Michael Reynolds Blog

What it looks like to truly commit to your craft

Posted by Michael Reynolds on Sat, Sep 28, 2013 @ 07 44 PM

Jeremy huntDo you enjoy your work? I mean, do you really enjoy your work?

I hope the answer is yes. Life is too short to do something you hate. Every now and then, I encounter someone who really loves what they do and gives everything to their craft.

This week I worked with one of my clients to put together a marketing campaign for a convention that they would be attending as an exhibitor. My client is a software company and has enjoyed great results as part of our inbound marketing campaign that we manage for them.

We wanted to create something that would be truly remarkable and help them stand out. We put together a great offering that included on-site consulting sessions for attendees, printed poster versions of a very cool infographic that we designed, and snacks and drinks.

The greatest part of the campaign, however, was our photography service. During the exhibit hall hours, we offered free professional headshots for any attendee that wanted to stop in and get their picture taken. These headshots can be used on social media profiles, websites, and any other promotional items.

My client had defined a limited budget so to save a little money, I decided to hire a student from a local university in Fort Worth, where the convention was located.

I looked up some local universities intending to email some professors to get some recommendations for students who might be up for the job. I noticed that Texas Weslyan University happened to feature a student on their home page named Jeremy who just happened to be holding a camera. I did some research and found Jeremy on LinkedIn and sent him a note asking if he would be up for helping us out.

Jeremy responded and said that he would indeed be happy to help so we worked out the details and got ready for the convention.

We got things set up and ready to go and prepared for the opening of the exhibit hall. Jeremy showed up early and we hit it off well. My client liked him, I liked him, and he was eager to get to work.

As people started to show up to get their headshots taken, I was immediately impressed with how talented he was. He captured some great photos and did exactly what we had hoped... draw people in and give them something of value.

But here's what really impressed me about Jeremy. He didn't just stop with taking the headshots that we asked for. He walked around and started conversations with everybody he saw. He took lots of fantastic candid shots of the exhibit hall and the people in it. He made people laugh. He networked. He invited people to come to our booth.

Jeremy truly owned this gig.

There were other professional photographers wandering around taking photos but I never saw them so much as crack a smile and they stayed pretty hands off, content to snap photos from afar. Jeremy, however, immersed himself in the event and took every opportunity to meet people, get to know them, and help everyone there have a wonderful time.

As a result, we ended up with almost 1,000 photos, met a ton of great people, and propeled my client's brand to the point where just about everybody was talking about us. By the second day, Jeremy was even giving passers-by information about my client's product as if he had worked there for years.

The event was a great success and my client got a lot of value from it.

Here's what I noticed about Jeremy:

  • He genuinely loves people
  • From the moment he started working, he did everything he could do provide enourmous value to his client without being asked
  • He didn't just stop at the technical part of his craft (taking good photos), he found ways to make people feel at ease, make them laugh, and help them have a great time which resulted in better photos
  • He asked me lots of questions about business and marketing and it was clear that he wanted to maximize this opportunity and learn as much as he could to help his career
  • He was grateful, humble, and a joy to work with

At the time of the event, Jeremy is only a junior in college but his work, his presence, and his attitude toward service far exceeded many other "professional" photographers that I've worked with. He understood that taking great photos goes beyond just the technical details... it requires a passion and committment to putting people at ease and helping them have fun.

If you're interested in seeing what Jeremy did for us, take a look at the photos from the convention. We got a lot of great photos and are inviting everyone to download them and use them however they want to.

AMTAConv tile photos

As I watched Jeremy work and learned from his committment and passion, I pondered where in my life I could find opportunities to better committ to my craft. Am I giving 100% to my work for my clients? Am I keeping myself inspired and educated so I remain valuable to the organizations that I work with? Do I show up ready to go above and beyond what is asked?

Where in your life can you find opportunities to commit to your craft? Are you passionate about your work? Are you 100% committed?

It's not enough to have the skills. It's not enough to do your job with accuracy. It takes total commitment to your craft to really excel. Thank you, Jeremy. Your commitment and attitude of service truly made our campaign a success.

Oh, and to anyone in the Dallas / Fort Worth area who is in need of a fantastic professional photographer, look up Jeremy Hunt. He's worth it... trust me.

Tags: business etiquette, life, career, networking