Here is a little secret I want to share and this will come as a shock to many photographers. NO ONE GIVES A RATS ROYAL ASS ABOUT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY!
Profound isn't it. Well most truths are and sometimes it stings a little. Many of us go forth and capture great epic images and we proceed to share them in the hopes of being discovered. Well that isn't likely. I for one share images like most, and I enjoy the reaction especially when a photo hits home with residents of a community. For the most part I do a lot of sharing on facebook as well as Instagram. Yes these are ways to put your work forward, but if you look at the return as it relates to new business, I think it can be agreed with that the return on investment for posting a photo is not a worthy investment. Photographers including myself however will continue to do so. Now let's talk about boosting images and or paying for reach. It can be a solid marketing idea if you are looking for reach, but in the end reach has to evolve to new business. For the most part, a new client will stay with one photographer especially if the experience's are positive. It can be stated that clients are loyal, and will return to said photographer every time they have a need for photographic services. So the question here is why? Do you think it is because you produced outstanding images? Perhaps. I however think it has a lot more to do with the person behind the camera. After all these years, and all the training and learning of new innovative styles of image capture not to mention learning how to edit an image none of this matters. What matters is the experience and the personality of a photographer. I can tell you first hand that as a user of social media, (mainly facebook) I get to see just how many photographers exist in a demographic region, and it is amazing to me how many people are offering services. Now out of all these people who take images it can be stated with out any hesitation that maybe five percent of them know their way around a camera. However if they have a crappy personality it wouldn't matter if they are Ansel Fricking Adams, they are not going to get the job.
What's funny to me is I see imagery from said photographers and if it is a good photo it's because of editing. Not to many have the ability to capture a great image in the camera. It has become a lost art. With that being said, photographers still get work and it is due to personality. The sad part is personality may get you the gig, but if you can't capture a decent image in camera and your talent is in editing, you are screwing your clients big time. Having cut my teeth in film photography, I understand that you have to get it right. Film gave you one shot, and if you did not get it right, you blew it.
Digital however, changed that, and the evolution of the raw file and editing software was key in opening up the market, and allowing so many people to offer services. It could be debated if this is a good thing or not, but I know this, if you want to test a photographers skills ask them to take a photo and not edit it. You can then clearly see the skill set as they have to rely on their knowledge of just what all those settings and controls are. I often times like to show clients the image I captured in camera, and I am always jacked when I see the reaction. So I can say without any doubt that if there was ever a test of skills which involved a simple image capture and those images were judged, I would bury the me too crowd. In fact I have thought about trying to put something like this together just to prove a point. The reality is NONE OF THIS MATTERS!!!!
If you are a person with a crappy personality, and you take great images, sell your camera, cause you are not gonna thrive
If you have a great way with people and your images suck, sell your camera, you are not gonna make it.
If you have a great way with people and you can take a picture well you might be a photographer.
Last big point, If you have to beg for work, you may need to look at everything. I often times see photographers responding themselves to requests or recommendations for photographers, and if you really think about it, its kind of a bad look. It shows desperation or at least in my opinion it does.
My name is mentioned a lot in social media groups, when a person is looking for a photographer in these groups. I do get a notification when my name is mentioned however I do not post a link to my page. I sometimes will send a private message if I feel I can be of service to someone, but for the most part I prefer that people contact me and allow me to opportunity to earn their business. Another practice I avoid is commenting to a potential client about other photographers. Here is the reason and this all comes from past experiences. My name was mentioned right away, as a member of this social group had asked for photographer recommendations. The recommendation came from a past client that I have done several jobs for, and I thanked them for the recommendation. Just by doing that, I was notified by facebook every time a new post was placed in regards to this job. One camera owner had the nerve to state that I did not do this type of imagery. That is when I decided it was time for a clarification. This individual in fact I did know , not well, but I was asked for some help as they were new to photography. I did offer suggestions and it was admitted that they had no idea how to operate a camera and shot everything in full auto. My suggestion was they better learn to use the creative or controlled modes, as full auto is simply not an option for a person who is advertising themselves as a pro. So when I saw the remark regarding what I do as a photographer, I was a little angry. I did make a statement about that, and I asked publicly if this person had ever learn to shoot out of the full auto mode. I was told to mind my own business. My final response was, "that is exactly what I was doing" . The client seeking did end up contacting me, and I provided them with an experience that they were quite happy with. They also loved the images.
we all know that sometimes no matter what people will have personality conflicts, it is how you act towards these conflicts that will define who you are as a photographer. A person may not like you and that is ok. It is all about fit and as time has taught me, I as a photographer have to be as selective about my clients as they are towards their choices for a photographer. In the end, one thing is for sure, if a client and you are a fit, always give them your best. This will lead to word of mouth advertising and it is by far the best. It is also how this mess became a lesson and a rule of operation for my conduct.
THE WINTER BLAHS are here, but some great frames are around if look closely.
UNTIL NEXT TIME.
That's a wrap!!!