The Evolution of FotoFly: Chapter Three

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Did you know that a dragonfly lives most of its life underwater? Usually, THREE years as a nymph before it emerges into a dragonfly! Interesting that we opened nearly three years ago. Of course, shortly after they emerge, they mate and die quickly…so let’s hope that the analogy ends with the emerging and transforming.

I know you’re interested in the announcement but I would like to tell a story first.  Try not to skip down to the pictures and bold/colored lettering.  You’re already doing it!  Seriously?!  Read for one minute.

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People often ask me how I came up with the idea for FotoFly.  My answer is simple:  I just thought about what I would like and what I wouldn’t like if I were the customer.  I wrote those things down on a piece of paper and it became FotoFly.  That was almost three years ago.  It was something new.  I felt like I was reinventing the photography studio.  It’s usually easier to imitate, but it’s better to innovate.

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About a year and a half ago, I was driving by Thanksgiving Point and had the thought, “That place is beautiful.  I wonder if they would ever let a photographer set up shop there permanently.  If we could make it affordable, I bet people would love that!”  I pulled over and asked and they politely told me that they did NOT.  About a week later, I got a call saying that the CEO wanted to meet with me.  Apparently, they had taken the time to look at my Facebook page and decided that they may consider me as a partner.  Essentially, the enthusiasm of my Facebook followers helped them change their minds.  I have never shared that story here and I should have.  I owe you all for my partnership with Thanksgiving Point.  Thank you.  FotoFlyAway wouldn’t exist without you.  Again, it was something new.  I didn’t invent being a photographer at beautiful venue, but I thought of a way to make it affordable and convenient.  I’m actually surprised other photographers haven’t attempted to copy the concept at other places…I’m sure it’ll happen soon.

On July 10th, it will be three years since we opened the studio.  We’ve seen a lot of growth since then.  Little known fact:  the amount of sessions we did on our grand opening day?  One!  We do more now- we’ve grown.  I believe in progression – I think we’re all supposed to be.  Last July, we doubled the size of our studio and made the studio more ‘three dimensional.’  Again, it’s fun to innovate and come up with something new.  Over the next two months, you’re going to see additional changes to the studio as we make updates to some of our walls – amongst other innovations.  Studios can be about more than just walls…

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OTS-3Over the last three years, we have gotten the same request over and over again:  ”Do you do on location photography?”  The answer, as you know, has been no.  The problem was, we couldn’t conceive of a way to make it systematic and efficient enough to be remotely affordable for you.  The cost of paying someone to do a pre-consultation call, drive somewhere, scout out the location, shoot the pictures, edit them, and deliver them to you made the price out of reach.   Finally, after many brainstorms and spreadsheets, we think we’ve figured it out.

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We are calling this new concept ‘FotoFly OnTheSpot.’  It’s a long name but it grows on you and is catchy.  It, of course, is our version of on-location photography.  I am going to describe the basics here and you will have many questions that will be answered by the website.  Here are the basics:

  •  The website is www.fotoflyonthespot.com.  The website is very fun and will be running Wednesday at 9:00 pm.  You won’t be able to make an appointment until then.  Last year, with FotoFlySanta, many of you figured out a backdoor to schedule ahead of time.  Don’t do that.  :)  The website uses new technology that doesn’t work very well on your phones yet so please plan on visiting our site from your computer FIRST.  We’re working on a second, less cutting-edge website for your mobile devices.OTS-2-3

  • We will have three areas that we will travel to:  Utah, Salt Lake, and Davis counties.  This also includes the canyons associated with those counties (within reason).  We will photograph in your home, park, city center, etc.  If there is a charge associated with using a certain property, you will be responsible for paying that charge.

  • Our price is $195.  There are no extra fees or charges…  No mileage charges, per person, stuff like that.  As with the studio and FotoFlyAway, this is the absolute minimum price that we can charge you and make money at this.  I really, really want to make this affordable.

  • The photographer will call you before your session to make sure he or she is clear on what your priorities and preferences are.  The relationship will begin with that phone call.

  • At an appointment, we will spend ten minutes scouting out your area and sixty minutes shooting.

  • You will NOT have to pay ahead of time.  I know this sounds unexpected and other studios likely don’t do this.  With OnTheSpot, you will pay at the CONCLUSION of your session – once you’re comfortable that the session was successful.

  • Our policies about extended families remain.

  • OTS-5You will have the choice of reviewing/receiving your images at the studio or having them mailed to you at no extra charge.

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The photographers for FotoFly OnTheSpot will be veterans.  In fact, I will personally be shooting most of the sessions in July!  I have been experimenting at different locations/situations.  I believe that there is still a learning curve here and I have to be sure that I am an expert at every part of this new concept first.

Also, part of why we’re doing this is a way for our veteran photographers to, as they start their families, (rather than quit) work for us part time with a flexible schedule that allows them to be a parent and continue with their photography career and passion

We hope that this is something that you will like.  It is very easy to be in our studio and let you come to us.  This is more of a challenge to manage.  It’s something I have always wanted to do and am excited to finally provide this service that you’ve been asking for.

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