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All You Have to Do is Listen

Intro by Skip Cohen

I love this recent post shared by my good buddy Bryan Caporicci. Many of you spend so much time looking for techniques to make your images different and raise the bar on your skill set. Well, as Bryan points out, the greatest tool you have is your ability to listen to your clients.

Years ago, I wrote an article for a magazine about the top complaints from brides. Right at the very top of the list was the photographer not meeting their mindset. What’s so sad about this is, it’s so unnecessary – all you have to do is listen.

You’ve got two ears and one mouth, so learn to listen twice as much as you talk. And, if you’re working with a client who doesn’t share very much – then, ask questions that help bring them out of their shell. Whether you’re working with “Mom” on a family portrait or a couple for an engagement shoot, the answers are all out there.

And Bryan’s right – your best tools aren’t in your camera bag – they’re in your head and your heart!

By Bryan Caporicci

WE WERE right back where it all started.

Just eight months earlier, on a cold winter night, Mike got down on one knee and expressed his love to Courtney. He asked her hand in marriage. The snow fell slowly from the sky and the Toronto skyline twinkled in the distance as the sun went down. Courtney said “yes” as she choked back tears.

Their journey had begun.

They walked back to their car, hand-in-hand. They talked about all the adventures this new journey might bring to them.

On this Fall evening, we re-visited that very spot, and they got to relive this special time together. This is one of their favorites from the session.

Engagement sessions don’t have to be traditional, standard or generic. They should be personal, customized and special. How do you do that? Listening.

Sometimes, the best tool you can use as a photographer is your ears. We all hear things, but very few people actually listen. Listening is paramount if you want success as a photographer. You are in the people business, so if you make your business truly about people, you’ve unlocked the key to long-lasting success as a photographer.

I could have gone to any park with Courtney and Mike. I could have done something very generic. But I listened. At their meet-and-greet when they first booked me as their photographer, they told me about their engagement story. They told me about that cold winter night, and I could tell it was something very special to them. I started to build the story of going back there for their engagement session, and their eyes lit up.

That was the start of building a lasting connection with them.

It all began with listening.