I Feel Like a Number
May 25, 2017
Waiting in line. Is there any more soul-crushing experience? That sign that says, “Take a number.” So you pull your ticket and join the faceless mass waiting to be ‘served’. I’m pretty sure the term “I feel like a number” was coined by someone waiting at the DMV…and that’s not how your wedding photographer should make you feel.
A while back, I was having lunch with some wedding photographer friends and we started talking about our own weddings. One photographer started retelling the story of dealing with her own photographer and we were all stunned. We have all heard horror stories but there was something about this one that struck a chord because she hadn’t hired some cheap unknown photographer.
No, she’d hired a photographer that all the wedding magazines and blogs were going nuts over. This guy had done a series of portraits across the country that were the epitome of vintage chic and everyone went gaga for them. The photos were stunning, I won’t deny that, but I knew immediately why there was a problem, and why it took eight months for him to respond to her questions. I remember reading an interview with this photographer in a trade magazine about how his business ‘exploded’ due to the attention the portrait series had received. He’d gone from shooting 10 to 15 weddings a year to being “booked for over 60 weddings a year for the next few years”.
There was a time early in my career when I would take as many jobs as I could book because I thought that’s what it meant to have a successful business. I soon realized that was not the definition of success for me. My success is that you absolutely love your photos, and love working with me. That’s not achieved by ‘consuming mass quantities’. I want to have the time to really get to know you! I need time to understand your relationship, your personalities, and all of the other elements that make you YOU. I want to be available to answer your questions and help you along the way, on your wedding day, and beyond. I want the time to focus on caring for your photos, because, while they mean a lot to me, they mean even more to you!
That’s why I limit the number of weddings I do each year. I need that time. Without it, things start to slip through the cracks…
“He lost our photos!”
We were speechless. This photographer, whom she’d paid just shy of $5000 to capture her wedding, took eight months to say, “I’ve been wondering how to tell you this, but I lost most of your wedding photos.”
No photos of her walking down the aisle.
No photos of her and her husband.
No photos of their first dance.
All he had were a few hundred unedited pictures of her getting ready and the reception. What happened to the rest of them? He wouldn’t say. What was his response? Did he try to make it right?
“Shit happens. Take a number…”
So I guess that’s the question in front of you…are you a number? Or are you something else?