If a photographer has never experienced a client who did not like their photos, had unrealistic demands, or was just not a very nice person, then that photographer has not been in business long enough. The reasons why customer service issues tend to happen in our industry are numerous, but the one thing that they can always be traced back to is not managing client expectations properly.
Our society looks at disability so negatively; it’s something to be hidden away, to fear or pity. At the other end of the spectrum, we are characterized as “inspirational” to able-bodied people, “brave” for simply living our lives, or caricatures that make everyone else feel better about themselves. More often than not, we fight to be portrayed just as we are, or how we want to be seen. We deserve the right to decide how we’re represented.
We all want to grow. To grow our business and our photography to that ever-elusive next level. The truth is, you can’t just sit around and wait for the next big growth spurt to come knocking down your door. If you’ve got a new idea that you need to get out into the world, you’re going to have to stretch those creative muscles and get comfortable being uncomfortable.
It's a tough world for the artist looking to stand out. When it comes to uniqueness, it's hard to think of something that hasn't been done to some extent or the other. It really, truly seems like everything already has. I'd like to preface the bulk of my article and say that no, I don't believe everything has been done before. I'm sure there are lots of ideas that have never come to fruition. What are they?
As you cull your most recent wedding, you might be asking yourself, “When do I go black & white?” Throughout my career, I have displayed both color and black & white photos in my portfolio. I enjoy black & white images, because there’s simply something different to them.
I really believe that learning to properly use a bounced flash will give you a much greater degree of freedom when you are on a shoot. In venues that allow for it, you will be instantly prepared for any lighting condition and will no longer be shackled to the off-camera flash or sent scrambling for one to mount to the camera.
When working with your clients, there are a few things that might seem elementary and like common sense, and yet they are critical to your overall success: being upbeat and friendly, being professional, being on time, being prepared, being well-dressed, having a photographic vision or direction (even when following a creative approach), and knowing your equipment inside and out.
We’ve all seen countless portraits or headshots where the subject is obviously uncomfortable. They’ve got a disconnected look in their eyes, or they are just not present, or they are trying too hard not to try too hard. What went wrong? Just as a film director would speak with an actor on set, we are responsible for the performance of our subject. We must maintain awareness of how our clients feel if we want to direct them to be more present.
The standards for client communication are changing constantly; what might have been standard five years ago just isn’t anymore. In general, communication with clients is now about more texting/internet time and less in-person/phone time. You'll find that not knowing how to talk to your clients in the language and medium that they prefer will lose you potential business and cause you stress for no reason.
The wedding details, such as the ring, accessories, invitations, and other little elements, come together to make the big day as special as it is. The ceremony is important, of course, but it is often the photos of these little details that allow the bridge, the groom, and their friends and family to really revel in the awe and beauty of the wedding.