I’m not sure what it is that’s bringing on this moment. Could be that I’ve recently shot two women that booked their boudoir portrait session as they were going through divorces. Maybe it’s the conversation I had the other day with a photographer new to the specialty of boudoir or maybe it’s the images I see on my screen now of the two-time client who did her first portrait session last fall and then her second merely 9 months later. The latest session was intended to be for her and only her. Well.. I imagine that the hubs got to look at the images but the theme of the day and the experience was intended for her own enjoyment and as a reward for her hard work in reaching a fitness goal.
Each experience unique and yet each experience carries a common theme – one of defining moments.
Bear with me.
I’ll pluck from the middle and first talk about the conversation I had a couple of days ago with a new-to-boudoir photographer. It’s kind of funny how our conversation came about – it started on Facebook when I’d actually meant to message the person above her on my friend list, someone who’d inquired about an upcoming class I’m to teach in Ohio. I messaged her to say that she had email and the gal that I messaged in error responded with ‘yes… I do have email’ or something like that and after a few exchanges I realized my mistake.
Awkwardmuch? I tried to play it off by asking her a question about someone we knew in common and well – it was seriously awkward. ((My mother has said to me many times throughout my life that ‘for someone so smart, sometimes you have a brain like a bug’))
Instead of continuing on with this serious awkward conversation I just fessed up and we LOL’d a few times and awkward moment over and a real conversation began. We talked about business and marketing and promoting ourselves and she said to me that she can’t book clients over the phone. Huh? Why? With telephone inquiries I almost always book because I can convey the information and the experience much better than anything clients can read or see on the interwebz.
Ok. No problem. Let’s you and I ((I’m speaking with “MFBMR” – mistaken Facebook message recipient)) yap on the phone really quickly and I’ll share the secret to booking clients on the phone.
Want to know my secret? Speak from your heart.
Huh? No really. Speak from your heart. Pricing, products, availability, that’s a no brainer, no heart required, it is what it is. When I say speak from the heart, I mean speak to the experience because I think that’s what matters most. It’s a daunting thought to hire a complete stranger to take saucy pics of you in your panties ((I’ve done it twice, both times daunting but amazing to the point that that I forgot about the daunting bit.))
I’m under no illusion that the service I provide is like that of – let’s say, a brain surgeon, nor am I out there creating cutting edge tools that will eradicate world hunger but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that what I do is not important because the truth of the matter is – what I do is very important and I take it very seriously.
I mean. Seriously. My clients are women.
Women who hire me to take their portraits in their panties and let’s be CRAZY HONEST for a minute – when it comes to looking upon ourselves – we women are HARD TO PLEASE. Yep. I said it. Most women I know don’t care for the way they look in photographs. “My nose looks big” “My thighs are mile wide” “OMG I look like I’m carrying twins in my ass” ((That last one was totally me until I came to terms with the fact that I’ll never be a size nothing and that the good Lord saw fit to give me a little extra junk in the trunk… )) Hard to please.. but not impossible. In fact, I can proudly say that I’ve never not once had a client walk away from their boudoir experience unhappy. NEVER. NOT ONCE. ((I will be knocking on wood now as I slowly but surely get to my point about defining moments)) What I was advising my friend to do while speaking with potential clients on the phone was this: Recall experiences. True. Real. Experiences. I’ll share the one I shared with my friend, “MFBMR”:
A few years ago, right before Christmas in fact, I was commissioned by a beautiful, witty, hilarious and super intelligent doctor. Yes. I said doctor. My doctor-client says to me as she’s looking through her finished album with tears in her eyes “I can’t thank you enough. I look so beautiful. I’ve never, not in my whole life, ever felt pretty but when I look at these photos I can see that I am not just pretty – I am beautiful.”
BOOM. DEFINING MOMENT.
A defining moment for us both, because let me tell you – It’s a powerful thing to bear witness to that realization.
I’m going break here for now. I have a lot to say and I’m not yet done for the day but I feel the need to get up and walk around because my rear end is starting to go numb as I sit at my desk and I promised a potential client a phone call for right about now.