The Dead Pixels Society podcast

Creating the life you want in photography with Rose and Timmy Coleman

October 06, 2022 Gary Pageau/Rose and Timmy Coleman Season 3 Episode 87
The Dead Pixels Society podcast
Creating the life you want in photography with Rose and Timmy Coleman
Show Notes Transcript

Gary Pageau of the Dead Pixels Society talks with Rose and Timmy Coleman of Center Stage Photos. The Colemans talk about how they were able to structure their successful sports photography business around their family through the use of modern technology and services. Rose is the co-owner of Center Stage Photos, a sports photography company she started in 2016 with her husband Timmy. As a second-generation photographer with over 20 years of experience in the industry, Rose Coleman lives and breathes photography. Based in Oklahoma, the pair travel around the U.S. photographing sports teams and clubs. At home on their ranch in Central Oklahoma, the two spend time with their three kids and work on finishing their own studio on the property.

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Erin Manning  0:00  
The Dead Pixels Society podcast is brought to you by Mediaclip, Advertek Printing and GotPhoto. Welcome to the Dead Pixels Society podcast, the photo imaging industry's leading news source. Here's your host, Gary Pageau.

Gary Pageau  0:18  
Hello again, and welcome to the dead pixel society podcast. I'm your host, Gary Pageau. And today we're joined by Rose and Timmy Coleman of centerstage photos in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Hi, Rose and Timmy, how are you today?

Timmy Coleman  0:32  
W e're good. What's up?

Gary Pageau  0:35  
Tell me a little bit about centerstage photos how you started in the volume photography business? Was this a dream you had to always be in photography? Or did it grow over time.

Rose Coleman  0:48  
So both of my parents are photographers. So I grew up and I like the window, the world of the boutique studio thing came on on the planet. So I grew up in that industry, and learned how to do portraits, learned how to photograph all sorts of different things. But my parents also had this boutique photography studio, but they also had this side little niche of doing dance schools. And it started as a small thing and just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And they would dabble in other like volume, you know, parts of the industry, but they really just focused on dance and with their photography studio. And so when we got married, had kids a couple years into it, we decided we took a break actually from doing anything because my husband was not involved in our business whatsoever. And then we decided to build a photography business and we decided decided 100%, only the volume to lose overhead to travel, just do not have that kind of cost and expense on it. And so we just said, okay, okay, we're going to do this, we're going to just only do volume sports, because we had a really good handle on what we could do in the dance photography world. And so it's like, okay, we can do that with dance, we can do that with anything else. And so that's kind of how we got started with it. That was great. Thanks.

Timmy Coleman  2:14  
You did so good.

Gary Pageau  2:16  
So tell me, what's your background? Are you from the business? Or have you learned the business?

Timmy Coleman  2:21  
I am not from the business. I am like, the ugly duckling when it comes to photography, I found myself in a world completely unknown. And I, I come from a more of a marketing side of things. I dropped out of college when I was 18 years old, and just started working, actually for a church in Oklahoma, and started learning how to do graphic design work and kind of production and more creative things, I guess, stage design and that kind of thing. And then at one point, like Rose said, you know, we we weren't we weren't in the photography space at all, at least rose wasn't. And we found ourselves with three kids and needing more money. And so we're like, hey, let's, let's actually attack this thing and give it all we got. And if it happens, it's awesome. If not, then we'll figure something else out. And so at that point, in 2000, I believe in 2016. We were actually working part time, both of us for a horse photographer that does volume in the equine business, which is pretty fascinating. But then we were making so we were making a decent amount of money on the side. And we're like, Hey, we're just gonna go for it, you and I, and let's bet on us and not anybody else to give us a raise or, you know, give us all the money in the world. So that's when we started the business and we just kind of organically grew from, I would say around four or five accounts at that time, that were all local, that we kind of just acquired with the boutique business that kind of went went out of business, we had a volleyball account, a chair account, and then from there, we we grew it to currently now we we have probably around 100 100 accounts so

Gary Pageau  4:48  
and is it primarily YouTube? Do you have any other employees? Yeah, helpers like seasonal helpers, or what do you have?

Rose Coleman  4:54  
We have a very unique circumstance. So I'm the main photographer. Tim, I'm trying to get him to one day change his mind and learn photography, but he won't. So he does all of our booking, planning, scheduling, graphics, that kind of stuff, kind of our social media, we have a couple other random people that we can pull in to shoot if we need to. It's extremely part time. And then both of my parents will help out like on the backend stuff, like printing, shipping, that kind of stuff, which really helps. But now we travel, we're based in Oklahoma City, but we traveled from East Coast to West Coast,

Gary Pageau  5:32  
based on your background and say, Hey, you're gonna go into this, you have the opportunity to kind of build something the way you want it from scratch, right? Because you had the idea of, okay, I've got the bat, I've got the skills to take pictures. And I've got a grunt, who's gonna carry equipment and do some graphics. So that's great. So what was your process for determining what platform what what were your what your business is going to look like? Like? Did you start going to, to conventions or conferences? What was your What was your process?

Rose Coleman  6:02  
So I would say the biggest thing that we did that really separates us from a lot of people is I, we tend to kind of think differently than most people. So whatever. Obviously, I have a huge portrait background. So I know how to make things really, really pretty. And kind of when we were starting it and we were looking at a lot of different, a lot of different lanes. We're like, okay, in the volume world, there's not a lot of people that make things look pretty. Yeah, there's a lot of just run in guns kind of crappy works.

Gary Pageau  6:32  
Look at look in the sun and then take the photo, just

Rose Coleman  6:34  
like everything was composited everything on the planet was composited and we're like, okay, crappy picture on a really, really flashy background. And that's not us either. You know, it's like, okay, so it's like, we knew that we could run into this area and make a huge impact. And so we're like, okay, then that's kind of how we, we approach a lot of things. It's like, whatever we're going to do, or what we're going to go down, it's like, okay, what is everyone doing? Okay, what is the opposite of that? We're going to do that, because that's the only way you're gonna make a splash. That's the only way you're gonna make something different. We're not going to go into this genre and be like, Okay, we're gonna just copy what everyone else is doing on the same stinking backgrounds and just make it look pretty. Like no, whatever everyone else is doing, which, at that time, we were like, oh, everyone on the planet is just compositing sports photos, like, yeah, okay, but that's just it. Okay, no, let's take that away. What we know is beautiful, we know how to light and do it just really, really well and show people right out of the camera, haven't like, instantaneous responses to images sell right on site, you know, or, you know, just like, how can we get, get it done right then and there and really, really impress people and go down that road.

Timmy Coleman  7:41  
It was, yeah, it was really interesting. So when we started in the volume, business, everything was paper order form, right? So if you walked up to photo day, there was a table and somebody's working, or you got an envelope in the mail, you picked your package before, you know, the kid was even ready for the photo. Then they handed it to whoever they took a shot. And then you got your photos, you know, eight by 10 or whatever, a month later. That was kind of the Mo Yeah. And picture. Yeah. And so coming from a portrait side, a boutique business, we were doing seniors, where we would obviously spend a lot of time with have beautiful lighting. But the cool thing about it was we would do in person sales. So we would have this we would have the clients come into the studio, run the slideshow, they would see the images. And in those moments, like Mama's eyes lit up, and she opened her wallet, you know what I mean. And that emotional by was something that we knew that we had to incorporate, or really wanted to incorporate in our volume business, which really, I don't think I don't know of anybody else that was doing that. And so in person sales during the volume shoots, was something that we had to figure out. And so we're talking, you know, photographing 200 athletes in the night, and every one of those parents getting to see those images of their kid right there on the spot, and kind of pull more at their heartstrings to get a bigger by average or sell average. That was something in the beginning, we knew that we really wanted to kind of focus in on and we

Rose Coleman  9:29  
knew we wanted to do multi poses. Most people were not doing multi poses. And so we wanted to get the biggest, you know, sale as possible. And that was going to be showing more images. So like

Timmy Coleman  9:38  
our our sale went from, I think a normal volume average sale of like 30 or $40, and athlete. Our cell was $100 athlete. So it was like, Alright, this is something this is something really powerful. Now we need to figure out how to leverage and from that point, it was just technology and work. flow and things like that.

Rose Coleman  10:01  
And then

Timmy Coleman  10:02  
COVID Hit Oh, yeah, just every COVID change.

Gary Pageau  10:05  
But how did you manage with COVID? I mean, there were people doing all kinds of porch sittings and things like that.

Rose Coleman  10:16  
It was like the best thing that happened to us.

Timmy Coleman  10:19  
It was it one, it forced us onto an online platform. And we tried a bunch of different online platforms all through COVID. And we ended up landing with photo day, and they've been amazing. But it definitely changed the kind of the ethos of our business, the Shooting Show aspect of it, we had to really think on our feet and push everything online. So when it came to shifting our business online, we then took on the mentality and then had the flexibility of actually bringing in more more business. So our shooting show business was great financially. But we weren't able to do as much business because we would come home, we had the order forms, we had, you know, all the images that people wanted to order, we didn't have an online platform to service, the digital aspect of it. And so we had to kind of Jimmy rigged some websites and some galleries and you know, a lot of back and forth email and things like that. And that was really difficult. Since moving to photo day, and having the capability of online marketing and sales and all the things in there. It frees up so much time that we're like, okay, these office hours that we were spending, you know, however many office hours a week, we can now eliminate that and make those office hours actually, you know, shooting events, doing other accounts, and not getting drowned by the backend office work.

Rose Coleman  11:56  
Yeah, that the backend stuff was really, I mean, we didn't know any different at the beginning. So we just kind of worked it and it was fine. But then when we are able to just put everything up online, we just kind of switch those I mean, we still shoot and show like we shoot into a laptop. So parents get that immediate, like oh response of the images, which we find is very, very powerful, and very, very fun experience for them and for ourselves. And a lot of photographers can't do that a lot of photographers can't shoot things right out of camera and have them look really, really great. And so we do that as part of our strategy

Timmy Coleman  12:30  
and establishes trust right then and there. When that moms just sees the raw, untouched image of their athlete, they see it and they're like, Oh, I would buy that right now. And we haven't even done anything to it. It establishes a trust relationship between us and the client. And then they end up spending even more money with us on the back end, once everything is even more beautiful. It's

Rose Coleman  12:52  
part of the experience. So we just tell them, it's like, okay, these are the images, and they're gonna have them in a couple of days. And you'll be able to order everything what you want online, just make it really, really easy. And so now, it's freed up a lot more time. So what it allowed us to do, especially during COVID, is when everything was shut down, and no one was able to do it, we're like, we can still do it, we're you know, we're not going to bring our staff to shoot and show and you know, fill out order forms and stuff, we're just going to photograph at your convenience, stretch out your times as long as you need, we can even send in one person to do it. Because what's nice about photo day is they have this capture app. So literally, they take a picture of their face. And every time when we upload the photos, they get their own private gallery, like private galleries are extremely, extremely important to us. Like we we photograph a lot of females and stuff and smaller outfits and stuff like that. So we don't do any like open gal. Galleries, here's all the images ever anyone on the planet could look through them. It's like, Nope, that parent is gonna get just their images of their child. So literally, it takes a picture of their face. And every time we upload the photos into it, it goes to their own personal Gallery, and then that parent only sees that child's images. And so literally, I can go in and go shoot something just by myself and have that system, you know, and then we just like when the images are done, which is uploaded and said EmCell

Timmy Coleman  14:11  
kind of sound like a commercial, but it really is really, it really is vital to our business and us how did we manage during COVID You know, the the entrepreneurial, entrepreneurial spirit of our, like our business owners that are in whether they're in New York or I mean we're shooting in California, you know, these gyms, they did everything that they could to figure out how to stay alive, how to stay open, because their mortgages were on the line, you know, everything was on the line for them. And so they figured out how to stay open, and we figured out how to get to him. We were on CDC websites of like, okay, if we go into New York, then we can't go into New Jersey. We've got to go up through you know, Massachusetts or Yeah, it was, it was crazy. It was like the like the craziest like road show ever going from state to state and figuring out, okay, if we go into this state we have to quarantine for seven days, we can't do that we've got to go some a different route and go into somewhere. It's insane. We were we were being we were being safe. We weren't being, you know, we weren't being reckless or careless or anything like that we stuck with the CDC guidelines, and everybody, you know, was spread apart. But all that to be said, We photograph those people that had those gyms open. And those athletes that wanted to be photographed, we made it happen. And we weren't, you know, we weren't afraid to do it.

Gary Pageau  15:43  
Tell me a little bit about the travel piece of the business. She was based in Oklahoma. And we got three kids and travel all around how, how do you manage the family side of it? And then how do you get the business? Now? How do you get a national business out of Oklahoma City?

Timmy Coleman  16:01  
That is? That's a great question. It

Rose Coleman  16:03  
is a good question. That is a big part of who we are. And what we believe as a family is being together as much as possible. So being online, traveling, not having the overhead that we do has us to free up financially, a lot of the things that we can do is like bringing our children with us, we have figured out all the strategies to do this as smart as possible. Like, you know, we fly everywhere. I mean, we wish we had more things right in the center of the country, we don't we do a lot of East and West Coast, we're flying constantly, he's got a companion pass, I've got a companion pass. So it's like I can go, he can pretty much go for free, you know, on top of it, because we're already going to pay for a hotel, we're already gonna pay for my flight, his flights for free, things like that. Bringing our children with us as much as possible is really, really important to us. So we do, and our kids are only getting older, you know, our youngest turns eight next month. So we've got a 12 year old, a 10 year old and eight year old, but like figuring out before, I mean, it was hard because we're like, what are we going to do? You know, what are we going to do? Like, I don't know what we're gonna do.

Timmy Coleman  17:09  
Yeah, we have a great support system with grandma and grandpa's, we couldn't do it. Obviously, without them the beginning of our business, when we were booking out of state contracts or out of state accounts. It was it was really fun and exciting. You know, when we're booking like 10 in a season, and our season primarily runs from middle of October all the way through May. So those that's our busy season. The rest of the year, we're here at the house. So you know, all summer, we're here at the house and several months into into the back end. But we have had to be very strategic in the way our business grows, and the time that we decide to spend away from our family. And in a bit of that strategy comes financial, you know, is it worth it financially for us to go? Is it not worth it? And so those are tough decisions to make as a growing business. It's like, okay, you know, if somebody reaches out and they're like, hey, we want you to come photograph us and you know, in Tucson, and I'm like, Well, we

Rose Coleman  18:25  
were literally having that conversation yesterday, there was an account in Tucson, right, that were like, they want to come out. It's a person gym. It's like, it's okay, that's, that's a good account, we'll do it. No problem, like, but it was just like, kind of on a timeframe of like, when we're already going to be out there. It's like, well, we were shooting this account from nine to one o'clock, we could get to Tucson in two hours and shoot them in the evening. But I got to catch a flight to be in Florida the next night. And I was like, Yeah, we just need to just say no, like, Be okay with just saying no to some of these because we were in the habit of just saying yes to pretty much

Timmy Coleman  19:00  
every had to you know, like growing our business. Yeah, you kind of when it's just us that's paying the mortgage. No, nothing else, you know, we don't have Yeah, so I get we don't sell houses on the side. We don't, you know, we're not in any kind of marketing tear thing. You know, we're not making any money on the side. Now we're making money from selling photos to parents. And when accounts come to us and like, hey, we want you to photograph us it's very difficult for me to say I can't, you know, I'm a I'm a people pleaser. And I want to, I want to maximize our calendar schedule. But in growing, you know, we said yes to everything in the beginning. Yes, sure. Yeah. Yeah. In the in the middle of our business, we're like, okay, how do we start to refine this into something that's actually manageable, and that we can, you know, continue to build and now, I mean, I'm not saying we're at the back end of the business at all, but we're still Finding to the point to where, for us, it has to be at least X amount of money for us to even go out. Because we travel, we cover all of our own travel costs, we want to make it easy for the gym to say yes to us. So we travel, we cover all that costs. And so that is that is one of the things that we've tried to really refine and hone in is every year, every year, how do we travel better? How do we, how do we do it more efficiently? You know, and so

Rose Coleman  20:34  
now, I mean, essentially, we're just like clustering things as much as possible. We're going to be in an area, we're going to try to cluster book those accounts around that. And that's typically what we have, we go into an area we'll shoot will produce something really well. And then those other gyms in that area start talking around in that state, like, Oh, if they see our images, and they'll reach out to us, and then it's like, okay, well, we're gonna be back there this time. And a couple of months, can you book around this? And it's kind of like, okay, if they can great. And sometimes it's like, oh, yeah, oh, you can't. And he's like, we had another conversation we had this morning, it was like this one account, that's like a $10,000 account. And it's like, they don't want the weekends. We're gonna be there. They don't want to do a midweek shoot. And so it's like, do I want to go out to California for one day?

Timmy Coleman  21:17  
See how insane insane This is? Now. She just said, a $10,000 account in Los Angeles wants us to come out. And we're on the fence on whether or not we want to go out there just for that one account.

Hey, I'm not a bad person. No,

I'm just saying.

Gary Pageau  21:38  
It's great. And making that decision. I think that's what Timmy was saying

Rose Coleman  21:42  
was Yeah. And it's, you know, we try to do smart. I mean, if we can fly in that morning, shoot that afternoon and fly home that night, we will even if that's California, if we know it California, our last flights out of 550. And if we can get it in and get to the airport by that great, we'll do it. So I'm

Gary Pageau  21:58  
just curious. I mean, I don't want to get into the mechanics of what you're doing. But I'm, I'm thinking, that's it. You just got to pack some equipment, you got laptops, lights, and all this stuff. per day, shoot, that's pretty impressive.

Rose Coleman  22:09  
It's hard. Because I bring so many lights, I bring so much gear. Like I we're not like set up a background and just blast it. Like I mean, bare minimum, I'll have 412345 lights. So and we practice we use all Profoto stuff. And it that is tricky to be a one man show

Timmy Coleman  22:30  
to have like yourself a good chiropractor?

Rose Coleman  22:33  
Yeah, exactly. Because like I'll have like a roller bag of camera and some lights a backpack with the rest of my life. And then we'll we'll pack out one i The my favorite bag on the planet is a lightwire RC like rolling bag. And it's it's perfect. It's lightweight, and it's under 50 pounds. So I don't want to pay extra for luggage. Even though we've got immediate past we've never used it but it's like, okay, I cap it out. It's like always like 48.5 pounds. And it's got all my stands in there, we'll have a background background kit standing there. I mean, we'll have four soft boxes, all all things and that's it is tricky. It's just tricky. It took

Timmy Coleman  23:13  
years of of Rose, refining her equipment, to be able to travel with such quality gear that allows us to, you know, to fly in and out very fast, very efficient, but yet still give the gyms and the athletes beautiful photography.

Gary Pageau  23:35  
I know where you're on a schedule like that. You can check bags, can you?

Rose Coleman  23:38  
We do all check my stand back that like were rolling back. I have to, but I just don't check my camera equipment or my. Yeah, because if I if it happened, like one time where it's like you gotten to a place it's like, we don't have something it's like, well, I can go by stands. No problem. I can get paper if I need to. But, um, we've only been in one kind of tight situation where something like that happened. But everything else it's like, okay, well, but yeah, we'll try to get in, shoot something get out that night.

Timmy Coleman  24:05  
But airlines now are sketchy. So it's, yeah,

Rose Coleman  24:11  
it's been complicated. Making sure that like you're gonna get there on time. Like, we'll risk it or like we don't risk it super, super tight. But I mean, we know to California, we can get there by like 930 in the morning. So it's like we've got an afternoon shoot, we'll be fine. But I mean, we've been flying to East Coast is a little different. Because like you might start in the morning but you might not get there till five o'clock at night.

Timmy Coleman  24:32  
Oh my god. Yeah, we flew into like LaGuardia one night at like one o'clock in the morning. And that just set up the next morning at like seven. It was like, Oh my gosh, yeah.

Rose Coleman  24:43  
So that in those situations if we go into the East because most of the time we're gonna fly in late the night before, do something early and then get home on the last slide out. So yeah, it's tricky. It's part of the reason that we have the equipment that we have, like, part of the reason is Profoto stuff is because there were smaller very powerful lights but small enough to compact that I can fit pretty much everything in a little rolly bag with my camera stuff. And then you know, we tether and I bring my laptop and all the things but yeah, it's it's, it's process.

Gary Pageau  25:12  
So what does it take when you say you bring the kids? What? Yeah, there's that like a three day trip, you know what, what is the circumstances in which you say this is a family excursion and with a photoshoot in there,

Rose Coleman  25:24  
anytime there's Disney close city, I'm like, let's bring the kid Let's go. I want to go to Disney all the time.

Timmy Coleman  25:33  
Well, I mean, it depends obviously, on their school schedule, you know, which, luckily, obviously, everybody gets that in advance. So, you know, you're talking about fall breaks, or winter breaks, or, you know, Spring Break all that stuff. We just look around since our business primarily is between October to end of May, you know, which is the school year, we'll find three or four of those moments where, you know, we'll be shooting like this spring break, you know, our, our oldest son, his birthday is March 16. It's always during spring break. And so we've got to shoot in Arkansas. And so we're like, well, let's go take an Arkansas we're going to take the whole family we're gonna go to like Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, you know, do stuff like that, or, you know, the back end of winter break. It's always in January, we always have accounts that you know, are in Orlando. And so we'll book a couple of days at Disney over that weekend and check the kids out on Friday, checking back in, you know, Monday or Tuesday. Just try to capitalize on the flexibility that we have been our own business owners, and the financial freedom that we have, you know, due to the success of our business, and make money on our money, make memories with our children, our family is is I mean, it's it's one of the top priorities that we have as business owners, as well as parents. Yeah.

Rose Coleman  27:09  
You know, we've talked about this a lot that our kids have no understanding of what like a normal parents do like go to a nine to five job and, and get home at dinnertime and stuff because like they don't they don't get it because we're here all the time with them. Like we we go we drop them off at school together, we pick them up usually together, like Tim has a kind of a needy husband a little bit, Hey, want to be together all the time. So it's like what are we gonna do? We're gonna be together, I think that are really, really nice. What's my love, language, love language, all together all the time. So we're like versus gifts. So we we spend a lot of time together and our kids have no, like, they don't have any concept that like, that's not normal. It's like and so like literally the other day, they heard us talking about an account in Arizona and Tim's in trip, first thing he's like, can I go on that one? Can you do I get to go on that one. Cuz it's not very far. Arizona. Yeah, I'm

Timmy Coleman  28:04  
like, Dude, you do not want to go to Phoenix. Like, trust me. There's nothing. There's nothing for you. Nothing for you to do that one.

Gary Pageau  28:12  
So I know you had on up to Flagstaff and head up the road there. It's beautiful up there. So yeah, that stuff?

Unknown Speaker  28:18  
I don't know. I don't know. I

Gary Pageau  28:19  
mean, maybe not for 10 to 12 year old.

Rose Coleman  28:21  
Yeah, yeah. And he just I was like, Why do you want to come? He's like, Oh, no, I'll just be out of school. And I can watch movies on my iPad. Yeah.

Timmy Coleman  28:29  
He thinks that all of our travel trips are like LA Orlando, or like New York, like now they're not, but they're certain to get there in Des Moines, Iowa. Like you want to go to Des Moines. Yeah,

Rose Coleman  28:40  
but he's start there. I mean, like this year, I would say in particular, we've, we've had lots of conversations, Tim and I is like, Okay, this is the year that we're going to spend more time doing individual trips with the kids, like they're going to come experience that like most pursuits are like four hours, they're not very long. It's like we're gonna fly in setup, you're gonna help us shoot, you're going to help us tear down, and then we're gonna go do something fun, because that's what we do. All we do is just like, Okay, we're gonna go work hard, and we're gonna play hard. And then we always find Tim's really good at like, finding great places to eat and finding places for us to see. And like, if there's a museum park anywhere close in the area, I want to go to it. That's just what I like to do.

Timmy Coleman  29:19  
Our business is so cool, because there's volume, volume, like accounts and businesses literally everywhere. Like, I literally just booked a volume account in Hawaii in Honolulu for April, because I just want to go out to Hawaii. So it's like, you know, having the flexibility and the the the I guess the margin in our life to be able to work where we want to vacation and then vacation where we want to work. Yeah, is is kind of, you know, high up there on our priority list as well

Gary Pageau  29:56  
because like you said, you know, prior to COVID a lot of the opportunities you have Were kind of there. But because of the technology platform would have been a little more. The paper platform would have been much more difficult than an online platform. I think we know when I talked to a volume of people. That's the big thing that's come out of COVID. I mean, yes, pandemics are a tragedy. But it also gave people the opportunity to reevaluate their business and kind of do some restructuring. And that's, you know, for the big guys on downer. That's, I think, what's happened with the volume industry?

Rose Coleman  30:26  
Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, us, in particular, because our business was good. And our sales average, in our I would say, what most people struggle with volume stuff is they have really good averages, but their buy rate usually declines. So when you put things online, a lot of people do. And so our buy rate was really, really high, because we were instantaneously showing images and making those purchases that day, we did not give them an online option before that, you know, so moving online was like, oh, man, now we're going to travel, we're gonna be out the cost of it. We're not going to have any upfront money, any money the day of the shoot, and we're just going to pray to God that we can put these images online and people will like them, you know? And so it's like, okay, well, then our focus is going to be creating the the best images that we possibly can create. And so it's just crazy for them not to buy them, and then having a platform on like photo day where it's just easy and convenient. Because I would say, for us, part of the biggest reasons that we've landed with them is that capture app because we need to send individual private galleries. And a lot of people don't do that, too. I have conversations with people all the time that are like nope, group, I mean, we just send them out, we just, they have to go search and find their photos. And so anything that made it an inconvenience for making a purchase and place an order, we're like, we got to eliminate that, you know, and so for us, I mean, we've got to, we've got to do private galleries, and we have to make it as simple and easy to buy as possible. And so that was just a huge thing. And they've got wonderful, wonderful things that are going to come out, you know, in the next couple years, and we're super duper excited about it, because it's only going to make our life easier. Right. And so that's the whole purpose of like putting these pictures up online, you know, and just letting them go, that makes it convenient for everyone, and everyone wants to buy online now. I mean, I mean, Amazon has changed that crime has changed that everyone's you know, used to it and stuff. So people that are dragging their feet on it, it's just like, Yeah, I know, it's like people, I don't know, I would say in the in the groups that I'm a part of, and I see people complain about it, it's like, it's usually that your imagery is not good enough. It's like, be focused on being the best photographer that you can be, you know, be focused on doing something different, creating something beautiful. And I would say the biggest The other thing that Tim gets, as far as complaints, but in the volume, photography, world volume, anything sports world is just people don't ever get their stuff, you know, they like take images, and they don't like, Oh, it's just the customer service factor of it.

Timmy Coleman  32:53  
It's so sad how there's so many photographers that have tainted the reputation of photography, in our, in our industry, specifically, due to lack of customer service, and professionalism. You know, when when you take money from a client, and you don't deliver what you say you're going to deliver. And that's, that's that's just robbery, you know, like, you should you should pay a fine for that, like, you know, and so, yeah, I would say majority of the time that people switch or account owners, gym owners, whoever end up switching over to us was because of their dissatisfied, dissatisfied, you know, experience with the previous photographer. And mainly it's due to not getting parents the the products that they asked for promptly, or not community communicating well to parents, you know. And so, yeah,

Rose Coleman  34:03  
that just became part of our strategy. It was like, we got that complaint all the time. So it's like, okay, well, we know people are used to getting really bad images, so we can make them pretty. And then we know that we can turn because we can do such a good job on the photoshoot side, we can turn around these pictures in a couple days. So that was our strategy, like two days, we want everything to be up online, and then have them just as quick as possible. So how quickly can we do that? You know, and then you know, with a platform like photo day, you can just just let him go and let them order, you know, everything's convenient. Now we and then we invested we got a customer service platform called HelpScout. That was huge for us, and we teared all of our Facebook messages, all those messages, emails and stuff through that platform, you know, in sign in that made the back end of questionnaires or any complaints or anything like that. That's super easy, you know, and we just let it go. You know, and it's worked.

Gary Pageau  34:55  
Tell me a little bit about your delivery. Like you said, you don't do the Crazy graphics and all that. What do people like that stuff? I mean, what do people want that Timmy with the Falcons stock? I mean, I mean, people people do like that kind of stuff is that? Do you ever run into that where you're getting some feedback saying, you know, the guy last year put it this, you know, a cool smoky background thing and you don't have that.

Rose Coleman  35:22  
We do want like, we'll do a Memory Mate. That's about as flashy as it gets with me ever. I don't put names on like we don't, we just don't,

Timmy Coleman  35:31  
honestly, the owners that are reaching out to me or the they're responding back to me about booking with us, they know what we do. They see what we do, I send them samples of what we do. And they want us to do their photos because of what we do. Okay? We try to keep a really simple brand about us with our imagery with our quality. And so it's like, you know, when you go, you go shop at Nike, you know, what Nikes gonna, what you're gonna get with Nike, right? You know, you're gonna go there, specifically for Nike brand, or Starbucks, whatever, well defined brand that you, you know, you frequent. That's what we've tried to do with our business specifically. And that also, you know, kind of played in, not played into, but, you know, the reason why we're not Timmy and Rose photography is because there's so many photography companies out there that are their first and last name, you know, of the photographer, we wanted to create something that was bigger than ourselves, and something that we couldn't make, make a tractional to industries that were kind of running at a completely different level than us, right? When we don't want to be your mom and pop shop photography place. We want to be the crisp, clean, Nike version of volume photography, you know, so that's what we try to represent. That's what we try to create. And honestly, when it comes to people wanting, you know, thunder or graphics or lightning behind, you know, the athlete, I've got plenty of names to, to send them to referrals for the ads. Yeah, they want that. I know, I know, some really great people that do that form. So it's just not our vibe.

Gary Pageau  37:37  
Yeah, no, I get that. Because that is part of a very important piece of a branding message. Is that consistency, right? You don't you know, go into a Starbucks expecting tea or something. Yeah. PT coffee. Yeah. Well, thank you, folks. So where can people go online? To learn more about our centerstage photos? And you guys

Timmy Coleman  37:58  
online learn more about us? Well, I would say probably our Instagram, our Instagram account, to kind of follow our imagery and more of kind of our lifestyle. And stuff like that.

Rose Coleman  38:13  
It's just at Center Stage, photos, all one word. And then we've got a YouTube account that we post sometimes videos of our travel experiences and things like that, and they're super fun.

Timmy Coleman  38:25  
Yeah, we are going to be at the photo day experience, though. If I could plug that real quick. We'll be there in December. Yeah, that's gonna be really cool. Good opportunity for people to come out and listen to Rose do all of our things.

Rose Coleman  38:40  
A fun powder shoot, like literally, this is always I think Lisa was like, hey, I want you to do a talk. And I was like, great. What do you want? She's like, I don't know. Everyone's doing talks. And I was like, well, then we're going to do something different. We're going to do what I want to do a photo shoot, then like, whatever everyone's doing. Oh

Gary Pageau  38:53  
to Florida Tuesday and go to Disney.

Timmy Coleman  38:56  
Exactly. In Treasure Island, Florida. How fun does that sound?

Rose Coleman  39:01  
We googled it how far away it was from Orlando. It's like two and a half hours. Yeah, no, that'll

Timmy Coleman  39:05  
be a really cool. Yeah, we're hoping to sign up for if people want to come out and dance powder shoot there and learn more chitchat about our business and their business and all that stuff. That's about it. Awesome.

Gary Pageau  39:17  
Well, great photos. Great to meet you and best wishes on your travels and on your business and look forward to catching up with you soon.

Timmy Coleman  39:23  
Thank you.

Rose Coleman  39:24  
Thanks for having us.

Erin Manning  39:28  
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