I was talking with a friend and fellow budding photographer who alerted me to a problem that I’ve heard of before, but it never hit home it was an issue…until now.
They told me they had a client/friend who was “afraid” to post their Christmas pictures on Facebook now that they have them back because they “don’t want to make *********** mad” that they weren’t chosen to do them. This saddens me…and should NOT happen!
There are about a million (at least) professional photographers, hobbyists, and start-ups out there so let’s all keep the “jealousy” in check! Please! It’s not about us…it’s about them…the CLIENT! When we have clients (ours and/or others’) who don’t want to post THEIR portraits on Facebook because they’re afraid of offending another photographer; then WE ALL have a problem!
Why do we do this? So our clients have these once in a lifetime moments captured for generations to come…AND so they can SHARE their memories with friends and family!!! I’m not hurt or offended when someone prefers another to me…it’s THEIR CHOICE. Don’t make them feel bad or pressured so they feel they have to “HIDE” their sessions from not just you, but from everyone!
There are so many different reasons clients choose a certain photographer. Their eye, their editing style, the “lightness”, the “blurryness (or Bokeh to those of you “in the know”), the way they work with light, even…*GASP*…cost! I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again. To each their own! Just because someone doesn’t choose you is no reason to get offended or upset.
Constant pressure/repeated asking to take one’s portraits is not only annoying to them, but puts undo pressure on them to use someone they clearly do not want not to use. Maybe they can’t use you right now, or flat-out, brutally honest, they do not prefer your style. Harsh maybe, but that’s the reality of the business.
I’m sure I’ve been guilty of personal pressure over time (sorry if I was to any of my past clients!!), it’s a rookie mistake really! Once you realize your worth you’ll understand that you don’t have to do so much. You want people to appreciate your work enough to CHOOSE you and ask you, not feel obligated or pressured! If someone asks publicly if anyone knows of a photographer then sure, throw your name in the hat…but leave it at that. Give them your info, let them look at your work, and just let it go from there.
I don’t like Hardee’s chicken tenders, but I pretty much love every other restaurant’s chicken tenders. Does that make them bad? No..they’re just not for me! I tried them once when I had a coupon for them after they first came out, and they just didn’t tickle my fancy! Same thing with Photography except instead of having to actually “taste” our photographs to decide if they like them they get to see them and decide.
If you’re constantly pushing people then they vent to their friends about feeling that pressure to use you, and then you’ve got that bad rep to contend with because next time someone brings up your name “Oh I hear they’re really pushy!”…and there’s already so much other photography business junk/negativity to deal with… who needs that easily avoidable mistake? No one!
So, to conclude this little lesson let’s all shelve the jealousy, bitterness, whatever, that’s causing this horrid little problem, and let our clients share their photos!