I have probably written this post and then deleted it several times!
I have written this post in my notebook to be blogged and then forgotten about it several times!
I have talked about writing this post and then something happens and it just never has been published or written in a way that I feel it deserves to be written or talked about!
Until now… Now I choose to let perfection go and just write about it freely! Because ya’ll it needs to be talked about!
One quote or phrase that kept coming up at the Creative@Heart conference was Choose People Over Photos!
Now when everyone was talking about this, there were talking about it so many other ways!
I kept hearing it though in this one circumstance! Maybe it’s because I happen to serve a very specific population: children and families!
Maybe it’s because I live in a very specific area that requires a different set of rules! Who knows… but what I kept hearing when everyone was talking about choosing people over pictures was:
Listening to our clients when they ask for us as photographers to respect their privacy!
This is such a big deal friends!
These days social media is HUGE! We are all over everything! We post all families, ourselves, our food, our homes, every little detail of our lives on social media!
Heck… if you really wanted to know just about anything about anyone, I’m sure you could find it out by checking google, instagram, facebook, twitter, pinterest or another account!
It’s actually really scary when you think about it! If someone wanted to know your address, I bet they could figure it out! In fact, I know they could because my hubby spent an entire training course trying to delete our family FROM social media!
It’s both a blessing and a curse!
For those of us who run a small business, it’s an amazing tool! It’s how we GROW our business! It’s how we spread our name and generate some word of mouth!
I’m a photographer and I absolutely love sharing my client’s beautiful images on social media! I love to tag them and share our personal experience! It gives me incredible joy to see THEIR joy when they post their images from a session!
Sometimes, I have to remember though that it’s all a personal choice! It’s a family choice that I make for myself and for Linc when I share my own images! It’s a personal choice that each individual makes for themselves and for their family…
and only THEY can make it!
I work with a lot of families that ask me if I wouldn’t mind NOT sharing their images on any social media formats! This means no sneak peeks for facebook, no instagram posts and absolutely no blog posts!
As a small business owner there are some times when this might be viewed as “tough”. This is how we generate business, by sharing our work.
But I don’t see it that way! I don’t see it that way at all! I choose to see it a different way!
You see, these families aren’t asking because they don’t want you succeed or to grow! These families or these clients are asking you because they have their very own, very personal reasons! They have their own VERY GOOD reasons I might add that they have chosen for their own families!
These are the clients that will help you grow your business on word of mouth experience! This “experience based client” is far greater than any kind of experience you would ever gain from a social media interaction!
It always comes down to how we treat our clients and the experience we provide!
In the area I live and work in, we are a military based area! Most of the clients I serve for many reasons just can’t share on social media. It would be a shame to turn them down, hassle them or put up a fuss just because of a silly blog post!
It sounds funny… to say turn them away because of social media, but friends it happens a lot!
This is where I urge you to follow the advice of the many professional in this industry that are following the words of
choose people over pictures!
People are always more important than images! Our experience with people will always win out over beautiful images! That’s just the honest truth! You can produce the most stunning and beautifully rendered images out there but if your not also creating the best personal experience to go along with that it just won’t matter!
Remember that we are here to SERVE our clients and to respect their wishes! ALL THE TIME!
Yes we have contracts and yes we might include a bit about social media and sharing but at the end of the day friends, remember our privacy is an extremely important boundary!
A boundary only WE can set for ourselves! Just because you chose to share your life so openly doesn’t mean that your clients share that same view!
They may choose you BECAUSE you share so openly and they may love you for that, but they may also have reasons why they just can’t share so openly at the moment!
Please take that into consideration and discuss this with your clients one on one!
Choose your clients first! Put them first and serve them the best that you can. If you can do that, you will gain so much more than you ever could with social media.
I promise you..
People over pictures always!
I love that phrase… can you tell?! I feel like I should frame it and put it on my wall in my office! It just puts things into perspective in so many different ways.
When I get stressed about a session and I can’t find the right way to style it… guess what people over pictures!
when I worry about something silly… people over pictures!
It just reminds me of my mission and the core and heart of my business! Serving my clients through photography!
People over pictures!