I’d like to think I’ve worked in a range of different environment: from nightclubs and weddings, to art studios and churches. I’ve been rather lucky to work with such amazing clients who I now call my friends. But along the way, even though 99.9% of my clientele are nothing but polite and friendly- occasionally I run into someone who perhaps doesn’t have the same insight into the Photography industry as others. With this, comes some pretty silly questions and statements that even though may not have been meant to be hurtful, sometimes come across that way. I’ve seen a couple of t-shirts and blog posts floating around the internet about “Things you should not say to a Photographer”, so I thought I’d do a little list of my own. So without further ado, here is an incomplete list of 7 Things NOT to say to a Photographer!:
1. “You’re invited to my birthday party! Do you mind bringing your camera?”
Erm, yes. I do actually. If you’re inviting me as a guest, I will be enjoying the party. However if you’d like to book me for your party- I will happily bring my camera. Like any job when you work full time, the last thing you want to be doing in your spare time is.. well, working. Though the lines are obviously blurred for friends and family, it’s still very important to not de-value your business by doing things for free. I’d love to work for free, if life was free- but unfortunately just like everyone else Photographers need to survive.
2. “You have such an easy job, all you have to do is push a button”
This is probably one of the most frustrating statements someone can make; not only to a Photographer- but to anyone of a creative role. The general public don’t realise how much time and effort it takes Photographers to not only sort and edit their images- but also market themselves and gain clients. There’s a lot behind the scenes, and this comment- though it’s innocent at face value, is by far one of the most frustrating. Maybe you’ve said something to a Photographer in the past, heck, maybe you’ve even said it to me! Well lucky for you I made a blog post which gives you a little more insight into our world which you can read here.
3. “Can you make me look slimmer?”
Yes, I can actually. But this can make the editing process so much longer when you have to liquify and manipulate an image. Usually, if it’s an event such as a Wedding, Party or Engagement shoot- I’ll happily slim you down a little; or change a physical feature of yours for your own self confidence. I’m all for making people happy! But unless you’ve hired me, or you haven’t asked nicely and appreciated the effort it must take- then no.
4. “Can I take a photo of you?!”
Though this statement is usually thrown around after a few drinks- I’m the Photographer. I take the pictures. Though I’m confident to have my photo taken, and I basically publicise my life online through photos, videos and social media- my main camera mounts up to around £1,800.. it’s basically one of the most expensive items I own.. so for my sanity- I’d rather you not hold it.. even though I’m insured.
5. “Wow, why are you so expensive?! I can get my Uncle to take photos for £50..”
Again this question can be very frustrating: especially when it’s a response after someone has asked you for a quote. I’ve actually made a blog post entirely for this question because there’s actually a lot behind my prices. Fancy a read? Take a look at the full post here.
6. “Do I get a discount if I edit the photos, and you just send them me all?”
..really? Part of the Photography process is editing. That’s like going into a bakery and asking if you can pay less for just the dough. As part of a Photographer’s service, we pride ourselves on our styling and editing. It’s pretty much the only thing that defines us as individuals, and business’. So unfortunately, no professional Photographer will give you a discount if you edit the photos themselves. Though I’m not one to turn down jobs and money, I always like to stay fair and honest with my clients: I pride myself on the quality of my work, and if my pricing is out of your budget, perhaps you should re-consider the need for a professional Photographer.
7. “Can I have all of the unedited photos too?”
There are reasons why photos don’t make the cut. As creative individuals we are always striving for the best of the best, and these are the ones we love showcasing and adding to our portfolios. It’s very unlikely that you’ll find a Photographer that will give you the ’50 images’ that you’ve purchased as part of a package, plus all of the unedited shots. Plus most photographers have it in their contracts that you can’t edit the images, or apply filters etc. Frankly, I don’t like the risk of my unedited shots surfacing on the internet somewhere- especially as they don’t reflect the quality, and professionalism of my other works.
So there you have it, 7 things you should not say to a Photographer! Of course I’ve had other comments over the years; but I thought I’d give you a little insight into some of the most popular. I don’t blame people for their ignorance, I’m sure I have said things to people of other fields- which they may have taken offence to because of course we have no idea about other people’s industries- unless we’ve had previous experience ourselves.
I hope you’re all having a good week; if you’d like to read my other blog post on why Photographers are so expensive, click here.
Ciao for now,