For the longest time, being a photographer meant desperately finding clients...pulling out all the tricks to get someone to sign a contract...show up...snap a few pics the client wants...leave...pay...the end.
Fortunately for you and me, I don't work that way.
This photo shoot is a perfect example of why having a relationship with YOU (or any of my clients) is vital to getting these perfect moments on camera.
This family is very near and dear to my heart. I have babysat these kids, been to their parent's wedding, and even had their mom in my bridal party! (see right) My relationship with them is very close. This photo shoot happened when Amy called me one day and said she really wanted family photos. I was delighted because cherry blossoms were in full bloom, and Amy has a great sense of design. She loves antiques and knick-knacks like teapots, and heart shaped picnic baskets which make for perfect photo shoots. I also NEVER have to tell her what to wear, or how to dress her kids...she nails it every time. (SCORE!)
We met on a very cloudy day and within minutes I got this shot..
Would you believe me if I told you THIS WAS THE FIRST IMAGE I SHOT. No? I knew you wouldn't. You'll just have to take my word for it, but I promise it's true. FIRST IMAGE:
I mean...come on! This doesn't happen everyday. A perfect first image...how does it get better than this? Let me show you.
(To view the full gallery, click here)
This doesn't happen to everyone.
These photos happen to the families that I connect with and have a relationship with.
Now, I hope you're not thinking, "OH well, I don't know Nicole, I wasn't in her wedding, and she hasn't babysat my kids..." Please don't think that! You absolutely can connect and build a relationship through photography. Here are my tips to connecting with me, or any photographer you want to have a photo shoot with.
1. Connect on social media & Participate
This may seem obvious, but I really believe this is such a privilege and we should be using it to our advantage! Follow each other, comment and be engaged with one another.
I always love looking out for birthdays on Facebook. That's a wonderful way to stay connected through out the year! Now that Facebook has an engagement algorithm (meaning, unless you engage with someone they will disappear from your Facebook feed) it's even more important to do more than "Like" a photo or comment. Leave someone a message, share a photo memory, connect on Pinterest to see if your interests and likes align, comment on their Instagram!
Go beyond looking and liking...start commenting and engaging in a more meaningful way.
2. Have conversations beyond money, photos.
This is very important. ESPECIALLY for wedding photos. If you are not connected to your photographer, your pictures will reflect that. Can i just repeat that? Maybe with bolder font.....
IF YOU ARE NOT CONNECTED TO YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER YOUR PICTURES WILL REFLECT THAT!
You will get awkward poses, your photos won't be as wonderful as you envisioned in your head, and you overall won't be happy with the photos. Trust me, I have walked out of photo sessions scratching my head trying to remember the name of the person I just took photos of! DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN! Talk to me! Tell me what you like, what you don't like; tell me your favorite color, what you like to eat, your favorite TV Show; tell me a funny story that happened to you in the supermarket the other day. Share a photo from Pinterest, or Facebook that made you swoon. It's inside those moments that true art and photography comes out. When i know you, I can then fully capture YOU.
3.Make it a point to Build a relationship...
Photographers are people. Great photos do not come from a fancy camera, they come from great people. If you want to give money and get a photo, go to a Photo booth. We are not photo-vending machines! Believe it or not, we WANT to get to know our clients.
I look forward to every Christmas having my repeat clients call me...not because i get some cha-ching, but because I can finally catch up with them...see how their children have grown...talk about their amazing year they had. I can make it a point to have these wonderful people in my life.
So do it! Build relationships with me, connect with me, chat with me. I am always excited to hear from you!