Seth Godin’s posed some great questions today (in red). I respect his mind and his way of caring about our world so I decided to take a moment to answer….
Who is your next customer? (Conceptually, not specifically. Describe his outlook, his tribe, his hopes and dreams and needs and wants…)
You want to be loved.
You want to be healthy.
You want your people to know they are loved and that they are lovable.
You want to do work that makes you feel alive and connected to others.
You want to make art that expresses your heart.
You are a tribe that wants your whole life to be lived more authentically, with more honesty, with more fun.
And maybe you even deserve a little bit of pure joy.
What is the story he told himself (about the world, about his situation, about his perceptions)
before he met you?
Some people believe that family photos are:
Supposed to be pretty and perfect but really they are revealing of flaws
Bragging- they make it look like we are self centered
Expensive– it’s a luxury we cannot afford
Phony– the emotions and poses are not ours, they are fake
How do you encounter him in a way that he trusts the story you tell him about what you have to offer?
I speak the truth.
Revealing of flaws
It is my gift and my intention to give you tangible proof that your flaws are your strengths, your ‘beauty spots’. Your imperfections make you truly accessible to your loved ones and yourself. It is your soft spot.
“Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” -Leonard Cohen
If you can accept that your big hips are beautiful, your daughter may have a chance to accept that her long nose is ‘just right’ too. I believe that self-acceptance is attractive and and self-love, a worthy goal.
When I look at those sweet babies with their brand new crooked teeth and their radiant emotional skin, I get all flushed with amazement.
When I see an old photo of my mother as a young woman, I also feel the same sense of potential and wonder.
You sometimes say, “We don’t put photos of us up on the walls, I don’t want people to think it’s all about us here.”
“Why not?” If your home and your life isn’t ‘all about us’, then what is it about?
When you make the choice to have your family relationships documented, to be seen, to become art, you are sending a very clear message. You are telling your community, but most importantly, your children… “Our family and the way we interact is something we cultivate and celebrate, and yes, even spend money on and then proudly display for everyone to see!”
By choosing to make images that show your family interacting in real ways instead of polished and perfect poses you demonstrate a respect for authenticity and by putting it on the wall, you are telling the world that your life IS art. That the ways you love and the choices you make everyday are the way you live your art.
I often hear, “Getting photos done is so expensive!!”
There are some things in my life that I will spend money on because I value them. When I want to purchase a winter coat, I want one that will last, that will be classic, that won’t fall apart at the seams, so I invest. I look around, I compare prices, but ultimately I will not buy the cheap one, the lowest priced one. I will buy the coat that has sticking power. It will probably cost more than I want to spend but I will know that it is worth it, because of the materials, the design and the thought that went into it’s creation and the lifespan of the product.
I invest in quality that reflects my taste and style and the way I live my life.
When you are considering the expense and value of your portraits, take into consideration some of those same things:
The design– the style of capturing images
The materials– how well are final products made
The thought that goes into it– the life experience and inspiration of the creator
Lifespan– how long the product will be relevant
I really want you to buy what can afford, but buy the right thing, not the cheap thing.
If you can only afford one photo of your family, please make sure it is worth it.
What change are you trying to make in him, his life, or his story?
There are people in my community who strive to be open, authentic and loving.
I want them to know that Kyle Zimmerman Photography is a safe place for them to be vulnerable, imperfectly beautiful and real!
I want to attract those people by shining a light on our gifts, our methods and our beliefs.
I want my clients to know that we are their partner in that goal.
Please come let us see you this holiday season.
Seth Godin’s Ted Talk on Tribes
Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on Vulnerability