When it came to this session, more like this post – a lot of stories, ideas, suggestions came to mind. Recently I read about how to handle Social Media and part of engaging the customer (you!) is to provide helpful tips.
How can I provide you a helpful tip? I could tell you – Duck lips. Don’t do it. Ever. Really. Ev-er.
Then I glanced at my spread sheet of sessions to post and this one came up and a flood of ideas came in. So you know what that means… I’ll be all over the place with this post. It’s a long one. It’s worth it.
Before I move forward, I’ll let you in on a secret… I don’t like pictures of myself. I know. Who does? That’s why I am the photographer and you are the client! I get to be the person clicking and you get to smile.
I’ve been working on my weight. And when I say this, I won’t rat you out, but you know who you are. We have talked at events, at Senior sessions and if I could have $5 for every woman who tells me she wants to lose xx amount of weight before we take their family portraits, I would be saving lots of money. I’m not judging. Nope. I am there too. I’m a work in progress trying to lose some weight. Ok. Lots of weight. I get it and I understand. We just have to get through this together.
So this leads to my next piece. Prints. For those following me on my business Facebook page, you may have seen me post a few times about print being in this year. They are. All the time. And I myself almost forgot that. I know a lot of photographers sell their prints on a cd and allow you to go and print them anywhere. Their concerns is that you’ll print these beautiful images at not so great labs, and I worry about that too. But what I see more often is that the cd gets put in a drawer and no prints are ever made. Ev-er. I had a client who went through another photographer who handed her 50 images on a cd and the client came to me and said “help me pick the best one”. That’s too many!
When I show you the images of your child, family, event – I pick the best ones. The VERY BEST. Not mediocre, so-so, ok, these will do images. I make your decision hard because you have the best of the best from me.
…but back to the print stuff… I got side tracked.
Last summer our family took a week off to visit my sister and her family in Florida. They are living in Pensacola where both my husband and I were stationed at so many years ago in the Navy, living a block away from our old house! My sister suggested I try a 5k since I have been working on my weight and was walking weekly with my friend Diane. Of course no one wants to carry a camera around walking a 5k (I didn’t want to even carry my water bottle!) so my daughter’s iphone came in handy for quick snaps. Of course that meant a picture of me not at my finest hour. I was a bundle of nerves, it was early and I have weight issues. I smiled.
I have this amazing picture of my daughter, my sister and my niece who supported me on the walk (run? Are you serious?) and I can tell you, there was a lot of tears at the end of the walk. The picture went to facebook and got a lot of likes, but I should have it printed and hanging on my fridge next to my bib…
On the same day of the 5k, we meet up with the guys (my husband, son and brother-in-law) and we hit the beach. My reward for the walk was to go jet-skiing. It was fun and thanks to Jennifer, my daughter – she had just bought this really cool case that goes over her iphone that allows her to take it in the water, so we have all these cool, if not hazy pictures of us out on the jet-ski, something I would not do with my camera. Just as we are leaving the beach, my sister captured this great photo of our family playing in the water, it’s one of my favorites and I really have to over look a few important things – my hair (OMG!) and my weight. But if I stood my ground and didn’t take this photo, there would be no great family photo. Get where I am going with this?
We spend the rest of the week visiting sites, going down lazy rivers, doing all the tourists stuff and I bring my camera and do I what I do best. Snap away. I had plans that one night we would all go to the beach and do family pictures. I knew I could pose our family and let my sister or brother-in-law take the picture. But I wanted pictures of my kids, my niece, my sister and her family and get some amazing beach shots. What you will see are my favorites. I took a lot of photos. It doesn’t help that I am a little biased about these families that all the pictures were my favorite.
But here is where the print comes in. I posted a few images to facebook as teasers for my sister and her family and to show you what fun we had on the beach. I sent my sister a canvas of their family shot for Christmas as a gift. I still hadn’t even printed my own family photos, let alone edit them because I. am. over-weight. Yep. I avoided my own photos. I looked at them once and could not get over how big I felt. I heard every client in my head say the same words that I said out loud “ugh”. Nothing was wrong with the photo, lighting, settings, posing. It was me. All I could see was me!
Still with me? Jump forward to a week ago, it’s my mom’s birthday and here are these amazing photos – and my mom has never seen the photos. She’s not on facebook (GASP!) she is, but not like us die-hard people. I quickly printed up a few of my favorites and sent her a small box of goodies with the prints in it. I knew I couldn’t send her my sister’s family and not send her my family photo, so I added those with a heavy sigh and then I printed a set for myself.
When I got them, I looked at my family photo and went “WOW! Why didn’t I print these sooner?” Yeah, I don’t look all that great, but my family looks awesome! I went to work showing off my prints going “LOOK! My family is awesome!” I called my mom on her birthday and she was showing off her grandchildren, the prints I took that no one in her group could see on Facebook, because they are not on facebook!
Prints. They tell a story so why not share the story? They will last longer than Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbler, etc. I’m not bashing the social media sites, I’m just saying that in a 100 years, your printed pictures have a better chance of standing time then the websites do.
So I’m excited to show you the family photos from our vacation, mine included…prints. It’s in.
Weight. Keep losing the weight you want, but take the family pictures anyway. It’s ok. All us photographers will make you look great. Just don’t do the duck lips.