The Reveal Wall
Now we are gonna talk about the reveal wall. One of the most revolutionary things that Sue Bryce has done in her 20 year plus year career is the reveal wall. The reveal, it's all about the reveal, and how those women feel in the moment when they see those images of themselves for the first time. So, I'm gonna invite out Nikki, Tammy, and Emily to the stage. (audience applauds)
Alright! You can stand and whisper up there if there is anything (women laugh) that you want to say, but we are gonna here from these three. We're gonna again, go in the ask button and ask your questions. We're gonna kick it off with the key note, and we're gonna have Nikki start it. Sue and I are gonna be over here with questions, but we're really gonna want hear about how the three of you have embraced the reveal wall, and how it's changed your business, doubled sales, how and where you were and where you got to.
Also, we have a good range of the other girls have also done the reveal.
We have a good range...
of the other girls have also done the reveal some of them aren't, and we're gonna talk about the digital products as well.
We are gonna talk about digital selling as well.
Yep, and consultation--
And consultation, contracts.
Everything about the sales session.
Everything about the sales session.
And then next segment, we're gonna talk about products and selling ourselves.
And next session, we're gonna talk about products and selling ourselves. So, let's do it, let's do it.
Hi everyone, so almost two years ago, I think it was, Sue said to me, "I have this idea." Which Sue always has lots of ideas, but this was one of her ideas. She said, I want a wall. I want to build something that I can display my clients' photos on and right when they walk in they just see this beautiful wall of their gorgeous images. So, that's what she did. She had actually my husband built the wall in her studio, and she did that with several clients, and sales were just going through the roof. So, having something like this, having the physical tangible photos of the clients in their hand, for me and for all of us, I believe, have increased our sales. So we're gonna talk a little bit about how the reveal wall works for us and kinda go through the process. So Emily, I think we have your...
Well, so when Sue came out with the idea publicly, and she had announced it was about a year ago that I remember really being able to do anything about it. So I was fortunately already in a space of I had done all my portfolio building, I had raised my prices once to a point where I realized I'm ready for another shift up, so I thought this is gonna be a great way for me to differentiate my business and to really amp up the whole this is a luxury experience. This is something that is gonna be an incredible experience to you. I actually talked about the reveal wall for my new lead clients before I even started photographing them. And then I am gonna bring you in, and it's gonna be this amazing thing. The reason I was able to speak to that was because Sue had actually had her reveal when Laura Jade photographed you, and you walked into the room and lost it, (laughs) and I thought, that is for me. I'm gonna be doing that for everybody that I can do. So, I set up my, this one is actually a reveal that Sue did, and instead of using it on the wall she was able to pull in just the box. She did it on location in the client's home and had the images in the box. This is how she did this reveal and obviously, it's super powerful just to be able to see the prints, just having that digital or non digital, but having it as a tangible something that she could have right now.
But I think that the point here is that a lot of people in the group are saying, "But I don't have a space for wall. I have to go to their house and do it or they're coming, I'm meeting them in a coffee shop." And it doesn't matter, because you can do it on the couch with the box, you can do it at the coffee shop, you can do this anywhere.
So this one is in my home, and when I did this reveal, this was actually my first reveal, that client on the wall there, and she bought my top package, and ever since that shift happened, my average is $2300, and has been pretty consistent. I always have whenever I do a digital or in-person reveal, I have the client get to, they always purchase at least my 1,200 dollar portfolio collection.
So, I want to chime in and feel free if you have something for me to chime in with as well. But, I wanna go a little bit deeper because it sounds like you're comfortable now, but take me back to the first time you did this. Were you nervous? Take me through the scenario of that woman with that client.
I was nervous and I still am nervous all the time, and every time I have a reveal appointment my husband is asking me, "Why are you so nervous?" He gets to see the whole wall before the client shows up, and he says, "Oh my gosh, she's gonna die, and she is gonna love these images, they're incredible." And I say, "Oh my gosh, I'm so scared." Every time I have a reveal, I'm so scared, and it always ends up feeling not justified in the end. You know, oh, it turned out so great! Yeah, I was nervous, but at the same time, I'd already been printing my products, and I'd already been giving something, and so I had the experience of how the print process works, and this is how the monitor matches the prints, and things like that. So logistically, it was an easy transition.
Well, I'll go next. For me, Sue teaches us, and we see this all the time in the group, that people are always you know digital, digital, digital, and I come from a generation, I'm in my 40s and I come from a generation where there were prints when I grew up. We only had digital since cell phones really came out, and now everybody takes pictures with their cell phones, so there really are no prints anymore. So, when Sue came up with this idea, I immediately jumped right on the wagon. I was like this makes complete sense to me. It's easy for me to talk to a client and say if they're my age or even if they're younger, it's better if they're younger, because they have no prints in their house at all, because kids today are growing up with no prints whatsoever, and that to me is a travesty, because I can go back through shoe boxes and find prints for myself and now there are none. For me, it was a matter of I need to bring this to my clients. They need to understand that prints are valuable, and that their kids are gonna be looking for prints of them when they're not around any longer to remember them by and there won't be any. Sue says this is a now generation. We want things now, so that's why digital is so appealing, because we really want to see everything right away. Let me see how I look right away, right? We all do that and let me delete that one and let me start over. (laughs) But really we want what we're producing for our clients, is something that is invaluable to them that should hang on a wall, should be treasured forever, and will live long after they're gone. So for me, the reveal wall made a complete, it's just like I have to do this. So, I had my husband put my wall up in my studio. I have a corner, I don't have a wall that looks beautiful like this. I have a little corner that made sense. So it's not pretty this way, but it works. I put a little table if I have over spill. I tend to do 20 to 23 or 24 prints. If I have more, I do a little table and they can come right in and see them. But for my clients, the experience starts with I don't tell my clients that they're going to see the wall. They have no idea when they're coming in. They think everyone else does digital. They're just going see a digital. I do an Anamoto. I start with an Anamoto because I hand select how I want it all to lay out. Then the music to me is the most important thing. I try because I met my clients three and four times before their shoot, get a feel for what they're all about, and I incorporate that. So when they come in and we talk for a few minutes, get warmed up and then I have a surprise for you. Let me show you your video; and usually, there are tears.
So Tammy, you come from a sales background as we learned yesterday. What is your average sale now with the reveal?
My average sale, I have three packages. I do a' la cart to start. So I tell my clients it's 295 to come in, but most of my clients end up in a package six, 20, or six, 10, or 20 and the six is 1200, the 10 is 1900, and the 20 is 2900. All of my clients, the average is 1900 because I get ones on either end, but most of them end up in the middle. I start that when they first come in for their consultation. Guess what, this is where it starts. It starts at this but my packages are this, this, and this, and most of my clients spend this which is 1900. So I'm already preconditioning them. That's what they're gonna spend. That's generally what they do.
A lot of people are asking about some of the specifics and logistics about how many images that you have selected to put up on the wall, and then are those up before they walk in the door?
So maybe Nikki, how many images?
I actually don't have a wall yet. That's for no reason other than, I haven't had my husband build one yet. I do the box. So I wrap it up in a pull ribbon. It's super pretty. It's there for them when they're ready when they sit down. They open it up. I fill the box with 25 images because that's what fits. I typically printed about 30 images. So when they think they're done, they're just like Wow! And I'm like, wait there's more. Then I bring out the other ones that didn't fit into that box and they get excited. So I do do on average about 30 images. My packages go up to 25 photos so then I have the option to upsell those extra 5 images. So when I do eventually have the wall, right when they walk in, I will probably have a V-flat up to say I have a surprise for you. So let me get you something to drink. I'll take your coat. And as soon as I'm ready, I'll take them around the corner. Then, do the big reveal then. I'm not sure what you girls do in terms of...
That's exactly what I do with that. I hide mine and I have two poly boards on feet. I put them up so they can't tell what's behind there when they come in. Most of the time they have it, there's just the rails up when they walk in for the session. They don't even see them. They have no idea. So when they come back, there's two poly boards hiding them in the corner and I do the Anamoto. Then they say wait, I have more. I move the poly boards and then oh, wow! Then they immediately they're just Wow! Look! Ah! You know it's exciting. I get chills just thinking about it.
And once they seen the photos; I know at that time, and this is something I've learn from Sue, stop talking! I was getting in my own way for the sale. I was mistaking silence for no. I don't like them, I don't want them. When in their mind; they were maybe thinking, Okay, I could put this much on this credit card, this much on... Okay, how much am I gonna tell my husband I spent. What's going on? Wow, I've never seen myself look like this before. This is really overwhelming in a good way and they don't know what to think. So, I stopped mistaking silence for no or I don't like them. I let them process and sometimes I'll prep them. You know, it can be kinda strange seeing yourself in these beautiful photos. Before; because you said; you don't really have photos of yourself. So, yeah, that's something I've learned that's really helped me.
The whole point of the reveal is that it's a folio box that we're selling. So, I don't want people to get confused with upselling more portraits. So the idea was, I sold a folio box to everybody for about seven years. So I figured that if I just pre printed it, they'd just take it home. Then, the opportunity to sell more portraits is right there in front of you. So people are asking all through the chat, but what if they think that just an 8 by 10 is just it? And I'm like, you upsell them more portraits. Also, the thing you're gonna have to get your head around; we're gonna talk about printing later and cost. But the thing you really have to get your head around is retouching before they see them. Because you want them to be perfect so they're ready to go. So, let's talk about that. You want to talk about upselling. Also, don't get stuck on needing a wall. It's the reveal that is the most important part. That you are revealing printed images.
With it being the now generation, having something tangible in their hands is now. You can't get any more now then that. So, it isn't the digital copy. They just want it now. And granted with the print, I do give digital copies as I know Sue does and I believe most people do. However, it's a way for them. There are studies that show that if somebody physically has something in their hand, they're most likely to buy at that moment. So I think that, that is is one of the other important parts behind the reveal wall.
Well, and I prepare my clients so at the end of the shoot, I'm telling them everything that is gonna happen next. It's gonna be two weeks, maybe three. I'm gonna go and retouch everything and I'm only gonna pick the best 20 ish for you. So when you come back, you are gonna be ready. It's gonna be your ordering session. So when you come in, they know that they are gonna be purchasing that day. They think they are gonna be purchasing probably digital. But for me, it's a surprise so they are gonna come in and see their prints and they're okay with that. They trust me. They've trusted me all throughout that process. And now, I'm gonna pick the best ones. We get a lot of questions in the group. Well, what if they want different ones? Well, that's not available. I've already told you're gonna get the best ones that I'm gonna pick for you. And when you see them, you are gonna love them. You're gonna not want to buy them all, but you're gonna want to buy them all. (Tammy laughs)
In my case; I tell my clients, that I will be choosing my favorite 25 to 30 images. I'm gonna say that I'm gonna treat each image to a full signature retouch and I'm gonna be choosing just the epic shots from your shoot. They are gonna be the best images you've ever seen of yourself. So you will be able to choose from about 30 images and my top package is a 20 image collection. So, I show 30, I sell usually 20. And I also have in a top package, a wall print. I will say: now we just choose want to be large on the wall. And so it naturally have conversation come up.
What size is you wall print then?
16 by 24.
Okay, so we have a lot of basic questions but
Yeah, even more that I see coming up over and over. Let's go around quickly and just ask: which supplier do you use for mattes and boxes? Everyone's like where do you get the matte? What size, where do you get it? Where do you buy it? What do you do? So, let's go around and do everybody.
Finao mattes and boxes, ProDPI for my prints and I get the Fuji Deep Matte.
Where do you get the print size?
I use ProDPI for my prints. I use Black River Imaging boxes and I use Finao mattes.
I use White House Custom Color. I love them, highly recommend them. I also use Ready Mattes, I put the mattes together myself. I love the Finao boxes. They are gorgeous. I love the Finao mattes, but I'm also looking at how I can kinda take down my cost a little bit until I get to a point where, I have a really great average sale. I'm doing lots of shoots, but I'm also still building my business. So until I get to the point where I feel really extra comfortable, super comfortable about it, I have no problem sitting watching TV putting the mattes together myself. Personal preference, yeah. Well, the Fineo mattes are reasonable. We get this question all the time. What do I do with the ones I don't sell? How can I invest all that money? Well, it's really not all that much money. The mattes, you can just take the prints out if they don't purchase them and reuse them.
I also use Black River Imaging for my boxes. I actually pre-order multiple sizes. So I have them ready to go for every reveal. So, I'm not having to wait for that order to come in. I do the same thing with the Finao mattes, the slip-in mats. I keep at least a 100 of them at home, so that I can send everything home with the client that day. Whether they choose five or 25, they're ready to go.
So you got instant results with the reveal wall?
Instant results with the reveal wall, absolutely.
About a year ago like Emily, when you had announced what you were doing, I was skeptical. I was very new to photography, I was still doing the digital slide shows. I knew nothing about product and it terrified me. So, I started slow and I started with the ready mattes and put them together myself to keep my cost down. That's when I found the Black River Imagining boxes because they were also low entry point to actually have a physical folio for my clients and I didn't have a reveal wall. I was shooting in my living room. So I would invite a client in, show them a digital slideshow set to music to kinda elevate their emotions. Then I would leave them upstairs to my home where I had all the prints laid out on the floor and on sofas, where ever I could lay them up flat so that she can come in. Until that point, I had been working through 28 days and my average sale was about $600. I was ready very ready to go to that next step. And instantly that very first reveal; with everything spread out on my prop sofas, was a $2000 sale. She saw the prints. She knew she could take them home that day and she was just blown away. I can take them home now? Yes, you can take them home now. You can take with you and it will come with the digital file. She was so excited; I was excited. I was shaking. I didn't want to be nervous in front of her and that's I think I mentioned it yesterday, I got so nervous that I gave away 20 percent of the sale. (audience laughing) Oh, let me give you 20 percent. Yeah, just let me just give you $400 dollars for buying my largest package.
So I just wanted you three, where are you getting your mattes, prints, and boxes?
I go through Bay Photo to get my prints. I get my boxes through Bier, which was a recommendation through Bethany and I get my mattes from Ready mattes as well, and reuse whatever doesn't sell.
We using Finao slip-in mats and I offer choice of boxes: gorgeous black Finao and Black River Imaging with client's portrait on a coverlet. Also, the client goes with the black paper image.
So for me; I'm in Canada, and a lot of Canadians have this problem. We want to order all the stuff all the American companies offer this great stuff. Right now with the exchange rate, it's really hitting us hard to get our prints from the states and the boxes and the mattes. I'm using Decora Albums. And for the boxes, they also have the slip-in mats that have the openings seven by and the mattes are 11 by 14 just like the Finao ones.
Somebody asked about whether or not this prevents somebody from buying a wall portrait. I added in my favorite portrait from my 30, and framed it, and put it on an isle. I've done this every time now, it sold; it was the first thing that they bought. Then, they bought the folio box.
The head space to get around before you can do it. This is where all the questions come up on that. Oh, no, what about this, what about this? So, the biggest question we're getting right now is, What happens if it's a surprise reveal? Shouldn't they be educated? We didn't say we weren't gonna educate them on product. We just didn't tell them it's gonna be printed that day. So, that's not the surprise. It's not a surprise; it's a reveal. So can we talk about that? I need to answer as many questions as we can, but also teach people how to get over the hurdles of it. So in your mind what was your first hurdle?
I absolutely do educate my clients; What to expect exactly. Just because I would get questions that come up like, what are you gonna do with the one's I don't purchase? Are there more? They just don't come up anymore. Now, that I explain it right from the outset. They are fully onboard for the full process from beginning till the end, and are really looking forward to each step as we go instead asking questions: Well, what are you gonna do about this? I also found that some of the questions that I got; weren't necessarily because the client objected to the way I was gonna tell them I was doing it. It was just because they wanted to understand it and so they would ask questions to get real clear and I think sometimes when people ask the question: What do you with them when and if I don't buy it? They're not gonna be made at me what my answer is. (group laughing)
I don't have that problem. I only had one client that asked me. And the client that did ask me, I said I'm just gonna use them for display. She said, "Oh, so we get to be on your wall?" She was just thrilled even to make that cut. So, I don't get that, people are just, "Yes!"
Here's the cool thing, it's not a problem. So when people say, "I have this problem." People are like, "Well, what are you going "to do with the images I don't buy?" I joke about burn them, I'm gonna burn them. (group laughing) But the joke is, I'm gonna keep them. Okay, I'm gonna keep them for two reasons. One, they're beautiful and I'm gonna display them. Two, you might come back and get more. And when I say that to clients; well, you might want to come back later. They like, "Oh, I can come back?" Of course, these are gonna be here forever! But, let's go through that. 'Cause, I feel like people are still stuck on that idea.
Really, the only risk is that because the mattes are reusable, the boxes are reusable. If someone doesn't buy any of the photos, I'm out what, 60 bucks from the prints? And then, I got them to use for a folio box, maybe a sample folio box. So really, there is not a whole lot of risk when you measure that up with what your sales are. However; if you're someone who doesn't feel comfortable, you're not quite at that 1200 1800 24 package yet, maybe it is not the right time to start the reveal. If you're only charging four, five, 600 dollars, that product could really eat up a lot of your profit. So make sure if you're just starting out new, maybe the reveal wall isn't the best. Yeah, if you feel comfortable charging and you're selling $1200 worth, then that's a good time to start the reveal wall. Because, the product really does add up.
Well, and you can go into Sue's website. Her new website has critique if you're a member, you can load your images on there and the mentors are all in there. So we can all give feedback. Can you charge that amount of money? Would a reveal wall work for you? Well, let us help you? You have to be able to be willing to accept that feedback. Sometimes it may not be what you want to hear. But; if you really want to get to the level where Sue said yesterday, where we're up here just because we have been working hard for a few a couple of years, but you can get there. It's just a matter of having that...
But this is a good opportunity. Like what Nikki is saying, At least get to around the 1200 mark consistently so you at least feel comfortable, right? There's a few girls here still doing digital sales. We're gonna talk about digital sales at the end of the segment. But before we do, I want to keep talking about the reveal wall. Hiker, what was your average before your reveal?
And now what is it?
So it's instantly jumped up?
Yeah, overnight. That includes all my head shot clients as well.
Yeah, listening to this, this blew me away.
Yeah, so from my head shots, I no longer call it corporate head shots. I kinda call it personal branding. Because a lot of women in my area come in and say: "Well, I wanna head shot." Then, they bring this gorgeous little dress and this with them and it's not just how they approach it, but really they want the whole experience. So, they bring in the four outfits and we put it on the reveal wall. The average for the head shots alone is 1900 now. So the reveal wall works for everything. (Hiker laughs)
So coming back to keeping it on point, I was selling folio books to every single client for $3000. So I decided that if I pre-printed it, they could just walk out with it that night. I didn't know if it was gonna work for people who weren't $3000. Nikki started doing it and they're just going out the door. So I thought okay, it's definitely working. The images I sell are seven by 10 inches and a 11 14 matte. Okay, everyone is asking over and over. Now, can we just go around again? This time the question is: How big is your image? How big is your matte? How big is your box? And you got different sizes, you're gonna have to explain that. So start with Emily.
It's the same as yours, seven by 10 prints and a 11 by 14 matte and box, but the boxes are different depths depending on how many images they order. So I have both depths.
I do the same. Well, I do eight by 12s and an 11 by 14 box and an 11 by 14 matte with boxes. The boxes BRI Black River Imaging has different depths. So I do a small one and it's in the group so; if you guys need the measurements, we can give you that later. But, I do a small one for my 10 package and then I have medium and large. So, my top package is 20 but I typically print 23, 24. If they are buying that package, I just throw those extras ones in and they fit in the big box.
For my prints; I do use White House Custom Colour. The actual prints; they do offer a seven by 10. But, my prints are eight by and I add a little bit of a border on either side. So I don't have to crop as much. THat's how I do it. I print eight by 10 with a little bit of a border. So the actual image is seven by and then the matte is 11 by 14 as well.
I also do seven by 10 prints with the 11 by 14 matte and the 11 by 14 boxes. Like many of the others I have different varying depths and I don't want to confuse the reveal wall with the fill the box approach. But, I do tend to go with a little deeper boxes even for six image folio, just so I have a little bit of incentive saying, "Why don't you pick a couple more? "We'll fill the box if you want, "to go with this folio collection today." That way, I have a little wiggle room and a little sales incentive for a customer to buy a folio versus an a' la cart. The a' la carts have different sizes then as well.
Different sizes for them?
Sizes so 16 by 24, 20 by 30. They can add wall portraits on to their folio box purchase.
Same thing I get boxes from BRI. I first bought the smallest boxes I wanted to see what it was like. They cost the same amount I have no idea why I did it. ( laughing) But, it actually effected my sales, she ended up buying my smallest package of six images. It was stupid, I know. But, after that I bought the big box and they bought more images after that. But then, I also threw in the framed portrait and they bought that. So it's something I do all the time now. But, seven by 10 image from Bay Photo and I get the Ready Mats. They are inset a little bit so your image will go off the edge of the mat and you can tap it together. I know people ask about this. I just hold it up so I can see the light through it and I just with my fingers hold it together, hold it down and put some tape on it.
No seven by 10.
Seven by 10s; but the 11 by 14 mattes, they're a little bit smaller then a seven by 10 print; the window, the cutout. So, your image isn't gonna fall right through it. You can lay it on top, tape it together and put it up on the wall. You don't put the backing on it. Then if they don't buy it, I just take it off and use the mattes later.
This is between Shawna and myself. Shawna starts and typically buys the smallest box possible (group laughing)
People might buy the smallest one possible.
I bought the biggest box possible. I did not give anybody any option. I have one huge box and everybody fills it. So to me; she was like, well if I just start with this little one and me I'm like give me the big one. Is that all it takes? (group laughing) Can I just say, Seldics and Finnair did not make a 25 box 30 box till I asked for one. Now they sell it all the time. (group laughing) Which box size, we're going box size.
Box size 11 by 14, my images eight by 12. My book size is basically the same so for Finale, it's the largest one. For Black River Imaging, it's the largest one as well. But, their largest one as advertise fits 25, their images not matted. Matted is 12 only. So, it's my middle package 12 images, fits perfectly. If client goes for my largest package 20 images, I give them a choice: they can choose either Finnale or they can choose two of the decorative images and they can choose two different portraits on the lid. They love it.
Mine is quite simple. I have the deepest box, holds 25. Mattes, the mattes are 11 by and the openings are seven by because I don't want to crop my images. I just wanna get them done.
People are gonna say, "Why some of you doing seven by 10s, "and why are some of you doing 8 by 12?" Look at that wall up there. Those are seven by 10s in an 11, 14 matte. If you make that image any bigger, you are making the matte smaller. Okay, 'cause the matte's not getting any bigger, the image is getting bigger, but the matte is getting smaller. And if you have any OCD or anything like that, I cannot do a smaller matte then that. My dream would be to have a double sized matte with that size image. I hate skinny mattes. I like big, fat, gorgeous mattes. Okay, is everyone okay with me talking like this?
So Sue I just wanna tell everyone at home that you do have drinks here that are soothing because everyone is worried that you are going to do permanent damage. They're like, get this woman something to soothe her throat. We are doing that, we are doing that.
It doesn't hurt, it's just gone. Okay, my question is... Let's talk about: if you feel like everyone is okay with that. Do you think everyone is logistically okay with that?
Well, there are a couple of other things Sue, that people are asking which is with regard to... So; you all talked about ordering the prints and so just that sort of timing, How much time do spend on retouching those because you are gonna be printing them and giving them. I mean those are the final product. Also, how much time between the shoot and the sales sessions because you are ordering?
And, I'm gonna add to that question. You know I'm a two minute retoucher. You've seen me do it. I'm very good at it. I've been doing I since I was 18. So I need you to tell your truth around this. Because I feel like, everybody wrote afterwards, nobody can do it in two minutes. And I was like, yes they can. (group laughing) Yes they can. So start with Emily and work your way around 'cause this is really important. How much retouching? How long? How much?
So when I do a digital reveal; that is my lightroom and a presentation in person, but on the computer. I try to stick to a three minute to four minute retouch per image. I really time myself. I set a timer. I really force myself to stick with that limit. I just start with the most distracting thing and go until the timer goes off. Then, I make myself stop. With the reveal wall, when I actually want to have it printed in print quality, I will spend 10 or so per image. So, I still set the time and it's abrupt when the timer goes off. You're shocked every time. Then I will order the prints. I try to get the retouching process completed in the first week after the client has had their session. Then place the order by the end of that week. Then it takes two days for the print lab to get it back to me and I tell my client: Let's have your appointment in two weeks. So, I set that appointment on the day of the shoot, so I have a deadline and I know counting backwards the days, I have to place the print order by this day to get it on time. Having a deadline is really important for my process because if it weren't for the last minute, I would never get anything done.
For me; in a perfect world, I would be under 10 minutes. But, I'm not, I just can't do it. I tend to like to add an artistic to the end. So I spend anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes per image is realistic. I have been trying to reduce that process. So I bought a timer and I've have been trying... Keeping track of it 'cause I tend to get distracted 'cause especially with the skin clean up and that kinda stuff. And recently because I've gotten busy, I can't keep up with the work flow. So my husband is gonna do retouching for me. So I'm teaching him just bringing him in to do the basic stuff. So he can be working on that and I can be doing the next step. Then hopefully, he'll move up to the middle level and then I could do the final step and then ordering, I tell my clients two to three weeks. I would really like it to be faster than that but it is not. Because I take so long to retouch in the real world. For me, that is what it takes. Then it takes four days to get prints from my lab to my house. So, if I'm on top of it, within two weeks, I can get them back. It might be two and a half. But I'm communicating with the client throughout that process. Hey, I'm working on it, looks great. Can't wait to show you. Just so they're still excited during that process. When they are ready, when I'm ready, I don't book in advance because I think I have to kill myself. (laughs) 'Cause I wanna make sure I deliver when say I'm gonna deliver and if I can't promise that I won't. When I know when I gonna have them back from the lab, I give myself an extra day and then I schedule their appointment.
I promised myself that if I start not having a life, I would outsource my retouching. So, pretty quickly, actually almost from the start, I have been outsourcing my retouching. Now, I do the color correction, exposure, any sort of alien skin filters, any sort of creative touch to it. My retoucher only does the basic skin correction and then any sort of warping. She helps a lot with the backgrounds and then I don't pay attention when I'm shooting (mumbles). She does that for me. I do the rest. This has saved my life. It is maybe $60 a shoot. To me, it's priceless. Because my time is so important. My clients all see their photos within two weeks. I've been a client. And when I have to wait a really long time, I start to just kinda, it's not as exciting anymore. So, the reveal is done within two weeks for me.
I just wanna say thank you so much. People in the chat rooms are really, really diggin' being able to hear from all of you. So we're gonna keep going and I do...
We're celebrating that I lost my voice.
We are celebrating that you lost your voice, Sue. We try to give them a place to talk and sometimes it's hard. Even now you've lost your voice. Let me say something, Sue, let me say something, all right? Alright, excuse me. (group laughing) Some of you who were with us here earlier today, we played a thank you video for Sue. It was amazing. It is up on CreativeLive's Facebook page. We want you to go over there and leave your own thanks for Sue Bryce. I am gonna keep reminding you throughout the day, but we do want to make sure that people are going over there and writing as well.
No, Bethany 'cause they're not doing reveals yet.
Okay Bethany and then down the line.
Okay. For retouching, I'm right where Tammy is and I want to be where Nikki is. It's taken over my life. I cannot do an edit in under 20 minutes. I'm OCD; everything has to be perfect. I also put that little artistic touch at the end. It's taking between two to three weeks now with my schedule to do a reveal, and I wanna get that down to a week two weeks tops because they do start losing their interest in coming back for that reveal. Although, I do schedule it at the day after their photo shoot so they know when it's coming up. However, I do order from Millers. So, I do have overnight shipping. Let gives me an extra day or two for the edit. But, I've come down to the wire way too many times. More times then I can count and I can't live with that stress anymore. So, retouching is definitely going to be an option in order to free up some of that time.
This is such an interesting bottleneck because this is not my problem. I have never experienced this. So, being that I started retouching at 18, Retouching, I had mastered before I became a professional full time shooter. So interestingly enough, it's so crazy for me to hear you guys saying this. 'Cause I'm like, this is something I could do in my sleep. You know, it's retouch. I think my voice is coming back. (group laughing) I feel like do I need to teach you more retouching? Do I need to teach you how to be faster? Do I need to teach retouches so you can outsource people? 'Cause I trained all my retouchers, 'cause they had to do it like me.
No, for me it's becoming a better photographer. Doing better lighting so that I don't have to retouch shadows or backgrounds or things like that. I'm like Shawna, I come from a web design and graphic design background. So, I'm a better Photoshopper than a photographer. I've had 18 years of Photoshop, only three years as a photographer. So, the more I improve with my lighting, and posing, and styling during a shoot, I see that might editing time comes down. I started at an hour's worth of editing per image. Being down to 20 is phenomenal.
But I think you just hit a good point because it's practice.
With anything it's--
It's practice, practice.
Practice, practice, practice. Do I retouch in two minutes? No. Can I do in under 10? Yes. Do I want to? No. Because I have lots of other things that I want to be doing instead. But I started, it took me an hour! So now, it's practice, practice practice. If you can't afford to outsource retouching, continue to practice and eventually, you'll get it.
Right; and if you're correcting shadows that shouldn't of been there in the first place, then practice your lighting or move them away from the window. Don't get that harsh overblown highlights. Get that correct first, and your editing time will drop considerably.
Emily and I were talking and she's training her make-up artist.
To do retouching. Yeah, which is exactly what Sue did. However, I will say that a lot of people are looking for more retouching skills as well. But I really appreciate that you outsource if that is not what you want to spend your focus. I mean there are options. Do you wanna quickly go down and tell us what you guys are doing?
I'm like Susan, doing retouching for years before I even thought about becoming a portrait photographer. So; it's within me, I can do it in my sleep too. I clone, I warp, and I can do that with 30 images. I call it down to that and it takes me an hour. At some point then three hours, but that is just because I'm wanting to do something with the background extending it out. It's something that's inherent in me and it takes practice. It took a lot of trial and error. If you don't want to spend that time learning it, then just outsource it. Spend your time learning posing, learning lighting. So that all your editing is really done in camera, when you take that picture. So that when you do do the editing in Photoshop, there is really nothing to do other than adding a great alien skin or light room effect to that and then sending it to print and doing your reveal. It really just comes down to personal preference.