There's one thing about taking a photograph that persists as a final statement about what the photographer sees. The taken image bares the vision of the photographer; he or she stands naked and unclothed in their conscious, or unconscious, presentation of what they see. They can't take back their image, they can't cloud their visual statement. the image stands there blatant, clear, unmistakable, testimony to their vision. Maybe this irrevocable expression is what makes becoming a photographer, and staying a photographer, so difficult; you have to stand by your vision. Maybe this is why it's so important for the customers of photographers to develop a relationship with the photographer. Customers have to feel comfortable that what their photographer consciously sees in them as pleasing and that the photographer can transmit that vision to the paper or digital image he or she produces. When a photographer is producing an image at a wedding, a sitting, or event they have to forget their nakedness. They have to lose consciousness of their physical presence as the foremost thing in their minds and subsume those details to the dominance of their unconscious spontaneity and trained discipline. The customer can't see their photographer standing starkly nude in front of them.
The last three weddings I've photographed seemed different. Two of them were for old friends' children. One was for my nephew's friend's sister. Acquiring business is all about relationships and trust. It's a great feeling to have clients recommend your services to their friends and relatives. In many ways they're recommending the relationship they've shared with you, their photographer, and assuring that others will enjoy the same experience they did.
It has taken a while to see the see relationships as the most important part of the business aspect of my photographic passion. Being able to capture a great image requires different skills than those needed to engage in a mutually rewarding business relationship; or so it seems. I suspect there is a link between the mastery of photographic skills and the mastery of photographic marketing and selling skills. I'll keep you posted as I pursue the answers to this intriguing puzzle.
Reaching for my reality of photographic relationships between the photographer and the subject.