We are right in the middle of Fall Photo Off, this weekend I photographed 400+ gals, half of them in the rain, and I will be in sorority land for at least another week while I calculate votes (you can still vote on Instagram - @asiacrosonphotography & at asiacroson.com!) and announce winners and dole out photoshoots like "You get a picture, you get a picture, everybody gets a picture!!" Remember how I like to think I'm Oprah?
Last week I wrote about why I love working with sororities- because they are such great platforms for the two things that I valued most about my college experience (you can read that one here!), but today I am thinking more about why I love being around them in general.
Why I Love Working With Sororities (Part 2)
These girls are their own best cheerleaders. Have you ever been to a Bid Night? It's like a football game on crack, or like everyone's just won an Oscar, there are tears and proof that white girls can jump. There is no shame in the screaming and yelling game, no lack of pride for who they are, what they are a part of, and what they stand for.
I also LOVE Fall Photo Off and how the girls are seriously so ready to rep their crew (anybody remember America's Best Dance Crew?), and go all out voting for their sorority. They are seriously on it- the winners this year will have over a thousand likes in one day. That's nuts.
I've been taking AXO's Bid Night photos for four years, Gamma Phi Beta's recruitment photos for three, I'm on the fourth generation of a string of friends who make it a tradition to attend their little's/grand little's/great grand little's senior photos, and I know they're coming back because these photos are awesome, duh, but I also know that they have about a hundred options and they are still choosing me. These girls are my people.
But it's not just about me- they're loyal to each other. If I have a gal in one sorority that has a particular talent (say, styling), or works in a certain field (say, marketing) or has a graduation cap from last year- they are hands down willing to lend a hand to another sister in their sorority. The networking capacity is UNREAL, seriously. These gals aren't just a homogenous group of pretty 20 somethings, they each bring a kick ass personality & WORLD to the table, and being part of a sorority (or photographing them) is like having access to an entirely different world. (This really reminds me of my post about old friends vs new friends!) They are so willing to share and help and contribute and be a part of something awesome for other people. I love being around gals who do so much for each other, and in turn make my job & what I do so much better.
On top of that, the internships that I have provided through these sorority gals has been nothing short of AWESOME, but that's a whole other topic.
4. Power of word of mouth
When these girls love my photos, they post them for weeks on end. This is a photographer's DREAM= for their clients to love & share their work so that they can have more amazing clients like the ones they've already had. I know when a senior comes to me and says "You did Lily's photos!" that we are gonna have a blast, because anyone who is a friend of a client is a friend of mine. I pride myself in loving and connecting with my clients, who send me to more people just like them. It's like a domino effect of awesomeness.
5. Go big or go home
These girls go all out. My first Bid Night I was like this is like nicer than a wedding. Like. They have DJs and lighting and get it catered and have candy bars? Like. Thats amazing. They dress up & do fun activities & how easy & fun does that make my job? I don't wanna show up to a half assed gathering to take photos & make it look fun & cool- and I never have, because these girls do WORK. Also, can we talk about I couldn't put together an event that nice for 300 people if my life depended on it, and these girls do it on a regular basis. Again, the experience they're getting from being in charge of that is AMAZING. Someone plan my birthday party for me next year, k thanks.
When these gals come to photoshoots, they have 25 different options of necklaces and white dresses and wedges (that they've borrowed from their sorority sisters or roommates, back to networking- closet networking is definitely networking), and they are not afraid to go allll out on our shoots. Again, there is no half assing. They trust me with their big visions, and I'm all in.
6. An excuse to take photos, DUH.
Last but not least, I love having excuses to take a zillion photos. These gals have events and celebrations and anniversaries and occasions allll the live long year, and nothing makes me happier than being able to capture these awesome memories. This isn't a job where I'm likeNOOOO DONT MAKE ME WORK ALL THE TIME, photography is my PASSION, the love of my life, and any excuse I have to take more photos is like a surprise party. Like opening a box of gluten free, sugar free Oreos that taste like the real thing. Like the baby cherub angels are singing Rihanna songs from heaven and the dance floor is empty and purple confetti is raining down and all my friends are there (well the ones who like to dance), and it's my birthday. Yeah.
No need to rush, but I'm already looking forward to the next decade, when these girls get to look back at all the photos & are so happy that we took so many. I will probably never know how that makes them feel, I won't know how many times girls re-look at photos of their Bid Night, I won't know every time they scroll through BIg Little photos, or every time they use their senior pics for a resume or to update their LinkedIn or as a print for a grandparents Christmas gift. But I like to pretend that it's about 8 times a week per person (if we did the math THATS A LOT), because that's how often I peruse my old photos, and get jolts of joy from how awesome my life has been this far. UGH I JUST LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY SO MUCH.
And these girls.