Photographers worst nightmare...and how to deal with it.
Before every single session, I amp myself up with a little routine - brainstorm some quick shot ideas for the session, listen to some music and smoke a cigar.
It’s my special pre-game routine that gets me focused and in the zone.
By the time the client arrives, I am ready to run through a wall to get the shots we need.
And then sometimes, things out of my control occur and I have to re-channel this energy into other places.
Like consoling a client who shows up to their session in tears.
Recently, a client of mine did just that - never a welcome sight, especially before an activity that requires you to be confident, comfortable and relaxed in order to achieve the best results.
She followed up the tears with a rapid fire, cathartic dump of all the stuff that was going on in her mind at that moment — mostly being overworked and under an immense amount of pressure with various aspects of her life.
Time for me to put the camera down and put on the therapist hat.
Fortunately, I had a rapport with her already due to our lengthy, strategy call, so she was comfortable enough to be vulnerable and allow me to help her work through all her head garbage.
I gave her the space to let her talk, while I supported by listening.
Then, I reassured her by telling her that there weren't any judgement on my side and that I will work with her to get her head and thoughts into the moment so we can capture the images that she needs to promote her brand.
Once we chatted for a while, we got to work.
Although flustered, she ended up doing an amazing job, looking care-free, engaged, and confident from shot-to-shot.
Does this look like the face of a person who completely burst into tears 30 minutes before her portrait session?
She was so thankful for my understanding and support, pointing out that because she was so comfortable opening up to me, it allowed her to focus on the task at hand.
She plans to use these images for her website, social profile images, and her newsletter, so fortunately, we were able to change the momentum and really get a lot of value for her effort.
I was pleased that she was willing to let me share her story because this is an example of why it's so important for you to work with a photographer that you are comfortable with, and that YOU MUST look beyond the portfolio and price tag in order to choose a photographer who fits well with your personality and disposition.
If we weren't able to right the ship, the session would’ve been a complete waste of time. The photos would've looked like dogshit with her wearing the stress all over her face in every single shot.