Creative Differences – Fashion Photographer vs Client

Creative differences are quite common in my line of work. As there are times when the clients is explaining something and my imagination starts running wildly in one direction, while his/hers is on a completely different track.

There have been times when creative differences were so strong that the end results were a complete disaster, and unfortunately I have had to learn by making mistakes. When I started working as a professional fashion photographer, I wanted to do things completely my way, I had so many fresh ideas in my mind; so many techniques I wanted to try. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way, that is not how it works. And I have to be honest, it took me time to learn how to listen, understand, and accept the client’s point of view.

[pullquote] But with time, I understood, that there is beauty in creating reality that does not exist. [/pullquote]

Yes, there were times when the client had no idea how horrible their directions were, and how they conflicted each other, but I had to do it. This was when I was in my initial years, now, thankfully, I have developed powerful convincing skills. However, there were times when the end results surprised me. Which allowed me to take on a completely different road, and explore endless possibilities.

I think part of me in my initial training years was afraid. I was afraid I would take “bad pictures”, and it will create a horrible impression. But with time, I understood, that there is beauty in creating reality that does not exist. Once I understood that, I started taking more responsibility for my actions. And honestly, it allowed me to develop more skills; the same skills I would once never dream of trying. The entire process was great for personal growth, and as a professional fashion photographer.

The sooner you learn that people are not going to be on the same page as you, the better. There will be times when you have to explain using words, or by showing the client what you are capable of. As everyone is unique, and has a different imagination. Therefore, you cannot expect someone to have the same creative sense as you. It definitely is in the eye of the beholder, as when I look outside my office window I notice different aspects, as to when someone else looks outside the same window. The thing is, when I look my brain automatically highlights the points I will be interested in, compared to when someone else looks.

Creative differences cannot be eliminated completely, but there are ways you can learn how to control them. There is nothing wrong with doing what the client is asking for, but it’s never a bad idea to give your opinion as well. A general discussion will allow you to see if you are on the same page or not, if you are not; I suggest you take out time to hear their thoughts out, and keep adding slight changes to them. This will mean you will not be compromising on quality and the entire concept, and the client will be happy with the end results as well.