In life, timing is everything.
Now I am not drawing a facetious comparison between plumbers and photographers, as both provide valuable services and at precise moments in time, invaluable services; think: basement flooding from backed up sewer or capturing “The Kiss” on the wedding day. Both work with their hands and have a variety of tools (though a photographer’s kit is a little pricier than the average plumber’s bucket full of pipes and parts).
And both typically charge by the hour. And there’s a big difference here. If it’s 11pm, minus 30 outside and your water heater konks out or you’ve burst a pipe, you rapidly learn that you will pay anything to have your problem fixed. In economics this is known as price elasticity, or the price elasticity of demand. Some prices have high elasticity (the price of say, a pvc pipe; you’ll buy the cheapest one that does the job), while others are very inelastic, like the price of gas for your car (which you will pretty much pay no matter what it is as you have no choice). Usually, the fewer choices you have, the higher the price you will pay.
Many business exploit this to their huge advantage and even create scarcity, or the illusion thereof, like diamond companies do by buying up huge stocks of the world’s diamonds in order to keep the price elevated and the illusion of its scarcity strong.
Time also creates scarcity, as anyone dealing with a last-minute cancellation from a service provider before a big event will know. And here’s the main difference between a plumber and a photographer. Or at least between most plumbers and this photographer.
If you call a plumber with a last-minute emergency, the clock starts ticking the moment that plumber puts on his occasionally poorly fitting pants and drives to your home or business. You’ll pay the travel time, you’ll pay the service time, you’ll pay the parts and you’ll pay a premium for the rush job. God help you if it is also a holiday, evening or weekend – which is, of course, when everything that’s going to break does break.
If you call me, and I’m not already booked, I’ll come work for you. I’ll do it for the same rate I would have charged you if you’d booked in advance. I’ll do it gladly and I’ll work to deliver quality images to you that not only meet your current need, but win your attention so that the next time you don’t end up booking another photographer who bails on you last-minute and leaves you scrambling.
I’m not one to brag, but it is very gratifying to know you’ve helped out a client and been there when they needed you to be there. Here’s what a recent client had to say after booking me last-minute:
Thanks so much for your help on Wednesday night. Everyone was very pleased with the event, and the photographs look great. If we’re ever in need of a photographer in Montreal again you’re the first person we’ll call.
You may be planning an event now, or will have to in the future. There are many details to organize and several moving parts to coordinate and things sometimes just go wrong. If you do find yourself at a loss and looking around in the last-minute for a photographer, rest assured that if you call me, you’ll be in good hands.