An article for Photographers | My smile is worse than yours.

Below is an article inspired by one of my slides at the recent AIPP Decathelon presentation, I expanded it and now it’s here for all to read. I think there is a lesson that a lot of people in business can learn.

I have a really bad photo smile, my clients say they have the worst bit I really do a bad smile better then them. But in saying that I still have my photo taken.

I’m not just talking about iPhone selfies at 2am after a particularly great night out or if you are like me, 9pm when you have had a reasonable night in. I really did shy away from the camera but once my business started to get going I realised that it is really important to put your mug, however bad you think it is, infront of a professional as often as you can. Better still, pay that person to take do a portrait of just you or your family.

I aim to get in front of a professional photographer camera once a year, both for my own personal marketing and also for my family. For me in front of the camera makes me be in a better position to feel what my clients feel when I’m shooting them. Where do I put my hands? Is this a real smile? Should I be smiling? Having a “workout” infront of the camera gets your mind racing about how you can better communicate with your clients. Plus it’s reassuring to your clients when you tell the story of your latest shoot, they know you understand what they are doing and are being guided by a professional that truly values their craft.

I also put myself in my typical clients position a few week ago by having my 2 1/2 year old photographed by Robyn Miller, a professional who’s work I admired. It was my first time planning for a toddler shoot and now I really know what my clients go through. I visualided exactly what I wanted her to wear and her favourite things to take to the session. And in true to form fashion, the clothing was on and messed up before we left the house, the favourite toys were either nowhere to be seen or “not” favourites today. Plus she added in a temper tantrum for good measure.
Of couse, Robyn is a pro and with in 5 minutes of arriving Saffron was doing everything she said and being a complete model and the final results were amazing.

Get yourself and family photographed, it will reset your perspective and help you deliver a much better service to your clients.

Worring about how she is going to behave. It really resets you to look out what your clients are experiencing and you can sympathise with the and find ways to make it easier for them pre the shoot.

First Published in the Australian Institute of Professional Photography‘s industry journal The Working Pro May 2013 Edition
Photo Credit and much thanks to Robyn Miller