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From Images to Art: Storytelling in Wedding Photography

Lesson 6 of 36

The Philosophy in Action: Testimonial

Jim Garner

From Images to Art: Storytelling in Wedding Photography

Jim Garner

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Lesson Info

6. The Philosophy in Action: Testimonial


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Transforming Our Business Duration:26:59
3 Reinvent in 2014 Duration:25:55
4 Embrace the Philosophy Duration:26:20
7 Identify your Unique Style Duration:40:10
10 Unleash Real Profit Duration:34:18
11 Wedding Sales Part 1 Duration:29:58
12 Wedding Sales Part 2 Duration:21:17
13 Product and Partnerships Duration:38:45
14 Camera Gear Duration:22:19
16 Refine Your Craft Duration:24:46
17 Experiential Awareness Duration:41:41
18 Shoot: Groom and Groomsmen Duration:21:03
19 Shoot: Bride's Details Duration:17:04
20 Shoot: Bride and Bridesmaids Duration:22:46
21 Shoot: Bride and Groom Duration:19:37
22 Shoot: Group Shots Duration:23:21
23 Shoot: Couple In Bright Sun Duration:27:56
24 Goals in Post Processing Duration:31:00
26 Post Process: Skin Duration:20:18
28 Album Design: The Formula Duration:40:16
30 Take Control: Workflow Part 1 Duration:29:08
31 Take Control: Workflow Part 2 Duration:21:06
32 Work Enviorments Duration:13:36
35 Refine, Reinvent and Thrive Duration:14:04
36 Location Night Shoot Duration:32:42

Lesson Info

The Philosophy in Action: Testimonial

How are you way have had such a good time with these two absolutely so jeff and jennifer are um start have you tell a story you called us two years almost two years ago now actually about about a year and a half ago yeah and part of it came about jim this is we were just we needed something different you know it's like we we wouldn't be in the wedding business and photographing weddings since two thousand six and the way just like we're kept on looking other albums and this isn't this is just isn't interesting enough and then we saw you present at the dpp eye back in two thousand two thousand nine and like wow that is amazing I mean imagine taking the people are our clients through a really great journey like that and so when we called you he said it's like we're trying everything but we just we need some help you need some help to figure out our album decides we need your help to figure out what we're doing you know interesting and how do we just get to that next level of work good ye...

ah remember originally it was about how do you pump out enough albums really yeah how do we produce enough books to really pump up our profitability right yeah yeah you know on that point that was one of my things is I kept on spending about an average of two days you know bill working on an album and here I get all these bombarded marketing's from you know, emails like oh design an album and like, you know, thirty minutes and whatnot I don't think it's like something's going wrong and it's like why was it take me two days and then I wouldn't talk to you and I saw your process and I saw the result and I thought, you know what? It's gonna take more than two days to do this you know, I really needed in order for us to fine tune our work we need to really just spend time work on all the images retouch them create an artful masterpiece so let me give him the book it looks exactly like it took you that amount of time but not I'm really important the time that it actually is worth that investment otherwise guess what your images if you just take a bunch of stuff from light room straight into album designer this is going to look just like that like everybody else is out right? So you guys are doing this stuff right now you're in your second season yeah, you're working down the steps your actually step ten I understand I believe we are yeah you guys sorry, we're talking steps that we haven't given you all the steps that will feed we'll get him to you trust me, but they're I've watched them transfer formed their work into something extraordinary and you've done it in a much shorter period of time that I think we all, uh I planned on it happening and it's very exciting, but I love to hear some of the kind of pitfall some of the difficulties, if you had first in your business before and perhaps how things are going now for you and how that with changes have occurred. Yeah, sure. I mean, you know, one of the things was exactly would you touch on earlier today? It's, how do you how do you make every experience a great experience, fun experience and just beyond just picture taking? So that way, father, we're just doing a lot of picture taking and you just campos is what not, and which this'd be a lot more organic, you know that that was a really important thing. So there was three elements of everything, kind of just to evolve in our businesses. That was the creative side of the business side and, you know, the client side the experiential side, and so, you know, one one big pain for us is always, you know, we want these images actually just touched on it is, well, it's like the pinterest thing it's like, oh, I had the whole list of pinterest things and yeah, it's like now just convince himto move on to the story, but you have to have a story to begin with and so that was one of the things that we moved into his with storytelling good, good. So, uh, what changes are you seeing your business and you, major and come changes? I want a new clients it's not not just new clients, but new type of client, you know, you want to talk about the kind of clients that were giving, you know, it's interesting is watching that changed going from somebody who I mean, you still get the people are like, well, look at my pen heiress stuff, but that's fine, but what we're doing is where bringing them in from the very first meeting, actually, from the website moving forward, they see stories, they're not seen, individual images, they're seen our attack line being that it's, your romantic love story you and so from that do the first email, but I send them has all of that in there too, the first time they meet with us there, seeing our big book, they're seeing us, we're talking, we're taking them through a day, so we have clients that then see how we can have the story like this weekend, our wedding, we're literally we're getting on a would you call that thing actually trolleys roller and we're going teo, you name the spot in seattle and we were hitting it because they want the story they wanted way want and for what? It's going to be a hundred page album one hundred yeah, it's and it all starts, you know, as jenny mentioned and we changed our philosophy and howie how we sell you know, they're what we call the five stages of selling you gotta market the story, you've got to sell the story, you got a plan, the story you gotta tell the story and then you gotta you gotta shoot the story. And then I got to tell the story and for us, it really all started by so excited to see this investing in a whole new type of brochure. This's just orienting the minds of your clients to the art that you produced, right? Exactly. So, you know, even from the very, very beginning, you know, we go to the website website takes, you know, gives you a call into the studio and then from the studio, you know, it gives him two sales right from the very beginning you're beautiful romantic love story for ever captured so that story termine, you know, is going in, and then when you open the book, you know strong images. And then I won't go through the whole thing. But what we do is rather than tell a whole bunch of individual image of george's, we start to focus on silted up because we got a little way start to show them one entire wedding or, you know, most of the wedding and so that they can start to see, you know, from the very beginning. My god, that's, a really beautiful story. They can start to connect with individuals, right? You can start to connect c it's one wedding at one time brochure, right? And so if he's do brochures, for example, with individual images from a whole bunch of other weddings, what are you selling individual of images? S o and so we designed it in such a way. Hate it. Looks like our graphic albums. It feels like our graphic album, so from the very beginning, were starting out to support, you know, the whole notion of, you know, putting up. Look at these beautiful books, you know, uh, jeff mentioned graphic studio, which is the same company that I use, um, fantastic company out of italy. Italian hand crafted album guys. Yes so what I want to show you quickly this is actually our very first day first show because really quickly how way transformed you showing your perfect for some really beautiful album from the outside it's not a graphic album but when you open it up you know it's like there's no riel big title page go straight into you know images from the you know, for the ceremony because we weren't really planning we weren't really planning the wedding day to be that way and that's what just you see things you know, it's like they're they're fine images, but they're really that they don't realize it's you're using designed um I guess tricks to kind of make it more interest but yeah, things are flowing necessarily the tilted images that you see, you know, it's like and then the occasional ah bigelow action that we would go to produce and multicolored and text and all that that was back then and what we decided, you know, it's like we've gotta eliminate all these different albums that we have in our studio really need to focus on one partner that we can work with and now with what we're doing right were transformed these big beautiful twelve by six that's gotta be at least that's a hundred pages yeah let's just fifty spreads nineteen ninety so it's forty five spread is forty five spreads and this is a very big experience and that happens is you open it up. One of things that we learned from you is big impact from romance love just like that you know the story itself instantly you want to turn the page of what's coming it's coming exactly texture though the texture and the motion texture is a tool to create to elevate the emotional experience we're gonna get in that tomorrow and then you know and then it and then go from there you know jim, can you go back? Yeah theme for the details everything's has that same color scheme and then you are motion framing into the next scene see she's facing into the next spread that's a technique to make you want to turn the pages see where she's going to be next absolutely so lend their e r she's with the girls perfect head size is the same strip all the way across the theme of this book is white okay which is a beautiful we could add a theme to this is well it could be the dress color or something a cream work an element from their invitation very well done beautifully retouched it's clear that you re touched all these images at the same time is that correct that's correct and that was such a big big deal for us as we were sure we were starting to see inconsistency in our region I would we touch the image of individual images but other he was off the tone is often center so it just it just elevated the way we presented and that when people come in and see this these books and albums in our stories it's like I want this like love it it's so exciting so I'm going to play a slideshow of one of their albums in the background we continue the conversation absolutely that's okay actually it's that book I just got up there we go we'll let you watch that at home and so tell us tell us about the new type of clients the questions they're asking what what they're asking you to do and you know if you have anything to share if the audience may be some pitfalls or the difficult process the difficult portions of this process that you know they need to take into consideration that obviously will be addressing in this workshop now the one thing for certain is if you're going to get into this style of shooting you've got to commit to it at that for us was when we left jim studio when we did our mentorship we were out in the parking lot I remember this and we just like holy this is going to change everything we need to rethink about everything I burst into tears well yeah we're like what are we going to do it's like okay we gotta plan this out we immediately started putting a business plan together what's what are the elements that we need to change? You got to be hundred percent committed we were freaked we were afraid big risks lots but you know, at the end of the day we're glad we did it type of clients that we get now is a result of this are people who really appreciate art the appreciate story they appreciate what they're getting and it all comes from the very first question we asked when they come into our studio we really refined our sales technique and, you know, greetings, hugs and kisses and all the other great stuff the first question of my mouth is when you sit on your couch thirty year from thirty years from now and you're looking at your album, what do you sing? Uh at that point they stop stop and pause I want to have fun I wanted like we're enjoying ourselves that we're really loved and relax I want to see this beautiful story I don't want to be posed I don't want to sit there like my mom did with flowers and already immediate they're telling me exactly what what were going to tell them and you know what this point this is the quiet for us and then we get into the story you know we get into a whole story telling him and for us, that's, just this has been a major, major, major change. You know, one of our biggest pains was album creation a t offset, and this is a question that was asked earlier today how involved your clients, you know, is part of the whole album creation process? We used to give them a sheet, a worksheet that they would take home, give us all your favorite images that you want to see in the album, and then, oh, my gosh, the images that we would get back it's like this person, it was like it looked like this is a picture book, costco, because and you let him have that control tell you every image you like, you're actually forcing yourself to have to put every one of these images, or you're setting yourself out to disappoint. The client is not the truth, absolutely, and they're and they're not setting up toe get what they're actually originally came in for now what we do is is we tell them, you know what? Let us design the perfect album for you. We're going to create the wonderful story I know you originally budgeted for forty page, but let us build the perfect album for you come in there's, a seventy page layout and design everything's wonderful. And we give them the opportunity at that point when they've fallen over the album I love the spreads but I'm not so keen about my image here could I replace it for a similar type of image where my expression is little different yeah, yeah it'll work that's going to do that because you're forty page budget that you had earlier on well let's go the doctor because I don't want to lose any of these expressions in any of these are pretty go soft on you because this is a smart sell technique actually yeah that's exactly right and so make them that when are they leave just going aw adjustments took such good care of us absolutely and they leave this beautiful piece of art that ends up being a mobile like a soldier for your portfolio it is the best marketing toe ever such a big benefit and with the auxiliary product the graphic studio provided many books that mini includes things like that oh my gosh we have a fish bowl of them on our studio actually brought the fish ball to show you your marking pieces come from the art you produce and the more you refine this process right this is the same book that they took home, right? Yeah, it was your design it wasn't there's no and so your art needs no adaptation for it to go out and promote you right that's absolutely right and it was really great about that is inherently there's already built in revenue for parent albums and then there's you know, we were coming to a point where thinking about how do we take an actual wow spread and turning into a well well, art they know now we're going to start to see that vision and it really has just helped elevate our revenues, you know, it used to be where we're selling, you know, twenty thirty page albums of smaller ones, and then if if if we were able to sell an album because we, you know, we we did including our packages, the dvd of the images, we gave them an album credits, but that's like leaving money on the table and sometimes you wouldn't hear back from people for two years, but we want to carry that revenue for the fiscal year that's why it needs to be at the end of the process and they have if they have a problem with that, maybe they're not the right clients for the art focused, you know, storytelling style. So we were part of our transition this year because it was our transition year, so we still have that first level of packages just because we're, you know, finding those new clients, however we're finding that more people are booking with art book built right in the back do you go okay, so that what they just said it's really important that's why this is a two season process the first season you got these clients wanting you for what you're their friends and family had before right it's a transition season then the wonderful thing when you start showing these beautiful books and they become attached to it the meetings and they want to go for that other think I want that you change your style completely for that and they are received this beautiful book and now the ball is rolling the the the big boulder on the hill starts to roll down the hill the process is happening and you guys you guys have a beautiful future out of you in the wedding industry don't wait thrilled and once we complete that sex condition and it still is scary because you know at one point we're gonna we're gonna eliminate you know the problems let them go off and we're gonna keep we're going to keep with the new ones and it's it's going to be sincere with transitions but yeah it's it's got a hacky said earlier. We have invested a whole bunch of new albums we've eliminated all our other album partners and focused on one and if you don't you gotta you gotta show it and sell it we'll show it to sell it so twelve by sixteen years, he said and I gotta show you gotta show it to sell it so we've got a minimum twelve by sixteen's and it also decided to do is get away from the piecemeal you know it's like he's got a whole bunch of great options and we would go to upgrade here for one hundred dollars for the metal cover and this and that eyes great like you know what one price get you at all do you hear that you guys you one price that's a right brain thing that's an emotion or anything? One price you could choose any size book you want you could chase any cover you want any type of book you want to take away the left brain literal piecemeal approach and just take care of your clients is not a great statement it's total and and more importantly, from a sales standpoint it helps the decision making process that much easier for them because it's an emotional sell it needs to be ridiculously easy yes. Cell so easy easy, easy done. I'm so grateful for you I was coming on thank you so much for your time and sharing your experience absolutely, really just love seeing yourself about you know with the advent of social media and instant gratification mentality how do you I mean, I know this is the right way to look at about the art and what the end product is how do you satisfy address? The instant gratification with social media and the epic lines just doesn't mean I'm gonna write me a good start yeah, so that's sort of my job is I'm friends with every single ride on facebook we you know so that's on the personal side so they know about a schnauzer is they know what's going on our life, that sort of thing, but then we also have our seven page which has images and what we do is when the wedding is over the engaging session's over way take twenty that jeffrey touches the way he wants to do it when we post those up with logos and on dh, then I tagged the bride because it starts to get the feeling they're like oh it's so exciting and like and their friends want to see it and lets them have a picture on there it's really fun when I go and look at my friend list and I see them all our images it's kind of exciting way we play the game absolutely, but we do it not in in one batch we do a little gifts along the way towards the ultimate product that's the alum delivery are the art deliver so it's ok, we're going this one show and then you want to go up it's that's the trick with social you wantto have a little burst of content don't do it all at once, like most clients do most photographers to because you'll miss the real opportunity just gotto be on it, you gotta play the game and and, uh, making enjoyable socials. Really? Um, I don't know we'll talk about it next way do stay away from those pinterest way really try to minimize the amount of influence from it, but it helps us understand what they're thinking, and so we help guide them through the idea of like, okay, now that they know we're thinking let's go to create a story that belongs to you all these really great pinterest ideas, that story belongs to somebody else, but let's, take those ideas and it's going to create your story, and they love that idea. Then all of a sudden, all these, like, you know, holding up signed pictures no longer exists in their mind. We're done. There were a lot of comments that were saying, like the difference between your original album and your new what is just, like, amazing to see that that transformation and the beautiful layout, beautiful images and people were wondering just as a final question, where do you get your brochures made because those brochures really thank you very much because you know, it's it's a tough question because we did look at a lot of, you know, a marathon press and all those other folks and to really create what we wanted to create we actually worked with somebody local to help us do our own local design it's all completely custom design ah di cut multiple pages multiple stories and I'm gonna just grab something really quick yeah, I'll just grab it quick so we created it and worked with a company called uh bringing control in tukwila at a local level printer and they did that for us and from the way you feel that you can't feel it, you can touch it. It feels like it's leather it's what we call soft touch and then on the inside what you didn't see I was just going to do this is there's all these pull out and the pull out so if you just take a look at, you know, the f accuse engagement sessions understanding the story and then we get into the pricing and then these air pull out so that we could go in and just easily change them as we go along it's a pretty big investment but you know it's a very important investment cause that's what's gonna link your clients to come in and actually just be excited about it full of that so much thank you for that thank you for being here and talking with us today on dh jim I think we've got a couple more comments so again thank you guys wait guys go start your social let people see your website if we show the website yet uh I don't think we've shown it but go ahead and you're excited please go to www dot f seven photography dot com goto weddings and then you'll see how we are still you'll see some stories there and maybe a facebook facebook estimate photography furnace and be happy to take questions if you want to send us an email we'd be happy to take care of them that's because it's a family thing moving guys we're in this together thank you so much I really like you very much appreciate you contributing thank you all right so we've got the steps here's what we've covered so far alright you've got honesty valuing yourself in your business yes and you stuck with it so here we are you've embraced the art focus philosophy you're like hey there's something I can do um we're going to finish with this challenge action related to embracing art focus philosophy and that is list all the reasons why you personally want to transform into the art focus philosophy why do you want to do it? Why are you going to go for okay this will set yourself in motion

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.


Ester Knowlen Photography

LOVE LOVE LOVE all the bits on how to create a wow shot without stressing about getting it/catching it by chance. So SPOT on!! A little bit of planning, a little bit of vision, and great ideas/recipe for amazing "wow" shots that are prompted and genuine (unique just like the people we shoot), rather than stressed over and chased. :) Amazing video!! :) Thanks Jim Garner!!

222 N 43rd Pl

This is such an amazing course. It is my first purchase that I have made with Creative Live and I couldn't be more pleased. Jim shared so much information and so many insights. It's great to be able to watch the segments over, picking up something new every time. Taking volumes of notes! I am starting to implement Jim's approach to photography—storytelling. I am just starting out in wedding photography and am so excited to have found this gem tutorial! I would highly recommend this to any photographer who wants to take their work from photographs to art.