Photography is an art and I respect it as such. Please don’t approach photographers and ask for photoshoots in exchange for exposure or as a favour. Trust me, they already have all the exposure that they need. #TooFunny
Anyways, it’s such a diva thing to say but yeah a whole lot of drama with photographers has led me to write this post. I’m not gonna mention any names but if the shoe fits please step forward and collect all the offence owed to you. If we’ve never worked together please read past my anger and pick up what you can.
1. Don’t be rude
This one photographer showed up late. Like hours late. I had done my make-up approximately four hours before and by the time he arrived things were starting to melt and smudge like Heather Ledger as The Joker. I get awkward in front of the camera and his rotten attitude wasn’t helping issues. He kept rushing me like he wasn’t the one that was late. When I’m upset my face will always show it. My anger and discomfort showed in my images. The thing that pissed me off is that a lot goes into the shoot. The make-up artist was paid, the accessories were hired at a cost, the stylist was paid, the venue but nope delusions of grandeur made him and his lights feel like they are the author and finisher of the photoshoot. Typical male, thinking just because he has the pointy thing (camera) he is supreme. How rude shem! This one photographer brought a large mirror to the shoot. I found this refreshing because I was able to see myself as he took the pictures. Because I could see myself, I was able to pose properly to hide my flaws. I was able to assist him and to get into my best angles as I would if I was taking a selfie.
2. Don’t get upset when I ask for the raw pictures
So they get upset when you ask for the raw images. If I have paid full price for a service don’t I deserve my images to do the F**** with as I like? When we work together, don’t bother sorting through them. You see, what looks good to you, might not be what I am looking for in an image. Our creative lenses aren’t the same. You’re looking from a technical viewpoint and I am looking from a personal viewpoint. I have issues with some parts of my body e.g. the deep holes besides my nose because I have fat cheeks. You probably won’t see that cause you’re just checking if the composition is proper and how good the lighting was. Hand over all my raw images, I’ll decide which ones to keep and which ones to trash. Feel free to delete my images from your storage, you won’t be needing them. At the Agency where I work, we give the client the finished product, but should they request the live files we will hand them over to them. They paid for them, they own them, they are theirs!
3. Don’t sign my images, Please and Thanks
Those that know me already know that I am actively pursuing a career as a stock footage model. So when you sign my images, they get rejected by these stock images sites. Of what use are they to me with your signature on them? Again, if I paid full price please don’t sign my images I am not your billboard. I work in advertising, imagine if we were to plaster our agency’s name all over each and every piece of artwork that we produce in studio. What a mess! Except there is an advertising agency in Zimbabwe that actually over-signs all the work that they produce for the client. Please put your pride aside and crop it out of my pictures. Saw this joke once, a man and a woman were fighting for custody and the man says, “Your honour, if I put a coin in a vending machine and a drink comes out, does the drink belong to me or the vending machine?” It didn’t apply there but it applies here perfectly.
4. Who owns the images?
Also please don’t go and publish my images on your social media without prior approval from me…in writing. You don’t know what I wanna do with those pictures. What if where I want to submit them they require exclusivity and here you are scattering me all over social media. WOW time time we must respect each other. I get that you need some for your portfolio and that’s fine, we can discuss it and share them accordingly. Not this entitlement bulldust. This is a simple lesson that I learnt from the Vanessa Williams story. This photographer was clearly just collecting these images and just sat on them like Monica Lewinsky and that blue dress. The moment Vanessa won that pageant the pervy photographer decided to pull them out from archives and cost her the crown.
5. Let’s respect timelines
For whatever reason, and perhaps I am impressed by your editing skills (highly unlikely) and you have to sort out the images, please don’t make me wait until the next lifetime to get the images from you. This one time I needed the images to audition for a gig and they took me over three months to get. I was convinced he had lost them. By the time I got them, it was tooo late and the opportunity had passed. In the line of work that I do, I need these images of me so that promo materials such as flyers and social media posts can be designed. This means we need to respect time and give the client their pictures so that they have the pictures readily available for any opportunities.
From here on out, only my boyfriend can take pictures of me. He is my person so he understands some of the body issues that I struggle with and he is able to pay attention to them and to avoid my usual pitfalls. Should I outsource skills for a photoshoot best believe we are signing an agreement that covers the points listed above. If you can’t adhere to these Terms and Conditions, its not a problem, my money is still green and you aren’t the last airbender.