Hello! I’ve been doing a lot of reading and talking with lots of clients about the ways they have been happy with the way I work with them and thought it might be interesting to share some extra detail that I guess I don’t really promote in my quotes to people because they are things that I just do for my clients – mainly because I think it’s important to provide the best service possible to them and ensure they love their wedding or family photo shoots we do.
So here goes…please don’t think I’m tooting my own trumpet – these are some things past customers have said about me and I’m completely flattered!
I’m easy going and fun to be around – I love what I do and have a lot of energy. I’ll work hard to get great shots that you love. It may mean lots of hugs and kisses (not from me – but you with your husband/wife or family! Lol) but they help get some of the best shots. It’s all about connections people make with each other that result in beautiful photos.
I listen to peoples priorities and desires for their photos – this is really important so you are happy with the end result. Obviously I shoot in my own style but I want to hear what you want and what you want to get out of the photo shoot.
I’m professional – yes, I’m a member of the Aipp (Australian Institute of Professional Photographers) and I do this as my full time job, so it is very important that everything I do – from the way I conduct myself, to the information and products I deliver are of a high level and professional in all aspects.
Being organised – believe it or not, this is really important! I don’t just rock up and shoot a wedding or family. I have a plan! I know what I want to shoot that day, the sorts of shots the client wants, the mood captured, the guest shots. This not only relates to a photo shoot, but also in the preparation to booking a client. There is a small amount of information I collect from clients so I can create a booking and do my paperwork.
Communication – this is a really important thing for me. I believe it’s very important that I communicate with my clients regularly. For weddings, I always catch up within a month to the wedding date to go over the plans for the day so we are on the same page, I’ll even chat to them on the morning of the wedding to discuss weather (if required) and plans of we need to. I talk my clients through the whole process from start to finish so the expectations are set on the table right from the beginning and they know how I work and when they can expect to see their photos, photo books/prints and so forth.
Experience is worth it – I’ve been doing photography for over 12 years and yes, while it started out as a hobby it has developed into a full time job. I have done over 150 weddings and thus have shot in a really large variety of situations/venues and lighting. Experience can’t be underestimated and I can’t describe how disappointed I get when I hear that a bride has trusted her cousin to take a few shots of their wedding and the images didn’t turn out or they didn’t really know how to pose them. It’s not just about being able to use a camera – I’m sure there are plenty of techno savvy people out there who can probably get more out of my camera than me, but I also have more people experience – the skills to work with clients and how to pose and move them, work with beautiful lighting, the ability to put people at ease on their wedding day, work with a change of weather, sew dresses (trust me this has happened – I grew up with a seamstress and can sew!), fix hair and boost the bridal party with gummy bears to keep their energy levels up – amongst many other things.
Not to mention post photo shoot – editing photos so they are natural and timeless. I believe this is really important as styles and fads come and go – this happens with photos too. While I like photos to be representative of the particular time period they are taken in, I like to ensure they remain as classic and appealing for many many years to come.
Images correct straight out of camera – believe it or not, there are lots of people who rely on being able to edit the shots to the correct lighting once the photo shoot is over. While this is possible, it doesn’t get you the best result. Many years ago I used to rely on this too but made myself work on getting the images exactly how I want them, so I can show my clients on the shoot a few shots when I see the image is exactly what I was trying to do. 90-95 percent of my images are good to go straight out of the camera but of course I like to convert some to black and white and I might lighten a few up where the exposure was just off. This not only makes my life easier when it comes to editing, it means the photos are at their best possible resolution and setting for editing.
Using a flash – I think flashes have their place and I know they can be super handy but I believe you don’t get the true feel for an image if it’s been filled with flash. I don’t think every shot needs to be soft and fluffy but I certainly believe there is room for this to a degree. Don’t get me wrong, flash is super handy when you are shooting indoors in a dark room and without you simply wouldn’t capture the people properly. But I believe in full daylight one should know how to adjust their camera to expose the shot properly.
Price isn’t everything – price is a touchy subject. At the end of the day, we all have a budget to work to. I price my work based on the number of years experience I have, hours that I work on a job and products I produce for clients. If I were to hire a plumber, I would expect to pay a fair rate because I want them to do a good job. The same goes with a photographer. We also work hard (possibly harder than we should) and yes, while many many people can also take images, my income pays for my family meals, school fees, a mortgage and clothes – the usual stuff we need to live.
And an all round nice person – when I shoot weddings I am with clients for often over 6 hours. At the end of the day, we have built up such rapport and friendship, that I am so happy to see them again when it comes to delivering their photos. This is the same with families. I love to hear about peoples stories, what they do, where their kids go to school, what makes them tick. It’s really important to me and I can’t explain why I just like to get to know people. But I find the relationships I develop with people is really great and so if they want to do another photo shoot down the track, it’s great to catch up and hear all about the past year or so and everyone is comfortable – thus resulting in a great photo shoot.
So there you have it! Just a little personal note and I hope you get something out it.