I am sorry Blog Tuesday is late this week, but how about a YAY for Blog Wednesday?! I was attending a business webinar yesterday hosted by my fave, Katelyn James. But it set me behind on giving you guys a new blog post. Hope you don’t mind!
I think this one will be worth the wait though, because I have something deeper to share in this portfolio post. I want to show you all Carolyn’s professional headshots from her session two weeks ago! But I also want to address something I have been dealing with these last two weeks that maybe some of you can relate to — fear.
Friday, October 4th, I was in Old Town photographing sweet Carolyn for her professional headshots. I was sent Carolyn’s info from a coworker who saw her request for photographer recommendations via Twitter. This isn’t my first time doing pro headshots, but it IS my first time offering them as a paid session. All of my other experiences doing headshots were done for free to gain experience with single-person posing.
Fear nearly stopped me from reaching out. “She wants a REAL professional headshot photographer — someone with a studio, lighting, vinyl backdrop, and advanced editing softwares,” I told myself. But my coworker pushed me to contact her regardless. And I’m so glad I did!!
I didn’t send her a sales pitch. I probably even sounded unsure of myself in my e-mail. I basically offered it with an open hand *if she wanted me* and didn’t give my full story and info like I normally do for leads. Little did I know, my website sold me anyway. She looked through and something in the website spoke to her and made her feel like she could relate to me. (I know, because we talked about this in person at her shoot).
She booked and we had a really great session! She was so much like my ideal client: sweet, bubbly, hospitable, humble, down-to-earth, trusting, and not to mention GORGEOUS! What was I so scared of? I know I take great photos, and I serve my clients with love and respect. Why did fear almost keep me from believing in myself?
Believe it or not, nearly every photographer struggles with this. It’s why we have a hard time raising our prices. It’s why we don’t like to advertise. It’s why we don’t post more about ourselves and our lives. We get in the mindset that people don’t care and we’re just a vehicle for people to get nice photos. But we’re not! We’re more. Photographers… listen to me: we are more.
Anybody can take a photo. Anybody, if they really wanted to and gave it effort, can take a GREAT photo. But not just anyone can make a client feel beautiful in front of a lens. Not just anyone can be a photographer that treats people like more than a customer. That takes compassion, confidence, and character. It takes a lover of people to provide a service that is built around the client’s EXPERIENCE.
The experience you provide your client IS your value. You can have the most awarded photos in the world, but if you meet with clients and they don’t enjoy being around you or feel confident in front of your camera, you won’t see them again. It’s up to you to make clients feel loved, valued, worth taking pictures of. And every single one of my clients are all that and more, so I commit to treating them as such.
This matters more than getting that portfolio-worthy image. It matters more than having the best equipment or the perfect studio. It even matters more than making a profit. Put people first, and you will see your business flourish and your joy increase.
In Carolyn’s case, I knew very little about her. But after spending time together at her session, I learned that she is in a season of life where she is celebrating the now. Her “now” may not look like other young women’s “now,” but it doesn’t have to. Your “now” may not look like Carolyn’s. It doesn’t have to. My business is here to help you celebrate whatever season you’re currently in. I believe in living in the present and giving God praise for the faithfulness He’s already shown you. So whether your present means you’re engaged and planning a wedding, raising your first child, graduating college soon, or maybe you’re in a career and rocking it — my service is here to help you celebrate those wins, big or small.
So back to that fear topic…
Just like fear nearly cost me the awesome experience of serving Carolyn, think about what it may be costing you. What would it look like if you believed in yourself more? If you celebrated who you are today and how far you’ve already come? I could have said, “Maybe one day in the future, when I have a studio and all this extra equipment, I can charge for professional headshots.” Well, what if that’s not the photographer I’m meant to be? What if I’m meant to be different, not like everyone else? What if natural light, a great park location, and my trusty Canon DSLR are all I need to serve my clients just as well as the studio photographer down the street? And what if combining all of that with my love for people and how I champion them in their current season is all I need to stand out?
What about you…? What if you stopped looking at everyone else’s season and started celebrating your own? Are you the bridesmaid from 27 Dresses just hoping your day comes soon? Are you a couple that is watching your friends have children, wondering why you don’t feel ready for kids yet? Are you a Junior in college, struggling through school and feeling like Senior year will NEVER come?
Stop looking ahead at what hasn’t even happened yet. What do you have to celebrate TODAY? You might be single, but look at how well you’re doing in your job or at all the extra activities you get to be involved in because of your free time! You might not be ready for kids yet, but you are almost ready to buy your first house or a new car!! Maybe you’re hustling through mid-terms right now, but can we go back and celebrate for just a minute that you got accepted to the school of your dreams?! I’m giving examples, but I hope they help you apply your own story and find things to be able to celebrate.
And if you need someone who can champion those wins and mark this season in your life with some images, you know who to call! 🙂
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