Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. I recommend seeking a photographer or videographer who is willing to work with you on a personal basis, rather than treating you as "just another customer." It's also important to choose one who will give you the freedom to use your own photos without locking you into purchasing just a few prints of a few poses and forcing you to come back and pay for more prints later.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Not all photo & video professionals are the same. Each comes to a project with his or her own artistic vision; it's good to find one whose work matches your personality and style.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. What is your background? If your photo/video professional doesn't have a solid understanding of his or her field in both experience and formal education, it's good to know that beforehand.
Is this your profession, or a hobby? Most of the best photo/video professionals out there enjoy their craft so much they do it as much for the fun and the challenge as they do for the compensation. A good photographer or videographer will say it is both a profession and a hobby.
Do you read or write about your profession? The good photo & video professionals love their work so much, they always want to learn and share more about what they do. They will be active in the photo/video community: reading professional magazines and websites, writing articles, blogs, or other resources to share what they know with others.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. For personal photos and video it's important to have a location for the shoot in mind beforehand, as well as a general idea of the purpose behind the photos or video.
Another good thing to think through before we talk is how your photos or video will be used. Are you going to be printing the photos for an album or magazine? Are you distributing the video online? Use will factor into our creative process to get you the best results.
For organizations, it's good to have a marketing concept already in mind for your needs. If it's a video, we'll write the script, but it's best to have some guidance ready to go beforehand. For example, in a video we did for Men's Ministry Catalyst, they came to us with the concept of family togetherness and male bonding, which led to a script with a father and son sharing some time together tossing a football back and forth as a visual representation of that concept.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I love the fast-paced, "you got it or you didn't" nature of my work. In order to work in this field, you have to be able to adapt quickly to circumstances and do a top notch job 100% of the time no matter what. It keeps me interested, engaged, and learning all the time.
I truly love this field--capturing and playing with light, colors, and imagery is just fascinating. There are times when I can spend hours on lighting and composing a shot, ensuring everything is just right. There are times when I have to capture a shot in a split second without a chance to re-do it ever again. It's an adrenaline rush. Both of these aspects appeal to me, and I enjoy every moment of it.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. The most striking and obvious development in the photo and video field has been the conversion to digital. With this conversion need to come new workflow organization, new delivery mechanisms, and new pricing structures.
Under the film system it made sense, for example, for the photographer to hang on to the photo negatives and make copies as needed. He or she knew how to properly store the negatives and manage the printing process. Now that most prints originate digitally or are transferred to digital, it makes no sense for a photographer to avoid giving the customer copies of the files.
29k provides high-resolution digital images to our photo customers, allowing them to print any image in any quality at their choice of printers. They can also easily distribute the images to their friends, family, or customers online without having to purchase anything else from us. The flexibility of digital distribution of photos is unmatched, and we embrace it.
At a time when film photos are going out of style, we embrace the digital technology, but are also interested in preserving the heritage of photography. We have members of our staff who are experts in the process of hand-developing negatives and prints when a more traditional touch is needed.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Our pricing system is simplified as much as possible by our digital delivery and workflow. We don't believe in locking customers into crazy packages or having a bunch of hidden add-ons.
Most portrait sessions for seniors, pets, engagements, professional sittings, etc are $124 and include everything you'll need.
Wedding photography is $599 and includes pre-ceremony, ceremony, and reception.
Wedding videos are $1249 and include the full ceremony (a 3-camera shoot) with reception highlights (a 2-camera shoot).
Our only package is a Wedding photo/video combination for $1598.
Product, event, or corporate photos and videos are usually done on a contract price basis or are billed at $59/hour for field work and $29/hour for pre/post production work.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. New photographers and cinematographers should have a true love for the artistic nature of the work. We at 29k love our technology and fully embrace digital photo and video work, but it's always best for newcomers to have a strong knowledge of traditional methods and the history of our field. I recommend studying the greatest historical photographers and cinematographers, knowing the equipment they used, and the reasons behind their technique.
It's also important for a newcomer (and the seasoned professional, for that matter) to keep learning and stay on top of the latest developments and technology. Our field is changing as quickly as any other, and you must continually learn and adapt.