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Disrupting Photography with Jobs-to-be-Done

Chris Spiek // 06.03.13

In this episode Chris and Bob spend some time with Erika Dufour and Jason Fried discussing how to apply Jobs-to-be-Done insights to Erika’s Snip Snap Go business model.

We’re always excited to get a chance to reconnect with those who have learned Jobs-to-be-Done, and in this episode you’ll hear Erika share her experience of attending a Switch Workshop at 37signals and applying what she learned to the professional photography business.

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Episode Transcript

 

Chris: We’re here at 37signals with Erika Dufour, as always, Bob
Moesta, Chris Spiek, and Jason Fried is here.

We want to talk about SnipSnapGo.com.

Give us a little background. What is Snip Snap Go? Can you tell just
about the product and the company?

Erika: Absolutely. It started as, I’m a photographer by trade, and I
started noticing that a lot of people needed affordable
photography. The thing that was missing and that is missing and
that does not exist in the industry is affordable photography
that’s lit well.

I realized that I had assets, being the knowledge of lighting, I had
the cameras, the softwares, everything was already there. I
realized what if I just set up the system for them and people
can take their own photos?

It’s like a no-fail system, so what happens is people come in, they
book a session, they pay $100 an hour, and then I have
everything set up, exposure, everything, and they shoot their
own products, or portraits or fashion, whatever. They bring
models. So I’ve had a range of graphic designers shootings
images for their portfolios, to a boutique bringing in a model
and shooting wardrobe to package design and stuff like that.

Chris: So, as a photographer, you’ve essentially taken yourself out of
the mix? You’re not changing things on the fly. You’re really
setting it up and saying, “Come in and just take the pictures.”

Erika: Exactly. What’s really amazing is that people actually really
do know what they want, and they don’t need me to take the
photos.

Chris: You say “what they want.” What’s an example?

Erika: Okay. There’s a purse designer. She came in and she had a stand
set up, and she had the styling set up of exactly which angle
she wanted her purses to look like. She knew in her mind how she
wanted the purses to be shot and shown on her website, and it
would have taken way longer for her to tell me, for me to do it.
I could tell, watching her shoot, she knew already what she
needed to do.

Chris: So she had the vision, but she wouldn’t know how to light it
outside of the studio?

Erika: No. What’s cool, too, is people, when it’s their own product,
they’re so personally connected to it, so that’s why they know
exactly how they want to show it and what features they want to
show.

Jason: It sounds to me like people know what they want it to look
like, but they don’t know how to make it look that way.

Erika: Exactly:

Jason: And you make it look that way, and they just press the button.

Erika: Yeah. I add the light.

Jason: You add the light.

Bob: You came to a Switch Conference November last year, something like
that. You learned some of the techniques of what we talked about
in terms of just interviewing and talking, right?

Erika: Yes.

Bob: Why are people switching?

Erika: They’re switching because they are at, most of my clients have
reached a point where they have a website even already built.
Then the last piece is a photo. They don’t have a photo. That is
where it stops, because photography is extremely expensive and
most people are, a jewelry company, just one lady decided she
wanted to quit her job and wants to sell her jewelry, and they
get stuck in that position and then that’s where I come in.

Chris: Are they trying to take their own photographs first or are
they, what are their alternatives at this point?

Erika: Yes. What I’ve heard, through interviews, is I’ve asked, “What
have you been doing before Snip Snap Go?” One person said they
would bring their furniture outside. They were shooting their
own. They would bring it outside, in full sun and put a sheet
up. Then they would shoot it either with their iPhone or other
people research cameras and they go to [Calli Med] and they get
all confused by the guys at Calli Med. Sorry, Calli Med, you’re
awesome.

Chris: For photographers.

Erika: For photographers, yeah, but it’s really confusing. Photography
is, people are afraid of cameras.

Chris: And their jewelry-makers, right? They’re like, “I don’t want to
become a photographer. I just need a picture.”

Erika: Exactly. They buy the cameras. Some people even buy the lights
and the light box, where it’s like this diffused box. You put
your stuff in it and you put the lights around it, and then they
try the software and they try editing in iPhoto, and it’s this
whole pile of stuff that they get distracted from their own
work.

Bob: It makes them less productive. The push is the Web, basically, “I’ve
got to get the website done. I can sell more if I just get, and
they’ll take pictures on their own.” It’s not cutting it.
Otherwise, they’ve got to take a whole day, wait for a nice day,
pull all that stuff out there. They could be making jewelry but
instead they’re trying to set the stuff up outside.

Erika: Exactly.

Bob: And then some of them say, “Well, I will buy the equipment,” and they
buy the equipment, but they don’t realize the learning curve
with all the software, everything else, and they still don’t
know what they’re doing, because they just want to go make
jewelry or they want to go do what they do.

Erika: Exactly.

Bob: They think that photography is easy or simple, or it should be, and
you’re making it that way for them?

Erika: I am, yes. Everyone has the belief that they are a photographer
because everyone has a camera. That is why they end up doing
that. Then they realize, “Okay. My photos look inconsistent and
junky as far as product photography.”

Yes, they can shoot their kids, photograph their kids nicely, but
there’s a difference between selling something with photos.

Chris: You have consistent photos, yeah. So there’s this battle of
time that you’re essentially up against. I have to ask, are
these mostly people that are designing their own websites? Have
they come to some service where they can drop their photos in,
or are they paying somebody else to design the website?

Erika: I think most of them are on E-commerce, selling, or on Etsy,
actually. A lot of them are Etsy shop people.

Chris: So they’re starting from a do-it-yourself place, where I’m kind
of running this whole thing myself. I can conquer this thing as
well, and they learn that it’s not that easy.

Erika: Yeah.

Bob: Is there anybody who’s come to the conclusion that they put
photographs up and they’re just not there?

Chris: They’re not to the quality.

Bob: They’re not to the quality, or do they just have high standards going
in?

Jason: It sounds like they’re all trying.

Erika: Yes. They’re all trying and I think they’re all semi-satisfied
with their photos. It’s just this beige feeling about it, you
know? I think that they, what I see what’s frustrating for them
is they really believe in their product, and they should.
They’ve spent all this energy and care to make it perfect, and
then you show this junky photo, and it doesn’t give
justification for all this work that they put into making it
beautiful. To show the world this half-assed photo, it’s not
fair to the product or themselves.

Bob: Do you process the photo as well, or you don’t need to process it
because it’s set up right?

Erika: It is, yeah. They take the photo and then it’s tethered to the
computer so the image pops up immediately and they can see the
photo. At the end of their session, I just upload all the images
via online and then they have everything.

Bob: So they leave with the photograph that they’re going to just pop in?

Erika: Yeah.

Bob: They don’t have to learn software. They don’t have to learn anything.
It’s literally, I’m manipulating the set to get to the right
picture.

Erika: Exactly.

Jason: Can’t you charge extra if they want retouching?

Erika: Yeah. We do.

Jason: So there are upgrades?

Erika: Yeah, $7 an image. That’s like when you want to tweak the
contrast so you don’t do any heavy…

Jason: Yeah, just [list it there].

Erika: Yeah, the basics.

Jason: How many people pay extra for that?

Erika: It hasn’t happened yet.

Jason: No one’s paid?

Erika: No. The photos turn out pretty good, actually.

Bob: What’s repeat like? I’m just trying to get the story. Okay, I’m
taking this out. I’m making all this jewelry. Here’s my latest
design, because they’re all one-offs, right?

Erika: Yeah.

Bob: So they’re waiting for a sunny day. It’s like, “Oh my gosh. I found
this place where I can go at any time. I can go basically take a
picture. I would think they’ve stopped going outside. Are they
coming back weekly, monthly? How often are they coming back?

Erika: It seems to be a monthly or more scenario, because they have to
build new products, but they’re going to just come one-off and
shoot one bracelet, you know what I mean? I’m hoping to have
more people come in more often.

Bob: So I take pictures of what I’ve built inventory of and then basically
I wait. A month goes by and I build a whole new inventory and
I’ve got basically now take photographs of that?

Erika: Exactly.

Chris: So what do you do in the interviews? Is this somebody that
comes in and you’re just asking them the story of how they got
there, or have you actually gone out and said, “Hey, can I call
you after the fact?”

Erika: I usually interview, okay, first of all, when they come in, I
say hi or whatever, and “How did you hear of Snip Snap Go?” Then
usually I do a little audio interview afterwards, like “How did
it go?” I observed their behavior, and there’s so much fear of
getting it wrong beforehand, and nervousness, like, “I don’t
know. I’ve never touched a camera. It’s like when people say,
“Can you draw a smiley face?” or “Can you draw this glass?”
People are so afraid of making artwork bad. “Oh, I’m such a bad
artist.” A lot of people have that mentality, “I’m a bad
photographer. I could never take a good photo.” They always come
in telling me this story, and then they snap the first photo and
they’re like, “Oh, wait a minute.”

Bob: That’s not me! It’s the camera!

Erika: Exactly. It’s the lighting. They were never given the light.

Jason: Do people ever talk about light? Lighting is so important, but
people don’t use that term. They don’t say, “I’d be good if the
lighting was good.” They just say, “My photo looks bad.”

Erika: Yes, exactly.

Jason: How do you teach them that the light is important?

Erika: That’s a really good point, because they don’t realize that the
lighting is the key.

Chris: And the lighting is your product, right? That’s what you’re,
and it’s not just the lights, it’s the expertise. This is where
they go. This is how the camera is configured to work with them.
That’s all the…

Bob: My belief is they contribute it to the camera. They say, “Oh, it’s a
much better camera. That’s the thing. They don’t realize it’s
the thing wrapped around it. I can probably swap out three
cameras.

Jason: They all look good, if the lighting’s right.

Bob: They all look good. My thing is that if you have them taken with the
iPhone, you can probably say [inaudible 11:22], “Wow.” To me,
it’s how do you get them to understand that, because like you
said, I’m not sure they can attribute, because they don’t even
know what lighting as a concept is, right?

Jason: Yeah, they don’t.

Erika: The camera is a box that records the light that is bouncing off
the object.

Chris: But isn’t it important for them, the other thing is, you’re
developing a service for people to come in and just use. I don’t
know how important it is for them to, the important thing is
that they realize, “I pay a very cheap rate when compared to a
day with a professional photographer and assistant and the whole
thing. I put my product here. I pull the trigger. I walk out
with the files. I mean, that’s the fundamental importance.

Jason: What I wonder is, if somebody goes out and buys a digital SLR
for 1500 bucks, they assume that’s an awesome camera. It is. Why
do they assume they can’t take good pictures with it? How do you
get the people who have the nice camera but don’t understand
that can’t take a good picture with it because it comes down to
lighting?

Chris: And then switching into her service?

Jason: Yeah, switching from buying the expensive camera. “I have
everything I need. I just bought a great camera. Professionals
use this camera. It must take great pictures,” but it’s not just
about the camera. It’s the light.

Erika: Right. And it takes a year of them to fail for them to finally
come to me, because they will refuse to.

Jason: It’s hard to believe.

Bob: [inaudible 12:39] they want to pay the camera off, probably. My thing
is that, it’s almost like, if you want to rent a camera, go rent
a camera and do what you’ve got to do, and you’ll realize it’s
not the camera. The secret sauce is here. My thing is, there’s
no reason to tell them it’s the lighting. My thing is, for them
to know that it’s, to be honest, it’s the knowledge and the
knowing of reflection and intensity and…

Chris: Diffusion.

Bob: Diffusion, all the different aspects of how much working knowledge
you have to say, “This is lit well,” that’s what you’re selling.

Erika: Yeah. It looks good.

Bob: At some point it’s like, five years, ten years, whatever, of
knowledge and experience to know how to do it. It’s like the
camera’s not necessarily the critical point.”

Jason: It’s not, but I wonder if people understand that. I don’t know
if it matters, but I’m just saying. Let’s say on your side-view
list that you use something Ken5D2 or whatever, Mark 2, and they
can go out and buy that for two grand. If they’re like, “Well,
if I just buy that, then I’ll have what she has, so why do I
need to use her service?” You need to somehow figure out how to
explain the service part of the service.

Erika: Right, the lighting part, the lighting…

Jason: Yeah. I don’t know what you call it. Maybe lighting is the
wrong thing for people because they don’t know what it means.
How do you stage a photo? Maybe it’s not staging the photo
properly. It’s this idea of the right setting for the photo. I
don’t know.

Chris: What do you call this?

Jason: Yeah, what do you call it?

Chris: What is the word for this that says, “You can buy the camera
but you don’t have X.”

Bob: I think there’s two. This is a really good example of where I think
they buy the first time for one reason, and I think they repeat
for possibly a different reason.

Erika: Yeah.

Bob: Part of it’s going in, it might not be about lighting, but as they’re
there, if you can educate them about the lighting part of it,
that’s why they come back. To me, it’s the difference between
trial and consumption.

Chris: The other part about it is differentiating. How do you get them
to say, like, you spent the money on a camera and that’s
fantastic. You’re going to take unbelievable photos of your
kids. But this is your business. You need product shots. You
can’t do with even a $2,000 SLR. There’s one way to do the
product shots, and it’s with something professional.

Bob: These people are…

Chris: They’re tinkerers.

Bob: …small business owners. They’re basically individuals. They’re
startups. They’re not spending $2,000. Well, they might have a
camera already that they’re trying to use.

Chris: I don’t think the, I’ll digress, I think any amount on any
camera, you’re going to run into this situation. This is a
reversal of what we normally run into, so a lot of times we see
a product purchase where they will start with the product and
they’ll blame themselves on using it wrong. After a time,
they’ll say, “I’ve tried everything I can. This product sucks.”
Then it gets punted. This is the opposite. They’ll buy it. From
what I’m hearing, I’m starting to believe they’ll work their way
to a position of, “It’s me, and I can overcome it. I’ll go to
the library. I’ll check out books. I’ll go to photo blogs and
I’ll start reading and reading and reading and designing this
whole thing to get myself to a point where I can take a really
good photo.

You have the other timeline coming into play, because if not, I’m
just going to learn to be and amazing photographer all the time
and take great pictures, but it’s like, “Hey, is the website
up?”

“No, it’s still not.”

Erika: Right.

Chris: Well, can the website wait for you to be an amazing
photographer? No, I’ve got to come up with something else.

Jason: That’s a good line. I like that, too. Can the website wait for
you?

Bob: Well, I think it gets back to your notion of time, right? See, the
thing is, they run out of time because they realize there’s so
much they need to learn to do what they’ve got to do, and it’s
all about, a crappy picture is not going to allow them to sell
the product. It’s the ultimate salesman that they’re looking
for, so to me, it gets back to is, their time is spent and what
they want to do is make more jewelry. At some point in time,
entrepreneurs all come to this thing of “I can do it all by
myself,” and then you start to realize, “Okay, I don’t need to
this. I need to find somebody else to this, because this is
taking too much time.”

Jason: Let me throw a whole ‘nother angle at this. What if this was
also an educational opportunity? So, what if the service was not
just having the photos shot, but you’re going to also spend an
hour with them, teaching them how to take these photos
themselves.

Erika: Totally.

Jason: I don’t know if that’s promoted. It’s not on the site
currently, because I think that would be another angle here
that’s, not only are you a do-it-yourself person because you’ve
got your own business, you’re a jeweler, you’re making your own
stuff, you want to do things yourself.

Erika: I, as a photographer and business owner, completely understand
that.

Jason: They want to learn that. Not only do you come here to get the
photos taken, or to set the photos up properly and get them shot
well, but you’re going to learn how to do this on your own.
You’re going to teach them about lighting for an hour.

Erika: Yes.

Jason: You’re willing to teach them about setting things up.

Erika: Right.

Jason: So that’s another value added, I think.

Chris: So I could go get the lights that she had and do it myself?

Jason: Maybe.

Chris: Okay.

Jason: They probably won’t, though. They’ll still come back to you.

Erika: Yeah, and that’s…

Jason: At least you’ll feel like they’re leaving [inaudible 17:27]

Bob: What we can, again…

Jason: They like making jewelry.

Bob: They like making jewelry. They don’t like taking pictures.

Erika: I’ve taught a dabble class. I started teaching lighting in
dabble classes.

Chris: How’s that going?

Erika: It’s going great, and people are, here’s the myth that I keep
erasing from these people’s minds. You don’t need an awesome
camera. I actually teach them how to use their iPhone. You don’t
need awesome lights.

I use the sunlight and I demonstrate what the sun’s behavior is. I
teach my class the behavior of light and what it does. I only
use one light. They are blown away by how, all these myths like,
you put a camera in someone’s hands and they’re scared shitless.
I don’t know why, because they drive an expensive car and
they’re not afraid of that. If you put a camera in their hands,
they freak out. I’m like, “This is just a box of light. It’s no
big deal. The fear goes away. There’s all this fear pent up with
cameras. For some reason they’ve been shamed or, I don’t even
know why.

I just show the very simple, and you don’t need expensive stuff. I
use a white card, and you bounce the light off that card and it
creates a whole new dynamic of the lighting.

I simplify it to a point where it’s like, “No, it’s not you. You just
weren’t taught right, and you were taught by someone at,” you
know when you go to Microcenter and they dump all this
information at you, and you just want a fucking hard drive.

Chris: It’s just the Web. We can do whatever we want.

Erika: Oh yeah, that’s right. I forgot. It’s not [inaudible 19:04]

Chris: It’s not PR.

Erika: It’s not a fucking hard, the guy that he’s explaining a whole
list . . .

Bob: Besides you need to . . . yeah.

Erika: . . . and you don’t know what they’re talking about. They do
that at photo stores. They do it me, even still. They don’t know
what they’re talking about.

I take all those things out of the equation, and take the fear away.
They really appreciate that, actually.

Jason: Could you, I’m just thinking, again, from business
opportunities, because that’s kind of . . . Could you, so let’s
say someone comes in, let’s say you schedule a Snip Snap Go
session. How much is it, 300 bucks?

Erika: It’s 100 an hour.

Jason: 100 bucks an hour. Minimum hours?

Erika: One hour minimum.

Chris: Simple as it gets.

Jason: So 100 bucks for an hour, right?

Erika: Yes.

Jason: Someone comes in and shoots their jewelry. Could you then sell
tickets to that session for other people to watch and learn how
to set up that shop?

Erika: Yeah, I already do consultations, too. [inaudible 20:07]

Chris: If you’re doing a shot already, and you’re going to set it up,
my thing is, why not set a class up?

Jason: Have a class set up for a real-world thing where you can teach,
so we’re making 100 bucks for an hour, but now you can maybe
make 600 bucks, because you might get 20 students come in and
watch you set this shot up.

Chris: Who are all not going to go set it up, anyway. You should come
back and use it.

Jason: I don’t know. I think it could be a way for you to multiply
your time, or keep your time same an hour, but multiply your
attendance. Because right now, it only works when you have one
person shooting for an hour. You can only talk to that one, you
only get money from that one person, but why not try to get
money from 31 people?

Erika: Right. Ideally, I would love to franchise, have a store front
like Kinko’s.

Jason: I love that.

Erika: It’d be like, everything is systemized and automized. They walk
in and shoot. There’s no…

Chris: Credit card goes in…

Jason: The slot, [shhhp].

Erika: Bing bang, done, and that’s it.

Bob: There’s a couple things. One is there’s that fear, right?

Jason: Imagine [inaudible 21:00], sorry, a credit card, like Redbox
videos, but just a white box.

Chris: Put your product in and out comes the…

Jason: Put your product in, put your credit card in, it’s lit
properly, and you just shoot it. How cool would that be?

Chris: You guys have a cupcake ATM down the street. Nothing is out of
reach.

Jason: You have those at Staples. You have those at all sorts of
different office good stores, where people see them when they’re
going in to get office supplies. I’ve got a product. I want to
have it shot well.

Erika: Yeah.

Jason: That’d be awesome.

Bob: So, I get back to the emotional release. So there’s this fear going
in, like, “I’ve taken pictures of this thing and I don’t know
what I’m doing. It doesn’t look right,” and you do one thing.
I’m trying to figure out the, “Oh my god,” the emotional, is it
calming, is it excitement? When they take the shot, I’m trying
to understand, because to me, that’s a hard to understand value,
is I to try and take the shot, it’s like, “Oh my gosh.” Top be
honest with you, might not be charging enough.

Erika: Right.

Bob: And so, there could be the thing of, “Hey, let’s get them in to do
one or two shots for 50 bucks and charge 200 bucks an hour,
because you’ll get people. It’s like there’s pent-up, it’s the
combination, you’re going in negative on fear, and the emotional
response is so high that it’s like this is where the money is.

Chris: The interesting thing is, it gets back to what you said before,
is that the emotional energy comes from the object that they
created, not the photo.

Jason: That’s right.

Chris: So there’s something about, “I worked so hard on the earrings,
and they’ve never been represented until it just showed up on
the tethered computer, and it’s like [makes sound], the
whole…”

Bob: It is what I thought I wanted it to be…

Erika: Finally.

Bob: …finally, and so that’s why I’m trying to get that, how much of, I
mean, is it a big hug? Is it a “Yes!” or is it, “Oh, that’s
great.” How, because to me, you can see the emotional meter, if
you will.

Erika: There’s a shift. Yeah.

Bob: It goes from, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.”

Jason: I don’t feel like wasting money here, today. Then all of a
sudden, “Yes!” You’re lucky because your project is so cool in
that you take a picture and it shows up on a huge screen. It’s
not like, if you take a picture on the back of a camera, it’s
this little small square. You’re looking, “I can’t tell.” With
your setup, you take a picture and it’s on a huge, 27-inch
monitor instead. So that’s got to be a really emotional.

Bob: So the other thing I’m trying to get to is…

Erika: It’s like you’re looking at your website with this image of
your jewelry, bang, in your face.

Bob: So the thing I’m trying to get to is, that’s a…

Jason: “Jewelry, bang, in your face,” that’s a new one.

Bob: So the thing I think about is bring in your old shot, because if you
can bring in the old shot.

Erika: Yes.

Bob: Because if you can bring in the old shot . . .

Jason: That’s a before and after comparison.

Bob: . . . and then say, “Here, let’s load the old shot and, okay, is this
better?” Because emotionally, they know it. That can be part of
the story of…

Chris: [Have a little] contrast.

Bob: Before, I was doing, would you mind [inaudible 23:46]? What did you
do before? Well, before I dragged everything outside and I put
up a sheet, and I did and this and this and this, and this is
the picture I got. Then I came here and for this, I got the, so
to me it’s, the thing is it’s, because they built that piece of
jewelry or whatever they’re making, they’re so intimate with it
already, and they see the intricacies, the small little details
of how they soldered something.

Erika: Yeah, they were there when they’re doing that.

Bob: And so to me, it’s like, it’s finally, “Oh, look, they can see the
solder joints now!” Whatever it is. To me, that before and after
is, I think, really important for them to say, “Hey, you can
keep doing it that way, or we can see this,” and it’s really
about, to get off the other hand, trying to get from them is,
have them articulate in words, “What do you see different in
these?”

Erika: Right.

Bob: Because the more they can articulate it, the more they’re going to
realize, “I don’t need to take this stuff up. I just need to go
book some more time.”

Erika: Exactly. Your talking about the emotional switch. It depend on,
the second-to-last woman, she did hug me. She’s like, “I’ve been
looking for you my whole life.” She just kept freaking out and
telling me I was like the best thing on planet Earth, whereas
sometimes it’s just, you feel the energy. There is this, the
belief system, it’s like a spirit or something, just lifts from
their body like, “I don’t suck at photography. I just didn’t
have the right tools.

Bob: Well, it’s almost like the baby’s not ugly, right?

Erika: Exactly.

Bob: It’s not like it’s like, “Oh my god, this is not my child. This is
not what you look like.” There it is. Everybody can see it.
That’s what I’m talking about. To me, the ultimate value your
giving is not the fear. It’s the step difference between “I am
not good at this” to “Oh my god, they can see I have a beautiful
baby.” To me, it’s that emotion that you need to capture and you
need to be able to articulate and help people see it’s the
transformation you’re making for people.

Chris: How do you market that? I think the next conversation I want to
have here is that you’re going to have, Etsy people are easy,
because they’re just listing their product and adding a photo,
but you’re going to have people, like, products that use this
sell 53% more than products that don’t. You know I mean? The
opposite of what you’re talking about is the rationalization of
why to spend money doing this and why to save time. How do you
make sure that the perspective comes from or understands that
emotional response that they should be having but they’re not?

Erika: Yeah. My challenge also is for them to understand the service,
like how easy it is. They still, even no matter how much I
explain it, they still believe that their photos will suck, no
matter how many photos I splash in front of their faces.

Jason: Yeah. They’re like, “She’s spent four weeks on that one. That,
of course, looks good.”

Erika: “She’s a purse designer. She’s creative.”

Bob: They can’t relate to each other exactly.

Erika: No, no. Back to your question, yes, communicating, “This is
valuable investment in your business.”

Jason: One way to do it, I think, would be to have an old school bake
sale, but photo sale, where you go to a space, a vacant
storefront, set up some card tables with different sets around,
and invite people for that day for free to bring in some
products and you’ll shoot them for them. But the thing is that
they have to bring in, they have to give you one of their before
photos, and you give them an after photo, and that can go on
your site. You have these days, once a month, where you shoot
people’s stuff, one thing, for free, and build up these case
studies on your site where you’re comparing this to that. You’ll
also build up a little bit of a buzz by having a physical
location where people can come bring their stuff for one photo
for free.

Erika: Yeah. We’re pushing to go to the Dose Market. Do you know the
Dose Market?

Jason: Oh sure, yeah.

Erika: We’re hoping to have a booth there.

Jason: I love that. That’s going to sell.

Erika: Because that’s easier for people who are selling their wares
there.

Jason: Renegade, all those sorts of fairs, you can set up a booth
where you can shoot photos for people.

Erika: I wanted to have a Snip Snap Go truck studio, a mobile, make
the truck the studio and then they just bring [inaudible 28:08]

Jason: Come to your place. That’s a great idea. Get like an old panel
van [inaudible 28:12] van or something.

Erika: Exactly.

Jason: And just drive, because that’s, how much of this, I don’t know,
I wonder how much anxiety is tied in with like, “Shit, I’ve got
to pack my stuff up now and then go to some studio somewhere,
which means I have to leave my company, because if I’m a sole
proprietor or something and I have to answer the phones and all
of a sudden, I have to leave to go do this other thing, it’d be
interesting if you could come to them instead.

Bob: Sorry, I just tuned out for a second. So did you say you’re going to
create a panel van and go to the sales?

Erika: I would like to. I would love to…

Bob: Because they’ve already got the stuff. Hey, come on down. Give
everybody one free shot. Let them see it, before, I need a
picture before and a picture after.

Chris: That would be huge.

Erika: You could just rent one and put phone cord around the whole
thing and [inaudible 28:57]

Jason: It doesn’t need to be fancy at all.

Bob: So I keep thinking about Facebook ads, right? It’s like, “Oh, my
baby’s not ugly.” It’s a picture of my earrings, and I’ll just
target people who own a jewelry set, because everyone who owns a
jewelry set is on Facebook. They’ve all got it, and it’s like
the before picture and an after picture. It’s like, no need for
a photographer, no need for an expensive camera. You could do
this for this, basically [inaudible 29:25]. To me it’s, because
again, I think of it as something that they are creating, and so
to them it’s like, god that’s not good. That frustration is
right there.

Erika: Yeah, exactly.

Jason: They could be in Chicago right now.

Erika: Yeah, they do right now. Eventually, I’d love to franchise.
We’ll see how that goes.

Jason: What about, even if it wasn’t franchising, if it was jewelry,
for example, could you do something where they would send you a
product and you would shoot it and send it back to them?

Erika: There are services that do that. It’s called Stefan Wyatt or
something like that.

Jason: Okay.

Erika: I think the thing that I want, as a photographer, I’m sick of
dealing with clients. I deal with people like, “Did you shoot it
at this angle?” I do that already and that’s fine. I’m very
happy to do that if they’re paying me, but I don’t want to do
that.

Jason: You want them to press the shutter button because you want them
to have the satisfaction that “I took this photo.”

Erika: There’s such a huge esteem boost. It’s so unbelievable to watch
them, because like, “I did this myself,” and it’s really
beautiful, actually.

Bob: You need to film them. You need to ask them, “Can I film you through
the process.”

Jason: Hugging me.

Chris: You want to see the emotional shift. You want to see the states
change.

Bob: You want to see the state change when they go from, “I don’t know. I
don’t know. I don’t know. Oh my god!” I mean, it’s euphoric at
some point.

Erika: I actually have a video on the blog. You can take a look at it
later. Ben36, their marketing guy was taking photos.

Jason: It’s a wine company, for those who don’t know.

Erika: That guy called me the night before, was scared shitless,
really, of taking these photos and it being bad. He called me
the morning of and I just was like, “Just try it out.”

Chris: What was the, help me with the conversation the night before.
Was it like, “I’m backing out,” or…”

Erika: No. Like, “I don’t know, what do I bring? I’m nervous. I’m not
sure if these are going to turn out,” just all this doubt. A lot
of language that’s like a wash of fear. It makes sense because
if he’s never had, okay, so he’s the marketing guy to Ben36 and
the owner will be there, so if he sucks and he trusted to use
the service and took a chance on that and it didn’t turn out,
then his ass is on fire.

Chris: How many are like that? How many are people bringing their
bosses in, or is it mostly just?

Erika: That was the first time.

Bob: Think about it for a second. This guy has all his anxiety about doing
this, and the alternative is to hire you as a photographer or
hire a photographer. It’s like, okay, what is on the back end of
that that’s saying, literally, he forced himself through.

Jason: He put it in the budget to hire a professional photographer.

Erika: Bingo.

Bob: Or he put the budget on something else, because photography’s the
last thing. You spend your money on everything else.

Erika: People don’t want to pay photographers. They really, really
don’t.

Bob: I think the model’s an old model. Most photographers are still
negotiating on how many images are you going to use? [Where you] use it. I’m going to give you rights for this or rights for
that, you go back in forth and it’s like…

Erika: Yeah, and I’ll see if you use it or [inaudible 32:50]

Bob: Well, and I don’t want to become a lawyer, because to deal with
photographers, either I’ve got to become good at photography or
I’ve got to become a lawyer.

Erika: Yes, exactly. Then some photographers are like, “I am the
king,” and it’s like dealing with that, and then it’s just huge
ego in the industry, which is why I’m also really proud of just
saying, “You know what? You can do this.”

I do special stuff. I’ll do the high-end stuff, fine, but you can
take these photos, really. You’re fine.

Bob: Well, it keeps you out of the low end, too, so it allows you to build
a relationship with them, and so when they want to do the really
high-end stuff, either the portraits or whatever, “Oh, hey, I
can do that here.” You can help them set it up and do everything
else and do that, but the low-end stuff, you don’t have to do
anymore. That’s beautiful.

Erika: Yeah. I hate doing that.

Jason: So how do you promote this right now?

Erika: Right now I’m trying word of mouth, and things I dabble,
actually, by showing, it’s more like caring about people and
like, I don’t even force the Snip Snap Go down their throat when
I teach dabble, I’m just like, “It’s really easy, and if you
find you’re in trouble and you’re trying to do it yourself with
this lighting that I taught you, and there’s still Snip Snap
Go.” I’m doing it that way and the Dose Market. I’m trying to do
more the one-on-one, going places and talking to people, because
referral is the only way that I’ve gotten clients so far,
because the ladies are having coffee, this is the way people
promote, ladies having coffee. Like, “Oh my god, I got these
photos and I used Snip Snap Go,” whatever, and they’re having
coffee, and they’re like, “You should try it. You need photos
for your jewelry, right?” Then that’s what seems to promote.

Bob: How much repeat do you have? Is it all, is it a lot of repeat or is
it just still a lot of people just trying it?

Erika: Still just trying, yeah.

Jason: I’m wondering if there’s a weird business model here where, so
it’s 100 bucks for an hour, right?

Erika: Yeah.

Jason: If someone can come in and get their photo free as long as long
as they bring three friends with them to watch and see how it’s
done, or something like that. I’m wondering if your friends, if
there’s some way to have a photography class around this, that
your friends actually pay for the class and you get you photos
for free?

Erika: Yes.

Jason: And then they get to get exposed to this awesome service, and
one of them is likely going to have something [inaudible 35:14] before.

Erika: It depends on how nervous they are. If they’re scared shitless,
they’re not going to want to do that in front of anyone.

Jason: I wonder if it would reduce the anxiety. Your friends are with
you.

Erika: It could be.

Bob: The other side of it, though, is this is a perfect example, like,
think of Tim Ferriss and his stuff, around things. Is this a
case where, offer a money-back guarantee, because the fact this
is it. If they bring in an old photo, we’ll shoot yours, and if
you basically say that your old photo is better than this, then
I’ll charge you nothing.

Erika: Right.

Bob: It at least gets them to say there’s no risk. The thing is that you
know enough about the lighting to say it’s almost impossible for
them to say that it’s going to end [inaudible 35:51]. If it is,
fine, but it’s that anxiety of “Did I waste 100?” Because, to be
honest, I think what they’re thinking about is, $100 is three
bracelets.

Erika: Right, totally.

Bob: Do you know what I mean? Do I need to actually do three bracelets to
really create, because I think, to make one look good, and so I
think that that’s at least, I think, from an entrepreneurial
perspective, you’re thinking about, “God, I’ve got to spend that
much money to, and that equals so many bracelets or so many
boxes or products, and so to me, it’s like, offer, especially if
you’ve got this fear going in, and they keep saying, “I can’t do
it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it.” “All right, well, show me
[inaudible 36:21].” “Yeah, it’s not that good.” “Well, why isn’t
it that good?” and you need to make sure you pick it out and
then when they take the shot it’s like, “Look, this is better,
this is better, this is better. It’s worth 100 bucks.” My thing
is, it gets back to the anxiety for us. To reduce the anxiety
for us…

Chris: What is that anxiety? My head keeps going back to the, I’m not
a good, if you ask me to draw a glass, I don’t know that I’d be
anxious, because I kind of know you guys, but it wouldn’t be a
good, so the difference between driving the car and using the
camera is that I’m creating something. Even if it’s digital and
I can just hit delete, there’s something that happens when I
snap that photo. It’s like, “I have created this.”

Erika: Yeah.

Chris: If this sucks, I suck. There’s something, I think the money,
wow, you’re drawing a wine glass? That’s fantastic.

Jason: It’s a barbell, I think.

Chris: See that’s what happens. That’s it.

Bob: It’s an hourglass, actually, that’s okay.

Chris: The money is a bit, I think the money can get some people over
that, but if I look at the forces and all of the anxiety is
around, “I’m going to go and I’m going to pull the trigger and
it’s going to be terrible,” then the photographer’s going to be
there and she’s going to laugh at me, and I’ve made no progress.

Erika: Yeah. “She’s going to laugh at me.” Actually, that’s a really
good [point].

Jason: That’s a good one.

Chris: What’s in that, so first of all, how do you deconstruct that
moment so you can really understand? Is there something that we
can pull apart here and counteract?

Jason: I still think there’s something else going on, which is, is
this really going to be worth 100 bucks? Is this photo really
better than something I can shoot myself? Because it’s only 100
bucks, got to leave my house, got to drive down, pack up
whatever the hell it is, I’ve got to go here. Is this really
worth 100 bucks? Am I wasting my time? I think that’s still the
biggest part of this, and you can’t show it through photos
because it’s like, somebody else took those and she edited them.

Erika: It’s a combo blend of both. It’s a milkshake of yours, Chris…

Chris: It’s not going to be one thing. For sure.

Erika: Yeah. It’s like this fear, and they both argue. It’s like the
little devil on their shoulder both having a little dialogue.

Jason: I’m curious of the price, though, makes it look, the fact, 100
bucks might not be enough for someone to think it’s worth it.

Erika: Okay. Yes, I want to argue with that. The people that I, the
reason I started this business was, I would get phone calls from
ladies who own boutiques. These ladies wear $800 shoes. These
women will spend $1,000 for a purse, but they do not want to pay
me to photograph their stuff to sell. There’s a certain
difference. These shoes make me hot and beautiful and people
compliment me, whereas these photos, I don’t get that same
esteemed or fake esteem, whatever. I did it because I was sick
of having my prices negotiated down, and then they would resent
me for still, even if I brought my prices down, it was still too
high for them.

Chris: Is them taking the picture, do they get the same, it’s not the
same, but do they get a similar gratification for producing the
high-quality image themselves as they do from wearing the $800
shoes or having a purse, because…

Erika: I think that that’s…

Jason: If they can brag, I took this photo . . .

Chris: If they can brag, then it’s a $500 service not a $100 service.

Jason: But that’s…

Erika: Yes, you’re right.

Chris: Because now, I think we’ve all said this. “I created it.” It
works on the anxiety part and it works on the outcome. It’s
like, “I did this.” Whether you set up the lights or not, it
doesn’t matter. I pushed the button and I created this image.

Erika: Yes.

Bob: My thing is it also gets back to them promoting on Facebook, “Hey, so-
and-so came in today,” and you begin to be able to pull up what
people did up theirs and say, “Let’s see the picture,” and
again, it’s the before and after pictures that you want to be
able to get…

Chris: So how do you say, like, it turns out they’re an unbelievable
photographer. That’s the thing, like, this is the photographer
of the day, award-winning jewelry photographer, but she never
used a camera before today. You know what I mean? This is what
she created.

Erika: I like the idea of awarding them. Most extreme change in one
day, from zero photographer to 100%.

Chris: Again, but that’s anxiety on reflection, right? That’ll get
them to come back.

Bob: Going in, the great thing is, so, to get back to the whole thing, the
reason you’re here. You did the Switch Conference. You did the
interviews, and you’ve come to this understanding that without
the time, and this is me putting words out, but without the time
pressure, I don’t think they would ever switch unless it’s like,
I can imagine them looking at the website for a month. It’s
like, “When are you going to launch this? When are you going to
launch?” Everything else is done but the photos and that’s like,
I’m swelling with pride. I’m jumping into the deep. I hate even
thinking about doing this, but I have to, because the clock is
ticking.

Erika: Yeah, frantic is frantic.

Jason: You know who you might need to reach . . .

Bob: Frantic.

Jason: It’s not these owners, but the web designers who, a company
hires them to do a site, and the designer needs photographs to
put up on the site. If the designer gets a commission, for
example, for selling their customer on Snip Snap Go, then you
might have a whole army of people selling your products.

Bob: The other thing is, it makes you think about, it makes design so easy
when you have good photos. I mean, you can work your ass off,
yeah. That’s the ad, your job will be done. Take fantastic
photos. You’ll throw a couple font elements around it and you
call it a day.

Erika: Totally.

Jason: Or sell this to web designers, which they can then just bill it
back to their clients. So have the web designer come in and pay
for the service, and then they just include that in the bill to
their client.

Erika: Totally.

Jason: So maybe you don’t even have to sell the owner. The owner is
just someone who makes a thing. They need a website, so they’re
asking someone to do a website for them, and then pitch to
people who make the websites.

Erika: Yeah.

Jason: If they can pass their costs on to the client, they’re in.
They’re just going to buy the damn.

Erika: Totally.

Jason: So I think that might be a good place to pitch.

Erika: I totally agree with that, because some people just don’t even
want to touch a camera, and designers will probably take really
great photos anyway.

Jason: I wonder if programming people, they’re not like artists in the
same way. They don’t know. They don’t know. They can put
together a website, but they don’t know lighting and they…

Erika: But they know what they need on the website.

Jason: They know what they need on the website. They’ll tell the
client, “I need some assets,” or whatever they’ll say, and the
client will be like, “These are the photos I have.” The
[inaudible 42:59] will be like, “These aren’t going to work.
They’re too small and they’re not good enough. I’ve got this
thing that I’ve used before, it’s killer. It’s called Snip Snap
Go. She’ll set up lighting. You’ll take a picture. It’s only 100
bucks,” and I don’t know, whatever you want to call it. Then you
might have this whole army of people selling for you. So you
should be going to website design conferences. You should be
going to freelance, you should be reaching out to freelancers
and those kind of people to sell your product.

Erika: Yeah.

Jason: That’s, I think, might be who your buyer is, not the owners.

Erika: Do you think with the whole rise of people getting E-commerce
site, do it yourself, or there’s still a market for?

Jason: Well, there’s definitely both, but you’re right. A lot of
people are still doing this themselves. It’s that someone owns
that service that does it themselves, so if they go to Shopify,
which is, do you know Shopify? Shopify is a site that lets you
build your own online store without having to own anything.
Shopify should be advertising your services.

Erika: I know.

Jason: You should have a series of, for the Chicago customers at least
to start. So when someone signs up for Shopify and sets up a
product site, and there’s categories for jewelry or whatever,
you should talk to Shopify about advertising Snip Snap go at
that point to those customer, and give Shopify a kickback.

Chris: I’m trying to imagine the revenue lost by Shopify.com because
this service isn’t offered.

Jason: Huge.

Chris: [inaudible 44:26] unmeasurable.

Jason: People are like, “I want to make a site. I have no photos. They
suck. I’m embarrassed.”

Chris: There’s two things. I just launched a Shopify site. It took me
three weeks to start, because the first thing they asked me . .
.

Jason: We’re talking about you?

Chris: Myself.

Jason: Yeah.

Chris: The first thing, create your name. I know everything about this
thing that I’m creating except the name. I can’t go on to the
next step, and I can’t . . . there’s nothing that says, “You can
change this later,” because it’s like the your name.Shopify.com,
so they’re like, the DNS servers are spinning up as I type this
in, and I don’t go anywhere, so there’s a three week delay there
where I figure out the name of this thing even though I could be
working on other things. In the end, I don’t have photos, this
now, we’re getting into a theoretical space, but I don’t photos,
so I don’t launch, maybe ever, maybe for months while I hire a
photographer. It’s like, Shopify.com, get people in, get the
photos, and start charging them fees off of every transaction,
which is the name of your game anyway. That’s huge.

Bob: I’m just going to back to Phil, and Phil’s comment around the notion
of…

Jason: Who’s Phil?

Bob: Phil from Precision Nutrition. He’s the one who did some interviews
and he basically did, like, very little Facebook ads, but he
knew exactly how to make it resonate, and then he had a 50%
turnaround on his dollars. 400 bucks in, 20 grand out, some
ridiculous number. My thing is, I keep looking at, do you file,
because Facebook or Pinterest can say, “I want people that have
jewelry sites.”

Jason: As a target.

Bob: As a target, Chicago jewelry people. Literally, it’s like, I don’t
pay for impressions that come out there and then it’s like, I
see the thing as, website, DNS, whatever, it’s like photographs,
oh shit. Hey, it can go here, or, something along the lines to
kind of, it’s that last thing, I’m taking a little bit of time
to think about it, but I think that there’s just some resonating
imagery that you can play, do a little ad and say, “Yeah.” It’s
almost like I want to talk to the people who are buying, and
it’s like, “What imagery would you put around what I do?” My
thing is, and certainly, if you can get something to resonate,
because I think one small ad that’s placed really well on
Pinterest or on a Facebook could do wonders. It’s a little bit
of an investment, but I’m saying that I think that it can do a
lot.

Erika: Yeah. It’s pretty much something that will validate what
they’re going through at the time. I’m creating this business
that I believe in, and there’s just like this one missing link.

Jason: I just think, and if you drop people a page that 20 before and
afters of where customers shot their own photo at home, customer
shot their own photo at Snip Snap Go, 20 before and afters. It’s
so convincing at that point. But wait, 100 bucks? Jesus.

Bob: But I think the other thing, it might be something we’re missing here
is that the notion that the people that are coming in are
dressed to the nines, they have the big, they want a deal, so I
would be better off saying “Raise the price to 150 or 200 an
hour and give them a coupon.” Because it’s like, “I try that.”
[I’m getting] 50%. I mean, there’s people who are more
interested in 50% off than what the price is. So you have to
think about those people.

Erika: Right. It’s like, $200 at 50%.

Jason: The first time is 50% off, you do it for 100. So the thing is,
now you’ve got these value, when they come back and say, this is
what, the problem, I think, at least that I see is, if we’re
talking jewelry, they can’t spend that much money on jewelry.
It’s like, how many pieces of jewelry can they shoot in an hour?
You can shoot ten, so it’s 10 bucks a photo per, because I think
part of them, we have to take it back to, how much are, because
100 bucks…

Erika: Per piece.

Jason: What’s the margin, right?

Bob: The margin.

Jason: If they’re only selling $20 earrings, can they put [inaudible
48:27]

Chris: Do we know, are they selling, are they taking a photo and then
selling this and never making it again? Is there a lot of unique
stuff, or are they like, this is my orange one, this is my pink
one this is my blue one, I’m going to make 50 of each?

Erika: Yeah. Well, as far as the purse lady, she’s made multiples of
the same.

Chris: So she can multiply that out over…

Erika: Yeah.

Chris: A lot of jewelry people, and we’re getting into particulars,
because I think a lot of jewelry people are just making one-
offs.

Bob: Well, that’s unique. It’s a form of art in that point in time,
because they don’t necessarily have the same beads or the same
rocks or the same, or the same . . . they’re not rocks,
[inaudible 49:02] jewels.

Chris: Rocks.

Jason: Rocks.

Bob: There’s got to be some kind of subscription thing. If you’re going to
say, if you’re the jeweler, this is your 12-month package,
because you’re coming, so you’re making two pieces of art a
month, coming in and shooting it, I think there’s got to be
some, I think there’s a lot of, I think we’ve kind of fueled a
lot of thinking, but you have a lot of variables you can play
with. You can put the thing in a trunk. You can make it a class.
You can invite friends. You can play with price point all day. I
do think…

Erika: And the service applies to anything. I tried to get my banker
to use it just for them all to get their headshots, because they
suck. You walk in the branch and it’s just like, you look at mug
shots like they’re greasy and sweaty, against a gray background.

Chris: Don’t I need makeup and hair? How do I…?

Erika: Yeah. I guess I’d show before and after, right? That would
be…

Jason: I still wonder who the customer is. I’m wondering if you’re
trying to sell to the wrong people, which is always. I really
think that maybe design . . . I don’t know, maybe there’s
another person who’s buying this, which is, they’re buying it on
behalf of someone else as part of their consultant service. Who
are the designers that are putting up websites for people? They
want to give their client great photos. Sell to them.

Bob: My thing is, it’s a total guide now, why would I put a four-cylinder
engine in a Ferrari, right? It’s the analogy of, you’re spending
all this time on the Web, you want your webpage to look good,
and you just cut the photographer, or you go to stock
photography or something where it’s like, for a little bit more,
you can go that extra mile. It’s like some of you guys be
spending like two grand on a website to say, all right, for 100
or 200 bucks, you can get great photos. It’s something like
that, where you’ve got to be able to say, “Well, here’s the kind
of payback,” and so, because at some point, they’re thinking,
“Do I take the 200 out of me or do I bill it along, or,” and so
it’s, at some point in time, you’ve got to be able to help them
make the value proposition over.

Erika: I’ve been tempted to propose it to my catalog clients, like I
shoot for [Vosges Chocolates]. It’s stuff on white. I mean,
there’s larger companies that could use the service as well.

Bob: Yeah, the thing is, I think it gets back to who would do it and
especially in bigger companies. Now you get back to, [inaudible
51:29] a marketing brand manager. Is it a store? Is it the
owner?

Chris: And are they willing to pay to avoid any kind of risk? Will
they just hire providers because it’s like, “I don’t want to
schlep and worry.”

Bob: So the other thing is, can you start a little school and have it be
like intern. You can hire the intern for this to do picture. I
mean, something where it’s just a body that.

Erika: Yeah, that’s what I’m hoping for. The storefront is, if there’d
be someone checking them in and out and the intern would be in
the back just handling the camera and stuff like that.

Bob: So besides like a Kinko’s or a Staples, who’s the ideal partner, like
the storefront partner? People walk in and go, “Oh my gosh I can
do that too.”

Erika: I think Kinko’s, so or is it called Kinko’s?

Bob: It’s FedEx.

Jason: Where did Kinko’s come from, by the way? I’ve always wondered
that. Some guy named Kinko? What a weird name that is.

Bob: If anybody knows, please email us.

Jason: Please call us.

Erika: That’s cute. I think that would be an ideal place, because if
you think about Kinko’s, before Kinko’s, who was printing out
your posters and Xeroxing? What were you doing before then?

Jason: Does Kinko’s offer the service? Do they offer…?

Chris: No.

Bob: Passport photos, like, mug shots.

Jason: I wonder if they would take it from you, you know what I mean?

Erika: Oh, they probably would, yeah.

Jason: But it does seem like a good place. It’s kind of amazing that
they actually don’t offer this service already.

Erika: Yeah, because actually, you don’t…

Jason: Because it takes a certain amount of skill to set up the
lighting, and you have to have a high-skilled employee to know
that.

Chris: They can’t do that.

Jason: They don’t have that there. That’s not the kind of people they
hired, but I’m surprised they don’t offer something like that.

Erika: I am too, because it’s really not that complicated.

Bob: So what about a [Youth Tractor] or a Dick Blick, or one of the art
places.

Jason: That’s a good idea.

Bob: Because I think…

Chris: Or the hobby, like, aren’t these people buying all their stuff
that they’re creating from a Hobby Lobby or a…

Erika: JoAnn’s Fabrics and such.

Chris: JoAnn’s Fabrics? Just come back when you’re done making it and
shoot it right in the thing.

Jason: Actually, you know that bead store? There’s a bead store on
Damon, by your dance thing. I think they’re still there. That’d
be a great partner as well, because people who go there and buy
beads to make jewelry, and you should have your card there. You
should have a little demo there. You should have something
there, or the first Friday of every month, you should just set
up…

Erika: Do a free session.

Jason: …set up a session right there.

Erika: That’s a good idea.

Bob: And do, the first time people come in and teach them a little bit
about lighting and teach them how to take better photography,
and if you want, come out over here and you can do it…

Jason: …because people are buying stuff to make jewelry.

Bob: Right.

Jason: Be there. Be where those people are already buying something,
and let them not miss you on the way out.

Bob: Well, I’ll say this. As I look for a car, right, I use cars.com. Oh
my gosh, it’s like okay. The photography’s bad. I can’t even
look at the [inaudible 54:19].

Jason: Me too.

Bob: There’s just no way.

Jason: It’s brutal.

Chris: That gets back to what you’re talking about, is like,
somebody’s spending the time to design this and build this, then
you took the crummiest photo that you could.

Jason: It’s always crummy.

Chris: It all looks horrible.

Erika: Isn’t that amazing?

Bob: Oh, they’re just horrible.

Erika: It’s such a shame really.

Bob: This one car that I was looking at, and it has a beige leather
interior, and it looks like there’s a huge stain on the front
seat, and it turns out it’s a shadow, because I’m looking at it
from a different angle. Is that a stain? Really, would they take
it like that?

Jason: It’s like the [apiler] reflection.

Bob: It’s apiler reflection off of something. I’m just like, oh my gosh, I
can’t believe it. I’m just like, okay, because they’re like,
“This car’s out,” and it’s like, “Well, maybe it’s not a stain.”
Look at me trying to work past the photo.

Erika: That’s what I want to know. Why does that happen? They have,
obviously, they have money, right? Why is it bad?

Jason: It’s awareness.

Erika: Why is that particular photo . . . why is that the only thing
people don’t spend money on?

Chris: The even funnier part is, the opposite side is, it’s such an
awareness when they do it. I mean, the girls that started
Gilt.com have chapters about how they have this huge business
decision to make, in their book, about, “Do we use the crummy
stock photography that the people that manufacture the products
already have, or do we bring in high-end models and shoot these
things or whatever? The whole business is built just on the
photos, where people have such a hard time clawing their way to
it. It’s just they want to dismiss it and get it over with.

Erika: Yeah. It’s like going to the dentist.

Chris: It is. I believe it is that anxiety.

Jason: Interesting.

Erika: People really are, like, I’ve photographed your portrait. You
hated doing that.

Jason: I hate cameras. In fact, this is funny. I was posting a new
picture for [Ink], and they’ve been calling me for three weeks,
and I just don’t answer their calls.

Bob: You avoid it.

Jason: I avoid, I don’t want my picture taken. I don’t like looking at
my pictures. I don’t want it. I’m just avoiding it in every
possible way.

Erika: Yeah. Photographers are scary-ass people. [inaudible 56:18] got
the eye that looks in your soul.

Bob: She just made it that much scarier.

Jason: It’s uncomfortable.

Chris: You can create the anxiety you need to find it and take it way.

Erika: It’s kind of having a spotlight on you.

Jason: I wouldn’t have the same thing if I were shooting a physical
product. It’s about, like, I don’t like my portrait being taken.

Erika: Right. [inaudible 56:35] is like the mentality of the cameras
and the photography.

Jason: But still, yeah. Like, ugh, photographer, god, flaky sort of
feel.

Erika: They tell you…

Jason: Do this.

Erika: Turn this way, good, yeah.

Chris: There’s something about letting the beauty out, because they
take the picture and it’s like, that’s not it. It’s better than
this. So, something about getting the beauty out, it’s like, let
the real beauty out or something like that

Jason: That’s a cool campaign, like, “it’s better than this.” A cool
ad campaign could be like shitty photos, shitty home-made photos
of a piece of jewelry or a whatever, go “It’s better than this.”

Erika: Yeah.

Chris: You want the person that designed the product, like a face
[inaudible 57:15], and like the crappy photo [inaudible 57:17] them self.

Bob: So like the bead, when you do the bead thing, it’s like, here, I’m
going to take the, we’ll do a context for the worst photograph
of jewelry that’s possible. I’ll take the top ten and I will
actually re-shoot them for you.

Chris: It’s a makeover.

Bob: It’s a makeover.

Erika: What’s the beauty shots for people, like the…

Chris: Glamour shots.

Erika: Yeah, glamour shots for jewelry.

Bob: Yeah. But it’s getting it, because now, you get to compare and
contrast and it’s like, here’s what we can do. No, the key is,
here’s what you can do. That’s the thing is that, it’s like,
somehow the other things, you’ve got to calm the anxiety. It’s
not you. It’s not the camera. It’s the lighting.

Erika: Yes.

Bob: Come let me show you how.

Chris: But that’s still a price point deal, you know what I mean?
Because I keep going back to “I can make you a professional
photographer in five seconds.” That’s essentially what it is,
right? Pop the product down, boom. But if you’re going to do it
for 100 bucks…

Bob: I’m leveraging my ten years or 15 years of lighting experience. It’s
like, let me, this is what I can do, with any camera and any
product.

Jason: [I shoots], I mean, you can run off your list of things you’ve
shot for big names, big fashion stuff, and I’ll show you how, it
all comes out of the [audible 58:32] and retouching, which you
don’t [inaudible 58:33]. It comes down to making pictures that
are actually there. That’s what photography is.

Bob: The cool part is, again, you came to the switch, you heard some of
the things, you found the emotion, you found the fear, you found
all those things, and then from that, you’ve been able to kind
of help perpetuate your business based on seeing and
interviewing and talking to people. That’s fabulous.

Chris: I think the important thing is, we always, our dream, Bob and
I, is that you sit and you do the timeline and the whole bit,
but it’s, if you take one tenth of that and just chat with
people about how they’re buying it, it’s better than assuming.

Erika: Yeah, and I’ve noticed, like, watching their behavior. When
they come in, when I talk to them on the phone, how many
billions of questions they ask me, like, “Are you going to set
the exposure?”

Chris: All these technical, yeah.

Erika: Yeah, watching their behavior, and then watching their behavior
after is testament to what you’re talking about. That’s like the
timeline. It’s not them switching to me, but it’s the switch
that happens, the before and after.

Chris: It’s their level of commitment, yeah.

Erika: Exactly.

Chris: Awesome. Thanks for sharing and letting us talk about it.

Erika: Yeah.