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A Legacy of Human Connections - PPA Today

A Legacy of Human Connections

Mara Blom SchantzMore and more people prefer to text or e-mail rather than call. Yes, this does offer a quicker response, but as Mara Blom Schantz, Cr.Photog., knows, something is missing. "One of the most important lessons that my mother (Chloe Beeson Blom, M.Photog.Cr., CPP) taught me is that you should be personable and friendly," she says. "By acting this way in your life, you make connections with everyone who could be a potential client or could refer a client to you. And it feels good."

Schantz has experienced the power and importance of human connections in her own life and photography business, and she's going to share her insight in the upcoming webinar: "Things I Learned from My Mother: Guide to a Successful Photography Business in the Digital Age" (June 7, 12:00pm Eastern).

"I love the ability that photography gives me to make those connections every day," adds Schantz. "When I am talking with a mother during a design appointment and she is describing what is special about her child--and I see that look of pride she has at being a mother--it makes me happy. When I am photographing that child and we are laughing and making silly sounds together--or the child gives me a hug--that makes me happy. Being happy is something most people strive for their entire lives, and I get it almost every day through my connections with people."

Still, making connections like that does take effort. Schantz tries to have as much face-to-face communication with her clients as she can. Rather than e-mail someone back, she prefers to call them. Design appointments are also important, as they establish a deeper connection.

"I listen carefully and then let them know something about me that we can connect over--like that I also am a mother, cancer has affected my family, I grew up in California, I love to read, where I live, where my boys go to school, or anything that we may have in common," she says.

Schantz continues to engage her clients with the information she has gathered, making everyone relaxed during the actual session. Then she has her clients view the images with her in the studio. "They often cry when they see the images, and we end up sharing more personal information," she explains. "In this way, many of my clients become my friends. You cannot make that connection if your clients are viewing the images at home or online somewhere. They don't feel as connected to you or the images, and they will never order as much."

But don't end the relationship at the studio! "I think, to enhance that connection, it is also important for my clients to see me at the places they frequent like the gym or restaurants," Schantz notes. "Plus, chatting with the lady in the grocery line, the store clerk or the guy at the dry cleaners, helps you to stay connected to your community."

In fact, that is something her mother did every day, "sometimes to the annoyance of the teenage version of me and my siblings," Schantz recalls. "But it worked. Everyone loved her! After she died, we received hundreds of notes from people all over, letting us know what an impact she had made in their lives. Wouldn't we all like to leave behind such a legacy?"

It's a legacy Schantz has learned a lot from...and you can, too, thanks to the upcoming webinar. Join her to learn how to reconnect for success in life and business!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on June 1, 2010 6:23 PM.

Tamron Announces Full-Day Travel & Landscape Photography Seminars To Be Held in Four U.S. Cities was the previous entry in this blog.

2009 AN-NE Marketing Awards Spotlight: Best Wedding Campaign is the next entry in this blog.

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