Product and Partnerships

 

From Images to Art: Storytelling in Wedding Photography

 

Lesson Info

Product and Partnerships

I want to touch on what it means to have work with good people like keira keira is an example of coming somebody who found us we found each other and she put in a lot of effort and persistence into helping us and we in return wanted to do the same for her. In fact, um, I will say that we've had quite a few wonderful people come through our studio and help us along the way started interns become employees and then eventually go out and start their own career. We approach this team environment, this team effort as one which which mutual ist icc we're all working towards a common goal and were never that we would never be the type of studio that would ask for a non compete or anything. The point in working for a company a creative firm in general is is to have it be a stepping stone. I want you out of the audience to take a look a two websites perhaps maybe dan bern our uh b r a t e r he's in new york he's got an incredible career that goes beyond mind. How about nick? Uncle nick started ...

and worked with me as an intern than employ nick hawkin at o n k e n nick on can take a look at his work the guy is absolutely gone mad now if I had gone about being concerned with him competing with with me or both of them or any of the wonderful people that come through our studio, then that wouldn't be the right attitude that would not be the right way of going about it. And so keira and audrey and our new intern, sarah, have all that's exactly the same opportunities we're going to work together as a team equally in our studio eventually, you know, we hope they take what they've learned, the skills that they've learned and move forward in their career and be blessed by the experience that we've all had together. I hope that could be the attitude for all of us in the industry. Don't you agree? That's the way it should be? So you get used to my new clicker here, uh, we've got ah, little bit about sotto park I'm excited to be here. This is actually a and an old cog factor. I think it were in the industrial area of seattle, you're going to hear a lot of trains going by, I think during our introduction actually during during caress preinterview there on that horn nonstop this morning and it's going to be we're going to be working with sound issues today because of it, but it's worth it were one of the coolest places in seattle this is a wedding venue. People get married here now it's beautiful it's all texture the wood all these things was available light through the windows yeah take a look at this translucent glass appear I'm going to show you off photo I shot right in the center of this translucent glass uh one of the weddings it has just a lot to offer we're going to tether today's shooting them and have for a period of our time the ability to move maybe sixty feet but we're going to fill that with really interesting shots that we're going to get with available light with video light with off camera flash perhaps and we're just going to work with what we have we're gonna make it as much as we can feel like an actual wedding day so we have wonderful bridal party and a bride and groom gorgeous bridegroom in actual couple all right and we have three bridesmaids groomsmen I asked for a veil of love to work with elements that um like veils people has us howto all your brides have veils and I tell them that's because that's what they see in the work I show them okay so I always get it's funny a lot of my couples will my bride will call and say hey, I'm not starting with the veil but I brought one because I could see you really like feels so they'll put it on for some of the photos and so we have a big fail I want you to be able to work with what the bride is wearing. The dress, the veil, the jewelry, etcetera. Those air all elements that have to be considered for the final book. So, um, let's move into this. So to recap, we got a spring day here. The last couple days have been rainy. Okay, we have a spring day finally seattle's coming into the wedding season and it's exactly what? I'm talking about this subject right now because for many of us, the wedding season's just beginning, we need a new direction. We need a new course to go on. We need to be practicing new techniques as we move into this season so that next season we start seeing the benefits and rewards from from those changes. Today I will be giving you a lot of techniques, a lot of new areas to work into, but let's review what we went over yesterday because this is a step program. We're gonna work from step one through step ten that will give us a too season transformations in review a season khun b a quarter or it could be an annual uh one year period of time for people in seattle is definitely here for people may be in the southern hemisphere or or you know, um or you know southern california centre there's weddings year around in a season khun b ah quarter even but whatever's right for you whatever your timing's right for you this these steps will work for everybody so first yesterday we honestly evaluated ourselves in our business we gave a really good look in your heart. Where are we with our business? Are we happy with it? Are we making a living? All we want to dive in? Do we want to go further? Do we need more business? Do we need less business that provides for us a greater income? Major questions? Honestly, honestly, I need to know exactly where we are for us to know where we need it to be. So second, I asked you to embrace the art focus philosophy. We talked a lot about what the art focus philosophies about its ninety percent of in my observation. Ninety percent of the tigers out there do not deliver art for each and every client. Only ten percent of photographers out there deliver either an album. Enlargements there aren't focused their conceptual shooters. We explain what the word conceptual shooters means. It means that you are considering how that picture that you're about to take will be will be put in the album or the wall art, how will be viewed like a trip take like the image behind me, perhaps consideration of where the subject lies in the trip trip tick et cetera you're thinking about it why you shoot that's a secret okay so hopefully there's everyone with you has made that decision they've embraced the art focus philosophy there ready to do it now it's time to develop your style develop your career develop your direction you want to go so you need to find inspiration identify unique style all right where's your inspiration come from mine came from overseas I looked as far as I could I went I went to australia I went to europe I went to asia I didn't actually go my my research did okay and then I took some workshops and I learned okay and the beautiful thing about creative lives is they will now this is years ago the inspiration will now come to you through this wonderful resource that we all have available to us so find your different inspirations put them together make them yours okay blend it, refine it and start that member that boulder on the hill that I'm holding up I want you all to let it go and that starts the inertia okay defined your goal structure your business okay you don't you can't get somewhere unless you know exactly where you want to go okay I want you to look ten years out from now and it goes beyond ten years I want to consider your retirement how it consider saving with a goal of at least ten percent of your income going to retirement okay and beyond I'm not a retirement expert but boy we need to be creating things uh having a business that has enough profit for us that we could set money aside so important so structure your business ten years backward engineer too five years back or an engineer to two years six months okay that's what the steps are about so that we talked about sales and how cool sales are in in in wedding photography and in retail photography in general it's not so much about sitting across the table from somebody throwing numbers is it it's the entire process from the moment they see your website all the way through it's providing an experience and yeah there's gifts along the way but does gifts we've assigned a value to those gifts and they they don't become the gifts that don't stop giving they become the gifts that set up an opportunity for future purchases or future photo shoots or future client clients down the road it's pretty wonderful unleashing the real profit so here we are we ended yesterday with a really fast section in sales I recommend you review that one a couple times because it's really important that struck how you structure your sales how you consider the experience of your clients so that it comes back to you the with a ten fold rule remember, I talked about it yesterday giving of yourself with a real intention of being uh with the intention of being helpful to our our clients will come back to you tenfold if your heart is right trust me on that I've been exercising the rule for for years now and it's pretty wonderful and it feels good feels really great we're, um about to do step six and this is this is where it's the really important step where we're going to um first I want to give you a challenge related to yesterday okay, so everybody got to step five you're currently in that this this place I want you to talk about working on your price structure I need you to consider what you're going to discount how you going to use utilize gifts in order to book your clients in order to have future revenue from your clients uh everything that we talked about yesterday so go for it, guys this's the time when you reached up five okay, here we go step six partnerships commit committed partnership partnerships and product okay, we don't want you to have fifty things thatyou sell. We don't want you to have, um three things with twenty sizes we don't want you to just have one company that necessary work with but two three solid companies that you work with at two three solid brands okay, we're gonna talk about camera equipment right now we're gonna talk about, uh, albums and we're gonna talk about labs okay? I'm also going to show you some tools to help you shoot better lights my shooting bag etcetera. Okay let's lead into this with a couple slides. Okay, this is season two quarter to all right season two quarter to you have to have this refined by now it has to be refined reason while why it's season two quarter to is because you need to build a sample from an experience a new experiential wedding perhaps you build a sample what that looks like and then you start marketing with it it'll take you a good season and a half to get to that place but that's the ball will become we'll start rolling okay alone we could do so little together we can do so much simple quote by helen keller but isn't that true? And isn't it true that so many photographers out there I feel like they're alone in this world? They're like capture they go to a wedding they made hire an assistant or do it with their spouse they come home they retouched the images in a dark room in their home perhaps and then to have an interaction with the client on perhaps the deliveries online gallery deliveries a disc some retouched enlargements it's lonely because when you bring partnerships into your your world when you make this step to be our delivery wow it's it's a lot more fun because you have the relationship with the representatives you work with the relationship with the company you know when you go to conventions and trade shows to look at new things it's hugging relationship hey it's so good to see you you know I love it have you seen these new beautiful products come take a look you know I never measure a company by the mistakes they make in a partnership as well because they're always will happen they always you always like have you know something show up and there's a you know the box got dropped and there's a dent right or perhaps something was misprinted write things like that happen okay it's how they duel that that should matter to the character of the company so I've picked two amazing cos for for my lab and my albums and then I'ma share with you my other partnerships by the way as I talk about this stuff today I want to make it very clear I do not receive a dime from any of the companies I work with. I'm not sponsored and in that sense by anybody this is I speak from the heart because these companies may have made me successful and I do not receive any money from these companies in order for you to understand that the truth of that so that needed to be said before talking product okay, so let's get into it the challenge action commit you gotta have partnerships you've got to know just a couple things to sell and here we go products equals profit bottom line you must have product if you're gonna have longevity in this field, all of our profit comes from the product shooting the actual images itself that I proved to you was our business model and yesterday's first segment and you know what? It wasn't profitable we're making so much with the effort that wended his shooting and delivering simple images in a box we weren't profitable enough we should both have quit and got a different job or worked just a hobby business and worked on the weekends here and there that would have been okay that would have been the way to go, but we would have never been able to afford ramping up employees ramping up, providing more service et cetera how do we not started with partnerships so product equal sustainability product equals your future product will make your career a lot more fun bottom line is commitment is essential for a true transformation gotta have the commitment so we keep seeing jim's big hat holding up the stone you gotta let go on this is the moment you do that and it rolls down the hill and as you start developing your prodigy, start evolving your style you start seeing things differently you start saying okay let's let's shoot all vertical with here in horizontal here let's shoot this next bread this is going to be you know you see what I just said it just came natural to me this next spread I'm about to shoot is guys we get to compartmentalize our shooting and it's way more fun and you'll shoot a lot less to you'll know you got it you'll be liberated you'll be told I click click click I just told the spread of that moment happening and I could just relax now and I got it by the way I know exactly how would be laid out in the book three horizontal of the broads pick click click and I will be stretched across one two three the entire spread let's step back and let them you know the bride getting get ready can't wait to show you the stuff today it'll change your world because you have product and again you have to go entirely down this path you have to create product for each and every client going to say this over and over again everyone must receive your products your two or three products that you produce if you want to see the magic happen you can't go half in deliver bols determine your style okay they set the tone to the type of images you shoot if you're deliver ble are these big metal prints behind me? You should you sure want to shoot a lot of the images that you set you way back in the field, right? You wantto ever for every wedding you made shoot you need to get a big wild shot because you know you're gonna be selling one of these by the way I guarantee if this was hanging in my studio I would have couples ask hey, how how can we do some shots in a field and can you cue lightning bolt for me they're kidding but like the image yesterday that was behind me thea umbrellas okay, so now couples they see that the studio and they say, oh, I would do anything have a big images like that's beautiful and then say, hey, should I bring grella's umbrellas to the wedding you guys it determines your style it leads you down a path it's funny and I gave an example early on the veil all my couples bring veils now and I love that I love that you have so much influence with the product that you produce so much influence. You know what a great example of the influence of the album is? It has enabled us to convince all our couples to give us a couple hours on the front end of their wedding to do nothing but hanging out which leads to more stories right yeah, the australians used their beautiful art to convince um to convince their couples tohave mourning ceremonies and late afternoon receptions giving them hours in the middle of the day to three four hours tohave go to multiple locations sip coffee somewhere, grab a glass of champagne just follow the light father lights a beautiful way of doing it deliver bols determined style so it means that if it were not for partnerships and products they provide there being no, not a true transformation of style. Okay, way must have these partnerships good news. I'm going to show you a few of them let's take a look at the concept of commission shooting first this is what we do. I love this these few slides because we use these to show people how piece of art will look and that sells okay? Commission shooting is a it's a concept that you know the true artist would be commissioned to create an art piece it's no different for us as wedding photographers and retail photographers in a hole to review retails anyone that deals uh in the world where you're selling photography to the public. Okay, so if this is a conceptual, this image was laying on the on the back of the sofa we often I'm to show you a few conceptual well often say hey bridegroom, show us your house before the wedding show us your house take some pictures with your with your smart camera and just email us some rooms in your house and I will, uh, mock up some potential shapes for you and we'll just make shapes and then on the wedding day itself I'll be like, oh, I'm gonna shoot that wall in this next setting click click click here's one, two, three images so pay photo lab my lab makes these wonderful clusters. This is khun uh, yeah, I'll show you some clusters. Thes air trip takes that beautiful you're gonna be meeting this couple today. Tricia andrew so these air just conceptual, but boy visually show a member of the rule number one I said twenty times if you want to do it, you got to show it. All right? You don't have to, like right away right off the bat. If you want to be an art shooter, you don't have to right away, just like I have a big client and then spend for four hundred dollars on on image for that klein and eat that cost. Okay, you can build conceptual cz this is what I want. Teo, I would love to do something like this for you, okay, from a photo shop document, remember my album I did yesterday that, like, eight years ago, long time ago that was nothing but a conceptual statue. I built it on photo shop. I made those metal plates in photos off, and I made an album where the plates you view the book over a thirty day period that's because I wanted to do something different. And you know what? We got calls on that because I was on the website, we got calls on it all that well, you know, that was just a conceptual thing. We're not really making metal sculpture albums, but the point is you just need to to direct the minds of your clients to what you want to dio so it could be a conceptual like this checked out one out, scott clusters fantastic visually show it so much fun. So here's, tricia and you you're going to meet them today. They're going to come in. This is too drew shot these with his iphone for me. He shot the niches that the niches that these were in our sorry with the candles and everything, but without the print measured it for me. Then I created this r and this is after the artist hanging. So we did this about three four months ago and here's the other one, so you'll be seen meeting them, we did, uh, an engagement bonus shoot with tricia andrew and we'll be interviewing them today teo talk about their experience and everything and how how they ended up with this art why they value this type of art how they're drawn to our studio but notice I show on lee really big pieces in my studio like the one behind us um so we end up doing really big pieces for our clients and it's extremely profitable and is responsible entirely for our success I would say here's another bay photo job print which I love quick question from davina havana to wonders do you go to the client's home and hang these works or who does the hanging do you just give them to him? I would love to do that yes, I have the opportunity to uh often will drop ship to the client but I will personally go out and hang that with them in a fun moment have a glass of wine together it is really personal experience it's it's another opportunity to celebrate and if we have the opportunity that heck yeah we're going to that that's one of the wonderful things that care are who you've met our studio manager she'll always make sure that one of us is on site if if yeah if available and if they feel will ask them would you like us to come out and off? You know we got it school or we'd love to come out sure here will be there sometimes your whole studio will go out today it together you know it's just a level of customer service that with the profits you get from the it's it's absolutely worthwhile to do so great question thank you for that keep the questions coming so this is the czar four feet by four feet images of one shot broken into a cluster of four so that's an eight feet by eight feet print of the wall I like this cluster I'm gonna do this very soon I'm to do another one of those I liked a non linear non square clusters very cool okay, so attrition drew look they got three it's like eight feet by three feet wide eight feet tall trip tik with their kids and their little dog I love that I love that you know easy it's it is to shoot a commissioned art piece imagine going to a family shoot and they're like hey, we're gonna feel this wall oh great you know let me mock up something how about we do three very large large images were going to use the following paper touch and feel this it's going to be either met metal metallic uh my favorite these days are the metal prints behind us it's a luster finish you could see the metal through the print which is very, very cool but they have they have gloss luster than all sorts of things you know thiss the glossy is so shiny and beautiful and you know it's not for everybody it's for the right client with the right image you know I would pick a very bright, exciting, colorful image would be wonderful on a metal um on a on a metal print so the neat thing about having one partner is that you want oh first I want to make sure they have a variety of products but I want you just to pick a few don't complicate it too much because you won't need to simplify your workflow gosh he's on the subject of metal prince these things they're so great I'm right now doing an installation outside of a house outside in the garden looking through the dining room will be a litte art piece with huge metal you know, a cz biggest pan over to the drapes here the entire drapes that big outside a dining room window they have a fence there why don't we create an experience for them through the dining room window? Okay, so you could mount thes outdoors you know as long as it's not full sun, another application that I'm working on is having a bunch of images on the bottom of a pool how cool is that it'll sink it'll be fine these things are long lasting their metal I just love the diversity you could do with them, okay? You could have them so my bay photo here the things that we like from them and we try to limit it to just a few but metal prince we have fine art campus thin wraps press printed books wave accordion books I'm gonna show you some of these image julio cds dvd cases boxes it centered sarah sarah okay, so so we deliver images in their wonderful boxes here's some more boxes here okay, I'm gonna show you a few more I have slides otherwise would have a huge display case here. So these are the accordions very cool, great thing for family photography or high school seniors you could put ah, an entire story on one of them multiple images uh this is the campus very, very popular. Okay, very, very popular of the campus prince the campus raps to see how the wrapper on the edge delivering data for the small shoots. We still love to use dvds and we give him in these cases very, very pretty, very great presentation when a dvd case itself sk you know you want to hang it on the wall, you know you're delivering high quality product and by the way they can take the dvd out and turn it around it's and, uh, use it as backwards accordion okay? And these mental prince and now we're doing edges on them I've got I usually like to floating metal prints but you could frame edge them with various types of edge is so much fun and so easy the the ordering process is just ridiculously easy I mean, we could make calendars really fun for high school seniors obviously framed images we could go sky's the limit if you have the client that wants it. Okay, but this is what we focused on of recent years it's it's so simple, so easy, so clean and the type of clients that are coming to us seem to be really attracted to this. Okay let's bay photo again I'm speaking about their products from the perspective of not not being paid by them no way it's because they've, uh, blessed us so much and I feel indebted to them and I'd love to share because they've made us successful um I want to photograph you, stuart should should you should some of their wonderful products yesterday, but I really wantto emphasize the generous gift that they're offering for all of us watching today. Um graphics studio uh I've been partnered with uh in our studio for the entire ride that I've been on with, you know, moving from images, toe art, focus, storytelling I showed you my first book that they printed for me and now their work it has evolved alongside ours and they continue to be on the front and the leading edge of innovation and so I have to say that I've just enjoyed this partnership so much and I'm proud to share a little bit about him uh they own a castle and it they're dedicated educating other photographers really appreciate their attitude for um taking care of all of us in industry that's why I'm loyal to them to speaking about their things now but this is the revolution yeah that's the cheek only book such a version of the young book that is a very exclusive wonderful product you gotta touch and feel this thing it's like glass it's like butter the feel of this product absolutely I wish you can all in the audience touch and feel this anyways I'm moving all of my work into this style of book everything moving forward will be in in the young book okay, the price point is very affordable it is quality material that is generational okay, I'm just gonna let you guys feel this for a second play with it I don't need a touch and feel and you'll see the difference all smooth also doing these wonderful things look at this print boxes not awesome there's some images that we did recently can you see that okay, I just need take you the innovation is the first albums that I have done with the young book I'm gonna show you today but just so I want to show you how it's not just about wedding photography and ex described yesterday that everyone in the retail world should be given a product right? So this is a family shoot for me this is what my family work looks like. This is what I deliver to them. Okay, this is a young book is the best part of this? This new product is it comes with the box. I love it. I was wanted to do something innovative years back and I said, hey, can I have a box for everyone? My graphics studio albums from now on and they started doing boxes for me and now it and we were known for our box albums. Now this is a product that is is less expensive than the older albums, but it comes naturally with the box and feel it but here's an album look at the quality of the printing it's beautiful one hundred sixty three dollars guys you thirty two pages with that, I tell you about a program that they have that the audience needs you to go and fill out an application and they'll send you one of these ok with your artwork in it. Awesome. Okay, the whole product product itself has got a two hundred fifty dollar value in this cute they have four girls, we photographed him over four years and I finally made an album for him last month a couple months ago I want you to notice that there's a background theme to this book we talked a lot about creating themes I'm gonna help you create your own themes okay got we'll make your work stand apartment so don't you see that what you gonna do and we're gonna throw link up crafty studio will give you if you go to this this link you click there there you go do that get yourself fill out the application take care of your showing your samples get remember if you want to you got to show this is your opportunity there are generous enough to put this promo together for all of us created love so thank you all right let's move forward so a couple things that's really exciting is, um pickpockets my friend jerry jonas created this this is ah could download a pickpockets dot com p I c p o c k e t s if you want some of our and not just me jim gardner's photos but you want to see how it was shot in his description around at the settings that each so that you khun do it yourself this is really handy you go to a wedding or something and you've you some of the some of uh not just mine but so many others educators of best images most influential images you could see it all get inspired by it on call so that's jerry's product and I wanted to show you you know, there's baby can trail ben chrisman john michael cooper uh myself jerry g onus everyone you might be inspired by this is a great way to have it on your smartphone if you don't mind is ok if we have a question too I'm sure fans lots of questions so we've got a lot of folks out there who are just getting started and we've got folks like graphic studios are fantastic but they only work established professionals they're not they don't work as much with the hobbyist or the newer person. So how do you go about establishing those relationships with with people when you're just starting out? Well, this is an opportunity actually there how do you establish your relationship? Well, first, what you need to do is put together working website that determines if you're establishing yourself and then you need to set the goal and you need to be on this path that we're talking about. If you're watching now you're the right client for for, you know, graphic studio because you are going to be delivering art it's that simple you're going to start down that pathway way, fill out the application, get started this is a great opportunity if if the timing's right for you, then the timing's, right, you know but certainly you should be practicing your designed practicing, putting things in story, etcetera were gonna actually have time to go over that later in the program and, um, a cm eighty three wanted to know how much of your work is composited like the lightning shot behind you that's not a composite of peace, but we are going to talk about compositing. The umbrella shot from yesterday there's only four umbrellas actually in that group. That's a composite and that's. I'm sorry, I didn't know that that was a natural image, but I guess they were. They were curious about how often you very infrequently actually on I love the fact that I have it on my part, I must say, hey, when is compositing necessary? And what is it? Not sometimes I throw a sky back into my images digital photography, you know, on the fly when you're working quickly, you don't have that opportunity. Tio tripod in hd are right, so I'll snap a picture of the sky, continue my way and I'll put that sky back in later. I found it to be very, very useful if we're showing images that are missing huge. You know, highlights or shadows it drops the emotional experience off it's like a ton of bricks you hit the ground, you're no you're now looking at a a picture you're not looking at emotional experience this image has laid over the top of it a texture and a warm just a really warm glow and I used diffuse glow to make the lightning pop out and the grass reflect light. Okay, but um we're gonna guess I love the photo shop section because I'm gonna teach you everything I do and you know what? It's not difficult there's on ly a handful of things that make our images looked the way they d'oh you just gotta know when to apply them and it would be redundant and were repeat image after image you're gonna go first we're going to start in with single image individual images I might composite a little just for one or two again we don't want to spend too much time compositing, but the second component of the photo shop will be re touching in the album retouching in the art piece will enlarge the image to this size and we'll retouch it at that size all war, shrink our images into the album spread canvas and retouch them there it's pretty wonderful um and and simple for that matter so maybe one more question before I move on from reno flannel when you're creating these big art pieces for display in your studio what do you do with the samples after you're done and you want to switch out to something new? Do you give them to the client that there it is in them? Yes, we do. We do. I've kept most of our work, but we have in years past certainly said, hey, you know, we've had a great time of this album. Would you liketo have this to add to your library, and we just haven't. We delivered with a ribbon around it or in one of our beautiful boxes from from bay? Yeah, absolutely.

Class Description


What techniques turn a single wedding photograph into a powerful, multi-dimensional storytelling tool? In this captivating course, professional wedding photographer Jim Garner will teach you how to transform your photography business by thinking like an artist.

Jim will share hard-won industry secrets — learned from decades at the helm of one of the nation’s leading wedding photography studios — guiding you through the creative journey from picture-taker to storytelling. You’ll explore tools and strategies that will make your workflow more streamlined and your studio more profitable. During live action photo shoots, you will watch Jim’s “story shooting” philosophy in action — as he demonstrates how posing, shooting, and lighting contribute to the strength of the visual story.

By the end of this course, you have a full grasp of the art of storytelling and be able to apply this new way of thinking to every aspect of your business.

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