SPECIAL: If You Can Afford Yourself, You're Too Cheap!
A lot of photographers have talked about the fact that brides only want cds you know, everyone kind of tech savvy these days and I'm like how do you how do you deal with that? How do you amar though is that not your clientele? Well it's not my client till the one that wants just the shooting burn kind of thing however I don't hold those hostage anyway I give them all of my clients I give them their disk of high risk files I wanted to have him, I told you don't want to do this stupid christmas cards, but I believe it's that's not really the problem is whether they're getting the disc that's not the problem. The problem is this that photography is becoming it's becoming so cheap because the people who are doing the shooting burn kind of thing are so inexpensive that they could afford to hire themselves so they have no appreciation for the value that they're producing a good product and because of that because they're not charging anything to begin with that's really why we hate shooting ...
burn it's really not because of the shooting burn part it's because because all this cheap you know the photographers you're willing to photograph a wedding for two hundred bucks the problem with that is that that wedding photography is a hell of a lot of work it is extremely hard it is very, very stressful, and you have to go to plan a, b, c, d, e f g, and I think that when photographers are are when I think they cheapen what they do and they have no respect for the amount of work that they're going to have to produce to do that job, they think, oh, well, fifty cent cd while I'm making a good living, no, I'm afraid you're not if you're not, and and my philosophy is that, um um gosh, what is it? Is that it's? Not how much you charge to photograph an event that matters? It really doesn't matter how much you charge it's, what do you get to keep that's, really, what matters? Because I know a number of photographers who charge a lot of money to photograph a wedding, but they give so much product away and they get they are there for so many days that that they're really working for twenty dollars an hour. And then I know a number of photographers who charged a relatively small amount, you know, maybe three or four thousand dollars to shoot an event, but they're only there for three or four hours. And they're not giving their house away their their cost of goods is very, very minimal, so in that case they're actually making a very good living so I would say it's not how much you charge it's what you get to keep and then I would say that that this is the most important lesson I ever learned I learned it from denis reggie and I learned it almost twenty years ago and this you can absolutely take to the bank if you can afford to hire yourself, you are too inexpensive and the other thing that I have learned is that anything at all that you and I value we pay for, we're willing to pay more for and that may be instead of charging so little we should think about the fact that, you know, if we charge more than maybe our products would be viewed as worthy of more, you know, there are two times in our lives are very few times in our lives when we give ourselves permission to spend money, think about it, how many of you have ever waited till christmas eve to buy your wife, your husband gift and you think on christmas eve you're going to run over that mall five minutes to six? You're going well, I want to think about this let know your butt in the sling if you don't bring home something and at that point you don't even care you just want you know that you're gonna be a big trouble if you don't write so you're not buying a carton of eggs people you're not buying eggs when they hire your services is the photographer they're hiring a skilled person that understands how to communicate with people who understand emotional experiences a and yes knows an f stop from a bus stop and knows how to make somebody not just to press the shutter but no sort of flattered their subject make them look beautiful and so I believe that that quite often that the photographers who are willing to charge more for their services because they are worth it and that people will willing are willing to spend more on them because it makes them feel secure to do it you know it's kind of like this and this is going to sound completely ridiculous but you tell me this isn't true okay in northern california plastic surgery is a big deal. Okay, so imagine in your mind that you are that you decide you go go get get facelift ok? So the first guy you go see that you go to this guy he's he works out of his home he's only twenty five hundred dollars to give you a full facelift ok, so you get to his house and here's this some his mother comes to the door to greet you his mother comes the door she's got a syria hanging out of her mouth right here she blows smoke in your face and she says hey honey come on in if you come in you gotta shoot the cat's off the couch okay but you come down and then the doctor comes in and he's he's a little disheveled looking he probably had took a nap in the afternoon or something you know his hair's a little messy is wearing just a little jeans and stuff he said well, come on I'll say he says we do you know we do surgery in my garage okay? So takes you out to the garage in its clean looking but you know it is after all his garage in this mother still stand there smoking like a chimney and on top of that she's only sixty five years old but she looks like she's about one hundred five so but it's only twenty five hundred bucks and if you book today you can come in this weekend and get your face lift done how many of you in this room would do that none of us would write would be scared to death you know he's not a real doctor, right? He probably got ordered his his his doctor's certificate online, you know, and then you know he's he's so not a real doctor now the other scenario you have to this other doctor that you're going to see that and I mean you go and you had to first of all pay fifty dollars to get an appointment to go see this guy you walk in and there's this beautiful woman and she's perfectly coughed and everything and she makes a point of telling you that she's sixty five years and you're going holy cow she reflection about forty years old she looks really put together very attractive and very well mannered then they take into this other little room and the doctor comes in these little doctor hat on and everything and a little bit because he just came out of surgery and he's wearing, you know, his perfect little doctor outfit he looks like a real doctor right? He comes in and he looks perfect too he said he just has everything nipped and tucked in the right places and looks really good and so he sits down there he talks to you personally and he's sitting a little bit lower than you so that you feel like you're in command and then he started telling you about security and about this wonderful experience and how you're going to feel when you're done and he he really paints this picture and because the entire the entire experience validates that when he tells you it's twenty five thousand dollars you would readily pay it because it makes you feel secure you go there there's no way I don't care because there's some things money can't buy and I'm sorry but if my eyeballs down on my cheek when I'm done I'm gonna be in trouble and I don't care if it's twenty five dollars you're not gonna want that so the moral of the story is that there are occasions in our life when it's appropriate for us to spend more money and it makes us feel good it makes it makes it feel more secure to do so and when a man vice his girlfriend that three carat diamond ring by the way michael that is at least three it's a three month salary right? What would you say if he brought you home a cubic zirconia? Okay, I'm sorry go be happening because there's times in our lives when it's appropriate to spend money and so I really I think this is absolutely where I come from I came from an extremely poor family when I was a child a toast was a luxury I go to my girlfriend's house is we have toast for breakfast and you could have died and gone to heaven but you know what's really funny in my little neighborhood in columbus, georgia I lived in a shotgun house and a shotgun houses when you can walk to the front door and you could shoot a shotgun and it would go out the back door that's what a shotgun house is ok, but I lived in one of those well, when you think about that and then you think about the fact that, um, some of my neighbors drove cadillacs, they do have really nice cars who told them they could buy that cadillac. Did they buy that? You think that that car dealer gave them a deal and said, well, you know, you live in that neighborhood, you know, you couldn't afford to spend forty thousand dollars on that car fifty thousand don't know we're going to give you a deal. You think they did that? No, they say that car is fifty thousand dollars, and if you like it, you're going to buy it, and some of my neighbors lived in cars that were way nicer than their homes were and it's because it was important to them and so that's my philosophies, I believe that if it's important to you that you will spend money on things that are valuable. My goal as a photographer and as an instructor is to teach photographers how to value their craft and that that we want to hold our heads up high and we want to be able to send our children to college and have a wonderful life style, just as you do, I do not ever let a client dictate my price and I will end it on that you're here. Sorry, this's. Absolute, my big soapbox that bugs me, the devil. I mean, I just because it's it's really a shame, because we're the wedding industry, especially when we fooling ourselves because we're working our butts off, is the hardest kind of photography out there. And yet many of us are just starving to death and that's. Why we're you know, becoming we're becoming a way of the dinosaur anymore. Well, everyone online, and I think everyone in this room appreciates what you're saying, so thank you very much.