Tuesday, December 15, 2015

4 Good Reasons Why You May Want to Wait to Share Client Photos

By: Simon Ringsmuth

A few decades ago the Heinz company ran a series of commercials featuring people patiently waiting for their ketchup to be poured from glass bottles, each ending with the tagline, “The best things come to those who wait.” Even though these ads seem kind of silly now, they do have a lesson for photographers: sometimes it pays to be patient, especially when sharing photos with your clients.
Almost every time I return from a photo shoot, and start going through the pictures on my computer, I get caught up in the excitement and have a nearly unbearable urge to start sending pics, previews, and first-looks to my clients. I often can’t wait to share my work with them so they can see for themselves how things turned out. However, if you take the opposite approach and apply the brakes a bit, you and your clients will have a much more positive experience, and you will be better prepared for the long run and the rewards it brings. If you are the type of person who, like me, wants to send your clients a few sneak peeks or previews before you deliver your finished pictures, here’s a few reasons you might want to reconsider that practice.

1 – Put your best foot forward

Recently I spent an hour in the park taking pictures of a family, and as I was going through nearly a thousand images in Lightroom later that evening, I came across a few that I just had to share with the parents. They were so precious, and their little girl looked like she was having the time of her life, so I knew they would be thrilled to get a couple photos right away. I sent them to the mother’s mobile phone and she responded with ecstatic adulations, and a few minutes later the pictures showed up on Facebook where they immediately got dozens of likes and a handful of comments like “Great shot!” and “Lovely family!” So far so good, right? I mean, where’s the harm in sending a few pictures the evening after a photo session if that is the result?
My goal in sending a few initial photos was to give my clients a sneak peek (that’s literally what I said when I texted her: “Here’s a sneak peek from today’s session!”) which would whet her appetite for the rest of the photos, but in doing so I essentially ruined the surprise. It’s like sneaking a peek, to use the expression, beneath the wrapping paper a week before Christmas and getting a glimpse at your presents–it’s fun, but it makes the actual unwrapping a bit anticlimactic, since you already know what to expect.
Another problem with this approach is I found a few other pictures later on that were even better, but by then the surprise had worn off. Yes the clients were still thrilled to get their images, but by the time I had the official gallery all put together, with watermarked proofs for sharing on social media, the excitement had worn off and her friends were not as interested as they were initially. I basically sacrificed quality on the altar of immediacy, and in doing so hurt my brand just a tiny bit in the process.If I had simply waited until all the photos were finished and given my clients everything when I was truly ready to do so, I would have had much better results overall. Every photo would have been personally selected, properly edited, and appropriately watermarked for sharing on social media. My client’s photos would have looked better and so would my photography operation in general. This same scenario has repeated itself time and time again, and often my wife has to talk me down from the edge. I’m eager to share a few quick photos, but if I just wait a week or two until they are actually ready for sharing, the results are always better for everyone involved.

2 – Initial edits are usually not the final edits

wait-to-share-photos-senior-brick-wallThis second lesson is more practical and less emotional, but it rings true for me every time. My initial edits to my pictures are almost never the same as my final edits, and thus rushing to share images right away inevitably leads me to getting an inferior product into the hands of my customers. My editing workflow in Lightroom looks something like this:
  1. Import all photos
  2. Apply custom portrait presets
  3. Pick out my favorites
  4. More editing
  5. Cut out more photos
  6. Edit again
  7. Cut down again
  8. Edit, tweak, enhance
  9. Export the best of the best for printing and sharing
If I share a preview of the session with my clients, it’s usually after step 4, or worse, step 3. (Which sadly has been known to happen more times than I care to admit.) That means I am giving my client, and everyone with whom they share those sneak peeks, images that are quantitatively inferior to what I am capable of producing. If you were baking a cake that you know needs 30 minutes in the oven, would you serve it after 25 minutes because you can’t wait for your guests to taste it? No way! You would serve it only when it’s done and give your friends the highest quality dessert possible as a result. We should give our photographs, and the people with whom they are shared, no less than the time they need to be the quality they deserve.

3 – People think things that take longer, are higher quality

Think for a moment about something special you have in your life: a physical object, a trinket or knicknack, or something with function or purpose like a bookshelf or cabinet. More likely than not, the things we hold dear, and to which we assign greater value, have one thing in common – they were constructed with care over time. Humans often assign greater significance to things that we know took a long time to create. Spelunkers gaze in awe at natural rock formations and crystals that were formed bit by bit, over millions of years. We pay more for wines that has been aged over time, even though they are often no better than their one-year-old counterparts. Rome itself, so the saying goes, was not built in a day. Why then are we, as photographers, so quick to share photos with our clients, if people expect that quality takes time?
I know how tempting it can be to want to share a few pictures right after you are done with a photo session. It happens to me almost every time! It might get you some immediate accolades from your clients, but can be somewhat counterproductive in the long run. Early sharing can send the wrong signal to your clients, and their friends, about the quality of your pictures. Think about it from your clients’ perspective – would you feel good about spending $500 on a photo session if the photographer finished editing your images in one day, or would you rather know that he or she spent a week or two to get the colors, the cropping, and other edits just right?
If your clients have to wait a week or two for their pictures they will assign a much greater value to them, because they know it took you longer to arrive at the final product. When I think about giving clients a preview or sneak peek, my wife, ever the voice of reason, usually pulls me back from the edge and reminds me that we’re only helping our business in the short term. That is not creating the type of high-quality perception we want people to have when they think about having us do their pictures.

4 – Sharing photos early cheapens your talent and skill

One of the nice things about the prevalence of smartphones is that everyone has a camera. Of course the downside to this is many people also consider themselves photographers, when they may not have all the training, experience, and skill that most of their professional counterparts possess. While I’m not one to judge, and far be it from me to say whose work has value and whose work does not, I do know that if you want people to spend money on your photography services, you need to give them a reason to do so.
Why should I pay someone $1500 to shoot my wedding if my friend says he can do it for half that with his new Canon Rebel and a kit lens? Why should I pay $300 for pictures of my kids when my sister can just use her  iPhone with its really nice camera? The reason is because you, as a photographer, are much more than just a person with a camera. People are paying you for your knowledge and skills, your ability to work with people and capture their emotions, and to create beauty and art with the press of a shutter button. You have experience shaped by years of trial and error. Sharing pictures within hours of taking them can send your clients a signal that your work is no different than anyone else with a halfway decent camera.
It was so tempting to share this photo with the girl’s mother right away, but after a week I had taken more time to properly edit it to where it was much better than the original.
By carefully culling your photos from a session, taking time to edit them to perfection, and choosing only the best of the best to eventually give to your clients, you are sending a message that you might not be the fastest game in town, but you mean business, and do quality work. To use another food analogy, anyone can stop at a fast food burger joint and get a quick meal. For a quality top-notch hamburger you need a sit-down restaurant where your food takes a decent amount of time to prepare. Even if both establishments get their beef from the same distributor, the public perception of the latter will almost always be greater than the former, partly for the simple reason that you don’t get your food right away. The same holds true for photography – the best things come to those who wait.
Of course one obvious problem here is how long to wait. As a general rule I like to give my clients their images within two weeks, and often a bit sooner. Much more than that and they can get a bit annoyed, as you would also have a problem waiting two hours for a hamburger, no matter how tasty it was. Every photographer is different, and the length of time depends on many different variables, but as long as you set your clients’ expectations upfront you should be fine. You might even benefit from over-estimating the length of time it will take, and then delivering your pictures a bit sooner. This type of under-promising and over-delivering can go a long way towards building goodwill with your clients, and give them an even more positive impression of you and your work.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day
Antique Valentine's card

Valentine's Day, also known as Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a celebration observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it is not a public holiday in most of them.
Antique Valentine 1909 01.jpgSt. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies.A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell.[3] Today, Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine's Day, albeit on July 6 and July 30, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni). In Brazil, the Dia de São Valentim is recognized on June 12.
The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart", as well as to children, in order to ward off Saint Valentine's Malady.Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

Post by
Tolios Photography

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holidays, Christmas Cards custom design by Tolios Photography Studio, New York

Christmas Card created By Tolios Studio Photography Place in Astoria, Queens New York City, the Vasiliadis family is one of the kind blessed family..triples and the big brother Panagiotis, great experience taking photos of the kids. God Bless You. Happy Holidays!! 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Eva and George Christmas Cards Session in Tolios Photography Studio, Astoria New York

the Kallonas family came in today in the photography place Tolios for their Holiday pictures.
we had a great time with George and Eva the diva which she looooves to pose!
good job kids! kai tou xronou.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Prince Harry in Tolios Photography Studio after the Greek Baptism

we did Harry's Greek Baptism Photography and videography early in November 1st. 2014
unfortunately the baby slept that night and we weren't able take any baby portraits that night.
Good think we can take studio portraits in our studio location in Astoria, Queens 
Nnew York. the best of all we set up also our Christmas backgrounds so Harry had his first Christmas portrait. God Bless Harry and his family!