Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 48068 [post_author] => 47039 [post_date] => 2015-02-18 16:00:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-02-18 21:00:36 [post_content] => In any business what you produce must have, or more accurately, be perceived to have value. Without that belief by your client you will fail to garner business and future clients. How does this translate into the photography world? Most people, especially newer photographers, place their value in their portfolio, in the quality of the work. While this is true in some sense I would say there is another place that holds more weight to the client... you.
"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get."- Warren Buffet Often times as photographers we come across clients that ask or passively imply they would like a discount. Most of the time we stick to our guns and will not budge on pricing. I think that is great, and appropriate if the discount they are asking for is significant, but what if it is minimal? What if it is only $150? What do you do then? I read comments in a thread that ranged from tell them you are booked, to tell them you are not the right fit, to suggesting they don't eat out at their favorite restaurant next month. Seriously?! All this over $150 dollars? This is a perfect example of the client not seeing the value of one over the other. Somewhere in the consultation process the value got barreled down to one photographer's photos over another. To the client, the perceived value was in the quality of work. The client is thinking "Hey this photographer does really good work as well and they are $150 less!" That is not how we as business owners want them to make their decision.
"You don't get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour." -Jim Rohn From the moment we first respond to a client inquiry our value is being measured. They have already made the decision they like your photos otherwise they would not be contacting you. As soon you hit the send button your value, your ability to give them something no other photographer can, is being evaluated. If they email you back later haggling over $150, maybe she doesn't see the value in you. We need to educate them as to why we are more and why going with us will be worth it. Somewhere along the line, the value of your service got lost. Guys, I completely understand sticking by your prices believe me I do. But we can't stand on the quality of our work alone because there are others whose quality is just as good. Using the reason that your portfolio alone should be enough cannot be the reason for non-education of clients. Your value is in you and how you make the client feel from the very beginning.
"If you create incredible value and information for others that can change their lives - and you always stay focused on that service - the financial success will follow." -Brendon Burchard "Its not my job to educate the client," is a phrase I hear applied to this and many other situations with tough somewhat high maintenance clients. So if it's not ours, whose job is it? Should the client really have to find the time to explore the ins and outs of why we charge what we do on top of trying to plan for their own wedding? Plus, I doubt the client would ever really understand the ins and outs anyway. So why shouldn't we help them? I am not saying we need to do this all the time.I am saying that if we set it up so that the very first email we send makes them feel wanted, we wont ever even have to broach the subject. The foundation of our perceived value will be won and lost on that first correspondence. Do you send your prices in that first inquiry, or do you congratulate them and ask for more info about how they met? Do you wait for them to reply or do you take initiative and call them to personally thank you for inquiring with you? When the time comes to make the decision to go with you or the photographer that is $150 cheaper, these things could very well be the weight that tips the scales. This is upon what we want the client to base their decision.
"It seems like photographers are so quick to just say "RED FLAGS, LET THEM GO!" and walk away from what could be a good business relationship. If you take the time to talk to her, educate her as to why your rates come with more experience and talent, and what the higher price tag will entail, maybe you can convert her. It's happened to me more times than I can count."- Susan Stripling Now let me clarify: I fully believe in getting paid what you are worth and that we should not give into clients trying to book us for less, especially if that request is significant. I also fully believe that if a client is having a hard time booking you over $150 dollars that we should not automatically apply the red flag or problem client tag to them either. Maybe in this situation we need to step back, breathe and re-evaluate where we went wrong in presenting our value to the client. Never assume your process is perfect, always be willing to learn and serve, your business and your clients will thank you for it. [post_title] => Where Is the Real Value in Your Photography Business? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => what-is-our-value [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-02-18 13:06:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-02-18 18:06:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=48068 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 47197 [post_author] => 47039 [post_date] => 2015-01-27 13:26:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-01-27 18:26:28 [post_content] =>
My greatest strength is common sense. I'm really a standard brand - like Campbell's tomato soup or Baker's chocolate. -Katharine Hepburn I read a thread on Facebook the other day that got me thinking: it had to do with whether or not as an artist we should ever give our raw files to a client. While reading through the thread I saw mostly comments saying "No way!" "Absolutely not!" "Are they crazy!" and this one..."No way they will mess with my brand!" This last comment specifically is what got me thinking. What exactly is our brand as photographers? In today's digital age, where everyone is a photographer, you can find hundreds, heck probably thousands of different photographers with the same or similar style as you. So are our finished photos REALLY our brand or are they more like Campbell's tomato soup or Baker's chocolate?
Brand is not a product, that's for sure; it's not one item. It's an idea, it's a theory, it's a meaning, it's how you carry yourself. It's aspirational, it's inspirational.-Kevin Plank We as artists have very big egos and want to believe we are creating "art," want to believe that our finished product is something that no else can deliver. I mean we have worked hard to learn and hone our skill! "They hire me for my work," this is partly true, mostly you are hired because of how they felt about YOU, if your work is good than that's an added bonus for them. I am firm believer that sub-par work is elevated in the minds of our clients based on having a great relationship with YOU. Your work got and more than likely the experience someone else had with you got them in the door, YOU closed the deal. Occasionally in our career we will face a client that asks that dreaded question such as in the thread mentioned above, "Can I have the RAWs?" Instantly we are set on edge and instantly we jump to saying no, but what if you looked at each instance on a case specific basis? You might find that there are benefits to giving the raws in some cases.
As an entrepreneur, one of the biggest challenges you will face will be building your brand. The ultimate goal is to set your company and your brand apart from the crowd. If you form a strategy without doing the research, your brand will barely float - and at the speed industries move at today, brands sink fast.-Ryan Holmes In what instance would I ever benefit from giving the raw file you may ask? Our industry is flooded with hundreds of new photographers every year. Some may make it and come to offer quality work, and others will fail. Most of these new photographers are single women, who themselves will eventually get married and need a photographer, as was the instance in the Facebook thread. Its quite possible you will be asked by another photographer to have the raws and as wedding sites increasingly misinform brides what to ask their photographer for, you may get a client asking for them as well. You can benefit from giving the RAWs in both of these situations.WHAT?! ARE YOU CRAZY?! THAT'S ABSURD?!Now before you stop reading any further and storm off in a rage I will clarify my views in a moment. What is the single largest factor that keeps us from spending time with our families? The time it takes to edit, cull, upload etc etc etc. When its all said and done we are running a business, not just a fluffer for our ego's and time is money. If you could have some of that time back would it be worth it to you? If you charged for those raws and the client is willing to pay, does the time you gain outweigh the thought of someone else editing your work? Some will say yes, some will say no. The biggest reason people say no is because they are worried about their work looking bad, and it affecting their brand and possible future business. I disagree, as long as you don't make it a common practice and go on a case by case basis it most likely won't affect you at all. If you believe your brand is not hinged on the work you produce. In the commercial world it is done this way all the time, some give raws some don't depending on the situation. If you allow another photographer to edit their own photos I guarantee there will be a clarifier on who edited them, they are going to want people to know THEY did the editing. I would venture to say the same about the client. In today's age anybody can do with the jpegs what they could with the raws if they really want to.Now before you start filling the comments with how wrong I am and how this view point is bad for the industry let me make it clear that I am not saying you should always without question give the RAWs when asked. I am a photographer as well, my ego and pride is just as big as any one else's. I 100% percent believe we have all worked hard to define our style, but I also believe what sets us apart from another photographer who has a similar style is ME. Who I am, how I make them feel.
Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.-Tom Peters
It's very important for a brand to have an identity through the years, but it's very important as well to evolve because times change so fast.-Donatella Versace Thankfully I have not been asked for the raw files by a client...yet. When the time comes, as I am sure it eventually will, I can't honestly say what I will do. As I stated above it would depend on the case and whether or not I would benefit from it. What I can say is it won't be from any fear that it will affect my brand, or my ability to bring in more clients. I run a business after all and time is money. With the changes in the industry that are here and have yet to get here, I can't afford to adhere to old practices.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority its time to pause and reflect.-Mark Twain [post_title] => When a Client asks for your Raw Files, Should You Give Them? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => when-a-client-asks-for-your-raw-files-should-you-give-them [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-01-27 13:26:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-01-27 18:26:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=47197 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 19 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 45516 [post_author] => 47039 [post_date] => 2014-12-19 11:33:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-19 16:33:52 [post_content] => It seems if you wait long enough things that were once in style and the thing will become that again. Just look around and you will see it everywhere, in fashion, cars, movies, toys and in the photographic world… film. The first digital camera aimed at photojournalists was released by Kodak in 1991: a Nikon F-3 camera equipped with a 1.3 megapixel sensor. Over the next decade digital became more and more accepted and people were heralding the death of film and it sure looked like that was true. Major film companies slowly over the last 20 years seemed to be phasing out producing film. Yet beyond reason and logic, film is not dead. It seems to have made a resurgence in our industry and is now considered indie, and specialized. Why is this? There are many reasons this should not be the case. Cost, time, equipment and learning a new medium being just a few, but amazingly I believe it is these same reasons, aside from cost, that is driving the resurgence in our industry.We are artists, we create and we use our cameras to try and represent the canvas in our minds, this quote from Willy Wonka is one of my favorites –“We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams.” How awesome is that? As photographers and videographers we are the music makers of the visual world. I can imagine the gears that turned in the minds of those first photographers two decades ago that got to experience digital for the first time. It must have blown their minds. Being able to see the results of their imagination instantly had to be incredible. With the advancements in our field why would any of us go back to shooting film? Why learn how to use an analog camera? Why learn how different films capture the scene before you? I believe the answer to that lies intrinsically in our need, our desire, our drive to create. I, like I am sure many of us “older photographers,” shot film when I was in high school. I shot with an old Canon T-90 and my grandfathers old Minolta SRT201. I loved shooting and learning how the camera worked. I loved going to the film lab to pick up my prints and can remember the excitement that coursed through me, the anticipation, and the nervousness. Finding out if the ideas in your head translated to paper was exhilarating if successful, and sometimes heartbreaking if they didn’t. It drove you to be better and more careful the next time you went out to shoot. Then came digital, and instant results and no time to spend waiting. Yes, my learning curve soared exponentially, and over the years you get excited about different things but it never was quite the same. So for me the journey back to shooting film is an effort to reconnect with those desires, those feelings of excitement and nervousness.On December 11th, those familiar tingling’s came back with an e-mail from the FIND Lab telling me my first film scans in 15 years…. were ready. As I clicked on the link and proceeded to extract my files I thought about how amazing it is that we can meld to completely different mediums into one. I started to think back to the shoot and remember what I did, how I metered, how I imagined these images would turn out. With my heart pumping and hopes high I clicked the first image and…disappointment. The images were ok, but by no means what I had envisioned. Thankfully FIND lab has an option to get feedback on your exposures when they send them back and had some great words of encouragement to lessen the disappointment haha. Yet even with those feelings I wanted to go out and shoot another roll to become better, to learn from my mistakes and improve. Here is a few from that first roll. Between my first attempt above and my second below I spent some time chatting with Christina Blanarovich (an amazing Film only shooter) of Zen Photography on ways to improve and things to do differently. So moving on from the disappointment of my first roll, I clicked on the folder from my second roll, once again feeling excitement fill my limbs and my heart rate increasing, keep in mind it has only been about 2 minutes since viewing my first roll LOL…and elation! The images from my second roll were so much closer to what I had imagined and envisioned. I went from disappointment and discouragement, to elation, and excitement in the span of two minutes. THAT is what film does. THAT is what I believe is driving a new generation of film shooters, of artists, of visual music makers. The need to satiate the desire to be challenged, to fill the void of creativity left by shooting in a world of instants, to slow down and just enjoy the act of shooting without knowing the result, to reignite the excitement that once resided in our souls. “Where is fancy bred, in the heart or in the head?” I encourage any of you who have been wanting more from their shoots to go and get a cheap 35mm film camera check out this post Finding your perfect Film Lab and start shooting. The challenges you will face while doing so will make you a better photographer, and a better artist. Go be a music maker, be a dreamer of dreams. [post_title] => The Resurgance of Film & Why I Went Back [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-resurgance-of-film-why-i-went-back [to_ping] => [pinged] => http://resourcemagonline.com/2014/12/a-guide-to-finding-your-perfect-film-lab/44592/ [post_modified] => 2014-12-19 11:34:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-12-19 16:34:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=45516 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 44712 [post_author] => 47039 [post_date] => 2014-12-12 12:45:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-12 17:45:05 [post_content] => Ever have a moment pass by that you wish you would have taken advantage of? Where you wish you would have just asked a simple question, but refrained for fear of the answer being "no"? I think we have all been in those situations, and in hindsight we kick ourselves afterwards. As photographers, we face situations like this multiple times a day from using private property, taking random people’s pictures, second shooting with that photographer whose work you have been following and maybe even getting vendors to donate time and material for that styled shoot you have been dreaming about. All those things typically require some action on our part to make happen and yes, some people will say that a few of those you don’t “have” to ask permission for but that is a discussion for another day. Over the years I have taught myself to get over this same fear and come to the realization that by not asking, the answer is ALWAYS going to be no. What’s the worst that can happen? The owner of that piece of land with the beautiful dreamy light or that random stranger on the street is going to say no. That’s it! By being afraid to ask your chances are 0%, by not asking your answer is 100% no. Well I don’t know about you guys but I don’t like those odds. One simple act, one little question can drop the chance of a no to 50% and I’ll take those odds ALL DAAAY. Now I know there are some people thinking about the above example and saying “well why don’t you just use the property until you get caught, or take the photo without asking,” we have all done that and will continue to in certain instances. My philosophy is if you have the opportunity to get permission, then do, it could grant you unlimited access in the future, whereas the other option gets you the possibility of never being able to use it again. There are always going to be situations as a photographer where asking will not yield the same results, I get that yet it’s our job as professionals to know the difference. So do yourself a favor, increase your odds and go ask whoever you have been wanting your question. What’s the worst that can happen? I like to think of the best that can happen and the doors that could open by simply just ASKING, what do you have to lose? Nothing, because you never had it to begin with. Remember the answer is always no if you don’t ask the question. [post_title] => If You Never Ask, The Answer Will Always Be "No" [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => if-you-never-ask-the-answer-will-always-be-no [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-12-15 11:05:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-12-15 16:05:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=44712 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ))