Taking the teaching role... Day 4 of the challenge
Today is day 4 of Alex Beadon's blogging challenge. The topic of the day is to be a teacher - to tell you something that is going to help prevent misperception. For a second I was like what shall I talk about.. then Alex mentioned talk about the one thing that just occurs again and again for you.
So Yes its that topic of Digital Files and Yes a consultation is a prerequisite to a session. So to be more clear and make this an easier process I am going to follow the guru Alexs suggestion of making this more like a question and answer session.
Lets start with the initial phone call or contact. Most people do not know where to start - so straight out the gate they want to know:
How much do you charge?
To that my smarty pants self wants to say - how long is a piece of string?!!! I think you can understand by the analogy - how much chicken do you want? A slice, a whole bird? Its hard to know an answer without knowing exactly what you are looking for and what you are expecting, are you feeding just yourself a snack or a family of 6 permanently hungry teenage boys?
I am happy to explain I am custom portrait studio. I would rather photograph fewer people and have a true connection with them and produce artwork for their home that is meaningful for them. Once I have explained this, and a little of how I work, I can give you an outline of what you can expect to spend. HOWEVER, this is much easier to understand if you can spare 30-45 minutes to come in or Skype and discuss in detail your family, what your needs are and I can tell you how and if we are a good match. Then we can see products and figure what meets your needs.
What is the consultation, is it really necessary?
The consultation is a time for us to find out if we are a good fit personality wise, professionally and in what I offer - is this really what you are looking for? Would you buy a dress without knowing you can send it back. Well for me the consult is the opportunity for you to meet me, assess me, see what I do and what products I offer, and does this fit right for you?
We talk about your family and what you want to have photographed. We discuss the best way to capture this idea, the best location and clothing. All of this is also tied to where in your home you want to display your art, how you decorate your home and your longer term vision for your family photographs.
By coming in to the studio space and seeing finished artwork, albums, and image boxes people understand I am a full service studio. I want to create artwork that is finished and ready to hang in your home. Heck we even come and hang it for you if you like! I do not want you to have this forever ongoing list from your photography session - ok pictures taken, now I need to sort them. Now I need to find an app to make them look cool. Now I want to print them. Oh no we have soccer to go to! I have no time! Oh opps the computer got upgraded - I no longer even have a CD drive! Then three years later you find that cd and wonder what was on it? Dang that was a waste of time!! I want to make it easy for you. I want it to be fun. I want to get to know you and your family and make something original, fun and fitting for you and your home. I want this to be an ongoing relationship.
I have learnt the hard way - its easy to love all your images - that is my goal!! However, if you buy framed prints of them all there is no room for the future images you will want to hang. We have solutions of this and I am going to help guide you through the entire process. I am going to help you identify the best images, the ones to let go and the ones to keep in a keepsake album or box.
Without a consult, a plan we can be coming at the same idea from different directions and that is not a good thing. I need to understand your story. I need to know why now is the right time to create images. We need to course our journey to creating your artwork together so we tell the right story.
So yes the consult is totally necessary, vital and fun!! Anytime I have not done this it bites me in the butt and there is confusion on both sides and guess what that leads to? Disappointment and a failure to meet expectations - a lose/lose situation.
Do you sell Digital Files?
â€¨In case you missed the above - errrrrr no we are a full service studio. I want you to have finished products in your hand. With the correct color, archival presentation and beautiful finishes. However, we are happy to help you with social media files of any prints that you have bought. Every client who completes their order also gets a digital slideshow and video from us and a personalized app for their phone.
A direct answer is always good. No I do not sell digital files as a stand alone product. I want you and your family to have actual tangible images in your hand. I want to take your memories from temporary to tangible. So, if you are looking for a shoot and burn photographer - someone who will hand a CD of unsorted, unfinished images - this is not the studio for you! I have a studio that wants to create more conceptual art, art that just happens to be you and your family. Art that tells your story but is different from the mainstream of photography that is out in the world today.
If this fits what you are looking for then great!! Lets chat! You can email me through the website or call 406.721.8208 - and sorry about the message that explains NO I AM NOT CRACKLE TV!!! That is another thing in and of itself!! Have a good evening!