This morning I was talking with one of my military photographer buddies who lives in the mid-west. She was having a rough time of late and was missing her husband who is on a military deployment. Being a boudoir photographer, I suggested she do her own boudoir shoot with a photographer in her area. I know the positive effect it has had on our own clients and thought it would be a generally pleasant experience for all involved, especially her husband, lol!
She requested my help in selecting a photographer in her area and so I did what any other person might do in this situation. I googled “Colorado Springs Boudoir Photographer” and started clicking on the first pages that were popping up. I got through about three pages when I had an epiphany! I was doing the exact same thing that one of our potential clients may be doing in their search for a boudoir photographer in Washington State! of course I have the advantage of having a little “inside” knowledge on what makes a technically good photo, but I was judging things that I wasn’t aware of until I caught myself.
This brings me to the purpose of writing this blog entry. We here, at Oni Studio spend a good amount of time doing research and development on things we never thought we would have to learn being in the photography business. Things such as marketing and search engine optimization. This means learning what permalinks are, pings, trackbacks, being on the first page of google, ect. Neither one of these subjects have diddly squat to do with pushing the shutter release on our blessed Nikons, but if people can’t find you or never hear of you then it doesn’t really matter how good you are at studio lighting, photoshop editing, or if you know the difference between F11 or F1.8. Your only client will be your spouse, pet or that guy in the mirror who looks like Tom Cruise (at least in my house anyway)!
I’m not saying that tried and true “word of mouth” or other more traditional advertising doesn’t have its place, but we must adapt to the times. People are using the internet and social networks countless times through the day. That’s where our potential clients are, and we have to adapt to them and not expect them to adapt to us. This leads back to the Google search I did that morning, and the factors that ultimately led to me choosing a particular photographer.
Let’s take a look at how I ended up picking a photographer, and if you like you can do it along with me.
Step 1: The search.
Google “Colorado Springs, CO Boudoir”. Start viewing the pages Google displays. Note: the order can vary on different computers. For example, my wife and I have been in different states before and have googled “Whidbey Island Photographer” to see what results are displayed. Most of the same pages are displayed on the first page, but not in the same order.
Step 2: This is the evaluation phase.
The first page I come to is lboudoir. The photographs are fine, but to me, the website is just way too busy. The page seems disorganized, the font is too small and hard to read, and from the first look photographs don’t captivate me. I quickly press the “back” button and go to the next page.
The second page I come to is Denver Glamour Photography. Right off the bat I see that its an old website and I have to click a button that takes me to a new one. It’s not a show stopper, but it’s annoying. When I get to the new site I click on his boudoir gallery and am less than impressed with the quality of the photographs. Some of the details in the shadow portion of the photographs are lost, and some of the posing of the models is less than flattering. I know the owner of the website would not be happy to hear this review of his work, and a fellow photographer could point out the flaws in my own work, but the point, dear constant reader, which I am trying to get across, is that I am going purely on first impression. Now if I slowed down and really looked at both of the websites I have listed so far I’m sure I could find some very redeeming and fine qualities that may ultimately lead me to choosing them. However, with so many photographers out there, we have about 30 seconds to impress and deliver. This morning I was a customer shopping for a photographer who’s work spoke to me, same as any other person looking to do boudoir session. I could be wrong, and I frequently am, but alas, let’s get back to the matter at hand. I think it’s safe to say I didn’t recommend this photographer for my friend.
Step 3: THE CHOOSING!! Now, right or wrong, the photographer I chose was Janelle from Vita Transitus Boudoir Photography. Janelle’s photographs caught my eye right away. The quality is amazing and colors are eye catching enough to interest me into exploring more of her blog and website content. She is married to an active duty United States Soldier and seems to genuinely enjoy what she does. She seems like a happy, easy to get along with person and I feel that she would be very comfortable to work with. After a thorough review of the website and blog my decision was made. I posted the link on my friends facebook wall and hope she decides to make the leap and have her first boudoir experience!
That’s about all I got for now dear constant reader. This entry was aimed more at other professional photographers and not so much at our clients, however if you took any enjoyment from it regardless then we are glad! We also request that if you have seen something less than desirable on our website or blog to let us know, and if we have done something right we would love to know about that as well!
We are currently looking for other boudoir blog writers. If you have a boudoir, glamour, or other related blogs and would like to guest author, or trade links please let us know. We are also wanting to start featuring local business’s that are somehow boudoir related, along with small women owned business’s. If you fit this category please contact me here.
We leave you this week with a video from Modern Love Photography, a great inspiration video for a boudoir shoot!