It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. I think it’s long overdue.
A few years ago, I worked at a photography studio prior to establishing my own. What I learned then, and continue to see now, is the lack of education that people have regarding hiring a photographer, or anyone in the creative industry. Many people are highly misunderstood and mislead by the meaning of copyrights, and it’s understandable considering the drastic change in the industry since the increasing affordability of DSLRs (imo).
If you made it this far reading this post, great. Let’s continue.
It’s easy to start to be a photographer anytime you want, but it’s difficult to be a professional. Here’s my personal opinion as to why.
There’s a LOT of competition in this field for a number of reasons: technology advancement, accessibility to technology and online information, increasing demand and interest in photography, misconceptions of the service itself, social media branding and trends, etc. But what makes it difficult to obtain clients, is when someone advertises their photography at a REALLY low price (which is fine if you’re looking to grow your portfolio, been there done that), but misinform the clients of one important thing: copyrights and reproduction rights. If you’re an amateur photographer looking to become ‘instafamous’ or what not, understand that the way you perform your service, any client will take that knowledge and information and pass it along to someone else who may be more experienced or qualified. Then that newer photographer faces the complications of the client requesting a service with a complete misunderstanding of what it means to hire a photographer.
I can go on and on about this but here’s my quick 2 cents:
Regardless if you’re a hobbyist taking photos for someone at a low fee, or an amateur trying to make it to the big leagues, always:
have a contract EVEN IF you’re doing it for free. Make a contract.
explain your contract to your clients.
always have a copyrights clause. Explain the clause. If you’re having a tough time explaining it, use this link. https://www.the-aop.org/information/copyright-4-clients
There are a lot of “photographers” out there. And I put it in quotations because more often than not, the professional photographers wouldn’t intentionally screw another photographer over. But anyway. Don't worry if you didn’t get every single prospective client that came your way. Just remember, treat other photographers with respect. It’s hard enough as it is to explain certain things to clients without looking arrogant, but this is a craft and just because we use a machine with a button, doesn’t mean our craft can be replaced with a machine. A camera is just a tool.