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How to get all the business you can handle doing restorations/retouching?

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  #11  
Old 07-17-2003, 11:47 AM
dipech dipech is offline
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Location: Passaic, NJ
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Roger,

Once again, GREAT and very helpful advice!! I especially like what you wrote not to "give anything away for free to attract people to your mailing list. Those people that have integrity will feel uncomfortable about taking advantage of you and won't sign up, they will feel that you lack confidence because you are giving it away and that your work probably doesn't have value. Conversly the people who sign up for a freebee you won't want."

I also redid my flyer again with some of your points in mind. What do you think of this one? I need to print up a very large batch of about 100 or so and am trying to get it just right. It is not the hardest I've done but it's pretty for a flyer and seems to impress people.

Thank you for all your great support!!
Diane
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  #12  
Old 07-17-2003, 11:52 AM
dipech dipech is offline
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Here is one more; a harder set of pictures. The client didn't want to spend so much money so I didn't go for perfection on it, just a good job.

Diane
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2003, 09:56 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Diane

Definently print up some sample flyers (on your printer) and show them to family, friends and potential clients. Get their votes, their feedback will be the most valuable, it will give you a real perspective on what people who are not in this business think and respond to.

I think the first of the last two flyers is a little flat, not in contrast (it might have a little too much), but in the shape of the face from the lighting.

The second flyer is good also, but the finished photo does needed to be tweaked and look like the same person (I think it is starting to look a little bit like a different person). I added just a lttle more shading to it on this example. I also think the red toning color is a little heavy, people really like to keep the old feel, but cleaned up and shaped to bring back the roundness that was in the original but got lost with the fading.

I am not a graphic artist, but I did a little cut and paste on the flyer to give you some ideas.

Looking good, Roger
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2003, 11:05 AM
dipech dipech is offline
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Roger,

Wow! I love the revised version of the flyer that you did!! I would never have thought of doing it like that. Thank you so much!!!

I took another look at the original pic of the woman and actually my version does really resemble her, once you enlarge the original alot more. But I probably did make her face look at least 15-20 pounds thinner in my restored version. It was so hard to tell where her face ended and the background started. I'll post a cropped enlarged version below of her face. I will also try to fit a copy into the revised flyer that you did.

Thank you for mentioning about the reddish tone and the importance of staying close to what the original looks like. I'm really into color and am learning that I have to be really really careful to always check to see what the customer prefers.

With the first flyer, is the flatness problem in the right (your right) side of her face, near her eyes and hairline? I remember I was so focused in just trying to get the color of the two cheeks to blend with each other when I did that one and it was before I learned from you about the importance of focusing on the lighting in the other thread.

Also, is there a way to tell when the contrast is too much as you thought? Is this something you just learn with experience?

Have a wonderful weekend!

All the best,
Diane
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2003, 10:32 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Diane,

First one: I took a closer look. I have just spent ten minutes staring at them both and trying to figure it out, I think that although the shape of the face is the same the restored version has a deeper brow and more angular facial structure in terms of the shading and contrast in those areas, so it makes the child look a little older. My guess is that it is also a little over saturated. Also, the shirt has subtle pink patches in it on my monitor in stead of a soft cream like the original. .

Second one of the woman: You are right, the shape is the same. It is the shape of the shadows that have changed. I roughed in the shading to give you an idea. Look at the shape of the shadow next to the nose, under the lip, and I changed the jaw because I think the light area there is from the cleaned up damage. I also added little half smiles at the corners of the lips to match the original.

Good job - these are just some ideas to make them even better. I see life through my own 'rose colored glasses', so if anyone else has any ideas ...

These restorations are almost there own thread - if we want to go further with these we sould probably move them over and leave this thread to the making a living topic. Either way is fine with me though.

Roger
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  #16  
Old 07-22-2003, 01:10 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Vicki,

Thanks very much for all the excellent info! I'm wondering how you were able to set up such a great arrangement with the photo shop you work with--how did you present it to them so that they agreed to the 10%??

As to your point on ink jet prints, I am starting to come around to your view to have my prints sent out to a photo lab. I recently discovered an excellent online photo service-shutterfly.com and compared their prints with some I did of the same photos on my inket. With most of the black and white prints, their prints came out significantly better. But on the color prints, my ink jet prints on high gloss paper came out just as good. Then there is the whole issue of what exactly is the longitivity of the ink jet prints...

Considering the cost of ink cartridges and top quality ink jet papers, and how fast I've been going through the cartridges and paper, it doesn't make sense to make an inkjet print when I can use their service. But the problem I see is what about when it's a more special photo--like a restored wedding shot-- where you want to use fancier and heavier paper than what a place like Shutterfly uses? Or let's say it's a $90.00 job (or more); do you want to give the client a finished photo on just the standard photo paper a lab uses?

Diane
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  #17  
Old 07-22-2003, 07:27 PM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Thanks Diane.
To answer some of your questions. I'm not entirely sure what motivated the shop owner to take my offer. A couple of things possibly. He can call me at any time and get a consultation if necessary. Perhaps 10% is a higher return than he was getting before? I also offered a 100% money back guarantee.

About the prints. Believe it or not, customers do not seem to be concerned about the type of paper the image is on. I have never had anyone ask me about the paper. I think they just assume it will be a glossy or matte print (and they don't ask about that either!). Clients have paid over $200 for regular prints. I think the important thing is that they have a print, that I, nor the customer, will have to worry about. With inkjets, I would be concerned that if a print fades or runs, they would not contact me, yet spread the word, and that kind of publicity could ruin a business.
There are labs that offer different finishes. Also, we have a lab in our area that will mount and spray prints for a minimal cost.
Vikki
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  #18  
Old 07-22-2003, 11:22 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Hi Vicki,

Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions! This is really valuable information! I'm surprised to hear that customers are not fussy about paper.

Are there any particular online labs that you would recommend? What is mounting and spraying of a photo?

I use a HP inkjet and the HP Premium plus paper is said by HP to be extremely long-lasting with 6 color inks; I saw the statistics recently and they sounded very impressive. But would you still not trust an inkjet print in this case either?
Have you heard of many cases where inkjet prints actually did fade or run?

Diane
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  #19  
Old 08-01-2003, 05:54 PM
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pierresplace pierresplace is offline
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Getting business

Hi Everyone!
Well it's been a while since I've been on the board. I'm now living in Florida and still plying the craft. I have found that computer technology and the number of people interested in it is far less then the NY Metro area. At first this concerned me but now I'm finding it to be quite an opportunity. I am still following my original plan for acquiring clients and photos to restore... I simply show the samples and wait for their reaction. In variably most people have a photo which can use some work and "voila" I have another job. One thing no one can argue with is the power of the "numbers game." Show the work often enough and the customers will appear. Good luck Gang!
...Pierre...
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  #20  
Old 09-12-2003, 01:29 PM
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Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
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All the business you can handle?

The idea that it's a "numbers game" is one that we have worked on for years - now I've settled into one pattern that keeps us busy with leads and all the new accounts we can handle.

There are more numbers in groups of people right - so we offer a lecture series. Generally 20 to 30 people at a time at historic societies, church groups, etc. I just did one with a "home schooling" group in our own showrooms where the lecture was to kids 8 to 12 years of age - nothing but fun and they were very attentive!

The topics can include photo history, conservation. "how to" of preservation and numerous other "on target" topics. Keep the talks within your own knowledge base because this is not something you can "fake! People today know enough they can't be fooled with an "acid free" hype type of presentation.

If anyone wants details or specifics on our format, I'll be glad to provide it. Maybe even post a photo or two of our 30x40 story boards if I ever take the time to learn how to do that here! :-)

Jim Conway
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