Dear Blogger: 7 Things Your Photographer Wants You to Know
When I first started shooting with fashion bloggers I was the happiest I had ever been, creatively. Being in this world felt right to me. It was a way to merge two of my favorite things: fashion and photography. I have worked with my fair share of bloggers who have given me some amazing experiences and some not-so-amazing experiences. As with everything, working with other creatives does bring its own challenges, but it also brings some pretty sweet opportunities and sometimes (my favorite) friendships. I recently took a step back from photography because for some reason what I thought was my niche suddenly didn't satisfy me anymore. It wasn't until I realized why I was feeling the way I was that I started to feel motivated to pick my camera back up. Which brings me to my list below.
7 Things Your Photographer Wants You to Know
1. Please don't ask me to edit your photos like that other blogger's
Like bloggers, every photographer has their own style. Some like pops of color, while others prefer minimal, monochromatic edits. When you're 'shopping' for a photographer, make sure you know or have an idea of what your blog's aesthetic is. If your blog is bright and vibrant don't approach a photographer who's editing style is minimal and muted tones. Photographers spend years trying to nail down their personal editing style, so it really sucks when someone asks us to mimic another photographers style. If you can't afford to work with the photographer you want, try to find someone with a similar style. Another option could be to work with a less experienced photographer who is still early on in their career, chances are they have not figured out what their style is and are open to trying different styles.
2. 'Collab' does not just mean 'free shoot'
I can't tell you how many messages I receive from people asking me if I want to collab. I used to love collaborating with other creatives, until I learned what the word meant in the blogging industry: free shoot. When you are approaching another creative, specifically one who you're requesting a service from, the point of the collab should be for both of you to create something that will benefit the other and help each other grow your blog/brand. The collaboration has to make sense for both the blogger and the photographer.
For example: You're a blogger who has a special project in mind or who wants to get the attention of a brand and you came across a photographer who has a similar style as that brand - reach out! Chances are that photographer would totally be down to work together. However, if you're a blogger in need of a photographer because you're reg photographer is OOO or because you just don't have a photographer yet, don't be surprised if they say 'no'.
And yes, we all know collaborating is a great way to help out that new photographer build up their portfolio, but once they feel like they have what they need and can get clients on their own, those types of collabs should stop, unless you two have agreed to continue working together for free. Assuming they will still offer you a free shoot is a little insulting. After all, this is their job.
3. Don't slide into the DM's
If a photographer has specifically listed their preferred contact method on their Instagram profile, and they've requested to be emailed, DO NOT send them a direct message! Yes it may be easier for you, but there is always a method to their madness. Maybe they want to keep things organized or maybe they just have fat fingers. Whatever the reason is, respect their business.
4. Please show up on time
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but please be on time for your shoot. Most of the time, especially those who work exclusively with bloggers, photographers book multiple shoots in one day. If you're late to your shoot, you are cutting into travel time and/or someone else's shoot. And that's just not fair.
5. Don't invite your family and friends into your photos
Every photographer has their own rates. It might be a flat fee for a certain amount of time or per outfit or per person. Whatever the case may be, always let your photographer know if you are planning on bringing anyone along. Honestly, it's just rude if you're shooting and then tell your bff to jump in 5 pics with you, and then ask the photographer to snap some pics of her too. WHAT! Yes, it's happened. Which brings me to number 6...
6. Do bring your bff to your shoot!
If you are the shy type, bringing your friend or someone you feel comfortable with is the best thing you can do. Not only will they be there for moral support, but they'll make you laugh or make fun of you, which in turn will make you laugh.
7. Tell me what you want, what you really, really want
Bloggers and photographers are like avocados and toast: they're great on their own, but create something so amazing when you put them together. It's really important to get along with your photographer and always communicate. If you don't feel comfortable or you just don't think your photographer fits your aesthetic/style anymore, it may be time to part ways and look for someone else. Remember that you're both human and are in this industry because you are creatives. Be open and honest, and always express what you want creatively and your partnership will produce something awesome every time.