5 Reasons to Print Your Photos

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In today’s internet driven world, we see photos shared everywhere on our ubiquitous digital devices. Viewing or sharing an image is always only an arms’ length away. When our photos are so easily accessible it’s hard to find a good reason to print them. We’ll give you five.

1. Get something real out of a virtual world

When your photos sit in your phone or computer they might as well rot there. How many times do you just collect photos on your device without ever looking at them again? They exist there in the form of bytes and bits, only a hard drive failure or accidental delete key away from oblivion. Once you get a digital image printed, you just created something tangible out of thin air. That moment in time that existed only in the digital mind of your device can now be touched and held in your hands. And, that may be the best way to keep those memories around as stated in reason number 2.

2. Guaranteed longevity

According to internet pioneer, Vint Cerf, the ever changing landscape of computing can render file formats to become unreadable in the future. Some day a jpg might not be accessible because the format becomes obsolete and we don’t have devices that recognize it. It would be like having your treasured memories only available on Advantix film. Yeah, remember that film format? Your images on the cloud are no safer. They might remain there as long as companies like Google, Apple and Amazon are still around. But even that’s not guaranteed in the coming decades. When we look at our family’s old albums and shoeboxes full of prints we know prints are proven to last.

3. Show your true vision

You spent a tremendous amount of effort and patience to get that amazing shot. The color is sublime, the exposure is perfect and the composition is impeccable. What if someone tweaked the colors, blew out the highlights and cropped off part of your masterpiece? That’s what happens when it gets shared online or printed by someone else without your supervision. All screens and displays are different. Some are very inaccurate and some are just terrible. Your image can look very different on someone else’s screen. If you give your image file to a friend or, even worse, a client to print on their own, they might take it to a pharmacy, warehouse or some other subpar place to get it printed. Then they’ll judge your work by the horrible print they got there. When you take the time to see your work through by taking it to a print lab that you trust, you control the final product and deliver your true vision, not some compromised facsimile of it.

4. Become a better photographer

Prints show you things that you might’ve missed on your screen, especially small ones. The larger you print, the more you’ll be able to magnify technical issues and details. The feedback is much more accurate and useful than viewing it on Instagram. Getting proof prints are a great economical way to review your shoot. You can then edit and refine your work. So next time, you’ll be ready to get the shot right without resorting to Photoshop.

5. It’s fulfilling

There’s something deeply satisfying about seeing your carefully crafted image on a beautiful print. It’s the physical manifestation of your creativity and effort. Once you get a great print, it’s addictive and so much fun! Unlike pixels on your device, prints are actually tangible pieces of art that you can gift to family, sell to clients and decorate your walls.

So pull out that camera and create something amazing, but don’t forget the benefits of printing your photos. It’ll make your experience that much better.

Another Night of Me & My Pillow, Talk Talk Talk…

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It’s the weekend, but I wanted to throw a few small bits of information out there.

1) The hours between 6 a.m. and noon on a Saturday are the deepest sleep I get all week.

2) If you book a hotel room for a boudoir shoot and ask for a “handicap accessible room” it’s MUCH bigger, the same price and will give you a lot more room to shoot in. But make sure you’re not booking their last handicap accessible room. Unless you’re handicapped. Then it’s cool.

3) At Target they sell these weird little snap/elastic contraptions that you fit to the corners of your fitted sheet and keep it from coming off. I just about cried when I found them and bought them and applied them to my bed. Sheer happiness for this girl who kick boxes so much in her sleep that her sheets were NEVER still on in the morning when she woke up.

And now, just one more quick image of the fabulous hotel room at the NEW Sheraton in Anaheim, CA (the one farther from Disneyland, not closer). I booked a room for some shoots the other night and man if that bed wasn’t one I wanted to drag home with me.

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Don’t you just want to crawl right in? Oh gosh, I do!!!

Back at work tomorrow, see you all then!

Katie

P.S. Website of the Day is The Sleep Journal

The daily posts begin…

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As a challenge to myself, I’m going to attempt to blog every day between now and October 5th – my 23rd birthday! Which means you have 41 days of blogs comin’ at ya…

The plan is to showcase new products you might have interest in, fun websites to check out, feature some of our fabulous photographers’ work, share a little bit more about Fotoworks Pro and myself, throw some contests, giveaway some good stuff and just have some fun. FTW! 😀 Be sure to bookmark our blog and check it out each day to see what kind of craziness is happening here at Fotoworks Pro.

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Joe & Mirta Barnet are amazing photographers and even more incredible clients. I just love getting to spend a few minutes chatting with Joe or seeing Mirta’s big smile when they walk through our door. I was thrilled this week to sit down and process a large proofing order for them and I stole a few minutes out of my workday to sift through the images. Once I started, I could not tear my eyes away! Yes, it was a gorgeous wedding in the first place (with an awesome rock ‘n’ roll ending), but it was the Barnet’s careful composition combined with the brilliant color they’re so talented at achieving that left me speechless. Below are just a few of my favorites that I wanted to share with you. To see the rest of the wedding and more of their work check out Barnet Photography at The Barnet Photography Blog.

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See you tomorrow!

Katie

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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What’s It Gonna Take?

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I hear stories all the time of photographers laying in gutters, climbing trees, hanging off roofs, throwing their cameras in the air – whatever it takes to get the shot. So today, my blog post is short and sweet – a quick reminder that you need to be IN the action in order to get the best shots of the moment happening around you.

I was re-inspired to make sure I’m a part of the action while shooting while I read a Reuters Blog Post this morning about a Custard Pie throwing contest…  Check out the article and use the visual images as a strong reminder that even if you get pie in your face, at least you got the shot.

Happy Hump Day everybody – cheers for the week being half-way through!
Katie

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?

An Afternoon With Heidi Ryder

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Heidi Ryder is a new client of Fotoworks Pro and we are darn proud of that! She is a fabulous Los Angeles based photographer who caught my eye via her extremely entertaining Tweets! I was hoping to meet her at WPPI but when we couldn’t quite get our schedules to make that work, we decided we’d just have to hang out sometime. I was thrilled when she offered to do a quick photo shoot of me — I always love having new shots to use for my twitter and facebook — and was more thrilled when she accepted my offer to take her to dinner!

Heidi made me feel completely comfortable and at ease in front of the camera (trust me, not the easiest task in the world) and I am so excited about the way these turned out. My mom is too. She’s already requested several of them in various sizes for display around her house.

Most of all, I enjoyed talking with Heidi about the industry – what changes she sees coming, what she respects in other photographers, how she got started, etc. I think I have the most fabulous clients in the world and a chance to spend time with one of them is always a highlight of my calendar.

Heidi, thank you for giving me images to treasure and to update my parents house with. Thank you for the enlightening and entertaining conversation and your willingness to spend some time with little old me. I can’t wait to see how you continue to set yourself apart in this industry and am here to help if you ever need anything!
All the best,

Katie Johnson

“You Can Just Get Your Dad To Take A Picture Of You…”


Photogen Inc. Promo Video! from eliesa on Vimeo

I read the below article online today and it connected back to the above video I had seen a few weeks ago. So many people are so quick to cut down professional photographers – as you can see at the beginning of the video. I think it’s one of the most misunderstood professions out there. Hopefully the ab

Why are Professional Photographers so expensive?

(This article has been very well received by the photography community, and is now referred to by countless Photography websites, blogs and forums (such as LDPT, ILP and DWF)around the world).

In this digital age where everyone has digital cameras, scanners and home “photo printers”, when people upload their photos to a local drug store website and pick them up a few hours later, we hear this all the time – How in the world do Professional Photographers charge $55 for an 8×10 when they cost just $1.50 at the drug store?

Here’s why.

Simply put, you’re not just paying for the actual photograph, you’re paying for time and expertise. First, let’s look at the actual time involved. If you don’t read this entire page, at least read this first part.

For a two hour portrait session:

– one hour of travel to and from the session

– two hours of shooting

– 30 minutes of setup, preparation, talking to the client etc.

– 30 minutes to load the photos onto a computer (2 – 4 Gb of data)

– 30 minutes to back up the files on an external drive

– 3 – 4 hours of Photoshop time including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, saving a copy for print and a copy for the internet and backing up the edited photographs

– 2 – 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive their order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment and drop package off at Fed Ex.

– For local customers, we also print a set of all of their photos, and meet them at our studio to review the photos and place their order. Meeting and travel time averages 2 hours.

You can see how one two hour session easily turns into more than ten hours of work from start to finish. So when you see a Photographer charging a $200 session fee for a two hour photo shoot, you are not paying them $100 / hour.

For an eight hour wedding:

– I won’t bore you with the details, but an eight hour wedding typically amounts to at least two to three full 40 hour work weeks worth of time. Again, if they are charging you $4,000 for an eight hour wedding, you are not paying them $500 / hour.

Now for the expertise.

Shooting professional photography is a skill, acquired through years of experience. Even though a quality camera now costs under $2,000 taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera.

Most Professional Photographers take years to go from buying their first decent camera to making money with their photography. In addition to learning how to use the camera itself, there is a mountain of other equipment involved, as well as numerous software programs used to edit and print photographs, run a website etc.

And let’s not forget that you actually have to have people skills, be able to communicate, make people comfortable in front of the camera – and posing people to make them look their best in a photograph is a skill all by itself.

Think of it this way – the next time you pay $X to get your hair done, a pair of scissors only costs $1.50. But you gladly pay a lot more to hire a Professional.

What about the cheap studios at the mall?

Please don’t compare us to the chain store studios. But if you must, consider all of the time and work that we put into our photographs, compared to what they do. Good luck getting a two hour photo shoot at a chain store. Not to mention they won’t come to the beach! And of course, look at our work compared to theirs. You get what you pay for.

The truth is, most of the mall and chain store studios lose money. In fact, in 2007 Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios because of the financial drain they were putting on the company. What the chain stores bet on is that you’ll come in for some quick and cheap photos, and while you’re there, you’ll also spend $200 on other things. They don’t have to make money, they are just there to get you in the door.

Conclusion

We hope that those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why professional photographs cost so much more than the ones that you get from your local drug store.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Shawn, Pamela & Gavin Richter

Caught on Film Photography

Link to source and their other links:

A Message From The Coach:

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“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up again” – Vince Lombardi

Being 22 and on my own for the first time – this is the first chance I’ve had to really feel any sort of impact on my life due to the economy. It’s the first time I’ve had friends lose their jobs, I’ve felt the pinch when I go grocery shopping and talked with clients who are seeing their sales drop. This is just a friendly reminder that life is a rollercoaster – these ups and downs are fairly unavoidable – but they’re what keep life interesting.

The greatest failure in life is to quit trying. I couldn’t be more proud of our Fotoworks PROs who are recognizing that if they’re going to weather this storm, they can’t just sit on their laurels. I’m seeing complete overhauls in business models, a renewed interest in extreme customer service, an attempt to use new technology they haven’t before (three cheers for our older generation of photographers who are now starting to blog!), and creative outside of the box thinking.

What I hate to see is people using the economy as an excuse for them not moving forward. We all must march on no matter what life throws at us. I want to remind you that the greatest failure in life is to stop trying. It is better to fail attempting a great deed than to attempt nothing and succeed.

That is simply what tough times and challenges do to us! They make us better, wiser and more resolute to succeed.

Life is all about being knocked down but not out.