i learned a few things this year. they all have to do with becoming a tougher businesses person and better photographer.
let's hit topic #1.
dealing with the NO FEELING.
this is quite self explanatory but again, I didn't recognize this feeling till mid season and then I paused and knew what I had to do. the no feeling (as i like to call it) is what a client will give a photographer if it's just not going to work out for the best between them.
photography on many levels is a chemistry thing. if the photographer and client don't "get" each other. ugh, watch out. the photographer becomes a camera clicking drown with no creativity and the client is usually a self-obsorbed, nit picking person who drove their photos to that state.
now, i'm not saying that this little tiny fact is awful, but generally speaking, this is NOT IDEAL. sure, if you're a photographer and want to become a clicking drone then by all means, ignore the no feeling and continue on. but this no feeling saved me a few nightmares this year and by the end of the year, i had only clients that trusted and wanted MY photography (not their own).
so, how do we recognize the no feeling?
very easy. it's the pit aching feeling you get when you are usually in the beginning stages of either conversation with a potential client and they start the email/or opening sentence like this "i really love your work but i really want my photos to look like this." BIG BUZZER. i say, sorry this is what your photos will look like, if you are not comfortable with my style, I may not be your photographer. at this point, it will usually deter them. however, if you were anything like i was. business is OMG business! how do you turn down anyone willing to slap a deposit on the table? and let me tell you, turning down money is DIFFICULT. a) i love money b) i love working. so ....
here's where i learned my lesson. i had a girl do a consultation this past year, i had the no feeling but i ignored it. she was nice enough, she paid the $40 fee to sit and talk to me for TWO HOURS - asked ridiculous questions... example "what kind of camera do you use" - my response "a d300s nikon and many different prime lenses"... her response "oh! haha I have no idea what that means but sounds legit!" (this was all downtown Vancouver - yea that's not my area, during RUSH HOUR i did this) and then when it came to booking (of which she said when i did the consultation she'd book but then changed her mind), decided she no longer trusted me and told me if i wanted her business i had to come back downtown, look at her recpetion venue and then she might give me a desposit. After I got this email from her, I respectfully declined in which case she emailed me back a heated thing saying I ripped her off. at which point i ignored her crazy behaviour.
If you don't trust I can show up to the day of your wedding and shoot a venue without seeing it, we have issues. Let alone the demanding and demeaning behaviour she displayed throughout the whole conversation.
Now, she could have been under massive amounts of stress with the wedding, but really, I'm not there to be treated like crap. I'm there to take photos of your day and be able to do a good job of it. I can't do this if you're going to be bossy and controlling and most of all, not trusting. sorry.
So the no feeling. It will save your butt. listen to it. respect it. go find worthy, nice, respectful clients you can make awesome photos with!
working on being AWESOME.
alright, alright. that's a bit presumptuous but let's be honest. we all gotta find our awesome and embrace it. that being said. what the heck makes us awesome?
well, it's definitely not over edited, blurry images that your mom said were nice.
OH THAT WAS MEAN. maybe too much ?
Alright, I'm gonna be honest, this is the one point of photography thats tainted me. I'm not in competition with anyone but myself but when I see dime-a-dozen photographers out there never improving or even trying to do so, and they keep pushing and selling the same bad photos to people? well, it's non of my business but ... you need to change. go on Craigslist and look at all those photographers. go on there and you'll know what I'm talking about.
I'm not degrading CL cause let's be honest, I use it. but I like to use to gain, weather than out of dersperation. I filter. If you want my work, pay, if not - no go.
So there it is. I like my work. It's what I want right now. I've at least improved from when I started. (i think by leaps and bounds and other obstacles) so, for me. right now is awesome. next year I'll have a different awesome. but awesome is standing out, not being afraid and not thinking you know everything when you clearly can always improve.
awesome is not coping, it's not mimicking. it's not following. it's freaking leading.
if you're a dime-a-dozen mommy with a canon t2i or d5100 and a kit lens or one 50mm 1.8 cause the photo guy said it'd make you have amazing photos - all the while on AUTO MODE, then we need to talk. if you want to get somewhere, get there, but in order to get past this step, you need to go back to topic #1 and reroute. cause all you'll keep doing is attracting topic 1 and topic 2 perpetually.
practice makes perfect. practicing wrong - doesn't (but who am i to say who's wrong) all I know is who and what sells and dime-a-dozen doesn't sell.
So being Awesome. do it. practice, learn, find and create your own. this would incorporate branding as well.
Ignoring the DUMB, BLIND & CLINICALLY CRAZY.
this topic involves the first two but is a product from accomplishing the first topics...
what is dumb? baby, don't hurt me, don't hurt me - no more. dumb is that photographer that just commented on your page and told you your photos are blown out when they can't even expose their own photos correctly.
Blind? well that's the photographers that think "out of focus" is cool and... (i just laughed out loud) their style.
Clinically Crazy? is when you decide to go and meet new photographer friends who hate you cause you are the two above topics and their the dime-a-dozen (and know it).
so the goal here is to IGNORE THE LIVING CRAP OUT OF THESE PEOPLE AND CONTINUE TO DO what makes them so mad at you. cause i'll let you in on a secret, people don't hate unless you have something worth hating. and worth hating will make you money and make you a cut above the rest and make all your dreams come true.
alright, so those are my sarcastic and awesome topics i decided i learned this year. for me, these are very important. it's important to be yourself no matter what. never copy. always make your mark in the world and be a genuine person to everyone. that way when topic #3 hits ya, you'll know you've done nothing wrong. they have no reason to hurt you other than the fact that what you're doing is something they can't do. so find it, embrace it and jump!