recently i have found myself thinking about relationships and how they relate to my business. my friend david jay often invites me to invest lots of my time and energy in people. he believes it is on of the most valuable uses of time and has the greatest return on investment. i agree. and i have been blown away but how inspired and productive i become after spending some quality time with creatives who share a similar artistic vision and who invite me to push my proverbial envelope and who challenge my ways of thinking.
similarly, i am finding it entirely rewarding to spend time with my clients and build a meaningful relationship that goes just beyond a simple business transaction. this allows me to really connect with them and to get deeper understanding of who they are and what they are about. of course, this only results in photographs that are more meaningful and more representative of who they are. if i want to be a storyteller, i need to be willing to listen and learn my subjects story. this is fascinating and without fail results in better photographs. it also creates a better experience along the way. i can’t tell you how much easier it is to photograph someone you know (even in the slightest) versus someone who you don’t know at all. it is way more fun and relaxing all around. we are more apt to be ourselves if we are comfortable and have a relationship with the people we’re around. the groundwork ahead of time is necessary and benefits everyone involved.
one of the things i do early on in my relationship with my couples is to have them complete an introductory interview of sorts that lays the foundation and allows for me to fill in the in between facts and factoids about them as individuals and as a couple. this comes in extra handy when creating a custom engagement shoot and acts as a platform to work from. i strongly believe that the more informed i am, the better i can tell their story and capture the essence of who they are.
some questions i wrestle with often…how are you building relationships with your clients? what choices are you making to truly connect with them? what difference does that make for them? for you? and for their experience? how does that thereby strengthen your brand and create word of mouth marketers?