15 minutes, a photographer, a camera, a subject and 5 minutes in Photoshop for the Most Discerning Client In the World!

Yesterday I had an epiphany, well actually several.  In the middle of lab issues, family responsibilities and writing, I realized that while my sons is graduating from high school shortly I haven’t yet photographed him for his invitations (I know, me being a Senior Photographer too!)  In my defense I was planning on taking his real senior portraits during our cruise to Alaska which is his Senior Trip (I have already taken care of this!).  But I (well really my wife) realized we needed to get invitations out on Monday, so I needed to take his senior portraits NOW! (And Yes that is how it was told to me.)  She added that we will just use these portraits for the portraits for our home and the portraits we take in Alaska will be for him.

Now I truly love my wife, but I wouldn’t want her for a client.  With our daughter we went to four different locations all around the state as well as many sessions in the studio and she didn’t have what she was looking for.  With our older son we did several sessions of him and portraits on his senior trip in Spain and once again she wasn’t thrilled with her choices.  Yesterday, I thought to myself, “I need to stop thinking like a photographer (just because it is my wife) and start thinking like a successful photographer (like I do with my clients)”  I knew she liked portraits with a larger facial size and taken at an outdoor location.  I was sure I could please her (no pun intended) by just doing what I do.

We went to the park and being it was Saturday it was a circus, there were people everywhere in all the places and general areas I normally shoot.  There was a day time concert in the amphitheater, it wasn’t looking good.  I told my son to drive around to he back side of the park, which wasn’t all that pretty, but at least we wouldn’t have people in the background.  My older son couldn’t help us, so there was no assistant, so all the lighting had to be natural!   By the time we found a place I had about 15 minutes for the session.  So I was one photographer, with one client, working with for the most Discerning client in the world, with completely natural light in an area I had never worked in before with 15 minutes to photograph.  I thought to myself, “this is what I do…I haven’t written all those books for nothing….let’s see if I am as good as I think I am?”  (It helped that I had one of the most handsome kids in the world to photograph!) I captured sixty images in 15 minutes, have 10 completely different background/scene concepts, taking 5 to 6 shots of each background/scene (you don’t need more than that!)

When I was done, I knew I had what she wanted and would make her happy.  She placed her order this morning and she was delighted!  To bad she doesn’t have to pay for her order, it would have been a good weekend!  Her images selections took me 5 minutes in Photoshop to retouch.  This session reaffirmed in me what I say in my books.  So many photographers think good photography is about equipment, technology and do-dad’s and it’s not,  it is about knowledge and knowing what you are going to create before you ever create it. I had a camera (5d with a 70-200mm 2.8 all shots wide open) and the knowledge of how to create what I wanted from what I had to work with.  This session worked because I knew what my client wanted.  So many photographers worry so much about the “What else” they never focus on the “what”.  The “what” is what will make your client happy and they will purchase.  It’s real simple you want to become a better photographer, buy a damn book or video,  not a piece of equipment (one of my books would be a good choice!).  You want to make money in this profession focus on the client wants, not what you learned and want to practice from the seminar or convention.

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on May 16, 2010.

One Response to “15 minutes, a photographer, a camera, a subject and 5 minutes in Photoshop for the Most Discerning Client In the World!”

  1. Thanks so much. I believe in it.

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