A photographer takes photos. A photographer who is a master of her craft would take beautifully composed, arranged, attractive photos. With perfect lighting, vibrant colors, excellent contrast. And if the photographer so wishes, she can continue doing just that. She could hold exhibits of her art and win awards and accolades from her peers.
A photographer who takes photos as a service for her clients has slightly different goals. Consider for example, wedding photographers. They not only have to take good photos, the photos serve a purpose beyond the picture itself. Beyond composition and lighting and other technical aspects of taking a photo, making the bride and groom (or any combination there of) “look good” is important. A photographer who takes technically brilliant photos that couples think don’t flatter them, will soon find herself out of commissions. One of the goals for a wedding photographer is to create lasting memories that will be revisited several times. How can she deliver the photos in a way that will make this Job of revisiting memories and viewing the photos easier? Social sharing is important these days. How to deliver the photos in a form that makes sharing easier? A photographer who fulfills these important Jobs is likely to be more successful. Similarly, a fashion photographer who makes it easier for a model to land modeling gigs is better positioned than one who only creates a brilliant portfolio.
I recently met Marc-Olivier Giguère who shoots (photos and videos) medieval castles. I was immediately intrigued by this specialization. His clients have converted castles into hotels. He offers photography services, and they contact him to take photos. He could choose to just go and capture picturesque photos and majestic drone videos. And that’s what he did initially. He of course took his work seriously and delivered the best he could. And yet he found that his clients didn’t seem to be satisfied. He decided to dig further. Before they contacted him, usually they had slumping sales and poor bookings, but they did not tell him this. They expected the grandeur of the castles and the surrounding estates to be attractive enough for people to reserve the rooms inside. They soon discovered that it was not. When Marc-Olivier learned of the situation, he assessed the pictures and descriptions of the rooms and amenities that the castles used. He found that it left a lot to be desired. He helped them revamp the photos of the interiors used on the websites. Compare the before and after pictures below. They speak for themselves. The pictures are not just technically better, but also showcase the amenities in the rooms much better than previously. Clients immediately noticed an uptick in the bookings. I would encourage you to check out some of the other photos on the site.
The function that the clients where hiring him for was photography, but the Job they wanted him to perform was to increase their bookings. Once the underlying Job was clear, it enabled him to offer many more services and improvements along with his traditional photo and video services.
I found this example of function vs. Job fascinating. One needs to perform the core function well. But that may not be sufficient to fulfill the Job to be done. One should always strive to dig deeper, to find the true reasons for buying, beyond those that are stated. It gives us deeper insight into our client’s requirements and situation, helping us provide better services and ultimately, innovation.