Today we have another simple and easy customization of a Design Aglow template from Liz of Elizabeth & Jane Photography. She writes, “I had my new assistant create a DVD case and disc design using one of the templates from For Collectors of Art and Style. She was able to easily add a pattern that my clients use in their branding and change the colors to match their style. It was so easy for my assistant to make this look like we designed it specifically for my clients. They run a bridal boutique and it was important for me to give them a custom experience. They couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful the design was – which is fabulous because they have immediate access to potential clients for my wedding photography business.”
From the shop:
Products from Design Aglow are always in vogue, and in these fashionable DVD Covers: For Collectors of Art and Style, the attention is in the details in this high quality presentation. Endlessly customizable with your studio name, text, colors and images, your clients will treat them like museum pieces.
DVD Covers: For Collectors of Art and Style at a glance:
• Templates for single and double CD cases and CD labels
• Six smart and stylish designs
• Layered PSD files for unlimited customization, including color changes
• For those who prefer high-resolution images delivered electronically, adding value to their substantial investment.
• Turning any session into a collector’s item. You’re offering a digital product that is unparalleled.
• Sending prospective clients and referrals a peek at your portfolio.
• Coordinating matching cards, album covers or even wall art with portrait sessions.
• Revitalizing your own studio’s image with updated marketing materials, websites and blogs.
Click here to check them out in the shop.
The value of any creative business no longer (solely) rests on the quality of its final product. Whether it is a sofa, a photograph, a floral arrangement, lighting, stationary, or a shoe, there is too much great stuff out there for you to rest on your work alone. You might be that good, but not so good as to stand wholly apart. Today, you need an amazing process to get to your final art as much as you need to be able to produce amazing art. Done well, it means putting the spotlight on your creativity and getting paid well for the brilliance between your ears much more than the brilliance between your hands; to get paid for inspiration far more than perspiration. Engaging and connecting your client to your process is the key determinant of your success as a creative business. Communicate your ideas well and you will earn trust to continue building the relationship. Your final product will then be the by-product of the relationship, not the definition.
All of which brings me to the importance of presentation. If you do not invest in the theater of presentation, you are asking for trouble. Skip presenting and you are dead even if you do not know it yet. Presenting used to be hard and expensive. A client knew that creating a rendering, organizing materials and ideas was difficult. Very few knew AutoCAD and even less could afford to use it. Even if you could put together a PowerPoint, printing in anything other than basic Kinko’s style was not happening. The result: one sample, one room, one big investment to give enough of a taste of what was to come to convince a client to take the leap.
Today, Marriot design rooms virtually in 3D instead of building demo rooms and lobbies, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and six months of design time in the process. Google Sketchup is $500. Forget about the wealth of freelance talent out there to use it. With Pinterest, how can you not know what a client loves? And how can you not find the perfect image of what you are thinking about if you cannot/will not create one for yourself?
The tools available to tell your client’s story have never been more accessible. And we all know a killer presentation App is just around the corner. Clients are right to judge how you tell your interpretation of their story as much as anything else. Simply, how you present is the single most important linchpin to the value of your art and your creative business. Just take a look at the difference in philosophy between Vicente Wolf and my friend’s interior designer.
Read Vicente Wolf’s brilliant post on how he presents his design vision to his clients. To me, it is required reading for all creative business owners to see how someone like Vicente approaches his presentations, where he places the value of his creative business. Vicente is decidedly low tech, but thorough in how he “paints the colors” for his client. You may or may not want to present how Vicente does, that is not the point. Look at how methodical and detailed he is to every moment he is communicating his vision. If you are his client, how can you not appreciate the thought that has gone into his design? The perception of value is clearly on his creativity not the stuff he intends to use. Your faith in him is defined by his communication of his vision his way.
Juxtapose that with a story friends told me about their experience with their interior designer. The designer came highly recommended and had worked with several colleagues and friends. Her fee was $5,500 plus 20% of items chosen. My friends shared several Pinterest boards, took her to places whose design they liked, and talked with the designer for several hours about likes and dislikes. What did the designer show? Ideas in three genres that did not at all represent what was discussed. No floor plans, no specific ideas, just pictures of items that my friends had found online. The result: incredible frustration and distrust of the designer and whatever vision she might have had. Instead of wanting to maximize the relationship, they just want to get through it. They feel like they have invested too much of themselves to start over, but do they value the designer and her talent? No. Strong relationship? Not even close.
If only my friends’ story was an outlier. I see it over and over – the unwillingness to invest in process and the theater of presentation. I suppose it is because it is not the norm and, why bother, if the work will speak for itself. So not true and, even if it did, think of all the opportunities lost when a client only wants to be done. Today, it costs virtually nothing for your creative business to reveal the soul of your art before you have to deliver it. Next to nothing to create and be paid for an immutable relationship with your client. Here is my prediction: in the (very near) future all value to you, your art and your creative business will be put squarely on your ability to present effectively.
Although it’s beautiful and exhilarating, a boudoir session can intimidate even the most confident woman. Calm your client’s nerves with Design Aglow’s Boudoir Welcome Packet. When you hand her this tastefully appointed fine art presentation, filled with everything she needs to know (and more!), any apprehension will melt into eager anticipation for her day in the limelight.
Boudoir Welcome Packet at a glance:
• Welcome greeting
• Quad-fold card including packages, general session info, location session info, pep talk and testimonials
• Trifold beauty guide with helpful tips
• Checklist of all items to remember leading up to their session
• Product options
• Bookmark referral card
• Business card with contact info
• Packaging sticker
• Return address label for branded mailing option
• Gift magnet with confidence-boosting quote
*Special thanks to the contributors of this product: Jessica Lorren Organic Photography, and Mi Amore Foto!
Click here to see it in the shop!
The best of memories, if not written down immediately, can be very easily forgotten. With the number of variables we talked about in part 1, locations you stumble upon during your everyday life, while traveling or when intentionally scouting, we can all agree recollecting the details for each and every location can get tricky.
So, how can we remember?
Design Aglow contributor Andrea Joki believes, “A Location Field Book can be an excellent option for documenting finds. Always carry it with you when you travel and be ready to jot down notes about the location, time of day, and points of interest. If you can, snap a quick photo to include in the book. You will find that over time you will build an impressive list of places to shoot.”
Today, we are sharing a free and useful tool that will help you document and organize the discoveries you find out on the road. This complimentary template will help you to build an effective location field book.
But first, let’s review the type of information you will ideally want to include in your location field book!
• Location address for GPS and clients
• Notes specific to the area such as parking requirements or unique features
• Best times of the day to shoot there
• Seasonal changes such as deciduous trees, snow features, rainy months, etc.
• Availability (such as opening and closing hours)
• A snapshot (or sketch) or two of the general area
• Portraits you’ve taken there in the past
• Any permission requirements
• Information on liability waivers
Andrea further explains, as you fill up your Location Field Book, you can begin to sort it by subject type: e.g. sections showing locations appropriate for seniors, for children, for couples, or sort by location type: e.g. urban, rural, beachy. Then you’ll have a quick reference at your fingertips when clients call.
Need help getting started? Download the Location Scouting Field Book template! This (FREE) handy template makes it easy to keep the information and ideas organized and accessible for future photo shoots! On the template, you will be able to insert information like the location type, address and additional space for miscellaneous notes, such as parking requirements. In addition, the template focuses on questions to ask yourself when you are out scouting. What do you love most about it? What are the special features about the area and why do you believe it is unique and special? It also touches on shot ideas, perhaps, what type of poses you would use on your clients and at what angle you would shoot at? Lastly, you can insert your snapshots of the location and any other thoughts or ideas you would want to remember about it.
This resource will serve you well when planning upcoming sessions with your clients, so don’t miss it!
Taking your Field Guide a Step Further:
Once you’ve started to use the journal and have a repertoire completed, you can create a collection to show clients, either as a PDF/slideshow or an inspiring presentation art book for in-person meetings. Include images from sessions at that location, optimal seasons/times to shoot, clothing ideas and any other notes to get clients inspired. One of the best selling points of location photographers is that they know their areas well and how to photograph them effectively.
Watch how your perceptions evolve and a new innovative vision takes your imagery to another level!
Learn more from Andrea in Issue No. 11 of the Design Aglow Magazine.