6 Figure Creative Icon

How To Use Email Marketing To Land Corporate Clients As a Photographer | With Daniel Clark Cunningham

Episode art

Most freelancers shy away from the corporate world because “they’re special snowflake creatives who will never sell out and could never possibly be fulfilled working with corporations”

The reality is that any creative work can be fulfilling. 

The beauty of working with corporate clients is they actually have budgets. 

With budgets come options…

  • The option to actually make great money as a creative. 
  • The option to turn down clients who don’t have budgets. 
  • The option to do bigger, better, more creatively-fulfilling projects. 

This week’s guest, Daniel Clark Cunningham, is a perfect example of this. 

He’s worked with many household names – from Discovery Network to Dale Earnhardt Jr., to Chevrolet – and he’s learned a lot along the way.

He’s also taken a very unconventional path to get to where he is today. 

Listen now to learn how Daniel used “the war of attrition”, constant failure, and email marketing to build his photography business. 

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How to level up from broke clients to well-paying gigs
  • The three things needed to succeed as a freelancer
  • Why internships are sometimes a necessary evil
  • How to outlast your competition
  • When to work on projects for yourself
  • The key to understanding your clients
  • How being ready to say “yes” brings opportunities

How to explain why you’re worth what you charge

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Click the play button below in order to listen to this episode:

Quotes 

“If you're going to run a business that's creatively minded and you only want to do it for money, you probably won't do well.” – Daniel Clark Cunningham

 

“If you are not failing as an entrepreneur, you are absolutely not trying at all.” – Brian Hood

Episode Links


Daniel Clark Cunningham

Website

Land a corporate gig

 

Facebook Community

6FC Facebook Community

 

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@chris_graham

@brianh00d

 

Send Us Your Feedback!

The Six Figure Creative Podcast

 

Related Podcast Episodes

#68: Using Instagram Marketing To Build Recurring Income As A Music Producer – With Mark Eckert

#129: How Mark Eckert Is Running A Thriving Pop Production Studio (Despite Being Stuck At Home)

#170: The 5 Types Of Follow-Ups That Will Help You Double Your Income | With Mark Eckert

 

Websites and Companies

Goodyear

Discovery

TLC

Belk

City of Charlotte, NC

Victory Records

Chevrolet

Salesforce

Nikon

Costco

Coca-Cola

Kappa

Michelin

Squarespace

Gamestop

 

Schools

Randolph Community College

RIT

 

People

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Danica Patrick

Michelangelo

Richard Avedon

 

Entertainment

The Doors – Light My Fire

Brian: [00:00:00] welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I'm your host Brian Hood. And this week I am not with my big bald beautiful co-host Chris Graham. He is out on this interview, but today's interview.

Brian: We have an incredible conversation. We're going to have with our guest, Mr. Daniel Clark Cunningham, who has who's a photographer based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. He was actually connected with me through our past guests and past substitute cohost, mark Eckert, who we've had on the podcast multiple times now.

Brian: Daniel was actually also the guy who married mark and his wife Shira. So when I was at the wedding, he was the what, what would you call yourself, Daniel? And that.

Daniel: Probably just the efficient.

Brian: The officiant. Yeah. Yeah. So I I've, I've met you before sorta kind of through that sort of situation, but, but Daniel is not here just because he's a wedding officiant he's here because he's a photographer, a successful photographer who has worked with the likes of Goodyear discovery, TLC, TV channel with all the good stuff, Belk uh, he's worked with the city of Charlotte, which is, I would guess is a pretty big deal if you live in Charlotte victory records, which is a hilarious throwback to [00:01:00] my old days, back in the like hardcore and metal worlds, it's like a predominantly heavy music record label Chevy.

Brian: And then the world's largest CRM Salesforce a really want like a very big hodgepodge I'd say of client list. So I kind of want to get into that, but I thought it'd be cool to bring Daniel on, to talk about what, what it takes to make it as a photographer. And getting up to these bigger and bigger projects.

Brian: Cause not the, I would say the average photographer is not working with that sort of client list. So first of all, I just wanted to say thank you for coming on the podcast, Daniel I'm looking forward to.

Daniel: Yeah, me too. You're welcome. I'm super excited about this.

Brian: really like, I kind of give you a little rough introduction there but I, I think it's probably easier for you to just say, like, give the, give our audience an idea of what you do and who you work with.

Daniel: So I'm a commercial portrait photographer at my core. That's like the niche. I like making photos of people. So if I'm like Goodyear, for example, was to photograph Dale Earnhardt Jr. Cause they were doing a giveaway. So like when two free tickets to the next race and meet Dale and get some autograph stuff, as well as [00:02:00] him standing with tires for standees that would go in a Goodyear stores.

Daniel: And getting into that kind of work Charlotte's NASCAR city as far as like Concorde within hall of fame is here. So it was just kind of a gradual progression I used to assist on all these jobs. I've assisted photographers from all over the world. I've been to Brazil twice to work with a good buddy of mine in LA.

Daniel: It just sort of gave me a good look into this other world of photography, because I don't like shooting weddings and I don't really want to photograph children portraits. Not that it's, there's a lot of great people who do it, but they're passionate about doing that and it's not something I'm passionate about.

Brian: Yeah. So, so your website, you actually, it's buried on your site, so, shame on you for that. But do you have a really good line on your about page that says we create high quality portraits for use in marketing and advertising? I feel like that's a really good kind of value proposition because it seems like while you are, you don't seem to have so much of a niche as far as who you work with, because all those people are wildly different [00:03:00] industries.

Brian: It seems like you've, you've, you've narrowed down. That one thing is creating high quality portraits to use in marketing and advertising. So I think really, like, I'd love to kind of get into your story about how you got into photography in the first place and how you've gradually worked up to that. How did you get your start in photography?

Daniel: I mean, it's kind of a cliche, but like when I was a young kid, my dad had a 35 millimeter camera that I was fascinated with mechanical. It was a Nikon F two, I think. I just started playing around with that and he got kind of frustrated that I was using his camera all the time. So for Christmas, I got my own 35 millimeter camera, and just shot all the time.

Daniel: Like when I could go to Costco and drop my rolls off and get them processed fairly cheaply. And I went to Paris on a school trip. I think I shot like 40 rolls of film. And then I graduated high school and was like, well, I guess I'll go to business school. My dad's like, yeah, that's a good, good choice.

Daniel: And I hated it. Ended up just taking art classes. And then finally one of my photo teachers was like, you should check out this community college in Asheboro, North Carolina.[00:04:00] And it's kind of like a diamond in the rough. It was founded by a guy that went to RIT, which is probably the, creme de LA creme of photo schools.

Daniel: And he wanted an affordable option. So I went there, spent two years, gotten an associates degree in commercial photography and then started assisting anybody that would have me just to see what's going on.

Brian: Yeah. So how did you let's let's talk about that. So you, you went the, I would say like traditional, non traditional, cause I'd say most photographers. I know actually didn't go to school for this. So I'd say that's the non-traditional side, but the traditional side is after high school, it is expected that you go to college.

Brian: So that's the traditional side. So you kind of blended the two paths and you went into commercial photography. That was your, your associate's degree. How did, how did you actually land assisting gigs after that? Cause I can tell you right now when I. I had my studio in Nashville and I had all these interns trying to get like internships with me.

Brian: I didn't want to deal with most of them because like, if anything uh, caused agreement, I, I had to unteach. You had, like, you had to unlearn all these horrible things before you could actually provide [00:05:00] value to me. So how did you overcome that sort of obstacle as a new fresh out of college student?

Daniel: One was the reputation of the school. anybody that's a photographer on the east coast especially in Charlotte, knows about this school. And the school has a list of people that accept interns, know what they're getting into, and a lot of them were alumni. So it's kind of a bit of a giving back situation plus free and or cheap labor.

Daniel: I mopped a lot of floors where it's like, oh, great. You're here. Make us coffee. And like the typical intern route. Cause we had to do two internships in order to graduate. So we spent 16 weeks total in internship land, And it was awesome. One of them I did with a production company. So they would just book me out on anything that needed an assistant.

Daniel: So that's how I got into doing NASCAR work is they provided gear, production, support, assistance, anything that was needed they could take care of it. And most often the photographers would come in from New York, LA Europe, and they would, it'd be Coca-Cola for [00:06:00] de BDO. And I was just the local lowliest assistant carry all the stuff.

Daniel: Don't talk to anybody, but I got to see a lot. I mean, you can learn so much just from observation that I got a lot of times seeing how a photographer would work with a subject, how to establish a rapport how to deal with NASCAR drivers or just talent in general, then. They're images, everything.

Daniel: And they're very particular about Danica Patrick for one. She's awesome. But she's very particular on how she's lit and she will tell a photographer. Nope. That's not how it's going to go. And then she'll tell them where to put the light and the really good photographers with low ego levels. They let it happen because they're there to provide a service and do a good job, not make it about them.

Daniel: So some could navigate it some couldn't and you can kind of feel that tension when they don't want to navigate it. Well,

Brian: So how long did you do this assistant role before you started to kind of move up in the.

Daniel: [00:07:00] I probably about eight years and it was kind of like a shift of, I wasn't making enough money shooting, but I mean, I could assist it, got to like a pain point where it was like, I'm tired of dealing with someone's BS. And then I just kind of woke up one day and was like, I'm just not going to take assisting gigs anymore.

Daniel: And if I do get asked to assist, I'm going to give them a ridiculous rate. And if they want to pay a ridiculous rate, then Hey, I'll be there otherwise. No, thanks.

Brian: Yeah, I feel like that was the same, the same kind of thing I did in 2015 when I decided I'm not going to produce bands anymore. I'm just going to do mixing and mastering gigs as a producer or as a, in the music world. They're just, it's just a different service for those who are not familiar. And what I first started doing was I started pricing people out of it and it was that exact same thing.

Brian: It was, I looked at my business, I realized I'm spending 80% of my time doing all this work is providing like 20% of my income. And so I'm just going to cut it out or, better yet, I'm going to price appropriately what I should be charging. And if people won't pay that, then I'll just want to do the project.

Brian: So I think that's a really good way to [00:08:00] naturally transition away, because if someone's willing to pay that and you know, what's. I got people to pay that, that like the, the, the price that I was trying to not do the work at all, people were still willing to pay, which is a huge surprise to me. I'm not sure if you've got that at all, Daniel, but it was a good way for me to transition away from the things I didn't really want to do and start putting all my time, effort and energy into these projects that I actually wanted to do.

Brian: And the services, which for me was mixing and mastering, which is common in the metal world. So you started pricing people out, you had that feeling, that thing tugging at you. It's like, you're not gonna be doing this anymore. First of all, like I can see why eight years is a long time to do that, but was there any sort of like big thing or any sort of like what was it, what's the, what's the phrase, the term you use the uh,

Daniel: like a tipping point.

Brian: yeah, the tipping point, the straw that broke the camel's back.

Brian: What was the thing that, that was there? Was there one, or was it just kind of a gradual thing?

Daniel: I think it was like the own fulfillment of me personally. Like, do you want to be in a S cause there's plenty of people that are full-time assistants. Like there are some digital technicians out there that. They build these incredible computer rigs. They [00:09:00] have all the gear you hire them. And the joke is that like, sometimes the Digi tech makes more money than the photographer because of all the rentals and everything else, but it's still, it's not your show.

Daniel: And I wanted to make things personally and produce photo shoots, not for like, I guess ego reasons, but more just like, it's what I've set out to do. And I wasn't doing it the way I wanted to do it yet.

Brian: how did you start building the confidence that you could start to turn down those gigs that you didn't want to do the assisting jobs? Like what, w what was it that, that gave you the confidence to do that? Because I know so many people that are in that position, it may not be assisting in photography, but it is something, it is something that they don't want to do, but they don't have the confidence to leave it behind, to pursue the thing they actually want to pursue.

Daniel: It was a. I told myself that in the very beginning, it's like, I'm going to make $500 a week with my camera not assisting. And so I just started like leave no stone unturned kind of thing. Like just kept trying to get in front of as [00:10:00] many people as I could advertise myself. It was like, that's the one thing that's not great about a technical photo school, or I guess any school is like, they teach you one skill, but you need four other skills to actually make that one skill work for you.

Daniel: So had a lot of conversations with friends that were doing well and you know, what was a breaking point for them and, or what was helpful. And it really kind of just turned into putting myself out there and it might be woo woo. But like self-talk and like, you know what you're doing? Like imposter syndrome be damn like, just go for it.

Daniel: And. If you put everything you can into it, it's going to work out because hopefully you'll just outwork. Everybody else.

Brian: Yeah. So there's a, there's something I listened to podcasts probably more than anyone else that I know. And I, I heard uh, I've heard something on a podcast recently that caught my ear and it was if we can't grow as a business owner, it's because of one of three things is because we lack the skills.

Brian: We, we lack the character traits or we lack the beliefs and we have to have all three to get [00:11:00] past certain roadblocks, because I don't know about you and your business. Daniel. Maybe we'll get into this further in our, in our conversation here, but me throughout my life, in my career, like I've hit these big plateaus and in every single instance, I was the bottleneck and it was one of those three things.

Brian: It was a skill that I lacked that I had to learn, or it was a character trait that I didn't have I had to learn. Or it was some sort of belief that I didn't have that I needed in order to break through that bottleneck. And in, from the, from the sounds of it, it sounds like for you, that was getting through the belief first believing that you could actually do it.

Brian: I don't think it's woo. I think it takes all three. If you just focus on the beliefs, it's woo. But if you focus on the character traits and skills, it's the longer woo. It's just being an entrepreneur. So you, you had this kind of, you had the feeling, you had the confidence that you could make it work, the belief that you could make it work.

Brian: You had the skills that you had developed along the way, which is super interesting. Because you said that we are our motto here is like, it takes more than passion. I feel like so many people come out of this. They're passionate about one thing. They have a skill in one thing and they don't learn the other 36 skills or whatever it is [00:12:00] to become an entrepreneur.

Brian: I get, but let's, let's keep moving down the story. Now, you, you, you made this leap. What was the effect you started turning these projects down. You said you had to make something like 500 bucks a week to make this work. Did you make that immediately? What was the story from there?

Daniel: I feel like the big struggle is like the consistency of getting that work. And that was kind of like, I'm going to make $500 a week either way. And so it was. Putting all of my energy into what are the angles that I can generate income streams from. And luckily my wife um, I have a great support system.

Daniel: So like her pushing me to say like, oh, you know, you're doing great. Like, don't get down. Like, don't let you know, 10 seconds of a bad day ruin the rest of the week. Like just get over it. And I was like, cool.

Brian: That's it? That's a good wife.

Brian: That's a, real good wife.

Daniel: well, we jokingly said when we got married that we were going to take over the world.

Daniel: And that was seven years ago. And so far we're getting close to taking over the world in our own way. She's a very talented hairstylist but [00:13:00] I. I just was going to do it either way. Like, it didn't matter what I was going to photograph at that point. It was less about being in the niche that I want and more about just making photos for money.

Daniel: So that's what I did and I kept going for it. And then a little later a photographer that I assisted started doing some consulting work and he'd been in business for 18 years. So like picked his brain. And he was basically just like, you've got to learn to be just as competent with your camera as you are with your like business sense and tactics.

Daniel: Like it's, it'll become a second nature thing. You'll be able to trust your instincts when it comes to making bids and estimates, because I've made estimates before that either I don't get a call back or they're like, wow, this is way too expensive. And then they just, they leave. There's no room to negotiate.

Daniel: Like I used to take things like that personally. I remember actually the very first estimate I made at a school, I was like 22. And it was like in Microsoft word for a gym. And I was like, okay, well, you know, commercial photographers, charge [00:14:00] usage. So I had a day rate and usage, and then when the guy called back, he was like, what the hell is this usage stuff?

Daniel: It's my gym. And I was like, yeah. And they're my photos of your gym. And he ultimately was like, no, not going to work. And I was like, well, I did everything. Like I thought I was supposed to do it and turns out it, it wasn't that way. So a lot of trial and error, I mean, it took me a while to reframe failure is like, well, you don't do it that way.

Daniel: Let's go. It's like the formula 4 0 9 there's 408 formulas that didn't work. And I just kept, I mean, I guess it's being a little bit tenacious or developing the idea that it's a war of attrition uh, helped a lot. So. Slowly moved in, then got into email marketing, shout out to active campaign.

Brian: happy customer for like seven years now.

Daniel: I was like a little hesitant at first. Cause I like, there's also that fear of like, are you being pushy? Or like, you have to kind of get out of your own head and it's like, it's a business. Like Coca-Cola slams Coca-Cola into [00:15:00] your face every day, every day. I, uh, had another photographer that I had assisted that he was kind of a mentor and that's kind of his thing was like people spend money on everything.

Daniel: They see advertising all the time. It's not any different if they don't like it, they'll ignore it. Or they'll tell you to go away. People unsubscribe from my email list. That's okay. I'm not mad about it. I'll just add some more people as time goes on. But then thinking about how Mercedes-Benz will spend millions of dollars in advertising.

Daniel: But how many people actually drive a, Mercedes-Benz not a lot of people, but they're going to keep putting it out there. So don't be defeated by one day. Like just keep pushing as hard as you can and take some breaks. There were some times where like, mentally, I was like, do I even want to do this anymore?

Daniel: Like, do I give up, like, is this all that it is? And then a little bit more mindset work and it, it worked out. So now, I mean the flywheel spinning and I don't see it stopping.

Brian: So you, you [00:16:00] said something about reframing failure. Very valuable skill to have. And I do believe that's whether either it's a skill or it's a character trait, I don't really know yet. Cause I don't know. I don't know how to teach it. So I don't know if it's a skill, but reframing failure is one of the single most important parts of being an entrepreneur.

Brian: Because if you are not failing as an entrepreneur, you are absolutely not trying at all and you're not going to succeed. That's a guarantee. I guarantee you, if you are not failing on a regular basis, you will not succeed ever in anything that is worth doing. And so looking at failure that way brings this amount of freedom to us as, especially as creatives, where we put our heart and souls into what we do too, when we fail, if we, if we can reframe it and look at it that way, when we fail, that just means we are growing.

Brian: It does not mean we are a failure and it just means we have hit a, we've learned a lesson. We've learned it the hard way, and we know what not to do the next time. So you said something that caught my here. Also you said something that this is the war of attrition. What did you mean.

Daniel: the war of attrition. I like military uh, analogies and whatnot, but you are just [00:17:00] going to keep the war machine going until you went. Like that's usually conventional warfare. That's like, America's go-to is like, we're just going to be here. We have everything that we need to just pour it on you forever.

Daniel: Vietnam is a good example, even though the result wasn't so great. It was just keep doing it. And eventually you'll win,

Brian: is it just essentially saying out surviving, like the other people will all fall off eventually if I just stick around long enough.

Daniel: Yeah. There's it's like outworking, everybody. My brother used to play tennis in high school and his coach would make them like run sprints and do all this crazy stuff after practice. And they were like, what's the deal? He's like, if you guys go to a third set, they're going to be out of gas and you're going to beat them just because you are conditioned.

Daniel: You might not even be the best tennis player, but you have the chops. And there are a lot of talented people in the world. And the only way to like differentiate yourself is to just keep your nose down and just keep going. Like, I want to keep being the best I [00:18:00] can where it's like I talked with a retoucher friend and Michelangelo's his inspiration, not because it's Michael Angelo, one of the greatest sculptors of all time at 80 something years old, he was still breaking stone to try and get better.

Daniel: He did the Pia Tut 24. He could have been like, I'm done guys. But instead he just kept going for it because of that passion. Like if, if you're going to run a business, that's creatively minded and you only want to do it for money, you probably won't do well. Like the passion and the work creates the result of money.

Brian: Well, let's talk about that. How do you balance? Because we're called the six-figure creative and that puts a, an icky connotation to a lot of people because they don't like this idea of mixing passion with money. but I'll tell you right now, just my perspective is I would much rather make a living doing what I love than to separate money and passion completely.

Brian: But when you're doing something that you are passionate about, which for you, I believe is photography. How do you balance the, the, the conversation of [00:19:00] passion and money? How does that sit in your head?

Daniel: I have projects. I'm working on a project now. Hopefully it'll be done in a year. It's a big series of portraits, but it's very much on the passion art side. Like I'm spending a lot of money to make one photo between propping and sets. And it really it's like a door song. Come on, baby, lay my fire. Like it's really pushing me creatively.

Daniel: And it's one of those things where it might cost me 500 to a thousand dollars to make this one photo. But when it's all finished, I know in my heart of hearts, that the result is going to get a lot of intense. From commercially creative people. There's the potential of like, I don't really enter photos in competitions for awards.

Daniel: Cause it's like, it's like winning the local, like best photographer of whatever. And it's like, well, how many people actually voted on this? And like, what does it really matter? Like, I don't need a superlative. But I got to get it out of my head. It's like brain crack. Like it's festering. This [00:20:00] idea has been there and I got to get it out and if I don't get it out, it will be a problem.

Daniel: But the end result is going to be something I can be proud of. And it's already starting to give me another gear of what's possible. Just trusting my ideas.

Brian: So this, this is super interesting for me because one of the things that I hear the most since we rebranded to the six-figure creative and we're talking to more creative minded people in other freelance niches and industries, is that a lot of our listeners complain when I talked to somebody who works in the corporate world, because they don't ever want to work with corporate clients.

Brian: They want to work with whatever. I don't know, whatever tickles their fancy, and this is where we kind of have that conversation of passion versus money. And, and you kind of, you, that story you just told was a really good example to me, of what sort of opportunities you have when you're working with clients with actual budgets.

Brian: Because yes, you're putting a lot of money into that, but you're also getting paid out. Imagine a decent amount of money from that client as well for the [00:21:00] entirety of the year to make that sort of project happen. And, and we don't have those opportunities when we're working with broke clients. I'll tell you right now, I I've said this many times in my past.

Brian: And I, I think even more today than I did in the past, that I would rather work in a industry I'm passionate about with skills. And I'm passionate about skills that I enjoy with clients who have money, but I'm not necessarily, you know, in that world, I'm not the corporate guy, I'm not the suit and tie guy.

Brian: I'd much rather be with that type of client. If there's budgets than to be with the super broke client, who's never won a objection is always money and never has any sort of money to pay. Like that's a really tough business to get in. And to me, the stress of having to close those broke clients will weigh on me so much that it will hurt my creativity, but working with clients with budgets to where I have the freedom to do a little bit more because I have larger budgets to me that opens up more creativity in my brain.

Brian: Not only because I'm more financially secure, but because there is the actual budget there to have the freedom to be creative. So I don't know how you feel about that, Daniel, but that's kind of the vibe I got from that story.

Daniel: [00:22:00] Yeah. And, and to clarify the, the portrait project is just personal for me.

Brian: Oh, I misunderstood

Daniel: Yeah. I'm the client in this situation. And if I don't get it out of my head, it's going to literally be the end of me probably, but I've started it My thing is, it's like, you've got to do projects for yourself, like the moment you, and it happened to me.

Daniel: Like I stopped making photos and doing anything that I actually liked. And it was all about like, let me get a client, let me do this. Let me do that. And you kind of need both to like someone made like a, an analogy about like faith. Um, When you're a kid, the glass is small. So a little bit of water fills it up completely.

Daniel: You get older, the glass gets bigger, same amount of water. It doesn't work. And it's kind of the same ideas. Like you gotta replenish your creative person level and you've got a business and they all need to be in line. Like if you don't have good sleep, you're probably not going to do very well. But getting back to the clients with budgets, I would much rather work with the people that are [00:23:00] valuing.

Daniel: They're spending a lot of money to get something done. They want to have the creative meetings. They want to know they want to build a shot list and. Like, I've got a, in December, I've got three days of headshots and like corporate lifestyle for an investment company. It's really, it's going to be great.

Daniel: I'm going to photograph everybody in the business. They've got, I think 60, 65 employees, I'm going to do some photos of them. Like they're, people might not think investment companies are cool, but this is like one, that's a newer kind of, I wouldn't say they're a startup at this point, but they, you know, ping pong table kind of like a Google co culture vibe

Brian: Yeah, like a west west coast Starbucks. What I call that west coast companies have that same kind of vibe and east coast is where you see the old school, like eighties business class, where they're like suit and tie west coast. Very different.

Daniel: Yeah. This is a, you know, you can have gauges in your ears and work at this investment company.

Brian: You can have neck and hand

Daniel: right. They've got a really cool [00:24:00] office. So part of going into that was they just wanted headshots. And when I saw their office, I was like, you could do a lot of really great culture shots it's going to enrich the the companies like internal brand equity versus like people like saying they work for a cool company, like becomes like an identity.

Daniel: Like you work for apple. And you're like, I work for apple, bro. Ooh, cool. But I love talking to people. So doing 60, me getting to meet 60 people, I can ask them a bunch of questions, get them comfortable with being in a lot of people. Don't like getting their photo taken, especially because it's the company's making them like they might have, you know, I don't want to get it as like, well, we're all trying to be on brand here.

Daniel: So we need the same look across the board. But getting them comfortable, making them laugh, learning something about them. Especially over the pandemic. Like a lot of people learn how to bake bread. Were you one of those people?

Brian: I was man, I made a sourdough starter. It lasted for over a year before it died. I begged many, many, many [00:25:00] dozens of sourdough loaves, which sourdough is so hard to do, but

Brian: I got, I got, it down.

Daniel: that's awesome. That, and that, I would say that that kind of falls into like a, a creative project for yourself. Like people needed time to do something, but it's old world. We learned how to, can we canned and made marinara, which was super fun. You can buy a lot of tomatoes at the farmer's market.

Brian: I also started growing tomatoes and made my own homemade marinara with that, with the sourdough pizza dough that I made with my sourdough starter. I got real

Brian: nerdy over the last year and a half.

Daniel: That's like the basis of winning, like a James Beard award or a Michelin star.

Brian: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So let's, let's talk about that just real quick. Cause I have so many, you've brought up so many cool things I wanted to chat with you about. But real quick, do you get fulfillment on the creative side from your corporate clients or is it purely like it's a business and I, and I take it as

Brian: that.

Daniel: I think it kind of depends, but for the most part, like I love making photos, so I get a lot of fulfillment out of just like seeing cool stuff. [00:26:00] So latest job was for a cable manufacturer. They have a giant plant. In Charleston it was like being on how it's made or like even though it wasn't dirty, but like a dirty jobs show for about seven hours, I got to fly a drone.

Daniel: It was a good time and learning about how it's made from start to finish. Plus these, the people that work there, they are excited about the company they work for. And they're ready to tell you everything about it. So. Usually just being genuinely interested in what the people are doing and trying to learn all you can so you can best tell the story is huge.

Daniel: And I like cool stuff. It doesn't matter if it's, you would think cable making cables is boring, but when you see it actually happening and all the people it takes to make what will end up being like a 40 mile cable is insane. And it's also for the future. I mean, it's going to be for green energy.

Daniel: It's for wind farms and they have to be pretty far [00:27:00] away because people don't want to ruin their beach side view with, you know, a hundred windmills.

Brian: That's awesome, man. So it's the funny, the skills you listed there, all the skills that you have to have in order to get the story and have good conversation. It's alerted the same skillset you have to have as a podcast, which is interesting.

Daniel: so

Daniel: I'm going to become a podcast or next,

Brian: I think, so I think you will. So let's, let's, let's talk about another subject, which is is getting these larger projects.

Brian: Cause I don't know how many people working with like wind farms. I don't know how many people working with you know, investment companies with like 60 plus employees and you're doing headshots and, and, and lifestyle shoots for all of them. Like these seems like pretty big projects. So how are these at this point in your career?

Brian: Is it just all referral-based or are you doing something else to get these projects?

Daniel: it's a mix of referrals and I've I got, it's sort of like a serendipitous sort of thing. I had photographed a young model and her father is a producer in town and add a note it's like through Facebook messenger or something on like a Saturday night, he was like, Hey man, are you available to [00:28:00] photograph four subjects on white?

Daniel: Out of town Monday. And I was like this Monday, it's Saturday at nine. And he's like, yeah, I think so. I'll confirm with the producer. so on Sunday, the producer calls me and it's discovery channel and they had, they use Getty images to book their photographers normally. And there was a communication mix up where they booked the photographer in the wrong city and state, and they didn't know about it until Friday evening.

Daniel: And so they scrambled and he reached out to my buddy because he's in Charlotte and the shoot was in North Carolina and talk to him. He was like, I was like, I can totally do it. And he's like, well, you need to get a negative PCR test. You got to get an assistant with a negative PCR test. So I luckily have some really good friends that are great photographers that we kind of.

Daniel: In situations like this, it's like, I got you, bro. Like we can do this. He ran out, got a PCR test. I got mine. We drove four hours to the location and then [00:29:00] photographed forecast members for the reality show you me and my ex on TLC. And then it got me signed with Getty. So I'm now on their global roster.

Daniel: So I get calls that it's usually regional stuff cause nobody's really flying anybody anywhere right now. And then I have another agency at a Paris called Kappa and. They'll call me for they do a lot of corporate industrial work. That's the majority of our clients, like you had mentioned Salesforce.

Daniel: The job I got through Salesforce is because they were doing profiles on, people at N Michelin tires that are using Salesforce in really creative ways. So I just, I photographed think it was two different shoots. It was four people, total four, they were doing like a Salesforce convention in Paris.

Daniel: But yeah, I it's, I like the corporate clients. They're usually ready to make something happen and they have like, they've done it before they've bought and licensed images before. So there's not really a huge, like, Learning section when I'm like, yeah. So my day rate is X and your [00:30:00] usage is Y and they're like, whoa, why are we paying for usage?

Daniel: I was like, oh, it's kind of like, you can't get Coldplay's songs for your commercial, unless you pay Coldplay. And then a little more, I've got, I have a I wrote a lot of like SOP, if you will, or like informational things where like breaks down, like what you're paying for and the type of usage that you can use as if someone's local, it's like a local ad.

Daniel: It's obviously not going to carry the same usage as a national ad.

Brian: So you said something there's SOP standard operating procedures is what it stands for. Those are the nerdy, nerdy business speak for, for those of you who are not follow along, which is great. I mean, this is good. This is stuff we all need to know.

Daniel: totally.

Brian: but it sounded like very random, the, the connection you got, the guy, the T the, the discovery channel connection, which led to the Getty images thing.

Brian: But I'll tell you right now, there's a quote that I live by, and this sounds like it's a lucky thing, right? It sounds like a lucky break that you got through a connection or whatever. But this quote that I love is the harder I work, the luckier I get. [00:31:00] And I just want to say that right now, because so many people are like, well, I don't have this random Facebook message coming in at 9:00 PM on a Saturday night to get me a huge gig Monday, that's going to change the trajectory of my career.

Brian: Like I don't get that. It's because you didn't do the eight plus 10 plus years of work that led up to that point. Like how many years had you been taking photographs Daniel before that message hit your inbox?

Daniel: Probably 10 years.

Daniel: I like the quote, it's sort of like the same as I don't know if it's like epic T-TESS or keto, but it's or I think, I think it's Seneca actually luck is when opportunity meets preparedness. So. I can guarantee you if you were like, like you said, oh, I don't have this lucky message coming in.

Daniel: My critique would be, could you pull it off if they called you? Because there was a lot of moving parts to me, driving four hours with an assistant, getting a PCR test, doing a zoom, had five or six art directors on zoom, looking at a second monitor while I'm photographing these people in [00:32:00] my studio was the living room of the casts house.

Daniel: So I moved all the furniture out of the way, put up a nine foot seamless with the set, got them to approve the look. And then we went through doing individuals of all four, duos trios, mixing, matching, and giving them a lot of direction because they want those kind of catty photos for. Their ads. Like if you go to I think it's the title, tlc.com for that show is a picture we did in their living room.

Daniel: And they're like, I don't know if it's like pushing someone away or like pretending to choke them or whatever, but it's, they wanted this tension in these photos. But at this point they're all it's called Umi and my ex, but they're all friends, they're all clearly get along, but we had to kind of dig into like, at some point they hated each other.

Daniel: And let's bring that out.

Brian: You tell all those things and for our non photographer listeners right now that might have zoned out during that entire description, like there's a point of this that is really important that I want to drive home to anyone [00:33:00] listening right now is Daniel exhibited this very important trait that we have to have as entrepreneurs to be successful.

Brian: And that's called T F oh, figure it the F out. And what he did was figure at the FL he wanted the gig, he figured it, the F out, he got all of those things into place and where someone might've dropped the ball or said, this is too complicated or too scary or too hard. Dana figured it out. And he got the rewards that came from that.

Brian: So that's, that's an important thing to have for all of us. Now this week, I just launched a new YouTube video. So by the time you were watching or listening or watching this interview it will have been last week's YouTube video. I launched a video called the, I don't remember what I called it, but it's essentially what I call the word of mouth death trap.

Brian: And in that video, I talk about the lie. That is word of mouth advertising, because they hear people like Daniel who are getting most of his clients kind of by referrals, word of mouth, you know, somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody kind of thing. And they don't understand that people that make it to your level are the ones who. For lack of a better term, James, get the bleep out for a second. They ate for eight years [00:34:00] and then they were, they, they had enough momentum to, to, to break over the edge. They weren't one of the people who, your war of attrition, one of the people that fell off the wayside and didn't quite make it to where you're at right now.

Brian: But this has your entire career been, you've just been slowly building up that word of mouth snowball. Or did you have other means of getting clients earlier on that led to the word of mouth clients you're getting today?

Daniel: it was a struggle for me in the beginning to like truly market myself. And like, I ended up getting a lot of referrals for assisting work and I still get them today. I will usually just send them to like all the other guys I know that are assisting or, I've been thinking about making like a database for Charlotte freelancers.

Daniel: But it was a word of mouth for awhile. And now it's mostly email marketing. I think every industry is small. If in certain circles, but you know, you do a really good job on a photo shoot and a producer likes you, then they're going to keep giving you calls.

Daniel: And it's, I've made a lot of friends with the people that get calls from other clients that are [00:35:00] looking for a photographer. I get more inquiries now, but in the beginning it was a producer or an art director I'd worked with before. Word of mouth marketing. I can see how it can be like some people say, oh, it's the best thing ever.

Daniel: And it's like, well, it's not consistent at all.

Brian: It is, if you are staying a hundred percent booked up all the time, like it's the best thing in the world, cause you don't have to pay for it. But the, the, the problem that you, that you get is it takes a long time and a lot of happy clients before you get your calendar full. And even then it can be feast or famine.

Brian: That's why it's kind of adjusted the video. There's a lot more that goes into it. So go watch the YouTube video, anyone listening right now, Daniel, you don't need to watch it because you're already there. But you mentioned email marketing multiple times now, and I can't believe I hadn't brought this up yet.

Brian: What, what, what are you doing? What are you exactly doing with email marketing?

Daniel: I try to send basically like, almost like two newsletters a month, and it's usually based around a blog post or some other content that I've made. And I'm kind of like when I added a tear sheet section to my [00:36:00] website, I said, you know, Hey, hope everybody's doing great. You know, whatever month it was Very personal.

Daniel: Like, you know, the weather is changing in Charlotte and, you know, taking my kids out to the Greenway a lot. And I've got a new section of tear sheets. I'm really excited about. You can learn more about it here, give them a link. I usually put some large photo of a project I've worked on recently. It might be one of the tear sheets that are in the peer sheet portfolio.

Daniel: Or I'll do like a case study. Like I did, I think one on the TLC reality show in images and kind of told the story of how it all happened and how they would be used and where, and then I think in that one, I also showed all the places that used it cause they put them everywhere. Like I thought they would, which is great.

Daniel: Or I'll do a blog. That's kind of like explaining some sort of photo jargon or I did one on all the different people that go cause like it's not a photo, a commercial photo. Shoot is a lot of moving parts and a lot of people working together for [00:37:00] one thing, it's not just me, like if I didn't have quality assistants, stylists hair and makeup artists, like it would not work.

Daniel: So I dunno, it's like anything I can do in the email marketing, that's just kind of shedding light on what I'm doing. And it kind of helps build my credit and my, my cloud a little bit where it's like, oh, he's continually putting out a blog that says, here's how I made these clients happy. I got work that directly from doing this previous hedge, I photographed 30 people at an agency They loved the images. They turned out fantastic. I did a blog on you know, doing a creative agency, ended up doing a really great environmental portrait of their president, founder, you know, a group shot of them outside their it's like an old home in Charlotte. He was built like 1909 on their like front steps.

Daniel: And uh, the investment company saw the photos and they were like, these are great photos. So let's get this guy call. And it worked out really well. Like it's, I think if you just do PR if you do good enough work, people [00:38:00] want to know who made it, is one thing, especially if they're looking for, someone that can handle the volume of doing 30 portraits in a day.

Daniel: I was very

Daniel: tired after that day.

Brian: Yeah. The 30 to 60 people in one gig is, has gotta be, again, that's something I can't comprehend. Cause I'm not a photographer who specializes or has done that in the past. But would you say that that email marketing has been worth the time and effort you've put into

Brian: it? Cause this is an area that I don't see a lot of creatives.

Daniel: Yeah, and it's one of those things where like, I can't be mad at myself, but I would say like, I should have done it sooner. Because it kind of opened my eyes to just a different world where it's like, if we want to get back to like war analogies, like I'm trying to be aggressive on all fronts, not just the, I'm a good image maker.

Daniel: I'm also a marketer. I'm also you know now I'm outsourcing a lot of tedious work like trying to find the best systems so I can focus on what I do best, which is making photos of people and being, I guess the [00:39:00] best. Conduit for getting their personality out of a situation. They might not be comfortable in.

Daniel: Like, I think trying to disarm people's hesitance to being photographed is, can be difficult. Because like, if you work with a model, that's their job. Like they'll hit every pose you want. But when you've got to work with someone who might be shy a little timid, like you've got to find a way to get into their, get past their armor and realize it's not that big a deal I'm going to make you, I'm here to make you look awesome.

Daniel: Like that's the number one goal.

Brian: Yeah. So, I mean, I, we don't have a ton of time to dive into that. I'd love to get into the, the passing off tedious tasks a bit, but let's go back really quick. You w w with the email marketing one last question, there is like, how are you actually building your email list?

Daniel: I started with scouring LinkedIn for every single person. Would hire me, marketing directors, creative directors, our directors, and then we'll just put them on my list. And the idea was they can [00:40:00] unsubscribe if they don't want it. Because

Brian: I think that works in some countries more than others. You do that in the UK. I'm pretty sure that's.

Daniel: yeah, it was, it was like a, you know, I try, I would try to friend like connect with them on LinkedIn and like, sometimes it would happen and people would unsubscribe or they don't ever open it. But my list mainly is built from anytime I get an inquiry to work with someone they've got to my forms a little more complicated than most standard like Squarespace forms,

Brian: yeah, you have a, what I call it a high friction forum is what I call it in our world. Low friction is usually just like name, email message kind of thing. High friction is like, you're going to answer a bunch of questions and that way, if you get through this, I know you're

Daniel: no, totally like, I don't want to have to waste like theirs. That's why there's a budget question, right? Are you serious about what you're doing? Cool. Tell me a little bit about it. And then it gives me a better scope of work and then I can dive into it.

Brian: So, so they're added to your form or they're added to your email list. Once they fill out your inquiry

Brian: form, any other methods you're using to build.

Daniel: yeah. Anytime I do a job, you never know where [00:41:00] people are going to go or remember you. So, like for example, with the headshot job, I requested to have every single person's email, because sometimes I have to send all the web galleries individually to people to make their own selects.

Daniel: Sometimes they have someone who does like a sort of rough edit, so that they're. Like employees, aren't overwhelmed. So I get, 60 something emails uh, at the end of this month and they'll all go on the email list and they can unsubscribe if they want to. And then anytime I do a job and any time there's like a zoom meeting or a creative meeting with lots of different people, if they're on that meeting and I have their email, I'll add them to the list or I'll like, tell them like, Hey guys, you know, you don't mind, I'm going to add you to my email list so we can stay in contact.

Daniel: And,

Daniel: it's just anytime I get someone's information and they're in that category of being able to hire me or at least, maybe in a meeting bring up like, oh, we need anybody knew a photographer. Oh, well I know a guy. I keep getting his email. I think it's important to not be [00:42:00] afraid of putting yourself out there for your business.

Daniel: Like. Some people get a little nervous wanting to send an email or like reach out to someone like it's not gonna hurt anybody's feelings. Like, unless you're like really mean in the email, but just be is, a friend w his thing was like, I'm just going to kill people with kindness in like a very like, methodical way.

Daniel: It's not like he's trying to be necessarily the most kind person, but he knows that he's going to get more. What is it? You catch more flies with honey. So just genuinely be an excited, happy person. That's looking to make opportunities for yourself. Like nobody, especially in America, like the bootstrap idea.

Daniel: It's like, just go out and make it happen. It's possible. It might take you 10 years, but it's possible.

Brian: But I want it now, Daniel. No, I, I totally agree with that, man, because I put a note from something you said really early in this interview and it was, it was something I was gonna bring back up if I had time, but it was the, the idea of being pushy in your marketing. And that's something that's that I'd [00:43:00] say most creatives are allergic to marketing because they're afraid of being pushy.

Brian: And my note here says pushy versus irrelevant. And I think that's one thing that we have to. As great as if we're trying to actually make a living doing what we love, billing, being willing to get out of our comfort zone and even erring on the side of pushy, which I guarantee if you, if you go the pushy route a hundred percent of the time, your actual filter will keep you from ever being actually pushy.

Brian: What it will do is allow you to at least become relevant. You'll never actually make it to the point. It takes a lot to be pushing. Let's be honest. Like what, what happens is us being afraid of being pushy means that we never actually take any steps to become relevant in the first place. We will never even make it to the pushy place.

Brian: That's because we're so far the other way that we just stay irrelevant. And I think that's something that you've, you've done with email marketing and, and I'll, I'll say right now I have like tens of thousands of people in my email list at this point. And I still get nervous sending out an email. To that many people, but it's one of those things that I made the decision I'm going to, I'm not going to be irrelevant.

Brian: And I make sure that what I'm doing is [00:44:00] adding value to people's lives. It's not taking it's giving. And I think that's one way that I can justify sending emails to tens of thousands of people. Even if I get unsubscribes again, that's just somebody that's not dealing well with my message. So that's just something worth, worth mentioning.

Brian: Shifting gears real quick here, just to kind of, kind of wrap up this conversation, pricing, this is an air an area. I don't have a lot of experience in when it comes to the photography side of things. And you mentioned a few things that kind of peak my interest for me to even bring this conversation up is pricing.

Brian: Cause cause you're working with, to me, it seems like pretty big projects, larger clients, bigger, types of clients where you're doing like 60 headshots is no small project is what I'm saying. Have you, and, and I'm not going to get to the specifics of what you would price for that. That's that's that's we don't have to get into that, that deep into it, but, but there's different monetization models and different freelance industries. Really Excel in some of these, there is like the retainer model where you're getting like a flat monthly fee to be on call, to do things there's like flat fee projects where you're saying, I will do this entire project for a flat fee. There's like the hour or day rate where you're charging per hour [00:45:00] or per day, there is passive income.

Brian: Or like if you're putting your, at least in the photography world, putting your images up on like Getty images or putting it up on some of these sites where you're getting a commission for when people pay for your rights for image, and then there's a usage, which you mentioned, and I would love for you to kind of dive into what you found works best in your world, in your niche in the photography world, specifically working with corporate clients,

Daniel: I find that a day rate partnered with a usage rate and then your production charges. So for example, with the headshots, I have a day rate that includes image capture, retouching set, construction. Delivery. And then I have a usage line for, they will most likely use them internally, but my guess is that every single employee that's going to become their LinkedIn photo, they're going to use them in any sort of like creative briefs or anything.

Daniel: Cause they're an investment company. So you might like want to see who's managing your money. If you don't have a face to face with them they most likely won't use them for advertising. [00:46:00] So it'll be below the line usage where it's just marketing, email marketing internal use, above the line would be actual advertising or you're buying ad space.

Daniel: So all of that together has worked out for me because it, it it's sort of itemized, but the creative fee. Is based on 10 hours, whether it takes 10 hours or not is like, sometimes you'll have people be like, oh, well we've got you for another three hours. It's like, I completed the scope of work. It doesn't work like that, even when I'm off the floor.

Daniel: and then I've got standard lines of usage for above the line below the line. And then if it's sometimes they'll ask for images and perpetuity. And usually I just have like a multiplying factor for that. And then I try to anchor higher sometimes just give me some room to work the estimate out.

Daniel: Sometimes people see the estimate and they kind of like, are like, are you serious? Like you're just pushing a button and it's like, yeah, well, it's more complicated than that. And then the production charges, like I'll have a hair and makeup artist in assistant. I'll have a gear that [00:47:00] I'm renting. I'll have they wanted a specific color of seamless backdrop.

Daniel: So I'll have to go by that and then mark that up. But I think the creative fee, once they see, like they're getting all this value in a day, it's not just me being there. It's me coordinating beforehand and pre-production, and then taking over after the job in post-production like the galleries aren't going to make themselves, the photos are not going to retouch themselves, but it's all work.

Daniel: You're never going to see me do. And, and that I think works well for commercial work. I know my friends that do weddings, they usually just have like three packages that spell out what they want. And they're usually working towards pushing them to the middle. And they might have like Al a carte items.

Daniel: And, but no, I think everybody should figure out what they want to do, what they want to make for a day of providing their skill and service. And not be too low.

Brian: And would you say you're on the more premium side of pricing compared to your competitors

Daniel: I would say maybe about average for the commercial photographers in town that have been really [00:48:00] working at it.

Brian: but in the general photography space, is that, are you on the more premium side though, compared to like the average photographer?

Daniel: maybe I kind of look like there's certain levels, cause it's like, I'm not doing a lot of national advertising and you know, like the true, like what is it? I think people always the rumor is that like Nike's advertising day rate is $20,000 a day for a complete buyout of your images. Which is cool.

Daniel: But I mean, I've worked with some photographers that I know for a fact, they they've made $24,000 a day for five days as their usage and day rate together. And that's like the high end of advertising Yeah, I hadn't really thought about it from like, if I'm premium or not, I've just like put it to where it's like, I want to make the best possible rates that I can cause I have a mortgage and kids and I definitely don't want quote, unquote, a real job. Cause I'm not built for a nine to five and I don't think you are either.

Brian: [00:49:00] My last job was a was game stop when I was like 18 or 19. The reason I asked that is cause like, I, I always like, I've put a lot of thought and effort and even testing into pricing and all the things that I do, whether it's Airbnb, whether it's like my freelance stuff, whether it's like courses and things I have, like, I have found time and time again, being at the top of the pricing market, being the most expensive option in, in your circle of, of whatever is always a better business because I F I found that charging 50% more. Means at worst, you have half the amount of clients, which means you make the same as everyone else while working half the time. But what, what is really interesting and a curious thing to think on is when you double your prices, committee, your competitor, and you work as half as much, you, you really don't actually usually have half the clients.

Brian: Usually you lose about a third of your clientele, which means you're working two thirds as much making twice the amount of money. And it's, it's really interesting to see that play out in a bunch of different kinds of [00:50:00] industries. And it's just seems to play out for me, at least in all the areas I've tested and in some of the conversations I've had with friends that it just makes an easier business because. I still think you're up in the upper end, because I can just tell, just talking to you and some of the stuff we talked about beforehand and the kind of clients you're working with and the kind of photographers that I know, you're probably on the upper end of, of photographers as a whole, but it's just a lesson for our listeners is like when you start being the cheapest person, because you want to be busy all the time, I guarantee if you took your income at the end of the month and you divided it by the amount of hours that you put in at the end of that same month, you would cringe at what that number is.

Brian: That's spit out of your actual earnings per hour, because I did this with someone I know recently, and they thought they were making $60 an hour. They were making $15 an hour. That was the reality of their situation when we actually did this exercise. And it's because they're not, they're not in the premium upper echelon of the pricing in their and their niche.

Brian: So it's just, it's always a thing I love talking about with that.

Daniel: that's kinda leads me into the, me outsourcing [00:51:00] certain services where it's, I'm looking at my time as being valued at, let's say a hundred dollars an hour. So like, why would I do something that's $10 an hour on like the value scale. So I'm losing $90 in reality. So it's like finding systems that work to where, like, I also like being a very efficient photographer with my time, not only with subjects, but with finishing the project.

Daniel: So if I shoot and finish a job on Thursday, I want to, by next Thursday, have everything done and delivered.

Brian: How have you gotten that sort of workflow down? Like w w what, what is it that you do to, to keep that sort of organized and, and on schedule and flowing?

Daniel: it's A lot of outsourcing the like, like for example, I can headshots, I will send all the headshots off to retouching firms. I've got a couple of them that I use that are like, they're okay at this. They're great at that. And it's like spending the time testing and figuring out who's who, and then I've [00:52:00] got retouchers on the super premium end that are, you know, not in India or Bangladesh, they are here in the states or they're in the UK.

Daniel: They are perfect for advertising clients or something. That's super high-end. I mean, it's where there is a budget where it's like the retouching might be $4,000 to make five images look the way they're supposed to look. So I've got those in place where I know that, okay, the turnaround time on this service is two days and I'll just send it all out and kind of project manage at that point.

Daniel: And then when they get back to me, review them, make sure they're good. And then a lot of times the images, I will tone them in Photoshop to match my kind of look where it's like, I don't care how the photos are cleaned up as long as they get to a certain standard. And then I will apply the look, that either the client has specified or I'm into at the time or whatever it [00:53:00] is.

Daniel: So it's. just finding the right vendors to make it all work. But most people are surprised at how fast they get their images back. And kind of just like, I wouldn't say it like weighs on me, but like, I want to make sure that I'm on top of everything. There's always horror stories of, you know, oh, I got married and it's been a year and I still don't have my photos yet.

Brian: That's

Brian: crazy.

Daniel: It gets back to the word of mouth things. People are like, oh yeah, he took six months to get me my photos back. it just not a cool thing.

Brian: Yeah, that's, that's the opposite of word of mouth that will, that's a snowball. That'll actually go against you because I mean, it takes a long time to build up a war, a good of word of mouth snowball that brings word of mouth referrals to you constantly. It takes no time at all to build a anti word of mouth snowball of people that are hating on you because you, you screwed over your clients or you didn't get back to them in time, or you took forever a year for wedding photos.

Brian: I can't even imagine I would be so mad if that were me and I would, I would do whatever I could to ruin that photographer's [00:54:00] reputation. If I had to wait that long.

Daniel: well, most people don't like if you have a really good service or a really great experience, most people don't leave a Yelp review for good service, but they will leave you a one-star review. Like it's like, there's, they're writing the review as they're leaving the restaurant. I can't believe that this was blah, blah, blah.

Brian: I've never done that before, by the way.

Daniel: I think doing a good job often goes unnoticed, but doing a bad job normally gets amplified. So just do a good job. Do the best job you can like be you're in service of clients. I want it to be the best photo they have of them. That's really them. They show everybody, they like looking at it. They're proud to exhibit this version of them. People say photos don't lie. And Richard Avedon famously said all of mine line, they're all lies. So, yeah, I'm just, I'm just really focused on trying to do the best job.

Daniel: I can always, whatever the situation is.

Brian: Well, I can say that [00:55:00] you've you've done the best job you can on this podcast by spending the last hour, plus with us on here and sharing your breadth of knowledge with us. So I want to say thank you for coming on here. Is there anywhere you want to send our listeners uh, to connect with you or find out more.

Daniel: Yeah, they can go to Daniel Clark, cunningham.com/land, a corporate gig, and I've got a form. They can fill out an I, if they want to talk about what they could do, or they just want to tell me what they're already doing, and maybe we could tweak something or if you're a creative person and you want to be fulfilled in like doing what you do, you've got to get clients that appreciate you.

Daniel: And like, I had someone call me that needed portraits forget what it was. They were really kind of pushy on the front end with my time. And then when I sent them an estimate, it was like ghost town. And when I followed up, oh yeah, we decided we didn't want to do it because of X, Y, and Z. And it's because it probably costs too much, honestly, but they were real excited to get my time until they [00:56:00] realized what it was going to actually be, because I'm not going into any photo shoot unprepared. I'm going to do a lot of, especially if it's somebody, like NASCAR drivers, I'm going to find out everything about a NASCAR driver. Like, did you race go-carts at 13? Did you win this at that? Like, I need to know these things so that I can, be real comfortable having a conversation and figure out what not to talk about or reaching out to their people and be like, do they have like poses?

Daniel: They don't do some NASCAR. Drivers will not do certain poses, which is funny, but I get it. But just being prepared. But yeah, if they want to talk and chat, I'm up for it for sure. Luckily with my kids in school, I have Monday through Friday open to work, even though I'm picking them up earlier.

Daniel: I mean, let's see, what time is it now?

Brian: Probably time to go pick them up.

Daniel: I got 30 minutes. this is great, Ryan. I really appreciate uh, you reaching out and us doing this. It's been a fun maybe next time. If you're in town, we'll actually connect instead of you just listening to me, Mary people,

Brian: So treated.[00:57:00]

Brian:

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