Where To Print My Wedding Photos

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So your wedding’s over and your photographer handed you all your memories of the big day on CD or USB Drive. Now what? After going through the huge list of images, you probably want to print a few excellent shots that captured your feelings of that awesome day. And, there’s probably some images that you want to print for your parents and your favorite auntie. Then there’s a few of those artsy shots that would make great wall decorations or table pieces.

Prints are great because they’re permanent. After all the guests are gone and the cake is eaten, you’ll leave that day with a new marriage and memories of one of the most important events of your life. Your flowers will wither and the moment will pass, but prints will last a lifetime.

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Whatever you do, don’t skimp out on the prints. You invested a good amount of money by hiring a professional photographer—don’t lose it all by taking those photos to a warehouse or pharmacy to print. Before digital photography became mainstream, almost all professional photographers delivered their print products to the bride and groom, instead of handing over a disc full of images. This made a huge difference in the final product. Because the photographer chose a trusted professional print lab and saw the whole process through, he delivered prints that met his standards and matched the image he envisioned when he captured the moment.

If you want to get the most out of your timeless prints, here’s a secret…find a photo lab where the pros go. A professional lab uses higher quality materials and deploys more rigorous operating standards. That means you get prints that are not only accurate but just plain look amazing. The better the photography, the more you’ll appreciate the difference of using a pro lab. Here’s a great story of a professional photographer and her documented experience with a consumer lab vs pro lab, https://rebeccadanzenbaker.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/consumer-photo-labs-vs-pro-photo-lab-shocking-results/

Your precious memories deserve the attention of someone who’s committed to his craft, not just a clueless clerk who’s been promoted from the warehouse. If you value great photography, you owe it to yourself to find a place that’s just as passionate about printing it.

*Note: These incredible pictures provided by Martin Ngo Photography

Labor Day Sale

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Hello PROs,

We’re doing a big 25% off our album prints this weekend if you order through ROES. So make sure you get your orders in before Monday night at 11:59 p.m. and use promo code; RLX09.  Save yourself 25% and spend the money on something fun this holiday weekend!

This post was really just supposed to inform you about our weekend sale, but how fun would that be? You need more information, more dirt, more entertainment than that, right?

So here it is, my pros and cons as I look towards the weekend ahead — I’ll let you know Tuesday how it turns out!

PRO – going to see Gamer tonight (looks so good!), shooting a beautiful wedding tomorrow, relaxing at the beach on Sunday, and watching Sex and the City Season 4 on Monday (yes, I actually have that on my calendar).

CON – crazy Labor Day traffic will bump my usual commute as I travel home from work from 25 minutes to about 1 hour and 53 minutes, it’s currently 105 degrees here in SoCal and my apartments AC broke last night, I still haven’t found comfortable shoes to shoot in so my feet will be sore tomorrow, the beach will be terribly crowded on Sunday, as I get closer and closer to finishing the SATC series I find myself sad that it’s almost over.

This weekend I will still be blogging away so look for some fun weekend posts! I am beyond excited for a specific Photographer Spotlight feature that I’ve been looking forward to posting here for a full month now!

Enjoy this Labor Day weekend,

Katie

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Playing Favorites…

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Hello PROs,

I’m a few days behind on my blogging – you all have been sending a ton of business our way and we’re grateful and catching up. So blogging went by the wayside so I could help make sure orders were still going out same day. 😀 I’ll make up for it, I promise.

One question I get asked all the time is “Who is your favorite client?” Like I’d tell you! Ok, fine, I’ll tell you.

I don’t really have a favorite. I mean, I don’t have one that I could singularly point to as my absolute favorite. There are some that stand out though.

I have a few favorites when it comes to their actual product and photography, a few when it comes to their attitude when I interact with them, a few because they spoil me rotten, and a few because I admire their branding and marketing so much… Really, we have the most amazing clients here at Fotoworks Pro and it would take me all day to write about each one – but I’m going to hit some highlights right here:

Jason Cohen, LA – Not only does this man tease me and make me laugh every time he calls, he is also incredibly thoughtful and gracious. There was a time when I first started here at Fotoworks where it seemed like his orders were cursed. Every single one we sent out ended up mutilated by UPS or we made a mistake that had to be redone. No matter how much effort went into perfecting an order of his, something still went wrong. And he was kind and gracious and forgiving. Jason also visits whenever he’s in town, made me feel very not alone when I went to WPPI alone, sends us the coolest spices from Lousiana and every year during Mardi Gras he sends us a King Cake. Jason, thank you for all of the above. You go far above and beyond the photographer/lab relationship and we, in turn, do our best to go above and beyond for you.

Joe Photo, CA – Joe is always a joy to have come in and pick up his prints and I relish the few minutes I get to talk with him and count myself lucky to even be an acquaintance. One time, he came in and took one look at me and said “Darling, you look like you need a hug.” And gave me one. Words can’t express how terribly I did need a hug that day and how much someone noticing and caring enough to comfort meant to me. Thanks Joe. Below is a photo of Joe being his awesome self in New Orleans shot by John & Dalisa of AltF (I rave about them below!)

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John & Dalisa Cooper, NV – I thought nothing in the world of wedding/portrait photography could surprise or delight me anymore until I saw the Coopers work. AltF is a completely different brand of photography – with highly conceptualized shoots and a fabulous touch of high fashion, I ooh and ahh over every blog post and print order. Plus, they’re just about two of the coolest people I’ve ever met. When Jon & I drove out to Vegas to have them shoot some photos for us, we were delighted to meet a couple who we felt reflected a lot about what we loved about each other. Dalisa is the driving force behind John’s artistic genius. We both often reflect on those few hours at that shoot as being one of the best times of our lives and have only John & Dalisa to thank for that. Plus, Dalisa turned me on to French 75s & I shall be eternally grateful. You can see an image from the shoot they did for us below. Above is a photo of Joe Photo shot by John & Dalisa.

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Amy Squires, CA – Bubbly, fun, girlie and patient, I absolutely adore Amy. Every interaction I have with her leaves me smiling and my day a little brighter. I love that she still does proofing for all of her wedding clients (I am a big believer in hard copy proofs)  – especially because it means I get to sit down for an hour or so and look over the gorgeous images she shoots. Plus, she entertains me after work when I get home and look at her blog for The Wedding Chicks.

There are soooo many more that this blog post could go on for ages, but I do have to do quick mentions of the following:

*Matt & Molly Snelson, CA – I don’t know exactly why, but I am smitten with this couple! I just think they’re the cutest. I love reading what they Tweet, I loved watching them shoot my best friend’s wedding and I cannot wait to meet Baby Snelson!

*Candy Cordes, CA – Sometimes Candy brings us cookies. Sometimes she just brings a listening ear and good conversation. Either way, I am always thrilled when she comes in to drop off or pick up an order. Her sweetness and support have gotten me through many a tough day.

*Jasmine Star – Can you believe this incredibly busy and talented woman takes the time to respond to her e-mail HERSELF? I am always blown away by her personal responses to even my simplest e-mail correspondence with her. Plus, as I’m sure the same is for you, her blog is always on my MUST READ list.

*Kusha Alagband – for giving me eyegasm after eyegasm. Her work speaks for itself. I truly think it is the most unique style of shooting out there right now. Her website does not do her work justice. And where I would normally rail on about how important your website is when it comes to booking, Kusha’s word of mouth advertising is SO good that she doesn’t need more than that.

*Joe & Mirta Barnet – always willing to share their vast knowledge and joy for photography – and I can’t recommend enough that you check out their blog and their workshop site. They get very natural and delightful expressions from their clients and I believe it is because they are such a blast to be shot by. I can only imagine – they always leave me smiling!

*Tom Baker – again, one who never calls or shows up without making me laugh. He’s kind, witty and does a fabulous job with his marketing and shooting of senior portraits.

*Gina Chiaramonte – I’ve known Gina since I worked at a retail lab in downtown Fullerton. I enjoy working with her and her personality fits mine really well. It’s been great fun to watch Gina make the transition between medium format film and digital shooting. She never got discouraged and now her work is flawless.

*Paul Gero – Sometimes when I see one of Paul’s portraits of a child I am blown away by how amazingly alive they look. His sweetness of spirit is what I’m sure allows him to do such a wonderful job capturing children. I am always excited when his beautiful wife and daughter come in to pick up prints and I cannot wait to meet his newest little one coming very soon!

*Ron Goodger – I know I can really let my guard down around Ron and I really appreciate that. Sometimes he’s not the best thing for my workflow as I end up spending a little too much time chatting with him, but he’s always good for my soul! Oh! And the days he brings in his gorgeous dog Andre are days I leave work with a smile.

*Jeffrey Neal – Jeff always makes me feel like more than just a customer service girl. He has encouraged me and supported me so much that my self confidence has vastly increased since I’ve known him. I really enjoy looking at his work and you HAVE to click on his name to check out his site – I love the way it navigates!

*Jon & Sheri Ogden – It has been a very unique joy to watch these two start and grow their studio. They have come such a long way over the last year and it has been an honor to stand by their side as their lab – helping them to find solutions and encouraging them in their business.

*Frank Salas – Everyone loves Frank. Simple as that. I never hear any of his peers speak poorly of him (and let’s face it, this industry is rife with gossip and slander) and I have never had a reason to be anything less than delighted with his images and his presence.

*Brian Khang – After picking up his first order from Fotoworks Pro, Brian went home and made a video blog post about his thoughts. We were thrilled! When our photographers become that enthusiastic about us, we become equally enthused with them. It has been fun to get to know Brian, his beautiful Helen, and his fabulous photography. Plus, I swear I heard his unique laugh above all others in a movie theater while watching Inglorious Basterds. Swear. 😀

*Mark & Candice Brooke – I might just still be on a high from meeting them yesterday, but I get the feeling I’m going to have a lot of fun with these two as clients. Also, I was blown away by their unique imagery and their unique business relationship – they shoot separately! While I don’t know that husband and wife teams shooting together or apart is better one way or another, I know I’ll have fun watching these two work and seeing how they come together and how they remain distinctly apart.

*Jeff and Dana Sipper – Jeff participates in every contest we have on Twitter. Doesn’t matter how big, small or lame. And I LOVE that. Interaction, community, entertainment – he’s making it happen and I am stoked that I follow @sipperphoto

There are many, many more people I’d love to shout out to and tell them how much I adore them and how wonderful their work is – but it’s time for me to begin ending my day here and so I must end this show. Really, I just wanted to express to our readers how much we love our clients and are grateful to be a lab capable and passionate about one on one relationships with our photographers. We know and care about our clients here, on a business and personal level. And for that reason, I am grateful to be known as Katie At Fotoworks Pro. 😀

See you tomorrow,

Katie

Saturdays @ Fotoworks?

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Just a short but sweet wonderment on my part: Do ya’ll want us to be open on Saturdays? This question is mainly directed at local customers who would want Saturday print and pick up available to them….

While we wouldn’t be able to ship anything out on Saturdays (because there’s no UPS pick up) we would be available to do quick print orders and be there for pick-up.

Just something I’m throwing out into the bloggerverse to find out if there’s any interest. Five or six times a week I get phone calls from customers wondering if we’re open on Saturdays and I’m starting to wonder if that’s because there’s a desire/need for us to be. If there is, we want to meet it….

If you have any feedback on this, e-mail, call, twitter, facebook or text me. Seriously, I’m easy to get ahold of. 😀
Hope you are enjoying your weekend,

Katie

We wish you a merry August… HUH?

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Yes, August isn’t even over yet and already the holiday card hounds are out. SAHM’s are wanting to get their envelopes addressed and out of the way early (that’s Stay At Home Mom’s for you not keen on the mommy blog lingo) and photographers are booking family shoots for the usual holiday card photo like crazy.

Fotoworks Pro offers our own greeting card design and print services for those photographers who could use a little less work during the holiday season. All of our designs are posted on our website  www.ProGreetingCards.com so that your client can view the possibilities without seeing any of our pricing. 😀 We thought you’d like that.

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So, send your clients over to our site, have them pick out their template – then, send me an e-mail with the template name, the image(s), and the wording they want on their card. We design and send you back a proof you can then forward to your client. Once it’s a “go” we print, box and ship them to you or straight to your client.

PRICING: includes design, proof, 5×7 single-sided photographic cards, white envelopes & gorgeous greeting card box packaging (clear lids).

20-49  $1.43 each

50+  $1.29 each

75+  $1.21 each

100+ $1.14 each

150+ $1.07 each

200+ $0.95 each

Can’t wait to see what beautiful images you send our way this year to design cards with. Last year I was blown away by the tremendous talent I saw coming through on the holiday card orders. Some of ya’ll really know how to make a family portrait pop!

Just for fun, here’s a glimpse at the portrait (taken by my lovely tripod) I used for my Christmas Cards last year. Isn’t my boyfriend Jon a great sport for putting up with me?

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Looking forward to the next 4 months of holiday cheer with you!

Katie

Out with the Old, In with the Fabulous!

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Hello PRO,

The ROES software for ordering has been here at Fotoworks Pro for a few months now and we hope most of you have had the opportunity to download and use this incredible user-friendly software. It’s quick to download, free and makes ordering from Fotoworks Pro a breeze!

For those of you still using the old Lab Prints software, it’s time for me to be the bearer of bad news: We’ll be disabling ordering capabilities with LabPrints on September 12, 2009.

So why ROES? ROES allows you to see your invoice totals before you place your order, it has several shipping options and, best of all, it has a spot for PROMO CODES! We’ve been running all of our sales through ROES over the past few months and there are plenty more to come.

If you have any questions about the switch or would like some assistance in downloading and using the ROES software, please do not hesitate to contact me. I want to make this transition as easy as possible on you and I will be available to walk you through the new software in person, over the phone, via e-mail and… you can get a super fabulous dose of my stuttering capabilities by watching our ROES How-To Video!

As a special “sayonara” to LabPrints and a small encouragement for you to try ROES, between now and August 21 at 11:59 p.m. we will be offering 10% off all ROES orders using PROMO CODE: BYE10

Here’s to a bright looking future of quick order placing and awesome savings!

Katie

New! Organic (asmic?) Chocolate Packaging!

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Hello Pro,

After several months of testing out different boxes, ribbons, vendors, etc – we are extremely excited to have settled on our favorite combination for our new drop shipping boxes. These dark brown boxes are made out of 95% recycled content and have a rich pebbled texture. When these gorgeous boxes combine with the creamy organic cotton ribbon the effect is highly luxurious and sweet. After perfecting the art of hand-tying our big fluffy bows, we can’t stop oohing and ahhing over their deliciousness! And the response from our photographers and their clients who have received their orders in the new packaging has been fabulous! It’s a fantastic way to become more “green” without losing the style and professionalism you desire.

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SAVE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME

Our beautiful Organic Chocolate Box Packaging is the perfect presentation for your client to receive their prints in. Save yourself the time and energy of receiving your prints, repackaging them and shipping them to your clients – allow Fotoworks Pro to drop ship your orders directly to your clients in our new packaging. Orders drop shipped are sent via UPS ground for $6.95 or UPS 2-day for $12.95.

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MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!

Fotoworks Pro no longer charges you per box needed to pack your order. Instead we will package your entire order in our chocolate box packaging for a flat rate of $5.95. Don’t forget that on your proof orders over 500 prints, you receive FREE Organic Chocolate Box Packaging!

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We hope you’ll give our new packaging a try! If you have any questions about the changes we have made or about using Fotoworks Pro drop shipping services, please contact me! I would love to help you out in any way you need.

All the best,
Katie Johnson

Size Does Matter Sale

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Hello PRO,

We know it, you know it, and your client definitely knows it: Size does matter.

Large prints are the best way to showcase your fabulous work and for clients to show off their treasured memories.

This week, we’re discounting our enlargements – and this is a great opportunity for you to get some new prints for your studio, offer a sale to your clients and promote your business with large, beautiful prints.

You must use ROES to place your order for this sale. If you have any trouble downloading or using this user-friendly software, please send me an e-mail or give us a phone call and we’ll talk you through it.

Here’s to BIGGER and BETTER things coming your way,

Katie Johnson

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Common Sense Customer Service

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The picture of the cake above made me laugh. Hard. And then I realized it’s the kind of mistake I would make when I’m unfocused. Ok, well, I don’t think I would ever be that ditzy – but I come close on days where I’m just off my game. I can imagine that phone call:

Bakery: Hello! How can I help you?

Customer: I’d like to order a cake that says “Best Wishes Suzanne,” and underneath that, “We will miss you!”

Bakery: Great, we’ll have it ready for you in an hour.

There are places I just absolutely refuse to go and companies I just can’t stand to support with my business. Kinko’s being #1 on the list. Along with that comes Rite Aid, Walmart, and our really terrible webhost.

One of the things we try to excel at here at Fotoworks Pro is having the best customer service possible. My favorite part of working for a company committed to excellence in this area is that I get to have a lot of “face time” with our clients and know all of them to some degree. I find such joy in knowing the names and general background of our clients and getting to connect with them personally.

I didn’t realize just how rare this was in our business until I decided to try out another lab. I figured ya’ll were doing it, so I should too. ;-D  When I sent out a vague Tweet about my experience, I got a lot of DMs asking for more details. So here it is:

Really, I wanted to see what areas that lab was doing better than we are and where we are surpassing them. There were a few things I learned from the experience that I am hoping will improve our services here – more info in future blog posts to come! But mainly, I was just really disappointed in the service I got. I didn’t want to type in my account number or wait on hold for 8 minutes and 34 seconds (yes, I timed) before I got to talk to a real person. And when I finally did get to talk to a real person, she didn’t call me by my name. Not once. And I’m assuming that since I had to put in my account number, she had to have it right in front of her.

This really isn’t meant to complain about another lab (note, I’m not even hinting at which one I tried) – it’s all just a preface to my quick sermon on customer service. Because in this economy, you can’t afford to lose a client just because your phone skills are a little lacking.

My top 5 tips for How to Win Me As A Client  – and yes, photographers, I am a 22 year old female (hello, can you say “demographic”?)

1. Ask me my name if I don’t give it to you and try to use it when speaking with me.

2. Smile. Definitely in person. Especially over the phone. When you smile it changes the tone in your voice and puts the person you’re speaking with at ease.

3. If someone gets upset with you and is beginning to raise their voice, just lower yours, slowly and subtly until they bring their volume back down. They’ll have to relax and be quiet themselves in order to hear you. This has worked WONDERS for me as it stops a conversation from escalating.

4. Don’t put your clients on hold. If you need a minute to figure out some information, take their number and promise a quick call back. People would rather get a return call than sit on hold at your mercy for 5 minutes.

5. Use common sense. Focus on what your doing so you don’t make “stupid” mistakes. If you can catch a client’s mistake they will be utterly grateful and spread the good word of your great intelligence. ;-D (ex. A client requests you print graduation announcements that say “Class of 2008” and you call and politely ask them if they meant Class of 2009).

What are your best tips for providing excellent customer service?