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Archive 2012 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.
  
 
DavidCZ
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


WNStudio wrote:
Yep, I should write CreativeLive instead of CL
Already fixed. Don't look for it on Craiglist no more


I was kidding

Thanks for the info. It is definitely useful to watch it.

He is definitely a good business man. His wife also compensates him to make the studio successful. She is calm, always smiling and well organized.




Nov 08, 2012 at 10:05 PM
ZachOly
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


I'm watching it now and he's doing some off camera flash.

Av mode, ETTL, no gels, harsh shadows on the people. I'm not sure about his flash skills....



Nov 08, 2012 at 10:52 PM
amonline
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


I'll be honest. I've tried to watch this a few times during the last few days. I can't take more than about 15 minutes of him. He's too arrogant and rude to be a teacher. And, as a few have mentioned, there's not much really making an impact on me. This is for novices IMO.

Funny story though... I cruised the calendar to see what was coming up and saw Sue Bryce had a shoot in a couple of weeks. I went to her website and clicked on before & afters. The literal words out of my mouth were, "holy $#!+".



Nov 08, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Inga
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


Watching the re-watch now...he is extremely "black and white" on so many topics. For example, he's completely against back-button-focus, and focus recompose. Both techniques he swears will result in soft focus images. With regard to focus recompose, he is shooting with a Canon 1DX, so he has a gazillion focus points to choose from and they are reported to work well. When you're shooting with almost anything less than that camera model, I think relying on your outer focus points will result in worse results than using the center focus and recomposing. But I guess he doesn't believe in using anything less than the best.


Nov 09, 2012 at 01:43 AM
amonline
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


Inga wrote:
...When you're shooting with almost anything less than that camera model, I think relying on your outer focus points will result in worse results than using the center focus and recomposing. But I guess he doesn't believe in using anything less than the best.


I don't believe that at all. I use the center dot the LEAST. I don't have a problem focusing my compositions.

Every time I tune in, the images get worse. lol



Nov 09, 2012 at 02:14 AM
D. Diggler
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


joelconner wrote:
Would love to know where you think he is missing it


+1



Nov 09, 2012 at 04:09 AM
klee.007
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


He's located in my area as well (like Joel) and I've never actually met him. From everything I've heard about him from other photographers and vendors, he's a nice guy and a great talker. I've received feedback from his past clients and they said that he's pretty much about 'me' and less about what his clients want.

Like Joel said, he's a phenomenal sales person but personally I'm not crazy about his work. He's definitely considered a high end photographer here in the St. Louis area. *shrug*

Anyhow, I can't say he's a bad person since I have never shook his hand or really got to know him.

Keith

Edited on Nov 09, 2012 at 03:14 PM · View previous versions



Nov 09, 2012 at 06:23 AM
ZachOly
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


I'm watching him go over the walk down the isle.

He has a 1DX and all the L glass Canon makes and won't use AI Servo for moving shots because it's not as reliable as one shot? wat



Nov 09, 2012 at 11:43 AM
DblDrgn
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


ZachOly wrote:
I'm watching him go over the walk down the isle.

He has a 1DX and all the L glass Canon makes and won't use AI Servo for moving shots because it's not as reliable as one shot? wat


That part made me think that he's not using the best methods, and his "education" should be taken with a grain of salt.

Also, the part when he's doing some off camera flash in the alley... he's using the 600EX-RT and transmitter, but WALKING over to the flash to manually change the exposure compensation. I literally wanted to jump through the computer screen and show him how to do that from the camera (the correct way of doing it).

Then he quit doing OCF very quickly because it wasn't working out, exposure was off so he's all "F that I quit".
-Wow no kidding it's not working out, I believe that Sal should figure it out before trying to teach others.




Nov 09, 2012 at 02:33 PM
joelconner
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


To be perfectly honest, doubt that there is much that many seasoned pros would gain from him on the photography side. If you see a lot of his work (as I have) and not just the shots he has printed big or whatever, his technique is lacking and nothing to write home on in many areas. He gets some really good one-off shots, but the bulk of his look is all done in post. What he has to offer is on the business side, imo...that's why he kicks the rest of our butts in the area with the scale of his business.


Nov 09, 2012 at 02:35 PM
 

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Littleguy
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


Right on.

Watch it for his business tips - especially on pricing - it makes a lot of sense.

Forget his photography tips - there are better photographers you should be watching instead.


joelconner wrote:
To be perfectly honest, doubt that there is much that many seasoned pros would gain from him on the photography side. If you see a lot of his work (as I have) and not just the shots he has printed big or whatever, his technique is lacking and nothing to write home on in many areas. He gets some really good one-off shots, but the bulk of his look is all done in post. What he has to offer is on the business side, imo...that's why he kicks the rest of our butts in the area with the scale of
...Show more



Nov 09, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Littleguy
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


Does anyone remember day 1 or 2?

I think I may have missed it but I cannot figure out how he convinces his client that his company is the one they should hire.

I see how his pricing is made to move clients up his packages and his use of a-la-carte pricing like other people use the ultimate dream package pricing. But this only works once a client has decided that they want to go with Sal vs. another photographer as their photographer.

If a client is still unsure if they want Sal vs. Joel as their photographer the pricing games are not going to work.

Did anyone get how he manages to convince the client that he is the one they should hire vs. another photographer?



Nov 09, 2012 at 03:35 PM
ZachOly
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


I didn't see that part, but I think he closes brides who want the photog to just take charge, he keeps bringing up the fact that he's the "guided advisor".


Nov 09, 2012 at 04:50 PM
joelconner
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


Littleguy wrote:
Did anyone get how he manages to convince the client that he is the one they should hire vs. another photographer?


He's is very likable and confident and smooth talking. He books most of his biz through his bridal shows (where, to be honest, he does a killer setup). He is good (most of the time) with showing only the best of the best images, which has a strong impact (something I really need to learn). Many brides seem to love the heavily processed, "art" images. To the normal person, the way he does everything has a very high end feel to it. He is the kind of photographer that my wife (who is a fashion designer) would hire...girls who are into fashion and chic and cool love him.

That is just what I have gathered from my personal observations. I do not know what/if he says to brides in regards to other photographers in the area. He definitely considers himself the best photographer in the area...I claim that many would disagree with.



Nov 09, 2012 at 05:01 PM
TheGE
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


joelconner wrote:
Would love to know where you think he is missing it


Well, among other things, his sales consult (on the e-session I saw) totally overlooked the couples' wants; he's mistaking tactics for strategies; he's crediting factors that actually aren't the factors to his success while totally overlooking the actual contributing factors to why something works, and I can go on and on and it's too involved to detail all this out in a post.

I'll give one example. He says his email response to inquiries gets a one out of ten response. 9 out of ten inquiries aren't calling back.

But did you see the email he sends? It starts off touting how he's an award winning photographer (instead of directing itself to the prospect), focuses on price (starting at $4499, which by the way, if you're going to come off as somewhat high end, drop the 9.99 pricing tactic, that's a low end tactic so he's not congruent with his brand); confuses (it says, "Please let us know which option works for you" BUT it doesn't offer any options for the recipient to choose from. And if you confuse the recipients they're more prone to not do anything at all - that alone may be a key reason why his response rate's so bad); he refers to capturing stills as "snapshots" though he wants to promote himself as doing "art work" (again not being congruent with his brand); and then he goes on to try and sell them on video. The email should only be focused on one thing, and that one thing is to get them to make an appointment and not over stretch trying to sell them on more stuff before they've even committed to making the appt. Then on top of it all, there aren't any compelling hooks to prompt a call. So in my professional experience, this all contributes to why his response rate on interested inquiries is so low.

Okay, so after having said all this, the take away is there are a few things he's doing right, whether he gives the correct reason for it or not. And those few things hit big major points that obviously overcome his errors. That's what I'm finding interesting about this. It means you can do most things blindly, but do some key things right, and you too can overcome the mistakes you're making.

Of course that also means if you didn't make those mistakes, well, that would just be better all around. I'm tempted to write him about that. For example, if he improved his email response a bit, getting two out of ten to respond instead of one out of ten, then he'd *double* his results instantly, without increasing his expenses whatsoever, getting to his goals that much faster, wouldn't he?




Nov 09, 2012 at 05:37 PM
WNStudio
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


Ok. My conclusion after watching about 50% of the Boot Camp.

He is a master of sale- I suck in that area, and I know many of us do. It always amazes me how someone in my area can talk people into paying big $ for poor quality shoot'n'burn. Some cool advices when it comes to bridal shows- that what I was looking for, I plan to start doing'em next year.

Photographic skills- very average- many FM-ers can do better.

Post processing- overdone for my taste as for now ( but that part is not over yet- I'm rewatching ), but kinda gives a kick to photos they produce.

Yep- he is irritating because he "knows everything" (this whole "blue print for your business" thing), but his wife is hot so we're even

I'm a big fan of CL- really cool webinars for free- take it or leave it, for me a really good source of knowlegde.



Nov 09, 2012 at 06:47 PM
joelconner
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


He did admit a little bit ago that he misleads his clients that the reason they must buy the products right then is because of vendor price sales (which don't really exist). He even said that it might be "shifty." I am not down with that...


Nov 09, 2012 at 06:49 PM
DavidCZ
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


I really like one point that he made:

There is no way to make 100% clients happy. Once you realize it, then you can sleep well.

CL rocks.



Nov 09, 2012 at 08:32 PM
ZachOly
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


He's going over his pricing now, soooo confusing with different packages, prints, fb postings, web sized, "digital negatives", books, DVD burning, charging for post-processing, etc.


Nov 09, 2012 at 08:59 PM
D. Diggler
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Wedding Photography Boot Camp on CreativeLive now.


WNStudio wrote:
his wife is hot


I was wondering if someone was going to say what I was thinking.



Nov 09, 2012 at 09:12 PM
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