The other day I was talking to a friend on the phone. Actually we were talking through Skype. I donâ€™t know if you’ve ever done this before, but it really is a great way to communicate with somebody. Especially if you are the kind of person that likes to make friend with a lot of people from around the world, Skype is a great way to stay in touch. I don’t have a camera hooked up, but my people talking with both voice and video so you can actually see the person you are speaking with. I remember reading an article in a sales magazine a while back and it said when you speak face to face, there is much more information passed on than just through email or even through the phone. When you can pay attention to facial expressions and body language it can be really easy to communicate well with others.
My friend was telling me about a problem that she was having. She had recently taken up photography, and was really interested in taking many photos. She was really intrigued by a modern artist who takes photos mainly of people. She was greatly inspired by his work, and really wanted to increase her skill in that area. There was one problem though. She was told in one of her photography classes that it is in extremely poor taste, and in many cases illegal to take peoples photographs without their permission. For her this was a huge problem, because she is naturally shy and can’t really find it easy to see an interesting person and then just approach this person to ask if she can take their picture.
She had all these wild imaginations of bad things that might happen if she just approached strangers and asked to take their picture. She was having problems with this, so she decided to approach her professor and ask his advice.
What her professor told her really surprised her. He told her that all she needed to do was to get clear in her own mind first, why she wanted to take the other persons picture. Did the colors of their clothing match well with the background, was their a unique couple, where they sitting in nice environment, did they have a particular friendly expression that would create feelings of happiness when people saw the photo? The professor said that all she needed to do, was to ask her self these questions, then simply to go and introduce herself, explain that she was a photographer, describe why she wanted to take the persons picture, and then ask their permission. He told her that it would also help of she created some business card with her name and email, so in case they had any questions later on they could contact her. He also made sure to instruct her to ask for parents permission if she wanted to take pictures of kids playing in the park for obvious reasons.
She thought about this, and then tried it. She was amazed at the response she got. While a few people said they didn’t really want to have their picture taken, most people did. And many times when others saw her taking pictures of couples, or children on bicycles, they asked her if she was working for a magazine. And something really interesting happened. Because got into the habit of giving out her business cards, many people started contacting her for actually business purposes. When she first started, all she wanted to do was to take some pictures that would be nice to look at. Then she created a web site, and put up many of the pictures on the web site. Pretty soon she started getting many offers to take pictures for birthdays, retirement parties.
What started out as a hobby, turned into a lucrative business for her, all because she figured out exactly what she wanted, and just approached people and asked them if they wouldn’t mind participating.