In June 2011, Jerry and Melissa Ghionis came to Akron, Ohio. Jerry did a workshop as part of the Akron Photo Series, which over a couple of years raised over $12,000 for Akron Children's Hospital. Jerry did the program in two parts, first a general session the night before and then the next day, at Brent and Teri Ann Watkins' studio (Sylvart Studios) he did a day of hands-on shooting.
At the beginning of the day, he said something to the attendees that still stands out in my mind,
"I'd rather you photographed me, so you remember what I'm showing you than shoot over my shoulder for your gallery or portfolio. First, it's not your work. Second, if many of you start showing images from the same shoot, then your clients are going to wonder what's going on because you'll all have the same images."
I might have paraphrased a little, but I'm sure you get the point. Jerry's point is so on target. Remember that every consumer today can visit/shop hundreds of websites in their search for a photographer. And, most of the time they're going to be searching in your community.
Show your very best work. Only show "wow" prints - images that are so good you could get the job by showing just that one print. Make your website easy to navigate and respond quickly when you're contacted. And, if you're going to duplicate something you learned at a workshop like Jerry's, do it on your own so you can honestly say the work is yours!
Now, the back story to Throwback Thursday. Melissa and Jerry stayed at our house during this trip, and we had a blast. We actually went out one day to look at open houses. The Ohio market is so different than Los Angeles! Sheila and I are a few years older than they are and I can still hear the two of them looking at the realtor and then me and saying, "Come on Dad, we love this place. Please buy us this house!"
Great memories are what T.T. is all about and nothing beats hanging out with friends and laughing until it hurts!
It's time to take a few minutes and go off in search of your throwback images. It's a great way to remember the importance of what every client should feel after the experience of working with you.