5 things consumers should know...
Photographers are important. We matter and are relevant as of 2017. We are business men & women who have made our way through our chosen profession with ups and downs just like any other profession on the planet. In previous years, since the age of the camera came to be we were highlighted very little for our craft. Now, you can't do any important event in life without a photographer present capturing, editing & preserving your memories and precious moments in life.
And here is the thing . . . we love to do it! We LOVE our jobs and the joy it brings our clients. Our clients are what help us succeed and help us keep our dreams of doing what we love to do for the rest of our lives. Most people in "art based" professions get a period of time where their calendars are full, incoming profits are unbelievable or they are succeeding on such a high note it seems they can only go up from there.
BUT then. . . it happens.
We have an unsatisfied client. They are not happy with what we produced for them and they decide to go in a different direction.
To us as photographers, we just lost a client. That's not something that most of us take lightly but we have no choice but to get up, dust off and keep going. I lost my first client ever in my career recently and it hit me like a bullet in the heart because I am one that takes so much pride in pleasing my clients and making sure that they are completely and 100% happy with my work. I know that you can't please everyone but the reason I lost my client wasn't because of my customer service, my delivery time nor them not getting enough for what they paid me. It was due to my style didn't fit what they had in mind nor did I direct the session well. The quality was also not up to par as well.
These reasons shook me to my core. I was so disappointed in myself that I couldn't even speak. Now, I guess I should tell you what type of photographer I am so there is a clarification as to what they didn't care for. When I conduct a session I pose for the first half to 3/4 of the session and then I allow my clients to just be themselves. Be how they are in their REAL relationship. Not what makes a pretty photo. It's how I have always done it and how I will continue to conduct my sessions. I am big into my clients having real memories captured and not just ones that clearly look posed. Pinterest is good and all but I am not every Pinterest photographer in the world. We are all different and we all have different styles & aesthetics. That will never change. That being said, I have made a little list of ideas and advice for our clients to remember when choosing their photographer for their important memories throughout life. Photos are forever. Photos are one of the most important part of someone's wedding day, birth of their child, their children's moments growing up and of course family. People may leave us here on earth but their memories live on in the moments captured in a still, single image. It's how you remember them. It's how you keep them with you. And trust me, us as photographers don't want to be that one who disappoints when memories like that matter so much in the end.
So with that said here it goes!
1. Choose a photographer who fits your style & aesthetic.
You as a client are never going to be happy if you choose a photographer that doesn't fit that ideal in your head. We are all different and we all have our own way of doing our jobs. Don't just choose a photographer because - they were the cheapest I could find, they have work that looks okay, they will have to do. Get into business with a photographer whose work speaks to you. We take pride in our work and we want you to as well. If your into a more artistic style then find one that fits that style. If your into light and airy then find one that does so. If you like edgy, do the same. Find the photographer who fits your ideal completely and fully.
2. Don't try and change a photographer's style. It's not going to happen.
We all have a particular way we shoot, edit and present our work. We can't change our normal and what we are comfortable with on a dime. Don't get me wrong - some of us are willing to do anything to get the client and a lot of us have a higher understanding of photography but that doesn't mean our style will change. Book with someone who you know is going to give you your ideal so that there is no conflict of trying to make your photographer fit your ideal when it's not their way of doing it.
3. Book early.
Booking for photographers is a process. Weddings are normally booked 6 months to a year in advance. Yet some can be booked within the same month. Try and book early so insure that you have your dream photographer. If you have a set one in your mind get in touch early enough to check their calendar for the next year. Most fall & spring dates fill up fast and are gone a few months into the year.
4. Always book an initial session i.e - engagements, mini session, etc.
You could love a photographers work and follow them on every social media platform possible, still at the end of the day if you've never shot with them before and you personally have never had photos taken by them before you could still end up feeling as though you made a wrong decision. So to avoid this happening, schedule an initial session with them or just do an engagement session before booking your package.
5. Honest feedback is key.
Yes, we have feelings and yes, they will be hurt a bit if that time comes and we have an unsatisfied client. Yet the worst thing that can happen is that we hear good things from our clients yet through the grapevine it is completely different feedback. We want and need your honest feedback so that if mistakes are made we can begin to fix the issues. We all want everyone to be happy and proud to show off the work we've put in.
I hope these little tips help when choosing your dream photographer for all of your precious moments! They are just tips from me and in no way portray the opinions of anyone else. Again, I hope this helps in your ventures for the perfect fit! :)
love . cherish . and treasure each other everyday :)