Skype Call: Bambi Cantrell
Is that one of don blair's prince above your head there at the fireplace? Yeah, all right. Yes. That's, right? Yeah. No mind. Well, I'm going. I'm going to talk about that print because one of the things that bambi also does is she is very diverse and now has a fine art line that she also has in a gallery here and there and that's one of those images of top yeah, well, thanks for joining us on creative live. Do you guys want to get your thing out of the way here? Because I know bambi's practically lived here. That's right, girls? Hey, we're reaching over here and be like, ok, so on the list of questions that I wanted you to ask today, nobody has seen the video yet. We're going to look at that. We're going to show the video right after lunch, but I really wanted to get some of the background on the video because you've been involved in a lot of local fundraising for different causes just talk a little bit about giving back. I remember one that you did years ago where I believe the fathe...
r of the family had have been killed in a car accident I mean, it's a lot of things that are just unique to the area, what gets you into these things, you know well, first of all, it's really a desire to be helpful I love people and I know that that's first of foremost why I'm successful today is just I love people and I I think that they are well, I just can't even say them about that aikman route along for an hour about it but you know, in these tough economic times a lot of people out there might be thinking themselves ok, you know, why should I be doing all this fundraising stuff I need? No, you know, I need something to fund raise for me and yet I always find that when you do things for others and when you cross promote it cannot help but benefit you in the long run. And not only do you get ah wonderful feeling from being able to help another family or be able help an organization that it's, you know, doing some great things, but it all comes back to help you because at the end of the day people are people and the project that I did with the salon in walnut creek was actually the fourth program that I've done. We have a program that we do in our studio on a regular basis of at least every two weeks or so my marketing manager and I sit down together and we talk about ways that we can keep the brand that can troll brand in the focus and keep it you know keep greasing the wheel because you can't do just one thing and say ok come to me business you really have to continue to do a variety of different kinds of marketing things to keep people remember him who you are and so I can think about what could I do that would be fun but that would be great for others and that would be that would attract the kind of clients that are launch it and one of the things that I've discovered is that people who generally are interested in their community if they participate in in charity work they are interesting well first all day they're interested and I think they're they have families and they tend to appeal to the kind of place that I want to do business with on dso to make a long story short that's what got me started I love doing the working with hairstyles because quite frankly they're just they just don't know their photographers yet they're artists like we are there as weird and wacky as we are and so we have a whole lot of common and so we get together and we could finish each other's sentences and so way like to do some cross promoting would you would you recommend it just about everybody that getting involved with whatever the biggest salon is in town is a great way for this is off the track of charitable work now but is a great way to make sure everybody knows who you are oh, absolutely and you know, the thing to keep in mind is that there is no one in the universe that talks more than your hairdresser if you want to know anything that's going on in the community, you go to them and they can tell you the skinny on everything so they are in my opinion the that my first resource or if I want to get the news out on something I'm doing I'm gonna go talk to those girls I know they're going to gather up and they're going to tell everyone it's the kind of press that I want you can't pay for that kind of advertising because they're sitting there doing somebody's hair and they can't get out of that chair when they've got pools travel weather that so there's a captive audience and so it's a really great experience for for us and that's why I feel that it's important for all of us to work together with them so I don't expect them to just talk about me because I'm a good person were because I take pretty pictures I want it to be beneficial to them as well and that's what way the work we've done with the hair salon has been generated we do we work together to promote a charity we also do photographs for their stylists for their website way also create a play date and this is what's really cool in the video that you're going to see after lunch is that in addition to seeing the fundraiser that we did, you're also going to see within that piece thie actual photo shoot when we when we played barbies on that's what I kind of call it when we get together with hair stylist and it's a day that we get to say, what if I want to try this or well, what if I want to do that? And you see the thing is is that so many times we get hung up with business that we don't get to try anything new and I am not going to be one of those little old ladies who's you know, doing this same photography that I did in nineteen eighty two I'm only as good as my last photograph and so by george, I'm telling you right now those young kids are going to have to they're going to have to dig my grave for me because I am not going to get out of the way and I'm not I'm not really work hard to keep my to keep, you know, to keep up with those kids and a speedy so we generally tried to make a play date with hairstylists and we said to them, look, anything that you've ever wanted to do with hair and make a go for we do we don't care we want you to really just expand your creativity just have at it and then I get a chance to global you know, I've never had a chance to try creating a dress out of newspapers before I have this really weird idea that I want to wrap somebody in barbed wire and and you know or in cellophane or you know, something that's maybe not quite so painful but you know, just to do something to just rattle your brain because that is the path to creativity and not only that it's a win win for them too because they love the experience, they have great pictures for their portfolio and their website and they have your name on them so I don't think there's a better a better way for us as business owners to conduct business I know I sound really preaching I can't help but I'm so passionate about this is this the is this the program that originally started is what you called hair wars? Yes and it started with a stylus and annie in california and she is adorable woman that's that's about my age and she's literally got tattoos over our own body part and her and I were sent there talking one day about things that we wanted to do and she's I love this woman because she there is nothing that she won't exploring her mind she's not afraid to make mistakes and I think that one of the benefits to getting older is that I already made a whole mess of them and I'm not I didn't get cancer from it so you know it's okay? And so I'm not afraid to make a fool of myself and to do something silly and so we started collaborating on concepts like we give ourselves a theme like alison wonderland or you know star wars meet jiminy cricket I dont know just crazy stuff on ben we would come together and we would collaborate together on a theme and then create she would bring in the models are bringing models, she would do the hair and then we would hire a body painter or a makeup artist to do some make up a swell and we would literally giggle the entire day because it was so much fun and then afterwards no one got paid for doing this. The models of course got three pictures I gave them the large high res files that were retouched, what I what they saw on my website was what they were going to get because we wanted this to be an experience that was very much for everyone's benefit and not just mine and we're just the silence and so that's how this project has started and then it comes snuggle because I started you will you know, besides doing this crazy stuff is that there were a way for us to use this concept to benefit two benefits and people who could really use some help and to make it more of a charitable endeavor and that's when way out of the ability to work with the charities. And so we work with cancer sports centers and help them raise funds to support their organization, and they have a hospice for cancer patient tonight, I think that's really important, so it ended up becoming something that benefited the community as well. Who were the partners in the video that we're going to watch after lunch? Who were the partners involved? Obviously, you were your cantrell portrait design was one was once a man who were the other players in this, obviously the hair salon we had full foods, came and brought and brought a whole variety of cater goods. We had four or five restaurants, really, of the fine quality restaurants, prima havana, we're two of the residence that came, and there was a a wine maker that came and poured wine for us, so it was a very elegant evening. It wasn't it wasn't some cheap little thing that was done on the fly, and it was very well organized, diana magazine covered the event for us, so I mean, it could not have been in a more amazing experience for us, because we've got free press, the mayor showed up, so it was really, really good up and and, you know, it was really cool because it was one of the first times that I've ever been called an artist, and that was actually kind of a cool thing, because usually in the art community, they really consider the photographers a little redhead, step children, they don't really go for us. They think we're just, you know, more on so the camera, you know, it's all mechanical, so to have somebody call me narcisse, really, quite that I have to say, sure, you'll make me feel good on then one of the other things that we did is that I did free facebook photographs for everyone that came because they had to pay a fee to come to the event, and so everybody that came I did free facebook pictures, which gave me a on opportunity to personally interact with every person that came to fund raiser, and so that was that was absolutely a blast people to do that. And then, of course, once I finished taking the photographs, they wet, they were up on my web site there upon my website. Now the people can go right to my website and download the file using however they want to, because they paid their money to go to this event, and this was part of the joy of doing that, and then what we did was provided I had beautiful cards made up that for a promotion for the evening on that way, they could, you know, they could purchase, like a family portrait session for their for their family and such. So we were able to also talk about some of the other products and services that I offer my high school senior photography, we also did in conjunction with this, we handed out cards for a model search for a high school senior of this is we're in the process right now, doing a model search for, you know, for some new permission, that literature and also for a new book that I want to do very cool. So just for a second, talk about one of the things that you do exceptionally well. Besides just being a great artist and photographer is the way you interact and maintain your relationships with other vendors. Um, wedding planners, flores some of the venues talk about some of things that you do throughout the year, you know, it's because you go beyond just just most photographers will send I don't know you send a basket or something to your favorite florist that did some referrals at christmas time. You tend, I know, to do things all year long to maintain the relationships with some of those vendors. What is some of the things that you do in some of the key vendors that help refer more business to you? Well, first, start off by saying that, you know, sometimes we get very short sighted, and we think that people refer us because we're the best in the business and that's that's, why the first? Because we have all those away words and and thanks hanging on our rules? Well, I'm here to tell you that is not why they hire us, they can hire anybody, and they can take and refer anyone, let me say, and many of the vendors, instead of hiring somebody who is, has every award known to man and every ribbon they hire people because they do a good job, but they're also easy to work with, and I think number one, that is a first thing that photographers need to do is they need to recognize that that a special francis on a wedding that there are other people who have a job to do and to make their job easy means that you don't get so carried away in your job, but you just forget about everybody else, and sometimes because we are very passionate about our art, you know? We may want to take that couple of ways in that wedding reception and keep them for ten hours and and say, you know that these great pictures from the client, or for our portfolio or whatever competitions coming up and forget that there is two hundred people in that room and that there's a staff of catering, that's trying to keep food warm and, you know, we forget about those things, and I'm here to tell you that that to me he is number one is that I need to recognize it if I need to take that client out on a separate day to do some really are two, forty kinds of images, then let me do that, but I don't want to infringe upon the other people who have a job to do as well. So there's a real find balance in that. So I think number one she's got to be really nice, I mean, in genuinely nice and care about other people that have a job to do. But in addition to that, I do believe that it's important to say thank you to people in in, in unique ways, one of the things that I've done, their scent of that planner, that has given me a great deal of business and just out of the blue, like in october, I sent her a gift card for a weekend at a beautiful bed and breakfast, and they just said, thank you so much from this is you giving me this year because everybody does stuff that christians that kind of gets stuck in the, you know, it's like things get just stuck and lost in the cracks, and so I want to do do something for them what? Maybe during the height of their busy season, you know, maybe seven for a pedicure or do something really special for that vendor. Of course, they never pay for my pictures every that ridiculous, but in addition to that, I always will come and do their head shots on dh make that a very special experience, in fact, for the hair salon that I just we did the big charity of that war. I came in and photographed all of the stylists personally for their website, and I think that's a good way to start a swell with them, some of the vendors that work with one of the things that I did early in my career and for those that are new in the business, I'm telling you, this is the best thing I ever did there was a little bright, a salon in town of boutiques, alonso, one of them little nice boutiques and one day I thought, you know what, jenny? Where if, anywhere in march, those guys are slamming busy and we're not all that busy in that time of the year, so I thought to myself, well, what can I do to make friends? Because to me, it's all about making friends? And so what I did was I went to the owner of the salon, and I introduced right up when I dressed in the most the best business attire that I possibly could, and I am went to see her, and I have my business partisan hi, I just want to introduce myself. My name is thea cantrill, and, you know, I'm a little photographer in town, and I would love to find it. Is there a time, you know, in the next week or so that you've got maybe an hour we could goto much? I'd love to take you to lunch and talk to you about some of the challenges in your business and maybe a way that that we can cross promote. And so the next week, I made it a part with her, and by the way, the best time to go see them it's like early in the morning when they first opened just they're not all that busy, they get super crazy busy later in the day. And so I went like on a tuesday or wednesday when that was like the slower day thirty friday, seventy of the crazy days you don't want to do that so once I did that after we went to a trigger to a really nice restaurant for a very nice lunch the next guest century thank you know, after I established a friendship with this hair salon are the sun brought us a lot? Excuse me, I went to her and I said, you know, I said, kathy, I've got an idea, you know, during january, february, march, march, you guys are crazy busy and I know that you probably hire temporary help to help you. I got an idea what if on your busy day searching frosty friday saturday I would come down, I'd love to come and be your hostess, I hold a clipboard and I would take the names of all the rides and communists and come in, and if they don't have a reservation for yours, you're fitting rooms, then I'll put him on a waiting list and I'll do this free of charge for you. I will dress as though I own this business and very appropriate, very dignified professional way and all I ask in return is that you allow me to show my albums and it is an appropriate moment while those people are waiting that I might be able to just speak with them very briefly about the services that I offer I am here to tell you this was like shooting ducks in a shooting gallery I mean it was crazy because I had a total captain bodies and this is exactly what I did I have my little clipboard and I would say the bride said hi I'm maybe cantrell welcome to clarissa's bridal salon you don't sis are all the rooms were booked up at the moment? Did you have a reservation and then on but of course they didn't I wouldn't put their name on a little list and I would say do you know by the way while you're away I'm a local wedding photographer in town and in exchange for my beating hostess for them they've allowed me to share my albums and if you haven't selected your photographer yet, please feel free to look through my albums and if you have any questions I'll be happy to answer them oh, I'm going to tell you this is such a good thing it was awesome because they have free help but it wasn't just free help it was free sophisticated help so I really can't emphasize enough how important it is that the torture if they're going to want to do something like this don't be showing up in inappropriate clothing bone up under communicating skills because you have to represent you know a company that you know like in that case it was a branislav soak your guy you better know about those wedding gowns and you better be able to talk to talk and know what tool looks like and know and I know that sounds really stupid in early but you know what if I were coach on a football team I need to know something about football when I so that was the first thing I did and I got to tell you that was one of the best things I've ever done for my business a great tip on relationship building so just to wrap it up in terms of of advice what's the one thing that you would recommend to photographers that want to get more involved in their community and build a better reputation for relationship building and promoting their work I would say people excuse me number one sq be nice is so be friendly being people person be somebody that is helpful and that it's not just always about you and what you have to offer and second of all don't expect instant gratification you need to be patient and you need to have a humble spirit so be patient and don't do just one thing and say oh, that didn't work okay? You know I tried that that didn't work well of course it didn't work you didn't give it enough time so you need to be patient and do more than one type of of marketing piece and one of the things I love about these programs that she really highlighted I thought that very well you're saying it with her yesterday you know about you know, greasing the wheel in trying a variety of different kinds of promotions and you know it's really funny because when I first started in the photography business I started as a wedding photographer and many people said you know, because today I do family portrait send photograph pets and do portfolio working such and some fine artwork as you can see behind me people used to say well band you know, you should specialize and that's what you should just do one thing and I actually say, well, I think I do one thing I thought about people and to me that's whether girls wear white dress she's wearing just a white draft so I think we need to be open minded and not say I don't want to do that you know because you know let's face it in our business I think that we have to be to be successful you have to continue to adapt you can't be stagnant and do what you did last week or last year you have to be willing to grow and to try new things and not be afraid that somebody another photographers not unlike what you do and one other really important piece of advice don't copy pricing from other photographers because they don't know what the heck they're doing either and so you're gonna start with beth, get somebody to do need to sit down and actually understands enough can you help somebody likes those numbers and get them to help you with that so I hope that helps great advice bam! Thanks for taking the time this morn we've joined creative live in my program you're very, very welcome having great you guys last last question what's where would people find you on either twitter or facebook or the internet if they want to get in touch with you? Oh thank you for asking my twitter handle is bambi cantrell I love to have you send me a tweet and become one of the followers there on my I also have on facebook it's to be a meteo oba and the eyes my personal one now tell him almost to my limit on that so if you if you send me a personal email I will you know I'll do it. I'll be happy to let you be one of my friends but I tell you when you have a name like babies get some people who are a little bit inappropriate so I'm a little bit more selective on my my bambi site just cause I got some guys that I thought I was one of those other families so thank you guys do you want to have some way might have a couple questions there foryou way d'oh the internet loves this creative live internet loves bambi yeah they like this being right this bambi baby I have a question from kelly trimble who asked when you do charity or volunteer work do you assume that you completely sign over all the rights here work product or do you retain your own usage rights you know that's an excellent question of we basically we let them do whatever they want if they want to put him in press you know we're happy that we make sure though when you alright sure work that we have everyone that I photograph sign a model release which is why you get to use and by the way the great of live audience gets exclusive use of this footage is is this is skips just for him and for his class we make everyone sign a model release so that we can use it for our own promotional purposes put it on our website or whatever you know we want to use it as well great question bambi I wanted to ask you carlos and I we obviously don't belong in a salon or ah boutique bridal shop so what advice would you have for us for building those kinds of connections uh well that's a really good question I would say that if you were comfortable with that then I would hire a very um poise woman to handle it for you someone who has great communicating skills who understands the audience in other words, if I recommend that you should be either a very sophisticated woman who was young like me or maybe someone who's younger woman who maybe is in that age bracket and somebody's getting married you know that kind of age I think would be good but make sure because good communicating skills and that she can look the part because if you're just a really nice person but you don't carry yourself in a way that it's chris that presents that kind of an image they're not going to let you in that door so you know what I would do go to the w hotel and we'll go to nordstrom's and see the kind of people that they have representing them the w hotels one of my favorite hotels and I love it because when I go there I actually feel like a cool person because everybody is required to dress and to to have a certain decorum and I think that that is one of the unspoken words and sales great question well when I give a shout out to you bambi from phil clay who says thank you as hair wigs got me out shooting mohr and networking in sacramento, california I was great you don't want to hear it thank you for that so a question from m b photo so do you do this event once a year? And do you use the same salon every time you know, that is a great question. No, we do it. We actually had a variety of times, and this is the only kind of charity work that we do. We're very active with the school's that's fine, the way my personal favorite is working with the public school system and doing charity events, charity auctions with them. I love that because I really feel that I'm giving something back to someone who was in my community that no kid let's face it. Kids really need the help on dso I'm very active in school, I actually do probably twenty five or thirty charity options a year with the bug school system and that's that's, I'd say, putting it mildly on dh then for the hair salons. This is the fourth, the fourth or fifth one we've done and we work with the different charity like we worked, though, with a salon in lafayette and the proceeds from the event went to help the food back, and that was the really you know, that was one of the less well, one of the charity that's we did went to benefit the american humane society. So we really tried tio break it up and to shake it a brother and do it off a variety of different kinds of marketing and a charity events you know one thing about the hair salons I just want to mention one thing to you because um you want to think carefully about this along the areas and don't just go to any salon because you want to target the hair salons that are going to produce the kind of clientele that you want and if you use if you try to target a salon and they cater to maybe a client that's an older client then that may not produce the kind of revenue for you that's along that caters to young families does so you want to think about the demographic of where that salon is that and the kind of clients that they have coming through their doors and not for instance the salon in walnut creek that I just did work for they have sixty people sixty employees working in their salon so this is I mean they have a huge cross section oh one other thing I'm starting people needed I know you've got other things to go to that kind of this mission one more thing you could tell him to show any time you want to but another area that you that you want to target our med spas not that I've ever had anybody talks done or you know, injectables but let me tell you women that spend money on their faces like that have disposable income and I have a minute spawn walnut creek that I work with told on for med spot and I love that spot because they're really rated and we've done a lot of business with them and especially for my boudoir photography because the women will come in and they'll have maybe some injectables done and even young women today are getting injectables and getting no talks done even in their twenties so this also gives me another avenue for for permitting my business bunch of ideas there I'll bambi everyone on the internet is saying thank you so much for joining they love you they love you so thank you so much andi I also wanted to say that I just posted to facebook a note for folks we would love we've talked about a lot of organizations right now but we know that there's so many of you out there who are working with other organizations and it would be really cool to build a list from folks all over the world who are working with different organizations who are impacting the world through photography so head over to our facebook page and let us know what yours is such a great idea great family so good to see you maybe I can see you guys a whole bunch of ideas there this video they will watch after lunch just like just like vicki was talking about yesterday with the girls night out thing that they were doing bambi's got I don't know ten different let's say there were ten different companies involved she mentioned whole foods you've got the salon itself, you've got several restaurants in town, the fact that she did free facebook shots head shots for everybody giving her the chance it's of every single person and when you see this video run, there were a lot of people that night they had a few hundred people that this wasn't just, you know, fifty people showed up in a gallery open a gold winning and it looks like a gallery opening that's what was so cool now the salon is monsters, they've got sixty stylist in the salon that's a big salon but the ability to be able to make it look like a gallery and then every one of these partners becomes an ambassador for the event. Every one of the those partners is talking about the project, the program, the fundraiser and suddenly, you know, I mean can trump portrait design is at the at the middle of the wheel here, and all those spokes coming off in this case are all supporting and redirecting traffic and potential business back to her and it's it's very cool plus, like she said it, it does make you feel good it's. Nice when it's cause related. But she'd be doing it if it didn't create any business for just if it created an awareness of, hey, I'm bambi and I'm here to give back in the community. So