In Part I, the process of working with a professional photographer was discussed in general terms: your role, the photographers role and some background basics.
For simplicity, Part 2 will use a personal portrait session as an example.
(Commercial photo shoots are generally more complicated and can involve much more preparation. On the other hand they are often repeatable; for example photographing a painter’s work is a highly specific and repeatable task. Aside from preparing the studio, the photo shoot is highly predictable.)
Before the Photo Shoot
You’ve talked with the photographer and decided in fairly specific detail what it is you are looking for in the photographs. You now arrange a photo date, a time, and a meeting location.
If you are working indoors, perhaps in a studio, scheduling will be simple. But if you will be working outside, the weather will be a factor so you will likely have a second, backup date.
The photographer will have experience and ideas about lighting. In setting the time for the photo session, certain times and conditions work best. The quality of light is best very early and very late in the day. For portraits, a soft even light produced on an overcast day is often preferred. Working in the blazing mid-day sun can be problematic and requires much more preparation, equipment setup and time. This can dramatically increase the cost of getting quality images.
You will probably talk a bit about clothing and colours. Clothing colour is highly personal and specific you the end use of the photos, but your photographer may have some ideas based on the location background colours.
During the Photo Shoot
You’ve arrived at the location for the photo shoot, ready to start. Great, relax and enjoy the process. Most people find it easier and more fun than they had though it would be. Be yourself and let the photographer try some creative ideas.
The photographer may show you some images as the shoot continues; feedback from you is important and can steer the shoot in the best possible direction.
After the Photo Shoot
First time clients are normally asked to pay the photographer’s fee at this time which includes all work up to and including a proof website (see below).
After the shoot I prepare a ‘proof website’. I look through all the images shot and select all the images I feel are worth considering. I email the client the link, often the same day, and always within 24 hours.
Below is a recent, real example. A potentially difficult shoot as toddlers and dogs rarely take direction well, and never remain stationary unless they are sleeping. So the goal here was to make this a real, casual and spontaneous session. Consequently a large number of images were taken. The proof website contained about 150 unedited images:
The client then chooses the images they want by copying the filename below each photo in the proof website.
I process each chosen image for it’s specific intended use, e.g. a 16 x 24 print on fine art paper for framing, a glossy 5×7 for grandma, a fast-loading image for social media, and so on. Each has specific processing requirements. Depending on how they are to be used, files may be sent to a professional printing lab or delivered in an electronic format to the client.
Again, for simplicity, I’ve chosen a few images from this example shoot. Note that all images are photographed in high resolution colour and can be processed many ways including black and white.
The photographs are delivered and and payment for the prints and/or electronic images is made (normally by INTERAC e-Transfer, cheque or cash).
Hopefully these two posts have explained the basics of working with a photographer in general and John Cameron in particular. If you have any questions (or re-wording suggestions :-) please send me a note using the form below.
Thanks for visiting,
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