Photography in a few minds still remains as a hobby, whereas, that is far from the truth. It is an art, a full-time profession and one of the reasons that bring immense joy to the world. What is usually called an “amazing capture” has a LOT that goes behind the scenes to bring forth that amazement. Perhaps, that’s why many people, without realizing, have the need to ask the below-mentioned questions and suggestions to professionals.
It was originally Italian designer Luca Masini that created an image series on ‘What Not To Say To Photographers.’ After years of trying to find the right words to respond to these questions below is my version of the same. I think every creative will be able to associate with a few of the things that are mentioned below. However, be rest assured this is not even close to an exhaustive list of what we get to hear. For that, I will have to write a thesis 😉
If you ever hire a photographer or speak with one, please try to respect their craft and not make the following remarks –
Your camera takes amazing pictures!
Years of education, practice and error to hone my skills… yet my camera takes amazing pictures? Let’s put it out there, the person behind the camera takes the pictures! In fact, most people can buy a good camera, it doesn’t make them a good photographer. Additionally, a skilled photographer would be able to take a good picture even with a phone because they bring their expertise to the table.
Make me look good.
Hmm…. I would if I could. Photography is an art but we cannot magically change things. You will appear as you are. Of course, we can suggest more suitable angles that work for you, but I absolutely cannot “make you look good.”
If I had a professional camera, I could also take such pictures
If I had a rupee for every time someone asked which camera to buy because apparently my camera is the reason I am a photographer… I’d invite you to my mansion. There are so many aspects of becoming a successful photographer, some that even require you to wear multiple hats during shoots. It is so much more than just pressing a camera button. Trust me when I say, you have to constantly work on your skill, like with any profession. Here’s a question for you, do you think every person with a DSLR is a professional photographer?
Can we replicate this shot from Pinterest?
There are plenty of reasons that this question is fundamentally wrong, here are the top two –
a) we don’t like to rip off other professionals’ ideas
b) artists have a creative vision that is unique to them, learn to trust that. Pinterest for inspiration is great but creative people, in general, need the space to be. The space to bring their expertise forth and utilise their instinct to do very best with the task at hand.
Take another picture just like the last one
I wish that were possible! Every photograph is so, so unique. It is a combination of so many factors that come together to create it – composition, lighting, timing etc. We absolutely cannot click a picture like the last one but we do always aim to take better ones.
Let’s do a barter? A few photographs for a mention on my IG handle
Compensation is the cash or non-cash payment that you give to an employee for the work they do for your business. Mostly, this is equal to the work they’ve put in. Now, think about this – a professional photographer is putting in their 100% for your shoot, why would they settle for an Instagram mention? Yes, we understand visibility but it is never equal to the work that goes in or the time invested pre, during and post-shoot.
Can I also have the raw footage?
Not every photograph we click is going to match your expectation. Most, will not. It takes a lot of effort to get everything right to create that great photo. So asking us to share the half-baked work, is inappropriate. We reject them before you have to. As Daniela Bowker rightly said, “Asking a photographer to hand over a memory card, USB, or DVD of raw images is akin to asking an author to present you with their book in the manuscript format: unedited, unformatted, and including the paragraphs and chapters that didn’t make it.”
It’s just a few pictures, give us a discount?
Sure, maybe I won’t give this shoot my best and you pay me the full amount? Well, it is nice to reach a mutually beneficial partnership but that can only be achieved by keeping both parties involved in mind. How is it fair to any person to do the full work but not get paid in full?
You will use photoshop, right?
The art is in the craft, not the editing. Yes, some images look better after they are fine-tuned but it will not be drastic from the shot image. Anything that is that dramatic will take away from the naturalness of the photograph – leaving all the creative ideation in the raw image. There is NOTHING worse than over-editing and we want nothing more than for your work to look good.
Ultimately, I’d say since you have hired a professional, learn to trust them and watch the magic unfold. If you are a photographer, add on! Tell us what are the other remarks you have heard and let it all out.