6 minute Read - Enjoy, Mr. Bloom!
For the last 7 years, I‘ve had the fortunate opportunity to work closely with the professional portrait photography industry. In the process, I have viewed photography on the websites of thousands of Photographers across the country. Their work primarily covering family, children, newborn, and wedding.
This has given me an appreciation of their true purpose, one that I may have completely missed or not fully appreciated had my life gone down a different path.
"To capture moments in time while bringing out the true personalities of the subjects."
There is nothing profound about that observation. It exists in the minds of countless photographers and non-photographers alike. However, the appreciation, awareness, and appropriate value of that mission is where it might not be as natural.
Like many things, if you don’t take the time to actively engage with an idea, you might just miss the real benefit of that idea altogether.
We recently moved into a new home and in the process have been updating our wall frames. This blog post was prompted by the way in which my wife chose to hang the frames in our hallway.
The collection of images in the hallway are basically a history of our small family since the beginning of The Organic Bloom. It’s hard to walk past it without being reminded of the really great people I have around me. Even if that’s while rushing out to settle a dispute early in the morning when I’d rather be in bed. Ha!
Each portrait is a different slice of time and has different memories attached to it but they all come together to solidify a gratitude that sticks with me through the day.
You’ll have to forgive my being a bit of a sentimental Dad as it’s likely to show through in the remainder of this post ;-)
Now I want to be a bit philosophical for a minute. In what ways do you as a photographer convey to your clients (or potential clients) the value they are going to receive in the years (and maybe decades) to come? One of the clear tangible results is gratitude.
While not everyone (or anyone) has a perfect family situation, countless study after countless study finds gratitude to improve life in basically every category. And often there is much to be grateful in regards to family.
Being grateful has benefits in your personal life, career, social circle, etc. It’s very easy to slide into a place of not accurately appreciating the life situation around you. But I would argue that having really large images on your walls that you can’t help but notice is a very good reminder.
And this is where you come in (________) photographer (Family, child, newborn, wedding, etc). You can (get to) help people put big reminders of beneficial people on their walls. You can help your clients all but certainly put reminders to start their day with Gratitude. Where they can’t miss it. Where it stares them down every day. Even if the day was rough before. Even if the family has splits and strife. Even if the children aren’t quite appreciating their siblings or parents like they should. The finished product you deliver can have a lasting benefit far greater than being just a decoration that matches their living room.
I won’t be the first person to talk about how digital photos in the world have made some drastic changes in how photography is bought and used. As a matter of fact, I’m a huge fan of Google Photos and being able to search years of photos for some specific thing or event. But, we also run the risk of having so many photos that we can’t even figure out how to appreciate them.
So this is where you come in. We’ve established that people need big reminders on their wall of the people that are special in their life. Your passion to capture specific moments in time is just the event needed to trigger a display of this year’s snapshot in time.
But we all know this isn’t as easy and straightforward as it should be. You’ll get busy. Your clients will get busy. Details slip through the cracks. And consistently, people go through the effort of having their portraits done with you and those wonderful photos end up in a drawer on a fancy flash drive. This is a tragedy of monumental proportion. One that you need to be aware of and have a plan of action to make sure it doesn’t happen to your clients.
I’m obviously biased toward picture frames since I own a company that makes them, but I don’t care how photos get up on a wall. I am indeed aware of nice photography options and find them to be valuable. Helping your clients figure out the print options available is great and a service you should definitely be knowledgeable about. But I’d argue that any printing method is better than them never being hung and remaining on a flash drive (See the atrocity mentioned above). So make the non-negotiable the following:
"Non-negotiable: Clients end up with something they will see on a regular basis on their wall"
Anything less is just missing out on a huge benefit of your service, passion and what makes you unique.
At the beginning of The Organic Bloom, we made the decision to work exclusively with Professional Portrait Photographers. That decision has had pros and cons. However one of the ideals that have reinforced my resolve is that I’ve really enjoyed supporting the local photography businesses in towns across America (and Canada, UK, and Australia to some extent). The goal of promoting the value of photographers by redirecting consumers to their local photographer (our vendor locator) has been a part of that but the reasoning is much more important. You have something to offer and we want to direct people your way so they can get that. Your passion is unique and it provides the opportunity for big giant wall gratitude reminders. I look forward to your comments below.