I had an interesting call from a prospective client today. She said that she had received a mailer from another studio with bargain-basement pricing and wanted to know if I would offer the same. Now, I believe in saying “no” as little as possible. I much prefer to be the “yes” person. In fact, I’ve been known to agree to do a certain thing, then have to figure out how I was going to do it.
This question was something completely different, though. I knew that I could match the price…but I didn’t want to. See, in order to offer bargain-basement pricing, a business has to do a lot, I mean A LOT, of volume. Get ’em in-get ’em out. It’s what I call a “take a number” mentality. You see that effect in fast food. McDonalds sells a large volume of hamburgers (I’m a Happy Meal girl, myself) And although the food is okay, few people go to McDonalds based on taste. They go because it’s fast and cheap. (And the reason you don’t see McDonalds hosting wedding receptions or graduation parties)
However, there’s a problem with high volume, namely, it’s High Volume. Nobody is treated special. Nobody takes the time to make sure you’re pleased. Nobody goes the extra mile. Sure, you got you a cheap product, but you also got cheap service. And quite often, strong-arm tactics at a sales presentation. Yuck.
When it comes to photography, we’re not willing to go there. It’s the reason we’ve never been, nor will ever be High Volume. Why on earth would anyone want to be treated like a number? Or pressured into ordering something they don’t really want. No, that’s not for us.
Low volume means we can take our time with our clients; we are open by appointment so that we can fit our client’s schedules; we have been known to deliver orders when a client is in a tight spot. But most of all, we care. We don’t photograph thousands of sessions a year, and we don’t want to. We truly LOVE the people we photograph and are thankful for each and every one of them and treasure the friendships we make along the way. After all, our clients are just as picky as we are when it comes to their images.
And we wouldn’t have it any other way.