So, as photographers, we are constantly told we should have an ideal client. Like any business it helps with marketing and promotion. And I’ve been to a lot of workshops that talk about the ideal client and how should you define them. What age are they? What do they look like? What job do they do? How much money do they earn? And I did that, and I tried that, but now I’m here to tell you why I’m calling bullshit on it all.!
I’m a bride now
So recently when I started planning my own wedding, all the stuff I learned was in my head. Based on some of the stuff I’ve read and learned, I needed to have the most epic venue. I needed to have an ‘on trend’ dress. I need to be a size 10. The best photographers are going to want all those things to work with me and give me the best photographs – and I obviously want the best photographs!
This is the downside of being in the industry.
I actually messaged some of my friends and said ‘what if the photographer I want doesn’t want to work with me because of my venue.’ I thought ‘what if we’re not cool enough.’ I was so stressed because there was no way I was paying £20K for a castle. And I don’t suit the boho trendy dresses. I needn’t have worried because my photographer is the most wonderful human and wouldn’t ever be like that, but I know of A LOT that are.
Now that I’m in the position of being a bride, I see what it’s like. I would HATE to be judged or defined by what age I am, what I look like, what job I have or how much money I earn. So why would I ever define anyone else by those things, for marketing or not.
What I care about
Here’s the thing though, we are all defined. We do all judge. It’s human nature. Anyone who says they don’t judge is a liar. We have to to ensure we protect ourselves. And as photographers, but mostly as people, we want our time to be spent with the right people. Who are the right people? What are they like?
Here’s how I define my ideal client….
They are kind.
They care about others.
They are passionate about atleast one thing.
They are sentimental.
They love their family.
They love life.
They know who they are, or are trying to figure it out.
They don’t take themselves too seriously.
They appreciate things, from fresh air to the roof over their head.
They remember what a wedding is really truly about…the love they have for their partner. The life they have ahead. The people around them.
There’s a lot more but you get the idea. Now if someone can tell me how I define that with Instagram labels, just let me know.
Everyone Deserves Good Photos
This has all come into my head properly and I decided to write this blog after seeing something on a photography group about how a lady was turned down by photographers because she didn’t fit the aesthetic for their portfolio. I was disgusted, as were many other photographers. But it was also clear that this is common practice, just maybe not so common for photographers to be so open about it. It’s also clear as day when you look at instagram, wedding blogs and magazines. Everyone looks the freakin’ same or atleast similar. There are so many gaps in portfolios when it comes to age, race, weight, venues.
And I’m calling bullshit on it! I’m saying ‘wise the f*** up and get out of the game if you care more about your instagram grid than you do about capturing people.’ If that’s your mindset in my opinion you shouldn’t be in the midst of someone’s special day. You’re missing the point. Chances are though it’s not your mindset. It’s what you’ve read on a marketing blog. Or you’ve heard at some workshop about how to grow your instagram following. Is it really you though? Do you really give a shit about that stuff?
At the end of the day we all have to make a living and we all want to earn money. This is our job, not a charity, but if a couple is willing to pay me the fee I have set which values my time away from my kids, my hard work and my creativity, then they deserve my work and my best. I don’t care what their venue is, what dress they’re wearing or whether they have a bunch of nettles from the garden as their bouquet. And I certainly couldn’t care less what size, colour or age they are. That’s not why I got into photography, it’s not why I fell in love with capturing people, and it’s not how I want to run my business. Do you?
What’s your thoughts on this? I’d love to know. Lx