For the next few months, every Friday I will be posting discussion and application questions for photographers based on my reading through Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
I have noticed through several photography circles now, that we are finally getting something right: it’s about the people not the pictures. This idea is the foundation of the book. Each week I will address some of the main principles and provide a few reflective questions for us to discuss and brainstorm about how this will influence our work as photographers. So excited to start this journey with all of you and can’t wait to see how this book will transform our perspectives!
Carnegie begins the book with this first principle: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Are you ever out on an assignment, shooting a wedding or scheduling a session and their requests just bug you? Carnegie suggests this wonderful and extraordinary idea on how to respond to situations like this.
“Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to fight out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance, and kindness.”
So with this in mind here are a few questions for us to consider as photographers:
1. First, let’s take a look inside ourselves. How do I respond when people criticize me? How does it make me feel?
2. Step back. What would I do if I were in their shoes?
3. How can I better improve myself, rather than focusing on trying to improve my clients or fellow photography friends?
4. Next time someone irritates me, how can I try to understand them better? This is an opportunity to get to know others better. Think of some specific goals you want to put in place. Example, next time a client says something that rubs you the wrong way, put yourself in their shoes, take a few minutes to process before responding, ask a friend for a fresh perspective, etc.
Share your thoughts below! Would love to brainstorm and discuss this with all of you. Also if you would like to purchase the book yourself to follow up, you may do so here.