Can I just say how expensive it can be to own a photography business?! Notice, I said BUSINESS, not a hobby, not a part-time gig. There is soooo much more that goes on behind the scenes for a photo session than just pushing the shutter button during our session. A photographer’s prices are based on talent and the cost of running their business, not someone’s budget. You may not think it’s rude to ask a photographer for a discount or an extra digital or print, but it is. You don’t go to Target and ask the cashier for 20% off, expecting to actually receive that discount, do you? (wishful thinking for sure!)
Yelling at your kids to smile will most likely NOT result in smiles. Together, we can tickle, sing, clap, make funny faces or fart noises to get them to laugh.
I’m a photographer, not a magician. Please don’t come with chipped nail polish or chocolate on your kid’s face and say, “you can just Photoshop that out, right?” Not everything is an easy fix, and it’s time-consuming. Bring wet wipes or tissues if your kid’s nose is boogery.
Come with an open mind and realistic expectations. You know your kids better than anyone. If your toddler is teething, sick, going through a “stranger danger” phase, then that might be something I need to know, or you need to prepare for it. Baby might cry the entire session, or be glued to mama. If anyone in front of the camera is hungry or tired, you won’t get good photos. Before showing up for a photo session, make sure everyone has had a snack and a nap if necessary, and read my “10 Tips to ROCK Your Family Photo Session.”
Digital files are not “free.” Each image you see represents hours of education, preparation and hand editing (and a sore back if it’s a newborn session). Each image of your gallery is a piece of artwork I take great pride in, and I value my time and talent, and I hope you do too. 🙂 When you ask a photog for the RAW file, that’s a huge insult. You’re saying you’d rather have an unedited, blah photo rather than the one I just spent 30 minutes editing.
Trust your photographer’s judgment when it comes to locations, poses, props, lighting, clothing, etc. They have the experience to offer advice on that type of stuff.
Please don’t bring your child’s favorite toy to the photo shoot. They will spend most of the time mad because they know you have it, and they want it. And if you give it to them, it will be in all the photos because if you take it away, it causes a meltdown.
If you don’t feel comfortable or pretty in the outfit you chose for the session, don’t wear it! I want genuine smiles in your images, not a pained-looking expression because your toes are squished.
Photographers want your FEEDBACK! After I send an online gallery or do an in-person reveal, I wait on pins and needles to hear your opinion, that my photos made you cry tears of joy looking at your baby’s face. Also, positive ONLINE REVIEWS are very appreciated as this helps small businesses attract more clients. And we need clients so we can pay our bills and put food on the table. 🙂
We can’t control the weather. Shocker, I know! If I ask to reschedule your session, it’s not because I’m feeling lazy. I’m watching the weather like a hawk to make sure you’re not bringing your little kids out in cold, windy weather and jeopardizing their health. Also, my expensive camera and lenses are not waterproof!
Photos aren’t ready the moment the session ends. I have to narrow the hundred photos I took to half that, then edit the best ones so you only receive the most perfect pictures. This can take hours, or even days depending on what else I have going on.
Between noon and 4pm is the worst time to take photos due to harsh, overhead sunlight. It may be convenient, but it definitely makes a photographer’s job harder. Not to mention, you’ll be squinting in all your images.
Having a camera (or phone camera) does not make one a professional photographer. It’s not the camera that takes great photos, it’s the photographer who is investing time and money in lighting, lenses, editing programs and education to learn how to make all those elements work together to create amazing images for you! 75% of a photographer’s “job” is behind-the-scenes. You pay for what you get, and your family memories are an investment!
Don’t cut your or your children’s hair RIGHT before a photo session. Do that a week or so in advance so it has time to grow in and not look so freshy fresh.
We are human. Just like you, we get sick, have a death in the family or have car problems. I may forget to confirm an appointment or respond to an email; I may not post your images to my social media as soon as you’d like. I do ask for a little understanding as I am putting all my time, thoughts, heart and soul into my photography business. I don’t have an assistant, graphic designer, marketing coordinator, IT person, etc. I’m doing it all myself! And I LOVE it!
The services and print products that a photographer provides are true heirlooms that tell your family’s story. The prints, canvases, albums and other photo gifts I offer will be your most precious possessions. Value transcends money, so please, in this digital age, do not forget to print your family’s memories so that your children can look back at their family portraits when they have kids of their own.