The life of a photographer who likes to shoot just about anything.

Posts tagged “jobs

Are You Listening?

Half the problems in life are not listening. Whether we’re listening to our wives, husbands, moms and dads, they tell us something but our thoughts are elsewhere. This ¬†also applies to our jobs. Our clients/employers provide info on what they want. Our job is to listen and, hopefully, enhance what they’re asking for. On a recent assignment last year I had to capture a portrait of an employee in a toy store without any brand identification. In other words, I couldn’t photograph the person in front of any Barbie dolls or some other famous brand. While it was difficult to find the right angle in the toy store for the portrait, I listened to the client and got the image they needed. Yup, listening helped. It’s a simple task, but one often ignored.

The New Economy

Even in the new economy there are some jobs that I wouldn’t be able to do. But also in this new economy it has been difficult to adapt to the new lower pricing clients expect. It is easy to state that everyone wants everything cheaper. Heck, I’m one of those people. But then there’s the problem that many prices are still being raised based on higher fuel costs. So, at the end of the day, what do I do when a client asks how much does the job cost? I see a number of columns with business advisors suggesting “bringing more value to the table”, “improving negotiation skills,” “don’t become a bottom feeder”, etc. but these tactics aren’t helping me. I have more and more calls from people who just want to know “what does it cost?” You can’t negotiate with companies that don’t want talk to you. You’re advised to “find better clients.” Okay, but it seems that there’s fewer of them and harder to find. And then many of us, me included, have lost clients because they now have their own cameras and are happy to accept that their photos are “good enough.”

I do not have unrealistic expectations. I’m not 20 years old anymore thinking that I’m going to be the photographer to the stars. The next George Hurrell. I’m older, just want to pay my bills, have some fun and find some more clients that don’t think that my “modest fee” is still too high.

The window washers above are working on the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.