Randy puts up with a lot of my shenanigans, and he has for as long as we’ve been together; Ashley Shenanigans are just part of the marriage package deal! Something that I’ve always, always, always valued is getting photos taken – even in the early days of our marriage when we couldn’t afford more than the Walmart Portrait Studio. We still went in, at least twice a year, and got our photos taken together as a family.
When we lived in Japan in the late 2000s, it was the first time I ever hired a non-portrait studio to take our photos and that was when the idea of “hey, you mean I can get PAID to do this?” started taking root in my mind. We’ve had our photos taken all over the place since then – castles, the beach, the forest, the snow, the desert, downtown … I mean, just all over the place!
Now that our kids are getting older (and not so difficult at shoots, because let’s be honest – toddlers can be major a-holes), and because we’re putting more of ourselves out there with our brand, we are constantly wanting updated family photos and updated headshots. But more than the photos themselves, we want to experience photography through the eyes of a client!
Don’t get me wrong – I love doing trades with other photographers when I can, but there’s something about being a paying client that makes it a bit more official.
Why We Pay Other Photographers to Take Our Photos:
You get the brand experience.
You feel the stress of coordinating but not matching outfits in a flattering way.
You see how another photographer handles communication (emails, in person, before, during, afterward).
You are on the receiving end of the client experience before, during and after a shoot.
You experience the anticipation of receiving your images.
And mostly – you have the opportunity to take that experience and
reflect it on your own business.
Did they under promise and over deliver? Is this something you can provide for your couples?
Did they make you feel valuable? How so?
Did they make your family feel comfortable? What did they do that you can do with your own clients (or on the flip side – what did they do that you’ll never ever make someone do or feel during a shoot!?).
Did they effectively communicate? Did they have style guides? Did they make you feel at ease before the session? Did they talk to each of your family members? Did they take the time to get to know what makes you feel comfortable? How can you turn that around with your own clients?
Did your expectation of the experience match up?
And the most raw and honest question: Was the juice worth the squeeze?
We recently had our latest round of family photos taken by the wildly talented Courtney, of Twig and Olive Photography, and we absolutely love our images. I can’t wait until we buy our new house, so I can frame some of them for our walls!