I've been avoiding the phone for a while. Have somehow developed quite a dislike for the thing. It seems that whenever I answer there's something unpleasant, unwanted or irritating on the other end. The phone avoidance was having some consequences, though. Mostly financial, as I would have to return the calls once I'd got round to listening to the messages. And, as would happen, I would sometimes lose out on some work. People don't hang about while one sorts out ones little quirks.
So I started answering the phone. The 'answer the phone' muscle was quite atrophied, so it was painful at first. And I had just walked away from that client (another reason for phone avoidance), and so I couldn't afford to let anything slip by.
As it turns out, the first call I answered was from a lovely woman who had just imported a puppy from the UK and wanted some pics taken for her advert. Not your every-day, garden variety request, although I had thought of marketing myself as a pet photographer a while ago, and had photographed lots of animals in the past ... none of them in the studio, though.
I share a studio with another photographer and wasn't too sure how he would take to having a hound sniffing about the place. But I had created this space for new work and if it was going to dribble in in the form of puppy pics, who am I to argue? It's a huge studio, anyway, with cement floors, so if any damage was to be done, it would be minimal and moppable.
But it all just fell into place. The client turned up on time, without first cancelling a number of times (it's just amazing how many people miraculously fall down the steps and bump their heads just before a portrait shoot - there's a very, very slippery staircase out there somewhere). The puppy was gorgeous (okay, I am a sucker for a puppy) and, for her first shoot, an absolute pro. And my colleague was his usual gentle, charming self. It did help that he fell in love with the puppy too. It was all rounded off with prompt payment and an email of thanks for the pleasant experience and my creative work. Aaahhhh ... a far cry from taking abuse from a psychopathic publisher! Could I have more of these, please?
Maybe I will become a pet photographer after all!