Workflows

Mike Dawkins is a portrait and events photographer with a mission to show people the best version of themselves and the world around them.

Show Notes

Mike Dawkins is a portrait and events photographer with a mission to show people the best version of themselves and the world around them. 

He describes his style as editorial lifestyle with an element of magical realism. 

Getting his start as a photo retoucher, he shoots and edits his photos right up to the point of being "too good to be true." 

With a degree in marketing, he approaches each shoot as a brand partner for influencers and entrepreneurs like Spike Lee, Common, Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall, and many others. 

When Mike is not taking photos, he enjoys watching basketball, hanging out with friends, and going stand-up paddleboarding with his wife.

  • (00:00) - 006
  • (02:54) - What is one thing that you do for the photographic process that has saved you time?
  • (05:09) - What is one thing that you do for the business that saves you time or money?
  • (12:11) - What is one thing that you do for editing that has saved you time?
  • (15:51) - What is one thing that you do after a session that has increased business?
  • (22:40) - Can you share an outlined breakdown of your workflow from lead to delivery?
  • (32:04) - What does the future of AI in photography look like to you?
  • (36:16) - How did Imagen impact your life?

Creators & Guests

Host
Scott Wyden Kivowitz
Content & Community Manager at Imagen
Guest
Mike Dawkins

What is Workflows?

Workflows is a podcast about saving you time and money in your photography business.

As a photographer and content creator who struggles with dyslexia, color blindness, introversion, and anxiety stemming from years of being bullied as a child, workflows have been my rock.

I have workflows for every aspect of my life. That’s why I am so happy to bring you workflows, a podcast presented by Imagen.

As a company dedicated to saving you time and money in your photography business, it makes sense to enhance and expand the conversation to all things workflow.

Tune in and subscribe to hear stories, strategies, and tools that can be your rock.

Hear from people just like you. Put the camera down for a little, connect the headphones, and get to work with Workflows.

Get in on the conversation by joining the Imagen Community today.

The revolution is here.

[00:00:00] Mike Dawkins: Any question that I get any common, like requests that I receive, I will build out a workflow or some type of automation to where I don't have to repeat myself over and over again.

[00:00:14] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Welcome to workflows presented by ImagenAI. Workflows the podcast about saving you time and money in your photography business here from people just like you put down that camera for little connect, the headphones and get to work with workflows.

[00:00:34] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Mike Dawkins is a portrait and events photographer with a mission to show people the best version of themselves and the world around them. He describes his style as editorial lifestyle with an element of magical. Getting a start as a photo retoucher, he shoots an editor's photos right up to the point of being too good to be true with a degree in marketing, he approaches each shoot as a brand partner for influencers and entrepreneurs like Spike Lee, Common, Dallas Mavericks CEO, Cynt Marshall, and many others.

[00:01:06] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: When Mike is not taking photos, he enjoys watching basketball, hanging out with friends and going stand up, paddle boarding with this. Let's dive in to my conversation on workflows with Mike Dawkins. Hey Mike.

[00:01:20] Mike Dawkins: Hey, how's it

[00:01:21] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: going? It's going well. So we are back from WPPI funny. Barely, barely back. Yeah.

[00:01:29] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. So, so funny thing is you wanted to be a guest on the podcast. I emailed you to be, I guess the podcast didn't hear back then. The suite for Taylor Jackson, he was doing an event in one of the suites at, at the hotel it for at WPPI. And you walk in and I'm like, you look familiar, I look your name badge.

[00:01:48] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: I was like, that names sounds familiar. And then here we go. I was like,

[00:01:53] Mike Dawkins: are you the mic that I just emailed? I was like, I don't know. Are you like, he's like, clearly I wasn't checking my email at all. I'm not, I will take any excuse to completely ignore. So, yeah, I was just like, nah, I don't know. And I literally had to like go back and search through to be like, let me find this email that he's talking about.

[00:02:11] Mike Dawkins: Cause it must've been me, but. I was none. The wiser got that point.

[00:02:17] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So good. I mean, it's funny how life works out sometimes. And now we're, we're here. We're going to chat workflows. I'm very excited about it. It was great to meet you in person before I got to meet you virtually, which is a rarity these days.

[00:02:29] Mike Dawkins: Absolutely. Yeah. That, that made all the difference in the world. It was super cool. And even just to give you guys a hug and say, thank you for everything that you do, like that was super exciting for me. Cause I love to give people their flowers.

[00:02:41] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. It's again, it's an interesting thing because you want to be a hugger, but it's like, do you want to hug these days?

[00:02:49] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: But absolutely.

[00:02:50] Mike Dawkins: I'm hugging all about the hub.

[00:02:54] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Awesome. Okay, so we're gonna dive right into the first question. The first question I ask every guest is what is one thing that you do for your photographic process? The behind the camera? What is one thing you do for the photographic process that saves you time

[00:03:08] Mike Dawkins: behind the camera first and foremost for.

[00:03:12] Mike Dawkins: I it's. So it's kind of like a catch 22. I don't even know if that's the right phrase, but like, I actually take more time to set my lights up and to dial my settings in before I start shooting, like every client and it actually, I think it also helps them with just like being comfortable in front of the camera and keep the pressure low.

[00:03:30] Mike Dawkins: I say, Hey, you don't have to do anything special. You can relax. I'm just getting my lighting there. And I'll start tweaking. I'll move lights around. I'll change my settings, do all that kind of stuff. Meanwhile, they're just like, you know, sitting, doing whatever, not really paying any attention. And then I just start talking to them while I'm setting up the lights when I'm pretty much there.

[00:03:49] Mike Dawkins: And I kind of ease into shoe. Without them really realizing it to kind of get those natural kind of reactions to me talking to them and the conversation we're having. And once I pretty much start, I really don't change much of my settings unless we're moving locations or something like that. I try to keep the lights in the same place.

[00:04:07] Mike Dawkins: So I just, I dial in to get everything in camera, as good as I can. And then I tried not to change very much at all from that point. So that on the back end, when I'm going well, when I used to go in and. I would be able to, you know, make it a point to really just make one change and it work across the board versus the up and down fluctuation from shot to

[00:04:30] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: shot.

[00:04:31] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. You know, setting up, like setting up lights ahead of time. For example, is a really good thing because you know, for many reasons, but, but one of the reasons being that you're ready getting. Firing these flashes or strobes at your client and their eyes are going to start feeling that they're not used to it.

[00:04:48] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So by doing it, setting it up ahead of time and not having them sort of be the model for eventually being the client. You know, you're, you're not wasting that, that eye bandwidth that they already have limited capacity for.

[00:05:02] Mike Dawkins: This is good, like blackmail out there that after the shoot to be like, all right, I do have a picture of you picking your nose.

[00:05:08] Mike Dawkins: Just remember that.

[00:05:09] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. Yeah. That's so funny. Okay, so, so what then, what is one thing you do for your business that has saved you time or money? So it's funny.

[00:05:20] Mike Dawkins: I, it's kind of like a running joke with my clients and anybody who's worked with me or even inquired with me, knows this. I have a link for literally every.

[00:05:29] Mike Dawkins: Like if somebody says, what are your rates? There's a link for that. Hey, what's your availability. There's a link for that. You know, I'm S I'm not sure about retouching. I don't really understand it. There's a link for that. Any question that I get any common, like, request that I receive, I will build out a workflow or some type of automation to where I don't have to repeat myself over and over again.

[00:05:53] Mike Dawkins: If I find myself saying the same thing over and over again, to. I'm going to put it on my website and then send you a link to it because for me, whatever I'm doing on there a hundred percent in that moment. So for me, it's important to make sure that I'm able to take care of my clients. So if somebody were to reach out to me while I'm on this call and say, Hey Mike, are you available on the 23rd of April?

[00:06:17] Mike Dawkins: Instead of me going and looking at my calendar, I'm going to send them a link to where they can go and look at my. So just trying to streamline and automate as much as possible is really important to me. You know, I say this all the time, trying to work smarter, not harder. And you know, that's really a big, big key for me.

[00:06:32] Mike Dawkins: And that's why I was so excited. When I found Imagener cause anything that saves me time is a gold mine.

[00:06:39] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. You know, that, that links and having guides and things like this to, to give off to your clients, it's something that I've, that I've been doing for my photography business over the years as well.

[00:06:50] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It's definitely a beneficial thing. It's actually something, you know, so, so when you when we first scheduled the podcast, right, I sent you a link just like you would send to your client. You scheduled, we had to reschedule because WPI, but but but the problem. Could you imagine if we were sitting there and Taylor Jackson's room, trying to go back and forth, like, oh, what about Thursday?

[00:07:10] Mike Dawkins: No thing on Wednesday. Like, no, send a link, put it on the calendar and we don't even have to talk about it. You get a notification. You don't have to come back and ask me what time did we say we're going to meet again? It's on the calendar because I am like, I was gonna say, I am not the most organized person by any means.

[00:07:27] Mike Dawkins: And it's funny because if somebody ever like goes outside of my like, process or like, say us, a friend of mine, that's like doing a shoot, the end. They're like trying to not like, well, I had a friend that reached out for his wife. He wanted his wife to do a shoot with me and I sent him a link and he was like, offended.

[00:07:46] Mike Dawkins: Almost like, yo, like I thought we were friends, like you gonna send me to the website, you're going to send me to your calendar. I was like, This is the best treatment you're possibly going to get. Like, I don't know what type of what you expected, but like, this is the way that I'm going to take care of you.

[00:08:02] Mike Dawkins: Because if you just wait for me to text you back, or if you just want to like ask me when I'm free for a call, it's not going to happen. So it's like, this is my white glove service by automating things and simplifying as much as possible so that you don't have. Continuously try to interface with me because like, if I'm on a shoot, I'm on that shoot and I'm not really paying attention to anything else in that moment.

[00:08:23] Mike Dawkins: So it's just funny. Like, people don't realize that this is me trying to serve them in the best way possible by like sending them to the website versus just trying to go back and forth in text messages with me. Because even my wife knows that's not a good move.

[00:08:39] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah, I use for myself. So I, my, my photography business is fairly small.

[00:08:44] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It's a part-time photography business. So for now,

[00:08:48] Mike Dawkins: Yeah.

[00:08:51] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, so I use square for not only booking with my clients, but also taking the deposits, giving them, you know, once they, once they do the deposit, they get a reply with all the information that's, everything's automated and it's all through square, which is, which is great.

[00:09:07] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, and there's so many platforms that can do the same thing

[00:09:10] Mike Dawkins: Shouting out any other company. So that's why I didn't say I use. Okay.

[00:09:17] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So

[00:09:17] Mike Dawkins: I use HoneyBook. I started out with HoneyBook, like the day one, my very first paying client, not fairest paying client, but when I was like, okay, I'm going to like be a photographer.

[00:09:27] Mike Dawkins: I was like, what do I need to be a legit photographer? Like I never wanted to just like take money from like, oh, you can just like Zelle me or something like that. So I went through HoneyBook. Knowing how much money I was going to make off of that first shoot. I was like, okay, I'll then reinvest into the business before I even made the money.

[00:09:48] Mike Dawkins: So I set up HoneyBook, set my platform up and then I sent them an invoice. And they paid for HoneyBook by my first client. And then from there it was like super important for me to get set up on the front end, because I know a lot of photographers who were extremely successful, but they don't have their systems in place.

[00:10:07] Mike Dawkins: And like, they're trying to go back and build a process out. Now that they've been in the game for 2, 3, 4 or five years. And it's so much harder for them to kind of like break the habits that they've already created, because they've got clients who have worked with them on this, just like, yo texted me or.

[00:10:24] Mike Dawkins: Whatever system that they were using before. And I'm like, I'm so thankful that I had the foresight to put my systems in place on the front end, because I can't imagine trying to like create new habits years into my business.

[00:10:39] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Hopefully if, if somebody takes anything away from this, it's, it's start now

[00:10:46] Mike Dawkins: start now, yesterday,

[00:10:48] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: before yesterday, yesterday, before there's even more that you have to add to it, start it now or yesterday.

[00:10:53] Mike Dawkins: Good habits and kind of getting used to doing it the right way instead of trying to retrain yourself and your clients. Cause that's another big thing is just convincing them to go about it a different way. Once they're used to working.

[00:11:08] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: For sure. And, and your, you know, your clients might have hired another photographer in the past who might have, you know, had to go back and forth to figure out a day, instead of just having this automated system in place and, and pulling details out from there, from their photographer versus the photographer, giving them everything they need in advance.

[00:11:24] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So you know, you're, you're presenting yourself in a way that is classier that is smarter and more efficient, not only for you, but.

[00:11:34] Mike Dawkins: A hundred percent because so many of my clients are business owners and entrepreneurs, so they don't have extra time to kind of play around either. So it's just like, yeah, you got to know your audience for sure.

[00:11:45] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. I don't think you, if you photographed spike Lee, correct. Yeah. So, so he's not the type of person you're going to want to go back and forth with and have to

[00:11:56] Mike Dawkins: figure out. Absolutely.

[00:11:59] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah, you, you, he wouldn't be hired by him anymore if he added like

[00:12:03] Mike Dawkins: yeah. Okay. You got to make it easy for people to book you.

[00:12:07] Mike Dawkins: That's the bottom line. Yeah. That's they got to jump through hoops. They're going to find somebody.

[00:12:11] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. Okay. So we talked about the photographic process. We talked about your business. Let's talk about editing. What is one thing you do for editing that has saved you time?

[00:12:23] Mike Dawkins: Is this the time where I say ImagenAI because that is my editing process now.

[00:12:29] Mike Dawkins: It's funny. Like I said, th the session that I just did with my wife a couple of days ago I came back home and I was like, okay, this isn't a paid job. Should I send them. And I started tweaking with it myself and I was like, I don't even know how to edit anymore. Like I literally was. I played with it for awhile.

[00:12:45] Mike Dawkins: Then I sent it to imagine and it came back and I was like, boom, done. This looks so much better than what I was about to do. Like literally imagine knows me better than I know myself. So a hundred percent. That saves an incredible amount of time. I also am an ambassador for after shoot, which is the first part of my process in post production is calling.

[00:13:07] Mike Dawkins: So, you know, say I take a thousand photos, I'm able to run it through after shoot and there are those pictures down. So. I'm not unnecessarily editing photos and I'm also not sending more than my client really needs. So it really just helps to like my entire process workflow wise on the back end. It's all generated by AI.

[00:13:26] Mike Dawkins: I just click buttons and let it run so I can go back to living my life

[00:13:30] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: before he started using ImagenAI. How much time are you spending you know, editing for each client session

[00:13:37] Mike Dawkins: too much time? Like, I didn't understand what free time was I suffered from that life syndrome. I can't relax because I always had something to do, like, yeah.

[00:13:48] Mike Dawkins: At any given day I was shooting two, three times a day and it was like, there was no way for me to ever catch up because it's like, if I'm not, if I'm shooting two or three times a day, I have to be editing and completing galleries two or three times a day. And that's just not how it worked before. So it was.

[00:14:07] Mike Dawkins: I was always playing catch up with myself. And if I did come home from a shoot and my wife is like, Hey, like let's sit and watch a movie. I'm like, okay. But the whole time I'm stressed out because I've got two to three text messages on my phone saying, Hey, just checking in. What's the ETA on the photos.

[00:14:23] Mike Dawkins: What's you know, so it's like I spent all of my time editing and I was explaining it to somebody else. I was so desperate, desperate to have free time and to live a normal human life that. Shoot during the day, come home, try to like, like I said, hang out, eat dinner, go out with friends, do the normal, just like social life stuff.

[00:14:46] Mike Dawkins: And then from like midnight to five, I would edit and then sleep from like five to 10 and then start my day again. Like that's how it was, but now, oh my gosh. Like I sleep as much as I want to. I take naps during the day. Like, it's the best thing.

[00:15:04] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Oh boy, that's great. I'm so glad that we were able to not only help you or photography business, but also just your life in general.

[00:15:11] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: We're going to actually get back to that. We're going to dig into that a little bit more, but I'm very happy that we are able to help you. So, so for those listening right now, I just want to take a moment and ask if you were at the park while your kids are playing or whatever you're doing while, while you're listening to this, please take a moment to think about your next business.

[00:15:30] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Is it something that you can do while ImagenAI edit your photos? Please let us know by sharing it in the ImagenAI community that just imagen-ai.com/community. Please let us know started posts. We're curious. Okay. My next question, we've talked about, we talked about in camera or behind the camera, we've talked about business.

[00:15:51] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: We talked about editing. What is one thing you do after a session? After a session you've edited, it you've edited it or ImagenAI as edited for you. What's one thing you do after a session that has increased business.

[00:16:05] Mike Dawkins: What's something that I've done. That's increased business. So I'm very big on, like I said, And efficiency across the board.

[00:16:14] Mike Dawkins: We all have heard about how long short form video is the new wave. That's how you're going to grow an Instagram, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I still haven't become a tech talker yet, but when it comes to recording reels I actually also batch edit, I mean, batch create my reels. And that drives business.

[00:16:34] Mike Dawkins: Cause I get in front of so many more people than a regular photo post would. So for me, I work out of a couple of different studios. If I don't have another booking or if the studio doesn't have another booking directly after my session, I usually will take some time to sit and create reels. After photo shoots, I'm already dressed.

[00:16:55] Mike Dawkins: I'm already out, I'm already at a studio. So I just, when I'm at home, I'll go through and I'll save audio. And make sure I have kind of like a set of rules that I want to do. And then after a shoot I'll maybe stay for another hour or two hours, just go through those sounds and I will record it. Multiple reels.

[00:17:13] Mike Dawkins: So that the next day I can wake up and just launch a real at 10:00 AM without even thinking about it, because my drafts are full of content that I can kind of push out what I need to. I also do that with photos. I kind of like go about my day. I edit, I share blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But then I will take time to go through and say, all right, from the past four months, what are the best photos that I have that I would be happy or willing to post and I'll go.

[00:17:41] Mike Dawkins: Make sure they're all edited, export them, download them to my phone. And I actually have a post to IgG folder or album in my camera roll so that if I'm leaving a session, to be honest, driving in the car, I may be like, oh man, it's my time. I need to put a post up. I can pull my phone out and put a post.

[00:18:04] Mike Dawkins: Without even being on the computer because it's already edited. It's already like airdrop to myself and I can just kind of post on the fly because I was running in and running into that so much where I would kind of the day would get away from me and then I'd look up and it's seven o'clock and I haven't posted.

[00:18:21] Mike Dawkins: And I'm like, man, like how do I kind of beat this? Or kind of outsmart myself in that sense. And so that's the way I've found to do it. It's just to kind of have all the content already. And then just slowly get, as I need to

[00:18:36] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: have you thought about using a tool that sort of semi-automated that process where you could, you can add it to a queue and then it doesn't post it for you, but it'll send you a reminder and preload it in Instagram so that all you gotta do is hit.

[00:18:51] Mike Dawkins: Yeah, I, so I have used a couple of those. They sometimes act kind of funky and I also am a very much an artist when it comes to posting. So like, it's really about how I feel at the moment. I don't know what I'm going to post today, but when I sit down and say, Hmm, what do I feel? And what I scroll through?

[00:19:09] Mike Dawkins: Like it has to, because I realized that posting on a calendar, it loses some of the soul of just like. Being authentic. It for me, I want everything to feel like real time, even though it's not. So I very much like have to kind of feel it out to know like, okay, what am I doing today? How am I feeling today?

[00:19:31] Mike Dawkins: What's happening in the world? What's the weather? Like, what does it look like outside? And then I find something that fits that. So I don't know that that's an area where, and it doesn't take me a lot of time. Like I said, I already have the drafts for every. But it's really just picking what I want to post and when that I do in real time.

[00:19:50] Mike Dawkins: Right,

[00:19:50] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: right. It makes sense. Yeah. It's, it's definitely that type of automation itself is not for everybody. I will oftentimes go back into my archives of photos or videos to see what, what can I sort of refresh to make it, make it now, even though the photo itself might've been from like three years ago.

[00:20:10] Mike Dawkins: Oh gosh. Yeah. So I actually did that recently. I bought a new monitor. So I was using just like a regular Mac monitor for the longest, but it was old. And so I was like, it's time to upgrade. I'm out of here. I want to calibrate a monitor. I want a 4k monitor, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So I went and bought the ASIS pro.

[00:20:28] Mike Dawkins: And I've started going back and looking at my old photos. And I was like, oh my gosh, this is insane. So I did that recently where I went and edited a photo from like three years ago, retouched it and posted it. And it's like one of my favorite images that I've super, super underrated when I shot it.

[00:20:45] Mike Dawkins: And even when I delivered it to the client, but seeing it on like a high quality calibrated monitor and going back and retouching it after so much time. And it was something that I shot on the mark for. Oh, the fi the Canon five D mark four, if anybody does, not that it is. But yeah, I was like, this is incredible.

[00:21:02] Mike Dawkins: Like, I totally underestimated that camera and what I had done with it. Cause I'm super spoiled now going mirrorless, but yes, I definitely will go back and refresh things if I need to.

[00:21:12] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: One of my favorite things to do is to take. A session that I might've done or a photo trip that I took, because I I'm actually, even though I photograph people my favorite thing to do is photograph landscapes.

[00:21:24] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So I will, I will take a session or a trip or whatever, and create a collection of 30, 30, 40 photos, and I'll send it off and actually edit it with one of the talent profiles. And ImagenAI just to see what is it going to do that I didn't think of doing. Something that I might've discarded four years ago might be something that is like mind blowing now because you know, AI inspired me basically.

[00:21:54] Mike Dawkins: And then I'll tell anybody, this it's so much better than what your eye can do. And for me, the big thing with Imagener is the consistent. Like, I love the fact that it's not based on how bright it is in the room. It's not based on how I'm feeling. It's not based on how tired I am. Like it's going to be accurate and it's going to be consistent across the board.

[00:22:17] Mike Dawkins: No, that, no matter what, and that's the beauty of working with AI is that like, there's no emotions, there's no feeling it's just straight like science and you know that, you know, that it's accurate because that's what it's made to do. And it's just so much more. Confident in the way that you can go about sending your stuff off, knowing that like, it's right.

[00:22:36] Mike Dawkins: Like that's your skin tone if there's something wrong, look in the mirror.

[00:22:40] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Okay. So, so this is the point of the show where I asked you to look at your, at this question from like 30,000 foot view down. Right? Okay. Can you share an outlined breakdown of your workflow from lead to deliver. Okay.

[00:22:59] Mike Dawkins: So initial inquiries inquiries usually come in one of two ways.

[00:23:05] Mike Dawkins: I either get a DM or somebody finds the link to my website from Instagram or whatever, or they just find my website, blah, blah, blah, blah, long story short, no matter where anybody comes from, I'm going to send them a link to my contact page, where there's a form that you feel. They fill out the form. It creates a project in HoneyBook and it also pops up for them to schedule a consultation call.

[00:23:33] Mike Dawkins: I do a 20 minute consultation call with every client. We talk over location details, just kind of cover the whole day. Let them choose a date, whatever. Then I set up a proposal. The proposal has the contract, the payment. As well as just like a breakdown of what the, in the session, if I'm booking the studio, I go and book the studio that wants to deposit is paid.

[00:23:54] Mike Dawkins: They do a 50% deposit. And then the balance is due three days before the session. From there, once the deposit is paid, I saved their number in my phone. I scheduled their session and then we show up to the shoot. There's not much else really, that has to happen. Show up to the shoot. We do. If it's photo and video or just photo then I'll go back.

[00:24:17] Mike Dawkins: As soon as I get home from the session import the photos directly from my camera. I don't pull my memory card out unless I have to. So I plugged my camera up, import send it through after shoot, pull down from after shoot export to a new folder, bring it into light room, close light room, upload them open Imagener upload to imagine.

[00:24:39] Mike Dawkins: Wait, go grab a sip of lemonade, come back. The edits are done. I and that's my favorite thing. Like I love getting that email from ImagenAI your edits already? I'm like, oh man. And all I had to do was just like, you know, go brush my teeth again or something. So I get the edits back. I do. A little bit of a pastor.

[00:25:05] Mike Dawkins: I'll kind of look from a, a sky view and make any global edits. So sometimes I may highlight everything and just darken it a tad. And I just realized, so, you know, in Lightroom, there's the quick develop module where you can do like a full stop or third stop on exposure or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

[00:25:25] Mike Dawkins: Like all of the different things there. If you press option. And then click that smaller arrow. You can go in increments of like one sixth of a stop. Did you know

[00:25:36] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: that? I did. Yes, I

[00:25:37] Mike Dawkins: did. I just discovered this like three days ago. I was like, what the heck? I, cause I, cause I know like shift will bring up a couple other options, like clarity or something like that.

[00:25:48] Mike Dawkins: But literally like, I don't know even how I just happened to click the button and I saw like the, the arrow change and I was like, And so, yeah, like I hadn't really, because imagine sometimes like maybe I just creatively want this particular session to be a little bit darker, but a third of a stop is too much.

[00:26:07] Mike Dawkins: Cause it's just a little bit, I want it darker. And so I just discovered that that option and pressing that smaller arrow can go down like a sixth of a stop. And so I may do that. I may shift white balance or whatever. And then I may go do a little bit of heat. Remove a trash can or something random in the background.

[00:26:28] Mike Dawkins: And I upload it, send it off. I use pixie set, so I will just run. Yeah, I actually, oh, I changed the name. I always, I don't like sending IMG, whatever, like random four digit number. I actually change it to like either the client's name or the event or the date or some kind of tag to like, make it theirs. And then I, I changed the name uploaded to pixie set and, and then send them an email with everything and asked for a review.

[00:27:01] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Are you are you renaming the files in light room before you sent the Pyxis that, so that way, like if they reference something it matches. Yeah.

[00:27:09] Mike Dawkins: So if they come back for retouchers or something like that, they can say, yeah, I want image 42 versus. You know, I'm looking for IMG 639-80-4278, social security number.

[00:27:25] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Awesome. That's great. Sweet. And a lot of your clients are, are like personal brands and things like that. So it's not always the case where they might need prints. They might just need quality digital files. Right. So.

[00:27:41] Mike Dawkins: That's the hardest part for me at WPPI like, I'll go to a session. It's like how to make $30,000 in a day.

[00:27:49] Mike Dawkins: How to turn your $2,000 wedding into an $8,000 wedding. And it's all about selling prints. And I'm like, dude, I like my. Smoothie client is not going to like get a wall art print of themselves holding a coffee cup. Like

[00:28:04] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: it's just, were you in, were you in Jeff's class where he, where he talked about turning a $2,000 wedding to an $8,000 wedding?

[00:28:12] Mike Dawkins: Yes. You don't remember? I literally stood up and was like screaming when he mentioned ImagenAI and I was in there. I said it in the class. I was like, Imagener edits better than. I said that out loud, like he started talking about workflows and stuff and I was like, I'm sorry, I need to interrupt you for a second.

[00:28:31] Mike Dawkins: Like, he's right. Everybody needs to download these two softwares. Cause they're both amazing. Like I literally said that in the class

[00:28:39] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: You know, I remember it now and I did, I recorded his entire, the entire time he was talking about us. So I, I probably have you on camera too, for sure. So, so what you were just saying is.

[00:28:51] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It's true. So, so what Jeff talked about can definitely work for pretty much any wedding photographer, but in someone in your situation, it's not, it's not gonna work. Right. Cause you're not, not currently.

[00:29:05] Mike Dawkins: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, most of my clients, they weren't photos for Instagram and their website or they're making graphics and things like that.

[00:29:13] Mike Dawkins: So I am. In a unique space because like, I'm not the photographer, who's gonna work with you for three hours, then they can give you 10 photos. Like I'm going to give you 200 photos that you're going to be able to use for the next three or four months. So it's like, in that sense, like that volume, like I would be really weirded out or somebody like got a whole book made of their branding photos like that.

[00:29:37] Mike Dawkins: I mean, Go for it, if that's what you want to do, but because that's not like, I mean, I shoot weddings, but I don't shoot them enough of them to get that deep into funding and all of that kind of stuff. Luckily through pixie set, you can at least order prints. So if I do a family shoot or. You know, an engagement session or something like that, people can go in and directly from the gallery that they received from me, they can go in and order wall art and things like that.

[00:30:05] Mike Dawkins: The only thing it doesn't do is like full on books because those have to be designed, but I've actually never had a client come in. Asked me for,

[00:30:13] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: I can imagine. I can't imagine for that kind of yeah, even my, of mine. Oh really entice. Interesting. Okay.

[00:30:22] Mike Dawkins: I didn't get one when I got married. So maybe it's just, I'm attracted to people who could care less.

[00:30:28] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: I mean, yeah. I mean, if you're not, it really, that that part probably does come down to, if you're not presenting your. Jobs as prints and albums and stuff. You're not going to get those clients, right. So it comes down to, but more parents

[00:30:42] Mike Dawkins: and everybody who's doing it, but I'm making just enough money to, without it.

[00:30:47] Mike Dawkins: So I'm good.

[00:30:49] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: You know, I was just thinking though, a good upsale and you might be doing this already, but a good upsell for a personal brand type session might be creating. And this may, it wouldn't be for like a spike Lee level person, but somebody who's just starting out. Yeah. Might be a media kit, a press kit, something that like, you're putting something together.

[00:31:07] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: You, you, you know, you have a designer who designs it all and you're basically delivering a PDF, but it's a professionally designed kit. You got immediate kit. Could be a cool, that's not a bad

[00:31:17] Mike Dawkins: idea. Actually. I could go for that. Yeah. I think it would become, especially, cause my background is in marketing, so like I very much could do that.

[00:31:29] Mike Dawkins: To be honest though. I like my free time, more than I want to sell anybody. So, yeah. I don't know that I,

[00:31:40] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: as far as the design.

[00:31:42] Mike Dawkins: Yeah. I mean, if you, if you guys create an AI, that'll do it. Sure. I'll run it through that, but I don't know if I want to deal with any other people in my business. Yeah. So

[00:31:51] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: speaking of AI as somebody who uses AI a lot, Editing process, the cooling and editing process and, and potentially media kit process in the future.

[00:32:03] Mike Dawkins: What?

[00:32:04] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. So what, so what does the future of AI and photography look like to you?

[00:32:11] Mike Dawkins: I think obviously I think the next step is going to get into retouching. I've seen even Photoshop trying to do it. It's not quite there yet. I know what's the other one. Luminor AI Lumina. They are, I think probably the leaders in that side of it, it's not sophisticated enough to be a solution for retouching where, like, I know a lot of photographers outsource retouchers to go in and do blemish removal of skin, smoothing object, object, removal, things like.

[00:32:50] Mike Dawkins: It can do it on a small scale, but it's not like you can just batch it like we are with color correcting right now. I think to be honest, this is the future. Like I'm so much. One of my favorite books is the power of now by Eckhart toll. We are living in the future. Like I vividly remember when I first discovered even after shoot.

[00:33:11] Mike Dawkins: And it was just like, yo, like, cause I saw, you know, after shoot the title, like, okay, what happens after a shoot calling and editing? I was like, unless they're like calling my photos for me, I don't even care what they do. And then I walked over and I saw these little stickers that said calling it. I was like, honestly, And, and to be honest with, imagine when I found you guys, I was just watching a YouTube video and I was up at like three o'clock in the morning and I saw it and I immediately got up and went to download it and started my onboarding process like that night to where I was like, cause I legit, like I started uploading my 5,000 and I probably did 10,000 images.

[00:33:50] Mike Dawkins: But I started uploading it that exact same. And I woke up the next day and it was ready to go and I was like, game time. So this is the future.

[00:34:02] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: You did it in the middle of the night when nobody else was doing it though. When the teaching process went real fast,

[00:34:07] Mike Dawkins: real fast. Yeah, absolutely. I was like, no, I'm not waiting like it.

[00:34:10] Mike Dawkins: And for me again, being able to set it and forget it, like I got up out of the bed, went to my. Upload downloaded the software poked around and took a look at it for a second. And it was easy because I mean, you get what? 1500 free images. So there was no downside. There was no con there was no like reason not to try it.

[00:34:33] Mike Dawkins: So it was like, oh, absolutely. This is an easy decision. So yeah, I just, I was like, who knows? Like my photos may end up on a billboard somewhere later on, but I was like, I'll trust it. And we'll deal with it later if that happens. But legit, I mean, I uploaded it. I went to sleep. I woke up, I saw that it had finished and I was ready to rock.

[00:34:55] Mike Dawkins: But as far as the future, I really think the only other thing I can imagine is retouching. Because even what Lightroom is done now with like the image of the subjects elect right. And changing colors, like that was something that I used to dream of. That's here now. So, I mean, we might work ourselves out of a job after.

[00:35:14] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So fortunately for us, we look as we look at ourselves as a compliment or a supplement to what you're already doing, you know, we are not here to replace what you're doing, but to help you get there faster. And I can tell you that I think I've shared this in the ImagenAI community already, but we are getting to local adjustments to start the process of getting to retouching.

[00:35:33] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So our, our, our development team is working on starting with brushes first. And they sort of a a proof of concept that it'll actually work once. We've proven that it's going to work, we can then take what we do and, and and port it over to each of the other local adjustments. So we hope to get there, you know, sooner than later, we hope to get to the point where we are helping with retouching.

[00:35:55] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah, it's nice to hear that what you think is going to be the future is what we're working. What do last question for you actually is, and you've touched on this a whole bunch, but I liked, I like to see how deep you can get with this because to us at ImagenAI, it is really great to hear that we save people time.

[00:36:16] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Of course. We know that there's deeper stories. Everybody's got stories. You've got stories. Everybody else at WPPI has stories. We want to know. As somebody who's been using, ImagenAI pretty much a hundred percent now for however long you've been using it for. How did ImagenAI impact your life?

[00:36:35] Mike Dawkins: I mean, it gave me my life back.

[00:36:38] Mike Dawkins: I literally don't spend more than an hour at the computer in total. Because I really, and honestly, being in my life, it's improved my clients' lives. Like I'm now able to turn around galleries faster than people can even ask me for them. So like, again, it's the consistency, it's the speed at which I can do turn things around that I don't have to spend the time at the computer doing.

[00:37:09] Mike Dawkins: So it's just like allowed me to. Go to the gym more so I'm working out. So when I have a six pack, it's going to be thanks to ImagenAI. That really is the main thing for me is just like being able to dedicate my time to education. I can spend more time watching tutorials. I can do more with my video editing.

[00:37:31] Mike Dawkins: It just opens up the time for me to kind of take care of other things that I need to do that normally would have gotten pushed to the back burner. And then for my clients, they get their stuff back better, faster and more consistent so that, you know, it's just, you know, making everybody's lives better.

[00:37:48] Mike Dawkins: Honestly.

[00:37:49] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It's amazing. It's amazing that, that I, I think I even said earlier that we've been able to help you in so many different ways Yeah, that's that's, that's what we that's what we, that's what we're here for. I mean, that's literally the reason why the company was started and it's, it's amazing to hear that we're able to help you in, in that way.

[00:38:07] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Tony,

[00:38:07] Mike Dawkins: I listened to that that first episode where the origin story, and for those of you who don't know, like the guys are super duper cool, like, you know, you meet people on the back end of like tech companies and software companies and it's. Usually somebody super awkward, but this dude looks like a fricking supermodel.

[00:38:29] Mike Dawkins: I was like, what the heck?

[00:38:30] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Oh yeah.

[00:38:35] Mike Dawkins: Ron looks like a bad-ass. Oh boy. I swear. Like legit. He is the character in the movie that. Walks up to the main characters, like come with me. Like he definitely is super legit. Like it was super cool to meet him in person. What was I

[00:38:53] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: about to say though? I work with a lot of, I have the, I have the pleasure of working with a lot of really.

[00:39:00] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Very smart people. And it's, it's been, I mean, I've only been at the company actually as of yesterday. I think it's six months, so, oh, wow. It's been, it's been amazing already and yeah, every, everybody, I haven't met everybody in person yet. I've only met a few. And so, yeah. But yeah. And I, it's

[00:39:19] Mike Dawkins: funny, I'm shooting my F I'm going to use it for my first wedding coming up.

[00:39:24] Mike Dawkins: I've got a wedding this weekend, so I'm excited to see kind of. That process. And I'm legit probably going to have to like wait a week before I send it. Cause if I sit in them, their wedding photos back, like the next day they're going to be like, okay, this dude is insane. What is going on? But that's going to be funny, like the wedding's done like a day.

[00:39:45] Mike Dawkins: And then, I don't know. Let me ask you that. Do you think, should I send the gallery. Immediately or should I give it some time? Cause I feel like if they're like out to their honeymoon or like too soon, I think there is a too soon with wedding fatigue.

[00:40:00] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So I'll tell you, I, yes. I'll tell you, this is what a lot of the wedding, like the full time, like only wedding photographers, right.

[00:40:07] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Are doing so there's two things that are happening. One is they're sending their sneak peaks the next day or the night of right there real soon when you're like the 20, 30 sneak peaks. That gets the couple ready to see more and wanting to see more and they're ready to share it immediately. They're going to start sharing it on Facebook.

[00:40:26] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And the other thing is, you know, they're doing a one to two week turnaround time. Where they're actually doing an upsale to, to a, and this goes back to upselling. They're doing an upscale turnaround time. Yeah. So for example, Sam heard he does an upsell, a $500 for a guaranteed two week turnaround time for weddings.

[00:40:51] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: He's running his wedding, no matter what, he's running his weddings through you know, AI calling and then, and then a ImagenAI for editing. So it happened. But, but he's only guaranteeing it for two weeks. For $500. There is so funny. Yeah. There is a very prominent wedding photographer who does exclusively for the most part 90% exclusively Indian weddings, four day weddings.

[00:41:19] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And she is who I hope to introduce to the Imagener. Even though they're probably wherever. Anyway she is charging, I believe she said $2,000 for a one week turnaround time for a four, four day Indian wedding. My do that. She's sending it to us anyway. We're editing it in an hour for her anyway. So

[00:41:44] Mike Dawkins: yeah. So, you know, it's funny. Whenever I do podcasts, I'm always like going to post it and. Like share it out. Like, oh guys, I'm on this podcast, check it out. I can't do that now. Cause my wedding clients are going to be like you mother, like that's so genius because it really won't make a huge difference to me.

[00:42:07] Mike Dawkins: But yeah.

[00:42:09] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Wow. I mean, if, if

[00:42:12] Mike Dawkins: you were just like workflow wise, like wait,

[00:42:15] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: I'm working on. Exactly. Exactly. So yeah. I would suggest next day for, for snake you know, sneak peaks at most, and then give it a week or two, you know under, under, sell over, deliver over deliver. That's it? Yeah, unless it's an upsell

[00:42:40] Mike Dawkins: and then

[00:42:42] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: you're saying.

[00:42:43] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. If you're saying $500,000 for a guaranteed two weeks, you could still do a week and now you're underselling over delivering. Right. So, yeah. Okay. Mike, thank you so much for hopping on with me. I'm glad that we were able to connect and talk about all these different workflow topics with you. Can you share with listeners more, you know, where they can learn more about you connect with you and of course the, your incredible.

[00:43:09] Mike Dawkins: Absolutely. My name is Mike D shot me on Instagram. There's a period after the D so M I K E D period, S H O T M E and the website is MikeDshotme.com.

[00:43:22] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Awesome. Thank you again so much for, for this awesome conversation. And I look forward to speaking with you more

[00:43:31] Mike Dawkins: for sure. That's the funny thing about podcasts.

[00:43:33] Mike Dawkins: It's like you talk for so long and then there's like, Like it's the time always goes by so fast.

[00:43:42] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It does. It does. Thank you, Mike, for that fantastic conversation. And for all that juicy information about your photographic workflow, your business workflow and everything else, you're invited to be a part of the bigger conversation.

[00:43:56] Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Join the ImagenAI community today, by going to imagen-ai.com/community and don't forget to subscribe to the podcast. Wherever you listen to podcasts. You've been listening to workflows presented by ImagenAI to see the show notes and everything referenced in this episode, please go to imagen-ai.com/podcast.