Pick Two

I just finished reading a post by The Online Photographer about wedding photography that reminded me of something my dad talks about quite often. In his post Mike Johnston says:

So every now and then someone says, can you recommend a good wedding photographer? There have been a few I’ve recommended over the years, including the late Susan Kennedy, in the Washington, D.C. area, who had a knack for putting brides at ease and adding a nice presence to the ceremony. But most of the time, regardless of who I recommend, and regardless of price they charge, the follow-up is the same: can’t you recommend somebody cheaper?

Well, heck. And then a third of the couples in America complain about their wedding photography. (One day I’m going to write a book called “Two Plus Two,” about the many ways in which people overlook obvious explanations for things that are right in front of their noses—for instance, in the 1980s there were thousands of spooky, unexplained Elvis sightings. There were also 200 full- or part-time Elvis impersonators in America! Put two and two together, people….) So do you want cheap or do you want good? The two can be different things.

One of the things we notice when quoting projects is that no matter how low we quote the most common response is that it’s too much – and our fatal flaw is charging too little already. It is generally clients like these that want a lot of extras or demand a great deal of time and effort to be complete sooner than humanly possible.

We always seem to say that you can get your project done quick, cheap or good, and you can only pick 2. You can get a good project done quickly but it’s going to cost you. You can get a good project done inexpensively but it’s not necessarily going to get done quickly and we’re not going to allow for a lot of on-location time. If you want a cheap project done within a week, it’s not going to be great. (You get the idea.)

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