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How to treat a photographer (or any small business)

I feel like this is such a sore subject. One that a lot of people (that don't own their own business) feel as if you say anything, you can come off the wrong way.

However, this is one heavy on my heart and I think is very insightful for when you're working with any small business. Maybe this is just me, but I think I know some others that feel this way too.

Be Honest. Small business owners put their heart and soul into what they do. If you dont like something, or you think something would be different. Talk to them about it. Make sure all intentions of the services is up front.

Dont take advantage of them. Point blank. I see so many people that expect freebies. Then the small business owner is in a position that they feel like they have to do that. Some owners give to those who appreciate it and truly because its on their heart to help. However, to those who take advantage of them, its not okay. I know for myself most people would not believe what goes into what I do. I just want to make people happy, and wish I could just do it for the fun, but I can because, I have at least $10,000 worth of equipment, and so much more of just props, probably close to $1,000 a year in software, a lot of my time that I sacrifice to be with friends and family, Traveling to and from places, experience, plenty of other cost in things I need to have for documentation, and my taxes is close to $2,000 this year. Now, dont get me wrong, money isnt everything. However, some of us have bills, work more than one job, and would like to put food on the table. But in order to help these professionals or business owners do what they love, please respect them and dont take advantage of them. They give everything they have to make you happy.

If that isnt ringing a bell. Then look at it like this. Do you go to walmart, and tell them you dont really feel like paying for your groceries? If you get a bad carrot out of your bag of carrots, do you throw a fit, and never go back? More than likely you do return to walmart and just get another batch. One bad carrot (or photo) out of a whole pack, really isnt that bad. Or maybe, its just not your "taste". Stay humble. The saying a customer is always right, and letting them drag your name through the ringer, no thank you. Make it okay and normal that a business owner can have standards. Take what they do and their feelings into consideration. Whether its getting your hair done, having photos, buying a small business gift, be respectful. They know what they're doing. Trust their opinions. If they tell you your hair will not look good a certain way, trust them. If a photographer tells you its going to rain, and windy, trust they know what they're talking about. They have expectations too. In order to do their job, trust what they have to say will look right. If something happens they mess up, or things dont look right on a normal scenario, then more than likely they will make it right, or admit it. They're human. They will make mistakes.

My personal goal for 2022, is do better. Do better in life. Do better in photography. Its funny because my sister in law, and her mother in law, had a test that I did. Every since doing it, its like it haunts me. I got a number, and it told what kind of personality I was. It hit super hard. Im a pleaser/helper/personable person. I strive to do for others before I take myself into consideration, because I just want to make them happy. Thats why I do what I do. I do photography to make people happy, im a care manager in my full time Job to help others. I will bleed to take care of others. However, its came with a huge cost. I stress so much about "will people be okay with this" "will they like this" "will I be good enough" I care so much about what others think, and I take things very personal. I never put myself first. BUT, this year im working on myself too. I have a lot that's went on in a year. For the first time in my life, respectively, I dont care what you say. I dont care if people drag my name through the mud. I have expectations to and refuse to get used. I know that sounds harsh and very dramatic. BUT, I have to put myself first and talk more about my feelings. I love what I do, and want it to continue to be that way. I treat other small business with the same respect. If you mess up, I still appreciate you and your work. I still will thank you. If Im not crazy about something, its okay, because I supported a person, I put food on their table, I paid them for what they probably dished life saving into, and took a risk on something.

So. Treat those people who do all they can with kindness. They wont get offended if you're honest to much, but they will get offended if you aren't respectful, and use them. Its not okay. They have feelings. They probably go home devastated. They're probably stressing. Be humble.



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