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I'm Hannah B, wedding & portrait photographer based in New York State. I'm a lover of intricate details and story telling- both visually & through writing. Here you will find glimpses of my life as a photographer, wife, mama, dog-lover & Chick fil-A obsessed creative!

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For Photographers, Personal, Photographer Friend Thursday

February 23, 2017

I am not everyone’s photographer.

I know what you’re thinking: “Did she really just say that? Does she even want to attract clients? Is she totally off her rocker?” The answer is yes…to all of those questions, actually. You read my post title correctly and I am a little on the crazy side.

This is the first, of hopefully many, posts where I give back and share the knowledge I’ve gained over the past few years of being a photographer and small business owner. I’m hoping that my words give you insight, encouragement and maybe even a laugh or two. Being a photographer is tough. It’s not all couples in love, perfectly matched outfits, golden hour sunsets, and happy children who sit still and smile for the camera. It’s messy & it’s really hard. And above else, I want you to know that you’re not alone in those struggles.

So back to my crazy blog title…

The real truth of the matter is this: of COURSE I want to attract clients! But that doesn’t mean I want to attract every single client within a 1000 mile radius and beyond. As photographers, we have this desire to be liked. We want every single person to ever stumble upon our website or Instagram account to fall madly in love with the human we are and the work we produce, then hire us right there on the spot. But the reality is… no one can be everyone’s photographer.

Starting out, I was desperate for clients. I loved photography and so badly needed the income to make ends meet in college.  I would take pictures for anyone, of anything, as long as they were willing to pay me for it. I shot senior portraits and family sessions and weddings and engagements and newborns and commercial photography. The list could go on forever. At the end of the day, I wasn’t serving anyone well and to my full ability. I had tried so hard to become the Jack of all trades that I ended up being the master of none.

I was frustrated. It felt like everyone else was succeeding and pulling ahead while I was being left behind. I wasn’t booking as many clients as I’d hoped for, my sessions weren’t going as planned, my editing workflow was completely out of whack, and my creative gas tank was running on empty.

Then it hit me. WHY on earth was I trying so hard to market myself as the photographer that does it all? I didn’t have a studio. I had never had a baby of my own or posed newborns before. I wasn’t a professional at using artificial light or shooting product photography. I was taking on jobs that I felt zero passion for. I was trying to be everyone’s photographer by portraying to have it all together, when in reality everything was falling apart. I wasn’t everyone’s photographer; I wasn’t even close!

From there, I was forced to take a step back, look at what my truest strengths were, and work on the things that made my heart flutter most. What was I most passionate about? If I could capture any type of portraits, what would they be?

There is a magical term in marketing called an “ideal client.” It’s one of my favorites, because it is the heart and soul behind what I do. An ideal client is defined as: “someone who finds the perfect solution to their problems or needs in the services or products that your company provides. The ideal client will be loyal to your company, frequently uses or buys your products or services, and is likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.”

And guess what? We all have an ideal client.

Let me tell you about mine. My ideal client is head over heels in love with her fiance or husband. She desires to work with a photographer who loves to have fun, wants to capture genuine emotion, and simply swoons over intricate details. She is a planner who loves organization, or at least wants to work alongside someone who can be for her! This client has friends (lots of friends) who she is dying to share all her favorite recipes with, chat about the latest episode of The Bachelor/Fixer Upper/Greys Anatomy, or show her recent engagement, wedding, or family portraits to. And most of all, she wants those sweet friends to have the same amazing experiences in life that she does!

(And in a really perfect world… she also loves golden retrievers, beautiful bouquets of fluffy flowers, trollin’ TJ Maxx and eating Chick-fil-A, too. Just sayin’…)

What I’m getting at is that ideal clients EXIST! They’re out there & they are looking for you, too. It may take a complete shift in your mindset. It may take an entirely new marketing plan. It may mean dropping some things that you aren’t *that* passionate about, in order to devote more time to education and pursuing what really makes you tick. Find what you love, work hard to be the very best you can be, and have patience. Things will start falling into place, you just need to trust the process.

Not everyone is going to love your work, or style, or photographic voice. Your laugh might be a little too loud, your love of Chick-fil-A may be a little over the top, and your obsession with dogs might not be everyone’s cup of tea. They may not believe the same things as you or see the world in the same ways you do. And that’s ok. Because you are not everyone’s photographer, remember?

  1. […] but I honestly don’t think every bride out there is right for me! I know, darn well, that I am not everyone’s photographer. So how do you find the best wedding photographer […]

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