Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. Let's jump right into it....
A few weeks back, I paid for my first photo shoot. The first time I ever had a photo shoot, my best friend did the photos. Since I am about to drop my second book (I said that like I’m dropping an album), I felt it was time for new photos. I also got a little taller and my face looks different so it was definitely time for pictures. I decided to pay my friend Claire to do the photos. Claire is someone I have known for about nine years plus her and I have a great connection. We can talk for hours about our dreams because we are both ambitious people. She started her own marketing and visual arts company called “Vizeon”. Since one of my 2017 goals was to support more local businesses, I thought working with her was perfect. When it came to pricing, I truly wasn’t sure what to expect for the cost because I am not sure what the average rate is for a photo shoot.
We met up on a Saturday in a location that is about 30 minutes from where she lives so I was appreciative of her driving. Before I got to the location, Claire had arrived and set up everything include the lighting and backdrop. When I got there, I was in amazement how many materials you needed for a good photo shoot. These items were things most people would need a team of three for to help set everything up. We spent about an hour and a half taking photos of me in different outfits while in different locations. After the photo shoot, we went got dinner and hung out with some other friends at her apartment. Overall, it was an amazing day and I ended up loving the photos. She sent them back in less than three days after editing them for hours.
What opened my eyes to world of art is how much goes into good artwork. It can be a very big investment of time and money. Realizing Claire has to not only buy the supplies, but carry them around, set them up, then break them down is a lot of work. This is also coupled with driving to the location of the photo shoot, taking the photos (sometimes you have to wait for good weather or lighting if outdoors), then edit them. Keep in mind, the steps I mentioned previously don’t even include your client being dissatisfied and you have to redo or re-edit the photos.
Many times, we as consumers do not want to pay for artistic services but that is their profession just like yours may be a teacher, I.T. consulting, lawyer, doctor, or athlete. Everyone deserves to be compensated for their time when that person has the required skill set. It is not right that as humans, we take advantage of someone and not compensate them fairly because we don’t know too much about art.
My friend charged me a very fair rate and I was happy to pay it for multiple reasons. It felt good supporting a friend, it felt great supporting an artist, and her price was very fair compared to other photographers charging $150 an hour (yes look it up). The next time you need pictures, I hope you consider these facts. Check out one of the photos below.
Moral of the story: Support can be given in many ways. Support can given financially. You can also show your support for friends by posting about their products and services on social media. A really nice touch is actually doing more research on their profession to better learn how to support them.
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.