Those who are following me regularly know that I am trying to start a business. I might not be doing so in a fast pace, but I have my time line and I am close to keeping it.
I am reminded once in a while that photography businesses are based on image. Not just the quality of your work, but also the image that you project to the public.
This last weekend I visited an art fair and was looking at just the art, but the way that vendors presented their art. Most of them were very professional with booths that were well organized and the artists were dressed appropriately for their work and the event.
But there were a couple who just didn’t project that same professional quality. They had food and drink at their booths.
One individual I saw had a plate of half eaten food sitting on the table with their art. As you walked up, you looked at a table of nice artwork and a plate of food. Honestly, it was pretty disgusting and I noticed that a lot of people were not visiting their exhibit.
The other individual was constantly drinking. Not alcohol, but soft drinks and cups of water. He would greet his visitors with a cup or can in his hand and never set it down. When I entered his area, I got the impression that he would rather I wasn’t there so he could finish his drink.
I understand that people have to eat and drink, but you don’t have to do it in a manner that projects an unprofessional image of yourself. After seeing the two I mentioned above, I started looking for food and drink. It was an eight hour show. There were lots of artist who ate and drank during the day, but they kept their food and drinks back in the corner, away from the the customers. They only ate or drank when it was slow, there were no customers, and they could go back and steal a bite or two.
As I observed the different behaviors of the artists, I realized that your image is not just the images you produce, but also the image you project. And that small, seemingly insignificant things can ruin how you are perceived by people.
Hopefully, this makes you think about how people perceive your professional image.