11 questions you should never ask a photographer (and 2 you should ALWAYS ask)
You want to hire a photographer but you have a lot of questions...some good ones and some that should NEVER be asked. Here are a just a few of those.
“Why can’t you send us all the photos the next day?”
Because I need to transfer the HUGE raw files from my camera to my computer, select the very best ones, painstakingly edit each one of them in Photoshop, arrange them in a digital album, and then upload all the photos online. That will take me at least a few days. Part of my photo process is to send you a little sneak peek within 24 hours of the shoot. I'm usually just as excited to get started and see the photos as my clients, so I gladly share that with you.
“Great photos! You must have an amazing camera”
Do you get compliments on your cooking? Then you must have a great oven! I have an amazing camera, yes, but it takes more than that to make a good photo.
"Can my friends and family use their cellphones for photos?"
Don’t make your photographer have to compete for your attention or little kids' attention for that matter with all the cell phone photographers. People can even get in the way of a great shot, which can ruin that moment. As the photographer that is my job to get the moment captured.
“Can you just photoshop that out or make me look younger in photoshop?”
I'll make sure everyone looks good and small things are taken out but please be realistic or don't rely on editing for major changes. I can make you look younger, but it will take me ages (pun intended).
“Check out this photo on Pinterest, can you please do the same for me?”
I'll gladly consult with you about a creative solution that will achieve a result everyone will be happy with and not just copying someone else's ideas.
“I think this photo would look great in black & white”
I absolutely love black & white photos, and if I feel a photo should be black & white I'll include that with your files (at no additional cost even). I have great editing software and the skill to make great black & white pictures. Please don't just press BW on your printer.
“I just need a couple of shots, can’t you give us a discount
or make it a mini-session?”
From time to time I send out great offers. That's the time to jump for joy and your phone. A lot goes into a professional photo shoot, and afterwards too, so if you just want one or two shots by all means go for it, that is why I have an A La Carte menu, but you'll miss out by not ordering one of my collections which have been specifically designed to offer you a great deal.
“Can you make a portrait photo of me for free or trade services?
I’ll tell everyone it was made by you!”
I prefer not to trade services, but I am open to partnering with other small businesses for voucher deals and special packages depending on how appropriate it will be for my clients.
“Can I have the raw files, with the rejects too?”
There’s a reason they are called “rejects". I reject them so that you don’t have to. Often there are light testing shots in between or burst (duplicate) shots. Let me do all that purging for you and just send you the very best images. You will see a online gallery and if any files are purchased it will be JPG files as final files. RAW files are stored with me for any future editing that may be needed.
“Your work is so easy, you just need to press a button”
I wish! There are so many aspects to being successful as a photographer that you end up wearing ten different hats in one day. From creating a stunning photography website, to online marketing and actually mastering the art of photography! There’s barely any time left to explain what a photographer’s job is really about.
Can you just give me all the digital files on a disk or USB?
I strive to provide clients with quality prints and products from a professional lab that will last for many years to come. You can definitely get the files, they are included in the three collection I have to offer as well as the A La Carte menu. I can't guarantee material or color quality of consumer labs from the shop down the street. It would awful if you ended up with a product you are not happy with or worst of all a CD or USB ending up in a drawer and never being printed.
And now ...
The 2 questions that YOU SHOULD always ask
1. Do you bring backup equipment and how do you backup your photos?
Crisis management might be one of the most important things a photographer can do at a photoshoot. Let’s face it, things happen. Photographers rely heavily on very complicated and expensive pieces of equipment to do their job, and they’re not always perfect. Your photographer likely spends a lot of money on regular cleanings (they have to send everything out – cameras, lenses, flashes, etc), as well as repairs. One little “ding” can throw off the entire focus of a lens. So why does this matter to you? Well, a good photographer will bring working backup equipment that is as good as their main equipment in case of an emergency.
Following your photoshoot, your photographer will backup all your images before they even start to work on them. Usually this requires ample storage space both locally at their home or studio, as well as off-site. After your final images have been delivered, it’s good to know how they will archive the images (IF they archive them, and what images they will and won’t save). Always ask about your photographer’s policies, and never assume!
2. What's the best time for a photoshoot?
Golden Hour is the most highly requested time to shoot (think sunset photos), and this is a very short span of time directly before sunset, assuming it’s not overcast or raining. Ask your photographer to make suggestions about lighting, timing, and expectations for your final photos!
If you have questions (apart from the ones listed here), please don't hesitate to call me or email me.