I know the top 3 reasons that I do not get all the projects that I quote on. As a photographer, do you know the top 3 reasons that you are not getting certain projects? You should know!
1) Price - This is the #1 reason - hands down. What's interesting is that I'm NOT pricey.
Although I am often told that I am mid-price point, I am also sometimes notified that a lower price is the reason another photographer was chosen instead of me. That's perfectly fine with me because I know beyond a doubt that my rates are competitive with the market based on my experience and quality. For those that have the budget, want an experienced photographer and appreciate quality, the rates I quote are not an issue. Pricing only becomes an issue with those on a tight budget that's more suited for a photographer that's trying to build a business and undercuts the market to get the business or a photographer that is not full time and does photography on the side. Although I may negotiate on certain projects, I'm not willing to cut my prices by 35% to get most projects. Why? Because another will likely come along that is a great fit for both me and the client that's in both of our range making it a win-win for both parties. Don't undersell yourself. That's a key problem with new photographers.
2) Decided to do it themselves or have a friend do it or someone has a connection with another photographer.
I probably don't hear this as much as family and wedding photographers may hear it; however, I still get this as one of the top reasons someone doesn't come to me. The most recent one was because the CEO knew another photographer and that's why I didn't get the corporate event gig. In another case, one company got 7 or 8 quotes from photographers which I was part of that mix only to find out that one of the staff had a relationship with another photographer. For those that choose to have their spouse take their headshot vs. using me, that one is a little harder to swallow than losing a project because someone internally has a relationship with a professional photographer. I know that I get repeat business from the same clients and understand losing projects because the CEO or other key decision maker knows a photographer.
3) Portfolio - It's not what they are looking for.
My portfolio appeals to some people and not others. I get that. I don't do the work that Glyn Dewis and Joel Grimes do. I don't do crazy creative flips in the air with multiple gels to create surreal images. However, some of my HDR work does look kind of surreal. Anyway, a portfolio is both in the eye of the beholder and based on a specific need the client or agency may have. There are things that I plan to add to my portfolio, but I know that my portfolio will never appeal to every viewer.
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