I remember while growing up, everytime I saw a photographer at school, weddings, parties, even tv, they always rubbed me the wrong way…
Walking around stiff and uptight in their monkey suits, with an air of “I’m an artist! So shut up and sit up straight, and put your fist on your chin…just like so. Does it hurt? Too bad! Suck it up and smile, so I can have your parent’s money.”
What a bunch of grouchy bastards.
When I first started working with clients I tried to be serious, originally imitating the dinosaurs, I thought that was the right way. This stressed me out and made my customers a bit uncomfortable, which didn’t sit well with me.
At the time, since I was new, I didn’t charge much so I still got new clients. They loved the pictures, but returning customers and referrals where not there.
I have always been the one cracking jokes, running around having fun, always laughing with or at something…never too shy to make a fool of myself if it meant entertaining a crowd…which made me seem unnatural when I took the “uptight photographer approach.”
Once I realized the problem, I got away from that, I stopped taking myself too seriously when behind the camera.
Going from pose to pose, location to location cracking jokes and wowing clients with the results while entertaining them. Photography sessions became part of my social entertainment. Partying along with the wedding party, having a drink with the couple after an engagement session, getting to know them, going for a swim after portraits at the lake…truly becoming a part of my client’s family for just one day.
This has in turn multiplied the amount of refferals, repeat business, and friends… What can I say… Be yourself, let your hair fall out of place and you may see beneficial changes.
I just added my business to yelp, about a week ago, and already you can see that people love my approach: http://www.yelp.com/biz/alex-chernak-photography-rocklin
There will always be the unfriendly, stiff client, but I’d rather pass up on the money if I’m not enjoying the company. I got into photography without knowing that I was going to make money with it…I began my photographic journey because I loved it, and if you don’t love it its not worth doing it.
This is me screwing around as always with Shelly, my favorite model.
Photo by: Gabriela Michanie
My awesome sister 🙂