Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sharing + Caring

Hey everybody!

It must be "get on my soapbox" week... because it's time for me to rant to photographers.

Hey photographers! I know there are a lot of you who read my blog. If you know me in person, you know how I feel about this already, but it's worth repeating...

Let's get over the old-school competition mindset! It bugs the crap out of me that photographers are so secretive, competitive, and in some cases MEAN! What's there to fear?

Would it amaze you to know that on many occasions I've loaned out my equipment (for free!) to local photographers? Just today I picked up my ringflash from Ryan Klintworth's house (he works with Maura Johnson). In the past I've helped out photographers who wanted to try out lenses, replace camera bodies, given backdrops, etc. I don't, even for a second, think that loaning my equipment is bad for business. C'mon!

Secondly, for many photogs in the area, I'm an open book! (for those who don't wanna talk, or who take advantage of my willingness to share no longer get these privileges) I get emails daily (literally!) from photographers who ask me all sorts of questions... anything from how should they create their pricing to what to do if they have an unhappy customer to how to market themselves to brides. Though my own client emails come first, I treat these emails with respect and always try to get back to them in a timely manner. Am I crazy??? Am I training my competition to outbook me??? Get real!

This doesn't concern me for the following reasons:
1) I'm me. Nobody else is. My clients love me for me, not because I shoot with Canon, or because I have some secret answers, or whatever.
2) There are enough brides for everybody! We only take 30-40 weddings per year, and there are bazillions of brides in Arkansas. Why can't we share the love? Which brings me to...
3) Photographers can be referral sources! I've sent tons of brides to other photogs (based on budget, style, etc.), and I'll keep doing so. There may be a time when I'm in need of a bride for a certain date and my photo buddies hook it up.

Lastly, let me just say... photographers should be natural friends with other photographers! We're creative, we do the same thing for a living, we know all the same people (vendors, etc.), we have the same struggles, the same schedule, ... and on and on!

Some of my very best friends are photographers. There's no tip too secret, nothing I wouldn't give if they asked. To me, that's more important than maintaining a stiff level of competition.

(pics of me with photographer friends)

Talk to you soon,

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