I will be the first to admit that I am fascinated by the demographics of photography along with some of the politics and cockiness that seem to nip at the industry’s heels. Thus, I have been doing quite a bit of reading lately about people who have lost their jobs and have since turned to the camera in order to keep the wolves away. You may find yourself asking who these people are and are they making me upset because they have invaded my self-proclaimed market. More on that in a second…….Photographers across the land are every bit as exposed to the “crisis” as any other business while for some it is an important second line of work. Given that fact, the part-timers can afford to withstand the slow times while the full timers are squirming in their pants. Now I regress…..Those who find themselves out of work are finding recourse in shooting weddings and perhaps for some, they will end up discovering their full-time calling. What this means to you the bride, the family longing for a fall time portrait, and the senior is that you now have more choices to choose from than ever before and the numbers are only going to incrase. While some choices are better than others (Let the buyer beware), when choosing a photographer among the sea of seals who carry a camera consider the following before making a choice.
How deep is the photographer’s portfolio? Does it look like they have shot more than just the occasional gig?
Though you are not expected to know cameras find out what type of gear and how much they own. This is indicative of someone who is serious about doing a great job and values the many options available in equipment.
Can they walk the walk when they meet with you the first time? In other words, are they able to fluently speak about the organization of the pictures and the technical details of what you desire in a photograph?
Most photographers who keep at least one foot in the door are keenly aware of the pro’s and con’s of certain venues/locations thus they should be able to discuss the limitations and strengths of certain locales. This is important because you want a photographer who has experienced shooting at more than a few locations thus, they are better prepared to overcome some of the limitations certain places exhibit.
If they spill the beans and tell you they only need one camera, one lens, and one flash you should simply run like hell.
Gifted and capable people don’t have to have the business smarts of Donald Trumph so long as they deliver what they say while knowing what they are doing. Don’t let technology and it’s ability to make so many of our portfolio’s appear identical stump you rather, pay close attention to the cues that stir chemistry, integrity, and technical know how and you should be ok. Some will charge less while some will charge more but that aspect should really be at the bottom of your list even in an economy as crappy as ours.
I have had some deep discussions regarding topics like this and have made some enemies along the way (I have had my Cheerios pissed in twice!) but given that I am a humanoid I think it is somewhat cool that new blood has entered the rat race. I find that it forces me to rise above it all and also provides me the chance to share some of the things I have learned with others. All too often I hear photographers say they don’t share any of their “trade secrets” with newbies. That just sucks I mean really, does the pilot who knows a plane inside and out withhold their knowledge from the next Joe? Hmm, if they did I am sure that many a plane would fall from the sky. Ok, pictures are not planes but given that the inches we need in life are all around us and that we are told to fight for those inches, shouldn’t we welcome those who are hungry to gain what we already have? In short, I love getting paid nicely for doing what I do but somewhere along the way many of us have forgotten the human aspect of it all and that transcends into the next paragraph.
Seems as though for every bailout going to a company who buys corporate jets after the fact, we see the common Joe given a pink slip with nowhere to go while your stocks hit the dirt faster than a bull rider with no arms. Ahhh yes, may the zeros of the sums show their faces while the rest of us try and comprehend what has just slapped us in the face. Tell you what, take five minutes of your time and write a letter about it all and then sit on it for a few days while deciding if you feel like a geek for actually sending that to an elected official. Done thinking about it? Ok, your image is still in check.
Sorry I have not posted much in the way of “Pics of the Week” but between shopping for houses, meeting with potential clients, and packing boxes my poor cameras have not gotten the attention that they deserve. I promise to have this madness under control soon and not only will I get some new pics up, I plan to also update the website. Now lets get some warmer skies so that I can stand to be out in open for more than five minutes at a time.
Bailed Out By The Eightball,