How to make me work double for the same amount of money

I have the type of job that allows me to use my creativity in so many ways. A few times a year I’ll do a shoot that allows me complete creative freedom but in between those, I find ways to explore this creativity through the jobs I’m given. Each job is different from the last even if its the same type of job. For example I photograph weddings almost every weekend in the summer and fall but no two weddings are the same. Sure there are similar timelines and routines but the couple is what makes each job different.

Last week I had a wedding that simply reminded me of why I love what I do. This amazing couple, Mandy and Mike who got married at Saybrook Point Inn, lit up my life! When I originally met them I knew there were a perfect fit for me, the perfect capture couple. When I meet potential clients I screen them as much as they screen me. I need to make sure I feel a connection with them, I need to make sure they are looking for the type of photography I provide. I am not your typical photographer. Yes I get gorgeous photos of your family and bridal party when they are sober and dressed to the 9’s but the rest of the day I want to document the wedding as it happens. I want to capture the smile your mom has when she laughs, not when she says cheese. So if I meet people who are looking for a formal photographer who will continually pose people all day long I simply let them know I am not the right fit for them. Then I am happy to provide a few names of great photographers who have that style.

Think of choosing a wedding photographer being like choosing a college. Each person has specific needs and wants. Do they want a big school with a large campus or would something smaller feel with more community feel? Not everyone is going to want to go to a party school, some want to go based on the sports program, others want to go for the specific major while others don’t know what they are interested in yet. Some couples know exactly what they want, some learn during the process what they need, but they all want to find one that is their perfect match.

So back to Mandy and Mike. They are a great fit for each other and that couldn’t have been more obvious then on their wedding day. First of all they are so madly in love, you couldn’t help but smile and feel that love radiate from them.  Here is the part that makes my job so fulfilling- they gave me complete creative freedom. When I met with them a few weeks before the wedding and asked if they had any list of pictures they knew they wanted they simply said, “We trust you to get us everything we need.” Now when I tell you this is the best thing I client can say- I am not exaggerating. I work SO hard knowing my clients have complete trust in me. Its a wonderful feeling knowing that they hired me based on my vision. A lot of people get caught up in their own vision of their wedding photographs. They may even find photos that they want to recreate (hello Pinterest!). What I always tell those people is- let’s create our own photo! Why do something that has already been done by a couple who isn’t you? Let’s make photographs that represent the two of you. Why would we want to recreate someone else love when it is so different from yours?

I take the time to get to know my couples very well. I used to shoot about 30 weddings a year and 4 years ago I changed my entire business plan to cater to only 15 weddings a year for the purpose of giving my clients a more personalized experience. This personalized experience is demonstrated best by the photos we take. My creativity mixed with their story is what creates the end product. Mike and Mandy were amazing clients and I was so lucky to have them. Their trust in my gave them a final product of pure love and joy that they will hold on to for the rest of their lives. So next time you give me a job and want me to work twice as hard for the same amount of money simply give me creative freedom and you’ll see the world through my eyes which is pretty fucking beautiful. Congrats Mandy and Mike and thank you for the reminder of why I do what I do.

 

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