8 Important Points to Hiring a Photographer

Being a photographer is a lot of fun, yet we sometimes get clients who take us for granted. So I’m using this article to point out the issues that bug us the most. Each point is potentially harsh – yet many photographers have to deal with these daily. My main point is to make clients realise that hiring a photographer is not as simple as picking up the phone.

1. Professional photographers are are neither cheap nor expensive.

Huh? Well, we have overheads, mouths to feed, expenses, equipment to insure, personal-value and integrity. So don’t expect to pay us in promises, vouchers nor casino-chips. When we say a price, we aren’t waiting for you to haggle.
Yet we will explain what you get for your dollar and make good on our end of the bargain. Our contracts are in-stone, our results speak for themselves and we aim to please. Get it, aim to please?!

Chewbacca is a Sniper

2. That said, we’d appreciate the payment transferred to our accounts within 30days or as contractually agreed.

There is nothing worse than having to bug a client for funds. Particularly after we have given you the product. Now you wonder why some photographers won’t upload nor display your artwork until they have been paid. This is what happens after being burnt. Unfortunately some photographers and clients are dishonest – but don’t tarnish us all with this brush.

2. Our previous experiences are examples of work done, but not necessarily what you will get.

A photographer is an artist – which means that whilst they attempt to give you what they provided for the last client, it is conceivably possible that the photograph they shoot for you is not going to be precisely the same.
Rather than requesting the photographer produce work exactly the same as a photograph you provide, let them use that as a starting point. You’ll find your photographer more willing to photograph you when they don’t have you screaming in their ear.

Three Young Girls

3. The photographer and the wedding-organiser are two very different people.

That means that the photographer can only capture what your organiser provides. If the kids are running riot in the dining room, it is possible they may get into a photograph. So let the photographer take the wedding couple aside to another location or separate room for the formal shots.

4. We are not perverts – but we are not prudes.

Whilst you might not like seeing naked humans, it is possible that your photographer has a few clients who’ve agreed to semi-nude or erotic art. This doesn’t mean he is offering these services. It is entirely up to the client. Which is why they display them in their gallery. You think the photographer is going to ask you to undress? No, but they do want you to imagine what is possible.

5. Our equipment costs a fortune.

Which means I won’t be letting your 16yo cousin hold it whilst I change lenses. Maybe they are doing a course at TAFE, but I’m betting your insurance doesn’t cover my loss when they drop that $2G lens I need to photograph your entire family later in the day.

6. Rarely will you get your artwork overnight.

Unless you fork out the big dollars. After shooting all day in the sun, half the night with only a sandwich and bottle of water, they will want to get some sleep. Some photographers seem willing to work all night to ensure the client gets their work before midday, but most of us have learnt that doesn’t matter so much. Particularly when we are only supplying proofs that you may or may not agree upon. Which is why we say 3-7 days before you see your photographs.

7. Similar to [6]: You are probably not the only job I am editing right now.

With a 3-7 day turn-around for photographs, I probably have another client’s photographs in edit-mode. Yes, you’ve paid me for my time … yet so have they! If you ring to ask how much longer the photographs will be, you might hear “Taking a little longer whilst I answer these phone calls.

Camera Strap Idea - S5

8. Photographers come in all different sizes, ages and dress-codes.

The impression you got on the phone may not meet your visual-expectations. So if they meet the requirements you want for your work, don’t let the appearance of the photographer dissuade you from using them. Some dress like they just stepped off 24hour flight, most dress to suit the occasion. Let their work speak for them.
Note: Sometimes we hire photographers based on a ‘good vibe’. So it is wise to organise a location to meet and discuss the requirements of the job, not just hire a person based on their online presence.

Contributions to List:

I didn’t expect to get contributions so quickly, but this quote gives 2 situations that every client should realise:

[9.] The photographer is not there to set up shots for other people.
[10.] Don’t let another member of the wedding party etc stalk them the whole time, taking photos over their shoulder.
So rude!”

In Closing…

Hiring a photographer might seem as simple as finding someone who has spent more than a few thousand dollars of equipment: The truth is finding someone who is passionate, experienced, creative and willing to try new styles. Whilst many say they are more than willing, they rarely enter into a photo-job without some stereotypes of what clients really want.

Clients have to realise that this is a business. When looked at in perspective, a good photographer is not that expensive. But more than anything, they are not cheap! Pay them what they worth!

Got any issues you want to add to this list? Feel free to comment below…

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