It’s almost to the point where you should ask a photographer to “show your stuff”. Seriously, most folks don’t even think to ask what a photographer will take their portraits with – or how they will light it if the light isn’t right in a certain setting. Or even how many different lenses do they have in their bag, so they can achieve different looks. And most folks certainly don’t ask if you know how to use your equipment, or if you just have a spending problem with your equipment. Laugh if you want, but hobbies gone wild are translating into businesses all over the place these days.
Folks just seem to think if they are “in business”, and have “pretty pictures” in an online portfolio, with a BIG camera on your shoulder, they must be a professional.
So in YOUR mind, what makes them a pro? Is it their equipment? Their marketing? Did they tell YOU they were a pro? Or did you see their stuff? That BIG camera hanging off their shoulder? Did you happen to notice how they were using that BIG camera? Was it in “P” mode? (FYI…”P” mode = program mode, which means the CAMERA is making all the decisions for the shooter…so all they have to do is compose the shot…and push the button – it’s really just a BIG point and shoot then, folks)
In the end, if they can’t take the pictures you think they are going to take for you, what are you spending your money on? And why are you wasting your time?
Because just buying a “good camera” and photoshop do NOT make you a professional. Anyone can walk into a big box store and spend a $1000 on a camera, but is that all it takes to make you think they are pro? Hanging what looks like a professional camera on their shoulder? Just putting a watermark on your images and coming up with a business card or logo does NOT make you a professional. It’s knowing how to use your equipment in ALL CIRCUMSTANCES – and I mean USE it – and it’s about your commitment to the business. Because as a business I will provide my customers not just the best products I can, I will maintain my business in a professional way, and I won’t waste their time in a session. I’ll give you your money’s worth in your hour or two hour session with a MULTITUDE of set up options, props, AND lighting configurations that compliment you and the results you desire. Because I can. Because I made that commitment to my business and the investments necessary to provide that experience.
I invite anyone who is interested in seeing my “stuff” – to plan a time to come over and tour my studio. Ask to see my equipment, my backdrops, my props…and you’ll see the difference. I can guarantee it. Because I have more in my 1500 square feet of DEDICATED indoor studio space and 20 acres of outdoor space than anyone else – and I intend for that to continue.
Whether you are hiring someone to take a family portrait at a reunion (and please find someone with light so all the members of your family are actually lit well and not in funny shadows or blown out by the sun), or for your newborn baby (please find someone you can trust to keep your baby safe and still take beautiful images of your precious little one), or even your business image (this is a good one – please check to be sure your skin tone in your image actually looks like yours – did your photographer know the difference?) – make sure you hire a professional who actually has more just a “good camera”.
So ask to see my “stuff”. I won’t be offended, I promise. I LOVE showing off my equipment and my studio space. And I love when folks come here and say “I had no idea this was here”. And “WOW, this is cool”. And I LOVE when folks question me on my pricing – I’m happy to help you see the value in my services and what I can offer. Because although real professionals look like they are more expensive, not only is there a difference in what you’ll get, but you will ONLY HAVE TO DO IT ONCE. And sometimes, once is all you’ve got time for, right?
So bring on the family portraits, business portraits, weddings, events, and my favorite – the high school seniors – yearbook portraits, casual or both – in studio or out. I promise high school seniors in Northern Virginia more dedicated backdrops they’ll love, props they’ll say are cool and options in their images. This is not an old fashioned, boring studio folks. This is DIFFERENT. And this is where you see the professionalism in my business. Because I’m that dedicated to doing it right.
And I’ve got GOOD STUFF.