Mistake #1: Not Insisting On A 100% Money Back Guarantee

 

This one is no surprise is it? Always ask the photographer, “What happens if I’m not happy with the photographs?”  This will immediately tell you how this photographer feels about taking really good care of you, and making sure you are truly happy with the photographs and his or her service.I feel very strongly about this.  Most photographers would never think of guaranteeing their work.  They will say “but it’s ‘art’, and you can’t guarantee art!”  Well, I think that’s crazy.  You’re investing your hard-earned money in these photographs, and I believe you should ONLY pay for them if you’re absolutely thrilled.  That’s why I offer a complete 100% guarantee.  No kidding, if you are not completely thrilled with your photographs, I will either create additional images for you at no extra charge, or I will cheerfully refund all your money. So, make sure that any photographer you are considering offers this same guarantee.  Just make it one of the first things you ask when you call on the phone:  “What’s your guarantee?”  If they don’t immediately, and without hesitation tell you that you don’t pay if you’re not thrilled - go to a different photographer!

Mistake #2: Most People End Up With A Photographer Who Doesn’t Meet With Them, FOR FREE, Prior To The Actual Photography Session

 

Make sure the photographer, or at least the “portrait consultant” meets with you personally BEFORE the photographs (at no extra charge) to help you with every decision (such as what to wear, style of photography, what will look best on your walls, hair and makeup etc) - this insures you and your family will look perfect in your photographs, and that the photographic artist fully understands what’s most important to you about the photographs. There are only a handful of photographers in Australia who do this, and it’s such a vital step.  You see; a fine family portrait is much like decorating the inside of your home.  It involves careful planning, and everything must work together to make a great result. For example, if you were redecorating your living room, you would NEVER choose what color wallpaper to put on the walls if you didn’t know what color carpeting you were going to have.  Or, imagine shopping for new furniture for that room, without knowing the exact dimensions and layout first.It’s the same thing with your family portraits.  Any photographer who claims that he or she can just “plonk” you and your family down and “snap” the photographs and have them turn out great is NOT a highly disciplined, accomplished photographer.  That’s someone who is not concerned about creating a fantastic, perfect photograph of you and your loved ones – that’s someone who is only interested in cranking through as many clients per day as possible – like a factory.We meet with you, FREE OF CHARGE, and without obligation so that you can see for yourself the amazing experience that we offer each and every client.

 

 

You Are Commissioning An Artist To Create A Bespoke Piece Of Artwork For Your Home.

 

 

Our Design Consultation is an essential and distinctive service offered to our portrait clients free of charge. We will schedule a time to visit with you privately in our Studio prior to your portrait session. At this time we go over your ideas about clothing, the setting and just simply chat about the theme and feeling you want to portray in your exclusive portrait. Every portrait we create is custom designed and completely original. This service helps refine the final images and hopefully makes your experience at Lensflair Foto + Film even more enjoyable

 

 

 

Mistake #3: People Select A Photographer To Take Photos Instead Of Commissioning A Photographic Artist To Create An Invaluable Family Treasure

 

I cringe when I overhear photographers mention that they “have a quick job that involves a few quick snap shots”. Professional Photographers do not take snap shots – People with iPhones take snap shots. Your uncle Jack uses his Canon 60D to take snap shots at birthday parties. No, you are looking for a photographic artist who uses his or her Hasselblad as one step in the process of creating your portrait art.

 

 

Mistake #4: People Think That A Professional Portrait Photographer Is Just Someone With A Camera

 

Anyone can purchase a basic SLR camera, tidy up their lounge room before you arrive, put the cat outside, come up with a business name and then call himself a “photographer”. Many of us own a car, but that doesn’t mean that we are all F1 drivers does it? No of course not. So what do you need to look for before even deciding to meet with your photographer?A professional photographer should be able to answer YES to the following questions.Do they operate from a professional, state-of-the-art studio?Is their studio centrally located with dedicated space for you to view your images?Is photography their full time profession, not just a part time activity?Do they have tertiary photographic qualifications?Do they have many years of experience?Do they use only the best pro gear?Are they an accredited member of a major photography body such as the A.I.P.P. that ensures professional scrutiny from their peers?Do they have a significant investment in their business, their premises, their equipment and their training?After only a few minutes in our East Perth studio you will understand what I mean. Being a true professional portrait photographer involves an incredibly large investment in not only the studio itself but also the right equipment. I shoot on the best camera system money can buy – Hasselblad digital medium format, and if anyone tries to convince you that any 35mm camera is as good, walk out the door.

 

 

Mistake #5: Undervaluing The Skills Of Professional Retouching

 

Professional retouching is an art form that a lot of people think that they can do but that very few get right. Many photographers outsource their retouching, some overseas and this is fine in itself but retouching is a critical step in the artistic creation process and the best photographers shoot with specific retouching in mind and retouch in-house so they create a purely integrated and seamless workflow. Did Picasso outsource his masterpieces? Would Michelangelo have outsourced work on the statue of David or The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel to a factory in China?We hear “just fix it in Photoshop” a lot and the problem with this is that it becomes an excuse for mediocrity, for sub-standard shooting. Retouching is there to enhance the image, not fix flaws that a professional photographer would not have allowed in the image in the first place. It forms a critical part of the creative process and photographers who do not shoot with an integrated approach have great difficulty creating what you really deserve.

 

 

Mistake #6: Not Ensuring That Your Photographer Uses Nothing But The Finest Materials And Printing Processes

 

Do you want your images to be vibrant, long lasting, crisp, have great detail and texture? Do you want to know instantly that they represent quality? Do you want the piece of mind that your most treasured memories will last a lifetime? Of course you do, we all do, but many people mistakenly think that all inks, all printing, all paper stocks, all frames are the same. There is a massive difference in quality between different papers, canvas, print processes and the like. We extensively test our products and production processes to ensure you get the best quality available.We don’t do cheep! Straight up, it is false economy. If you want the cheapest instead of the best then Lensflair Foto+Film is not the right studio for you unfortunately.

 

 

Huge Mistake #7: They Hire A Photographer Who Isn’t A “People Person” – So He Or She Says Something Like “Say Cheese” When They Want Your Family To Smile

 

DISASTER! When I create a family portrait, natural expressions are guaranteed. Over my career, I not only have ‘focused’ (no pun intended) on my photography skills, but I’ve also mastered ways of working with people to get the best and most natural expressions every time.  Your photographer should have done the same. We’ve all seen photographs where the subjects looked stiff and posed - and those photographs never look good.   Why have a family photograph created if your family doesn’t look natural?  There are a number of ways to insure that each of your family members looks their best in the photographs.  And, I’ll give you a hint: it never involves having any of your family members “say cheese.”I’ve spent just as much time perfecting the “art” of human relationships and psychology as I have perfecting my photographic techniques.  When all is said and done, the most important thing in your family portrait is - YOUR FAMILY.  Their relationships - their expressions - their personalities. If you’re at all like most of my clients, you don’t feel very comfortable in front of a camera.  Believe me, I know how you feel.  I’m a photographer, and yet I don’t even feel comfortable in front of a camera.  That’s why I take the time to get to know all of your family members very well, so I can talk with them during the session, and have them enjoy the photography session – and look NATURAL.No one EVER looks stiff or “posed” in my photographs.  Never.  The one comment I get more than any other from my clients is:  “We all look so natural, and so comfortable!”  You’re trying to capture a priceless family memory here.  To me, a family memory must look REAL, not fake or posed.  Every photographer should think that way, but most of them don’t.

 

 

Huge Mistake #8: Most People Don’t Find Out Why This Photographer Became A Photographer In The First Place

 

Why Is He Or She In This Business? Does He LOVE it? Or Is It Just A Way To “Make A Living?”It comes down to love and passion for what you do. I enjoy working with people, I love working with children, I am passionate about the importance of family portraiture. I have my own family, my own children, I have lost loved ones and seen first hand how precious life is and how important it is to capture those precious memories and moments as they are all too quickly gone for ever.I love my camera; actually I love all my cameras. They are an extension of who I am. They form part of me; they are almost organic in nature and are more than mere artistic tools. I feel as though in my hands they come alive. I definitely feel this ‘life’ in all the work I do.

 

 

 

Huge Mistake #9: Most People Think They Are Best To Shop For A Photographer Based On Price

 

We have saved the most important piece of information for last. The biggest mistake most people make is that they treat engaging their photographer much like they would shop for a washing machine. They look for the cheapest price possible and judge their purchase solely on this one criteria. It is probably a reflection of our disposable society where we don’t seem to value things anymore except its price.When I was putting this list together I ran a Google search for the “Cheapest new car in Australia” and here is what I got – “Move over Proton S16, there’s a new cut-price kid in town. Chinese manufacturer Geely’s first car is officially on sale in Australia, and it’s going cheap. The Geely MK city sedan is now on the market for $11,990 drive away…”Now I don’t know about you but I have not heard of this car before and I have no idea if it is reliable, comfortable, able to hold its resale value, does it fit a family plus a dog inside, will it tow a boat, handle like a sports car, look good, have iPod connectivity, have power windows, leather seats, maybe keep up with a BMW, make my friend jealous and a million other reasons people buy a car other than price. If price was the best way to select a car then we would all be driving the Geely MK, but we are not. Why? Because like great portraiture, the decision and the choice is incredibly subjective. The lowest price will not get you the best product.

 

 

Low Price Does Not Guarantee The Best Product…But, We Can Guarantee You The Best Product At A Price That Represents Unbeatable Value

 

 

No matter the initial price, the value of a truly professional portrait is truly priceless.