It seems like every day, I encounter a new photographer in the area. Sometimes they come and go before I even recognize they had a presence. In their quest to take start their business, they usually offer everything and the kitchen sink for next to nothing in order to fill their portfolio up with images. I remember when I first started, I would do shoots for free at first. Then, slowly, started charging. As I got more educated, more experienced and wiser with business sense, I realized that I had to treat this as a business and not as a fun hobby in order to make it.
The days of taking portraits and giving the clients a DVD of un-edited images, un-color corrected, un-retouched portraits are over. Why? Because I believe that the work that hits the street that I call “Mine” should be nothing but the best. Everything is finished. From retouching to printing, the image is a prized possession that will last the test of time.
So, the question that always swirls around in my head is two part. First, why do photographers or so called photographers under cut other photographers by giving out a ton of images on a DVD, or a download that have blinks, are not color corrected, bad lighting and in general look horrible after being in the business of photography for a few years?
And secondly, I often wonder does the client really know the difference between a properly lit image, a properly color corrected image or are they just price shopping?
As part of all my portrait sessions, I explain to the client that their session does not end after I click the shutter. He/She is invited back to my studio where I will personally sit down with them and teach them what to look for in a great photograph. Mind you, this is not done by putting images in an online gallery. The next step is retouching and color correction with the chosen images. This is huge. Lets say that on the day of your session, you woke up with a blemish. Why would you want to see that on your final image? Was there lint on your clothing? Does your skin color look normal?
And lastly, the print. There is definitely something to be said for having that final image to display. And yes, on archival paper to last for years and years.
So, while it seems like I am on a tangent about other photographers, I am not. I just wish that everyone would do their research. I guess it always boils down to that old saying… “You get what you pay for!”