I hope you don’t mind if I get candid and honest with you here. My hope is that by now you know that I don’t play games or tip toe around when I am passionate about something. I also know that my audience is photographers & clients so finding balance in how I speak and what I share can be a little of a challenge.
I can only be me and hope that whoever you are, there is something here that you connect with.
I am a thinker. A feeler. I can sit in the quiet for hours and go over and over in my head ideas, thoughts, plans, conversations, etc. Its something I love & hate. It means that while I feel and care a great deal, that same depth can also keep me from moving forward as it can hold a heavy fear of failure.
In business this can destroy you if you hold on to each interaction second guessing it all with to much feeling and emotion. But if you allow it in limits, to be a strength, you can create a business that fulfills you in ways you never dreamed.
Being an emotionally connected person means the highs are high and the lows can be really low. If I spend to much time consumed with how I think something should have gone, how my work is accepted, why someone didn’t book me, etc. it can bring me to a deep valley that is hard to get out of. We are in a world of instant gratification. We want the quick pat on the back, the high from being liked and seen right now. A vicious cycle again and again to get more and more approval. We start comparing and second guessing if the current work doesn’t get the same or better reaction as before. Even to the point of deleting content because maybe its not good enough.
I had a freeing moment the other day. I read a quote, and I am paraphrasing so forgive me. The more people you repel the more you are actually drawing the right people to you. Basically, we can’t win them all. Not everyone is going to be your biggest fan or even like what you produce. The more you can hone in on your way of doing things, what makes you unique, you are repelling the ones that aren’t right for you and attracting the ones you are after. The ones who can’t get enough of what you are doing and who you are.
Now when I say “the ones that aren’t right or you do not want”, I am not talking about the ones who buy the biggest package, are super pretty, have a magazine style wedding, a certain style or look, pricepoint, income level, etc. I don’t sit down and categorize my clients by a style or spending habit. I don’t know where they shop. I am talking about connecting with someone. You know what I am talking about. My ideal clients are ones who get me. They care about photography. They want something different. They want to get to know me and I them. We talk about tv shows, and food, laugh about dumb jokes. They trust me completely. They want to create with me & thats what we do.
I can’t get hung up on the ones who said no to me. I’m not going to chase them down, offer a discount, or convince them that they want to work with me. I decided a while ago that my work will never be about a package or paycheck. I will only take on work that I am excited about because my clients expect something from me & in order to do that I have to be all in. I will give them everything I’ve got.
clients looking for your team //
Be honest with your vendors.
You have a lot on your plate. If its your wedding, its basically the biggest job interview ever and having to hire all the right people in a certain time frame and budget. Its a lot! Just be up front with us. Expectations, what’s important to you, if you are only price shopping but don’t really know what you want yet. We get it, just let us know. And then, after the conversations/emails, PLEASE tell us where you are at. When you send us an inquiry for a date, we get excited! We do sit and wonder if you are still looking or interested. If we are out of budget, let us know. If its not a good fit, its ok! If you already hired someone, perfect! We just ask that you let us know. For me I don’t send a template email to those who contact me, I take time to read and reply in an effort to get to know you and be there from the very beginning. I do set aside time to meet in person or talk over the phone. It sucks when the conversations just stop and emails are left ignored. I wonder, because I care and I want you to have a killer experience. I also want you to have the right people taking care of you, and happy to help you find them if its not me.
Stop undervaluing yourself. Stop giving discounts, taking on jobs that just cover the travel costs. Shooting for free for a friend because you “feel bad”. Chasing after unrealistic goals or “fame” that has no merit or value. You are going to run yourself into the ground, burn out and have nothing left to give. You can either be your biggest fan or worst enemy. If this is your business, and you are a business owner then figure out what makes YOU different. Why should your product be purchased? What do you offer to your clients that no one else can? Spend more time on those thoughts. Write them out, make it your daily speech. Stop comparing. Stop paying attention to what they are doing. Spend more time creating and booking work that fulfills you then consumed on what you don’t have.
Okay, I had to get those thoughts off my chest. I do truly love this industry & what we get the privilege to do everyday with some really incredible people! I want us all to succeed. The more honest we can be the better for everyone.
Keep the conversations going, community is beautiful.