Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp

Lesson 8 of 35

The Studio as a System to Success: On–Location

 

Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp

Lesson 8 of 35

The Studio as a System to Success: On–Location

 

Lesson Info

The Studio as a System to Success: On–Location

Hi and welcome to studio systems photography, business boot camp. I'm julia kelleher today's lesson. We're going to talk about studio systems, we're going to talk about the studio itself as a system to success. Being organized, really? Is what's going to keep you efficient not only in your studio space, but even if you're a non location photographer? This lesson is going to be critical for you, because it's going to help you stay organized, and that could mean the difference between having a great shoot one day or being really frustrated because you can't find materials you can't find props or your desk is cluttered. Now, I'm always one to say that creative people always have a little bit of clutter going on up there and your desk, but that doesn't mean that you can't. You can't be organized, either, so the types of things we're going to look at today include everything from your digital workspaces to your actual shooting space to even if you're on location, getting props in and out of...

your car is critical to being organized, right? So that's, what keeps you timely and efficient is good organization system. We'll talk about your client spaces. So how do your clients see your studio as an organized, efficient place? That can mean the difference between being seen as a professional or somebody who's maybe doesn't have it quite all together, and you want to make a really good impression on your client and have client spaces that are organized and easy for them to access things that they need us. Well, we're going to discuss equipment storage everything from your camera gear to your lighting equipment to your tripods stuff you need to take outside for an on location shoot. How do you store that and keep it efficient? We'll discuss prop storage. I'm a baby photographer, so I have a lot of props for babies, but even so, you don't have to be a baby. Photographers have a lot of props, so how are we going to store those? And where can we go? Especially if you have a say, small space, my studio? My first studio was only like seven hundred square feet, so we're going to discuss the ways that you could stay organized and efficient well at the same time be able to easily access your props. We're gonna also discuss your office space, everything from your computer set up and how it's organized in comparison to your art spaces and your digital space is we're going to talk about how to I have a client workflow board up easily visible where you can see your daily tasks right in front of you on a daily basis. We're going to discuss those digital versus analog spaces and do you really need both having an art space where you can work with your hands is a really nice thing and should that intermix with your digital workflow, we'll discuss it and then your production space how are you packaging your orders and how is that organized? Is it well enough organized that you're really getting everything to the client that you need to and in a consistent manner I'll help you with it plus your sales room space? How is that organized that's probably one of the most critical spaces toe have organized because it's so pertinent to the sale if your sales room is clean, efficient, you know where everything is and everything has a place your clients are going to see you is extremely professional, they're going to see things that's consistent and they're going to look atyou is someone who's really up there in the professional world, a world of photography and that's going to convene the difference between a sale that's mediocre and one that's really stellar? So let's, take a look at how studio spaces can be organized and even if you haven't on locations on location studio, you don't really have a studio space where you shoot you can still take advantage of this lesson because I hopefully I'm going to help you really learn to see all the things equipment, storage computers all that stuff that goes with having a photography business it could be organized whether you actually have ah home studio are retells to you or you are on location so let's take a look as a new born photographer prop storage background, storage blankets and scarves those kinds of things are there's a plethora of them in my studio as I've collected a lot overtime, so storing them in a way that's easily accessible where I can see everything is really critical tio good creative images so over here on the left I have just have this like a cubby it really wasn't expensive a couple hundred bucks or so, but it has these open cubbies and we have basically folded all of our being bagged fabrics and they're obviously using a beanbag for newborn photography is a really popular thing to do and of course we do have a bean bag set up here in our studio. But and so those backgrounds all these blankets they go over the top of the bean bag so it's critical that I'm able to see them see their colors and see their textures it's also located next to the window here where the natural light comes in the studio so I can see what the true colors are under the influence of daylight temperature and not necessarily tungsten lights which are further back in the studio so right next to a window, I can see the colors, I can see the textures I can basically stand here and evaluate what I want quickly, easily grab one and start using it for a particular concept I have in mind props that's another thing we have tons of props in the studios for babies, everything from baskets, teo little nests, two plates and platters galvanized would you name it now? Some of these props, and I'm sure you have this problem, too. You'll buy a prop and then maybe only use it once every six months. You want to keep it? Because, you know, say it works really well with twins, but you only do twins like couple times a year, so those kinds of larger props or the props, you don't use a cz much, maybe you put those up top where they're not as accessible, the stuff we use all the time, I keep that pretty much in the middle and things start to get stepped up and I have kind of a rule I'm like if this gets two stacked up and I can't fit, if I buy props more and more props and I can't fit them on here, I tell myself I have to get rid of one before I can put a new one in its place, so keeping things again the biggest key is accessible away from the baby of course you don't want this close to the baby in case it came crashing down someday but easily seen so that you can really lay out everything in your creative space and plan your chute effectively shooting space for newborns in our studio is its own dedicated space and that's really important to me because I'm needed in newborns my bean bag has to be out at all times because we use it pretty much every day I have my pvc pipe framework under here and then the beanbag is under that with the flow cadi rug and this kind of stays set up all the time. Of course you can see the heating pad in there too and then this background would be one we would use and that would be our starting point for a session you know, especially if that's the color tone that we were going to be using for this particular session so it stays out constantly. I have gel mats on the floor to save our knees and then I have buckets over here or crates I should say that have different sized towels in them. I used the towels to prop the baby up underneath underneath the flow cadi rug here so they'd be on the beanbag and I want different size towels so that I can prop the baby up in different size increments s o the towels we use a lot they need to be readily available yet I wanted to still be neat so they're right they're accessible next to the bean bag and then we kneel down and work with a baby on the beanbag from there as you can see, we also have all of our props and quick and pretty things I should say for lack of a better word very visible our scarves and wraps are a huge component of what we do when it comes to newborn babies and I want you to think about your space spatially as well. So think about how hanging this type of stuff where it's fully visible, how that might work best in the space that you have. So for me it was putting them on hangers and hooks and making it so visible that I could see it all front and center it allows me to be the most creative and the most efficient it's also very easy to put away if I pull out a rap and use it then putting it away in the same spot it's pretty easy and it makes it clean a nice without having to a lot of work to get it there. Well then of course we have our little headbands for baby girls which over here in the corner all I did was get a frame from hobby lobby and wrapped a piece of foam core in fabric and then put framing wire in front of it. And then we use those little close pins to pin up our little tiebacks and headbands and it's super easy to pull one away. I can see if it matches what I'm working with. Grab a scarf a the same time and everything is all in one spot so that I can really coordinate a beautiful image quickly and easily. And then when it comes time to put this stuff away, I just bring it back here, flip it back up and again, it'll be readily visible for the next time I do a session. Keeping that organized is really one of the keys to success. I guess I should say the keys toe lack of frustration when things are just tangled mass and all over the place, it makes you want to pull your hair out. So by having a system like this where everything is accessible and easy to see, you're going to save your sanity. Okay? And then, of course, we also have the hats for the little baby voice, which are fun as well. And I found this little cabinet at hobby lobby that has all these little doors in it, and the doors pop out. And we have all of our hats inside coordinated by texture and color and then everything is labeled on the outside so we can see what we have and say for example, I'm doing a very neutral set up I can quickly and easily find my neutral drawers tans let's see one works the best and that makes it once again efficient and easy to find things even if you're not a newborn photographer let's say, for example, you're I don't know a family photographer or you do bridal portrait or weddings or maybe you just like to do high school seniors having everything efficiently laid out is going to help you create the best images and just I encourage you to think about your needs and what's gonna happen on a day to day basis in the studio for example this little power strip here that's hooked up to the ceiling is awesome you confined these at any hardware store there are about thirty bucks apiece it's a retractable um extension cord is all it is and that's attached this feeling and I can bring it down and plug in my heater my heating pad for my babies I can hug it plug in my lights with it any time I need power in the studio it's readily accessible from the ceiling so these are the types of things that need to be thinking about when you plan and design a space you want to make sure you have power and good places you want to make sure that things you use the space that you have to its maximum efficiency and that may mean going up I know lots of photographers who store like chairs and buckets and things on the ceiling so like on hooks that extend out from the ceiling and a lot of us have small spaces my studio nowadays is pretty good size so I have plenty of places to store things but I know a lot of you are working with spaces that are really small so you might want to consider going up instead of out other things too like lighting and gear attaching that the stealing khun b a really wise choice that will make things very efficient for you when you're trying to create images when it comes to your equipment storage in your gear there's lots of fun cool, easy and really cheap ways to help you organize efficiently so I want to take you through some of the things that I've done in the hopes that it will give you some ideas or maybe even help you become a little bit more organized when it comes to your gear and items of you know like light stands and lights and just the equipment I gotta get that stuff organized and sometimes it's so hard because things are awkward they're weird shaped and how do you get stuff easy to access in your studio. Well, first of all, light stands for, like, a huge thing for me. Life stance and tripods and mono pod. It drove me crazy because they're always just like stashed in a corner and it would fall down all the time so my husband bless his heart he's like the engineer genius in our family, he came up with the idea of just using one of these little this is like a mop and broom holder that you would get at, like any hardware store, so you would put this in your closet, your coat closet or you're cleaning closet and you just hang brooms on it or mops or anything that has a long stick handle, and so he thought of this is what we just put those up on your wall tons so it works great for things like montel pods, tripods, light stands, and we just put two of those in a row up here, and it gives me lots of different slots to hang stuff like this on the wall and get it off the floor for me, that's the biggest thing is getting stuff off the floor because it collects dust bunnies it's just kind of gross and your constant have to sweep everywhere, and so the more I could get off the floor, the happier I am so at first, chairs and stuff, we just kind of keep those tucked against the walls. We have the apple boxes left and right. These air great for family posing. If you need to raise a child up and down and get him taller, shorter kind of staggered people, this is wonderful. You can also have, like if mom sitting down put thes between the legs of mom and then the kids can stand. You create beautiful emotional relationship type images by using simple things like an apple box or even just a crate that you would find. You know, at a grocery store where they're tossing stuff. You can find all kinds of neat things like that. Make sure it's starting enough, of course for kids to stand on. But I love these apple boxes. They've been really great for me. I just use basic role change for these smaller background systems there actually pretty inexpensive for less than a hundred bucks. You confined these things nowadays, some of them are flimsier than others. So you wantto watch that. But it's great for roles of seamless paper. I love having tons of colors up and I used the newspaper all the time and it's, great to be ableto access different colors quickly there's nothing worse than having to change. This type of setup in the middle of a shoot and waste all that time so the more you can have up read it readily accessible the more variety you're going to give your client also power again I've got power down here low on the walls too and it's everywhere in the studio and the courts retract really nicely this one still plugged in the records retract really nicely so when you're not using it it's off the floor off the ground and it keeps you from tripping over it when you're running through your camera room another genius husband idea is this here I again love see most paper but storing it I used to just lean him all in this corner and they would fall down the dust would get down there and just drove me crazy so he just bought industrial sized pipe from the hardware store I think from lowe's or home depot and he cut it to size and then drilled through it and mounted this stuff to each other into the wall so I basically have these nice slip in cylinders that I can put seamus paper easily in and out of I can see my colors readily and it's nice to just have everything clean and organized and somewhat off the ground so I'm not getting dust bunnies everywhere worse yet the paper rules are not falling down and potentially hurting a young child or a family member of some kind I also have this little background system here that's a pulley system again genius husband idea but it's basically there's a board that goes with it and I can raise and lower this pulley system and change out like fabric backgrounds if I want to use fabric I don't use this too much anymore because I've been really resorting to seems paper which I love a lot but any kind of police help it gives you an idea but any kind of police system in your studio is gonna be great to help you get things up and down quickly okay that's the biggest take home message I guess I just really want you to think about space is upward that they might be useful to you when it comes to organizing your your space and then finally for more seamless paper as you can see I love paper my husband put in these hooks as well again there like from home depot it's really not an expensive way to store things but he just put these little simple hooks on the wall evenly spaced all up and down the wall I think there's a loser like a dollar to a peace and again it makes a great spot for background storage or for your roll up floors anything like that the more you can get it off the ground the better a cz long as you can see it all now I do have a lot of faux wood floors that you can see down here and you know, sometimes I have these rolled up and put away, but I use them so often and I like to be able to you know, almost like you're at a rug store and just flip through them so I could see what I like and then when I find one that I want I can easily yank it out, put it on top of the pile and and use it quickly and efficiently so what's important about city organization with your equipment is making sure that things are easily accessible and lighting is one of those oh it's just a bare because these things are huge and they're cumbersome and they're always in the way, so I wanted to make sure that every single piece of lighting equipment that I had was on wheels so it could be easily moved around and ideally, yeah, I mean we'd all love to have huge beautiful dropped down from the ceiling lighting systems but unfortunately it's just not in my my budget right now, so instead wheels will have to do. But little things like this really make your life easier and even if you don't have like a nice studio titan light stand there's ways toe add a lights from hardware store or excuse me wheels from hardware stores onto your current light stands it just takes a little bit of creativity looking through the plumbing department the hardware department and coming up with creative solutions and ideas to almost jimmy rigging your equipment to make it work for you but my goal is to get as much as possible off the floor so that we're not tripping so that we're not collecting dust I like equipment to be movable portable easy to find an easy to see so if you can stick with those rules in organizing your space with your equipment you're going to be happier because really what come down to guys is when you have a space that's organized it's more fun to shoot it really is because then you can access things in an easy way and you're happy shooting because you know you don't get lazy because something's harder out of reach you go I don't want to get that out it's too much trouble when stuff is readily accessible and easy to find that kind of thing won't matter anymore and you'll be creating the best possible images that you can create if there's one place in your entire business that you should really have a good system for organization it's in your sales room this is where the money happens and if you can get yourself efficient logistically placed correctly for the maximum sail you're going to have a lot of success here and so that's why if there's any room that I really want you to focus on it's this one if you're in on location photographer and you don't have a studio, you khun still take some of the elements from this space and apply them to wherever you do your sale sessions, whether that be in your home or even if you take all your equipment and computer to the client's home and set up a temporary sales room there. That's how important having a good system is for the sales room so I'm going to give you a little tour mine and talk about why things were placed the way they are and how it helps maximize the profitability in each sale session that we do so ourselves room isn't very big it's about eleven feet wide, I do project using a projector you can see it behind me up on the wall it's a pretty high quality projector I got what I can afford I think I've paid about fifteen hundred for it about three years ago so it's been doing really well for me for a pretty long period of time. You want to make sure and get a projector that's, lcd and not dlp because your colors will be more accurate. That's really important you want the color to project correctly onto the screen? Oh porter's going to hang out with us to hear sorry, but did I just give you a little kick I didn't mean to he's our little mascot hangs out with us every single sales session. And honestly, he does help kind of bring down the emotions of the client and he's a good talking point. So I really like having him around my clients when they come into the sales room. This is where they sit. They sit right here on the sofa and get tau. Watch the images head on like this and I want them in this comfortable environment, there's a couple of schools of thought on doing sale sessions, and I kind of wanna go over both of those with you right now and explained you why I set up mine this way so you can do it like this with a comfortable kind of living room environment where the clients khun sit back, they can relax, they can have a cocktail. We usually do pop corn and candy and drinks here for the client on the table so you can have this kind of comfortable living room situation. Or you could do with a lot of successful photographers do, and that is have like a dining table. Your people are sitting in higher up more sturdy chairs, and they're actually up against the table, which has more of a let's do business connotation, it's a little more formal it's not quite as relaxed but it gets the job done in my opinion, it's more of a for lack of a better turn more of a hard sell. Where is this is, like, come into my living room I want you to feel what it feels like tohave images in a home environment. Because this is the type of environment that my clients will be placing their images. So I want them to get that same comfortable, warm, fuzzy feeling hence threes. And I have them in this relaxed environment. I'm a true believer in the soft sell. I don't like toe push things on my client. I want them to stick to their budget on ly going above and beyond their budget. Should they give permission to do so? Not because I pushed them into it. If they come in here and love the images and go crazy and blow their budget for that reason, all the power tomb love that. And it happens every once in a while we we really have a good time when that happens. But meantime, I want them to be comfortable in the environment, okay? So clients to here, when I want you to notice, is that the strategic placing of product, okay, their line of sight is like this, this is what I call the cone of money. The term I got from another photographer, travis gugelmin who's awesome business person in his own right. But this is the count of money. This is where they see their peripheral vision. So my albums, my nice albums are out here on the table, where they can easily pick them up and handle them. My pricing and investment guide is sitting right here on the table. All the pertinent information that they need to know is close by and easy within reach the secondary cone of money is this wall back here? This has our large canvases on it are fine. Our water color prints are very high end albums again, another place where clients can look and easily see merchandise products to help give them ideas on what they'd like to do with their images soft selling the products by visual, touch and feel rather than showing it digitally on the screen. Now do I do both show them digitally and in a three dimensional product? You betcha. I think that's really, really important to show what you want to sell. I think we've been preached that mantra throughout time when it comes to the photography industry, so keep that in mind. I'm strategically and logistically placing my clients in a field of view that maximizes my profits, okay? So as we walk around the room, around here this is where I would sit okay I want to sit across from my client so I can see their reactions and they don't have to like turn around to see me I want everything to be extremely comfortable for them so they look up with the screen I can look at the screen with them so as not to make them feel like they're being watched all the time especially during the slide show so I can again look at the screen or I can look at them and address them very comfortably across the room without a lot of strain on their part now often times after we do the initial slideshow I will go ahead and unplug from my system and come over here the system I have in place is not only do I have my projector but I also have an apple tv unit up there so I can airplay through apple tv from my computer to the projection screen wirelessly so I don't need a bunch of cords attached to my computer to make things efficient streamline this allows me to come up and sit next to my client should I so desire they can see things on my screen where the colors really crisp and clear sometimes it's easier to see images on a laptop then it is up on the projection screen either way the client has an option to see the product to see the digital images either here on the smaller screen, in high resolution or on the projection screen in actual size, I use pro select software which allows me to show what I want to sell to my client and also allows me to show in actual size on the screen. And I can take an image of the client's home their room and show them what their images will look like in that space which gives them a sense of scale of the images and it also put them into the environment and really gets them emotionally connected with the process. This is so critical that you have a good selling tool that's going to help you elevate the experience for the client. So I highly recommend getting some kind of presentation software that will help you do that. Yes, these things are a large investment, but I promise you if you focus on this room first really making it logistically and practical and having a good system for selling it's going to mean tremendous growth in your profitability. Okay, so other things around the sales room that I want you to take note of are just little tiny things for my benefit. I have all of my pens and pencils, my credit card, swiper, my remote controls for my projection system, all my album cover samples, all that kind of not very pretty stuff is hidden away in a drawer and I only have to pull it out when I absolutely need it. So keeping those things kind of hidden yet easily accessible is an important aspect of running a good sales room and the product. Let your clients come up and touch and feel things. This is what's going to get them to purchase big ticket items. This was a huge lesson for me when I finally realized that having actual samples of my products from riel sessions that's what was the tipping point in getting my number's up and it helps the client create it helps create a great sales experience for the client that really gives them confidence that the I think they're about to buy is a beautiful product and it's gonna look good with their images. Finally, the other system I really want you to think about having in your studio is what we call a huff nagel siri's basically it's a siri's of prints that are the same image in different sizes so you can see here I have thirty by forty. I have twenty for by thirty I have twenty by twenty four and sixteen by twenty so clients can see the full range of what sizes look like in person. I can literally hand it to them across the across the room here and they can touch and feel each size, so not only are they seeing it and holding it they're looking at it on the wall in a design space. They're also looking at it in actual size on the projection screen, and they're looking at it digitally in their room in their space. Combine those factors together and it's really hard to not have a good sale in all honesty. So by logistically organizing this space in this room, you really going to put yourself at an advantage when it comes to creating not only a good customer experience for your client, but most importantly, it's going to set you up for success in the sales room, which overall is going to increase your average? You're going to sell more art products, and you're going to leave with customers who are extremely happy and willing to tell your praises, no matter how much money they spent on their self session. When it comes to clients spaces in the organization, in a studio, you really want to think about functionality when you first come into my space as a client, what you're going to see is a nice work table. A lot of our dads are still working. Yes, they just had a baby, but they have to keep up with things. So they'll bring their laptop and I really want them to have a space where they could just spread out and do a little bit of work. We also deliver orders right here, so clients cannon package there order laid out on the table see if it's what they love or not and that it meets their satisfaction and then, of course, they can go from there. This table sometimes serves as a place for us to look at graphic design. If a client is doing an album of some kind and we want to go over the details of the design of the album will sit down here with a laptop and go over in a different environment than in the sales room. It's more casual, it's, more comfortable it's like we're working on an art project together and I want them to feel included in that process. When you go further into the studio into the gallery area, this is set up pretty much like a living room, and it is mainly for comfort. I want the clients to have a really nice, comfortable place to hang out, sit down and relax. The camera room is right over there and they can very, very easily watch what's going on in the session while at the same time, you know, relax like it's their home, ah lot of people love this place for that reason, they do feel like it's a place they wanna hang out and stay a while, and newborn sessions can sometimes take a while, so I want to make sure that it's plenty comfortable for them. And there are two sofas in this entire space, one here and one in the sales room for reason. There are many times when my weary eyed, very tired parents take naps more often than not. Actually, I will see a husband and wife spla sprawled out on this sofa, taking a much needed and well deserved rest and break, and they're so thankful for that because they know their baby is in good hands and they could basically sleep for an hour and get some much needed just a respite from the hustle and bustle and craziness that it is to have a newborn baby. So this space really is functional. Of course, we can do consultations here and talk back and forth with our clientele there in the environment of our home, so it allows them to immerse themselves emotionally in what it would feel like to have their own images on the walls as displayed above the sofa, so to speak, because that's ultimately what I want to sell so the space serves a couple of functions client, elegance, client comfort. Client functionality so they can get things done client rest so I could just take a nap for pizza it's nice when they do so and it's a huge compliment to us that they trust their baby with us so much that they can actually relax enough to fall asleep here, and that really means a lot to me. So as faras client spaces for organizations and studio systems, just make sure you have a comfortable place for your clients to relax, they needed. And even if you're not a newborn photographer, if you're a family photographer, kid photographer, ah, high school, senior photographer with seniors mom's around, but she needs a comfortable place to hang out, so provide that to her, you'd be surprised at how much that does for your brand the impression you make on your clients, and for ultimately, the end of the sale session when the profits come rolling in the nursery is another place where organization is just a good idea. This room is small, it's a little more dark, but it's comfortable and has the same vibe as the other spaces that I've shown you here in the studio and that's important to me because it upholds the brand here, it's all about making sure the client has everything they need, we could get a lot of siblings. Two, three, four your own kids who come with the new born to be photographed so there's a lot of toys in here we have buckets full down low at a level that the child can access when they come in here. They get so excited to see all these toys, knowing full well that they're going to be entertained while they're here and it's not going to be just another boring appointment that mom and dad are taking them tio for mom and dad, creature comforts are all about coffee. All of our newborn sessions are done in the morning, so we have the correct machine ready to go here as well as a cabinet that's vintage and sticks to the brand and has all the gourmet coffee and tea a true months. Is that what you call it helped him get there there. Morning, caffeine jolt, I should say, we also tell clients it's hard to get out the door. We know it. Don't worry, we have snacks and things for you to eat here, so we have oatmeal bars, pretzels for its next. Grenell protein bars all that all that kind of good stuff not only for the kids but also for the parents so they can at least get something in their tummy because oftentimes they rush out the door just to get here and we want to make sure they're taking care of when they arrived so these little things are important to us. We also have makeup, hair brushes, hair spray just little things that the client may have forgotten at home and I think that's the biggest key when they come here realize they've forgotten their hair spray and go oh no, I don't have it we can step in and help them right out which of course leaves to an amazing impression in the client's mind, of course, marking materials are all out here for them to review and products are on the walls yet again inside the nursery it is set up exactly like a real nursery. The only thing missing in here is actually a crib because babies don't actually sleep in this room, but we have a breast feeding chair for mom there's, a pillow there for her to use for breastfeeding and there's the changing table this is huge! When I installed this, it made a huge difference in my client's comfort they can change their baby here without any difficulty we provide diapers everything if they forgot one thing there's nothing to worry about from wipes to diaper cream we even have an emergency first aid kit for the kids you know, every once in a while they fall down bump scrapes, bruises cuts and there is, you know, lightning mcqueen and frozen band aids in here for the little kids and a thermometer you know, we could do baby planners as well so they get air infections, they get fevers and sometimes mom doesn't know it until she's here. So I want the first aid kit to be readily available so she has that comfort in her mind and then finally it's all about clothes. You know, like I said again in my my area of expertise which is newborns it's hard to get out the door so we have a full wardrobe for the little girls with just darling to twos and things that the girls feel like princesses and they just get so excited to wear this kind of thing when being photographed with their sibling and sometimes just these outfits are the ticket to actually getting the sibling to cooperate with you. So this was a huge impact on us and of course it allows us to create images that are my style that I want to create that have the artistic vibe and that are ultimately end up being something the client loves a swell because as you guys, I'm sure no clients don't always know how to put a good outfit or clothing together, and if you can take control of that as well, you're one step ahead to creating an image that's, creative, imaginative, artistic and that the client will love it. This is our production room, it is a really small space, and I was kind of at the mercy of what I could get, so it serves as both our packaging area or production room as well as our kitchen and break area. And so because of that, I had to make a very specific rule that there's no food or drink on this side of the room, period ever never because this is where our prince and products come in. Now, if you have, if you're just selling digital files and you're not doing a print work floor, you're actually doing products for customers. You may not need necessarily this big of a space, because if you're all you're doing is providing usb or cd type of packaging to your clients, you don't need a large space. However, if you're going to be working with our products are prince, you're going to need an area that will allow you to package princeton products easily and efficiently and allow you to store your marking materials and easy to access place, so this side of the room is where the final magic happens prince, come in. This is a stand up that's just come in, and this will go through the production line of being packaged and made into a pretty looking product for the customer to open and unwrap, of course, contributing to the brand. So the biggest thing that you need to note here is just how things are organized to create a system. We have all of our pact packaging bags down here below. So are clear bags are stored underneath our senior underneath the table, but on top of the drawer system down here, and then each drawer system hold certain things. So, for example, we give candy and or pacifiers in each digital product kit that we produce, all that stuff is stored here. We have little mini lips, losses that are provided to our baby plan clients, all these different gifts, trinkets, things that really add embellishment to the brand, I guess you could say, are located there. We also have crafting supplies so things that we want to use for artistic purposes here and there, a general hardware drawer. And then up here, as we go down the assembly line, this is where we keep all of our stickers and tags for our brand that will go on the packages, labeling supplies, little trinkets and cards that kind of give that essence of of kind of adorableness you know just that feeling of it's a neat package toe open so we have all these little cards in here that say thank you and thanks for being our customer and joining us etcetera etcetera so it's the little things that add up to create good packaging and branding and keeping them organized and easily accessible is going keep your sanity really trust me it will keep your sanity things like glue and blue dots I mean it's stuff that's necessary but if you know where it is all the time you're gonna be a lot happier this tour of courses are ribbon drawer where we keep all of our ribbon for our packaging and of course the trusty dusty ribbon scissors and I'm so picky about only one pair of scissors being used for ribbon because if you use it with anything else than like the ribbon won't cut cleanly so there's like little things like that that make a difference to your sanity over time then we have the area where we keep all of our boxes for hyeon digital files so people who purchased the large digital files with us get a cute little box that'll end up being stamped and inside will be a set of proofs and their usb inside so these boxes are stored right here plus our baby plan gift baskets everything we need to make the marketing materials that promote the brand on the studio moving down here we have our framing supplies reporter's going to be in the way here but that's okay. Hi body yeah, you're a good boy. He just wanted the photo bomb, huh? We have some of our framing supplies down here that we may need t put frames together you're gonna have to move out of the way then this store is actually empty. We clean it out so we've got some good space for that but then we also have supplemental packaging supplies, tape frame wrapping supplies, et cetera, et cetera in the cabinets above. This is where all of our marketing materials are held so and everything's pretty label very clearly we have a lot of card boxes because folks who purchased the large digital files also get a complimentary set of birth announcements or cards. We have all of our client marking materials and packages marking stuff for baby plan. So anybody who joins the baby plan will get a welcome kit that includes all the information of materials for that as well as our digital file education guide. This little pamphlet here educates clients on the transitory nature of digital images that they're not archival. That a printed piece really is the thing that will last and not their digital images. So this pamphlet goes in almost every single client education product we provide because it really helps them see that a cd is not what they want to put on their wall and a cd is not what's going to last forever so this is a really critical marketing pace for us. We also do a lot of stamp work so we do a little hand stamps on things kind of give it that handmade look because it's so much a part of our brand everything we do takes time especially the art pieces and the hand stamps look has that handmade quality to it, which is the message we want to send our clients with our brand and then finally our last marketing cabinet here has our standard studio brochures in it which we provide to the hospital that's display that we have so we're constantly putting in our basic information on for sure into the hospital of course it's scattered around the studio and any time anybody wants to inquire with us or perhaps walks in the front door, this is what we're going to provide them as general information for what we d'oh we have gift cards in here and then digital file and caring for your art information. This is all stuff that gets put into an order that talks about copyright reorders of course, why they should be printing things like that and of course it thanks them for being our customer and really is a nice piece that will that provides that lasting impression and then finally we have our ordering appointment prep kit this is the type of thing we provide to a client at the pre consultation or better yet after the session itself when we're making the appointment to come back for the sales session this is really what prepares them for the sale gets them thinking about what they want to purchase and building a plan for their images and a budget for there for their sales session as well. So this marketing information I find to be one of the most valuable things we give as faras client education goes but as well as helping us get the sale that we truly want the average that we need to be at by making the client think ahead by making them set a budget and not be surprised when they get here for the sale session instead they have a pleasant experience they know what they want to do with their images and they end up walking out of here spending a decent amount of money so that's important to me so we also have emotional information that we provide two clients about baby plan that we stick in their newborn kits for folks who do the smaller digital files this is the start of the digital file packet that we put together where they're digital images go in and put candy and all kinds of fun stuff in there as we package up their images I'm really devoted to having my clients take home their digital files the day of their ordering session number one, it solidifies the sale for us. It makes it so they can't return their product. Esso I never get that second day phone call saying I spent too much money. I need to cut back on my order kind of thing. It never happens around here because they get to walk home with our digital files that day. It makes them really happy. It provides that level of customer service. And for us, we just like being able to promote products to them the day of the day that they've been at the sale session. So we put in baby plan promotional cards in here, etcetera, etcetera. And then, of course, here's, our packaging wall. We have our paper that we put all of our that we rap all of our prints in here, that we can just tear off and then everything. Of course, if it fits inside a branded bag, we put it inside one of these bags that has our logo on it with tissue paper. And this is just a really good organization, a way to keep things handy and easily accessible. All this is guys right here is a towel rack for my kia that I used teo store tissue paper and there's these were just hooks. You can get a target at any home improvement store two hang bags, these air. Just cute little bat baskets that I bought at a decorator design store that hold our tissue. And of course, this one holds all our client files for orders that need to be packaged, keeping everything in a systematic conveyor belt ordering packaging system. So images boxes come in. They get put over here. They get opened up and sorted and checked against its order form and against the lab order form and against the client form that we produce for them. And then it slowly goes through the process of being packaged and made pretty. And ultimately it goes out of this room and out to the front where we put all of our beautifully packaged products. And clients are notified at that point that they can come pick their pick up their order. And they have a beautiful, exciting package to open and it's like christmas time for them all over again. This is what I lovingly like to refer to as the war room for lack of a better term. Really. But it is our space up here these are our offices, clients are not allowed up here. It's a place where we can get creative where we can spread out both digitally and artistically, so we're going to give you a little kind of run down about the spaces, but before I do that, I want to tell you, I know it it's pretty big up here we can seat four people, even five comfortably, and most of you probably don't even have that many employees that this point when I first got this space, it was just me there was no one else and yeah, kind of bit off a little bit more than I could chew, and I got a space that was too big for me at the time, but I knew that my ultimate goal was to have employees, so I sat where belinda sits right now, so I could look over the edge and see customers coming in the front door, and it was just me for many years before belinda finally came with me and was hired on as my student manager. So the reason I tell you that is to tell you that this can be done with one person and yeah, we've grown over the past six years and ultimately you will too, so we're going to give you a brief tour, the space we're going to talk about our client workflow spaces, how we file things, how accessible stuff is to everybody we're going to talk about our video production area where belinda sits to retouch where I do my digital artwork in the back there and where we have our social media gal where she sits and of course, our analog spaces in the back that's where the art happens, that's where we do crafty projects, marketing materials, we do framing, we wrap canvases anything that has to do with the final print can be done here is, well, we're going talk about work, so we're going to talk about retouching spaces, and then we're also going to talk about digital areas to work and analog the client works. Laborde really is the hub of all the activity that goes on here at the studio. It lists all of our clients and where they are in the workflow process, and I put it here at the top of the stairs on purpose because I really wanted to see it every day and know everything that needs to go on with clients no matter where we are in their workflow, and it gives everybody in the studio just really easy, quick look at it, access to see what needs to be done and the order that it needs to be done in we also along with putting things on a white board, we have all our clients in a filing system that correlates very strongly with what the top line menu items say on the client workflow board, so as we check off where someone is in the workflow, we can also move there file along with that so that everything stays in order not only the information about the client, but also their filing and paperwork, and then we're done with them and their we've closed out there order that's when they get filed away and archived in our big filing cabinet, which is steadily growing over time and sometimes could get a little for helping with meeting to file things. But I guess that's every studio's nemesis, right? But anyway, the workflow board really is kind of how we see what's going on in our studio, and once they get off this work board and their order is closed out, then we move them over to the smaller client work full board to follow up with them, send them thank you cards, notify them again, or maybe ask if they need help with hanging there. Portrait's just extra communication that's on the back end of their actual order session and final client approval on things it's, a digital age and of course, digital workspaces are critical to any studio these days, so this is where I do all of my digital art work actually don't do any business on these two computers I do all photoshopped work I'll do all carell painting anything that's digital artistically is what happens here but then I also have an l shaped desk to be ableto work on my laptop to dio business functions whether it be were hands studio cloud emailing clients know scheduling stuff working with my calendar etcetera, etcetera that's what I do here on my laptop you should probably know that when I first started this was all I had and I edited and did all my artwork on my laptop so it's totally possible to do that but then I got really spoiled and ended up getting a larger computer which if you could afford it's really nice to do but baby steps right you've gotta work up to that kind of thing just beyond me is where belinda sit and belinda does all of our major retouching on images and she also basically runs my entire studio. She is now the studio manager. She deals with our calendar. She deals with customer service and client interaction she books clients and so she and I need to have a really clear communication channel here and so that's kind of why this space was designed to be very open so that I could talk to her easily then beyond her lauren who's not here right now, lauren works kind of on a part time basis and she does video for us so that's her space where she edits video and khun work on moving picture projects for lack of a better word and then of course, sarah's over here she does all of our social media management and runs her own business out of the studio, so she works for a variety of clients throughout the town of bend, including us but I have to admit it's really nice to have her in the same space, so she does all of our digital marketing and social media management it's just super nice to have everybody we have to have access to their computers easily to their digital workspaces, while at the same time all of us can access each each other with verbal communication as well. We don't have to like get up and walk across the entire studio to see each other to communicate with each other, and that has been really critical to our success as well. We can also be messy appearance that's kind of where no clients go so it's easy for us to just kind of get things cluttered, spread out a little bit and I'm kind of one of those believers that you know a messy person is usually a more creative one if you're just working with digital files and digital images and that's what you're providing to your client, then you may not necessarily want artistic crafty analog spaces, but I don't know I'm a believer today's world that yes digital images are wonderful but there's nothing truly like a printed product there's nothing truly like taking your digital work and putting it into a printed art form it's going to make you a lot more money it's gonna be a lot more fun and it's going to get your eyes off the screen and doing something with your hands and that's what this space is all about this is what I like to call our analog space it's at the back of the work area my printer's back here all of our art supplies and if any of you have ever been to an art supply store no you khun spend thousands of dollars on art supplies in one sitting and of course you need a place to store that granted yeah we've got to stick to a budget right? But anyway over years you're going to collect a lot of stuff if you do any kind of crafty project so I strongly encourage you to have a good working system for organizing your our supplies so I have my paints I have stamps, I have cutting materials and tools I have gels that I use on campus is of course all of our paper supplies our canvas are five or satin fiber paper our watercolor paper all of that is stored back here and then this table here is really critical to its a large workspace, I like to call it the island. It has lots of doors in it where I can store are supplies and media, and the key is you can walk all the way around it, which is super nice. So if you have a large print or something that you need to go back and forth around painting on it, maybe you're just painting a deck, old edge or framing, being ableto access the entire work all the way around. It makes it really nice. Also, having a natural light source is huge. This skylight in the ceiling really helps me see the true correct color of prince and makes it a lot easier to work on fine detail things. So, you know, do you have to have an analog or an artistic space? No, but as an artist it really makes you creative. It really gets you working with your hands, and it really makes you think outside the box when it comes to producing different kinds of products for your clients, that isn't what everybody else is doing and maybe it's taking with the lab does and scooting it to that next higher level that's going to be something that's going to help differentiate you from the other competitors in your market. It's gonna make you feel really proud because you're taking what's come out of your camera and elevating it to something even better. So I strongly encourage you to try to think or at least carve out a little space even if it's just a small space in your home studio or in your streets your retail studio space where you can do this kind of work it's going to make you feel better as an artist it's gonna elevate the quality of your work? It just feels really good it's fun to dio system izing your organization really will save you time and money over the long haul so here's a few things that I want you to remember from today's lesson first of all, lay out your space to your studio's benefit to the sales benefit that's what's going to make you your money carve out a weekend for spring cleaning. I know it takes time and effort and you want to roll your eyes and frustration and not want to do that, but really it'll make you feel so much better toe purge out the stuff you don't use anymore. And to just clean things and make it fresh it'll really and of course make that a habit. You don't just do that once this year, do it every month or so and make it a habit to put things back where you originally placed them that will be huge to your organization as well. That, of course, make a list of wants and needs ah lot of what you're seeing in today's lessons is maybe something you don't have or something that's on your goal is to really make your studio efficient and organized, so make a list of those things that you want make a list of those things that you really need and start planning and repairing a budget for that so that you can move forward and really make your studio as efficient as possible. But then again, I also warn you don't just buy stuff to buy stuff on ly by props, gear and organizational equipment that will make you money over the long term sometimes props and blankets and stuff like that or a one time use only kind of thing I'm really diligent about on ly purchasing products that I know I can repeat use over and over again, and also they'll make me money at the same time over and over again it's time to start thinking like a business person as well as be thinking like an artist and then finally make a set of studio rules if you do have employees make a list of rules, inform your staff of what those rules are and stick to them constantly so system izing your organization is going to save your sanity guys, maybe your studios really cluttered right now and just organized if you do the work it takes to purge it, I promise you you will feel a lot better and your chutes will get a lot better too. So what do you think? Did you learn a lot from this segment? Is there anything that you want to talk about or do you have questions? Well, you can access our facebook group for that information are also tune into our daily lives periscope q and a's well, we'll talk about these issues and help you organize your studio in a way that works for your space specifically and let's also talk about homework I'm going to give you an assignment I want you to assess your space even if you're in on location photographer you have to have storage to write is all this stuff just sitting in the back of your car? Is that your organization? Let's look at it, I want you to assess your space and ask yourself a few things how can I make it more organized and efficient? Make a list of storage materials that you may need may goto container store I care something like that where you can really find cheap and easy organizational supplies to help you and make a list of what you're going to need and assess the actual physical and physical space that you have and how you can place things according to where they'll best fit and then brainstorm ideas on how to revamp that space. For better organization, I promise it'll lead you to your sanity. Your creative energy will soar because you'll be able to see the props and equipment that you have. You'll be able to use it more artistically and then as far as your office spaces to go when that's clean and somewhat de cluttered that'll help you get your focus and get your mind and your work quickly and easily everyday. I'm so looking forward to chatting with you guys on facebook and periscope, so please put in your questions and we'll get this going for you and help you figure out your space is what will make you the best organized and efficient for your studio and, of course, make you more money in the end.

Class Description


Creating systems in any business is essential to its success. Learn how to run a business like a well-oiled machine in Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp with Julia Kelleher. 

Systems create a consistent experience for your customer and produce reliable results in your product. In this bootcamp, Julia will show you how to develop:

  • Superior customer service experiences
  • Efficient booking procedures
  • Time-saving product offerings
  • Reliable studio organizational plans
  • Streamlined sessions
  • Sales and pricing techniques
  • Images and ordering processes
  • File archiving techniques
  • Automated branding and marketing solutions
  • Systematized finance management 
By sticking with set systems, nothing falls through the cracks. Clients enjoy a predictable and upscale experience, sales are predictable (which makes your income predictable), orders are reliable and complete with no mistakes, and your numbers are usable!

Packed with incredible content, this bootcamp will help you build your photography business plan as if you could walk away and let someone else run it – reducing your workload, increasing your revenue and giving you more time for what’s important to you.

Find out exactly what it takes to develop go-to systems so your time is managed and organized and your studio achieves maximum efficiency in Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp with Julia Kelleher. 

PLEASE JOIN US ON FACEBOOK!

Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp is a multi-platform experience and we want YOUR participation! Please join us in this EXCLUSIVE FACEBOOK GROUP! You will be able to:

  • Ask questions related to the bootcamp content
  • Discuss the weekly homework assignments
  • Connect with a global community
  • Participate in weekly private Q&A sessions!
JOIN HERE: Julia Kelleher's CreativeLive Course Discussion

Reviews