Choices

Wow, this year is almost halfway over!  Where does the time go?  So far this year has been full of ups and downs, pretty much like every other year in the past.  This is one crazy business I have gotten myself into.  I love my clients, I really like the ones who pay on time (hint hint to those who have outstanding balances) just kidding…. sort of.

This year has been probably the best year of work I have done in a long time.  Not just the quality, but the fact that I am shooting what I like to shoot and I am not taking clients just to make money and then dealing with demands that I just don’t want to deal with.  Picking your clients is one of the best things you can do when you have a small business.  Just one toxic client can ruin your entire year.

I remember a few years back when I had one royal pain in the ass of a client.  He wanted to change everything, had his fingers in the mix and wanted to control everything.  He was just a know-it-all jerk to be honest with you.  His father was an amateur photographer so of course he felt like sending an email stating how we were terrible photographers, yet when I look back to the wedding they got some seriously amazing shots.  In the end they got an album upgrade, other add-ons and whatnot all just because he was a pain in the butt.  This was back when people were saying give in to this type of behavior because you don’t want to have any bad reviews out there.  Well there is one thing I have learned from this experience, the customer is not always right.

There are people out there who do not value you, these people will book you based on price rather than skill or talent or even if they like you or not.  No matter what you do you will run into a client like this in your career, I honestly hope I am wrong and none of you out there have to deal with a client like this, but the reality is some people just suck as human beings.  I have had a few of these types of clients, this is why I have made some major changes in every aspect of my photo business.  I like to work with those who want to work with me.  My wedding clients don’t even question my rates, either I am in their budget or I am not.  My commercial clients pay my rates or if they have to stick to a budget no matter what then we figure it out.   I have models and agencies contact me for portfolio work, some pay, some trade, some go the other way.

It’s all about choices.  We are in control of the things we do and the things we do not do.  I have made the choice to not have any crappy clients this year or to even shoot with anyone who I don’t like.  This year has been full of really cool people!  I draw the line where I feel it needs to be drawn and I move on.  It is a great feeling to be in control of your own business.  It may not always be the choice that puts extra money in the bank, but it does give you peace of mind!