You (a pleasing personality…attitude and appearance)
You are everything in your photography business and your attitude will determine your level of success. You need to learn to deal with things in a different way now you are (or will be) your own boss.
In any normal job, people tend to get away with more as the buck generally stops elsewhere but when working for yourself, especially as a sole trader…it all stops with you.
Imagine the scenario
A couple are planning their big day for example, their wedding, and emotions can run wild from pure excitement to complete stress as things get closer. I have seen this so many times.
The last thing couples or clients need when “interviewing” photographers is a Prima Donna!
Remember, the customer is always right and wedding couples for instance, are no different. In fact, whoever you are doing photography work for, treat them as equals.
When you meet a couple or client for the first time, be happy! If you are doing something you love, i.e. photography, for a living, shouldn’t you always be happy? Leave your troubles at home along with your religious beliefs, your prejudices, your opinions about anything and everything and just concentrate on the job at hand.
I never get caught up in couples’ or family debates or arguments over anything and believe me, if you shoot weddings long enough, you will be called upon for opinions, help and even asked to settle arguments on occasion as you are generally around the couple more than anyone else.
I like sitting slap bang in the middle of the fence every time!
Greeting people with a smile whether a potential client, business associate or supplier (even competitors) will get you a long way. It will get you more work and more importantly, repeat work which is a huge part of any business as it is easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one.
There may be times when you want to scream and shout as you are firmly told what you did was wrong even though you are certain it was right. How you deal with such things will again, determine your future. In my youth I was quite hot-headed and it took me a long time to realise that it is people not opinions, pride or a smart-ass attitude that get you places.
It’s not what you know but who you know
As well as your attitude, your appearance also makes a great deal of difference. When I first got into photography, it seemed trendy for photographers to be quite scruffy and unshaven looking with a style of their own. The professional photographer I did my apprenticeship with had longish hair and always wore a flat cap, jeans and shirt when working, although when we shot a wedding, he would put a jacket on.
Always take care with your appearance and personal hygiene, and respect the couples wishes. Be nice!
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