Don’t be shy!

How to be sure not to miss an opportunity

Ok, so in Brighton we traditionally do have a LOT of random things happening.  I took part in a dough fight once in the middle of the Old Steine because someone on the street gave me an invite to it. You could tell the locals from the tourists as we let the fight covered head to toe in dough – the chips fell from the mouths of the people in Harry Ramadans as we walked past. Other people barely smiled!  Maybe that says more about my need to get a life than anything else, so moving on…!

Many of you will know that we are photography partners with the Snowdogs by the Sea campaign.  We are having so much fun working with the fantastic team at The Martlets, which is such a bonus as the campaign itself is to help support the absolutely vital, amazing work that they do there.  Please do check it out if you haven’t already.

Not being shy taking photographs at a Snowdogs by the Sea event.

The Martlet’s Snowdogs by the Sea campaign on Brighton’s Palace Pier this evening The dogs will go on show in September as part of the art trail raising money for the local Martlet’s Hospice Please Credit – Simon Dack / Vervate

 

ANYHOW! Two days ago we attended the ‘Design Selection’ event held at the end of Brighton (Palace) Pier.  Representatives from the businesses that are sponsoring a Snowdog cam to view the absolutely brilliant selection of designs created by artists (largely local ones) to decide which one they wanted to have on their Snowdog. When we arrived, 3 Snowdogs were being delivered on the back of a van by Wild in Art, to inspire the guests at the event.

Video from Susi’s iPhone

Not being shy taking photographs at a Snowdogs by the Sea event.

The Martlet’s Snowdogs by the Sea campaign on Brighton’s Palace Pier this evening The dogs will go on show in September as part of the art trail raising money for the local Martlet’s Hospice Please Credit – Simon Dack / Vervate

Not being shy taking photographs at a Snowdogs by the Sea event. The Martlet's Snowdogs by the Sea campaign on Brighton's Palace Pier this evening The dogs will go on show in September as part of the art trail raising money for the local Martlet's Hospice Please Credit - Simon Dack / Vervate

Simon Dack / Vervate

One of the Snowdogs had already been commissioned by The Sealife Centre, and would be the first time the staff there and seen the finished design on their Snowdog.  We wanted to get a picture to send to the press of the staff with their creation – the idea being halfway down the pier so we could get a great vista behind it.  The cuteness and size of these Snowdogs incite people to want to jump on it a la donkey ride – not great for their sensitive backs.  As the staff hadn’t yet arrived, I got the job (I told you I got the glamorous bits) of standing next to said Sealife Snowdog on guard duty.  Here’s me relaxing before the photographer left me on solitary guard duty:

 

Not being shy taking photographs at a Snowdogs by the Sea event. The Martlet's Snowdogs by the Sea campaign on Brighton's Palace Pier this evening The dogs will go on show in September as part of the art trail raising money for the local Martlet's Hospice Please Credit - Simon Dack / Vervate

Simon Dack / Vervate

Unfortunately they walked up the other side of the Pier and we missed each other, so I was stood on glamorous Snowdog duty for about an hour in the end.  It really was a fascinating and oft hilarious experience into how people behave though.  Here’s an insight:

A couple of ladies rather worse for wear tried incongruously and thankfully unsuccessfully to jump on the poor Snowdog (or ‘mount’ it as they said…!)

A group of foreign students hovered around taking selfies and I frightened them off when I tried to explain I’d like them to put it on social media with a # (probably the middle-aged vibe I was giving off!)

Two Dads seemingly swopped in from nowhere and plonked their baby on the Snowdog, followed quickly by my “Sorry, no – they can stroke him though…!”

Two gorgeous ladies (Mum and daughter) stood and chatted for ages about the Campaign with me and will be back for the Tour in September.  I did need to encourage them to have a picture taken though, which is here:

Not being shy taking photographs at a Snowdogs by the Sea event.The Martlet's Snowdogs by the Sea campaign on Brighton's Palace Pier this evening The dogs will go on show in September as part of the art trail raising money for the local Martlet's Hospice Please Credit - Simon Dack / Vervate

Simon Dack / Vervate

The majority of people, though, rather shyly opened their phones to take a picture and didn’t want to talk or ask why on earth this large Snowdog painted in fishes with a snorkel on its head was standing on Brighton Pier.  The photos they took were mostly into the sun as they snapped so quickly, they didn’t have time to think about it properly.  I actually think many would have liked to have had a picture taken with them and the Snowdog, but were too shy to ask.

That happens so much.  I meet many clients who say they are too shy to ask their own clients if they can take their photo with their product, or people at events are to shy to ask the speaker for a photograph after a talk.  Many, many opportunities are lost like that.  People are just people – think how you react to such questions.  Most of us are only too happy to help out, or be involved in some way.  Being confident, friendly and not minding if you get a negative response are the keys here.  If you ask someone if you can take their photograph, do so in a way that makes them feel safe.  Its just about common sense and politeness.  In our experience, the response you get is usually, “Erm yes ok, what is it for though?” and often, “Can I have a copy of it?” (I usually say of course, and ask them to follow my Facebook or Instagram page to get hold of it, or else email them a copy).  Then also – if it seems appropriate – show them the photograph you have taken to let them see it’s ok.  This kind of content for marketing is like gold dust, so don’t let it pass you by just by feeling a bit stupid.  You do get used to it, and the odd (which it is) “No” really doesn’t matter one jot. You also sometimes get to have a chat with people with amazing stories, and even pick up some new Followers on the way. Win-Win.

We seek wherever we can to enable our clients to maximise their usage of photographs in their marketing.  If you feel in need of some informal training to help you have more confidence in your own taking and usage of photographs like this, just let me know.

In the meantime, if you see a strange woman standing next to a large Snowdog all on her own, please can you go and say hello – she may even take your picture!!

Not being shy taking photographs at a Snowdogs by the Sea event.The Martlet's Snowdogs by the Sea campaign on Brighton's Palace Pier this evening The dogs will go on show in September as part of the art trail raising money for the local Martlet's Hospice Please Credit - Simon Dack / Vervate

Simon Dack / Vervate

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