It's Saturday Morning, bit muggy out, especially after the weather the past few days. I'm having my coffee (It's nearly 10 AM, don't judge me) as I just woke up. Long day yesterday. We photographed a wedding nearly 2 hours away. Good wedding though, so I'm tired and sore, but a good tired and sore. We don't have a wedding today. Surprised? Well, don't be. It happens. We can't control when the weddings happen, just how we photograph them.
Yes, I'm rambling, I do that when I'm undercaffeinated, only barely awake, and had an inspirational thought to write an article that has now left the building, yet my hands won't stop typing.
Ahh right, there it is. That fleeting thought that brought about the rambling Saturday Post.
There are so many photographers in our area. It's actually quite amazing. Normally when there are -that- many in competition with each other, the small get eaten by the big, there are pricing wars (which... we have), and eventually, it all balances out. In our area, it seems like there are new photographers every day, so, the -norm- is not the norm in this case.
I see crazy things too. It seems everyone is the Best. I mean -EVERYONE-. As well as some absurd statements and claims. So I thought I'd write up all the things we -could- do, things we -won't- do, but we could. Why won't we? You see, I have this thing called a conscience, and dignity, and respect for my potential and current clients. I can't abide making things up just to get your business. We tell it true around here. So, here goes.
(ducks for flying fruit and rotten vegetables)
- We could go to an airfield and have photos taken of us by an airplane, or helicopter, all moody and suggestive that we're cool.
- We could claim to be "Simply the Best Wedding Photographers", because we've been published online and some websites told us we're great.
- We could charge double or even triple our current prices just because.
- We could get our weddings published everywhere by pushing out work to these sites.
- We could pay tons of $$$ to advertise everywhere for no good reason.
Did I miss any? Probably.
Does this trash a few photographers in our area? Maybe.
Is it true? Yup.
What we actually do:
- Well, we provide an experience like no other since, no one can be me.
- We provide amazing images. That's truth. Our peers in the profession have bestowed hundred of awards on our work. Getting published is easy, having judges critique your work is hard.
- We charge a reasonable rate. We're not cheap, We're not overpriced. We run about the average for what brides spent in 2016 for Wedding Photography. In other words, we provide a valuable service.
- We get to know our clients, many become our friends. We're not just "some guy I hired", we're real people, who help make your day special and memorable.
- We go above and beyond. I've tied more ties and corsets than I can remember. Derica and I both have pinned on hundreds of boutonnieres.
- We strive to improve every time we set out to shoot. This is the key. This is how a photographer stays relevant after so many years.
- We make you laugh. We give you images that make you cry (in a good way), and we give you confidence. Confidence that your day will be great, because it will.
- We do all our own stunts. We don't send the work out to other countries to have strangers touch your images. These are our babies, we take care of them.
- We hug you. We celebrate with you, but we are not guests. We are there to do a job, which, we will do, no matter what happens.
Here's the thing... don't be taken in by flashy ads, grandiose claims and overpricing just to look special. Don't fall for claims of "The Best", that's so subjective and just wrong to say, I can't even begin. Don't believe that just because that photographer is "published" it means they are any good (though some are!), it just means an online blog filled some space and added what Google refers to as "content". If you want to know how "good" a photographer is, ask them if they've actually won any awards for their work, ask what organizations gave them those awards. The Knot, Weddingwire, and the myriad of other online sites don't give real awards, just popularity badges. As we all know, the best aren't necessarily popular, and the most popular aren't necessarily the best.
What am I really saying? Well, the caffeine has kicked in, Derica is up, and quite likely this post will never see the light of day. But what I'm saying is... don't judge a book by it's cover. Your photographer should be a real person that you can speak to, connect with, and work together to create something special for you. Don't let a flashy cover rule your decision. Don't let insignificant things become important in your decision making process.