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POUNDS News
The Professional Photographer's Newsletterhttp://www.poundslabs.com/
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Destruction and material loss can be measured in dollars, but emotional devastation is immeasurable.  Many lives have been disrupted and changed forever by the paths of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Those who personally know the effects feel a disturbing sense of loss; those looking on, feel melancholy for those affected.  These natural disasters, bringing out the best and sometimes the worst involved, bring us all into an awakening sense of reality.  Our greatest thanks go to those who have opened their hearts and their doors to those seeking direction and strength.  Your compassion is sometimes all that is needed to provide a road in such uncertainty.  Pounds will continue providing support to those in need that were overwhelmed by the hurricanes.  Thank you employees and customers for the outpouring of kindness you have shown to those affected.  We would also like to give special thanks to Dick Goodall, Executive Director of the Professional Photographers of Louisiana for his continued outreach of support and encouraging words to the professional photographers of Louisiana. 
Access Exclusive Products
PROS  [click here]PROS has been updated with more enhancements and new products again this month.  If you are not yet using PROS click on the link to the left to see why this ordering solution is one of the most talked about, easy to use solutions out there today!  Your input and requests are instrumental in making this the ordering system of choice in the photography industry.  Have an idea on what you would like to see in PROS? Send us an e-mail to let us know.
New Greeting Cards Available
When you check out the PROS “Greeting Cards” catalog, you will discover five different greeting card styles, as well as four Custom Cards options exclusively available via PROS.  View our entire card collection by visiting our new Card Graphics Preview site.  Also available are bound sample booklets containing printed card examples of Slimline and Designer Cards in vertical and horizontal, as well as all Pro Card Borders and Gift Tags.  The price for the bound sample booklet is $5.00.  To order your Greeting Card Kit or Sample Booklet please email:  xmasinfo@poundslabs.com.  Specify what you are ordering; include your account number, method of payment, and mailing address if we are shipping to an alternative address other than what is listed on your Pounds account.
• Gift Tags are printed on a 4x8 designer promotion piece and are only available via PROS.  There are four tags per 4x8 print with the option of placing four images per design.  Minimum quantity of 10 cards per order. 
• 4x8 All Occasion Designer Cards consist of greetings for a variety of occasions throughout the year.  These Designer Cards include 4 multi-image designs that can only be ordered via PROS.
• Four Custom Cards are also available only via PROS.  Two options each in the 4x8 and 5x7 sizes.  One option will allow you to place your own image design into the appropriate size, whereas the other option allows you to place two images into the layout - both the image portion and greeting portion. 
PROS Specialty Graphic Products
Available via PROS in our “Machine and Package Prints” catalog you may now select the “Specialty Graphic Products” tab.  Each graphic layout allows you to place your image within the image node and crop as you desire.  The “Option” tab allows you to enter your personalized text, although text is not required for printing of the product. 

PROS Background and Border Additions
We have added three new background and border colors to Composite Prints, Bordered Prints, and 5x30 Stretch Prints; Baby Blue, Pink, and Mint Green.  In 5x30 Stretch Prints we have added two new layouts and a FineLine Border option.  Remember to restart PROS regularly to automatically add the latest updates!

Holiday Schedule
To avoid any emergency “rush” charges and allow yourself plenty of time for deliveries, place your orders as soon as possible during this busy holiday season.  Thursday, December 22nd, will be the last day of production at the lab and our Service Centers will be open until 7pm.  Saturday, December 17th and Friday, December 23rd our Service Centers will be open until noon.  We will be closed December 26th and January 2nd for the Holidays!  Rush orders will receive a 100% rush charge and will reduce the time to one day in each service area.  In order for your orders to be delivered before the holidays, please refer to this time table:

Service Time in lab:                Order received by
              2 Days                                    12/20
              3 Days                                    12/19
              4 Days                                    12/16 
              5 Days                                    12/15
              6 Days                                    12/14

Questions About The Pounds Shipping Program?
Due to numerous questions about our shipping program we have created a Shipping Guidelines Summary that may help answer your immediate questions.  You will find answers to some everyday questions including information on the Quikship Program, incoming and outgoing shipments, supplies, filling out an Airbill, extra charges, insurance, extra services, and damaged in transit procedures. [click here]

Senior Marketing Tools
October starts the introduction of the new “Client Presentation Tools” marketing program at Pounds!  Starting off with our Senior Product Presentation Books; and soon followed by our Sports Product Presentation Tools.  The Senior Product Presentation Books contain full size photo images of each graphic product available via PROS, in three bound presentation books.  Booklet “A” will feature our selection of 18 different Senior Wallet Graphics for $15.  Booklet “B” will feature our Senior Composite, Senior Calendar, and Senior 8x10 Graphic selections for $15.  Booklet “C” will feature the 11 different graphic selections of our 4x5 Senior Thank You’s and Announcements offered at $7.50.  All three booklets can be purchased together for $25.00 or sold separately at the above prices.  To purchase your Senior Presentation Books please contact Dallas Customer Service or your local Service Center. 
 

Digital Education
2005 was the start of the Pounds Digital Education tour, “Transition for Success”.  The response from our enthusiastic attendees was extraordinary.  Based on that response and the continued demand for information, Pounds will be launching a new series of workshops and educational opportunities in January 2006. 

Mike Oakley, Pounds' Technical Coordinator, Digital Knowledge Expert, and one of the first out in the field 13 years ago as a digital imaging field specialist, is developing new education courses for 2006 that will not only meet your needs but the needs of this market. During the busy holiday season Mike is also providing individualized digital training in our Dallas “Digital Exchange Center”.  We are excited to announce that Mike will be representing Pounds during the "Jim Tweedie - Digital Wedding Essentials Class" at ShootSmarter University in Chicago, Illinois starting in January 2006. 

Pounds will be hosting three all day seminars featuring Jim Tweedie from ShootSmarter who is one of the most successful photographers, and top columnists on the internet.  If you have ever been frustrated with digital capture, workflow and those nasty camera flash problems for your wedding, portrait and even seniors shoots, then come and spend the day with us.  Learn the popular “Tweedie Technique” from the photographer that invented it!  Everything is covered in Jim’s relaxed and confident presentation from equipment and capture, all the way to retouching and creating the final prints for your customers.  To learn more about ShootSmarter University and Jim Tweedie visit ShootSmarter.com

Please check our website in October for the 2006 Calendar of Events that will give you an itinerary of classes coming this year.  Under the “Digital Education” tab you will find greater detail of the courses offered and educational information that you can reference to help keep you informed and up to date.  There will also be a survey for you to fill out that will help us help you by understanding where you are in this second phase of digital transition.  We want to hear from YOU! - and provide you with the appropriate information and courses to meet your needs.

Right now, the demand for digital instruction and how to master the complexity of the technology is so strong, that we know these courses will fill up quickly - so please register early to lock in a seat!

Service Center Training
Our four Service Centers have ongoing training of our PROS ordering solution, and will continue through the Holiday Season and 2006, answering your questions and guiding you through any challenges you may come across.  Set an appointment today by calling our Austin, Houston, Dallas, or Fort Worth Service Centers!

Michael Libassi, in our Fort Worth Service Center, will be hosting an open PROS training session every Monday from 3pm until 5pm.  Call Michael today at 817-336-1191or 888-336-1191.
 

Zavala Elementary School
In support of the Zavala Reading Heroes Program, Pounds recently attended an awards ceremony in Austin, Texas to honor the children that have reached the highest level of achievement this year in the Reading Heroes Program.  During the ceremony to help them celebrate their achievement, we were honored to supply each child with a portrait that will be displayed at the school throughout the year.  Zavala has won numerous awards for achievement including a National Blue Ribbon School Designation.  We would like to thank the principal, Rosa Pena, the teachers, and Dennis Fagan Still & Moving Pictures, for allowing us to participate again this year in support of this successful program.  [more...]
Carl’s Corner
If you have not had a personal phone call or visit from Carl Clark, you must have just not answered the phone!  Of course back when Carl started working for Pounds (August 1st 1983) some 22 years ago, the term cell phone would have conjured up the notion of a phone in a jail cell!  So, we’ve started asking Carl about his thoughts and perspective on the photography business today…
Back in the “BD” days (Before Digital), many professional photographers marketed a matted collage of 4x5 prints in the attempt to increase their customer sales.  The proofing, selection, creative organization and assembly of these products were quite a feat in of themselves.  My how times have changed.  Today the pro has pre-set or customizable composite graphic templates and stretch prints with a myriad of colors, backgrounds and borders all at their finger tips through the use of today’s digital technology…just to name a few of the creative options.  The task is still the same though…increase sales to your customers by providing a value-added professional service; a service that is marketed as professional and different from the many options that are available to our customers today.  These composite prints can be framed for wall display or presented bound in a ‘coffee table’ album. Have you thought assembling an album for your seniors or their mom?  Why not be on the leading edge?  If you show it, you can sell it.
-Carl
Pounds has these products available today through its PROS online ordering system.  Give us a call and we’ll help you get started.
A Message from Doug Box . . .
How Can We Compete When Everyone has a Digital Camera?
by Doug Box M.Photog., Cr PPA Certified.
for more marketing information by Doug Box visit www.simplyselling.com

In California, some of the High School Seniors are photographing each other and going to the local Cosco or Wal-Mart and printing their own senior photos. Brides are getting their friends or family with a new digital camera. How can we fight that?

I believe it is about the experience! What can we do to make our clients want to come to us? We need to make it fun! We need to do something different. We need to provide more than just a photo. 

I believe there are several things we need to do: 

1. Educate our clients -- let them know why we are different. Let them know what we can do different. Don't expect them to know the difference.

2. Give them the best possible photography -- do outdoor photography in the sweet light or in the shade with open sky as our light source. Add flash off camera to punch up the light in the eyes and giving you good skin tones. Are you doing custom white balance, what is the color space of your camera and does is match Photoshop on your computer and the color space the lab wants?

3. Do photography that looks different -- sometimes as simple as a long telephoto lens can make your work look different. I see a lot of photographers who use telephoto lenses but get a little lazy and zoom back to the 80 mm setting instead of shooting at 200 mm and moving back. It will make a difference in the look of your images.

4. What is the experience like? - Do you do a Pre-portrait Planning Session? Is your business easy to find, if not do you have a great map letting them know how to find you? What does your facility look like? Is the grass cut and are the flower beds neat? Is there stuff everywhere in the building? Do you send thank you notes? Do you offer a large variety of soft drinks or coffee when they are there? What do your marketing pieces and price list look like? What are the sights and sounds and smells in your studio?

5. How is your customer service?

6. Are you asking for referrals?

7. Are you doing a studio newsletter to keep you name in their mind?

8. What is your packaging like? Do you put a marketing piece in every order you deliver?

There are a lot of little things we can do to increase our business. There is no "silver bullet," no one thing that is going to make our business grow. I visited with a very successful photographer recently who told me that "Their photography is the best it has ever been, (which to me is code words for - I am Photoshoping the images to death)!  But, my business is way down." That proves my point, just because your photography is better, doesn't mean you will make more money. It is all about marketing, sales and THE EXPERIENCE.  ~ And don’t miss out on . . . 

Professional Photographers Association 2006
Don't miss the 2006 PPA Convention in Austin, January 22-24, 2006. There is even going to be a Texas Welcomes PPA Convention Pre-Party on 6th Street on Saturday night, January 21, 2006. You have an opportunity to go to our National Convention and you can drive!  I have been to the National Convention almost every year since 1982; I am more successful because I go every year.  [more...]

Texas PPA Fall Seminar
Please join us at the Texas PPA Fall Seminar at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.  Stop by and visit the Pounds booth during the Trade Show Sunday, October 16th and Monday October 17th to meet and chat with a few of their professionals.  We all look forward to seeing you at this event!  [more...]

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Date of Publication: October 1, 2005
Pounds Photographic Labs, Inc. • 901 Regal Row, Dallas, TX  75247 • (800)350-5671
©2005 Pounds Photographic Labs, Inc.  All rights reserved.  All other brands and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.