I’ve been pondering my photography of late, not my business sort of thing but who I am with a camera & especially why I do it.
I have a little company (insert plug – www.jellybeanphotography.com.au) & it has a pretty specific focus, photographing children’s baptisms & christenings in and around Melbourne (even all the way to Geelong)! Anyhow I digress – looking at my ‘work’ website it may seem like the only time I’m playing around with a camera is when I’m capturing christening events – but it’s only a very small facet of me behind the lens.
Like many families I find myself to be super time poor (& super bad at time management) with a beautiful wife & two terrific (young & very cheeky) kids, I tend to do my photography work, editing and catching up on emails once the cherubs have gone to sleep. What tends to happen is that by the time I’ve got to the stage I need to write words to go along with my imagery or edit my own personal work I’m simply pooped! So it either doesn’t happen or happens really badly!
I have been thinking about all the jobs I’ve done over the last few years & especially the sessions that really (& quite literally) bring a smile to my face. Scarily they weren’t all christening or baptism jobs – shock horror! Even a couple of weddings crept in there.
Distilling it down, as the hired professional, what made these specific jobs stand out – it was the families that hired me.
This next bit may upset some readers (who am I kidding, no one is going to read this) it wasn’t that families had hired me based on my pricing, or what I offered – it was based on me & my style of work.
Two of my most favorite events started with a christening referral from a photography mate of mine (superstar John Warren of Warren Photography). The family hiring me based solely on my style of work. This family were super awesome (like working with my own family) & had styled a beautiful day to celebrate their little one’s christening – their effort in organizing the day, also how awesome they were to work with inspired me to go as hard as I can, pushing me to do the absolute best I can do.
The images from this day came out exactly as designed, telling the story perfectly & highlighting all the detail work of the family without being staged or intrusive on my part.
From this fantastic experience came the second event – a wedding! On releasing the christening photo sneak peaks, I received a beautiful little note in my JBP Facebook messages. From that message this little extract made me just smile – someone ‘got me’:
“…I liked your ‘relaxed’ non intrusive approach and love the pics from Saturday…”
Even though this enquiry was for a wedding (for these I normally procrastinate) I called straight away to arrange a coffee catch up & discuss. Unfortunately they lived interstate but you know, these guys were awesome. I captured their special day the exact same way as I do with photographing a christening – but without the dunking of anyone into a body of water!
So what does this all mean – photography, especially my photography isn’t just about taking pictures.
It’s about relationships, my relationships with my clients. Their relationships & telling their story.
So what does this mean, what does it all mean? For me personally, I will no longer run & hide when a potential client contacts me regarding their wedding – it will all begin with a phone call or a catch-up with a coffee but not regarding me taking photos but to discover what we’re both about.
On the personal front, what do I need to do – make time to work on my own photographs & projects, well that & get my flabby butt off to the gym. Document my life & family just the same why I create for my awesome clients – the ones who get me & what I can create for them 😀