Educating Your Client: why it’s essential

People often ask photographers what the
hold up is in getting their images back. Why does it take 2-6 weeks turnover time to get your pictures back when “all you’re doing is clicking a button?”   I’m here to
answer this in the kindest, most informative way I can. I’m probably
ranting a bit more than I normally would, because this is the busiest
season for photographers. Like busy busy. Like getting three hours
of sleep and still working busy. Like April for accountants.  Read on…

Firstly, the clicking a button part.
Nope. I wish it were that easy.
When I take (or I should, and often
do say, make) your picture, I am evaluating the light, the angles, the
background, the way you look, making sure there isn’t dust or debris
on your outfit or on my lens, trying to get a good and natural expression out of
you while still being professional AND clicking the button. I’m also checking my ISO (film
speed), shutter, exposure and aperture (the depth of field that
gives you that creamy, bokeh look). And when I click that gosh-darned button,
know that it took me 20 plus years of practice, experience, failures,
bumps in the road and more practice to get where I am now.

Secondly, it’s not just clicking a
button!
I wissssssh. Honestly I wish it were that easy. In these
days of iPhones (the 11 pro camera is fire, not going to lie),
SnapChat, TikTok and Instagram, digital photography is now available to
the masses. This is a good thing! It’s a great thing. But it also
allows a lot of people who truly think/say they are professionals to
oversaturate the market and charge you double what I would for a less
than desirable outcome. This includes your Uncle Bob or cousin
Christine shooting your wedding.
Don’t do it. Don’t mix the
business with family/friends, firstly and don’t expect professional results
from someone who is charging you less than professional prices. Do your research!  Ask your photographer how
long they’ve been doing what they do, why they do it and if it’s
their sole form of income. Educate yourself to get the best results. I
would urge anyone to do this in any industry.
I’m not going to go
get my hair cut and colored and pay $900 to someone who learned how
to dye hair from watching a YouTube video. (Granted, YouTube is a
wonderful way to learn and grow, but again, it widens the market and
leaves the client thinking that everyone is as qualified as a true
professional.)

And to people starting out in photography,
that, too, is great! Awesome! The more the merrier. But know your
place, pay your dues before you pay your rent and please don’t act
like a business if you’re a hobbyist making a side hustle, because if
that is the case, you’re screwing over the people who do this for a
living and who would love to teach you how to become a professional
photographer and have you on their team.

Thirdly, professional photography is
NOT a cheap business. By no means. Think of how much an iPhone or
Samsung Galaxy with a good lens costs, then upgrade that to a real
life, life-sized normal camera with interchangeable lenses, gear insurance
and cleaning/calibrating costs.

All this being said, I totally think
people should photograph as a hobby, as a business, for fun. Because it is fun! 

But please, just know your place and when you need help, ask for
help.  Know where you stand.  And don’t overextend yourself.

During quarantine I took a ton of free online classes, because I felt like I was going insane and needed goals to aspire to in, what was, at the time, a very scary germaphobe-a-fied world.  I highly recommend Seeing Through the Photograph at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, taught by Sarah Meister, who is just an all around astoundingly cool professor and curator–her IG is great too.  You can tell her I sent you! ;-)

xx km

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