The Art of Waiting.
What it's like to be a professional photographer
I’m itching. Not from something I’ve caught, but from the feeling of wanting to share the images I have just taken.
But I can’t. That is the privilege of my client.
I took them a week ago today, a big deal, a great new client, a clothing brand and the images feature a big name in slebriddy fitness training, Tamaya Adams, and reality T.V. star Calum Best.. (Yes, George’s son). This will raise the profile both of my photography and the clothing brand I’m shooting for.
But it’s all part of a larger plan, I can’t even think of releasing these shots yet.. I have to wait.
See, my job is to capture the images, deal with the models, tickle out those expressions, orchestrate the action to get the movement my client wants, ensuring the speedlight is in the right place, too! The Kudos needs to go to my client. That’s why they’re paying me.
But my God! That itch.. “I want to tweet it, I want to tweet it!! This gig is the sort I want to get more of! I want to show the World how amazing I am! I want ALL the bookings!!”
I imagine Yoda telling me to be at peace, calm, extolling his wisdom saying: “Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things,” OK, Yoda.. Wait, I will…
The moment comes, the images are delivered, the client is just as excited as you are about the images, you get an email, saying “Whooooopp!!” then a text (with kisses!) saying “Love them! Love them! Love them!” this is great……
Before long, the notifications start. She’s tweeted one. Ermeygerd! They’re on Facebook, too… Oh Look! They’ve been shared, hundreds, thousands of people are seeing and liking these images, that’s fantastic! OK, OK, she’s ringing.. Fine, it’s late, I’m tired, I have been waiting to eat this Pad Thai all day, but I’ll take the call.. “Hi! yereyenoooo! Great, huh? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll have to wait until tomorrow, OK, cool, Cheers, KTHKBAI….”
She goes off and writes blogs, adds content to the site, the images will be shared on social media and direct the minions to the updated site, all designed to channel customers to the part where they submit their order and surrender those magic 16 digits - ker-ching! My photography has done it’s job..
I’m waiting to put them out, darnit. I can’t release them myself yet, it’ll dilute the impact of them to the excited customers. I will retweet and share her Facebook posts. That will have to scratch my itch for now. I’ll have to wait to share them until I can do a review of the month, or something, perhaps feature them as ‘faves of the month’. (next month).
I am also itching for another reason.. A reason I am sure is familiar to many other image makers.
You’ve done the hard work, got noticed, someone wants what it is you have done for themselves. They’ve seen the work on the internet and now really want to have similar,(if not better) images for their own business.
Now you have a meeting off the back of that exposure. You put on your best shirt and trudge to London. This is the second time you’ve been. The MD is on your side, he’s paying and is ready to receive your invoice (and pass it to accounts) but you have to convince the marketing director (who has a Nikon DSLR too) that you can deliver the images, as per the brief..
But, it all gets confirmed, hands are shaken, everyone giggles and say how excited they all are. Then the wait begins.
You leave the office sending the invoice from your iPhone before you even enter the Underground, you expect a reply by the time you emerge from it squashed and having gotten intimate with half of London’s armpits 15 minutes later, but no - you walk across Victoria station concourse, (do I visit McDonald’s?) and wait for the train. Then sit, patiently, waiting for it to arrive at my destination.
Currently, I have 3 major projects all signed off and ready to go, just waiting for final schedules and deposits to come through.. waiting…. waiting..
Then it’s all go! Everyone pays at the same bloody time and wants the photos completed by the same bloody date!! AHHHHH!!!!!!
Then you wait on site. To get into the place for a start.. Then to wait for the light to be ‘just so’. For that woman in the see-thru leggings to move. As a photographer, you are always waiting…
What do I do to pass the time..? Usually, listen to BBC iPlayer….
But at the moment, I can’t…. I’m waiting for my phone to charge…