Question

I get a lot of requests from customers to visit my studio.  Now, should I post a picture of this glamorous studio (removed) and explain that it isn’t a gallery where you can view prints, ; or should I let the customer imagine that I have a real photographers studio with someone to offer them tea and crumpets.  (Okay, that’s a bit much, but you know what I mean.) In short, I would say that 90% of my customers live in better surroundings than I do, and maybe I should just let them keep their illusions and let my work speak for itself.

Also, I’ve already had a couple of border-line (i.e. wacky customers) that took up tons of my time without buying anything.  It’s fine for photographers to visit – they get it.  But the regular often high-end client – do they understand what it takes to live this sort of life.  (And frankly, it doesn’t bother me – I’m used to it.  This is probably the best place I’ve lived in.)

(I know Matt — I should move to a one bedroom.  But if I had the money to move, I’d spend it on the Mark II instead).

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Dave

My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a photographer and programmer working in New York City.

6 thoughts on “Question”

  1. Dave,

    With the best of intentions and sincerely as a friend, DO NOT LET POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS INTO YOUR “STUDIO.”

    Perhaps you can point them to a gallery or two where your art is hanging, and agree to meet them there, perhaps with a portfolio of materials. It all depends upon your interpretation of how likely they are to buy. right?

    I have had people say they want to see more of my work, and I simply tell them I work out of my house and there is no studio for them to visit. It may not be the answer they want to hear, but it’s honest.

    Brent

  2. Brent, Phill — yep. Just wanted to check my own instincts which is to keep them away – unless they’re movie crews 🙂

    What I’ve done, if I think I’m dealing with a serious potential customer, or someone from a design firm, is meet with my portfolio, either in their offices, or at a nearby Starbucks. That’s worked well.

    Reminds me of some saying about not wanting to see how the sausage is made.

  3. Dave I think your right to preserve your privacy at home,but I wonder if you have considered leading small groups of photographers on half day tutorials in street photography in NYC, if this was something you could imagine yourself doing it could be a very worth while experience for those interested and I’m sure there would be many, and quite profitable for yourself.

  4. I’ve considered it; I’ve over-thought it; and I’ve procrastinated doing it. It is really the thing to do.

    I am going to be teaching my first “lesson” this Friday with one of my blog friends. I expect it will be mostly Lightroom, but may go beyond that.

    Haven’t “taught” photography since I was 15 years old and was working with children (which I enjoyed).

    I think that I need to cut through my own inertia and just announce that I’ll be leading a group through Central Park on such and such a day. That it will cost (how much?) I don’t know. And that I’ll do my best to teach something. Every time I sit down to try and figure out any sort of “here’s what I’ll cover” sort of thing, I get lost.

    Which is all very odd, since when I was in the corporate world I was an excellent organizer.

    The lesson on Friday is much simpler for me – since it has a focus on something technical, i.e. Lightroom. But how can you teach the thought process that goes into shooting. How do you teach something that is instinctive? I’m not sure.

    But I should just announce it and see what happens.

    And oh – how can you do street shooting with a crowd of photographers? I know that workshops like this are already offered, and are popular — so maybe it’s just one of those things where I’ll have to find out as I go along.

  5. Dave you undervalue yourself,I’m quite sure there are lots of folk who would give a lot to share a few hours with you just to experience how you work and listen to you share you experience of a very popular but difficult branch of photography.Unfortunately for myself it is only a dream as I live in Ireland.

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