How to handle client negotiations

during the second half of play of NCAA college basketball game at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 in Atlanta. Georgia Tech won 65-53. (AP Photo/Stanley Leary) [Nikon D3, Nikon 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 400, ƒ/7.1, 1/200 – 4 Alienbees B1600 with 40º Parabolic reflectors]
The Slam Dunk

A Slam Dunk in business is when you exceed the expectations of the client. I have made the mistake many times throughout my career of not doing a great job of managing those expectations.

We have all had the client call and also had the bills stacking up and due to our need of getting the job we rush to do whatever is necessary to just get the job. This is like going to the grocery store when you are hungry. You will make unnecessary purchases.

Houston Astros Chick-fil-A night [Nikon D3, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/1000]
Know the client’s expectations

When you have a brand new client managing expectations is so important. You need to not just listen and hear what they are saying, but I often ask for examples of what they are used to working with or if they have not worked with a photographer examples of what they would like that they have seen some where before.

Just this week I had two new clients, which I have never done work with before. In both cases I asked if they could send me some examples of what they are looking for so that we are on the same page.

I had one client send me work that would take little effort on my part to meet and exceed the quality of work they showed to me. However, the other client was talking to me about a photojournalistic coverage of where I was just shadowing someone, but then the photos they sent to me were well crafted lifestyle photos that would be used in a major advertising campaign.

The funny thing is that one client’s budget was more like champaign budget the and other was a beer budget.

In the case where the budget was cheap the taste was luxury for sure. This is where your attitude and negotiation skills come in to help educate the client or at least price the job properly so as to be sure you can deliver the product to meet those expectations.

Father Flor Maria Rigoni is a missionary with the San Carlos Scalabrini and works in the town of Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico. [Nikon D3S, Nikon 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 800, ƒ/5.6, 1/250]
It is a conversation

Be careful to not jump to the very end of the process and write a contract that is a take it or leave it situation. Pace yourself.

I talked with my contact and let them know that the price range would be three to four times more than we had first been discussing if the images they showed was exactly what they were wanting. I also asked if they were showing a situation or more the quality that they are looking for in the photo.

Basically I don’t need to spend a lot of time producing an estimate for a advertising shoot when they really just need a ground breaking photo.

I always do my best to start with how I am able and more than willing to meet their expectations and can make it happen for them. I let them know my concern is to always get them the most for their budget.

Nikon D4, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/5.3, 1/500
Don’t be shortsighted, Have Foresight

Your creativity should not be limited to your work with the camera. You need to make the entire experience for your client so special that they love your work and tell others about you.

Your goal should be to surprise your client. One of the ways I started to surprise my clients was to use off camera flash. Just like here with this family photo.


Nikon D4, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 1000, ƒ/5.6, 1/60

In this photo of the hunter it was raining. My flash is covered in zip lock bags. Had I not used the flash the skin color would not be as accurate and the dynamic range would have made the photo look extremely flat.

One way I continue to surprise my customers is quick turn around. I shot a client’s son’s wedding where before the Bride and Groom had left for the honeymoon the next day they had all the photos in an online gallery. As compared to most wedding photographers who take a month or two to get those photos to the bride and groom I had surprised them.

I have a good number of clients that are always changing things at the last moment. My response is always that is OK. I am here to make it happen for you. [Side Note: I do price to cover my need to be flexible]. Many times my clients make changes and I will do my best to move things to still work to get their project done. However, if I cannot make it happen for me to be there I line up a photographer/video person to give them the same quality as me or better.

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
[Nikon D4, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 10000, ƒ/10, 1/2000]
Take care of your photographer colleagues

This just reminds me to be sure you are developing great friends in the industry. You want to give them work when you can and they should be doing the same for you over time.

If a job is not suited well for you take care of the client and find them the photographer who will be a good fit for the job. They often will come back to you for other jobs when you show to them you are looking out for their best interests over just yourself.

On The Same Page

When you and the client are working from the same page of notes, your ability to meet and exceed their expectations is something you can manage. However, if at any point you make assumptions and don’t verify what their expectations are for a job you can often find yourself reshooting for the same underestimated budget and therefore losing money or just lose the customer over all.

Here is a little secret I discovered over time. When you ask these questions to the client to clarify the scope of a job it makes you look more like an expert and their trust goes up in you.

Some of my favorite Sports photos

Nikon D3, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 1000, ƒ/8, 1/2000

I just thought I would share some of my favorite sports images that I now have in my most recent “Sports Portfolio.”

This first photo is of Kerri Walsh spikes the volleyball against Jenny Krop & teammate Nancy Mason in the 3rd round of the Women’s $100,000 AVP Crocs Tour at Atlantic Station in Atlanta.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 36000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000

Georgia Bulldog’s #2 Defensive Back Maurice Smith breaks up the pass to North Carolina Tarheel’s #3 Ryan Switzer in their win over UNC 33 to 24 during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at the Georgia Dome.

What I love about the photo is there is an anticipation of the big play and we see both the offense and defense in a very competitive and athletic moment. Both players appear to be giving it their all in the moment.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 45600, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000

Georgia Bulldog’s Freshman Running Back #35 Brian Herrien Scores his very first collegiate touch down while UNC’s Safety #15 Donnie Miles was unable to stop him during tonights Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome.

I love the effort made by both the teams in the moment of competition. This is what the game is all about, getting a touchdown and defending all wrapped up in a split second.

Nikon D100, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, ISO 1600, ƒ/2.8, 1/350

Jaron Nunnemaker attempts to ride Hot Rod during the 2004 RBR Atlanta Classic at the Georgia Dome.

Bull Riding is the wildest and most dangerous event in rodeo. In the American tradition the rider must stay atop the bucking bull for eight full seconds to count as a qualified ride. The rider tightly fastens one hand to the bull with a long braided rope. It is a risky sport and has been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.”

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 64000, ƒ/2.8, 1/2000

The bulls are rated and even more famous in many ways than the cowboys who ride them. This bull here had 27 consecutive buck offs, now that is 28. A cowboy must stay on the bull 8 seconds for the ride to count. Then they get a score which takes into account the bull they are riding.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 64000, ƒ/2.8, 1/2000
Every once in a while when a bull is determined unrideable the Professional Bull Riders Association has a million dollar ride. At $125,000 per second, this bonus ride is offering one of the largest payouts any athlete has ever received for the amount of time they are required to compete. In comparison, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo received roughly $12 million dollars to play in 15 NFL games in 2013.  At 54,000 seconds per season, it took Romo 4,500 seconds to make $1 million.
Nikon D100, Sigma 15-30mm, ISO 400, ƒ/6.7, 1/180
Georgia Tech’s #1 B. J. Elder lays up and passes Duke’s #2 Luol Deng during second half play at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta, Georgia.
I love basketball and for those teams that take it to the net this is my favorite place to photograph. You get to see the effort in the face expressions and how close they are to either making the basket or defending it.
Nikon D100, Nikon 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 400, ƒ/6.7, 1/180
Georgia Tech’s #2 Isma’il Muhammad slams one early over NC State’s #11 Gavin Grant during play at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta, Georgia.
This is one of those photos most players either love or hate. Love that Isma’l flew over the NC State player Gavin for a slam. It made the ESPN highlights during that week and was played over and over. When Isma’l graduated the coach had a large print made and gave it to him.
Nikon D2X, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, Sigma 2x, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/3000
Mike Trapani is chased down by Chris Campbell  and finally tagged out by Nick Chigges  of the College of Charleston during play at the Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
I love the steal in baseball and if I am in the right position as here can capture the effort of both offense and defense as they both are trying to advance a base or stop it.
Nikon D2X, Nikon 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6,  ISO 100, ƒ/16, 1/200–[6] Alienbees B1600
Sometimes my favorite moments were when I made the team photo that would help sell tickets for the season. Seeing this photo on the side of buses around town to promote Calvin Johnson and the rest of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2006 season was a pleasure.
Hope you enjoyed some of the moments in sports of mine through the years.

Getting Good Skin Tones Shooting Basketball

Nikon D3, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, ISO 400, ƒ/7.1, 1/200

The very best way to shoot basketball and get the best skin tones is to use strobes. I have four Alienbee B1600s on a catwalk lighting the basketball court.

Now depending on the colors in the room the color can shift and give you a color shift even with the studio strobes. The reason is the light is bouncing off those colored walls and ceilings. Even the crowds clothing can affect the color temperature.

There are a couple ways to get a color measurement of the light. This is using the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport system. After I pull the RAW photo into Lightroom I just click on the eye dropper tool and put it on the grey square I have pointed to here in the photo.

Walk onto the court and hold the card where the players will be and then take a photo.

AS long as you shoot RAW you will get the very best colors because you can tweak this later in the post production of PhotoShop or Lightroom for example.

So when the play is going quick and right in front of you just take the photo.

While strobes will give you the best color as long as you are shooting RAW and taking these pictures of the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport you can dial in and get the best color with the existing light as well.

My first preference is the ExpoDisc, but the cool thing with the ColorChecker is you have now more colors for comparison. You will be able to see under some lighting conditions that even after you click on the 18% grey square you may not be able to get a true purple color and since that is on the card you will see that is the best you can get.

Do your photos have Gibberish in them?

Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 8000, ƒ/4, 1/100
How would this photo look as a sentence?

asdfaggsgggTEENAGE GIRLS, YOUNG MANadsfgalgalcln

What is all that gibberish around the subjects in the photo? 
All the area marked with green is that really needed? Did I compose the photo in such a way that it is a sentence rather than just a noun with gibberish around it?
Posed photos of people looking straight into the camera for the most part are not anything but a noun without a verb. Sure there are some exceptions, but many people use this same composition no matter what they are shooting. Just put the subject in the center and click.
Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/50
While here the people on the sides kind of balance the photo they really are more of a distraction than helping.
Nikon D4, Sigma 1.4X, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, ISO 8000, ƒ/4.5, 1/2000
Here the edges cannot come in and crop much more without eliminating some of the sentence.
The ball is on the far right/top and the referees’ hand on the left  and not to crop out the foot and show how the athlete is flying I kept it in at the bottom. Notice the wide receiver also has room to go once he catches the ball. 
Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/60
While I could have moved the frame slightly to the right you can see here that I am using the bands name on banners to help compose the photo.
This helps to create leading lines as well and create depth into the photograph.
Here is a great rule to use for your compositions. 
First and foremost eliminate anything you can from the frame that doesn’t help compliment the subject. Think of it like a sentence. Do you have a noun, verb and maybe some descriptors?
Second decide on where to place the subject into the frame.
Third is there a way to create depth into the photograph. This helps pull the audience into the photo.
These three things are just what you can do by moving your camera around in the subject and framing in a way to create impact and help the photo move from a noun with gibberish to a sentence.
Another thing that can greatly improve all photos is the lighting. Sometimes adding light to a situation can help guide the audience as well if not better than using leading lines and S-curves.
But before taking on lighting, always first learn to just compose using the frame of the camera.
How do you know if you are doing a good job of framing your subjects. While looking at your photos on your computer or even on the LCD look around the edges. Do you see things other than the subject that you don’t need? A good way to think of this while shooting is identify your subject and then look at everything but the subject in the frame–can it be eliminated or do I keep it?
Nikon D3S, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 8000, ƒ/5 1/100
Remember to make the edges of the photo count as much as the subject you are focused on to make your photos stronger.
Nikon D2XS, Sigma 18-50mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/125
Take your time to compose. Once you have your composition then let the moment happen just like you do after you sit down to watch a play on broadway. The frame is the whole stage. Wait for the actors to move and hit those peak moments.
Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/420

Photographing The Citadel’s Ring Day Weekend

Nikon D3, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.5, 1/100

The Citadel Ring Day Weekend

This weekend is the time the seniors at The Citadel get their rings. Most cadets go through the ring with their parent and date. Here my wife is going through the ring with my step-son and his date.

Nikon D3s, Nikon 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/80

I can tell you that you are better off shooting without your on the camera flash. You are just too far away for it to really make a difference. You need a camera with and ISO of 6400 or higher to really get a good sharp photo.

You may want a lens that covers 50mm to 200mm if you stand down on the floor.

Tips:

  • Arrive early
  • Take test shots at different White Balance settings.
  • Custom White Balance is the best [blog on how to do that] Also the blog explains how to set presets as well.
  • Set ISO up high like ISO 6400 or higher. I shot the second photo at ISO 12800
  • Keep shutter speed up pretty high as well, so shoot wide open with your aperture
  • Make test shots and take a look
Nikon D3, Nikon 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.5, 1/125–Two off camera flashes on either side of the camera.
Take photos other than going through the ring. Here I photographed them in the Quad of the Barracks.
Nikon D3S, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, ISO 6400, ƒ/2.8, 1/80
Good news is the afternoon before walking through the ring the seniors get their rings. Great time to practice in the same room they photos will be that night. Here my son helps with name pronunciation.
Nikon D3S, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, ISO 3200, ƒ/2.8, 1/80
Here is he is getting the ring. Good news is when they are standing in the ring and walking down the carpet there are more lights on them.
Nikon D3S, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 400, ƒ/8, 1/3200
You will shoot a lot of these photos of your cadet holding the ring close to the camera. Be sure your aperture is pretty high. Here it is ƒ/8. This helps keep their ring and faces in focus.
Nikon D3, Nikon 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 1000, ƒ/5.3, 1/60–Two off camera flashes on either side of the camera.
If you son/daughter isn’t a senior this is a great time to practice a year or two earlier so that when your time comes you are seasoned. If you get great photos then you can share them with the other families.
We are grateful to have all these photos to remember our son’s journey through The Citadel.

Are you a photojournalist who finds themselves suffering from depression?

Nikon D3, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM, ISO 1000, ƒ/8, 1/160

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality. – Nikos Kazantzakis

These are a few sentences I found interesting a few years ago in article by Rev. Peter M. Wallace.

There has never been a more challenging time in [fill in the blank]. Everyone is scrambling to find the right way to connect to an audience that has fractured and fragmented to numerous different platforms. 

And yet the reality some fail to acknowledge in this midst of this chaos is that the need or function all these declining institutions used to fulfill remains. People are simply choosing different ways, different platforms, to meet these needs.

Nikon D2X, Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX, ISO 100, ƒ/14, 2 sec

It has been easier for me to focus on an institution and set my path in life to get to it as a destination. So many of my friends who wanted to work for Sports Illustrated or National Geographic were focused on the institution and not the need or function that these institutions were serving.

Sports Illustrated just let go of their staff photographers and through the years National Geographic has shrunk their staff as well.

I had focused on working for The Commission Magazine. It was the flagship printed piece for missions for the Southern Baptist denomination I was once apart of years ago.  While I did get there and worked on the magazine for a short time I never really got to be one of the main photographers for the magazine. They would do 3 or more major stories a year.

During the financial crisis of the late 1980’s the agency had to make cuts to balance the budget and I was let go.

Nikon D2Xs, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, Sigma 2X, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/3000

I went into a major depression. My first marriage fell apart. I had continued to push forward realizing I needed more skills to add to my resume and I went to seminary and got my masters in communications.

Upon graduating none of the missions agencies were hiring so I found a job at Georgia Tech. All the while I was there for ten years I was seeing this as a temporary job on my way to my original dream. Still no openings through the years that I could find.

Nikon D2Xs, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, ISO 400, ƒ/5.3, 1/2000

Slowly I was coming out of depression, but I still was finding that my dreams were not becoming reality. My skills had improved dramatically and I was thrilled to be working, but all the time I never felt like I was fulfilling my purpose.

Maybe you find yourself in this same spot as I did. Today I too find I drift into this depression. My friend Gary Chapman spoke at the Southwestern Photojournalism Conference a few years ago and introduced me to the book Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life. For Gary the photography stock market was his cheese. He had built a library of images at Getty and other smaller agencies and each month could expect a pretty decent check. That check started to shrink. Soon all he was seeing was just crumbs each month rather than the large block of cheese he was used to experiencing.

As a storyteller I learned early on that one of the biggest mistakes we make when trying to tell our stories is focusing on what and the how. When someone comes back from a overseas trip where they went to help out a NGO and they were so moved by the experience that when you ask them to tell you the story they end up giving you a timeline of their experience. They tell you what and how they did their work.

What is missing is too often the WHY.  Once you hear the why you are more likely to stay engaged. Many Christians who are fed up with their churches will say they are followers of Jesus today. They choose to focus on Jesus rather than the institution.

Maybe the reason so many of us are depressed and feeling like someone moved our cheese is we have been focused on these institutions more than we should have been. The key to our purpose might be wrapped up better in focusing on the need that these institutions were fulfilling. Focus on WHY these institutions were founded.

Due to corruption and many other man made mistakes many people have left the church. In a Gallup poll they reported that “Most Americans Say Religion Is Losing Influence in U.S. But 75% say American society would be better off if more Americans were religious.

You see the need still exists. People are looking for what faith brings to their lives.

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.  – Viktor E. Frankl

Maybe the reasons we are struggling in this profession is we have been too focused on institutions and not enough on the reason WHY these institutions existed from the get go.

Photojournalist Job Description

The primary role of the photojournalist is to be a visual storyteller.  By photographing, editing, and presenting images, they tell a story in a way that no other media can.  Some photojournalists will work for a local publication, while others will travel nationally or abroad, sometimes putting themselves in constantly changing or even dangerous situations.  The subject matter can vary greatly, from local civic issues, national political races to social unrest in a foreign country.  Many photojournalists are freelance photographers and sell their photos to various organizations around the world.  The photographs serve the purpose of enhancing the story for the reader or viewer.

As you can see the role of the photojournalist isn’t limited to an institution. It is just a matter of having stories to tell and finding the audience that needs to see them.

Photographing the Ramblin’ Wreck

Nikon D2X, Sigma 120-300mm, ISO 1600, ƒ/4, 1/1250

Through the years I have photographed the Ramblin’ Wreck coming onto the football field before home games at Georgia Tech.

Nikon D2X, Sigma 120-300mm, ISO 800, ƒ/2.8, 1/640

The cheerleaders all jump onto the Ramblin’ Wreck and then it tears through the banner made for the game onto the field.

I would try different angles every once in a while as able. Many times I had to shoot something on the field at the same time so I could rarely change my angle.

Nikon D100, 70-200mm, ISO 400, ƒ/8, 1/1000

One thing I learned was shooting on the ground level I often had a very cluttered background and if I shot at a higher depth-of-field the background competed too much with the foreground.

Nikon D2X, Sigma 120-300mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/3200

By getting up higher I was able to eliminate the stands which helped to clean up the background.

Nikon D2X, Sigma 120-300mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/3200

I could capture the Georgia Tech football team running onto the field behind the Ramblin’ Wreck. This was one of my favorite angles to work for many years if I could get into the stands rather than being on the field.

My suggestion is to look for new angles and know what you are trying to highlight in your photograph.

Key to survival: Variety of assignments for 2014

Nikon D4, 14-24mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 200, ƒ/16, 1/200 with 2 Alienbees with CTO 1 for off camera flash. These are triggered with the Pocketwizard Radio Remotes

I went back and looked through my assignments from just this year in still images and pulled some of my favorites. It had me jumping for joy.

I feel really blessed this year.

Take a look at some that I pulled from the year in this package:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wixP821FDs&w=560&h=315]
While I did everything from Sports, Portraits, Studio, Travel, Events, Theater and other that I cannot remember I even did videos as well this year.

Here are just a few that I did this year.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cYLk91M1_s]

//player.vimeo.com/video/103467922

//player.vimeo.com/video/99372577

Following UGA Head Coach Mark Richt for a game assignment

Click here for online version

Decision Magazine hired me to follow UGA head coach Mark Richt. I was asked to also get photos of his wife Katharyn Richt.

If it worked out I was to try and get photos of them together. That never happened, but I stuck with the coach and his wife the day.

Nikon D4,  Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 1250, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000

I arrived really early and met Katharyn early sitting in the stands.

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 900, ƒ/5, 1/2000

While this will win no awards it is starting with the safe shots to be sure I had some good expressions.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 400, ƒ/16, 1/500–Nikon SB900 fill flash -1EV

I liked this photo much better even tho I cannot see her face as well she is doing what she does every game to help support the team and Mark.

The magazine picked that photo and one more of Mark interacting with one of the players.

Nikon D4,  Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 1600, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000

Now at this point in the season the top running back in the country is UGA #3 Todd Gurley. I really tried to get a photo of him with the coach. The best I did that day was this shot, but the ƒ/5.6 was too shallow to show Mark clearly in the photo in the background.

Nikon D4,  Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 450, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000

Mark Richt is on the far right with headset. Well I just missed it. Just a few days later the suspension by the NCAA came out so he was definitely out of the magazine piece. It would have pulled the attention away from the storyline.

Here are the selects that I gave the editor.

http://www.stanleylearystoryteller.com/Richt/index.html

Your best clients don’t need you

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 640, f/5/6, 1/2000

Just the other night on the TV show Shark Tank Robert Herjavec talked about the worst thing for a startup is too much cash.

After he said this almost immediately Mark Cuban jumped in to agree. They talked about when you have a new idea you assume you know what you are doing and will throw millions into a bad idea assuming you are successful and have the cash to make it happen.

Winning football coaches are hard to get their attention, but a losing one is interested in changing their situation.

Best Clients

Your best clients are the ones that can afford your skills and pay you what you are worth. The reason they are your potentially best client is also why it is so hard to get their attention.

They are highly successful already. They are not in a crisis looking for someone to help turn their company around. Because they are so successful often this makes them in their minds experts on anything they do.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 400, ƒ/16, 1/320, Nikon SB-900 high speed sync mode

How to get their attention

Be desirable. Just like Steve Jobs created the tablet before we even knew we wanted one we too must create work that makes people want to use us and have us on their team.

The very best way to get people to notice your skills is through a personal project. Go and do what you do best and then show it around. If your work is not just on par with everyone else, but truly different then you have a great chance of getting people’s attention–even if they don’t “NEED” you they will “WANT” you.

Be Authentic. If your only reason for treating someone nice is the hope of getting something from them, this is just the opposite of being authentic. Be genuinely interested in them and treat them with honor, dignity and respect.

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM, Sigma 2x EX DG APO Autofocus Teleconverter, ISO 900, f/5/6, 1/2000

Be a friend. Really try and become good friends with your clients. Listen to them and support them. Congratulate them on their success.