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The Right Ones…

She walked out of the studio and closed the door behind her, and I collapsed on our couch, loudly & dramatically. Mack sat with his head in his hands. We were both just flabbergasted.

We hadn’t had a consultation like that in YEARS. This bride came in almost angry… immediately distrustful of us and wholly unimpressed by our work. To be honest, I’m not sure why she met with us in the first place. She figuratively tore our sample albums apart, and couldn’t seem to wait to get out of there. On the heels of two other promising inquiries that had fallen by the wayside, this disaster of a consult was the heaviest of last straws. We were shaken.

Our pride, our confidence, our faith in our business… all it took was one rotten week to put us on wobbly legs. Because when your business is the sole support of a family of four, it doesn’t take much. We have an amazing track record with four years of incredible brides, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still have to hustle. We have to sell our business, and work our tails off to make sure we can continue to keep McGowan Images thriving for the next 5, 10, 15 years. A disastrous consult (or worse, a string of them) can take the wind out of our sails real fast.

The good news is… we got our wind back.

One week later, we sat in the same chairs, in the same studio. We were nervous, scared to death we’d be in another situation where a potential client would rip our work to shreds. Instead, we sat, and we laughed. We talked about life & love & of course… weddings. 🙂 We hugged when the meeting was over, knowing that was a wedding we were going to photograph, and do a fabulous job of it. We left knowing our new clients had complete faith in us, and loved the work we’d shown them. We left with our confidence renewed.

We were reminded WHY we sit down & meet with clients. We remembered why it’s ok that we didn’t book that other wedding… why we didn’t really want to. We remembered why we decided that we weren’t targeting ALL brides… we’re targeting the RIGHT ones.

Mack and I… we know we’re different. We’re loud & bright. Our personalities aren’t easily hidden. The way we see the world is unique. We’re not wallflower people. And we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are NOT the right fit for every single bride in America.

We are, though, the perfect fit for the RIGHT ones.

We’re photographers for couples who are crazy in love. We’re photographers for couples who love to laugh. We’re photographers for people who appreciate natural beauty. We’re photographers for some DFW brides, some Erath County brides, some Hill Country brides, some island brides, some European brides (fingers crossed 😉 )… brides all over the world. Not EVERY bride, but the RIGHT ones.

In 2013, we have booked 30 of the RIGHT brides. And while we’re just 1/3 of the way there now, we know without a doubt… we believe wholeheartedly… that the rest of 2014 is going to fill up with more of these amazing couples. These people who are in love with each other, and want their wedding days to be true celebrations. We know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is what we’re supposed to be doing, and that we’re going about it the right way.

Friends, we all have days that we’re shaken. We all have times where we doubt ourselves… we walk on wobbly legs with windless sails. It happens, and it hurts.

But I’m here to tell you, there’s always a road up from of the valley. The sun will shine again, and the wind will pick up, and you’ll see your way out. As long as you don’t stop walking, you’ll always be one at least step closer than you were the day before.

That’s an iPhone photo… God Bless Steve Jobs for the camera that’s constantly in my pocket.

(And hey… if you’re one of those RIGHT brides, looking for a 2014 wedding photographer, know that we’ve still got room for you 🙂 )

  1. CheriG

    July 30th, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Wow, SHE sounds like an absolute blast to deal with. Her poor Groom! Looks like you guys are blessed to have dodged that bullet. Keep up the good work! I always love seeing your work. You both have a gift.

    From – a long-time blogstalker.

  2. Jessica Llanes

    July 30th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Fantastic post! You both are so talented, and I wish you the continued success that you continually earn. Thanks for all you do. Sounds like you were saved from quite the headache of a client. p.s. I second the Steve Jobs comment! 😀

  3. Jen Seymour

    July 30th, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks for this honest posting. It helps me (who think of you & Mack as the most professional and amazing photographers EVER) – that it is not always just “easy” for you. It keeps you REAL to me, and reminds me that I am real too (sounds odd, but true – we are all real and human and can all get the wind deflated out of our sails in a heartbeat).

    Hope it helps you to know that little ‘ole me thinks you & Mack totally ROCK. 🙂 I mean I’m not a photographer or anything, but here I am following your blogs and your posts on FB all the time, and am continually amazed at your talent. 🙂

  4. Kaitlyn J.

    July 30th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Listen… I will get married again and again so you two could be our photographers. Don’t forget that some brides (ahem, ME) chose their wedding date around YOUR availability because they are so absolutely in love with not only their groom-to-be but YOUR WORK.

  5. Melissa

    July 30th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    You gave me tears – thanks 🙂

    I feel so honored to have been chosen as one of your 30 this year! I was so nervous for our consult and for our session(s). I feel like I’m meeting with/getting photographed by celebrities!!

    And God Bless the poor groom marrying THAT hunk of a nasty bride.

  6. Lynne

    July 30th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    You two do amazing work – I’ve been a longtime follower and a client a couple of times now, and haven’t regretted a penny spent. Your work speaks for itself, and I’m honestly flabbergasted that someone would rip your work apart…really, what’s to rip apart? Keep up the good work, and let her crappy attitude fuel your creative hard working fire!

  7. Willum Lackey

    July 31st, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Chelsea, Mack: this is how you know you still care and belong in your field. Your sense of desperation and anger that you could not help a client you wanted to, no matter what, is felt wholeheartedly with me. Help the ones you can, learn from the ones you can’t, and realize, people are stupid.

    I’m sure you already know this.

    People are stupid.

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