Many moons ago I was at a major sports & lifestyle trade event in my role with a global brand I was working for. This was well before I was a photographer but I actually happened to be listening to a commercial product photographer discussing his business with the CEO of a major UK based sports brand. The photographer was ever so politely trying to explain to the CEO that the vision he had for next seasons products he was launching was brilliant, but he didn’t believe he was the right photographer to carry out this CEO’s vision.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t a good enough photographer, it wasn’t that he wasn’t experienced enough, it wasn’t an availability problem and it certainly wasn’t a financial situation.
He simply believed that his style of photography didn’t match the remit of the CEO’s vision and that he felt the CEO would ultimately feel the end result wouldn’t be what he expected or wanted and therefore feel disappointed, out of pocket and facing having the job done again. The scheduling of commercial photography can be such that these bookings are made 9-12 months in advance, so could you imagine the situation if the CEO and his brand frantically trying to re-appoint and re-shoot a whole product range at the last minute.
Can you imagine if this had been the case with a wedding? You couldn’t just repeat THAT day again now could you…!
Initially the CEO was quite dismissive of the Photographers stand point, but slowly he came round to his thinking and by the end of the conversation he actually thanked the photographer for being so honest with him.
Roll forward to today and now it’s my turn to occasionally explain this to prospective clients too. Thankfully it doesn’t happen very often, however I do honestly believe that it is not the right call to make to take photographs of everyone who contacts me if I don’t believe my style is what they really REALLY want. It is much better, and less brand destructive, to be polite give your reasons and then, if you can, give them the details of another photographer who may be a better fit. If you like its a form of Paying it Forward. The customer wins, the other photographer wins and hopefully they’ll do the same for you in the future if it arises.
I love the way I create my images – for me that matte, slightly de-saturated look adds a personality of its own to my personal equine portrait images. Whilst I’m not confined to this one style (and of course from a commercial aspect or my freelance work I have to be able to produce work in a more standardised way) it is always the work that I will mainly show and promote because this is my natural style.
There are so many styles of photography out there, even within equine work, you’ll find lots of different specialisms. Whether thats colour driven, post production enhancement, reportage, natural light, studio light and much much more.
Take time to find the photographer whose style AND personality thinks fits you best. However, don’t be upset if they ever tell you they don’t think you’ve chosen quite right 😉
Have a fabulous week!