Hello everyone! I wanted to write about, and maybe even gush about, our recent winter session Jeff and I had with another photographer. You see, Jeff and I have been together (as of now) for ten and a half years. You would think, within all that time, we would have had our pictures taken at some point, right? Well, no… So long as you don’t count our wedding, we have had a whopping zero photo sessions, at least, until January 19, 2019 that is.
You may be thinking, “What?! Don’t all photographers get their photos taken like, all the time?” Nope! You see, Jeff and I are a lot like our clients. We don’t feel photogenic. We don’t like having our pictures taken (Jeff, more-so than myself for this point), and it’s not something we’ve really planned for.
However, after all these years of being a photographer, I wanted some pictures of him and I together, and not done by ourselves. (Yup, we’ve totally done the selfie thing with the camera on a tripod. Haha!) So, I searched around and was able to connect with a photographer friend, Megan of Memoirs Photography.
Megan is a great gal, and we’ve been friends for a few years on Facebook, but had never met one another in person. When I reached out, I told her what exactly I was looking for. I also added some lenses that I’d like to have used, if possible, because I really like a certain look. (It’s a look I try my best to achieve with our own clients, so I really wanted it emulated if possible for my own pictures.) I told Megan too, that I wanted Jeff and I to be treated exactly like any of her other clients. I told her, “Hey, I might have a lot of questions, probably more than your typical client, but I think that comes from being a photographer myself! Lol”
And I must say, Megan was great! Her communication with me was on point. She answered all of my questions, and I never felt neglected, or confused about her services and policies for her business. And that, helped me to instantly feel more confident with her as my choice for our pictures. She and I (and Jeff too, lol) decided on a winter session, with a flexible date, so we could get some snow. This was in an effort, on my part, to celebrate my anniversary with Jeff. (He and I got married in January.)
Well, finally the day arrived, and it happened to be on Jeff’s 44th birthday! (Yes, he really is that old. Lol) It was a snowy day for sure, where Port Huron received about 18 inches of snow. During the session itself, it was snowing and the wind was blowing harshly, but Jeff and I took it all in stride, beyond excited about the weather conditions and how cool the photos would be because of them. This was, after all, everything we had hoped for and planned for with Megan.
After the session, Megan, Jeff and I all took a selfie together, and went our separate ways. Jeff and I went off to explore Port Huron a little bit, before driving home in the snow. Megan, went home and started to work on some of our pictures. She surprised us with a sneak peek from the session, and then on the day of our anniversary (January 21st), she surprised us further with a blog post from our session. Needless to say, we were ecstatic about everything we saw!
The Point of this Blog Post
So, now that you know a little more about how everything went about and came to be, let’s talk a little about what I took away from the session, aside from our photographs.
1. Getting In Front of the Camera
Overall, getting in front of the camera was a lot of fun. Megan was great at posing us, keeping us entertained (although, that’s really not hard to do for us, we’re both like giant kids, lol), keeping us relaxed, and overall allowing us to be in the present. This, is something we attempt to do for our own clients as well, and so she left us in great confidence throughout our entire experience with her.
2. A Different Perspective
Being a photographer, you have a lot to think about at all times. Not only do you have to think about your camera settings for the shots you want, but also angles, posing, light, background elements, emails, marketing, blogging, posting to social media, phone calls, editing, ordering prints, and so very much more. Seriously, we do a lot as photographers. And so, one of the many things we don’t think of, is things from the clients’ point of view.
You see, most of the things that photographers do, and that make great photographers, are completely unseen to the client. Clients don’t know what an “F-Stop” is, or why “ISO” can be so important. They only know that they want their pictures taken, or that you have taken their pictures, and they want to see them. Being on the client side of the aisle, allows you as a photographer, to take a different look into the whole process.
3. A Photograph’s Value
As a photographer, I feel that I already know the “value” of a photograph. However, that value changes immeasurably, when the photograph is of you and your loved one(s). These pictures, taken by Megan, are already priceless to Jeff and myself. We absolutely love them. We love where we are in that moment in our lives, and we will treasure these photographs for many years to come.
I mean, after going out to buy new outfits, getting my hair done, doing my makeup, driving almost two hours in the snow to the session location, freezing in sub-zero temperatures while snow pelted us in the face, and then driving another two hours in the snow back home, you would think I would feel that the value of these photographs are less than priceless. However, all of that only enhances their value. Why?
The experience of it all. Our snowy adventure. The fun we had at the mall, while shopping for our new outfits. The warmth I felt as Jeff snuggled me in the snow. The fun I had, during the entire experience, made our photos that much more to us.
4. A Reinforced Belief in Communication and Customer Service
Jeff and I have always been big believers in communication and customer service for our clients. However, seeing things from the clients’ eyes, has reinforced our belief in both these things even more. We know how good it feels to know what exactly to expect. We know exactly how confident we feel when we are posed confidently. We know how much fun it can be to work with a photographer that we connected with.
None of this would have worked, if Megan wasn’t so great at communication and customer service. She was amazing, and we can’t sing her praises high enough. She left a lasting impression on us, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
5. Broadening My Own Photography Skills
After watching Megan work with Jeff and myself, there were little things I noticed her doing, that I now find myself doing. That is the kind of impression Megan has left upon me. Watching someone else in your profession work, is seriously something every professional, in every profession, should be able to experience at least once.
You see, I was pretty confident in Megan’s ability when I hired her. However, I still had that nagging self doubt that I would make the pictures look bad. (And by this, I mean my face. LOL) I was worried that I would look as cold as I felt (it was very cold that day). I was worried that maybe I had gained a little too much weight, and that it would somehow “ruin” my pictures, even as they were being taken. But, that isn’t so. Because of her experience with posing, and because of her confidence, and her ability to really listen to what her clients are hoping for, the photos have far surpassed any doubts I may have had, as well as any expectations.
In closing, I just want to say this. If you are a photographer, do yourself a favor. Hire another professional photographer to take your pictures. Not only will you have amazing memories of your own to look back on, but you may learn a few things about yourself and the way you operate your business as well. You may well understand your clients, that much more. As Dale Carnegie said in his famous book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People“, “Many sales people spend a lifetime in selling without seeing things from the customer’s angle.” The best way to relate to your customers, is to be someone else’s customer first. The importance of this, was one of my biggest takeaways from this experience. Let it be yours as well.