It doesn't seem to matter how well we think we communicate, there are a handful of client faux pas and misunderstandings I see over and over again, with my own families and with families who hire other photographers.
It's hard to really anticipate and fully understand some of these things without working as a professional photographer so after some serious thinking, I've come up with the top five things photographers want you to know.
5. Our time spent shooting is only the tip of the iceberg.
Before "going pro", I would have been shocked if I had any idea of how little time I would spend actually using my camera. Yes there's editing, which is pretty time consuming, but unless you're a hobbyist, you're also spending a LOT of time working on your business, scouting locations, communicating with clients, setting up workflows, bookkeeping, and so much more. I think many people lose sight of this. I easily work 40 hours a week, with maybe 5 of those hours being spent with a camera in my hand.
4. Where you print your photos matters.
And we don't just feel this way because we want you to spend your money with us. All print labs are not created equally, and just like everything else, you get what you pay for. Pharmacy and big box store photo kiosks may be convenient, and perfect for holiday cards, but when you want integrity in your prints, it's always best to go with a pro lab or ask your photographer for a consumer lab they can recommend. Cheaply made prints will likely fade over time, lose sharpness and have colors that don't match what you see on your screen.
3. It's ok if we're not a good fit.
Believe it or not, our egos can handle you telling us this. Whether if it's that our prices don't align with your budget, or if our style doesn't align with your vision, we understand we can't be everything to everyone. We don't want you to book us if we're not a good fit. Letting us know in our correspondence in one way or another that you won't be booking us is the best policy, we can handle it, and may even be able to direct you to somebody who is perfect for you!
2. We love feedback!
Ask any photographer. There are not many things more painful than the sound of crickets after we deliver your photos, and we always assume it's because you hate your photos! Even if you do, please let us know what you think. If there's something we can do to fix it, we promise we will. Otherwise, our egos love to hear that you're happy!
1. Please give us photo credit!
If photographers wrote the 10 commandments, there would have been an addendum that read 11. Thou shall always giveth photo credit. Seriously though, we love to see you sharing the photos we took on social media, or making a pic we created your profile photo, but please remember to give us credit! So much of our business is booked through word of mouth. I found my own family photographer after seeing one of her beautiful photos and following the link in the photo credit. I know you never mean to commit a photography faux pas when you forget photo credit, but it sure does help us a ton when you remember!