Your portraits are great!…And don’t forget to kiss the photographer!

Just a sample pic of me hard at work. I am not pointing fingers at this wonderful couple.
Just a sample pic of me hard at work. I am not pointing fingers at this wonderful couple.

February, among its many notable attributes, including shortest Gregorian calendar month, Black History Month, and Super Bowl Sunday, is also inescapably the month of love! And, as cliche as it might sound to run with the theme, when my beautiful wife suggested it to me on Saturday, it just seemed right, as many of our photography services are centered around just that!

With so many ways to show love, and with so many different kinds of love, we figure a unique way to kick off this sappy blog set would simply be to remind you to show some love for your photographer!

I know, I know you were probably expecting me to jump immediately into the boudoir stuff and promote our “You” by Abanathy Photography, LLC page once again. Sorry to disappoint, but don’t worry! Although short, there are four weekends in the month of February!

Nope, today I am bringing attention to something which affects us sometimes and, I’m sure, affects others in just about any professional service industry. And that is: Lack of feedback. Let’s give a colorful, warm example, shall we?

You are a photographer and have been contacted weeks or months in advance by a lovely, vibrant young couple happily planning their wedding. You meet with them, talk a little business, trade stories, get to know each other a little, and sign a contract to be their wedding photographer.

Some weeks or months go by during which you are in contact with the future Mr. and Mrs couple on a variety of housekeeping items to make sure everyone is on the same page for the upcoming nuptials. After all, they paid a lot of money to get the best and that is what you intend to give them!

Before you know it, it is the day before the wedding, and you are attending the rehearsal. At this point you are getting to see, in 3D, how everything will go so there will be no big surprises during the ceremony.

Next, the big day hath arrived! That anxious couple, who was just weeks ago sitting before you in jeans and t-shirts, are now decked out in a radiant dress and handsome tux. Everything is beautiful and, as you are readying your camera and lenses, you are itching to get that shutter to work capturing moments that will last this them and their family a lifetime!

You spend the entire day with them, their family, their friends and, even though you know very few people there, you are still sharing in a happy occasion and feel you are a part of their family’s lives for just a little bit.

Then, in a flash (no pun intended), the day is over. You let the couple know when to expect their portraits and head back to the studio. From there, it is a careful task sifting through 1,500+ images for the best ones. Then, several hundred picked, adjusted and touched up images later, the editing is finished, the gallery is posted and the archival DVD is in the mail!

You call or email to let the couple know how to access their portraits and when to expect the disc. They say “Thanks!” and might even give some praise on those one or two images from their wedding you used to tease Facebook or Twitter followers.

Then….Crickets!

That’s right. That confirmation email or verbal “thanks” you got when you gave them their gallery password or shipping information might just be the last you hear from that couple. Did they like their portraits? Did they NOT like their portraits? Did they get busy and lose track of “thank-yous”? Did they head to Walmart with the DVD and feel bad for not ordering prints through you (while we don’t recommend it, we don’t take offense)?

Now, I don’t want to come off as insecure. Truth be told, I am more confident with a camera in my hand than I am doing just about anything else in my life. However, like any artist or professional who must also cater to the public, a little feedback of any sort is preferable to silence. An imagination can be a very harsh environment. Add to this a lot of thoughts beginning with the words “what if…?” and it can become disheartening.

I know some might say “Well, you provided a service, I provided a check, we’re square.” This is true, however, as an artist, I can empathize with any artist. We become a photographer, caterer, musician, or seamstress because we have a passion for the art. Even though it is cleverly disguised as a service (after all, we have to put food on the table too), it is still our hearts and souls you are seeing displayed. We are not looking for a tip, just something to let us know our art made a memorable impact. In fact, that’s why we have our “Thanks and Praise” page! It is a kind of heartwarming, digital trophy case on our website!

And, even if the feedback is negative, we might just take it as constructive to make our next outing even better!

And that’s where this blog comes in! It is just a reminder to show some love for your photographer, caterer, florist, seamstress, musicians/DJs, etc. Let them know the portraits were beautiful, the cake was delicious the flowers accentuated your bridesmaid dresses perfectly, your dress was radiant and their music really kept the place jumping!

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