What makes a commercial photographer successful? And what do those who are successful and content with their careers, believe are the reasons behind their success? We spoke to Eposure member, Ross Woodhall, who has been following Winter around the globe for years, scaling snowy mountains and taking clients on adventures in pursuit of inspirational images to showcase their products.
Eposure: You’ve run a successful commercial photography business for 20 years, what do you think is the biggest factor that you can attribute to being successful?
Ross: Other than sheer grit and determination and the belief that you can make it work I would say, make your clients top priority and always go the extra mile to attract them and keep them.
Eposure: How would you describe what great client service actually is?
Ross: For me it is all about the client. It starts with discussing their expectations and figuring a feasible way to achieve their needs, this is crucial when I’m shooting in the mountains, as some clients don’t have experience of that environment and I need to make them aware of what is achievable. I help them as much as possible with sourcing the elements for the shoot, from models to locations to equipment. Once on location they own me for that time and I will try my level best to produce exactly what they need, and if possible improve on their brief and expectations.
I always stay super positive and make the very last shot count as much as the first one. We use the best equipment on the market and renew when new cameras hit the shelves, my clients deserve the best! It’s actually become a bit of a joke with some of them….”so what have you brought for us this time Ross”. I also believe in delivering the finished images asap and I supply yearly server space as part of the service so they have download access to their pictures globally 24 7. I don’t tend to be a Copyright Nazi I find being flexible and offering deals goes along way.
Eposure: Do your clients give you feedback about the way you work with them
Ross: Yes, when shooting I keep them really involved and make sure they see results as I work, this way I get feedback immediately. Then afterwards I actually seek out testimonials from them and post them on my site wherever I can.
Eposure: What difference does this make to you, or to the way that you work?
Ross: I find that once the client sees that they are getting the results they need, they relax a little (especially important with new clients) This is hugely important to me because it helps with trying to keep a really fun and happy vibe going throughout the shoot. A laugh and a joke always brings out the best in everyone involved and has a massive affect on the outcome of the shoot and will probably make it a memorable event which may help towards being hired again.
Eposure: Other than looking after your clients, and being able to take brilliant images, what else is important to do for your business?
Ross: Keeping my site up to date and making improvements – this is a constant effort! Keeping in touch with clients via social media, and every now and then maybe just a call to say hi and ask how things are going. Marketing is the other important area, keeping my agents up to speed with recent work and creating my own campaigns via email and post.
Eposure: And is there ever any downtime?
Ross: No! Whenever there is a lull between assignments, I keep myself busy by producing stock or print images.
To find out more about Ross, please visit his website; www.rosswoodhall.com