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A podcast where you join me (Colie) as I chat about what it takes to grow a sustainable + profitable business.
CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
Our clients want and deserved to be pampered—that’s the exact intention behind Flor Blake’s VIP branding experience. As Flor expanded her corporate sessions and branding sessions into an all day, A-lister experience, she knew she had to step up the backend of her business. Flor and I worked together to enhance her CRM to integrate thoughtful and intentional proposals, questionnaires, and automations that matched the experience she created in-person for her clients. In today’s episode, we’re discussing what it looks like to create a high-end experience for Flor’s VIP branding clients.
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Flor Blake is a celebrity, commercial, and personal branding photographer, with a style consisting of creative, bold, and dynamic imagery. Flor knows everybody is gorgeous and is on a mission to help you connect and embrace your inner badass so you can conquer YOUR WORLD. She has made striking portraits of Michelle Obama, Gloria Estefan, Octavia Spencer, Gloria Steinem, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Sarah Jessica Parker, Misty Copeland, her 100-year-old grandpa, Máximo, and many more beautiful faces.
Her infectious message of self-love, confidence, diversity, and acceptance inspires people of all ages and sizes to find great joy in their existence because you are always worthy. She goes to great lengths to ensure that her clients have an unforgettable experience during their personal branding photoshoots. Flor’s clients have changed their outlook on life, obtained promotions, increased engagement and visibility on social media, booked more speaking engagements, made more money, and more after experiencing a photoshoot with her. She splits her time between Colorado and Puerto Rico where she lives with her wife Ileanexis and their three plants.
Today’s episode is brought to you by my Love Your Leads private audio training! Are you providing an experience for your leads that sets an expectation on when they’ll hear from you, provides them with tools that will help them easily say yes and book you, while also making them feel seen and heard? In my private audio training, you’ll learn how to love your leads and get more booked clients through an automated booking process.
Here are the highlights…
[1:36] Get to Know Flor
[3:17] Living in Two Places
[6:31] Communicating Availability to Clients
[8:22] Branding Sessions as a VIP Day Experience
[11:03] Moving to a Full Day Experience
[16:42] Doubling Her Prices
[21:00] The Impact of a CRM
[23:55] The Value of Social Proof
[25:48] Letting Your Clients See Who You Are
[30:17] There Is Always Something to Learn
[33:09] Tweaks Flor has Made in Her CRM
Mentioned in this Episode
Connect with Flor
Review the Transcript:
Colie: Okay, so branding photography seems to be something that is like the latest craze. Everybody seems to be moving from wedding photography and portrait photography into brand photography. And today I am super excited to be chatting with my good friend, Flor Blake, who is also a client. Flor, welcome to the Business First Creatives podcast.
It is so wonderful to see your beautiful face.
Flor: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited.
Colie: I mean, the funny thing is I’m going to see, I mean, you’re here in Denver and I haven’t seen you since you’ve been here, but I’m also going to see you in two weeks at the photo cookout. Cause I am coming with pick time.
Colie: I will say, I mean, at the time of recording guys, by the time you guys hear this interview, it is long past that, so Flor, for those who are, you know, unaware of you and your awesomeness, why don’t you share who you are and who you serve with the listening audience?
Flor: Absolutely. So as Colie said, my name is Fleur Blake and I’m a celebrity and personal branding photographer and I help people who are the face of their business, connecting and embrace their inner badass so that they can conquer their world. And so that’s what I do.
Colie: I mean, and guys, her website is full of celebrities. I love that she led with that because, uh, Michelle Obama is like the first portrait on her website, and I’m always so jealous that she has met and like, talked to Michelle Obama. I’m, I would have given anything to be there with you.
Flor: Not only, I met her. because I’m gonna be even more jealous now, she hugged me and, and I, I’m like, look, so I was not only in her presence, but like we were in close proximity because I have a picture with her, that seemed like my wall of fame in my house, so I’m really excited, I mean, You know, cause I’m like, what is your most precious possession?
I’m like, well, besides my wedding ring, I’m obviously my, right. That picture is definitely right up
Colie: Yes. All right. So it’s funny that floor mentioned her home, everyone, because floor actually does what I do. If any of you guys have ever seen my photography website at the bottom, it says serving people who live in Denver, Dallas, and anywhere that planes fly and floor literally serves two communities.
She used to live here in Denver, not that far from me, but now she lives on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico and she still comes to Denver for work. So why don’t you tell us how that is with like all of your traveling? Because I mean, what percentage of your sessions actually occur here on the mainland versus in Puerto Rico or like all of the other amazing places that you travel like Paris?
Flor: Right. So the cool thing about living in two places is, and I made that decision, you know, all of us, re evaluated our priorities when. The pandemic hit and especially during the lockdown. So, my parents live in Puerto Rico. I’m Dominican.
But I grew up in Puerto Rico and my parents live there. Like my, and like all of the older people in my family are in Puerto Rico. So I was really concerned that something was going to happen and I wasn’t going to be able to get there on time. So we have a couple of, a couple of apartments in Puerto Rico that we rent an Airbnb, and the last one we bought.
We hadn’t rented yet, so we decided, like, why don’t we leave it? Because we, you know, we’re going to be here for a while. And after that experience of being in Puerto Rico and being able to see my parents often, I’m like, I don’t know if I want this to stop. I don’t think I’m going to go back full time to, to Denver.
So now, like, like I’m, so this year, so every year is different. So since the pandemic, I’ve been, flying in and out. So 2021 and 2022, I would say that I had, that it’s been like maybe 60 percent of the time here and like 40 percent of the time in Puerto Rico. This year it’s been like I’m here for six weeks.
I’m in Puerto Rico for six weeks. And that’s, so that’s how it’s been. And I try to take like, December and, and January off. Cause it’s the holidays and I just want to be where the, you know, where the holiday food is. And so that’s Puerto Rico. It’s how I make my decisions, Colie, you know, food is very important.
So, the percentage of sessions really like the bulk of my work. It’s here in Colorado, but I’ve been really fortunate that my clients wait for me and then I tell them these are the times that I’m going to be in Denver. And so we just make sure that we, cluster everybody together. So when I go back to Puerto Rico, I’m doing a lot of work there, but it’s mostly editing and I do,
do events and other sessions there, but definitely the majority of the sessions are here or like in the continental USA. So I fly out to California, New York a lot. Those two. Those are my two other bigger hops. And obviously, whenever people want to do. I, you know, I travel and so they, they usually say you travel, right?
And I’m like, you know, I do. So, um, so last year was a lot of fun. We went to Paris, we went to a bunch of places, I’ve done, shoots in, in London and Vienna, as well. So it’s, you know, it’s a lot of fun.
Colie: And I mean, I know you guys are listening to her and being like, well, damn, I want that life. So a couple things we go, we go hit on, quite often. Cause you know, I travel a lot for family photography, a lot less now than I used to. But I feel like I’m going to ask you the questions that everyone always asks me, because I know that your answers are very similar.
And now they’re going to know that I’m not the only unicorn that does this. So how is it that you announce to your current clients when they can have sessions in Denver, like, Do you keep a running list? Do you send out a newsletter? Cause I know you don’t, but I’m asking that anyways. What is it that you do in order to inform everyone who’s hired you before that you are coming back during these dates and that you’re available again?
Flor: You know, social media, it’s a beautiful resource, right? And I, uh, I do have a newsletter, so I now, thanks to. A couple of my clients, they’re like, why don’t you put it on your, on your newsletter and the bottom, like the cities that you’re going to be and when you’re going to be there. Because that way we know that you’re going to be there.
And I’m like, Oh, that’s actually, cause I used to do like, next it’s going to be like Denver, New York, Paris, but no dates. And so thanks to one of my clients, actually, I started doing that. I use social media to its max. So I do, I’m really big, surprisingly, I know for a lot of people I use LinkedIn a lot, because I, I work with brands and with people that are, you know, the faces of the face of their business.
And so, LinkedIn is big on that. And. I also work with a lot of, corporate people, so I, so for those, I contact them directly and let them know I’m going to be in Denver. They work with, like, in quarters as well, so that’s, that’s helpful. So I just tell them I’m going to be there in the fourth quarter from this date till this date, so if you need more pictures, let me know.
So the same thing with, with my clients. I announce it across all my socials and I have it on my newsletter as well. So no, nothing on my website, which is crazy, but I’m working on that. I’m
working on that.
Colie: I mean, you’ve been working on that website for like two years. Let’s, let’s talk about that floor. So when floor hired me, it was because she wasn’t currently working in a CRM. But I mean, guys, when I say that floor charges premium prices, she does brand photography and like a really interesting way, and we’re going to talk about this, but her brand sessions were 5, 000 and now she has doubled them to 10.
So, first of all, tell me why you chose to do branding sessions as a VIP day. Like, what’s the appeal of shooting your clients all day long? What do they get? What do you get?
Flor: Oh my God. It’s, it is a magical experience. So it’s not the same. When somebody comes to a studio, I have nothing against studios. Like we do sessions in studios as well. But it’s not the same when somebody comes to your studio for a couple of hours and you do pictures and then they go on their merry way and then they wait for their pictures.
The way I do things, it’s a bit different. It is a whole process that. It starts like three, four months before the shoot, right? So we do, a call that it’s a planning call that we talk about, like your innermost desires in this call. And we talk about, you know, fears, concerns we’ve really dig in.
And my clients Open up with me at that call, and so that allows us to, like, get really close and get really excited. And so, and then talk about everything that it’s an issue for them, right? Like, something that’s concerning, when people come to me, they’re usually in a transition, like, they’re, doing a, like, You know, like a shift in their business or they are finally going to do their thing full time.
And having a full day allows them to not only relax, you know, because it, well, you’ve been photographing people for a long time. So, you know, that when we started, like at the beginning of the day, people are really shy and they’re like, Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know how to like. B, even like in your case, I, you’re like doing documenting stuff.
They still are a little nervous, but you know that towards the end of the day, they’re like a whole different, like, it’s like, you’re part of their lives already. So that’s why I do it. Like we talk about everything that could be a concern beforehand. And then the day off, it’s only left for us to have fun and.
Do everything that you want, like create everything that you want. So then my clients have content for a good six months or a year. If you like you said, well, right. Cause then we’re shooting five to six, six brand stories a day and they love it. It’s, it’s a long day. We have lunch, we have transportation during the day.
It’s a, it’s like a big thing. We have hair and makeup with us all day. So. My clients not only get me, but they get an entourage that’s with them all day, making them feel, you know, like the VIPs that they are, cause they are, they’re A listers. That’s how I call my clients.
Colie: I mean, it’s amazing when I think of like a photographer that provides like the client experience floor, you are always who I think of. And so, like, it comes with, they get pampered, they have the entourage, and then they have you, their personal paparazzi for the day. And so did you always do full day shoots or did you gradually grow into that?
Because I don’t actually know the answer to that.
Flor: I actually graduated to that. So I didn’t do that before. And like everybody else, I feel, you know, I did everything. I photographed babies. I photographed families and weddings and everything in between. I think I did an architectural shoot at some point. And I’m like, so I tried everything. Right. The main reason why I graduated to a full day is because I noticed how my clients. Like when the shoot was done, if it was an hour, if it was two hours, that’s when the energy started to shift and the energy started to like get good and they were like loosing up and I’m like, and then we’re done. And I’m like, no, I don’t want, you know, so I didn’t want that to end. And I did it also for myself as a way to, because like, I didn’t start us as like savvy, brilliant business person.
I’m gonna, I’m
Colie: You don’t say!
Flor: and then I’m like, and even like one of my clients is like, you gotta, um, cause I would like extend it because I noticed, uh, the, the shift in their energy. And I wanted to tap into that to get like, to get them more pictures that they will love. And also for me, because then if they have pictures that they look excited and that, that.
It’s capturing their essence, then I can like then show those pictures on my website instead of the pictures that they’re all shy that I took at the beginning. So I was, like shooting myself in the foot, extending these shoots to three, four hours for the same money. And I’m like, wait a minute. Like this can be different, right?
And so that’s, that’s how that started. Cause I’m like, maybe I need to be charging for these three extra hours that I’m with this person. And like figure out a way. And then I thought about what would I want? And. In my case, I, I know that like we have to outprice ourselves and like, and who our clients are, but like I’m my own client.
I want to be pampered. I want to have my hair and makeup done. I don’t, I want that person to stay with me the whole day because I don’t know what I’m doing. Like I put lipstick on and look at me like that’s, that’s, that’s it. And I, like, I literally wear my glasses. I need glasses. So it’s not a, you know, it’s not a, a fashion, it’s not a fashion statement.
However, I, I do use colorful glasses cause they serve as my makeup, right? So I’m like, this is my eye makeup. And then I put lipstick on. So I am my own client in the sense that I want, and I also want everything done for me. I don’t want to have to think about logistics. I don’t want to have to think about where I’m going to park, what I’m going to eat.
Like I want everything taken care of for me. And that’s why I hire you. Right? Like, I’m like, Like, can you just set up this for me? And then we’ll, you know, we’ll go from there. And, and that’s why, and then when I started, I was scared, you know, I was scared that this was not going to fly. and then when I explained that to you, like, like to the first client, , it was really surprising.
I grabbed the phone. I was in like, like I was waiting for a technician to come fix the AC at one of my apartments in Puerto Rico, and the phone, rang and I grabbed it and it was somebody that had referred me, and I started talking to this woman. That was like the first time that I pitched this idea, right?
And then I said, And that day is 5, 000. And they’re like, great. And so when are you available? Like that. And I’m like, what? You mean I could have been doing this this whole time? And and that’s how we started. Like it was a random call. That I had and, and I, I went for it and, and the rest is history. So now, now I’m double, but yeah, but that first one was like 5k and it was amazing.
Colie: I mean, and it was hard to get out of your mouth, but the moment that she said, okay, when are you available? You’re like, Oh my God, this worked. There are people that will pay me this 5, 000. And guys, part of my job, I mean, we’re going to get a little off tangent here, but part of my job of setting up people’s systems on the back end of their business for one of my VIP days is they have to explain all of their business, like every single component, how you get clients, how you treat clients, how you book your inquiries, like all of these things.
And when I sat down and I thought about all the things that Floor was doing, I know all of us are like, Ooh, 5k. That sounds nice. I was immediately like, um, when are you going to double this? Because I mean, she’s flying to New York. She’s setting up all the transportation. She’s setting up, you know, catered lunches.
She’s spending a lot of time ahead of the session. Like she said, in order to get to know her clients. To figure out what the brand stories are, then she has to scout the locations. I mean, when I tell you, when she laid out how much pre work she did, I was like, um, like, I’m going to give this to you in like, in six months, I want to come back to you and I want you to tell me, I mean, and maybe you don’t double it.
Maybe you go to 7, 500 so that you can feel a little comfortable. And then when someone says yes, then you jack it up to 10 K. But I was just like, this is a lot of work floor. And you know, the photos that you are producing are amazing. You have the social proof and the images to back it up. So I apologize for getting off track, but like floor is definitely like the perfect person for me to explain.
Like when I tell you to raise your prices, I am being as honest as I possibly can. If I don’t think you should raise your prices, I’m not going to tell you to raise your prices. But most of the time, when you tell me about your businesses and what you do and like what your client experience is, I’m like the price tag.
does not match the service that you are providing to them.
Flor: Absolutely. No, and thank you for saying that because, You were the first one to tell me to double it, and then I had this other client, that I, I did a shoot in Charleston for her a couple years ago, and she’s like, I’m gonna send you a client, and I want you to tell her that it’s ten, and I’m like, what?
So I was like, like, I, like, it was, it was a lot of, You know, like it’s a lot of nervous energy because it’s money and like money to taboo and especially for women, right? So it’s been a lot of like in the last three years. I’ve spent a lot of time, you know reading about money Reading about you know confidence like like I can give you a list of all the books that I like but I feel changed my life
Flor: but it’s Like there is a lot of education that goes into, becoming the business person that you want to be and being able to back up your prices because you, you’re right.
Like I have the social proof. I have the photos of my website of the celebrities. Like, I’m not lying. Like when I say I didn’t Photoshop these people, I really met these people, right? And I really took their pictures. And. And it was amazing to me that I was so scared that to, to just like made the jump and obviously like this new, pricing, it’s, it’s also.
Was a jump and I decided to do it and I did that this year and I was talking to a client that I had last year that, you know, it was half of that and I told her, you know, I raised my prices and she’s like, I don’t care. I don’t even remember what it was last year. So just send me the invoice. What? So, you know, obviously not every client is like that.
And I’ve talked to a bunch of people that I’ve told them and explained to them like what it is that I do. And, and it, you know, it’s a little bit more when we’re now where we’re going to Paris because we’re going to Paris, we’re going to New York. And it’s not, so I tell them if you come to Puerto Rico, which is a beautiful place.
Or if we come to Denver, which is also a gorgeous place, then this is the pricing. It is going to be like, I’m going to be charging you a premium if we’re going to go any other place. And everybody’s in, in so far people are, we have been okay with that because they understand that I need to pay for travel.
I need to pay for accommodations and, and they’re okay with me, you know, charging them a little bit more. Because I’m going to them, but also that was, that was another conversation that, that my wife had to have with me. She’s like, I don’t think it’s fair that people are coming to Puerto Rico or are coming to Denver are being charged the same as the people that are like, what if they call you to Dubai?
Are you gonna? Yeah. And I’m like, Oh my God, she’s amazing. Look at my ring. Sorry. I am married. She put a ring on it anyway, but she’s amazing. And, also like when she said it, I am like, Oh, I don’t know. Cause I was scared. Like, that’s the thing. And then at some point, you gotta do like Gary Fisher says, like, do it scare.
Like, even if you’re scared, just do it. And. Things eventually, like, look at this client, just like, I don’t even remember how much it was the last time. Just like send me the invoice. So obviously that’s the ideal client and you don’t necessarily, not everybody’s going to be like that, but they hope is that, you know, eventually every, like moving into places that have more people like that, that I appreciate what you do and that value photography and that see that really we live in a visual world and they need, excellent, visuals to be able to grab the attention of the people that, they’re selling to. So.
Colie: I mean, I feel like this is a different, this is not for the podcast, but this is like for a different conversation. I got everybody. I feel like floor is not a case study on my website and she needs to be. She needs to be specifically because now it doesn’t even take 1 client for her to pay herself back for what she paid for me to set up her systems.
So floor, let me ask you. How did your systems that I built for you affect, the way in which you talked about your experience or the way that you decided to raise your prices? Because I know that like you didn’t have any systems before. So like, have you noticed any difference like before working with me and then now after working with me in terms of how clients are booking you, how you’re interacting with them, any of that good stuff?
Flor: So, well, having a CRM, it’s a beautiful thing and it’s something that I should have done a long, long time ago. And it wasn’t until I saw you at the photo cookout that you started talking about, automations. Is that how you say it? And English is my second language, beautiful people. So, um, so. And I’m like, wait, so you mean that I, I don’t have to like, like run and email them back.
Like, what, what are you talking about? And when I had the conversation with you, I’m like, this is too good to be true. But then, like, I guess three, four months after I start, like we implemented this, My clients were like, Oh, I like they like the feedback was really positive. They’re like, Oh my God, I love your system.
I love that. Like today, like you send me, the one hour, you know, the reminders. And so my clients love the reminders for our calls. They love the questionnaire. They love, we have, I have a style guide that I sent, that I sent out. Colie was excellent, setting that up.
So they, so everything, so you feel one thing and then boom, boom, boom. Like one thing, one thing triggers the other. And, and I’ve gotten very good at telling people because people are like, no, no, but just like, let’s, let’s just talk on DM. And I’m like. No, yeah, that’s, that’s fantastic. But,
Colie: But also. Yes.
Flor: exactly, so then I figured out a way and then I had another conversation with you and I’m like, can you make me a calendar link that I can, so that that’s not linked to my website, but that they can link and then they can put their information.
So whenever I see that I have people. That DM me and that want to have the conversation offline. I just send them that calendar and that puts them in my system. And then they appreciate it. I’m like, it’s just going to be better for you because then you’re going to get like the reminders and they’re like, Oh my God, yes, everybody needs reminders.
And I’m like, absolutely. So here, this is why we’re doing this. Um, you know, and also. The proposal, like that’s, that thing is a beautiful, like I send people, it is beautiful, like visually looking beautiful, but it’s also beautiful in the sense that everything’s right there. So I have my proposal, With all of the information, you know, with the summary of all the information that we just talked about, then they go in, they fill out their information, then they have a contract, then they have an invoice, and then that’s it.
And that is beautiful. Like, it’s, that’s, it’s also like, I don’t have to remember to send them a contract because it’s right there. I don’t have to remember to send them an invoice because it’s right there. And then there’s testimonials in there. So even if they were like, Oh, I don’t know. Then they see the proposal and they see the testimonials and they’re like, and they get excited again.
And I just share this because this is exactly what my clients have told me. Like, Oh, and then I saw the testimonial and I was about to like, quit, like not do it. And then I just did it. Uh, like,
Colie: mean, social proof, social proof will sell your services for you. And so I tell people like, there’s no such thing as too much social proof. I want to see it in your emails. I want to see it in your proposals. I want to see it on your website. And like, since working with you, I’ve actually done a few podcast interviews where I keep telling people, yeah, the same stuff that’s on your website is what needs to translate over into your CRM.
Like there is no such thing as repeating yourself too many times. When it comes to social proof, because it builds their confidence that, you know, what you’re doing and that you are going to provide whatever service it is that you’re promising. And when they’re seeing, you know, the results that other people got, they’re like, Oh, wow.
Like I need some of that in my life. And I’m just going to say one more thing. Like, I feel like in your case, you needed premium systems to match your premium price tag, like. Point Blank. I mean, I love that. I love that your clients are giving you that feedback because you are dealing with like a slightly.
I mean, maybe elevated is a bad word, but you’re dealing with a different type of clientele. They are the CEOs of their companies. They are the marketing directors. Like these people are used to just seeing what it is that they need and just hiring it. Like they’re not going to go back and forth with you and haggle on pricing.
And, and those kinds of things. So I feel like you’re at a level where you just need to present your offer. And basically the systems and the proposal and your social proof and all that good jazz just does the job for you. All you have to do is make sure that they’ve met you because you are a loud woman, just like me, so that they are not shocked when they come to the session.
And they’re like, Oh my gosh, you are the same woman that I met on the consultation call. This is awesome. I loved you then. I love you now.
Flor: Absolutely. And you are a hundred percent right. I, this is why I also show up on social media, right? ’cause people we’re, we have to show up on, on, on our socials. We have to show up in our stories. We have to do, uh, like, like we have to evolve and change with, with the world, right? And so, That also allows me, so I do a lot of the stories, of my behind the scenes because then, then people know, I know that when I’ve talked to, um, some of my clients, like even when like we are in the session, I’m like, Oh my God, you look so gorgeous.
Like the light is hitting you perfectly. And one of them said, Oh, Flor, you said that to all the time. I’ve seen your stories and I’m like, and it’s never not true. Okay. So she was like, okay, okay, okay. That that’s true. That’s true. You’re right. You’re right. I do look great. And I’m like, absolutely. I’m not like, I’m not making this up.
Like I have the hair and makeup person here to make sure. And then we talk about what you’re going to wear. So absolutely you are. Like people get to know me, like, within my, like, in my socials, because I want them to, like, also know, like, what the experience is before, and, you know, like, I, I’ve gotten people say to me, You’re not like other photographers and I’m like, what do you mean?
And they’re like, well, not everybody. Like tell us, tells me like how to pose, like things that are like, that are absolutely ridiculously obvious to me that you have to do, um, like telling people how to pose, telling them how gorgeous they look. Like making sure that.
Like your necklace is not crooked. Like things like that are small details that people really appreciate. And then that really, just takes, takes you to the next level. Like people are going to talk about the experience that you provide because you are making them feel. safe and secure and they trust you when you do things like, Oh, let me fix your necklace.
Or is it okay if I touch you? I always ask people if I can touch them because you don’t know, like, you don’t know, like, so, so, you know, like asking for permission. Create a safe space for them so that they can open up and really, you know, blossom into this person that then is going to give you amazing pictures that you’re going to put all over your socials, right?
And like get you more clients. I don’t know if I, if you had asked me a question and
I answered it, I don’t know if I,
Colie: answered it, Flor. I mean you totally answered it. And the thing that I was thinking of the whole time that you were talking is that you and I do our sessions in a very similar way, even though I am photographing families and their houses and you are photographing, like, you know, brand, you’re photographing business owners, like in multiple different kinds of places, because I do ask permission.
But the funny thing is, I show the behind the scenes, but I also warn them when I get to their house. I hug everyone. I also tell them, I need you to hug me now because when I touch you later, I don’t want you to be surprised because I, like, if your shirt is crooked, even in documentary work, I’m going to reach over and just yank that shirt down so that it’s, I mean, there’s nothing worse than me just trying to photograph you when something isn’t working, like if mom’s hair placement is bad, or I see that she has an eyelash on her face or, you know, dad’s shirt has bunched up now that they’re sitting down.
I mean, I take a few photos and as I’m taking them and I realized that. Something’s out of place. I need to adjust something, especially for the ones that are like not purely documentary where I’m photographing them. You know, making their pancakes or whatever it is that they’re doing. The second thing that it made me realize is a good thing about behind the scenes for you and I.
We talk the entire time we photograph people. I never shut up. And the funny thing is, sometimes the children that I’m photographing, because you know I do video and I do photos. Well, when I’m videoing you and I know that I’m going to use your audio, I stop talking. And sometimes the kids will talk to me and ask me a question and I won’t answer them because I’m videoing it and they’ll get really close to the camera.
I’ll be like, Miss Coley, did you hear me? And I’d be like, well, yes, but I’m recording video. So I’m trying not to answer you at the moment. But like, I realized at some point that was something that I had to tell my clients is if I’m not talking to you. There’s probably a reason, and I’m probably filming you, and I promise when I’ve hit stop, I will answer, you know, whatever your question was.
Or in some cases, I have to hit stop recording because they did something that was so funny, I cannot hold my laughter in. Like, I just can’t do it anymore.
Flor: That’s amazing. And you know, it just goes to show that, we are learning also as we go, like we’ve been doing this for a long, long time. Like I, I know that I’ve been doing this for like 15 years. Right. And, but every day, and I know you have like more than a decade as well, like doing this and even like having a decade long, We are learning every day as we go.
Like we’re learning how people would react, like, even like different questions to ask. It’s only happened twice in my whole career that somebody has said to me, please don’t show me the pictures. Like, I, I don’t want to see them, which is really hard for me.
I’m going to admit, like, it’s like, I’m so excited that whatever, what I’m looking at that I want to show you, cause I want you to get equally excited. And this client, I share a reel recently that when I’m showing the picture to this group and everybody’s like oohing and aahing and she’s like, I saw that reel.
I don’t want you to show me the pictures. And I’m, and I was like, heartbroken. But I mean, just because it’s like part of my process, right? And she looked incredible. This woman brought in this incredible flower crown that, you know, it’s, it was a sight to see and she didn’t want to see the pictures and I’m like, it’s okay.
It’s fine. You know, it’s, uh, it is something to learn. So now I’m learning, maybe I don’t need to show the pictures all the time. And maybe I can wait for people to ask me, can I see them? And then I’m like, Of course, here they are. So now that’s a thing that I, that I added to my, to my process.
So during the planning meeting, I asked them, would you like me to share the pictures with you as we’re shooting? And they’re like, Oh my God, of course. So it’s like only two people in the, like in 15 years, I’ve said, no, I don’t want to see them. But now I know that that’s a possibility, right? So, so we’re learning every day about, I know, cause some people want to see them because then they can.
Fix like yeah, Joe. Yeah, but she’s like no I’m just gonna get really self conscious if I see them when I’m like then then we’re good then and she doesn’t even want me to She didn’t even want to choose her pictures. She’s like you choose the pictures. I trust you Send me the gallery when it’s done and I’m like, okay, that’s fine.
And then that’s and that’s okay as well You know, so it’s it’s a all our learning process as we go
Colie: Let me ask you about your systems one more time, because we’ve already talked all about the creation of them. How much tweaking have you done since I worked with you? I mean, clearly you doubled your prices, but have you changed anything else about like your client experience where you had to customize or edit the emails or your questionnaire or the order that things happened or the timeline for the workflows?
I mean, cause it’s been a good 18 months and you know, I recommend to all of my clients that at least every six months you should be checking in on your systems to make sure that they’re still working as you want them to. So what kind of tweaks have you made?
Flor: So definitely some of the emails, I’ve, I’ve tweaked them and I don’t, but I think that’s
it. I think, I think that’s it.
I think the
Colie: I mean, that’s lovely to
Flor: Like one thing that I did, do was to add another approved to, do a second email for the, like the reminder for the scheduler, because sometimes like it got finicky and you didn’t, I don’t know if it talks to the calendar.
I don’t like, I don’t know if this, if this makes sense, but it was sending the email like, Oh, remember to book your, your. Like your time with me and and they had already booked the time so I yeah, so I had so I just added on a proof so so that way, which is fine, you know, like sometimes they like they bumping this to the top of your email.
That’s fantastic. When when I don’t. So that’s great. Cause sometimes I don’t have to do it. But so for some of them, their proof is there. So then I can go in and like, yeah, send that out because I, so that’s like the only tweak I’ve done besides like the, like changing the subject of the emails, you know, for your suggestion, because you said like, it says for a photography at the beginning, then we don’t know what, what email we sent out.
So now that part is at the end. So that, that’s basically it.
Colie: Well, and I do, I recommend, and I don’t think I’ve ever said this in the podcast. I do recommend for some people who are sending emails out specifically to like. business people that they have a lot of emails to sort. And so if you include your brand name in the subject line of all of your emails, they’ll be able to search for your name and quickly see all of your emails.
I mean, I know you can do it from the two, but like, I just think that having it in the subject line just helps you be more accessible when they are searching in their email for like that last email, when you sent, you know, the preparation guide or the questionnaire reminder or any of those kinds of things.
Floor, this has been an amazing conversation. I am so, so happy to hear how well your business is doing. And I’m even more excited to see you in a few weeks, but for those of, for those people in the listening audience that don’t get to hug you in person really soon, tell them where they can find you on the internet to hear more about you and the services that you offer.
Flor: absolutely. So you can find me, on my website, florblakephoto. com
. And then that’s where you find all my socials, the only, it’s Flor Blake in all my socials, so it’s except for, uh, Instagram, where it’s at, Flor underscore Blake. And then you can find me everywhere.
Colie: Flor. It’s amazing. Thank you for coming on the podcast, friend. All right, everyone. That’s it for this episode. See you next time.