Q&A

What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

My goals are twofold: First, I want to to establish a rapport with the client so that we can communicate openly. I want the client to tell me her story, and to feel free to tell me what she wants and doesn’t want. Second, I want to explain the process to the client in full. Many times, clients have never worked with a professional photographer before. I want her to know what to expect, and to understand the rights and responsibilities of each party, so that nothing comes as a surprise,

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have studied at the finest schools in New York (and the country): The School for Visual Arts, Pratt, and Parsons.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.

There are no standard shoots, so there is no standard pricing. Everything varies according to the desires of the client.

How did you get started in photography?

I wanted to bean artist, as so many do. Turns out that art provides something less than a solid, steady stream of income. Luckily I was able to continue to do the thing I love—photography—albeit in a slightly different direction. (While continuing to practice my art on the side.)

What types of customers have you worked with?

I have covered a 50-year high school reunion, and just shot the wedding of a  couple from Denver who were in their early 20s. They were so young and in love and they saw the world as fresh and blooming. Their joy rubbed off on everyone around them.

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a photographer?

Someone who has a slipshod approach to business will have a slipshod approach to photography. The former can seem great to a client—cheap price, no contract, full rights to everything!—until the time comes when you get an ugly surprise about money, or when it’s time for the pictures to be delivered or when you don’t won’t like the ones that do get delivered.

What should customers look for when hiring a photographer?

“Everyone is a photographer these days.” I hear that said over and over. But just because someone has auto focus on his camera doesn’t make him a photographer. Keeping the picture in focus is the lowest hurdle a photographer has to clear. When an event is special enough that you hire a professional photographer, you want him to create art. You want him to produce a viewpoint you haven’t thought of, you want him to catch a moment so quick that you never saw it.

What do I need to know about copyrights?

Except for the smallest assignments, you should know that it’s an issue, and you should expect the photographer to explain the law to you. Any professional will know the laws and how they work; a kid with an iPhone will shoot an assignment and then just hand over the a thumb drive without discussing the issue. (That kid probably works without a contract, too. Another sign that you’re dealing with an amateur.)

What questions should customers ask a photographer. 

First, can you talk to this photographer, relate to him, does he make you laugh and put you at ease. Second, are you able to make clear exactly what you want and what you don’t want. If you feel uncomfortable making that clear, maybe this is not the right person for you. Third, make sure that he photographer explains to you exactly what you are entitled for the money that you are paying him. (Digital rights? copyrights?). After ll, it’s your money that’s on the line. Finally, at the end of the day, does the photography make you feel like just another job, or do you feel that he will take your assignment personally and do all that he can to ensure that the results are outstanding.

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