Let's be real for a minute. Saying I was nervous to work with TNL Denim was an understatement. What I knew of Kristi the girl boss behind TNL was that she ran a small business featuring vintage and distressed denim. Pretty cool, huh? I have on heavy rotation three pieces of TNL Denim with five more on order. Do I hear addict? Ummm, YES. This style was different from my norm but I was in love with pairing our two styles.
So why was I nervous? Kristi's small business was smokin' but her style is GRUNNNGE and that intimidated me.
Ask anyone, I am many things but grunge is NOT one. I adore pretty in all forms. Long flowing hair and sophisticated styles is the mantra my drum beats to. This edgy girl with her vibrant, gritty style (AND PURPLE HAIR, that I secretly adore) was the kind of gutsy chic that makes me sweat... just a little.
She wanted to work with me. WHAT. THE. HECK?! I was equally shocked and delighted.
But, let's get a little more real here. I'm nervous before EVERY photo shoot. Seriously. It doesn't matter if it's for a big time client or my aunt Jane.
Ten years I've been playing this mind game against myself. Always trying to one up my last photo shoot. Might sound torturous, but that's just me being me. I like hard. I like challenging. I even like those clients who've been dubbed by other photographers as "problem" or "needy".
So, I said what comes out naturally for me. "Hey Kristi, why don't you load up your car with fall denim and spend the weekend on my couch."
I had baskets of doubt that I could actually make this lady happy with my photo skills but something told me I should.
What I realized by day 2 of our 3 day shoot is that Kristi and I have EVERYTHING important in common.
During a 3a.m. chat I got brave enough to ask her why in the world she had confidence I would be a good photographer fit for her brand?
Her response made me wonder what I was thinking the last ten years.
Her words were so simple and so profound it make me want to rethink my whole business. 3a.m. or not.
"You took the time to learn about me and my business. Even though our styles are dramatically different I feel like you get me and the message I want my brand to share. It's clear your business has a frame work that values all the same things I do. It's the moving parts, or the style, that changes to fit your client and that's something I value."
Blow my mind, Kristi.
How have I never seen this concept so clearly before? My style isn't nearly as important as simply understanding yours. Now that's the kind of challenge I like.
I mean dang this girl is good. She even got Clint and I to model some of her denim for our fall look book with TNL. (Photo credits to the lovely, J Poochini.) Can't wait to share more.
Next Sunday at 7pm right here, friends. - So much love for y'all. - Laura