Waiting Game

When should a photographer be on time?

Always.

When should this rule never be forgotten?

When photographing the CEO.

I don’t get butterflies or the jitters when it comes to photographing anyone, including the big boss. The same can’t be said for my client who was on pins and needles for the session with the CEO.

To make everyone feel better, I arrived extra early. Once the setup was complete, we still had 45 minutes to wait until the man was scheduled to arrive.

As the clock ticked, the deadline came and went. My client’s agitation rose in proportion to the wait. Finally, after a 90-minute delay, the CEO arrived.

It turned out that he had another photoshoot before our session and the photographer was a mess. That shoot was supposed to be a quickie for a charitable event that the boss co-chaired.

When he arrived for our session, he was way past his limit for pictures. I assumed that because he actually showed up, that he understood the importance of the task at hand.

I skipped the pleasantries and jumped right into the action. Within six minutes I had logged about 55 frames and gave him the signal that no more photos were necessary.

He asked, “are we done?”

I said, “yes, but if you’ll indulge me for three minutes I can show you every frame that was just captured and you can see which of the seven winning shots will suit your needs.”

I knew I had his attention when he said, “how do you know that there are seven winning shots?”

Within about 90 seconds, I cycled through the images twice on my laptop and got his final approval on the entire session and his first choice for a portrait that he used until his retirement.

By the way, there were eight winners.

Upon completion, he began to walk away quickly but stopped and came back and shook my hand and told me that I really knew my business.

That was nice of him to say and even nicer to do it loudly so that my client could hear the compliment.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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