I thought I lost her.
Ashley and Daniel won my free photo session last year and used it to capture some gorgeous maternity photos (seen here), and it was really a pleasure working with them. I could only hope they’d give me the privilege of capturing the little peanut when she was born. As luck would have it, they didn’t. It was a hard pill to swallow, but as always I respected their decision and know that is a very personal choice to choose a photographer.
It was a rough point in my journey. New start-up businesses were entering the market, and attracting some of my previous clients; a few more seasoned businesses were expanding into studio life and making a bigger name drawing more attention; and here I was, hustling, trying to make this new leap into full-time photog work for me and my family.
I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing wrong. What else could I do to make things right. Why don’t they like me anymore?
It led to frustrating conversations with my hubby and hours of forum conversation and a lot of introspection. And while I always seemed to know the answers, actually letting go of what could have been and being okay with just being me was the hard part.
Ultimately, I know that if a client decides to use someone because they are cheaper and maybe newer that is their choice. If they don’t want to pay my fee, they don’t value my work like I would want them to. That is not the type of client I want to attract. Likewise, if people choose a more expensive photographer it isn’t a blow to me, it just shows they value their photos and desire a very specific style for them. And I HAVE to be okay with that. And I think now, finally, I am.
Bottom line: people will pay for something if they value it and I need to stop selling myself short. I have no hard feelings for anyone that chooses outside of me. In-fact I encourage it–because I can only hope that the overall experience with me will bring them back eventually.
Back to Ashley and Daniel. About 3 months after Ashley and Daniel got their newborn pictures of Amelia done I heard from Ashley again. You can imagine my excitement when she asked me if I could take Amelia’s six month pictures. She had been waiting three months to get back her newborn pictures, and even then she could only afford to purchase a limited number of prints. She remembered her experience from her maternity session and realized she valued the timeliness and product value I offered.
WOOOOHOOOO!! For as many downs as I had been having, this made up for it–ten fold.
I make every effort to put my client first. I try to imagine what I would want and do that for each and every client…and I have high expectations when it comes to ‘customer service’.
To me, it is so important that you own all your pictures and that you don’t have to wait months to see them. And that is what Ashley remembered and liked. I don’t always blog my sessions right away. For various reasons, but I’m glad I finally get to do this one!
This past December Amelia turned six months and she could NOT have been any cuter!! Ashley and Daniel, thank you for choosing me. Thank you for all your kind words and excitement. Thank you for the encouragement you didn’t even know you gave and thank you for letting me capture your sweet babe!!
Danielle - Absolutely gorgeous, all of it! Your story is one that I share, as I’m sure a lot of other photogs do, thank you for sharing and inspiring me to just let go.
Life with Kaishon - These pictures are adorable. What a sweet baby girl! I am so glad they called you and were able to get pictures taken of their darling baby!
Debi - Great post! I know the feeling of when your clients go to someone else AND when they come back! It’s a tough journey not to take any of it personal and get disappointed. It’s good to see someone else make it through that transition without giving up. Love the baby photos BTW! 🙂
Emily S - Great post Kait! For a long time I’ve thought I don’t want to have kids of my own, I’ll just enjoy everyone else’s. BUT, your pictures make me rethink that sometimes 🙂
admin - Aw thanks Em. I think having kids is not something you need to decide about until the time is right–You’d make a great mom tho 🙂