Sometimes I get a little off track in my blog, venturing off into dieting, politics, humor, motorcycles and other topics. Today I want to talk about money, and photographers. Today I saw a prominent photographer griping/ranting because someone on social media was looking for a photographer for a family portrait. This photographer has, in the past, chastised other photographers who charge less than he does. He tells them that the lower price photographers are ruining the business by not charging enough. He believes that wedding photographers should charge a minimum of $2,700. Since my pricing is close but below that mark, I’m included in his group of people who are ruining the business. Since I’m not in the mood to pay for one of his business classes to rub my nose in it, and teach me how I’m not charging enough, I thought I’d write a little story, a little analogy, with a profound, deep message.
Mark is the owner of a car dealership. His dealership sells Lexus. It is one of the newest and finest Lexus dealerships in the state. Each year, the Lexus corporation awards Mark’s dealership for selling more luxury Lexus cars than any other dealer. They serve customers champagne and fine wine while they shop, or when their cars are in the shop. The floors are sparkling marble. Business is good, and Mark has become very wealthy. Mark keeps an eye on his sales people, because even though sales are through the roof, he’s always trying to improve his numbers.
Mark is very upset because he just found out that a new dealership is being built down the road, and they are going to sell (gulp!) Kia Motors. He can’t believe, they are actually going to be peddling such garbage cars as the Kia Rio, and selling them for the ridiculous price of $13,900! Mark is worried that people will stop buying his Lexus 300H series cars for $49,243.
One day, after the new dealership is built and open, a customer pulls into Mark’s lot, and looks at the beautiful Lexus vehicles. Mark himself goes into the lot to greet the customers. They ask him where the Kia dealership is located at. Mark is furious. Mark prides himself on not only being a brilliant businessman, but an excellent salesman. He decides he is going to educate these customers and sell them a Lexus. Mark spends the next hour showing his best selling Lexus sedan. He shows the hand crafted wood accents, the hand stitched leather, the computer screens, the seat warmers, and the high powered motor. At the end of the sales pitch, the couple says “no thanks”. Mark is really outraged now, because he’s wasted an hour of his valuable time. He screams that the couple is just looking for the cheapest car since they don’t have enough money for a Lexus. The customer frowns and tells Mark “It’s not that we don’t have enough money… We have the money to buy one of your Lexus cars. I just don’t value all that fancy stuff. I just want basic transportation, and that’s what I’m going to buy”
The Kia dealership didn’t steal the customer from Mark. They never were a client for Mark. Mark does very well selling Lexus cars to people who value the quality of a Lexus, and who want a Lexus. There are plenty of clients for Lexus, as there are plenty of clients for Kia. Mark is wasting his time worrying about Kia and the people who buy a Kia. There are many car dealerships in the city, and there are many clients out there. There are many photographers, enough for every client. When it comes to wedding photography, I don’t sell Lexus, but I certainly don’t sell any Kias. I’m probably selling Dodge Chargers.