I was lucky to grow up in a time when turning up with polished shoes, shirt neatly tucked in and a sharp pencil was valued… These values are still important to me and now it is using the very best cameras, electronic support and software…and of course having polished shoes.
I have recently been reflecting on my long career as a professional photographer. In particular…. about brand integrity, marketing and client relationships. I owe a debt of gratitude to so many for what I have learned along the way and in particular I think of the studio where I trained in Canada. Upon arrival in the UK one of my first clients was BMW (GB) Ltd. Talk about in at the deep end! I very quickly learned the value of “attention to detail” and client customer relations. To say nothing of “Brand Value” in an above the line product. Along with my many other clients I was privileged to work with many gifted marketing managers at BMW over an 18 year period. …in particular Andy Clarke and Paul Harris. Both who eventually moved on to even bigger things like a Global Brand Consultancy, Rolls Royce and McLaren. I discovered that although I was a servant and a small cog in a much bigger marketing machine I could make a difference and although a freelance I discovered the value of working as a team.
Over the years I discovered that my work was much more than just taking photographs. I learned the importance of reflecting well the values and brand quality of my clients. I always want to make them look good in all I do, my presentation, what I say and of course….through great photographs. The result for me has been that many of my clients although starting out as small business have grown into National and even International Companies and I was part of the journey. One local company became the front runner to the now huge “serviced apartment” industry. It has been great to be part of their successes even though my part was small. Sadly there are some businesses on a slippery slope who only think of the bottom line, cut corners in marketing, devalue the brand and become mediocre.
Honesty, Integrity, loyalty and expertise and all the values we admire are well documented.. but something I intend to explore more in future is the value of “selfless exceptionalism” a concept I discovered from the book Greatness by the psychologist Dr David Cook. I am lead to believe there lies fulfilment, success and greatness. I continue to love photography with a passion and I am looking forward to the next phase… hopefully with much “exceptionalism”. Be encouraged and don’t be dragged down by purveyors of doom and gloom. Make the most of every precious day….. make it “exceptional” !!