Expectations and File Distribution
The knights to just talk to the client having you guys see that well, the client in this case, I'm seeing that relationship and seeing the conversations, the next thing that we are going to be discussing is managing assets and managing clients. So now that you've gone through all of the process of shooting the images, thinking about light, doing all the things and sweating and getting all these beautiful images together, which a lot of people in the industry particularly agencies and clients, will call asset it's because they are there, the assets, they're the final product that you're going to deliver, and so we're going to talk about it now that you have them. How you gonna manage that? And how you gonna manage the people involved? Because sometimes you it's not just one client, for us, there's an actual whole management system that we go through internally to make sure that we have the final delivery, the best is possum. Well, that in itself is a whole other project and a big learni...
ng experience for us, because before it was kind of really quick and casual. Now we have our system it's very structured. It is very thought out and that's how it's helped us speak, make our part of the restaurant photography business success man like so much of what we do the shooting the pretty pictures that's really just a small part of it but yeah that's the fun part you know a lot of it's going to go on beforehand and after and the worst kind of walk through you think a bit of what we do so so the first part is just beginning before you ever shoot just working with clients and um for us it's a lot about setting expectations for the clan you know it's when uh one thing when they have something in mind and you have something else in mind and when those don't are messing up then the shoes tend to get a bit messy there's miscommunication those frustrations and so you're going to everything can ahead of time to minimize that and a lot of that comes from you know saying the expectations for the client what are they going to get what are you going to shoot um how many you gonna be able to shoot and a there's a lot of unanswered questions a lot of unknown variables particularly when you're working with the client for the very first time that you need to know I'll find a way that you can communicate with them what you're going to be able to offer and then also know how they're gonna work within their work flow so part of what we do is we're always there's always come. A feeling out process between you and the client. There's. Um, first that they usually the client approaches you for a job and they're going to ask you it's like I need twelve recipe shot. Okay, great that's a beginning point. But then, like what type of recipes are late. How long are the rest was going take to cook? Are you cooking the recipes of are we cooking the recipes? Um, what sort of recipes are li? Is this you know, just a simple, quick, easy, you know sam was shot. Or is this going to be a vory heavy intensive time that's going to go into the shot? So that's just like the physical components. And then you also have to go into who's going what's approval process going to be like, is there someone that's going to be on set? That's gonna be approving it? Are we going on location to shooting it? And then there's gonna be someone there or we just free roaming and doing basically a little bit of guidance from you, there's all these little questions that you have to ask and set up ahead of time in order to get yourself to wear, and this is before pretty much any talk of money has even begun. We're going to talk a little bit about money um a little bit later, but there's so much conversation that goes on that's probably half the battle is making sure like for us either you shooting tabletop for client or developing recipes and shooting those recipes, or if you're shooting on a restaurant location, we have so many questions, so starting off is understanding what the client is expecting, so, for example, on client calls in and or writes and says, I want to hire you for shoot this restaurant twelve plated dishes, I need you to shoot twelve tabletop recipes, I have a lot of questions and they always ask what's your rate, how much you charge and things like that for us, there is no such thing as a day rate there's no such thing as a half day rate, so we have the set that x lactation in them to know that they're not getting us for an hourly or they're not getting us for a certain amount of time. It's always based on project, so I'm always setting that expectation with him letting them know well, first of all, we don't shoot for half a day, meaning dead stop at twelve because you paid us till twelve or dead stop at five thirty or six so I let them know immediately we don't do that that's part of our way of setting expectation, letting them know to if you want twelve plated recipe shots in this case, if it was a restaurant, we would say what time what we done, how long will it take for you? So masking a gazillion questions and when asked, are you cooking it or we cooking it? Obviously, if you're going to cook it in a restaurant, how many people are cooking? It is gonna take you an hour to do you know all those things? Because, that's, how you going to start pricing that way? And so if we set that expectation and let them know how we work, everything is so much better, because then when you don't go on to the set with questions unanswered, the last thing we ever want to do is not set that expectation. Let them know what we're going to deliver and have to say, you know what? We're gonna have to charge you more, you know, that's the last thing we ever want to do or have a client say, well, I thought for that rate, I was going to get this in this in this todd and I have never I mean, maybe once when we started but ever since you know, early on in our work, we've never had that situation at all because we said that from the very beginning they know exactly what they're going to get and they know exactly what they're not going to get because clients always assume and so are we were always assuming we don't know let's have a lot of conversation back and forth and sometimes this conversation going into tow a project lasts for two weeks we have a project going on right now we're going on a third week of emails and we just still haven't established what the client wants or what we're able to deliver yet so it's still gonna happen. But it's three weeks into the e mail conversation with so many people involved and it's not set yet so always know that the more conversation you have like more clear it is going to be for you during the shoot yes started in food photography, how would you structure? You're pricing and so forth would you do a syriza volunteer worker? And then how juiced begin that structure that I'm gonna answer that in twenty five okay, because e talk about money, I know, I know I know it's like way talking about just a minute a lot to say about that and have every single answer for you at least the best that we can the next is how to manage those files so let's talk about that now that you've had the files let's say from this restaurant shoot, how are we going to manage those files? And we're going to show it tell you how we send them. So part of the expectation with clients and how we manage it is you have to ask who's going to get the file, ok, especially when you're new. When you're starting out, you don't know you're anxious to hand over the assets so you can receive your check let's, hold back a bit and let's slow down because making sure that you know who it's going to go to whose hands it's gonna lie in because that's going to decide if it's gonna be more work for you. And what does that mean? What it means is because at least in our case, it's, not just one client that we work with, where we it's exchange between two people. How we work most often is the exchange between five or six people and maybe two or three layers, so you have an agency, and then you have the client so number one question, even if even in within each of those agencies and clients is like there's multiple people oftentimes involved in the job so it's not even just we're sending into decline we're just setting it to the pr agency we're narrowing it down to there's gonna be one specific person there's that's a point person that's the hope that everything is going to go through when it comes to the assets so many times not sometimes but there will be times when you'll find it's like you think everyone has all their stuff together that's not always the case there will be organizations which are just a little bit disorganized they kind of do things a little bit scattered and then two months down the road you'll have someone emailing you up that's going to be asking for can I have this picture? Can I have this and there's like but I sent it teo but you know it's like it send it to you guys like don't you guys have it's like no, you don't even know where to direct them tio so that's why we always try to find or will establish a point person. So even if that company doesn't have a designated point person yet, we're going to help them refine their vision to get that point person so we know who we're going to be sending stuff too I said who is that point person is an agency side of the client side is that the person had emailed you to get the work together it's the person who handles the file lt's. So, let's, be very clear against set that expectation when you talk to them, you just don't say blanket who's gonna get the file. Say, who is it going to an art director? Who's, the point person who's going to manage the files and deliver the files? Because, yes, eventually the graphic designer is going to get the files too work with, but usually they're not the person getting the files. It's usually a point person, usually administrative assistant or an art director that handles all of assets. And then once they handle the assets within that organization there the one sole person responsible with delivering it so like, for example, within a bunch of little kids in a candy like in a playground, you had a bag of them and ems just not going to give it to everybody going to find the one responsible person to hand out the candy, and they can distribute it the same thing because the assets are like candy. Everybody wants the assets now. Now, now, everybody in the different positions of the different levels from agency the client and says, I want him, I want him, but who's, that point person. Once they define who that point person is, that point person will usually distribute it from there and that way, if anything happens the client end maybe ten people somebody ten layers deep or maybe somebody three years later they can always go back to that person because the last thing you want is to not be able to manage that ahead of time and be on vacation you know, it only happened to us one time and so and say I need the pictures now I need it now you know, so that's gonna be really hard for you because sometimes in archives that you've put away three years ago they might not be that instant to be able to retrieve. So we had to make sure you establish who gets the file and who's going to distribute them you know? They asked you will eventually get those quest from somebody involved in like I need this well, it was like now you have someone who you can direct them to you that takes a little bit the load off your shoulders and it gives a sense of responsibility to that person today it's like stuck but it's like, you know, giving the one person toe handed out find that responsible person and then after you do that I know everybody wants to see it. So why then everybody wait be anxious? Well, how we do it in this case like this is what we're going to do for it and stole is be able to share those images on an online album so how we what we use this mug mug dot com smug maggie is a really wonderful platform for us to be able to host a lot of her images and the images that we put up online in a private gallery or usually lo rez for everybody to view that way right afterwards, after the shoot will put images up that are not fully edited, yet they're just so that everybody within the agency side and the client side can see everybody wants to see because sometimes the agency comes a shoot in l a but the client is actually in new york city or they're in texas or they're in florida, so they need to see right away so smug mug is a great platform for us to immediately upload we usually will deliver that album within two days if if we don't have a lot of commitments afterwards but would then we tell everybody within forty eight hours you will be able to have access to private online album to distribute within your organization and that it's super key and crucial and that's how we managed you see it's like, you know, having a bag of candy and a hundred kids running towards you, everybody wants a piece, so we learned a long time ago we have to try to manage that because everybody wants to come through the floodgates and everybody needs us now graphic, graphic designer might need this image tomorrow, so we control that flood gate here's here, we've got the bag of candy, we're going to hold it back, but what we'll do is we'll load it on line. Nobody can download it it's just reviewing only it's private and so you can send it to whoever you feel you're going to trust or is responsible to at least see him to give feedback because there are people within, like social, social media, part of the client and the agency and or the graphic, and I need to see to get an idea of how they're going to use it. So they obviously can't wait for us if we've got something so busy for the next seven days that we cant promise until a ten day delivery that within ten days are kind of sit and really, you know, just super anxious, I mean, like a lot of times, people are excited, they want to see the the results from the project that they've been working on, that they're involved on and so it's great to get people excited to get them to so they can share and see it. But if we're only sending the assets to one individual only the person, the people that get distribute from that individual canal or see them instead through smuggling through our smugmug album that we create for the clients like they're able to share this with everyone that was involved if they want and then it's protected, they don't have to worry about things getting loose and scattered. You can choose it to be downloadable if you like maybe your client is just a single person and so you can now use that smug mug you have to worry about it going scattering anything you can use this mic mic so maybe that's our quick lower is that they khun use for instantly for blood close and you just teach us so it's now downloadable and they can have that and then they will send him there high rez separately just in the way and we just happen to you smoke my being here is whatever album you know system that you want but that's really important so that's how we do it that's the next thing we do is always uploaded to an album. That way the client can distribute it within the organization to see and now the hardest part is not the hardest but finding out who that point person is to send the files tonight go over like how we send the file because there's a lot of questions still and how we send the files because you just can't sell ojai right send a high rez like what is the high rez mean? So each organization manages those files differently too because if you do it right the first time it's going to save you so much work afterwards and having to run back down to your archives and trying toe so everything up and a lot of this will be you just have to ask questions there's I don't think we have to clients that want their files the same way everyone's different so you have to ask them how they're going to know what sort of with first I start with is what file for me the one that's always like first question when it comes to file delivery usually these questions for us to our end that at the end of the shoot after a lot of things focus going into the shoe there's a lot of information a lot of things criss crossing, going back and forth I don't need to add this into the beginning just to clutter it even more it's something that can wait till the end of the shoot but something that we you have to make sure you get at the end of this you as what file format do you want? Number one question if they don't know and sometimes the person that you're asking they don't know that is the point person you may be saying the files too but they might not know how it's going to be used or who the graphic designer who else would sort of file format that they want, so you give it to them to make sure that they find out before they ever get their ass says they're going to find out for you, we'll file for mass, they want sometimes j pegs sometimes is tiff you go tear physic and be a pit is going to be sixteen bit was sort of dp I do you need all those four things also, when we talked about a little bit the first day about crop, so when we're dealing with crop files on times and you're cropping, we're shooting so we do that online album most of time, those are almost always going to be the crops images that were uploading, so that way people can see it in context with how it was shot when we're sending our final file delivery were almost always sending them an end cop version it's, like diana, talked about earlier, where it's like you will need an della times, they'll need on crop versions for different ways that they're going to utilize the asset, whether it's going to be a crop for a block post. What it's going to be a cop for a header? Whether you're going to use a square thumb for this, they need a little bit of flexibility in within the shot that's why we're shooting a wider wound we shoot it, unlock our in studio or on location we give them we have that wider framing that we're shooting the image cropping and down sending uploading that so they can see what a more polished image within the framing that we is intended when it was shot their final delivery they always get that done cropped and then they'll sometimes get a crop ear's and sometimes not that again goes back to a conversation that you have with the client what's gonna be most useful for them I think that's something that we're always trying to look forwards like what's going to be most useful for the client this isn't so much about what's going to work for you what's gonna be harder for you this is how I, um I'm going to make this life easier for you on your end yes. So you you sin unedited images first no then let them fix okay? The raw files no rarely do we ever say central files they're all headed in some way. Okay, so at that point then they pick out the ones that they want and then you continue to tweak if they need to be choosing yeah that's yeah that's a that's a great question again that all goes back tio client expectation because in that conversation is they ask are you going to be doing post production and stuff we don't provide photo editing, we'll provide simple post production meeting we'll do a simple contrast, whatever we can do on light room, nothing that has to do with, like, photoshopped pull out when they want to pull out a subject and put it back there, we said, all like again, it's all the expectation some clients will need that they'll need photo editing and we'll tell them we don't do for little editing. We don't because we're not editors, we don't want to sit in like a room and edit all our life, so then then that way they know they're going to have to budget for a photo editor, so generally in all our jobs, that's, the client expectation, they know that we will just do simple edits and anything even that has to do with, like pulling like a speck off of a plate or anything like that, they'll do, and they're totally fine with that. Why? Because we've already set that expectation. If we don't want a photo at it, we don't want a photo of it, you know? We don't have to. That's what we decided we don't want just because your photographer doesn't mean you have to photo at it like the full photo edit and do all that complicated stuff and if they want to send it back you would do it you don't have to do and you can tell them I don't do that and they'll have somebody in house some sometimes is that they don't know hire someone a lot of times it's not frizzy and so much of I don't do that but there's like that what I'm good at or it's best if it's done in house because you'll you'll all have your own personal style so it's you know we usually recommend they have like your own in house edgar or someone that you worked with on a regular basis so that we can have a consistency amongst damages to it's in their best interest and in our interest to you so we said we don't do any of those services because I was thinking does that hurt a photographer and if the photographer doesn't also do that but I mean I really respect what you're saying because I am not I don't like to be sitting all day long dealing with editing I like to capture the image right the first time but then if I have to say to someone over I don't do editing you have to hire someone and I'm dealing with a mom and pop business so it's like it I guess it depends on who you're dealing with in that relationship and those expectations because I could get business turned away because, well, we've got to now hire an editor so that's why I was asking that question makes sense but you know you have to see also what do they mean by editor? You always have to ask the the need for a mom and pop to add it is a lot different for a need for a big national chained to edit their edits are so much more specific they're probably going to go different rounds and revisions because we work with those type of clients, right? We say we don't photo at it, you can hire somebody who just specializes in that they have their day rate and they can afford it but for a mom and pop place sometimes when they said when we say we don't, we don't do like photoshopping meaning we don't do clipping or any type of complicated things we do will edit meaning making it more contrast id or more saturated and most of the time for small mom and pop that's plenty that's all they really need so you don't don't want to don't say I don't do that to scare him away where I understand ask know what the expectation is so what are they expecting when they say photo edit because when a small mama pop says but what? Theywant photo editor expectations totally different. I can guarantee you from a big agency. We work with the new york city, so make sure you just I asked a million questions it's always good to know enough of something of, say, like the photo editing to where you're able to do enough details and, you know, there's. So many resource, I mean, creative live alone has a ton of resource is yeah, right on, you know, like remaining so you could get enough personal knowledge that because you're doing with the files that you'll you'll be intimate enough with it, it shouldn't be too much to learn the basics, and then once you get to the basics and then if they need extensive, though, if they need anything more than just basic touch ups, then if you aren't comfortable that thing like, like weed, it was like we passed that on to someone else or pass it on the ceiling know that they know they can have that another options that you can maybe begin to team up with someone you find someone where that is what they're good at and so you can have biscuit list of resource is so now you're becoming double valuable to the client of you're not able to offer that, but then you can help give them resource is where you can get there and get it done and a great way to find those resource is we know a lot of colleagues have done that, particularly in video production when I want to start producing things that they don't have budget for big video production, they'll go to the local colleges to the art department to the photography department and they'll put a little posting on there was young students are always looking for an opportunity to work in to collaborate, you know, and I'm sure if you have an opportunity to pay them, I'm sure they'll be super appreciative, but at the same time you have two people they're wanting an opportunity to find somebody to collaborate with so that's always a great starting point because we are always connecting like new in turns and stuff who just graduated from college. I want to come in and work with us, but we just don't have the capacity to teach everybody that graduates from college, but well, no other friends and clients who need somebody, so we're always connecting its like and they always somehow build a relationship because there's eagerness for somebody who's wanting to learn and eagerness for somebody who has a job that they're just not good and they don't want to handle so hand it over to somebody else and just because we do the food styling props, styling and all that stuff, we do everything that we don't we don't do anything we don't like way love food styling I love it I'm going to do it the clients is you do you offer this? Is it absolutely and I'm always gonna practice do you do props something? Yes because I can shop I'm going to do that, you know? Do you do feel editing? No photo wedding no, no, no, we don't no photoshopping if he has to go through photo shop, we're not gonna do it and we're really blunt we really are none of our clients ever expect us to have to edit anything in photo shop, but we've said that but we've set that bar expectation already so that way there never disappointed they just don't know and I don't and that way it's not a surprise to like when it comes down to it you begin to deliver the assets is like oh sorry I don't edit write a lot of that all of this goes back to the beginning back to managing man manages management were slowing them and there's like a million questions I think that we ask when before we even get the chutes and the expectations that we we set sometimes it's hard to think of like everything that we do because we do it automatic so it's great that you guys can't just keep asking questions to to help trigger it's like yes that's part of what we do teo first the way you printed like a almost like a mood board for ethan is that something you are born with storyboards mock up this agency calls it different but we call it storyboard some people call mock ups is that something you do often for client emma's much as we can and the reason why again that's that's an expectation that we've set for us because we know they're expecting maybe these images to be seen individually but we know and you now know the value of sharing that story I often don't feel like one image is enough to share that show the story of our work for them on the story of what we see in photographing it so when we get a chance we usually always offer mood boards oh our storyboard that's the thing is we're actually we're not offering him before the shoot wait tend to like it to be a surprise like what it was for ethan I think dinner but well for new client they don't know it's always the first client that comeback after that wait forty eight hours but that was part of it I think because it was surprised the first time it also gave a little bit of extra emotion gets involved into it too you know it's like if you tell him beforehand and where's that at you know it's like they're waiting for they have they're having expectations a lot of times also when you're setting expectations you like to sit I'm low right? You know, low expectations and then have a high delivery, you know, it's like there's some things that you don't have to tell him that we're going to be pleasant surprise is that you know, we're going to be pleasant surprise that you offer them when clients come to the studio it's like we're if it's early morning shoots like we're fixing them breakfast I'm making them cappuccinos were doing these little extra things that are going to be special for them they're not told this before they get to the chute unless they're watching this right now waiting to find that you never beat me oh email but eh so there's those little extra things which you khun that are always nice especially that you can do and it'll vary from shoot to shoot there's things you can do things you can't we always are keeping that in mind tio it's it's always that little extra special treat it's like when you're in a restaurant and then the chef sends out a special dish it's like it's never expected it's always a pleasant surprise he judged that this a little bit less than the one that you paid thirty five dollars for and it's it leaves just a great impression. So yes, to finish off those those mood boards air absolutely valuable to us, that's become part of what we do all the time and that's what helped us, um, just just maintain those relationships with clients because it's better because we want them to know how they can use his images and what those images mean to us, too, in a collective board, so sometimes you'll see shots different because they're grouped within that story. If you shot saw that shot just by itself, it might not mean as much to you, but you see, within this this collage of different ones, where everything is kind of working together, it's like, oh, I see that completely different other times then when you separate one, those images out by itself, if it becoming special on its own as well, so sometimes they say, can I have that file for them, like, well, let me see, but that's, actually, another thing, too, is it's a lot of times when we're shooting it's, a matter of there's shot, so we have to get done, but sometimes were also able to get in extra shots beyond what was asked for and that's, this is a great opportunity to to share some of those extra ones that they weren't really asking for these shots? It wasn't something that was ever requested were part of the shot list or anything, and you had time to be able to get in and to capture them and like they're like, oh, I like that and you had one question before online album like, for example, for the shoot you did at market, how many would how many photos would go into the online album? They always very, you know, very if it's we established in the beginning, how many shots they're going to get if it's ah twenty let's say a twenty shot list because they need portrait show whatever like that, we usually give him a couple different variations. It just really depends on on the how long it took the type of shoot if that variation is going to make a difference, you know, if you're gonna give him ten variations of the salting, you know it's just too much. So if there's, another interesting angle will add another variation in there but usually are shot let's are pretty, you know, close to what we say that's twenty you're going get maybe twenty, twenty five, twenty seven, we'll throw a few in there, let's say we're seeing just like a straight recipe shoot um, if it was twenty recipes usually will be twenty except maybe up to twenty five there might be a few in there that I'll have a second variation, but for the most part is going to be twenty main heroes that were on that that they're going to share a situation like this with the restaurant that's fallon there's gonna be a lot more because there is no shot list and it's there's something different aspects that were capturing yeah, but make sure whatever you put on your client viewing uploading when they view online is what you deliver you know or you can put less up there and deliver more just make sure whatever we do meet that expectation do not overdeliver and do not over promise and under deliver sorry wayne sure you always making sure that's consistent so that let's say your editing I'll just load this up for them to see and then you end up delivering something different. So making sure everything matches up really well because everything they see is their expectation and making sure that that same consistent color edit goes on to because let's say you gave just decided to do one type of color at it and then when you delivered in the final, you decided you had a different creative groove and you did something different and then you deliver ah different version of the edit there you've already just kind of ruined that client expectation because they've been looking at something for seven days and that you've delivered something different and then all of a sudden it's like wow how come I'm not getting what I saw so it's like advertising if I see twenty cherries on my plate I want to get in line with keeping everything the same I'll also make sure I do any foul renaming before I do that yes that's super port before I do that online album I'm not going to it's like boom ok these are the images I want them to see let's send them up and then they get to it and then later decide oh I need to rename this for this dish I need thio name this for this location and then you go through because a lot of times when they're looking at that online album they're going to use as reference of telling you oh can I have this shot? Can I have that if we're using that especially for they're going to choose their finals that they want for their delivery sometimes that'll be the case that online gallery basically becomes the selection had they get to choose from and so within that you need to make it's best I think best practice from the very beginning to set your found aiming before anything has ever left your hands so it just kind of make those decisions you just get your quick at its end do your found naming and then after that begin the uploads and the sharing process. Todd is really good about that, and I'm so glad he's sometimes I mess yeah, because so many times you get a situation where client needs a file and there's so many numbers it's so great for you to manage that ahead of time and managed like, for example, with the market shoots, but I would probably go go through them and pull all the portrait cher's and say, joe portrait, file it joe portrait and file one as monica portrait so it's easy for us to find such a client says I need monica portrait thirty two it's so much easier to find and saying I need file any f two, three, eight, nine you know it's just so much harder, so plan that ahead of time, but usually I will dio he's very good I'm okay because I actually didn't do that don't do it so he's very good actually didn't do that on this one because we have so much going on and that was actually a step that I missed, and so what I'll actually do well, in actuality, we have not sent the online gallery for even see it because we didn't want him to see anything before we created one it would be raid to share if I, even if I had shared it at this point, and I didn't have those name, but I want to go back and name, I'll replace the images on the gallery. So I'll have the images the same, but I'm going to replace them, so they have to correct naming. So if I mess up, which happens, it doesn't happen too often. Knock on wood, but it does happen occasionally. I'll make sure that I as quickly as I can replace those to fix it, so that the online gallery is not fixed. Or is there all lined up when I want them named?