Communication and etiquette are for sure at the top of the list when it comes to having a good experience and not leaving behind a trail of litter and burnt bridges. As a photographer there are a few things that really burn, sometimes we don’t say anything and sometimes we just get fed up and pop.
Here’s a quick fire list, not in any order really, then I’ll go into detail further below on why, as the better we all understand each other, the better our work will be together.
Don’t be late or a no show
No we shouldn’t have to photoshop everything
Respect our time outside of the shoot
Get to know the workflow of photographers
BTS (behind the scenes photos) should include the photographer
Every photographer does it differently, don’t say other photographers do it so I should too
Don’t add a filter, edit or add text to images remove watermarks (unless you bought the license)
Don’t assume all photographers are willing to work trade with you
Don’t show up with minimal wardrobe
Keep your focus on the photographer at Carshows/Events
First and foremost have open communication and clear boundaries of expectations, that will solve so many problems. Some photographers are more experienced than others, keep that in mind, sometimes just asking hey, I’m looking forward to working with you, what’s your normal turnaround time, will I be able to choose which photos you edit? AND do it by email, not by messenger or txt, I say this as it’s beneficial for YOU as well as us to have that boundary and not be expect instantaneous responses.
So let’s dig a little deeper and talk about it
1. Don’t be late or no show
I feel like this one is kinda self explanatory right? Sometimes a little heads up if you’re running late might smooth it over and we might be more forgiving and wait for you and extend the shoot rather than just showing up late, like OOPS SORRY /shrug. Just like you photographers have other things to do lol it’s not just point and click and go home and it all magically gets edited :D Also one thing to keep in mind on shoots that have multiple clients in the day, if you’re late, we can’t expect the next person and everyone after that to start late, we understand you got other things to do too :)
2. No we shouldn’t have to photoshop everything
This is a tough one, every little thing that has to be photoshopped adds on the time we spend on your session AFTER the shoot. Taking a little time before your shoot to make sure your clothes aren’t wrinkled, you had your makeup and hair done professionally or at least know how to do it on a good level. Face makeup lines, hair that just does what it wants in all directions, eyelashes that are half on. Sure fixing something that went wrong on one edit is fine, but when you have to repeat it 10 times, it takes a toll, we do after all really care that you love your edits!
3. Respect our time outside of the shoot
Now. this is a sensitive subject as i KNOW there are MANY ladies out there that complain about photographers messaging them all hours constantly and not respecting YOUR time outside the shoot. But this is also an issue for us, you’re not the only client, some of us work multiple jobs, some of us are constantly getting emails on what about this dress or that wig or these shoes. Try to summarise things into one email, and yes i said email, email is going to be your best friend as its a paper trail and doesn’t have the expectation of immediate response! For both :)
4. Get to know the workflow of photographers
The more you understand what we do and how we go about the sessions the easier it will be for you to know how much work and effort we put in. Few things make us madder than people thinking the only effort we put in is the click of the button at the shoot. Far from it, just like models don’t just magically show up with makeup and hair done! Each photographer has their own workflow and what they put in. For those like me, we offer a lot of service for each client. We go back and forth on the shoot ideas, plan the location, props etc, charge all the batteries, make sure all the gear works and is packed, go to the shoot, then we pack it all down, go home and upload all the files, back it up, make sure you’re taken care of so you know what to expect. THEN we spend hours on culling those proofs so you don’t see yourself with the sneeze face or derp eye blinks lol, we process all the photos get them to you then we have to edit them all and order your prints and send you emails with all the links.
5. BTS (behind the scenes photos) should include the photographer
This is truly a hot button for many of us, but I RARELY complain as it’s just too much work to educate everyone and honestly not worth the headache of hurt egos and such. When we spend so much time setting up a shoot, great location, great lighting and then your friend takes a photo of just you and then it gets posted to social media, really you’re not taking behind the scenes, you’re taking the scene :) include the photographer, include the lights, include the car owner even! It’s about the whole scene, not just the person, let the photos we take shine
6. Every photographer does it differently, don’t say other photographers do it so I should too
This one is an easy one, don’t expect us to do anything even though someone else does. They are not us, it’s our business to run and our policies. We should not be asking the same of you, I’m sure you know what i mean :)
7. Don’t add a filter, edit or add text to images remove watermarks (unless you bought the license)
Copyright and ownership on photos is a big deal. Photographers by default OWN all rights to the photo as soon as we take it. That doesn’t mean we can do what we want with them, more on copyright another time. This all means that if you change it, sell it or use for commercial gain you’re breaking a law unless this was previously agreed on. So adding that filter on instagram, adding your model name, cropping out the watermark are wrong. Sure most of us let it slide as most people don’t understand or it’s not worth the fight, but it still throws sand in our face.Just ask, most of us are pretty cool and love to help out models and clients, and even help you understand how to do things :)
8. Don’t assume all photographers are willing to work trade with you
Let’s be real, there are MANY reasons why working trade/collaboration/TFP won’t always work. But don’t take it personal (unless it really is lol) it could be they are too busy, they don’t know who you are or you are just not their style. But when people assume we want to work with them it starts on the wrong foot. Def want to talk about this in the future in more details!
9. Don’t show up with minimal wardrobe
I feel like this should go without saying, but i have run into it quite a bit, more so on the collaboration trade side than on client side. Either way, bring more than 3 outfits, be ready to mix and match and get creative. After all, everyone wants great photos and to feel happy in them, having plenty to choose from really helps creativity on both sides. And by ALL means talk to the photographers about your vision or their vision and spend time on styling with them, the more time you plan the better the result.
10. Keep your focus on the photographer at Carshows/Events
Carshows and events can get VERY messy. THE WORST is when I’m doing a private shoot and I get a bunch of shoulder shooters. You know what I’m talking about, I have YOU a gorgeous lady and a wonderful car and we start shooting, next thing you know we have a bunch of people pulling out their cell phones taking the exact shots we are trying to get and they go straight to social media. The uniqueness and luster is stolen from the shoot. But really, that can be ignored many times, it’s when the model starts paying attention to the other people and not keeping her focus on the photographer, that’s just rude and encourages them to keep going and interrupt our shoot. What’s the harm right? Well either way, it’s using up OUR time, less time for me to get good shots of you to choose from, less time for you to find that right angle you were looking for. Some models even stop posing when this happens until the shoulder shooters stop taking photos, i mean if it’s for her calendar, she will want those photos to be unique!