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Old August 20th, 2014, 04:41 PM   #1
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Office Space

I'm curious if anyone uses and office space to edit/meet with clients? Thoughts? Currently I'm working from home, but home can be distracting sometimes.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 05:57 PM   #2
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Re: Office Space

I think most of us work from home, not all of us see clients at home, if you can't separate work from home, i.e.separate entrance, or at least office off the main entrance I think you're better off going to them or meeting in some neutral venue like Starbucks.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 06:38 PM   #3
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Re: Office Space

I've always met them at Starbucks or Panera so far. I work from home as is, just curious if anyone has an experience from an office.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 07:11 PM   #4
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Re: Office Space

Hi Daniel

Unless you do shoots that need a studio there is absolutely no point in dishing out your hard earned dollars to a landlord. Lets face it, we do have a pretty nice job already and one of the advantages for us is that we don't have to "get up and go to the office" ...it means from home, we can edit anytime that suits us and also brides can get us after hours too. It's a win-win for all and most of all it doesn't cost us!!

If you really need a retreat from the family then a prefab/timber "home office" out in the back yard is a better idea than paying rent every month to a landlord

Chris
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Old August 20th, 2014, 08:58 PM   #5
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Re: Office Space

I do have an office that I've got for free, but it's in an industrial area, and I wouldn't take a bride/groom there, especially during the evenings, which is when most people seem to want to meet up -- it would feel like I was luring them there to murder them. I barely go there myself; I use it mainly to store the gear I never use.

So, so far, I simply tell them that I work from home, and can meet them at a café or at their place.

I do really hate saying this, though -- it feels unprofessional. But I can't currently justify the cost of paying rent on nice premises.

At the Exposed Down Under conference, Ray Roman and Abraham Joffe were saying that, if you're doing really expensive weddings, you do need an office space plus, preferably, a "secretary", even if you're only renting the room for an hour, or you're sharing with other people. (There are some companies that offer this sort of arrangement, with a shared receptionist.) I think Joffe said something like, "They're not going to cut you a cheque for $12,000 in your living room."

Thinking on what other guys in my area do... It's a real mixture. A lot of photographers seem to have office space, even if they don't really use it as a studio. Two have a dedicated client room at their house -- with nice couch to sit on, and computer set up to display samples. One even has a neon sign with their company name out the front of the house. Another has a "fake office" that they take clients to; not sure how they've got access to that. And another has a wife who runs a beauty salon, so he's cordoned off a bit of the room to be the video office.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 10:40 PM   #6
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Re: Office Space

Hi Adrian

I have never had an issue with brides coming to my office.. it has it's own entrance anyway and is kept neat and tidy plus I have all 3 workstations to show videos if required. However I normally offer to go to the couple's home in 99% of cases but they are welcome to come to me but I try to avoid meeting in a coffee shop ...I just feel that you don't want to let them come to your office cos you don't have one ...always seems to me that meeting in a coffee shop is scary and unprofessional .. I don't think I would be too happy to buy a service or product from some guy who says "Meet me at McDonalds" .. that's more like a shady deal to me " Meet me at the coffee shop and bring the money and I'll have the goods for you"

At your office you can also have your awards certificates and business registration certificates on the wall so it adds credibility to your operation.

Chris
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Old August 21st, 2014, 12:28 AM   #7
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Re: Office Space

Hi Chris, I think you're right, and I do need to think of alternatives...

Re going to the couple's home, I do that quite often, but I also feel that neutral territory, if possible, is the best option -- more comfortable for the couple. After all, you're a stranger -- the couple don't know you from a bar of soap.

In my case I'm not sure I'm able to use my home as a meeting place either (number of reasons, main one being that my partner isn't comfortable with people coming to the place, but also I literally live in the middle of a forest... long story... so it would also be a bit difficult/scary for brides to come to).
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Old August 21st, 2014, 08:26 AM   #8
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Re: Office Space

Do you have kids?

We needed more space and we had a choice, move house or get an office and get our spare room back.

So we got an office. Not to impress clients but to simply have somewhere we can go to get some damn work done without our daugher shouting from downstairs "Daddy, come downstairs and blow bubbles for Evie!".

It is a huge cost to not only rent but kit things out. Another TV, Apple TV, stand, sofas, fridge, broadband etc.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 09:01 AM   #9
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Re: Office Space

I've never seen a problem with going to a coffee shop to meet with clients. It's always approached as "Let us take you out for coffee and talk about your wedding."

Danny, we don't have kids, but are home is at full capacity right now, which was why we initially started looking at them.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 10:58 AM   #10
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Re: Office Space

My front room of my home is my meeting place. It has a table, TV on a commercial rolling stand, a nice loveseat, rug, and a lot of pictures from our portfolio. That being said, I just built a free standing media/photo/video studio in my back yard and I'm going to keep my meet and greet in my home for now. We get complements a lot on our meeting room, it's kind of a shock to think we 'did' that to our home. First impressions are a big deal in this business, so that's what we do.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 12:18 PM   #11
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Re: Office Space

I operate from my home where my office is really a large section of my living room space. I don't have children, just my wife and I, and my clients meet us like guests, which they are. My wife offers coffee,drinks and cake as we talk about their upcoming wedding and show them a few samples on our large 60" screen as they sit comfortably on the leather couch. I find they all feel a sense of trust and comfort when they come to us.
I agree with Chris, meeting them in a public cafe or restaurant is unprofessional and I think that adds to them being unsure or questionable. It is hard to gain their trust if they don't know where you do business/live.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 12:59 PM   #12
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Re: Office Space

I've thought a lot about getting an office space, or going in with a photographer, but haven't.

Beeng working out of home for almost 15 years now. Never really had an issue meeting with clients at Starbucks or over dinner a Cracker Barrell or the local steak house etc.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 07:42 PM   #13
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Re: Office Space

I too started at home. I used to visit clients or meet them in a cafe. Once we had a child it became unproductive at home. So first i rented a desk with some commercial photographers. Big studio and a nice space for client meetings when available but too far. I then moved in with my brother in law and we set up our own office in a shop front in the burbs - he is a draftsman. Its not as creative a space as i would like but we are working on it. Splitting the costs makes it very affordable and has allowed me the space to hire some editing when needed, and now my wife works with me.

I found that as soon as i was in a studio space my clients stopped negotiating on price. It shows that you are established and generally making a good number of clients happy if you can afford a space. Having said all that, it has to be pretty affordable to be justified and can potentially help you make back the money you spend. I really enjoy having it separate to my home.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 07:56 PM   #14
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Re: Office Space

I must admit an office is a good idea if you need to get away from the business. I tend to do edits in my time that should be allocated to relaxing but that doesn't really worry me.

I don't think I'd like to have to get up every morning and jump in the car and go to office..I have got used to the convenience of having the office at home and I do get more done when I'm busy as at home if I have a spare half hour I can simply sit in the office and do my thing but it would be pointless to get in the car and drive to an office just to do 30 minutes of work.

Chris
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