Madame Chick, You hit that

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Madame Chick,

You hit that one square on the head. The aspect of ‘anybody can do it’ when it comes to photography, videography and art has always been a thorn in my side. And you’re right, when a professional does it you don’t see the hard work and expertise involved because we are trained to make the final product look effortless. As needed, I try to involve my clients in the different production phases as possible. Most times they get an appreciation for the depth of planning, expertise and work that gets put into making their production. Usually, when working with larger entities for clients when they change personnel overseeing the project I have to go through the whole song and dance to enlighten them on where the money is going. First thing out of many client’s mouths are ‘Well, how much is all this going to cost?’ or ‘Oh I can do that cheaper than that!’

I recently had a potential client with a small church that had been producing their own ‘little’ DVD’s. The client showed me their previous work and was so proud of the individual who had shot and created the DVD as you say ‘for the love of the project’. Dare I say it was horrible? DVD was made with the most basic of consumer grade DVD software, underexposed video shot on a 1CCD mini-dv camera, one angle only shoot shot from the back of the church with no medium shots or close ups, slide shows with underexposed photographs, poorly composed with minimal flash and graphics that looked like they were made with Super Nintendo Paint!

Yet, the client went on and on trying to convince me of how pleased he was with what had been made and tons of self-depricating comments about how ‘he couldn’t afford my services’ in an attempt to get me to do it for free. I wasn’t going to do that, but I did offer to train one of his people to do the work with what they had and how to make it look better. Of course, they would have to pay me and despite it being much cheaper to do that not to mention that whole ‘teach a man to fish’ aspect, the client couldn’t get his head or checkbook around it. Needless to say I wasn’t sorry to let that one pass.

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