Expect nothing but the best from your photographer.
I spend a good chunk of time reading photography business blogs each week so I can learn how to run and marketing my business better. These blogs offer me invaluable tools and knowledge that I use to improve upon what I’m already doing. But there’s been one piece of advice that I have run across a few times on various blogs and goes something like this: the most important thing you can do as a photography business owner isn’t learning how to become a better photographer, it’s learning how to operate and market your business better, because your clients don’t know what good photography is anyway.
Don’t worry about being good at your craft because your clients don’t know any better.
What????? No. Just No.
This kind of statement literally outrages me. Doesn’t that leave a bad taste in your mouth?
I don’t care if my clients can’t tell a good photo from a not so good photo. That’s not a factor when it comes to making quality work. I have a commitment to myself and to my clients to give them top notch customer service and a top notch product. To do that, I have to hone my craft. I have to continually improve my photography skills. I can’t grow stagnant and I sure as heck can’t say, “The client won’t know if these are good or not so I can relax a bit on this shoot.”
I have noticed that I find myself improving with every single photo session. I even use friends, my husband, landscapes, or random objects to photograph if I don’t have a paying session. I am not the greatest photographer that ever lived and I never will be but I will keep trying, keep practicing, and keep improving. My clients deserve it.
Also, I constantly hear horror stories about photographers’ business practices: 6 months to get wedding pictures back, receiving another client’s photos on a disc, no communication after money is paid, photographers getting drunk at the wedding, relying on editing to compensate for bad photos, stealing the work of other photographers and putting them in their portfolio (can you believe that?). I could go on and on.
There are so many photographers out there. I know that it’s hard to tell the good from the bad. It’s also difficult to know if the photographer you’re hiring will leave you high and dry. A couple of tips to know you are hiring someone who makes their clients happy: call their past clients and get a review. Also, make sure you can see some online reviews such as those on Facebook. If a photographer has their online reviews hidden, you can bet something’s fishy. For me, I only want 5 star ratings. 4 stars or less means I did something wrong. It’s not acceptable.
I care so much about every single person that hires me. I hope that comes across in my writing. Sometimes I think that if everyone who met me or found me online could see just how much I care, they would hire me in a heartbeat. I’ll say it again: I care so much about what I do and who I do it for.