Like most fields, the general public has some misconceptions about who photographers are and what they do. Many people turn to Google in such situations. Here’s what they’re asking about photographers.
Knowing what people want to know about photographers can give you a leg up in anticipating their needs and making yourself a more desirable choice. It can also be quite entertaining. I turned to Google’s autocomplete feature to see what those questions are.
I asked Google “who are photographers,” and autocomplete gave the following:
- Celebrities who are photographers
- Musicians who are photographers
- Who are famous photographers?
- Who are Magnum photographers?
- Characters who are photographers
- Athletes who are photographers
- Models who are photographers
- Who are the best photographers in the world?
- Who are some famous photographers?
- Who are the best photographers on Instagram?
My favorite story about an athlete who is a photographer is Randy Johnson. You probably know him as the Hall of Fame pitcher who threw a perfect game in 2004, but he’s actually quite the talented photographer as well. One particularly amusing aspect is that his logo is a dead bird, a reference to the time an unlucky dove happened to cross the path of one of his infamous fastballs. On the other hand, I wasn’t surprised to see the Instagram entry given how ubiquitous the platform is nowadays. It sort of underscores just how much people turn to the app to find inspiring photography, whether they’re a photographer themselves or a potential customer.
I asked Google “what do photographers,” and autocomplete gave the following:
- What do photographers do?
- What do photographers wear?
- What do photographers charge?
- What do photographers wear to weddings?
- What do photographers use to edit photos?
- What do photographers take pictures of?
- What do photographers charge per hour?
- What do photographers make?
- What do photographers make make a year?
- What do photographers use to diffuse light?
Clearly, a lot of these questions revolve around people interested in becoming photographers in addition to potential customers. As for those possible customers, it seems a lot of people simply wonder about the most basic characteristics of a photographer: what we really do beyond pressing the shutter button, what a photographer costs, etc. It’s not uncommon for people to have a bit of sticker shock when they learn what a good photographer charges, and a lot of that sticker shock stems from the fact that they simply don’t understand how much truly goes into producing quality images. That underscores the importance of being able to sell potential clients on not just your products, but your services and your expertise. Educating clients about what goes into professional photography services can help them to feel justified in spending money with you and make you more likely to convert the sale.
I asked Google “why photographers,” and autocomplete gave the following:
- Why photographers charge so much?
- Why photographers edit photos?
- Why photographers are expensive?
- Why photographers need a website?
- Why photographers hate Instagram?
- Why photographers wear black?
- Why photographers charge what they do?
- Why photographers don’t make money?
- Why photographers don’t send raw files?
- Why photographers prefer cloudy days?
There’s a lot of tie-in here to the idea of making clients feel justified in spending money with you, which comes down to educating them. There are also clearly specific questions about why photographers operate the way they do, such as not sharing raw files and editing photos instead of handing them over straight out of camera for the overly eager client who has an app on their phone for that. I’ve personally found that approaching it from a standpoint of teaching the client to respect the craft as a whole rather than justifying every single aspect individually is both more efficient and tends to yield better results, as it builds a professional relationship based on trust. This sort of philosophical shift made a big difference in my client interactions and has made things easier ever since.
I asked Google “where photographers,” and autocomplete gave the following:
- Where do photographers print their photos?
- Where do photographers work?
- Where do photographers develop their film?
- Where do photographers meet models?
- Where do photographers store photos?
- Photographers where to find
- Where do photographers work?
- Where do photographers order prints?
- Where do photographers print their pictures?
- Where do photographers store their photos?
Apparently, printing is alive and well. People very much like tangible representations of memories and the like, and selling prints can be a very lucrative addition to your business if you do it correctly. People also wonder simply where to find photographers. I recently spilled a bit of water on my hardwood floor, and one of the planks needs to be replaced. I know nothing about flooring and repair beyond the fact that mine is made of wood, so I hopped on Google and searched “hardwood floor specialists Cleveland.” For many people, finding a photographer is like me finding a hardwood floor repair-person. They go to the easiest place to search for one and take their pick from the first few available choices that look decent. This underscores the importance of making yourself visible and desirable to the right clients in the right place. Many photographers don’t think about this enough, dutifully creating a website and social media accounts and waiting for clients to roll in. Taking the time to analyze your target clients and understand where and how they’ll be looking for you can do wonders. For me, this was understanding that many of my clients come from artistic circles. By spending time networking in such circles and simply getting my name in the conversations, I saw an increase in business.
I asked Google “when photographers,” and autocomplete gave the following:
- When photographers are neuroscientists
- When photographers capture the unexpected
- Photographers when you travel
- Photographers when traveling
- When do photographers get paid?
- When is photographers day?
- When do photographers need to be careful about cropping?
- When do photographers work?
- When do wedding photographers eat?
- World photography day?
You should try searching that first option yourself; the results are pretty interesting. Also, be sure to tell your clients when World Photography Day is so they can send you a card or a B&H gift certificate (it’s August 19). This one didn’t yield quite as many useful insights, but it still highlights that people ask some rather basic questions about how professional photographers work, and educating them can make them feel more comfortable and justified in spending money with you.
I asked Google “how photographers,” and autocomplete gave the following:
- How photographers make money?
- How photographers charge?
- How photographers see the world
- How photographers use Instagram
- How photographers organize photos
- How photographers post on Instagram
- How photographers use Pinterest
- How photographers get clients
- How photographers edit their photos
- How photographers use math
These questions seem to be mostly from potential photographers more than potential clients. Of course, for them, I recommend the great resources right here on Fstoppers, along with our tutorials. More education is always a good thing.
The more you understand about how a potential client thinks, the more you can anticipate their needs and questions, and the better you can assuage concerns and help them feel confident in selecting your services. Take time to do research on clients in your specialty and locations and work on tailoring your approach to them.
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