“Budget Photography” is not a real thing.
We’re starting off the holiday season here pretty soon, and chances are you are at the very least planning your companies private holiday party. You start by googling “professional photographer Las Vegas” or “professional photobooth Las Vegas” and chances are that, apart from LV Photo, obviously, you’ve come across sites like Snappr, Thumbtack, and Photosesh who all claim to provide essentially the same service. So, you begin comparing right until the words “lowest prices” pop up on the screen to catch your eye, and you suddenly think—wow, my boss is going to be so happy with a professional photographer that I hired WAY under budget.
You’ve officially reached the moment where you have to stop really think your options through. Although they may be branded or marketed as the “best and cheapest way to book a professional photographer” booking through Snappr, Thumbtack, Photosesh, Pretty Instant, and other sites like this is ultimately going to be a disservice to you, your company, the photographer, and the Professional Photo Industry.
When planning an event, the budget tends to add both stress and boundaries to your decision making in terms of what services you’re hiring for your guests. Everybody, understandably, wants something amazing at a price that isn’t going to break the bank. That’s why It’s necessary to start out with a budget so that you can ensure to get the most out of what you pay for. Unfortunately, many don’t consider evaluating both the prices and the services that are offered in the professional photo industry separately.
Apart from photography being an extremely underrated art, we live in an era in which everybody and anybody can call themselves a photographer as long as they have an Instagram account to front as their portfolio. Although new and emerging photographers are definitely needed and welcomed in the industry. Having amateur photographers take your professional photos can lead to inconsistent results and poor product quality due to inexperience. This is exactly where companies like Thumbtack, Snappr, and Yelp may not be necessarily suitable to represent your company or client. What these companies do is offer bottom pricing for a lot of their services and photographers. For those of you thinking about your budget, for example, this may sound like a reasonable and persuasive idea, but, just like any service provider, you get what you pay for. By offering these bottom-tier prices for your next corporate event, photobooth, or headshot lounge they also offer an unguaranteed usually bottom tier service. For example, it is very easy to apply as a “professional photographer” on Snappr even if the applicant may not be considered or suitable for a professional photographer position anywhere else.
In fact, Snappr makes these photographers provide their own equipment, which oftentimes is low in quality, number, and or out of date in comparison to the industries standards. All of these factors lead to the end product. Now, if you’re hiring these amateur photographers for your corporate party, private party, or tradeshow you can only expect amateur results.
For a look at the bigger picture, when companies hire these services it diminishes the overall standard of the professional photography industry which in turn increases what many of these companies can get away with in terms of service or product quality. For example, if they even offer printing services, you’re more likely to get cheap printing materials and ultimately low product quality for your guests.
Many may suggest to you that these websites provide “the best way to hire an event photographer” allowing photographers a chance to increase their portfolio content and get their name out into the market. The reality, however, is that they’re actually doing a disservice to the photographers themselves. By offering the lowest prices on the market to their clients, around 30$ an hour, what Pretty Instant, photosesh, and Snappr are paying the photographers is a fraction of that price. This makes the beginning or amateur photographers have a skewed view of their service pricing. Since trends in the photo industry are heavily defined by the services provided, In other words, you get the kind of service that you pay for, this undoubtedly decreases a photographer’s value and work ethic all while steadily declining the worth of the product and the industry itself. Ultimately many end up paying for a body and a camera to stand at their event. Not a qualified ensured professional service.
There’s nothing more upsetting than to know you overpaid for a service or a product. So, be wary of these websites offering you budget pricing for a professional photographer because the truth is that if you’re ever offered “budget” pricing there’s a very high probability that they’re not actually a professional. That’s why many should consider looking through the array of qualified pre-existing business that offers experienced professional photography. Instead of making your boss happy that you booked bad service at any price, it may be a good idea to reconsider and ensure that you provide a photobooth, or headshot to the standard of your company.