Why I Don’t Answer My Phone Anymore (Also Why I Cancelled Voice Mail)

why I don't answer the phone and cancelled voicemail

If you’re a photography business owner, you know the feeling:

Your phone rings, you drop everything and rush to grab your phone to take the call…”Hello, can I speak to the person in charge of finances…your website…purchasing…advertising?”

At that moment, I would like nothing more than to reach through my phone and strangle the a$$hat on the other end.

So, I thought I’d explain why I don’t answer my phone anymore, and why I cancelled voice mail.

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Women vs. Men

Missy_Gump

Men photographers…listen up, you need to be more like women.
Women photographers…listen up, you need to be more like men.

Men need to be in touch with their feminine side in order to be better photographers and women need to stop being so feminine in order to be better photographers.

Am I the only one that feels this way of thinking is whacked? I mean, one taco short of a combination plate kind of whacked?

If you hear this advice coming out of any speaker/coach/workshop-giver’s mouth…run. Run far. Run fast. Don’t look back. Just pull a Gump and “Run, Forrest, Run!”

And it troubles me, because when you are standing in front of a client with a camera in your hand, you aren’t a male photographer or a female photographer…you are simply a photographer. Or at least, that’s how it should be.

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Can I Just Get The Digital Files?

disk

Dear potential client,

I have no crystal ball, yet, I know you will be calling me this week for information about what I do. You might have seen one of my displays or my website or, hopefully, was referred by a friend. And you will have liked what you saw-otherwise, you wouldn’t be calling me. And for that, I am truly happy.

And we will speak together on the phone: me asking questions to better understand what it is you are needing, but more importantly, what you are “wanting.” The wants are always more important than the needs when it comes to Art. And we will speak of the love you have for your family and ideas for your session and I will share your excitement, for this truly is an exciting time.

And then, dear potential client, you will ask that question that is asked every day in phone calls to photography studios everywhere: “Can I get just the digital files?”

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Is photography meeting your needs? — A reflection on what’s important

Is photography meeting your needs?There’s a segment of readers (yes, those of you who have life and your career all figured out) who will dismiss this as drivel. This is for the more humble among you…

In a recent blog post, marketing guru Seth Godin asked a series of simple, yet poignant, questions:

Is it meeting your needs…

Or merely creating new wants?

Is it honoring your time or squandering your time?

Is it connecting you with those you care about, or separating you from them?

Is it exposing you or giving you a place to hide?

Is it important, or only urgent?

Is it right, or simply convenient?

Is it making things better, or merely more pressing?

Is it leveraging your work or wasting it?

What is it for?

…and, immediately, I began to reflect on my own career as a creative professional.

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I Wish this was an April Fool’s joke; Photoflex Closes Shop After 30 Years

photoflex-01

If you’ve been around the photography industry you must know Photoflex. They make lighting equipment.

Yesterday a photo appeared on their website telling the world that they are closing shop. We were all hoping that it was some kind of an April’s fool joke, but sadly, despite the date coincidence, it is true.

Photoflex has been in business for about 30 years and are known for making good quality products.

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Studio Binder Aims to Simplify the Chore of Coordinating Talent

Studio Binder

For a recent bridal photography fashion session, I had over thirty emails flying around between myself and my talent just to confirm availability, let everyone know what time to be there, where to go, and what to bring.

And that doesn’t include all the reminder and clarification text messages.

This was a a relatively simple shoot with just me, a model, makeup artist, video guy and location owner involved.

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Gender Based Photography Groups – WHY?

gender-photography-group

The first one I ever saw was “Chicks Who Click.” It was years ago and the photography industry was predominately male. I didn’t think too much of it, but wondered (aloud at times) the wisdom of, not only creating a gender biased photography group, but giving it a cutesy name like “Chicks Who Click.” By naming it that, they downplayed the seriousness and professionalism of their chosen profession. They demoted themselves from “professional photographers” to “middle school sleep-over photography club.” I envisioned a bedroom of giggling girls, braiding each other’s hair, talking about boys, and occasionally using some derivative of the word “passion” and “photography” in the same sentence.

A few years later, I was at a national convention and met a woman who handed me her business card. On it, was the name of a photography group she’d founded – “Women Only Workshops, She’fari Photographers.” Whaaaa? Yep, she was very proud of the group and said business couldn’t be better. Of course, I, possessing the wrong genitalia, was not allowed to attend any of her workshops or go on any “She’faris” so I’m not quite sure WHY she even bothered to give me her business card unless it was just to rub it in. She seemed very nice, so I doubt she meant it as an insult though, but still. Helloooo? Common Sense???

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Why “Do What You Love” Career Advice Leads To “I Live In A Van Down By the River” For Creative Professionals

career advice for creative professionals

I have been thinking a lot recently about the direction that I want to take my photography business, and this week I came across two really interesting ways of looking at career advice for creative professionals.

First, there is the “do what you love” genre of career advice for creatives.  Then, there are statistics.

For the sake of this article, lets call them fantasy and reality.

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Is Live Sports Photography Really Photography?

What about concert photography?  Fashion show photography?  Paparazzi? Red carpet event photography?  Or pretty much any circumstance where there are multiple photographers taking the same photos from the same location, in the same light, with the same gear, at the same settings, producing photos that look pretty much the same as every other game / concert / fashion show / celebrity photo ever taken?

Live Sports Photography [Read more…]