Walks into the room. Stands on the stage. Places right hand on Bible. “I, Dustin Meyer, do solemnly swear that someday soon, everyone will have clients that truly appreciate their photographer’s work as true art in every sense of the word, to find every detail in the image, to have and to hold, from this day forth and forever more. Amen.”
Ok, so a little dramatic, but it’s my true feelings on the topic when it comes to painting the right picture of yourself. I want to share a recent experience with you that I just had with a client. Actually, it just happened last night to be specific.
I have this amazing bride. Funny, successful, photogenic, creative, talented, everything. Jennifer is the bride we all come to love, and hope to have within every client.
Like many of my brides, Jennifer is an out of town bride. Therefore, I rarely get to sit down and go over bridal images in the studio with my brides. Most of our review time is spent on the phone. What does this mean? I don’t get to “razzle-dazzle” Jennifer with a gorgeous Animoto slideshow, pull on her heartstrings, make her mom cry, etc. I have to use my words over the phone as we look at them together in a Collages.net gallery. I can’t use music or fancy special effects to knock her dead with my images. I have to use myself.
Hmm, how do I do that, Dustin? You have to show your clients that you’re an artist in every true sense of the word. A short while back, I attended the WPPI Road Trip when it came to Dallas. And they never fail to satisfy me. If there’s one speaker you ever need to hear before you die, it’s Joe Buissink. This man is an artist in every way, not just with his photos, but in the ways he crafts intricate connections between himself, his artwork, and his clients. It’s a glimmering spiderweb of passion, love, creativity, and beauty interwoven to attach the client to their commissioned work for a lifetime. And that’s my point, your client is hiring you to paint a beautiful portrait of themselves. And you are the filter they trust to make it unique with your own flair and style.
I spent at least two hours on the phone with Jennifer, guiding her, helping her make her decision on which canvases she wanted to display at her wedding. Why would I do this? Because when you know more about an artists intentions, you’re more likely to love a piece of work. Think about it. Wine lovers take the time to learn about what region the grapes were grown in, what time of year they are harvested, how they are pressed, and eventually fermented into the bottle they’ve come to appreciate. It’s the same way with our work. We have to educate our clients on the who, what, when, where, and why of every image when it comes to selecting the perfect portrait. You have to make everything in the photo count, leave nothing in or out that would take away from the image. A painter wouldn’t paint something onto the canvas if it wasn’t supposed to be there.
A lot of this is backed with confidence. It takes time to build, can be smashed to bits in an instant, but it’s completely essential to selling your images. When your client hears the passion in your voice as you describe why this image is a perfect representation of her personality, the Hollywood lighting, the vintage diner booth with dark brown leather, the brass accents, the gold framed cow painting that appears to be kissing her on the back of the head, the power of her personality glowing from this image, the fact that this image looks like a shot taken between shots while this fabulous bride is taking a break and she still looks amazing… well you get the picture (wink).
The more you invest your passion into your explanations of your work, the more your clients will love it. You’re an artist, it’s supposed to be about love, creativity, passion, etc. I guarantee the first time you try it, you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes with your work and with your customers.
WHICH IMAGE DO YOU THINK JENNIFER PICKED FOR HER CANVAS? POST YOUR GUESS AND YOUR COMMENTS BELOW…