I am currently in the process of hiring a professional to do something I can’t do on my own. As a layperson, it’s really hard for me to know how to qualify someone in a field of which I know absolutely nothing. (I tried to get referrals, but nobody had any they felt strongly about.) In my current predicament, I now have several quotes, all for the same thing, but they differ by quite a bit in price. I feel like I should take the cheapest one, and so far, have no reason to pay any more than that.
Since photography pricing is extremely varied, how does the layperson decide? As an expert, it is VERY obvious to me who you should go to for certain types of photography. I tell my friends all of the time to please ask me for advice before hiring anyone.
This article from Jen Little, owner of The Little Marketing Department describes her experience getting an inexpensive headshot, and then her experience with me. She even posts both sets of photos so you can see the difference. The most important part of the entire article is that the first set of headshots made her feel badly about herself. That's terrible.
You should never pay money to someone who makes you feel badly about yourself.
Jen wasted her money (although it wasn’t much) on the first set of headshots. It actually made the final images more expensive, because she paid for them twice. If, during our session, she had told me at any time we hadn’t ‘gotten there yet’ with her photos, we would have made adjustments until she was happy. I told her from the very beginning that I absolutely guarantee my work. Like many of us, Jen is a busy woman, and she runs a business. Time is money, so not only did she pay more with cash, she paid in her time by having to do it twice.
You should only have to pay one time for a job to be done right.
The first photographer didn’t ask Jen what she wanted. A headshot is not a headshot is not a headshot. A photo is more than what you look like; it’s a reflection of who you really are. This article is a great example of how a professional photographer will use the information we have about a person to create a portrait that suits them. This is what we do. It’s not about us and our creative desires. It’s about serving the client.
You should have a photographer who serves you as an individual, and provides you with an image that shows you, in the way you want to be seen.
This quote sums it up nicely:
“There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
It’s hard to believe that something written so long ago can have more applicability today than it at the time it was originally published.
Here are some examples of how:
Do you want to look fabulous in any photo? Find out here.