Sunday, February 11, 2007

making a job not feel like a job...

The answer to the above title is very easy: find something you like doing, and try to see if you can turn it into a nice living.

But how does that translate to the people around you?
last Friday, I had a photoshoot at the studio of Raymund Isaac. The man needs no introduction, and to do so would not only be an insult to him, but would do him a grave injustice.

He is known by many for his stock in trade, which is fashion and celebrity photography. but while his photos really do speak for themslves. the experience of working with the generous creative genius that is raymund isaac is a reward on its own. i will site this man as an example, as this is an entry not to particularly gush about raymund, but to discuss what his work attitude stands for.

Let's start with the fees. okay, so he ain't cheap. nowadays, with the advent of digital photography, wannabes are all over the place (yours truly sometimes included). now what separates the men from the boys or course are a lot of technical stuff, from lighting, to focus, to timing, angles, and a bunch of other stuff that i don't even want to begin pretending i have an idea about... but i digress... so Raymund ain't cheap. you can and will easily find another so-called photography who probably even has better equipment that Raymund, who will probably charge you a quarter of Raymund charges. but there are trade-offs. a lot of them.

Firstly, i consider among my job descriptions art direction. particularly photography art direction since i will end up taking the photos in and adapting them into all sorts of things from ads, to point of sale materials, to posters and stuff. so being there during a shoot and giving my 5 cents worth from time to time really does help in making my job easier in the long run. now working with just any photographer will probably turn in technically decent images, but with almost no creative energy in it. there is an x-factor that will be noticeable. so you pay for raymund's time, but more than that, you pay for his energy that really comes across. it's even there when you look at the photos a couple of years after.
and during the actual shoot, the flexibility of his process, the concern he has for the ultimate results, and for the client's needs almost makes you think he's underpaid. he even brought down articles of clothing from his very own wardrobe (no closets for this man) to help find better outfits for the models. all with no pretense, no ego, and even with just the right sprinkling of humor.

So you have agreed on what the shoot lay-outs will be, but this guy will always do you one better and improvise as he goes along. oftentimes resulting in even better shots.
point of the matter is that he embodied customer service and creative professionalism. honestly, the first talent was ready and raring to go by one o'clock, although the actual shoot started at around 2:30pm. raymund apparently had meetings with the staff that he had to attend (it was Friday, after all). that was the only "bad" part of the whole thing. but over all, the results were spectacular, the clients were happy, and the day ended very well. i felt that i did a lot of work, but raymund didn't make it feel like a job.

How do YOU serve your customers?

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