There has and continues to be much chatter about the photography industry and how there are photographers everywhere…and everyone knows a photographer. In so many ways it has cheapened our industry, it has made what was once art, now just candid shots. I really believe that the world is big enough for all of us, however, I am continually amazed at the quality of work that is produced by so many “photographers” …my hope is that you see it too, that you can tell the difference between my work and the popular photographer that does 15 sessions in a day for the all inclusive price. (not that, that’s a bad thing) but that you can see what suffers from that cost…what you give up. The purpose of this post is to share the 3 issues that I see.
Let’s talk QUALITY first: You should see a huge difference in the photographers that charge $150 for the session and all the images on a CD to the photographers that charge a session fee, cost for prints, collections, etc. I see it all the time. There is a distinct quality difference. I often wish that there was a ISO 2000 (which is a quality control program for industry businesses) and wish that there was a way to control the quality that “photographers” put forth. For instance, that in order to be able to charge for images, I encourage you to just look at some of the images that pop up in your Facebook newsfeed. You can see the difference, I know you can. I wish that there were standards to obtaining the title “pro photographer” I was so leery to call myself a professional photographer…it wasn’t until I was doing it full time for a few years that I added that “pro” to it! Pro, meant that I knew what I was doing, that I could produce consistent work, that I knew how to use my camera. It meant that I could make a living doing what I do. etc.
Next is COST: I know this is a touchy subject, but custom fine art photography use to be something that NOT everyone could have. It was something special. It was something that people saved up for. One of the biggest compliments that I had last year was a sweet family that booked a session with me. The mom told me at her ordering session that she saved up ALL year long for this. WOW! What a HUGE compliment…she knew it was an investment, and she chose ME out of so many other things to invest in. She valued it. She saw the difference between my work and others and understood the cost invoked. She now cherishes the images that she has…displays them as ART in her home. There should be a HUGE difference in the photographers that are offering “just a cd” or $50 for a session with 10 images. That is a hobbiest, not a professional photographer as they can’t sustain a business on that. (that is for another post) but they simply can not! And there are things that slip! There is a saying that says “you get what you pay for” and I firmly believe that is true in the photography industry. If you are only paying $150 …ask yourself what you are missing out on.
PRODUCTS: Yesterday, a baby plan client came to the studio to pick up their products. They ordered a 12 canvas wall gallery…(which I can’t wait to show you) They had a album that captured their daughters first year…the products are amazing. This is the email I got this morning ” The albums and canvases are absolutely beautiful. We’re so excited and thrilled with how everything turned out. My products are the highest quality that the industry holds. They will last forever, they will be displayed for all their family and friends to see. They are, in my opinion, art! And my clients can see them, hold them, view them before they order. You are not getting “art” when you get your images on a CD. There is just no way. I also saw a post a year ago or so from a photographer that said “that’s it clients, no more hand written CD’s for you, I’m finally getting labels” REALLY??? if you are paying for anything…you should NEVER get a CD that was hand written on…I don’t care how much you paid for it.
I know that everyone loves pictures of their babies…it doesn’t matter how good or bad the image is…if it’s your family, you will love it. But just be honest about the quality….be honest about the products that you end up with.
I thought I’d share with you some things you should look out for in your images….