I am an introvert. I've said it a million times but for some reason, people don't seem to believe me. I carry on conversations just fine but I don't necessarily want to. I'll be the first one on the dance floor at your party but chances are good I didn't really want to leave my house to attend it in the first place. The first time my husband and I had a party at our house, I hid in my son's bedroom because..small talk.
Nerves. They can get the best of us. I completely understand that meeting someone new for some people can cause anxiety. I also understand that getting in front of a camera can do the same. Pair that with meeting someone 5 minutes before stepping in front of their camera? That's a hard pass for me.
A very important part of my service to you is our "chat and snack." You can call it what you will - a meeting, consultation, get together. I call it a "chat and snack."
I used to feel bad requesting people to take the time to meet with me prior to their session but not so much anymore. I have found that the hour we take to get together before your session actually saves us time and anxiety while at your session.
While we are together we get to cover everything for your session from the rooter to the tooter. We discuss clothing, hair, make-up, locations, dates, times, what happens before, during and after. You get to ask me as many questions as you want but most importantly, we get to know each other. We get to look at each other in the eyes. We get a feel of who we are working with. We get a quick overview of sense of humor, likes, dislikes, mannerisms. We've just avoided the dreaded text or phone call that says, "I'm in the parking lot waiting for you. I'm wearing jeans and a black shirt. What kind of vehicle are you driving?" There's none of the handshake, awkward conversation as we walk to the first shot location and you trying to remember the questions you need to ask at the end of the session. There is none of you hoping that I don't capture the one thing you view as a flaw or that I DO get a lot of pictures of your necklace because it came from your Dad who passed last year. I already know all of that because we've already discussed it.
One of the best parts of our getting together is that we get to eat. We either meet in a coffee shop (where it's my treat) or in my home office. Either way, there is food involved. There is something about gathering around a table and sharing food with people that is relaxing, heartwarming and keeps our hands busy and our brains from wandering. I've learned that these meetings are not painful for my clients as I first thought. They are informative, they are a welcomed break from our busy lives and they show you that we both want the same thing for you - a beautiful and positive outcome.
I have found that we get better results. It used to be that the first 'x' amount of images I shot, I knew I was going to immediately reject when it was time to edit. I was nervous, my clients were nervous and it showed. Awkward forced smiles, slight blur on an image or two from my hands shaking from nerves. Now it's not uncommon for us to nail the first image because that anxiousness is gone once we start your session. Maybe a bit of in front of camera nerves but it leaves quickly - for both of us. And if we can start your session off anxiety-free just imagine the kind of images we will get towards the middle and end. I'll tell you what kind - beautiful, confident images that look like YOU. Now, that's exciting!
So is this meeting really necessary? Yes. For you, your parents, your business, myself. Yes, it is.