You push a button on the really nice camera and then run it through a neat little filter. That's all photographers do, right? Then, why are we expensive, and why would any client want to invest that much into a good photographer? Wouldn't it be easier to buy a camera and push the button yourself?
Photographers Do What?
Imagine what it would mean if photography clients knew how hard you worked before the initial consultation call. That before they get an email response from the photographer, he or she already researched their brand and name. We studied the social channels and already had a few ideas cooking up before we dialed the numbers.
Have they already decided if this opportunity might be a good business decision or are they asking for free work? Would they respect our rate, or is the email even from a legitimate client? There’s an entire process that creatives do before the initial client call. It requires a lot of research, and it simply takes time to do this. Keep reading, because the point is to prove we do more than push a button.
For the record, we haven't even hit pre-production yet. This is only pre-qualifying the client and figuring out the direction of the photo shoot. During pre-production, we work on finding locations, the right team, and even the right looks for the project. Then, we have the day(s) of production, post-production, and what I call client-nurturing. That's an entire adventure on its own!
Walid Azami photographing Taylor Zakhar Perez
Why Is This Important?
I made this video because it’s important to educate our clients. I cannot expect my clientele to know what I do with each shoot if I don’t take the time to voice it. Now, am I going to force them to watch this video? Obviously not, but I am suggesting we speak more about our process and talk about the steps we are taking to guarantee a successful project.
They should know the thought process behind casting your model or selecting the perfect location. They should have an understanding to the mood board and why it's important. They should realize it is more than slapping photographs on a board and exporting to a PDF. It's actually careful thought behind each image, and that's what makes our rates worth every dollar.
They should know the steps it takes for production, post-production, and all your reasons behind your creation. Remember that anyone can buy a camera, but only you can do it your way. Give them access to your creative process. When you do this, they start to value your contribution more and more.
Know Your Power
We do a lot. We launch businesses, records, movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, careers, political careers and agendas, and sometimes even someone's dating life. We tell stories the media may not cover, and we are present in nearly every business industry. No matter what industry we contribute to, our work helps the client stand out in a competitive market. We do all of that with our form of storytelling and unique vision. So yeah, we do more than just push a button. Know your value, respect your wage.