Wedding Album Workflow
Let's talk about how we bring it all together and how we finish off our album workflow and then Rocco can rejoin me. So, we have a very specific album workflow that we are quite stringent with. So we confirm the design with the client in person. So that interview or that appointment process is to confirm everything in the album. Confirm the number of pages, but also to confirm the images that are on each page. And we tell them, guys this is just our pre-design. We don't know everyone, we don't know all the family members, if there's something that you want to add to this then please do. There's another key thing that I've just said there. Or that I've left out is that I've said, not something you want to take out of the album. If there's something that you'd like to add to this, then now please do. Not is there something you want to take out of this because as soon as you give people the option what are they gonna do? They're gonna take out. Yeah, so I don't say that to them. So we con...
firm the design with the client in person. That's all done. From there, we select the raw files to retouch. So we go back, we select out all the raw files. There might 120, 130, 140 of them. We select all of those out, they get put into another folder, they're ready to retouch. They get sent for retouching so no matter if you guys do your retouching yourself, then fantastic. You have a folder of images, start retouching them. We, however, send our files off site and they go to an external company. They go to Capture to Print which is Rocco's retouching company. They retouch the files, the retouch files get then sent back to us, and we finish the export process with those retouched files. So we relink the design with the retouched files, we export those layouts, and we send them to print and bind. The final thing, when it comes back is to deliver that to the clients and that's all part of the experience as well. That's all part of the experience. We don't necessarily want to, sometimes we have to, we have to send albums to people through a courier service or a delivery service. I don't want to though all the time. If I did do that, I wanna make sure that a note is hand-written and placed into that album as well so that there's something special from me to tie me back to that experience. But, if we can, we'll have them in to the studio. We'll present it really well, so we'll lay it out on a table for them prior to them coming in. We'll have the gloves 'cause, you know, they all come with pretty white gloves. Have the gloves placed, glass of champagne, maybe some strawberries or something like that, and we'll sit there with them and we'll look through the entire album together. And we'll relive, again, every moment of the album. That's a key thing when it comes to that referral system I told you about before because if that is part of the experience at the end of that experience, I can say to them, "Guys, if you've enjoyed "this experience with us, we'd love nothing more "than you to tell everyone about it." And if you can imagine, you've just looked at your wedding album, something that's taken 16 weeks to build. It's beautifully retouched, it's printed on the finest of finite papers, it's gorgeously bound, you're looking at it with your husband, crying over those moments, sipping champagne, what are you gonna say to me when I ask you for a referral? You're probably gonna come and give me a big hug and say, "Yes, of course I will." It's all again, down to that experience factor. I'll tell you about our retouching company because Rocco won't, because he's too humble. So, our retouching company is Capture to Print it's by Rocco Ancora, post production and fine art printing. Capturetoprint.com and you get all the details and everything about what they do. We trust our files with them, so do many of the most well regarded photographers in the world at the moment trust Rocco and Capture to Print to handle their files, which is a huge thing because I know I used to be quiet precious about it. Yeah, it's all no, no one must touch my work but there's no other man I would, or no other company, that I would let that trust with so. In saying that, let's bring him back. So, come on back Roc. (chuckling) And Kristy, if there's any questions about what I just went through or anything else.
Absolutely, I think we've got questions. Let's see, the first one related to what you were just talking about with the albums, what are those digital mock ups, what format is that? What do you actually showing your clients when you have that meeting and those proofs?
Yeah, literally we're just showing it on screen as JPEG mock ups so you could do it through any programs. There's loads of album design programs out there that can do if for you as well. Yeah, whatever method it is, it's on screen but your, the important message there, in person. Yep, absolutely.
Okay, and then going back just a little bit, in terms of how you handle if, you were saying you don't always have a second shooter with you, so you have an assistant. If the bride and groom are separately getting ready at two very different locations, we had quite a few questions about what do you do in that moment where you need to be in two places at once but you're not and thinking about shooting for that album?
Recommend to them that they have to employ a second photographer.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
I know that's a big selling point for a lot of people, they sell themselves based on the fact that there are two photographers. I think that's great, that's fantastic. Go for it but if it was one of my clients, I would just have to tell them, guys your, the timeline of events here, where you're getting ready and where you're getting ready isn't gonna work, I'm gonna highly suggest that you have a second photographer to cover the groom's home. For instance, and that's gonna cost you X amount. Yeah, that's how I'd handle it.
Yeah, great and then again, will you remind us what you said you feel like your ideal turnaround time is for that client experience of receiving the album? Not too long, not too quickly, what do you feel like works really well?
Yeah for us it's 16 weeks.
16 weeks, okay, great.
And we try and stick to it quite religiously. So, it's four weeks, it's four weeks for the first turnaround to images, so for them to see images it's four weeks. Then from them actually signing off on the album design, it's 16 weeks so it's tryin' to get them in, you know, as soon as possible as well. Just tryin' to make that appointment and get it happening. One thing I do as well, I try and make that appointment during the day. I really do try and make day time appointments not to do evening appointments when I'm doing an album 'cause it could take a number of hours sometimes. On average, we're taking between 45 minutes in an hour now to do an album appointment so that's not too bad. But I just want them fresh, I want them ready. I want them ready to spend money, so, yeah.
Yeah, and then we just had one last question here about the album design. In the modern sort of editorial album design, you had some quotes, some of the favorite quotes from the clients. How do you get those from them and what kind of, how do you lead them to say, you know, help them find their favorite quotes?
Yeah, yeah we have a Word document that we've put together.
That we send to the client so they're gonna go down the road of one of those albums, we send it to them prior and it has things on there like tell us about how you met, tell us about the proposal, have you got favorite quotes that we can add to the album, it's got a number of different questions. If you don't ask, you don't get, right? So you just gotta put it out there. Yeah, and you might want different things. You might different things to lead your clients down a different road, then ask different questions. So, yeah, absolutely.
Did you guys have anything else?
I think we're good. (laughing) Its been a ton of information, yeah.
It's been good.
It's been amazing.
It's been fun, yeah, thank you. I think, I just wanna say as well, thank you to the whole Creative Live team. This team is phenomenal and if you're watching at home and you have, you really don't see what goes on behind the scenes here. It is just so much work, these guys are so professional. For them to bring this to you guys back home especially, free and live, I mean, phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal and we can't thank you all enough. And thank you Kristy, you're an amazing as well.
Thank you. It's been such a pleasure to be here. I've been a fan of your work for such a long time. I've worked with you over the years, you know, publishing your work and I, yeah, this has been such an honor to be here and to learn from you. This class really is the ultimate guide for any wedding photographer of any level. Rocco and Ryan have shared with us so many tips that are time saving, streamlining your workflow, and really just the kind of information you, they couldn't have learned without all the years they've already put into it. So imagine, if you can incorporate the things that they have taught over the last two days, into your own workflow without having to go through all those years. If you can incorporate any of those bits, it's gonna save you time, gonna help you create more incredible, quality work for your clients, and to be able to connect the way that they do with their clients, their customers to be able to really authentically tell the story of the day. I think what's most remarkable about these two artists and the way they run their business is that they have so many technical chops behind what they do, they're so incredibly good at photography. But that almost feels secondary because there's so much connection with their clients, there's so much care for them and passion about what they do. So, incorporating those elements into your business will save you so much and really, just bump your business up to the next level. That's it, we're just gonna say a great, great big thank you to Rocco and Ryan for being here with us. It has been an incredible two days. We're all so thrilled to have you and just thank you. That's it, that's a wrap from Creative Live. (audience clapping)