It’s true. I do not speak Latvian, but I can say that in Latvian. It was a great way to break the ice at the start of my meeting in LA with a certain Art Buyer at the recent ONE ON ONE CONNECT event in LA that I attended. Her parents are Latvian, as I discovered from her blog. I’ve also discovered that five minutes spent finding something out about the person I’m meeting makes for a much more interesting portfolio review. And it seemed like a fun way to get the conversation started.
Meeting people in person is one of the best ways to introduce someone to yourself and your work. There are hardly any distractions, and it’s possible to really get some insight into what makes someone tick in just a short time and to start building a relationship. However, making appointments to see clients, art directors and art buyers is one of the major challenges for photographers and their reps. It’s like trying to put a marshmallow into a piggy bank – possible, not very easy or quick. Short of setting up your office in the lobby of an agency, events like AtEdge Face-To-Face and ONE ON ONE CONNECT look to be some powerful tools to get to know the people you’d like to work with.
I met more people in two days – just two evenings, really – than I’d be able to meet in a week of traveling and coordinating appointments. This was my approach to each meeting: I made sure to tell each person – both before we started and after we finished – that there were three groups of images of mine I wanted them to remember: 1) Dreams, 2) Kids with power tools, and 3) Apple. I wanted to leave each of them with something very specific to remember me by. Then, during the meeting, I asked questions about them, what they liked about their jobs, what was new in their life. I wanted to get to know them as a person, and not just as an Art Buyer or an Art Director – I already knew what they were working on. And, if I happened to think of something that might be helpful to them, I was very glad to mention it.
I’ve got two more of these on my calendar in the next two months, and I can’t wait to go to them. And in the meanwhile, I’ll start brushing up on my Latvian.