Friday, January 25, 2013

Everyone wants to give up sometime...

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 and my Official business blog at

Just to warn you right from the beginning...this is a bit of a rant

Sometimes I seriously feel like giving up this "business" side of photography.  It has brought me so much frustration and disappointment. I have so many people call and say "I want YOUR work (style, quality, etc) - BUT I want it for the {non-pro/illegit-business} prices that so-and-so in town offers."  Most of the time I will reply, kindly, that I am sorry I can't match so-and-so's prices, but we offer different things... if this is the budget they have, they should certainly give so-and-so a call!  I am not a competitive person... and I do not feel hostile or even hurt by this.  But there are times {more than once, for sure} that someone will persist... "BUT I want YOUR work." And I can only explain in so many words just WHY my work costs more. I explain, often, that "professional photography is a luxury, an extra in life.  It's something that you save up for, just like a vacation!" -- and often I feel as if I'm speaking another language. So much goes into running a professional photography business: insurance, education, websites, marketing, taxes, fees, equipment, repairs, software, on-and-on-and-on the list goes.  There is a standard in the business that should be respected and followed -- but nowadays so many people get a camera and just start a business. And that is fine - people do have a right to choose what quality level they want.  So please don't misunderstand me...I am NOT being un-supportive of the newbie starting a business {so no need to start sending me nasty emails or comments!}.  Simply - I do wish there was a standard that had to be met to be a business {truly, in a perfect world everyone would insist on meeting and keeping standards of professionalism... but this is not a perfect world, huh?} ... because the general public gets confused that "so-and-so can offer sessions for $50 with a disk of {a gazillion} images, but YOU {the professional photographer who runs a legit photography business and maintains professional standards in pricing & procedures} want me to pay a session fee and purchase prints!?!"  Showing a true need for the general public to be educated as to the difference. I do what I do because I love photography {it's WHO I am... it's WHAT I am} - I have worked on so much about myself as a photographer for years before becoming a business - and I believe in my photography. I believe I offer clients professional work at a great price and an awesome experience backed by the reassurance that I am upholding the standards of an awesome industry!  Clients choose me for my style and vision {they've almost always seen my work before they ever contact me!} but when they hire me they can rest assured that they will be getting quality and expertise. I will always hold to the high standards that maintain the respect for professional photography. 
And yet...I won't walk away from this "business." I might not push quite as hard for business in an area where people are happy with the shoot & burn photographers who do work for cheap and run businesses that are not legit, which sadly disrespects the business of professional photography. I will continue to work on myself as a photographer... to strive to become stronger in my skills, better at my craft, and offer the absolute best experience, work & products to my clients.  I will not compromise what is right to be competitive - when the competition is not offering a product that is up to professional standards - and they are not running a business in a professional and legit manner.
The saddest part to me is when someone says professional photography is "deserved" -- DESERVED is such an abused and misused word. Food to sustain, sense of safety, water to drink, air to breathe...those are things that are deserved. Professional photography, vacations, even cars and houses, etc - those are things that should be worked for, saved for and earned...and hopefully, because there was some sacrifice in obtaining them, they will be even more special and greatly cherished

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" ~Colossian 3:23 ... 

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