when you were going to your catering halls when you when you first started out you saying they're giving you a lot of referrals uh did you ever give them anything back form itching you well here's a partnership of course off course here's the thing people to know I'm going here's to think whether you're here whether you're home ask me I'm gonna be honest I'm gonna tell you the truth about everything there's nothing you can ask anything you want okay here's the thing if you have your boar city catering hall said your main job is to book the wedding okay your main job is to book the wedding and then if you can recommend our vendors but the whole wasn't making any money and you weren't making any money how hard would you push you wouldn't push it that hard would you because there was no bonus sent it for you we're people with expectations in life there's very few people were just going to say I'm going to recommend you like crazy toe all hundred of my bride's because you're really nice so...
the answer is yes of course I pay them a commission it's a business it's a business I pay the holes the commission and if the banquet manager zafer I take care of them too because they're they're getting all the commission that's just fact it's like any other business you pay a commission that's honesty I saw I did a program at w p p I a couple of years ago on one of the programs it was a wedding coordinate or something and she said I would never work for someone who was taking a commission and believe me I was folding at the mouth to say how you in business because if you're only charging this little nominal fee why are you taking them to this vendor you've chosen one photographer out of all of them that you happen toe love and if that photographer is taking all these weddings from you and he's not giving you a commission there's something wrong with then he's not appreciating what you're doing what's the best way like I'll give you an example my employees the thing I pride myself on most with my company is twenty seven years I've never had one employee leave ever voluntarily you know what that means they stay why because you take care of them my employees got everything good going on why because I treat them the way I want to be treated I give you an example they all have health and dental insurance full coverage there fora one k retirement plans with twenty five percent company contribution they get five weeks paid vacation they get annual and semi annual bonuses they get commissions on their sales for a twenty fifth anniversary I took the entire company on their families to disney world all expense paid over ninety people from the airfare to their rooms to their park tickets toa everything why because that's the way I want to be treated now here's one of the things I learned we also do several company retreats throughout the year whether it be a fishing trip we had a very famous hypnotist come in and do an event for us we do christmas parties we do a mets game we duel these different things and you know what I realized in some cases they'd rather have the money that I'm paying for the event if you had a choice between me taking you to five company retreats in giving you a thousand dollars each what would you take you will take the thousand dollars wouldn't you so I had to make sure that they knew that that money for those events wasn't coming from the company it was coming from me personally they love doing these events but we're an economy that's in trouble and even though my staff maybe doing well is their spouse I consider myself a daddy to my staff because those on thirty plus people who count on me to make the right decision you need to take care of the people who were taken care of so even if the whole didn't require a commission I would give it to them anyway it's important because photos are only going to get so far photos or you're stepping ground into it but if you walk in and say listen I can't good conscious not pay you a commission when you're working for me remember them recommending you is taking a big step isn't it because they're taking responsibility saying there's no way this person's going to screw up if a limo company called you're a deejay and wanted you to recommend a would you do it if you thought they were good you would do it but do you think you'd remember every time to recommend him if there was nothing in it for you you would it answers the question even though he's a little long winded sorry what other questions questions from online you can ask plenty of questions here I've got a few more minutes before we got the one you wanted a couple right now I would love to say let's do it michael tolls photography from atlanta says I had a couple where the wife would not pose the way I instructed the wife on li po's the way that she wanted how do you deal with such a situation how do you deal with a situation where someone doesn't do what you want them to dio well that didn't just start that day chances are it started before you have to have detailed conversation about what it takes to do this the day off for before one of the things that we give on every single wedding that we do is we give a free engagement session in our studio why do you think I give that because it's a matter of developing a report it's not an hour session it's a matter of them understanding what we need to accomplish he is what I personally tell them when they walk in I'll say them because maybe I didn't meet with them during the sales process did anybody tell you what this is about I'm going to give you some background the whole idea of this session is for me to figure out about you and for you to figure out about me I want to know photographically well if your good points then you're not so good points which we all obviously have I want to know how you feel when I do things are you going to be stiff for you going to be uncomfortable I'm goingto let you if you want we could do things your way but then I'm going to show you what happens when we do it my way I'm going to explain to you when we do it your way why it isn't working because how many times have you heard this is my better side this looks better this way I don't want to lean forward I feel ridiculous okay so let's take you in your posts on them when they got baird I'm not even going to say when you look back I'm going to say them okay let's do it my way now let's look at the two which looks better so for michael I would tell him he's probably not being as clear as he could be about accomplishing it everything you do in life is a sale everything you do is like the phone call is a sale getting the book use the sail on getting them to do what you want the day of the wedding is a sale you have tohave them have the utmost confidence in you and what your abilities are let me tell you one thing idea which we'll talk about more on the last day during business every single client that comes into my studio which you could imagine a several thousand I personally call I use a software that make sure that they're basically the phone goes direct to their voice mail and I leave a message because obviously if I tried to talk to all of them I couldn't do it so every call when they come in is hi this is doug from packing photographer on the order I just wanted to call and personally thank you for coming in I know you met with nadira last night on I hope she treated you well we know you have a lot of choices but as the owner I wanted you to know how personally excited I was that you came in and I'm sorry I didn't get to ever meet you if you have any problems or if you ever have any questions please don't hesitate to call me on myself or email me but thanks again we know you have a lot of choices and we really appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and like I said if you ever need anything let me know I hope you enjoy it is that not a way to connect with every client how would you feel if the owner of a company called you every client and every client I called to talk about the engagement portrait if I can and say I just want to make sure it's good if you knew the extensive notes that we take this bride doesn't like neck kissing she doesn't like to be squeezed too tight she doesn't like anything intimate she doesn't like her head turned to the right you have to ask these questions before now you may say but I'm wasting time doing an engagement session that I don't have while doing sales I'm going to teach you how to turn that engagement session into sales I'll give it to you real quick right now you taken engagement session are you giving them files no are you giving him any prints no I edit them in five minutes it's about twenty twenty five shots that put them in a slide show and an emotive slideshow instantly within fifteen twenty minutes there looking at them I could sell them to slide show or I sell them prince I'm gonna give you a real good tip I'll save it for sales because it's exciting okay yes did I answer that question well michael response and I love that guy absolutely so now I'm sure what the internet is asking is are you able to share with that software is that allows you to go straight to voicemail that's wicked I will see I don't want to do anything that might get us in trouble so let me ask you a break and if I do I'll give it during the sales portion sounds great because I just want to make sure that we don't perfect we don't have permission sorry okay okay cool cool and if you need it you could always email me or anything if I don't have permission to give it here okay cool eso another question wass from that was from from my wife when you get home from soft box polly can you do flow posing as a photographer working alone of course here's the thing everything I do you're going to notice I worked by myself you have to remember when I started working I was sixteen years old do you think I could find anybody to listen to me everything I do my lighting my posing is all based on myself I've set up my systems to function by myself every one of my photographers work by themselves why I don't like people no I'm just getting the fact is I work by myself because it's going to make it much more fluid it's going to make it easier there's someone here that's going to help me but you'll see I very rarely used him on the fact is if I have to go over and turn her hand to get the light where I wanted to move it um I really accomplishing what I want I don't think so it's slowing me down so guess what I might as well do it myself so the answer is without a doubt I prefer to work by myself and not is what I'm going to be teaching because we don't want to add any payroll we don't want to add someone who's not paying attention we want to keep it simple less is more thank you you're welcome okay let's take a couple more questions here question from outdoor roar photography I love these nicknames are or who asked do you study the natural body language and couple interaction of the subject before moving into your flow uh yes and no because I'm talking to them and getting an idea I ca n't tell people's one of the things you learn to do overtime is watch how they interact with each other I can pick that up during a sales consultation just watching do they hold hands is that body language leaning towards is he stand offish if a guy is sitting and he's laying back in the couch all relaxed and stuff and she's over there and as he's talking is she's talking he's paying absolutely no attention I know I'm gonna have to work a little harder he's not interested in that process but um I'm going to make a judgement off that one time no the thing I'm studying most his personality sales and all of that is an art form where you have to watch their reaction to things and I need to cater to them I made put them in the post some people like that I'm gonna have to use war of my personality to get what I want out of them so body language is everything everything for one second here just take a look right here how body language changes with the two of us you're gonna come right over here now you take a look if we put our arms around each other I know you were dreaming up this one shows albert if you take a look here there's not much connection between us but what I want you to do is this kick you're right like forward like this now bring it up a little bit now bring the hand in here I hope my wife's not watching this he's not worried look att may turn your head just like this between forward do you see the difference in the body language thank you okay what was funny and she was able to rest your hand on top of my belly bye you understand those little things you could create just changing the body language like metal but here's the thing you're going to see me do that a lot over the next couple days because I need to feel it in order to make it look good I'm not afraid of showing my feminine side from that so the answer is without a doubt sometimes you gotta create but of course I'm watching the interaction I want to see if they're playful but remember the way I talked to them is going to create that atmosphere is well great thank you you're welcome back to the business you talked about paying commissions yes and so several folks lisa p three em lumber seven twenty gym in rhode island and michael tolls and at lino wants to know if there is a standard rate that you pay a percentage how does that work question there is a standard rate the number one thing that I'll tell you that you shouldn't do if you're operating as a business cash is not options and these things you should not be paying people cash number one when someone says I want cash I'm not going to business with them I can't do anything that's illegal that's going to cause me grief everything I do is on the books so number one it's all paid by check the standard reed is going to apply some places they're goingto ask ah flat fate so they may say I want two hundred dollars for photography two hundred dollars for video some of them may say I want a percentage my max percentage that our offer my case is ten percent mind you my pricing point is higher so if they're booking a ten thousand dollar job decatur and we'll just made a thousand dollars or feeling it in some of your cases you may not have that when we get into business we're going to talk about profit and loss and standard revenue and things like that that you need to work on is we get a little bit closer towards the end of the workshop but anywhere from the max I would pay on a job is roughly two hundred fifty dollars for one if it was a flat fate and the maximum commission is ten percent always payable by check or most of us are going to take a credit card uh but it's not bad to pay things by credit card we're going to talk about that during business my entire life is paid for on a credit card that's where I could travel for free and I always always always unprotected against anything not going the way it should
Doug Gordon is a New York based professional photographer, writer, and speaker. Doug runs Patken Photography, a family-owned studio with a staff of 27 shooting 1,000 weddings every year. Doug has been a professional photographer for 22 years and a
I loved every minute of it! I watched and re-watched the Live show 3 times and now have the video version to burn into my mind. I don't get sick of watching it, I learn something new with each viewing. I have notes upon notes, inspirational quotes and I was truly inspired. I saw you live at your workshop and I wish we would of covered the business section a bit more in depthly because after watching you here on creativeLive I was floored! I can't wait to attend another one of your workshops because you are a wealth of knowledge, energetic and you inspire me to be better! I'm so glad I wasn't afraid to try even though I was terrified at first. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such an amazing mentor!
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Doug is AMAZING! The way he teaches makes it fun and easy to understand. The way he poses his couples are so fast and easy to learn, I have taken my photography from mediocre, to world-class. I would love to meet him and thank him personally one day. Thank you Creativelive for introducing me to Doug, and thank you, Doug, for introducing me to CreativeLive! The best community for learning!!!
Doug has so much enthusiasm, it is beyond measurable. He is truly a fantastic motivator. He helps you understand the best ways to work with the light you have and shows you some very simple yet effective posing techniques. I highly recommend watching and buying this course if you want some great advice on improving your photography.