Tuesday, October 9, 2012

10 Things We Often Hear as Pro Photographers

This is a list of ten things we often hear as professional photographers that merely highlights the less attractive side of being a professional photographer. As a professional photographer, you will face some situations where a person may attempt to violate your rights as a professional photographer, so you should know your rights. There is also the possibility that you have heard some of these quotes before or you will most likely hear them in the not so distant future at some point during your career as a pro photographer.

(1) “You’re not allowed to take photos here…”
Here is where you need to know your rights as a professional photographer. We don’t tend to take photos where we’re not supposed to, so the last thing you want to hear from a bystander is that you can’t. If you’re on public property, you can take photos of both public and private property in the United States of America. As long as you are standing on a public property, you can take a photo of most (not all) things, and there’s nothing that the owners of the private property can do.

This goes for taking photos of people too. Whether they are members of the public or persons of the law, the actual capturing of the photograph is perfectly legal. What you then decide to do with these photos will have different implications. So, in that aspect, be mindful of how you use the photographs.

(2) “Hey, take my photo!”
Truth be told, there are two problems with this request: (1) It means we are going to have to either delete the photo, or share it with the person that’s in the photo. (2) It means that we usually have to stop what we’re doing and focus on something else.

(3) “Can you send me that?”
Remember the cost associated with creating a photograph. If you’re a professional photographer, then you should not be afraid to ask for money. If someone really wants a photograph that you’ve captured, then they will accept whatever you’re charging and won’t be offended (some even expect it), so don’t be afraid to ask. Selling a photo is a great way to stay in business.

(4) “I’ve got an idea for a photo…”
No one likes to be told how to do their job. Point blank period. But, we do play around with and welcome concept ideas.

(5) “Can I have all the reject photos too please?”
There are reasons why certain photos don’t make the cut. It could be a simple as they were not good enough, or they were duplicates of what we had already taken. The portfolio of our work is only as strong as the weakest photo, so we do not include deleted photos. If we did, we would be bringing down the overall quality of our work by sharing them with you. Trust the photographer when they say that you do not want those photos, because the ones you do get will be much better.

(6) “I hate having my photo taken.”
If you’re at event where there’s a photographer, there’s a good chance your photo is going to be taken. You can try to avoid the camera, but it much simpler just to go up to the photographer and ask them not to photograph you. Chances are, you are going to end up in a few photographs anyway, but your request will be duly noted.  If a client says that they want everyone one at the event at the event captured at some point, then that’s what they’re going to get.

(7) “You must have a great camera.”
Sure, in addition to skill, creativity, and training. You’ve never heard anyone tell a restaurant that serves exquisite food that you guys must really have a great stove. More often than not, the people tend to complement the chef. It is the chef (or the cook) whose talent is recognized. Why can the same be true for professional photographers? I’m just asking.

(8) “Can you Photoshop that?”
For whatever reason or another, people seem to think that photographers can work magic with Photoshop. Anyone who actually uses Photoshop knows it’s not as easy. Truth be told, it is nothing more than just extra work for us especially when we were getting it right in the camera in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, one or two small thing isn’t a problem, but when it’s multiple things, and on every photo, then it starts to cross the line between photographer and retoucher. Extensive retouching requires additional cost.  

(9) “Do you mind bringing your camera?”
”Do you mind bringing or are you going to bring your camera?” is usually and essentially codeword from someone who wants a professional photographer, but don’t want to pay for one. Most of the time we don’t mind bringing our cameras, but there are times where we want to be able to relax and not have to pay attention to what we are doing.

(10) “When are these going to be on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?”
“Are you going to post these to Facebook?” “When are they going to be on Instagram?” “Can I get a ‘Sneak Peek’ on Twitter?” People tend to ask this because everyone wants to see their photos while they are still relevant. Although, we do share our photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on our business Fan pages, we often share watermarked images with a link to drive traffic back to our website where there is a possibility that someone will purchase the image. The social networks do not keep us in business, our clients do.   

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