thing they teach you in law enforcement when you go up and make that initial conversation with the public if you start up here you can't really deescalate very hard to deescalate a conversation. So even if your client comes in up here, you have to stay down here with the customer service. You have to stay polite. You have to just let him yell and scream. Mitch, if that's the case, let him have it out a little bit, then you always ask, how can I help? You know, how can I solve this problem for you roll back on them? Because if you just start giving out stuff, of course they're just going to say yes, I want it want it want with you not gonna be happy because you're not hit on the whole point of how can I actually solve this for you? So ask your people when they have a problem. How can I solve this problem for you? But you're going to let him drive you a little bit too, because they just want to grab and rifle. So so do you when you have a problem. Your food's not right something's not right at the restaurant. Whatever you just want to tell him you want the manager, you want to talkto that's, the sacks, same thing they're doing for you, so don't think it's like this big weird scenario now it might be why they're driving is weird. Because they really take a lot of little things too much, but that's, not us we're not in their shoes also, but like cody said, we did have one parent and it's one out of thousands and thousands and thousands of people we photograph our first year, we messed up on so many things that first twenty five hundred kids job we thought camera set up, we're always raul shooters because we call from from the wedding world basically we shoot raw format, we're like we got everything, like meeting, we have everything meeting, so we're gonna put everything in j we don't need to show you wrong little did we know? Because we shoot for all the time we never even looked at our custom settings and our cameras for saturation and color and all this other stuff? Well, that didn't affect it raul format, but when effects, if it has affected in j peg format, so everybody booed off. So we get photos in that one of the stations had saturation all the way out when I had him all the way down, so we just physically did not think to look about look at that because we've never needed it, and so all these little problems, so we messed up that first you're so bad. We zoomed out to get the full body when we only need the head shot like this because they want to make sure we had enough photo for we could crop and we didn't know all the little details and we were just we handed him out waiting for the phone calls to coming on the negative phone calls to come in and sure enough, we've had a few come in and pick up the phone and it's lady and I'm just in my mind she's fixing to chew me out and I'm just being polite being professional and I'm waiting for it and she makes she says are you have talked with took the photos in school? Yes, ma'am, I'm one of them how can I help you? I just want to say if god had a refrigerator, this photo my son would be a no way oh well o okay also, you know, because I'm just not what you were expecting you a cz cody says it's. So the negative so drags on because you truly care about these and you know you mess up and you're learning and unfortunately some people don't care about being local they don't care about that local, but they just care about themselves and their family and I get it there's nothing wrong with that in many ways, which is most people they don't, they don't they just want the care about themselves, so even if your look when you mess up, I don't care where a lot of people like no, I get it, you're learning this is local. I want local because I want us to continue, you know, for your money to go to you, pay socal sales tax, you spend the money, the movie theaters and restaurants that recycle, solve the other local business owners, and they're fine with it and use the ones at home, a small business, and those air that those type of people that, like I own a small business, we understand. But we really just had a package taken off our front porch that one of the delivery companies delivered on the day that we were close has a really big honor, and we never saw the package, and it was a nightmare, a nightmare, getting everything back there was only like thirty students are thirty clients, but those thirty clients wait on us because those are the ones that would call it seemed like they were calling every hour when it's really just thirty people total, but because of calling every day, several times a day, then we'll just weighs on your weighs on your ways on and urine that no man's land with a package who was taken so now none of the companies want to take responsibility for you have to fight to get the company to take responsibility for the order to get replaced or then you can replace the order has been another thousand dollars of your own money but then they're going to reprint it so then you have a thousand dollars credit I mean it's just this whole nightmare so you're the victim the community's a victim of the computer looks that used the issue and you're trying to sell the problem the back and and you're stuck and so unfortunate things like that happened and it causes a lot of problems but as we mentioned before, customer service to me is probably our biggest issue in voil that will be your biggest asian ball him as well and so be prepared for it we were not we still aren't in many ways this is still our failure and it will always be your failure as well because you can always do better in customer service would just seem out of time that sex up because like I said he has to my call why didn't receive this well then you got to go find the order form and you're searching through stack of two thousand orders so then you gotta take the time to find theirs look at it, look up there order see what they ordered and then start working on the problem will then that takes ten, fifteen minutes we get another phone call and it just it can become a real time suck dealing with the issues you want to do for five things on your to do list and if you have five people call a problems that you're gay you're dealing with just those five people period you can wear on you and then people like we'll call it yesterday no one called me back and we do that all the time unfortunately I mean we just failing that because we're so busy doing so many other things maybe your schedule is already full and then you have these problems come in and you don't get to get to him in an hour I'll get to him fifteen minutes and then that fifteen minutes turns into that our that our turns into two hours of that two hours turns into two days and you forgot about and then they called the mad and rightfully they should be that happens just deal with this day all the time we've gotten a lot better there's no question we've gotten better but then he takes two steps forward one step back and then we mess up are you hiring employees and they mess up but you gotta take responsibility for the end of the package is wrong they didn't do something right you know there's so many little things because volume is a tough job if you don't have a workflow it's actually impossible you'll have war flow unless you wanna go out of business I mean that's that's the plat out truth because without a good workflow customer service is gonna be a nightmare that's gonna get you with the number one fear thing is fear no question that was that was us I like a challenge weddings not to be offensive we shot him for fifteen years now that along maybe twelve years that point there were easy we got it we didn't maybe we want the artist the wedding but we could eat give her a wedding I mean just are all our standard shots made our wedding strong what? We've just done it for so long and so when we got into this I'll be honest that excitement that I don't it kind of exciting it's kind of like waiting to go on a roller coaster you know? You know really what to do you're probably gonna throw up but I'm still gonna like it and that was kind of the field that I had going into volume and so again initially and we're gonna talk a little bit about it later but our whole job is once you understand the volume business once you understand almost every single one of these now becomes a positive all these things that you worry about almost every single one becomes a positive once understand volume because that money you're gonna have more of it that time you're actually gonna have more of it with the solid workflow you're going to be away from the computer, you're going to be able to spend time with your family or or whatever you want to do and so that's great quality work once you understand workflow, you'll be able to bring up that quality work part of that national company or even your local company you can use that to your advantage because you know what they're shooting they don't know what you're shooting now that we've gotten out in the community, our local photography using that against us and I would too if I was way could do a better job and theon czar they probably could on a smaller scale because if you have one or two jobs you can really baby those one of those jobs if you got two hundred jobs now you're becoming a minor national company and you just kind of go through the motions and so we constantly fight that battle is well, we can't say yes, we could do this because it's easy but when you do this because it's a lot more difficult photos were better and then we wait what for this job? What is the pay off? And then we go with that wrapped and sometimes just a clean backdrop just a nice clean white bagger we use high key white all the time because shows off the kid's face is the best especially for the head shot we have some football program from our texas high school football that we put together and you'll see some of her headshots we do in this simple clean white backdrop don't matter what color skin they have a killer eyes that have what hair they have it shows them off and that's what you wanted or you want to show them off so the lighting skills that cody and I know that we teach that we just taught in tl here on creative live and other lighting skills it really pays off involved that's the art side of it minus the workflow the work flows true art but when it comes to just the pure photography once you get your work go down then you set off on sale can do this I got this there's gonna be a better photograph and so the quality work will go you talked about your employees those become your allies those friends of yours that around those your allies I can't tell you how many times we've got in a bind and colin from lafayette's come over or he's got in a bind with a big soccer tournament something and cody or myself will go over that's that's the whole key they're your allies they help you to support you if we fill light goes down they'll bring one over vice a versa our work flows great you don't degrade your artistic side because you're realizing what you're doing is providing so much more for the community and as an artist that's kind of what you want to I mean you really want people to love your work and I've got mohr appreciation from our volume work than I ever have from our from our weddings or anything else which is crazy and never would've thought that we're photographing a big event for our school district the award ceremony last year and there's a bunch of tables and I'm walking through the tables trying to be a squad can trying to get up front and assistant superintendent it stops me hey mike and I'm thinking oh great I'm gonna be in trouble but I'm just that's me is that I just think negative why's he stopping in the middle of this and he goes, I just want to tell you we got our little e photo back it'll be the first time in our life we've ever been able to frame a little eager photo those are awesome never gotten that that just made me feel good because I played little league and I can't stand my little league photos they're on my parent's wall because it doesn't matter what quality you give them it's gonna be on the wall and when you bring home your girlfriend mom is going to show off that photo of little snot nose mike playing little league baseball and so I think about that when I photographed these kids I want to make it look good I want to give that extra mile and it was really meant a lot that we we didn't just go in and throw a home plate down it's a kid's staying here we constantly we thought about it we literally thought about how we wanted the final product of what we thought about our backdrop we thought what was going to be back there any problems howto handle it and it paid off and to me so from a satisfaction of a business it was awesome from the satisfaction of a person it's supportive community volume is often equipment was great because now when things went down once you get it it's you have so much for your business that can be used in other aspects paperwork is easing customer service again that's going to be only problem when you have a good customer service they'll use it for you. So all these fears we're going when you have a great work flow and you take that fear away and that's that's one thing we want to go into, we just literally it's gone and volume becomes easy vod becomes a job that you can't imagine not doing you can't imagine really doing a lot of other things it's that it becomes part of your life and I get it so again add up all the volume in your area and you're going to realize how much money this is gonna make you sick how much money you walk away from every year every year if you add up all literally on your drive to work on your drive to the grocery store, whatever look at all the little daycares look at the dance studio look at all the individual stuff you do that has volume in it from santa photos at the mall from easter foes the mall from anything like that that is all hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars a year that you don't even touch you don't even look at if it was like me I mean, look at that is photography that's just that just happens that just has to be done until I started thinking about winning but this person for one day care for four hours making for five thousand dollars and they're doing it twenty times a year that's easy money and it pays all my bills and if you do it fifty times a year that's your job that pays for everything and there's easily in a town like seattle or whatever in the big cities fifty daycare probably ten miles I mean there's daycares everywhere and they're all looking a lot of more change get him with one spreads the word urine with fifty just like that in this big areas we're in ours out south of houston I need to talk about that so we are in a town called like jackson you find a map find texas, find houston in the southeast corner and go directly south so you hit the gulf of mexico you'll see us that's where we're located and it's a hindrance but it's nice it's nice because you live down there on the coast you're an hour outside of houston and most people don't want to go to houston to get anything because it is a trick now that's where everything is we have the bare necessities in a sense in our community my my wife was raised in vegas and everything was twenty four hours seven days a week she moved away jackson and there was a wal mart and our convenience store if you're from texas is kind of a cold classic called bucky's and those that's it I mean there's just two things that are open twenty four hours a day in our community so was culture shock for her but people that live there they actually kind of like that but don't want to go to houston but they do because they never lots of times quality service in our community and so that was one thing that I looked it up while we want to open a bar our studio, their prisoner wasn't quality service and we wanted to give our community quality service and we failed we felt a lot of beginning we still felt today so don't think you're not you're going to fail, but if you added up all the day cares simple shot nothing's fantastic about it just a very nice clean shot a little kid again they're puppies on the puppies parents love puppies, simple football, soccer even our hybrid are quick take sessions. We're gonna talk about that. So from a market a sample, we have high volume, we have a mid volume hybrid and then we have our high end so we have multiple levels because a lot of people, when they look at tri coast that yourself can't forthem we have packages start off it eighty dollars, even packages start off lower than that and so everybody can afford, so we want we want everybody to afford us but there's a different quality of service that you're going to give. Just like a set of tyres, you can buy a set of tires, there's multiple levels ones one hundred dollars once five hundred dollars watch the differences quality dance studios we do a lot of dance studios in our community most of um and I love them, they're fun, you get these little girls and little two twos and just as cute as they possibly can be and you see these kids grow up, you've become I would say mostly attached, but you enjoy watching these kids have such a fun time in life because in any of these sports, when they're that age that they're doing it for the pure love and it's just so fun to see that because it's humans, we just don't see that very often profession sports. You have someone love it, but it's a business too there's no business to this and so it's a very enjoyable to watch these children grow up. We do put photos cody actually makes his photo booth from scratch and it's really great. We do a lot of photo booths for bar mitzvahs for high school dance with blended into our ball in business, so when we just initially get into volume and then it just keeps expanding and expanding and expanding from there, so we have, you know, a good friend of ours, grant and he says, you need to go get in the bar about mrs and like, I don't even know what a bar mitzvah is because I'm not jewish is you really need to get into photo goose. I'm like, I don't think we really want teo again. It was that fear, I don't know what's going on. And it took into one bar or bat mitzvah I went ok, I think I need to get in the photo boats you know that was the push I needed and so we do a lot of that and then it's just rolled over into other areas and so there's so much volume in so many different areas that even if you like I said, I really don't want to do schools that's great you want to do sport that's awesome, but there's so much more beyond just that you could make a living just don't dance studios and just like dance there's so much out there so so much school dances on dh then, like I said, brad, what high school is just what we talked about broads witches are our flagship school it's the school that I graduated from so it's kind of weird that's the school that most teachers think that susie still a student at when she goes there because she looks young and she gets in trouble for talking on her cellphone was supposed to be on your cell phone but it's great it's ah it's it's literally right across the street or catty corner from our studio which is why we wanted it there it's an easy location but again there a five a school in texas which is the upper limit one of the upper sizes it's a smaller five eight to five a and it's really there's two high schools and in our district and its five if we're going to show you a minute five in the entire community of twenty twenty five minute drive probably from us maybe thirty minutes and it's the biggest so that's that's why we really wanted to go after them is the biggest issues we found when we started the ball in business. So now we think we've got a plan now we're going to go into but then we had some issues that came up again money we talked about that the fear six stations for lights that really pushes into well light stole one well the ones that are inexpensive that's the ones I want because I know that that's why I have no money I can't afford to pay a thousand dollars for for light head because the kid's gonna knock it over it's gonna break whatever and so we ended up going with lesser light but I think the quality is great and it works well we use alien be products I make no money for maybe by taking their out of tennessee doesn't matter but that's what we use and it really was from a a price point I mean that that was really the one thing that made me decide what to go with because we needed six times for twenty four lives and so that's a lot of money, you know, that's, that's, a lot of money, and so from their weight, with light stands and six light stands and okay, well, we need more than six lights, and so we got four lives to how are we going to create this? So we actually created a system that one light stand the backdrop, and one light stands on. So instead of having a backdrop stand for each station nowthe one light stand with a backdrop in the light it's combined, so that took away a couple of products, a couple of items that we need, so we laid out exactly what we thought we needed, and then we started looking at what was out there to offer and coming up with different lighting setups to minimize how much gear we have to take, and it helped we didn't have enough money at all to get the gear we needed. So the cameras we bought our other professional shoppers to help out talked about it hinted about it earlier, so we developed away because of the time I couldn't afford six computers to be tethered, so say tied your cameras tied to the computer couldn't afford it, couldn't afford six six computers, simply couldn't couldn't afford six cameras, we had three, we're lucky to have three, maybe four but that was about it I couldn't afford all six and so we had to figure out a way and so that was how our friends helped us out and then computers couldn't afford him software couldn't afford it so we actually ended up creating our own and we'll talk about that as well especially tomorrow and all these things and so we're brainstorming figure out a way to solve the issue this is the most important part when you're starting out when you're starting out because not only in the wedding world you have to have back up here in the volume world must have back up here it's not any if you have to have back up but I mean we had extra flash tubes extra everything but one light stand we had toolbox there to fix everything because it all happens fast and this is where you have your brain storm for the gear we're going to go all the way here that we use and we're going to show you your brainstorm for your photograph everything has to be done before you click the first shuter and that's what's so hard for artists to do is to set that preparation up so we want to make sure you actually understand how to do all that and go through it just want to say our first line job again we had twenty, eight hundred kids to keep them in order that was that was that was so initially we got five hundred kids seniors we freaked out freaked out again made a call that I lack the time which was miller's that still is and we were so they're like yeah we'll set up a skype meeting with you will show yourself were like no, no now we're coming tio you live in texas we're in kansas yelp so we literally got no car and we drove the millers and they set up everything and they said okay here's what we can do this is what we could do once you get the photos to us this is how you could do it and they gave us their workflow and it was someone efficient and made me comfortable enough and hell, I remember walking out of the middle of lab we can do this we can do that I mean it gave us that confidence that gave us that boost your lap should do but then we said on the way home waken do the whole school sure we don't know we five hundred twenty eight hundred's the same we can do that we can we can do that coach is like way you say we could do yeah I said we could do it I mean we like with still with hesitation we were like but let's do it so I went back and said, I want everything you're gonna give me a seniors I want everything she goes you want everything you can do everything and I said how long have you known you know me for three years now I've ever lied to you know we could do everything well okay, you have everything and I'm like, oh, on your only inside I'm like on the outside you're like all right, thank you very much all professional mind and we were scared to death and didn't have a clue so that was how to keep them in order and what cameras we should use because again we talked about we didn't have the money and then what equipment should we use all these on what lighting patterns? Those were all the big problems that we that we once we got the job that we had to figure out and in those nine months of these of my main four questions that I had to answer is the bare basics of a volume job and so that's what we're going to talk about we're going to talk about and the next segment's how to get the jobs when you get turned away pros and cons to it when to walk away as we already talked about and all the other little details little e and then preparing a bid we're gonna go into everything today how to really get that job get get in the door because once you get in the door your best commodity just like anything of photography issue is selling yourself, but you got to get through the roadblocks. We're gonna talk about getting through those and talk about how to support your community and talk about all that and it's really going to be valued. By the end of the day, you're gonna have the tools to know how to go and get the jobs. And then tomorrow we're going to show you exactly how to keep the job with the good work flow and the customer service.

Class Description

Remember the childhood excitement of yearbook photo day? You can bring that same joy to your clients — by taking your photography talents to schools, events, and sport leagues. From yearbook portraits to little league photos, high volume photography is a great way to multiply your revenue while providing a highly sought-after service.

Join veteran photographers Mike Fulton and Cody Clinton for a two-day workshop that will show you how to break into the high volume photography market and streamline your workflow — from setup and processing to hosting and printing.

Mike and Cody will teach you how to pitch clients, build your business model, and walk you through setting up a high volume photo shoot. After this course, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to become the preferred photographer in your community.



This course is very comprehensive and full of valuable information for anyone wanting to get into High Volume Photography. We have been doing this type of photography for 5 decades and still found many great ideas to improve on what we do. However, this class was produced in 2013 and although I am not certain as to the current circumstances of TriCoast, it appears that Cody and Mike are no longer in business together and because of this, the FotoVelocity program (which in my opinion is the greatest program for what we do) is no longer being offered. Regardless, this program is worth every cent of the purchase price. My hope is that new versions of FotoVelocity will soon be available. In the meantime we are still using the current version and it still works great. It literally saved our three man high velocity studio thousands of hours of pre-/post- production work. We are a small town operation which provides photos for schools and sports in our local area to over 27,000 clients a year.