It is a funny world we live in today. Sometimes I feel so “with it” and sometimes so “out of it”. When I received a call that a “professional head shot” was needed for work purposes, I felt so many emotions. Truth is, I hate the camera. Always have. But, I also understand the reason behind the request. Since my last photos were a “Glamour Shot” when I was 30 followed by a “Cover Girl” shot when I was 40, I decided to find a win-win situation that would include other professionals.
This led me to consider what I value in a professional. First of all, I value a person that is always learning and growing in their field. Secondly, I value creativity and passion. And finally, I value a person that charges for their talents and expertise, but in a fair manner. And yes, a two way professional courtesy is always accepted and appreciated. My Parent’s generation taught me this.
Today, there seems to be a new subtle something where people expect something for free. They ask for so much of others, their advice, expertise and can not see their own behavior of never asking the person what their needs are. It is as if the more we believe in the “social media” fast paced brand building world, the less we get to really understand the people we interact with and what their talents are. As we outsource work, we should be looking in our own backyards supporting the talent around us. And by support, I mean pay for the service we have received. I have learned there is no quick freebie. In this world where I feel “out of touch” we move faster and yet more people have freebie requests for our valuable time. It always amazes me how those that receive help, guidance or a free something actually follow up and say thank you or refer the services of the person that helped. This is a common theme today in so many articles, workshops and meetings I attend. Perhaps as technology has ramped up Emotional Intelligence has slowed down.
After careful consideration of the “professional photo” shoot, it was clear of who I would call. It was even more clear as to why. As a client, I knew what I needed and wanted. The photographer and I met to discuss my dream photos. I wanted something that was not about my physical anything, rather my inner being would be clear. I wanted something I could give my children where they would know it was just Mom. And yes, the photographer said my eyes would POP with some lashes. After I had a good laugh, she was clear. I would call my person that is an artist with hair and “makeup”. She knows I am product averse and am sensitive to toxins and the chemicals used in todays industry. She had so many alternative ideas that I loved. They both understood this was for a professional need I had and I expected no favors or discounts. They both presented a quote. The photographer gave me a document which clearly explained what was mine an what was hers. PERFECT!
The day we met to do the shoot was extraordinary and we knew we would be friends as well as professional colleagues for a long time. We understand the fine lines. We respect one another and the talents we bring to each others worlds. We refer to one another. We agree that we can all create a better economic community by working together and expecting nothing for free. When we help others it is because we can and want to. We understand that being able to help is a gift. But, we also understand that people have to walk the walk of their talent as a valuable asset and compensation is to be expected. We also understand if we receive compensation we have to deliver a product worthy of the funds. Funny, we each understand what we do well and what our skills are. Precisely why we tend to contract services when we build projects. We know what we do well and what others do brilliantly.
So here’s to Bonnie and Gabe at 2birds photography and Melissa Noble, for your incredible talents, caring hearts and professionalism. For capturing my inner being at 55 and bringing that visual to my children for life, I thank you. Maybe my eyes did not POP, but my inner spirit certainly did. Trust me, having my picture made and sharing it, not my thing, BUT, maybe that has changed. Yes, I got what I paid for and am thrilled. And Bonnie, I know I can post this photo as well, because you gave me permission and put your brand on it! To each of you, I think it is best said by my daughter when she saw the photos: “Oh my god. LOOOOOOOVE. This is so you it’s not even funny.” Jennifer, thank you for seeing me…….and ladies, thank you for capturing my needs (big girl photo) and wants(gift for my kids).