Sunday, we displayed at a bridal show in Weatherford, Texas. Through a series of odd happenings, I ended up with other photographers set up on either side of my booth. This didn’t bother me because my general view is every photographer is completely different. Style, personality and pricing all work together to make a unique business. Plus, there are plenty of brides for everyone and if you’re nice, you’ll succeed in life.
Well, the photographer to our right didn’t share this view.
My mom was kind enough to help me with this show since Becca couldn’t be there. She was doing a great job talking to brides and presenting our services. At one point she talked to a couple for quite a while and really connected with them. As soon as she finished, the older gentlemen who was displaying next to us walked over, grabbed the bride’s arm and gently pulled her to the first photo in his booth. He then proceeded to say “You see this photo? Making great pictures like this takes years of experience and the last thing you need to hire is a young kid who has no experience.” This was funny considering we’d never met and he knew nothing about me.
Two things happened at this point that I give my mom complete credit for. One, the bride looked at the guy, a little bewildered (probably at the rudeness of it all) and simply walked away without saying a word to him. It was a great comparison of personalities looking at his sales style versus ours of really trying to connect with the brides as people. Two, my mom did not punch the man in the face. Her self-restraint is admirable, and probably saved his life. In the history of the world, no one has escaped a beating by a thinner margin than that man.
My response to the whole situation? I actually think it’s kind of funny.
A) I find it humorous that a person who should know better uses the sales pitch of “the other guy sucks” as his basis for doing business with him. That shows more immaturity than you would like from a man of his age. Plus, it’s hard to argue that I suck when there is photographic evidence right there that I don’t.
B) We really aren’t his competition and I can’t believe he didn’t see that. We charge over three times what he does, and our photos are on a different level. We were on the hunt for completely different brides. Someone who hires us probably would not hire him and vise versa.
In my experience, photographers are either a joy to be around or a massive pain. We strive every day to be fun and make the process fun for our clients. And thanks to my mom for almost physically defending my honor.
All that to say, can’t we all just get along?