Believe it or not, photography has not driven me to be a money-seeking type of person. Sure, I’ve enjoyed being able to capitalize on a passion and have fun while doing what is now considered work, but it’s not really what keeps my interest and the creative juices flowing and my desire that once I reach my best, to keep going.
People keep me going. Creating friendships keep me going.
Before I book a bride and groom for any photography services, I always like to sit down with them face-to-face. With Facebook and email and texting, it’s very easy to continue impersonal conversations without the need to meet until the day of the session or wedding. Too easy.
In person interaction is extremely important to have with your photographer. I’ve mentioned this before in my blog entry about booking a photographer, and I’ll say it again. Assuming you book me for the whole shebang (engagement, bridal, wedding), I likely become the single most contacted and visible wedding vendor you work with (other than your wedding planner if you have one). It’s vital that you mesh well with me, or your wedding experience is going to be a bumpy ride. As any non-verbal communication goes, it’s very hard to read people: face-to-face interaction at least helps you become more acquainted, and frankly, decide if you want to see my face and hear my voice for the next 8-12 months. Bottom line: it’s an interview – my work can only do so much talking for me, and it’s a way to prove myself from behind the computer, the phone, and ultimately, my camera.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m interviewing you too. While you’re trying to figure out if I’m a good fit for you, I’m trying to figure out if you’re a good fit for me and my portfolio. I’ve jumped into many business situations that become just that: business. Boring. I’ve also taken on brides that I knew were going to be a handful from the beginning based on our clashing personalities – lets just say we don’t talk anymore. Over the course of 3 years of me doing this now, I’ve become more confident it making my own rules and breaking others as I see fit. Here’s one of them: I don’t care how money someone throws in my direction, if I do not feel comfortable and/or I get a weird feeling in my gut that we’re not meant to work together, then, simply put, I wont.
Funny thing, I didn’t get to meet Jenna and Carter in person before I rode out to Carter’s family’s land to scope out the location of their engagement session which was planned for the following weekend. Jenna and I emailed and texted, but through it all, I had a great feeling about her, and her vision, and her love for Carter.
When we met out in Little Mountain, SC, I was greeted with big smiles and tight handshakes, and by the time we were done, I left with warm hugs and excitement to see the both of them in 6 days. We passed each other’s interviews enthusiastically.
Our mutual comfortableness made the following Sunday so much fun and magical. I felt good enough to ask them to do outside-of-the-box things, and they felt good enough to try them; even lying down in the tall field grass SANS blanket with chiggers and ticks and God-knows-what-else-could-there-be’s crawling underneath them. In the midst of us working for each other and making amazing images that I’m oh-so-proud of, we became friends.
People keep me going. People like Jenna and Carter.
Jenna & Carter, thank SO much for being so awesome to me! You welcomed me with open arms from the beginning, which makes everything so much easier for all of us. I am so glad our lives have crossed paths, and I’m truly a better person and photographer because of it. Can’t wait to capture the rest of this journey with you two, and becoming better friends in the meantime!