My Uncle Greg, may he rest in peace, was the greatest active listener I have ever known. He taught me a vital lesson in the importance of listening. Talking with him always made me feel like I was the only person in the world and that in that moment, he wanted nothing more than to hear everything I had to say. People could be buzzing around the room, but he would be focused on my words without distraction. He would ask questions that showed he was listening to me, he would respond and build on what I was saying in a way that made me know that he was truly “hearing” me.
Ask yourself if you are actively listening when someone is talking to you. This isn’t just when you are working with a client. This applies
when you are interacting with everyone on a shoot, with the models and with the property owners, with your subject or with your assistant. Some people aren’t really listening – they are just waiting to be heard. Waiting for you to stop talking so they can start. That may sound harsh, but it is true. And if you aren’t willing to really hear what other people are saying, you are going to be missing so many valuable pieces of information that can really bring your photograph, and everyone’s experience at that shoot, together. Don’t think solely about what YOU are going to be photographing. Ask questions. Their answers may reveal more than just their opinions – they may show you the way that the photo needs to be set up.
FYI, Jeniffers favorite fruit is an orange.