So, let me tell you about my clients.
Because I can click through my client list on my computer, look at the names popping up, and tell you *lots* of things about my clients. Beyond knowing their kids names, I can also probably tell you their ages and maybe the month they were born and probably the last time we did a portrait session, and at what location. I remember whether a client prefers small prints or wall canvases, and I know if they tend to fall in love with the silly, casual pictures or the smiling-at-the-camera pictures. This matters because I can tailor how I shoot their session to their preferences. I remember if a kid loves to climb trees and really cut loose at our session, or if she prefers to pose like the princess she is. I haven’t forgotten that the flash scared the baby last time, and we need to watch for signs that he’s getting overwhelmed. I know that surely that 7-year-old’s front teeth have grown in since last fall, and ask if he’s lost any more since the last time we met for a session.
As a boutique photographer, I take on a small number of clients each month so that I can give them personalized service, get to know them and their kids, and have plenty of time to ensure I capture and showcase the images that will mean the world to them for the rest of their lives. That, to me, is the beauty of a small business, and the beauty of a local business. A lot of things in our lives these days are big, corporate, and impersonal, and having a small local business is just … totally cool :).
Here’s another thing about my clients – many of them have local businesses, too. Whether they are providing services (such as doctors and lawyers) or products (such as books and clothes), they too are working with the people in our area, making their lives better and doing so with a personal touch.
You’ve heard it before, and I’ll say it again (and include this cool info page from The 3/50 Project too!) – please support your local businesses whenever possible. If you’re looking for a product or service, give some thought to whether there’s a local person providing it before you look to the big chains. Thank you!