Updated: Dec 30, 2018
As a photographer, I realize that many of us solicit our skill sets as a service to help people capture precious memories and moments within their lives. VERY precious moments. And let me tell you, we couldn't enjoy it more. We LOVE what we do, we're passionate about it. We're VERY passionate about it; in fact, it's that very passion that has compelled me into writing this article. Please keep in mind that I am only sharing my personal experience, however I'm sure I'm speaking on many other photographers' behalf as well. Disclaimer: My purpose in writing this is to only put you in our shoes and give a glimpse of what we have to deal with when providing our services to you. I'm not here to bash, only educate. SO....with that being said, please allow me to explain to you how you're pissing off your photographer without even realizing it.
1. Getting offended at your photographer's quote
This one is very common, not only to photographers, but to most small time entrepreneurs. Now I get it, you wanna save your coins and that's understandable; HOWEVER, you have to understand that we as photographers do more than just stand there and click a button. We have to come up with the concept, use our gas to get to the shooting location, set up lights and props, spend time doing the shoot, use our gas to get back to editing, spend hours on end editing, spend money on getting prints (if you still get prints) and so much more. So just know that although you're expecting to spend $50 on a photo shoot, we're doing much more than $50 in providing a great service for you. Not to mention that for many us, this is our sole means of income, and nickel and diming our way thru cannot allow us to get the essentials for basic survival.
2. Asking for a quote with false booking intentions
So as a consumer of many things myself, I know what it means to shop around to find the most bang for my buck. Nothing wrong with doing that all. We all are trying to find ways to cut corners to pinch a few pennies, that's the whole purpose of being successfully economically sound. BUT, when you're asking for a quote and going as far as requesting a booking date and an invoice pay the deposit, it really sucks when you make the promise to book with us, and then you decide to go to another photographer. Why does it suck? I'll tell you why, because 1. It f*cking plays with our emotions and 2. We sit there and wait for you to get back with us only to realize that you lied in the end. I mean it REALLY sucks when I turn down a client that's more than willing to pay and then I later find out that I should've booked them anyway. For you new photographers, you'll learn to just treat your service as a first come, first served kinda thing. But don't string us along only to leave us looking dumb, it really makes us feel really stupid and played.
3. Asking for RAW files
For those who don't know what a RAW file is, I'll briefly explain. A RAW file is a file type that is written into a camera's memory card once the image has been taken for editing purposes. Think of it as a cake that hasn't been baked yet. It’s basically composed of all the ingredients, but it hasn't been cooked yet, thus it's not in it's polished form. So why do we get offended by a client's request for them? Well for a couple of reasons. Before I go into this, not ALL photographers get offended by this but most of us do....and I happen to be a part of the latter. Anyhow, we get upset by this because, for many of us, it's just downright disrespectful. When we're out doing our thing, please keep in mind that this is our art. And like most artists, we have our own style of editing, it's our niche. So asking for RAW files is basically like saying that our work sucks and we're only capable of getting the shot, but your editing will make OUR work look better. Secondly, many of you only get the RAWs to just have them not realizing that you need specific software to even consider manipulating them. Lastly, we get pissed off at this request because of the next item on this list...
4. Putting filters on our work
If you want to quickly piss off your photographer, this is definitely one of the best ways to do it. This is just basically spitting in our faces. We work hard to do what we do for someone else to basically just take a diarrhea dump all over it. Although we appreciate you paying for our services, our work is something we take pride in. As mentioned before, we all have our own editing styles and niches. That's what we assume you're asking for when you're paying for our work. So putting those instagram filters and horrible photoshop effects over our ALREADY EDITED work is just downright disrespectful and rude. We don't like it, so please STOP doing it!
5. Asking to see EVERY photo as soon as it's being taken
As an artist, we photographers love to be in our groove as we're executing a photography session. Once again, this is just a pet peeve of MINE and not all photographers may feel this way, but I do that many of them do. Anyhow, it's very irritating when we're trying to get a rhythm going and it's broken every 5 seconds because you wanna make sure that it's a good shot. Well, let me explain. When we're shooting, we like to get several shots of the same pose so that we can find the perfect shot. Remember that as the image is being shot, it's not the final image, it's in it's RAW form and needs to be tweaked with editing (in most cases) before we reveal the images to you. You're only gonna see about 10% of the shots from the actual session, so there's no need to look at the LCD screen on the camera for every shot that's taken, that sh*ts annoying.
6. Expecting an unrealistic turnaround
We DO NOT jump out of the pages of Marvel and DC comic books! Superhuman speed is unfortunately impossible. We generally shoot literally hundreds of shots on a session....especially when shooting events. On average, it takes a photographer roughly about 7-10 days to turnaround some final images from a session. When editing, we're weeding out the bad shots and comparing between the remaining shots to figure out which ones are good enough to use in the end. If you're wanting an extremely fast turnaround, just be prepared to spend the extra money to have the services expedited, because that's the only way most photographers are going to skip you ahead of their other clients to get to you.
So these are the 6 ways to piss off your photographer without realizing it. I hope that you now have an idea of what we have to go through when dealing with clients and hopefully this will make you more sensitive and appreciative of what we do. Trust and believe, this is only a portion of a much longer list, but I don't want to make this a full on rant. So any of you other photographers, feel free to leave your pet peeves in the comments below if you have any. With all that being said, thanks for reading, and I'm signing off....PEACE!
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