What is this connection crap I always talk about?

November 11, 2012

If you’ve spent ANY amount of time on my blog, you’ve heard me talk about “connection with your models” and how important it is. What you haven’t seen is what happens when you don’t have that connection.

Today, you will!

The reason connection is so important is simple; with out it you have well composed photos. Connection means seeing your client as something other than a paycheck or nude chick, it means seeing them, caring about them and wanting to get to know them. In my experience, every model and I KNOW for a fact every general portrait client is nervous before a shoot. They have in their minds, preconceived notions of how a shoot should go and more importantly, how they should behave. They look to the photographer to educate them and steer them in the right direction. If the photographer is more worried about the technical aspect of the shoot, the clients will remain nervous and unable to relax. This is the very reason most long standing photographers don’t understand why a client will book a session with a new just starting out photographer. Through my consultations, I’ve had photographers tell me that the industry is going to hell, that it’s the new MWAC  that is killing the business and as professionals, we can’t compete. Few of those in my consults understand when I tell them the reason is simple and serves as a nice reminder to us; put the client first!

Putting the client first means putting photography and technology SECOND and many photographers are either unable to or flat out refuse to do this. The just starting out or doing it for fun photographer has realized their photographic skills and careers will never rival professionals, so they’re doing it as a supplemental income or for fun. Because they’re doing it for those two reasons, they don’t have the stress and pressure of living up to preconceived notions of their greatness, they just have fun. Being they are able to have fun, they spend more time connecting and LISTENING to their clients and giving them an amazing experience. Most times, our clients don’t care about the photos as much as the experience. The experience they have drives the photos that is created at the session and the photos that results are a combination of it all. How many times has a client said “Sally has a great smile she does but no photographer has been able to get it” What happens when you get that shot? Your order increases and they buy MORE because you took time to get that shot of Sally and make them all comfortable and relaxed.

This is Karissa. Karissa was a new model in Duluth, MN area back in 2003. She was new to modeling and had never had a shoot before. I was more interested in getting the technical aspect of the shoot down because I was nervous of shooting (this was around the time I started getting “good”) and pretty much used her as a prop. The resulting images are terrible. There’s no connection with the model and as a result, there are boring images.

After reading this, are you more interested in connecting with your clients? or still the technophobe?


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