Saturday, December 04, 2010

welcome home, *Print!

So...some new changes coming up in 2011! We've done a lot of restructuring over the last few months to make our service a lot more efficient and to make your experience with us a lot smoother. {woooo, this is waaaay longer than I'd intended, but need-to-know stuff, I believe!}

First, my sister-studio *Print is coming home and rejoining my own studio. What does that mean? ONE website, ONE blog, and - this alone has improved our operations ten-fold - ONE EMAIL ADDRESS! (It's this one: hello at maerstudio dot com - please put it in your address book!)

So from now on, you'll be seeing new work from Dan, Caroline, and me right here.

Other new stuff:
1. New computers! Yeay! It's a complicated business, see, every time we upgrade camera equipment, the files get bigger. Bigger files = more harddrives and slower processing, which in turn means it takes us longer to deliver your images, longer time spent designing books due to rendering, etc, get the picture. So once we wrap up this season, we unwrap the new digital-darkroom-machine and monster harddrives. When we do the swap-overs, we'll announce it here, because we're going to take a few days off production in order to do it properly.

2. New FASTER workflow! One of the first things out of my mouth when meeting with inquiring couples is this: "Just so you know - we are not fast." It's by no means an apology; we aim to deliver images that will remind you for the rest of your lives just how amazing your wedding day was. To do that to our standards takes quite a bit of time. And the response is usually, "Oh, that's fine! We want you to do what you do - it will be worth the wait!" (But....I know when I order something online and I choose 7-10 day shipping, I still check the mail box everyday. I know it's not going to be there on day 4, but the anticipation kills me.) So, we also aim to keep learning and continuing our education so we can improve everything we do. At the end of October, I attended Pictage's PartnerCon. And oddly, where my own presentation and demonstration was on retouching, from the classes I attended myself, the number one thing that stuck with me is that "immediacy trumps perfection" and that my couples probably care a lot more about enjoying their photos and sharing them with their friends and family as soon as possible than they do about a few stray hairs and an exit sign I feel I can't live without retouching out. So...I still refuse to batch process your images and I'm still going to tweak the hell out each one. But I'm going to save the all-out perfecting for my absolute favorites and YOUR absolute favorites (ie the images that go in your book or the ones you want printed over 8x10.) This means you get your photos weeks earlier and you still get your favorite images perfected.

3. New pricing! The economy still sucks. I don't know a single person who hasn't been affected by it in some way. In reality, all one needs to get married is a significant other and a marriage license - weddings and everything that goes with them are luxuries, not necessities. So in the last couple of years, many couples have had to be more careful and bypass what they want for what they need. Also in the last year, I've had more couples tell me they need great photos...the day is going to happen once, they can't go back and do it over once they're more secure in their finances. They want a book or a large canvas, etc, but later when things settle down and they can look at their finances and have time to save. So our new commission rates structure is geared to give you what you need now and what you want later. Now you can hire us to show up, document your day, process your images, and give them to you archived on discs. If you would like a book, prints, canvases, you can come back to us at any time. Also, with Dan from *Print and now Caroline (joining the ranks this year) there are several options to fit your budget.

4. My work schedule! Please don't feel bad when you get emails from me at 3am. 9pm-5am is my 9-to-5. I've always been a night-owl and I get three times as much editing & design done in the still of the night than I do in the day when phones are ringing, the email "ding" is constantly going off, the kids next door are screaming right next to my window, and Wolfgang is trying to show me funny videos on youtube. When the rest of the world is asleep, all I have to think about is the photos and how awesome your wedding was. Caroline and I will of course still be taking phone calls during daytime-hours. And email will still be checked in the day, but twice a day instead of 50x. Again, working when I'm most productive will speed up delivery of your photos!

Well, we'll be posting more about the changes going on over here as we delve into them. Right now, I'm going to get back to work - I've been dying to give Katie & Bob their sneak peek!

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