Waterton Spring Trip
I HATE HAVING PLANS!!! I know I need to have a rough idea of what I am doing each day. But laying out hard and fast plans for me never works.
Yesterday was an example of that.
I was asked for a appointment from a client for the morning. Moved things around to free up the morning only to have that person reschedule. I knew I had to drop my son off at 9am. Then pick him up before lunch and that all worked out. But the entire afternoon went to the opposite of what was planned. I had a meeting at 5 to look at a trailer. So I told someone else that I would be here after 5:30 and the 5pm meeting got cancelled. I had a meeting at 5:45 – 6 for a pick up. I waited till 6:15 before I went out to take some cloud pictures.
Found out that the camera I keep at the studio had major dust on the sensor so decided to clean the sensor. Could not get it cleaned after a couple tries. The clouds were moving on so I decided to run home and grab another camera. Then the person from 5:45 was here. Had to power up a computer to transfer files. By the time I was ready to head home and grab another camera the clouds were not worth the effort to shoot.
The print is the secret!
People have been asking me how to improve their photography business, simple it comes down to the print! The past couple of weeks I have had a chance to sit down with a number of photographers. I have been hearing a lot of the same things from these people and I thought that it would be worth sharing with others. The main issue is how do you impress your customers, set your business apart from others and improve your sales?
Several points keep coming to the forefront
1) For those that do shoot & burn weddings (shoot the wedding and burn the digital files to disk or USB for the client) I have been hearing a number of photographers mention that their customers are complaining about bad prints. Their clients are taking the images to a discount lab to get prints made. When they get the prints back they are coming back horrible. Most times the photographer does not know how their client feels as they don’t hear about the bad prints. The clients think it is the photographer ~ because the lab says it is not them. If the photographer hears it is through a third party and the bad printing has damaged the photographers reputation.
2) Many photographers have seen a drop in the number of assignments they get. A couple photographers actually inquired of past customers and received some feedback. One of the biggest points is that clients were not happy with the final prints. Many clients mentioned that it was a pain to go and get the prints done themselves. All had mentioned they were having prints done at a discount lab.
The common statement went something like this…….
“…. the photographers service was great”. “We were not happy with the way the final prints looked”. “The prints looked like the ones that you get from a one hour lab ~ not professional prints”. “It took me a week to get a couple pictures done properly. It was a HUGE waste of my time”. One photographer actually brought me a couple of files to print. Their customers had them done someplace else. They wanted to see what their client thought. The response from their client was “These are amazing, we never thought that the printing would do that!!!!”
3) Many of the photographers also mentioned that they needed something to add a WOW factor to the services that they were offering. They have been giving clients 4×6 & 5×7 prints. The small prints were not impressing their clients.
In just about all the comments one thing was clear. The photographer’s clients want/demand something more than a cheap 4×6 or 5×7 one hour print. I have been saying for years that if photographers want to survive that they need to set themselves apart. Something more than what uncle Bob is doing ~ usually for free because he is a relative and wants to be helpful. Uncle Bob can have the nice camera. Many times he is handing the wedding couple a disk and that is it. Or he is printing some prints at the one hour place and handing them to the couple. The problem is if that is what the “professional” photographer is doing we are not setting ourselves apart and WOW’ing our clients.
So what should professional photographers be doing?
First, every client should be getting a WOW picture. Something that stands out like a 16×20 or 20×24 portrait fully finished!! Second you should be providing your clients with some professionally printed images that they can show friend’s and family so they can see what a great picture looks like. Prints that they cannot get at the local one hour!
Finally if you are handing over the disk to the client make sure they know the difference in the printing that they will get.
Remember we need to set ourselves apart for the positive. One of the best ways to do this is with professional printing!
To help with giving some wow to your photography we are offering a coupon for a discount in printing that you can give to your client to get professional printing. That way they will get the best image possible from your files. Drop us an E-mail and we will run off some discount coupons for you!
One of the challenges that many people have when ordering prints of their digital images is trying to figure out the print sizes. Many times I get requests for a 8×10 print or a 24×30 print and I have to contact the customer to tell them that a print of those dimensions will cut off part of their subject. If your subject takes up most or all the image then cropping it will either take away the look you were going for a ruin the image.
Common print sizes
So to explain print sizes I made the following chart.
If the size you are looking at having printed says cropped then you will be loosing some of the subject in the image. Sometimes this is not a huge issue. Other times it is not good.
Red Rock Coulee – Great in all seasons!
If you are looking for an amazing road trip may I suggest Red Rock Coulee. I have driven past on highway 3 a number of times and always wondered what was there, now I know. It is well worth the drive for a day or even if you want to stay in the area for a couple days.
Will be heading back that way soon for some more pictures and exploring! Funny thing is that all the rock pictures that I took and I like the flower ones the best!
This place is amazing, a little out of the way and NO services. There is one broken picnic table and that is all the extras that are there. But it is well worth the drive. I do suggest that you go WELL prepared. When it is hot out this place is even hotter. If it is dry this place is drier. When it is cool this place is COLD!! There is no shelter to get out of the weather unless you hide behind a rock and they are not that big!
Sunday Morning Drive
I really needed to get out for a drive last week. I have been shooting a project with another photographer for the last two weeks. It has been a lot of fun but I missed my wildlife pictures. So last week before church I headed out south of Taber to see what birds were back.
I was not expecting a lot of birds as the lakes are still frozen but I was pleasantly surprised at what were out and about.
There were a number of Snow Geese in the area and a few swans but they were more flying past then landing. As I was driving down a dirt road I hard a song that I recognized but thought it was on the radio. I shut my radio off and still heard it. It was a Meadow Lark. In the next hour I saw dozens of them sitting on fence posts and singing away.