I can't tell you how many times I get asked to do a lesser quality job on photos just to help someone get something marginally better than what they can already get at that price point.

The prospect is usually asking that I shoot  a dozen or so images as fast as I can to save them some money, the problem is they might save some money but it will cost me far more than they can ever pay to have my name attached to work that doesn't match that which my reputation is built upon. If someone sees bad images they may ask who shot those, the client who commissioned the poor quality work won't explain they insisted I do photographs that are not very good to save a few dollars and the inquirer won't elaborate for their reasons for asking about the poor quality photos out of tact. The end result is that I would not get paid enough to do the job to begin with and my reputation for producing excellent quality work is irreparably damaged.

It can be quite hard to do but I always pass on these requests. I will explain to the prospect that it is in their best interest to pay me to do my best work on fewer or even a single photograph because they will get more value for their money, and get a better response to that one or two excellent images, for a longer period  than they would from a dozen slap-em-out's. Some of these people have listened to me and invested in showing their work at it's best, but most choose  to continue getting a dozen or more bad photographs to save a few (hundred) bucks. I've seen this happen many times over the past two decades and the fact is each decision provides a commensurate return on the investment.

If your work looks fantastic you will have a better chance of having a positive impact on your decision maker than if your work look like crap.


Do we have to pander?

The road to the bottom is paved with good intentions, or at the very least, clever rationalizations.
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AuthorDean Birinyi