A major part of being a working photographer is spent managing your business and tending to your client’s questions, concerns, feedback, etc…For the most part, this aspect of professional photography isn’t the worst thing in the world, but there always seems to come a point when you find yourself working with a problem client that is too demanding, too irrational, or too cheap to even make doing the job worth it. [Read more…]
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.
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.
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?”
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…
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.
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.
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.
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???
Photographers love to hate weddings. On one hand, wedding photography can be a nice hit of cash. On the other, wedding photography is often more work than its worth.
In this article, I will share a wedding photography business model that I have been using that has maximized my wedding profitability and allows me to blow budget vendors out of the water.
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.