Our first thought might be pricing, but in reality, photography is not a commodity, it is an art form. There are those who just want a decent portrait of their family at an expensive investment. There are more of us out there that are looking for more than the cheapest pricing. We are looking for a photographer, who is not just a picture taker, but an artist whose goal is to create portraits for us that are beautiful, emotive and communicates well the subject matter of our portraits.
How interested is your prospective photographer in what is important to you?
One of the first questions I pose to prospective clients is, “What is most important to you about your photography?” In many cases the clients hasn’t really even thought that through. All they have thought to ask about is pricing, because that is what we do as commodity shoppers, but photography and photographers are vastly varied and different in many ways. Good photography should never be a commodity.
What first might have prompted the call to find a photographer, is that you saw images on website or some other medium that appealed to you. You may not have even fully understood why, but you liked their work and you called them. Now if the photographer’s response to your call is strictly business, get you in, take your portrait, collect your money and get you out, then you may be dealing with a commodity photographer.
When I am speaking with a potential client for the first time, I don’t want to ignore their concern for the amount of investment, but more importantly they are interested in capturing a subject of interest and value to them, and my first concern should not be how this benefits me, but how can I understand my inquirers heart to best meet their needs in creating a portrait or photographing in a way that captures what they have envisioned and what is important to them. Our budgets are important and in as much as we can we will endeavor to work with our clients, but I have found so many times that in the process of the photography and capturing the heart and soul of our clients, they come to emotionally experience how special and precious these portraits are.
I recently photographed a young lady looking for head shots for a beauty pageant she was entering. She was shopping to get a couple of good images at or below a set price. I told her that I could deliver what she was looking for and we would take the time to give her a variety of looks and make sure she was thrilled with what she got. By the time the evening was finished she and her mother had purchased 21 of the images. Which by far exceeded my expectations and their original plan, but it is just example of trying to go the extra mile and trying to give exceptional photography. Below are few examples of that session after the retouching.
When looking for your photographer, think of investing what it takes to get a good professional photographer that has your interest in mind. They are capturing you, your family, your children, your wedding or something that is intimate and important to you. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well. Ultimately, the investment will be soon be forgotten, but the service, quality and the emotional impact of those portraits produced will grace our lives and our walls for years to come.
Kent Stuck, CPP
Artistic Impressions Photography
Colorado Springs, CO