📸 Skai Chan Photography

Ways to Insult a Professional Photographer

Generally, most people will not want to offend others in order to avoid troubles. There are, of course, people who are arrogant or with low EQ who may want to stir troubles. Putting them aside, people who are not in the trade may likely do or say some things that may insult or hurt a professional photographer unintentionally.

  1. Quote the photographer a low price
    Every photographer has his own value in term of monetary. A good photographer who puts in lots of effort and has quality work will obviously charge higher than others. By quoting a low price, you are undermining the skill and value of the photographer. In fact, you are indirectly telling the photographer, "I think you are worth much lesser than you think you do."
  2. Approach the photographer to pay you for shooting you
    This may sound unbelievable but it is actually happening all the while. The champions are those aspiring models who are doing freelance photo modelling, targeting hobbyist photographers. They usually cannot judge the quality of photos to see the status of the photographers and they simply do mass spamming, hoping some "photographers" will pay them to do photoshoot.

    This has happened to me a few times in a networking site where I have already indicated in my profile that I will only accept paid assignments and thus people who approach me should set a budget to pay me. The spammers do not read.

    Read: Do you need a model?
  3. Ask the photographer to shoot for free to "get portfolio" or "gain exposure"
    This incredible thing is usually done by friends or some event organisers. This is indirectly telling the photographer that he does not have sufficient portfolio to showcase to clients. Of course, sometimes the person may mean well, but most of the time, the person is just being too cheapskate or cunning (given the budget by the organiser but want to pocket more money).

    Read Cheapo the photography story for details and real life examples!
  4. Ask the photographer to edit another photographer's photo for portfolio
    It can be due to the fact that the original photographer does not do skin retouching or whatever, the model may seek the photographer's help to edit it. The model will propose to "grant permission" for the photographer to put the photo into his portfolio. It is a common sense that copyright of all photos belong to the photographer who captures them, unless, there is a contract to state the owner of the photos. Why would an established photographer want to use another photographer's work and claim the credit of shooting it? This is indirectly claiming that the photographer is lacking of portfolio and has to resort to steal work.
  5. Doubt the photographer's judgement
    Since most photographers are male, female models and clients may sometimes doubt the photographers' judgements, ignoring the fact that they have vast experience.
  6. Doubt the photographer's ethics
    One common doubt from clients is the quantity of photos. Some clients will try hard to find out the number of photos the photographer can capture during his past events in order to make "estimation" or indirectly force the photographer to keep up with the "pace" for theirs. In fact, the quantity of photos will depend on the activities and guests for every event. If the photographer were to give the clients an "average number", the clients may use it to pin against the photographer if it happens that the actual day's number falls below the "estimated number" for their events, accusing the photographer of cheating. The clients should trust the photographer to do his best to capture as many great moments as possible.

    For male photographers, female clients or models may also be more wary of them since there are incidents of perverts holding the cameras.
  7. Collaboration without providing full details
    Photographers, hair & makeup artists and models may sometimes work together to create some art work. The collaboration is known as TFCD shoot. Unfortunately, some of the team members may be too full of them and thus not cooperating well during the planning phase. It may be partly due to their past experiences of working with hobbyist photographers who do not care much. The role of a photographer is supposed to oversee to everything but people are beginning to show disrespect to photographers unintentionally since they know nothing about commercial shoot.

    The most common problem that occurs is the model not showing the wardrobe (when wardrobe is to be provided by the model) to the photographer. Somehow, a few minutes of effort to snap the photos of the outfits seems like taking their lives. The newbie and spoiled models' mentality is that the most important thing during the shoot is their faces and thus the wardrobe does not matter, and that they think they have extremely good fashion sense. Eventually, there may be problems like the model cannot find the outfits just before she wants to leave her house for the shoot or she brings the wrong outfit due to miscommunication. There are also chances that the outfit, whether it is the colour or design, does not suit the shooting location.
  8. Tell the photographer no need to edit the photos
    I get to meet other photographers ocassionally. The so-called experienced photographers who have done actual day wedding shoots for my friends always sound confident and are willing to exchange knowledges with me. Most of them tell me that they can actually return the photos immediately after the shoot but my friends do wait for months for their photos eventually. This is to prove that most of the experienced professional photographers will not be able to deliver the photos immediately because there are always some post-processing work to be done after the shoot since no one is perfect. Lighting and distance change constantly during an event and I have not heard of any photographer who can nail every photo perfectly. Besides, every photographer has his own set of setting for his photos to deliver the "personal feel".

    Now, back to the topic of editing the photos. There are clients who want the photos almost immediately. For example, the corporate client may want to showcase the photos at the end of the few days' events in a slideshow to the guests. I have also gotten request from a bridegroom-to-be to deliver the actual wedding day's gatecrash photos on the same day for the wedding luncheon. It actually takes time to filter and process the photos while these clients who cannot tell the quality of photos may request the photographers not to edit the photos in order to meet the schedule. If the photographer were to accept the deal just for the sake of the one-time money, all the guests of the event will get to see the raw photos. Despite the raw photos may already be much better than other people's photos, the photographer's reputation may be damaged.
  9. Request to edit the photos for the photographer
    Image editing software such as PhotoShop can actually be easily available while some of the clients or models may actually have a hand of it before. There are also some IT or media students who have a module in school that include using of PhotoShop. I have also met some people who are ex or existing designers who are proficient in the software.

    Eventually, these people may request to edit the photos for the photographer. They are telling the photographer indirectly that their skill is far more supreme than the photographer's.

    Every photo's colour, contrast and exposure, together with the taking of photo, make the photographer unique. This is why you want to work with the photographer. For bigger photography companies, they may be employing retouchers to do the post-processing work but they have some default setting in place to standardise the photos to the "feel" of the photographer or company.
  10. Ask the photographer for the raw files
    The motive of asking the photographer for the raw files is of course to edit the photos. These people simply think they can do better work than the photographer.

You may be interested in:
- Misconceptions and Myths in Professional Photography
- Clients from hell (photography services)
- Disadvantages of being a freelance photographer
- How to judge a photographer - How can photographers return photographs fast
- How to tell if someone truly appreciates a photographer's work
- How to offend and piss off models

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