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Author Archives: Don Feenerty

You Get What You Pay For

You Get What You Pay For

You get what you pay for. We all know that, but sometimes the deal seems too good to be true. So, you take a chance. This goes for just about everything in life. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. The advertising world isn’t immune to these fly by nights and cheap deals. Even the best of clients sometimes fall for this. Someone says they can shoot your video or design your logo for half the price of an agency. They like to say that they have no overhead and no agency fees. What this really translates to is no insurance, don’t pay taxes and have no staff.

Over the years while working as a full-time commercial photographer I have had plenty of clients tell me that my fees were too high, and that if I didn’t lower my fees they would have to use someone else. I never once caved for this. Instead I would wish them the best. I did this because I knew they would not be happy elsewhere, at least not for long. And I knew they would be back. Best not to make a big deal out of it, since I knew we were going to be doing business together again.

I remember a client who said that my $200 an hour fee was ridiculous, even though they had been paying me this amount for years. As it turned out a new photographer approached them and said that he only charged $50 an hour. The choice was easy. My client dumped me and went with the cheaper guy. After all, he was only one fourth the cost. Then one day he failed to show up because he was needed at his “real job.” Another time he took too long to deliver his photos, saying that if the client wanted same day service, they would have to pay more for that. How much more? Well, as it turned out it was more than my $200 an hour fee.

My point is simple. You really do get what you pay for. I once had a guy tell me that he and his buddy could install a whole house air conditioner for less than half the estimate I got for just the cooling unit alone from a reparable dealer. I eventually found that they installed a used unit, and even at that it was the wrong size and improperly installed. I ended up paying the dealer the full price anyway, and also had to eat the cost I paid the cheaper guys.

At Wheelhouse we understand that our clients have budgets that they have to adhere to. We know what it costs to provide every client with the best service we can. Already factored into our costs are things like wages, rent, insurance, equipment and all the many things that go into maintaining a first-rate shop. Sometimes clients get miffed at the amount services cost. They go off in a huff and try to find someone cheaper. And sometimes it works out for them. Eventually though, they come back. They come back because they realize that we offer top notch service at a fair cost. Wheelhouse is the first agency I have been involved with that honestly and up front lets the client know exactly what everything costs. We find that an informed customer is a happy customer.

Flying in Small Planes

Flying in Small Planes

The joy of being strapped into a tin can thousands of feet above the ground. I was having lunch the other day with Jamie Bordas and Joe Monahan from Wheelhouse. Jamie was telling us of a pleasant experience he had recently had on his first privately chartered airplane trip. He mentioned that it was out… Continue Reading

Finding the Perfect Shot

Finding the Perfect Shot

The first thing I want to know on a video set is where my shot is. Once I know my shot and shot location I’m able to light it, dress it and figure out the motion. It’s TV folks. It’s magic, or at least it looks like it. Our job as Wheelhouse Creative’s video production… Continue Reading

Around Town: Oglebay’s Route 88 Brew & BBQ

Around Town: Oglebay’s Route 88 Brew & BBQ

It starts as you walk toward the building. From the parking lot you detect the wonderful tang of wood smoke and smell of meat cooking. Then as you get a little closer you actually see the smoke, and if you are lucky you might see the master chef himself carrying in a tray of beautiful… Continue Reading

Above the Fold

Above the Fold

Back in the old days, we had a marketing tool that was perhaps unsurpassed by all others. It was known as print. Print came many forms. There were magazines, brochures, signs and the almighty newspaper. Today, electronic media has replaced, or at least dwarfed, much of the older style conduits for print advertising, but the… Continue Reading

Tips for Impressive Cell Phone Photos

Tips for Impressive Cell Phone Photos

Cell phones and digital cameras have made photographers out of everyone. Technology has certainly taken most of the learning curve out of the craft. It used to be that you had to learn things like shutter speeds and aperture settings, exposure and reciprocity. Now all you have to do is point and shoot and the… Continue Reading

Things I Learned from my Old Man

Things I Learned from my Old Man

My old man was a junk man his whole life. He started out as a rag picker in 1929 when he was 13 years old. He would pull a wagon through the streets of North, East, Center and South Wheeling, as well as the Island, Claytor, Elm Grove and Woodsdale, calling out for rags. These… Continue Reading

Cooking with the Wheelhouse Creative Director

Cooking with the Wheelhouse Creative Director

 With the holiday season upon us, people across this great nation of ours start thinking about food. Not just any food, but traditional, iconic home cooked food. The problem is, not everyone knows how to cook. Actually, I think most people don’t really know how to cook, and why would they? Since the 1970s, we… Continue Reading

A Powerful Experience

A Powerful Experience

The first time I actually experienced raw, brute power was when I fired up my first tractor. It was a 1959 Allis Chalmers D14, bright orange and covered in grease and oil. It was dirty, ugly and beat to crap, but I fell in love with it just the same. To think I almost refused… Continue Reading

My Log House Adventure

My Log House Adventure

My wife and I are at a place in our lives where travel is not as important to us as it used to be. We liked traveling to far away lands. Now we are much more interested in traveling to far away times. For us our most recent journey takes the form of an 1809… Continue Reading

Smithfield Transfer

Smithfield Transfer

I started working at Smithfield Transfer while I was still in high school. I washed trucks, ran errands and did other odd jobs after school and on weekends. After graduation, Smitty (the owner of Smithfield Transfer) let me drive truck for the summer while I figured out what I wanted to do. Nothing big, just… Continue Reading

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304.905.6005


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412.291.8971

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