The past couple of weeks I have had a chance to sit down with a number of photographers. I have been hearing a lot of the same things from these people and I thought that it would be worth sharing with others.
Several points keep coming to the forefront:
1) For those that do shoot & burn weddings (shoot the wedding and burn the digital files to disk for the client) I have been hearing a number of photographers mention that their customers are complaining about bad prints. What is happening is that the clients are taking the disk of images to a discount lab to get prints made and they are coming back horrible. Most times the photographer does not know how their client feels as they don’t hear about the bad prints, and the clients think it is the photographer ~ because the lab says it is not them. Usually when the photographer hears it is through a third party and the printing damage is done.
2) Many photographers have seen a drop in the number of assignments that they are having. A couple photographers actually inquired of past customers and received some feedback about what they thought. One big point is that clients were not happy with the final prints (all that mentioned this had been having prints done at local one hour labs), the common statement went something like “…. the service was great, we were not happy with the way the final prints looked. The prints looked like the ones that you get from a one hour lab ~ not professional prints”. One photographer actually brought us a couple of images to print that they had done someplace else to see what their client thought, the quote form their client was “These are amazing, we never thought that the printing would do that!!!!”
3) Many of the photographers also mentioned that they needed something to add a WOW factor to the services that they were offering. They have been giving 4×6 & 5×7 prints and their clients were not impressed any longer with this.
In just about all the comments one thing was clear, clients want/demand something more than a cheap 4×6 or 5×7 one hour print. We have been saying for years that if photographers want to survive that they need to set themselves apart from what uncle Bob is doing ~ usually for free because he is a relative and wants to be helpful. Uncle Bob can have the nice camera, but many times he is handing the wedding couple a disk and that is it. Or he is printing some prints at the one hour place and handing them to the couple. The problem is if that is what the “professional” photographer is doing we are not setting ourselves apart and WOW’ing our clients.
So what should photographers be doing?
First, every client should be getting a WOW picture. Something that stands out like a 16×20 or 20×24 portrait fully finished!! Second you should be providing your clients with some professionally printed images that they can show friend’s and family so they can see what a great picture looks like. Prints that they cannot get at the local one hour!
Finally if you are handing over the disk to the client make sure they know the difference in the printing that they will get.
Remember we need to set ourselves apart for the positive and one of the best ways to do this is with professional printing!
To help with giving some wow to your photography we are offering a coupon for a discount in printing that you can give to your client to get professional printing. That way they will get the best image possible from your files. Drop us an E-mail and we will run off some discount coupons for you!