... or, "looking for a budget-friendly photographer."
If you belong to a mom group on Facebook, chances are, you've seen posts that go like this:
"I'm looking for an awesome photographer who doesn't charge an arm and a leg!"
"Looking for a budget-friendly photographer!"
I get tagged in these posts about once a week, and I always respond, because some of my very best, most amazing clients have come from posts like this. But I'm always left to wonder: what does "budget-friendly" mean, and who's charging "an arm and a leg" for photography?
From my perspective, as a photographer who specializes in newborn, first year, and senior photo sessions, it's helpful to know what "budget-friendly" means to the potential client, because what one person considers ridiculously expensive, another person may find well within budget — plus, when it comes to specialty photography, often you get what you pay for.
For example, I'm not into purses, so I'd never spend hundreds of dollars on a bag, and I'm happy with my Columbia waist pack I got on clearance for $15. But someone who values the luxury of a high-end handbag will happily pay whatever they can for a top-quality designer bag — it's worth every penny to them. Our budgets are wildly different, so when they say "budget-friendly" and I say "budget-friendly," our definitions will vary wildly, too. It's the same with photography, or really, any other product or service.
(Side note: that Michael Kors bag will be a lot nicer than my $15 Columbia bag — you get what you pay for, right?)
So the next time you're looking for any service — from a haircut to a tire rotation to a senior photo session, and everything in between — it helps so, so much to post exactly what you'd love to have, and a rough idea of what you'd like to spend. It'll save you and the service providers so much time, and you'll increase your chances of connecting with a provider (or photographer) you'll love working with — and I promise, it won't cost an arm or a leg.