A client has just provided me with some photographs which I thought were taken by a well-meaning staff member. In other words, these images are of the quality you’d expect from a non-photographer, and someone who had other tasks on their mind.
Except, after perusing the file info in Photoshop, I’ve discovered that the photographs have been taken by a professional photographer – and presumably the client has paid the going rate.
Here are some pointers to people buying professional photographic services:
- You have the right to ask that photographs are properly cropped, rotated and processed to a minimum degree. In other words, you should expect a modicum of enhancement and colour correction.
- Just because your photographer uses an expensive camera body, don’t take it for granted that they’re flying the thing correctly.
- There’s rarely any excuse for noisy and grainy images if the photographer has come with correct lighting. Ask why your photographs look noisy and rough if a tripod and flash have been used.
- Expect self-censorship from the photographer! You should not have to wade through 300 dodgy photographs just because the photographer couldn’t be bothered to do any more than dump his memory card to a DVD.
- Periodically review the output from your photographer, and compare their results with the photographs you were presented with at the start of the relationship.
- Be critical – zoom into the photographs provided. Are they in focus? Substandard photographs may be just about okay for screen use, but they will bite you in the backside if you ever need to use them in the wild, for press releases, advertising or exhibition projects.
You should get a professional service for the fees charged. Imagine yourself in the position of buying wedding photography, and demand similar levels of service.