Photography Blogs: Keeping up 10/28
These photography blogs should be posted more often! As of the last writing I was featured in Pinup Perfection Magazine, Photography Talk, MSN, and at F-Stop Magazine. Pretty cool stuff. BUT, I was featured for my writing as opposed to my photography, which is fine. I consider myself a double threat as far as photography and writing goes. Now, I promise to keep this blog as current and up to date as I can and to fill it with some great topics, cool stories, and different experiences and or perspectives. Photography is a fascinating thing and is equal parts interesting due to subject matter AND because of the clients you meet. I am big on meeting new people and gaining some kind of new perspective on things and just seeing how people think. As a freelancer professional photographer I have run across a million different personalities it makes the job very unique. Everyone is different! As long as there are things to shoot and people to meet then these photography blogs will keep on coming! Next year I hope to launch my own photography podcast on this very website and in conjunction with my photography blogs I bet you guys will either want more or want to turn it off. Either one will be a call to action, so that can’t be all bad!
Photography blogs: You Can’t Please Everyone. 9/10/13
Welcome to another one of my photography blogs. You work hard and play hard. The harder you work the better the rewards. That is a true statement. When you work toward something you will find yourself building something that is fulfilling as well as creative. That being said sometimes you cannot please all of your clients through no fault of your own. People are people and as photographer we have to remember that. ESPECIALLY as photographers we have to remember that everyone is different and that we are not mind readers.
Client satisfaction is the number one goal for all working photographers. We have to take great photos and deliver a high end product so that we get repeat business, as well a referrals, and establish a great reputation. Sometimes photographers will come across people that do not know how to be people. It happens. Most people are completely awesome and if you work hard they will give you that pat on the back and a “Good job, kid.”
Others will just try and tear you down. Why? Because they have nothing better to do or because they are just unhappy with themselves.
Photographers: Do not let these people get to you. You have to remain calm and professional at all times and show the bad apples that you are better than that.
Clients may on occasion issue you a complaint about something that could have easily been remedied with proper communication (on their end). When you offer services it is of the utmost importance to be clear about exactly what you do and what you CAN do in post. This also means that you may have to hold certain clients hands through the entire photography process so that they can suss out exactly what they want. No one is a mind reader.
It’s really easy to bitch and moan about other people but in the photography profession ALL you deal with is people so sometimes you have to take attitudes with a grain of salt. Don’t be a pushover but establish yourself ahead of your shoot so that nothing unforeseen pops up. Sometimes you may have to remind clients that when you order food at a restaurant you can’t talk the waiter or chef into giving you free grub. If someone gets mad that you are charging for extras then let them get mad. It’s not a poor reflection upon you as a photographer at all.
Again, this doesn’t happen all the time but if it does just stay cool and be cool.
Now, bring the ruckus.
Photography Blogs: Flakes 5/27/13
As photographers we all know that dealing with flakes is part of the job. Dealing with flakes is a part of regular life as well. It stings just a bit more when your source of income and creativity falls prey to these dreaded flakes. As photographer we sometimes expect the worse from a new client but hope for the best. Being from New York lots of my clientele are from out of town. Whether they are here to make it as an actor, actress, or model, or have moved here for work – they have all come to the city that never sleeps for an opportunity. Now, in order to capitalize on any opportunity you have to seize it. You never know what is behind a closed door unless you open it and that goes double for photographer and subject.
I know we will never get an inbox completely full of serious, committed, well written emails all day every day, but when we do get that one gem out of ten or twenty poorly written emails that are loaded with errors and vagueness – it’s the best feeling. Why? Because you WANT to work with that person. You KNOW they will be on time. You KNOW that you may learn from that potential experience in an extremely positive way.
We need to value serious clients that know what they want.
What I don’t value are those clients that set up a shoot, say how much they are looking forward to it, or that they can’t wait to start their career, send you emails and texts to confirm, and then either no show the day of without so much as a text, email, or call. Or when you follow up with them and they have a pretty piss poor excuse like “I was hungover.” “I forgot.” “That was today?” Or the ultimate “I found someone cheaper.”
“I found someone cheaper?” Jeez, now that’s a real let down. But, you cannot let it get you down if you have dealt with that excuse before. Why? Well, that excuse is never preceded by “I found someone better.” It also doesn’t mean you should change how much you charge. With anything and sometimes especially in photography – you get what you pay for.
Usually I would politely say: “Oh, no problem, do you mind if I take a look at their website?” nine times out of ten “cheaper” is the RIGHT word.
In this business you will get lied to; “I have shot with magazine photographers around the world and have been modeling for many years.” Really? Well, can you show me your professional photos? I would love to check em out! “I don’t have them right now.” Because THAT’S something someone who is serious about their career would say. Note the sarcasm.
People will try and scam you:
“Come and shoot me because I am an up and coming model and the photos you take will help your portfolio.” No thank you. I have been around long enough to know who I want to shoot and when, and who would be a great asset to my portfolio.
“I cannot afford to pay you now but when I get famous I will.” Thank you for remembering.
People will try to undermine you while price shopping:
“SO and SO does it cheaper.” ok, and? That’s like being mad at me because my neighbor likes ice cream and I don’t. Different strokes for different folks.
The best you can do is kill everyone with kindness. Be super awesome and chipper all the time.
We can never stop the flakes. We can only deal with them. We should also take a 25% non refundable deposit up front!
You are going to get mad but don’t stay mad. It’s part of the job. It also has no bearing on who you are.
It’s not you – it’s them. Well, unless you are a big weirdo and no one likes you. Then, it’s you. All you.
Photography blogs: Shoot what you love and love what you shoot. 4/22/13
If you take photos for a living, are trying to, or just shoot around constantly as a hobby -chances are that not every single photograph comes out the way you want it. There are photographers out there that will spend an endless amount of time setting up and gearing toward that one perfect shot, which is fine and amazing on its own. More power to you if you shoot that way. Most of us kind of go for broke and shoot anything that comes our way or anything we see that we like. Again, not every single picture comes out perfect but sometimes in those imperfections you find a nice little nuance that you really dig. Accidentally amazing shots can sometimes be a photographers bread and butter.
Like any profession or hobby you have to take the good with the bad. Whether it’s bad client attitude, a bad day, or just a general lack of energy, you have to learn how to take your lumps and make the most of the situation. You can’t run away from a “bad day” every single time. You need to make the most of what is being presented to you and it’s your job as a photographer to work within your situation and take the best photos you can no matter what. If you aren’t in love with your subject be in love with your craft and you will always take better photos than you would have otherwise. If you are in love with your subject and it makes you realize why you love photography so much, then by all means shoot for the stars and come out ahead of the game with some wonderful images.
photography blogs: Social Media 3/18/2013
No man is an island. The saying is very true. If you want to show people your work nowadays you have to get out there on any social media site you can and shamelessly self promote your work. Anything that pertains to your brand that you throw out there into the ether will stick somehow and drive traffic to your site, raise awareness of your brand, and would no doubt increase business in the long run.
Having a Facebook page is one thing, but combining that with a Twitter account, Pinterest account, or even Vine, would set you apart from most of your competition. Photography is a large niche business and if you are on a coastal city like NYC or LA you are scraping tooth and nail to get noticed. BUT, if you are in another part of the country where competition is not really around then you can use varying forms of social media to bring your work to the forefront of your area as well as being renown in another area that your home town.
It’s important to Tweet and post relative items that have to do with your brand and it also does not hurt to interact with clients, other photographers, or anyone in the industry. You never know WHO you may meet!
After lots of thought I have recently left my day job. I was sitting at a desk for years and up and decided that I am going to go for it. I am going to dedicate my life to art, photography, writing, and just being a person instead of a cog in a system where I was a fifth wheel. After a couple of days that freedom in starting to sink in. Expect some major changes to the site in the weeks to come, expect more blogs, product reviews, and shoot stories. Thank you all and I hope to shoot you at least once if you are in NYC!
These photography blogs are my own words and ideas.
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