I’ve written about trust a few times in the past, but just for a second, think about what it means to be a professional photographer. With the exception of the medical community, I can’t think of any other profession that involves such a profound level of trust with an outside “vendor”.
Think about the fact that you really are an “outside vendor”, a contractor. As a professional photographer you’re invited into people’s homes. You’ve had very serious conversations with your clients to understand how they perceive themselves and in turn how their portrait or event should best be captured.
On the family side of life, you’ve been introduced to their children, families and asked to attend family functions. You’ve met the grandparents and the out of town relatives. You’ve even been asked for suggestions on what they should wear, including their hair, makeup etc. You know their birthdays, anniversaries, likes, dislikes, hobbies – you might even know their food allergies.
“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.” G. MacDonald
I've heard great photographers, especially on the wedding side of the business, describe the roles they've played as artists, friends, consultants, psychologists, actors, producers, therapists, designers, decorators, even "amateur clergy" and the list goes on and on.
You're looking for clients to give you their most valuable commodity, their trust. If you’ve made the leap to calling yourself a professional photographer then here’s what every client deserves.
- The very best quality in every image - not just in the capture, but in post production
- A final presentation that leaves them speechless
- Timely delivery of their images
- A terrific experience each time they work with you
- Suggestions and direction on ideas for capturing their memories
- Integrity and at times even confidentiality
- Every promise you make to be kept
- Your utmost respect in every conversation and exchange