After years of being photographers we’ve heard just about every line you could possibly throw at a shooter. Most of the time we laugh them off, ignoring the sarcasm and unknowingly hurtful comments people make about our career and talent. There’s the famous “oh, you can just photoshop that.” the ever-so-rude “wow, that camera takes nice pictures,” and my favorite, “what do you do all day?” Because after all, Photoshop does fix everything all by itself, our cameras have 7 years of successful business under their belts, and we enjoy our days sitting on the couch watching our computer, which has been professionally trained, edit thousands of images each month. We truly live the life!
So, what we’re about to tell you stays between us, please don’t spoil our secret… Here’s a look into the life of a photographer.
We watch Netflix all day
Obviously photographers don’t really work. It’s all just fun and games.
We’re self employed, that doesn’t mean we don’t work, it actually means we never stop working. There’s always something to finish, someone to e-mail, an order to fill, a camera to fix, a lens to clean, and a bill to be paid. In our case, while much of the world is enjoying their Saturday off, we’re working double time. Wedding season is a marathon, any wedding photographer will agree. Physically, mentally, and emotionally we are completely drained after shooting a wedding, and that’s the easy part. A wedding starts long before the actual wedding day and ends months after; it’s no small task. We couldn’t possibly explain all that goes into shooting one wedding right here and now, so perhaps another time.
We couldn’t care less how your photos turn out
We do this just to get as much money as possible from people like you.
One thing photographers hear all the time is this: “we just need a couple good pictures, nothing too complicated.” While that may seem harmless, what your actually asking is for us to sacrifice professionalism. Every single image we capture has our name attached to it, it holds our future and our reputation. We will never do a quick half-hearted job. We give every session our all and there is no such thing as a “quick little shoot for a couple pictures.” It’s all or nothing.
We don’t have a life outside of our job
We are so dull and boring and have zero desire to do anything but play with our cameras while sitting at our desk anxiously awaiting your e-mail.
While most of our time is spent working we do occasionally like to do normal things just like the rest of you. We have children, extended families, yard work, laundry, dishes, and occasionally we even like to have some fun. *gasps* I know, it’s hard to believe. Recognize that we too need a break from the computer: we can’t always e-mail you back right away. Your photos are being worked on, we will get back to you, and we do care. Remember, without you we wouldn’t be in business; you matter to us! We just need a day off occasionally too.
We picked the easiest career possible
We took the easy way out in college and chose art, that one field everyone knows you’ll find success in.
There is no possible way a person could survive being a photographer unless they truly loved it. There’s something so special about seeing the look on a clients face after they’ve seen their photos, it makes every bit of hard work worth it. Photography is an art and a science, it’s a beautiful blend of creativity, talent, and education. So much could go wrong while shooting, yet we take that challenge head on because we’ve prepared ourselves. We’ve invested time and countless resources into becoming better because we truly love creating art with our lenses. We are always working to become the best we can be. We are forever learning: photography is a changing field, one that we have to keep up with or we’ll sink. We take that seriously, our professional development will never stop.
We could never possibly accept payment for our work
All the years of experience, our four-year degrees, and our talent aren’t worth any dollar amount; we simply need more images for our portfolios.
Here’s the simple fact, when you ask a photographer to work for free you’re insulting them. Would you ask your accountant to do your taxes for free? Does your hair stylist color your hair for free? Would you expect a contractor to repair your roof in exchange for him gaining more experience? Can we be real for a moment? We know your struggle and we like getting deals too. We know you don’t have a money-growing-tree in your back yard and neither do we and that’s exactly why we can’t work for free. Would we love to? Absolutely! But, at the end of the day no matter how much we love photographing your precious family, love doesn’t pay the bills.
Just to give you a little idea of how much goes into a “simple photoshoot,” here’s a little behind the scenes with our awesome photographer. She worked like a champ for two hours straight, walking through the mud and sand to get the perfect angle. She did whatever necessary to get the attention of our toddler, she was kind, she was loving, she was long-suffering. She photographed us until there wasn’t a ray of sunlight left. She left her husband and babies at home and captured moments that we will forever hold dear. For years to come we will cherish those precious images in our hearts; our children will show them to their children. They will become heirlooms, they will tell our story, they will last longer than we will. That’s something we value, that’s an investment we’ll make 100 times over.
Whether you’re someone who truly understands and appreciates your photographer, or this is the first time you’ve really thought about what goes into creating the perfect image, we want you to know photographers just want to feel appreciated and valued. So, if there’s someone in your life that has captured some of your favorite people, let them know you’re thankful for all they do. Give them a little slack if they’re running behind on your gallery. Tell everyone you know about them, and make sure they know how awesome you think they are! The gift hold they hold is more precious than you know.