Wednesday, February 27, 2008

our albums - part 2

Not too long ago I posted some pictures of our most popular album but today I had some of our awesome leather flush-mount albums from Zookbinders out on the table and I thought it would be nice to show them off too so you can see the difference.

The leather flush-mount album:







Saturday, February 23, 2008

Image Factory on Facebook!

Picture 1.jpg We now have a page on Facebook! You can access our page here:

If any of you would like a couple pictures from a previous session posted to your Facebook 'wall' from us, just add us to your friends and drop a note...we'll hook you up!

PS - thanks to Nick & Danelle - one of our wedding couples from last year -- for adding us to their Facebook friends list and reminding us that we had to keep this up to date! Nick and Danelle have a cool sports car performance shop and a new flower shop, The Fresh Flower Market.

PPS - thanks to Brian Baer from Baer Photography in Nebraska who helped show me some of the ropes of Facebook, ensuring I follow the rules (our page is under my name, Tim Skrastins now instead of Image Factory)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Maternity Portraits

Last we we had the pleasure of photographing new mommy Cassie in the final stages of her pregnancy. We took some time to make the studio nice and cozy, get barefoot and make some cute belly shots. Of course we had to get dad in on the action too. These will make some terrific memories and we can't wait to show them the rest!




Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February 16 wedding in Kearney, NE

Here are some more fun images from last weekend's wedding in Nebraska.

The flowergirl brought her own camera but she let me borrow it for a few shots....this one even lets you superimpose a pig nose or a Viking helmet on your subject! I need to get one of these!


(ps - you can get it here)

The guys getting ready in style:


Finally, we stopped at a local museum to make some great portraits: monasteps.jpg


Monday, February 18, 2008

wedding at St. James in Kearney, NE

This past weekend I traveled out to Kearney, Nebraska to shoot a wedding with Todd. We had a great time and as always turned out a lot of beautiful images. I'll post more soon but I really enjoyed this one from a little post-ceremony walk we took through an art museum:


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hey guys I know it's late but please don't fall into this trap! Trust me!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've read that Valentine's Day is the single biggest day of the year for engagements. Wow...good luck out there guys!

After she says 'yes!!!' and the planning starts, here are the top 20 reasons to consider Image Factory for your wedding photographer -- just don't wait too long, the best dates in 2008 are already booking up!




Sunday, February 10, 2008

thoughts on customer service...

This isn't photography related but I've had a number of memorable contacts with companies lately, some good, some not so good and they keep making me think about the way we run Image Factory and what influences how we do business.

images.jpegWe used to be big fans of Southwest Airlines...they were inexpensive, the employees were always friendly and fun on the flights. When we took our recent trip to Disney, they were a natural choice for our airline shopping. As it turns out, they had a competitive price and even better, they were flexible with allowing us to make a change to our flight times without any charge.

Unfortunately when we arrived at the airport, that fun, enthusiastic and empowered attitude we'd run into in years past was nowhere to be found. The employees were no different than any other airline you'd fly -- they seemed stressed, burned out and uninterested. Worse yet, the 'choose your own seat' policy that had worked so well for us as a couple of newlyweds turned out to be a nightmare with 2 children in tow -- we had to sit apart from one another so our 9 year old was all by herself sitting next to strangers. The flight attendants had no sympathy nor offer to help get a family with children to seat earlier so what is billed as 'everyone sits in first class' turned out to be a very disappointing experience. Bottom line, we learned that Southwest Airlines is probably not the best choice for a family flying and wanting to stay together.

TheHomeDepot.pngThe second experience I had was a positive one all the way around and it inspired me to write this post. We have a Moen faucet in our kitchen sink and it recently started spraying water everywhere. After disassembling it, I took it in to Home Depot for some advice and they were fantastic - spending time with me to examine the issue, find a probable replacement part and even install it for me right there!

Moenbifl3new.jpgUnfortunately when I got home, the faucet was still leaking water -- we hadn't fully fixed the issue. DeAnna picked up the phone and called Moen while I scoffed -- why on earth would a manufacturer care about us at this's 2 years old! As it turns out, we reached a helpful and informed customer service representative on a Saturday afternoon who walked us through a temporary fix and offered to FedEx replacement parts out to us first thing on Monday -- all under warranty!

I had to laugh -- I just assumed that this company wouldn't have anyone on the phone who could help us with our problem, much less be there on a Saturday and offer to overnight parts to us. But in the end, it's the same thing that I give our own customers a hard time about -- if you have any questions, issues, complaints, etc. about your prints or albums, please call us -- we'll take care of you!

I think this is part of the reason smaller businesses like ours are so successful -- people are tired of dealing with uninterested, unempowered employees of large corporations where they get the feeling that they are not valued. I think it's also the reason you see larger companies (like Moen) trying to act like small businesses and increasing their level of customer service. Sure, they aren't the least expensive faucet on the shelf but you can bet I'm going to look their way every time I need a faucet in the future because of how they run their business and care for their customers.

We work hard every day to instill that same thought in our customers -- it's how we want to be known and how we want to run our business -- one that everyone is happy to recommend and eager to do business with again.

Monday, February 4, 2008

our albums

We're back in town after a fun week at Disney World. Wow, what an amazing place! Anyway, waiting on our doorstep (actually brought inside the studio for us) were two great new albums and I just couldn't resist showing off how great they look. These photographs are of our most popular album style -- the fine art coffee table album: