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…


Connection with Like-Minded Creators is Important

For a few months now I have been reading posts by Chris Pearson over at Pearsonified.

Chris writes posts that are always informative and teach old-tricks in new ways and in a different light. This may sound like what every one is doing these days – but Chris puts a particularly good spin on everything that entices you to read on!

A recent post of his says

Really good, really smart people actively seek out those with whom they share an intrinsic kinship.

Xmas Presents 2007 Later it says:

You want to catch the attention of the other intelligent people out there who will listen to you and appreciate you because of who you are? … Be an anomaly.

This is a great idea, but it reminds me of an old adage: “It’s hard to fly like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys.” In order to get noticed, one needs to be recognised/seen by people who care and/or understand what it is that makes you believe you are great.

If I sound in anyway negative, it’s because I have lived long enough to know that the “I am great therefore I am” method is only one step in the equation. Believing you are something is one thing. Making others believe is whole new ball game.

Sticky, the Sticky-Tape Dispenser When I finished high school in 1986, I honestly had no conception of where life was going to take me. I didn’t have any plans, or any real concerns about the future: I was prepared to let life drag me along without direction. The words “self-belief” were not yet in my vocabulary. Wondering where I was heading didn’t even rate as a concept in my way of thinking.

For a short time (1987-1989) I spent time at TAFE doing a “Associate Diploma in Architectural Drafting“. However, for some silly reason -which is not worth mentioning – I quit. How stupid was I?! Do not answer that. All the what-if’s in the world won’t bring back those years.

I dragged my carcass along life’s freeway for a few years, working in a MOBIL carwash for some time (If you know the Adelaide CBD, you’ll know the place!), and numerous odd jobs. I even worked as a door-to-door salesperson. It was during these odd jobs that I met and talked with some interesting people in Adelaide. The experiences taught me about self-belief, motivation, inspiration, gaining confidence, and aspirations.

#45 Drawing up a new Design During 1990’s I started purchasing self-help books that would hopefully inspire me. At that time the CES allowed me to attend free training for a few months a time.

Consequently, I had the opportunity to listen to both local and national public speakers,. During one session we watched a video (anyone old enough to remember BETA?) of Anthony Robbins telling us how small changes can make a difference. He also convinced us to purchase his book: “Giant Steps“. It promotes the idea that we should not concentrate on the final goal, which may seem impossible, but on the small attainable goals on the way to your final destination.

There is one page that is most important and relates to motivation and ongoing personal performance:

“A fundamental law of conditioning is that any pattern that is continuously reinforced will become an automatic and conditioned response. Anything we fail to reinforce will eventually dissipate. / Page 143

Then I went on to get many more books: (as gifts, bought at retail, and bought at garage-sales!)

[EDIT 18.Jan.2017 – Those crossed off have been sold or given away.]

  1. Begin It Now – You Have a Purpose by S. Hayward
  2. Bag of Jewels by S. Hayward & M. Cohan
  3. Getting past NO – Negotiating with Difficult People by W. Ury
  4. Live and Learn and Pass It On by H.J. Brown, Jnr
  5. Secrets of Power Persuasion – Everything You’ll Ever Need to get Anything You’ll Ever Want by R. Dawson
  6. Just Do It – Inspirational & Quotable Gems by H. Mills
  7. Mediations from the Road – 365 Daily Lessons by M.S. Peck
  8. There’s More to Life than Sex and Money by S. Calwell & D. Johnson
  9. When They Zig, You Zag – How to Achieve Success, Health and Happiness by Doing the Opposite to Everyone Else by S. Reynolds
  10. Everyone Remembers the Elephant in the Pink Tutu – How to Promote and Publicise Your Business with Impact and Style by M.M. Cronin and S. Caplan
  11. Rich Dad, Poor Dad – What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by R.T. Kiyosaki
  12. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – at Work – Simple Ways to Minimise Stress and Conflict While Bringing Out the Best in Yourself and Others by R.Carlson
  13. Secret Men’s Business – Manhood: The Big Gig by J. Marsden
  14. The Millionaire Mind by T.J. Stanley
  15. Extreme Success – 7-Part Program That Shows You How to Succeed Without Struggle by R.Fettke
  16. Giants of Enterprise – Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built by R.S. Tedlow

Motivation for Footballers Although there are many good motivational books, there are only two books truly worthy of reading. I believe high-school students should read them. Forget reciting Shakespeare and contemplating Plato – read these two books:

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  2. The Official Guide to Success by Tom Hopkins

Life has changed considerably since 1986. Only two weeks ago was my twenty year high school reunion. Unfortunately I was unable to attend – but it got me thinking about those things that had the most influence on the person I have become today.

Was it the books? The people? The experiences and free-training? Was it the persistence in learning web-design – or just parental influence?

Both of these are my personal favorite books of all times. Both have had influences on the way I interact with people, particularly those who work in the retail industry who want to fleece a few extra dollars out of me.

Anyone else got any good books worth reading?