I was talking to a photographer friend of mine about software, plug-ins and misc. photo nerd stuff. At the end of the conversation he said “well, what do I know anyway??”. Now I think he was being sarcastic, well I hope he was anyway. I say that because I really respect his work and admire how far he has come in photography in a very short time. He is actually quite knowledgeable, but it got me thinking about confidence.
Confidence is a tricky thing. When you’re shooting a job, you want to be confident in your craft and your ability. But you also want your client to be confident in the work you’re doing, and some of that will come from them seeing your portfolio but it will also come from how you interact with them.
Photography in general is a people business. You are constantly dealing with clients, whether it be an art director, an ad director, or a family or model you are photographing. If you can’t deal with the public then maybe you shouldn’t be doing photography, or you’ll need an agent or someone to speak to your clients on your behalf, but good luck with that.
The problem with confidence is that it can sometimes be viewed as cockyness (that’s a word right?). You don’t want come across as a “know it all”, or as someone too bossy. It is a fine line between the two and it’s important not to cross that line because it will turn most clients off in a hurry.
If you have good people skills and confidence in your work it will sometimes put you ahead of the rest. There is a photographer I know, whose work I don’t respect at all, and they have been able to run a successful business mostly because of their people skills and confidence (in my eyes anyway).
Be confident, be pleasant and your clients will keep coming back if your work stands up. Just don’t be cocky, no one likes a cocky photographer.