Photog Uses Crappy Client Photos to Get Hired

Photographer James Hodgins of Sudbury, Ontario has come up with a creative visual solution for a perennial marketing challenge: Convincing clients who think they can shoot their own photography that they will get better results if they hire a professional photographer.

“People are visual. When you start talking lights, they tune you out,” Hodgins says.  One day it dawned on him to invite a client to tag along on a shoot with her own camera. “I said, ‘You take the picture you would have taken, and then I’ll take mine the way I would.”

And that’s how his Crappy vs. Snappy showcase was born. He dedicates a page on his Web site to side-by-side comparisons of his pictures and clients’ pictures, mostly of mining and industrial subjects. On a regular basis, Hodgins features Crappy vs. Snappy updates on his blog.

Hodgins says it is one of his most effective sales tools. “It’s all about educating the client. They get it.”

He has adapted the technique for all types of clients. When shooting business portraits, for instance, he’ll stand his subjects against a wall, and photograph them with a camera-mounted flash before photographing them in a studio setting with professional lighting. It makes a lasting impression on the subject, and Hodgins uses the before-and-after pictures to sell other clients on the difference.

“If every photographer did that, a lot more clients would understand the difference between picture by a professional and the average Joe,” Hodgins says.


18 Responses to “Photog Uses Crappy Client Photos to Get Hired”

  1. fart Says:

    dickhead. also your photos suck.

  2. Ziv Says:

    Kinda like comparing an ugly girl to an uglier girl …

  3. John Says:

    Crappy and Crappier..but the client-taken picture looks less crappy.

  4. pablo Says:

    pay no attention to the fools. well done!

  5. Bill Says:

    Easy to see that fart, Ziv, and John are all fans of Crappy photography. Most likely they are worried that you will break into their markets.

    Great work

  6. James Says:

    Impact! Visually, makes a great statement. I’m sure your numbers reflect this outstanding marketing plan.

  7. Bogdan Says:

    Cleopatra was not particularly beautiful, so to compensate she would have around the 4 ugliest Nubian guards the Kingdom could provide… worked well for her, proof that comparative marketing works :-).

    Well done mate, this is a great idea! (Your photos are not too bad either :-) )

  8. PDN Pulse » Blog Archive » Photog Uses Crappy Client Photos to Get Hired | The Poor Photographer Says:

    […] PDN Pulse » Blog Archive » Photog Uses Crappy Client Photos to Get Hired. […]

  9. john hryniuk Says:

    why are there so many negative comments on here? why are some people who post such d@ckheads?

  10. Crappy Vs Snappy: Photog Uses Side-by-Side Comparisons to Market His Skill Says:

    […] a smart marketing tactic that Hodgins has expanded past the mining images you see here. According to PDN Pulse, when photographing business clients, he’ll take one picture with a camera mounted flash and […]

  11. Horus Says:

    Bugdan, citation needed on that racist bit of claptrap you just slipped in re Cleopatra vs Nubians.

  12. Says:

    You can read more of “fart”s insightful commentary here :-)

  13. CB Says:


    A really great way to show clients the difference – you now just have to hope they appreciate the difference! (Some commentators here clearly do not)

  14. kerie Says:

    Maybe the name Crappy VS Snappy is throwing people off. It does sound a little harsh on the other person taking a photo. Professional’s have an eye for photography and also know how to use lighting and editing to take a picture from nice to wow. Showing clients the difference is a cool concept, exspecialy for those who think they can do it like a professional does.

  15. Melissa Says:

    He truly makes a statement here. There is a huge difference between the crappy photos and the clearly well lit, professional images he took. If you can’t see the difference, you are not a photographer. If you think the crappy ones are better, you are likely just upset that you didn’t think of the project yourself. He shows the difference between well composed, thought out and well lit images vs. snapshots. They are not the same, even if your “camera takes great pictures.” Not everyone is a photographer, they just think they are.

  16. Brian Carey Says:

    Great idea, sure gives the client something to think about!

  17. Educare il cliente » Fuori Fuoco - Blog - NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ITALIA Says:

    […] ma – a suo dire – funziona anche. Un giorno, come racconta al blog americano PDNPulse, ha pensato di portare con sé una cliente un po’ scettica che gli aveva commissionato un […]

  18. Nas Says:

    Brilliant concept!