March 27, 2017 / For photographers
28 weddings booked, and why bragging is counter productive.
So there’s this one wedding photographer that I bump into at most of the wedding fairs I attend, and the first thing that they proclaim is that they have 28 weddings booked!
Doesn’t matter what part of the season I see this photog, it’s always 28 wedding booked, booked for this year, next year, 2025… Always 28 weddings booked.
They seem to forget that they’ve explained to me on several occasions that they are sooooo successful and in demand.
And I truly hope this is true, this particular wedding photographer is really good, and a really nice person.
Whereas I take this information with a tiny pinch of salt and a truck load of scepticism, what they are inadvertanily declaring is that they are SO busy. Even if their declaration is false, they go around telling everyone that they are too busy… Perhaps too busy for a referral?
Once, a long time ago somewhere in the 90’s, I assisted probably the best photographer that no one has ever heard off. Julian was a quiet man, never boasted never bragged, just got on with shooting campaigns, major campaigns.
One day, we were arrived back at the studio after a shoot in the US for a major ad campaign (I think it was BA or could have been Marlborough), it doesn’t matter, it was a huge campaign.
Julian’s studio was located in a mews in London, and our neighbours were other ‘well known’ photographers. We were unpacking the van, when one of his neighbours came up and asked how things were. Before Julian could answer, this neighbour started talking about his possible BA or Malborourgh campaign that he was going to shoot, and he didn’t know how he’d fit it in with all the other major campaigns that were in the pipeline.
Julian simply smiled, but after this guy had gone, I asked him why Julian hadn’t put this other photog right.
Julian simply said that ‘you just don’t boast about work, because you just never know how hard the other guy is having it at that moment’. And he continued… ‘What’s the point of boasting to work colleagues, they are the ones that may refer you’.
Although Julian didn’t teach me that much about photography (it wasn’t that kind of assistant/photog relationship), I now realise that he did pass on valuable lessons that I still adhere to.
So, you’ll never see me, or hear me, boasting about work, especially to other photographers.
Ask me directly, and I’ll tell you how many I’ve booked for the wedding season in 2035… I may even tell you about 2018/19 bookings. But I’ll not boast, because I’d rather you come to me for help or a little advice if the numbers aren’t as high as ‘Mr 28 Weddings’, than shrink away and feel that you’re doing something wrong.
Photography can be a lonesome existence, Mr 28 doesn’t help that collaborative approach that I find, see and hear about with US wedding photographers, and I feel that we all should play a tiny part in effecting some change in this.
As Sue Bryce put it so brilliantly, ‘Don’t compete – CREATE’.
This one’s for you Sue and thank you for your amazing advice… And also dedicated to ‘Mr 28’. I guess I’ll see you at the next fair.
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