Making You Smile

Making You Smile

Truth be told, I am not a people person. I appreciate occasional praise but I would rather not be the center of attention. Just let me do my job, tell others I’m doing well, and recognize me when it comes time for that annual eval or personal recommendation. This gets a bit odd when I take on my photographer role. Here I am, holding a camera, constantly convincing myself that you expect me to pose you. Part of my job is making you smile.

Earning Your Praise

In short, I am not the flamboyant, friendly guy who wins you over with unflappable charm. Being relatively reserved, I avoid doing things that I feel would be intrusive to others. We could go deep into a psychological rabbit hole, but the point is, actions are far more important and effective than mere words. People say stuff all the time. What they do is where it really matters. No amount of friendly, feel good banter can make up for a complete lack of follow-through when it matters. From my perspective, I will never earn your praise by “chatting you up”. Rather, I will be making you smile by delivering on promises.

The Perennial Plague of Poor Photographers

A lot of things in the photography industry seem to cycle on and off. In my experience, however, one thing maintains a fairly constant hum: Models complain about photographers who never deliver images quickly enough. I have thoughts. I’ll try to keep them brief.

  • If it takes more than two weeks to deliver fully edited images, you are either a wedding photographer (in which case, aim for four weeks), you had something unexpected happen and have already informed your client, or you are lacking in professionalism.
  • Putting paid gigs in front of trade shoots is nothing more than an excuse. A trade shoot is a paid shoot. Just because dollars aren’t changing hands doesn’t mean you weren’t paid in kind. Get with the program and stop making models wait for you to decide you have time to do your job.
  • Technology fails. Hard drives crash. Excrement happens. We all know this, so why weren’t you better prepared? If something tragic and unavoidable does happen, take the blame. Explain the problem and offer a solution. Don’t lead people on that you are “fixing the problem”.
  • If you screw up and the shots are terrible, own it. Apologize. Ask for a second chance. Refund the client. Fix the problem for the client. Again, trade models are clients.

My Key For Making You Smile

I make mistakes. When I do, I own them. I am not just a Certified Professional Photographer, I do my best to act like one, too. Ultimately, being a professional is pretty easy. I know my craft, I never stop learning, I deliver on my promises, and I treat you the way I want to be treated.

To all those who have trusted me to capture you in a photograph, thank you.

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