Making friends

I don’t like the word “client”. It’s so… impersonal. Too stuffy and all business. In my world a business that has clients swoops in with their product or service only to vanish and never be seen again. Lawyers have clients. Auditors have clients. But I do not. They are so much more than that!

I’ve seen brides put on their wedding dress. I’ve held men’s sweat rags. I’ve wiped away boogers (I'm talking about kids here). I've carried cell phones, keys, and lip gloss. And I love it.

Most people would probably say being a photographer is about taking pretty pictures. In my opinion that's about 60 percent of my job. The other 40 is getting to know the people I'm shooting. As a matter of fact, if the people I photograph feel like a 'client' I've failed. Myself if nothing else.

So far I have left every wedding feeling like a guest rather than a vendor. I want my seniors to think of me as a cool – and only slightly older – friend. I hope the families I photograph want to adopt me.

I want to go WAY beyond having ‘clients’.

Why? Mostly, because it’s just who I am. I enjoy meeting new friends. I love the interaction between people. The stories. And you can’t tell adequately depict the passion of a story without getting to know people. But there are other reasons.

It makes for much better photographs. Putting things on a personal level rather than a strictly professional one puts people at ease. As a result the photographs are much more natural and far less contrived. The laughs are bigger. The love is more passionate. Who doesn't want that?
Sure, it's also a good business strategy. If my [insert word other than 'clients' here] feel connected to me personally, they are more likely to recommend me to others. They’re more likely to knock on my door when they need photos in the future. They're more likely to become a big fan of Tracy Anne Photography.

That's all fine and dandy. But honestly, I just like making friends.

So that being said, I've had a hard time finding a word that adequately reflects my *cringe* clients. "Friend" is wayyy over used thanks to Facebook. I'll have to to think about that one for awhile. Feel free to comment with suggestions!

Posts are more fun with photos, and I got a request to post more photos of Owen. This was taken October 6.


Anonymous said...

Why so serious little guy, adorable nonetheless.