Becoming More Than a Photographer
Give me an example especially out there on the internet start giving the example shoot them in oven experience okay even write it down off of ah great service you had so just give me one example of great service you had I it was our anniversary and we were doing a staycation so we live on the coast so we were going to laguna beach and we're staying in this little hotel um they were redoing the pool and I was really disappointed about that so um and the room that they gave us didn't have the kind of you that I was hoping for so I just kind of mentioned it to the front desk and they got us thea thea what the top suite within an hour or so yeah it was much bigger and much nicer and didn't charge us any extra for that's awesome yeah service you still remember that to this day and you probably tell people about that experience with that hotel I do and I and I left like an online testimonial and everything so it was great and what did that cost him really the room was probably empty at the h...
otel already and in an effort to give you good service right they just kind of listened to what you were saying so that's that's an awesome experience jules my mind is blank I'm sorry just give me give me an example of ah good service experience you had um well recently was from a client going to be from a client uh we did a wedding down in oregon you had a good experience with a client. Okay uh they, uh they wanted teo way built in some fees for our traveling costs to get down to organ, huh? Excuse me? And they decided to give us some extra nights in the hotel because they they just said we were incredible and the service we provided for them and said we need to charge more because of everything we gave to them on their wedding day so give us a couple nights yeah that's awesome this time you skip you skip you I'm going to write to you, rob my good experiences actually ah little clothing boutique and kick our butts called bloom first time I walked in there is greeted with a handshake everything from you know, the clothes I was looking at and like you actually cared about what I personally thought about, you know the clothing that is buying anyway on with the owner or the one with the owner directly hit his wife afterwards everything was put in a beautiful bag like what you supply and you know what you're talking about with your bags that's very impactful and you grab it it's like it's more than just a pair of jeans that's, that's right the way it's presented and just so everybody understands why I'm asking this question it's because I'm really trying to drive the point home of how this impacts consumers all too often we keep thinking like business people and we think ah that's not really that important that's not really that important, I'll get to it later, so by forcing yourselves and out there to think about an experience, a positive experience you've had right it forced it lets you think or at least be empathetic to wear your clients are and where they're coming from when we miss a target deadline, when we take eight weeks for them to see their image is we have to understand the level of frustration they have, and if we just decided to ignore it like it didn't happen, we are dropping the ball and that that frustration doesn't just disappear because I could flip this conversation and say to you, not only here out there give me an example of a bad experience you have and I got almost guarantee you when we start talking about bad experiences, what is really going to burn you is that you felt like no one care no matter what the bad experience was, it doesn't matter, right? We can get very grand you look, I travel all over the place you want to talk about bad experiences, tried dealing with airlines, okay, but what ends what really burns me is when I feel like they don't care when they're just like sorry tough luck and move on I get really really angry, okay, but if my flights canceled or they can't put me up in a hotel or something else happens and they're very understanding and trying to help me trying to make it right I tend to be a little bit more patient we have to learn from that right we have to incorporate that into our business I'll share with you a good experience I had my biggest pet peeve in the world or one of them I should say is waiting too damn long to eat food. Okay, so when I go to a restaurant I can not stand waiting for an hour and a half just to get a seat at a restaurant. It makes me crazy like your food's not that good. I'd rather get it to go. I got life I got to get back to work. Okay, so we go to this restaurant right by our house everybody's raving about it they open it up I ordered a cheese teller and I went there for dinner. We ordered a glass of wine each and we ordered cheese played a couple of appetizers and we just want to sit there and chill sitting took an hour and a half for the cheese plate to come out I don't know if they were milking the cow I don't I don't know what was going on but I was about to lose and lose it man right then and there on ly thing that kept that kept us in that restaurant and the ability that we may go back someday was our waitress our waitress every sixty seconds would come up to us make sure our drinks were fine gave us complimentary drinks, apologized for the delay and didn't make some crazy excuse she's like I have no idea what's going on I'm trying to get your food out the kitchen has slammed so she was completely honest with us she didn't ignore us right? Because how many times you've been to a restaurant you know it's not the waitresses fault you know she's not the one in the back making the food but they avoid your table right because they know you are angry and they know they have nothing to say to you eh? So they try to stay away from you but by staying away from you and disengaging with you it makes you more angry and then the more angry you get, the less likely she is to even come to the table to fill up your glass of water and now you're getting pissed because you guys the water is not being filled up right and it's just this vicious cycle you understand we are restaurants okay albums coming late from clients from album manufacturers my clients know that I am not in the back like you know gepetto and you know, getting my frickin shoes made and I'm in the back right? And they know I'm not making the album I'm not sitting there by him, right? They know that I'm not stretching a canvas by him, but if their stuff is late they're getting angry and if I just ignored that or try to avoid it I'm just heightening they're right anger I'm just allowing it to fester and grow and suddenly I get this nasty email I can't be the only one this happens to where clients just unload on you how do we fix up communication it's all about communication? Hey susie, I just want to give you an update your album is supposed to be in this week. However the album arrived this is a true story by the way we had a photo cover album arrive ok from from our lab and the cover of the album was printed. The image was printed halfway around the back, not completely around, so I don't know if you can visually see this the image goes around and then all of a sudden in the middle of the book it's white okay was a mistake it was an honest mistake by the lab lab is going to make it right but what do I do? Do I not tell my client what's going on so we sent him an email? Hey guys just want to keep you in the loop. Your arm arrived today actually sent them a picture because clients are savvy. They know we just make excuses and weird and it looks like we're blaming other people. We took a picture of their album we said, hey, guys, you're I'm arrived today. I want you to see what it looks like, there's something wrong with the cover? We're returning it to the manufacturer. We're going to get it back as soon as we can within sixty minutes. Got an email from the client going thank you so much for keeping me in the loop on what's going on. How long do you think it will be? We gave him a day, an estimated date on what we thought it would be on. We said we can't guarantee that date. It all depends on the manufacturer, but we'll get to you soon as we can. No customer service issue. What so ever client is completely happy even though we're missing our delivery day. Now take another scenario, ria world scenario where I don't update that client, I'm good. I got a, um two and a half page dissertation from my client telling me how were just screwing everything up right, meanwhile, there was only one point on her entire email that was truly valid. The rest was just out of frustration. That's army that's on us, so we've got to think as consumers because we are in fact, consumers don't ignore this point don't zone out on this point as consumers, we've been on the side of good service and on the side of bad service we have to own it and own good service for clients, okay, that doesn't mean we're perfect, it just means we're striving for that perfection alright, so the service challenge here's what I want you to understand I have challenged my own team give me two to three things you can do in the next thirty days to improve customer service all of you right here, right now at home, start thinking, what are three things you can do? Not in a year don't reinvent the wheel don't turn this into something it doesn't need to be in the next thirty days what can you do to improve customer service? What can be done? You got there's gotta be something you can't be telling me out there there's nothing you can do to improve service you're not that good, none of us are okay, so here's a perfect example how about this so internally we send out thank you cards to our clients so after every wedding we have custom branded thank you cards that we send out to our client so as soon as I get home from a wedding okay taylor is got there sitting out with a silver pen. Okay it's very nice card stock not very expensive att all you could get a foil stanton however you want to get these designed with your logo right? So we're back to branding and as soon as I get home from a wedding I said a custom hand written thank you note to our clients that's in the mailbox monday morning that's great service cost me nothing but get a simple way to improve it. So so you can you briefly talk about the added value? Of course you could just send an e mail but what's the difference maker and you taking the time to write out my hand and put a stamp on no that's absolutely right. Right. How many of us in this day and age in the technology day and age some of you here you could even text your client. He had a great time with you last night right at your wedding that doesn't make any sense it's not personal it loses that personal touch and that's what we're trying to do here, right? So by doing this, my client knows I took time to hand write this note to them and it's so much more powerful than if I were to just send an e mail letting him know what a great time I had is it more time yes that's the frickin point it is more time and I'm investing my time back into them versus going oh I got their wedding I got that paycheck I'm done deuces right so what I'm doing here is I want to invest that time back into them now a great point so as many of you know we own other companies in our own industry they are far from perfect as well so what I did was I challenged my team in the next thirty days tell me what we can do to improve service for our client so evolve at its right that's our post production company so what what are some of the challenges we have? Well how about a personal follow up after the first order comes in? How cool would that be so people submit their order online and it almost seems to go into a black hole even though it doesn't so if you're if you're a first time order submit er in the last thirty days sixty days you submit that order and it's like they get my order or didn't you get my order right? You sit there wondering uh and so we changed that so that there's some level of personal follow up right after you place that first order some people gonna get a phone call depending on what that first order is some people going to get an email letting them know we received your images that's all it takes it was a huge improvement in customer satisfaction for evolved client that was one of the biggest complaints. How about touching the tech top ten clients in an advisory role right so here we are we've got south sounds ah print calm judge we've had we had just recently we had seventeen prints merit at w p p I and win awards so we know a thing or two about print comp why aren't we taking care of our top ten clients in an advisory role? Right? So that's what we're starting to do now if you're one of our top ten clients had evolved hey, we're going to set up a thirty minute consultation with sound he's going to help you for your charge he's goingto look at your portfolio if you want him to and he'll review your images and give you feedback and guide and so that you can take to the next level how is that for improving service? Is it costing me anything no it's time but that value add that I'm giving back to my clients is priceless man it builds brand loyalty right? So look there's a host of outsourcing options around the world that you can go to you can send your images and they can go overseas and you have no idea who's working on them who's doing what but you might save ten cents an image you might say five cents an image but you don't have that personal experience people want that personal experience they want to know that where they're sending their imagery people care about it okay how about umm virtuoso or signature collection albums those are brands to write we make acrylics we make medals we make a canvas uh signature collection albums obviously we make albums what's something we could do I challenged elissa what could we do to improve service in the next thirty days man not three months not a year today I want to make improvements in our business step number one answer more inbound calls you know what a challenge that is for us it's photographers all of us are guilty of it my phone rings I'm like I don't know that number I put it back in my pocket right we're what we all do it okay but when you're a customer and you want information again I had to put myself in my own role right if you've seen our recent shutter magazine commercial you saw that one where I'm waiting on hold for like you know forever and then the phone call gets disconnected it's funny but it's kind of true this is what happens to all of us we sit there we get transferred overseas or we get on line with somebody or were waiting an hour or we go we get no one we go right to voice mail massive massive frustration point so we hired somebody now we have a customer a fulltime customer service rep who's dedicated to answering as many inbound calls as they can or if we can't get to that call returning it as quickly as we can that's the kind of improvement we want to make for service so as photographers please again I can't stress this enough don't zone out on this what I'm trying to do is explain to you from his many different angles how this impacts your business and to get you to think like consumers because the minute you put yourself in your client's shoes this will make more sense what about salvador some kind of a typography all right that's our weddings are seniors are families we've got real clients just like you do so as a photographer what's the change we want to make quicker turn time can never be fast enough I don't want to wait I'm tired of keeping people waiting I am the biggest bottleneck in my company believe it or not because there's certain things in our company that fall on my plate to complete for example burning digital negatives that I'm the only one in the company who is allowed to burn digital negatives just so we don't make mistakes so that I ensure they get out. So as part of that quality control, I become a bottleneck, right? Maybe I'm out speaking, maybe I'm out shooting on. I'm not turning things as quickly as I can, so the images are getting there. The clients are seeing them in that two week window, but then it then it just stalls. We're not getting campuses order as quickly as we can. Or maybe the client ordered a big print they wanted retouched again, write things like that, all stalling with me. So we're committed to quicker turn time, better communication about what to expect. So the number one frustration we saw with our clients and I cannot be the on ly one to experience. This is expectations. What are expectations from us to you? Hey, if you order now, expect your album in four to six weeks expect expect your initial design in this time window. So what are two things you can do? Three things you can do in the next thirty days to improve your business, okay, to improve your service. So I'm gonna come to you guys in a second. But, jules, you're up. What do you do, man? You're on the ten yard line, I need to get you into the no, we need to definitely figure out what our thanks for hiring gift is. I know you guys do wine because you liked so when they when they hire us to give them a bottle of wine as a thank you, I need to figure out what that is. I don't drink wine, right? I like whiskey. Like everybody likes whiskey by, like, whiskey. You want to send me a bottle of whiskey is a thank you gift. I'll take it, but no. So you don't get him a bottle whisky, but maybe it's. Maybe it is a bottle of wine, maybe it's a box of chocolates. You know, john came in here yesterday. You guys know john he's here all the time, but ah, he got me a box of he knows I like scotch, and he knows I like chocolate. And he got me a box of scotch infused chocolate. And I was in heaven for that. Right? So, it's one it's, just those little things now you can do for your clients and maybe it's something you like that you're giving to them. Right? Just turning them onto something that you like. So we got identify that gift. What's number two. I want tio send out anniversary cards every year, not just for the first year anniversary. And we'll get greedy and two from okay yeah, you're doing great, right? But that's the ultimate goal you see how easy those things are? They're not difficult to implement its just about thinking about what we're what we're going to implement anything from online anybody saying anything? They're still coming in from online just a few moments but this has me thinking about myself and what I could dio one important thing I got travel a lot for business, which means I'm in the airline and not always able to respond promptly to e mails and I've been for the longest time holding off on getting like a virtual assistant, which could be an extremely low cost I can create some templates emails how to respond of certain types of emails come in that will save me a lot of stress anxiety when I get to the hotel in the evening them catching up yeah so that's a good point you raised for me it's weddings I get tons of wedding requests on again the biggest challenge for photographers is responding to those wedding requests, so we actually have a template email ah for a bunch of different scenarios where if somebody enquiring about a new senior we copy and paste if somebody's were enquiring about a new wedding copy paste until just for the initial response right it's not it doesn't sound like it's an automated response somewhat personalized but by doing that, it keeps everything moving forward so that if I'm on the road in the air, clients aren't like looking at three days go by before we get back. Well, we do have a couple coming in right now, brian says get thank you cards printed and come up with a new local to represent my brand. A cz jane photo says definitely as you mentioned answering mohr inbound cause and second communicating expectations he buy the course guess what, you're going to get it I'm gonna give you that that giving it to you those two things are monstrous off I think for any artist or photographer it's the calls we're all notorious on not right answering calls because none of us want to get looped into like a thirty minute call on dh then you know the other thing is eyes of course just setting expectations it's all about communications you know the better you are it's setting expectations with your clients you can head off some potential customer sad issues before they ever arise. We got a few more as well yeah let's do it to marilyn, seventy nine says implement a reward for referrals and thank you cards and, uh took terry says give a cuss a box of custom handmade chocolates covered in gore made cherries to each client who books me yeah, well so with the chocolate meaning I'm not sure that it works when I want you to send that box to me I will test it for you and then I will let you know if that will absolutely work I think it's kind of cool because bringing it back to their own brand because their name is choked cherry so nice there like that makes sense and god what everyone should be seeing and even out there is it's not that difficult to do this it's just about thinking just think about it what can you do to make it better and forcing yourself to be accountable and say I'm gonna do this in the next thirty days because we all have a giant to do list like I said, I have a six page to do list but man the minute you start thinking about can I do this in the next thirty days? That brings it right to the top of the to do list, right? So go through that to do list you have what's in there that you can pull into the next thirty days to make a difference because happy customers man lito happy referrals lead to good spending on it's just it's a good thing to do so let's keep going products and services okay, this is ah quite monstrous on what you need to carry so I don't have samples here to show you I'll point you to some sites as we're going through this, but I want to talk about what we need to be doing here, so first and foremost you've got to get samples, there is no other option if you want to sell it, you have to show it and if you're going to sell albums, I'll never forget a few years back, I met with, um I met with a photographer, I did a portfolio review for him and that was their pricing, their packaging, their images and as we're looking through, I said, show me your albums what album's selling your clients and he pulls out this marketing slick from one of the album companies very well produced marketing slick, and he said, no, I said, so you show your clients these albums and he said, no, I show them this marketing slick we don't have any albums to show, so you're expecting inclined to invest a couple of thousand dollars in an album, but they can't see touch or feel it there just looking at a marketing slick of it. You've got to get this in your inventory if you want to sell high end albums, you have to invest in that high end album to be able to sell it there's no other way around it, man it's consumer behavior this is how we all behave we want to see it touch it feel it right so that we know what we're getting so that goes for everything prince large prints right? We've got to shoot for this and I do want to pause here for a second we talked a little bit about this yesterday if you you have to change your mindset you have to go out into the world on a photo shoot and start shooting for the sale which is what we do so it's no accident when we come back and I've got a large print that taylor is selling I've got to go out into the world and photograph for that print or else I'm not going to sell that print I can't go later on you know I take this really tight shot right from waist up and they come to sell to the client is a twenty by thirty it's not gonna happen so you just got to start going out on your chutes on shooting big so get that sixteen thirty five lens out right you're nikon what is it seventeen fifty five or whatever it is we get that wide angle lens out and start shooting the big portrait's that means the client's smaller in the frame, okay and it's more architecturally based more landscape based those are the ones they're more likely to buy and you've got to start showing those what do you showing in your studios are showing in your studio's a bunch of eight by tens a bunch of type print, nobody wants a sixteen twenty four of just a you know, giant body shot, ok, they want to seymour architecture. They want to look at the image and go oh, wow! That's a beautiful landscape. Ah, wait! We're in it. Okay, that's what they're looking for so that's not gonna happen accidentally. You've got to start introducing that into your shooting workflow canvas canvas is a top seller force our senior clients absolutely love campus. Now we're starting to transition into some other products that we're carrying, but absolutely our seniors love candace, but we're showing them the canvas. We're not showing them a picture of it. We're not just merely saying campus because not all canvases created equally all campuses. You go buy a forty dollars, campus, it looks like a forty dollars campus. I got news for you. There is a difference and so you cannot buy product based on price alone, right? You've gotta look at the quality, but your client's also have to see the quality. So when taylor's doing her sales presentation, not only is their campus on the wall the size we're trying to sell, she's got campus that she's putting in their lap so she's putting it right in their hands so that they're feeling right the massiveness of it if it's a two and a half inch that campus they're getting the hotel we'll tell them hey feel the texture of this thing and clients really enjoy feeling that metal prints are becoming absolutely huge so the vibrancy coming off these things the clarity coming off these things today is incredible right rewind five years ago I don't know the technology maybe just wasn't quite there, but today the quality of metal print is just incredible this is becoming a really big seller for our senior and our wedding clients, and we'll talk about how to price these as well. Acrylics and acrylic blocks these if you have not seen acrylic blocks goto virtuoso right v by sal dot com go to go to that side and look acrylic blocks there about an inch and a half two inches thick, okay? And so the clarity again on these things is incredible here's what you want to look at, look out for when you're buying acrylics, make sure that they're not printing on the acrylic right? So what ends up happening is a very inexpensive process for labs is to run the acrylic through a machine print on the back of the acrylic the problem is the color gamut there is horrible and you're not going to see the level of vibrancy let level of color detail that you would see if they make a clay print and then it hear that to the back of the acrylic. So that's ultimately what you're looking for that's, a much higher quality, and when you're looking at that image through the acrylic again, you will notice a massive difference for your clients. And now they got critics that are framed so framed acrylics are amazing product to carry an offer into your offering, and I'm showing you what products you need to carry to have bigger sales. So if you just want to keep carrying cds that's great, but you can only charge so much for that cd you cannot charge ah, whole bunch of money for the cd so that you offer higher in products you're going to be able to charge more money. Album's, right press printed books and book bound press printed books have their place. Okay, we get our press printed books from bay photo our book bound books. They're coming from signature collection albums, these air muchmore impactful books, so the bay photo books were using them for our entry level albums. Four weddings were using them for our engagement albums were using them for our high school senior albums, and we're using them for our signature book, so we create a guest book. For the wedding all that stops coming from bay but those bigger albums that are made with leather that our book bound right there but they have a binding on him these albums he's fine art albums, those air coming from signature collection. And so those are the ones you want to stand out from the crowd. You're not going to stand out from the crowd of the only thing you're offering is a press printed book it's not gonna happen. Everybody's doing that in fact it's the same book they can get on, like ibooks or I photos or wherever the hell they're getting from where they think they can make their own albums. So we've got to go above and beyond what they have access to slide shows yesterday you know what? I showed you guys, we turn it into a fusion piece, okay, so that was easy enough to do, right? We took our cameras were already recording and I'm gonna show you a full, uh, video later on today or this morning, but I will show you the full video, but maybe video scaring you to death right now, okay, you having a hard enough time reading your photography business? Last thing I want to encourage you to start going out there and, you know, become a videographer, and so the key is oh, use fusion is kind of that gateway drugs so to speak right? Get into video just use fusion start filming certain ten second clips throughout the day and make that slide show with video and we use an emoto for that right animal toa super easy for that kind of tool right? So you don't have to have this whole video production sweet makes it really easy for you ah sticky albums not stick album sorry for the typo there sticky albums is another tool that we're using for our clients to differentiate ourselves so anybody here using sticky almonds not using it never even heard about it little bit almost going to all right well today better be the day I convert you over to it so I'm gonna show you some of sticky albums there a great technology on it's again it's one of those things it's inexpensive and your clients are gonna go I've never seen anything like that before and it plays into you know the iphone ipad age today so I'll show you that we've got maybe start offering video depending on where your studio is don't ignore video don't go no we are just photographer were still life, you know we're still photography listen I think in the next three to five years what it means to be a professional photographer is going to change tremendously I think we're going to become mohr creative directors and less just a photographer right? Because think about your consumer base all of us who have our iphones okay, what is it? What do we do with the iphone takes video right? Take still pictures you can start making slide shows on your own iphone just on your iphone picks right? So consumers are becoming more and more savvy with the technology and with that savviness comes a level of expectation they're not no longer going to see their life just is a series of still images they're going to understand that their life their wedding documenting their child's first year is more than just a snapshot that there's more meaning more passion behind it if I can add video to it, jules questions so there's a videographer in denver who we've worked with several times jason, I'm talking to you and I would love for him to be the video part of our business but he does his own business and he also does photography so how would you suggest that we merge that part because we were incredibly well together? Yeah sorry jason, we need to get rid of jason uh sorry sorry to say that yeah, jason needs to go because you need to make money at this and what if I'm hearing you correctly what's happening right now is you're probably not making money you're just value after hearing clients right, bringing it together that doesn't make good business sense instead I'd rather see you hire somebody. Okay uh muchas you may love jason go get some drinks with him but at the end of the day we need to make money so what we do did was we introduce our own video division and we hired people who can film for us because then I'm maintaining control here's the thing you need to think about jules when you hire him he's got his own vision, right? You're now I cannot imagine that if he's the one being paid you're controlling what the final product looks like. No, but I love his work and I love his vision. And when we have worked together he's, let me kind of be the creative director on it on the day of filming. Yes, sure, but what happens for me is I have creative control over final delivery. Okay, so for example, we use zuko books for our final delivery. So asuka makes a amazing dvd case for your album. So what they what they are and I apologize. I don't have any of this product with me. Uh, what if you go to asuka books and check out this part of what they do? You get a dvd case and the dvd case slides out opens up and there's actually an album along with the dvd okay, it's, just a little mini album it's like a little six by nine, many album that's there, and we throw like maybe ten or fifteen pictures in there for them, but now, instead of just giving them a dvd case or the obligatory blue ray lane cover think we're giving them this amazing case that has, like, kind of a mini photo book with it again, making that impact with the clients I don't know off the top of my head how much that is might be an extra hundred bucks or something like that, but my point to you is I'm controlling the vision, they're not on ly off filming postproduction, but a final delivery, it has to match your entire brand, you know what I mean? And south, to be clear, I mean, for folks, we're hearing this thing, I'm just getting started photography. I can't do the film thing what you're talking about, not opening up a full film studio like you have, but you're talking about filming ten second increments throughout the day and building different sly show with great, easy to use tools. This isn't stopping for talking. This just added value and not taking all your time, right? It's, just a little snippets, right, so that's, where the fusion becomes that gateway and you're right I talked to the tigers all over the place and going like panic moon they're like wait well, what video? So I don't I don't want to like change disrupt your entire business but we have to come to agreement on something right? We're sitting here in a roundtable can we all agree that consumers are becoming more and more tech savvy? If we can agree to that? Okay then can we agree let's work through this can we agree that video and still imagery is part of their everyday life with their iphones with their ipads? I think we can all agree to that then it is a natural assumption that to think in the next three to five years it will be an expectation that their day is documented that their baby's first year is documented with both of these elements into it. Can you imagine interviewing a mom? Okay, you have kids, right? You have kids, kids, kids, kids, no kids okay, I'm not talking to that. So you four can you imagine if when you were pregnant I came in and started filming you and said, tell me a little bit about what you're feeling right now what's the baby's name how'd you guys come up with the baby's name right and I start asking these questions and it's done documentary style okay it's not just like you looking at the camera it's just done documentary stop and I started you guys were getting choked up just even thinking about this right? You don't even have this video so can you imagine if I come in and I start offering the service and I do this for you and I come in at right you're off just after you realize you're pregnant how are you feeling? What you guys doing right? And you probably I'm freaking out I'm freaking out right? And then and then I come in at, you know, at your eighth or ninth month and we're documenting the entire way what you're doing, what the prep looks like, what the baby's room looks like, what you guys are doing in the baby's room I'm getting chills and I don't even have a kid and I don't want one, so but I'm starting to think about how can we tell this story? And then can you imagine when your baby's born I come up to the hospital and I'm filled? I film this for you and I get that glow on your face and I get the happiness of you and your family and then can you think about when you look at this a year later what you would feel like because none of you probably remember as much as you think you do what that looked like a year ago two years ago three years ago so what if that was the gift I started offering to you eyes part of our bundled services so if you're out there and you're doubting the impact of video, you're in denial of where our industry is going and more importantly, you are completely out of touch with consumers today because that is in fact what they want because dad is there filming that is their filming the little baby running around okay dad is doing all these things because it's real life so why can't we why is it ridiculous to think we're going to start offering that to our clients and they're going to want that so we cannot ignore that medium it is here to stay people got questions are they we keep going what yu want t o good I do have one question from the internet and you're talking about educating clients and like, you know, providing them with amazing products up front so that they have like expectations here to begin with. Do you ever show them um examples of bad product? So they have something to compare two and that's a question from sit own photo in las vegas, nevada I don't like showing them bad product because it starts getting really sales he right so now because when you start doing that that sales technique let's, step it to a fifty thousand foot view that sales technique is starting to try and convince somebody that they should see you know the difference between good and bad here's a good print here's a bad parent that was an old technique to for photographer well here's here's what the picture looks like that has been properly exposed and printed out a professional lab and here's what a product looks like this remember indifference clients don't care they either like it or they don't, so I'd rather just show them great product and if they don't like it, it doesn't matter what I show them right? It's just they just don't care it's like good tv's and bad tv's, right? If you go look att led tv as you can pay two thousand dollars for a flat screen tv, you could actually go to wal mart and get a flat screen tv for four hundred dollars not very good, but the client who doesn't care about quality you could put them side by side they don't care, they're shopping based on budget, so I hope that makes sense now the question this is coming in from ah two people asking this katie winter flood and kate dacosta and this goes back to service and creating an awesome experience for your customer base of course has been a lot of time talking about weddings and sending different things of them of providing gifts but sounds that apply also whether that seniors you're doing a product for doing portrait like that good service you go across the board, the good service goes across the board this is just one area where we invest heavily in is obviously the weddings but everything I'm teaching you goes across the board so that thankyou card on things along those lines, the great service, the turnaround time, the setting, the expectations that's any niche you're going after you should be doing that again even if you were, you know, making cupcakes, I would say the same philosophy should apply. The idea that I had for seniors is maybe, like for girls um maybe like, make up like samples, some stuff for college you could get him a little give bass skit in sunday like as a thank you yeah, right, so the thing, the thing with seniors oh, and portrait's in general, you've got the good news for weddings is when they come in their spending a minimum amount of money in my studio it's not unpredictable, they can on ly be as low as my base package and if they're in my base package, I know this is what I'm going to get him however, if you have a senior, a family, a portrait session coming and they spend a hundred dollars you can't afford to get them a fifty dollars gift basket so in the case of that you have to step back and think about okay a better way to do what you're looking to do is anybody who spends over a thousand dollars I'm going to do something like this with or whatever that price point is anybody who hits my highest price point here's what I can afford to get him now when you're starting out I can still remember the first thousand dollars sale we had out of our studio taylor and I were like high fiving super excited you know I can also remember one of the largest sales that have come out of our studio so we all whatever our high point is it's going to change over your career right? But what was a big sale for me back in oh eight is actually small sale force today and that's natural that's natural in the growth of your business so that what you're giving them will change over time right? So you can't afford maybe to send him a fifty dollar bottle of wine if your base wedding package right is six hundred dollars you can't afford that that doesn't make sense right that's ten twelve percent ofyour of what you're giving them so that's a good idea is to just make sure the numbers work and support it so let's keep going um how about spec prints how about the thought of having a signature level at it? Write a high end at it. So when the client walks in it's not only on the tv screen it's printed, imagine doing that so you can get first of all, we have an absent printer, so if this is something you're actually interested in, pick up ah printer or you can order it from the lab. Okay, so the labs, now we're selling art print paper s obey photo, you can buy some art print paper I don't know how small they'll go, but five ten bucks you can get a, uh eight by ten print mounted in a sixteen by twenty mountain our map board have that sitting there when a client walks in, so in our pit art print superior at it in the mat, sitting there on an easel so that when the client walks in and that's what they see, maybe they buy it, maybe they don't if they don't buy it was ten bucks, right? That's really all it costs you if they do buy it, you just increase your sale and your value tenfold because now they're seeing it and becomes more of an impulse buy and we don't do this for every client, but for time to time we absolutely do do it and it works, it works well, because they walk in and they're seeing that print city sitting on an easel fully edited and they're going, oh, my god, is that us? I've never seen I have never seen anything like that. Oh, my god, I can't stop staring at it and then we just leave it there, okay? And then we walk away. We're like, hey, if we'll talk about that later and we sit down, we show him the rest of their pictures and they cannot stop thinking about that image they want that image and again, if they don't buy, I really don't care. I can use it as a studio sample uh or I can crumble it up and throw it away it was ten dollars, okay, and then do it again for the next session. This is a great way to differentiate yourself. I'm gonna show you somebody. So for me, right? When we look at this stuff, this is what I'm talking about. This is a signature at it. Okay? You might be thinking that that's a good looking image how much work went into it so here's the before no gasps cool? Yeah, look at the difference. New skyline, right? We wanted to add drama. This was shot in the middle of the day, right? It was a just blah sky which is all the whole sky was just kind of gray and nothing exciting there we got some off camera flash that's what you're seeing in the corner there um no real skyline no real texture no lights on so we brought in a new sky we brought in a skyline we went back up there and took a picture of the st louis skyline dropped it into the background to add more death more drama to it we even turned on some of the lights to give it more drama no lights no lights on there what would you rather put up in your home the one on the bottom left for this which becomes more of a signature at it the client has this is a thirty by forty acrylic in their home there was a no brainer for me they're like we have to have that picture so we use him off camera flash you are seeing that in their face we enhanced it a little but we're on a rooftop right so the ground even looks like uh craft there okay this was done by evolve at its this is a suspect print client walks in this is what they're seeing on the screen so you don't I don't care if you go and printed imagine your client you walk in from your wedding and the first image you're seeing on a big sixty inch tv is that that is going to blow them away lisa I can't tell you like give me a stink face right now I can't tell okay that's your, uh your god face okay, I want I want to make sure you're like, you know, she's just staring at the sand on the ground like that must really be bad. Okay, so how about one more right? So here we went to a wedding all right, same thing we've got the client we wanted to we're filming video at this wedding I'll show you their video so we were filming video at their wedding eso everything we're trying to do is both for photography and video at the same time so we got to make things work. We've got to get it going together and you'll see actually see this scene in their video I'm gonna show it to you uh shortly here but we wanted to have this image right that really captured this we wanted that signature at it for them and here is the final that's bad ass new sky on what we had to do if you're looking online if you look on the left okay, the first image she's got she's holding the balloon but that was the right kiss see notice in that first image he's holding her by the waist somewhere along the line he liked over when she let go of the balloon his hands in his pocket that's not quite as romantic if you remember yes, I told you one of my biggest pet peeves is when I don't feel that connection so we took those two images to create that image on the right. So now what you're seeing is we needed her hand letting go of the balloon okay, so we took that image from the one on the ride her hand used the image on the left with them kissing but that in addition looking the balloon when it's going up it's all cock I write, I don't want that that doesn't make for a good image, so then we had to straighten the balloon out and still have that flowing away. We then added the new sky we wanted drama we want a dramatic that's what people want in their home, right notice they're smaller in the frame, right and it's all about the architecture this is obviously the church they got married in we had a little sun flare there on the left again to adm or drama to the image this is an image we also change the color of the balloon for whatever reason I just didn't like it being whites we made it a very soft pink that's my choice it's my prerogative this is my art, I can do whatever I want maybe at home you think that's too much that's fine define your level of art whatever too much is for you that's totally fine what I'm highlighting for you is that picture on the right is going to sell us a large print that picture on the left will not yeah so we did something similar for a family client and we added birds to this beautiful scene of their three kids running and throwing sand and we just added some birds in and they loved it and everyone that comes into the studio they see this big print of it but the family started trying to dissect it like I don't remember seeing all those birds they're on did you actually get all the kids in that one shot and yeah, not when you're playing that girl right? Well, that's my question is like well, don't sit there and dissect its abusive liar it's beautiful you love it? Well, so in that case I'm not trying to fool my clients it's not like because they're going to see this before image okay, how yeah I'm gonna let them see it yeah, because I want them to know how much work went into creating this piece of art. My god man, you've got to be careful because if you start getting clients thinking that it's coming out of our camera like that, the world is over for all of us right because they're not going to think every image should look like that they're gonna like what's wrong with this one wise in the sky look like that because the sky didn't look like that on the day your wedding right they understand what they're getting when they come in and the good news is his look you out there may like it love it or you may hear may hate it love it whatever it is ultimately I don't care what any of you think right? I care what my clients think that's all you should care about don't worry about what other photographers saying right? They've got nothing else to do but make fun of each other right get a life move on ultimately worry about what your clients are doing with their dollars so when my clients come in and they see that it's an immediate appreciation of that wow how much work went into that right so in your situation with the birds I would say you know, guys a cz we were editing this image I just really felt like that top left hand corner needed a little bit of something so I added some birds in their soft in the background birds or on the beach all the time so I just did that for texture what now you've told them what they're doing you've all you planted the seed that this is artwork right think about the days of true artwork can you imagine if we like limited picasso toe like one brush, one canvas, right? One type of material it's the most ridiculous thing in the world. So why would we limit our art to just what comes out of camera? That is the most preposterous thing in the world. Everybody out there get it through your head. The art is not just what comes out of the camera. I would make the argument that part of the art is when we're sitting there posing the client. Oh, let me guess. The client was just standing there with a balloon ready to let it go perfectly centered. Okay, yeah. That's what happened? So I'm already manipulating the image of my knot. The manipulation is starting from the minute I start posing them. So if you're a pj shooter, you would never want this right? If you're a photojournalist guy, this kind of stuff you like that's? Not really for me. Totally cool. You know who it's for it's for me and it's for my clients. So my clients, the ones that find me, those are the only ones I care about are the ones who want this, the clients who don't want that are more likely not gonna hire me, so I'm okay with all that, so the image manipulation starts from the second we start posing them now we captured in camera of course I want to make sure I've got it properly exposed, but even with a properly exposed the image okay, I'm still not going to get the drama that I want, so now I'm going to use photo shop plug ins and a host of other tools just like a true artist he's got different paintbrush is different colors, different campuses and materials and I'm gonna use those tools to create my artwork worst case scenario client goes I hated great next and that's it right? So don't worry about adding your birds and all that other stuff um worry about what's going to sell and then you go from their jewels so I know we you don't include the signature edits in your digital negative that's correct and I know jeff sitting at home asked aiken he's telepathically making me ask you this question against challenger finally he totally is. So how do you dress that in the sales room when they ask if they're getting that digital negative? Well, that should all be part of your language right from the get the digital negatives are the images as they come out of the camera an image like this may have taken us two to four hours toe work on, and unfortunately I can't just add that into your digital negatives we did this to be artwork in your home I am completely honest and transparent with my clients write hey guys, I'm here to make money I cannot add it images for four hours and hand that to you on a cd. This is meant to be artwork in your home that conversation's happening from day one because when we're walking through packages it states clearly digital negatives in your package are images as they came out of the camera. Now what that means to you eyes, you've got it. You've gotta work at getting your exposure, right? You've got a working getting your color bounds correct in camera, right? That means we have to be good photographers. Good artists understand our equipment. I'm okay. You know that image the images on the web, those air right out of camera nothing's been done to him. I'm okay with that, right? I'll bring that in the light room. I've probably lost very little highlight detail in the sky. You can look at the one on the left will be able to bring that back and all the shadow details they're so from exposure perspective, it's pretty good. What would I do here? Color temperature it's good enough. So I'm okay if that ended up in my client in is that piece of artwork on the right? No, but that's not what that's not what I'm promising them I'm delivering them exactly what I'm promising them, and they want this. They expect this when they come to our studio, you go to my web site, you go to my portfolio that's what you're seeing on my portfolio, the image on the right, you're not seeing the images on what? Because I'm looking for clients who want this. I'm looking for clients who want this. This is what they wanted. This is what they purchased. I have literally had clients come in to me and say, I'm hiring you because of this one image might have been an image of the arch. It might have been an image, but it's one of the signature level at it's. You want to start attracting the right clients? Figure out what your edits look like. What do you remember? We talked about brandy the way you at it is much a part of your brand. Is that anything else? Right? So all done by evolved edits you want to sit there and obsess for four hours more power to you? I do not. I don't have time for it. Back in the day I did, I would work on images like this, but now I don't I do one of these for every wedding. So that they see it I made you one for a senior I may do one for ah family but it's gotta be the right client that I know will invest in it, right? Because it takes time and money and sal here it sounds like the reason why the client doesn't want that and the reason why you cannot be apologetic with them is again going back to setting those expectations in the beginning, some of that document you're gonna provide the folks who get the course that's, right? If you're sitting expectations with clients, I'm not saying that they will never be a misunderstanding, but it's always that kind of cover your butt mentality where it's like look, here's, what we're giving you now after you hire me and we're done with your event now you're not happy. What can I do for you, it's? What you agreed to purchase? Okay, you bought a black shirt, but now you're not happy to shirts black. Okay, I'm sorry to hear that, but you're the one who purchased the black shirt. So we don't run into a whole lot of those issues with our clients because we're so transparent right from the beginning. I mean, what do your thoughts on like the signature? Is that something you think is cool? Is that something you'd want to introduce it's gorgeous it's I mean you're adding so much drama and it's definitely artwork it's beautiful that's how you sell large prints no, the rest to me looked like snapshots and I want to sell large print because when they go into their home, I want for the next ten, fifteen, twenty years that one single image to be something people are looking at going, oh my god, I've never seen anything like that I need to get that response. Um for me, I love edit and I had a talk with floren yesterday about it, but when I given the digital negatives, I'm doing way too much editing on all of them like, you know, my signature at its all given like, forty you know and what you're killing me because you're losing all this print sales so right, you're so first of all, you're handing away the recipe, so to speak to your clients and at the end of the day they're taking that cd and it sits in a drawer. You know, when we first started out, we used to do that we used to edit all our images, hand him over to the client on a cd why? Because I didn't know any better I was well looking at what other photographers were doing and then I would talk to the same clients a year later two years later okay, so which one did you print which one was your favorite? I haven't had a chance to get to it yet it's sitting in a drawer so they're not doing anything with it and that's almost a disservice to us you're coming to me to create artwork for your home and then it's ending up in a drawer somewhere so I'm giving them a reason by giving them images like this and on alternative I'm saying I'm going to print it here's what's in the package this is going to end up on your wall I'm giving them not alternative get one real quick from the chat room is that ok yeah because I think you just uh ding ning ning ning ning is going off so many people's heads right now across the world and it says choke sherry says I love that idea digital negatives are on ly what comes out of the camera I feel like a weight just lifted off of my business and I can simply float away yes so a lot of people out there look I started in a daze ah film right now I don't I don't use that as a badge of honor it's just what reality was back in the days of film when you gave somebody the negatives you were legit giving them what came out of camera you aren't going into the dark room doing are you can't you weren't manipulating the negative right the negative was the negative. You had to get it right in. Cameron, if it wasn't right, what it was is what you handed the client. This is a new phenomena. This is something that's only happened since the days of digital, where people are going out there editing six hundred images, spending umpteen hours in postproduction, handing it over to their client. And you just made a profit of, like, probably nothing when you figure out your per hour wage, be clear with your client, let them know what you're doing, let them know this is what you're getting. I'm going to give you the artwork for your home, and I'm giving you the digital negative because that is what is coming out of the camera is fair. Yes, just a quick question. I know you and I kind of touched on this last night at dinner, but so when you have a portrait like seniors glamour, whatever coming in, you were saying that you show them fifty edited pictures, how far into that do you go with portrait ce? So, uh, we're talking specifically glamour. So with glamour clients, they're seeing thirty to fifty fully processed images, and when I say process, I'm talking like skinny tool process, ok, because I've got to show them. How I see them okay and that's not always the way the camera is seeing them I'm going to my best for corrective posing and things like that but the end of the day if I got to make your face a little skinnier I'm gonna make that arm a little skinnier that's my job if I only show them one or two images that have been corrected like that then I go to the next one and they're like oh my god my arms are so fat no I can't have you thinking like that right? So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take all thirty two fifty fully polished them from that perspective skin softening skinny tool the host of things but a senior family various other portrait I may show them two hundred images okay off those two hundred images they're going to be color corrected all of them vignette id right um contrast basic editing okay on dso curves will be applied to him and then maybe ten or fifteen will be converted to black and white my style of black and white and then maybe ten or fifteen will have textures on him. Okay, so a little bit more gritty a little bit more grungy to match our style, especially for seniors. I would never do that for glamour and then one max too will have a signature at it like this is that making sense um I just had a question specifically about evolved that it's um do we work with you? Do you send him in like this is kind of how we see this picture going or do you just send it to him? And so I feel like I have to give you like, a twenty dollar tip now for human that up for me so evolved devolve will absolutely learned your style okay? Because your definition of a color correction and mine are completely different you might like your image is a little bit warm I might like him a little bit cool ultimately they're going to learn your style, right? They're all here they're all stateside right there they're sitting side by side with me it's not like we're sending these things overseas and you're losing control of your images so where they're working on them. The only thing that comes by my desk is the signature at it every time it's client submits his signature at it I'm controlling direction on if you want to get involved in the direction of this at it you can you put your notes there and you do nine out of ten clients who were taking advantage of this okay just submitted and then I'm the one making the decision I'll say fix the sky move the couple skinnier her arm right? So I'm using my print judge background and I'm making decisions to give you the best image infact we turn away images so it'll start happening is you submit this for signature at it, you'll get a phone call from lawrence saying sal doesn't like it. We're not doing it so it's not just about money, it's about I'm thinking about you and helping you make money that's the whole point of this signature at it, if you're not making money at it, it defeats the entire purpose. So that's the goal? Jules, what if you don't know what to do with it? Maybe you love the image and, you know, it could be more dramatic, but you really don't know what to do. That's my job, right? So you send it to me. I'm gonna tell you what I think should be done with it. All right, so we had an image coming recently, not one of mine. This big clock there, um, and all this other stuff on the image we swapped the sky were to straighten it. We had to remove all you know, people. It was in a public place. Move all these people cause I want to create drama and the clock I want to move the, uh, hands of the clock to be the date of their wedding. And that's what we did right, I thought that would be cool so that's the kind of stuff we're doing but I'm seeing that I'm not expecting you to that you're relying on me that's part of what you're you're paying for when you do that it's look it it it's kind of me helping you with that any more questions online way awesome questions coming in from the internet right now like which one we pick but sisi floor asked when you sail when you sell the digital files as they are out of the camera do inform the client they're not permitted to manipulate it themselves if this is a training photography like everything else won't companiesmarket digital artistry services directly to customers? Yeah, so let's talk about that for a second aye, I do not tell them they can't manipulate it themselves I hope they try because that just makes me smile inside there, not us they can't do it. Okay, do we have one of those clients every once in a while who think they are on or maybe do have a graphics background? Absolutely if you want to do it have at it now remember they're not getting full rights files, so while we're working on raw files they're working on a mid rez uh or high rez I should say j peg file but never full resolution we're never giving them for resolution I tell my clients I want you coming to me for the artwork now if they want to go someplace and have a manipulated that's their choice. What it does say in the copyright release is because they get a shared copyright is these images can not be used for any commercial publication's because I don't want that image on the left ending up in the not because she's got, you know, a friend who's going to get her published if it's going to go to the not you come to me and I'm gonna obsess you. You bet your butt I'm gonna obsess about every image before it ends up in a national publication. So that part you still want to maintain control over awesome. All right, you were talking about the client only gets mid resolution images. Were you defined for everybody? What low rest allusion is what mid resolution ist and high resolution. So in our in our paperwork, it says high resolution digital negatives, and then it states clearly underneath these air, eighteen hundred by twelve hundred pixels, jpeg files and that's again, we're being clear and transparent from the beginning on what they're getting and that size you so everybody understands. Is big enough to print an eight by twelve you go bigger than an eight by twelve it's going to start falling apart can they do it? Of course, but ultimately it's meant for an eight by twelve and I tell my clients guys you're going to come to me for artwork I'm gonna obsess about everything I'm gonna remove blemishes from your face I'm gonna use the skinny tool if I have to I'm gonna replace the sky if I need to but for eight by tens for your family for you know, family portrait at the church go print those yourselves you don't need to come to me for that and they love that option so it's it's a happy medium they get it they understand they're coming to me for the big prints but for the little stuff they're going to go nuts and print all the five by sevens and eight by tens they want great another question I can't wait personally the photography we have some photos taken by this guy wait I'm going to sell you do it it's gonna be impossible but just put some bruce way gotham city behind me I'll be good to go this is a question coming from where you were born and raised in brooklyn photography it's a really, really good question because I'm looking at these great images that you've created for your client and andrew asked, do you ever let the client choose which picture they want for the signature edit? No, never that will never come up because that means you've lost complete control over what you're doing. You have to get good at making this election on what image should be the signature at it. S o the reason we're so engaged because we're thinking about wall art, I would never let my client pick that we're picking a form. Now, with that being said, it is not uncommon every once in a while we'll have a client go, we made a bad pick. Maybe they don't like their expression, but usually by the time I've been working with him for a year, I know them. I know it looks natural. I think I'm good at that. Maybe you're not. They may come in and go. Oh my god, I love that image on the right. But can you do that same at it on this image? And the answer is yes, if you get this in a large print because of the amount of work that went into it, we will absolutely adit this for you. So the answer is yes, we will do that for them. All good questions I've got about five minutes I think before we hit break so I want to get through a couple of more things here and then I'll come back to you guys on the internet will take more questions and the digital negatives always ah, you know a bomb that goes off because everybody wants to talk about it and it's a good conversation I think we have to all as an industry get in sync with it sticky albums this is a great product he's running a special for you guys if you're not using it to me this is like just is important have to your ah in your suite of tools as an emoto is so an emoto and sticky alums are really big for us it's something we're trying to introduce and have our clients use especially seniors what this is is an app for your ipad or your iphone and this allows you to push the images out to your client he creates a little app on their phone so all they do is download it from their e mail and a little thumbnail now pops up on their phone with your logo and maybe their last name under it okay, they hit that button and they launch their images not their entire images we would never do it that way it's just the images they order so if they ordered twenty or thirty images they're going to get twenty or thirty images here and you could see my low goes there it's completely branded to my studio I'm the one choosing black you guys can manipulate it to be whatever color you want right now they select a single image so now this is one of my senior ambassadors or twenty fourteen you scroll up and down okay? And then you you top on that image it's an ipad, iphone experience and boom now she's seeing her image full screen that's obviously a signature at it. So we took her out there. This is out in st louis and we took this image and we put in a new sky we litter with off camera flash and wanted to do something dramatic for, uh and now she's, seeing this the best part about this, you want to talk about being social now she can share this right from the app so she can send this act all her friends, all her family, and they're all seeing this. She can do it via facebook via twitter, pinterest uh or email and it sends everybody the link. So now everybody she sends that too has that app on their phone or she can push it right out to facebook incredible, yeah, what size of ah j pegs that go into this app that he, when you, um, sign up and you're uploading, you have all the specs on what your images need to be sized. So the way we do this is out of light room, right? We have a sticky album, export script, and we just say, hey, here's, the ten or fifteen albums that are going to sticky albums on boom, we export it the right size we need to be. And then we just upload through there. So it's, very intuitive process to get your images and create this. And once you get that link, you're good to go.