I’m a good photographer, but where are the good customers…?

2004264631A lot of people think i’m just a guy with a camera, and I was that until I began to understand how business works. This business of photography is very under valued and what I mean by that is people actually think photographers like to work and not be compensated for it. I understand giving someone a break, working for a non profit, getting your portfolio started and or updated but some of the other things I’ve heard and have experienced has blown my mind. Now, if you view my galleries you’ll see a LOT of images from comedy shows throughout NYC and to those I’d say I’ve only been paid to shoot one of those 40+ shows and I credit that host/ comedian that paid for my drinks and put a lil something in my pocket that night. I know how that circuit it, there are no budgets for those show and those comics probably make less than what I was making as a nightclub photographer but I’m not here to talk about that. I’m sure some of you will inbox and ask me just how much I was making as a nightclub photographer and just to nip that in the bud I’ll come right out and tell you.. you’re better off networking in the NYC nightclubs to look for other business than to think that club and or promoter will pay what’s considered an events photographers rate to shoot for 3+ hours. It’s only a good networking tool as well as a way to sharpen your technique is what I gathered from it.

Okay, now this is what I really stopped in to chat about. I want to vent about customers learning how to become good customers. Majority of customers don’t understand the value of it all so they will undervalue the services and hours of labor that comes with photography and post production. They’ll downplay what they want from the photographer by saying things like I just need 3 pictures, it’s just going to be 15 minutes, it’s just a few people, you don’t have to stay for the whole event, you can use my camera instead and so many more. I’d have to call my boy Jeff Mark for the other ones we’re so used to hearing and seeing. The most recent one really struck me as I’ve been using other vehicles to see what kind of potential clients are out there Vs. depending on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to create a buzz for me. This new service that I’ll again post about this week is considered where one would go to hire a professional, and again.. if i’m a professional photographer, shouldn’t a professional customer hire me? I don’t know, you tell me.. Okay, what’s a professional photographer anyways…? I personally know one that’s been shooting for half his life and if you look at his work it looks like he’s been shooting for 2 weeks. Now, I have all kinds of services when it comes to photography. I’m a full on photographer, I’ve done it all so I don’t really back down from any challenge. I was browsing the new vehicle I’ve been on recently and saw a lead by a young person and her request reads “I am doing “” “” “” which will ONLY take about 2 hours at the most. I really would prefer a photographer who will not charge me too much for such a short time“. This is a client using a professional site to hire professional photographers guys. Why doesn’t she just browse Craigslist instead….? That irked me so much that I actually felt like responding to her lead. What is Only, Take About, At The Most, Not Charge Me Too Much and A Short Time….? I personally think she should just grab her smartphone and knock it out of the park herself.

A good customer knows, he or she knows that the relationship they create with a photographer or any other person providing services will indeed better their 2nd and 3rd experience with that professional. Shoot, the plumber that has done work in my house 3 times already gave me a break on the last job he did and I know for a fact he gave me a break because I know what those services costs. Why isn’t photography looked at the same way though…? Why isn’t there a value put on the hours I spend pressing that shutter? Why isn’t there a value on the gas and tolls I have to pay to get to your event? Why isn’t there a value on the hours spent on the computer editing the images I took to make them look fantastic for you? I think I know why, everywhere you look there’s a guy or gal with one of those big black cameras. BUT, everyone doesn’t know how to use one in the way you’d think they do. Oh yeah, it’s because I’m just taking pictures.. .there’s no real work behind that. That’s what they think and we can’t change their mind set.. I can’t believe I typed all of this.. previewing this blog entry just made my stomach churn as I’m actually going to reply to that persons lead and request for a photographer but I’m going to be a professional about it. I’ll keep y’all posted…

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~ by mrflowersphotos on March 13, 2014.

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