Not long ago I was working through my perpetual, daily laundry list of to-dos when I received a phone call from someone asking if Abanathy Photography, LLC is open on Saturdays. Without hesitation, I answered: “Of course!” While this is not unusual, it did get me to thinking of something I had not thought of in some time. Something that used to concern me. Something that had never been addressed in a blog. Something I will discuss today!
That “something” is the phrase “by appointment only”, which adorns our business cards, our website, and our swinging business sign along Rob Mason Road. The aforementioned concern came not long after we put up our sign. Now, isn’t this always the case?: You make something practically permanent, and that is when the second thoughts and concerns crop up. Either I think too much, make too many head-on approaches toward that sign while mowing, or a combination of both! But, I digress.
However, it does beg the question: “Why would this cause one concern?”. Doctors offices are by appointment only. Many auto repair places are by appointment only. So why be so concerned about boasting it less than three feet from my name. Well, we, as ones who want to put our best foot forward when placing our business before the public, we feared it might put up an air of arrogance, or self-serving convenience on our part. And the last thing we wanted was to appear as though we would not put our clients’ needs first and/or would not be there when they needed us.
Truth is, we had two things in mind when we made our portrait studio by appointment only. The first was simple: practicality. At the time, I still had my day job with set hours. This made it literally impossible for me to be there all day to take walk-ins. And, to me, if anything is worse than putting up an air of exclusivity in our business it would be people spreading the word that we either A) don’t answer the door or B) are never there!
The second was showing our dedication to our clients and our willingness to put ourselves second to their schedule…and this one still holds true today! Following that recent phone call (which later resulted in some wonderful kids portraits, by the way), Liz and I briefly discussed this aspect of our business for the first time in a while and this is when I had the idea for this blog.
While one might see the words “by appointment only” and think of us as self-serving, standoffish, or snooty, we want them to know we are anything but. In fact, being “by appointment only” makes us about as flexible and willing to work with the client as it gets! Not only does that mean we can schedule an appointment at literally any time during the week, but it also shows we will set aside time for you and only you. You will be our focus during your appointment. After all, we want you to come in when you are at your photographic best rather than having to take up your lunch break or rush over after work before the doors slam shut. There will be no waiting when you arrive, and when you are here, there will be no surprise walk-ins and no distracting phone calls.
Truth is: Life and all its intricate emotions and psychological moments are not a 9-5 concept. Because of this, different types of photography sessions call for different times of day. Senior portraits might be best during a sunny afternoon, professional portraits might be best during work hours on a Tuesday morning,“You” intimate sessions might find someone at their sexiest in the evening, and weddings might take an entire Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight. This is where “by appointment only” shines as the perfect tool to make sure we capture your perfect portraits!
Now, as I mow toward our sign or hand over a business card, I do so without concern knowing this phrase is not about us, but is instead, most definitely and in every facet of its utility, about you!
Lastly, this week, I want to give a shout out to WKMS! I had a wonderful time photographing their Grand Supper Club event last Tuesday evening! I got to take great photos, visit with old friends (did I mention, I worked there briefly while in college), listen to a great live band, and simply enjoy the evening! We will have some photos up soon from that event, so be sure to check back!