From very humble beginnings back in 1973, a photography business was established in Wangaratta, which is a large provincial town in the hub of North East Victoria Australia.
Time has a habit of masking ones involvement in a certain career, and just recently the thirty-year mark was achieved in professional photography for the owner of this studio.
The survival secrets to a long standing career are many and varied, but the ones that have stand out features are; absolute honesty and fair dealings with your customers, being enthusiastic and having a genuine care for your customers needs …. no matter how small that need may be.
Sometimes it is just the small things that customers appreciate, it may be carrying heavy parcels, or framed portraits to their car, or giving them two or three complimentary prints … they are only small rewards, but most customers enjoy them.
Whenever a new business opens in a community, people tend to be a little curious as to the ethics of the people who are operating the business. If you happen to do one small thing wrong during that opening phase, you could suffer long-standing damage to the business as well as the owner's reputation.
Small things can irritate people and make them have negative thoughts about you or your business.
We always had an in house joke with our customers; we'd say to them "if you really like our work, please tell at least TEN other people!" "But if you do not like something we've done PLEASE tell
us first, we want to make sure that you are 100% happy with our product and service ".
And of course, good customers were always rewarded with bonuses the next time they came in, especially when friends came in and said that "so and so told us to come to your studio for a family sitting" … That is good referral business .
Doing business with people is a two-way thing … as a business operator you need to win to make a profit, but the customer should also feel they have had a win …. that makes them feel happy, and they will talk to others in a positive light about you and your business, you will get plenty of positive feed back.
One of the greatest compliments that photographer can receive is when the child of a parent that you once did work for, calls on the phone to ask, "Could you please photograph our wedding if you have the date available".
Photography styles & equipment may have changed quite a bit from those early days, but the enthusiasm and challenge is still there, and the basic principles of doing business with another person is still the same as it was at the beginning, because you are really only selling to human nature. Photography is a ever-ending challenge to capture new and exciting images.
There is something very special about covering weddings, simply because there is just so much emotion around, an alert photographer can capture some magical moments of the bride and groom, the emotions are even stronger for the photographer if he also photographed mum & dad's wedding a couple of decades earlier.
Photographers get an absolute buzz out of that. And that also speaks volumes about the reputation of being sincere, and transacting fair business dealings within your local community.
You should always consistently build absolute trust and credibility
with your customers, they appreciate your trust, and will remain loyal and repay you ten-fold.
Many first time brides simply do not know how to choose a good photographer for their wedding, for many people it's all based upon the question of "How Much will it cost me". Buying photography is much, much more than just basing your decision purely on price alone.
To choose a photographer, the first thing a bride should do is look at a selection of the photographers work either at his place of business or take a look at his web site to get an idea of the different styles that he or she does.
Another important aspect for the bride to know is "what is the photographer like, are they friendly, honest, reliable, and what about on the day of the wedding, what kind of behavior will he / she present? Unfortunately rude photographers do exist, make sure you do not select one for your wedding day.
The wedding day belongs to the Bride & Groom; it is not put on for the benefit of the photographer. A good photographer requires good people skills, as well as photography skills to capture meaningful & evocative images.
If you have only had a short association with the wedding industry and your nature is caring, you will begin to understand that it is one of the endearing qualities that will help to promote you to a long-term survival in the wedding industry.
Experience really does count.