Guest Post by Bobbie DeBrito
Whether you are “photographer shopping” or you are a Professional Photographer, do you take the time to step back and look at the whole picture?
If you are the consumer on the “hunt” for your next great photographer or if you are the Pro that might want to step back and regroup a bit and find strategies to make your business even better with amazing reviews about your service then this post is for you.
Photography Questions: The Whole Picture
So, you have a teen graduating, a baby is on the way, an engagement and wedding or you just want some new family photos to hang on your walls. What is the first thing you consider when looking for a photographer: price, style, locations, editing technique?
The answer to this question has everything to do with how important your photographs are to your life. After all, who doesn’t have a camera on their phone or a handy point and shoot laying around the house to take some quick snapshots?
You are shopping around for a Professional photographer because you want photographs of higher quality and keepsakes you can treasure throughout many years. So the first set of questions you should ask:
- Does this photographers style speak to me?
- Do you feel something when you look at their work?
- Does the quality of the work match up to what they say they are worth?
- Do you feel the photographs would look good hanging in your home?
- Do you hear positive remarks about them in your community?
- Lastly, is this photographer affordable to me?
I am not trying to avoid or ignore the nagging word budget but we all have one. So yes, of course “how much will it cost me?” is important to all of us.
In that case, you can either go with a photographer that you may not particularly like because they are super cheap and ultimately get much lower quality OR you can save money over a little time and have the photos that you really want because we all know “you get what you pay for“.
When you are price comparing photographers there are quite a few questions you should ask:
- 1. What do I get for my money?
- 2. How long will it take to get my final product back?
- 3. Do you include digitals in a package or is that extra (important for weddings)
- 4. Do you charge extra for retouching?
I have been a photographer for about 6 years now and it seems that I have pretty much heard it all, but the most widely asked question is almost always price.
Photographers Listen Up
When you are asked about your pricing, be sure to state all that is included in your package. For example: I charge a set fee for a high school senior sessions but along with that I always tell my clients they get:
- 2 hours of shooting time
- Artistically edit photos of the best of each pose
- Skin Retouching (no extra charge as this is a presentation MUST for me)
- Unlimited outfit changes during their session
- A password protected gallery on my website to view their photographs for up to 1 month
- And a free custom facebook timeline cover photo.
Now, this is not saying that what you are doing is wrong but time and time again I hear “I called around and so and so has a lower session fee but they charge extra for every little thing and won’t even consider selling the digitals to me!”.
If you tell them upfront you will never have this problem and if your work is good you will have clients for life.
Next is the question “When will I get to see my final product?“.
We all move at a different pace and everyone’s situation is different so this is hard to say one way or the other. I bring this up because I don’t think people ask this question enough!
Looking outside of the box as a photographer and looking in as the consumer, this would be a must question to ask. I mean, let’s be real here- who wants to wait months for their family photos?
If it takes extreme time to get your work done, maybe you have put too much on your plate and should reconsider your strategy. However, if you just work at a much slower pace then tell your clients so they aren’t disappointed later and give you a bad review to everyone they know.
You may have some of the best work out there, but if people think you’re not doing the job they expected to have done, your name won’t be passed along in a positive way.
Trust me, I know that sometimes you want to push that project/session off for just a few more days- but imagine your clients response when you told them it would take 2 weeks to get their proofs and they get them 1 week early! Or adding in an extra print to their package as a gift.
It’s usually minor things that let people know you value them and hope that they will be back again. It’s the little things that show your clients you value them which are important for the success of your business.
After all, our clients are who build our businesses and make us successful- don’t lose sight of the importance of your client, if you do….failure will soon follow.