Super Bowl Sunday is the one day that Americans forget we hate television commercials. Companies will pay at least 4 million dollars for each thirty second advertising spot during the game. If I understood marketing, I could explain why companies continue investing more money on Super Bowl ads each year, but I do not even know how to market my own photography business.
I am still looking for the right strategy. Perhaps I have a secret marketing plan that I am hiding from myself.
I often tell people that I am not a real photographer. I am not a fake photographer or a bad photographer, but I am an unusual photographer. When I renewed my passport last week and I listed my profession as “photographer,” I worried that someone at the Department of State would deny my application because they know how I work. For instance, last weekend during my photo shoot at the Collosi home, I played wiffle ball indoors with their son. After he threw a fast ball past me, his three year old little sister called me Uncle Bryan. (She wanted me to push her on the swing. I think she has a future in marketing.) Is this how a real photographer behaves?
Real photographers do not take pictures with their subjects and real photographers most certainly do not let three year old kids use their expensive equipment during a photo shoot. There are some obvious reasons (three year old kids can drop cameras), but some other concerns too. In case you are wondering, the person who takes the photo usually retains the copyright. I think my new favorite niece owns the photo taken above. (Maybe she has a future in photography too, if there is such a thing as a “future in photography.”)
Real photographers probably do not post cell phone photos. I also promote my volunteer work. I promote other photographers. Real photographers list prices on their websites. I also have too many sites and I confuse potential customers. (I even confuse my own customers.) And I admit it… I also confuse myself.
When I was young, I remember being photographed by real photographers. I did not enjoy the impersonal experience. Now that I have the camera, I share the experience as well as my camera. Whether I am working with people who have suffered or planning their family trip to Disneyland, I connect to the people I photograph. I even miss them afterwards. This last week I have missed the Collosi family. I really miss them.
You can see more of our photos in this gallery.
What is a real photographer?
What do you remember from your first family portrait sessions?