Do Soccer Moms Give Clients What They Want?

All of us Professional Photographers get all high and mighty when we talk about the untrained masses descending into our profession, but do students and soccer mom give clients what they want more than we do?  In a recent poll of our high school seniors and family clients we asked their favorite type of photograph/background idea (along with many other marketing and merchandising questions). The single most selected type of photograph or background idea were portraits taken outdoors at a location.  At a location has significance, because when we asked clients to explain the type of outdoor portraits they like they explained photographs taken at a location, not in a little garden like those outside of many studio buildings,  (meaning they wanted the depth and scale of a location like a park, river/lake location or country-side type area).

As professional photographers what is the first type of photography we either give up or charge such a high price for clients don’t select…? Portrait on Location!  Because soccer mom’s and students don’t have a studio, these vary locations are the places they are forced to work from, but lucky for them these are also the most popular background choices for paying clients.  Maybe it’s not that clients are using the services of less trained photog’s just because of price, maybe it is that they offer (by necessity) what the client wants!

Professional Photographer’s Egos will start crying out, “oh but I have the skills, the knowledge of lighting and posing….I have my art!”  That very ego that has photographers calling what they do “Art” and calling themselves “Visual Artists” gets photographers thinking in the terms of, “this is my art….I will tell the client what is good”.  In many cases some photographer get so wrapped up in “their art” they forget to ask the ones paying the bill for their art what it is they actually want.  You have to give the client what they want, at a price they can afford!  Do get me wrong, I am all about profit, but if clients like portraits on location and you can take better photographs than the soccer moms and students can, why not set up a morning or afternoon at a location and have that be your studio for a block of clients.  This way the cost of travel to and from the location is divided between many clients and you can offer portraits on location at the same price as portraits in the studio?  This way you can give clients what they want, at a price they can afford and take back some of the clients the untrained masses have taken from you!  If you want to learn more about photographing clients at all times of the day click to my Outdoor Portrait Photography Video Clip on YouTube or purchase one of my books on Outdoor Portrait Photography by clicking on the book.


~ by jeffsmithbooks on February 21, 2010.

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