At the time I made my commitment to write one blog each day for 30 days, I was also in the process of posting one song a day for my 100 Ultimate Road Trips Songs as compiled by me. As soon as I started blogging each day, I completely quit doing my road trip song posts. So much for my ability to multitask.
It is exactly 13 days until my first official wedding shoot. I would be less than honest if I didn’t say I am a bit nervous, yet brimming with confidence. I have tried to get as prepared as I can for the big day. I have taken three great classes from Diana Steffen. I have also listened to a talk by Melissa Jill and taken advantage of an hour of coaching from her, as well as watched a couple of Creative Live session with Jasmine Star. Not only are these women fantastic wedding photographers, but they all have outstanding business models and are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with aspiring young (and semi middle-aged) wedding photographers.
However, there was one little thing that was picking at the back of my brain during all of these classes and sessions. The reality of this business is that it is all about the bride. All the fabulous people I was learning from were either brides or potential brides. My fellow classmates in the online classes were all brides or potential brides. The nagging thought in the back of my mind was can a guy pull this gig off? I mean, when the suggestion is made for me to “giggle with bridesmaids before the ceremony,” I am just not seeing that happening. For goodness sakes, my nickname at school was Grumpy Gramps. How is G.G. going to giggle with anybody, let alone bridesmaids?
See folks, men and women are different. I know that for a fact because Time Magazine told me this back in 1995. I also am aware that there are extremely successful male wedding photographers in the business. And in spite of all the wealth of knowledge I was learning from my teachers and mentors, I was concerned about being able to relate to the brides I would hopefully someday be shooting. I had spent the last 31 years of my life teaching big, young men how to block and tackle. Somehow that doesn’t seem to be a skill needed at your average wedding. The bottom line is that I was getting the best information about the technical and artistic side of wedding photography, and excellent information about sound business practices. There were just some aspects of the wedding that I felt I needed a guy’s point of view, like just how does a guy “giggle with the bridesmaids?”
As luck would have it, during the last three days Creative Live offered a workshop taught by Joe Buissink. That’s Joe, not Jo. The cool thing about Creative Live is if one can block out the time, one can watch the whole workshop live. Just like the ladies, Joe takes great pictures and has a great business model. But I already have a good foundation from the classes I took from Diana plus some of the tips from Melissa. I really didn’t take the workshop for those aspects of the business. I really just wanted to see the male perspective of how he works with his potential brides.
In Diana’s class she emphasized that ont of the most important things to do is to always be yourself, to be truthful and honest. This is what I would call a first principle of the business. This first principle was echoed by Melissa and others, and this first principle was practiced by Joe in his workshop. After the workshop, I concluded it really doesn’t matter if one is a senor or senorita, a dude or a dudette, a mr. or a ms., one of the keys to success is to be true to oneself.
At this time I imagine that most everyone who reading this is mentally slapping the back of my head and telling me this is a no-brainer. But when I get a little nagging idea in the back of my head, I have to explore that option until I get the answer I need and the nagging in the back of the mind goes away. It’s how I am. If I didn’t try to fix the nagging voice, I wouldn’t be true myself.
I also want to say that I am happy the workshop helped me with the whole “giggling with brides” dilemma. Joe said the same thing, but from the man’s perspective. He said. “talk to the bridesmaids with a sense of humor. Get them laughing and smiling.”
Which leads me to conclude:
“Men are from Mars, Women from Venus”
“Men search Google+, Women search Pinterest.”
“Men say ‘sense of humor’, Women say ‘giggle’ “
Musical Inspiration: “Mender of Hearts” by Sing Kauhr and Kim Robertson