A photography session is a collaborative effort...
…I like to refer to it as #samedreamsameteam, :)
I was recently on a strategy call with a client who took some time to vent about the last photographer with whom she worked - and she got on quite a roll, lemme tell you!
She talked about how the photographer did zero prep work with her before the session, barely communicated with her during the session and gave zero input into which photos she should choose from the raw pile after the session. Also, his level of frustration with her “not getting it” was palpable throughout their entire time together, which made her feel tense and on edge.
She felt like the photographer was dedicated to pushing his own agenda over her own.
At the end of the day, at every turn, she just didn’t feel like she was being set up for success.
Ugh, these types of stories are so unfortunate to hear, but, it’s a mess that I’ve had to clean up on many, many occasions in the past - it’s cool, I like using mops and brooms, :)
The cleanup project started during our pre-session strategy call.
As I was working her through the questions that unearthed who she is, who she serves and why she does what she does, her voice lightened up and she sounded much less annoyed and tense when she was recalling her previous portrait session.
While we were discussing location logistics, shooting strategies and how wardrobe fits into the equation, she interrupted me mid-sentence to let me know that her experience with me is already light years better than what she went through the last go-around because none of this was ever discussed.
And that’s when I responded with what is becoming one of my favorite phrases of all time - #samedreamsameteam…
...and yes, I verbalize the hashtag when I say it most of the time, :)
(It’s not quite on the level of #yeahabsolutely, but, then again, what is?)
When I work with clients, it is absolutely critical that they understand their branded lifestyle portrait session is a collaborative process where I hold your hand throughout the entire experience - from the moment that you sign up for a consultation call to the moment that the photos are delivered to your inbox.
Creating a well-curated, image content portfolio that you can leverage to create an authentic and referable, online presence is no small task for anyone, and there are moments where intimidation and overwhelm undoubtedly creep into your mindset.
That’s why it’s critical that you discover and work with photographers who offer a teamwork approach, and work just as hard on empowering you every step of the way as they do on capturing awesome, lifestyle portraits.
When you’re qualifying photographers for your next session, and you have them on the phone, make sure to ask pointed questions that will afford you the opportunity to see beyond their portfolio and price tag, so that you can see if working with that person is, indeed, the right fit.
Ask them questions such as:
Do you conduct a strategy call where we can go over all the details?
How would you describe your directing style behind the camera?
What is your experience working with...(fill in the blank with your area of expertise)?
Will you offer insight into the types of photos I should choose from the raw pile and how to leverage them - social, blogs, website, promotional images, etc?
By asking these questions, you’ll get a much better sense if the person behind the camera is a willing and able collaboration partner, or just some person with a fancy camera who points and shoots for a living.
When it comes to creating images that will visually punctate the stories you share with your audience, avoid the point and shooters altogether and look for the photographers who ascribe to the #samedreamsameteam ethos.
Or, of course, you can just hire me, and then you’ll know what kind of experience you’re in for, :)
Speaking of that…
If you are in the market to update your branded lifestyle portraits, I invite you to set up a call with me and let’s see if we’re a fit to work together.
PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you, because I care, :)