Paying for quality

The Table

I get it, really I do. When I need to buy something I always look for the cheapest option. Often times even then I’m not satisfied,  I’ll say to myself “I can make that” or “I can do that myself” and sometimes I’m right!

After buying our first home my wife and I started to look for furniture. When we found a dinning table we liked, we didn’t like the price. I grew up helping my dad with home improvement projects so I was pretty sure I could nail a few boards together to make a table. Christina (my lovely wife) choose a style she wanted and I researched some plans online from Anna White (a great resource for woodworking.) After spending a couple hundred dollars on tools and wood and many hours measuring, cutting, nailing, screwing, sanding, staining, and painting we had a nice table!

Some times I even hired on extra help!

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After spending that time and money, did I save anything? Sure, I saved a couple hundred bucks, but I had to build a bench, a console table etc… to justify the new tools. Do I regret it? No! But overall I didn’t save much, I just invested in a new hobby.

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I was lucky to have a father that taught me the basic principles of building, and a mother that taught me how to learn (because during the process I spent many hours online reading about proper woodworking techniques.)

The Point

So why do I bring up table building? Let me pose a hypothetical: You are about to get married and want photographs of the occasion, you look into photographers and think “What? That’s crazy, I’m not paying that for photographs! I have a point-and-shoot camera, I will have my cousin take the pictures.” While you may in fact have cousin who could in theory could take your photos what quality will those photos be?

We live in a day and age where buying a “fancy” camera is relatively cheap. I bought my first DSLR camera (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) for somewhere near $300. That’s all you need to take great photos right? Wrong, you need expertise. While it is true my toddler can take a photograph, she cannot compose a shot. And from my experience a large portion of people can’t either. Nor do they know many of the basic principles of photography and that’s ok! I don’t know how to fly an airplane I pay a company to do that for me. I started photography and editing with Photoshop my freshman year of high school and been doing art even longer. I’ve spent thousands of hours behind lens, with pencil in hand or in front of screen honing these skills.

Time is a valuable thing, we have a limited amount of it and unlimited things do. Some moments in time only happen once. Your wedding for instance should be a time that you can enjoy knowing later you can reflect back on with beautiful photos for you and your posterity. Your business deserves a logo that give people a lasting, professional first impression. And your website should be simple and easy to navigate so your costumers will spend less time confused and more time engaged.

Do you want to spend the time trying to do these things in a sub-par way only to regret it later? I have helped people re-design their websites, edit their old (bad) photographs and re-design lame logos. Did they save money by skimping early on? No, they ended up paying for it later. So I’d recommend you save time, headache, lost business, and precious moments to begin with. And when it comes to photographs some occasions can’t be recreated.

As a side point, you’re not just paying for someone to take a picture, or draw a logo or make a webpage. You’re paying for:

  • Schooling
  • Equipment
  • Editing Time
  • Editing Equipment (software)
  • Mileage and Transportation
  • Studios and Locations
  • Photo storage (CD, USB drive, web storage hosting etc…)

I call that the long sell, haha.