PHOTOG FRIENDS! I feel like I haven’t done an educational blog in a long long long time… because I haven’t… Not cool, not okay, I’m sorry I’ve let you down. Now let’s get down to business.
In the first year of starting my photography business, I was missing something. Don’t get me wrong, I was having so much fun on my sessions, I was getting great feedback from my clients, I was loving the way I was improving in my style, and things were going amazing. I was learning more and more from each session and I was so excited about it all… But I was still missing something…
I was overly excited about MY bookings, MY growth, MY style, MY photography and everything that comes along with it. See a pattern there? It was all about ME. Photography is a service, though. It’s a way of serving others and creating something beautiful for your clients to keep and look back on. It’s not just about us, it’s about them. Once I realized this, I discovered a few other things. I was missing the heart of what I do and why I do it…I was in my own world! When I stopped thinking just about myself, I noticed less about ME and more about THEM. I looked back at some photos and thought, was I even looking at the way she posed, or how her makeup needed to be touched-up, or how he wasn’t looking at me at all?
I had been so caught up in the fun and excitement of growing my business, that I started moving too fast. I needed to SLOW DOWN. Not only slow down in my thoughts and emotions but to slow down in my sessions!!! Slowing down puts things into another perspective. It allows you to open your mind and think more about the little details (which are more important than you think!). When I started practicing the art of slowing down, it helped me tremendously and allowed me to grow SO much as a photographer. Nobody had told me or taught me to slow down along the way… it just hit me! I realized that slowing down improved my skills, my creativity, and my workflow. It naturally became an important part of my photoshoots!
What do I mean by slowing down in my sessions? Let me break it down for you… Beginning a session usually starts pretty easy, then by the end you’ve been snappin’ photos left and right and everyone is feelin’ good, feelin’ great! I used to just snap, snap, snap and get carried away with everything! Now I begin my sessions by giving a little warm-up chat, some advice, about this and that, allowing the client to express what they are most insecure about. We take our time to find their favorite side, their comfortable poses, their favorite features and go-to faces, etc. We start simple, communicate, figure each other out, laugh, get comfortable, and then dive in! All of this happens while I am basically investigating this person without them ever knowing. They’re just chatting away, smiling, feeling relaxed, and it’s no big deal! Starting this way will set the tone for your session and allow you to notice more about the client.
Remember, this is about them! It’s our job to make them look awesome!! After you’ve warmed up and got a feel for how the session will continue, it’s time to work efficiently, but while still slowing everything down. If you notice a piece of hair sticking up, go fix it. If you find that their hair looked best to one side, suggest them to put it that way! encourage them to bring their chins down, or smile a little bigger, or to give you a sexy face or whatever!
Try noticing the small details… the things that you will see later while editing. Save yourself time in the editing process by taking your time to fix the little things during the sessions. Give feedback, talk to them, make suggestions, educate them on why you suggest something, pose them in the most flattering way possible and then shower them with words of affirmation. Keep posing and talking throughout the shoot. If you slow down, you will notice more details to adjust in-person and you will be so happy with the results. This will give you more quality images to deliver and your clients will love you for it!
Ultimately, you want your clients to feel beautiful and feel loved. You need to be the one to make that happen! Whether you’re practicing in your first year of business and still trying to nail down your own style, or if you’ve been a photographer for years, try slowing down. Remember why you’re at these photo shoots and who you’re here to serve. Our mission is to create beauty in our own unique way while creating an experience our clients will always remember.
Let me know if you decide to start practicing this little tip and how you improve from it! I can’t wait to hear from you!