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A few weeks ago we were contacted by the editor of a British Professional Photographers magazine asking if we would agree to have a profile written about Warner Corporate Photography. I was delighted as good PR is very helpful in the marketplace.
I offered to write a brief for the publication, as a storyteller I felt I could put a good “spin” on our image. He declined the offer, saying that he had been following our work for a few years and followed us on our Facebook page. He wrote an insightful article, accurate and flattering.
Needless to say I was delighted with the article, but it led me to realise how much people can find out about you from the web and social media. You may say, what does it matter what others think of you. If they are not clients or prospective clients what does it matter?
Let me tell you two stories.
some years ago when I was sitting in my studio with lots of hope, but very little work,a gentleman knocked and entered my office and asked me would I like to undertake the complete photography for the building of an airport which was about to be built in the West of Ireland. I was delighted to accept the assignment, and over the next 18 months continue to delight in the project. After the project was finished I brought the client out to dinner and asked a very simple question, “why me”. He told me thisthat he had been in Galway, my home town, and he had a headache. He went into a local pharmacy and asked for some paracetamol and went on to ask the shop assistant “who is the best photographer in the area”.
I was delighted that she had suggested me, but am totally unaware as to who she was. From this I learnt a lesson. An important lesson. How your neighbors and your community think of you is vitally important to you. It is important to develop a profile in your area as being a reputable professional within your profession. Be it Doctor, Engineer,Marketeer, scientist, or whatever your profession, there are unknown and unidentifiable effects that come from your position in your community.
” thisIt’s nice to be nice” used to be the title of a song,and there is great truth in it. Say that no person can make themselves a success, but rely on the goodness of others to help them achieve their goals. An acquaintance of mine always seemed to be a cranky, argumentative guy. He could never figure out why he wasn’t a success and that most of his efforts in life failed him. He failed to progress in his profession and it took many many years for him to realise that people take you as the find you, and if they like you, so much the better.
Some years later, after the airport project, I received a phone call from an American who had been visiting the West of Ireland and asked me if I would consider helping him set up an aerial photography business in the United States. Like the previous story. This incident happened at a low point in my life when we were suffering one of many recessions in Ireland. I went on to work with this client and had the pleasure of shooting 5000 aerial photographs or the American states of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.I was there twice for a peak of fall, the time of year when the foliage bursts into colour and had the pleasure of flying down the east coast of the US in synchronisation with the peak of the autumn colour. At the end of my project once again I brought my client to dinner and asked “why me”.He told me “I was visiting the West of Ireland, and I saw some exceptional aerial photography, I phoned the Chamber of Commerce and asked them if they had any idea would have shot the pictures”. They said “if the images that good, it’s Neil Warner”
On my return home to Ireland. I went and visited that hotel where he had seen the pictures. The photography was not mine but because we had developed a reputation in our community,it was assumed that it was my images.
There is an old traditional Irish saying ” that if you get a reputation as an early riser, you can stay in bed all day” , which roughly translated means you reputation is a vital asset to you for your lifetime.