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Archive 2013 · Client needs vs personal beliefs
  
 
jammin
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p.2 #1 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


My online galleries are only 50 to 100 of the Best Retouched Images.

I ship a selection of all the other images from the day on disc only.

The online gallery shows the story/day unfolding. Maybe this is where the confusion lies for me on this post.



Jan 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM
scottam10
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p.2 #2 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


+1 I think you should only show your best work in the online gallery; showing mediocre shots dilutes the impact of the set

You might show more shots to the couple to allow them to choose between various facial expressions etc, but the 'public' online gallery should just present your best



Jan 21, 2013 at 11:55 AM
ricardovaste
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p.2 #3 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


For the good or bad, this discussion wasn't intended to be about albums, although still interesting to read the different points of view.

TRReichman wrote:
Is it rolling over, or is it core to your brand value? I have a small set of beliefs that I need to be in alignment with the client on. If we agree on those things I can accommodate almost anything. The biggest big-picture things are deal-breakers to me, the details don't bother me. I care about the photography and what it means and what the intent is, the album is not the hill I want to die on. That's just me, you're welcome to your own set of parameters.

- trr


The first response hit the nail on the head, so perhaps that is why words went elsewhere, but anyway, here is another example. A client gets their images from you, they love them, but there are quite a few where they feel their skin doesn't look so great and want you to photoshop it. Do you politely explain how these things aren't important, and that they shouldn't feel they are... be harder and show this is the processing you consistently do, what they saw before, give them a price/refer them to retoucher... or roll over and just do what they want?

I wonder if there is a point where you might stand so strongly behind the core values of your brand, that you might lose sight of the clients needs. OR if you're always in the position to dictate this, no matter what.



Jan 21, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Eyeball
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p.2 #4 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


I sort of said it in the last bullet of my first post but I think photographers need to think about where they are on the artist/service-provider spectrum. The artist end of the spectrum doesn't care much about "client needs", the service-provider side does. The service-provider side is also linked to mundane things like putting a roof over your head and food on the table, too.

Also on the service-side is the level of service and there certainly shouldn't be anything wrong with explaining those levels to the prospect and explaining the benefits TO THEM of the higher levels of service. But you're still on the service-side of the spectrum with that conversation so prospects are totally within their rights to say "I don't need/want and/or can't afford that level of service".

You can decide to present/limit your products and services any way you want and for whatever reason (artistic, business/talent focus, etc.). Probably the most important thing is to communicate that decision in the clearest way possible to the prospect so as to not waste your time nor the prospects' during the sales cycle.



Jan 21, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Bearmann
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p.2 #5 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


RDKirk wrote:
Actually, it's more like going to the Waffle House in Montgomery Alabama and telling the waitress you want jelly on your grits. You will deeply offend her and the entire staff of the restaurant, including the cook, and you may be asked to leave...if you are lucky, that will be a polite request.

Don't ask me how I know.




That was a huge mistake!!!

Next time just ask for a Krispy Kreme donut on the side.



Jan 21, 2013 at 07:50 PM
kwhaley29
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p.2 #6 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


ricardovaste wrote:
"I do not need a wedding album"

I had an inquiry (no doubt fruitless) that contained this phrase exactly, with no real elaboration beyond wanting a disk with edited images.

Do you personally even question this, or just give a price for what they ask?

I guess this is a question about how far you go to push you personal beliefs, philosophies, values onto your client or potential client. This is something I feel quite strong about (within reason), but if someone specifically tells you that they don't care about what you care about, do you bother challenging this, or just roll
...Show more

I think that your personal beliefs or values should be reflected in the service that you offer. If albums are something that you feel strongly about then it should be a product that's automatically included and that should be a part of your brand (i.e. be the photographer who gives every couple an album).

Using the example of the new car that was listed earlier, Toyota is now offering 2-years of "free" maintenance with each new vehicle purchase. It comes with the car whether you want it or not. Now, we could have a whole separate discussion about why they chose to offer it (probably in part because of their recent recall issues) or the various messages that it sends to buyers, but the point is that they have made it a part of their brand. They don't care if you get a basic Corolla or the highest trim level Avalon, if you buy a vehicle from them you get the maintenance regardless. My guess is that if a customer came to them and said that they didn't want their maintenance package because they intended to maintain their vehicle elsewhere (ex: couple doesn't want your album because they plan to make their own) it wouldn't matter, the buyer still gets the maintenance plan whether they intend to use it or not.

You might lose a client here or there but if it's really that important to you then make it a part of your brand.



Jan 22, 2013 at 02:10 PM
jmraso
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p.2 #7 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


kwhaley29 wrote:
I think that your personal beliefs or values should be reflected in the service that you offer. If albums are something that you feel strongly about then it should be a product that's automatically included and that should be a part of your brand (i.e. be the photographer who gives every couple an album).

Using the example of the new car that was listed earlier, Toyota is now offering 2-years of "free" maintenance with each new vehicle purchase. It comes with the car whether you want it or not. Now, we could have a whole separate discussion about why they
...Show more

Wow, thatīs an answer, a good one !!!!



Jan 22, 2013 at 02:28 PM
cordellwillis
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p.2 #8 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


dariussutherla wrote:
Sorry the whole car thing is a very poor analogy. You can tell a story through the process of an online gallery or numbering the images :-)

I personally don't feel the need to restrict a couple to having an album. It is and always will be the couples choice. Each to their own tho, but I view it as forcing an album down a couples throat when they do not want one. You are then also limiting your business to those that want one, fair enough that's what you want to do. I just don't like it.

Stick to your guns
...Show more

It's not "forcing" anyone to do anything. It's certainly not "limiting" my business to whom *I want to service*. It seems that you don't realize that EVERY business has a certain type of customer they service. You don't see it because you are looking at and purchasing from the ones that are in line with your wants and needs; every other business is ignored.

Someone looking for vegetarian food isn't going to go to a steak house. So is the vegetarian restaurant "limiting" it's potential customers, or is the steak house "forcing" steak 'down a customer's throat'

PS, Go ahead and try to buy the new car without wheels if you feel that way.....let me know when you find the franchise dealer



Jan 22, 2013 at 03:03 PM
jmraso
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p.2 #9 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


cordellwillis wrote:
It's not "forcing" anyone to do anything. It's certainly not "limiting" my business to whom *I want to service*. It seems that you don't realize that EVERY business has a certain type of customer they service. You don't see it because you are looking at and purchasing from the ones that are in line with your wants and needs; every other business is ignored.

Someone looking for vegetarian food isn't going to go to a steak house. So is the vegetarian restaurant "limiting" it's potential customers, or is the steak house "forcing" steak 'down a customer's throat'

PS, Go ahead and
...Show more

Another good one !!!



Jan 22, 2013 at 03:20 PM
tonyhart
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p.2 #10 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


I largely agree with Todd's POV on this. I see this sort of qu. pop up a lot and I find it a great shame. I always try and convey to my clients the benefits of an album, but at the end of the day it is their decision, it's not a deal breaker to me. I also make sure that they understand that while their disc also contains the hi-res jpegs, the DVD Slideshow that they'll probably view more often than anything else is a crappy substitute for pretty much any other image consumption method. It's there as a convenience rather than something I think is a great way to view images.

That said my packages don't include albums as standard for two reasons:

1. Sadly, not everyone wants an album
2. I prefer my clients to choose an album on a bespoke basis rather than foisting an album onto them

There are things I'd not budge on though. If a client wants loads of group shots, I'm not the photographer for them. Either they compromise, or I kindly walk away. Likewise if they want a heavily directed photographic experience.

As has been said, it's about figuring out what are your essential tenets and what are the things you simply have a strong opinion on.



Jan 22, 2013 at 03:29 PM
 

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James R
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p.2 #11 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


I haven't looked at my wedding album in 33 years. But, it is a historic document that my children have looked at and will provide glimpses into the past for their children. It is expensive, but beyond immediate gratification, it can serve a vital link in tracking a families history and providing some stability. At the moment i don't see disks or thumbdrives surviving. I still love the look of old wedding photos.


Jan 22, 2013 at 04:38 PM
jammin
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p.2 #12 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


kwhaley29 wrote:
I think that your personal beliefs or values should be reflected in the service that you offer. If albums are something that you feel strongly about then it should be a product that's automatically included and that should be a part of your brand (i.e. be the photographer who gives every couple an album).

Using the example of the new car that was listed earlier, Toyota is now offering 2-years of "free" maintenance with each new vehicle purchase. It comes with the car whether you want it or not. Now, we could have a whole separate discussion about why they
...Show more


WHAT

Toyota are giving it to the customers. They haven't added it on or at least it's made to look like that. If the car is the same price as it always has been and they've added the warranty fair enough. If they've added the warranty as s standard but pushed the cost on to the customer then I would not buy from them. The same way I wouldn't buy from someone forcing me to have an album

You are not giving an album to your customers for FREE it's already marked up in your price so they have no choice but to pay for it if they go for you.



Jan 22, 2013 at 04:53 PM
jammin
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p.2 #13 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


tonyhart wrote:
I largely agree with Todd's POV on this. I see this sort of qu. pop up a lot and I find it a great shame. I always try and convey to my clients the benefits of an album, but at the end of the day it is their decision, it's not a deal breaker to me. I also make sure that they understand that while their disc also contains the hi-res jpegs, the DVD Slideshow that they'll probably view more often than anything else is a crappy substitute for pretty much any other image consumption method. It's there as a
...Show more

I need to start doing this. I CANNOT bare the group shots :-)



Jan 22, 2013 at 04:55 PM
jammin
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p.2 #14 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


For the good or bad, this discussion wasn't intended to be about albums, although still interesting to read the different points of view.

It was about your core values and albums were one of those things.

Everyone can do what they please in business, it's their business, if it works it works, but holding on to core values / principles when you are struggling to put food on the table and pay the bills might start to look a little bit silly at some point.

if you can do it, do it. As a poster mentioned above. He refuses group shots. That's actually where I want to be, but at the moment I don't want to turn business down because I need to build it, but if I knew I would be get the 20 or 30 weddings a year via clients that didn't want group shots, I would send the other type packing straight away, in fact they wouldn't even get to the meeting stage because I would tell them up front..



Jan 22, 2013 at 04:59 PM
dmacmillan
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p.2 #15 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


James R wrote:
At the moment i don't see disks or thumbdrives surviving. I still love the look of old wedding photos.

I'll come back to the quote after thoughts on what I think the OP was addressing.

When I did wedding photography back in the '80's, I did clean, traditional wedding photography. Multiple exposures (B&G looking down on ceremony, etc.) and twinkie filters were still the fad. I explained my reasoning for only offering a "timeless" style and offered to suggest other photographers if they were interested in special effects. Instead of losing business, I think I attracted more of the clientele I wanted to serve.

Is structuring your business so that albums are not an option the same? I don't know. If it is important to you, I think you could turn your belief into a marketing stance. The higher up the chain you are, the more likely you can adhere to such personal standards.

As to the quote above, I also love the look of old wedding photos. My mother's wedding portrait hangs in a place of honor in our home.

I also worry about long term digital files. My son just took a job at an institution with which our family has a relationship that goes back to the 19th century. He wanted to hang photos in his office celebrating that relationship. We spent the weekend scanning photos 100+ years old and making prints to display. 100+ years from now, what are the chances of that happening with digital files?



Jan 22, 2013 at 05:25 PM
jammin
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p.2 #16 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


Is structuring your business so that albums are not an option the same? I don't know. If it is important to you, I think you could turn your belief into a marketing stance. The higher up the chain you are, the more likely you can adhere to such personal standards.

Exactly.

On your other point of digital files lasting.

If you don't purchase an album, it doesn't mean you wont get prints...Nothing lasts forever so the conundrum of preservation will always be an issue



Jan 22, 2013 at 05:28 PM
cordellwillis
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p.2 #17 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


jammin wrote:
WHAT

Toyota are giving it to the customers. They haven't added it on or at least it's made to look like that. If the car is the same price as it always has been and they've added the warranty fair enough. If they've added the warranty as s standard but pushed the cost on to the customer then I would not buy from them. The same way I wouldn't buy from someone forcing me to have an album

You are not giving an album to your customers for FREE it's already marked up in your price so they have no choice but
...Show more

You surely would purchase from them (Toyota). Why?! because you basically don't know they "pushed" that warranty onto you. It's not hidden cost; it's simple costs. Businesses do it every single day...one way or another. If they raise the price of the car $500 over last years price you don't know why. The accountants do tho You will likely chaulk it up to rising cost over last years model and buy it. It's no different than any other cost withing the vehicle as a whole. Hyundai been doing it from day one! It's part of their business model.

If you haven't, I strongly suggest you take business, accounting, and marketing classes. Things will become clearer.



Jan 22, 2013 at 05:55 PM
sozypozy
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p.2 #18 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


Personal beliefs do matter but then if you are shooting for a client you have to make sure they are satisfied with the results.


Jan 22, 2013 at 08:21 PM
kwhaley29
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p.2 #19 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


jammin wrote:
WHAT

Toyota are giving it to the customers. They haven't added it on or at least it's made to look like that. If the car is the same price as it always has been and they've added the warranty fair enough. If they've added the warranty as s standard but pushed the cost on to the customer then I would not buy from them. The same way I wouldn't buy from someone forcing me to have an album

You are not giving an album to your customers for FREE it's already marked up in your price so they have no choice but
...Show more

It's included with the purchase of the vehicle...which means that ultimately the customer bears the cost of the service. From their website - "We at Toyota are committed to safety and dependability, and proper vehicle maintenance is important to both. That’s why we include a complimentary maintenance plan and roadside assistance with the purchase or lease of every new Toyota."

To relate this back to the topic, a photographer who strongly believes that a wedding album is essential to the preservation of the memories of the event and to the storytelling experience could incorporate this same approach into their brand by making albums standard for every package or level of service. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this is the right option for every photographer. But I think that if it is that important to you, regardless of what it may be, then you convey that by making it a staple of your brand.




Jan 22, 2013 at 08:34 PM
D. Diggler
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p.2 #20 · Client needs vs personal beliefs


jammin wrote:
As a poster mentioned above. He refuses group shots.


If it's the same post I'm thinking of, he said he doesn't do "loads" of group shots.

Personally, I've never met a client who doesn't want group shots. I would think most any photog who refuses all group shots is going to be out of business pretty quick.



Jan 22, 2013 at 11:07 PM
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