There’s a truth behind the saying, “Cheap work isn’t good and good work isn’t cheap.” It’s practically the foundation of the Iron Triangle or the Project Management Triangle that essentially says you can pick two between good, fast, or cheap, but you can’t have all three.
Where do your priorities fall when booking your photographer? Do you want a photographer who produces high-quality work quickly? You got it–but it’s not going to be cheap. On the other hand, you can book one who finishes your images quickly and inexpensively–but the quality isn’t going to be there. How about a photographer who provides unmatched quality at a budget-conscious price? He’s out there, but you’re going to have to wait.
When searching for a pet photographer, one of the best things to keep in mind is the difference between value and price. Repeat after me: value is not the same as price. Price, for instance, is merely the monetary amount required to purchase a service or product; value, on the other hand, is defined by The Oxford English Dictionary as “the worth of something compared to the price paid or asked for it,” or simply the satisfaction and benefit one finds in a particular service or product. Look beyond price by learning what sets your prospective photographer apart from others in terms of service and quality you can expect to receive. Sure, any photographer can compete on price. Compare costs and you’re guaranteed to find a range of pricing, but does that speak to the level of personalized client experience and archival-quality work you’re hoping for?
Rather than choosing your pet photographer based solely on price, consider these three areas.
Photographing pets is not easy and just because someone can produce good photographs does not mean he knows how to work specifically with pets. You likely wouldn’t hire a landscape photographer to photograph a newborn session or a sports photographer to shoot your wedding, right? There is something to be said about specializing in a niche. The level of expertise and experience your photographer brings will make a significant difference in the quality of your images.
Sure, there needs to be a quality in the actual images and products from your photographer–that’s a given–but you should also look into the quality you’re getting in terms of customer service. How important this area is for each client will certainly vary, so you must consider how valuable an incredible client experience is to you. Do you want a photographer who guides you through the entire photography experience and who is there to answer questions along the way (or before they even arise) or are you just looking for someone to shoot your session and send over digitals? Neither is better or worse than the other, necessarily–depending on what you’re looking for, that is. Remember, you get what you pay for.
I have found that for many clients, booking their Bark & Gold Photography session is often their first venture into professional photography of any kind. Knowing that, I place a lot of value in creating a welcoming experience where I can address common client concerns, achieve beautiful images by providing tips on handling their dog during their session, and offer suggestions on how most clients choose to display their images. Custom client guides, a variety of session location options, a private client portal, a simple yet thorough product guide, session reminder cards, and even a special welcome package mailed to your home are just a few of the ways I begin cultivating a unique and meaningful experience leading up to your session.
On average, I have found that I invest approximately 10-14 hours per client from the moment their inquiry form hits my inbox to the delivery of their heirloom art products, and the appreciation I receive from my clients following our time together is worth every second.
So, good, fast, or cheap: you can only pick two.