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Beware of Becoming a Commodity

Photographers | Zookbinders

Many photographers I work with tell me that price is the number one concern raised by prospective clients.  While price is always important, the key to getting hired is solving a problem (“I need a wedding photographer and am not sure who to hire?”), and not allowing price to become the only thing. The dramatic increase in low-price competitors has wreaked havoc on more established, competent photographers who trade on quality. The result is that the established pros can become even more fixated on price than their clients and lose sight of other ways to set themselves apart.  When price becomes their primary focus, they diminish themselves and their photography to nothing more than a commodity. A commodity, in the true sense of the word is raw material to be bought and sold. It can be mass produced, mined or harvested and is unspecialized. Commodities trade on thin profit margins and lack distinguishing characteristics beyond the price. It stands to reason that the lowest priced commodity is the best commodity. While going up against much cheaper competitors can seem like an enormous challenge, even the most cynical photographer would agree that wedding photography is far from a commodity. In fact quite the opposite is true. No two photographers will approach a wedding in exactly the same way. Even if they were to use identical cameras, lenses and flash, no two photographers would come away with images that look even remotely alike. Furthermore, no two photographers would interact with the couple and their guests in the same way. They would not edit their images just the same, nor would they assemble those images in a wedding album in just the same way. When you get down to it there’s virtually nothing about wedding photography that can be thought of as interchangeable or unspecialized and photographers would do well to focus their sales consultations on how the client’s needs will be met and how their concerns about their photography purchase can be addressed. Do people ever spend more than they need to any given purchase? You bet they do! Take a look around the next time you are out on the road. How many BMWs, Lexus, Audis and Cadillacs do you see? Don’t reduce your trade to a commodity.  Instead, sell it as the highly specialized, and personal service that it really is, and the conversation will move quickly away from “price”.  When you deliver on your promise, your clients won’t even remember how much they paid you, but they’ll be able to remember everything else. For more information about Zookbinders and our products and services, visit our website – www.zookbinders.com.

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