Simply put, it was time for me to upgrade! Learning professional photography can be daunting when you are starting out with minimal knowledge about the subject. But at the same time, you feel like it should be simple. We take pictures with friends and record videos with our camera phone all the time. On second thought maybe I just need a good point and shoot camera, not something fancy. I hear these voices in my head echoing “just get me a good wax! it’s just a car wash!” Meanwhile, I am looking at my amateurish collection of pictures taken by my camera phone in auto mode. I had the privilege of having a nice conversation with a professional event photographer. We both deal with the common perception that our craft is not a truly legitimate trade. The first point I want to drive home to automotive detailing business owners is your problems are not unique!
Here is an idea of where my mind was entering this new world of professional content creation. I am shopping for a nice camera, meaning I need to learn how to get more out of this investment. I find out quickly aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are photography basics that are completely foreign to me. I am already feeling overwhelmed. Several video reviews later, I talk myself into doubling my camera budget. Now I am being told by most so-called experts, I will likely want to buy more lenses. Are you kidding me! Oh wait, it is kind of like how I have more than one polisher. But I am already spending a small fortune on this device as it is. I am quite sure some of the top content creators could be mocking right now.
After watching a couple of YouTube videos by popular vloggers explaining camera operating basics in a way I can understand, I felt some optimism. Do you remember the first time you ever washed a car? Your first detail?! Could you believe six years ago I was probably one of those people who asked, “so you polish, you clay, then wax or do you wax, then you?” I also probably would have a freak out over my own current pricing.
A month of my life looked something like this. I watched too many YouTube videos about camera options. I asked a lot of silly questions. I became nervous and later excited about my decision to buy something that was 2 times my initial budget. I had friends tell me it will be a great investment for your business, while others had mocked my decision. I pranced around Best Buy with excitement, while the staff members told me how much I was going to love my new camera. I then wondered if my correction and coating clients go through these same emotions.
I hope my story is a reminder that being human is something we all have in common. That potential client is asking hundreds of questions because they care about their car. They are also nervous and excited about what you have to offer. That guy or girl that asks a question on a detailing group is excited about this new world of detailing. There may come a time they may want to pay for a professional to do something that is out of their realm. How you treat someone shapes their perceptions about all of us. Be kind.