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

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

I’m Outta My Mind For Out Of Frame

When I experience something great, I just have to share it with ya’ll… And Out of Frame Production Rentals and Studio in Los Angeles is just so over the top incredible that I’m not sure I can even say enough.

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I was introduced to Out of Frame via Jasmine Star’s Blog. She did an amazing shoot of her twin sister Bianca there and I fell in love with the natural light in the location and the darling modern furniture they have. While I was confident that I could not achieve the kind of awe-inspiring images Jasmine creates so effortlessly, I was hopeful that stealing her location would help. 😀

So I shot an e-mail over to Chris at Out of Frame and was pleasantly surprised to receive a return call from him right away. We scheduled a time and I lived on pins and needles the following days in anticipation of my first “In-Studio” shoot. The plan was to shoot some promo photos for Fotoworks using my cousin Kelsey as a model and in trade for her time, I would shoot some “senior” pictures of her to use when she graduates from Texas A&M this December. My friend (and amazing DJ) Derek would join us so I could take some promo shots of him to use on his website that he is redoing using BluDomain.

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When we pulled into their parking lot Saturday morning, I opened up my camera bag and realized I had made a BIG mistake: I had cleared off my CF cards that morning, but LEFT THEM ON MY COUNTER. Just when the panic was about to set in, my eyes fell upon the hero for the day: Calumet. Out of Frame and Calumet share a parking lot. I was in heaven. I ran in, bought a new Sandisk CF card and was out of there in less than 3 minutes. Many thanks to the great staff at Calumet Los Angeles for their enthusiastic attitudes and helpful spirits. If you’re interested in renting extra equipment for your shoot, Out of Frame can place an order for you at Calumet and have your equipment waiting for you in the stage when you arrive.

When we walked into Out of Frame, the fabulous staff showed us all around their amazing studio, offered us refreshments, asked us if there was any way in which they could help and then left us to our own devices. Once alone in the big white room, myself and my two subjects for the day stared in awe of the amazing space before us and couldn’t wait to get started.

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Being girls, Kelsey and I ran straight back into their killer dressing room. With hollywood style vanities, an iMac for use (and wifi for laptops) and the most incredible orange couch ever, the dressing room was, in itself, one of the highlights of the day. Feeling a bit like a supermodel putting on make-up in that lighted mirror really helped Kelsey get in the game for shooting. And checking out some hot pics of Matthew McConnaughey in one of the magazines in there during a break between shooting helped her smile and relax.

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If you’ve never shot in studio before, I highly recommend choosing Out of Frame for their excellent natural light available. Their blog speaks of a “magic hour” that happens in late afternoon and I can’t wait to book another time slot there to check that out. We felt like we hit a “magic hour” when it came to lighting around 11:30. But all morning I was thrilled with the light available.

We started with the promo photos for some Fotoworks stuff in the works:

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Once we finished with that, I alternated between shooting Kelsey and Derek as both had brought several outfits and it gave each a chance to rest their smiles. They were great “cheerleaders” for each other as they prompted one another to smile bigger, laugh, relax and just enjoy the time in front of the lens.

Derek wanted a very clean look to his images so his new website (coming soon!) would be able to stand out from the pack. We found a beautiful little patch of light by one of the windows and he set up his gear.

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I wanted to give Kelsey a huge selection of poses and expressions to choose from and I think we accomplished that for her. She is so beautiful and was a fantastically good sport throughout the shoot. Check out how much air she gets on her jump shot!

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If you’ve never shot in studio, do it! It will break you out of your comfort zone, give you new images to put in your portfolio and maybe even completely refresh the way you look at your photography.

Again, a HUGE thanks goes to the owners and staff at Out of Frame for letting me have my first In Studio experience as well as for helping us achieve amazing promo images for our site. I cannot wait to get another chance to shoot in your fabulous location and work with you again.

Cheers, Katie Johnson

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I got a great phone call from Jeffrey Neal this morning – one of our awesome Orange County photographers. He’s giving away free wedding coverage for one deserving couple. He wants the most deserving couple to receive this huge gift – and he would LOVE to have your help! Read the details below and if you know of a couple who you think deserves this honor, please send their information his way!

On another note, even if you aren’t going to nominate a couple, I HIGHLY suggest checking out his blog – his images are fun, fresh and emotion-filled. Definitely one of my favorites on my blog-roll. 😀

If you’d like to check out Jeffrey’s work or get the details for the giveaway straight from the horses mouth – check THIS AMAZING BLOG!

Here are the details:

The first annual JNP Studios wedding giveaway is here!

I am offering free wedding photography to one lucky couple for 2010! There are no stipulations on this contest other than it will go to the most deserving couple. Please send in your nomination to jeff@jnpstudios.com.

Once I have received all the nominations I will select the top 4 and will let you all decide who should be the winner. You will have from July 10th until August 10th to get all of your friends and family to vote for the most deserving couple.

What does this include?

JNP Studios will shoot your wedding and provide an 8×10 album with 40 images in it. The coverage will be for the whole day and will include an assistant. The wedding can be any where in the world but travel expenses will have to be covered by the winning couple.

What should I do?

send in the following info about a deserving couple or yourself;

name
wedding date
location
what they do for work
why they deserve it
a little about the couples story
their favorite artist
a picture of the couple

to jeff@jnpstudios.com

This post will be at the top of the blog for the next month so check below for other posts!

Last, I must have the date available!

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