Photographers are inherently do-it-yourselfers. At some point we all wanted to peek behind the shutter and figure out how to make photos ourselves rather than leaving it to the folks that were already getting it done. We are apt to assume that we can do it just as well as they can. Actually, I assume that most photographers pick up the camera thinking they can do it better. We have a certain beneficial arrogance that makes us want to get up and take it upon ourselves rather than relying on other people. That impulse is what it takes to be good and to pursue greatness.
It also makes us really shitty judges of our clients.
The client that is inclined to hire a service professional to do a job that they could conceivably do themselves doesn’t have that beneficial arrogance. They don’t assume they can do it better, or they wouldn’t be interested in hiring someone else to do it. This type of client is used to hiring someone to do work because they respect the fact that someone else can do it quicker/better/faster/more reliably/more artfully/elegant/whatever than they can. They understand that even if they can do it, it doesn’t necessarily benefit them to do it.
I bring this up because if you are one of those photographers that is more inclined to do something yourself than you are to hire a pro to do it then your perception about what motivates a client may be skewed. You may not intrinsically value what your clients do. You may not make decisions the same way they do. So “what you would buy” or “how you would like to be treated” by a company may in fact not be relevant to how you run your business. Ask yourself if you would happily hire yourself and pay yourself the amount of money you want/need to make for your work. Now ask yourself if you would hire another photographer to do that work for you? If the answers are “no” then your opinion may not be aligned with your client’s. Which is cool, you don’t have to be who your clients are, but that also means that the work you do may not be intended for people exactly like you, and your business needs to be aligned to service and delight those people, rather than the do-it-yourselfers like you – they wouldn’t hire you in the first place.
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