Learning from our mistakes: Stay true to what make you, you.
As the summer roles on and heat and humidity set in, frustration, compromise and the need to please clients tends to hit higher levels as well. At some point in time one has to reevaluate, if what one is doing is leading you away from who you are.
There is a lesson to be learned here and it is one I learned not all that long ago. This being, it is impossible to please/accommodate everyone all the time and that sometimes no matter what one does to try accommodate a client or perspective client, we may have to send them to another photographer who specializes in that area of photography.
I learned that it is important to stick to your discipline/style and there is a time and place to expand outside of our comfort zone and try a different photography discipline. I am a good portrait photographer but even thought I know a fair amount of product photography it is not my strong suit and having to tell a client “no” it is not something as a business provider I currently don’t accommodate does happen.
It stinks, it truly does, to have to turn away work/potential customers or returning customers but if what you are going to give a potential customer something that is not your best quality work it will not only hurt the customers currently because they do not have the best quality photo of their product but it will hurt you and your business in the long run because you let it be known you are willing to do sub-par work just to make a dollar.
As photographers we have our areas of expertise. Some of us are good portrait photographer where others are great at architectural photography and so on and so forth. While it is great to expand our horizons, to learn and become better in other disciplines of photography, it is important to remember what areas of photography we are good at when we do contract work for others. We should not be so quick to jump to another discipline of photography because a client begs us to or just to make earn extra money until we can prove that this new area of photography is up to the standards we have in our primary discipline.
Learn, practice and promote is the way expanding into a new discipline of photography should be handled. In the long run it will be more beneficial for you than just saying hey I can do “that” and then in the end give the client sub-par work. Also know it is okay to say “no” to a perspective client because sometime we are not the best fir for their needs.