There’s truly nothing I love more then hearing how happy a clients is. It genuinely makes me a little giddy knowing that I was able to do something for someone that mattered. But here’s something that only recently sunk in. Getting praise from clients is only a little harder than getting praise from your mom. Don’t get me wrong. I love my mom, and I love my clients, but it’s the worst way possible to judge the quality of your work. It leads to complacency. Your clients are some of the most likely people to like your work. Your style is so appealing to them they invested their hard-earned money and took a leap of faith to hire you, so while I’d tell everyone do whatever is in their power to make their clients outrageously happy, I’d also say it’s also say it’s not the way to evaluate where you stand in the market.
Steve Jobs said “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Clients are a wedding photographer’s focus groups. Look at them to understand your brand, your process, and to gain insight into your core appeal, but don’t forget they are a measure of your past success, not necessarily predictors of your future appeal. Create something tomorrow’s clients will love, and don’t settle in. If you never go easy when you look at your own work, it will keep you firmly planted on tomorrow.