I am use to bossing people around.
You have to be here at this time, don't wear logos, try to match but not so much that you end up on Awkward Family Photos.
I changed the way my business works to encourage people to print their family photos. Yet as I look up from laptop my living room walls are bare.
I have one family photo from four years ago on my wall. To make matters worse I didn't print it, it was a gift from my husband.
To make things even more pathetic it is my son's favorite photo. That's great except it was taken four years ago and he is three and a half.
He beams up at the photo, "Look that's my family! We are all there!"
Yes technically he is the massive bump on my belly and I cringe every time he looks up at it.
I had to stop being a hypocrite. I was going to get family photos come hell or high water.
It was a really great learning experience for me to go through what my clients do.
We were going on a camping trip to South Carolina. You would think in todays digital age it would be easy to find a photographer. It was not. Google was useless. I posted in several forums and got a lot of Craigslist photographers that give you 500 images for a 100 dollars. After much help from a photographer forum I narrowed it down to two.
We booked. It was scary going to someone I had not met or my friends had not used.
There were some miscommunication, which happens a lot through email. There are two closely named beaches and she thought we would be at the other one. We moved our date and time so she would not have to be driving three hours to see us instead of one.
Next clothes. We had nothing that matched and we would be getting ready at a campsite so I needed clothes that travel well. Nothing was perfect, fit right, stayed ironed or went as it should. Heaven forbid if some wanted to put their two cents in and mess up my vision!
We cleaned up at the campsite and trekked out to meet Stephanie our photographer.
I was nervous, when I smile I get a double chin. I only had one small child to control how do my couples do it!
It went fast, did we get it all? was I making faces? did I forget anything?
A month goes by when the link to our images shows up in my email. I started stalking her page three days after the shoot. I would not call or email. I know that feeling of dread when clients do that to me. I did start using psychological warfare. Liking photos and leaving comments on her page so my name is in her mind. She would message me with updates.
I should also mention that I told her not to photoshop me. This is what I look like and everyone knows it. My kids love me no matter what. Even if I don't necessarily love the way I look right now.
I opened the images folder and was sad. Yup that is what I look like. I then went through them and saw each of my family members look at me with so much love and laughter that I loved the photos. It took a second look for me to fall in love with them and I am extremely glad I went through the process.
I will also admit that even though I told her no photoshop, there were three of the photos where I am holding Flynn that I moved my shirt in on. I just had to! I would not be able to live with myself if I did not. LOL
I now have a whole new respect for Moms trying to get outfits together, look good while dressing everyone, get everyone out the door on time and try to remember to smile while getting everyone in the photo.
I will post again when my prints come in!
The Moral of the Story is an old one. You never know until you have walked in someone else's shoes. My best advice to a business person right now.
Go through your own process just like a client would and see how you feel!
Photo Credit: Stephanie Stafford: Fine Art Children's Portraiture