Last week I attended my first event at B&H photo. I had stopped their a few days prior to purchase the Gary Fong Light Sphere II Cloud and a monopod. My bad of goodies included a calender of events ….. “Portraits with Conceptual and Emotional Significance” was right up my alley. As I sat there listening to Tom (the guest speaker) I felt both inspired and connected on a personal level. What I fully expected to be a short talk followed by a massive sales pitch turned out to be reenforcement of everything I believe in. Here was this guy who was an award winning photographer. Had traveled the world and shot for the Associated Press who I had shared so many of the same experiences with. All these accolades and awards yet he wasn’t there to speak about shutter speeds, apertures, or the latest product that will make you the greatest portrait photographer in the world. Here was a guy talking about relationships and building trust. Something I strive on. I’ve worked hard on learning lighting, proper exposure and getting the most out of the tools I work with. But I’ve worked a lot harder on building relationships and trust with the people I work with. How can I possibly get a telling image of someone if they don’t trust me? It’s not possible and I’ve experienced it first hand.
A few days later I worked with someone I met a little over a year ago. In a short time we built a trust and a friendship that has allowed me to take my photography to another level. I guess it goes both ways because I notice how at ease I am when I’m photographing her. She also has this uncanny ability to sometimes know what I’m going to ask her to do before I do it. I mentioned it to her and she just answered “It’s because I trust you.” To sum it all up. I learned a lot from that event. I learned that you can’t succeed without trust and a good working relationship with your clients. I learned that making mistakes is all part of the learning experience and making them does not doom you to failure. I also learned that you can never give up. I was also reminded why I love what i do.