Most photographers capture life’s special moments. A commercial photographer like me, makes money for you. No matter what you offer, a luxury vacation rental, a hotel room, food, a product, a building, a showroom, or even yourself if you have a service business, the better it looks, the better it will sell or rent. I hate to be cliche, but a picture really is worth a thousand words, or as I say, “The better it looks. The better it books.” (or sells) Catchy huh?
It makes me chuckle to see on some photographer websites where instead of saying “My Rates” they use the word “Your Investment” especially on wedding photographer sites where your “investment” (according to US statistics) stands a 50/50 chance of failing. An “investment” is supposed to MAKE money for you. That’s how commercial photography works. You spend money on quality photography, and IT MAKES YOU MONEY. Quality commercial photography isn’t cheap, but whatever you spend is a mute point because you will ALWAYS MAKE MORE MONEY THAN THE PHOTOGRAPHY COSTS. Quality commercial photography is a guaranteed MONEY MAKER. An “investment” makes money for you. It’s not a cost or an expense, like repairing a broken air conditioner. A friend of mine uses the expression of “letting a dime hold up a dollar” that I didn’t understand until I thought about it. It means letting the supposed “high cost” of “investing” in quality photography for your product, property or yourself and letting that “it cost too much” attitude prevent you from making a WHOLE lot more money than the photography costs. I’ve had people tell me that “We’re just a small company and we just can’t afford it right now.” But that’s the problem, without quality photography to make your product look its best, you’ll never will be able to “afford it.”
Since 2004, I have photographed nearly 6,000 properties, mostly in the luxury rental market, including small cozy rental log cabins, the largest luxury rental log cabin in the country (18 Bedrooms), Condominiums in the Smokies and Florida and hotels in the five to 50 million dollar range. I’ve even photographed an Official Walt Disney World Hotel in Orlando Florida which was a thrill since I love Disney and go there almost annually.
I started this business with a single, small log cabin rental company (Sugar Maple Cabins) with 30 units that grew to five companies with 400 properties. They sold a few years later to Wyndham Vacation Rentals for “tens of millions” of dollars as I was told. (Only the former owners know the exact amount.) We’ve worked with about a dozen of the largest cabin rental companies all these years, and an occasional VRBO cabin or condo owner. We keep a tight schedule of about 6-10 cabins a week and work in new customers when we can. Most of our cabin rental customers in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge cabin rental business have been our customers since a year or so after we started and have become more than “just” customers. We’ve been to their weddings, their Fourth of July picnics, Christmas parties, and yes, sadly, even to a couple of their funerals. We are truly fortunate that most of our customers are also friends, and some of them are like family. I love that.
I’m easy going, easy to work with and really enjoy what I do. I like to hear and share a good story and a laugh, but I am deadly serious when it comes to my photography. I know what to do without being told. I know how to make your property or product look its best, emphasizing the strong points and minimizing weak ones, while using a little artistry and physiological advertising methods to make potential customers actually desire what you offer, not just show them you have something to sell. Have you ever seen a plain Coca-Cola bottle on a table in one of their ads? No, you see dramatic lighting and an icy bottle of Coke with happy people enjoying it. Commercial photography is more than a nice picture that’s properly exposed, it’s advertising, and it should make people literally want or even crave your product.