I’m not looking forward to this…
If you follow my social media you’ll know that I’m quite good at letting you know why you need good photographs in business, but not particularly at why me. So it may not be a surprise that I’m deeply uncomfortable writing this post. As usual, I have tried to make it informative and to maybe give you a glimpse behind the curtain of the world of photography.
I’ll be honest, the fact is my coach challenged me to write this…and it’s the right thing to do…growth comes when we’re outside the comfort zone doesn’t it?
Reasons not to…
So on the basis you know you need a headshot or personal brand photography, why would you want to book me?
Am I the best photographer in the world? No.
Am I the cheapest photographer in the country? No.
Sorry, I told you I wasn’t good at this didn’t I? Straight off, I’ve given you two potential reasons NOT to book me.
Different types of photographers
Here’s the thing… the majority of professional photographers are ‘generalist’ and market many types of photography; be it buildings, products, food, people, weddings etc.. While the principle of how to work the camera for all of these genres are the same, the practicality of the actual photography is completely different, it requires skill, practice and experience.
When photographing a building you need to make sure that the perspective is correct and sometimes special lenses are required to do that. Jewellery is generally very reflective and so making sure that the photo is of the jewellery and not your reflection takes experience. Food is another tricky genre; we’ve all heard how the food is treated with all sorts of things to make it look delicious that makes it exactly the opposite in practice. Who was ever delivered a dish in a restaurant that looked exactly like the photo on the menu?
All of the above examples are inanimate objects that the photographer can rely on not moving, pulling faces etc. as they prepare to click the shutter. It’s a fairly controlled environment. People photography is completely different.
The majority of people I photograph don’t actually like having their photograph taken. They can easily show that displeasure while trying to hide it for the camera. The thing is that the observer of the end product will, maybe without realising it, pick up on that discomfort and that will have a subtle but real effect on their perception of that person.
I can’t even begin to explain in words how feeling comfortable helps you to look comfortable. My best offer is this; when I ask people who don’t like having their photo taken to tell me about their favourite photograph of themselves it’s usually one that they didn’t know it was being taken. THAT is why they like it, not because it’s a technically great photo, it’s down to them being relaxed because they didn’t know the camera was pointed at them.
When we hate having our photo taken and we know the camera is there, we are uncomfortable. When we see the photo we are reminded of the discomfort and recognise the look in the photo.
I am getting to the point….bear with me!
The trick is to have the camera pointed at you and to be relaxed at the same time. Sounds simple but if you hate having your photo taken it’s easier said than done!
There’s another issue for people who hate having their photo taken; as well as feeling uncomfortable they also feel awkward, and when you feel awkward, you look awkward.
It’s easy to see why people hate having their photo taken, isn’t it?
Now add into the mix that not everyone who’s good with a camera is good with people. They love the technical aspects of photography and get excited by shutter speeds, focal lengths and ISO settings, they are somehow more interested in the technical stuff than the poor soul in front of them who is feeling incredibly anxious. The result might be a technically superior photo but the subject looks like they are about to self combust with anxiety.
So…back to the topic, why me?
To be good at any type of photography you need to learn the skills and practice them. Like anything, the more you practice it the better you are. Check out the menu at the top of this website; you will only see one type of photography mentioned; no family photography, no property, no food or weddings. I have chosen the genre I am good at and I stick to it, which means I get to practice it more.
If you read my testimonials here, on Linkedin or Facebook, you may recognise a common thread which is “John makes it feel so easy”. When I’m taking someone’s photos I’m very relaxed and always conscious of their level of comfort. The way I work is specifically designed to put you at ease. I will help and coach you on how to pose in a way that doesn’t look posed; to minimise the stuff you don’t like and look great into the bargain. The result? The second common thread with feedback is what happens when people post their photographs…lots of colleagues and clients saying “wow”, “you look amazing” and “he’s captured the real you”.
With photos like this your prospects will be attracted to you for all the right reasons, and you will win more clients.
Fancy a chat about how being courageous by being your brand could win you more business?
Click the button below and book a chat with me…I won’t bite, promise!