If it’s your first time working with a professional photographer you probably have a few questions about how it all works. That’s a good thing. Here are some questions and answers that should help.
Beyond this information, just ask your photographer. If you don’t get the answers you want, it’s time to choose another photographer. Your photographer should be listening to your ideas for a finished image. And you need to listen to what the photographer is saying about the creative and technical aspects of getting there.
It’s important to understand that the finished images represent not only you or your brand, but that they also represent quality of the photographer’s work. Both parties want the results to be excellent.
I want to have some professional photographs created. How does the process work? What can I do to explain what I want in a photograph?
You should start by knowing what you want to finish with.
For example, for a business portrait you should think about the look you are trying to portray. Perhaps you want a ‘head shot’ or a head and shoulders image that says you are a friendly and trustworthy real estate agent. Perhaps you want an environmental portrait; a picture of you in your work environment.
Or a photo with you and with your latest achievement. You may want several, or even many photographs. That takes additional planning.
Having a sample of pictures that you like—and some that you don’t—helps communicate what you are looking for. And helps you and the photographer create successful professional images. The more information the photographer has, the more successful and creative your images can be.
You should also describe how you will use the image or images which are created. For example, perhaps you need a portrait for the back cover of your new book. Perhaps you need a small version of that same image for the ‘about’ page of your website for a period of five years.
Sometimes you know exactly what you want, you know when you need it, and you know how it will be used. For example, as an actor you’ve been asked to deliver one character shot, as an 8 inch by 10 inch, black and white glossy print. The agency is looking for a mature male with a specific look. You think you’ve got that look. Now is up to the photographer to deliver several options that creatively present you in your best light.
It’s not often that easy, so you and the photographer will prepare a plan that will help to create the images you want.
Is this a time to talk budget?
Absolutely. The photographer needs to know your budget before preparing a quote for you. Once you and the photographer talk about ideas and options, a breakdown of planned photographs, estimated fees and expenses can be provided.
Who owns what in a changing digital world?
Canadian photographers, as original creators of the work, own the copyright on their images. Much the way musicians own a song and license its use (perhaps as a download from iTunes for personal use, or as the soundtrack in a television commercial), photographers own the image and license its use (perhaps as print for your personal use, or as a promotional photo of your product for the cover of a trade brochure). In some cases the photographer may transfer part or all of the copyright to you.
From the Government of Canada:
As a general rule, the author/creator is the first owner of copyright in a work. Where permission to use copyrighted material is needed, it is only the author/creator who can permit usage of his works. The author/creator of a work is furthermore, the only party that can sell, license or give away copyright. The author/creator can also transfer copyright in his works in its entirety or in parts.
more about Canadian copyright: http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/ccl/aboutCopyright.html
Continue reading Working with a Photographer, Part Two