If you are like me you get feedback requests from nearly every online service you use. I get texts from my cell phone company asking me to fill in surveys after every call I make to them, emails from news sites I subscribe to asking for my opinion, and then there are all those annoying little slidey-up, pop-up windows that appear when you’ve visited a site asking for your opinion. Not to mention apps that periodically request a review – even ones you’ve already paid for. I get it – businesses large and small (especially small) often thrive on positive reviews and sink on negative ones. Word of mouth marketing can be the Midas Touch or the Kiss of Death, depending on how well you perform as a business in satisfying your customer needs. For an independent freelance photographer, providing superior client service is just table stakes. Nonetheless, I’ve always believed that if a client is really happy with your work, they will make the time to say so. If you’ve really done a great job, telling their friends and network about you will reflect well on them as you can then provide the same great service to their social circles. Everybody wins.
But I respect my clients and people’s time above everything and since I find requests for feedback increasingly annoying, I assume others do as well.
Which is my round-about way of saying, that I’ve created a separate page on a the pretty popular recommendations service, Yelp, where reviews from my past, present and perhaps future clients are welcome. Good or not, your honest, real feelings and thoughts on the work I’ve done for and with you are welcome and if you feel so inclined, and have the time, please stop by and let me – and the world – know what you think.
I’ve create a very brief (8 multiple choice question) survey to help determine my event photography rates for 2013 and if you can spare a minute to tell me what you think, your opinion will have a direct impact on what I will be charging in 2013. You can jump to the survey here if you are ready to go.
Every year at this time of year, I take stock of the event photography contracts I’ve had (and it has been a very busy year) and start looking forward to next year’s calendar. While the average event-goer carries around a smart phone and only ever snaps photos with it, event organizers and event planners are still hiring – and still need – a professional event photographer to fully capture and document the event. Having covered hundreds of events as an event photographer in Montreal, I can understand and anticipate the kind of images a client will be expecting. A typical 3-4 hour event will yield approximately 250-400 images. Of which probably only 20-30 images will ever be used and published according to the client’s needs (either on a website, in an internal or external publication, or as part of a mailing campaign, etc). Making sure that the images a client will value are in the images delivered is a key component of my job as an event photographer.
Getting the right images while seamlessly joining the event so as not to be too much of a distraction to guests and event planners takes practice, top of the line equipment and experience. To keep at it, year in and year out ultimately requires a clientèle that needs and values the service and product I have to offer. To stay relevant and ensure that I can deliver what clients want includes matching my offer to what they can realistically afford to pay. Many event photography contracts are won or lost based on price alone, and while this should not be the main criteria, it often is – hence the need for input from clients and people whose roles within their organizations have them contracting an event photographer at least once a year.
So if you are an event planner, event organizer, PR consultant or communications coordinator or manager who regularly (or even irregularly) has the need to work with, solicit bids and hire an event photographer, your opinion is vital in this very brief survey. Not only will you have the opportunity to voice your opinion, you may actually end up influencing the rate you pay in the future. Provided I receive a sufficient response to this survey request, I will publish the results here on my blog so that you can benefit from the market research on event photography in Montreal that your answers will comprise.