Don’t just click the shutter – Learn to click with people

Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 560, ƒ/8, 1/100

“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”

– Alfred Eisenstaedt

Yesterday I talked with the family after the wedding and was told they were thrilled to have had me at their wedding. They said it felt so right to have me there and thought I was just part of the family.

It was also important to them to tell me on the day of the events that my presence made them relax and enjoy the wedding. They knew that I would get every photo they needed, which made them realize they could look back later and enjoy it.

Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 400, ƒ/3.5, 1/6

The wedding was for a client that has hired many photographers through the years in their line of work. They had hired some of the more famous photographers. The groom’s parents wanted it covered well, and at the same time, they wanted someone who would fit in with the two families coming together.

Over the past seven years, this person has watched me create teams of photographers covering events like the Chick-fil-A Bowls and Chick-fil-A Kickoffs. They watched me work and cover annual meetings for corporations. I continued to cover events and strategize about other types of coverage to help with communication projects.

Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 200, ƒ/5.6, 1/200–2 Alienbees B1600 bouncing off the ceiling for lighting.

“If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”

– Eve Arnold

You might think I wish I had customers who told me nice things about myself or my work. You might also feel that getting said this is why my photographs a much better than others.

TIP

I hear from many wanna-be photographers all the time. If they would send me that coverage, I could do it. The key is they believe in their minds they are capable, but they haven’t a portfolio that demonstrates they have already done this before.

People do not give you work before you have shown them that you can do it. You must show us all you can do, and then they will provide you with work.

I demonstrated in every job I did that I always had their best interests at heart.

Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 200, ƒ/5.6, 1/200–2 Alienbees B1600

I learned this very early in my life through my faith.

But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

– Romans 5:8

The best thing I can ever recommend to improve your photography and character so that more people want to hire you is finding a mentor that exemplifies all these characteristics. For me, that person is Jesus. 

A few years ago, a bracelet became very popular. It had WWJD on it. It was a simple reminder for those who follow Jesus to ask themselves in any situation, “What Would Jesus Do?”

Where is your true North pointing you?

Who’s your mentor, and if you had a bracelet on your arm that helped to remind you what to do in a situation, what would it say? 

Jesus’ first miracle was when he turned the water into wine at a wedding. Weddings are about the commitment to loving someone for a lifetime. This principle is a cornerstone of Jesus’ message–we are to love one another.

My goal for my business is to be known for my love and to bring joy into their lives.