Covid-19 What’s Open

Corvid-19 Update – April 18/20

Because of Covid-19 and as per my doctor and the government the building is closed to the public. I am looking at reopening specific services in the next week or two. See below for a list and approximate dates.

Covid-19 opening

Photo Sessions

The studio is not open nor do I have any idea on a date that I will be open. Close work during the Covid-19 shut down is prohibited. As I have no idea when this will be over I am not booking any photo sessions at this time. All sessions till the end of May are now cancelled. I would be happy to take your information. When we get an all clear I will call you to book.

Photography Courses

All in person photography courses are cancelled till the end of May. I am setting up to do all my courses on-line. I will start posting what programs you can use and other information soon.

Printing & Restorations

Supplies are in stock and some more are coming in to top everything up. A couple frame suppliers are closed but I have good stock on most sizes and types. As I am planning now I will be opening towards the end of April at least two days a week. Files can be sent online (I can help you with a couple different programs to easily do this). Once the order is done then I will send an invoice that you can pay by Etransfer or Paypal. When you come to pick-up your work. Call me when you are at the studio and I will put your order outside on the table. (You cannot come into the building). Delivery also available for an extra charge.

I am known for my customer service and this will continue. I will be offering two options for my clients to continue this. First you can send in your files and I will adjust and print for you. All images will be corrected to professional image standards. You will get the best possible image from the file that you send in. Second, if you like I can do the editing for you while you watch on-line. This way you can see the changes and the cropping that I will be doing. The program is free to do this but you must have Internet or data to take part in this.

Roof Fan Turtle III

So I gave in and put a roof fan in Turtle III. Did I need it? Not 100%. But on hot nights it is sure nice!!!!! Or on days when we have the van out on location it helps to let the heat out when it is parked.

Roof Fan Turtle III

So what did I go with?

A Maxxfan Deluxe was my choice. It does not have the remote and honestly for a van that you can reach the roof it is not needed. I can see the need for the remote in higher roof vans or in RV’s. The remote allows you to operate the fan without having to reach it (you can tell I am short).

Install

The install was very easy. I never broke a sweat! I had a company install the fan for me. Why? Well mainly it is my health and the fact that I did not want to start something and then not be able to finish before a rain. The second reason is that for what they charged me to do it was more than reasonable and just getting the little extras like cutting blades, glue and solvent would have cost me a lot and it would be stuff that I only would have used once. The van went in and was done right away, could not have asked for better service!!!

If you are in Western Canada or are passing through and need work done look up Wilderness vans! It is SOOO nice to have a local supplier for parts and supplies and they are priced in Canadian dollars. PLUS having people that understand vans to do the work is great! I got a price from another shop and they were $1000 higher!!! Why? Because they do large builds and I was just a tiny job not worth it for them to do. Wilderness vans fit me in and did a professional job.

So far I have used it a few times. One night it started to rain in the middle of the night and I had the vent open. It is designed to not let rain in and it did the job. A heavy downpour and I was dry.

Drawbacks

Only one so far. I am camped and fast asleep and at 6:30 am I hear a strange noise. It was not loud but it woke me up. Could not figure out what it was. I tracked it down to the vent and after a few minutes to wake up I realized a Crow or Raven was on the roof of the van tapping on the roof fan. I closed the fan and the noise stopped when I was closing it and as soon as it was closed it started again. Opened it up and told the bird to get lost and fortunately it did. It must have seen something interesting on it!

Photography Business – The Print

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

The print
Set yourself apart with the print!

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.


The consensus

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!

Mike Paterson Professional Master Photographer

Several weeks ago I had a discussion with a photographer about getting a designation with a national photography organization, then two weeks ago another photographer came in asking almost the same thing and again last week another photographer asked how to get a designation like Professional or Master Photographer.  I thought this was funny then today while reading a news feed I see a photographer using the designation of Master Photographer so I did some research on what does all this mean – names like Professional or Master when it comes to photography.

Read moreMike Paterson Professional Master Photographer

Giving great customer service even when busy

Great Customer service, it has been a while since I was able to add to my list of companies that give exceptional service but today I did find one. On the weekend I was on my way back from Waterton and got a rock chip in the windshield. Called Benchmark glass and was told that they could fix it, and would take about 30 minutes, he told me to swing by around 10:30 and they would see what they could do. Unfortunately I was not able to make it then but decided later when I had to drop off some items close by that I would stop in and see if they were busy. Found that they were booked solid and I told them that I would come back tomorrow. Well to help stopping the chip / crack from spreading they have little stickers that you can put over the rock chip to keep water from getting in and hopefully stop the spread. What a GREAT idea! I may not be able to get in to get the chip fixed (as much my fault for not having time today to do it as anything) but at least with the sticker (I call it a Band Aid for my car) that I can prevent further spread. It may not cost a lot to provide these but it is a great idea for the customer. I would suggest to anyone that has a good windshield to stop by and get a set of these to keep in the car, they are free and can prevent a lot of extra costs. Funny how great customer service can be provided by the littlest things!