Couple in Brooklyn
Second blog in the month of September and the month isn’t even at the half way mark. This is pretty good for me. Fashion Week is about to wind down in a couple of days, so that means shortly thereafter, I will be back into full-swing again. Nice vacation (if you want to call it that).
The reason for this blog (which is another one geared totally to photographers) is about what we do as it pertains to the industry. When it comes to working (be it a bus driver, a pastry chef, a teacher or a judge), we do one of two things. We either provide a service, or we provide goods. In some instances, we provide both.
And photographers, that is we do, we provide a service (photography) and lastly goods (photographs).
So what separates you from the next photographer? What makes a client decide to shoot with you instead of going to a competitor, and lastly, what makes that client become a repeat customer? The bottom line is: YOU.
My friend and world renowned runway coach Michael Maddox said something to me one time that he tells models all the time and it’s stuck with me: “get it right the first time and they will come back.”
If you provide shoddy service, and a substandard product, trust me, they will not come back. It’s the simple difference of going to a restaurant and in Restaurant A you have to always ask for water, and in Restaurant B, your glass is never empty. Guess which restaurant will get the repeat patronage? It’s the little things and attention to detail that will keep the client coming back.
I had a client come to me a few years ago for a photoshoot. She never had a photoshoot before, and it was a treat to herself. I provided hair, makeup, styling and of course photography. All she had to do was come through, relax and have a good time.
Even prior to shooting, I gave her the information of my crew so they can get her prepped for whatever items she may need, so when time came for her photo shoot, she walked into the studio as if it were a party and she was the guest of honor. In all, she received “The Dallas Experience.” To this very day she says “I’ve never had a photoshoot like that in my entire life. When you are served filet mignon, how the hell can you go back to baloney?” When people ask her my rate, they balk, and she replies every single time: “you get what you pay for.”
And it made me think. That is what I have that separates me from the next photographer and that is what separates the good photographers from the great photographers and ultimately, that is what keeps them coming back.
It doesn’t matter if you produce stellar images, but the experience was awful. By the end of the day, the only thing the client will remember is the bad experience. If you produce a stellar product AND give them an experience that they can remember, they will do two things:
1. Become a repeat customer; and
2. Tell others about their experience with you
And in the end, that is what you want.
It doesn’t matter if I shoot a model, a family portrait or a corporate executive. They come to me to have their photograph taken, they leave me having had an experience.
That is ultimately what you provide as a photographer: an experience.
Always make it a good one.