I was talking to a client yesterday about their upcoming Bar Mitzvah. They said that friends had recommended florists, DJ's and caterers but that no one had a photographer that they thought was worth a mention. I thought about that after they were gone and tried to figure out how that could happen. If I shoot an event and I don't get a feeling that the clients will be recommending me to their friends I will do whatever it takes to win them over. Referral business is so important with photographers but even more important with family photographers like myself.
A typical Brandon Bar Mitzvah photographer is certainly hoping to get a referral for a job well done but I want more than that. I want a referral, sure, but even more... I want your business for years to come. That Bar Mitzvah boy (or Bat Mitzvah girl) will need senior portraits in a few years, wedding portraits, maternity, etc and I want to be there for all of it. I've found that someone will recommend you if you do an adequate job but it takes an outstanding job before they will come to rely on you as an extended member of their family (like a doctor or nanny).
Why don't I specialize? It's certainly easier to just do one thing (like weddings). But I like the challenge of doing different things and I've found many times that I've learned something in one area (portraits) that will lend itself to another (weddings). Also, I was sitting with a client at a baseball game recently and I heard her say to a friend, "Booray is my photographer, I wouldn't think of going to someone else." Boy, did that make me feel good.... and you don't get that if you only see your customers once and move on to the next wedding.
Booray Perry is a Bar Mizvah and bat Mitzvah photographer in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Brandon and Clearwater.