What on earth am I paying a Professional Photographer for and HOW MUCH will it cost me?

Today, the greatest differentiator between you and your competition lies in these words: BUSINESS & PERSONAL BRANDING.

Think Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, the solo trader down the street or the small time business owner where you buy your favourite pair of shoes. These people all have a brand that they exploit on some level to enhance their reputation and to grow their business.

But, building a memorable brand is so much more than just a cool logo and a butt kicking idea. To build a brand takes time and investment. Yet, everyone needs to start somewhere, that includes you….

QUICK FACT: 80% of people remember what they see compared to only 20% what they read and a mere 10% remember anything they heard. This statistic, upon reading it should only translate to one thing for you: HOW CAN I BEEN SEEN? AND WHAT DO PEOPLE WANT TO SEE? OK, technically that is two things (but who is counting??) Bottom line is this: in order for you to STAND OUT in a world that is oversaturated with visual imagery, it is imperative that you understand how this can be done.

Statistics tells us that people buy from people they trust. So the WHAT is: They want to see you, you’re unique combination of skills, experiences, values, character and style. HOW do we show it to them? By hiring someone that can make you stand out from the 3 billion other people posting to the web on a daily basis.

I know that you understand all of this, everyone is talking about it. So, the thing at the back of your mind is not the how or the what, but rather the HOW MUCH? Right, yeah… I know, I have been practising my mind reading skills for years and are only seeing the dividends now. But seriously, wouldn’t it be so amazing if you could afford that professional photographer that could help you become visible in a sea of faces?

Understanding that the process of finding a photographer can be daunting, I have taken it on me to give you a couple of guidelines to help you in your thought processes. I know you don’t need convincing in hiring a photographer (ME IN THIS CASE) you just need some honest authentic and reliable information to base your decision on.

Let’s cover the basics first. When hiring a photographer you want to be sure that they bring the following to your photoshoot.

• Some experience, the best equipment and the know how on how to use it. Testimonials, the ability to transform your visions into visible content. Communications skills of epic proportion, an attitude that makes you feel that your project is as important to them as it is to you. Then you also need them to show you a portfolio, they need to ask you a lot of questions. And when you ask them some stuff make sure they are able to explain to you the importance of lighting and colour psychology, backgrounds and wardrobes. Let them tell you about angles and purposeful composition. And when all is said and done you need to know that they will be able to deliver on time, are reliable, adaptable in unforeseen conditions and have the ability to edit your images in a software program like Photoshop and Lightroom.

If you are happy that they delivered on this, the next thing to determine is your pricing structure. As I am a commercial photographer, I am only going to cover the costs of this genre and its various categories. Who cares how much a wedding photographer is charging or what the dude with the cellphone is doing??

So here is a general guideline that you can follow to gauge the quotes that you might get from your enquiries:

Prices may vary depending on the following factors: whether the shots are done on location or in a studio, the type of backdrop, the amount of images the client are looking for and the editing process. Each photographer will tailor their pricing structure to your specific needs, but it would be nice to know whether they are ripping you off or not?

Let’s find that ballpark figure then, the one that will give you the confidence that you CAN hire that photographer who will add value to your brand.

THE BALLPARK FIGURES:

• Corporate headshots and Portraits – Expect to pay anything from R700.00 to R1500.00 for this service.

• Simple product shots – White backdrop, R200.00 to R350.00 per product image. This will typically include only one angle and the price will most likely double when 2 or 3 angles are needed.

• Lifestyle Product shots – R3500.00 to R4800.00. This is where your product is displayed authentically and in an environment with which your potential client can associate. Oftentimes this type of photography includes different locations and more props etc.

• Business Lifestyle shots – R4500.00 to R5500.00. This, if done right, is worth its weight in gold. As the old saying goes, content is king. And this type of shoot will give you that much needed content.

• Brand building shots – R4500.00 to R6500.00. As with Business Lifestyle this is becoming the Holy Grail to business strategies and brand building. My advice, do not skimp on this. If you are serious about the services your offer or the product you sell, your potential clients will gauge this from what they see, not what you tell them, and if they see second rate, they will not believe otherwise.

I honestly hope that this was helpful and that you are ready and excited to take your brand to the next level. If you have any questions (perhaps you want to know the best flavour ice cream or what to wear to that big interview, why not drop me a) comment or a mail at marguerietjones@gmail.com. And as much as I would love to help you out on those, my expertise lies with making you stand out and look good. So, to avoid being overly disappointed with my lack of knowledge on ice cream flavours, perhaps it be best if you drop me some questions regarding photography and brand building.

Thanks for spending time with me, until next time!!!!!

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