I Just Want A Few Pictures
I just want a few pictures is probably one of the most common things photographers hear. I get it. We all know we aren't going to print out 100 pictures from every session we get and we want to get to most out of our money by just getting what we want right? The thing is, and this may make you stop reading from here because this blog is not one of those blogs a lot of people want to read. Photography is a luxury, I said it. It's hard to hear because we all feel like it's one of those professions that we should pay the bare minimum for. "I just want a few images" means I don't want to pay your price, I want a discount because I just want a few pictures.
"But Jennifer, all you do is just push a button"
I'm sure if you're still reading this you're either a photographer or you're genuinely interested in what I have to say about this specific topic. I appreciate you. There is really a lot that goes into photography than just pushing a button, and I'll go into that after I make this side opinion.
Moving to a new place is always hard because the value placed on photography varies from place to place. Let's say I moved here from Washington D.C. (wink wink I did) and my business was BOOMING there. People booked and paid for sessions and I rarely heard "I just want a few pictures" and "I don't want to pay and arm and a leg" That one is another one that makes my skin crawl lol People knew the importance of pictures in that area because a lot of people wouldn't live there forever. It's an iconic place so pictures "appear" to be more valuable. This is where I think that's wrong. Pictures are valuable wherever you are. Genuinely! My focus in photography is to capture those moments you don't realize are as important as they are until they're gone. My kids have grown older and less into me taking their pictures. I value all the pictures I took of them when they were younger because one they were much nice then LOL and two, the memories I have of their toddler years are well less than ideal with meltdowns and demands. I can look at the pictures I took and remember there were sweet innocent kids in there I didn't see as much as I should have.
Ok let's get back to the subject at hand. Photographer is a luxury. It's a service like a professional hair stylist or make up artist. Sure you can do those things yourself but are they REALLY going to be as good as paying a professional to do it. We all that that cousin that has a nice camera that could take pictures for us for free but are we going to LOVE them? Perhaps because they're of our kids and any picture even of them having cheerios stuck to their face are perfect. The real question is are you going to hang them on your wall or just put them on Facebook? Hiring a professional photographer is art, you hang their art of your beautiful family on your walls to display proudly.
Well I know a photographer that is just starting out that will do them for $5 and give me 100,000 pictures. Totally hear that. We all start from somewhere but again at the end of the day, are you going to hang up those images in your house, or just post them to Facebook. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of newbie photographers out there that have gorgeous work and charge $5 for 100,000 images and I could write a whole blog for them about how their selling themselves short but thats for a different day. The point of this what seems like a very long blog stressing how important it is to value photographers because like I'm sure you've read before it isn't cheap being a photographer. My cameras, lenses alone probably would pay for my first car and then some. Then there is my website fees, credit card fees, permits, taxes, insurance, LLC and legal business fees and so much more that people don't realize we have to pay because if they're doing it right, they are a legit business with expensive business expenses. Then we have to discuss editing the images, they're not taken then uploaded directly to our websites and ready to go. A lot of HOURS go into editing images. Now I'm fairly sure if you've made it to this point of the blog you're a photographer and you're sitting back saying "THANK YOU" but if the rare chance you're not a photographer and you got to this point you value the hard work that goes into making those perfect images! It's a passion and not a lot of photographers make a lot of money. I know a lot of photographers don't even make a living wage. They have to do it part time and work full time because well the industry is flooded with photographers and honestly flooded with the $5 photographers.
So, again if you've made it this far, next time you make a post looking for a photographer say "I value all photographers work and time but this is my budget, can anyone work with that" That comes off way nicer than "I need a photographer, I just really need a few pictures but I don't want to pay and arm and a leg".
Have an amazing day!