Three things photographers wish clients knew
Sometimes is not easy opening up to the people who just book you for the job. Even though everyone knows that honest communication is a key to success … Sometimes we just find ourselves in a position where we are just afraid to lose the client, or we just don’t feel comfortable to tell the truth.
We’ve sat down recently and reflect on a few insights that not many photographers dare to share with their clients.
Triple Constraintand Iron Triangle
This concept has been around since 1950s. Simply put, the resulting quality of any project is bound by three factors:
- The project’s budget
It is commonly said that most clients wants to puck two of these aspects yet the third will be the result of those two choices. So in other words, if client wants a project that be done quickly and at low cost might result in a lower-quality deliverable. Or a project done quickly with high quality could require more resources and potentially higher project costs.
Lets remember that in practice trading between constraints isn’t always possible. For example, throwing money at a fully staffed project may actually slow it down. Moreover, in poorly run projects it is often impossible to improve the budget, schedule or scope without adversely affecting quality, however good your commercial photographer may be.
Do not despair! All photographers know that there are worthwhile projects that don’t necessarily have corporate backing they can rely on, and exciting concepts with crucial, unrealistic deadlines that may appear overly rushed to those who accomplish their best work with longer turnaround times. It’s usually just a case of communication and managing expectations, so that the clients, the producers, and the photographers on board are happy with what they’ve got to work with. And confident that they can meet their deliverables, producing work they can be proud of while enjoying the creative process.
Keeping expectations in check.
Once we were commission to fashion/ lookbook shoot. The client sent us a brief, we got excited and just forgot to have a proper conversation with the company. What is their actual budget, where they want to shoot, what they actually expect from out, what sort of photos they have in mind etc…
We were shooting indoors in the location chosen by client. When we arrived, you could see a horror on our faces. The place look like an old garage (which is nothing wrong with that, as we did lots of shoots in garages before) the only problem was that the client expect us to create photos that will look like we are in high end club… yes you read it correctly …
Photographers are often tasked to create images that don’t necessarily represent reality. It’s important to keep expectations in check; photography is the art of writing with light, not a form of modern witchcraft. Yes, photoshop can eliminate distracting objects and stitch photos together seamlessly, there are still limits to what can realistically be achieved in post-production. It is for this reason that high-end productions will spend tens of thousands on set-design and styling and don’t mind several days of preparation for what could be an end result of a single photograph.
We are not saying that you can’t create stunning images without enormous budget. We did it so many time before. However it requires a bit of time and preparation and focus on location scouting.
There’s More to It than Meets the Eye
We put in a lot of time, effort, and expense to produce the work you see on our website or instagram. Sometimes we spent countless nights thinking about the approach for your shoot, concepts, possible locations. researching equipment and lighting set up, retouching technique, and incalculable sums of money updating their kit and software suites.
We notice that people do their best work when they feel understand and value. I’m not saying you have to lay yourself at our feet, but when we hear ‘God you charge a lot for a day of work’ its hard to stay excited and don’t feel like a pair of rented eyes operating a machine for a fixed number of hours.
Sometimes is great to show us that you understand that we don’t only charge for a day of work. We charge for our expertise, talent and long journey we had to take, and countless of sleepless night to be where you are and to charge what we charge. Also we charge you for hours and hours of post production and selection of photos
Is there anything you’d want to say to photographers you work with? Are you experiencing any of these scenarios on your productions? Have any ideas how to improve this list? Let us know by leaving a comment below.