Having been a photographer for close to 3 decades, I get a variety of phone calls asking me to describe my services. I am happy to chat with everyone and give them a bit of instruction on how I work. If the client isn’t a referral, then they have checked out my work on either this blog, Facebook, Instagram or my web page. So, they know my style of work and were interested enough to make the call. Every photographer has a “style” and it has taken many moons for me to establish my own. In the beginning of my career, I photographed anything, any way, any how just to give clients a variety of styles to chose from in my work. I would purchase any new prop, new background, different studio lights, etc. to try and cover every possible aspect a client may want. I had props out the wazoo! I bought wicker chairs, wicker tables, tons of paint splattered backgrounds, dark backgrounds as well as huge rolls of background paper. I remember when I first opened my studio, there were some photographers who would build a mini pond in their studio to get cute pictures of kids pretending to fish. Yes, the thought of filling my studio with a little pool had crossed my mind for a brief moment. Some photographers hung a swing from the ceiling to get cutsie pix of kids pretending to be outside.
However, over the years my branding became more refined and I dropped all the paraphernalia that other photographers employed. Getting rid of that stuff was liberating.
So this brings me to the subject of this blog. “How to hire a photographer.” It basically relates to the same question when you purchase a designer dress. You purchase a Vera Wang dress because you like Vera’s style. You purchase a Stella McCartney, Versace or Karl Lagerfeld dress because you there is something about their style that you like. So it intrigues me so when the phone rings and goes like this: “I saw your web page and want to hire you to take my photograph, however, I want you to change this, do that, incorporate this…… ” Then there are the clients who feel the need to direct me during a portrait session by telling those in the picture where to stand, how to stand and what background they want. Would that same client buy a Versace dress and then rip it apart sewing a different type of hem? NO! Their only experience with posing and lighting is perhaps what they saw on Pinterest and feel the need to re-arrange my style based on their concept of a great portrait. It is so important to accept the style of the photographer, their professional experience and their knowledge of light. Let me work my professional magic. Trust me.