It's been one of those weeks, and it's left me wondering if clients realize that I'm a person. You know, a human being who occasionally forgets to return a phone call and who doesn't appreciate feeling attacked for doing so, and a person who is hurt when her work is downloaded and used without permission. I think clients can sometimes fall into the "I'm paying you for a service and you're at my disposal" trap, which is the unfortunate reality of what this week has felt like for me.
I'm going to say it, whether or not it makes a difference in the long run: I'm not the right photographer for everyone. Some people are just looking for someone to snap a few photos. They don't care about the photos being perfectly in focus, faces being well lit, or adventurous framing being attempted. Some people don't see any difference between my work and the work of their cousin who takes great photos with his point and shoot on the "auto" setting with the pop-up flash (hey, this was me not too long ago- I'm not bashing, I'm just saying I've grown and that there is a difference). Some people try to talk me down on pricing, telling me that they'll book me if I give them a deal, almost like they don't really care about the work they'll be getting, just that they're getting something and for cheap. If this is you, I probably seem unnecessary and expensive, and I'm not the right photographer for you. I want to work with clients who SEE me and VALUE me as a person and an artist and believe I'm worth investing in. No, I'm not perfect, but I stand behind my work, and I want to collaborate with the right clients to create something beautiful. If this means I work with less clients, I'd honestly prefer that.
I'm curious what your thoughts are, whether you're a former client, a fellow photographer, or a passerby. Leave me a note!