Here we go again. Marissa Mayer states, “There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro today because [with so many people taking photographs] there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore.” Now here comes the (getting) old argument of “with the technology today anyone can be a professional photographer.”
Well, certainly it seems like everyone is trying to be one. I have more competitors bidding every job I go after. I have lost clients to these so called professionals that will shoot for less than what it costs to replace their equipment. I even know some of the best photographers in the country, possibly the world, that have lost work to their client’s nephew. In that case the nephew keeps asking how to work the equipment!
The issue is that everybody is trying to save money these days. Moms and dads are buying less for their kids and young people are in debt up to their eyeballs in student loans. Politicians are swearing that you have to cut costs to make greater revenue.
A CEO said to me a long time ago that he “could cut costs all day long, but that doesn’t bring more money in the door.” He was right.
Many of those clients that decided to go with the Faux Pro as I like to call them, have come back to me asking what I can do to help them get better images for their marketing. My clients know what it takes to bring that money in the door. It’s called quality.
Quality doesn’t end when you get good images, it does start there either. Quality images are only a part of the process, a long process.
In the days before all of this Faux Pro, price cutting, hiring the nephew, cut out the photographer stuff, all I had to do was deliver quality images. Now I have to do a lot more than that. Today I have to deliver quality images after I talk to you, learn what your pains are, and find ways that my work can ease those pains. Then I have to show you how I can help, talk to you about how I am going to help and then, maybe you will hire me to help you take your work to the next level. In short, I have to communicate to you the value of using me.
That’s right, communication. Communication is what it is all about; it is what everything is about. If I communicate to you how I can help, the chances are you’re going to let me. After I’m done you are going to use my work to communicate your message to your client, customer, or just your loved one. I am only the translator of your message.
So if communication is so important, possibly more important than the images themselves, why not hire some faux pro you can talk to? Perhaps because that person can’t communicate with you on the level you need, perhaps they can’t communicate the message you want to send. Maybe, just maybe they can. But do you want to spend your money on “maybes”?
I will tell you right here and right now that you can spend less on a faux pro than you will when you hire me. You may get lucky and you may get the images you want, you may not. If you don’t you are going to come to me and ask me to fix what is wrong. When you do you are going to pay me what you could have paid me in the beginning, maybe even more.
Or you can communicate with me before hand, you can be confident that before I ever even take the camera out of my bag I know what your message is, I will know what you want and you will know that a professional is going to do their best to help you communicate your message.
Maybe Ms. Mayer should have hired a pro to help deliver her message.
Note: Someone asked “why the image of Joe Grier on this article?” Well its simple really, if you click on the image you won’t get the usual link to a larger picture. Joe is larger than life anyway. Instead you will be taken to his website for JMG Media. What does JMG do? They help you communicate with your audience.