More than just a handshake

So here I am in D.C. making the rounds with some editors. In some cases they are new faces, in others it’s putting a face to someone I’ve had prior contact/work with. I could just send them the usual: e-mail, post card, promo thing-y, printed portfolio, blah, blah, blah. But quite often it’s not that I/you can make good photographs that gets you the assignment but the little things that have nothing to do with cameras and lights and such.

For instance: Does the editor/client like your energy/personality? Are you brash/sensitive/funny/crazy enough for the subject? Are you the kind of person that they feel has enough hustle and independence to send out into the field for a few days and make the best of what could be a tough situation? These little things are often important and nothing is like ten minutes of face time to solidify the client’s impression and knowledge of you not as a photographer but as a person. They are hiring a person and not some robot with a camera ya know! I had a long time client tell me that they like to hire me for emotionally tough stories because they like how gentle I am. There also was one who told me that they like to hire me because I’m a tough go-getter who doesn’t take “no” for an answer. Uh, ok. Which one is right here? Wait!Don’t answer that. Let’s keep the illusion going for a while longer.

So the moral of the story: The relationship that you have with your client is indicative of the kind of relationship you will have with your subjects.  So don’t be faceless – make real relationships with the patrons of your art. Yep that’s a tip kids … write it down.

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